Baltimore officer formerly charged with Freddie Gray’s murder has been promoted to captain in the same department

One of the officers charged with the murder of Freddie Gray has been promoted within the Baltimore Police Department. The officer went from lieutenant to captain last week, six years after charges against her were dropped.

On Friday, August 5, Alicia White, one of six officers acquitted of charges related to Freddie Gray’s death in 2015, was promoted to captain in the Baltimore City Police Department’s Performance Standards Division. In this capacity, like the one she already serves, she will conduct audits and inspections and ensure the force is following proper guidelines while on duty, a press release said.

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison wasn’t speaking directly about White, a black woman, he was celebrating the reinforcement of all officers, a group he calls “the next generation of leaders”.

He said, “The Baltimore Police Department continues its efforts to promote officers and install new leaders with the department to move our agency forward.”

“These promotions and changes of command represent the next generation of leaders within the department.”

That survey was called into question seven years ago after the fatal arrest of the 25-year-old black man turned her and her colleagues’ lives upside down.

Authorities reported that while in BPD’s custody on April 12, 2015, Gray suffered from a spinal cord injury and subsequently died. The West Baltimore native suffered a broken neck after falling in the back of a police car. He was not secured with a seat or seat belt, although he was handcuffed.

His death sparked civil unrest across the country, both peaceful demonstrations and large-scale violent riots, particularly in Baltimore.

Baltimore City District Attorney Marilyn Mosby later charged White and five other Baltimore police officers with the manslaughter of Gray and charged them with manslaughter. However, White and two other criminal cases were dropped by Mosby just before she was due to go to trial after a jury acquitted the first three officers to stand trial.

After the criminal charges were pushed aside, former Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis later dismissed all administrative charges against White.

In a federal case, the US Department of Justice declined to press charges against the officers after conducting its own investigation.

Federal authorities commented on their assessment of their part in the incident: “According to a later statement by Sergeant White, she looked into the car and although she could not see Gray’s face, she saw him kneeling on the floor of the car, facing away from her and hunched over across the bench with his head bowed.”

“White attempted to question Gray because he thought he might know something about the complaint she was investigating,” the statement said. “He didn’t respond verbally, but made an audible noise. White interpreted Gray’s silence as an indication that he did not want to cooperate with the police.”

During their review, officers discovered that Officer William Porter informed White that Gray wanted a paramedic. Her response to Porter was to follow the vehicle back to the West District Police Station to free the crew of another arrested person and then take Gray to the hospital.

The statement continued, “Regardless of whether Sergeant White or Officer Porter acted negligently in not calling a paramedic before Stop 6, it would be impossible to prove that either intentionally ignored Gray’s needs.”

Although the criminal charges were dropped, the family received a $6.4 million settlement from the city for Gray’s death. Baltimore officer formerly charged with Freddie Gray’s murder has been promoted to captain in the same department

James Brien

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