By Carolyn Sung and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
Baltimore prosecutors on Wednesday dropped all charges against the three remaining officers facing trial in connection with Freddie Gray’s death.
Gray, 25, died after sustaining a neck injury while in police custody in April 2015. Three of the six officers charged in the case had already been acquitted.
Gray’s death became a symbol of the black community’s mistrust of police and triggered days of protests and riots in Baltimore. The city became a focal point of the Black Lives Matter movement and the nationwide debate on excessive police force. Police said no extra officers will work the streets Wednesday night.
“Justice has been done,” said Gene Ryan, president of the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police, said after the charges were dropped.
But the city’s top prosecutor didn’t quite see it that way. Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said the decision was “agonizing,” and she slammed the way police handled their investigation into the case.
More than a year ago, Mosby stood on her city’s courthouse steps and announced charges against the officers. “No one is above the law,” she said as she read out charges that ranged from second-degree depraved-heart murder to manslaughter to second-degree assault.
In a fiery address to reporters Wednesday, Mosby said she still believes Gray’s death was a homicide. But now, she said, she realizes the criminal justice system needs “real, substantive reforms” to hold officers accountable.
“We could try this case 100 times, and cases just like it, and we would still end up with the same result.”
Mosby said the case showed “an inherent bias that is a direct result of when police police themselves.”
“There were individual police officers that were witnesses to the case, yet were part of the investigative team, interrogations that were conducted without asking the most poignant questions, lead detectives that were completely uncooperative and started a counter-investigation to disprove the state’s case,” she said, shouting into a microphone as she read her remarks.
Mosby, who comes from a long line of police officers, told reporters she isn’t anti-police.
“I’m anti-police brutality. And I need not remind you that the only loss — and the greatest loss — in all of this was that of Freddie Gray’s life,” she said.
When Mosby first took on Gray’s case, some praised how swiftly she acted. Others, however, said there wasn’t enough evidence to convict the officers.
Gray’s stepfather, Richard Shipley, said Wednesday that he supported Mosby.
“We are pissed about the decision of the trials and the outcome of all the trials that have happened here in the city. We are very proud of the prosecutors who handled the case and did their best to their ability,” Shipley said. “We stand behind Marilyn and her prosecuting team and my family’s proud to have them represent us.”