Gray’s death ─ after an arrest in west Baltimore that resulted in a summons for possession of a switchblade knife ─ sparked violent unrest, including rioting and looting of pharmacies.
The case spawned two investigations by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division ─ one of the department, another of the officers’ themselves.
The departmental probe found a pattern of unconstitutional stops, searches and arrests of black residents, and the use of unnecessary force against them. Baltimore agreed in January to make sweeping changes to its police department in order to avoid a federal lawsuit ─ a deal cut just as the Obama administration was about to cede power to the Trump administration, which had signaled a more hands-off approach to such arrangements.
Baltimore Agrees to Court-Ordered Police Reforms In Wake of Freddie Gray Death
At the same time, violent crime in Baltimore spiked, and the rise has not abated; the city is on track for one of its deadliest years ever, and could end up with more murders than New York City, which has 13 times more people.
Steve Ruark / AP, file
The Baltimore Police Department declined to comment on the Justice Department’s decision not to pursue charges against the officers.
But it did provide some information on the officers themselves: All remain on the force, assigned to administrative roles, with one, Porter, expected to return to full duty soon. The others face administrative charges.
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