Clockwise from top left: Baltimore police officers William G. Porter, Garrett E. Miller, Caesar R. Goodson Jr., Edward M. Nero, Alicia D. White, Brian W. Rice. (Baltimore Police Department)
The six officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray face a litany of charges that include second-degree depraved-heart murder, involuntary manslaughter, false imprisonment and misconduct in office.
The officers — three white, three African American — represent a broad spectrum of experience on Baltimore’s police force. Three of them joined the force three years ago. The driver, who faces the most serious charges, is African American and has been on the force since 1999.
One officer had his weapons confiscated after a former girlfriend contacted the Carroll County sheriff’s office to say she feared for his safety.
The officers include one woman, a sergeant, who joined the force in 2010.
All six officers were taken into custody Friday and released after posting bail that evening, according to online court records. The police officers facing charges are:
Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., 45, who has been on the force since 1999, according to Baltimore police. An African American, Goodson drove the van that transported Gray to jail.
Goodson, whose bail was set at $350,000, is the only officer in the group facing a murder charge. He is charged with second-degree depraved-heart murder, a charge used when a suspect is accused of reckless disregard for another person’s life, in addition to involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, manslaughter by vehicle and misconduct in office.
WBAL-TV in Baltimore reported last week that Goodson is facing internal disciplinary proceedings in a separate case for allegedly allowing a prisoner to escape from a hospital.
Goodson is the grandson of a police officer, according to the obituary for his mother, who died in Baltimore in 2012. He lives in Catonsville in Baltimore County, where two of his neighbors said Friday that he had minimal interactions with them.
Frances Hubbard, who lives on his street, described the officer as a “family man, always polite, always speaks. I see him eating with the family.”
Lt. Brian W. Rice, 41, the highest-ranking officer among those charged Friday, is a 17-year veteran of the department.
Rice was the first officer to make eye contact with Gray while on bike patrol, State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby said. Rice then chased Gray, calling for backup on his police radio. Mosby said Rice failed to establish probable cause for Gray’s arrest.
The lieutenant helped load Gray onto a police wagon, then he ordered the driver to stop the vehicle so he and other officers could remove Gray, handcuff him and place leg shackles on his ankles.
Rice, whose bail was set at $350,000, is charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
In 2012, Carroll County Sheriff’s deputies visited Rice at his Westminster home after a woman with whom he had a child asked officers to check on him, according to a report obtained by The Washington Post.
The woman, Karen Crisafulli, who also is a Baltimore police officer, told deputies that Rice had made statements that alarmed her. The details of those statements were blacked out by law enforcement.
The deputies confiscated Rice’s weapons, including two 12-gauge shotguns, an AK-47 rifle, a small-caliber handgun, a BB gun and a Glock handgun he kept in a backpack inside his vehicle. The rifle and shotguns were kept in an unlocked safe.
Crisafulli, when reached by phone Friday, said she was under orders not to comment because of her position with the police department.
Officer William G. Porter, 25, who joined the force in 2012, became involved in Gray’s arrest after Goodson requested backup as he was driving to central booking, Mosby said. Porter, whose bail was set at $350,000, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Porter, who is black, checked on Gray and asked him whether he needed medical assistance. When Gray said he could not breathe, Porter helped him off the van floor and onto a bench. The officer failed to restrain Gray with a seat belt, Mosby said. Nor did Porter call for medical help, despite Gray’s request.
Sgt. Alicia D. White, 30, joined the force in 2010. She was dispatched to investigate two citizens’ complaints abut Gray’s arrest. At one point, according to Mosby, she “spoke to the back of his head,”even though Gray was unresponsive.
The prosecutor said White made no effort to assess Gray’s condition despite having been told he needed medical assistance. White, whose bail was set at $350,000, is charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
White’s attorney left Baltimore’s Central Booking and Intake office a little before 8 p.m. “Our client is innocent,” he said. “This is ridiculous.” He would not comment further.
Michael Gross, who identified himself as White’s uncle, said the family is “devastated” by the arrests. He described his niece as “a very good person, a very religious person.” He said she was engaged to be married.
White, who is African American, grew up in Baltimore, Gross said, and went to the University of Maryland’s Eastern Shore campus. She worked in education before joining the police force.
White was promoted to sergeant in January. The family celebrated that day, Gross said. “She was a very happy individual.”
Officer Edward M. Nero, 29, who joined the force in 2012, was on bike patrol with Rice and another officer when they chased Gray. Nero handcuffed Gray and held him down until the police wagon arrived, Mosby said. Nero, who is white, is charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment. His bail was set at $250,000.
The officer lives in Bel Air, in Harford County. A neighbor, Krishna Pillalamarri, said Nero is married, has a young child and moved into his house less than a year ago.
Officer Garrett E. Miller is charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment. Miller, 26, has been on the force since 2012. Miller was on bike patrol with Rice and Nero when they apprehended Gray, according to the prosecutor. Miller helped load Gray into a police wagon and failed to restrain him with a seat belt, Mosby said. His bail was set at $250,000.
Miller lives in a stone-and-frame house on a fenced wooded lot in Kingsville, Md., 25 miles north of Baltimore, on land his family has owned for more than a century, neighbor Dominic Martino said. A woman who answered the door said the family did not want to talk. A neighbor also said he would have no comment.
Several descendants of the original landowners live in a cluster on one end of Miller Road, Martino said, adding that the family tends to keep to themselves. “It’s a big family,” he said. “They have signs posted that they don’t want people driving back there.”