Three of the six Baltimore police officers indicted on multiple charges in the death of Freddie Gray arrived at the Baltimore jail without handcuffs. The standard procedure for suspects that face manslaughter or other violent crime charges requires that they enter in the booking facility restrained.
The three officers, though one of them was charged with second-degree murder and two of them with involuntary man slaughter, were escorted out of the police van without being handcuffed, while one of them was even allowed to hug another fellow police officer. So many people ask themselves whether the police officers received a special treatment.
Edward M. Nero, William G. Porter, and Caesar R. Goodson Jr. are three of the police officers who currently face criminal charges in Gray’s death but agreed to turn themselves in May 1. Goodson, who was also indicted on second degree murder, was seen by reporters giving a brief hug to another man inside Baltimore jail’s Central Booking.
When the Police Department was asked whether that was the standard procedure for suspects indicted in murder cases, a spokesperson said Wednesday that the six officers were not “a regular occurrence” since they had surrendered and seemed willing to cooperate.
The police spokesperson also said that in such cases the department and lawyers can reach an agreement with state’s attorneys to allow suspects to walk around in booking facilities with no handcuffs.
The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) confirmed the identities of the three police officers taken into custody this week but declined to provide further details on the manner of their arrest or on the occurrence of people taken into custody unrestrained.
“Members of the department had facilitated those officers who were turning themselves in to that location, at that point of time they were taken into custody,”
the BPD added.
The police department also declined to comment on the way the other three police officers were taken into custody.
All six officers were indicted by a grand jury in Freddie Gray’s death, but were freed on bail after they had posted bonds of hundreds of thousands of dollars. They currently face multiple criminal charges including second-degree murder (Goodson) and reckless endangerment.
Human rights activists, however, complained that the three officers were granted “special treatment,” something not usual in the arrests following Baltimore riots. They also said that such incidents only further fuel general distrust with law enforcement in the city.
A law expert explained that police policies allow the department to use handcuffs on suspects while exercising discretion especially when those suspects do not plan to run or resist arrest and they are fully cooperative.
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