The Latest: Lawyers focus on why Gray wasn't buckled in van
Nov. 13, 2017
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on the Baltimore police lieutenant facing administrative charges in the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who suffered a fatal injury in police custody (all times local):
The highest-ranking Baltimore police officer who responded to the arrest of a black man who later died in custody didn't give a reason to investigators about why he didn't buckle the man into a seatbelt in the back of a van as required.
Detective Sgt. Thomas Curtis testified Monday at the start of administrative disciplinary proceedings in the case of Lt. Brian Rice, who is fighting for his job.
Curtis says when Rice was asked why he didn't put a seatbelt around Freddie Gray during an interview, he responded that "he just didn't."
But Michael Davey, Rice's lawyer, says the department failed to properly inform officers of a new mandate requiring seatbelts. That policy was only days old when Gray was arrested in April 2015. Davey also says shift commanders like Rice had discretion on whether to use a seatbelt.
Attorneys have begun to clash over a Baltimore police lieutenant's role in the arrest of a black man who later died in custody.
Lt. Brian Rice was the highest-ranking Baltimore police officer who responded to the arrest of Freddie Gray in 2015. Rice's hearing began Monday before a police disciplinary board.
Neil Duke, a police department lawyer, said in opening statements that Rice failed to live up to his responsibility. Gray died from a spinal cord injury he suffered in a police van.
But Michael Davey, Rice's lawyer, says the police department failed to provide proper equipment and training to transport uncooperative or combative detainees in police vans.
Rice was acquitted of criminal charges last year in the case.
The highest-ranking officer involved in the arrest of a black man who was fatally injured in a police van is appearing before a police disciplinary board in Baltimore.
Lt. Brian Rice will appear Monday before a three-member administrative panel that is examining whether he broke any department rules for his role in arresting and transporting Freddie Gray, who died a week after his arrest from a spinal cord injury in April 2015, prompting riots in Baltimore.
The panel will decide whether to fire or otherwise discipline Rice.
Last week, an administrative board found Officer Caesar Goodson not guilty of 21 charges. Goodson was the van driver.
Rice was acquitted in a criminal trial last year.