Baltimore police have, but won't release, findings from review of officers' actions in Freddie Gray case

The Baltimore Police Department has received the findings from an administrative review of the actions of six city police officers during the arrest and transport of Freddie Gray, which was conducted by police agencies from Montgomery and Howard counties.

But officials are "currently reviewing the case" and will not be releasing or discussing the findings because doing so would be against Maryland laws governing the "personnel records" of police officers, said T.J. Smith, a Baltimore police spokesman.

Mike Davey, an attorney representing the officers and the local Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 union, said he and his clients haven't been given a copy of the findings report, but are confident it will show no wrongdoing on the part of the officers.

"I'm sure the department will do a thorough review of the findings, and we believe that by the time that's done, the officers will continue to be cleared of any policy violations," Davey said.

Administrative reviews, distinct from criminal investigations, are conducted to determine whether officers have violated the department's own internal rules and policies. They are usually conducted internally, but the Baltimore Police Department asked the two county agencies to conduct the review in the Gray case to avoid conflicts of interest.

Sherry Llewellyn, a Howard County Police spokeswoman, referred all questions to Montgomery County Police.

Capt. Paul Starks, a Montgomery County Police spokesman, referred all questions to Baltimore police.

Gray, 25, died a week after suffering severe spinal cord injuries while in police custody in April 2015. His death prompted widespread protests against police brutality in the city. On the day of his funeral, rioting broke out.

All six of the officers — Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White and Officers Caesar Goodson Jr., Garrett Miller, Edward Nero and William Porter — were charged criminally in the case by Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby. All pleaded not guilty and none was convicted. Nero, Goodson and Rice were acquitted at trial, and Mosby dropped all the remaining charges.

Smith said Montgomery Police, which led the review, were asked to render findings in the investigation of either sustained, non-sustained, exonerated, or unfounded.

He said he could not say what, if any, disciplinary action would be taken against the officers because the results of the investigation are personnel records.

Smith said Commissioner Kevin Davis thanked both the Montgomery and Howard police agencies "for their time, effort, willingness, and dedication" to complete the investigation.

Under state law governing police officers' rights, the department has a year to the day from an acquittal or the dropping of criminal charges against an officer to bring an administrative charge.

If the department were to bring administrative charges, the officers could accept the proposed punishment or appeal. An appeal would trigger a hearing before a trial board — which under a recent revision to the law would be open to the public.

Davey said he hopes police commanders look at the findings report and decline to punish the officers. He said he hopes they conclude, "We had a lot of bad policies, we had terrible procedures, we fixed those, and we need to move forward."

krector@baltsun.com

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