A round up of reaction to Baltimore Police Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. being found not guilty of all 21 administrative charges against him in the 2015 arrest and death of Freddie Gray. This collection will be regularly updated.
“As one of the three administrative hearing boards has just concluded, I remain committed to the process as established by the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (LEOBR). Two administrative hearing boards remain, and we will stay the course for the remainder of this process.
Freddie Gray died in police custody. My thoughts and prayers remain with the Gray family. We will continue to make improvements within our organization to meet the expectations of constitutional policing demanded by our community.”
-- Police Commissioner Kevin Davis
“While today's outcome is disappointing, we must not forget the significant progress our city has made towards criminal justice reform and police accountability. Since Freddie Gray's untimely death police protocols have changed, body worn cameras have been implemented, a consent decree was ordered, and federal monitors have been installed. Our focus must remain on eliminating the division between the public and law enforcement, and my office is committed to rebuilding that trust within the criminal justice system."
-- Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby
“This is a vindication of this officer. This is a tragic accident that happened, and we’re sorry for the loss of Mr. Gray, but we’re glad that our client is not going to be the face of this incident.”
-- Sean Malone, one of Goodson’s attorneys
“It’s nothing unexpected. We’ve been trying to reform these trial boards for three or four years.”
-- Lawrence Grandpre, of a local grass-roots think tank, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, and an advocate for police reform
“My son is a good son and a good officer. We hope no other officer has to go through that.”
-- Goodson’s father, Caesar Goodson Sr.
“As long as the city lets law enforcement police themselves in lieu of meaningful civilian oversight, these proceedings will not result in accountability and will fail to strengthen community trust. These hearings are hollow unless they are fundamentally altered to incorporate resident input, transparency, and accountability.”
-- Monique Dixon, deputy director of policy at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
“What happened to Freddie Gray on April 12, 2015 was an extremely unfortunate incident. No member of the Baltimore Police Department intentionally injured or caused Freddie Gray’s death. It was an unfortunate accident.
In the 31 months that have past, Officer Goodson has been found not guilty in his criminal case, the U.S. Department of Justice found no evidence to charge him with a federal crime and the Baltimore Police Department, Administrative Hearing Board has found him not guilty of all administrative charges.
Officer Goodson can now turn the page on from this chapter in his life and continue his career with the Baltimore Police Department.”
--Lt. Gene Ryan, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3
“The verdict in the Caesar Goodson administrative hearing is the first of three pending trials and to offer any extensive comments would be inappropriate until the process is completed. I look forward to participating in the ongoing discussions about the LEOBR in Annapolis during the upcoming legislative session.”
--Mayor Catherine E. Pugh