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Administrative panel says van driver not guilty in death of Freddie Gray

Ofc Caesar Goodson faced 24 administrative charges
Posted at 1:16 PM, Nov 07, 2017

It started with second degree murder and other explosive criminal charges and ended quietly out a side door at the University of Baltimore as Fraternal Order of Police President Gene Ryan drove the freshly acquitted Caesar Goodson away from the cameras for the last time

Two and a half years of criminal and administrative charges and all of them fell one after the other like today’s cold November rain.

"He had a murder charge over his head, he's had this over his head. He's a quiet man, he's a hard working man. He is just happy to be able to resume his life. This has been hard on him and his family and he is happy to just get his life back," said Goodson’s attorney Sean Malone.

Because this is it, Caesar Goodson is exonerated.

A total of 24 administrative charges, some as serious as making false statements and ignoring policy, all came back with a verdict of not guilty Tuesday afternoon.

The trial board consisting of a detective, a Baltimore Police commander and a commander of an outside agency unanimously agreed Caesar Goodson did not violate Baltimore Police rules and procedures at the time.

"This is a vindication of this officer and what was done that day. This is a tragic accident that happened and we are sorry for the loss of Mr. Gray but we're glad that our client is not going to be the face of this incident," Malone said.

Malone says the officer faced upwards of termination if he was found guilty of any of the charges.

That decision would have been up to Commissioner Kevin Davis, but today's outcome removes that possibility and sets up Goodson to return to the BPD with a clean slate civilly, criminally and now, administratively.

"He is going to continue to work as a member of the Baltimore Police Department as he has in the past 18 years and work to retirement and take care of his family. He is a working class man. He is going to work hard and finish his career, with honor," Malone said.

Only two more of the officers still face trial boards.

Lieutenant Brian Rice goes before his administrative hearing beginning next Monday and Sergeant Alicia White is scheduled for next month.

 

Statement from Commissioner Kevin Davis:

"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. "