A neurosurgeon has testified at the trial of a Baltimore police officer facing criminal charges after the arrest and death of a young black man that the man suffered an incomplete spinal cord injury and could still move his head and talk.
The prosecution rested its case Monday against Rice, the highest ranking officer charged in Gray's death, after questioning several of Rice's fellow officers.
Rice faces manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges in connection with Gray's death. The trial of Officer William Porter ended in December with a hung jury. Rice is the third officer to let Williams alone decide their fate.
Judge Barry Williams would only dismiss the second degree assault charge, noting the state hadn't proven its case.
Gray, 25, died a week after suffering a neck injury in the back of a police transport van on April 19, 2015.
The judge said the prosecution's basis for the assault charge was that Rice used the van in the alleged assault. Officer Caesar Goodson was acquitted last month at a bench trial and Officer Edward Nero was also acquitted at a bench trial in May.
About a dozen protesters, the largest group since the trial began, stood outside the courthouse, some holding signs referencing the recent police killings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.
The judge said the state failed to prove Rice acted in concert with someone else to prove an assault charge. Officer Nero put meat on the bones for the defense that Freddie Gray was combative and the crowds were growing at stops one and two....
Chief Deputy State's Attorney Michael Schatzow argued the two were hostile witnesses, due to defamation lawsuits the men had filed against Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, and cooperation they had given to Rice's defense.