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Baltimore Officer Formerly Charged In Freddie Gray Murder Promoted to Captain In the Same Department

One of the officers charged in the Freddie Gray killing has received a promotion within the Baltimore Police Department. The female officer went from being a lieutenant to captain last week, six years after charges against her were dropped.

On Friday, Aug. 5, Alicia White, one of six officers cleared in 2015 of charges related to Freddie Gray’s death, was promoted as the captain in the Performance Standards Section in Baltimore City’s police force. In this capacity, like the one she is already serving in, she will conduct audits and inspections and ensure the force follows proper policies while on duties, a press release states.

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison did not speak directly about White, a Black woman, he did celebrate the stepping up of all of the officers, a group he calls “the next generation of leaders.”

He said, “The Baltimore Police Department is continuing its efforts to promote officers and put in place new leaders with the department to move our agency forward.” 

“These promotions and command changes represent the next generation of leaders within the department.”

Seven years ago, this elevation was in question, after the fatal arrest of the 25-year-old Black male, turned her and her colleagues’ lives upside down.

Authorities reported, while Gray was in BPD’s custody on April 12, 2015, he suffered from a spinal cord injury and subsequently died. The West Baltimore native received a fractured neck after falling in the back of a police wagon. He was not secured with a seat or safety belt, even though he was handcuffed.

His death prompted civil unrest across the natiion, both peaceful demonstrations, and large violent riots, specifically in Baltimore.

Baltimore City State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby later indicted White and five other Baltimore cops for Gray’s death, charging them with manslaughter. However, White and two other criminal cases were dropped by Mosby right before she was to go to trial after a jury acquitted the three first three officers to stand trial.

After the criminal charges were pushed aside, former Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis later dismissed all administrative charges against White. 

In a federal case, The U.S. Department of Justice declined to bring charges against the officers, after conducting its own investigation.

The federal authorities commented on their assessment of her part in the incident, “According to a statement later made by Sergeant White, she looked into the wagon, and while she could not see Gray’s face, she saw him kneeling on the wagon floor, facing away from her, and leaning over the bench with his head down.”

“White attempted to question Gray, believing that he might know something about the complaint she was investigating,” it read. “He gave no verbal response but made an audible noise. White interpreted Gray’s silence as an indication that he did not want to cooperate with the police.”

During their review, the feds discovered Officer William Porter informed White that Gray wanted a medic. Her reply to Porter was to follow the vehicle back to the Western District police station to relieve the crew of another arrestee and then take Gray to the hospital.

The statement continued, “Regardless of whether Sergeant White or Officer Porter acted negligently by not calling a medic prior to Stop 6, it would be impossible to prove that either deliberately ignored Gray’s needs.”

Though criminal charges were dropped, the family did receive a $6.4 million settlement from the city over Gray’s death.

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