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National

Top-ranking Baltimore cop in Freddie Gray case acquitted

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Opening sequence

National

Top-ranking Baltimore cop in Freddie Gray case acquitted

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COMING UP:Top-ranking Baltimore cop in Freddie Gray case acquitted

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Transcript

00:00:02
>> The highest ranking Baltimore cop on trial for the death of Freddie Gray cleared of all charges Monday. Lieutenant Brian Rice acquitted of manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office. The decisions handed down by a judge after Rice waved his right for a jury trial. The 42 year old cop is the fourth of six officers to be tried for Gray's death in April of 2015 from spinal injuries suffered in a police van.
00:00:29
But so far, not a single conviction. Two officers, including the van's driver, were acquitted, with the third facing a retrial after a deadlocked jury. Reuters Ian Simpson has been covering the trial.>> The judge's rulings have shown that he doesn't feel there simply is enough evidence that shows there was an actual crime committed, that the officers may have been guilty of making a mistake in not putting Gray in a seatbelt, but that doesn't rise to the level of a crime.
00:01:02
>> Rice's acquittal a particularly stinging setback for prosecutors. As the cop in charge, he was the one who ordered officers to chase down and arrest Gray when the 25-year-old African American suddenly fled upon seeing police in a high crime area. It was also Rice who shackled Gray's legs and decided not to seatbelt him as he was loaded into the van.
00:01:24
But defense lawyers argued, Rice made a correct, split second decision while Gray was being combative and a hostile crowd looked on. Gray's death touched off intense rioting in Baltimore, adding fuel to the Black Lives Matter movement. With the remaining two officers involved set to be tried in the coming months, Rice's acquittal raises questions of whether the state should move forward or dismiss their cases.