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Charges dropped against police officers involved in death of Freddie Gray

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By Keith Walker  with Reuters, APTN
Charges dropped against police officers involved in death of Freddie Gray

Prosecutors in the US city of Baltimore have dropped charges against three police officers awaiting trial in the death of black detainee Freddie Gray.

The 25-year-old died a week after his neck was broken while being transported in the back of a police van in April 2015.

Gray’s death in custody became a flash point in a national debate over police use of force.

Protests raged for several days causing officials to declare a curfew and state of emergency.

Six officers were charged in the case. Prosecutors failed to secure convictions in previous trials. Baltimore’s police union called for charges against the officers still awaiting trial to be dropped.

Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby’s decision means that, as things stand, nobody will be held accountable for the death of Freddie Gray.

Reacting to the decision, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Mosby had made a bad call in prosecuting the officers.

“It was disgraceful what she did and the way she did it,” he told reporters in Florida.

Gray was arrested when he fled officers unprovoked in a high-crime area. Officers bundled him into a police wagon shackled and not secured by a seat belt.

Prosecutors alleged that officers gave Gray a “rough ride,” and failed to secure him as outlined in department protocol or to seek medical assistance.

But defense lawyers said that officers had the discretion on whether to seatbelt detainees and it was unclear when Gray suffered his fatal neck injury.