Family Source: 3 of 6 officers in Freddie Gray case are black ‘shows it’s not about race’

A source close to one of the African-American police officers charged over the death of Freddie Gray says the mixed race of the accused cops undermines the argument that race is driving the outrage surrounding his death.

Three of the police officers charged over the death of Freddie Gray are black.

Sergeant Alicia White, Officer Caesar Goodson and Officer William Porter are all African-American.

The other three officers who have been charged – Lt Brian Rice, Officer Edward Nero and Officer Garrett Miller – are white.

A family source of one of the African-American officers said these facts are highly significant.

They told Daily Mail Online: ‘That totally undermines the idea that this is about race.

‘The only people who are saying that this is about race are the outside media. This is not another George Zimmerman, it’s not another Ferguson. This is completely different.’

The difficult issue of race has been present in a series of interventions into the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death and the riots which followed it.

Among those who spoke in the aftermath of his death were the Rev Jesse Jackson.

The veteran civil rights leader described Gray as ‘a martyr’ in the eulogy he delivered at the 25-year-old’s funeral.

‘We’re here because we feel threatened, all of our sons are at risk … there’s too much killing, too much hatred, too much violence, too much fear,’ the Christian Post reported Rev Jackson as saying.

‘In this community, he was more than a citizen, he was a martyr.’

Benjamin Jealous, a former president of the NAACP, wrote in the New York Daily News that: ‘Gray’s death comes at a pivotal moment in our country’s understanding of race and police violence.’

The six officers were charged today with a host of offenses stemming from his April 12 arrest and detainment in a police van.

During the journey his spine was severed, leading to his death a week later.

The incident today led to charges from State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who accused six officers of offenses ranging from false imprisonment to murder.

Caesar R. Goodson Jr, the officer who drove the van, was charged with second-degree murder, for which he could spend as many as 30 years in prison.

He also faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, two variations of manslaughter by vehicle and misconduct in office.

All six officers have also been charged with misconduct in office and assault.

William G Porter, Brian W Rice and ALicia D White were also hit with manslaughter charges.

Edward M Nero and Garret E Miller, the last two officers, were accused of false imprisonment.

Gray’s family today hailed the ‘unprecedented bravery’ of charging the officers, and said they were ‘satisfied’ with the individual charges.

But they also said it was too early for them to decide whether the officers are guilty yet, and will wait for the trial to bring more facts to light.

However, lawyers for the policemen slammed the prosecutions as an ‘egregious rush to judgement’ and insisted that none of them had done anything wrong.

Michael Davey, an attorney for Baltimore’s Fraternal Order of Police, said: ‘We believe that these officers will be vindicated as they have done nothing wrong

Davey also accused Mosby of acting too hastily, saying that he had never before seen ‘such a hurried rush to file criminal charges’.

Gray’s case is the latest in a series of racially-charged policing events which have gripped American in recent months – though Gray’s differs in that some of those involved were also black.

Nationwide protests began when Michael Brown – a black teen – was shot dead on a street in Ferguson, Missouri, by officer Darren Brown, who had tried to arrest him on suspicion of shoplifting.

A grand jury assembled in St Louis County decided not to indict Wilson on any charges to do with the shooting, which witnesses variously described as a calculated murder and a policeman trying to defend himself.

Violent protests engulfed Ferguson in the wake of the grand jury decision, and solidarity movements sprang up nationwide, aghast that Wilson could get away with what they saw as a racist attack.

Even though he was exonerated by the grand jury decision, Wilson quite the Ferguson police department.

Another controversial death was that of Eric Garner, a New Yorker who ended up in a fatal police choke hold after officers tried to stop him selling loose cigarettes on Staten Island.

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