One of the officers charged in the fatal 2015 arrest of Freddie Gray recently received a promotion. The Baltimore Sun reports Alicia White will serve as captain of the Baltimore Police Department’s Performance Standards Section. Her responsibilities will include conducting audits and inspections to ensure the agency is following protocols. Many Black Lives Matter supporters accused her of not following proper procedures while investigating Gray’s arrest.
A court document says Gray “fled unprovoked upon noticing police presence.” It also said that Gray “was arrested without force or incident.” Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Gray was illegally arrested, assaulted, and falsely accused of carrying an illegal switchblade. An officer said he found the switchblade inside Gray’s trousers after he was detained. But Mosby argued the arrest was still unjustified because the knife was legal. Police Commissioner Anthony Batts has also stated that it’s unclear why Gray was stopped by the officers because there “is no law against running.” Gray died in police custody after suffering a “high-energy injury” to his neck and spine.
White reportedly failed to assess his injuries and call for medical attention, per AP News. Mosby said Gray was already unconscious when White arrived, and she only spoke to the back of his head. White said when she arrived at the scene, Gray was already kneeling in the police wagon. The AP News reports, “White later told investigators that Gray didn’t really respond, which she took to mean he didn’t want to cooperate. She said she didn’t see a reason to seek medical attention at the time.”
White was among the six officers who were charged in the Freddie Gray case by Mosby. Three of the officers were acquitted, meanwhile, the charges against the other three, including White, were dropped. The Justice Department conducted an independent investigation, but federal prosecutors refused to file civil rights charges against the officers. In a 2016 interview with The Baltimore Sun, after her state charges were dropped, White defended her actions. She said, “I still believe that when I went to work that day, I did everything that I was trained to do. Unfortunately, that day someone lost their life. But I feel like everything I was trained to do, I did.”