US prosecutors drop charges against police over black man's death

US prosecutors have dropped the remaining charges against Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, bringing an end to the case without a conviction.

Baltimore police walk near a mural depicting Freddie Gray. Picture: AP
Baltimore police walk near a mural depicting Freddie Gray. Picture: AP

Gray was a black man who was critically injured in the back of a police van in April 2015.

State attorney Marilyn Mosby defended the prosecution of six officers charged in the case and said she still blames police for the young black man’s death.

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The prosecutors’ decision yesterday comes after a judge had already acquitted three of the six officers charged in the case, including the van driver and another officer who was the highest-ranking of the group.

A fourth officer had his case heard by a jury, who remained in deadlock and the judge declared a mistrial.

Prosecutors had said Gray was illegally arrested after he ran away from a bike patrol officer and the officers failed to buckle Gray into a seatbelt or call a medic when he indicated he wanted to go to a hospital.

The death added fuel to the growing Black Lives Matter movement and caused turmoil in Baltimore, including large protests and the worst riots the city had seen in ­decades.

Freddie Gray’s father says the family stands by the Baltimore prosecutor Ms Mosby, who led the case against the six officers charged in his son’s death.

Richard Shipley said during a news conference that the family “is proud to have her represent us.”

In a fiery defense of her prosecution, Mosby blamed police for an investigation that failed to hold anyone accountable for the death of Gray, a young black man. Gray’s neck was snapped in the back of a police van, and he died a week after his injury.

Ms Mosby says she stands by the finding that Gray’s death was a homicide, saying “we do not believe that Freddie Gray killed himself”.

She declined to take questions, citing a lawsuit the officers have filed against her.

Gray was arrested after police made eye contact with him and another man, and the pair fled. Officers put Gray in a transport van.

He said several times that he needed medical care during the 44-minute ride to a police district station.

An ambulance took him to a hospital in critical condition.