The officers – three white, three black – were charged Friday after Gray's death was ruled a homicide
Credit: Baltimore Police Department

The six Baltimore Police officers charged Friday in the homicide of Freddie Gray represent a range of races and experience on the force.

Three are white. Three are black. One has been a member of the city police department for 18 years; three joined in 2012. The most serious charge – murder – was leveled against the African-American officer who drove the van in which Gray was transported without restraint to a police station, suffering a spinal injury in police custody, according to findings shared by State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby.

Mosby concluded that Gray, 25, who also was African-American, died April 19 from his injury following an illegal arrest April 12, allegedly for possessing a switchblade and trying to flee capture. All six officers were arrested Friday and released on bail, The Baltimore Sun reports.

“These charges are an important step in getting justice for Freddie,” said Richard Shipley, Gray’s stepfather, who repeated the family’s plea for peaceful protest, according to The Sun.

Gene Ryan, president of the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police union, spoke in the officers’ defense.

“As tragic as this situation is, none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of Mr. Gray,” he said in a statement. “To the contrary, at all times, each of the officers diligently balanced their obligations to protect Mr. Gray and discharge their duties to protect the public.”

The officers, their roles and the charges against them:

Officer Caesar Goodson, 45, who drove the transport van, has been a member of the force since 1999, a department spokesperson tells PEOPLE. In addition to other charges, Goodson was accused of second-degree depraved heart murder, alleged when a suspect is charged with reckless disregard for another person’s life, according to The Washington Post. Goodson is the grandson of a police officer and faces internal police proceedings in another case for allegedly allowing a prisoner to escape from a hospital.

Lt. Brian Rice, 41, the highest-ranking among those charged, a member of the force since 1997, was on bike patrol with two other officers when they apprehended Gray. He faces six charges including involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. He has a son with his former girlfriend, who is another Baltimore police officer, and once had his service weapons seized after she reported concern about his comments during a custody matter, The Sun reports.

Officer Edward Nero, 29, on the force since 2012, is charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office. A married former volunteer firefighter in New Jersey, he was one of the bike patrol officers who made eye contact with Gray and began a chase. “I don’t think he did anything wrong,” his father, Edward Michael Nero, told the Courier-Post.

Officer Garrett Miller, 26, on the force since 2012, is facing two counts of second-degree assault, false imprisonment, and misconduct in office. Miller is another of the bike patrol officers and helped load Gray into the van, where he failed to restrain him with a seat belt, Mosby said.

Officer William Porter, 25, on the force since 2012, is charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. A straight-arrow who lives with his parents, he met the van carrying Gray and helped the driver check on his passenger, whose request for medical help went unanswered, according to The Sun. “He loved the job but he got caught up with the wrong officers,” a longtime neighbor, Gwendolyn Madden, told the newspaper.

Sgt. Alicia White, 30, on the force since 2010, is charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. While investigating two citizen complaints about Gray’s arrest, White had tried to speak to Gray in the van but when he didn’t respond, “did nothing further despite the fact she needed a medic,” Mosby said.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has ordered the officers suspended without pay.

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