Trial begins for Baltimore officer charged in arrestee death

BALTIMORE (AP) — The manslaughter trial of the highest-ranking Baltimore police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray should begin soon with opening statements to the judge.

Lt. Brian Rice also stands accused of assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct contributing to the fatal injury the young black arrestee suffered in the back of a police van.

Rice opted against a jury trial. He is the fourth of six officers — three white and three black — to go before Judge Barry Williams, who acquitted two other officers last month. The first trial was heard by a jury and ended with a mistrial.

Gray’s death prompted protests and rioting across Baltimore and added fuel to the national Black Lives Matter movement.

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