The Department of Justice (DOJ) says it will not bring federal civil rights charges against six Baltimore police officers involved in the arrest and in-custody death of a young black man.
Freddie Gray, 25, died in April 2015 after his neck was broken in the back of a police van while he was handcuffed and shackled.
Gray was unrestrained by a seat belt, and his death lead Maryland state prosecutors to charge the officers involved over the incident.
The death also sparked weeks of protest and unrest in Baltimore which sparked national debate over law enforcement’s treatment of minorities.
The DOJ said in a statement Tuesday that it’s decision followed “an extensive review of this tragic event, conducted by career prosecutors and investigators.”
The agency noted that “the evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that the officers involved in Gray’s death “willfully violated” his civil rights.
“Accordingly, the investigation into this incident has been closed without prosecution,” the DOJ added.
Some Twitter users on Wednesday slammed the DOJ’s decision, which means none of the officers involved in Gray’s death will be held criminally responsible for it.
Still can't believe the American Justice system basically blamed Freddie Gray for his own death.— Jean 〽️ (@mrjean) September 13, 2017
That's the system Kaepernick knelt against https://t.co/SYENPniTBc
Three officers involved in Gray’s death were previously acquitted in state court, while Baltimore State’s Attorney General Marilyn Mosby eventually dropped the remaining state cases.
Lt. Brian Rice and Sgt. Alicia White of the Baltimore Police Depart are next scheduled to face internal disciplinary hearings over the matter.
Officers Caesar Goodson, Edward Nero and Garrett Miller are also scheduled for such hearings on Oct. 30, while the sixth officer, William Porter, was not charged administratively.
The DOJ entered into a court-enforceable agreement last January to reform Baltimore’s police department.
The agency released a report last year documenting widespread patterns of abuse and misconduct within the department’s ranks.
The DOJ’s investigation was prompted by Gray’s death, which also resulted in the firing of then-Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.