One of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, whose neck was broken in the back of a police wagon in April 2015, has filed a federal defamation lawsuit against Baltimore's top prosecutor.
Lt. Brian Rice sued State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby and Maj. Sam Cogen of the sheriff's office for defamation of character, false imprisonment and violation of rights.
In the lawsuit, Rice cited Mosby's public comments during a May 1 press conference when she announced charges against six officers, including statements about the legality of the knife found on Freddie Gray. The officers maintain the knife was unlawful, while Mosby said it was legal.
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Spokespeople for Mosby and the sheriff's office declined to comment to the Baltimore Sun, as did Rice's attorney.
Rice faces manslaughter and other charges stemming from Gray's death. He has pleaded not guilty and has not yet stood trial.
Two other officers have filed similar defamation suits in state court, including Officer William Porter, whose trial ended with a hung jury.
Rice's lawsuit comes as another officer's trial gets underway. Opening statements are set to begin Thursday in the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson, who drove the police wagon in which Gray was transported. Goodson opted for a bench trial rather than a trial by jury.
Officer Edward Nero, who faced misdemeanor charges and also chose a judge trial, was acquitted last month.
Gray was arrested April 12, 2015, outside a housing complex in West Baltimore. He was handcuffed and placed in back of a police transport van, where he suffered a neck injury that proved fatal. Prosecutors have said officers ignored his pleas for medical help.