Caesar Goodson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Caesar Goodson's mugshot

Caesar Goodson’s mugshot. (Baltimore Police Department)

A 16-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department has been charged with the second-degree murder of Freddie Gray, whose in-custody death sparked protests and violent riots.

Caesar Goodson, 45, is the only officer facing a murder charge in the case, but five other officers also face charges, ranging from involuntary manslaughter to false imprisonment. Five of the six officers are in custody.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Goodson Is Accused of ‘Extreme Indifference to the Value of Human Life’

According to charging documents, Goodson is charged with second-degree depraved heart murder, which carries a 30-year-penalty, as well as involuntary manslaughter, assault and misconduct.

caesar goodson, cops who killed freddie gray

Lorning Cornish celebrates in Baltimore on May 1 after the death of Freddie Gray was ruled a homicide, prompting criminal charges against six police officers. (Getty)

According to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, “A depraved heart murder is often described as a wanton and willful killing. The term ‘depraved heart’ means something more than conduct amounting to a high or unreasonable risk to human life. The perpetrator must [or reasonably should] realize the risk his behavior has created to the extent that his conduct may be termed willful. Moreover, the conduct must contain an element of viciousness or contemptuous disregard for the value of human life which conduct characterized that behavior as wanton.” The piece adds, “The critical feature of ‘depraved heart’ murder is that the act in question be committed ‘under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.”

The complete charges against all the officers, and the maximum possible penalties, are as follows:

Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., 45
1. Second degree depraved heart murder (30 yrs.)
2. Manslaughter (involuntary) (10 yrs.)
3. Assault/second degree (10 yrs.)
4. Manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence) (10 yrs.)
5. Manslaughter by vehicle (criminal negligence) (3 yrs.)
6. Misconduct in office

Officer William G. Porter, 25
1. Manslaughter (involuntary) (10 yrs.)
2. Assault/second degree (10 yrs.)
3. Misconduct in office

Lt. Brian W. Rice, 41
1. Manslaughter (involuntary) (10 yrs.)
2. Assault/second degree (10 yrs.)
3. Assault/second degree (10 yrs.)
4. Misconduct in office
5. Misconduct in office
6. False imprisonment

Officer Edward M. Nero, 29
1. Assault/second degree (10 yrs.)
2. Assault/second degree (10 yrs.)
3. Misconduct in office
4. Misconduct in office
5. False imprisonment

Officer Garrett E. Miller, 26
1. Assault/second degree (10 yrs.)
2. Assault/second degree (10 yrs.)
3. Misconduct in office
4. Misconduct in office
5. False imprisonment

Sgt. Alicia D. White, 30
1. Manslaughter (involuntary) (10 yrs.)
2. Assault/second degree (10 yrs.)
3. Misconduct in office

Raf Sanchez of the Daily Telegraph reports that Goodson will first appear in court on May 27. He’s being held on a $350,000 bail.

When announcing the charges, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby said that Freddie Gray was “illegally arrested” and that there was no probable cause. When Mosby announced the charges, cheers and chants of “justice” erupted from the watching crowd. During her remarks, Mosby said that the knife that was found on Gray wasn’t an illegal switchblade. In a brief remark upon hearing about the charges, President Obama said it’s “absolutely vital that the truth comes out … justice needs to be served.” Maryland’s medical examiner officially ruled Gray’s death a homicide.



2. Goodson Is a Part-Time Mechanic Who Wanted to Retire From the Police Soon

(Getty)

(Getty)

ABC Baltimore reports that Goodson was known for being a part-time mechanic, specializing in Saab cars. He drives a restored Saab green convertible. Speaking to the station a friend called Goodson a “family man who likes to watch football.” He was working an overtime shift during Gray’s arrest. Raf Sanchez of the Daily Telegraph tweeted that in the past CitiBank took Goodson to court over money he owed.


3. He’s Twice Married With 3 Kids

Caesar Goodson Photo Mugshot

Goodson is shown on the far left of this screengrab from CNN.

Goodson lives in the Baltimore suburb of Catonsville with his second wife, Paula. The Daily Mail reports that they have two daughters and a teenage son. His nephew, Antoine Goodson, is a football star at Northwestern Oklahoma State. His sister-in-law, Valencia Goodson, is the founder of Jug Nation, a black female empowerment group.


4. Goodson Drove the Van, & Gray Was Not Wearing a Seatbelt

(Getty)

(Getty)

Goodson was the driver of the van that transported Gray after his arrest. The Baltimore Sun reports that Gray wasn’t wearing a seatbelt during his ride in the van. Speaking to the Daily Mail, a source close to Goodson’s family said that the officer is distraught with himself for not checking if Gray was belted in. The cop is apparently adamant that there is an audio recording of him asking his fellow officers to make sure that Gray was properly secured.

Around 30 minutes after his arrest, Gray was unresponsive and in a coma. It’s thought by Gray’s family lawyer that he hit his head severely against the side of the van. The New York Times reports that, during initial interviews with the officers, the cops didn’t mention a stop the van made en route to jail. The Times adds that five of the six cops gave statements to investigators. Goodson refused.


5. The Fraternal Order of Police in Baltimore Has Questioned the State’s Attorney’s Integrity

In an open letter to state’s attorney Mosby (above), Gene Ryan, the Fraternal Order of Police president, said that Mosby’s relationship with the Gray’s family attorney, William Murphy, was distorting the case. The letter maintains the innocence of the accused officers.

According to authorities, Lt. Rice, who has been with the force since 1997, was the first cop to interact with Gray. After the two made eye contact, Gray ran. This resulted in his apprehension.

Freddie Gray Arrest Photos Pictures

Freddie Gray in the process of his arrest. (Twitter)

Gray was arrested on April 12 and died at a Baltimore hospital a week later. His spinal cord was severed while he was in custody. Witnesses to the arrest at West Baltimore’s Gilmor Homes say he was assaulted by the arresting officers. Gray’s death prompted nights of rioting on the streets of Baltimore. Writing in the New York Daily News, Dr. David Samadi said that it was nearly impossible for Gray to have self-inflicted his injuries, as some have claimed.

52 Comments

52 Comments

Al Hobes

The arrest was illegal and had no reason to bother this man and he loses his life. What a horrible way to go and I hope he gets justice.

fnc111

Gray was a good man. He was just out minding his own business. I’m pretty sure all 30 of his prior arrests were bogus.

Anonymous

fnc111

Just because he was a scumbag doesn’t justify the cops wrongfully arresting and killing him when he wasn’t doing anything illegal . If you feel that way then you must believe that the cops should just go kill everyone with a prior criminal arrest history, right? Capital Punishment is not the sentence for being a career criminal. You only get the death penalty if you killed someone else, not for being a petty drug dealer. Are you now ready for your Law 101 exam?

pciorlandosalestwopciorlandosales

The matter has not been tried in a court of law. I would be surprised if (any) of these charges stick. It is a known fact .. that if you RUN FROM THE POLICE they then have probable cause to go after you, if nothing else .. to find out why you ran from them in the first place.

theTRUTHwillsetyoufree

If they were “wrongfully arresting and KILLING him,” then they need to be held accountable. But if he started off by running from them, then the arrest itself is understandable and justified. It is what happened NEXT (and WHY) that is in question, and I doubt you know any better than I what that really was.

Incidentally, the driver who has been charged with the worst offenses – of being the one responsible for Gray’s death – seems to be of “African-American” descent. Hmmm . . . Police racism for sure!!

Whitney Shupe

The arrest was NOT justified!!! Who are u to claim it was? U didn’t hear the prosecutors assessment? She stated plainly there wad NO reason to arrest Freddie Gray. Therefore, the arrest was NOT justified. It doesn’t matter who he was or what he’s done in the past. If we allow police officers to brutalized and kill every citizen in this country that has prior charges, or that they deem “criminal” then we are as guilty, negligent and ignorant as those police officers. They should’ve been arrested immediately. Every officer who breaks the law has to be heal accountable. Consistent accountability is the ONLY thing that will stop this.

thomas

he had active warrants and was on probations from previous charges. the arrest was valid.

MartinAustinTX

So you already know all the facts and can righteously condemn the police officers as guilty. Do you not realize you are doing precisely what you are accusing the officers of doing: assuming they are bad and deserve to be punished without any factual basis?

Maggie

Freddie Gray never killed anybody, and he was known as a petty thief mostly for selling marijuana, what a terrible crime that is!! He was breathing the air and minding his own business when he was being chased down like a dog and those of you that think that’s okay to be killed for that better think again. And a few of his convictions were dropped so go scratch. You self righteous ones are the worst, I’ll be you’re pretty pathetic to boot.

Anonymous

you’re an idiot….keep sucking cop dick bitch

Anonymous

He did get justice- a drug dealer is no longer with us

Anonymous

Im sure if it were your drug dealing son, your opinion would be much different.

Anonymous

My son wouldn’t be on the streets dealing drugs in the first place. Why dont you fix your garbage community?

Jessica Rabbit

How do you know that your child won’t be a drug dealer. I know a whole bunch of people that do illegal s**t and their parents are none the wiser. That was truly an ignorant comment.

Anonymous

I don’t understand why this is a big race issue. The officer who was charged with murder I think is black. He also was the only one that did not provide a statement. He is also the one that dealt with freddie as noted in another article. He is also the one that made a unnoted Stop. These kinds of things have been happening and it happens amongst all raceS. Its a big problem in the police force

Anonymous

These things do happen, but they are much more likely to happen to people of color.

Anonymous

Based on what evidence? You can’t make a judgement based on what the media decides to cover.

Anonymous

Actually you are mistaken. Police killings involving whites is almost twice as much as black. I would suggest a little self education before posting.

Anonymous

are u an idiot? blacks are 12% of the population…if the number of whites that died by cops in a year is 400, and for blacks is 200…thats a HUUUUGE disproportion of blacks killed…additionally, there is also the element of injustice when blacks get killed by cops…not to mention the reasons they are killed for…

hargen

Are you an idiot you ask? Have you looked at the murder rates by blacks? 45% of murders are committed by blacks. 93% of the time they murder OTHER blacks. Keep that statistics in perspective when you look at blacks being 12% of the population. I guess black people must be racist against people of color. That is the only logical conclusion using your weak review of statistics.

Anonymous

“additionally, there is also the element of injustice when blacks get killed by cops”….please explain…?

therealkenjones

The racism has to do with the attitude of these police forces towards the black communities they’re supposed to serve. The race of individual police officers isn’t so much the issue. There’s also the historical context of police violence against blacks to consider.

Maggie

It was marijuana he was selling and you have no idea how much…I think you watch too much TV or Fox news…Sad excuse for people

Malcolm XYZ

Amazingly he’d been arrested twice in March 2015 ~ and supposedly had confessed to a number of other crimes.

I think we have to ask why Mr. Gray was NOT IN JAIL!

Where he would have been much safer ~ he’d still be alive.

Anonymous

Yeah I ALWAYS run from the police when i see them coming. It’s not suspicious!?

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