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Baltimore police officer Caesar Goodson Jr was found not guilty on Thursday of second-degree depraved heart murder in the death of black detainee Freddie Gray, the most serious criminal charge he faced.

Judge Barry Williams handed down the verdict in Baltimore City Circuit Court. Goodson, 46, was the driver of a police transport van in which Gray broke his neck in April 2015. His death triggered rioting and protests in the majority black city.

The judge has not yet ruled on the less serious counts Goodson faced, including three counts of manslaughter, reckless endangerment, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Prosecutors contended Goodson gave Gray a “rough ride,” failed to ensure his safety and should have called for a medic.

Goodson’s defense team argued that Gray caused his own injuries by falling inside the transport van. Goodson also lacked the training to recognize that Gray was hurt, they said.

Goodson, who is also black, faced the most serious charges among the six officers charged in Gray’s death, making his the marquee case for prosecutors. They failed to secure a conviction in two earlier trials of officers.

Goodson waived a jury trial, leaving it to Williams to decide his fate.

(Writing by Ian Simpson and Scott Malone)

A man, who declined to offer his name, walks past a mural of Freddie Gray in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of Baltimore, December 17, 2015.  REUTERS/Bryan Woolston  

Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour

Three states that narrowly swung from Barack Obama in 2012 to Donald Trump in 2016 seem likely to swing back in 2020. Polling currently gives a consistent and solid lead to Democrat Joe Biden in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Should Biden carry all three of these swing states and keep all of the states Hillary Clinton won in 2016, he will win an Electoral College majority and the presidency.

According to RealClear Politics' polling average, Biden currently enjoys a 4-point lead in Pennsylvania, a 6.4-point lead in Michigan, and a 6.7-point lead in Wisconsin.

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