3 officers in Gray case ask judge to dismiss assault charges

Protesters gather outside Baltimore Circuit Court, as the first court hearing was set to begin in the case of six police officers criminally charged in the death of Freddie Gray, on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015 in Baltimore. Six police officers face charges that range from second-degree assault, a misdemeanor, to second-degree "depraved-heart" murder. (Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun via AP) WASHINGTON EXAMINER OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT (

BALTIMORE (AP) – Three of the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray are asking a judge to drop second-degree assault charges, saying that failing to seatbelt a detainee is not a crime.

Attorneys for Officer William Porter, Lt. Brian Rice and Sgt. Alicia White filed motions Tuesday. They also each face charges of manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.

They argue that they committed no crime when they didn’t buckle Gray in because that failure doesn’t constitute gross criminal negligence.

Gray died a week after suffering a spinal injury during a 45-minute ride in the back of a police van.

Rice and two other defendants are also seeking dismissal of reckless endangerment charges, using the same argument. Prosecutors have asked the judge to deny those motions.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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