Trial begins for Baltimore officer charged in prisoner death

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore police officer who’s facing criminal charges stemming from the arrest and death of a young black prisoner whose neck was broken in the back of a transport wagon is slated to begin with opening statements.

Lt. Brian Rice is facing manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges stemming from the April 19, 2015, death of Freddie Gray.

Rice opted for a judge trial. He is the fourth of six officers — three white and three black — to stand trial. Last month two other officers were acquitted, and the proceedings for another officer ended in a mistrial in December.

Gray’s death prompted protests and rioting across Baltimore and added fuel to the national Black Lives Matter movement.