Mistrial declared in Baltimore police officer’s trial

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Mistrial Declared in Case of Officer Charged in Freddie Gray’s Death.

BALTIMORE — The latest on the trial of a Baltimore police officer who is charged with manslaughter in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who was injured in the back of a police transport van (all times local). She says the mistrial of Officer William Porter left her “kind of numb” and she didn’t think after closing arguments that the jury would reach a guilty verdict. Williams of the Baltimore City Circuit Court said, shortly after 3 p.m., to the weary-looking group of seven women and five men, seven of whom are black.

The judge then dismissed the jurors, who had deliberated for about 16 hours, and convened a brief private conference with lawyers, and then announced: “I do declare a mistrial.” As the drama played out, Officer Porter, 26, and Marilyn J. Tessa Hill-Aston said in a statement that the case has highlighted the fact that prisoners who are placed in transport vans should have a seat belt on. We’re not sure whose depiction of it was worse: the prosecution’s account of police who express a callous indifference to the lives of those they arrest and then lie to cover for each other, or the defense’s picture of a department so rife with incompetence that their client’s failures were entirely unexceptional. Television footage outside the courthouse showed Baltimore sheriff’s deputies, who provide security at the building, taking demonstrator Kwame Rose into custody.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says “as a unified city, we must respect the outcome of the judicial process.” She says in the case of any disturbance in the city, authorities are prepared to respond. Porter’s defense said that they almost never followed general orders requiring the use of seat belts in police vans, notwithstanding the department’s multi-year crusade to improve compliance or the memo strengthening the requirement that was issued shortly before Gray’s arrest. Williams refused. “It is clear you will not come to a unanimous agreement on any of the four charges,” Williams told the jurors before declaring a mistrial. Goodson, Jr. “It complicates what was already a complicated argument by the state’s attorney to try to get Officer Porter on the stand in the Goodson trial,” said David Jaros, an assistant professor of law at the University of Baltimore who has been attending the trial. Porter said he didn’t believe Gray when he claimed to be hurt because people routinely fake injury so they can go to the hospital rather than jail, and that medics don’t come when officers call unless it’s an “exigent” situation.

As residents awaited the Porter trial verdict, the city, still recovering from the riots in April, was on edge. “African-American men are being murdered by the police,” said the Rev. In other words, there was nothing unusual about officers’ decision to drive around West Baltimore making multiple stops with Gray in the van after he complained that he was hurt. A mistrial means that the prosecution did not do their jobs good enough.” “If some choose to demonstrate peacefully to express their opinion, that is their constitutional right. Rose was arrested minutes later, after officials ordered the crowd to disperse because it was “an unlawful assembly.” But that incident appeared to be isolated, and immediately after the verdict, there were few signs of demonstrations or unrest either outside the courtroom or in the neighborhood where Mr.

The Baltimore NAACP echoed that call in its own statement, asking for “frustration and anger to be controlled and the rights of all people respected, on all sides.” After court adjourned, Porter conferred solemnly with defense attorney Joseph Murtha, then walked from the courtroom ahead of his lawyers. The officers said they viewed the department’s general orders as more akin to advice than actual rules, and that each individual’s judgment trumped all. They left through a side door, ushered by deputies away from reporters, who are under strict instructions not to conduct interviews in the courthouse. The panel’s request Wednesday for a transcript of witness testimony was at least the ninth note from jurors to Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams since deliberations began Monday.

Department of Justice on reforms related to the federal civil rights investigation into that city’s policing practices that stemmed from the killing of Michael Brown last year. Gray had been faking his injuries, and that he had no idea his life was in danger until the van arrived at the Western District police station with Mr. Gray had died: “Freddie Gray and I, we weren’t friends, but we had a mutual respect.” The state argued that Officer Porter could have helped Mr.

The defense said Porter went beyond the call of duty in helping the handcuffed and shackled prisoner move from the floor of the van to a bench in the wagon, and in telling the van driver and a supervisor that Gray said he needed to go to a hospital.

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