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

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A news guide to the Freddie Gray case after hung jury for 1st officer to face trial.

BALTIMORE – The first effort to convict an officer in Freddie Gray’s death from a broken neck in a Baltimore Police van ended Wednesday with a hung jury and a mistrial.BALTIMORE – Jurors were unable to reach a verdict Wednesday in the manslaughter trial of an officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, and it’s not yet clear if or when he may face another trial. Comey said today. (Los Angeles Times) FBI Director James Comey twice called the deadly Chattanooga shooting that killed four Marines and one sailor a “terror attack” during a press conference with NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton today. (Fox News) The high cost of capital punishment and the option of life in prison without parole has led Texas to issue three death sentences in 2015, the lowest since the U.S.

The situation was quiet at North and Pennsylvania, the intersection where the worst rioting happened in April as parts of West Baltimore were set on fire. 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.

Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, a study released today said. (Reuters) Seven years after he left office and with his brother now running to succeed him, George W. William Porter’s mistrial is a setback for prosecutors trying to respond to a citizenry frustrated by violent crime and allegations of police misconduct.

Bush in many respects remained the most important Bush on the Republican debate stage this week. (Washington Post) New York state has agreed to implement sweeping changes to its prison system and the use of solitary confinement as a disciplinary measure for prisoners. (Christian Science Monitor) Authorities are investigating whether a Texas teenager who killed four people in a 2013 drunken-driving wreck — and claimed as part of his defense he suffered from “affluenza” — has fled with his mother to avoid a potential violation of his probation. (Associated Press) Wheaton College, a prominent evangelical school in Illinois, has placed a professor on administrative leave after she posted on Facebook that Muslims and Christians “worship the same God.” (Washington Post) Weeks of Russian airstrikes in Syria appear to have restored enough momentum to the government side to convince President Bashar Assad’s foes and the world community that even if he doesn’t win the war he cannot quickly be removed by force. (Associated Press) Defense Secretary Ash Carter met with Iraqi leaders and his commanders today on an unannounced war zone visit aimed at broadening U.S. assistance to Iraq to defeat the Islamic State group. (Associated Press) Police in Iraq say gunmen have kidnapped at least 26 members of a Qatari hunting party in the southern part of the country, near the Saudi border. (Voice of America) Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said today a U.N. watchdog’s closure of investigations into Iran’s past nuclear activities is a political victory for the country, lifting the main obstacle to implementing Tehran’s deal with world powers. (Reuters) An El Salvador man who survived 438 days at sea is being sued for $1 million by the family of his fellow fisherman because they accuse him of eating his corpse. (UPI News) Homicides have soared and the pressure on city officials has been unrelenting since Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged six officers in Gray’s death. The judge then dismissed the jurors, who had deliberated for about 16 hours, and convened a brief private conference with lawyers, and announced: “I do declare a mistrial.” As the drama played out, Officer Porter, 26, and Marilyn J. The Justice Department has since launched a civil-rights investigation of the city’s police department, and the city’s already-high homicide rate has soared in the months since Gray died. About 30 protesters chanting “send those killer cops to jail” outside the courthouse switched gears after the mistrial was announced, chanting “No justice, no peace!” and “Black Lives Matter.” The case hinged not on what Porter did, but what prosecutors said he didn’t do.

It’s a huge setback for Mosby’s reputation months after thousands of people demonstrated and rioted in the streets and she stood on the steps of a courthouse promising to put away these cops. They indicated they were deadlocked on Tuesday, but Circuit Judge Barry Williams told them to keep at it, even as he denied their requests for help. “It is clear you will not come to a unanimous agreement on any of the four charges,” the judge said Wednesday. “You have clearly been diligent.” “We are going to fight for justice until it becomes a reality in our lives. Many, who watched the case of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, quickly learned how infrequently a grand jury votes to indict members of law enforcement. Officer Porter was charged with manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment and misconduct in office; the state accused him of “callous indifference” to Mr. Erika Alston, a West Baltimore community leader who founded Kids Safe Zone after the April riots, said she felt there was reasonable doubt that Porter committed manslaughter, but “it’s early.

It’s one of six.” Activist Duane “Shorty” Davis accused the prosecution of deliberately putting on a weak case to preserve its relationship with the police. “They’re not going to eat their own,” he said. There are several factors at play: — Prosecutors had indicated they wanted to try Porter first because they wanted him to testify against at least two of his colleagues.

Grey was arrested while fleeing from officers and died April 19, a week after his neck was broken inside a police van as a seven-block trip to the station turned into a 45-minute journey around West Baltimore. 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 hung jury reflects a deep divide among Baltimore residents about the officer’s culpability and suggests that a fair trial in the city might not be possible, said Steve Levin, a city defense attorney and former federal prosecutor. Gray, who was 25, sustained what a medical examiner called a “devastating” injury to his neck and spinal cord, lingering in a hospital for a week until he died. Prosecutors argued that Porter, who was present at five of the van’s six stops, was criminally negligent for ignoring his department’s policy requiring officers to seatbelt prisoners, and for not calling an ambulance even though Gray repeatedly said he needed medical help.

The defence said Porter went beyond the call of duty when he moved Gray to a seated position at one point, and told the van driver and a supervisor that Gray had said “yes” when asked if he needed to go to a hospital. The 35-year-old Mosby—one of the youngest lead prosecutors in the country—has been roundly criticized by police unions for bringing charges against the officers who they said were being punished for doing their jobs. A big question now is whether the state will push back Officer Goodson’s trial, or decide to retry Officer Porter after the other five officers — or perhaps not retry him at all. Some legal observers thought Williams would be acquitted altogether. “I’ve cringed when other analysts have said, ‘Oh, yeah, they’ll be found guilty in #FreddieGray,’” attorney Eric Guster tweeted. “I thought differently.” Mosby must now decide whether to retry or abandon the case against Porter. Judge Williams is scheduled to hold conferences in his chambers on Thursday to discuss a new trial date. “There is no question now that the state can’t just proceed against Officer Goodson with Officer Porter unless they try Officer Porter first,” said David Jaros, an assistant professor of law at the University of Baltimore who has been attending the trial.

Billy Murphy, who represents Gray’s mother and stepfather, said he has every confidence Officer William Porter will be convicted if he is tried a second time. Outside the courtroom after the decision, a local activist, Kwame Rose, used a megaphone to announce the decision, shouting, “They just declared a mistrial!” He quickly added, “Justice has not been served,” and “The system has failed us once again.” Mr.

Deray McKesson, a leader in the national movement who lives in Baltimore — and who said previously that he viewed the case as a bellwether of whether it is “possible to convict the police” — said he was heartened by the outcome. “This is a hung jury; it’s not an acquittal,” he said in a telephone interview. “That’s important. Anything less than convicting Porter on all charges confirms that our criminal justice system does not value black lives.” The trial featured cellphone video of the first chaotic moments after Mr. 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. In an impassioned closing argument to the jury on Monday, a prosecutor, Janice Bledsoe, contrasted his testimony on the stand — in particular his assertion that he never heard Mr.

Mosby, the state’s attorney for the city of Baltimore, lauded by many African-Americans but reviled by many police officers for bringing the charges, has watched the proceedings without comment. And he refused to clarify his instructions. (But he did grant requests for water, candy and Post-it notes.) In instructing jurors, the judge told them that convicting Officer Porter of manslaughter requires them to conclude that he showed a “reckless or wanton disregard for human life,” and that his actions were a “gross departure” from those of a reasonable officer. And so is Judge Williams, a no-nonsense jurist who spent a big chunk of his career prosecuting police officers as a lawyer with the Justice Department’s civil rights division.

The trial’s racial overtones were obvious from the moment it began, when Gary Proctor, a defense lawyer for Officer Porter, used his opening argument to play off a rallying cry of the Black Lives Matter movement — with the opposite message.

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