The Latest: Gray jury indicates it has message for judge

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Following deadlock, Baltimore jury resumes deliberations for third day in trial of officer accused 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). City officials are fearful that the verdict in the William Porter case could potentially reignite riots, which were sparked by Gray’s death after he was fatally injured in police custody in April. One signs states “justice for Freddie Gray — convict the killer cops and send them to jail!” Other placards show Gray’s image, highlighting a death that has fueled heated discourse about police treatment and civil rights. 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.

Attorney Joseph Murtha called Gray’s April death a “horrific tragedy” but said that “there is literally no evidence” that Porter’s actions caused Gray’s fatal injuries. The police department canceled leave for all officers this week while Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake opened an emergency operations center and pleaded for calm.

But the Maryland Transportation Administration warned bus and rail riders that route diversions were possible if protests clog the city. “MTA is closely monitoring the Officer Porter trial and travel conditions downtown and will adjust services as necessary due to the potential for heavy pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic,” MTA said in a statement. Prosecutors say Porter was criminally negligent for failing to buckle Gray into a seat belt and for not calling an ambulance when he indicated he needed medical aid. Porter testified last week that he was in the van for most of the 45-minute ride between the site of Gray’s arrest and the Western District police station.

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