Jury Selection Begins For Officer Charged In The Death of Freddie Gray

freddie-gray-arrest-video.pngOn April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray was arrested in Baltimore. He was placed unsecured in a police van and was unresponsive when it reached the jail. Freddie was taken to the hospital where he died on April 19, 2015.  The coroner’s report found that Freddie suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged 6 officers in the death of Freddie Gray. Pre-trial activity has included numerous motions filed by defense attorneys. The first of the officers to stand trial is William Porter. Jury selection began today. Porter is charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and assault.

Folks, this looks as if jury selection is going to be a long process, although Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams said that the trial would be over by December 17th.

William PorterIn Baltimore, the judges conduct the interview of potential jurors, commonly called voir dire.   Today, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams conducted initial questioning and planned to interview 66 prospective jurors in a private conference room. Judge Williams asked 75 potential jurors whether anyone had not heard about the case, the citywide curfew imposed after Gray’s death, or the $6.4 million settlement paid to his family.

All of the potential jurors told Judge Williams that they know of Freddie’s death and the settlement.

Today’s pool of 75 potential jurors includes 40 Blacks, 1 Latino and 1 Asian. The remainder are White.

Twelve jurors said they had family members in law enforcement.

Thirty-seven said they had been a victim or a suspect in a crime, had been to jail or had charges pending.

Twenty-six people said they had strong feelings about the charges against Porter.

We will keep updates on jury selection in the comment section, and when trial begins, will open another post to stay up-to-date on the trial.

 

Posted on 11/30/2015, in Cases and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Lets pray the jury gets it right THIS TIME

    Liked by 2 people

  2. yahtzeebutterfly

    “The second day of jury selection at the trial of Baltimore City Police Officer William Porter has wrapped up with Judge Barry Williams dismissing about 60 prospective jurors.

    Just before 4 p.m. Judge Williams told jurors that unless they have received other instructions from court staff, they were dismissed.

    Some of the jurors questioned today, and some that were questioned yesterday will return to court tomorrow, for final jury selection.”

    http://www.wbal.com/article/128078/2/jury-pool-narrowed-at-porter-trial

    Like

  3. yahtzeebutterfly

    Liked by 1 person

  4. UPDATE

    A second set of 75 potential jurors were interviewed today.

    Two potential jurors, a man and woman, said they or members of their immediate family knew Freddie Gray.

    In response to a series of questions by the judge, one man said he was unaware of the $6.4 million civil settlement paid to Gray’s family by the city. All members of the jury indicated they knew about the case.

    Nearly 50 members of the jury pool Tuesday said either they or a member of their immediate families had been the victim of a crime or had been charged with a crime, arrested or incarcerated.

    Twenty-three potential jurors Tuesday said they had “strong feelings” about manslaughter or other misconduct by police.

    Court spokeswoman Terri Charles said some members from both jury pools will be brought back Wednesday. There was no indication of whether individual jurors had been dismissed.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. yahtzeebutterfly

    Like

  6. yahtzeebutterfly

    Justin Fenton ‏@justin_fenton
    Media line for Officer William Porter’s trial, which could begin with opening arguments as soon as this am

    Kevin Rector ‏@RectorSun
    Potential jurors have been screened for connections to hundreds of witnesses, stakeholders in the #FreddieGray
    case http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/freddie-gray/bs-md-ci-porter-witness-list-20151201-story.html

    Those in courtroom can’t have phones, etc, or come/go except on breaks. Those in overflow room can’t have phones, etc, but can come/go.

    Today I’ll be trying to post updates when I can by running from the overflow room to the “media room,” where there’s no feed of proceedings

    Judge Williams asks 1 more Q: Anything else jurors didn’t mention Mon/Tues that would affect ability to be “fair and impartial.” 4 stood.

    “Keep hope alive people, keep hope alive,” Judge Williams said.

    On overflow feed looks like individual jurors are now being brought to bench one at a time to be questioned further, under white noise.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. yahtzeebutterfly

    Justin Fenton ‏@justin_fenton 33m33 minutes ago
    We have a jury

    Jury in trial of Officer William Porter:
    -5 black women
    -3 black men
    -3 white women
    -1 white men

    The alternates are three white men and a black man

    Like

  8. yahtzeebutterfly

    Kevin Rector ‏@RectorSun
    Just went through jury instructions. Now state opening statements before lunch, will return after lunch for defense opening statements.

    Schatzow starts state’s opening, stressing Porter alone is on trial here. “Mr Gray is not on trial, other officers are not on trial” he said

    Like

  9. yahtzeebutterfly

    Kevin Rector ‏@RectorSun

    Schatzow says Porter was at 1st stop (Gray’s arrest) doing “crowd control.”

    Schatzow says Porter was also at 2nd stop, at Mount (where Gray further shackled).

    Schatzow says Porter told investigators he wasn’t close enough to see what was going on at Mount, but video shows otherwise.

    Schatzow says Porter was so close to van when other officers put Gray face down in van that he had to back up for other officer to climb out

    Schatzow says video also proves that when #FreddieGray first put in van after arrest “there is nothing wrong with his spine.”

    Schatzow says Porter knew of general orders to seatbelt detainees and provide medic at request.

    “That’s what the defendant knew when he was walking up to the back of the van” at Dolphin St stop, Schatzow said.

    Schatzow: At Dolphin stop, Porter opens door, Gray on ground. “Help,” Gray says. Porter recognizes him. “What’s wrong?” he asks.

    Schatzow: “I can’t breathe,” Gray says. “Do you want a medic?” Porter asks. “Yes,” Gray says.

    Schatzow: “Do you need to go to the hospital?” Porter asks. “Yes” says Gray. “Help me off of the floor. I can’t get off the floor” Gray says

    Schatzow: Porter then picks #FreddieGray up and puts him on bench with five seat belts, but doesn’t buckle him in.

    Schatzow: “There was no reason not to put him in a seat belt, unless you simply didn’t care.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. yahtzeebutterfly

    Kevin Rector ‏@RectorSun

    Schatzow: “Want to know how hard it is to call for a medic? You have to press a button.” Would take 6 secs, he said. But no call.

    Schatzow: Porter follows van then to pick up another man back at Penn North. Gray looks “limp,” asks again for medic.

    Schatzow: Gray is on his knees, facing inside of van, slumped with shoulder and arm on bench. No medic called for.

    Schatzow: Defense may claim Gray was heard by Donta Allen, other detainee, banging around in van after that stop on way to Western, but no..

    Schatzow: Porter later said Gray in same position when taken out of van not breathing at Western: kneeling, shoulder & head slumped on bench

    Schatzow: Van was at Western district station for full 6 minutes before medic was called for Gray. Officers dealt with Donta Allen first.

    We have broken for lunch. Defense opening statements will come after lunch.

    Saliqa ‏@saliqaWBAL

    State: Each district has own radio dispatcher. Tells jury “You are going to hear some dispatch calls.”

    WPGC 95.5 ‏@WPGC

    First #FreddieGray trial currently breaking for lunch. Here’s what was said during opening statements: http://cbsloc.al/1NqgLOr  (via @WNEW)

    Brian Kuebler ‏@BrianfromABC2

    Lotta info here so stick with me. State laid out the timeline of the van ride. 6 stops total.

    State insists Porter had several opportunities to help #FreddieGray and didn’t. Case is about gross indifference and criminal indifference

    State talked about @BaltimorePolice order to use belts and how recent it was but argues #FreddieGray needed belt. Duty of care.

    State said at 4th stop, #FreddieGray asked for medic + didn’t get 1. Instead of hosp, van responded 2 officer backup call as Gray worsened.

    State says #FreddieGray had a broken neck and increasing trouble breathing. Similar 2 diving injury. @ 5th stop, still no medic called

    Even at final stop, police unloaded other prisoner before #FreddieGray. State argues: “Porter could have, but did not help Mr. Gray”

    State ended with bottom line, #FreddieGray was able to walk, talk, breath and run before he got in that @BaltimorePolice van.

    Like

  11. just saw on fox news some IDIOT say the Gray had PCP in his system that day………..i fear the world we live in today…….obvious LIES being reported as news!

    Like

  12. yahtzeebutterfly

    Kevin Rector ‏@RectorSun

    Proctor starts opening statements for Porter. Says Porter has been on force 2 years and is a good cop.

    “You may hope that finding him guilty will quell further unrest,” but facts don’t support guilt, Proctor says.

    Proctor: Before #FreddieGray incident, no BPD cops seat belted people in vans. Cop w 2000 arrests can count seat belted times on 1 hand.

    Proctor: Porter didn’t know seat belt rule, and “you can’t hold him accountable for what nobody did.”

    Proctor: Porter “grew up in the same streets where all this happened,” wanted to join military but couldn’t because he’s colorblind.

    “He didn’t become a police officer to swing a big stick,” Proctor said of Porter, but bc “he felt he could help people.”

    Proctor: Porter has never fired his weapon. His departmental record has no use of force incidents.

    Proctor: That day, shift supposed to have 2 wagons, 2 sgts, 15 officers, but had 1 wagon, 1 sgt, 8 officers. “Short staffed.”

    Proctor: Trips to ER take all day, and Porter thought Gray was faking, because he was know for “jailitis.”

    Proctor: People familiar w/ police know if fake injury cops will let them go if small infraction, like knife Gray had, esp if short staffed

    Proctor: Gray never said he couldn’t breathe at stop where Porter helped him up, just asked to be helped up.

    Proctor: As Porter lifted Gray’s upper body, Gray used own feet to push himself up, which couldn’t have done if already severe neck inj.

    Proctor: Porter asks Gray if he needs medic, uninitiated by Gray. Gray: yes. Porter tells that to Goodson; but Gray wasn’t showing symptoms

    Proctor: Porter was acting like a good cop. “He wasn’t indifferent to [Gray’s] plight, he asked him what he needed.”

    Proctor: Porter thought Gray was just “having an adrenaline bump,” was upset.

    Proctor echoes protest chant in closing, saying “let’s show Baltimore the whole damn system is not guilty as hell.”

    Proctor’s opening statements are concluded. Short break.

    #BaltimoreTrial ‏@BaltimoreTrial

    #WilliamPorter Defense argues:You may hope that finding him guilty will quell further unrest,” but facts don’t support guilt

    Like

  13. defense attorney clue – ignorance of the law is not an excuse, the claim he didnt know the rules is an admission he did NOT follow them.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. yahtzeebutterfly

    Link to summary of court proceedings by Kevin Rector in his article for the Baltimore Sun:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/freddie-gray/bs-md-ci-freddie-gray-porter-trial-jury-opening-20151202-story.html

    Like

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