William G. Porter was the first of the Baltimore 6 to be tried in the death of Freddie Gray. Judge Barry G. Williams declared a mistrial because the jury hung on all four charges.
The Baltimore Sun reports that legal experts say the information on how the jury voted is critical to understanding the process now playing out as prosecutors and Porter’s defense attorneys prepare for his scheduled retrial in June. The information also could help shape legal strategies in the pending cases against the other five police officers charged in Gray’s April arrest and death.
A gag order prevents prosecutors and defense attorneys from discussing the case,but one juror agreed to be interviewed. That one juror said that some were driven to tears during deliberations.
The anonymous juror said that the jury changed their votes multiple times during deliberations. For instance, a few more jurors wanted to convict Porter of manslaughter at the start of deliberations but changed their minds.
The jury consisted of 4 black women, 3 black men, 3 white women, and 2 white men. The only juror identified is Susan Elgin, an attorney.
The six police officers charged in Gray’s arrest and death have all pleaded not guilty. Four have been suspended without pay; the other two who only face misdemeanors are suspended with pay.
Twenty-five year old Freddie Gray was arrested April 12 after he ran from police in his West Baltimore neighborhood. His hands and feet were shackled. He was placed in the police van and not belted in. He suffered a spinal injury and died a week later. At Porter’s trial, medical experts for both sides said that Freddie’s injury was likened to one sustained when someone dives headfirst into a shallow pool of water.
The public has only heard bits and pieces of trial testimony because no cameras or electronic devices are allowed in the courtroom. Today, there is a bit more reported about the trial that we would have to have kept track to know. For example, there were 20 witnesses and about 100 pieces of evidence. The jury saw the van that Freddie died in.
William Porter is the first officer to stand trial. He has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.
The jury of three black men, five black women, two white men and two white women now decide whether Porter is guilty or innocent. Judge Barry G. Williams told jurors they could stay as late as they would like each day to deliberate.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis canceled leave for officers through Friday. “The community has an expectation for us to be prepared for a variety of scenarios,” Davis said.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has urged residents to remain calm. “Whatever the verdict, we need everyone in our city to respect the judicial process,” Rawlings-Blake said. “We need everyone visiting our city to respect Baltimore.”
Our committed and precious Yahtzee took time to put the tweets of Kevin Rector in chronological order from today regarding closing arguments and jury instructions. Read the rest of this entry
William Porter is charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. He is the first of 6 Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray. Porter’s attorneys have stated that he will testify, although that can change.
Tuesday morning, jurors heard from an expert of police procedures who said officers have an obligation to seat-belt arrestees and get them quick medical attention. Dr. Michael Lyman, a professor of criminal justice at Columbia College in Missouri, testified for the prosecution that police officers who arrest a suspect have a “shared responsibility” to make sure that person is secured in the back of a police transport wagon. If the person complains of injuries, officers should immediately determine where the nearest hospital is and take the arrestee there.
Also on Tuesday, a crime scene technician, a crime lab serologist and a DNA expert each testified about their role in collecting and analyzing Freddie’s blood found in the back of the transport wagon. Read the rest of this entry
Caterpillars, moths, butterflies, and all creatures great and small;
There is lots of news.
This afternoon, officials began identifying the 14 victims of the San Bernardino mass shooting. The Huffington Post has posted the information. One victim leaves behind 6 children.
The New York Times is keeping a running format on investigation updates.
Also this afternoon, Twitter suspended George Zimmerman’s account. It appears that he was in a relationship with a woman in Kentucky, and they broke up. Zimmerman went on a revenge-porn campaign, posting nude photos of her on Twitter along with her address and phone number. The Daily Dot has screenshots and the story.
The jury has been seated; opening statements were made, and the prosecution’s first witness was called.
The trial of Baltimore police officer William Porter is underway.
No cameras or computers are allowed inside the courtroom. We will follow trial as best we can through Twitter and other sources and post it in the comment section. At the end of each trial day, I will attempt to obtain a video that recaps the day’s trial.
The below video recaps today’s hearing.
On 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. Read the rest of this entry