Baltimore Cop Charged in Freddie Gray’s Death Ends With Hung Jury
A hung jury has been declared by a Baltimore judge in the case of one of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, the Associated Press reports. As a group of protesters started gathering near the courthouse, Circuit Judge Barry Williams reportedly told the jurors they had “clearly been diligent” before dismissing them.
“Twelve Baltimore residents listened to the evidence presented and were unable to render a unanimous decision,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement obtained by CNN. “As a unified city, we must respect the outcome of the judicial process. In the coming days, if some choose to demonstrate peacefully to express their opinion, that is their constitutional right.”
Williams announced the mistrial on Wednesday, adding that the jury “couldn’t reach its decision after three days of deliberations” in the manslaughter trial of Baltimore cop William Porter. Prosecutors argue that Porter should have called for an ambulance when Gray asked for medical attention and that he should have buckled Gray’s seat belt, though Porter testified that he didn’t think Gray seemed hurt.
Porter also claims to have notified both “the driver and a supervisor” of Gray’s request for medical attention, according to AP. Gray ultimately died in the hospital from injuries sustained to his spinal cord while allegedly in police custody.
Porter is facing manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges stemming from Freddie Gray’s arrest and eventual death in April of this year. He is the the first of six officers set to stand trial, though the declared mistrial may actually present a “game changer” for prosecutors, CNN reports:
“A hung jury may result in a decision to change the venue of the trial,” legal analyst Sunny Hostin explained, “and could affect the cases of the five officers who have yet to be tried, because prosecutors will have planned to use a lot of this evidence against the [other] defendants.”