LBN’s Ryan Gaumont reports that things are off to a frustrating start in trying criminal charges against the police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray. The 25-year-old Baltimore man died on April 19, 2015 while in the custody of the Baltimore Police Department. Gray was an African American man. Six of the police officers are facing criminal charges. Today, in the case of William Porter, the first officer to stand trial, the trial judge declared a mistrial.
The jurors heard two weeks of legal arguments and evidence. After hearing from over twenty witnesses, receiving about one hundred items of evidence, and hearing hours of arguments, the jury members deliberated for over sixteen hours during three days and were unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Porter was tried by a jury of four black women, three black men, three white women and two white men. The prosecutors will now have to decide whether to try Porter a second time.
The City of Baltimore has been on edge ever since Gray’s death. Today’s mistrial did not improve the public mood. Outside the courthouse, protesters were chanting “Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail.” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake urged residents to respect the jury. City police are on alert in case protests get out of hand.
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