The jurors in the Freddie Gray case were deadlocked so the judge asked them to continue deliberating. In the end, they just couldn’t come up with a verdict. It didn’t take long for protests to break out in front of the courthouse…get ready for chaos once again in Baltimore…
BALTIMORE (RNN) – The judge declared a mistrial in the case of an officer charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray after the jury failed to reach a verdict following deliberations over the course of three days.
Freddie Gray jurors deadlocked, judge says keep deliberating
William Porter was the first of six Baltimore police officers on trial. He was charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. Gray was injured after being taken into police custody and later died.
A day before the mistrial, the judge ordered the jury to continue deliberating after they reported they had not reached a verdict. The jury sent a note to the judge that they were deadlocked. Deliberations began on Monday.
Demonstrations broke out downtown within minutes of the announcement of the verdict, and law enforcement officers tried to disperse crowds that were blocking traffic.
Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the Baltimore chapter of the NAACP, expected citywide protests Wednesday night.
“As much respect as I have for police, in this case Freddie is dead, and it didn’t have to be that way,” Hill-Aston said. “Officer Porter admitted Freddie asked for help, and he didn’t give it to him. At the end of the day, whenever someone asks for medical help and didn’t get it, maybe Freddie could still be alive.”
Gray suffered neck and spinal cord injuries while in the back of the van on April 12. That resulted in his death one week later after falling into a coma.
The van made several stops with Gray inside. Porter admitted in testimony last week he did not immediately call for a medic when Gray initially asked for help during the fourth stop.
Prosecutors argued Porter ignored Gray’s pleas for medical help and that Porter, who was driving the police transport van, went against department policy by not securing Gray properly in the back of the vehicle.
Baltimore City Attorney Marilyn Mosby – who said Gray died from being handcuffed, shackled and unrestrained – ruled the death a homicide and charged the officers on May 1.
Prosecutors must now decide whether to try Porter again. Each officer charged was scheduled to have separate trials.