News just broke that a jury could not reach a decision in the trial of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter, 26, who was charged in relation to the killing of Freddie Gray, 25, in April. This is the first of six cases related to Gray’s gruesome death in the back of police van.
Officer Porter was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. Jurors began deliberating on Monday afternoon and returned with no verdict on Wednesday. Earlier, they asked for transcripts from witness testimony. The judge denied that request. Shortly after, they returned with no verdict.
On Thursday, attorneys will reconvene in court to decide on a retrial date. Porter is not expected to be present.
Porter’s trial was deemed critical to understanding how the case might go for the driver of the vehicle in which Freddie Gray was killed, Officer Caesar Goodson, Jr. It was also seen as an indication regarding how the other four trials might go. In all, this outcome is a blow for the prosecution.
The remaining five officers involved in Gray’s death will be tried separately and consecutively starting on January 6th.
Attorneys in the case told reporters that the hung jury might be due to the confusing and complex nature of this case. Specifically, according to them, “the evidence against this particular officer was unique.” The jury consisted of four black women, three black men, three white women and two white men, one of the more diverse juries assigned in these highly publicized cases.
Jurors were thanked for their service but a gag order remains in place for all involved in the court proceedings.
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