Freddie Gray jurors deadlocked in police officer’s trial

Baltimore jury unable to reach verdict after hours of trial in police officer’s case of Freddie Grey’s death

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Baltimore Police officer William Porter approaches the court House in Baltimore, Maryland, November 30, 2015

Updated Dec 18, 2015

The jury is deadlocked on Tuesday in the trial of the police officer William Porter who is charged with manslaughter in the death of black detainee Freddie Gray.

After around ten hours of discussions of two days, the jury gave a difficulty note to the judge.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams told the jury to keep trying to reach a verdict.

It’s not clear yet where the discussions of the jury were tied up.

Freddie Gray was a 25-year-old black man from Baltimore who died on April 19 as a result of injuries sustained in police custody.

His hands were handcuffed and ankles shackled as he was put into a van but he wasn’t secured with a seat belt although department policy indicates he should have been.

Porter is the first of the six police officers to go on trial on charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and assault.

Three of the six police officers, including Porter, are also black.

The six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray are pictured in these undated booking photos provided by the Baltimore Police Department

The jury has heard from 28 witnesses and received about 100 pieces of evidence in the trial which began on November 30.

The judge has denied repeated requests from the defence for a mistrial or to move Porter’s trial outside of Baltimore.

The prosecution says Porter could have saved Gray’s life in two ways; first through using a seat belt, and second through calling for medical help through police radio.

The defence has said "there is literally no evidence" that Porter was responsible for Gray’s death.

Officials in the city are getting ready for any possible unrest, with armoured vehicles and police being stationed there.

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis sent a letter to officers on Monday, saying the department would protect the city while at the same time allowing peaceful protests.

Gray’s funeral was preceded by days of protests in Baltimore and other cities of the US over the treatment of minorities by American law enforcement.

An activist holds a poster outside Baltimore City Circuit Courthouse East during the trial of police Officer William G. Porter December 15, 2015













TRTWorld and agencies