Mistrial for First Officer Tried in Death of Freddie Gray

By Kenrya Rankin Dec 16, 2015

The trial for William G. Porter, the first Baltimore police officer involved in the death of Freddie Gray to see his day in court, just ended in a mistrial. After three days of deliberations, the jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision on four charges of manslaughter, assault, misconduct and reckless endangerment.

The mistrial comes a day after the jury told the judge they were deadlocked. He ordered them to work harder to reach a consensus, but it was not forthcoming. Porter was accused of not putting a seatbelt on Gray, who was shackled in the back of a police van during a “Rough Ride,” and then failing to get him immediate medical assistance when he asked for it. The 25-year-old Black man died a week later from severe spinal injuries and protestors hit the streets, asking the city to hold the officers accountable for his death. 

“In the coming days, if some choose to demonstrate peacefully to express their opinion, that is their constitutional right,” Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement today. “I urge everyone to remember that collectively, our reaction needs to be one of respect for our neighborhoods, and for the residents and businesses of our city.”

The decision to retry Porter rests with State’s Attorney Marilyn MosbyThe Baltimore Sun reports that the attorneys will appear before an administrative judge tomorrow to pick a retrial date. Porter is expected to testify against some of the other five officers who have been charged in connection with Gray’s death, which was ruled a homicide.

(H/t The Baltimore Sun)