The judge announced a mistrial Wednesday in the case of the first officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, after jurors in Baltimore announced they could not reach a unanimous decision.
Jurors deadlocked on all four counts: assault, manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. After notifying Circuit Judge Barry Williams, he dismissed them, saying, “You have taken the time to listen.”
Three days of deliberations took place for William Porter, one of the six officers being charged in Grays death. As of Wednesday, the mistrial was called. Rowdy folks are filling up the streets of Baltimore as the call for a retrial date will be set Thursday.
Three black men, four black women, two white men and three white women made up the jury. Gray was black. Porter is also black, as are two of the other five officers charged. The charges carry a maximum prison term totaling 25 years.
Prosecutors say Porter is partly responsible for failing to buckle Gray into a seat belt and for not calling an ambulance when Gray said that he was in distress. Porter told jurors that he didn’t think Gray was injured and that it wasn’t his job but it was the van driver’s responsibility to fasten Gray’s seat belt.
A small group of protesters was seen outside the courthouse chanting “send those killer cops to jail,” after the judge declared the mistrial. The sheriff called it an unlawful assembly. One protester was arrested.
Here we go again! They didn’t hear what they wanted to hear and hopefully peace will be kept as justice is served. Baltimore Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services had announced earlier Wednesday it was preparing for new protests and arrests that may take place. “We have relocated some detainees at the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center,” Communications Director Robert Thomas said more for fear of looting and rioting. The choice was made to keep it in Baltimore anyway.
“As a unified city, we must respect the outcome of the judicial process,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. “In the case of any disturbance in the city, we are prepared to respond. We will protect our neighborhoods, our businesses and the people of our city.”
The jurors had made several requests since they began deliberating Monday. The judge granted some and denied others, saying they were not part of the evidence. On Wednesday, they asked for a copy of a transcript from a witness, but the judge refused.
H/T: Fox news