Baltimore judge declares hung jury in Freddie Gray trial

Freddie Gray, Baltimore

A judge in Baltimore has declared a hung jury in the case of the first police officer charged in the death of Freddy Gray.

Jurors could not reach a decision in the trial of William Porter, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter

Porter is one of six officers charged in the death of Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after being injured in the back of a police transport van in April.

{mosads}The jury on Tuesday told a judge they were unable to reach a unanimous decision on the charges, but the judge asked them to keep deliberating.

Prosecutors say Porter, who is one of three black police officers charged in the case, was enlisted by the driver to check on Gray during stops on the way back to a police station.

They say he could have called a medic for Gray sooner and should have ensured he was wearing a seat belt.

“‘I need a medic.’ How long does that take?” the prosecutor asked. “How long does it take to click a seat belt and ask for a medic? Is two, three, maybe four seconds worth a life? That’s all it would have taken.”

Porter’s attorneys said he called for help immediately after he realized Gray was seriously injured.

He also said of the roughly 150 prisoners he has placed in police transports, none was secured in a seat belt, partly out of concern for officers’ safety.

The officer is charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.

Gray’s death sparked riots and demonstrations in Baltimore last spring.

After the verdict, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake urged “respect for our neighborhoods, and for the residents and businesses of our city” in a statement on Twitter Wednesday afternoon. She added that city officials are “prepared to respond” in the event of any disturbance.

Baltimore police canceled leave for officers who were scheduled to miss time this week.

Gray was arrested April 12 after he fled from two police officers on bike patrol who later caught up to him and found a knife in his pants.

He was taken into custody and placed in a police transport. He was unresponsive by the time he arrived back at the station after the van made several stops along the way.

The medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Gray, Dr. Carol Allan, said in testimony that he likely sustained his injury when the van stopped suddenly.

Porter conceded that Gray had requested medical attention after the fourth stop. But Porter said he did not call for a medic because Gray did not appear to be injured. He also said he told the driver Gray had asked to go to the hospital.

Porter’s lawyers said there is an “absolute absence of evidence that officer Porter acted in an unreasonable manner.”

This story was updated at 4:25 p.m.

Tags Baltimore Freddy Gray

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