Mistrial Declared in Freddie Gray Death Case

Mistrial Declared in Freddie Gray Death Case
Melvin Townes holds up a sign in front of the city courthouse during the trial against Baltimore police Officer William Porter in Baltimore on Wednesday. A mistrial was declared. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI |

BALTIMORE, Dec. 16 (UPI) — A hung jury in the trial of Baltimore police officer William Porter, charged in the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man in his custody, has resulted in the case being declared a mistrial.

Porter is the first of six police officers to go to trial in the death of Gray, who died in April as a result of a broken neck while in police custody. Investigators said Gray, whose hands and legs were shackled, possibly fell in the back of a moving police van and hit his head, breaking his neck.

Prosecutors had argued that Porter could have helped Gray by buckling him into a seat in the police van and getting him medical attention.

The mistrial was declared after a two-week trial and 16 hours of jury deliberation.

Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawling-Blake, who has tried to calm her city after mass protests related to the case, released the following case shortly after the Wednesday afternoon mistral announcement:

“A few minutes ago, Judge Barry G. Williams declared a mistrial in the criminal case of Officer William Porter because the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. It is now up to State‚Äôs Attorney Marilyn Mosby to determine whether to further pursue criminal charges.”

“This is our American system of justice. Twelve Baltimore residents listened to the evidence presented and were unable to render a unanimous decision. As a unified city, we must respect the outcome of the judicial process.”

“In the coming days, if some choose to demonstrate peacefully to express their opinion, that is their constitutional right. 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. 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.”

Judge Williams has asked to meet Thursday with attorneys representing the prosecution and the defense.

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