BALTIMORE — The latest on the mistrial for a Baltimore police officer charged with manslaughter in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who was injured in the back of a police transport van (all times local):
A court spokeswoman says lawyers have more work to do before setting a date for a possible retrial of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter in the death of Freddie Gray.
Lawyers for both sides met privately with Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams for about 30 minutes Thursday, a day after a hung jury prompted Williams to declare a mistrial on all four charges, including manslaughter.
Maryland judiciary spokeswoman Terri Charles says lawyers will hold at least one more scheduling conference with Williams in coming days. She says that to her knowledge, prosecutors haven’t yet decided whether to retry Porter.
Charles says scheduling conferences are typically held behind closed doors. She says her office will announce any new trial dates in any of the six officers’ cases.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says she has been pleased with the city’s reaction to the mistrial in the case of Officer William Porter in the death of Freddie Gray.
Rawlings-Blake told WBAL-AM on Thursday that she is proud of the way the community came together and showed respect for the system.
In an interview on MSNBC the mayor called the reaction “a true reflection of the strength and resiliency of our city.” She says people understand the right to protest, but they also respect “the sanctity of our communities and the value of our communities.”
She says city police and law enforcement partners from around the region did an “amazing job” Wednesday. She says officials will continue to monitor social media and be ready to respond if necessary.
A protester arrested outside the courthouse after a mistrial was declared in the trial of police officer William Porter has been released.
Twenty-one-year-old Darius Rosebrough, an activist also known as Kwame Rose, said by phone Thursday that he was released around 3:45 a.m. A 16-year-old juvenile was also arrested, but it isn’t known if he has been released.
Maj. Sabrina Tapp-Harper, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore Sheriff’s Office, said both were charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a law enforcement officer’s command, and disturbing the peace by using a bullhorn outside the courthouse while court was in session.
After a mistrial was declared in the first trial over Freddie Gray’s death, lawyers on both sides gathered in the judge chambers, where they had been scheduled to discuss dates for a possible retrial.
The lawyers were seen Thursday morning at Circuit Judge Barry Williams’ chambers. A uniformed deputy was stationed outside. About half an hour after the lawyers started arriving, they were seen leaving the chambers. They declined to comment, citing the judge’s gag order in the case.
Williams on Wednesday declared a mistrial in police Officer William Porter’s case. Jurors had reported a dead.
Porter is one of six officers charged in Gray’s death. Gray’s neck was broken in the back of a police van in April. Porter’s trial lasted a little more than two weeks.
Jurors took three days to deliberate on charges of manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.
A legal expert says the state’s evidence against Baltimore police Officer William Porter was so strong that he should consider a plea deal.
University of Maryland law school professor Douglas Colbert said Thursday that “because of the strength of the prosecution’s evidence, Officer Porter must give serious consideration to what’s best for him. That includes consideration of negotiations and seeking immunity.”
The judge declared a mistrial Wednesday. Jurors said they couldn’t reach a verdict in the case over Freddie Gray’s death.
Colbert says that unless prosecutors are determined to retry Porter, they’d likely prefer a plea bargain over granting him immunity from prosecution. Even under a grant of immunity, Porter might be reluctant to break what Colbert calls an “officers’ code of silence.”
Colbert says that if prosecutors elect to retry Porter, they’ll probably seek to delay the other trials and the judge would likely agree.
Follow WNEW on Twitter
(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)