Freddie Gray Case | State vs Officer William Porter | Day 4

Courtroom sketchBaltimore (CNN)—Prosecutors offered a detailed timeline Wednesday of Freddie Gray’s long ride in a police van, telling a racially diverse jury that Officer William G. Porter Jr. was present five of the six times the van stopped en route to a West Baltimore police station.

Porter, 26, is accused of failing to summon medics when the injured prisoner asked for help. He also allegedly failed to secure the 25-year-old man properly in the back of the van.

“He had a duty to keep safe a person in police custody,” Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow said in his opening statement.

Schatzow told jurors they would hear police dispatch recordings and view the van, which has benches and five seat belts on each side.

“Evidence will show this defendant criminally neglected his duty to keep Mr. Gray safe,” the prosecutor said.

Michael Schatzow makes the prosecution’s opening statement as chief prosecutor Marilyn Mosby looks on.

Gray’s spinal injury was similar to those suffered after a dive into a shallow pool, the prosecutor said. His neck was broken and compressed — injuries that couldn’t be caused by banging his head against a wall, he said.

Gray was unresponsive by the time the van arrived at the Western District police station. He died at a hospital on April 19, a week after his arrest.

But defense attorney Gary Proctor said that the evidence will show Porter is innocent and that the department had just issued a new policy ordering officers to secure people in the van with seat belts.

“Mr. Gray’s death is a tragedy,” Proctor said, “but so is charging someone who did nothing to precipitate that.”

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30 Responses to Freddie Gray Case | State vs Officer William Porter | Day 4

  1. Liza says:

    I haven’t watched the original video in a long time and I haven’t watched the new video. But what troubles me is the extent of Freddie Gray’s injuries before he ever got into the van. He certainly appeared to be injured, as I recall. And how can anyone say with certainty what injuries he already had? Suppose he already had fractured vertebrae and/or a bruised spinal cord that wasn’t yet severed?

    You know, the ones I hold MOST accountable are the ones who started this. The cop who didn’t like the way Freddie Gray looked at him and decided to f*** with him for absolutely no reason. If his life could have been saved by receiving medical attention instead of that ride in the van, would he have been permanently disabled? A quadraplegic? Or a paraplegic? Does the new video answer any of this?

  2. I have tears and I’m not even in that courtroom. Reading about #FreddieGray’s mom has me so emotional. The pain & grieve is too much.

  3. So, this White lawyer walks into a courtroom….

    William Porter trial Day 4

    The courtroom scene must have been daunting and more than a little confusing for the two White lawyers defending the indicted, former police officer, William Porter.

    Hell, it might have even felt a little surreal walking into a courtroom with your Black Defendant, facing a Black Judge, Black Clerk, mostly Black potential jurors and a Black woman Prosecutor who has made it her life’s mission to put your guy behind bars. Or as the kids would put it…Marilyn Mosby “ain’t playing.”

    What these White male lawyers have always known is that the legal deck is ridiculously stacked in their favor. They have operated and practiced law within the shameful legal reality that White Attorneys make up about 88% of all lawyers in the United States and White males and White females make up about 83% of all judges.

    So, imagine how visually jarred they were when they walked into Judge William’s courtroom after a jury of 8 Black men and women were seated.

    Obviously, without a confession, one can not know for certain that these White veteran defense attorneys were ethnically shook. However, some of their choices during the opening suggest they were “off” of their normal legal game.

    It was a standard defense opening at first. The kind of defense opening that all of us who have practiced criminal law have delivered at one time or another. The defense attorney begins by describing how great a guy the defendant is. William Porter’s attorney told the jury William was a “good cop”, a “young cop” and a cop with “no record of misconduct”. But then the opening began to take on a different tone and energy when the Defense looked into the faces of the majority African American jury and said;

    “You may yearn to hold someone accountable, but facts don’t bend to your predilections”

    Let’s unpack that statement. And just so we are all on the same page…

    Let’s unpack that statement. And just so we are all on the same page…

    Understand, the Defense is operating in a majority African American playing field. And he is talking to a majority African American jury about the possible murder of an African American victim. Murder by a White Institution — the Police Department.

    It seems more than an odd choice and uber condescending to look into those African American majority faces and risk arguing that: believing a police officer should be accountable for wrongdoing is (1) a bias/bad thing and (2) this “wrong” African American world view must be set aside for my “White Attorney” version of the “facts”. Even the word choice “yearn” has a whiff of white male snark to it….especially since he is addressing a mostly Black and mostly female jury.

    And it gets worse.

    In the final moments of his opening statement, William Porter’s Defense attorney concluded with:

    “Let’s show Baltimore the whole damn system is NOT guilty as hell.”

    As anyone who covered the unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray knows, “the whole damn system IS guilty as hell” was a familiar mantra.

    More at the link above.

    • Whoa! Lizz Brown hit hard! Don’t mess with her.

    • Liza says:

      These defense lawyers can talk until it snows in hell. Predilection, blah, blah, blah. At the end of the day a young man was brutally maimed and mutilated and he suffered horribly. Days later, he finally died from his severe injuries inflicted by the police. It isn’t a question of guilt or innocence. There is only guilt. The only remaining issue is how to distribute the guilt and assign punishment.

      • Ametia says:

        Co-sign! Liza this truly is NOT rocket science. But the gyrations these families have to endure to get any semblance of justice, only to be subjected to more brutality, condescension, degradation, demeaning, fuckery by these lawyers, media , and politicians.

    • Ametia says:

      DAMN! Lizz UNPACKED that predilections bullshit, like a freshly-changed shitty diaper!

  4. The van in the Freddie Gray case

    The police van where Freddie Gray suffered his fatal injury was wheeled into the garage of the court house on a tow truck.

    The van, given the departmental ID 115981, has rows of seat belts in the back, prosecutors have said, but they allege officer William Porter didn’t use them, contributing to Gray sustaining a fatal injury.

    The jurors will be taken down to get an up close look at the van at some point Thursday.

    The head of the department’s IT office established that Porter had been sent an email laying out new seat belt policies, but he could not confirm that he had read the message.

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