Jury selection for the first officer to go to trial over the death of Freddie Gray has begun in Baltimore.
Freddie Gray’s death in police custody set off days of protests.
Officer William Porter is charged with manslaughter, accused of failing to give medical help to Gray despite complaints and warning signs.
Freddie Gray sustained a severe spinal cord injury while riding in a police van and died a week later.
The case became a lightning rod in the US movement against police brutality.
William Porter is one of six police officers charged over Freddie Gray’s death. All have pleaded not guilty. They will be tried separately and prosecutors hope to use William Porter as a witness in the other trials.
The case has already shaken Baltimore. After the riots, some police union police officials said the Gray case made officers “hesitant” to stop crime.
In a media campaign, police officials publically criticized the mayor and the city council, saying the force lacked their support.
City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts has been fired and the once-popular Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has agreed not to run for election in the ensuing fallout. The city recently surpassed 300 murders within a year for the first time since 1999.
“Everything is at stake. The future of the city is at stake,” Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said.
Finding an impartial jury is expected to be difficult given how Freddie Gray’s death affected the city. A Baltimore judge denied a defense request for a change of venue in September.
The city of Baltimore announces it has reached a proposed $6.4 million wrongful death settlement with Freddie Gray’s family.
Six Baltimore police officers face criminal charges for the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died of a critical spine injury while in police custody in April.
Riots, looting and violence shook the city in the days following the black man’s death.
Baltimore will propose the settlement to its Board of Estimates on September 9.
Freddie Gray was in the back of a prisoner transport van when he was injured.
The man’s death is of one of several involving black Americans and police which has spurred national debate, unrest and various social justice movements.
Baltimore police have admitted Freddie Gray was not secured by a seatbelt, as required by law, and he was denied medical attention while in the van.
The settlement would “resolve all civil claims related to the City of Baltimore, the Baltimore Police Department, individual Baltimore Police offers and any other persons or institutions who might be deemed responsible for the death of Mr. Gray,” according to a statement from Baltimore Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings Blake.
The payment does not resolve any “factual disputes” surrounding his death and does not admit liability or fault on the part of the city or the police department, the statement added.
It is not a judgement on the guilt or innocence of the officers facing trial, said Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
The total payment being proposed for Freddie Gray’s case is more than the total paid out by the city for more than 120 other lawsuits against the Baltimore Police Department since 2011, the Baltimore Sun reports.
The police officers facing criminal charges ranging from false imprisonment to involuntary manslaughter have pleaded not guilty.
Baltimore state prosecutor Marilyn J. Mosby said on May 1st that Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide and his arrest had been illegal.
Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died in police custody on April 19.
Marilyn Mosby has also announced she filed criminal charges against six Baltimore police officers.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for the Baltimore police officers says they “did nothing wrong”.
Lawyer Michael Davey said the officers “at all times acted reasonably and in accordance with their training”.
Freddie Gray’s death sparked violent protests in Baltimore.
Six officers are charged in Freddie Gray’s death from injuries he suffered while in police custody.
State Attorney Marilyn Mosby says the officers repeatedly failed to get Freddie Gray medical treatment after his arrest.
The police officers’ union has said they are not responsible for Freddie Gray’s death.
Officer Caesar Goodson: Was the driver of the van that transported Freddie Gray, and he faces the most serious charges. He repeatedly failed — at least five times — to seatbelt Freddie Gray in the transport vehicle. He faces 2nd-degree depraved heart murder, involuntary manslaughter, 2nd degree negligent assault, manslaughter by vehicle by means of gross negligence, manslaughter by vehicle by means of criminal negligence, misconduct in office for failure to secure prisoner and failure to render aid. All charges carry a potential 30-year sentence.
Caesar Goodson, 45, has been on the force since 1999, and like two others charged in Freddie Gray’s death is black.
Officer William G. Porter: Faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault in the 2nd degree, misconduct in office. At one point during the van ride, Caesar Goodson requested help checking on Freddie Gray. William Porter, 25, who joined the force in 2012, responded. Both he and Caesar Goodson checked on Freddie Gray. William Porter, who is black, helped Freddie Gray from the floor to a bench in the van, but neither Goodson nor Porter requested medical attention or put a seatbelt on Gray.
Lieutenant Brian W. Rice: Faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault in the 2nd degree, assault in the 2nd degree [second of two similar charges], misconduct in office, false imprisonment.
Brian Rice was on bike patrol when he made eye contact with Freddie Gray on a Baltimore street April 12. Freddie Gray ran, and Brian Rice pursued him. Bike patrol officers Garrett Miller and Edward Nero joined the pursuit.
Brian Rice, 41, is the most senior officer to be charged. He joined the police force in 1997 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2011, police said.
Officer Edward M. Nero: Faces charges of assault in the 2nd degree (intentional), assault in the 2nd degree (negligent), misconduct in office, false imprisonment.
Officer Garrett E. Miller: Faces charges of intentional assault in the 2nd degree, assault in the 2nd degree, negligent misconduct in office, false imprisonment.
Freddie Gray surrendered to Garrett Miller, 26, and Edward Nero, 29. Miller and Nero handcuffed Gray and put him on the ground. Gray told the officers that he couldn’t breathe and requested an inhaler. The two officers, both of whom joined the police force in 2012, sat Gray up and found a folded knife clipped to the inside of his pants pocket, a knife that is lawful under Maryland law. Previously, police have said they found a switchblade.
While Freddie Gray was being transported, Garrett Miller, Edward Nero and Brian Rice took him out of the wagon and put flex handcuffs and leg shackles on him. After that stop, they put Freddie Gray back into the van on his stomach without a seatbelt.
Sergeant Alicia D. White: Faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, 2nd degree assault, misconduct in office. She is the second-highest officer charged in the Gray case. She met the van at its stop to pick up the second person.
Alicia White, 30, was responsible for investigating two citizen complaints about Freddie Gray’s arrest. Alicia White, who is black, joined the police in 2010 and was recently made a sergeant in January 2015, police said.
Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby has filed criminal charges against six officers in the case of Freddie Gray who died in police custody on April 19.
The state prosecutor said the death of the 25-year-old black man was a homicide, and his arrest was illegal.
Protesters cheered as Marilyn Mosby announced charges ranging from second-degree murder to assault. But a lawyer for the officers says they “did nothing wrong”.
Freddie Gray’s death – from injuries in custody – sparked protests that turned violent.
Marilyn Mosby said at a news conference: “The findings of our comprehensive, thorough, and independent investigation coupled with the medical examiner’s determination was a homicide… has led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges.”
Celebrations broke out across Baltimore after the announcement. Drivers honked their car horns as people took to the streets with fists raised in triumph.
Marilyn Mosby said Freddie Gray died as a result of injuries suffered while he was shackled inside a Baltimore police van, but not restrained by a seat belt – as he was legally required to be.
She said the officers failed to provided medical aid to Freddie Gray after he repeatedly pleaded for help.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake said that five of the officers were in custody. The sixth later turned himself in. The officers were suspended after Freddie Gray’s death.
“No one in our city is above the law,” Stephanie Rawlings Blake said.
“Justice must apply to all of us equally.”
The driver of the van, Caesar Goodson, 45, faces the most serious charge, second-degree murder.
Caesar Goodson faces more than 30 years in prison if convicted.
The other officers face charges including involuntary manslaughter, assault and misconduct.
“To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for <<no justice, no peace>>. Your peace is sincerely needed, as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man,” Marilyn Mosby said.
Marilyn Mosby said that Freddie Gray was not carrying a switchblade as reported earlier by police, but a legal pocketknife.
The police union defended the officers and said they acted “diligently”. The union called for an independent prosecutor, something Marilyn Mosby said was not needed.
According to local TV station ABC7 News, Freddie Gray died from a head injury in a Baltimore police van.
Citing police sources, ABC7 News said that an injury to Freddie Gray’s head matched the shape of a bolt in the van.
Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spine injury while in police custody, sparking two weeks of protests in Baltimore which turned violent earlier this week.
His death is the latest in a series of police killings in the US which have sparked rioting and national debate.
Baltimore police have admitted that Freddie Gray was not secured in the van by a seatbelt, against department policy, and that he requested medical attention while being transported in the van but was denied.
A footage filmed by a passerby showed a visibly distressed Freddie Gray being handcuffed on the ground pushed into the back of the van. Police said he ran after seeing two officers, who chased him and arrested him when they found a switchblade-style knife in his trousers.
Freddie Gray lapsed into a coma following the journey on April 12 and died a week later.
Maryland medical examiner’s office has refused to comment on cause of death while the investigation is ongoing.
The van transporting Freddie Gray made a previously undisclosed fourth stop while en route to the police station, police revealed on April 30.
Previously, police had said the van made three stops, including one to put Freddie Gray in leg irons and another to pick up different prisoner.
The fourth stop was captured on a CCTV camera outside a Korean food shop.
A Baltimore Police inquiry has found that the van transporting Freddie Gray made a previously undisclosed stop while en route to the police station.
Freddie Gray suffered fatal and unexplained spinal injuries while in police custody, sparking two weeks of protests that turned violent earlier this week.
On April 30, there were rallies in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Cincinnati.
A national debate over the use of lethal police force has been going on since the death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last summer.
Police investigating Freddie Gray’s death said they found out about the new van stop from a security camera.
Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said: “We discovered this new stop based on our thorough and comprehensive and on-going review of all CCTV cameras and privately owned cameras.”
“This new stop was discovered from a privately-owned camera.”
The new video was filmed by a CCTV camera outside a small Korean food shop.
The shop’s owner, Jung Hyun Hwang told the Associated Press news agency that police officers visited last week to make a copy of the recording – which was later lost when the shop was looted during the riots.
Jung Hyun Hwang said he had not viewed the recording and did not know what it showed.
Investigators have now handed over their inquiry into Freddie Gray’s death to the state’s attorney’s office.
Baltimore’s top prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, will now decide whether to take the case to a grand jury to seek an indictment of any of the six officers involved.
After two nights of violent protests in Baltimore, Thursday was relatively calm. Baltimore is still under a curfew requiring people to be off the streets by 22:00.
Visiting Baltimore, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said the city was “not out of the woods yet”.
“There are a lot of people that have legitimate frustrations that are peacefully protesting and we want to protect those people and their right to express their feelings,” he said.
“But we’re also concerned about their safety because there are other people who just want to cause trouble.”
Freddie Gray was injured when arrested in Sandtown on April 12. He lapsed into a coma and died a week later.
Mobile phone video from a bystander shows two officers dragging Freddie Gray into the van by the arms.
According to the police timeline of the arrest, the van took 30 minutes to take him to the police station, where paramedics were called.
While in the van, Freddie Gray was requesting medical attention which he was wrongly denied, police have admitted.
They also acknowledged that Freddie Gray was not secured in the van by a seatbelt, which contravenes department policy.
A local ABC station, quoting unnamed sources, said the medical examiner has concluded that Freddie Gray received his injuries inside the van, not when he was first arrested.
Previously, police had said the van made three stops, including one to put him in leg irons and another to pick up another prisoner. The new stop makes four in total.
Five of the six officers involved in the arrest gave statements to investigators the day Freddie Gray was injured. All six have been suspended.
A separate investigation by the US Department of Justice is also under way.
More than 1,000 protesters took the streets of Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray, who was in police custody, a week ago.
A minority of protesters smashed police car windows and at least a dozen were arrested, after disturbances that led police to delay spectators’ departure from a baseball game.
Freddie Gray was arrested by police on April 12 and then suffered spinal injuries leading to death a week later.
His twin sister, Fredricka Gray, appealed for calm.
As clashes began on April 25, Fredricka Gray said: “My family wants to say, can you all please, please stop the violence?
“Freddie Gray would not want this.”
Six police officers have been suspended following the death and an internal police investigation is under way.
Freddie Gray, who was 25, is the latest of a series of black Americans to die in police custody in recent months, triggering angry protests accusing the police of brutality.
Baltimore has seen daily protests since his death on April 19 but Saturday’s was expected to be the largest so far.
One of the rallies, organized by the People’s Power Assembly, made its way from the Sandtown neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested to the Western District police station where an ambulance was called for Gray once he arrived in a police van, injured.
Another rally, called by Black Lawyers for Justice and other groups, congregated outside City Hall.
“Things will change on Saturday, and the struggle will be amplified,” Malik Shabazz of Black Lawyers for Justice told WBAL-TV Baltimore before the march began.
“It cannot be business as usual with that man’s spine broken, with his back broken, with no justice on the scene.”
However, in the evening some demonstrators started to smash shop windows and there were some fights with baseball fans before the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox.
Police Commissioner Anthony Batts admitted at a news conference on April 24 that officers repeatedly failed to give Freddie Gray the medical attention he was due and that, contrary to policy, Gray was not strapped into his seat in the police van following his arrest.
The police will report the findings of their investigation on May 1st, when protesters hope the six suspended police officers will be charged – and have vowed further protests if they are not.
An independent review by state prosecutors will follow.
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