Officer William Porter (pictured) is the first of six officers to go on trial in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after suffering a spinal injury in custody.
BALTIMORE (AP) — The latest on the trial of a police officer accused in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a spinal injury in the back of a transport van (all times local):
Attorneys for an officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray are disputing when the young black man was injured in the back of a police transport van.
Defense attorney Gary Proctor told jurors Wednesday that Officer William Porter asked Gray if he needed medical attention at the fourth stop the van made during Gray’s 45-minute journey to the police station, but decided against calling a medic because Gray “wasn’t wincing.”
The defense attorney says there was not one word about Gray not being able to breathe. Earlier, prosecutors told jurors that Gray said he needed medical help and that he couldn’t breathe.
Prosecutors had also said Gray was on his knees, slumped over and injured by the time he reached the van’s fifth stop. But the defense attorney said the fact that Gray was on his knees at all suggests his neck had not yet been broken.
The attorney also told jurors that a man who shared the transport van with Gray from the fifth stop to the final stop at the Western District station house told investigators that Gray was flailing in the van, attempting to injure himself. Prosecutors said Gray didn’t change positions between the fifth stop and the final stop because he’d already suffered the injury.
A defense attorney for one of six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray says his client should not be held responsible for simply checking on the young black man during a police van ride.
Defense attorney Gary Proctor said during opening statements Wednesday that when Gray began requesting aid “he showed no signs of needing medical attention because he hadn’t suffered the injury yet.”
Prosecutors say Gray died after his neck was broken in the back of a police van. They also say he should’ve been buckled into a seatbelt and that Officer William Porter is criminally responsible for failing to render aid.
Proctor characterized Porter as a man born and raised in West Baltimore who became a police officer “not to swing a big stick, but to help people.”
He told the jury that they “may hope finding him guilty will quell unrest,” but that Porter committed no crime.