BALTIMORE (AP) — The latest on the trial of a Baltimore police officer who is 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).
The Charlottesville, Virginia, police chief and a 35-year veteran of law enforcement has testified that Officer William Porter did almost all he could do on the day Freddie Gray was arrested and injured in Baltimore.
Chief Timothy Longo was the defense’s fifth witness is the trial of Porter, one of six police officers charged in Gray’s death. He was asked by a defense attorney whether there was any more Porter could have done and he said no.
But on rapid-fire cross-examination by a prosecutor, Longo said he supposes the officer could have gotten on the radio and called for a medic.
Longo also said van driver Caesar Goodson was ultimately responsible to make sure Gray was belted in because Gray was in his custody.
A neurosurgeon testifying on behalf of a Baltimore police officer charged with manslaughter says Freddie Gray’s broken neck could not have occurred the way the state autopsy report concluded.
Washington, D.C., neurosurgeon Matthew Ammerman was an expert witness Thursday at Officer William Porter’s trial.
Gray suffered a spinal cord injury while riding, handcuffed and shackled, in the back of a police van. Prosecutors say Gray was injured by the van’s fourth stop, when Porter lifted Gray from the wagon floor to the bench, but didn’t call a medic even though Gray indicated he needed aid. Porter testified that Gray was alert, appeared uninjured and could use his legs and support his own weight — proof that he hadn’t yet suffered the spinal cord injury that killed him.
Ammerman says the “catastrophic injury” would have immediately paralyzed Gray’s ability to breathe, speak and use his limbs. He says it must have occurred after Porter’s last interaction with Gray, at stop five when Gray was still able to speak, and before the prisoner was found unconscious at the last stop.
A small group of demonstrators has gathered outside the Baltimore Circuit Court for the trial of William Porter, one of six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died a week after being injured in the back of a police transport van.
A handful of protesters held signs Thursday morning. One banner read, “Jobs and Education, Not Police Terror” and “Black Lives Matter.”
The defense continues its case Thursday. Prosecutors rested their case earlier this week after 16 witnesses and five days of testimony.
Porter himself took the stand Wednesday to try and convince jurors he did nothing wrong. Prosecutors say Porter is partially responsible for Gray’s death for failing to call a medic when Gray indicated he needed help, and for not buckling the man into a seat belt.
Porter faces manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment charges.
He testified that he told the van driver, Caesar Goodson, to take Gray to the hospital but Gray didn’t appear injured when Porter saw him during the van’s fourth stop. Porter also said it was Goodson’s responsibility to make sure Gray was buckled in.
More witnesses are scheduled to testify in the defense of one of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, the black man who died after suffering a spinal injury in the back of a police transport van.
Officer William Porter, who is also black, faces manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment charges stemming from Gray’s death.
Prosecutor say Porter is partially responsible for not calling for a medic when Gray indicated he needed aid, and for failing to buckle Gray into a seat belt.
Porter took the stand for more than four hours Wednesday. He told jurors he didn’t call a medic because when he saw Gray, Gray wasn’t injured. He also said it’s the van driver’s responsibility to make sure prisoners in custody are buckled in. Porter wasn’t driving the van.
Trial resumes Thursday.
(Photo Source: AP)