UPDATE: 5:13 EST
Jurors in the manslaughter trial of a police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray said Tuesday they were deadlocked, but the judge overseeing the case told them to keep deliberating.
The jury sent a note to Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams after about nine hours of discussions over two days. It wasn’t clear if they were stuck on one or more of the four charges Officer William Porter faces. He is the first of six officers to stand trial in Gray’s death.
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 Baltimore jury in the manslaughter trial of Officer William Porter is hard at work on its second day of deliberations.
So far, the panel has sent the judge four notes Tuesday, requesting items including highlighters, paper, sticky notes, computer speakers and the clerk’s list of exhibits.
The judge has granted most of the requests, but refused to provide the exhibit list because it wasn’t entered into evidence.
On Monday, the jury asked for transcripts of Porter’s interview with internal affairs investigators and recordings of police communications on the day Freddie Gray was arrested. The judge said the transcripts were not in evidence but the panel could listen to the recordings again.
Porter is the first officer to go on trial in the arrest and death of Gray.
The jury in the trial for William Porter, one of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, has asked the judge for computer speakers.
The note Tuesday was the fourth of the day. Previously, the jury asked for water, Post-it notes and the clerk’s list of exhibits.
The jury began deliberating Monday and asked for a transcript of Porter’s testimony and police tapes. The judge denied their requests for transcripts because they were not in evidence, but will allow jurors to listen to the tapes and view the video interviews.
It wasn’t immediately clear what they wanted the speakers for.
Porter faces manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges.
As a Baltimore jury deliberates in the manslaughter trial of a city police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, a neighboring school system is avoiding field trips in the city.
Baltimore County Public School spokesman Mychael Dickerson said Tuesday that the school system is postponing, and in some cases canceling, field trips and events in Baltimore city through Friday. The county surrounds most of the city and extends north to Maryland’s border with Pennsylvania.
Dickerson says the precaution is being taken after officials consulted with law enforcement partners.
Dickerson says the school system took similar steps in the spring, when unrest broke out in the city after Gray’s death.
A judge has denied defense motions for a mistrial and change of venue as the jury deliberates in the manslaughter trial of a Baltimore police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray.
Circuit Judge Barry Williams said Tuesday the renewed motions were not appropriate at this stage of Officer William Porter’s trial.
The judge also denied a defense request to ask jurors whether they have seen a letter that the city schools chief sent home with children, warning of consequences for violent responses to the eventual verdict.
The jury sent out notes asking for water, highlighters, sticky notes and paper. They also requested the clerk’s list of exhibits in evidence.
Gray died April 19, a week after his neck was broken in the back of a police van with his wrists and ankles shackled. Porter is charged with manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct.
Tuesday is the second day of deliberations. The panel spent three hours deliberating Monday.
Jurors have resumed deliberations in the case of the first police offer to be tried in Freddie Gray’s death.
Tuesday is the second day of deliberations in the trial of Officer William Porter. The panel spent three hours deliberating Monday.
Gray died April 19, a week after his neck was broken in the back of a police van with his wrists and ankles shackled. The autopsy concluded that the injury most likely came as Gray was slammed against a wall during cornering or braking.
Porter is charged with manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct. Prosecutors say he should have buckled Gray in and called a medic after the 25-year-old man said he needed help.
Porter’s lawyers say he’s not to blame for Gray’s death.
The White House is urging that any concern over a verdict in the first police officer’s trial over Freddie Gray’s death be expressed peacefully.
A reporter asked spokesman Josh Earnest at a Monday briefing whether there was a message from the White House to people in Baltimore, saying the jury in officer William Porter’s case may have a decision this week. Porter is charged with manslaughter in Gray’s death.
Earnest says President Barack Obama’s comments after Chicago police recently released video of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald were relevant. Earnest says the president was proud of how the community responded with a “forceful but peaceful display of concern.”
Earnest says the administration is “hopeful that as activists and individuals in other communities have similar concerns to express, that they do so peacefully.”
Baltimore’s police commissioner says the department must resist the low expectations that some people have of the force in its upcoming response to a verdict in the first trial over Freddie Gray’s death.
In a letter tweeted by the department on Monday night, Commissioner Kevin Davis says the department members’ commitment to their profession should be without strings.
Davis says department members “will serve as peace keepers for those wishing to exercise their right to protest” and allow “lawful assembly of those gathered to question the government.” He says they will also “protect homes, businesses, residents, and police officers from harm and mayhem.”
Davis says nothing will distract members of the department “from being considered anything but the very best in the important days ahead of us.”
Advocates are warning of a chilling effect on legitimate protests after Baltimore’s schools chief sent a letter warning of consequences for violent response to a verdict of a police officer’s trial in Freddie Gray’s death.
Schools CEO Gregory Thornton said Monday that schools will facilitate student expression but warned of consequences for “walkouts, vandalism, civil disorder and any form of violence.”
Activist group Baltimore Bloc said in a statement Tuesday that students won’t allow their “voices to be stifled” and will issue a call to action if the justice system fails.
ACLU of Maryland Executive Director Susan Goering says students have a First Amendment right and the letter could end up “chilling legitimate, peaceful protest activity.”
Youth clergy and leaders plan the “Youth Stepping Up and Speaking Out” event Tuesday to urge expression “in decency and order” regardless of the verdict.
Prosecutors say it would have taken just two clicks for Officer William Porter to save Freddie Gray’s life: one click to buckle the shackled man into a seatbelt in the back of the police transport van; another click to call into his police radio for an ambulance after Gray said he needed a medic.
But Porter’s attorneys say he did more than enough for Gray on the day the detainee’s neck was broken in the back of the van. They say Gray’s death had nothing to do with the officer’s actions.
A Baltimore jury on Monday began deliberating the fate of Porter, the first of six officers charged in Gray’s death to stand trial. He’s charged with manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.
Deliberations continue Tuesday.
(Photo Source: AP)