Judge declares hung jury in Freddie Gray case
A jury is deadlocked in the first trial of a Baltimore police officer in the death of Freddie Gray, causing the judge in the case to declare a hung jury, rendering the trial a mistrial.
The Associated Press broke the news on Wednesday afternoon via Twitter:
BREAKING: Judge declares hung jury after panel can't reach decision in Freddie Gray trial.
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 16, 2015
The jurors were unable to reach a verdict in the trial of Officer William Porter, who was charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.
Porter was the first of six officers to be tried in the 25-year-old Gray’s death from a broken neck after he was arrested and thrown into the back of a police van in April.
His death while in custody triggered protests and riots as part of a larger debate over police violence — particularly against black men and women.
Jurors said they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict late Tuesday evening, but Judge Barry Williams sent them back to continue deliberations.
The city’s mayor, school system and police department have taken safety precautions ahead of the jury’s deliberations.
Three of the six officers, including Porter, are black.
The 12-person jury is comprised of four black women, three white women, three black men and two white men.
Gray was arrested after fleeing from police, and officers shackled him and placed him in a transport van — but he was not secured by a seat belt as department policy requires.
The shackled man told Porter during a stop that he needed medical assistance, and the officer helped him to a van bench.
Porter told the van’s driver and a supervisor that Gray had asked for help, but officers did not request further aid.
Prosecutors needed to prove Porter’s actions differed widely from what an officer would reasonably have done under the same circumstances.
Baltimore agreed in September to pay Gray’s family a $6.4 million civil settlement of a wrongful death suit.