A Maryland medical examiner twice told investigators that the death of black detainee Freddie Gray from a broken neck in a police van was an accident, a Baltimore detective testified on Thursday.
Taking the stand for the defense in the van driver’s murder trial, Police Detective Dawnyell Taylor said Dr Carol Allan had contradicted her official report that Gray’s death in April 2015 was a homicide.
“She said that it was a freakish accident, and that no human hands had caused his injury,” she said as the defense for Officer Caesar Goodson Jr began presenting its case in Baltimore City Circuit Court.
Goodson, 46, is accused of second-degree depraved heart murder, manslaughter and other charges. Gray’s death triggered protests and rioting in Baltimore and fueled a nationwide debate on police treatment of minorities.
In a sometimes-testy exchange, prosecutor Michael Schatzow accused Taylor, whose investigation led to charges against Goodson and five other officers, of not sending progress reports to prosecutors about Allan’s comments.
Taylor answered that she was initially not the lead detective but had noted everything later when it was typed up. Referring to another prosecutor in the Gray case, Janice Bledsoe, she said: “I had a problem with her integrity.”
“Didn’t she have problems with your integrity?” Schatzow responded. Judge Barry Williams, who is hearing the case in a bench trial, then called up both sides for a conference.
Throughout the high-profile case, Allan, an assistant medical examiner, has stood by her judgment that Gray’s death was a homicide. Her ruling is a major part of the charges against Goodson and the other officers.
Taylor’s testimony came after Williams rejected a defense motion for charges against Goodson to be dropped. Goodson is the third officer to be tried in Gray’s death, with the two earlier trials ending in a hung jury and an acquittal.
Schatzow has argued that Goodson caused Gray’s death by giving him a “rough ride.” But the officer’s lawyers say Gray caused his own fatal injuries.
Gray, 25, was arrested for fleeing officers unprovoked. He was bundled into Goodson’s van shackled and was not seat-belted, a violation of department protocol.
(Writing by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
‘Go look at President Trump’s Twitter’: Portland right-wing rally organizer claims ‘mission success’
The organizer of a far-right rally in Portland, Oregon claimed the event was a "success" after President Donald Trump attacked Portlandiers protesting the group.
"A confluence of protesters on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum merged on Portland’s waterfront Saturday in a tense but relatively uneventful face-off that brought national attention, including a tweet in the hours before the protest by President Trump decrying the city’s signature anti-fascist movement," the Oregonian reported Saturday.
When a similar right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Virginia killed Heather Heyer, Trump argued there were "fine people" on both sides of the "Unite the Right" rally.
Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?
The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.
"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.
The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."
White nationalist Republican ridiculed after only 2 people show up for his town hall meeting
Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suffered further humiliation on Saturday when only two people showed up for his town hall meeting with Iowa constituents.
King, who was stripped of all committee assignments for his white nationalism, was been an embarrassment for Republicans with his constant racism and misogyny.
A photo of the town hall meeting was posted on Twitter by Reuters photo editor Corinne Perkins.
Rep. King was quickly mocked in the comments.
Here's some of what people were saying: