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The Latest: Center of former unrest now site of prayers
Dec. 17, 2015
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 neighborhood that experienced the worst of April's rioting after Freddie Gray's funeral was calm in the hours after the mistrial of the first officer charged in Gray's death.
Tessa Hill-Aston is president of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP. She took part in a prayer and unity gathering Wednesday night at the intersection that was the epicenter of April's unrest.
She says people are expressing support for peace. Nearby, protesters peacefully called for justice and greater awareness of the community's economic hardships.
She says while a lot of people are upset that the trial of Officer William Porter ended in a mistrial, she says they recognize that they have a lot more to go through with five more trials of other officers charged in the case.
The Baltimore Sheriff's Office says two people who protested outside the courthouse after a mistrial was declared Wednesday in the trial of police officer William Porter are facing charges.
Sheriff's office spokeswoman Maj. Sabrina Tapp-Harper said 21-year-old Darius Rosebrough, an activist also known as Kwame Rose, and a 16-year-old juvenile were arrested.
Both are charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a law enforcement officer's command, and disturbing the peace by using a bullhorn outside the courthouse while court was in session.
The judge overseeing the mistrial of an officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray will meet privately Thursday with prosecutors and defense attorneys to talk about dates for a possible retrial.
After a mistrial of Officer William Porter, Judge Barry Williams said there would be an administrative hearing, presumably open to the public, about the case on Thursday. But later, the court sent out a note saying the meeting would be in the judge's chambers.
Williams declared a mistrial after jurors could not agree on any of the four charges Porter faced. The jury deliberated for about 16 hours over three days.
Baltimore police Officer William Porter, charged with manslaughter in the death of Freddie Gray, acknowledged that his mistrial does not spell the end of his troubles.
The Baltimore Sun (http://bsun.md/1lR3HYr) reports that Porter had little to say when reached by phone Wednesday night.
"It's not over yet," he said, before politely ending conversation. "But thank you for the call."
Porter was the first of six officers to stand trial in Gray's death. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.
Jurors deliberated over three days but couldn't reach a verdict.
A small group of protesters are marching along the streets of Baltimore after a mistrial was declared for an officer charged in Freddie Gray's death.
A group of about two dozen demonstrators carried signs and chanted as they marched through traffic. At times, lines of police officers confronted them, forcing the demonstrators down certain streets.
The protesters took to the streets after a jury couldn't reach a verdict in the manslaughter trial of Officer William Porter.
Prosecutors say Porter didn't buckle Gray into a police van and didn't call a medic when Gray said he needed one.
The defense said Porter went beyond the call of duty when he moved Gray to a seated position at one point inside the van, and told the driver and a supervisor that Gray had said "yes" when asked if he needed to go to a hospital.
The head of the union that represents Officer William Porter says he is no closer to a resolution after a jury couldn't reach a decision in his manslaughter trial.
Gene Ryan is the president the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 3. He said in a statement Wednesday that people must respect the jury's decision, despite the fact that it is obviously frustrating to everyone involved.
Porter remains suspended without pay. It's not immediately clear whether prosecutors will retry him.
The jury deliberated for three days but couldn't come to a decision on any of the four charges Porter faced.
An attorney for Freddie Gray's family is calling for calm after a mistrial was declared in the case of an officer charged in Gray's death.
Billy Murphy, who represents Gray's mother and stepfather, says he has every confidence Officer William Porter will be convicted if he is tried a second time. Porter is charged with manslaughter, assault and two other counts in Gray's death.
Murphy said Wednesday that hung juries are "part of how the system works." He says Gray's family is not angry and that they want people to remain calm, understand what happened and keep their emotions in check.
The jury deliberated for a total of about 15 hours but couldn't reach a decision. It's not yet clear if Porter will face another trial.
Baltimore's police commissioner says protesters have "a friend" in the department, but people who commit crimes and hurt people lose their right to call themselves demonstrators.
Commissioner Kevin Davis and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake held a news conference a couple of hours after a mistrial was declared in the case of an officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray.
Davis says the police are out on the streets to serve as peacekeepers. At least two demonstrators have already been detained.
Officer William Porter was charged with manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct. A jury couldn't reach a decision on any of the charges after three days of deliberations.
It's not immediately clear whether prosecutors are going to retry Officer William Porter after there was a hung jury in the Freddie Gray case.
An administrative hearing was scheduled for Thursday to discuss a possible retrial date. Porter waived his right to appear.
A mistrial was declared Wednesday on the third day of deliberations for the jury of seven women and five men. They deliberated for a total of about 15 hours but couldn't reach a decision in Porter's manslaughter trial.
On Tuesday, they indicated they were deadlocked, but Circuit Judge Barry Williams told them to keep working.
Porter was charged with manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in Gray's arrest and death.
Community activists in Baltimore are criticizing prosecutors after the mistrial of an officer charged in Freddie Gray's death.
Erika Alston is a West Baltimore community leader and founding director of Kids Safe Zone, an organization formed after the April riots following the death of Gray.
She says the mistrial of Officer William Porter left her "kind of numb" and she didn't think after closing arguments that the jury would reach a guilty verdict.
Duane "Shorty" Davis, a local activist, said he thought the state's attorney put on a "weak case."
"I think the state's attorney went in there with the intention of losing," Davis said.
Porter was charged with manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in Gray's death. He was the first of six officers to go on trial.
The president of the Baltimore NAACP says despite a mistrial in the case against an officer charged in Freddie Gray's death, there has been change in the city.
Tessa Hill-Aston said in a statement that the case has highlighted the fact that prisoners who are placed in transport vans should have a seat belt on. That didn't happen in the Gray case.
Officer William Porter said at his manslaughter trial that he feared Gray would reach for his gun so he didn't buckle him in, even though that is department policy.
Gray was critically injured in the van and died a week later. Hill-Aston says the long practice of "rough rides" has effectively come to an end.
Demonstrators are gathering in the streets of Baltimore after a mistrial was declared in the case of an officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray.
Television footage outside the courthouse showed Baltimore sheriff's deputies, who provide security at the building, taking demonstrator Kwame Rose into custody.
Deputies put his arms behind his back and marched him into the courthouse. Before he was detained, Rose called the mistrial "an injustice." He says prosecutors did not do their jobs well enough.
The jury couldn't reach a decision in the manslaughter trial of Officer William Porter. He was the first of six officers charged in the case to go on trial.
The mayor of Baltimore is calling for respect and unity after a mistrial was declared in the trial of an officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says "as a unified city, we must respect the outcome of the judicial process." She says in the case of any disturbance in the city, authorities are prepared to respond.
Upon learning of the mistrial, protesters chanted "no justice, no peace" outside the courthouse.
After court adjourned, Officer William Porter conferred solemnly with defense attorney Joseph Murtha and walked from the courtroom. A female supporter joined Porter on a marble bench in a corner of the hallway. Courthouse deputies blocked reporters from approaching them.
Murtha declined comment, citing a judicial gag order. Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who brought charges against six officers in the arrest and death of Gray, also declined comment.
A Baltimore judge says there is a hung jury in the case of a police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray.
Circuit Judge Barry Williams announced Wednesday that the jury couldn't reach its decision after three days of deliberations in the manslaughter trial of William Porter.
He was the first of six officers to stand trial on charges stemming from Gray's arrest and death. The judge told the jurors they had "clearly been diligent" before he dismissed them.
As the decision was announced a handful of protesters gathered outside the courthouse.
Gray died after suffering a broken neck in a police van while handcuffed and shackled. An autopsy concluded his head was probably slammed against inside the van as the van turned a corner or stopped.
Prosecutors say Porter should have called an ambulance when Gray indicated he needed medical help, and should have buckled Gray's seat belt.
Porter testified Gray didn't seem hurt. He says he told the driver and a supervisor Gray wanted to go to a hospital.
The jury weighing the fate of an officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray has indicated that it has a message for the judge.
The details of the message will be announced soon. Other jury notes have ranged from requests for transcripts to telling the judge the panel is deadlocked.
Jurors are in their third day of deliberations in the manslaughter trial of Officer William Porter.
After the jury indicates it has a note, it typically takes 10 to 20 minutes for lawyers and the defendant to assemble in the courtroom. The judge calls the parties to the bench for a quiet discussion and then reads the note aloud.
When the jury told the judge Tuesday that they were deadlocked, and he told them to keep working.
Jury notes in the Baltimore trial of a police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray are causing a lot of courtroom commotion.
The panel's request Wednesday for a transcript of witness testimony was at least the ninth note from jurors to Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams since deliberations began Monday. Williams denied the request.
On Tuesday, the jury told the judge they were deadlocked, but he told them to keep working.
He also has refused to give jurors transcripts of audio recordings, saying they are not evidence in the case. He has provided jurors paper, highlighters and an easel.
People in the courtroom first learn of such jury requests when a buzzer sounds. Then it takes 10 to 20 minutes for lawyers and the defendant to assemble in the courtroom. The judge calls them to the bench for a quiet discussion and then reads the note aloud and announces his decision.
As a jury deliberated in the trial of Officer William Porter, a handful of protesters are gathering outside the courthouse, chanting "send those killer cops to jail."
Porter is facing manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges stemming from Freddie Gray's death. He is the first of six officers to go on trial.
Prosecutors say Porter was criminally negligent for failing to buckle Gray into a seat belt and for not calling an ambulance when he indicated he needed medical aid.
Porter says Gray didn't appear injured or in distress, and that it was the van driver's responsibility to ensure prisoners were transported safely.
Gray died April 19, a week after his neck was broken in the back of a police van.
The jury is in its third day of deliberations. On Tuesday, they told the judge they were deadlocked, but he told them to keep deliberating.
Jurors deliberating the fate of an officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray have asked the judge for a copy of a transcript from a witness, but the judge has refused to give it to them.
The jury made the request Wednesday during the panel's third day of deliberations in the trial of Officer William Porter, who faces manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct charges.
Jurors told the judge Tuesday afternoon that they were deadlocked, but Circuit Judge Barry Williams told them to keep working.
The jurors have made several requests since they began deliberating Monday. The judge has granted some of them and refused others, saying they were not part of the evidence.
It's not clear exactly what witness transcript they were seeking Wednesday.