The jury for the first of the Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray came back today. The result was what I expected, and it wasn’t what the state’s prosecutor was expecting.
In what is a perceived legal blow for prosecutors, the jury was hung and the judge declared a mistrial in the trial of Baltimore police Officer William Porter in connection with Freddie Gray’s death after he sustained injuries while in custody.
Porter was charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office in the April 19 death of Gray, 25, a week after his neck was broken during a ride in the back of a police van. Gray’s death and the subsequent unrest in Baltimore brought to the fore long-simmering tensions in the city and across the nation over socioeconomic disparity and the relationship between law enforcement and the minority communities they serve.
NBC News is splitting hairs when they say “perceived legal blow.” This was a nuclear explosion. Porter was the easiest one of the group and they couldn’t get a conviction in a courtroom in Baltimore.
Prosecutors considered Porter’s case key to strengthening the case against Caesar Goodson Jr., who was driving the van. It was also seen as a signal of how the trials of the five other officers could go.
The remaining trials are set for early next year.
I’m expecting the parts of Baltimore that the Mayor didn’t let rioters burn down last time around to go up in flames tonight. Speaking of going up in flames …
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby was in court for the announcement, but she, like all parties in the case, is still under a gag order until all six officers’ trials are complete.
Mosby and the Mayor are probably the two most incompetent officials in the history of Baltimore, a city that’s been governed by corrupt and frequently incompetent Democrats of color for over 40 years. I suspect they’re thinking about their employment options outside of politics.
Sign up to get alerts from Joe!