Judge declares mistrial after jury can’t reach decision in Freddie Gray trial
BALTIMORE–A Baltimore judge says there is a hung jury in the case of a police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray.
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. Porter also faced assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct charges.
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. At least two demonstrators have already been detained.
However, Gray’s family called for peace.
Billy Murphy, who represents Gray’s mother and stepfather, says he has every confidence Porter will be convicted if he is tried a second time, and that the family isn’t angry because they understand that this is “part of how the system works.” It’s not yet known if the state will retry Porter.
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.