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Dan Gilmore / December 17, 2015

Hung Jury in First Trial Over Freddie Gray Death

This throws up a barrier to the city’s rush to “justice.”

In a decision that satisfied no one, the judge presiding over the trial of Officer William Porter, the first of six police officers tried over the April death of Freddie Gray, declared a mistrial. After the jury deliberated for three days, they were unable to come to an agreement over the verdicts of the four charges Porter faced: involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. The death of Gray after his neck was broken while in a police transport van sparked riots in Baltimore. The city’s officials acted quickly, with State Attorney Marilyn Mosby throwing the book at the officers with such force they responded by accusing the attorney of having a conflict of interest. It didn’t help that when Mosby announced the charges, she said, “To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for ‘No Justice, No Peace.’” Furthermore, the city implied that it thought its police officers were guilty by settling with Gray’s family for $6.4 million before the criminal cases ever hit court. This hung jury throws up a barrier to the city’s rush to “justice.” In preparation of the blowback it would receive, the city braced for more protests, and three school districts canceled field trips into the city. As for Porter, he told a reporter from the Baltimore Sun “It’s not over yet,” as the city can still decide to prosecute him again.

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