BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As the first trial for one of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray nears, another pre-trial hearing is set for Tuesday. Among the issues to be decided: whether or not cell phone video of Gray’s arrest will be allowed in court and whether jurors will get to inspect the inside of the police van where Gray suffered his fatal injuries. It is exactly one week until that first trial for Officer William Porter gets underway. There are still many questions about what exactly led to Freddie Gray’s death.
Vic Carter looks ahead at what we may finally learn.
In April, the death of a Baltimore man forever changed our city. Freddie Gray died from injuries he suffered while in a police van. When the trial for the first of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray gets underway, the eyes of the world will be focused on our courthouse—but a number of questions remain unanswered—and it’s evidence that will be presented here that will hopefully answer the mystery of what happened on April 12, 2015.
“No one is above the law,” said City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby in April, when she announced all six officers would face charges. “We have probably cause to file criminal charges.”
Mosby announced charges against the six officers. The first to stand trial is Officer William Porter, charged with manslaughter and misconduct in office.
One of the biggest mysteries remains exactly what happened to Freddie Gray inside the police van. What caused his critical injuries that led to his death?
“We know some things went tremendously wrong,” said law enforcement expert Dr. Tyone Powers.
Powers tells WJZ what he thinks will be revealed in court.
“I think what’s going to shock some people is the position of the body in the paddywagon and it will say to us clearly that something—some intervention—should have been done earlier on because it was clear he was in bad shape,” Powers said.
And Porter told police investigators Gray asked to go to the hospital.
Attorney Adam Ruther tells WJZ that statement is key evidence in Porter’s trial.
“That testimony—that statement—will come in against him and the state will try to use that testimony as evidence that the officer acted with disregard for Mr. Gray’s life,” Ruther said.
Porter’s fate will be in the hands of a jury—but the outcome of this first trial could have a deep, lasting impact on our city.
How difficult is it going to be for both sides involved to proceed with the case knowing that the outcome could affect emotions here in Baltimore?
“Obviously, practically it’s going to weigh heavily on everybody’s minds,” Ruther said. “Baltimore has seen a lot of high-profile cases bu tit’s been a long time since a case has resulted in the public outcry and the disturbances that this case has.”
“Chaos is very predictable and because it’s predictable, it’s preventable and that needs to take place right now,” Powers said.
The next officer set to stand trial is Caesar Goodson, who is charged with second degree murder.