BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More key testimony as the prosecution continues to call witnesses in the trial of city police officer William Porter.
Porter is the first of six officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray. He is charged with manslaughter, assault and misconduct in office.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren has more on how Porter’s own words were heard in court.
Freddie Gray’s autopsy is now in evidence. We heard from the assistant medical director about his severe injuries, including that his spinal cord was cut.
But the most powerful prosecution evidence presented against Officer William Porter may have been his own words.
A small group of protesters gathered outside the courthouse, as prosecutors wrapped up the first week of testimony in the case of Officer William Porter by using Porter’s own words against him.
They played jurors a recorded interview of police investigators, where Porter admitted Freddie Gray asked for a medic and repeatedly asked for help while inside the police van.
But Porter thought Gray was faking his injuries. At a later stop, when Porter and a supervisor realized Gray would need to go to the hospital, they believed they would have to take him, so they dealt with Donta Allen, another arrestee in the van first. By then, it was too late. Gray was unresponsive.
“I think it was terrible. I think the man asked for help like four times. He should have been able to get help at the time he asked for help,” said one courtroom observer.
The assistant medical examiner testified about Gray’s severe injuries. She showed jurors pictures of Gray’s spinal cord she described as “functionally cut through.” This, as Gray’s mother watched from the overflow courtroom.
“The defense is going to argue that Officer Porter was forthcoming, candid, had nothing to hide. And that’s going to be their theory,” said University of Maryland law professor Doug Colbert.
Jurors also heard more from Detective Syreeta Teel, the lead internal affairs investigator who said Officer Porter told her Gray said he couldn’t breathe.
Porter also said the officer driving the van, Caesar Goodson, never tried to help Freddie Gray. But Goodson, unlike Porter, never gave a statement to investigators that would haunt him. He’s next to stand trial.