More Witnesses Take The Stand To Defend Porter In Freddie Gray Case

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The defense team for Officer William Porter continues to hammer away at prosecution claims that Porter’s inaction led to the death of Freddie Gray.

WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren has the latest on the trial.

Officer William Porter’s lawyers brought in a parade of witnesses to defend his treatment of Freddie Gray as reasonable.

“The only thing they need to do is convince the jury that there is a reasonable doubt,” said Warren Brown, lawyer and courtroom observer.

Former police commander Timothy Longo, who’s now chief of police in Charlottesville, Virginia, testified as a policing expert.  He believes Porter acted appropriately, telling others officers, including his superior when Gray asked for a medic.

Longo says Porter may have felt it was too dangerous to seat belt Gray in the van as general orders mandate. And he says the van driver hold the primary responsibility for Gray’s safety.

Tessa Hill-Aston, head of the NAACP in Baltimore disagrees.

“I think all of them are responsible. All we know is a person is dead that didn’t need to be dead at the hands of somebody, she said.

The defense also brought in a Western District officers who were with the police wagon at various times.

Of note, because the prosecution gave them immunity before their testimony in front of the grand jury that led to charges of all six officers in the case.

Jurors also heard from a neurosurgeon who said Gray’s injuries would have paralyzed him immediately and they happened after he asked Officer Porter for help.

“The hope that the defense had was to finish strong with expert testimony and character witnesses and that’s another way of leaving the jury with the best impression of Officer Porter,” said Professor Doug Colbert.

So what’s next?

On Friday the trial resumes at 9:15 a.m. and it’s possible the jury could hear from Donta Allen, the man inside the police wagon during the final two stops with Freddie Gray.

The judge says this should all be wrapped up by next Thursday.

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