BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The trial of the officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray is likely to be the biggest Baltimore has ever seen and there are concerns over whether they can get a fair one.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren has the latest.
So how will the high-profile nature of the case impact the trial?
“It’s going to be very hard to find someone who was not impacted by Freddie Gray’s death,” said Rob Waldeck, legal analyst.
Rob Waldeck has represented numerous police officers and he believes the critical factor now is whether the defendants can get the trial moved out of Baltimore.
Waldeck says, “You want to put your clients in an isolation chamber where no one could get to them. You want to go to a bedroom community for example, or some rural community, that’s where you want to move it. A place where people don’t feel they’ve been put in a negative situation and police are part of the problem, he said. “If they don’t grant the change of venue that would be grounds for appeal and create the need for an re-trial.”
So how likely is it the trial will move from Baltimore?
Andy Levy has practiced law for years here.
“It’s not only have the jurors heard about the case, but the jurors were affected by the case,” said Andy Levy, legal analyst.
And would they be less likely to find the defendants not guilty if they thought it would cause another riot?
This all comes at a time of increased scrutiny and tension in the Baltimore City Police Department, which is still under federal investigation for how its officers use force.
Whats the ideal juror?
“A lot of the usual rules in terms of how you try the case, the type of juror you look for, don’t necessarily apply. The prosecution here would be probably less interested in jurors who defer to authority,” said Levy.
“First off, it would be someone who had never been arrested, has positive interactions with police officers,” Waldeck says.
And as for the officers charged–hope they don’t turn state’s evidence on each other.
Waldeck says, “They have a lot to lose–so they’re not to turn around and do something that would have them lose their job.”
State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby had argued for a gag order to shut everyone down from talking about this case but has lost that battle. The defense has criticize her initial press conference for announcing the charges–they said she has gone too far.