Jurors deliberate over fate of officer accused in death of Freddie Gray

BALTIMORE -- Prosecutors say it would have taken just two clicks for Officer William Porter to save Freddie Gray's life: one click to buckle the man, whose ankles and wrists were shackled, into a seatbelt in the back of the police transport van where his neck was broken; another click to call into his police radio for an ambulance after Gray said he needed a medic.

See Full Article

But Porter's attorneys said on the day Gray was injured the officer did more than enough, and that Gray's death had nothing to do with his actions.

"Is two, three, four seconds worth a life?" prosecutor Janice Bledsoe asked the Baltimore jury.

Jurors will have to determine who they believe most: the prosecutors who say Porter is an indifferent cop and criminally responsible for Gray's fatal spinal injury, or the defence attorneys' characterization that he is a falsely accused police officer who asked after Gray and told his supervisors to bring the man to the hospital.

Porter faces charges of manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct. Gray died April 19, a week after he broke his neck in the transport van.

Jurors began deliberations Monday after a two-week trial.

Prosecutors have had to prove criminality by inaction.

His defence countered that the case is based on conjecture, and there is no evidence Porter caused Gray's death.

Porter testified that Gray showed no signs of pain or distress before he arrived at the police station critically injured.

Prosecutors said this was a blatant lie.

"Freddie Gray went into the van healthy and he came out of the van dead," prosecutor Janice Bledsoe reminded jurors.

The transport van "became his casket on wheels" after Porter repeatedly denied Gray medical care and left him handcuffed and shackled but unbuckled, Bledsoe said.

Gray was arrested while fleeing police in his neighbourhood, just seven city blocks from the station, yet police stopped the van repeatedly during a circuitous trip around West Baltimore that stretched on for 45 minutes.

"Click," she said, and then repeated. "How long does that take, to click a seat belt and click a radio and ask for a medic? Is two, three, four seconds worth a life? It's all it would have taken."

Bledsoe showed jurors the unfastened seat belt from the transport wagon. "It's got Gray's blood on it," she said.

"Don't fall for that," countered Porter's attorney Joseph Murtha. He argued that expert witnesses disagreed on exactly when Gray's neck was broken during his trip to the police station, and said this alone should give jurors reasonable doubt.

Gray's death was indeed a "horrific tragedy" but "there is literally no evidence" Porter is responsible, he said. "This case is based on rush to judgment and fear. What's an acronym for fear? False evidence appears real."

Deliberations will continue Tuesday.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Quebec City police say two-year-old girl was stabbed to death

    Canada News CTV News
    QUEBEC -- Police say a two-year-old Quebec girl who died in hospital after being found in a garbage can had been stabbed. Rosalie Gagnon's mother was charged Thursday with arson, mischief and obstructing the work of a police officer in the infant's death. Source
  • Quebec school boards say they're not ready for new surge of asylum seekers

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Quebec schools are feeling the pressure as asylum-seeking families with young children continue to cross the U.S. border into the province. A spokeswoman for one of Montreal's largest school boards says it has had a record number of new students this past year, including some 700 who are asylum seekers. Source
  • Toddler found dead in Quebec City had been stabbed, police confirm

    Canada News CBC News
    Quebec City police say they now have the autopsy results for two-year-old Rosalie Gagnon, found dead in a garbage bin Wednesday, confirming she was stabbed to death. Police are asking residents whose garbage bins have gone missing and who live on or near de Gaulle Avenue to contact 911. Source
  • Supreme court changes guidelines for international child custody cases

    Canada News CTV News
    Canada's top court is issuing new guidelines on how international custody disputes should be judged, saying "all relevant circumstances" should be taken into account when deciding what country a child should live in. The direction from the Supreme Court of Canada comes in a ruling on a custody battle involving parents who clashed on whether their children should live in Canada or Germany. Source
  • Parliament Hill plays host to last annual marijuana rally before legalization

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Cannabis enthusiasts are gathering en masse on Parliament Hill to mark the annual marijuana celebration known as 4-20. The event marks the last time pot users will flock to the Hill to celebrate cannabis culture in late April before the federal government legalizes recreational marijuana later this summer. Source
  • Man accused of student murder not fit for trial: court

    Canada News CTV News
    NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. -- A man accused of murdering a student at a high school in Abbotsford, B.C., has been found unfit to stand trial because of his mental state. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Heather Holmes said Friday that the variability of Gabriel Klein's mental illness must be taken into account. Source
  • A look at each province's rules for marijuana legalization

    Canada News CTV News
    As cannabis culture is celebrated across Canada, the annual 4/20 day carries a special significance for Canadians this year, thanks to the promised legalization of marijuana that’s expected to take effect in the coming months. Source
  • Mourners lining up to pay final respects to Barbara Bush

    World News CTV News
    HOUSTON -- A spray of flowers covered the closed silver casket of former first lady Barbara Bush in the sanctuary of a Houston church as hundreds of mourners began arriving Friday to pay their final respects. Source
  • President George HW Bush greets mourners honouring his wife

    World News CTV News
    HOUSTON -- Former President George H.W. Bush surprisingly greeted some of the hundreds of mourners filing through a large Houston church on Friday as they paid final respects to his wife of 73 years, former first lady Barbara Bush. Source
  • Leaders approve Prince Charles to succeed Queen as Commonwealth head

    World News CBC News
    Prince Charles was approved to succeed Queen Elizabeth as head of the Commonwealth at a Friday meeting of the group's heads of government in the British town of Windsor. "We recognize the role of the Queen in championing the Commonwealth and its peoples," the Commonwealth leaders said in a statement. Source