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

  • Canadians' view of U.S. deteriorated under Trump: global survey

    Canada News CTV News
    Canadians’ views of their southern neighbour and their confidence in the U.S. president are at a 15-year low, according to a major new survey of public attitudes in 37 countries. According to results of the Pew Research Center survey, just 43 per cent of Canadians now have a positive view of the United States. Source
  • NHL free agency: Big names, bargains and busts

    Canada News CBC News
    When the NHL's annual unrestricted free agent derby begins on July 1, who should your favourite team target? A number of high-profile names could be available, but many of them are unlikely to move. Source
  • Record-breaking Canadian sniper should be celebrated, Trudeau says

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The record-breaking kill shot by a Canadian sniper in Iraq should be “celebrated,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday, even as he insisted Canada’s mission in the battle-racked country remains a non-combat one. “What happened there is, first of all, something to be celebrated for the excellence of the Canadian Forces in their training, in the performance of their duties,” Trudeau told a news conference. Source
  • U.S. says Myanmar no longer among worst on human trafficking

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The United States asserted Tuesday that Myanmar is no longer one of the world's worst offenders on human trafficking, while removing both Myanmar and Iraq from a list of countries that use child soldiers. Source
  • Historic letter recalls time when Indigenous people were discouraged from 'excessive indulgence' in dancing

    Canada News CBC News
    When Sylvia McAdam posted a 95-year-old letter to Twitter, written by the former deputy superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs, it went viral. That's because in the letter, Duncan Campbell Scott expressed alarm at the increasing rate of dancing on reserves and instructed department staff to use "tact" and "firmness" to "obtain control" and "dissuade the Indians from the excessive indulgence in the practice of dancing. Source
  • Mental-health expert meets with Cape Breton parents after suicides

    Canada News CTV News
    SYDNEY, N.S. -- A mental health expert dispatched to Cape Breton after three recent teen suicides says he's "gobsmacked" by the willingness of grieving parents to help other children and prevent similar deaths. Dr. Source
  • B.C. leading rise in private school enrolment across Canada

    Canada News CBC News
    More parents across Canada are choosing to send their children to private or independent schools, according to a new study from the Fraser Institute. The study found that every province recorded a decline in total K-12 enrolment between 2000–2001 to 2014–2015, except Alberta, which had an increase of 11.6 per cent. Source
  • Teen's sex attacker 'exhibits great potential': Judge

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    SYDNEY, N.S. — A young aboriginal man who sexually assaulted a 16-year-old friend “exhibits great potential” despite a difficult upbringing and should not face a lengthy jail term, a Nova Scotia judge says. Judge James Chipman sentenced Davis Joseph Prosper to four months in jail in a decision the judge said took Prosper’s aboriginal status into account. Source
  • Toronto cop killer granted permission to travel to visit daughter

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The man found not criminally responsible for killing a Toronto police officer while driving a snowplow has been granted permission to travel up to 150 kilometres from his home in Ontario. The Ontario Review Board, which decides if and how not criminally responsible patients should be detained, has granted the leave for Richard Kachkar, who was deemed not criminally responsible for killing Sgt. Source
  • Royal pay hike: Queen to get a raise in 2018

    World News CTV News
    The Queen is about to get a raise, of sorts. The Sovereign Grant, which pays for the household salaries and official travel expenses of the Royal Family, will increase by eight per cent next year. Source