Mistrial Declared in Case of Officer Charged in Freddie Gray's Death
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG and JESS BIDGOOD
A judge here on Wednesday declared a mistrial in the case of William G. Porter, the first of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, bringing an irresolute end to this city’s first legal reckoning with the fatal police encounter that prompted a burst of violent protest last spring.
“You believe you’ve reached a point where you believe you will not come to a decision on any of the charges?” Judge Barry G. Williams of the Baltimore City Circuit Court said, shortly after 3 p.m., to the weary-looking group of seven women and five men, seven of whom are black. Jurors were deadlocked on all four charges against Officer Porter.
The judge then dismissed the jurors, who had deliberated for about 16 hours, and convened a brief private conference with lawyers, and announced: “I do declare a mistrial.”
As the drama played out, Officer Porter, 26, and Marilyn J. Mosby, the state’s attorney who charged him and the five other officers, stood on opposite sides of the courtroom, staring straight ahead. The family of Mr. Gray was not in the courtroom.
Officer Porter was charged with manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment and misconduct in office; the state accused him of “callous indifference” to Mr. Gray’s life for failing to call a medic after Mr. Gray asked for one, and for not buckling Mr. Gray into a police transport van, where he suffered a fatal injury to his spinal cord.