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Freddie Gray Trial Day 3: Officer’s Video Statement Played

Freddie Gray Trial Day 3: Officer’s Video Statement Played

Jury hears Police Officer William Porter’s statement

Today is day three (excluding two days of jury selection) of the trial of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter, charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment following the in-custody injury and later death of community drug dealer Freddie Gray.

As part of the day’s proceedings the jury heard a video recorded statement given by Officer Porter to investigators only 5 days after Gray’s injury. Unfortunately, given the primitive nature of Baltimore’s judicial system that actual recorded statement is not accessible to the public for independent assessment.  We must therefore rely on “journalism” to inform us.

The Baltimore Sun reports today that:

Baltimore Police Officer William G. Porter told investigators that he saw no reason to call a medic for Freddie Gray, but was poised to take him to a hospital for treatment.

Porter said he knew Gray from prior interactions and that he had a reputation for being difficult to arrest. He said Gray seemed lethargic, but responded to questions and did not articulate a specific medical problem.

“I said, ‘What’s your deal, what’s wrong with you. .. He doesn’t say anything, just ‘help,'” Porter told the investigators. Later, he said, “He doesn’t ask to go to the hospital … I offer, he says yes.”

Yesterday, according to CNN, Police Instructor Alice Carson Johnson had testified that “If you recognize someone needs medical assistance, always call 911 or EMS.  A police officer is provided with the ability through appropriate training to make a determination if someone is in a medical emergency.”

Upon cross-examination, however, she conceded that someone like Freddie Gray who is verbally complaining that they could not breath, and who was therefore necessarily speaking, most certainly must also be breathing.

Also from yesterday’s testimony was raised the issue of whether Porter had ever actually been substantively informed of the new seatbelt requirement, after roughly 160 years of the department having no no such seatbelt requirement.

The head of IT for the Baltimore Police Department, Andrew Jaffee, testified that an email had been sent to all department personnel about the seatbelt rule just days prior to the Gray injury.  He could not, however, testify as to whether Porter had actually received or seen the email notification. He also testified that the department’s computers were slow and had problems.

In yet another indication of the total disconnect between the theoretical training and protocols of the Baltimore Police Department and what officers actually have to deal with on the city’s streets:

Police training instructors have testified that it is department policy to call for a medic for anyone who appears injured or asks to be taken to a hospital. Porter told investigators, however, that arrestees regularly feigned injury to avoid going to jail, and that medics routinely wouldn’t respond when requested unless an “exigent” situation was apparent.

“The medic won’t take a prisoner if we already have a transport vehicle,” Porter told investigators. “You transport them in the wagon.”

Porter’s video statement was introduced into evidence through the testimony of Detective Syreeta Teel, the lead investigator in Gray’s death. As one reflection of the ludicrous nature of these criminal charges against Porter and other officers, the Baltimore Sun reports that Teel testified “that she considered Porter a witness, not a suspect, and did not follow protocols for interviewing a suspect for that reason.”

I expect that whether Gray was seat belted into the van came up exactly zero times in the course of Detective Teel’s interview of Officer Porter.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Attorney Andrew Branca and his firm Law of Self Defense have been providing internationally-recognized expertise in American self-defense law for almost 20 years in the form of blogging, books, live seminars & online training (both accredited for CLE), public speaking engagements, and individualized legal consultation.
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“that she considered Porter a witness, not a suspect, and did not follow protocols for interviewing a suspect for that reason.”

Ouch, that had to hurt.

Andrew, I also noticed that the M.E. testified today after the detective.

Not sure I agree with the title of the article;

I can not wait for Donta Allen’s testimony. If the information that was in the WApo and Baltimore Sun story is correct, this thing ought to be all over. I can not imagine any lawyer not being able to make a jury see that his first story under police questioning was the correct story based on the circumstances of second statement. He will probably be difficult,but they should be able to show the second story was just to protect his hide.Mr Branca ,is there anyway to get into testimony the fight they had to go thru to get Donta’s info from Mosby.
The judge had to order her to turn him over in Oct ,and her turnover date was June.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to dmi60ex. | December 4, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    @ dmi60ex

    I think you were the one discussing/asking questions about Gray’s spinal cord injury weren’t you? Well if I am wrong sorry.

    This is from way back in June and I hadn’t really paid attention to it before, it claims to be an excerpt from Mr. Gray’s autopsy, if it is authentic then well Mr. Gray has about a snow balls chance in a super nova of “living”.

    I would draw your attention to the second sentence of the second paragraph.

    “Mr. Gray exhibited dilated pupils and showed no motor response to stimuli.”

    Pupils fixed and dilated and no response to stimuli. Not to put to fine a point on it, but by the time they resuscitated Mr. Gray he was basically vegetative.

    “Admission toxicological testing was positive for the presence of opiates and cannabinoid in the urine.”

If DA testimony holds up this would basically clear White Porter and Goodsen . I bet though , not one media outlet would figure that out or call for dropping charges.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to dmi60ex. | December 4, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Actually I am expecting them to get them on the “not calling an ambulance” thing. So probably the “Misconduct in Office” charge.

Gremlins thanks for the info on Freddies resuscitation. I wonder why the did surgery.I think the Dueling Doctors testifying will earn their money on this one.

Mike McDaniel at his blog questioned the admissibility of the Officers statements in reference to the LEO law in Maryland . Have you any thoughts on that . Sounds like a good amount of possible appeal material. Maybe judge has taken a calculated bet there will be no conviction. I can’t quite get some of his rulings, change of venue, unless he is hardheaded, biased of just making a calculated bet there will be no conviction, and he gets out of this thing with the least political damage.

    holdingmynose in reply to dmi60ex. | December 5, 2015 at 7:05 am

    The entire Charm City political establishment, of which judges are a part, are committed to appeasing the mod to prevent another riot. They all need a conviction. The judge will be happy to let the appeals court reverse his rulings so long as the mob does not come after him. Convictions may be tossed out on appeal but officers may not live long enough in The Free State’s BGF dominated prisons to survive.

Holding my nose you are probably right there. Page Croyder in her blog stated that if this case did not qualify for change of venue,none did.If that is the case ,the judge is just part of the lynch mob with Mosby, it is sad to know there will be no consequences.

    dystopia in reply to dmi60ex. | December 5, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Outside protestors chants audible to potential jurors. A city on edge. A jury chosen in two days. Juror’s who have to return to this city on the brink — and face irrational and angry neighbors.

    That the charges were allowed to stand at all – preordains the outcome. Negligence involves a deviation from the usual standard of care. That standard must be fixed by procedures police officers in the field actually follow on a day to day basis.

    Reminds me of Stalinist show trials.

      legalbeagle in reply to dystopia. | December 5, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      Under the prosecution theory of the case — hereafter the Mosby Doctrine: the entire Baltimore City Police Command structure is criminally liable. For these commanders knowingly permitted deviations from written guidelines and failed to properly implement new guidelines.

      Proper implementation includes documented officer trained and reporting.

“Admission toxicological testing was positive for the presence of opiates and cannabinoid in the urine.”

Did they say how what the levels of opiates and cannabinoids were? I was wondering if they contributed to Gray’s symptoms.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to blacksburger. | December 5, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    No no levels were indicated, since it was just an excerpt of the narrative portion of the report. But if he had high lvls of opiates in his system it could have affected his breathing.

ME said Freddie was injured between 2nd and 4th stop . The statement that was played stated that Porter sat Freddie up on a bench and had a lengthy conversation with him I would imagine that the defense caught that . I would assume they have not cross examined ME yet . I have not read any cross yet . I bet that is going to cause some uncomfortable exchanges. If the autopsy is as reported the wording of accident death with a caveat of homicide because of non use of belts could be very tough to explain.

Additional the conversation with Porter and Freddie was 4th stop