Freddie Gray Trial: Defense Witnesses Further Crush State’s Case
Medical expert: Gray’s injury “non-survivable.” Police expert: “Porter’s conduct objectively reasonable.” BPD Officer: “No one’s belted in.”
We’re now into the second day of the defense’s case in the “Freddie Gray” trial of Police Officer William Porter, and it looks more and more like this prosecution has even less of a leg to stand on than did the prosecution of George Zimmerman.
In the Zimmerman trial one could at least reasonably argue that Zimmerman made a tactical, if not legal, error in placing himself in an ambush zone, and got himself ambushed. In Porter’s case it looks increasingly like he did nothing, literally nothing, wrong in his interactions with Gray.
For illustrative purposes, let’s consider the most serious of the charges for which Porter is being tried, involuntary manslaughter (essentially the same analysis applies to the lesser charges of second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment, as well, but I only have so much time for blogging).
First let’s note that even the prosecution concedes that Porter committed no affirmative act that caused Gray harm. They are therefore attempting to convict him of involuntary manslaughter based on a failure to act, an “act of omission.”
It is, indeed, possible for a failure to act to provide the basis for involuntary manslaughter, but only where: (1)(a) there existed and (b) the defendant was aware (or should have been aware) that there existed a legal duty to act, (2) the defendant was aware the circumstances raised the legal duty, and (3) the defendant knew or should have known that the failure to meet their legal duty presented a substantial and unjustifiable risk to the victim’s life.
Note that all of these elements are necessary to reach a verdict of guilty on a charge of involuntary manslaughter.
In Porter’s case the prosecution is arguing that he violated two legal duties: (1) Porter failed to buckle Gray into the van, and (2) Porter ‘s alleged delay in providing medical care to Gray.
Let’s take each of those in turn.
A. Failure to Buckle Gray Into the Van
Let’s first look at Porter’s failure to buckle Gray into the police van and see if it meets the three criteria necessary for involuntary manslaughter. The questions that must be answered, and incidentally proven to the satisfaction of a unanimous jury beyond a reasonable doubt, become:
(1)(a) Did there exist a legal duty to buckle Gray into the van?
The prosecution is arguing that the Baltimore Police Department’s new rule that arrestees must be buckled into police vans, enacted days before Gray’s arrest, created imposed legal duty upon Porter, and that the failure to meet that legal duty constitutes a crime.
But did the new seatbelt rule impose a legal duty upon Porter?
One of today’s expert witnesses for the defense was Police Chief Timothy Longo, of Charlottesville VA, who among other things was a member of the Baltimore Police Department for 18 years, including command positions, and also an independent monitor for the Department of Justice consent judgment for the Cincinnati police department.
Chief Longo testified that the new seatbelt rule, indeed any simple departmental policy, could not create such a legal duty, if only for the simple practical reason that police officers are required to use their considerable discretion in the application of any departmental rule to the real-world circumstances they encounter. Longo noted that officers must use their discretion all the time, and routinely “run afoul” of official directives doing so. The only requirement is that are able to articulate a reasonable basis for doing so. Longo went on to testify that in his expert opinion Porter’s conduct in not belting Gray was, in fact, “objectively reasonable.”
We can recall from Porter’s own testimony yesterday that he was indeed able to articulate a reasonable rationale for not entering the van the buckle in Gray, including the very tight quarters that would require him to place his sidearm within Gray’s reach.
Longo also noted that even if there existed such a legal duty, that duty fell upon other officers. I expect he’s referencing the driver of the van in particular, Officer Goodson, as well as some of the more senior officers on the scene.
In addition, Longo testified that orders such as the seatbelt directive were grounds only for internal administrative discipline, not criminal liability. He reportedly stated numerous times that broken general orders should be dealt with administratively, not criminally (resulting in an objection from the prosecution).
Conclusion: It seems extremely unlikely that a reasonable jury could unanimously conclude that the prosecution has proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that there existed a legal duty for Porter to buckle Gray into the van.
(1)(b) Was Porter aware (or should have been aware) that a legal duty existed to buckle Gray into the van?
Even if we were to concede that there existed a legal duty to buckle Gray into the police van (and I do not so concede), was Porter aware that such a legal duty existed?
The State claims that the new seatbelt directive was emailed to all officers, and thus that Porter was aware, or should have been aware, of the directive and thus the existence of the legal duty. Porter denies he ever saw such an email, or received any other notice of the seatbelt directive.
Porter himself testified that the Baltimore Police Department was a department in disarray, citing concrete examples such as the inappropriately low number of police officers and supervisors on hand at the time of Gray’s arrest.
The Department’s own head of IT described their computer systems as slow and poorly functioning. Even assuming that an email was sent, there is no evidence that it was received or seen by Porter.
One also can’t help considering the matter in the context of the department’s catastrophically failed response to the rioting following Gray’s death. There seem to be a great many people who feel the department did too much and others who feel they did too little, but nobody who seems willing to credibly characterize the Baltimore Police Department as a finely tuned law enforcement agency. The recent firing of the department’s head similarly attests to a troubled organization.
It is also notable that yesterday the prosecution displayed to Porter a directive, signed by the Porter, regarding the provision of medical care to arrestees, but that the prosecution is apparently unable to find any similarly concrete evidence that Porter was actually informed of the seatbelt directive.
Clearly the department has a procedure for documenting such notifications of departmental directives, why are they not able to provide such documentation with respect to the seatbelt directive?
Conclusion: It seems extremely unlikely that a reasonable jury could unanimously conclude that the prosecution has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Porter was aware, or should have been aware, of the new seatbelt directive.
(2) Was Porter aware that the circumstances raised the legal duty?
I’ll skip this one in the context of the seatbelt directive, but will address it in the context of the alleged failure to provide medical care.
(3) Did Porter know, or should he have known, that the failure to meet that legal duty presented a substantial and unjustifiable risk to the victim’s life?
It is also notable that the Baltimore police department made do without seatbelt rule for the entirety of its 160 year existence until just a few days before Gray’s arrest. Is it credible now for the State to argue that the Baltimore Police Department was creating a substantial and unjustifiable risk to human life for that entire period?
Surely if that were the case arrestees would have been suffering life-threatening injuries at a sufficient rate that the seatbelt directive would have been put in place decades, not mere days, before Gray’s arrest.
On this point it is also worth noting yesterday’s testimony of both Porter himself as well as that of Baltimore Police Officer Zachary Novak. Porter had testified that he had personally been involved in some 150 arrests involving the use of a police van and had never seen an arrestee buckled in.
Officer Novak, interestingly, had been granted immunity by the State in exchange for his testimony, yet was actually called as a witness by the defense. The reason for this oddity may be the nature of Novak’s testimony: Novak agreed with Porter that few arrestees placed in police vans are belted into place.
This issue is, of course, one of the two keys the charges against Porter.
This afternoon the defense also presented the testimony of another Baltimore Police Officer, Mark Gladhill. Gladhill was among the officers at some points during Gray’s arrest and transport, but was not charged in the case. He was called to testify by the State before the Grand Jury. Like Novak, Gladhill had been granted immunity by the State, and had testified before the Grand Jury.
In his testimony in court today Officer Gladhill stated he has been involved in perhaps 75 arrests, most of which involved a police wagon. He went on to testify that prior to April 12, 2015, the date of Gray’s arrest, he had never seen an arrestee seat belted into a transport van.
If it is true that the actual practice of the Baltimore police department as an organization, and perhaps regardless of some new rule, was to not buckle arrestees into police vans, in order to believe the State’s “seat belt omission” theory of the case it is necessary to believe that the virtually the entire Baltimore Police Department was engaged in creating a substantial and unjustifiable risk to human life, every single day.
Conclusion: It seems impossible that a reasonable jury could unanimously conclude that the prosecution has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Porter knew, or should have known, that the failure to buckle Gray in created a substantial and unjustifiable risk to Gray’s life.
B. Alleged Delay in Providing Gray With Medical Care
Now let’s look at Porter’s alleged delay in providing Gray with care. The questions that must be answered, and incidentally proven to the satisfaction of a unanimous jury beyond a reasonable doubt, become:
(1)(a) Did there exist a legal duty to provide Gray with medical care?
The answer to this question in general is surely affirmative, at least at the point at which it is evident that an arrestee is in need of medical care. The arrestee, being in custody, cannot seek their own care, and thus the duty necessarily falls to the officers who have him in custody.
(1)(b) Was Porter aware (or should have been aware) that a legal duty existed to provide Gray with medical care?
As noted above, the State is in possession of a directive, signed by Porter, on the duty to provide medical care to arrestees. In any case, Porter has never denied the legal duty to provide medical care to arrestees, when necessary to do so.
(2) Was Porter aware that the circumstances raised the legal duty?
And here’s the rub. Was Porter aware, or should he have been aware, that the circumstances raised the legal duty to provide Gray with medical care?
The key issue here becomes at what point in the interaction did Porter become aware that Gray had suffered an injury that clearly warranted medical intervention.
Given the nature of the facts of the case, the easiest way to describe the timing of relevant events is in terms of the sequential stops the van made between Gray being first loaded aboard (1st stop) and the van arriving at its final destination (6th stop, at which point Gray was provided with care).
The State claims that Gray suffered his sole injury, an 80% cleavage of the spinal cord, after the 2nd but prior to the 4th stop of the van. Per the autopsy report the State claims the injury occurred:
[A]fter the 2nd but before the 4th stop of the van, and possibly before the 3rd stop. … At this 4th stop, Mr. Gray was displaying symptoms of a high spinal cord injury; difficulties in breathing and movement.
Thus, they claim that Porter did observe, or should have observed, Gray suffering the consequences of his spinal injury at the 4th and 5th stops, yet Porter failed to provide medical care until the 6th and final stop.
The official autopsy report indicates that at the 2nd stop Gray was removed from the van and had his ankles shackled because he was yelling and shaking the van. He was then slid onto the floor of the van, rather than buckled into a seat. At that point Gray was still verbally and physically active.
At the 3rd stop stop Officer Goodson opened the rear of the van to observe Gray. There is no indication in the autopsy report of Porter observing Gray at that time.
Then van continued, then made a 4th stop when the van driver called for assistance to check on Gray. Gray complained that he could not breath, which of course is itself evidence that he could indeed breath. Porter himself testified that Gray asked for medical care, but was unable state a specific medical need, and that it did not appear to Porter that Gray was in great need of such care. It was at this point that Porter assisted Gray in raising himself to get into the van’s seat.
In any case, Porter testified, it was the practice of the police and medic community that medic would not normally transport an arrestee who was already aboard police transport. Instead, the practice was that the police themselves would transport the arrestee to the medic. Which is what the van continued to do in this case.
At the 5th stop Gray appeared lethargic, but was still at least minimally responsive to direct questions. In testimony today Officer Mark Gladhill stated that at the 5th stop he observed Gray from a distance of 10 feet kneeling, bearing his own weight, and holding his head up.
Interestingly, he also testified that he had recounted this observation to both the Grand Jury and the Force Investigation Team (FIT team) of the Baltimore Police Department, meaning that this testimony was known to prosecutors months before this trial began.
(It is notable that the FIT team had been put in place by now discarded Police Commissioner Anthony Batts specifically for the purpose of investigating police use-of-force cases. It has been widely reported that Prosecutor Mosby ran her own, clandestine “parallel” investigation into the Freddie Gray arrest, and it was on her “parallel investigation’s” findings that she charged six Baltimore police officers with criminal responsibility for Gray’s death. It has also been widely reported that the FIT team had come to markedly different conclusions that would not have supported criminal charges. Immediately following Commissioner Batts’ dismissal the FIT team was thoroughly crushed, every one of its members discarded, and a newly organized and named group established to assume the FIT teams’ mission. “Sow the soil with salt,” indeed.)
It was also at this stop that Donte Allan, another arrestee, was placed in the adjoining compartment of the police van. Allan would go on to report that he could hear Gray throwing himself around the inside of the van. The autopsy report notes “By report, [Allan] said that he heard Mr. Gray banging and kicking through the metal divider [separating the two compartments].”
(It is worth nothing that Gray apparently had a reputation for deliberately injuring himself when arrested in an effort to allege a legal claim against the police department.)
Allan would later rescind his initial statement, but it is noteworthy that there appears little reason for Allan to have fabricated the initial statement and a lot of incentive to falsely rescind one it was clear the initial statement was to advantageous to of the Baltimore Police Department. I mean here specifically the “snitches get stitches” culture of urban Baltimore, as testified to at this trial.
It was at the next stop, the 6th, that Gray was found unresponsive and not breathing, and medical care was immediately provided.
The question, then, is between which stops did Gray’s ultimately mortal injury occur? If it occurred only after the 5th stop, then in fact Porter and the other officers provided Gray with medical care as soon as they were aware he had suffered the injury.
If, however, the injury occurred at some point prior to the 5th stop then perhaps the police might have observed the injured Gray and improperly delayed providing him with medical care, this being of course the prosecution’s case.
The State’s medical examiner, Dr. Carol Allan, testified for the state that in her expert opinion the injury did, in fact, occur at one of the earlier stops.
(It is noteworthy that it has been widely reported that Dr. Allan was pressured by Prosecutor Mosby’s office to change her finding of cause of death from “accident” to “homicide” only hours before the report’s public release.)
Of course, for Dr. Allan’s opinion to be correct it must be the case that it was possible for Gray to suffer his catastrophic neck injury, an 80% cleavage of the spine, and still engage in the physical acts observed in later stops, such as verbalizing that he could not breathe, requesting medical care and cooperating with Porter to be lifted into the van seat at the 4th stop, as well as kneeling and supporting his body weight and head at the 5th stop.
Dr. Allan’s opinion that the spinal injury occurred between the 2nd and 4th stops is, of course, necessarily speculation on her part, as there was no witness in the compartment with Gray, and no working cameras inside the van (another indication, incidentally, that the Baltimore Police Department is not a finely tuned law enforcement agency). As speculation, this certainly seems insufficient to constitute proof beyond a reasonable doubt, even if the defense presented no credible contrary evidence.
Sadly for the prosecution, the defense has presented extremely credible evidence to the contrary.
Yesterday saw the testimony of Dr. Vincent Di Maio, a world-renowned forensic pathologist who testifies in a great many high-profile trials (including the trials of George Zimmerman and Phil Spector).
Dr. Di Maio utterly discounted the State’s claim that Gray could possibly have been injured at any time prior to the second to last stop, and instead testified that Gray must necessarily have been injured after the 5th stop. As reported by the Baltimore Sun:
Dr. Vincent Di Maio, a forensic pathologist and former chief medical examiner in San Antonio, said Gray’s injury was “so violent, it’s so high-energy,” that it would have immediately caused Gray to lose control of his body and his diaphragm, which is critical for breathing and speaking.
“This has all the appearances of a single catastrophic injury,” he said.
Gray could not have suffered his severe spinal cord, then, at the fourth stop of the van in which he was injured, when Porter found him on the floor of the van and Gray allegedly asked for help, said he couldn’t breathe and said he needed a medic.
The injury had essentially “cut off the head from the body” in a neurological sense, Di Maio testified. He said Gray’s spinal cord was 80 percent crushed.
“You had a head and a body and they were disconnected,” he said. “You aren’t feeling anything. You aren’t able to move. He was paralyzed. He was quadriplegic.”
Di Maio said he believed Gray was injured between the fifth and sixth stops, and that his death was not a homicide as state medical examiner Dr. Carol Allan found, but an accident.
“It’s just an accident,” he said, “and accidents happen.”
Today we heard from another defense expert witness, neurosurgeon Dr. Matthew Ammerman, who concurred with Dr. Di Maio’s assessment.
Dr. Ammerman testified that in his expert opinion Gray’s grievous spinal injury would have immediately paralyzed him and made it impossible for him to breathe. In his expert opinion Gray’s injuries:
“immediately rendered him paralyzed, stopped him from breathing, and unfortunately ended his life.”
Dr. Ammerman noted that if the injury had occurred earlier it would not have physically possible for Gray to use his legs to assist Porter at the 4th stop in lifting Gray into the van’s seat. He also testified that in his expert opinion no faster care for Gray would have saved his life:
“I don’t think it was a survivable injury.”
Conclusion: Given that the State’s evidence on this issue consists solely of Medical Examiner Allan’s speculative notions about what might have happened, and when, inside the van, and the defense evidence consisting of the testimony of two world-class experts who were absolute in their opinion that none of Gray’s observed physical activity during the 3rd, 4th, or 5th stops could possibly have occurred subsequent to the 80% cleavage of Gray’s spine, it seems impossible that a reasonable jury could unanimously conclude that the prosecution had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Gray’s injury occurred prior to the 5th stop such that Porter could have called for medical care at an earlier time than the 6th stop.
(3) Did Porter know, or should he have known, that the failure to meet that legal duty presented a substantial and unjustifiable risk to the victim’s life?
This point becomes moot, given the reasonable impossibility of proving the prior point beyond a reasonable doubt.
In short, on neither of the prosecution’s claims of involuntary manslaughter by failure to buckle and delay in providing medical care do I foresee a reasonable jury unanimously coming to a verdict of guilty. Much the same applies to the lesser charges.
Of course, one can never really count on a reasonable jury.
That’s it for tonight folks. We’ll have more William Porter trial coverage tomorrow, and naturally there are many more trials to come after this one.
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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What Mosby has done to these 6 officers is evil, and yet thee does not appear to be any way to right the wrong.
She’s elected. The people of Baltimore chose her. Anyone who does not want to be under her authority should simply leave.
I was thinking about these 6 individuals. Liives completely upended for (at least in the case of Porter) doing their jobs.
Leaving’s not always simple, Andrew.
Sure, I get it, it’s why I have another year-plus in Massachusetts.
But “not easy” doesn’t mean impossible. I AM leaving Massachusetts.
Live in the same house for 40 years and get back to me on how easy it would be to move. In any event, some of us don’t believe in running away, but in making a stand someplace. How many times are you willing to move away from trouble, only to have it eventually find you again?
I’m not telling you what to do. You want to stay in Baltimore, stay in Baltimore. It means nothing to me.
But so long as you stay in Baltimore, you’re subject to the authority of Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby, for as long as she’s in office, and whatever loon follows her afterward, ad infinitum.
No need to be touchy, sir.
My point, which I have apparently failed to make clear, is that wherever you live, your “safety” is only guaranteed until the next local election. If that long.
Suppose you’d lived your entire life in Hamtramck, only to find that the muslims have just taken over the city council? That’s not the fault of the Polish-Americans who stayed, but it should be on the conscience of all those who left, rather than work to keep things sane.
I’m in the same spot as you, in that whatever you do doesn’t affect me.
This was meant only as a comment on the American condition, and the extent to which people have brought trouble upon themselves with all this un-rootedness that characterizes the last couple of generations.
And there are related quality-of-life problems. I just finished reading an article reporting that at least 20% of the population assumes they will never live to pay off all their debt. To be over 55 and still in debt for a mortgage or education is inconceivable to me. Yet I have family members in their mid seventies who are still in hock.
Andrew – I was responding to your adverb – “simply” leave. Simple to say, not necessarily to do.
Andrew: We in the Flyover States would be proud to welcome you. I made the move from the East Coast to Flyover Country six years ago. Besides overzealous looney prosecutors, overpopulation and overpopulated welfare rolls, corruption, endless traffic jams, and a “cop behind every tree” acting to raise revenue for the state… etc etc etc… I’ve never looked back. Cities like Baltimore, NYNY, DC, Philly, LA, SF (or states like MA, CA, IL, MD) will never stop voting Democrat, so the best solution is to simply get the hell out.
Have you decided yet where you are gonna hang your hat once you leave the commonwealth?
Andrew, when contemplating which of the 57 states to move to, please consider North Carolina. Mountains to the west of me, oceans to the east. Damn fine bunch of folks in between . . .
NC is at the top of MY list, as I have existing connections in the Hickory area.
Sadly, Denver is at the top of my WIFE’S list, as her entire family lives there.
Good luck Mr. Branca. Tough call, but one thing I can definitely recommend is to spring for heavy duty moving boxes. Stick to small or medium.. We just moved to SC, so I am somewhat biased. Oh, and thanks as always, for the informative (understandable) article. What I wondered about was whether or not the defense explained all that to the jurors as clearly as your write up.
Come Hell or high water, the best people should leave. I would not stay in a city full of people who elect such a person as Mosby.
I feel the same way now about the U.S. electorate and obastard , if he was in fact re-elected fairly. But it’s a lot harder to leave a country than just a city.
Baltimore would have been in my rear-view mirror with O’Malley as mayor, let alone the cretin sitting as mayor now as well as Prosecutrix Mosby.
I agree with your statement that you could not stay in a city where the people elected something like Mosby. Yet you stayed in the US after the same deranged people elected obama TWICE! I don’t think running is the answer unless you have small kids or a business that is in danger of being looted repeatedly.
Baltimore is a homogenous political construct. The United States is not.
Example: concealed carry.
She ran as a cop-friendly prosecutor, and had only been in office a few months at the time of Gray’s arrest. Not much time to act, considering the officers would have to see the future as well as secure new jobs elsewhere.
Hm. So if the defense wins in this case under these circumstances, can the prosecution manage *any* kind of case against the remaining officers?
I.e. we have “He was OK when he went into the van” and “There was no saving him after the accident in the van” as conditions, therefore any officers in contact with him before or after the van could not have influenced his resulting death.
All the democratic socialists were trying to do is put off the jury finding until a BIG snowfall so the ubangies would be house bound and less likely to burn down more of Baltimore when the NOT GUILTY verdict is read.
I don’t think it’s productive to use racially-charged language as you have, particularly in this forum. As someone who lives five minutes from where the last riots started, I’d like to appeal to the rest of you–especially those living out of MD–for as much civility as they’d like to see from the potential rioters. Is that really too much to ask?
I’m more like fifteen minutes away – heartily concur.
Yes, because the rioters only rioted because some people in some comment section of some blog they’ve never even heard of made some off-color remarks.
Because the answer to objectionable speech, true or not, is violence.
Because there is something other their own anti-white racist animus that drives the people behind this whole fiasco.
Because the only way to solve this problem destroying our society is to keep quiet, smile as they burn your city down, and whatever you do, “Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry”.
That’s not the point, and you know it was not meant to be the point.
You have no right to complain about black people being haters if you are yourself a hater. Grow up.
Stan47, that’s bull and you know it. I don’t care if people hate or not – it’s part of the First Amendment prohibiting the govt from interfering. It is the haters who act out on their hate that are the problem, and indeed commit crimes of violence most of the times when they do act out.
Stop thinking like a liberal and you’ll be much more free and much less annoying to free thinkers.
Yes, this entire case is bull$hit, and should never have been brought. Marilyn Mosby is the one who should be facing charges here, from the Maryland State Bar.
Mr Branca for your make fun of Mosby story
Corruption , deal making cronyism and an ethics complaint by police union within 5 hours of taking office ,. There are also some stories by the Baltimore Sun
Excellent account! I look forward to following your reports on the Gray case. You are going to be busy!
She is a trip , but so is the other prosecutor , I wonder if the rush to cover up Freddies medical history is to cover Freddies cash for crash scheme for more than trial reasons . Not sure Freddie was smart enough to be the brains behind this . . He was arrested on the targeted street corner within several days of Mosbys directive and also a couple weeks later . ( convenient) Maybe he got sent back because the first injury was not “thick ” enough to pursue . ” Someone ” told police not to do the defenses work and pursue the cash for crash schemes, “someone” defended Freddie before and was possibly aware of activities . “Someone” leaked Donta Allen’s name and “someones” girlfriend interviewed him to recant his story . Someone ? just happened to make sure the note that the office had about Freddies previous injury came up ‘missing”. Someone decided not to call the doctors in the hospital who treated Freddie , maybe to keep more medical history out . Mosby has the SJW reason to pursue , perhaps others have other motives ( muddy the waters ) Just saying!! and saying no names Be in a position to keep watch on things , farm out the actual trial work to others , deniabilty
That’s an interesting hypothesis. Personally, I find it more plausible to believe in some combination of stupidity, incompetence, and laziness than in any conspiracy theory. On just about any subject.
What you are saying very clearly is called Occam’s razor and it says that when there are many theories about an event the simplest one is usually the correct one. After the 9/11 disaster the theory nuts began and some of them were so complex the Navy SEALs could not have pulled them off!
I blame all of the cop shows and whodoneits on television for that. The criminals on TV are always hatching elaborate schemes that are overly complicated, when in reality most crimes are pretty straightforward.
While I earnestly, deeply hope I’m wrong, if these officers are found not guilty, I’ll be utterly surprised. this is after all Baltimore…….. 🙁
The city and the local media have done their level best to stir up a lynch mob mentality.
Mosby is a trip , but so is the other prosecutor , I wonder if the rush to cover up Freddies medical history is to cover Freddies cash for crash scheme for more than trial reasons . Not sure Freddie was smart enough to be the brains behind this . . He was arrested on the targeted street corner within several days of Mosbys directive and also a couple weeks later . ( convenient) Maybe he got sent back because the first injury was not “thick ” enough to pursue . ” Someone ” told police not to do the defenses work and pursue the cash for crash schemes, “someone” defended Freddie before and was possibly aware of activities . “Someone” leaked Donta Allen’s name and “someones” girlfriend interviewed him to recant his story . Someone ? just happened to make sure the note that the office had about Freddies previous injury came up ‘missing”. Someone decided not to call the doctors in the hospital who treated Freddie , maybe to keep more medical history out . Mosby has the SJW reason to pursue , perhaps others have other motives ( muddy the waters ) Just saying!! and saying no names Be in a position to keep watch on things , farm out the actual trial work to others , deniabilty
With three police officers on the force in Maryland in my immediate family this case is of considerable interest. Two of them were sent to Baltimore to be punching bags for the mob of miscreants during the first riots, right after Gray’s arrest.
I no longer go to Baltimore. No one there will get my money. The city can burn to the ground as far as I’m concerned. There will be no real justice there. The government is too corrupt. Governor Hogan is trying to make a difference. Maybe I’ll change my mind if he can clean the place up.
Thank you for covering this trial.
I live a mile outside the city line, and have managed since April not to spend a single cent within the city limits.
Marcus , I think that if he is convicted ,there are so many things in this trial to appeal. Not changing the venue , using the statements when the law in Maryland states investigative statements are required of officers . The way that law looks it doesn’t appear they can refuse without getting fired . The prosecutor misconduct and no mistrial . Page Croyder, former prosecutor in baltimore in her blog, said keeping the trials in baltimore will jeopardize any convictions.
well, I so hope you are right. Perhaps my cynicism is borne of being in the middle of watching the series “The Wire.” 😀 😀
I recall that in NY when testimony is required or else fireing occurred, the union could invoke what I believe was called “use immunity”. The testimony could be used in employment decision- but could not, could not be used in criminal proceedings, since it was coerced testimony.
“Of course, one can never really count on a reasonable jury.”
There’s the rub. What is the racial composition of the jury? Sadly, that’s what I think many of these high profile cases will come down to. As a society, we are extremely polarized; the racial polarization is certainly not getting any better. (At least in the neighborhoods where these incidents tend to occur.)
“In the Zimmerman trial one could at least reasonably argue that Zimmerman made a tactical, if not legal, error in placing himself in an ambush zone”… not to belabor the point but is that statement correct? What “legal error” and in what “ambush zone”?
NOT legal error.
And the “ambush zone” is where he made himself vulnerable to ambush, and WAS in fact ambushed.
Locked onto the “if”. Thank you for responding…I was just typing a “wave-off” so no one would waste the time… the in depth review of the case is greatly appreciated.
No worries, it WAS ambiguous on second reading. 🙂
I understood it the first time, but was completely convinced you’d made a mistake on the second reading. Gotta love the English language. But never mind that. Mr. Branca, you are to be commended for your excellent coverage of the Left’s kangaroo court proceedings. The PowerLine bloggers introduced you to me during the Martin/Zimmerman fiasco and I’m forever grateful to them and you for the work you do.
It is abundantly clear that three of those six officers are racists.
Predictions ??/ I have faith that someone and maybe more will hold out and we will see a hung jury , maybe throw them a bone on misconduct charge . I don’t think that will deter Mosby from continuing . The jury contained some older men and women , they tend to be less inclined to follow the crowd, but then again ,it is Baltimore
The trouble with Zimmerman was not that he was guilty of murder , but that you sometimes wish stupidity had some criminal sanctions .
Are you claiming that Zimmerman was stupid for investigating a hooded individual prowling around his neighbor’s home?
I believe I was very clear: It was tactically stupid for Zimmerman to put himself into an ambush zone. It ended up with him getting ambushed. It’s not a complicated concept.
No I was referring to Zimmerman’s off screen antics .He appears to have foot in mouth disease and doesn’t appear to be the sharpest tool in the shed either . Was not referring to his interaction with Obama’s first born.
Someone ask why they picked the order of the trials . Missy put Miller Rice and Nero last because she is not going to trial until she figured out how to get that damb spring out of that knife.
Someone ask why they picked the order of the trials . Mosby put Miller Rice and Nero last because she is not going to trial until she figures out how to get that damned spring out of that knife.
“immediately rendered him paralyzed, stopped him from breathing, and unfortunately ended his life.”
“I don’t think it was a survivable injury.”
I know this isn’t really on the main topic, but after hearing the full extent of his injuries this is obvious. But I do have some questions regarding the ethics of physicians who would do surgery one someone who obviously wasn’t going to survive.
So here is what I think happened. At stop 5 they helped gray back onto the bench and loaded the other prisoner. At some point Gray stood up getting ready to make more noise, however was surprised by sudden acceleration (most likely when Goodson entered the flow of traffic) and fell forward striking his head on the back door and causing the injury. This hit would have been very similar to a shallow diving incident. The noise that the other prisoner was hearing was most likely a seizure brought on by massive spinal trauma, unfortunately it probably also lead to worse spinal damage. That is why gray quit making noise because after that episode because he couldn’t.
So, (IMHO), NONE of the officers who “touched” Mr. Freddie prior to that stop could possibly be convicted of anything.
And there you go – it’s that simple. Except to those who have an agenda.
Mr Branca, the second question under heading “B” seems to be a copy/paste error; it refers to buckling Gray into the van, but all the questions in that area (and the answer to that question, as well) involve dealing with medical care.
Great article, very informative, thanks for taking the time to write and post it.
Indeed, thanks, fixed. 🙂
The injury was described as a similar to a shallow diving accident .I think it is sad that our nation’s disadvantaged youth are force to learn to swim in a Ford Econoline.
He wasn’t in the van because to *teach* him anything, obviously; they did not *want* to detain him – he was legally *arrested* for apparently breaking the law. If he didn’t want to be in a police van, then he should not have broken the law!
He apparently had been through this before, and knew what he was attempting to pull, based on several articles and the above post.
Troll, done feeding you. Be gone!
If only we were looking at a “reasonable jury”, not a Charm City panel afraid to deny the mob their scape goats.
Brilliant analysis, as always. Glad someone so intellegent, knowledgeable, and thorough is covering this, as it is now off the MSM radar (They’re too obsessed with The Donald, apparently. Bread and circuses…..)
One wee, small nit: it’s spelled breathe.
We take a deep breath, but we breathe air into our lungs. 😉
Can’t wait for your next post! Here’s to hoping they have a fair, impartial, law-abiding jury and judge.
Quite right, my bad, fixed. Thanks!
Seriously, you should never praise a grammar nazi. It just emboldens them. 🙂