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.
Chief Deputy State's Attorney Michael Schatzow said Porter showed a "callous indifference for life" when he deviated from department policies. Defense attorneys have said other police officers routinely break such policies, but Schatzow said those officers should not be considered "reasonable."I've noted frequently in covering the Freddie Gray maelstrom that I'd yet to see any evidence that any of the officers had committed an actual act that could be the basis for the most serious of the charges brought agains them--including, in the case of van driver Officer Goodson, second-degree murder. And now it seems we know why: the State hasn't any. Also as reported by the Baltimore Sun, the defense position is:
Gary Proctor, one of Porter's defense attorneys, said prosecutors had not proved that Porter's failure to seatbelt or seek immediate medical attention for Gray rose to a "gross, wanton, deliberate" act necessary to prove involuntary manslaughter.I look forward to the defense's presentation of its case beginning tomorrow.
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.
Three white women (all over the age of 50) Three black men (all over the age of 50) Five black women (range of ages) One white manAnd thanks to commenter Ragspierre: Additionally, three white men and one black man were chosen as alternates. As we emerge from day two of the Freddie Gray trial of Police Officer William Porter, we have yet to see a compelling narrative of guilt from the prosecution, particularly on the more serious charges brought against Porter.There is no live remote access to the court room, so the information below is largely obtained from the reporting of the Baltimore Sun newspaper:
Porter's charges stem from his decisions not to seat-belt Gray in the back of the van despite his being handcuffed with shackles on his legs, or failing to provide him medical assistance when he requested it, prosecutors have said. Porter was not the van's driver, but responded to assist other officers with Gray at multiple stops on the van's route.Porter did not personally assist in Gray's arrest, nor was Porter responsible for the operation of the police van (that duty fell to the driver of that van Officer Goodson). Interestingly, jurors had the opportunity to actually inspect that police van today, when it was towed into the courthouse. Curiously, the Baltimore Sun reports that while the jurors were allowed to closely inspect the van, the vehicle itself was not entered into evidence. For 160 years (not a typo) the Baltimore Police Department left to the discretion of the officers on the scene whether to belt a suspect into a van (whether horse-drawn or motorized). In fact, while seatbelt use in passenger cars is now de rigueur, there are perfectly valid and rational reasons for not belting in a prisoner in a police van. In particular, that belting the prisoner in can lead to greater, not lesser, injuries in the event of a crash. (See my earlier post on this issue: Freddie Gray Case: Autopsy report further undermines prosecution.) Then, a mere week prior to Gray's arrest a new policy was promulgated by the Baltimore Police Department that all prisoners in vans were to be belted in. The prosecution in this trial has argued that Porter was "trained" in this policy, but it appears that "trained" in this context merely means that Porter was sent a single group email, one of scores officers receive from the department each day, and that was in no way particular noteworthy.
Baltimore mayor says will not seek re-election Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, whose city was rocked by riots earlier this year over a black man's death in police custody, will not seek re-election when her term ends next year, she said on Friday. Rawlings-Blake, who became something of a flashpoint in the troubled city, was criticized by the public for her handling of the April riots that followed the death of Freddie Gray, which saw dozens of cars and buildings burned. In a hastily arranged City Hall press conference, the Democrat, who is black, said her decision was not directly related to the Gray case but acknowledged the past six months have been a "tough time" for Baltimore. "While certainly I would not have chosen (the unrest), you don't choose ... you play the cards you're dealt," said Rawlings-Blake, 45, who spent 12 years on city council before becoming mayor in 2010. "I have chosen to govern for the next 15 months rather than campaigning."
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's decision to pay Freddie Gray's family a $6.4 million civil settlement drew praise and criticism Tuesday, with some Baltimore leaders saying the move will help heal the city and others calling it premature. Former Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said the settlement — expected to be approved Wednesday by the city's spending panel — was a "very positive development for the city." "The mayor and her staff are trying to do all they can to heal the wounds in the community, and this is a step in the right direction," said Schmoke, president of the University of Baltimore. "This settlement will give some people in the community at least some sense of justice."Superficially, peace through money seems to be the goal, because the dollar amount is hard to explain relative to other settlements, as the Baltimore Sun further explains:
The state medical examiner's office concluded that Gray's death could not be ruled an accident, and was instead a homicide, because officers failed to follow safety procedures "through acts of omission." Though Gray was loaded into the van on his belly, the medical examiner surmised that he may have gotten to his feet and was thrown into the wall during an abrupt change in direction. He was not belted in, but his wrists and ankles were shackled, putting him "at risk for an unsupported fall during acceleration or deceleration of the van." The medical examiner compared Gray's injury to those seen in shallow-water diving incidents.(emphasis added)
He is a no-nonsense, fair and practical judge who will no doubt control that courtroom, neither state- nor defense-oriented . . . He will not be persuaded by media. He will not be influenced by public sentiment. He will rule as the law will require him to do. Period. There will be no outside influences.That would be refreshing, considering the high-profile basking in the limelight still ongoing by Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who today is given a fawning profile in Vogue magazine. The caption to her featured image in the Vogue article (photo taken by no less than Annie Liebowitz) reads "“The unrest had nothing to do with my decision to charge,” says Mosby. “I just followed where the facts led.” These facts would, presumably, be the same facts Mosby continues relentlessly to deny the public.
Do you believe the Baltimore prosecutors have the evidence to support the harshest charges against the officers who interacted with Freddie Gray?The results as of the writing of this post? Over 88% responded "No," as shown in the featured image, above. Inspires confidence, no? No.
There were 23 homicides and 39 nonfatal shootings in Baltimore in May 2014. Through 29 days of May 2015, there were 42 homicides and 104 nonfatal shootings. Gulp.Gulp indeed.
They want increased productivity, whether it be car stops, field interviews, arrests — that's what they mean by measurables. You have to use whatever tools you have — whether it be bike officers, cameras, foot officers, whatever you have — to abate that problem. So you're going to have to be aggressive. (emphasis added)
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