After Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old Baltimore man who died in the back of a police van, was laid to rest, protests-turned-riots erupted around the nation. Rebellion in Baltimore reportedly cost the city $20 million in damages. Things calmed down as the people wait for the trials of the six officers involved in Gray’s arrest and transport to conclude. The first of those cases, that of Officer William Porter ended yesterday. To the dismay of Gray advocates, the trial ended with a hung jury and was declared a mistrial.
Porter, 26, was not one of the officers that arrested Gray when he allegedly ran after making eye contact on April 12, but he was along for the rough ride that Gray took, unsecured in the back of the police van. According to RT:
Porter was accused of not buckling the prisoner into the transport van ‒ in violation of a Baltimore Police Department directive issued weeks earlier ‒ and of failing to get medical assistance for Gray during the stops he was present for, despite pleas from the prisoner that he needed help and could not breathe. Gray suffered a severe spinal-cord injury and died a week after his arrest.
Charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office in the in-custody death, Porter faced up to 25 years in prison. The jury was deadlocked on all four counts, NPR reported.
Porter and Gray reportedly grew up in the same neighborhood and are only two months apart in age. Regardless, tensions were high after the verdict was read, and protesters were met with a heavy police presence. All hope is not lost, however. the hung jury in the Porter Trial will require a second trial.