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In the Media: News and Resources for the First Freddie Gray Trial

The six Baltimore Police officers charged in Freddie Gray's homicide.
Baltimore City Police Department
The six Baltimore Police officers charged in Freddie Gray's homicide.

William G. Porter, a 26-year-old police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, is downtown today to stand trial in the case.

Live Coverage from The Baltimore Sun

"What You Need to Know about the Freddie Gray Case" from The Baltimore Sun

From The Washington Post: Who Will be the 12 Men and Women to Serve On the First Trial in Freddie Gray Case?

“'The stakes are so high because any perceived unfairness could trigger more community outrage,' said Carolyn Koch, a Virginia-based jury consultant and lawyer who does work nationwide.

"The trial of Officer William G. Porter, 26, is scheduled to run until at least mid-December and will be closely watched as the public seeks new details that could further explain how Gray, 25, suffered a severe spinal injury in a police wagon before dying about a week later. Porter, who prosecutors allege failed to get Gray medical attention, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.

"Valerie Hans, a professor at Cornell University Law School, said jury selection in the Freddie Gray trials will be similar to those in the Boston Marathon bombing two years ago and the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

"'These are instances where entire communities have been affected by cases,' said Hans, who studies jury selection.

"She said attorneys on both sides will want to know people’s experiences during the protests and rioting that followed Gray’s death and whether those experiences caused them to form an opinion about the case.

"Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, a jury consultant who has worked on high-profile trials, including those of O.J. Simpson and the officers accused of beating Rodney King, said attorneys will also have to explore jurors’ links to national protests related to alleged excessive force by police."

Full Article

From The AFRO American: Dixon Calls for Calm Ahead of First Freddie Gray Trial

"Sheila Dixon, candidate for mayor of Baltimore, on Nov. 24 called for calm ahead of the upcoming trial of William Porter. 

"Porter is one of the six police officers facing numerous charges in the death of Freddie Gray earlier this year. His trial is set to begin ion Nov. 30 in front of Judge Barry Williams. 

“'I know there is a lot of hurt and pain concerning the tragic death of Freddie Gray. I also know there is a lack of faith and distrust over the legal process, but it’s a process that must be allowed to play out in the court of law. I am asking all residents to be respectful of the trial that begins on November 30th, and if you feel the need to protest during the trial to do so respectfully and peacefully,' Dixon said in a statement."

Full Article

From The Baltimore Sun: Baltimore Police, Penn North Residents Play Football Game Heavy on Symbolism

"Football teams customarily head to opposite sidelines before games. But, on Sunday, city Police Commissioner Kevin Davis asked his officers to break with tradition and gather on the same side of the field with members of a Penn North team before a police-community game designed to defuse tensions between the department and residents during a critical time.

"On the eve of the first trial of a Baltimore police officer in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, the symbolism was simply too overpowering to have the players line up any other way.

"'Having this football game on the eve of the first trial is more than symbolic,' said Davis, who encouraged residents and officers to stand together and exchange football-related banter during what organizers billed as the 'Unity Bowl' flag-football game at Frederick Douglass High School.

"The area around the high school, which is across the street from Mondawmin Mall, was the scene of violent exchanges between teens and police officers on April 27 following the death of Gray in police custody. Gray was from Sandtown-Winchester, which was also represented by players in Sunday's game.

"'We're getting to know each other in a different way,' said Davis, appointed to lead the department in July after Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake fired his predecessor, Anthony W. Batts. 'If a police department anywhere — whether it's Baltimore or any other place — only knows a community when there's a crisis, or when there's a crime scene, or when there's a moment of anxiety, I don't think that bodes well for a healthy community.'”

Full Article