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Anuncio de los artículos posteados el: 04/12/2015

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Jury in Officer William Porter's trial views video of Freddie Gray's arrest

Jury in Officer William Porter's trial views video of Freddie Gray's arrest | Maryland News - WBAL Home

Jurors in the trial of Officer William Porter, the first of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray to stand trial, viewed the van that transported Freddie Gray at the time of his arrest in April.

Freddie Gray's mother breaks down in tears during trialFreddie Gray s mother breaks down in tears during trial

Jurors in the trial of Officer William Porter, the first of six Baltimore officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray to stand trial, viewed the van that transported Freddie Gray at the time of his arrest in April. Seven people testified Thursday. And jurors saw the van in which Gray was transported, and videos of his arrest.

MorePorter TrialPorter jury views transport van,...2hrFirst witness testifies in Porter trialJury expected to be seated in Porter...Dozens of potential jurors questioned...Court documents for officers in...Who's who in the Freddie Gray case

Complete coverage: Updates | Special section | Timeline | Officers charged | Charging documents | Who's who

Seven people testified Thursday. Agent John Bilheimer told the court he instructed Porter in the academy on transporting prisoners. He is part of the foundation of the state's case that Porter was aware of regulations on how to address those in custody and that he ignored protocol.

During opening statements, prosecutors told the jury that Porter's gross indifference and criminal negligence in failing to do his duty as an officer led to Gray's death.

Bilheimer testified that it is a general police order that officers are taught to secure those in custody unless there is a safety issue.

The defense said the general order about transport is administrative policy and not criminal law. Under cross-examination, Bilheimer said general orders governing prisoner treatment are not law, but regulations for police. Under redirect, Bilheimer said regulations are "law for police."



Bilheimer testified that Porter was taught protocol and he wrote an answer that injured arrestees shouldn't be transported.

Under cross-examination, the defense got Bilheimer to say the van driver is primarily responsible for the person in custody. But under redirect, Bilheimer said the transport driver is not the only person responsible for the safety of the person in custody.

"I was struck by how unusual it is that the witnesses were giving the answers the defense lawyers want at the initial questioning," University of Maryland Carey School of Law Professor Doug Colbert said.

Officer William Porter trial courtroom sketchCourtroom sketch by Art LienPhotosOfficer William Porter trial courtroom sketchCourtroom sketch by Art Lien

Witness testifies seat belt orders were sent before Gray's arrest

The defense also attempted to turn another prosecution witness testimony in their favor. Capt. Martin Bartness, chief of staff for Commissioner Kevin Davis, testified that the new policy for transporting those in custody was put into place April 3 and was sent to all officers via email on April 9, three days before Gray's arrest.

He testified regarding six new general orders, including one that dropped language leaving buckling prisoners up to officers' discretion because of personal safety concerns. The new directive requires seat belts be placed on prisoners.



But during cross-examination, the defense revealed the email contained 80 pages and was sent at 5 p.m. They said Porter had no idea the policy changed. The old policy dated back to 1997.

Under cross-examination, defense attorney Gary Proctor asked Bartness if the Police Department was more concerned about "catching bad guys" rather than policy. Bartness said Police Department cares about both.

"I agree with the prosecution's hvac choice of bringing the training people in first. That's a good foundation of what's going to follow," Colbert said.

Jury sees van that transported Freddie Gray

A critical piece of evidence in Porter trial arrived Thursday by tow truck to the garage of Courthouse East: The police van Gray rode in the day he was injured.

Baltimore crime lab technician Jennifer Anderson testified that she was called to the Western District to photograph the van Gray was in. On cross-examination, defense attorney Joseph Murtha asked Anderson if she examined the van for biological evidence. She said no, and that she was only asked to take pictures.

Another prosecution witness, a city Department of General Services employee who purchased the van, said there are two cameras inside click here to watch prisoners; however, they aren't designed to record. The van is a key piece of evidence in the case, one that gives the jury perspective.

"What we are looking at now is giving the jury familiarity of the place where prosecutors allege Freddie Gray suffered his injuries," Colbert said.

Following Anderson's testimony, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams told the jury, "We are going for a review." The media and public did not witness the jury viewing the van as it was never entered into evidence.

Two versions of what happened inside the van are emerging. Prosecutors contend the fact Porter failed to seat belt Gray and get him medical attention when he asked contributed to his death. Prosecutors believe a sudden stop by the driver forced Gray's body into his neck, breaking it.

Freddie Gray police van

Jurors look at the police van in which Freddie Gray sustained an injury that led to his death a week later.

WBAL-TVDavid CollinsPhotosFreddie Gray police van

Jurors look at the police van in which Freddie Gray sustained an injury that led to his death a week later.

WBAL-TVDavid Collins

Gray's friend testifies; videos shown

Later in the afternoon, Brandon Ross, a friend of Gray for more than 10 years, testified about what he witnessed. He recorded one of the videos of Gray's arrest. He testified that he and Gray were going to meet someone hvac to do some carpentry work.

Prosecutors showed two videos -- one of Gray's arrest on Presbury Street and one of officers shackling him about a block away at Mount and Baker streets.

The jurors watched in rapt attention. Some had stern looks on their faces. They could hear Gray screaming in Ross' video. When the clips ended, Gray's mother, Gloria Darden, broke the silence of the courtroom with her loud sobbing. She and other family members left and the judge called a recess.

Ross testified that CCTV video showed Gray running away when police were seen at Presbury Street. Ross pointed out in the video Porter arriving to the scene of Gray's arrest.

Ross said he never saw the transport van shaking but he heard screams from the vehicle.

Ross admitted under cross-examination that he and Porter knew each other. Ross testified he complained to Porter about the arrest, and Porter told him to go to a supervisor.

Ross admitted he never saw Porter touch Gray.

Officer William Porter trial courtroom sketchCourtroom sketch by Art LienPhotosOfficer William Porter trial courtroom sketchCourtroom sketch by Art Lien

The fourth day of Porter's trial ended shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday with Detective Syreeta Teel on the stand. She is one of the Internal Affairs detectives on the case.

Officer Alice Carson-Johnson, an 18-year BPD veteran and instructor at the police academy, was the first prosecution witness to take the stand, testifying after a jury was seated Wednesday.

Porter, 26, grew up in east Baltimore. He joined the police force in 2012. Porter was not the arresting officer in the Gray case.

Porter is charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment in connection with Gray's death. Prosecutors say Porter did not get Gray medical assistance when he asked for it after his arrest on April 12.

Gray died a week later, which led to unrest and riots throughout the city.



Williams said he expects the trial to be complete by Dec. 17.

Officer William Porter trial courtroom sketchCourtroom sketch by Art LienPhotosOfficer William Porter trial courtroom sketchCourtroom sketch by Art Lien

Colbert said while the prosecutors started strong Wednesday in their opening statement, the defense countered well on Thursday.

"There has been a lot of back and forth, and that will occur during the length of the trial," Colbert said.

Colbert said he was also surprised at how cooperative the prosecutor's witnesses were during the defense's cross-examination.

"Usually it is like pulling teeth for the defense to get something from a prosecution witness," Colbert said. "That wasn't the case today."



Colbert said Porter's attorneys offered a glimpse into part of their defense when they got Bilheimer to admit the ultimate responsibility of the safety of a person being transported is the driver of the van.



The officer who was the driver in the Gray case, Ceasar Goodson, is set to go on trial on Jan. 6, 2016.

"Whenever there are multiple defendants in a case, finger pointing hvac is not uncommon," Colbert said. "We saw a mild version of that today."



WBALTV.com digital editor Ron Snyder and WBAL NewsRadio 1090 AM reporter Robert Lang contributed to this report.

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