Indianapolis News and Headlines


Judge declares hung jury in Freddie Gray trial

Posted at 3:28 PM, Dec 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-16 16:57:34-05

BALTIMORE -- Judge Barry Williams has declared a mistrial in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter.

The jury returned with a note around 2:45 p.m. About a half hour later, it was announced the note said it is clear they cannot come to an agreement on all four charges Porter was facing. The note did not elaborate on what charges the jury could not agree on. 

RELATED: Infographic of charges in Freddie Gray's death

Shortly after the jury let out, protesters began to gather outside Courthouse East.

Sheriff's deputies put activist local Kwame Rose in handcuffs and brought him inside the courthouse, though it wasn't immediately clear what prompted that. 

RELATED: Protesters gather following Porter mistrial 

Porter was charged with reckless endangerment, second-degree assault and misconduct in office in connection with the death of Freddie Gray. 

Complete Freddie Gray coverage here

The 26-year-old, who joined the department in 2012, took the stand in his own defense and told jurors he considered himself to be a fair police officer. 

RELATED: Things to know about William Porter | A recap of William Porter's trial

A hearing will be held Thursday to determine a new trial date for Porter. It is unclear at this point how the mistrial will affect the trials of the other five officers scheduled to go on trial for Gray's death, though it's likely it will push all of them back.

The second trial, that of Officer Caesar Goodson, is scheduled to begin Jan. 6.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake issued a statement shortly after the judge declared a mistrial: 

A few minutes ago, Judge Barry G. Williams declared a mistrial in the criminal case of Officer William Porter because the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. It is now up to State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby to determine whether to further pursue criminal charges. This is our American system of justice. Twelve Baltimore residents listened to the evidence presented and were unable to render a unanimous decision. As a unified city, we must respect the outcome of the judicial process. In the coming days, if some choose to demonstrate peacefully to express their opinion, that is their constitutional right. I urge everyone to remember that collectively, our reaction needs to be one of respect for our neighborhoods, and for the residents and businesses of our city. In the case of any disturbance in the city, we are prepared to respond. We will protect our neighborhoods, our businesses and the people of our city.

Hassan Giordano, former chairman of the NAACP Criminal Justice Committee, also released a statement Wednesday afternoon:

Justice was served when those responsible for the death of Freddie Gray were charged with crimes associated with his death; unfortunately, in this case, those charges were hard to prove based on there not being a 'smoking gun' so to speak. However, I hope this doesn't serve as a deterrent for SA Mosby's office continuing to seek justice by prosecuting law enforcement officers with the same force she would an average citizen, and I hope her office considers reopening the more transparent cases of police brutality and murder, such as in the cases of Tyrone West, Anthony Anderson and Dale Graham - each of whom were maliciously murdered by those who took an oath to protect and serve but weren't given their day in court because of a police-friendly prosecutor who failed in the quest for justice for all, not just for the boys in blues.