Calls for Calm Follow Mistrial Declaration of Baltimore Cop in Freddie Gray Case
Calls for calm permeated Baltimore Wednesday following the declaration of a mistrial in the case of a city cop charged with manslaughter for the in-custody death of Freddie Gray.
Judge Barry G. Williams announced Wednesday afternoon that the jury of seven blacks and five whites were hopelessly deadlocked on the fate of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter, who was charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in the April 19 death of 25-year-old Gray.
The man died one week after his neck was broken during a ride in the back of a police van. The below family photo shows him in the hospital. Five other officers have also been charged in Gray's death and their trials are scheduled for next year.
"You've been diligent," the judge told jurors Wednesday as he dismissed them, NBC News reported. "Thank you for your diligence."
Deputy State's Attorney Janice Bledsoe was seen shaking her head as the judge spoke privately to defense and prosecuting attorneys before announcing the mistrial, the network reported.
Jurors began deliberating on Monday. Prosecutors will decide whether to retry the case.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets Wednesday, angry over the failure to convict Porter.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake issued a statement admonishing residents to be "respectful" of the judicial process and to demonstrate peacefully.
But she also warned that any activity that is not peaceful would be dealt with by law enforcement.
"In the case of any disturbance in the city, we are prepared to respond," she said. "We will protect our neighborhoods, our businesses and the people of our city."
Baltimore erupted following Gray's funeral, with widespread looting, arson fires and violent confrontations with law enforcement officers including the National Guard.
Gray family attorney Bill Murphy also called for calm Wednesday, calling the mistrial "a bump on the road to justice."