Baltimore Police Gear Up as Closing Arguments Start in Freddie Gray Trial
(ABC News) Closing arguments are expected today in the trial of a Baltimore police officer charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, and officials are taking no chances.
The Baltimore Police Department has taken extra precautions in order to be sufficiently staffed when the jury reaches a verdict in the case of William Porter.
All scheduled leave for police officers has been canceled this week “in order to ensure adequate staffing,” according to a police news release.
“The community has an expectation for us to be prepared for a variety of scenarios,” Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said in the release.
The death of Gray while in police custody prompted citywide riots in April and led to a state of emergency being declared in the city.
There has only been a handful of protestors outside of Circuit Court during Porter’s trial.
Porter is the first of the six police officers facing charges in relation to Gray’s death.
Porter faces second-degree assault, involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, as have the other five officers.
Porter allegedly failed to get medical help for Gray as the transport vehicle carrying the suspect made several stops in Baltimore after picking him up on the way to the police station.
During his testimony last week, Porter said the reason he didn’t call for medical assistance was because “after talking to Mr. Gray, he was unable to give me any reason to.”
Porter added that “medics usually take a while” to arrive.
“He never made a complaint of an injury,” Porter said Wednesday. “He did not appear to be in any pain. He looked tired, lethargic.”
When the police van made its final stop, Porter testified, he saw that Gray was “unconscious.”
“It was a very traumatic thing for me, also,” Porter said.