Jury selection resumes on Tuesday in the trial of the first of six police officers charged in the death of a black man from an injury in police custody that triggered rioting and fueled a U.S. debate on police brutality.
Baltimore officer, William G. Porter, will be the first of the six officers to go on trial for the death, which was ruled a homicide, of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
Porter, who is black, is accused of ignoring Gray’s requests for medical aid and not putting a seatbelt on the shackled and handcuffed detainee. He could face more than 25 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
Among potential jurors, many were dismissed due to their knowledge of the case, or opinions on many topics related to the case. Judge Barry G. Williams of Baltimore City Circuit Court asked the diverse groups questions relating to race, police officer’s treatment of citizens in their community and nationally, the city-wide curfew set by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake back in April, the lawsuit settlement that Baltimore city agreed to pay Gray’s family, and more.
Under the judge’s questioning, all the jurors said they were aware of the Gray case, the unrest that followed and the $6.4 million Baltimore paid to Gray’s family in a civil settlement.
About half the jury pool is black. The jury will have 12 members and a number of alternates, who will remain anonymous.
The other five officers are charged with offenses ranging from second-degree murder to misconduct.