It’s very hard to convict a cop:
A judge here on Wednesday declared a mistrial in the first case of an officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, bringing an irresolute end to this city’s first legal reckoning with the fatal police encounter that prompted a burst of violent protest last spring.
“You believe you’ve reached a point where you believe you will not come to a decision on any of the charges?” Judge Barry G. Williams of the Baltimore City Circuit Court said, shortly after 3 p.m., to the weary-looking group of seven women and five men, seven of whom are black, who had deliberated about 16 hours over three days.
The judge dismissed the jury, convened a brief private conference with lawyers, and then announced: “I do declare a mistrial.”
The jury’s inability to reach a verdict after two weeks of impassioned testimony threw into question the five other pending prosecutions and left officials and residents of this tense city frustrated and uncertain about what would come next in a drama that began in April.
Outside the courtroom, a demonstrator used a megaphone to announce the decision, shouting, “They just declared a mistrial!” He quickly added, “Justice has not been served,” and “the system has failed us once again.”
A handful of protesters began chanting: “No justice, no peace!” and “All night, all day, we will fight for Freddie Gray!”
The officer, William G. Porter, 26, was charged with manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment and misconduct in office; the state accused him of “callous indifference” to Mr. Gray’s life for failing to call a medic after Mr. Gray asked for one, and for not buckling Mr. Gray into a police transport van, where he suffered a fatal injury to his spinal cord.
I hope they can keep the calm in Baltimore.