Officer William Porter first of six officers to go on trial in death of Freddie Gray
Dozens of potential jurors were questioned Monday about their backgrounds and potential prejudices on the first day of the trial of Officer William Porter, the first of six Baltimore police officers charged in the Freddie Gray case to go on trial.
Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams asked the jury pool of more than 70 people whether they have heard about the case, the civil settlement with the Gray family and the citywide curfew put into effect during the riots. There was no response, and it was taken that everyone had heard about it.
Another big response came when the judge asked whether anyone or their immediate family had experience in the judicial system, ranging from being a victim to facing charges: 38 people stood. When the judge asked whether they had strong feelings about the charges Porter faces, 26 people stood, which is not unusual in Baltimore City.
Porter, wearing a dark blue suit and yellow tie, studied the jury pool carefully. He will have a say in picking the panel.
Questions by the judge included:
- Have you or your immediate family been a victim of crime/arrested/faced charges or jailed?
- Would you give more or less weight to testimony from an officer because they are an officer?
- Do you or an immediate family member have any connection to law enforcement?
Experts believe the process is working.
"It's not going to take days. We should have a jury by tomorrow," said Doug Colbert, a professor at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. "An impartial jury will be seated. We have the greatest judicial process in the free world."
The jury pool was dismissed shortly before 6 p.m. Monday.
Porter's statements could be used in future trials
Unlike previous court appearances in which Porter received...read more on WBALTV