Testimony during the trial of Baltimore officer William Porter on Friday revealed Freddie Gray’s pleas for medical attention were ignored.
CNN reports prosecutors played a tape that showed Porter’s versions of the April 12 arrest in court for the first time on Friday. When Porter was asked about his interaction in the van with Gray, he says Officer Caesar Goodson, the van’s driver, asked an officer to check on the 25-year-old. Porter volunteered to check and was told by Gray he needed medial attention.
Porter’s defense team argued Gray was known to exaggerate his injuries. Porter also didn’t believe an ambulance would arrive promptly. They also claim Gray wasn’t specific with Porter when he was asked about his injuries.
At first, Porter said, he asked Gray, “What’s your deal?” and Gray responded, “I need help, I need help.” Porter said he helped Gray onto a bench inside the van and asked if he needed a medic, to which Gray replied, “Yes.”
Gray was known to fake injuries, Porter added.
“He played the ‘I need a medic’ game.”
The New York Times reports Dr. Carol Allan, the medical examiner, testified Friday Gray died of suffocation due to his spinal cord injures. Allan ruled his death a homicide. Allan described Gray’s spinal cord was “functionally cut through,” leaving Gray to rely on other accessory muscles in the rib cage and eventually exhausting them, leading to his death.
Porter’s defense team argued he was a rookie cop who was the only one to come to Gray’s need. Porter joined the force in 2012 and forgot about his training in placing seat belts on those who ride in the van because no one ever acted out on it. They also claimed Porter joined the force in the midst of turmoil in the Western Division station.
An email notice officers received about securing suspects in seatbelts was sent three days before the incident and was one of 41 work emails Porter received that day.
The trial will continue Monday morning. Porter has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges.