Less than a week after a mistrial was declared in the case of a Baltimore police officer involved in the unlawful arrest and death of Freddie Gray, a Maryland judge announced a second trial will take place next year.
The retrial for Officer William Porter is set to begin June 13, a date that follows the trials of the other five officers involved in the incident that left the 25-year-old Baltimore man dead. Porter faces charges of manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office, and reckless endangerment. A jury deadlocked on a decision regarding his fate last Wednesday.
Officer William Porter was the first of six officers to be tried in connection with Gray’s death, which resulted from injuries sustained while in police custody. The trial of Officer Caesar Goodson, who faces the most serious charge of second-degree depraved heart murder, remains on track to begin Jan. 6, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams ruled.
The declaration of a mistrial sparked mostly peaceful protests in Baltimore last week. Despite concern that a mistrial could set the tone for the remaining trials, legal expert Damario Solomon-Simmons urged the public in a NewsOne exclusive to remember that the failure to make a decision does not equate to an acquittal.
“The most significant aspect of a hung jury is that the state planned to utilize Porter as a ‘material witness’ against the other five officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray. But because of the 5th Amendment, Porter cannot be forced to incriminate (tell on) himself,” Solomon-Simmons said. “If the state still wants to call Porter to testify against the other officers, they must decide immediately whether to retry him.”
A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning, CBS reports.