Separate trials for six officers in Freddie Gray death
The six Baltimore PD officers charged in the April death of Freddie Gray will be tried separately, judge Barry Williams ordered. He rejected the motions by defense lawyers to dismiss the charges and remove prosecutor Marilyn Mosby from the case.
While the prosecutors argued that the entire chain of events leading to Gray's death was relevant to the case, from his arrest to the death inside the police van, the judge's ruling means they will have to make a separate case against every one of the officers involved.
Separate trials means only evidence relevant to the charges against the officer being tried will be admitted against him/her. #FreddieGray— Kevin Rector (@RectorSun) September 2, 2015
Protesters have picketed the courthouse since Wednesday morning, as the first pre-trial hearing of the six officers got underway. One protester, Kwame Rose, was arrested when a group of demonstrators blocked a busy city street in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Police have forced the protesters off the road, and Rose has been arrested, handcuffed and moved to a police van.
RT's Anya Parampil is in Baltimore, covering the protests.
Cop pushes me and tells me to shut up as I take photos of man arrested. I say I'm a member of the press he says he doesn't care— Anya Parampil (@anyaparampil) September 2, 2015
Through my reporting in Balt (even on most tense nights of uprising) I've never been touched or disrespected by public or police— Anya Parampil (@anyaparampil) September 2, 2015
While the earlier protest in front of the courthouse was not interfered with, the police came out in force to reopen Pratt Street, announcing from a helicopter that the protests was illegal and will be dispersed.
Protesters now chanting "take off the cuffs" of injured #FreddieGray protester.— Evie Stone (@EvaCStone) September 2, 2015
Rose has been cuffed but taken out of the police van, as an ambulance arrived.
This photo shows the police line advancing on the protesters blocking Pratt Street in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
This is what that looks like. pic.twitter.com/sgHuqA39V9— Kaitlin Newman (@KaitlinObscura) September 2, 2015
There are conflicting accounts about what happened. Rose says he was hit by a car, and that the police attacked him, according to one local reporter. Another local station quotes a witness who says Rose ran out into the traffic.
BPD source says that two witnesses confirmed to police that Freddie Gray protester did not get hit by a car. #drama— MolotovFlicker (@MolotovFlicker) September 2, 2015
Baltimore Police issued a statement at 10:16 am local time that only one person was arrested, referring to Rose. They say no Taser was used during the arrest. "Most protestors are cooperating and not blocking roadways," the police added.
Earlier this morning, a group of protesters gathered on the sidewalk outside the courthouse where a pre-trial hearing of six officers charged in the April death of Freddie Gray was scheduled to start.
Defense lawyers have filed motions to dismiss all charges and remove prosecutor Marilyn Mosby from the case, citing several conflicts of interest. There are also motions to move the trial out of Baltimore, and split up the six officers into separate cases.
"No justice no peace. We want all six police." #FreddieGray— Kaitlin Newman (@KaitlinObscura) September 2, 2015
The motion to relocate the trial will be heard on September 10. The trial is scheduled to begin on October 13.
Activists are hoping to bring the protests and nonviolent acts of civil disobedience away from the heart of the unrest in April to the wealthier, whiter areas of the city over the next two weeks, Baltimore BLOC’s Duane 'Shorty' Davis told the Baltimore Sun.
"I want you to go to Canton, Fells Point, the Inner Harbor, the Orioles' games," Davis said. "We're not just going to go in the black community and wave our hands. We're going to the white communities."
Gray was arrested on April 12, and suffered a spinal injury while being transported in the police van. He died on April 19. On the day of his funeral, protests in Baltimore turned violent, with several cars and shops set on fire. Maryland deployed the National Guard and declared a state of emergency.