Updated: Officer Testifies in His Own Defense at Freddie Gray Tr - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: Officer Testifies in His Own Defense at Freddie Gray Trial

Posted: Updated:
Baltimore Police Officer William Porter Baltimore Police Officer William Porter
Freddie Gray (Photo: AP) Freddie Gray (Photo: AP)

BALTIMORE (AP)- Officer William Porter was poised and calm as he testified in his own defense Wednesday, telling jurors that he didn't call an ambulance for Freddie Gray because the man was alert, appeared uninjured and didn't complain of any pain or wounds in the back of a police van.
    
Instead, Gray only said "yes" when Porter offered to get him medical aid, the officer testified.
    
Porter said he did tell his colleague, the van driver, to take Gray to the hospital after he said he needed medical attention during the van's fourth of six stops. The fourth stop is crucial in Porter's case because prosecutors say Gray was already injured by the time he arrived there, and Porter's failure to call a medic to the scene contributed the Gray's death.
    
Prosecutors also say by not buckling Gray into a seat belt during that stop, Porter was criminally negligent. Defense attorneys say Gray suffered his injury later and that the officer did what any officer would do.
    
As Porter spoke, jurors listened intently, some leaning forward and scribbling notes as he spoke.
    
Porter, the first of six officers to go on trial, said he only realized Gray was hurt when the van reached the police station. Porter said Gray was unresponsive "with mucus around his nose and mouth." Porter said he called Gray's name - as he'd done at previous stops, which elicited responses - but this time Gray was silent. Porter told jurors the experience was "a very traumatic thing for me."
    
Porter faces manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment charges. If convicted on all of the charges, the maximum penalty he faces is about 25 years.
    
Prosecutors have argued that Porter should be held partially responsible for Gray's death because he didn't call for a medic and didn't buckle the man into a seat belt, which is department policy.
    
Defense attorneys have suggested that the van driver was responsible for Gray's safety and indicated the officer may have thought Gray was faking an injury to avoid going to jail.
    
Porter said during the fourth stop, Gray made eye contact with him and spoke "in a regular tone of voice."
    
"He never made a complaint of pain or an injury," Porter said. "In order to call for an ambo I need age, sex, location and complaint of injury. He wouldn't give me a complaint of injury."
    
Gray was a 25-year-old black man who died a week after suffering a spinal injury while riding, handcuffed and shackled, in the back of the van. His death set off protests and a riot in the city, and became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.
    
Porter, who is also black, told jurors that when Gray was arrested, he overheard him screaming and mentioning something about needing an inhaler. When asked if Gray said he couldn't breathe at the van's fourth stop, Porter said, "absolutely not."
    
One of the prosecution's witnesses, an internal affairs investigator, said Porter told her that Gray said during the van's journey that he couldn't breathe. But Porter explained Wednesday that the investigator was mistaken, and he only heard Gray say that when he was arrested, not when he was in the van.
    
As for why he didn't buckle Gray into a seat belt, Porter told the jury that the wagon is "pretty tight" and said that of his 200 arrests involving the transport van, he has never belted in a prisoner.
    
Porter added that he left the scene after lifting Gray from the floor of the wagon to the bench, and it was Caesar Goodson, the driver, who closed the wagon's doors.
    
It would have been his responsibility, Porter said, to buckle Gray into a seatbelt and he didn't know if he did.
    
Goodson faces the most serious charge stemming from Gray's death: second-degree "depraved-heart" murder. His trial is next month.
    

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • CMS Honors PRMC With 5-Star Rating

    CMS Honors PRMC With 5-Star Rating

    Jan 22, 2018 9:27 PM2018-01-23 02:27:00 GMT
    Monday, January 22 2018 9:35 PM EST2018-01-23 02:35:16 GMT
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services awarded the Peninsula Regional Medical Center with a five-star rating this month, making it one of four hospitals in Maryland to receive the honor as well as the second one on the Eastern Shore.More
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services awarded the Peninsula Regional Medical Center with a five-star rating this month, making it one of four hospitals in Maryland to receive the honor as well as the second one on the Eastern Shore.More
  • Eagles Fans Excited for Team's Trip to Super Bowl

    Eagles Fans Excited for Team's Trip to Super Bowl

    Jan 22, 2018 7:54 PM2018-01-23 00:54:00 GMT
    Monday, January 22 2018 7:54 PM EST2018-01-23 00:54:10 GMT
    DOVER, Del. --- Fans of the Philadelphia Eagles on Delmarva rejoiced on Sunday as the team advanced to its third Super Bowl in franchise history in a championship rematch with the New England Patriots. Vincent Iovacchini of Clayton was among the thousandsMore
    DOVER, Del. --- Fans of the Philadelphia Eagles on Delmarva rejoiced on Sunday as the team advanced to its third Super Bowl in franchise history in a championship rematch with the New England Patriots. Vincent Iovacchini of Clayton was among the thousandsMore
  • Multiple People Arrested in Dover Drug Investigation

    Multiple People Arrested in Dover Drug Investigation

    Jan 22, 2018 5:15 PM2018-01-22 22:15:00 GMT
    Monday, January 22 2018 5:15 PM EST2018-01-22 22:15:51 GMT
    Jarad Wilson (left), Sean Caldwell and Holly McLaughlinJarad Wilson (left), Sean Caldwell and Holly McLaughlin
    Three people were arrested after a drug investigation, according to Delaware State Police.More
    Three people were arrested after a drug investigation, according to Delaware State Police.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Updated: Police Seek 4 Who Robbed Armored Truck Driver in Salisbury

    4 Sought in Armored Truck Robbery in Salisbury

    Jan 22, 2018 8:19 AM2018-01-22 13:19:00 GMT
    Monday, January 22 2018 3:55 PM EST2018-01-22 20:55:57 GMT
    Video surveillance photo of one of the suspects wanted for holding up an armored truck driver filling up an ATM at the SECU on Mt. Hermon Road in Salisbury. (Photo credit: Salisbury Police Department)Video surveillance photo of one of the suspects wanted for holding up an armored truck driver filling up an ATM at the SECU on Mt. Hermon Road in Salisbury. (Photo credit: Salisbury Police Department)
    Salisbury police have released a video surveillance photo of one of the four suspects wanted in connection with the Monday morning armed robbery of an armored truck driver outside the State Employees Credit Union in Salisbury, Maryland.More
    Salisbury police have released a video surveillance photo of one of the four suspects wanted in connection with the Monday morning armed robbery of an armored truck driver outside the State Employees Credit Union in Salisbury, Maryland.More
  • Multiple People Arrested in Dover Drug Investigation

    Multiple People Arrested in Dover Drug Investigation

    Jan 22, 2018 5:15 PM2018-01-22 22:15:00 GMT
    Monday, January 22 2018 5:15 PM EST2018-01-22 22:15:51 GMT
    Jarad Wilson (left), Sean Caldwell and Holly McLaughlinJarad Wilson (left), Sean Caldwell and Holly McLaughlin
    Three people were arrested after a drug investigation, according to Delaware State Police.More
    Three people were arrested after a drug investigation, according to Delaware State Police.More
  • Women's March in Ocean City

    Women's March in Ocean City

    Jan 21, 2018 5:16 PM2018-01-21 22:16:00 GMT
    Sunday, January 21 2018 5:16 PM EST2018-01-21 22:16:28 GMT
    Hundreds of people gathered in Ocean City as part of the 2018 Women's March.More
    Hundreds of people gathered in Ocean City as part of the 2018 Women's March. More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • 4 Sought in Armored Truck Robbery in Salisbury

    4 Sought in Armored Truck Robbery in Salisbury

    Police are looking for four suspects wanted in connection with the armed robbery of an armored truck driver outside the State Employees Credit Union in the 1100 block of Mt. Hermon Road in Salisbury, Maryland.

    Salisbury police said the incident happened at around 7:15 a.m. Monday, and involved four armed black male suspects wearing dark clothing and masks. Following the robbery the suspects ran northbound across U.S. 50. There were no reported injuries.

    More

    Police are looking for four suspects wanted in connection with the armed robbery of an armored truck driver outside the State Employees Credit Union in the 1100 block of Mt. Hermon Road in Salisbury, Maryland.

    Salisbury police said the incident happened at around 7:15 a.m. Monday, and involved four armed black male suspects wearing dark clothing and masks. Following the robbery the suspects ran northbound across U.S. 50. There were no reported injuries.

    More
  • Women's March in Ocean City

    Women's March in Ocean City

    Hundreds of people gathered in Ocean City Sunday afternoon as part of the 2018 Women's March. The march was hosted by the Democratic Women's Club of Worcester County. As WBOC's Caroline Coles reports, the theme of the march was the encouragement of women to vote and run for office on the Eastern Shore.

    More

    Hundreds of people gathered in Ocean City Sunday afternoon as part of the 2018 Women's March. The march was hosted by the Democratic Women's Club of Worcester County. As WBOC's Caroline Coles reports, the theme of the march was the encouragement of women to vote and run for office on the Eastern Shore.

    More
  • Update: Two Dead After Trooper Involved Shooting in Salisbury

    Update: Two Dead After Trooper Involved Shooting in Salisbury

Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices