Jury Selection Begins In Trial Of Second Police Officer Involved In Freddie Gray Death
BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 11: Baltimore Police officer Caesar Goodson arrives at the Mitchell Courthouse-West for jury selection in his trial January 11, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. Goodson is one of six Baltimore police officers charged in relation to the death in custody of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal spinal cord injury while being held by police in April of 2015. (Photo by Jose Louis Magana-Pool/Getty Images)
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Murder Trial Postponed For Officer Involved in Freddie Gray's Death

The jury selction for Officer Caesar Goodson's Trial is now postponed, after reports stated it will begin soon. 

The trial for Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., who drove the van back in April where Freddie Gray sustained fatal spinal cord injuries, has been postponed due to a special order by the Court of Special Appeals. The stop came from a request of injunction from Officer William G. Porter to halt a city's order from a judge to have him testify against his fellow Officer Goodson Jr., according to the Baltimore Sun. Unfortunately, this will also slow down the dates for the cases regarding the other police officers involved in the case.

Out of the six officers that were involved in the incident, Goodson faces the most serious charges. These charges include: counts for second-degree depraved heart murder, (30 years), involuntary manslaughter, (10 years), second-degree assault (10 years), manslaughter by vehicle—gross negligence (10 years), manslaughter by vehicle—criminal negligence (3 years), misconduct in office and reckless endangerment (5 years), according to The New York Times.

The state’s central witness for the case is Officer Porter, whose own trial on assault, manslaughter and other chargers ended in a deadlocked jury last month. He is currently facing a retrial in June, simultaneously fighting against a judge’s order to testify against Officer Goodson. That said, he hasn’t been able to take the stand until his appeal is decided; an appeals court blocked him from being able to testify because of the unknown decision.

Though experts say that even with Officer Porter’s testimony, it will be a had task for prove chargers like: manslaughter, assault and “second-degree depraved heart murder,” which means murder with a willful disregard to human life. Previously, Officer Porter testified that he thought Freddie was faking his injuries, and that he informed Goodson that Gray had requested to go to a hospital.

For Goodson’s trial, the prosecutors team recently gained a new player by recruiting a new witness, Stanford Franklin, a retired Baltimore police officer who is also the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. The group argues against strict drug laws. Franklin has spoken to a slew of news organizations including, MSNBC commenting on Freddie’s death. In an interview with TheRealNews.com, Franklin stated officers should have known that Gray was in danger of facing serious injuries.

“Every police officer knows that someone in the back of that van, if they’re not seat-belted in, they’re, because of the inertia from making turns, from making starts, from making stops, they’re going to be thrown all over the inside of that van,” he said.

It’s worth noting, however, that the Baltimore Police Department has had an extensive history where black men have been injured in the back of a van in custody of police. In 1997, Jeffrey Alston became a quadriplegic after a van ride; eventually he settled with the city for $6 million dollars in 2004. Following that, Dondi Johnson Sr. dies after his spine was fractured during a van ride. Later, his family won a $7.4 million jury award, which was minimized on appeal.

With Baltimore's tumultuous relationship with vans and black men, let’s hope justice for Freddie Gray is served. What are your thoughts, should Officer Goodson Jr. be found guilty of all charges? Sound-off below.

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South Carolina Baby Dies In Burning Car After Father Abandons Car In Police Chase

A South Carolina man has been charged with homicide by child abuse after police say he fled his vehicle that burst into flames killing his year old daughter.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit, Imhotep Osiris Norman reportedly broke down in tears during his bond hearing Saturday. (April 13)

According to law enforcement at about 10:20 PM Friday, a state trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol attempted to pull Norman over on Highway 14 near the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

Norman was doing 67 mph in a 45-mph zone.

When the car didn't stop. Seventh Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnette said Norman's vehicle began to spark and smoke during the pursuit.

As the car approached the 58-mile marker on Interstate 85, troopers say they saw a large bag be thrown from the window. A few minutes later, the car was totally engulfed in flames. The car reportedly slowed down and troopers attempted to block the road before Norman escaped.

After the fire extinguished investigators found Norman's 1-year-old daughter, Xena Rah’Lah Norman dead in the backseat.

In court, Norman alleges he didn't know the car was on fire.  “I would never leave my daughter,” Norman said. “I would have gotten my daughter out of that car.”

Norman's mother Sharon Mathesis said she doesn't believe the cops version of events. “My son loved his daughter and would have never let this happen,” Mathis said. “He loved her so much. He loved her so much.”

If convicted, Norman faces 20 years in prison.

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FLINT, MI - FEBRUARY 7: The Flint River with downtown behind is shown on February 7, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. Months ago the city told citizens they could use tap water if they boiled it first, but now say it must be filtered to remove lead. (Photo by Sarah Rice/Getty Images)
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Flint Receives Remaining $77.7 Million Of Federal Funds To Improve Water Infrastructure

As the city of Flint, Mich. marks the five-year anniversary of the Flint Water Crisis, the city is set to receive $77.7 million in federal funding.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced the funding Monday (April 15),  as part of a $140 million loan to be allocated to Flint, East Lansing and Monroe County.  The funds for Flint are the remaining portion of a $120 million loan granted to the city in 2017, Mlive reports.

“While we are grateful for this funding it’s important to understand it's not new funding,” said Flint’s Director of Public Works Rob Bincsik. “The federal government awarded this funding and is utilizing the MDEQ’s Drinking Water Revolving Fund as the mechanism to disperse it to the City of Flint.”

Flint won’t have to pay back the funding as the loan is being offered at a “zero percent interest rate with 100-percent principal loan forgiveness.” The funds, which are aimed at improving infrastructure needs and ensuring long-term water quality,” will cover “the completion of a secondary water source pipeline,” in addition to improvements of reservoir and pump stations, construction of a chemical feed building, and replacement of water mains and meters.

East Lansing will receive a $51.7 million loan that includes $2.1 million in “principal forgiveness funds” for collection system improvements, a new pump station, and upgrades to the Water Resource Recovery Facility. Monroe County will get $10.2 million to upgrade and repair the Bedford Township Wastewater Treatment Plant. The funds will also support rehabbing lineal sewer pipes.

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Spartanburg County Detention Center via AP

Man Sentenced To 10 Years For Hiring Someone To Lynch His Black Neighbor

A white South Carolina man has been sentenced to 10 years inside a federal prison for hiring someone to lynch his black neighbor and place a burning cross on the lawn.

According to the New York Times, Brandon Cory Lecroy, 26 (pictured above) was arrested last year after the FBI received a tip about his plans. Lecroy reportedly contacted an unidentified white supremacist organization to assist with the murder-for-hire but instead was approached by an undercover FBI agent posing as a hitman.

The agent reportedly told Lecroy over the phone "$500 and he's a ghost." According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Lecroy made a down payment of $100 and was then taken into custody.

The South Carolina United States attorney's office said Lecroy received the maximum sentence on Friday (April 12) after pleading guilty, as well as three years supervision.

In March 2018, Lecroy went as far as texting an image of the intended targets to the FBI agent and offering the best possible times for the murder. His motive for the murder was to control his neighbor's property. Lecroy also suggested the agent use an  “a ghost gun,”  or an untraceable 9mm.

The names of the intended victim or the FBI agent have not been released.

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