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)
Getty Images

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.

From the Web

More on Vibe

John Moore

Sandy Hook Elementary Evacuates After Bomb Threat On 6th Anniversary Of Mass Shooting

Sandy Hook Elementary School was reportedly forced to evacuate its students and administration on Friday (Dec. 14), after receiving a bomb threat, CNN reports. The incident occurred on the sixth anniversary of the school's tragic mass shooting.

Newtown, Connecticut Police Lt. Aaron Bahamonde stated that the threat didn't appear to be substantial, but they decided to  evacuate the facility as an extra precaution.

Bomb squads reportedly swept the school and surrounding area for explosive devices but did not discover anything on the property. They later concluded that there was no immediate threat. The school administration dismissed students and faculty for the rest of the day however, considering the previous incident.

As previously noted, Sandy Hook endured a horrific mass shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult, staff members.

Earlier this month, thousands of documents were released about Lanza that revealed his mental state and social status in the years leading up to the shooting.

The shooting is not believed to be in connection to the recent string of bomb scares around the nation that targeted major politicians including the former first families Barack and Michelle Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Continue Reading
Scott Olson

North Carolina Prosecutors Say Teen Would Still Be Alive If Cops Pursued Evidence From 2016

North Carolina prosecutors have placed blame on local law enforcement stating had police pursued evidence, 13-year-old Hania Aguilar would still be alive.

Robeson County District Attorney Luther Johnson Britt spoke with reporters Wednesday (Dec. 12) and said authorities were able to link suspect Michael Ray McLellan to an unrelated rape case for about a year but failed to take action.

"This hurts," Britt said. "This is like taking a punch to the gut and not being prepared to get it."

McLellan has been charged with first-degree murder and a host of other charges related to the kidnapping, rape, and murder of the teen. He's being held without bail. Last month, Hania was kidnapped from her driveway by the 34-year-old and forced into a relative's vehicle.

The eighth grader's body was found last week in water and the SUV was found less than 10 miles away from her body. Britt told CNN with the help of an interpreter he spoke to the teen's mother and explained their daughter wouldn't be coming home.

"It was a difficult conversation to have with her," he added. "Maybe the most difficult conversation I've ever had with a victim's family -- to tell them that had this information been followed up on -- her daughter might be alive."

Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said the department would launch an internal investigation.

READ MORE: Time's Up Legal's Defense Fund Is Throwing A Star-Studded ebay Auction

Continue Reading
Drew Angerer

Incoming Attorney General Letitia James Planning Investigation Of Donald Trump And Co.

Incoming New York Attorney General Letitia James is planning a sweeping investigation of Donald Trump, his family and anyone associated with the president.

While speaking with NBC News, James said she will use every corner of the law to look at any illegal activity committed.

“We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well," James said.

Specifically, James will investigate any illegal activity associated with the president's New York real-estate holdings, including the 2016 meeting with a Russian official at Trump Tower and any government subsidies he's received.

"We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law,” the Democratic attorney general said.

After James announced her forthcoming investigation, Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen will face the music for lying to Congress and violating campaign laws. Cohen faces four years in prison.

READ MORE: Donald Trump "I'm The Least Racist Person...That I Can Tell You"

Continue Reading

Top Stories