xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement

Mistrial of Officer Porter in the Freddie Gray case: Reaction

Reaction today from Maryland and Baltimore officials, national leaders and local residents to the mistrial declared in Officer William Porter's trial on charges related to Freddie Gray's death.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Advertisement

"A few minutes ago, Judge Barry G. Williams declared a mistrial in the criminal case of Officer William Porter because the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. It is now up to State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby to determine whether to further pursue criminal charges. This is our American system of justice. Twelve Baltimore residents listened to the evidence presented and were unable to render a unanimous decision. As a unified city, we must respect the outcome of the judicial process. In the coming days, if some choose to demonstrate peacefully to express their opinion, that is their constitutional right. I urge everyone to remember that collectively, our reaction needs to be one of respect for our neighborhoods, and for the residents and businesses of our city. In the case of any disturbance in the city, we are prepared to respond. We will protect our neighborhoods, our businesses and the people of our city."

Richard Shipley, stepfather of Freddie Gray

"We are not at all upset with [the jurors], and neither should the public be upset. They did the best that they could. ... We are confident there will be another trial with a different jury."

Gene Ryan, president of FOP Lodge #3

"When Officer Porter began this journey through the judicial process, we asked that everyone allow him his day in court as is promised to all citizens. Today, seven months later, Officer Porter is no closer to a resolution than he was at that time. Our legal system, however, allows for outcomes of this nature, and we must respect the decision of the Jury, despite the fact that it is obviously frustrating to everyone involved.  Officer Porter and his attorneys will continue, with the full support of the Fraternal Order of Police, to press for his acquittal. While certainly nothing will return Freddie Gray to his family, we ask that the public continue to allow the judicial process to find its way to a final resolution."

Baltimore City NAACP President Tessa Hill-Aston

Whether you like the decision or not, the Baltimore City NAACP calls for frustration and anger to be controlled and the rights of all people respected, on all sides.  We must be guided by our own sense of what must happen next for Baltimore, guided by the tangible sense of frustration and anger held by so many city residents and guided by the fact that there remains five officers to stand trial for the death of Freddie Gray."

"Even with this verdict, what we do know is that the change has begun.  Certainly no suspect will be placed in police wagons without someone being responsible for making sure they are buckled.  The long practice of "rough rides" has effectively come to an end.

Advertisement

"And the disconnected police culture and those who have benefited from it, the same culture that allowed for the tragic death of Freddie Gray to occur, has been put on notice that you will be charged for your actions and you will be held accountable.

"The work does not end with this verdict or any verdict to come in the future."

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, via a spokesman

"The administration respects the legal process that is currently underway and will continue to monitor activity in the city."

Michaela Brown, communications coordinator of Baltimore Bloc

"Baltimore Bloc has repeatedly called for justice, which will only be served if Porter is convicted on all charges. We call on State's Attorney Mosby to move quickly to retry Porter. This is not over. Freddie Gray was treated as less than human and killed in police custody. Anything less than convicting Porter on all charges confirms that our criminal justice system does not value Black lives. The system is structured to protect those with privileges from those who lack it. There is no doubt that a conviction should have happened. We will get another day in court."

Advertisement

Judith Brown Dianis, co-director of Advancement Project, a national organization focused on race and justice

"Justice has been delayed. We are confident the State's Attorney will not let power and privilege prevail over what's right and just. Police are not above the law. State's Attorney Mosby must keep pushing for justice for Freddie Gray. His family and loved ones deserve it. They had to bury the broken body of their 25-year-old son, brother and friend. Young Black people must know their lives matter and our justice system must reflect that.

"How many young black people have to die at the hands of police before our legal system fully understands and acknowledges that black lives hold more value than a badge and the power it represents? We say not one more."

Baltimore City Council President Jack Young

"I would like to thank the 12 residents of the City of Baltimore for their diligent service as jurors in the state's case against Officer William Porter, who stood trial as a defendant in the death of Freddie Gray.

"As we begin to process the outcome of this case ending in a mistrial, let us respect the efforts of the men and women of the jury.

"As Baltimore continues to heal from April's unrest, I would ask that the citizens of Baltimore, and her guests, continue to engage in peaceful and constructive dialog and actions that serve to improve our great city.

Baltimore City Councilman Bill Henry

"My hope is that the prosecutors make the right call when deciding whether or not to re-try Officer Porter, given the cases remaining against the other officers, and what role Officer Porter will or will not play in those trials."

Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby, mayoral candidate and husband of State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby

"Today, a jury made up of Baltimore City residents were unable to reach a verdict regarding Officer Porter's involvement in the death of Freddie Gray. Whether we agree or not, we must respect the judicial process and the jury's decision as they considered the testimony and evidence before them.  As a City, we must come together to continue the healing process of working to rebuild trust and improve community-police relations for the safety of residents and our police officers.  I urge calm as the judicial process continues over the coming weeks and months."

Congresswoman Donna Edwards, candidate for U.S. Senate

""I am frustrated by today's mistrial. Gloria Darden is still waiting for justice for her son, and communities in Baltimore and around the country fighting systemic racial problems are once again left with more questions than answers. 

"We must have faith in Baltimore's resiliency, and the city's residents who are asked to sit in judgment. It is my hope that all of us will remain steadfast in support of Baltimore and Gloria Darden -- my thoughts are with her family and the city."

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin

Advertisement

"The death of Freddie Gray was a tragedy that fueled a national conversation about the need for equal justice and expanded opportunities in the African-American community.  We cannot bring Freddie Gray back to his family, but we as a community can work together to repair and rebuild the trust between our police and the neighborhoods they are sworn to protect and serve.

"As the trials related to Freddie Gray's death continue, let us join together to honor his memory by raising our voices in the name of peace and unity. We must push forward in the fight to make historic changes in our criminal justice system and simultaneously work to bring more economic development and economic opportunities to all corners of our city.

"I urge residents to exercise their First Amendment rights peacefully. As this process unfolds, let us reject violence, vandalism or other actions that might hurt our communities and local businesses. I am committed to working closely with all of our federal partners to bring Baltimore the diverse resources it needs to fully mend the divisions in the city and ensure equal justice under the law and real opportunity for all its residents."

The Rev. Jamal H. Bryant, pastor at the Empowerment Temple

"The only thing that gives me a glimmer of hope is knowing that he can be retried...I knew this was going to be a difficult case. I think this is an indication of the other five. It¹s not going to be a lay-up. We're going to have to dribble all the way down the court."

Congressman Elijah Cummings

"It is my understanding that the jury in Officer Porter's trial was deadlocked -- unable unable to reach a unanimous verdict of either guilt or innocence on all four charges.  This is why Judge Barry G. Williams declared a mistrial.

"I have also been informed that the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office intends to retry Officer Porter.  There will also be the trials of the other officers who have been charged.

"I know that many of my neighbors have been following this trial closely, and many may be disappointed by today's outcome. Each of us will continue to struggle with the very raw, very real emotions the death of Mr. Freddie Gray invokes.

"I commend Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby in her efforts to pursue justice; the jurors for faithfully carrying out their civic duty; and all who have worked to ensure full and fair trials for each defendant involved.

"With the eyes of the world on Baltimore City, we must ensure that any protests that take place are peaceful, and we must ensure that the process of healing our community continues. We must continue to channel our emotions into strong, positive change, so that, as a city, we truly see our young men of color before it is too late.

"This is the road to more equal justice in our community."

Ray Kelly, organizer with the West Baltimore organization No Boundaries Coalition

"Justice for our community won't come from just a verdict, but from changing the policies and practices that allowed his wrongful death to happen in the first place. I hope that the demonstrations keep their focus on legislation and policy makers. Our elected officials and city leaders are the people that need to better understand our plight and need to be called on to change the systematic oppression, disinvestment and disregard for our community."

Statement from ColorOfChange, a national online civil rights group

"We're extremely disappointed that justice continues to remain elusive for Freddie Gray and his family. Nonetheless, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's decision to charge the six officers responsible for Freddie's death is, in and of itself, a rare moment of public accountability for the Baltimore Police Department. In the last several decades, only a handful of police officers have been both charged and convicted of murder.

"More than 100,000 ColorOfChange members have called for accountability for Freddie's death and change in the way Baltimore polices black communities. We continue to call for the indictment of William Porter and the other officers involved in his death, and urge Mosby to try again — someone is and should be held responsible for Freddie's death.

Baltimore residents will be justifiably outraged at the lack of a conviction. We urge the city and police department to respect the constitutional rights of protesters and avoid the unnecessary mass arrests and exorbitant bail fees that followed Gray's killing."

City Councilman Brandon M. Scott

"Today a the jury in the Officer Porter case informed us all that they were not able to come to a unified decision on all charges. I expect for there to be protest and support anyone who wants to exercise their right! This trial and those that will follow are a part of a process that is an opportunity for Baltimore to heal and show the world how a community overcomes challenges. Many have been committed to working for change on all issues that plague our city long before April's unrest and I ask that all who want to see change join us in peacefully fighting for change."

State Senator Catherine Pugh

"The jury has made a decision and the judge has declared a mistrial in the case of Officer William Porter in the death of Freddie Gray.

"My thoughts are with Freddie Gray's family and I know that the majority of Baltimore citizens will receive this decision and respond appropriately. Now is the time for us to pray for our entire city and it is imperative for citizens, regardless of how you feel about this decision, to remain calm and to be respectful of one another.

The discussion to reform the relationship between our police and the citizens will continue past this verdict and the upcoming five police officer trials. The eyes of the world are watching and I know the good people of this city will rise to the occasion."

City Comptroller Joan M. Pratt

"The jury after deliberating was unable to reach a unanimous decision in the trial of Officer Porter. Their efforts are appreciated and their service was an important part of the fair administration ofjustice in our legal system. As a city that has suffered greatly and is still healing, I urge those who want to express their views that they do so peacefully, with safety and respect for our residents and communities."

David Warnock, mayoral candidate

"My prayers go out to the family of Freddie Gray and all involved in the events that led up to the April unrest.

Advertisement

"Sitting in the pew at Freddie Gray's funeral at New Shiloh Baptist Church, the legacy of Freddie Gray was apparent, and it's that we are all in this together. We must have justice for Freddie Gray and all the citizens of Baltimore. That justice comes in building the type of city where every citizen has the opportunity to experience all of the promise and potential Baltimore has to offer. To ensure this, we must fix the social justice issues plaguing our city; regulate police conduct; develop better police-community relationships while we grow prosperous, connected communities across our city.

"We must create a city that is transparent and accountable to the citizens of Baltimore, not politicians or powerful interests, and a city that is prosperous for everyone.

"The world is watching what we do to fulfill the promise of improving the lives of everyone in Baltimore."

Joshua Harris, mayoral candidate

In the wake of the officer William Porter's mistrial, I stand with the people of Baltimore as we wait to see what justice truly looks like in our city. We respect the process of our justice system, yet we also recognize that this process has historically been impartial. This is a very technical and complicated case.

"Knowing that the death of Freddie Gray was declared a homicide, there are still five more defendants, and five more opportunities for the citizens of Baltimore and the family of Freddie Gray to see justice. It is now up to the State's Attorney whether or not to pursue further charges. I stand firm in the pursuit of equal justice in our city."

NAACP national President and CEO Cornell William Brooks

"The NAACP has closely watched the investigation into the senseless death of Freddie Gray at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve the community.  This was a tragic and extreme example of law enforcement ignoring their own official and moral protocols when it comes to policing and protecting our community, and a grim reminder of the urgent need for criminal justice and law enforcement reform in cities across America.

"As we learned in this trial, the disdain police showed for Gray clearly demonstrates that the Baltimore Police Department must change the culture of its police force and address issues of police brutality, accountability and excessive use of force.  While we continue to closely follow the trials planned in this case, we urge Police Commissioner Davis and elected officials to work together to enact transparent reforms that can rebuild trust between officers and the communities they serve.

"While we respect the legal process and still await justice, the death of Freddie Gray and other tragedies continue to point to the need for systemic reform both within the municipal police departments and statewide.  We call on the community to continue the protests while using all of the available nonviolent means to seek justice for a violent death. We still believe that Officer Porter and his fellow officers failed in their fundamental responsibility and we continue to wait for justice."

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement