- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2015

BALTIMORE (AP) - The latest on the trial of a police officer accused in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a spinal injury in the back of a transport van (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

An assistant state medical examiner who examined Freddie Gray’s body says his spinal cord was “kinked” by the injury he suffered while riding in the back of a police van.

Dr. Carol Allan testified Friday in Baltimore during the manslaughter trial of city police officer William Porter. Prosecutors say Porter could have prevented Gray’s death by buckling him into a seat in the van, as required by department policy, or calling an ambulance at some point during Gray’s 45-minute trip.

Allan says the initial injury to Gray’s spine would have been made worse by movement.

She says, “Any kind of movement after the primary injury occurred was going to cause more injury.”


3:35 p.m.

The assistant medical examiner has taken the stand to give testimony describing Freddie Gray’s injuries.

Gray died after suffering a critical spinal injury in a police van. Officer William Porter faces manslaughter and other charges in Gray’s death. He was present at several stops the van made with Gray in it.

Dr. Carol Allan testified Friday that Gray’s spinal cord was swollen, with contusions and bruising.

Allan said Gray’s spinal cord had suffered a severe compression, meaning that it was effectively pinched to such an extent that “functionally it was cut through, but anatomically not.”

Allan said Gray also had head injuries, including cuts and bruises.


1:20 p.m.

A detective who investigated Freddie Gray’s arrest and injury says Officer William Porter called for medical attention as soon as he observed that Gray was injured.

Detective Syreeta Teel’s testimony under cross-examination is important because prosecutors and defense attorneys disagree over exactly when and how Gray was injured.

When Porter’s defense attorney asked, “As soon as Officer Porter became aware of medical distress a medic was called within ten seconds, is that correct?”

Teel said yes.

Porter faces manslaughter and other charges in Gray’s death. Gray died after he broke his neck in the back of a police van.


12:35 p.m.

A Baltimore jury has heard a videotaped statement of Officer William Porter acknowledging he didn’t use a seat belt for Freddie Gray in a police transport van, and didn’t call an ambulance despite Gray’s pleas for help, listless appearance and lethargic responses.

Gray died from a broken neck a week after he was injured in the van.

The nearly hour-long video shown Friday is central to the state’s manslaughter case against Porter, the first of six officers to face trial.

In the interview, Porter appears forthcoming and cooperative. He says he wasn’t involved with Gray’s arrest but spoke with him during at least two of the five stops the van made afterward.

At the last stop, a police station, Porter says he opened the back door and saw the handcuffed and shackled prisoner unresponsive on the floor of the van.

Porter says he and Officer Zachary Novak tried to revive Gray.

Porter says that when that didn’t work, Novak said, “Oh, s–, we need to call for a medic.”


This item has been corrected to attribute the statement, ‘We need to call for a medic,’ to Officer Zachary Novak, not Officer Porter.


11:15 a.m.

A detective is testifying that an officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray told her the man reported that he couldn’t breathe during a van ride after his arrest.

The testimony is important for prosecutors because Gray’s attorneys said during opening statements that Officer William Porter never heard Gray say he couldn’t breathe.

Detective Syreeta Teel testified Friday that Porter made the statement during a phone call she had with him about the police investigation.

Porter is one of six officers charged in the death of Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died a week after his neck was broken in the back of a police van.

Teel said Porter asked Gray to get up off the van floor and Gray replied that he couldn’t, so Porter lifted the man onto a bench.


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