Calm in Baltimore Overnight After Freddie Gray Mistrial

Activists and officials urged peace in the community.

December 17, 2015, 7:19 AM

— -- The streets of Baltimore were calm overnight as activists urged peace and healing after the Wednesday announcement of a mistrial in the trial of police officer William Porter.

People gathered across the city to protest the decision, but they remained largely peaceful.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called for calm after a jury failed to reach a verdict in the first trial of the six police officers charged in connection with the April death of Freddie Gray from injuries he sustained while in police custody.

"In the coming days, if some choose to demonstrate peacefully to express their opinion, that is there constitutional right,” she said. “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.”

Porter was charged in connection with the death of Gray, facing four charges: second-degree assault, involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges, as have the other five officers charged in connection with the death.

It's unclear whether the state will pursue a retrial of Porter.

Gray died in April from a severe spinal injury while in custody after being arrested when he fled from the police. Porter allegedly failed to get medical help for Gray as the transport vehicle carrying the suspect made several stops in Baltimore after picking him up on the way to the police station.

Congressman Elijah Cummings, a Democrat whose district includes a portion of Baltimore, released a statement about the mistrial urging people to "ensure that the process of healing our community continues."

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

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