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CRIME AND CRIMINALS: MURDER HOMICIDE : POLICE BRUTALITY : UNITED STATES: CITIES: BALTIMORE, MARYLAND : LAW: CASES: Judge Orders Officers Charged in Freddie Gray Case to be Tried Separately


David P. Dillard
 

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CRIME AND CRIMINALS: MURDER HOMICIDE :

POLICE BRUTALITY :

UNITED STATES: CITIES: BALTIMORE, MARYLAND :

LAW: CASES:

Judge Orders Officers Charged in Freddie Gray Case to be Tried Separately

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Judge Orders Officers Charged in Freddie Gray Case to be Tried Separately

September 2, 2015

By Kevin Rector and Justin Fenton

The Baltimore Sun

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/freddie-gray/ bs-md-ci-freddie-gray-hearing-20150902-story.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/qg79nyv

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circuit judge ruled Wednesday that the case against six Baltimore police officers charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray will go forward in separate trials, with Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby remaining at the helm of the prosecution..

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During a day of hearings in a downtown courtroom, Judge Barry Williams swiftly sliced through complex legal arguments in the first motions hearing. In three key rulings issued from the bench, he refused to dismiss the charges or recuse Mosby and decided that the case should be split to ensure that each officer gets a fair trial.

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Williams said that trying the officers together would not be "in the interest of justice" because key evidence that's admissible with regards to one officer may be inadmissible for another. The officers are charged with a range of offenses, from murder to misconduct, as each played a different role in Gray's arrest and transport.

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The case has sparked widespread protests in Baltimore which continued Wednesday and has become part of a national dialogue about police treatment of black citizens. Gray, 25, died in April one week after suffering a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody.

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Outside the courtroom, dozens of protesters gathered in peaceful demonstrations and marches through downtown that resulted in one arrest and snarled traffic. Even at this early stage of the court proceedings, organizers said they wanted their voices heard.

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"It's a step in the right direction," Malcolm Wilson said of Williams' rulings on defense motions to recuse Mosby and dismiss the case. The 23-year-old East Baltimore resident, who said he knew Gray, clutched a white cardboard sign that read, "I am here for Justice for Mr. Gray."

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snip

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Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said police wanted to treat "a protest like a protest," and that "by and large, that's exactly what happened." Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake praised the department, saying she and police "will vigorously defend the First Amendment rights of the protesters, but we will also vigorously enforce the order in our city."

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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