The search for a jury
The proceedings Monday will start with the search for a panel of city jurors who can be impartial — forgetting everything they've heard about the highly publicized case and dismissing any emotions about its impact on the city or their own neighborhoods.
Porter's attorneys have said it will be impossible to seat such a panel in Baltimore and that the trial must be moved. Prosecutors have said a fair jury can be seated, and that Baltimore residents deserve the chance to deliver justice in the case.
Judge Barry Williams has said the only way to find out is to call potential city jurors to the court and ask them during the jury selection process, known as voir dire, if they can be fair.
The process could be difficult. During jury selection in the October trial of a young man arrested during the April unrest, 21 potential jurors stood when asked if they had "strong feelings regarding the protest and the ensuing response following the death of Freddie Gray."
The process will yield a jury of 12, with as many as four alternate jurors.
Williams has said he expects to question 75 to 80 potential jurors on Monday.
Is it possible to seat a jury in Baltimore?
Judge Barry Williams has repeatedly ruled against defense motions to move the trials of the six police officers charged in Gray's arrest and death out of Baltimore. Williams, however, left open the possibility that the trials could be moved if an impartial jury panel can't be found. From there, a jury of 12 will be selected, with as many as four alternates.
Baltimore City's preparations
The city is preparing for protests associated with the trial and around police-involved deaths in Chicago and Minnesota.
"We're having constant conversations and planning sessions," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. "The police have set up a joint information center. We've set up protocols for surrounding jurisdictions. We're ready."
Rawlings-Blake said police are monitoring social media and talking with community leaders.
"We're vigilant," she said. "Community members certainly don't want the city to erupt in violence again. We're listening."
Officer William G. Porter
Porter, who is expected to take the stand, was present at multiple stops of the transport van in which Gray was injured, and prosecutors allege he should have sought medical attention. The Baltimore Sun has previously reported that, according to a police review of Porter's statement to detectives, Porter mentioned not being sure whether Gray was faking his injury. His attorneys have cited another portion of Porter's statement, in which he said he recognized Gray "from the neighborhood," and that it was "always a big scene whenever you attempted to arrest Freddie Gray."
Porter, on the city's force since 2012, is charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. He has pleaded not guilty, as have the five other officers charged in the case.
The trials and the city
The proceedings, which will begin with jury selection, could have significant implications for the city and for the five other officers slated to be tried consecutively over the next several months, experts said.
The Baltimore trials have gained national prominence as activists have sought to bring attention to police brutality and to the lack of charges in other cases where young black men have been killed, including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. The rioting that broke out in Baltimore following Gray's death in April from injuries sustained in police custody have heightened interest in the case.
City officers have faced charges in a range of incidents over the years, but critics have been frustrated by a lack of charges in others.
What is the trial schedule?
Officer William G. Porter Nov. 30, 2015.
Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jan. 6, 2016.
Sgt. Alicia D. White Jan. 25, 2016.
Officer Garrett E. Miller Feb. 9, 2016.
Officer Edward Nero Feb. 22, 2016.
Lt. Brian W. Rice March 9, 2016.
What are the charges against the police officers?
Officer Caesar R. Goodson, the driver of the van used to transport Gray, is charged with second-degree depraved-heart murder, the most serious charge among the six officers. He also is charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, two counts of vehicular manslaughter and misconduct in office.
Three officers, Officer William G. Porter, Lt. Brian W. Rice, and Sgt. Alicia D. White, face involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office charges.
Officers Edward M. Nero and Garrett E. Miller are charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
All six officers have pleaded not guilty and will all be tried separately.
How did we get to this point?
Gray, 25, was arrested on April 12 and suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody. He died a week later. His funeral on April 27 was followed by citywide rioting, looting and arson. On May 1, Mosby announced criminal charges against the six officers from the stairs of the Baltimore War Memorial. Later that month, the six officers were indicted by a grand jury.
Is the trial on TV?
No. Maryland's laws prohibit cameras and recording devices from court rooms. In addition to comprehensive coverage, The Sun will also provide daily recaps in an easy-to-digest format.
How long will the trial last?
That remains to be seen, however, it is more likely to last weeks than days. The second of the six trials is scheduled for a month from the start of Officer Porter's trial.
What is likely to happen today?
The trial will begin with jury selection, which could take several days.