Tears from Freddie Gray's mother as the arrest video was shown
Brandon Ross, 31, one of Gray's friends with him prior to his arrest, took the stand as prosecutors introduced two separate videos of Gray's arrest -- one from Presbury Street, and one from Baker Street, where Gray had his legs shackled.
After one of the videos that Ross took of Gray being shackled and people in the neighborhood reacting -- "You could hear yo screaming!" one woman yelled toward the end of the video -- Gray's mother let out a sob and broke into tears. She was quickly escorted out of the courtroom, along with other family members.
Williams immediately called a recess.
Ross, still on the stand, broke into tears as well. He stood, and walked off into the rear corner of the courtroom, with Bledsoe following him. He then walked out of the courtroom as well.
Gray's family and Ross returned to the courtroom soon after.
The jury saw the cell phone video of Freddie Gray being arrested at Gilmor Homes for the first time
The video -- and others that soon surfaced -- helped attract attention to the case and witnesses raised questions about whether Gray had been badly beaten during his arrest.
But as the investigators' focus shifted to what happened inside the van during Gray's 45 minute ride, prosecutors want to use the videos to show that Gray was able to move himself during the arrest.
The video was introduced during the testimony of Gray's friend Brandon Ross, who was with him the morning he was arrested.
"I grew up with him in my neighborhood," Ross said. "Sandtown-Winchester community."
Ross said he had known Gray for 10 years: "We were like brothers."
Ross said the pair were off to see a man about a carpentry job, but when they rounded the corner from North Avenue onto Mount Street Gray took off.
"As we was turning the corner, Freddie started running," Ross said. The next time he saw Gray was when he was in the custody of police.
On the chilly early morning of April 12, Freddie Gray walked along North Avenue's wide sidewalk with two friends. Davonte Roary, Brandon Ross and Gray called each other "brothers." They had grown up around West Baltimore's Gilmor Homes complex and were meeting for breakfast.
Most of the events that morning have been well documented. Gray, 25, was chased by police officers, arrested and loaded into a transport van.
Authorities have said little about what happened before Gray was arrested, but Baltimore Sun interviews with his friends shed light on those events — and on the friends themselves. Roary, 20, ran with Gray but was not arrested. Ross, 31, did not run and recorded some of Gray's transport with a cellphone, the last known footage of him still conscious.
Freddie Gray, 25, first made eye contact with a Baltimore Police lieutenant at 8:39 a.m. on the cool morning of April 12. At 9:24 a.m., a medic unit was called to the Western District police station, where Gray was in “serious medical distress” from a severe spinal injury. What happened in the 45 minutes in between largely remains a mystery, though local residents who say they witnessed moments along the way say Gray's arrest and officers' subsequent enforcement of it were anything but normal.
Second witness called to testify in trial of Officer William Porter
One of officer William Porter's police academy instructors acknowledged that violations of the department's general orders are not typically the basis for criminal charges as he faced cross-examination Thursday morning.
Joseph Murtha, one of Porter's attorneys, read instructor Agent John Bilheimer a passage of text indicating that violations are only the basis for internal police discipline. Murtha asked the instructor if that was accurate.
"Yes, sir," Bilheimer said.
But prosecutors are also sought to show that the general orders are based on the law, and that Porter was thoroughly trained in his responsibilities to seat-belt a prisoner and not to transport an injured person. Prosecutors allege that by failing to properly secure Freddie Gray in April, Porter is guilty of manslaughter.
Jan Bledsoe, one of the prosecutors, introduced a copy of a training booklet that Porter had filled out and asked Bilheimer to read a section.
"We do not transport injured people," the instructor read to the jury.
The two sides also disputed who had responsibility for a prisoner. Murtha asked Bilheimer if it would be the police transport van driver, and he said it was, but he later acknowledged to Bledsoe that more than one officer could have responsibility at any given time.
It's the fourth day of the trial. Porter entered the court room around 9:30 and chatted with his attorneys.
"It's impossible to follow all of the rules all of the time," said Moskos, now a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. He said police need rules that are easier to comprehend and give them flexibility to address a wide range of situations on the street.
But Joe Margulies, a Cornell University law professor, said Gray's arrest and transport should have been uncomplicated, and not a situation in which officers needed to think on their feet or bend rules.
"If the assertion is that how to handle a detained suspect is ambiguous and a nuanced situation over which reasonable people could disagree, that's just mistaken," he said.
Should Officer William Porter have known to rush Freddie Gray to the hospital?
Deputy State's Attorney Michael Schatzow said a five-second radio call for medical help could have saved Gray's life and that Porter's failure to act was a sign of his chilling indifference. Prosecutors have said that Gray asked for medical help.
A Baltimore Sun investigation after Gray's death showed that city police often disregard or are oblivious to injuries and illnesses among people they apprehend. Over nearly three years, records show correctional officers at the Baltimore City Detention Center have refused to admit nearly 2,600 detainees who were in police custody.
Gary Proctor, one of Porter's lawyers, described how suspects regularly fake injuries to avoid going straight to jail — a phenomenon known as "jailitis" — which ends up wasting officers' time. The first person Porter ever arrested faked a seizure, the lawyer said.
Porter knew Gray's history as someone who gave arresting officers trouble, Proctor told jurors, saying that one time he had tried to kick out he windows of a police cruiser.
"There was no outward sign of any injury," Proctor added.
Courtroom sketch during the William Porter trial about the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Displaying an enlarged photo of the police van and a map showing the route traveled, states attorney Michael Schatzow points toward defendant William Porter as he gives his opening statement to the jury. At the bottom right Baltimore City States Attorney Marilyn Mosby looks on. (William Hennessy /CourtroomArt.com)