*Trial began Monday morning for one of the Baltimore police officers charged in the death of African American man Freddie Gray from an injury sustained in police custody.
Gray, 25, suffered a mysterious injury in the back of a police transport van and died April 19, inspiring thousands to take to the streets to protest police brutality. In the weeks following the unrest, six police officers were indicted in Gray’s death.
Officer William Porter is the first to go on trial. He faces charges of assault, manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.
Porter is accused of checking on Gray during several stops the van made during its 45-minute trip from the Gilmor Homes in Sandtown-Winchester, where Gray was arrested, to the Western District station house, where officers found Gray unresponsive and he was taken to a hospital. He died a week later.
Gray was initially handcuffed. Later during his van ride, his legs were shackled and he was placed back in the van without a seatbelt, a violation of department policy, prosecutors have said.
As many as 80 potential jurors filed into the Baltimore courtroom and were asked a number of questions to gauge their ability to be impartial. When asked, every juror called said they knew about the Freddie Gray case, were aware of the curfew imposed following the protests and knew about the $6.4M settlement between the city and Gray’s family, according to NBC Washington.
A dozen potential jurors said they were employed by a law enforcement agency while 26 said they had “strong feelings” about manslaughter or other misconduct by police. Nearly 40 potential jurors said they or a family member had been either a victim of a crime or been investigated, arrested, charged or convicted of a crime.
The judge said a jury will be seated in the next day or two.
Over 150 people are listed as witnesses for the trial, including dozens of police officers and other personnel.
The trial is expected to be complete by Dec. 17.