After a Baltimore judge pronounced a mistrial in the manslaughter trial of Baltimore police officer William Porter in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, protesters took to the streets. Photos of protests in Baltimore show outrage at the lack of a verdict as many protesters clashed with cops. Minutes after the mistrial was announced, Kwame Rose, a known Baltimore activist was arrested for using a bullhorn.
Subsequently, news journalists covering the event report that police began harassing them. Baltimore Sun reporter Ken Recto tweeted, “Sheriff’s dept comes over, tells me & Sun photog if we shoot pictures of court we’ll be in contempt of court order by admin judge.” He goes on to report a judge's order made the area a "privately public." “We said it’s a public street. Deputy says, and I quote, that the judge’s order has now made it a "privately public" area.”
I'm not quite sure what a "privately public area" means, but my guess is that it is a term intended to keep the city safe, and furthermore, to prevent riots that rocked Baltimore this past April, on the day of Gray's funeral.
Porter was one of six police officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, 25. He was the first officer to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and assault in the second degree. However, after a three-day deliberation, the jury was unable to reach a verdict in the Porter case, and Judge Barry G. Williams dismissed the jury with the statement, "You've been a diligent jury." Porter declined the option of appearing in court for the reading of the verdict.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake issued a statement intended to keep the peace in these troubling times.
In the coming days, if some choose to demonstrate peacefully to express their opinion, that is their constitutional right. In the case of any disturbance in the city, we are prepared to respond. We will protect our neighborhoods, our businesses and the people of our city.
Although nowhere near as violent as the riots in April, these images from Twitter show the public unrest moments after the verdict was delivered.
Some people are pointing out that the city deliberately put African-American cops on duty today.
The arrest of Kwame Rose for using a bullhorn disturbed many people on the scene.
Some people are reporting Rose's arrest was targeted.
The Verdict Has The Public Outraged
A Mistrial Means Living The Horror Of Gray's Death And The Trial All Over Again
Tensions Between Baltimore Citizens And Cops Remain High
But After The April Riots, Hopefully The City Keeps Protesting Safe For All Citizens
An attorney for the Gray family, Bill Murphy relayed the message that the Gray family wasn't angry and prayed for peace. He called the mistrial "a bump on the road to justice."
Image: Mark Wilson, Rob Carr/Getty Images(5)