The trials for the six BPD officers accused in Freddie Gray’s death will be held in Baltimore.
According to the AP, Judge Barry Williams ruled against a motion by lawyers for the officers to move the trials outside of the city. The officers’ attorneys argued that the rioting that followed Freddie Gray’s funeral and attention on the case made it impossible for the police to get a fair trial. But Williams ruled that it was too early to determine whether the court could seat a fair and impartial jury, given that the jury selection process hasn’t taken place yet.
According to CBS Baltimore, which cut into regularly scheduled programming with the news, Williams could revisit the ruling if there are problems selecting a jury during the selection process, known in legal terms as “voir dire.”
The officers will have six separate trials. Dates have yet to be set.
Focus has come back on the case in September with the two pretrial hearings, and this week’s announcement that Gray’s family will receive $6.4 million in settlement money from the city.
Protests have also resumed around the hearings, as activists said they were seeking to keep the pressure on for justice in the case. About 25-50 gathered outside the courthouse on Thursday, saying they wanted the trial to stay in Baltimore. They cheered when the decision was issued on Thursday.
While they have mostly avoided riot gear, police have made some arrests. The Rev. Westley West, a leader of the April demonstrations that followed Gray’s death, was arrested late Wednesday night for actions on Pratt St. during last week’s trial. Police said he blocked a car on Pratt St., and charged him with “attempting to incite a riot,” and a host of other charges. A woman was also arrested on Thursday morning outside the courthouse.
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