Video Emerges Once Again as Key in Freddie Gray Case

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Image via WCVB
Image via WCVB

There are a host of legal questions being weighed in the courtroom in the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson, such as which officer was responsible for Gray’s overall well-being as he was transported in a police van through West Baltimore, and whether his death was appropriately classified. A more basic question was introduced on Tuesday: What does a video show?

In building their case, prosecutors are aiming to prove that Gray was given a rough ride by Goodson, who was the driver of the van. According to WBAL, prosecutors introduced surveillance video evidence of the van’s fifth stop that they say shows the rough ride. But there’s not agreement on that fact.

According to the Washington Post, a Baltimore detective testified that the surveillance video of the van did not show the van making “abrupt stops, starts or turns.”

Like in other cases involving deaths at the hands of police, the visual power of a video was key in bringing Gray’s death to national prominence. Now, it could be one of the keys in the trial of the officer facing the most serious charges. The first video showing police dragging Gray into the van didn’t end up relating directly to Gray’s injury, which is believed to have been sustained inside the van.

As for the second, “It may be that we don’t see that smoking gun in terms of evidence regarding the rough ride,”University of Baltimore Law School Professor David Jaros told WBAL. “That doesn’t mean we are not going to have other evidence offered, but we are still waiting.”

In other words, it may be up to a judge to decide what we see.



Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

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