Trial Of First Freddie Grey Officer Begins, Protesters Return

| Resist!

Above: Photo of evening protest on first day of trial. By Margaret Flowers of Popular Resistance.

On Monday, November 30th, the trial of William G. Porter the first Baltimore police officer in the Freddie Grey killing began with jury selection. The Washington Post reports and other news reports all said that inside the courtroom protests could be heard/ The Post writes:  “Chants from protesters standing outside in the cold, light rain filtered into the marbled courtroom: “We won’t stop until killer cops are in cell blocks.” Protesters were outside the courthouse in the morning and in the evening when court finished. The trial is expected to continue through mid-December. Protests are likely to occur throughout the trial. 

The Post reports “Sharon Black, 66, a retired registered nurse, stood among the demonstrators holding a yellow banner that read, ‘No police terror; black lives matter.’ She said that her group has been at the courthouse during each major development in the case. ‘We’ve been out here, primarily to keep the pressure on. We want not only for these officers to be indicted, but that they be convicted and that they be jailed like the average people on the street. . . .We feel the Freddie Gray case is a symbol of police terror, police abuse and systematic racism.'” 

Steven Ceci, one of the protest organizers, told The Post the demonstrations were important to show Baltimore officials “that people around the world have their eyes on Baltimore and to make sure justice is served.” He said they would continue “from the beginning of the first trial until the end of the last.”

The Real News reports the courtroom was full and three dozen people watched from an overflow room. While all of the 75 jurors considered today knew about the killing of Freddie Grey, the curfew put in place during the uprising and the civil settlement in the case, noted criminal defense attorney Billy Murphy told the Sun that within a couple of days Judge Barry Williams should be able to pick a jury. In addition 39 of the potential 75 jurors had either been a victim of a crime, incarcerated or a family member had been incarcerated. In addition to asking some public questions, Judge Williams also interviewed some of the jurors in his chambers. Judge Williams has ordered that the jurors will not be required to be sequestered. A second panel of 75 jurors will be considered on Tuesday.

Below are tweets further describing today’s activities.