The Latest: Protesters demand justice for Gray and others

AP News
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Posted: Sep 02, 2015 7:53 PM
The Latest: Protesters demand justice for Gray and others

BALTIMORE (AP) — The latest on the first court hearing for six Baltimore police officers who are charged in the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died a week after suffering a spinal cord injury in custody (all times local):

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7:30 p.m.

Protesters gathered Wednesday evening outside the Baltimore Circuit Court to demand justice for Freddie Gray and other people they say have suffered from police violence.

The event was the weekly "West Wednesday" rally, organized because of the death of Tyrone West, 44, in July 2013 after Baltimore police tackled and handcuffed him during a traffic stop. An autopsy blamed a heart condition aggravated by the struggle and hot weather. An internal review board cleared officers of using excessive force, but said they "made several tactical errors that may have extended the length of the physical encounter, compromised officer safety, and potentially aggravated the situation."

Demonstrators held signs reading, "Justice 4 Tyrone West" and "We Know What You Did." Another read, "Tyrone West Baltimore's Ferguson."

But people also sought justice for Gray, who died in April after suffering a severe spinal injury in police custody. Six officers have been charged in his arrest and death. Signs at the protest showed Gray's picture and said, "No Justice No Peace."

Sharon Black, a protest organizer, said they had won a small but significant victory Wednesday, because the cases against the six officers were not dismissed. She urged protesters to return next week when a judge is to consider requests to move the trials out of the city.

"We have to keep pressing on," Black said.

Some of the dozens of speakers asked police officers monitoring the protest why they weren't out fighting crime.

After an hour-long protest at the courthouse, protesters marched to the front of nearby City Hall, chanting: "All night, all day, we will fight for Freddie Gray."

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7:15 p.m.

Baltimore police have identified a man officers arrested Wednesday morning in protests connected to the Freddie Gray murder trial as Darius Kwame Rosebrough, 21, of Baltimore.

Rosebrough is better known as Kwame Rose, an activist who gained attention when he confronted Fox News journalist Geraldo Rivera about coverage of demonstrations that followed Gray's death earlier this year.

Online court records show Rosebrough is charged with second-degree assault, disorderly conduct and resisting or interfering with an arrest. He was being held on $7,500 bail.

In video of his arrest, he is shown saying he has been hit by a car and needs a medic. Police said he was not hit by a car or tased, although an officer pulled a Taser on him during the arrest at an intersection near the Inner Harbor.

Police spokesman T.J. Smith also said Rosebrough kicked an officer in the face as the officers attempted to remove him from the scene, causing minor injuries.

Other protesters criticized police for failing to immediately give Rosebrough medical assistance. Rosebrough was eventually taken from the scene in an ambulance.

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5:30 p.m.

A protester arrested earlier in the day is charged with second-degree assault against a police officer, two counts of disorderly conduct and one count of making a false statement.

The man was arrested for blocking the road and ignoring warnings to return to the sidewalk, according to a police news release.

Police spokesman T.J. Smith said an officer was kicked in the face, causing minor injuries. The man arrested was identified by witnesses as Kwame Rose, a well-known local activist.

Smith said an officer pulled out a Taser during the arrest, but did not use it.

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4:45 p.m.

A judge has ruled that all six Baltimore police officers charged in connection with Freddie Gray's death will be tried separately.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams denied the state's motions to try three of the officers as a group. He said evidence against any of the three is not mutually admissible and "not in the interest of justice."

Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died a week after sustaining injuries following his arrest on April 12.

His death sparked riots and unrest in Baltimore for days following his funeral.

The trial for all six officers was initially set for Oct. 13. Dates for the new trials have not yet been set.

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2:50 p.m.

A pretrial hearing has resumed for six Baltimore police officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray.

Lawyers began making arguments Wednesday afternoon on whether the officers should be tried separately or in groups.

Prosecutors say they want four trials — one for Officer Edward Nero, Sgt. Alicia White and Officer Caesar Goodson; and separate trials for Lt. Brian Rice and officers William Porter and Garrett Miller.

All but Goodson have asked to be tried separately. He faces the most serious charge of second-degree "depraved-heart" murder.

All six defendants are charged with second-degree assault, misconduct and reckless endangerment. Rice, White and Porter also face a manslaughter charge.

Earlier Wednesday, the judge denied defense motions to dismiss all charges and remove State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby from the prosecution team.

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12:45 p.m.

The judge presiding over the pretrial hearing of six police officers accused in the death of a black man who was in their custody has ruled against two defense motions.

Judge Barry Williams on Wednesday denied defense requests to drop the charges against the officers and to have the prosecutor removed from the case due to misconduct and conflicts of interest.

Williams was to hear arguments later Wednesday about whether the officers should be tried separately or together.

They are accused in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a spinal cord injury while in police custody on April 12. He died a week later.

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12:15 p.m.

Judge Barry Williams rejected a defense motion asking for the Office of the State's Attorney to be removed from the Freddie Gray case. The decision came at a pretrial hearing Wednesday, shortly after Williams had denied a defense motion seeking to have the charges dropped.

Williams said that while he was "troubled" by some of the comments Mosby made during a May 1 news conference, they did not compromise the defendants' right to a fair trial.

Williams said prosecutors' chief responsibility is to investigate and prosecute cases, and that the office conducted an independent investigation is not unusual.

Williams also said the assertion that Mosby's judgment was impacted by the fact that her husband, Nick Mosby, is a councilman in a district that experienced a disproportionate amount of violence during the riots that Gray's death sparked is "condescending. Being married to a councilman is not a reason for recusal."

Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died a week after suffering a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody on April 12.

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11:45 a.m.

A Baltimore judge has refused to dismiss charges against six police officers accused in the death of a black man who was in their custody.

During a hearing Wednesday, Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams denied a defense motion for the charges to be dropped because of prosecutorial misconduct on the part of State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

The officers are facing charges in connection with the death of Freddie Gray. The 25-year-old Gray received a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody on April 12. He died a week later.

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10:10 a.m.

A hearing has gotten underway at a courthouse in Baltimore for six police officers charged in the death of a black man in their custody in April.

Officers Edward Nero, Garrett Miller, William Porter and Caesar Goodson, as well as Lt. Brian Rice and Sgt. Alicia White, face charges in connection with the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. All the officers face second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges. Rice, Porter and White also face manslaughter charges, and Goodson faces an additional charge of second-degree murder.

The 25-year-old Gray suffered a severe spinal cord injury on April 12 while in police custody. He died a week later.

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10 a.m.

Dozens of protesters have been rallying for more than an hour outside the Baltimore courthouse where a hearing will take place for six police officers charged in the death of a black man.

Many protesters marched in the street to the city's Inner Harbor area, where they blocked a main road briefly. Police lined up behind them, and directed them out of the road. Police handcuffed one protester while he was on his stomach in the street.

The situation was tense outside the courthouse ahead of the hearing in the death of Freddie Gray. The 25-year-old black man suffered a severe spinal cord injury on April 12 while in police custody. He died a week later.

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8:25 a.m.

Protesters are demonstrating outside the downtown Baltimore courthouse where the first hearing in the case of six city police officers charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray is to get underway.

The protesters gathered near the Baltimore Circuit Court more than 90 minutes before the hearing was set to begin Wednesday. They are carrying yellow signs with slogans including, "Stop racism now" and "Indict, convict, jail." A banner says "Justice 4 Freddie Carlos Gray."

They chanted: "Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell" and "Tell the truth and stop the lies, Freddie Gray didn't have to die."

Freddie Gray was a black man who died April 19, a week after suffering a critical spinal injury in custody. His death led to protests and a riot in Baltimore.

The six officers face charges ranging from second-degree assault, a misdemeanor, to second-degree "depraved-heart" murder

Lee Paterson says he's concerned charges could be dropped. He also said: "You know, this whole thing is bigger than Freddie Gray. It's about poverty."

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8:05 a.m.

Dozens of sheriff's deputies are patrolling the streets around Baltimore Circuit Court, where the first hearing in the case of six city police officers charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray is to get underway.

About 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, around 15 journalists were lined up, waiting for the courthouse doors to open at 8 a.m. A deputy briefed reporters on what equipment they could bring inside.

The officers face charges that range from second-degree assault, a misdemeanor, to second-degree "depraved-heart" murder.

On Wednesday, prosecutors and defense attorneys will present arguments on three issues: whether State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby should recuse herself, whether the officers should be tried together or separately, and whether the charges should be dismissed.

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4:50 a.m.

The first court hearing is set to begin since six Baltimore police officers were criminally charged in the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died a week after suffering a critical spinal injury in custody.

Protesters are planning to gather Wednesday outside the Baltimore Circuit Court, where prosecutors and defense attorneys will present arguments on three key issues: whether State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby should recuse herself, whether the officers should be tried together or separately, and whether the charges should be dismissed.

The officers face charges that range from second-degree assault, a misdemeanor, to second-degree "depraved-heart" murder.

Gray's death led to protests in Baltimore, and a riot that prompted the National Guard to intervene and the city's mayor to declare a citywide curfew.