The Latest: Sanders tours neighborhood marred by rioting

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Posted: Dec 08, 2015 2:32 PM
The Latest: Sanders tours neighborhood marred by rioting

BALTIMORE (AP) — The latest on the trial of a Baltimore police officer who is charged with manslaughter in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who was injured in the back of a police transport van (all times local).

2:30 p.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders took his presidential campaign to the heart of a Baltimore neighborhood that witnessed riots last spring, calling the level of poverty and rundown housing reminiscent of a "third-world country."

The Democratic candidate toured the neighborhood where Freddie Gray died last spring of a spinal injury he suffered while in police custody, triggering riots. The first of six police officers charged in his death is now on trial.

During the tour, Sanders stopped to look at a large mural of Gray as he was led through the neighborhood by the Rev. Jamal Bryant of the city's Empowerment Temple AME Church. The presidential contender said it was "stunning that we are less than an hour from the White House and the United States Congress."

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1:45 p.m.

Circuit Judge Barry Williams has denied a defense motion to dismiss the case against William Porter, one of six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

After prosecutors rested their case, defense attorney Gary Proctor asked the judge to dismiss the manslaughter and other charges against Porter. Prosecutors say Porter didn't buckle Gray into a seat belt despite a general order requiring him to do so, and failed to call for a medic immediately after Gray indicated he needed aid.

Proctor said the state's case did not prove criminal negligence. He says there was no testimony that what Porter did was any sort of deviation from what a reasonable police officer would do. He also said he couldn't find a single case where failing to seat belt resulted in the reckless disregard of human life, which is one of the charges Porter faces.

Prosecutors say Porter showed "callous indifference to life."

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12:25 p.m.

The state's last witness before prosecutors rested their case was a criminal justice professor who testified that it is the responsibility of all officers to ensure that prisoners are buckled into seat belts in transport vans.

The expert witness, Michael Lyman, is a professor of criminal justice at Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri. He took the stand Tuesday as the state's 16th witness in the trial of William Porter, one of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

Prosecutors say Porter didn't get Gray help when he asked for a medic and failed to buckle Gray in when the man was being transported in a police wagon. Porter was not driving the van, but was present at five stops the van made on the way to a police station.

Lyman testified that it is the responsibility of all officers, not just the driver, to make sure prisoners are buckled into seat belts so they don't move around, fall down or injure themselves.

Gray was injured in the police van. Prosecutors and defense attorneys disagree over how and when he hurt his spine.

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12:10 p.m.

Before prosecutors rested their case, a Baltimore Police Department DNA expert testified that Freddie Gray's blood was found inside a police wagon on a bench, a wall and a seatbelt.

Gray was a 25-year-old black man who died a week after his neck was broken while he was being transported in handcuffs and shackles in the back of a police transport van.

Thomas Hebert (HEE'-bert) testified Tuesday at the manslaughter trial of Officer William Porter. Hebert was the state's 15th witness.

He says samples from eight bloodstains contained Gray's DNA.

Porter is also black. Prosecutors say his failure to summon medical help or buckle Gray in with a seatbelt amounted to criminal negligence.

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11:45 a.m.

The prosecution has rested its case in the manslaughter trial of a Baltimore police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

The state rested Tuesday after calling 16 witnesses. Gray was a 25-year-old black man who died in April after his neck was broken while he was being transported in handcuffs and shackles on the floor of a police van.

Officer William Porter, who is also black, is charged with manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. If convicted on all charges, he could face about 25 years in prison.

He's the first of six officers charged in connection with Gray's death to face trial.

The judge sent the jury home for the day and will take up legal issues. The defense will likely begin its case Wednesday.

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9:10 a.m.

A New York artist is putting a moving billboard on the streets of Baltimore to protest excessive police violence.

Michael D'Antuono also unfurled a banner Tuesday outside the courthouse where police officer William Porter is on trial for manslaughter in the death of Freddie Gray.

D'antuono's message: "It stops with cops." He says he's trying to persuade police officers not to let fellow officers get away with sometimes deadly violence against defenseless citizens.

Gray was a 25-year-old black man who died a week after suffering a spinal injury while he was being transported in handcuffs and shackles in the back of a police transport van.

Porter is also black. Prosecutors say his failure to summon medical help or buckle Gray in with a seatbelt amounted to criminal negligence.

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5 a.m.

Prosecutors in the trial of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter, an officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, are nearing the end of their case.

Porter faces manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment charges stemming from Gray's death. Gray died a week after he suffered a critical spinal injury in the back of a police wagon.

Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams on Monday denied a defense motion for a mistrial regarding whether Gray had a pre-existing back injury but said defense attorneys could use the documents in question to build their own case.

Prosecutors say Porter is partially responsible for Gray's death for failing the buckle him into a seatbelt, and for not calling a medic when Gray indicated he was injured.

Trial resumes Tuesday.