Yesterday, prosecutors and the defense attorneys representing the six Baltimore police officers charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray appeared in court for the first circuit court hearing. The judge heard arguments on key motions in the case. Two days were scheduled for each side in the Freddie Gray case to argue pretrial motions in front of Judge Barry Williams reports WMAR Baltimore.
The prosecutors and defense attorneys argued whether motions to dismiss charges, whether or not Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office should be disqualified from trying the case, if all six officers should be tried together. Wednesday’s motion was the defense’s belief that Marilyn Mosby and her office had a conflict of interest in the case and that the charges against the Baltimore six should be dismissed. A judge rejected these claims and decided that each of the six officers would face their own trial.
At a hearing on Thursday, September 10, the defense will argue for a change of venue. Freddie Gray, 25, was arrested on April 12 and suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody. He died a week later.
On August 31, DeKalb County police officers responding to a burglary call went to the wrong home, shot the unarmed homeowner, killed his dog and wounded one of their own police officers. According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, three DeKalb County police officers were dispatched to a burglary call on Boulderwoods Drive around 7:30 that evening. The officers stopped at Chris and Leah McKinley’s home because it matched the description given, according to a release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The officers went to the rear of the home, onto the screened-in porch and through a “reportedly unlocked rear door,” the GBI said. According to neighbors, that’s when Chris McKinley, 36, who’d been watching a movie with his wife and 1-year-old, walked into the room with his dog. Authorities said two of the officers opened fire after they “encountered a dog.” McKinley was shot in the leg, and his dog, a female boxer, was killed. Officer Travis Jones also was shot in the hip by a colleague, the GBI said.
McKinley was released from Atlanta Medical Center early Tuesday morning with crutches. On Tuesday afternoon, Jones was in “serious but stable condition” at Grady Memorial Hospital, officials said. Jones and the other two officers involved in the incident, Quhanna Lloyd and Timothy Harden, have been placed on paid administrative leave. Interim DeKalb police Chief James Conroy said the incident has prompted the county to review its when-to-shoot training protocol, but he also mentioned that police have a difficult time locating the scene of the incidents when people call 911 from cell phones but aren’t able to provide an accurate address. The GBI are reviewing the case.
A police officer-involved shooting took place on the afternoon of August 28 in Dover, Delaware. The News Journal reports that officers with the Street Crimes Unit were tipped off by an informant that Terrence Fletcher, 21, was in the area of South New Street and was in possession of a handgun. When confronted by a state Probation and Parole officer who works with unit, Fletcher ran through an alley that connects to an adjacent parking lot near the day care, police said. In that area a Dover police officer saw Fletcher with a gun and shot him in the thigh, authorities said. Police said the gunshot didn’t strike any bones or vital organs and described the injury as a flesh wound.
Police allege that Fletcher threw his .38 caliber revolver as he was struck in the thigh during the foot chase, which ended near a day care center in downtown. Authorities said Fletcher admitted to police midday Monday to possessing the handgun. Investigators recovered the firearm at the scene, authorities said. Police in court filings said they only saw Fletcher reaching into his waistband while running away. And some residents said that Fletcher didn’t have a weapon. Fletcher is in the prison infirmary at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna.
A hospital patient was shot by a police officer in Houston on August 27, reports KRGV. Alan Christopher Pean was a patient at Saint Joseph Medical Center, when investigators said he became “combative” with hospital staff in his room and the staff called for help. Two off-duty Houston police officers responded as they were working security at the hospital. The officers initially used a stun gun to subdue Pean. Police said the struggle escalated to an officer fearing for his life and he shot the Rio Grande Valley man once in the stomach. The officers were hurt in the struggle. One reportedly suffered a concussion. They’re now on leave while police and the district attorney investigate. According to an interview with Pean’s brother, Christian with KHOU, Alan was shot in the chest and he’s in stable condition in the ICU as well as that he is in custody. KHOU also reports that the Pean family has hired high-profile attorney Mark O’Mara, who infamously represented George Zimmerman when he was tried for the death of Trayvon Martin.
North Carolina prosecutors declared last Friday they won’t seek a retrial of a police officer charged in the shooting death of an unarmed man, according to a letter from the state attorney general’s office reports to CNN. Officer Randall Kerrick of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department was charged with voluntary manslaughter after he shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell, a college student and football player, in 2013. Judge Richard C. Ervin last week declared a mistrial after the jury could not reach a verdict. Prosecutors made their decision after speaking with jurors from the original trial. They said they will submit paperwork for dismissal of the charge.