The trial of six police officers accused of killing Freddie Grey in the back of a police van will stay in Baltimore.
Prior to the Thursday decision, months of debate raged over whether the officers accused could get a fair trial in Baltimore due to a jury potentially being influenced by protests that garnered international attention. Judge Barry Williams said the officers could still get fair trials in the city, even after the protests and a recent $US6.4 million settlement between Baltimore and Grey’s family, the Associated Press reports.
Protesters were heard cheering, “The trial stays here,” outside the courthouse.
Ivan Bates, an attorney representing one of the six officers, told Williams the multi-million dollar settlement would make potential jurors think “these officers are guilty, and if they are not guilty, why are we paying them $US6.4 million?”
He added State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s comments on aligning herself with the protest makes it impossible to get a fair trial for the officers.
Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow said the idea that potential jurors in Baltimore can’t be fair is “insulting,” and the only way a venue change is needed is in “a small community where you have an armed lynch mob at the door.”
The officers face a wide-range of charges — including murder — in Grey’s death. They have each pleaded not guilty on all charges faced in the April incident.
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