The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that a Baltimore police officer can be compelled to testify against the five other officers charged in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
Maryland’s highest court denied William Porter’s legal team’s request that he not be forced to testify against Caesar Goodson and Sgt. Alicia White, according to WBAL.
An order issued by Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams stating that prosecutors could not call on Porter to testify against Lt. Brian Rice and Officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller was also struck down. Prosecutors said that they could compel Porter to testify against the other officers since he was being offered limited immunity. His defense, however, maintained that Porter would be in danger of incriminating himself.
Porter, who plead not guilty to manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment charges, was the first to be tried in Gray’s death. But, after deliberating for three days, the jury told Williams they could not reach a unanimous verdict on any of the charges. Williams declared a mistrial.
During the trial, Porter testified that he told Brandon Ross, a friend of Gray who filmed the arrest, to “take the video to the media.” Porter also claimed that he repeatedly told Goodson that Gray needed medical attention. He also told the jury that he has never discharged his firearm, or used Mace or a Taser while on duty.
Gray died in April after sustaining a spinal cord injury while riding in a police van. His death sparked protests throughout the city.
All six officers allegedly involved in Gray’s death were indicted in May and each has plead not guilty to all charges. They are facing charges of misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.
Goodson was charged with second-degree “depraved-heart” murder, manslaughter, and two counts of vehicular manslaughter and second-degree assault. White and Lt. Brian Rice were charged with involuntary manslaughter and second-degree assault. Officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller are also facing charges of second-degree assault.