Just today, Judge Barry G. Williams decided that Officer Caesar R. Goodson, the second cop to be sent to court for Freddie Gray’s death, will face his trial in the city of Baltimore. Goodson’s legal team previously tried to have the trial moved to another jurisdiction out of fear that State Attorney Marilyn Mosby and local jurors would be overly biased in their decisions on the case.
The judge has also ordered Officer William G. Porter to testify in Goodson’s case. Porter was the first out of six officers that have been sent to trial for Gray’s death; Porter’s case was deemed a mistrial after three days of deliberations. Porter’s defense repeatedly deflected blame onto Goodson for the murder, saying that Goodson was responsible for getting Gray medical attention because he drove the van. Porter will be retried on June 13 after the other five officers have already been tried for the homicide.
The jury will stay anonymous for Goodson’s trial, but won’t be segregated. Jurors will also be given access to the police van where Gray died during the trial, but they won’t be presented with Gray’s prior medical history.
Goodson, who faces the most serious charges of depraved heart murder, manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment begins his trial on Jan. 11.
This week also marks the first year that Mosby has spent serving as Baltimore City’s State Attorney.
“It has been a very tumultuous year,” Mosby said, “But one in which it was a reflection of our city, very resilient. Despite the obstacles, we are still standing.”
Mosby was put through the ringer in 2015, as the city was sent reeling from $9 million in damages against local homes and businesses that were hit by the Freddie Gray riots and protests. Even worse, the city experienced one if its deadliest periods in years. The monthly homicide rate almost doubled after April when the protests began, resulting in almost 350 killings in total.
Mosby insists that the city’s widespread poverty is the root of the violence, hence why she takes a comprehensive approach to her role as a prosecutor.
“[W]hen you’re talking about 24 percent of Baltimore’s population living in poverty, 35 percent of children living in poverty, I think you have to think it has to do with socio economics.”