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Thread: Insanity in Baltimore continues..

  1. #1

    Insanity in Baltimore continues..

    Unprecedented lunacy..

    Second Freddie Gray Trial to Focus on Whether Officer Committed Assault During Arrest

    Officer Edward Nero’s trial set to begin Wednesday

    Officer Edward Nero, left, Lt. Brian Rice and Sgt. Alicia White leave the Maryland Court of Appeals on March 3 in Annapolis, Md. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

    By Scott Calvert

    May 9, 2016 11:12 a.m. ET 14 COMMENTS

    BALTIMORE—The second trial related to Freddie Gray’s death while in police custody last year will likely focus on whether an officer committed assault during the arrest.

    The trial of Officer Edward Nero is unlikely to turn on how Mr. Gray was dealt a fatal broken neck—as a previous trial of another officer involved in the arrest did. Mr. Nero’s trial is scheduled to start Wednesday, though prosecutors have asked the judge for a one-day delay because of a power outage in their offices over the weekend.

    Mr. Nero is one of six Baltimore officers charged in connection with Mr. Gray’s death, which spurred large protests that erupted in rioting after the 25-year-old black man’s funeral in late April 2015.

    Officer William Porter stood trial last fall for failing to seat-belt Mr. Gray in the van, in violation of department rules, and not getting medical attention for Mr. Gray, after the arrested man requested aid. That case ended in a hung jury on all counts, including involuntary manslaughter.

    The state plans to retry Mr. Porter, so all six officers currently await trial. All six officers have pleaded not guilty.

    Caesar Goodson, the officer who drove the police van in which a handcuffed and leg-shackled Mr. Gray broke his neck faces the most serious charge, second-degree murder.

    Mr. Nero, who is 30 years old and took part in Mr. Gray’s arrest for illegal knife possession, is one of two officers facing only misdemeanor counts. Mr. Nero can, and may, request a bench trial, which means the judge rather than a jury would decide the case.

    Prosecutors, in alleging second-degree assault, accuse him of “intentionally inflicting” on Mr. Gray “the offensive physical contact of the force” used to arrest him without probable cause. They haven’t detailed the claim but say Mr. Nero and a second officer handcuffed Mr. Gray, put him in a prone position and later held him on the ground using a restraining technique called a leg lace.

    In widely broadcast cellphone video taken of Mr. Gray’s arrest, he can be heard screaming and appears to have difficulty walking to the police van. However, medical experts for prosecutors and defense lawyers in Mr. Porter’s trial agreed Mr. Gray’s injuries occurred during his roughly 40-minute ride in back of the van.

    Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s move to charge an officer in connection with an allegedly unlawful arrest is rare. A gag order bars Ms. Mosby and her colleagues at the prosecutor’s office, as well as lawyers for the six officers, from discussing the case.

    “She’s on new ground, there’s no question about that,” said veteran criminal defense attorney A. Dwight Pettit. He believes prosecutors will have trouble convicting Mr. Nero of assault or reckless endangerment for failing to seat-belt Mr.Gray in the van, though he said he sees better chances on two misconduct counts.

    Her team has pursued “the most aggressive strategy available to them,” said David Jaros, associate law professor at the University of Baltimore. The Nero trial comes after legal wrangling over prosecutors’ ultimately successful push to compel some charged officers to testify, under limited immunity, at the trials of fellow officers. Two of the six officers are expected to testify at Mr. Nero’s trial.

    Donté Hickman, pastor of Southern Baptist Church in East Baltimore, said he senses apathy about the coming trial from many African-Americans, an attitude he attributes to low expectations. “Everybody is basically saying, ‘Oh, they’re not going to convict anybody, nobody is going to jail,’ ” Mr. Hickman said.

    However Mr. Nero’s trial ends, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said he is confident city residents will respect that the legal process played out. He noted that relatively small, peaceful protests followed Mr. Porter’s mistrial.

    “We have some lingering anxiety in the city, and that swirls around the fact that we have six more trials to go,” Mr. Davis said. The other five are set for the coming months.

    In court papers, Mr. Nero’s lawyers said they could find no example anywhere in the U.S. of a police officer being charged with assault solely for making an arrest allegedly without probable cause. The established practice is to suppress evidence, they said, which results in cases getting dropped. “Common sense” says officers wouldn’t make arrests if they could face prosecution if it was later found no probable cause existed, the lawyers wrote.

    But prosecutors said in a filing that Mr. Nero’s conduct was “criminally unreasonable.” They said they understand officers often must make split-second decisions and weren’t seeking to criminalize all technical violations of the Fourth Amendment. Prosecutors initially charged Mr. Nero with false imprisonment, but didn’t seek an indictment.

    Police can briefly detain a person based on reasonable suspicion, a lesser standard than probable cause. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a suspect fleeing police in a high-crime area gives rise to such suspicion.

    Steven H. Levin, a criminal defense lawyer who trained Baltimore police officers as a federal prosecutor, said the pursuit, detention, handcuffing and arrest of Mr. Gray all apparently followed proper procedure. He said he thinks Mr. Nero is headed for “certain acquittal.”

    Write to Scott Calvert at scott.calvert@wsj.com

  2. #2
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    Throwing crap at the wall hoping some crap will stick.

  3. #3

    Hey Pope Eat This and Like It.

    Also By Scott Calvert April 4, 2016

    As businesses and elected officials around the U.S. seek ways to address the root causes propelling the B.L.M. protest movement, some are stepping up investments to address a lack of jobs and other problems in cities including Baltimore, Chicago and Minneapolis: 25 area companies and institutions on Monday are expected to pledge to spend millions towards construction, goods and services supplied by local, women- and minority-owned companies, and towards hiring hundreds of city youth in summer jobs.

    Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter said the impact could be significant for residents and small businesses. Such beefed-up private investment represents a total win for local government because it can boost tax revenue while reducing the need for public services associated with unemployment.

    The new Baltimore program, called B Local, echoes efforts in Chicago and Philadelphia and expands on one launched last fall by Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Health System, which together rank as Maryland’s top private employer.

    Organizers say B Local will yield at least $69 million in new targeted spending by companies over three years, though it isn’t clear whether the businesses otherwise would have spent those funds. Other B Local pledges include giving paid summer jobs to 336 city youths and hiring 162 people from distressed neighborhoods.

    Whiting-Turner pledges to boost by $5 million a year its business with Maryland subcontractors owned by women or minorities or deemed disadvantaged, such as those run by veterans. Such spending, now about $100 million a year, will hit $115 million by year three, said Chief Executive T. Regan. The company, whose spending won’t only target Baltimore, also will be involved in a contractor's college designed to help smaller firms compete.

    Not all participants are making financial pledges as part of B Local. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. is three years into its own supplier-development program, which targets businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans. The utility will share its expertise and resources such as training materials, said CEO Calvin Butler Jr.

    B Local’s backers don’t claim the program will solve the city’s problems but say it will help. And they say it should have happened sooner. Separately, Maryland lawmakers are backing a major aid package for Baltimore to fund such measures as an expanded college scholarship program, neighborhood revival grants and youth enrichment activities.

    Write to Scott Calvert at scott.calvert@wsj.com Totally insane, huh I.B.G.!

  4. #4
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    Till the next riots then they burn all of the businesses down. This has been done time and time before.

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