Baltimore may not be the home of the trial for six police officers charged with the death of Freddie Gray that sparked riots and looting across the city.
Defense attorneys for the Baltimore police officers asked a judge to move the trial out of the city, NBC News reports.
Attorneys for the officers, who face charges ranging from from assault to second-degree “depraved-heart” murder, say it will be impossible to get a fair jury in a city that nearly burned itself to the ground in response to the death.
The officers’ lawyers argued in a motion that statements from State Attorney Marilyn Mosby and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake promising to deliver justice before the trial even began have already prejudiced the jury pool against them.
The motion also argues the Department of Justice investigation into the Baltimore police department has “blurred the line between the defendants and the police department as a whole.”
The motion cites a case where police were tried for charges related to the arrest of two black Baltimore residents. The trial was moved to Howard County, which had a significantly lower black population.
While a change of venue is uncommon, it is not unheard of. In the case of the death of Rodney King, the trial was moved to a less racially diverse area.
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