The Baltimore police officers charged in Freddie Gray’s death have hit yet another hiccup.
Maryland’s highest court ruled Thursday to postpone their trials until the Maryland Court of Appeals decides whether one cop can be forced to testify against his fellow officers, The Baltimore Sun reports.
The decision comes after Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams’s order that William G. Porter could be compelled to testify, even though he has pleaded the fifth and has pending charges for which he will be tried. Williams’s decision was called highly unusual by many legal experts.
The prosecution’s case will likely rely heavily on Porter’s testimony, so compelling him to testify is crucial. The next case for one of the officers was set to begin jury selection Monday but now will be suspended for an undetermined length of time.
“It’s very unusual to have a pretrial ruling that is appealed like this,” retired Court of Appeals judge Howard S. Chasanow told The Baltimore Sun.
Police arrested Gray in April and transported him in the back of a police van. The details are unclear with conflicting accounts, but Gray appeared healthy when arrested but was injured within an hour after his encounter with police. His spinal cord was severely damaged and he died a week later from the injuries.
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