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Jurors Deadlocked in Freddie Gray Case, Deliberations Continue

Jurors in the trial of Baltimore officer William Porter are deadlocked. Judge Barry Williams sent them back to deliberate.
Image:  Porter Trial Freddie Gray
Officer William Porter, the first of six to be tried in the death of Freddie Gray, stands to face the jury pool.Art Lien

Jurors in the the trial of Baltimore officer William Porter are deadlocked, Judge Barry Williams sent them back to deliberate.

Porter is charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office in the April 19 death of Gray, who died a week after his neck was broken during a ride in the back of a police van.

The jury of four black women, three black men, three white women and two white men began deliberating on Monday afternoon. The judge had previously said he wanted to be done with the trial by Dec. 17th and has told the jurors to take as long as they need to reach a verdict.

The jurors weren't sequestered and have been under order not to discuss the trial.

During trial arguments, prosecutors focused on what they said was Porter’s failure to take care of Gray while he was in custody by not getting him medical care or buckling his seatbelt.

Related: Prosecutors: Cop 'Criminally Neglected His Duty' in Freddie Gray Case

Chief Deputy State's Attorney Michael Schatzow said Porter, 26, "criminally neglected his duty to keep Mr. Gray safe," during arguments early in the trial.

Porter, who took the stand in his defense said Gray was "unable to give me a reason for a medical emergency" and that it was not his duty to seatbelt people who have been arrested in the van.

Related: Officer: Freddie Gray Gave No Reason to Call Medic

As the first of six trials, experts say the outcome of Porter’s case could have broader implications for the remaining trials.

Porter faces a maximum penalty of about 25 years.

Officials in the city of Baltimore have been calling for peace as the city awaits a verdict.

Hours before the jury began its deliberations Monday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called for people to respect the jury's decision. Rawlings-Blake also announced the opening of an emergency operations center so authorities can coordinate any necessary response.

The city's preparedness is in response to unrest that followed Gray's funeral in April.

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