Prosecutor: Officer could've saved Freddie Gray's life

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Protesters March in Baltimore as Trial for Freddie Gray Case Begins

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Seven months after Baltimore erupted in riots over the death of Freddie Gray, the first of six police officers charged in the case went on trial Wednesday, with a prosecutor saying the patrolman could have saved Gray's life simply by pushing a button on his uniform to call for a medic.

Attorneys for Officer William Porter disputed that claim and others made by prosecutors, including exactly when Gray was critically injured in the back of a police van and whether the young black man told Porter he couldn't breathe.

SEE ALSO: Baltimore homicides top 300 for year, worst since 1999

Porter wasn't involved in Gray's initial arrest in April, but he was present at five of six stops that a police transport van made during a 45-minute ride after Gray was taken into custody. At one point, prosecutors said Porter asked Gray if he needed a medic, and he replied that he could not breathe and could not move from the floor of the van, where he had been placed head-first, in plastic handcuffs and leg shackles.

Instead of calling a medic, prosecutors say Porter picked Gray up from the floor and placed him in an upright position on the bench, and did not secure him in a seatbelt, as required by Baltimore Police Department policy.

Photos from after officers were charged:

38 PHOTOS
Baltimore, Officers charged in death of Freddie Gray
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Prosecutor: Officer could've saved Freddie Gray's life
This photo provided by the Baltimore Police Department on Friday, May 1, 2015 shows, top row from left, Caesar R. Goodson Jr., Garrett E. Miller and Edward M. Nero, and bottom row from left, William G. Porter, Brian W. Rice and Alicia D. White, the six police officers charged with felonies ranging from assault to murder in the death of Freddie Gray. (Baltimore Police Department via AP)
BALTIMORE, MD- SEPTEMBER 02: Several protesters march and rally in downtown Baltimore. Some even blocked intersections impeding traffic. Today is the first hearing for six Baltimore police officers charged in the death Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland on September 02, 2015. (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD- SEPTEMBER 02: Several protesters march and rally in downtown Baltimore. Some even blocked intersections impeding traffic. Today is the first hearing for six Baltimore police officers charged in the death Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland on September 02, 2015. (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 02: City Sheriff's deputies form a perimeter around State's Attorney for Baltimore Marilyn Mosby (C) as she leaves the Baltimore City Circuit Courthouse East where pre-trial hearings were held for six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray September 2, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Earlier this year Gray, 25, suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody and later died. His funeral was followed by rioting, looting and arson. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD- SEPTEMBER 02: Kwame Rose is arrested after he and several other protesters blocked various intersections in downtown Baltimore. The first hearing for six Baltimore police officers charged in the death Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland on September 02, 2015. (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 02: A small and peaceful group of demonstrators gather to protest in front of the Baltimore City Circuit Courthouse East where pre-trial hearings will be held for six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray September 2, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Earlier this year Gray, 25, suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody and later died. His funeral was followed by rioting, looting and arson. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 02: A Baltimore City Sheriff's deputy moves among a small crowd of peaceful demonstrators in front of the Baltimore City Circuit Courthouse East where pre-trial hearings will be held for six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray September 2, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Earlier this year Gray, 25, suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody and later died. His funeral was followed by rioting, looting and arson. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 02: A small and peacful group of demonstrators gather to protest in front of the Baltimore City Circuit Courthouse East where pre-trial hearings will be held for six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray September 2, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Earlier this year Gray, 25, suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody and later died. His funeral was followed by rioting, looting and arson. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore state's attorney, speaks during a media availability, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury in police custody. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Billy Murphy, an attorney who represents the family of Freddie Gray, stands between Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, seated far left, and Gov. Larry Hogan, center, as Hogan signs a bill to create a commission to study the implementation of police body cameras, Tuesday, May 12, 2015 in Annapolis, Md. Murphy said: The bills Hogan is signing Tuesday were approved before the death of Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured in Baltimore police custody last month. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)
Freddie Gray's stepfather Richard Shipley, right, speaks, as attorney Billy Murphy stands nearby, during a press availability at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Freddie Gray's stepfather Richard Shipley speaks during a press availability at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, Friday, May 1, 2015, in Baltimore. State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore state's attorney, speaks during a media availability, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore state's attorney, speaks during a media availability, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Charvae Day, right, and Renay Battle react on Friday, May 1, 2015, after State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody in Baltimore. Mosby announced the stiffest charge, second-degree depraved heart murder, against the driver of the police van. Other officers faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault and illegal arrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Marilyn Mosby, with folder, Baltimore state's attorney, departs after a media availability, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake speaks during a media availability at City Hall, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. Rawlings-Blake says five of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray are in custody. State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced criminal charges Friday against all six officers. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Barack Obama pauses as he answers a question about the situation in Baltimore during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, May 1, 2015, with persecuted journalists to mark World Press Freedom Day. The president Barack Obama said it's "absolutely vital" that the truth about what happened to Freddie Gray comes out. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake arrives to speak at a media availability at City Hall, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. Rawlings-Blake says five of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray are in custody. State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced criminal charges Friday against all six officers. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 01: Protesters march through the streets in support of Maryland state attorney Marilyn Mosby's announcement that charges would be filed against Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray on May 1, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray died in police custody after being arrested on April 12, 2015. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 01: Protesters march through the streets in support of Maryland state attorney Marilyn Mosby's announcement that charges would be filed against Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray on May 1, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray died in police custody after being arrested on April 12, 2015. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 01: Protesters march on North Avenue after Baltimore authorities released a report on the death of Freddie Gray on May 1, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore City state's attorney, ruled the death of Freddie Gray a homicide and that criminal charges will be filed. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Freddie Gray's twin sister Fredricka Gray sits during a press availability at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Freddie Gray's stepfather Richard Shipley, right, sits during a press availability at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced Friday criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Adrian Roberson, right, celebrates on Friday, May 1, 2015, after State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody in Baltimore. Mosby announced the stiffest charge, second-degree depraved heart murder, against the driver of the police van. Other officers faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault and illegal arrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Police officers stand guard with the War Memorial behind, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced criminal charges Friday, against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury in police custody in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The Rev. Pamela Coleman, center speaks on a city bus on Friday, May 1, 2015, after State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody in Baltimore. Mosby announced the stiffest charge, second-degree depraved heart murder, against the driver of the police van. Other officers faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault and illegal arrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Dominique Cunningham celebrates on Friday, May 1, 2015, after State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody in Baltimore. Mosby announced the stiffest charge, second-degree depraved heart murder, against the driver of the police van. Other officers faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault and illegal arrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Rabbi Yerachmiel Shapiro, left, and other citizens celebrate on Friday, May 1, 2015, after State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody in Baltimore. Mosby announced the stiffest charge, second-degree depraved heart murder, against the driver of the police van. Other officers faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault and illegal arrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Meach Johnson celebrates on Friday, May 1, 2015, after State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody in Baltimore. Mosby announced the stiffest charge, second-degree depraved heart murder, against the driver of the police van. Other officers faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault and illegal arrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A man shakes hands with a National Guard soldier outside City Hall, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced criminal charges Friday, against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury in police custody. Mosby announced the stiffest charge, second-degree depraved heart murder, against the driver of the police van. Other officers faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault and illegal arrest. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Protesters link arms while marching toward City Hall to demonstrate the police-custody death of Freddie Gray, Thursday, April 30, 2015, in Baltimore. Baltimore police say they have turned over their criminal investigation to a prosecutor who will decide whether charges are warranted in the death of Freddie Gray. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 02: A man tears up on the street at North Ave., and Pennsylvania Ave., in West Baltimore a day after Baltimore authorities released a report on the death of Freddie Gray, May 2, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore City state's attorney, ruled the death of Freddie Gray a homicide and that criminal charges would be filed against six Baltimore City Police officers. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife on April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 02: People participate in a dance party on North Ave., a day after Baltimore authorities released a report on the death of Freddie Gray, May 2, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore City state's attorney, ruled the death of Freddie Gray a homicide and that criminal charges would be filed against six Baltimore City Police officers. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife on April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 02: People participate in a dance party on North Ave., on the street a day after Baltimore authorities released a report on the death of Freddie Gray, May 2, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore City state's attorney, ruled the death of Freddie Gray a homicide and that criminal charges would be filed against six Baltimore City Police officers. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife on April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 02: Protesters march on the street from City Hall a day after Baltimore authorities released a report on the death of Freddie Gray, May 2, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore City state's attorney, ruled the death of Freddie Gray a homicide and that criminal charges would be filed against six Baltimore City Police officers. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife on April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 01: Protesters march through the streets in support of Maryland state attorney Marilyn Mosby's announcement that charges would be filed against Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray on May 1, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray died in police custody after being arrested on April 12, 2015. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
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Pointing to a poster-sized photo of the van with one of its rear doors open, prosecutor Michael Schatzow said: "The city paid extra to get those seat belts in that van, any one of which would have saved Mr. Gray's life."

Defense attorneys said when Gray began requesting aid, "he showed no signs of needing medical attention because he hadn't suffered the injury yet." While Gray's death is tragic, "so is charging someone who did not precipitate it."

Porter, who is also black, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. The charges carry maximum prison terms totaling about 25 years.

Porter is expected to take the stand in his own defense.

Photos from the riots:

67 PHOTOS
Freddie Gray, Baltimore Police, Riots
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Prosecutor: Officer could've saved Freddie Gray's life
BALTIMORE, USA - APRIL 27: Police take security measures during a riot over the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, on April 27, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: Baltimore Police officers push back a protestor on Reisterstown Road near Mowdamin Mall, April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. The funeral service for Freddie Gray, who died last week while in Baltimore Police custody, was held on Monday morning. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Baltimore police officers carry an injured comrade from the streets near Mondawmin Mall April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Violent street clashes erupted in Baltimore on Monday after friends and family gathered for the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose death in custody triggered a fresh wave of protests over US police tactics. Police said at least seven officers were injured -- one of them was unresponsive -- as youths hurled bricks and bottles and destroyed at least one police vehicle in the vicinity of the shopping mall not far from the church where the funeral took place. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: A Baltimore Police officer gestures toward protestors near Mondawmin Mall, April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. A group of young protestors clashed with police in the streets near Mondawmin Mall in the afternoon following Freddie Gray's funeral. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: A police vehicle chases protestors away in a parking lot along Reisterstown Road near Mondawmin Mall, April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. A group of young protestors clashed with police in the streets near Mondawmin Mall in the afternoon following Freddie Gray's funeral. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
A boy throws a brick at a police van, Monday, April 27, 2015, during a skirmish between demonstrators and police after the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A demonstrator walks past police with a brick as they respond to thrown objects, Monday, April 27, 2015, after the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: Baltimore Police officers in riot gear look toward protestors along Reisterstown Road near Mondawmin Mall, April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. A group of young protestors clashed with police in the streets near Mondawmin Mall in the afternoon following Freddie Gray's funeral. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Police move down a street in response to demonstrators who were throwing objects, Monday, April 27, 2015, after the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Baltimore police officers push back demonstrators who are throwing rocks at the police, after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on Monday, April 27, 2015, at New Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Baltimore police officers detain a demonstrator after clashes with police, after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on Monday, April 27, 2015, at New Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Police put out a fire caused by a teargas canister April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Violent street clashes erupted in Baltimore on Monday after friends and family gathered for the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose death in custody triggered a fresh wave of protests over US police tactics. Police said at least seven officers were injured -- one of them was unresponsive -- as youths hurled bricks and bottles and destroyed at least one police vehicle in the vicinity of a shopping mall not far from the church where the funeral took place. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: Protestors surround a Baltimore Police officer near Mowdamin Mall, April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. The funeral service for Freddie Gray, who died last week while in Baltimore Police custody, was held on Monday morning. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: Baltimore Police officers arrest a man near Mowdamin Mall, April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. The funeral service for Freddie Gray, who died last week while in Baltimore Police custody, was held on Monday morning. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Baltimore police officers clash with protesters in the streets near Mondawmin Mall April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Violent street clashes erupted in Baltimore on Monday after friends and family gathered for the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose death in custody triggered a fresh wave of protests over US police tactics. Police said at least seven officers were injured -- one of them was unresponsive -- as youths hurled bricks and bottles and destroyed at least one police vehicle in the vicinity of the shopping mall not far from the church where the funeral took place. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, USA - APRIL 27: Protesters clash with police during a riot over the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, on April 27, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Demonstrators destroy the windshield of a Baltimore Police car as they protest the death Freddie Gray, an African American man who died of spinal cord injuries in police custody, in Baltimore, Maryland, April 25, 2015. Protesters returned to Baltimore's streets Saturday to vent outrage over the death of Gray on April 12. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators destroy a Baltimore Police car as they protest the death Freddie Gray, an African American man who died of spinal cord injuries in police custody, in Baltimore, Maryland, April 25, 2015. Protesters returned to Baltimore's streets Saturday to vent outrage over the death of Gray on April 12. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A man is kicked as he attempts to get up after being knocked down, following a march to City Hall for Freddie Gray, Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A protestor, left, fights with a bar patron outside of a bar near Oriole Park at Camden Yards after a rally for Freddie Gray, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A protestor, right, pulls a bag away from a group of women after a rally for Freddie Gray, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A woman stands by her car with the back window broken out after a march to City Hall for Freddie Gray, Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 25: Hundreds of protestors gather outside city hall in honor of Freddie Gray on April 25, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side on April 12 . According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 25: Hundreds of protestors gather outside city hall in honor of Freddie Gray on April 25, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side on April 12 . According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Protesters march during a rally in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 25, 2015, against the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Organizers anticipated the biggest outpouring of public anger since Gray, 25, was arrested on April 12, only to die in a coma seven days later from severe spinal injuries. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 25: Hundreds of protestors gather in honor of Freddie Gray April 25, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side on April 12 . According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
A protester gestures at police during a rally in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 25, 2015, against the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Organizers anticipated the biggest outpouring of public anger since Gray, 25, was arrested on April 12, only to die in a coma seven days later from severe spinal injuries. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators put their fists in the air as a sign of 'black power' during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Western District station in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 23: The bulletin board in front of the Sharon Baptist Church asks that people pray for the family of Freddie Gray April 23, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - APRIL 23: Hundreds of people gather outside the Western District Police Station during a march through the streets of Baltimore to seek justice for the death for Freddie Gray who died from injuries suffered in Police custody in Baltimore, USA on April 23, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - APRIL 23: Protestors and police clash as hundreds of people march through the streets of Baltimore to seek justice for the death for Freddie Gray who died from injuries suffered in Police custody in Baltimore, USA on April 23, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Marchers chant near the Baltimore police department's Western District police station during a march for Freddie Gray, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
WASHINGTON, USA - APRIL 23: Young men sit in the middle of a street blocking traffic as hundreds of people march through the streets of Baltimore to seek justice for the death for Freddie Gray who died from injuries suffered in Police custody in Baltimore, USA on April 23, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Demonstrators and police officers wrestle over a metal barricade as containers of liquid are thrown during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Western District station in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The Rev. Westley West leads a march for Freddie Gray to the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A member of the Baltimore Police Department stands guard outside of the department's Western District police station as men hold their hands up in protest during a march for Freddie Gray, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A woman holds a sign during a protest for Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Marchers raise their fists in the air near the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march for Freddie Gray, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A man shouts insults at Baltimore Police officers guarding the Western District station during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Baltimore Police officers keep demonstrators back while standing guard outside the Western District station during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Marchers raise their fists in front of Baltimore police guarding the department's Western District police station during a march for Freddie Gray, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A demonstrator is arrested after climbing over a metal barricade during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Western District station in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
A Baltimore Police officer secures metal barricades in front of City Hall in anticipation of protests against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested by Baltimore Police for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Christian Johnson Sr. (L) holds his daughter Chrisette Johnson, 6, on his shoulders and puts his fist in the air as a sign of 'black power' during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Western District station April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Hundreds of demonstrators gather outside the Baltimore Police Western District station during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
A demonstrator is arrested after climbing over a metal barricade during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Western District station in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Demonstrators shout insults at members of the Baltimore Police as they stand guard outside the Western District station during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Demonstrators shout insults at members of the Baltimore Police as they stand guard outside the Western District station during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 22: Baltimore Police mounted officers stand at the ready during a protest against police brutality and the death of Freddie Gray outside the Baltimore Police Western District station in the Sandtown neighborhood April 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Protestors participate in a vigil for Freddie Gray down the street from the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station, April 21, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, died from spinal injuries on April 19, one week after being taken into police custody. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Tully White IV holds his son Tully White V, 2 years old, during a vigil for Freddie Gray down the street from the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station, April 21, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, died from spinal injuries on April 19, one week after being taken into police custody. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Protestors participate in a vigil for Freddie Gray down the street from the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station, April 21, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, died from spinal injuries on April 19, one week after being taken into police custody. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Neighborhood children light candles at a memorial after a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, April 21, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, died from spinal injuries on April 19, one week after being taken into police custody. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Supporters and family members of Freddie Gray lead a march to the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Members of the Baltimore Police Department stand behind barriers outside of the Western District police station during a march for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Protesters march on Laurens Street during a demonstration over the death of Freddie Gray, April 21, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, died from spinal injuries on April 19, one week after being taken into police custody. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Baltimore resident Priscilla Jackson signs a memorial following a demonstration over the death of Freddie Gray, April 21, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, died from spinal injuries on April 19, one week after being taken into police custody. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Protesters sit outside the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station at the end of a march for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Gloria Darden, at center in hood, mother of Freddie Gray, leads a march with supporters to the site of Gray's arrest, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A woman reaches for a lighter as she and other protestors light candles spelling out the name of Freddie Gray during a vigil at the intersection of Gray's arrest, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Supporters and family members of Freddie Gray lead a march to the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Thousands march through the streets of Baltimore to seek justice for the death for Freddie Gray who died from injuries suffered in Police custody in Baltimore, USA on April 18, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Protestors stand outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Rev. Jamal Bryant leads a rally outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
A protestor raises his fist outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
WASHINGTON, USA - APRIL 18: Thousands march through the streets of Baltimore to seek justice for the death for Freddie Gray who died from injuries suffered in Police custody in Baltimore, USA on April 18, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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Gray, 25, died April 19 of a severe spinal injury he suffered while riding in the back of police van without a seatbelt. Gray arrived at a police station unresponsive, was taken to a hospital and died a week later.

The prosecutor said Gray's neck was broken between the second and fourth stops and that such an injury would have impacted his ability to breathe. He implied the injury occurred when the van slammed on its brakes.

"If it slams on its brakes, he's going to move at the speed it was going before it slams on its brakes," the prosecutor said. "He's completely at the mercy of whatever happens."

The defense attorney told jurors that a man who shared the transport van with Gray from the fifth stop to the final stop at the Western District station house told investigators that Gray was flailing in the van, attempting to injure himself.

Prosecutors said Gray didn't change positions between the fifth stop and the final stop because he'd already suffered the injury.

A jury of eight women and four men was seated after two days, a process that was relatively brisk, given defense assertions in pretrial proceedings that it would be impossible to seat an impartial panel.

Gray's death triggered protests and rioting in the city, and helped fuel the Black Lives Matter movement. The troubles forced an incumbent mayor to abandon her re-election campaign, and toppled the career of a reform-minded police chief. The Baltimore homicide rate skyrocketed at a pace unseen in decades.

A verdict will likely to set the tone for the city. Many fear that an acquittal could prompt more protests and unrest or that a conviction could send shock waves through the city's troubled police department.

Two other officers are black and the three additional officers are white. They will be tried separately beginning in January and lasting through the spring.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was harshly criticized in the wake of the civil unrest and her decision to enact and maintain a city-wide curfew aggravated protesters. In August, she announced that she would not seek re-election.

But no reputations hinge on the trial's outcome as much as that of state's attorney Marilyn Mosby and her husband, Nick Mosby, a councilman for Baltimore's west side who announced his mayoral candidacy shortly after Rawlings-Blake pulled out.

Marilyn Mosby, who took office in January, announced charges against the officers in May, using language so forceful that defense attorneys argued she should recuse herself from the case. She listened from the third row of the gallery, which was about half full. Gray's mother, stepdad and other family members were in attendance as well.

The state's first witness, Officer Alice Carson Johnson, taught Porter at the Baltimore police academy in 2013, and told jurors he was trained in how to respond to medical emergencies in the field.

But she said when a member of the public asks for a medic, officers should call 911.

"In the blink of an eye a situation could be out of control, and at least then you know EMS is on the way," she said.


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