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

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:

33 PHOTOS
Freddie Gray case -- Funeral, protests and officers reportedly involved
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Prosecutor: Officer could've saved Freddie Gray's life
TOPSHOT - A man walks past a mural with a portrait of Freddie Gray at North Mount and Presbury streets in the Sandtown neighborhood of west Baltimore on August 8, 2017. Baltimore, a city of 2.8 million, is troubled by drug use, poverty and racial segregation problems. In 2016 violent crime in Baltimore was up 22 percent and murders up 78 percent, according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Baltimore Police Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., Officer Edward M. Nero, Officer Garrett E Miller (top L-R), Officer William G. Porter, Lt. Brian W. Rice, Sgt. Alicia D. White (bottom L-R), are pictured in these undated booking photos provided by the Baltimore Police Department. Baltimore's top prosecutor on July 27, 2016 dropped remaining charges against police officers tied to the death of black detainee Freddie Gray, after failing four times to secure convictions in a case that inflamed the U.S. debate on race and justice. Courtesy Baltimore Police Department/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
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)
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)
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)
People arrive at Freddie Gray's funeral at New Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore April 27, 2015. Mourners lined up on Monday before the funeral of Freddie Gray, a Baltimore black man who died in police custody, a death that has led to protests in the latest outcry over U.S. law enforcement's treatment of minorities. Police say he died of a neck injury on April 19 after being arrested on April 12. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Freddie Gray's casket arrives at New Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore April 27, 2015. Mourners lined up on Monday before the funeral of Freddie Gray, a Baltimore black man who died in police custody, a death that has led to protests in the latest outcry over U.S. law enforcement's treatment of minorities. Police say he died of a neck injury on April 19 after being arrested on April 12. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
A woman cries as demonstrators throw rocks at Baltimore police during clashes in Baltimore, Maryland April 27, 2015. Seven Baltimore police officers were injured on Monday as rioters threw bricks and stones and burned patrol cars in violent protests after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a black man who died in police custody. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
A member of the family reacts during Freddie Gray's funeral service at New Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore April 27, 2015. Mourners lined up on Monday before the funeral of Freddie Gray, a Baltimore black man who died in police custody, a death that has led to protests in the latest outcry over U.S. law enforcement's treatment of minorities. Police say he died of a neck injury on April 19 after being arrested on April 12. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
A woman with goods looted from a store runs past burning vehicles during clashes in Baltimore, Maryland April 27, 2015. Seven Baltimore police officers were injured on Monday as rioters threw bricks and stones and burned patrol cars in violent protests after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a black man who died in police custody. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
A Baltimore firefighter attacks a fire at a convenience store and residence during clashes after the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland in the early morning hours of April 28, 2015. Baltimore erupted in violence as hundreds of rioters looted stores, burned buildings and injured at least 15 police officers following the funeral of Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after he was injured in police custody. REUTERS/Eric Thayer TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Reverend Jesse Jackson speaks to the members of national media near the CVS Pharmacy building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore April 28, 2015. Hundreds of rioters looted businesses and set buildings on fire, including the pharmacy, in Baltimore on Monday in widespread violence that injured at least 15 police officers following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after he was injured in police custody. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby (C) leaves the courthouse after the first day of pretrial motions for six police officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. on September 2, 2015. Baltimore's top prosecutor on July 27, 2016 dropped remaining charges against police officers tied to the death of black detainee Freddie Gray, after failing four times to secure convictions in a case that inflamed the U.S. debate on race and justice. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston/File Photo
Demonstrators protest outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a rally for Freddie Gray, in Baltimore, April 21, 2015. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Baltimore on Tuesday to protest the death of the 27-year-old black man who died after being arrested by local police. The U.S. Justice Department is looking into the case of Gray, who was arrested on April 12 and died a week later in a hospital after slipping into a coma, a spokeswoman said. A preliminary autopsy showed Gray died from a spinal injury. REUTERS/Jose Luis Magana
Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake speaks as U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) looks on during a news conference on the demonstrations for Freddie Gray, who died following an arrest by the Baltimore police department, in Baltimore, Maryland April 26, 2015. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
A demonstrator looks up after being sprayed with pepper spray during clashes in Baltimore, Maryland April 27, 2015. Several Baltimore police officers were injured on Monday in violent clashes with young people after the funeral of a black man, Freddie Gray, who died in police custody, and local law enforcement warned of a threat by gangs. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28: National Guard soldiers stand guard in downtown Baltimore outside the Harborplace mall as a bicycle rider goes by. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 22: People chant and shout as they march through the streets of Baltimore for Freddie Gray, a Baltimore man who died a week after suffering a spinal-cord injury while in police custody, near the site of Gray's arrest close to the corner of Presbury Street and North Mount Street in Baltimore, MD on Wednesday April 22, 2015. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 22: People chant and shout as they lay down to stop traffic during their march through the streets of Baltimore for Freddie Gray, a Baltimore man who died a week after suffering a spinal-cord injury while in police custody, near the site of Gray's arrest close to the corner of Presbury Street and North Mount Street in Baltimore, MD on Wednesday April 22, 2015. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, USA - APRIL 22: A kid raises his hand while 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 22, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, 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)
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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:

42 PHOTOS
Freddie Gray, Baltimore Police, Riots
See Gallery
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)
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 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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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