A Baltimore judge has ruled against the media on several motions made by an attorney's involving public access during the trials of six police officers charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray.
Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams ruled Tuesday that he would not allow reporters to copy audio and visual evidence in the cases. Williams also denied requests to allow reporters to review discovery filings currently under seal, but said he would consider it once the trials are over.
The trial for one of the officers, Edward Nero, is scheduled to begin Thursday.
Baltimore police officer Edward Nero charged in the Freddie Gray case has chosen a trial before a judge rather than a jury.
Officer Nero faces assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges in Gray's arrest in 2015.
Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died April 19, a week after his neck was broken in the back of a police transport wagon.
Nero's decision means Circuit Judge Barry Williams will hear the case. Nero is the second officer to stand trial. Late last year, the judge declared a mistrial in the case against Officer William Porter after a jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision.
The judge also ruled on several motions, saying attorneys can't talk about the legality of the knife that Gray had on him when he was arrested or about Gray's troubled past. The judge also put limits on how much the attorneys can talk about Gray's injuries.
In recent years, the U.S. has witnessed nationwide protests against police brutality, which first took place in Ferguson, Missouri over the death of Michael Brown, 18, who was fatally shot by a police officer in August 2014, and later in Baltimore in the wake of peaceful demonstrations over the death of Freddie Gray on April 19, 2015. Questions have been raised regarding the existence of systemic injustice and racial discrimination against people of color in the U.S.
In Baltimore, violent clashes took place between police and angry crowds on Baltimore's streets after the funeral of Gray.
Similar events took place in Ferguson, Missouri when Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American male, was shot dead after an altercation with Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old white male Ferguson police officer. Wilson was not indicted by a grand jury on any criminal activity in relation to killing Brown. During the Ferguson protests, many police officers and demonstrators were injured.
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