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Controversial Case Sparks Appeal Against Self-Incrimination

  • VOA News

FILE - Officer William Porter, one of six Baltimore city police officers charged in connection to the death of Freddie Gray, walks into a courthouse during jury deliberations, Dec. 16, 2015, in Baltimore.

FILE - Officer William Porter, one of six Baltimore city police officers charged in connection to the death of Freddie Gray, walks into a courthouse during jury deliberations, Dec. 16, 2015, in Baltimore.

A police officer facing charges for the controversial death of a Maryland man will take his case to the state's highest court Thursday, arguing he cannot be compelled to testify against his fellow officers.

William Porter is a Baltimore, Maryland police officer awaiting retrial on charges in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American who died from a spinal injury while in police custody last April.

Porter's attorneys say he cannot testify against five other fellow officers who are also defendants in the case while he is awaiting his own re-trial because the testimony would violate his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. Prosecutors want Porter to testify as a witness in the trials of two of the other co-defendants.

The Freddie Gray case sparked protests and riots in Baltimore. Porter's trial ended in a hung jury in November. Porter's case is scheduled for retrial in June.

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