In what is a perceived legal blow for prosecutors, the jury was hung and the judge declared a mistrial in the trial of Baltimore police officer William Porter in the case of Freddie Gray's death after sustaining injuries while in custody. Porter was 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. Gray's death and the subsequent unrest in Baltimore brought to the fore long simmering tensions in Baltimore and across the nation over socioeconomic disparity and the relationship between law enforcement and the minority communities they serve.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.