The first of the police officers on trial for the murder of Freddie Gray took to the witness stand yesterday.
Officer William Porter testified for the defense, The Washington Post reports, that he and the other officers did not realize Gray had suffered his life threatening injury until the final stop of the van ride.
“I didn’t see anything externally, cuts or wounds,” he remarked.
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During his time on the stand, Porter expressed extreme remorse for Gray’s death and was adamant that he acted reasonably and responsibly as his position required.
“It was a very traumatic thing for me,” Porter added. “Any loss of life, I’m sorry to see that.”
Porter stated that he and Gray were not friends but shared a “mutual respect” as they would often see one another while Porter was on patrol in a West Balitmore neighborhood.
A Comprehensive Timeline of the Freddie Gray Tragedy
For four hours, Porter was questioned about the incidents leading up to Gray’s injury and has plead not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.
Gray died on April 20, one week after he was arrested for allegedly possessing a switchblade. He was placed in the back of a police van, but according to state’s prosecutor Marilyn Mosby, authorities failed to properly secure him during the ride. He suffered from a severed spinal cord and died from his injuries a week later.
The five other officers are expected to go on trial separately next year for their involvement in the incident.