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by Peter Moskos

December 10, 2015

"Put yourself in William Porter's shoes"

Great column by Tricia Bishop, if you still have free Sun articles in the bank (you could always subscribe).

16 comments:

Concerned citizen said...

"There's a term for what ails those who suddenly come down with a mysterious illness during arrest: 'jail-itis.' It's a sort of allergy to incarceration. Those who catch it do anything they can to avoid a trip to Central Booking..."

Interesting...I haven't seen the term "jail-itis" turn up in any NY Times articles about the Freddy Gray incident.

For me, legalities aside (because I'm not well versed), prisoners "who cry wolf" is the key to what happened.

Peter Moskos said...

It is a Baltimore police term (though not a super common one). It's a bit broader than those "who cry wolf" because jail-itis can cover people who don't want to get into the van, for instance, even if they don't say anything about needing medical care. You don't have to cry anything to have jail-itis.

Adam said...

Agreed, but I think the "crying wolf" phenomenon is particularly relevant here. All the medical experts on both sides of this case and even the prosecutors themselves agree that Gray was unharmed going into the van, so we know (from that cell phone video) that Gray was falsely crying wolf at one point. What we don't know is exactly when his false injury claims turned into truthful ones.

Peter Moskos said...

Good point. But the jury could still discount that and say, "I don't care what they say. He looked hurt to me going int the van. The officer should have done something."

I mean, honestly, he *does* look hurt going into the van! I think that gut feeling, right or wrong, will be hard to get rid of.

David Woycechowsky said...
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Peter Moskos said...

Porter wasn't driving.
Porter didn't make the arrest.

Those are not exactly minor details.

Porter is the one on trial.

I take it you haven't been following this too closely. And yet I see you have nice strong opinions about Porter's culpability, regardless.

Adam said...

Sad but true regarding the video. Porter wasn't even on scene for the arrest, was he? So he didn't even hear Gray crying out or see him being dragged.

David's comments illustrate why that may not matter, and also why the city will probably burn again if Porter is acquitted. Gray's dead and he shouldn't be, and all those cops were involved, so they're all guilty of killing him. The end.

campbell said...

I mean, honestly, he *does* look hurt going into the van!

He does at first but the first time I watched that video and saw him stand unaided after dragging his legs like that I rolled my eyes. We've all seen that nonsense.

I think that's why his crying wolf in the past will be important for the defense to emphasize. Gray looks hurt with no context. But to a guy who's seen him pull it on prior arrests it looks much different.

David Woycechowsky said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David Woycechowsky said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
campbell said...

Not sure why I bother but like I've pointed out in other threads, there is no evidence of a rough ride here and it's not being alleged by the prosecution.

krtsus said...

No, he wasn't a passenger. And even if he was, he didn't have control of the van, so how could he be an accessory? It seems to me that you're attempting in your mind to make as many people guilty as you can rationalize. As for your nickel ride, those don't happen. When I was there, on scene, I saw and heard Freddie thrashing about inside, while it was parked and only he and Donta were inside.

Adam said...

Porter was not a passenger in the van. The state did not allege that there was a rough ride in the charging documents or in their case against Porter. David, I'm not trying to be a jerk, but if you're going to comment on the case, why not just give the charging documents a skim before you do so? The narrative is identical in all six, so you only have to read one of them.

David Woycechowsky said...
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Peter Moskos said...

Dear David,

Enough. No more comments from you on this topic.

I'm giving you a Red Card for this discussion. Stop.

I and others do care what the charging documents say. For many, this isn't just a hypothetical issue about bad police behavior in general. Were this just some cop in New Mexico, maybe spouting bullshit about cops would be OK.

There's an actual Baltimore City Police Officer -- a decent man that many people reading this know personally -- on criminal trial for a felony that could result in him spending years in prison.

Comments here require facts or at least opinions based in fact. You, with a firm conviction, have chosen to comment clueless to the facts. (Which are publicly available).

Yours,
Peter

David Woycechowsky said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.