The prosecution called Neill Franklin, my old police academy commander, co-author, and co-believer in ending the drug war. The prosecution paid Neill to testify as an expert witness regarding "rough rides." He didn't know much about them. What cop would?
Franklin did get busted for not knowing his 10-codes, which I find kind of funny. Now 10-codes are city specific and Franklin, in his defense, was never a street cop in Baltimore and has competing 10-codes to account for. But he was responsible for the department (Education and Training) that taught 10-codes. Franklin was brought in as an expert witness in "general orders, policies and procedures." Well, in that case you should know your local 10-codes. I still know my 10 codes (admittedly, I'm a bit rusty on ones I probably never knew, like "request animal shelter.")
What are 10 codes? Think 10-4. You know what that means. Well there are a few others. Along with the "signal and oral codes," Baltimore City has 10-6 (wait), 10-9 (repeat), 10-11 (meet me at... which, if used on a call, is a non-emergency call for more officers), 10-14 (wagon), 10-15 (emergency wagon), 10-16 (backup, but means emergency backup, and is less than a balls-to-the-wall "Signal 13"), 10-18 (shift is over!), 10-20 (location), 10-23 (arrived on scene), 10-29 (records check), 10-30 (wanted, but I hope some cops still use "thirty-dash-one" without knowing what it refers to), 10-31 (in progress), 10-32 (enough units on scene, ie: stop contributing to the clusterfuck), 10-33 emergency. And maybe since last year codes like 10-34 (civil disturbance) and 10-90 (looting) entered the Baltimore 10-code lingua franca.
Now keep in mind these 10-codes are Baltimore City specific. And the fact that there isn't a standard list of 10-codes (except 10-4, and 10-20 always means location) makes them not only useless but potentially dangeriou, especially when disaster strikes and you need inter-agency communication. There's a justified movement to move away from 10-codes and go to plain English.
That said, there is something efficient and clear about 10 codes. That is worth something. Also, they're kind of fun.
So Franklin didn't know 10-15. That doesn't look good for an expert on Baltimore arrest procedure. But the former major in charge of the police academy would have basically zero dealings with prisoners or prisoner transport; Maryland state police don't use wagons. He did testify that seatbelting does not ensure an individual is secure and that it's possible for prisoners to unseatbelt themselves.
Now Franklin's job (yes, expert witnesses are paid) is not to do what the prosecution says or help any side. His job was to come to court, be put on the stand under oath, and answer questions honestly to the best of his abilities. He did that. That he didn't help the prosecution is not his concern. But it is a problem for the prosecution. A big problem.
Fraling: In your expert opinion, did Goodson give Gray a rough ride?— Kevin Rector (@RectorSun) June 15, 2016
Franklin: "I can't say for sure."
If Franklin really is the best witness prosecution can call in the least weak case the prosecution has? Well, that's why I say it's over.