Potential Uses of Expert Witnesses in The Freddie Gray Case

Jared Firestone

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— Updated on June 23, 2020

Potential Uses of Expert Witnesses in The Freddie Gray Case

Freddy Gray Expert WitnessThe case of Freddie Gray’s death and the range of charges brought against six Baltimore police officers has been one of the most talked about legal cases in recent years. There are many questions of fact that could determine whether these officers are convicted for any of the crimes they have been charged with. Expert witnesses will be used by both the prosecution and defense in trying to win their cases.

The first issue that will be raised is whether the knife Gray was in possession of at the time of his death was legal. Knife experts will be used here to testify on whether the knife was illegal or not. As well as whether the police were had a reasonable belief that it was illegal. For the arresting officers to be found guilty of false imprisonment, it will have to be proven that there was no probable cause for the arrest. After Gray fled from the police, they searched him and found what they said was an illegal knife justifying Gray’s arrest. The knife would be considered illegal if it contains a “bias toward opening”, like a switch-blade. As opposed to a typical spring-assisted knife that has a “bias toward closing”.

The next issue is whether the arrest, lawful or not, was performed properly. Law-enforcement expert witnesses can be used to determine if the police violated any arrest protocols given the facts of the case. These law enforcement experts will also be able to provide information on how reasonable the police were in taking any measures they did. As well as whether any deviations from the proper protocols were indicative of malicious intent. Some examples of these police actions may include the dragging of Gray to the van, the shackling of Gray’s hands and feet prior to placing him in the van, failure to secure Gray with a seat belt, and the delay in providing medical assistance for Gray.

Lastly, medical experts will be needed to help determine at what point Gray may have suffered his fatal spine injuries. A prisoner sharing the police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he heard Gray banging against the walls of the van. He believed Gray was intentionally trying to injure himself. The medical experts will determine whether the injuries Gray suffered were more likely to be self-inflicted, or caused by the police.


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