And now we see why there was no mention of additional discovery turned over to the Defense yesterday (Tuesday, 06-14-16). Remember Dr. Carol Allen who, apparently emphatically, claimed she never so much as thought that Freddie Gray’s death was anything other than homicide? Riiiiight. The Baltimore Sun sort of reports:
Evidence disclosed for the first time Wednesday [06-14-16] in the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., the van driver charged with second-degree murder in the death of Freddie Gray, suggests that the doctor performing Gray’s autopsy at one point intended to rule his death an accident.
Assistant medical examiner Dr. Carol Allan ultimately ruled the death a homicide. She has stood by that ruling during Goodson’s trial, testifying that she never felt Gray’s death was an accident.
‘The word ‘accident’ never crossed my lips to anyone, other than to say, ‘This is not an accident,’ she said on the stand last week.
But the new evidence shows that, at a meeting last year, a police investigator noted that Allan suggested at one point that Gray’s death was an accident.
Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams ruled Wednesday that the new evidence could be introduced at trial, despite being inadmissible on its face. He’s allowing it in an effort by the court to ‘fashion a remedy’ for the fact that the prosecution — and the police, as an extension of the state — had not turned over some evidence during discovery.
Hmmm. It seems “the word accident” did indeed cross her lips, and in such a way that it caused a police detective to make a contemporaneous note about Gray’s death being an accident. How could this be when Allan said otherwise?
Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow said prosecutors went back to their files, and also asked police to check their records again for any evidence that they had not turned over to prosecutors. Schatzow said police produced the notes of Det. Dawnyell Taylor about a meeting with Allan.
I’m sure it was just a harmless oversight. The documents were misfiled under a telephone or something. Schatzow also turned over several other bits of evidence he had been concealing, but those don’t seem to have any real effect on the facts of the case.
It is interesting indeed that it is The Washington Post that has one of the most complete reports–terribly incomplete though it is–on the fifth day of testimony and the end of the Prosecution’s case.
A paramedic who treated Gray testified Wednesday that she believed when she arrived on the scene that Gray had little chance of surviving.
Angelique Herbert said Gray’s eyes were open but he wasn’t blinking or breathing when she responded to a call to treat him at Baltimore’s Western District police headquarters.
When she arrived, she said, Gray was kneeling in the back of the van with three officers propping him up. She said she immediately felt that Gray’s neck was out of line.
‘It felt crumbly, like a bag of rocks,’ Herbert told the court.
Herbert said she confronted Goodson and the other officers about what happened to Gray, asking them, ‘What the f— did you guys do?’
‘They didn’t know,’ Herbert testified. ‘They were basically just hunching their shoulders.’
According to her testimony, Goodson said Gray could have overdosed on drugs and another officer told her Gray might have been banging his head on the walls of the van.
No doubt the supporters of The Narrative at the WaPo thought this testimony terribly damaging to the Defense. It is anything but. Judge Williams knows all of the evidence from every trial. He knows that the officers didn’t know because they honestly didn’t know. They thought Gray might have been overdosed on drugs, and as far as we know–the levels of drugs in Gray’s system have never been made public–they may have been right. They also thought Gray may have been banging his head, and they had good reason to think that as well. The defense case and closing will cement all of this. Notice that neither The Baltimore Sun or The WaPo had a word to say about the cross-examination of Herbert, which likely means it was absolutely devastating to The Narrative. I can easily see Herbert being forced to admit she had no idea whatever what happened to Gray, that the officers were shrugging because they had no idea what happened to him, Gray could have been banging his head on the walls of the van, and Gray could have been injured through his own actions. How could the Prosecution object? Is their argument that Herbert could not have had any idea what happened? I’m sure they would have tried that anyway, oblivious to the irony.
This next bit of reporting is bizarre indeed:
On Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors called Stanford Franklin, the former head of training for Baltimore City police, to the stand as an expert on police policies and practices.
In previous court filings, the state said it intended to have Franklin testify regarding ‘retaliatory prisoner transportation practices,’ commonly known as a ‘rough ride.’
Franklin would testify that ‘the actions of Officer Goodson were unreasonable and inconsistent with the actions of a reasonable officer with similar training and experience,’ court filings state.
And there the WaPo leaves the matter. There is not a word about what Franklin actually said, only what earlier court filings claimed he might say. A WaPo reporter was present. They know what he said. Why not report it? This too is likely because cross-examination would have obliterated him, forcing him to admit he had no actual knowledge about this case, therefore his opinions were meaningless.
WBAL’s coverage was, as usual, more detailed. It was virtually identical to that of The Sun, but added this:
Herbert testified that she didn’t see swelling, bruises or cuts on Gray’s head.
Herbert said she noticed blood and fluid under Gray’s nose and she suspected a ‘skull fracture.’ Herbert said Gray was secured and CPR was started.
Herbert said she tried to figure out why Gray was not breathing and said it was possible that Gray could’ve ingested some type of drugs.
Here we have a trained medic unable to correctly diagnose Gray, yet the officers were supposed to do better on occasions when he was moving, breathing and talking? The way the media tries to manipulate public opinion under the guise of straight news reporting, by what it prints, and by what it omits, is endlessly fascinating–and disgusting.
We now know, because the Prosecution was forced to cough up discovery they never wanted to come to light, that at a meeting with investigators a year ago, in the early days of the case, Dr. Carol Allan said she believed Gray’s death was an accident, yet she testified that she never, ever, cross her heart and hope to die, said such a thing. This is commonly called perjury.
Why did she change her mind? Did Marilyn Mosby and her subordinates pressure Allan? Allan testified that she was never, ever, cross her heart and hope to die, was pressured to change her conclusion to homicide. This too is almost certainly perjury.
She will never be prosecuted for it. Who will prosecute her: the very people–the prosecutors–that suborned her perjury? It need not have been blatant, verbal threats. It need not have been verbal at all. Dr. Allan understands well the political climate of Baltimore. How could she have failed to understand what was required, what was expected, of her, and the consequences if she did not jump on the social justice bandwagon? Dr. Allan may even be a social justice warrior ready to do whatever is required for the cause. Surely at such a meeting, the desires of the Prosecution and City leadership were clearly, and forcefully, expressed?
The Defense may or may not put her on the stand. The testimony of Det. Taylor, including their notes of that meeting, may be, considering this is a bench trial, more than enough. Why put Allan on the stand and risk her trying to explain away the contradiction? She might simply claim she has no memory of that statement. That would be incredibly lame, but what else can she do? Take the Fifth? Wouldn’t that be delightful: the Prosecution’s star medical witness taking the Fifth about her testimony. That such a thing is even possible in this case speaks to the Twilight Zone, Kafkaesque character of the entire enterprise.
In any case, if Det. Taylor’s notes and testimony pan out as it seems inevitable they will, Allan’s testimony in every case–including the retrial of Officer Porter–will have lost all credibility. However, since this is Baltimore, and she has shown herself willing to adhere to The Narrative even at the price of perjury. she may be just fine. Alternately, since she’s white, she could be thrown under the bus in a millisecond. What a judicial train wreck. What should Judge Williams, the conductor of this express to dishonor, do?
In any professional, ethical court where the rule of law prevails, this case would have already been dismissed. The Judge would have taken both parties into chambers and strongly suggested that unless the Prosecution had entirely new and convincing evidence, they had better dismiss every remaining case, because he would not waste the public’s time and money further. The Prosecutors would be referred to the State Bar for disbarment, and Dr. Allan would be tried for perjury, though she would be given a deal in exchange for her testimony against the prosecutors or other officials that suborned her perjury.
But this is Baltimore. Does anyone believe that could possibly happen? Does anyone believe the Prosecution coughed up everything it is hiding?