The case against Baltimore police officer Caesar Goodson is in shambles following the testimony and cross-examination of a key expert witness for the prosecution.
Former Lt. Commander and Commander of Training with the Baltimore Police Department, Neill Franklin, was supposed to testify that Goodson had given Freddie Gray a ‘rough ride’ which ultimately led to his death and the second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. Goodson was the driver of the transport.
However, when Franklin was cross examined by defense attorney Matthew Fraling, it became clear that there wasn’t a shred of evidence that a ‘rough ride’ ever took place.
According to Baltimore Sun reporter Kevin Rector, the cross examination went like this:
Fraling: In a review of CCTV footage, did you see any unexpected acceleration?
Fraling: (Sharp) turns?
Fraling: In your expert opinion, did Goodson give Gray a rough ride?
Franklin: I can’t say for sure.
Fraling: What’s the basis of your rough ride knowledge?
Franklin: Growing up in Baltimore, stories.
Fraling: Studied? Written about?
Franklin: No. No.
Fraling: Should the judge take you as a rough ride “expert” based on anecdotal stories?
Franklin: Plus knowledge from arrests.
To this, Franklin told a story about a DUI arrest he made while he was a Maryland State Trooper in Baltimore and how he thought Baltimore PD gave the guy a ‘rough ride.’
Fraling: What was the outcome of that investigation?
Franklin: Wasn’t one.
Fraling: You didn’t report it?
Franklin: Man wasn’t injured.
This was followed by an exchange between the judge and franklin about whether or not he was possibly complicit in an alleged ‘rough ride’ and how seatbelting doesn’t ensure an individual will be secure during transport.
Then, if things couldn’t get worse for Mosby’s prosecution, Franklin was asked a simple question.
Fraling: What’s a 10-15?
Franklin: I don’t know.
Fraling: (With one eyebrow raised) Aren’t you testifying as an expert on general orders, policies and procedures?
A 10-15 in this jurisdiction is the code to request for a transport.
Following Franklin’s testimony, the prosecution rested its case against officer Goodson and the defense immediately filed a formal motion for acquittal. According to Rector, this is typically verbally requested at this stage in a trial, but the defense filed a written motion.
This morning, the judge denied the request for immediate acquittal following arguments from both sides.
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