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The trial of a police officer involved with Freddie Gray's death began today in Baltimore, to the dismay of that officer's attorneys.

Lawyers representing Baltimore police officer William Porter said that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to select an impartial jury among Baltimore residents, The Baltimore Sun reports. Instead, they called for the trial to be moved out of the Maryland city.

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Prosecutors countered that it would be possible to seat an impartial jury of 12 people in Baltimore, according to the Sun, and that city residents should be involved in seeking justice for Gray. Judge Barry Williams maintained that jury selection would continue in Baltimore as planned.

Porter is the first of six police officers who will be tried in connection with the death of Freddie Gray. Gray died April 19, a week after sustaining severe spinal injuries while in police custody, handcuffed in the back of a transport van. He was not wearing a seatbelt, a violation of police policy.

Porter has been charged with assault, manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in the office. The 26-year-old officer is being tried first because prosecutors may be able to use his testimony against Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr., and Sergeant Alicia D. White in their respective trials.

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Gray's death sparked weeks of protest and civil unrest in the city, demanding justice for the 25-year-old, who was black, and calling for institutional changes to the ways in which communities of color are policed.

Gray's family received a $6.4 million settlement from the city of Baltimore in September. The separate trials for each of the six officers charged in connection with Gray's death will commence in January, The AP reports. The trials will likely continue through the spring.

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