Freddie Gray case to draw from pool of 80 potential jurors, black and white

The jury selection process began Monday in Baltimore in the first trial related to the arrest and death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray while he was in police custody in April.

Officer William Porter, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter and has pleaded not guilty, is the first of six police officers to be tried in the case.

Eighty potential jurors poured into a Baltimore courtroom Monday while about 20 people protested outside as the selection process began.

Every juror was familiar with the Gray case, the riots and curfew that followed Gray's death and the $6.4 million civil settlement that the city reached with his family.

The defense had argued for the trial to be moved outside of Baltimore because of the effect the case had on the city's residents.

Half of the jury pool is black and half is white and the group is evenly split between men and women, with a range of ages represented.

Only a few jurors knew some of the 150 potential witnesses the judge read from a list. Half of the potential jurors said that they had either been a victim of a crime, charged with a crime or other contact with law enforcement.

Potential jurors will now be questioned individually. Once they are seated, the judge has ruled that they will remain anonymous, but won't be sequestered during their service.

Gray suffered a severe spinal injury while he was in police custody on April 12 and died a week later. His death triggered citywide protests and violence for several days.

The judge said the trial will begin in a few days and won't go past Dec. 17.

CBS News' Paula Reid contributed to this story.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.