Officer Edward Nero Is Acquitted Of ALL Charges In Freddie Gray Death
A judge acquitted police officer Edward M. Nero of all four charges in the death of Freddie Gray on Monday.
The heartbreaking verdict is the first of the six officers charged. Unfortunately, it feels like a foreshadowing of what’s to come in the remaining cases.
Via the Washington Post:
The decision by Judge Barry G. Williams, announced Monday in a packed courtroom, is the first verdict reached in the Gray case. Nero is the second officer to face trial on charges related to Gray’s arrest and subsequent death. The first officer’s trial ended in a hung jury.
The 30-year-old Nero hugged his lawyers and wiped away tears after Williams read his ruling, which came after a trial held over six days. After court was adjourned, friends and fellow officers lined up to offer Nero congratulations. Nero had opted for a bench trial rather than have his case heard in front of a jury.
Nero was one of six Baltimore officers to face charges in the case of Gray, 25, who died in police custody a week after suffering injuries in the back of a police van. Gray’s death sparked rioting and arson in Baltimore and brought additional scrutiny to the deaths of young black men at the hands of police officers across the country.
Nero was acquitted of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office.
Tessa Hill-Aston, head of the Baltimore NAACP, said she was disappointed in the verdict.
“It’s not a good day,” she told reporters outside the courthouse. “Freddie was fine until they stopped him. . .and they had no reason to arrest him.” She said she expected an “emotional” reaction from many city residents, having been in court with people “from all walks of life” who were upset by the verdict.
In a statement, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Nero will now face an administrative review by the police department.
“This is our American system of justice and police officers must be afforded the same justice system as every other citizen in this city, state and country,” Rawlings-Blake said in the statement. “We once again ask the citizens to be patient and to allow the entire process to come to a conclusion. In case of any disturbance in the city. we are prepared to respond.”