May 23, 2016
This story may be updated.
Baltimore Police Officer Edward Nero was found not guilty of all charges by a judge Monday morning for his role in the arrest and subsequent death of 25-year-old black man Freddie Gray.
Nero, who is white, had faced charges of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and two counts of misconduct in office, all related to his role in Gray's initial detention and arrest on April 12, 2015. Gray died one week after being taken into custody, having suffered a broken neck and severe spinal cord injury in the back of a police transport van.
According to the Baltimore Sun:
Prosecutors alleged that Gray's arrest was an assault because it did not meet the standards of a legal detention. Legal analysts had called the theory unusual. Nero was also accused of endangering Gray by failing to secure him in the back of a police van with a seat belt.
Nero's attorneys, meanwhile, had sought to minimize his role in the arrest, saying that he had limited contact with Gray. They also argued that Nero followed his training.
Nero was the second of six city police officers charged in the case to stand trial; he chose a bench trial instead of a jury. The William G. Porter trial ended in a hung jury in December.
The Baltimore Sun is providing live updates here.
The outcry was swift on social media.
"In spite of today's verdict," the NAACP said in a statement, "we await justice for Freddie Gray."
Follow the response on Twitter:#NeroTrial Tweets
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.