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Officer acquitted in Freddy Gray trial

May 23, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Officer acquitted in Freddy Gray trial

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A Baltimore judge on Monday acquitted white police officer, Edward M. Nero of all charges after he was accused of contributing to the fatal injuries suffered by Freddie Gray while he was in police custody and was being transported in a van.

This is the first time that a verdict has been announced in the death of the 25-year-old African-American man.

Nero, 30, is one of six members of the Baltimore City Police Department who were charged with assorted crimes for being involved in some way in Gray’s death from a spinal injury that occurred because he was placed in the transport van handcuffed and shackled, but without being restrained.

Judge Barry G. Williams ruled Monday in Nero’s favor after a six-day trial, which had attracted much attention in Baltimore.

Nero, who waived a jury trial, was the officer who placed Gray under arrest on April 12, 2015.

Williams found Nero not guilty of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office.

In a statement, Baltimore’s African American mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Monday that Nero now will face an administrative review by the Police Department.

“We once again ask the citizens to be patient and to allow the entire process to come to a conclusion. In the case of any disturbance in the city, we are prepared to respond,” said the mayor, who belongs to the Democratic Party, in a statement.

Last December, the trial of another defendant, officer William G. Porter, ended in a hung jury, which sparked peaceful protests against police brutality.

After learning of Nero’s acquittal on Monday, Baltimore police deployed throughout the city to prevent any disturbances while community leaders called for calm and advised protesters to do so peacefully.

Gray’s death set off days of protests and parts of Baltimore were rocked by violent disturbances on April 27, 2015, following his funeral, prompting authorities to declare a state of emergency and impose a 10 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew.

The Gray case, coming after a nationwide string of deaths of unarmed blacks at the hands of white police, notably the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, fueled anger over the disproportionate use of force against African Americans. EFE

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