Baltimore judge acquits officer in second ‘Freddie Gray’ trial

Baltimore judge acquits officer in second ‘Freddie Gray’ trial
Freddie Gray arrest. (Image: Eyewitness cell phone video via Baltimore Sun)

[Ed. – Officer Edward Nero had a bench trial.  And yes, Judge Barry Williams of Maryland’s Baltimore City Circuit Court is black.]

Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams on Monday acquitted Officer Edward Nero of all counts for his role in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray.

The judgment, following a five-day bench trial, is the first in the closely-watched case. Nero, 30, faced four misdemeanor charges of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office.

Prosecutors had argued that Nero committed an assault by detaining Gray without justification, while the reckless endangerment charge related to Nero’s role in putting Gray into an arrest wagon without buckling a seat belt. In closing arguments Thursday, Williams had skeptically questioned prosecutors about their theory of assault, which legal experts said was unprecedented. …

Nero was the second of six city police officers charged in the case to stand trial. The first trial, of Officer William Porter, ended in a hung jury and mistrial last December.

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