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Verdict just came down for police officer in Freddie Gray death case; see updates

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The Baltimore Police Department has cancelled leave for all officers after Officer Edward Nero was found not guilty of all charges in the death of Freddie Gray.

Nero was charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office for the April 12, 2015 incident.

Nero’s verdict came from black Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams, as the officer opted for a bench trial rather than a jury trial, according to the Baltimore Sun.

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.

Nero, a former New Jersey volunteer firefighter who joined the Baltimore Police Department in 2012, is one of three officers who were on bike patrol when they chased and arrested Gray in West Baltimore.

Gray, 25, suffered severe spinal cord injuries while in the back of a Baltimore police van, prosecutors say. He died a week later, touching off citywide protests. On the day of his funeral on April 27, rioting, looting and arson broke out, leading the mayor to institute a weeklong nightly curfew and the governor to call in the National Guard.

Nero’s trial lasted six days, with the prosecution calling 14 witnesses and the defense calling seven before closing statements last Thursday.

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UPDATE: Mayor Rawlings-Blake released a statement following the verdict and said Officer Nero will face “administrative review.”

Carmine Sabia


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