Baltimore police Officer Edward Nero has been found not guilty of all charges for his part in the events leading to the death of Freddie Gray. Judge Barry Williams announced his decision Monday following a bench trial.
Nero, 30, was charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.
Gray, 25, died April 19 of last year, a week after his neck was broken while he was handcuffed and shackled, but unrestrained, in the back of a police van. The department’s policy is that detainees must be buckled in the van.
Prosecutors say Nero illegally arrested Gray last year without probable cause, and was negligent when he failed to secure Gray in the police van with a seat belt. Nero’s attorney says his client wasn’t involved in Gray’s arrest, and that it’s the responsibility of a police van’s driver to make sure a detainee is belted in.
Nero was the second of six officers to face a trial in the Freddie Gray case, but the first to have his case decided in court. Officer Edward Porter’s trial ended in a mistrial after jurors couldn’t agree on a verdict.