Five other officers are awaiting trial for the arrest and death of Freddie Gray in 2015.
Just over one year ago, Freddie Gray was arrested in Baltimore, ostensibly for the illegal possession of a switchblade, although the cause for arrest has been disputed for multiple reasons. During his time in the Baltimore Police Department’s custody Freddie Gray’s spinal cord was severed. He died a week later in a Baltimore hospital. Since then all six officers involved in the arrest have been charged with crimes relating to the arrest and death of Gray.
Today, the first of the six cases reached its conclusion. Officer Edward M. Nero was acquitted on all counts by Judge Barry G. Williams (no jury was used in this case). He was charged with second-degree assault and two counts of misconduct in office, reckless endangerment, which amounted to a maximum sentence of 15 years.
The argument that anchored the case seemed to be whether a wrongful arrest should result in a crime, barring the special circumstances (ie. the death of someone who has been arrested). “People get jacked up in the city all the time,” argued Janice Bledsoe, a deputy state’s attorney. The judge’s response? “That’s a separate issue.”
Five more officers have yet to be tried for their crimes, including one officer whose first time in court was thrown out due to a mistrial. We hope protests remain peaceful in Baltimore for everyone's safety.