Officer Edward Nero has been acquitted of all charges in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray. Nero was one of six officers, three black and three white, who were charged by Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby on various charges in the arrest and death of Gray. When she announced that she was going to go after the officers legally, Mosby sounded more like an angry radical than the state’s top attorney.
Nero faced assault, misconduct in office, and reckless endangerment charges. Officer Nero opted for a bench trial rather than a trial by jury. On Monday morning, Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams, after being presented with all evidence, acquitted Nero of all charges.
Officer Nero’s trial was the second of the six officers facing some sort of criminal charges in the death of Freddie Gray. The first officer, William Porter, was facing a manslaughter charge. His trial ended in a hung jury.
State’s Attorney Mosby faced criticism when she announced the charges against the officers with the consensus being that she was overcharging them. The evidence did not support her charges against the officers. Shockingly, prior to the officers even standing trial, the city of Baltimore reached a settlement in September 2015 with the Gray family giving them $6.4 million.
Following the death of Gray, the city was ravaged by anarchism and violence with damage to private property totaling over $9 million. The destruction in the city was exacerbated by an order given by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who admitted to giving rioters “space to destroy,” as if destruction of private property and violence are First Amendment rights.
“While we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we work very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate, and that’s what you saw.”
Officers in Baltimore were reportedly told to stand down thereby allowing the violent anarchists to destroy the city, turning it into what looked like a third-world country.
Will there be additional riots and violence in Baltimore from anarchists after Officer Nero was found not guilty of all charges? Only time will tell but Mayor Rawlings-Blake said they are prepared for whatever happens and asked people to respect the process no matter the outcome.