A Baltimore judge on Monday acquitted police officer Edward Nero on all counts for his role in the death of Freddie Gray. The verdict [Baltimore Sun report] followed a five-day bench trial in which Nero faced charges of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office. Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams found that there was no credible evidence that Nero was directly involved in Gray’s arrest and that his actions were not unreasonable. Nero is one of six officers indicted [JURIST report] last year. The trial of police officer William Porter ended in a hung jury and mistrial in December.
Gray’s arrest and death in April of last year led to widespread protests and civil disorder in the city of Baltimore. In September Baltimore reached a tentative agreement with Gray’s family to pay $6.4 million in settlement [JURIST report]. In April of last year Amnesty International urged Baltimore police to exercise restraint [JURIST report] during protests, prioritize non-violent means and limit the use of force.