Freddie Gray Case: Police Officer Edward Nero Found Not Guilty

The first verdict in the Freddie Gray case has been reached in Baltimore. CNN is reporting that Officer Edward Nero has been found not guilty of all charges for his part in the events leading up to the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015. He is one of six officers charged in the death of the 25-year-old prisoner. Nero, one of the bicycle cops who was part of the initial encounter with Gray, had been charged with second-degree intentional assault, two counts of misconduct in office, and reckless endangerment after Gray died from injuries sustained while shackled in a van without a seatbelt.

The defense argued that Nero acted within the law when handcuffing someone who ran from the police and also that the state had failed to show he had a duty to secure Gray in the van. Securing van passengers is allegedly the responsibility of the van driver. The prosecution argued that Nero did not act with probable cause in the initial arrest and that he ignored a general order for officers to secure suspects in vans with seat belts, according to CNN.

Four of the other officers await their trial. The trial of the first defendant, William Porter, ended in a mistrial last December when the jurors could not agree on a verdict. 

Officials and community leaders are calling for calm and to let the process of justice continue.