Officer acquitted in Freddie Gray case

Posted at 11:07 AM, May 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-23 18:07:55-04

A Baltimore police officer has been acquitted of assault and other charges in the arrest of Freddie Gray, a young black man who died a week after he was critically injured in police custody.

A judge found Officer Edward Nero not guilty of misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. The judge announced his verdict on Monday.

Nero was one of six Baltimore police officers charged in the case. He waived his right to a jury trial, opting instead to argue his case before Circuit Judge Barry Williams.

An earlier trial for an officer charged with manslaughter in the case ended in a hung jury in December.

Gray's death about a year ago led to protests and rioting in the city and fueled the Black Lives Matter movement.

freddie gray

Gray died April 19, 2015, a week after his neck was broken in the back of a police transport van while he was handcuffed and shackled, but left unrestrained by a seat belt. His death set off protests and rioting that month.

Prosecutors say Nero unlawfully arrested Gray and was negligent when he failed to buckle him into a seat belt. Nero's attorney says the officer wasn't directly involved in Gray's arrest, adding it's the driver's responsibility to ensure a prisoner's safety.