Officer Edward Nero was found not guilty on all four charges against him (related to the death of Freddie Gray) today in Baltimore City Circuit Court.
Nero was charged with two counts of misconduct in office in addition to the charges of second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the Baltimore Police Department would conduct an administrative review before he could return to work. A city police spokesman confirmed the review while the City Police Commissioner, Kevin Davis, called for “respect and reverence” for the judge’s verdict.
Rep. Elijah Cummings also issued a statement calling on city residents to trust the judicial system.
Full statement of Freddie Gray family attorney
Billy Murphy, attorney for Freddie Gray’s family, issued the following statement:
“I’m very proud of Judge Williams standing head and shoulders above most people. Under similar circumstances, he may have bent to the pressure, tremendous pressure, to do in this case what the black community wanted him to do. So my hat’s off to him.
“Both sides did an excellent job presenting their cases. The standard of proof in these kinds of cases is enormous – it’s proof beyond a reasonable doubt. And Judge Williams clearly articulated why he had reasons to doubt whether the evidence was sufficient for a conviction. And he did it in a very workmanlike, thorough manner so that there would be no doubt about why he felt that Officer Nero’s guilt had not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
“I don’t think this has a thing to do with the other cases. And Judge Williams was very careful in limiting his ruling to this case and this case only. And he said that from the outset, and also spoke from the way that he analyzed the facts.
“There are five other cases. Let’s be calm and patient to determine their outcome before we have any further to do about this matter. What we do know here is that he heard all of the evidence presented, he considered it all – both those facts that were in favor of the state, those facts that were in the favor of the defense – and he ruled in accordance with the law in a way that only the judge who could hear all of the evidence and knows all of the law could do. And again I commend him for not bending to public opinion, whether it came from either the white or the black community.”