Second Baltimore Cop Not Guilty in Freddie Gray Death

The second of six Baltimore police officers to be tried in connection with the death of Freddie Gray was found not guilty of all charges Monday.

Officer Edward Nero, who was on bike patrol and one of the first officers to encounter Gray when he responded to a call on April 12, 2015, had been charged with second-degree intentional assault, two counts of misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.

The case against William Porter, the first officer to go on trial, ended in a mistrial in December after jurors could not agree on a verdict. He will face retrial later this year. Nero waived his right to a jury trial and instead opted for a bench trial, where Maryland Circuit Judge Barry Williams heard the case.

Williams ruled Monday that Nero was not the officer who made the arrest and did not handcuff Gray; therefore, he could not be convicted of assault or misconduct.

The Maryland state’s attorney argued that Nero and the other police officers had no reasonable suspicion or probable cause to arrest Gray. As a result, prosecutors charged, Gray’s arrest had no legal basis and his detention by police amounted to an assault. Prosecutors also argued that Nero was guilty of reckless endangerment for failing to properly secure Gray in the police van.

Edward Nero

Gray died from spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and placed in the back of a police van with his hands handcuffed behind his back and his legs shackled, and without a seatbelt. Prosecutors said he suffered a neck injury and lost consciousness as he was being transported.

However, in his verdict Williams said the contact between Nero and Gray “was legally justified and not reckless.” The judge added that the state did not prove Nero committed a crime by failing to secure Gray with a seat belt because prosecutors did not show Nero had direct responsibility for placing a seat belt on Gray or even that he was trained to do so.

The verdict comes a little over a year after Gray’s death, which triggered days of rioting and violent protests in Baltimore and called attention to the treatment of Blacks and other minorities by police in the city. Gray was Black. Three of the officers charged in connection with Gray’s death are white and three are Black.

Following the verdict Monday, Tessa Hill-Aston, head of the Baltimore NAACP, told reporters she was not pleased with the outcome. “It’s not a good day,” she said. “Freddie was fine until they stopped him … and they had no reason to arrest him.”

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Nero will now face an administrative review through the police department.

The next officer to stand trial is Caesar Goodson. He is the officer who drove the police van that carried Gray to the police station. He will be tried before a jury in June.

Latest News

Trump commission attempts racist whitewashing of history

Trump Commission Attempts Racist Whitewashing of History; Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert Probed for Potential Role in Capitol Insurrection; and More

Trump commission’s “1776 Report” attempts racist whitewashing of history In the highly controversial “1776 Report” released by the Trump administration yesterday, the outgoing GOP party doesn’t just try to present a nonpartisan, “patriotic” look at the nation’s history (as the President had promised the report would do) it fully rewrites…

Boeing Elects Lynne Doughtie to Board of Directors, Following Resignation of Director Caroline Kennedy

Originally published on The Boeing Company (No. 27 on The 2020 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) board of directors today announced that Lynne Doughtie has been elected to the board, replacing Caroline Kennedy who has resigned following three years of dedicated service. Doughtie, 58, retired from KPMG in 2020, after serving as U.S. Chairman and…

Flint, Michigan water plant

Ex-Michigan Governor Charged for Racist Lead Poisoning of Flint Water Supply; COVID-19 Vaccines Not Increasing in Availability; Democrats Plan to Repeal Trump Rules; and More

Former Michigan Governor formally charged for poisoning thousands of predominantly Black Flint citizens with water containing lead. In 2014, when the city of Flint was forced by the state to begin taking its water supply from the Flint river rather than using water from nearby Detroit as it had for…

NYPD under suit

NYPD Sued for Years of Racial Abuse and Use of Excessive Force; Trump Administration Approves Discrimination Against LGBTQ individuals; and More

NYPD sued by Attorney General for years of racial abuse and use of excessive force. In what’s been called a “landmark lawsuit,” The New York Times has reported that New York state Attorney General Letitia James is suing the city of New York, the mayor and the NYPD’s leaders, alleging…

NBCUniversal News Group Launches NBCU Academy, Offering Training to Universities and Community Colleges

NBCUniversal News Group launched NBCU Academy, a new, innovative, multiplatform journalism training and development program for four-year university and community college students through education, on-campus training and online programming. Originally published on The initiative includes a curated onsite curriculum for hands-on learning experience with world-class NBCU News Group journalists,…


Kaiser Permanente: Committing $8.15M for Racial Equity

Originally published on Grants to grassroots and nonprofit organizations will help address structural racism and practices that prevent communities of color from achieving good health and well-being. Kaiser Permanente (DiversityInc Hall of Fame), the nation’s largest integrated, nonprofit health system, has awarded $8.15 million to support dozens of nonprofit…