Baltimore officer acquitted of assault, other charges in Freddie Gray case

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BALTIMORE (AP) – 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.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams says Nero acted as any reasonable officer would have.

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.

Baltimore’s mayor says the city is prepared to respond to any disturbance after the acquittal of an officer in the death of the young black man Freddie Gray.

In her statement Monday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says the city will protect neighborhoods, businesses and residents. Gray’s death April 19, 2015, set off more than a week of protests followed by looting, rioting and arson that prompted a citywide curfew.

Rawlings-Blake’s statements asks residents to be patient and allow “the entire process to come to a conclusion.”

She released it shortly after a judge found Officer Edward Nero not guilty of misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. She says, “This is our American system of justice and police officers must be afforded the same justice system as every other citizen.”

She says Nero now faces a Police Department administrative review.

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