Baltimore police officer cleared in Freddie Gray case
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A Baltimore police officer on Monday was acquitted of all charges in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, according to multiple reports.
 
Officer Edward Nero was charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office. Nero had asked for a judge to decide his fate instead of a jury.
  
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Gray died after suffering fatal injuries while being transported by police after his arrest just more than a year ago. His death spurred protests and riots in Baltimore.  
 
Gray family attorney Billy Murphy told media outlets that he thought the judge did a good job. "You couldn't have asked for a more fair-minded judge," he said in a CNN interview.
 
"I think the family is going to respect that opinion," he added.
 
The Gray family attorney said the public should also respect the decision, saying, "Who am I to say that [the officer] should have been found guilty or not guilty?"
 
Marc Zayon, one of Nero's attorneys, said the officer and his family are "elated that this nightmare is finally over."
 
"The State's Attorney for Baltimore City rushed to charge him, as well as the other five officers, completely disregarding the facts of the case and the applicable law," Zayon said in a statement, according to the Baltimore Sun.
 
"His hope is that the state's Attorney will re-evaluate the remaining five officers' cases and dismiss their charges. Like Officer Nero, these officers have done nothing wrong."
 
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Monday asked for patience while an administrative review is conducted.
 
She said in a statement that officials are “prepared to respond” to any disturbance.
 
“We will protect our neighborhoods, our businesses and the people of our city,” she added.
 
Officers from other jurisdictions were reportedly being sent to Baltimore to deal with possible unrest.
 
“Following Mr. Gray’s death, the citizens of Baltimore demanded justice, and it is clear that the wheels of justice are turning,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said in a statement. “I commend the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for its efforts to pursue justice, and I thank everyone who has worked on Mr. Nero’s trial.
 
“Justice has always relied on trust in the judicial process, and that is what I call on all of Baltimore’s residents to do because there will be more trials in the death of Mr. Freddie Gray. We cannot control the outcome of any of these trials, but what we can control is our work to continue healing our community,” he added.
 
 
“The death of Freddie Gray was a national tragedy that sparked a national conversation about the need for justice and opportunity in the African-American community,” he added. “No verdict will bring back Freddie Gray to his family and his community but we must ensure we continue the dialogue and the hard work to rebuild the trust between law enforcement and the neighborhoods they are sworn to protect and defend.”
 
Nero is one of six Baltimore police officers charged in Gray's death. He is the second officer to stand trial.
 
Officer William Porter's trial ended in a hung jury and mistrial last December.
 
The next officer to stand trial will be Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. His trial will start June 6.
 
— Jesse Byrnes contributed to this breaking news report, which was last updated at 1:09 p.m.