Freddie Gray

Officer Edward Nero Found Not Guilty in Freddie Gray's Death

The first verdict in the trials of six Baltimore police officers

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Alt-text is a crutch, man.
Baltimore Police Department

We have our first verdict in the trials of the six cops charged following the death last year of Freddie Gray, the young Baltimore man who died shackled and unbelted in a police van. This morning Officer Edward Nero, who had opted for a bench trial rather than face a jury, was found not guilty of all the charges against him, which included one count of reckless endangerment, two of misconduct in office, and four of second-degree assault.

While Nero is the first officer to receive an actual verdict for his role in the case, he is the second to have gone to trial. Five months ago, Officer William Porter's trip to court ended with a hung jury and a mistrial.

Nero was widely seen as the least culpable of the six officers, and he was not directly charged for Gray's death. If he had been found guilty—and by a judge rather than a jury at that—the remaining cops in the case surely would have taken it as a dark sign. (So would a lot of other cops, since the assault charges stemmed from the fact that Gray had been arrested without probable cause. Treating that as an assault was not a precedent a lot of police were eager to see.)  

The next trial—of Officer Caesar Goodson, Jr.—is supposed to begin next month, with the rest progressing through the summer and fall.

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  1. Most importantly, what does this do for Marilyn Mosby’s political ambitions?

    1. Democratic political machines are a competitive environment, but I imagine she’ll manage. Probably make a fortune, too.

  2. Talk about a forgone conclusion.

    1. Talk about a forgone conclusion.

      Atta’ boy. Don’t let the fact that there was no evidence of criminal wrong-doing on his part temper your disappointment.

  3. Shocking! I can’t see the riots from my porch, so at least that’s good news.

    1. And t-storms are predicted for Baltimore tonight so that should both suppress turnout and make it harder to set stuff on fire.

      1. There’s always tomorrow, Tonio.

  4. It’s just a couple years ago that we were all excited when there would even be indictments in police brutality cases. It was a very quick lesson that indictments are worthless when acquittal is a foregone conclusion, as it seems to be.

    1. At least we’re moving in the right direction. The next step will be when we start to see convictions, but with suspended sentences.

    2. It’s just a couple years ago that we were all excited when there would even be indictments in police brutality cases. It was a very quick lesson that indictments are worthless when acquittal is a foregone conclusion, as it seems to be.

      On what basis do you think he should have been convicted? Do you even know anything at all about his roll in the matter??

  5. I think it’s funny how people who show nothing but contempt for people who get killed by American bombs in Syria and Libya suddenly think that Freddie Gray is an American hero. (I’m not saying he’s not, just pointing out the irony.)

    1. Who said that Freddy Gray is an American hero? And where the fuck did you get this shit about not caring for people in Syria killed by American bombs? Did you get lost and arrive at the wrong forum?

      Not being an American hero does not give cops the right to just murder you like that.

      1. This guy didn’t murder Freddie Gray. Yet you are ready to convict. Why?

        1. Imagine a group of people without badges detain and kidnap someone off the street, shackle him, and take him for a deliberately rough ride around town unsecured in the back of a van where he breaks his neck. See a problem now?

          1. The police have a job and they do it. Sometimes mistakes are made and the people who made them must be held accountable – there is even a system in place for doing exactly this. Then the legal system ignores the rules and convicts every officer who was involved within 30 minutes and 10 miles of the accident happening. See the problem now?

            1. The police have a job and they do it.

              *snort*

              I can see you’ve never been a victim of a crime. If you had then you would know that cops don’t do dick for crime victims. They might be bothered to fill out a report. Might. But they won’t do anything else.

              Crimes without victims? Now that’s something they will investigate with gusto. But crimes with victims? They don’t give a shit.

              1. Having been on both sides of disputes I can say that my interactions with police have always been excellent. Your comment sounds like someone who’s been arrested too many times, maybe false charges by a domestic partner or something. Let go of that resentment. Maybe choose your partners more carefully next time.

                1. Your comment sounds like someone who is full of shit.

                  1. Your comment sounds like someone who is full of shit.

                  2. There’s a thin line between a retard and a troll.

                    1. There’s a thin line between a retard and a troll.

                      Not only is it thin, but it’s also blue.

                2. Personally, I’ve never been pulled over by a cop or had one knock on my door. My total experience with cops is limited to what I see them doing around town. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an officer operate a motor vehicle without violating at least one traffic law. Ever. They always speed. They always follow to closely. They frequently ignore stop signs and lights. They weave recklessly through traffic. They park where ever they want.

                  One time an unmarked car passed me during a left turn in an intersection on unlined residential streets, doing over 35 in a 25. The plates proudly displayed the driver’s FOP membership.

                  Cops positively flaunt the double standard when it comes to moving violations. You will see it every day if you’re paying attention. Why wouldn’t they do so with other laws?

                  1. Why wouldn’t they do so with other laws?

                    Oh, they do. That’s because the law doesn’t apply to them. They are governed by department policy. If policy says it’s OK, then it’s OK. Even if it is illegal. Besides, when they openly flaunt the law, who’s going to do something about it? Other cops?

                  2. Personally, I’ve never been pulled over by a cop or had one knock on my door.

                    Wow. Really? Pretty hard to believe.

              2. They’ll fill out a report if you pester them about it. My county actually has an online form you can fill out to report petty theft for insurance purposes. It’s actually pretty convenient since you don’t even have to talk to an officer.

                Crimes without victims? If you realize that these are actually crimes against the state, then it all makes sense.

                1. Oh, I realize that. They’re crimes against The People. That makes them especially heinous because instead of one victim, there are millions of victims!

            2. The police have a job and they do it.

              Yeah, not all the time and certainly not this time.

            3. So deliberately throwing the guy around in the back of the van is now their job? And trolling is your job.

        2. You’re a twit. Nobody is saying this man murdered Freddie Gray. Freddie Gray was murdered, and this man was involved in some capacity.

          1. I’m a twit? Do you really think you can win an argument by hurling insults?

            1. Nobody is saying this man murdered Freddie Gray. Freddie Gray was murdered, and this man was involved in some capacity.

              1. Do you really think you can win the argument by yelling? How well has that worked out for you in the past?

              2. Bolded so a twit like you is better able to read it.

                1. Oh ok so I’m a twit and you need to talk loud so I hear it. Did it work? Do you think I now believe that you are not trying to undermine the Libertarian cause by making them seem like crazy anarchists? OK now insult me again, and in bold, and see if it goes any better for you this time:

                  1. Does screen text often make voices appear in your head? Did you have flash backs of an abusive relative screaming at you as a child? Is bolded text triggering?

          2. I would like to think he’s trolling but I know better. Either that or he’s working the long con.

            1. Nope, just trolling.

        3. Somebody did. Which cop was it?

          1. Who cares? Burn ’em all!

            1. Burn all the ones involved in this case, sure. Fry’em up. Whatever you want to do with them, myth.

          2. None of them, of course. This trial concerned the officer generally considered the least culpable, but rest assured that even the ones considered most culpable will be found to not be culpable at all by a judge who doesn’t think arresting someone without probable cause should be considered a criminal act.

            Love,
            The System

    2. At first I thought you were talking about liberals, you know since they are the ones that don’t actually care about the people who get bombed over seas and like to hold up every victim of cops overzealous power/authority masturbation as some kind of hero.

      But I see that you are too stupid to tell the difference between them and a bunch of libertarians.

  6. Apparently, prosecutors don’t have to agree to a bench trail if the defense requests it. The fact the the prosecutors let it happen in this case tells me they were sandbagging. The judge is part of the same system as the cops & prosecutors, so….

    1. Professional Courtesy is a helluva drug

    2. The system is rigged I tell ya.

      1. You think it’s not?

    3. The judge is part of the same system as the cops & prosecutors, so….

      You don’t know the facts!

      /sarc

      1. The judge questioned that arresting someone without probably cause should even be considered a crime.

        http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/23/…..ward-nero/

        Prosecutor Janice Bledsoe argued that searching and handcuffing Gray constituted an assault.

        “You are saying an arrest without probable cause is a misconduct-in-office charge — is a crime?” the judge asked. “So you say if you arrest someone without probable cause, it’s a crime?”

        “Yes,” Bledsoe responded.

        1. It should be a crime to arrest someone without probable cause.

          1. THE DEVIL YOU SAY!

            sin,
            Judge Dipwad

          2. It should be a crime to arrest someone without probable cause.

            Pop quiz:

            “It is a judge’s job to determine if a defendant’s actions…

            A) *Are* a crime according to current law.

            B) *Should* be a crime based on the judge’s individual sense of right and wrong.”

        2. Cool. Judge, you’re under arrest!

        3. I love the way the judge just can’t wrap his head around the idea that a cop can commit a crime.

  7. Smart move on his part to request a bench trial. No judge is going to willingly convict a cop. Professional courtesy goes both ways.

  8. The hell it is a crutch Jesse!

  9. Who’s going to play him in the movie, Ryan Gosling or Bradley Cooper?

  10. That’s some thousand-yard stare he’s got in that picture. Quite the “Nero’s gaze,” if you will.

      1. Something something rhymes with paradox.

  11. Funny how supposed “Libertarians” are spoiling to throw people feet first into woodchippers yet they don’t even know what their alleged crime was. (The goal is to discredit the ideology so they can further their war profiteering.)

    1. There is no coherence to even be found in that idiotic statement.

      1. There is no coherence to even be found in that idiotic statement.

        1. Rather poor Turning Test simulacrum.

          1. Rather poor Turning Test simulacrum.

        2. Welcome to Retardation: A Celebration. Now, hopefully, I’m gonna dispel a few myths, a few rumors. First off, the retarded don’t rule the night. They don’t rule it. Nobody does. And they don’t run in packs. And while they may not be as strong as apes, don’t lock eyes with ’em, don’t do it. Puts ’em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming “No, no, no” and all they hear is “Who wants cake?” Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.

    2. Funny how supposed “Libertarians” are spoiling to throw people feet first into woodchippers yet they don’t even know what their alleged crime was.

      The commission of a crime isn’t in question, it’s known fact. Also, nobody’s said anything about woodchippers except you.

      Personally, for Nero, I’d be 100% A-OK with a ‘rough ride’ in shackles broken neck or not.

  12. “Officer Edward Nero, who had opted for a bench trial rather than face a jury”

    I don’t see why this should be an option.

    If you deny the charges against you and demand a trial, it should be a trial “by your country,” that is, the jury.

    Not a trial by an elected official, who can bend to the prosecution or the defense side depending on the case and the political incentives.

    Not a trial by someone who routinely works with your department.

    1. If the charges are BS, an impartial jury can say so.

      As a general rule, juries are more lenient to defendants than judges are.

      This seems to be a case where the cop gambled it would be an exception.

      Regardless of motives, juries are the country, the people, and they should decide.

      1. Again, judges are generally better educated on the law, more savvy to courtroom nonsense and tactics and better able to sort out complex issues

        This is a generally accepted fact across political spectrum by those who actually understand the legal system

        ‘Jury consultants’ know tactics can be used to pick juries more sympathetic to certain tactics and issues etc

        If you don’t believe me – ask a defense lawyer

        If you want to argue the facts – bench trial

        If the facts are problematic – opt for a jury

        maybe trial lawyers are wrong?

        1. Trial lawyers help select juries, then turn around and argue that “these jurors are unreliable.”

          Of course, trial lawyers also help select judges, as indicated by campaign contributions to same.

          I suppose those campaign contributions help the judges be more impartial?

          1. Go ask these trial lawyers whether, in the interest of having a better class of juror, they’d be willing to have an engineer or scientist on their jury.

            I didn’t think so.

            1. I notice that you haven’t called for abolishing peremptory challenges.

              No, you rely on the wisdom of the very people whose use of peremptory challenges creates these supposedly dumb juries.

    2. Not a trial by someone who routinely works with your department.

      Well they wouldn’t guarantee the jury would be comprised solely by police officers, so this was as close to a jury of his peers as he could get.

    3. They had to protect him since there may have been enough jurors who are getting tired of this shit, to convict him, no matter how hard they tried to make sure there wasn’t.

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  15. This brazen criminal should be glad that she had such professional officers arrest her. She could have, somehow, ended up in the water with the cuffs on.

  16. But was he also found innocent for burning Rome??

    1. He was found not guilty of burning Rome… duh.

  17. Due process FTW!!!

    Btw as a generally accepted rule when the facts are on your side it’s preferential to choose a bench trial as this officer did and when they are not and you need to win by emotion obfuscation and at best reasonable doubt opt for a jury trial because all you need is one holdout and you might dazzle with bullshit

    you can also win with a jury by nullification and just need ONE holdout for a hung jury

    The fact that he opted for a bench trial is strong evidence that he knew the facts were on his side but of course the people here will just say it’s because the charges by a stored state power some other such bilge

  18. Rarely reported in the mainstream media is the fact that in the months immediately after the Freddie grey arrests when the officers naturally depoliced because when they responded to calls people were surrounding them with cell phone cameras videotaping them, screaming at them and making it inpossible to do their job — homicide rates spiked by a massive percentage with no other causal factors

    in fact and ironically many of the same people that had been screaming for police accountability admitted ‘we need the police back’ … Cites available

    Literally DOZENS of ‘surplus’ victims, vast majority black, victims of homicidr

    That’s the result of BLM – scorched earth tactics causing mass death and injury to the very people they purport to advocate for

    1. So, the brave boys in blue would’ve been out saving lives if it weren’t for all the video cameras? Is that the story you’re really going with?

      1. Everyone knows a hero clams up when being observed at his heroing.

    2. Boo hoo, people were videotaping them and saying mean things.

      (Obviously actual violence was and would be wrong, but cry me a fucking river if you’re only dealing with the cameraphones and the name calling.)

    3. homicidr

      Is that when your /24 adds its most hated enemy, the evil /30, to its IPTables restriction?

      * NOTE: I am not responding to HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED. I am merely pointing out a funny in some text I saw on the internet…slightly above this comment.

      ** SECOND NOTE: Yes, I know I am a nerd.

    4. Rarely reported in the mainstream media

      Bullshit. The cops got lots of coverage, positive coverage, for their gutless refusal to do their jobs.

      when they responded to calls people were surrounding them with cell phone cameras videotaping them, screaming at them and making it inpossible to do their job

      Those brave heroes in blue – cowering in their offices because people might tape them and yell at them.

      Just curious, though – how many instances of cops being surrounded by angry mobs when they went to arrest someone, were the cops actually arresting someone who committed a violent crime v. a victimless and/or revenue-generating “crime”?

  19. 1) STop collectivizing cops. 2) This story is irrelevant because Jim said things have never been better. Hey just becuase a group of the king’ men got away with at least a negligent homicide is just a drop in the bucket in all the awesomeness that is going on in the world.

  20. Ah yes, as expected

    Every time a cop is acquitted or e not charged the same people who have respect for due process, innocent until proven guilty , and all the other fundamental constructs of the US justice system do a massive 180? reversal and end up sounding like Che Guevara arguing for revolutionary justice over due process

    A consistent reason anticop bigot double standard

    ‘Judges are biased towards cops’

    ‘Juries are biased to believe cops’

    Bla bla bla

    This is the system people . Cops have the same rights to juries/judges, reasonable doubt etc

    So stop being cognitive dissonance laden whiny pusssies and suck it up

    Maybe Shackford can explain about ‘proof beyond a shadow of a doubt’ (just lol) which mirrors the level of legal understanding here

    The guy TASKED with writing these articles and the editors here don’t even know what the legal standard for criminal conviction is – yet they think they are qualified to write on legal issues

    Any high school freshman US government student knows what the legal standard is

    what a complete embarrassment

    1. Yeah, cause arrest without probable cause should TOTALLY be okay and not subject to any penalty what-so-ever.

    2. Every time a cop is acquitted or e not charged the same people who have respect for due process, innocent until proven guilty , and all the other fundamental constructs of the US justice system do a massive 180? reversal and end up sounding like Che Guevara arguing for revolutionary justice over due process

      We just can’t help but notice the differential treatment cops get at every single step of the criminal process.

      Time to talk to other witnesses and get their story straight? Only cops.

      Prosecutors who give a complete defense case to a grand jury? Only cops.

      Courtrooms packed with colleagues staring down the jury? Only cops.

      Etc.

      When cops get the same criminal justice system we do, we’ll show more respect for the outcomes of that system.

  21. ‘We can’t get revolutionary justice against THE MAN because juries and judges are too sympathetic to cops’

    Derp derp derp

    Reasonoids turn into authoritarian anti due process revolutionary justice fascists EVERY TIME a cop is not charged or acquitted

    Justice becomes for them (as Sowell would say) results metric NOT process justice which is inconsistent with everything libertarianism stands for

    Grow the fuck up! Smooches

    Due process !!!

    1. When everyone gets due process and not just cops, I’ll agree.

  22. When are the riots going to start resulting in more damage from the BLM supremacist idiots

    Btw, just under 30% of those shot by cops – black males

    40% of the time cops are shot – black males

    Again, the stats don’t support the claim cops are racist in shootings

    They shoot Asian American males less frequently per capita than whites?

    Are they prejudiced against whites and recognising Asian privilege?

    No – it’s simple math

    The same Reasonoids that acknowledge blacks are 6 times as likely to be homicide victims and 8 times as likely to be offenders claim racism when cops shoot blacks more per capita than whites (but less than Asians)

    Cops are also obviously sexist because they shoot men over 9 times as often as women

    Derp Derp Derp

    Math is hard!!

  23. RE: Officer Edward Nero Found Not Guilty in Freddie Gray’s Death

    This should come as no surprise.
    Police officers are always right when shooting the populace.
    Just ask Joseph Stalin.

  24. These trials are becoming anti-climatic and dare I say a waste of time.

  25. I like the jury system more than I dislike cops. The jury found him innocent and that ends the issue. I would advise everyone on here to look at it the same way.

    1. A jury didn’t find him innocent. A judge did. Like most cops, he opted for the (favorable to power) bench trial over a jury.

    2. The jury found him innocent and that ends the issue.

      “He got away with reckless endangerment, misconduct in office, and second-degree assault” counts as “ending the issue”, doesn’t it?

      1. That happens. Guilty people go free sometimes in a just judicial system. Doesn’t everyone on here wax philosophical about better 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man go to prison? Well, maybe this is one of the ten guilty. Either accept it and stop bitching or stop talking about how it is better than 10 guilty men go free.

    3. Except it was a bench trial.

      1. Whoops.

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