NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/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.READ MORE: Attorney Says Current Whereabouts Of Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito's Fiancé, Are Unknown
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.
The 25-year-old Gray died April 19, 2015, a week after his neck was broken in the back of a police transport van while he was handcuffed and shackled, but left unrestrained by a seat belt.READ MORE: Teen Stabbed To Death After Dutchess County High School Football Game, Former Student Charged
His death led to protests, rioting, looting and arson in the city, and fueled the Black Lives Matter movement. The violent riots prompted the governor of Maryland to declare a state of emergency and activate the National Guard in Baltimore. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also deployed 150 state troopers to help Baltimore restore peace and order.
A New York City demonstration held in solidarity with the Baltimore protests resulted in 143 arrests last April after protesters spilled into traffic and shut down the outbound Holland Tunnel, the West Side Highway and several other city streets.
Following Monday’s verdict, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the city is prepared to respond to any disturbance and will protect neighborhoods, businesses and residents.
In a statement, she asked residents to be patient and allow “the entire process to come to a conclusion.”
“This is our American system of justice and police officers must be afforded the same justice system as every other citizen,” Rawlings-Blake said, adding Nero now faces a Police Department administrative review.MORE NEWS: Caught On Video: Carmine's Hostess Attacked After Asking Tourists For Proof Of Vaccination
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