Baltimore Officer Found Not Guilty in Death of Freddie Gray

(AP) -
From left, attorney Marc Zayon, Baltimore Police Officer Edward Nero, and attorney Jason Silverstein, walk to Courthouse East before hearing on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 in Baltimore. A judge will rule on several motions ahead of the trial for Nero, one of the police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray. Nero faces assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. Gray died April 19, 2015, a week after suffering a critical spinal injury in the back of a police van. (Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun via AP) WASHINGTON EXAMINER OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
From left, attorney Marc Zayon, Baltimore Police Officer Edward Nero, and attorney Jason Silverstein, walk to Courthouse East before a hearing on May 10, in Baltimore. (Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Baltimore officer Edward Nero who faced charges over the death of Freddie Gray, who died after injury in police custody, was acquitted by Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams Monday morning.

Nero opted for a bench trial rather than a jury trial.

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.

His death set off more than a week of protests followed by looting, rioting and arson that prompted a citywide curfew. His name became a rallying cry in the growing national conversation about the treatment of black men by police officers.

Shortly after Gray’s death, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged six officers. Three of them are black; Nero and two others are white.

Nero is the second officer to stand trial. Officer William Porter’s manslaughter trial ended with a hung jury.