Baltimore officer acquitted of assault in arrest of Freddie Gray

Officer Edward Nero, left, one of six Baltimore city police officers charged in connection to the death of Freddie Gray, arrives at a courthouse to receive a verdict in his trial in Baltimore, Monday, May 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on the trial for an officer charged in the arrest of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died a week after he was critically injured in police custody (all times local):

11:25 a.m.

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.

——

11 a.m.

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.

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.

——

3:45 a.m.

A Baltimore judge is expected to announce his verdict in the trial of a police officer charged in the arrest and subsequent death of Freddie Gray.

Officer Edward Nero is charged with assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.

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 protests and rioting that month.

Prosecutors say Nero unlawfully arrested Gray and was negligent when he failed to buckle him into a seat belt. Nero’s attorney says the officer wasn’t directly involved in Gray’s arrest, adding it’s the driver’s responsibility to ensure a prisoner’s safety.

Both the state and defense delivered closing arguments Thursday.

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