A judge on Monday acquitted Police Officer Edward Nero of charges in connection with the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray, whose arrest in April of 2015 resulted in his demise from a broken neck while in police custody. Gray’s death sparked huge protests and widespread rioting in Baltimore. Nero is one of 6 police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray.
No doubt there will be those who will cry foul and subsequent protests and commentary from liberal pundits who will say justice did not prevail, and that Gray’s death resulted from racism and “police culture.” A review of the facts and cooler heads should prevail in this case and in my opinion have prevailed thus far by the courts.
The trial of Officer William Porter resulted in a hung jury and mistrial and is set for retrial in September. Officer Nero, who opted for a bench trial and was charged with second-degree assault, was acquitted of all charges in that he had minimal interaction with Gray during the arrest though the prosecution argued that Mr. Gray not being seat belted caused his death and was grounds for filing charges against Officer Nero and the other officers.
Trials for the other officers including Sgt. Alicia White, Lt. Brian Rice, Officers Garrett Miller and Caesar Goodson are scheduled for the coming months. Officer Caesar Goodson, the van driver, is set for trial on June 6, 2016. He faces second-degree murder.
It should be noted that the judge who acquitted Nero was Barry Williams who is African-American. I would also point out 3 of the 6 officers charged are African American as well. The city of Baltimore’s police department is over 40 percent African American. In fact, the Police Commissioner, the District Attorney and the Mayor were all African American at the time of the incident. I point him out because the match that lit the riots last year was the cry of racism and police brutality. Couple that with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s infamous comment last year in a press conference during the riots, “We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well”; and you will see how those I refer to as the “passionately misinformed” were stirred into a frenzy of destruction based on poor leadership and a false narrative.
Indicting 6 officers for the tragic death of a career criminal known for self-injuring himself for litigation against law enforcement was in my opinion misdirection by city leadership to hide the real issues affecting Baltimore including a lack of jobs, abandoned housing, high taxes and rampant crime in the inner city.
My prayer is that cooler heads will continue to prevail, and all the evidence be presented so that the officers get the benefit of justice and not the mob rule evident by Baltimore’s city leadership looking to hide abysmal governance.