A Baltimore police officer has been found not guilty for his role in the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray.
Officer Edward Nero, who was one of the arresting officers, had been charged with assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office, reports ABC News. Nero declined a jury trial, which means that Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams decided his fate.
According to reports, Williams drilled prosecutors, interrogating them as to why Nero was in the wrong for arresting Gray, who allegedly possessed an illegal switchblade.
“So every time there’s an arrest without probably justification, it is a crime?” Williams said.
Attorneys for defendants agreed with William’s point, adding that Nero did not break the law during the arrest.
“I can’t believe I even have to argue this,” defense attorney Marc Zayon said. “The detention is okay, the cuffing is okay, the moving is okay. Being detained is a horrible thing, being cuffed is a horrible thing…but the law allows it.”
Gray died on April 19, 2015, one week after he was arrested and placed in the back of a police van without a seatbelt. Upon arriving to the police station, Gray was unresponsive. He was taken to an area hospital, where he died a week later. A medical examiner said that his spine was severed, and he suffered injuries synonymous with those of a high-speed car accident.
Nero is the second of six officers to stand trial in Gray’s death. In December, a jury ruled a mistrial for Officer William Porter. He’s expected to take the stand again next month.