Second Officer's trial in Freddie Gray case starts in Baltimore.
After all the delays and shifts police Officer Edward Nero has to stand before the jury facing multiple misdemeanor charges.
On May 1, 2015, Nero was first put under arrest in the investigation of the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who suffered serious injuries to his spinal cord in police van and custody. Gray’s death, which is believed to be the result of wrongdoing by police caused violent black protests in the city of Baltimore and brought about criminal charges against six officers.
Though not being charged for Gray’s death, Nero, according to The Associated Press, is on the panel for reckless endangerment, misconduct in office, and second-degree assault.
NPR’s Jennifer Ludden reports that “prosecutors are expected to argue that Officer Edward Nero had no probable cause to arrest Gray — and therefore doing so amounts to assault.”
This trial is in many respects meaningful for the black community as it doesn’t only bring one more alleged murderer in the uniform to the hands of justice. This, however, creates a unique precedence, as according to Nero’s defense, there has never been such kind of trial of an officer.
The Guardian calls that an “unprecedented legal strategy” that “may turn Nero’s case into a referendum on police stops in high crime areas and have wide-ranging implications on how officers can be punished for illegal stops, searches, and detentions.”
Though the situation is still surrounded with some doubts as in the previous trial of Officer William Porter, related to the same death the jury was not able to come to the decision out of either complexity of the case or of the fear to violate the impunity of police.
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