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Criminal Justice

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How will Monday's not-guilty verdict in the trial of Officer Edward Nero, combined with last year’s hung jury in the case of Officer William Porter, affect the State’s Attorney’s case against Ceasar Goodson, the police van driver whose trial is slated to begin early next month?   He’s the next Baltimore police officer to be tried in connection with Freddie Gray's death from injuries sustained while in police custody in April 2015. And what will be the impact of the newly-released Appeals Court ruling, which compels the indicted police officers to testify in each other’s trials? This morning, legal analysis from attorney Edward Smith and University of Baltimore law professor David Jaros, who join Tom in Studio A.

Nero Not Guilty

May 24, 2016

Baltimore Police Officer Edward Nero was acquitted Monday by Circuit Judge Barry Williams of all charges against him in the Freddie Gray case. 

Nero was indicted on second degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct relating to last year’s death of Freddie Gray from a broken neck suffered while in police custody.

Williams took about twenty minutes to explain his reasoning.

Verdict in Nero trial to be announced Monday

May 24, 2016

Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams is to issue Monday his verdict in the trial of police Officer Edward Nero.

Nero has been charged with second degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office in last year’s death of Freddie Gray.

Court is to begin at 10:30 a.m.

Maryland high court explains Porter ruling

May 24, 2016

The Maryland Court of Appeals – the state’s highest court – released Friday its written opinion explaining why it ordered one police officer accused in last year’s death of Freddie Gray to testify against his five co-defendants.

Nero trial is now in judge’s hands

May 24, 2016

Prosecutors and defense attorneys presented their closing arguments Thursday before Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams.  And now Williams is examining the evidence and testimony presented at the trial of police Officer Edward Nero.

Baltimore police Officer Edward Nero has been found not guilty of all four misdemeanor charges he faced in connection with the arrest of Freddie Gray.

Gray died on April 19, 2015, after suffering injuries while in police custody.

Following the ruling, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement, "This is our American system of justice and police officers must be afforded the same justice system as every other citizen in the city, state, and country."

PKBurns-WYPR

On the morning of Monday, May 23rd, as Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams delivered his not-guilty verdicts in the trial of Police officer Edward Nero, WYPR was on the air live, providing forty minutes of special coverage anchored by Maryland Morning host Tom Hall. ​ He was joined on the phone from the Courthouse by WYPR reporters Kenny Burns and Jonna McKone. Providing legal analysis of the judge's verdicts were two of the city's top legal scholars: private attorney Edward Smith joined Tom in the studio, and University of Baltimore law professor David Jaros was on the line from the Courthouse.  Joining the conversation were Ray Kelly, leader of the No Boundaries Coalition, and Davon Love, with Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, both sharing their perspectives on how this ruling will be received across the city, and its implications for Baltimore's ongoing struggle to address issues of racial injustice and police misconduct. 

This is audio of WYPR's special live coverage from 10:38am to 11:18am on May 23, 2016.

Judge to hear closing arguments at Nero Trial

May 19, 2016

    

Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams will hear closing arguments Thursday in the trial of police Officer Edward Nero who is facing second degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment for his alleged role in the arrest of Freddie Gray.

Nero defense rests

May 19, 2016

  A former training director for the Baltimore Police Department testified Wednesday there was “no possible way” an officer could safely buckle a suspect in the back of a police van.

Capt. Justin Reynolds, one of the last two defense witnesses in the trial of Officer Edward Nero, said an officer risked being assaulted if he tried.

Nero is one of six officers charged in the case of Freddie Gray, who died a week after his arrest in April 2015 from injuries suffered in the back of a police van.

The police sergeant who trained Officer Edward Nero in the field praised him Tuesday as the defense continued its case in Nero’s trial on charges stemming from the death last year of Freddie Gray in police custody.

Miller wrap up state’s case against Nero

May 19, 2016

  Officer Garret Miller testified yesterday that it was he who handcuffed Freddie Gray at the time of his arrest in April 2015, not Officer Edward Nero, and that he later placed leg restraints on Gray at the second stop of the police van taking Gray to the Western District station.

He also said he made the call for the wagon to meet them at the edge of Gilmore Homes to pick up Gray.

A fellow officer or two could be called in Nero trial

May 19, 2016

Prosecutors could call one, or even two, of police Officer Edward Nero’s colleagues to testify against him today as his trial on charges in the Freddie Gray case goes into a third day.

Prosecutors map out what Nero did

May 19, 2016

Prosecutors played the statement police Officer Edward Nero gave to investigators during the second day of Nero’s trial.  The state spent much of the day focused on what took place on April 12, 2015; the day of the arrest.

During opening statements, Chief Deputy State's Attorney Michael Schatzow told Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams that Officer Edward Nero disregarded his police training when he chased Freddie Gray and arrested him without probable cause, and was callously indifferent to the 25-year-old's wellbeing when he failed to secure him in a seatbelt.

Schatzow spent about 20 minutes laying out the state's argument.

A second trial related to the death of Freddie Gray opens Thursday in Baltimore, where police Officer Edward Nero faces multiple misdemeanors in connection with the case.

Gray died April 19, 2015, after suffering a broken neck while in police custody — specifically, while being transported in a police van, medical examiners found. The following month, prosecutors announced charges against six police officers in connection with Gray's death.

Jonna McKone

There’s been a lot of attention focused on Baltimore’s youth in the year since Freddie Gray died. And much of that spotlight has been on Frederick Douglass High School. Images of dozens of Douglass students throwing rocks and bottles were captured on TV as protests turned violent the day of Gray’s funeral.  As part of our series, Baltimore: A Year after Freddie Gray, we look at how Douglass students are trying to take control of their own story.

Douglass students, their teachers and a group of reporters crammed into the school library on Wednesday to field questions about how the school has changed since Freddie Gray. Several students, two teachers, a school police officer and City Schools CEO Dr. Gregory Thornton, sat at the front of the room. Behind them were scrolling images of Baltimore residents photographed on city streets.  A scrum of cameras from local TV stations filmed from behind the audience. 

The first questions came from the students.

 

Baltimore police said a police detective shot and injured a boy after mistaking a replica pistol in his hand for a real gun.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis told reporters that two plainclothes detectives were driving in East Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon and saw the boy with "what looked like a firearm." Here's what Davis said happened next:

Miller must testify

Apr 25, 2016

Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams ruled Wednesday that police Officer Garrett Miller must testify against Officer Edward Nero and Lt. Brian Rice.

Miller, Nero and Rice are charged along with three other officers in the death of Freddie Gray one year ago.

Rachel Baye

Mechanics were already busy at work at the Full Circle Service Center in Halethorpe when 30-year-old Brandon Carroll walked in. He said he was late because he had to meet with his parole officer.

"I was incarcerated for about six years,” he said. “I was hanging around the wrong people and basically was a product of my environment. I got caught with a gun, and that set me down for a little while.”

Being Nehemiah

Apr 20, 2016

In death, the name Freddie Gray became part of the national call for police reform. Quickly, though, the challenge widened. Every urban issue from unemployment, to education, to vacant houses, to public schools and the re-entry of ex-offenders was on the urgency agenda.  Gray grew up a victim or a product of them all. How urgent, though, would be question.

State lawmakers appear to have reached an agreement on a bill changing the controversial Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. 

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Body cameras: almost there

Mar 14, 2016

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Thursday the details of a contract to buy body cameras for police officers and plans for officers to begin wearing them.

Porter Must Testify

Mar 14, 2016

The Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that police Officer William Porter must testify against five fellow officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray.

Breaking news in the police trials related to Freddie Gray’s death. We’ll start with an update from WYPR reporter Kenneth Burns. Then: the three men vying to be the Green Party nominee for mayor of Baltimore. The Green Party will hold its own primary just after the one in late April for Democrats and Republicans. Joshua Harris is an activist and organizer. Until recently he was running as a Democrat. Emanuel McCray is a community organizer and Army veteran; this is his second bid for mayor. And David Marriott, former police officer and Marine, is running for the first time. We’ll discuss housing, jobs, police reform, schools, and other issues.

Freddie Gray case now awaits a Court of Appeals decision

Mar 4, 2016

The Freddie Gray case moved to Annapolis Thursday as the Court of Appeals heard arguments on whether or not police Officer William Porter could be forced to testify against his five fellow officers.

All six are accused in Gray’s death last year from a broken neck suffered while in the back of a police wagon; they face charges ranging from reckless endangerment to second degree depraved heart murder.

Court of Appeals Hear Arguments in the Freddie Gray Case

Mar 3, 2016

Lawyers for the state and the six accused officers in Freddie Gray’s death will be arguing before the Court of Appeals Thursday morning at 10:00.  Click here to see the arguments in Annapolis as they happen.

The Freddie Gray case lands in the Court of Appeals Thursday as prosecutors and defense lawyers argue whether Officer William Porter should, or should not, be forced to testify against his five co-defendants during their trials.

Prosecutors in the upcoming trial of police Officer Edward Nero are trying to keep the jury from hearing certain evidence.

Nero is one of six officers charged in the death last April of Freddie Gray.

The prosecutors have asked Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams to keep information about Gray’s criminal record, past hospitalizations, prior civil claims and lead paint exposure as a child from coming out at the trial.

Freddie Gray Trials On Hold

Feb 19, 2016

The Court of Appeals – Maryland’s highest court – put the trials of five police officers charged in Freddie Gray’s death on hold Thursday to review decisions of Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams.

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