The Freddie Gray saga has carried on from many months and the costs have become substantial for the city of Baltimore. The State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, faced political backlash after agreeing to charge the officers and unleashing a politically motivated rant when making the announcement. For Mosby, the backlash may very well begin to compound. One of the police officers in the case, Edward Nero, has been cleared on all charges and it could very well spell doom for the 36-year-old State’s Attorney.
Officer Nero was facing a slew of charges including reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. Proponents of the charged officers pointed towards Gary’s lengthy history of drug-related arrests, while insisting the officers were only doing their duties. Gary’s record indicates he was arrested at least 18 times, before the fatal incident, which led to his death. Nero was facing a maximum of 10 years on the assault charge and opted for a bench trial, which allowed him to be judged by Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams instead of a jury made up of local Baltimore residents.
During the trial, Nero’s lawyers attempted to persuade the judge that Nero was not the active arresting office and that strapping all inmates into the police wagon was more of a suggestion than a rule. The latter will undoubtedly play heavily into future trials of the remaining charged officers. Officer William Porter was tried for manslaughter months ago and his trial ended in a hung jury. Just last week, the State Attorney’s office appointed two new prosecutors, who will be in charge of Officer Miller’s case and Porter’s retrial.
Maryland residents are left to ponder how much money Marilyn Mosby and her office will allow to be squandered on the trials after the latest setback. Several years ago, reports forecasted the City of Baltimore would be in financial ruin and could be bankrupt by 2023. The costs of trying the officers will undoubtedly push the city closer and closer to the brink. With Mosby and her team now 0-2, it might be time to hang up the gloves and allow Baltimore to live to fight another day.