The trial of Officer Edward Nero in the arrest of Freddie Gray is set to begin Thursday.
Nero is charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office, all related to his role in Gray’s initial detention and arrest. He has elected to have a bench trial rather than a jury trial, leaving his legal fate in the hands of Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams.
Gray, 25, suffered severe spinal cord injuries while in the back of the van, prosecutors say, and died a week later. Nero is one of six Baltimore police officers charged in Gray’s arrest and death.
Nero’s trial will focus on whether he was legally justified in helping to stop Gray before officers found a knife clipped to his pants pocket on April 12, 2015 in West Baltimore, and whether he was reckless in allowing Gray to be taken from the scene while unrestrained by a seat belt in the back of a police transport van.