By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The case of Officer Edward Nero is nearing a conclusion. The defense will be calling its final witnesses Wednesday. Edward Nero is the second officer to be tried in connection with the death of Freddie Gray.

WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren has more on Tuesday’s testimony and the impact it could have on Nero’s case.

Officer Edward Nero’s defense made his training central to their case, bringing in his training officer, who said Nero never received instruction on police wagons, and an assistant attorney general, who trained him on arrests, to bolster their claim that Nero did nothing wrong the day Freddie Gray was taken into custody.

“It is an indictment of the training that the Baltimore City police officers had been subjected to at least prior to Freddie Gray, hopefully there’s been some change in their training since,” said Warren Brown, lawyer and courtroom observer.

Among the witnesses was Officer Aaron Jackson, who said he saw Gray violently rocking the van, supporting the  defense argument Gray was too dangerous to secure with a seat belt.

Nero has also argued he never got proper notice of a new general order mandating all inmates be seat belted. Prosecutors claim his failure to do so was reckless endangerment and misconduct.

Gray suffered a severe spinal injury that killed him days later.

“They did all the wrong things by not strapping him and giving him medical attention when he first asked for it,” said Tessa Hill-Aston, NAACP Baltimore president.

Nero was one of the bicycle officers involved in Gray’s arrest. His defense has tried to paint him as only minimally involved.

Nero’s lawyers appeared exasperated after the judge repeatedly sustained prosecutors’ objections to many of their own witnesses.

The case is expected to wrap up Wednesday.

Officer Nero has not taken the stand in his own defense. It’s unclear if he will. The last person to take the stand Sgt. Warren Stevens, who was a mentor to him and who testified about the seat belt policy.


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