By Rick Ritter


BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There was just a small group of protesters on hand for the first verdict handed down in a case of one of Freddie Gray’s arresting officers.

Officer Edward Nero was found not guilty on all charges by Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams Monday morning.

Nero faced charges of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office.

Between 15 and 20 protesters were outside the courthouse when the not guilty verdict came down, WJZ’s Rick Ritter reports, far fewer than the amount present for the mistrial of Officer William Porter in December.

RELATED: NERO TRIAL:  Nero Found Not Guilty On All Charges | What’s Next? A Trial Timeline | Live Blog | Community Reaction | City Leader Reaction | Small Group of Protesters Present |

“The purpose on that is to continue to put pressure for justice for Freddie Gray,” said Sharon Black, of the People’s Power Assembly.

Justice some feel has yet to be served, including Rev. Westley West.

“Gray did not kill himself,” West said. “He did not kill himself, even though he’s dead. Someone needs to be held accountable.”

“There’s been too many cases where police haven’t been held accountable the same way people are held accountable,” Black said.

The news quickly spread through in the Penn North area.

“Someone needs to be held accountable for his death,” said Kenneth Smith.

While some are certainly upset about Monday’s verdict, many are already looking ahead to the other five officers who still need to be tried.

“This is just the first part; you got four or five more other trials,” said Elaine Thomas Young.

A search for justice in the coming months some say has yet to be served.

“We’re dealing with it and moving on to the next trial,” Smith said. “It’s not about tearing up the city; it’s about justice for Freddie Gray.”

Some of the demonstrators even swarmed Nero’s brother as he left the courthouse.

Baltimore Sheriff’s Deputies were on scene today, making sure protesters were contained to one area, and that Nero and his family were blocked off as they came out of the courthouse. No arrests were made there.

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Rick Ritter

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