State Witnesses No Help|in Freddie Gray Trial

     BALTIMORE (CN) — Prosecutors again struggled to bring credible evidence or decisive witness testimony in the bench trial of Baltimore Police Officer Edward Nero on charges related to the arrest of Freddie Gray.
     Three witnesses took the stand in the prosecution’s case and testified about the circumstances of the 30-year-old Nero’s involvement in Gray’s arrest and transport, which led to Gray’s critical spinal cord injury and eventual death.
     State witness Stanford Franklin, executive director of the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and an expert on police training, policy, procedure and practices, testified that Nero had not acted as a reasonable officer would have when he detained Gray.
     However, he recanted on cross-examination, saying that the officers who arrested Gray would have been reasonable in waiting to get more information regarding a supervisor’s order to pursue Gray in a foot chase.
     Franklin also said acknowledged that, despite prosecutors’ assertions that Nero and fellow officers did not follow general orders, officers are required to use discretion in the field when making arrests and to make decisions based on officer safety.
     Brandon Ross, a friend of the 25-year-old Gray who was with him the morning of the arrest, was the first witness to take the stand and left the courtroom in handcuffs on charges unrelated to the case.
     Ross also contradicted all police reports regarding the events of April 12, 2015, when he testified that Gray had started running away as police approached before he ever made eye contact with Lt. Brian Rice, who also faces charges in retaliation to the incident.
     During cross-examination by Nero’s attorney Marc Zayon, Ross also admitted to making a 911 call using an alias to report police misconduct. Ross said he used the fake name to protect himself from police harassment.
     Zayon also asked Ross if there is drug dealing in Gilmor Homes. Ross replied, “Where are drugs not being sold at in Baltimore City?”
     Part of Nero and the other involved officers’ is that Gray ran away, unprovoked, in a high-crime area.
     Nero has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of second-degree assault and misconduct relating to Gray’s arrest, and reckless endangerment and a second count of misconduct stemming from the way Gray was loaded into the van.
     Prosecutor Janice Bloodsoe called Det. Michael Boyd, who investigated the allegations against officers involved in the arrest within six hours of the incident, explained the various places where the arrest took place, but did not provide much evidence to help the prosecution.
     Testimony is expected to resume on Monday when fellow officers William Porter — whose trial in December ended with a hung jury — and Garrett Miller are expected to take the stand.

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