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by Peter Moskos

May 23, 2016

Officer Nero Acquitted on all Charges

Good. Judge Williams used the law. There was no case. I don't find this surprising. But then I've learned to be surprised by these absurd trials.

And I was speaking to a friend here in New Orleans who, naturally, assumed the officers are guilty. She hadn't read my primer and had no idea this trial had nothing (except politics) to do with Freddie's death.

Judge Williams ruled that Nero had nothing even to do with Freddie Gray's arrest.

Update: I generally discount the "anti-cop mainstream media" hype you hear from a lot of people. But I just received a call from a station out west and told them what I thought about the verdict. I was told, "I totally agree with what you're saying, but we're looking for a more 'agnostic' guest." I'm not sure whether "agnostic" mean ignorant or biased. But facts be damned, they won't be satisfied until they get "both" sides of this story equally represented. It's how false narratives are built.


Thorn said...

I guess if they have a math teacher on they need to find someone else to give a counterpoint of 2+2=5.

Andy D said...

Reading the Judge's comments, I felt two things. First he clearly made the right decision. Second, it was clearly the ONLY decision he COULD make because the case was so pathetically void of facts showing any criminal acts by Nero. But Third, it sounds like if the judge gets the make the decision, there is a good chance that, at least on the misconduct charges, Miller is SOL and so are Rice and Goodson.

He seemed to basically say that Nero didn't commit misconduct regarding the failure to seatbelt because his superior officer was the one actually IN the van, and he couldn't be expected to question his superior about putting on the seatbelt. he also wasn't trained specifically about how to transport a prisoner in the wagon. And he couldn't be found guilty of misconduct for the arrest being illegal because he didn't make the arrest. I inferred--and maybe I'm reading too much into it--that the judge felt that the arrest was illegal and the failure to seatbelt could be misconduct. This might have just been because there was actually no evidence introduced regarding Nero's role in either of those things and so he skirted the issues and only addressed the fact that Nero had nothing to do with any of it. Or it could be that those three are screwed if Barry Williams has anything to do with it.

Peter Moskos said...

Time will tell. But my guess is you are reading too much into it. Not that it is a bad reading, but I think the judge has an obligation not to discuss the next trial in this decision. So yes, he's making the case very narrow. But I think that is his job. For him to discuss issues that were not part of this case -- hypotheticals at this point, basically -- would be both odd and not very judicial.

So while it could be foreshadowing, I think it's more him saying he's just judging this case. And the next case he'll judge with a clean slate, as is his job.

Adam said...

Andy, it seems our friend Page Croyder shares your concerns: