by DONNA OWENS, nbcnews.com
BALTIMORE, Md. — The eyes of the nation and world were once again fixed on Baltimore as the second trial involving one of six police officers charged with the 2015 death of Freddie Gray came to a conclusion on Monday.
In a packed, hushed courtroom, Officer Edward Nero was acquitted of four misdemeanor counts: second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and two charges of misconduct in office. Emotions swirled after the not-guilty verdict was read, with Nero dropping his head and crying. Exiting the courthouse, Gray’s twin sister, Fredericka, was visibly distraught, too.
Across the city and beyond, reaction ran the gamut from outrage and disappointment to resignation and relief from the officers’ supporters.
While the criminal phase of this high-profile trial is done and it’s unclear what outcome will result when the other officers stand trial in the coming weeks and months, one thing is clear: Baltimore, which erupted hours after Gray’s funeral following days of largely peaceful protests, is not the same city it was one year ago.