A 29-year-old patrolman from New Jersey is one of six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, who died from injuries suffered in police custody. Edward M. Nero served as an emergency medical technician with the Washington Township Fire Department in Gloucester County, according to comments by his father, Edward Nero, reported in the New York Times.

“He was a certified E.M.T. with the state of New Jersey, and that’s why I know for a fact that my son did not hurt this kid,” the elder Nero told the Times. “And if this kid [Freddie Gray] needed medical attention my son would have been the first one to give it to him.”

(left to right from the top) Caesar R. Goodson Jr., Garrett E. Miller and Edward M. Nero; at the bottom, William G. Porter, Brian W. Rice and Alicia D. White, the six police officers accused of crimes from the aggression to murder for the death of Freddie Gray.
Edward M. Nero, originally from New Jersey, is shown at top right with 5 other Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured in their custody after what prosecutors say was an illegal arrest. (Baltimore Police Department via AP)

Six officers are charged in Gray's death from injuries he suffered while in police custody. State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby says the officers repeatedly failed to get Gray medical treatment after his arrest. The police officers' union has said they are not responsible for Gray's death.

According to the charges filed by Mosby's office, Nero was one of three officers on bike patrol who began pursuing Gray after he began running from them on a Baltimore street April 12.

Gray surrendered to Garrett E. Miller, 26, and Nero, who handcuffed him and put him on the ground. Gray told the officers that he couldn't breathe and requested an inhaler, Mosby said. The two officers, both of whom joined the police force in 2012, sat Gray up and found a folded knife clipped to the inside of his pants pocket, a knife that is lawful under Maryland law, Mosby said. Previously, police have said the knife was a switchblade, which would have been illegal.

Mosby said Gray didn't commit any crime, and the officers "illegally arrested Mr. Gray."

The officers put the knife on the sidewalk and then put Gray back down on his stomach, when he started to flail his legs and scream, Mosby said.

Nero held Gray down until Goodson arrived driving a police transport van. Miller, Nero and Rice then put Gray inside.

While Gray was being transported, Miller, Nero and Rice took him out of the wagon and put flex handcuffs and leg shackles on him. After that stop, they put Gray back into the van on his stomach without a seatbelt.

Nero's father, who lives in Florida, said his son is married and has a year-old daughter.

The son is charged with two counts each of second-degree assault and misconduct in office and one count of false imprisonment. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

“Myself and my family really believe he’ll be exonerated, but in the meantime, he’ll have to go through hell to do so,” the father told the Times. “It’ll probably destroy his life, his career and his motivation to help other people.”

Associated Press also contributed to this story.



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