Professors David Jaros and Jose Anderson are quoted in today’s New York Times in a story about the forthcoming trial of Officer Edward Nero, one of six Baltimore police officers indicted last year in the death of Freddie Gray.
Nero helped pursue and arrest Gray on the morning of April 12, 2015, in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of West Baltimore.
Jaros said the trial could turn on complicated legal theory and would likely offer little insight into how Gray was fatally injured in police custody.
“I think we are going to continue to have questions about what happened, and I don’t think the trial is going to clear it all up,” Jaros said.
While the first trial in the case — the trial of Officer William Porter, which ended in a mistrial — focused on the spinal injury that Gray sustained in a police van, Nero’s trial will look at the initial moments of Gray’s arrest.
Anderson said it was hard not to separate the incident into a “two-act event”: “What happened to get him in the van? What happened in the van?”
Court filings indicate that prosecutors will question whether the officers had probable cause to arrest Gray in the first place. If the officers did not have cause to arrest Gray, prosecutors may argue that the act of arresting him could be considered assault, according to The New York Times.