A Statement from Reverend Dr. J Herbert Nelson on the
Trial of Freddie Gray Arresting Officer, Edward Nero
May 25, 2016
ON Monday, Officer Edward Nero of the Baltimore Police Department was acquitted on all charges for his role in the unnecessary death of Freddie Gray. Gray died April 19, 2015, from injuries he suffered while handcuffed and shackled but left unrestrained in the back of a police transport van.
State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby brought charges to the six officers responsible for Gray's death, however it is apparent that bringing charges does not guarantee justice. Of the officers being tried, two have not been convicted -Officer Nero and Officer William Porter, who is being retried.
It is our hope that in the remaining trials, those officers responsible for Freddie Gray’s mistreatment and tragic death will be held responsible. To the family of Freddie Gray, I offer my deepest sympathies. No family should have to suffer the agony of losing a loved one to unnecessary violence.
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them?” Luke 18:7-8 NRSV
We continue to raise our voices in a cry for justice from our courts, and we call the church to pray that God will give us the courage and strength to have honest conversations about race where we live, work, and worship.
We must be clear that a single trial will not repair the great breach in the fabric of our society rendered by the sin of racism. However, many African American communities have lost faith in our justice system to honor the lives of their sons and daughters, and each court case represents an opportunity to rebuild that trust.