As verdict in Nero trial looms, Baltimore residents watch, wait for city's reaction

- A judge is expected to hand down a verdict Monday in the bench trial of Baltimore police officer Edward Nero, who is the second officer to go to trial in the death of Freddie Gray. As the nation waits for that verdict, many who live in Baltimore are wondering what the public's reaction will be.

Nero, 30, is charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment, and if convicted, he face several years in prison.

Among Baltimore residents FOX 5 spoke to on Sunday, opinions are split as to just what "justice" in this case means.

"My vision of justice may be different than other people's, but putting a person in jail isn't necessarily justice," said John Wilson. "Making sure there is a cultural change in the police department is where you find justice here."

"I'm actually hoping justice is done, that Officer Nero was judge fairly. And hopefully he does receive some jail time-- that's what I hope," said Celeste Williams.

Nero is the second of six officers to face a trial in the Freddie Gray case, but the first to have his case decided in court. Officer Edward Porter's trial ended in a mistrial after jurors couldn't agree on a verdict.

As the verdict looms, some residents can't help but think of the riots and looting that took place after Gray's death-- waiting and wondering what the reaction will be this time.

"It just comes down to you don't want another outbreak, of people looting and what not," said Baltimore resident Andrew Murphy. "Hopefully it comes to a peaceful resolve."

"I actually work near west Baltimore where Freddie Gray died," said Williams. "I actually work at Frederick Douglass High School, and the sentiment of the students is that of course he'll see no jail time, and that because it's been so long, we all should kind of like let it go."

Judge Barry Williams alone will determine Officer Nero's fate, and whether his role in Freddie Gray's arrest was criminal. His verdict is expected at 10:30 a.m. Monday. 

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