After he was acquitted in all charges, Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. was patted on the back by his attorneys as he still stood at the trial table in the courtroom.
Goodson, 46, was acquitted Thursday by Judge Barry Williams on all charges in connection with the arrest and death of Freddie Gray.
He faced the most serious charges of any of the six officers indicted in Gray's arrest and death last April, including second-degree depraved heart murder. Goodson also was acquitted of three counts of manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.
About 10 family members, including Goodson's father, attended Thursday's hearing. After the verdict was read, two women immediately hugged each other as they were seated. Many family members wiped away tears.
Goodson slowly made his way through the group of attorneys and supporters who hugged him and shook his hand, including Officer Edward Nero and police union president Gene Ryan.
As the courtroom emptied, Goodson walked over and hugged each family member. One man grabbed and kissed the top of his head and then raises his palms into the ceiling as if he were thanking God.
Goodson was led from the courtroom by an attorney. When a reporter tried to ask him to comment, the attorney said they are unable to speak due to a gag order in the case.
Goodson's family remained seated in the courtroom until it emptied out. They declined to comment to a reporter, including one man who identified himself as Goodson's father.
Another man said, "thanks for the support for Officer Goodson," and that the family had heard from many supporters in the community. The man declined to give his name.
As the family left the second floor courtroom, protesters could be heard from outside the front of the courthouse.
"Be safe getting home you guys," a Sheriff's Office deputy told the family as they passed.
They walked out of the doors, away from several TV cameras that had set up on the sidewalk.