Officer Nero's father tells Megyn Kelly: The year of hell is over

Officer Nero's father said his family was frightened by protesters while leaving the courthouse after verdict.

The night after his son was acquitted in Baltimore court, the father of Officer Edward Nero said a very trying year for his family has finally ended.

"We never felt for a moment that our son has done anything wrong, and the court proved that," he said.

Ed Nero Sr. appeared Monday night on Fox News with host Megyn Kelly.

"Your reaction today?" Kelly asked.

"Extremely happy," the father said.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams acquitted the 30-year-old officer on all counts for his role in the arrest of Freddie Gray.

The 25-year-old Gray died last year of injuries sustained while in police custody. Nero was charged with misdemeanors of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. He was the second officer tried in Gray's death.

Ed Nero Sr. said little more in the interview that lasted a couple of minutes.

Kelly played footage of protesters shouting at the Nero family as they left the downtown courthouse.

"They were shouting things that were uncalled for," Ed Nero Sr. said. "It was very fearful for my younger son. Apparently, they assumed he was my older son. ... It was difficult getting out."

In his ruling Monday, Williams said there were "no credible facts" to show that Nero was directly involved in Gray's arrest. He also said testimony showed Nero's role in putting Gray in the van was minimized by the actions of others and not unreasonable given his training.

The judge issued a new gag order prohibiting Nero and his lawyers from speaking out until cases are resolved against all the officers.

A former New Jersey volunteer firefighter, Nero joined the Baltimore Police Department in 2012. He was one of three officers on bike patrol when they chased and arrested Gray in West Baltimore in April 2015. Gray died a week later of his injuries, touching off citywide protests.

Ed Nero Sr. agreed with Kelly that the year was "hell" for his family.

Also during her show, Kelly briefly sparred with DeRay Mckesson, a Black Lives Matter activist and former candidate for Baltimore mayor.

Baltimore Sun reporters Justin Fenton and Kevin Rector contributed to this article.

tprudente@baltsun.com

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