As the judgment came down in the trial of Baltimore Police Officer Edward Nero Monday, the leaders of the state of Maryland and the city of Baltimore were out of town at a convention in Las Vegas.
Attending the International Council of Shopping Centers convention in Las Vegas were Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young, City Councilman Carl Stokes and state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, who won the Democratic primary for mayor last month.
Hogan arrived at the conference Sunday with a delegation of economic development advisers. Hogan spokesman Matthew A. Clark said plans were in place for the governor to quickly return to Maryland — either by commercial flight or otherwise — if the situation in Baltimore demands it.
Likewise, Rawlings-Blake was receiving regular updates from her staff, said Anthony McCarthy, a spokesman for the mayor.
"This conference, of course, was previously scheduled," McCarthy said. "She made it very clear she wanted to be kept abreast on everything."
McCarthy said the ICSC convention is an opportunity for elected officials to try to persuade businesses to relocate to Baltimore, bringing "jobs and opportunity."
There are more than 32,000 people from various countries in attendance.
Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams acquitted Nero of all counts Monday for his role in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray last spring.
The judgment, following a five-day bench trial, is the first in the closely watched case.
Nero, 30, faced four misdemeanor charges: second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office.