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Rep. Elijah Cummings Calls For Calm Ahead Of Nero Verdict

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- As we await the judge's verdict in the Officer Nero trial, one prominent lawmaker is calling for peace throughout the city.

Meghan McCorkell has more on his message.

Congressman Elijah Cummings says the city called for justice and whatever verdict is reached is justice.

With all eyes on the courthouse awaiting a verdict for Officer Edward Nero, Congressman Elijah Cummings is asking residents to stay calm.

"We must remain vigilant to our moral code of peace, no matter what the verdict," Cummings said.

RELATED: Verdict Expected Monday In Freddie Gray-Officer Trial in Baltimore

The congressman was a major presence on Baltimore City streets last April when chaos broke out after the death of Freddie Gray. Hundreds marched through the streets calling for justice, and the congressman says that's what's happening now.

"The citizens of Baltimore asked for justice and this is the justice system," he said.

The verdict for Officer Edward Nero will be decided by Judge Barry Williams, a man Cummings calls fair and tough-minded.

Police say they do expect peaceful demonstrations outside the courthouse Monday. Additional resources will be brought in if demonstrations do not remain peaceful and police forces from other jurisdictions are on standby.

"We think the public---and we've heard from the public, they don't want to see a repeat of what we saw last year," said TJ Smith, Baltimore City police.

Protests remained small after a mistrial was announced for Officer William Porter in December. Just two people were arrested for disorderly conduct. Congressman Cummings is hoping for more of the same.

"The future of our community will not be defined at the moment of the verdict but in the days and years that will follow," he said.

A verdict he says the city must accept.

The congressman says he spoke out today because he wanted to be proactive rather than reactive.

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