Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced Friday that all six officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray are being charged. The charges include manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
At a press conference, Mosby said Gray was bound by his wrists and ankles and was left stomach-down on the floor of the transport van. The officers drove around as Gray repeatedly asked for medical attention.
Gray died of his injuries April 12. He suffered a severed spine and head injuries.
“I heard your call for ‘no justice, no peace,’” Mosby said. “Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man.”
The officers could face 10 to 30 years in prison if they are convicted.
Newly installed U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was in Baltimore this week. She met with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake; Commissioner Anthony Batts and line officers for the Baltimore Police Department; members of Congress; faith, youth and community leaders; and the family of Gray.
During the attorney general’s meeting with faith leaders and members of the Maryland congressional delegation, she emphasized that she came to Baltimore to listen to concerns expressed by all groups and reinforced her commitment to have the Justice Department remain in Baltimore to help the city rebuild and move forward.
“You have picked a noble profession,” Lynch told police officers. “You have picked a hard profession, but you have picked one of the best professions out there today, because you have picked the one that lets you go out there every day and say, ‘I’m going to help somebody.’ We don’t always choose moments, sometimes they choose us.”
Lynch added that said she took away a sense that everyone—community leaders, city officials and police officers—cares about the city and is working hard to overcome the loss of trust between the police and community.
What had been planned as a rally in Baltimore to protest Gray’s killing turned into a victory march for the officers’ arrests. These images were a far cry from the images of fires and clashes with police captured by the media during the uprising.
The charges have many breathing a sigh of relief and hopeful that justice will prevail. NAACP President and CEO Cornell Williams Brooks said in a statement that the indictment is good news not only for Gray’s family but also for the entire Baltimore community.
“We are encouraged by today’s charges, but we know that this is just the beginning,” Brooks said. “The NAACP has been committed to the fight against racial profiling and police brutality throughout our 106-year history, and with this indictment, we will continue our work locally, statewide and nationally on criminal justice reform, including passage of the End Racial Profiling legislation.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton said charging the officers is a step in the right direction.
“Freddie Gray was robbed of the life he had ahead of him, his family was robbed of a loved one and the Baltimore community has been robbed of a young man and, in recent days, a sense of peace,” Shaprton said.
Mosby was criticized this week for bringing the charges. Her critics say that she acted too swiftly in making the decision, without having all of the information.
In an open letter to Mosby from the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, President Gene Ryan said he has deep concerns about her conflict of interests, claiming Mosby has relationships with the Gray family’s attorney. She is also married to a Baltimore City Council member. He requested that a special prosecutor be appointed.