Baltimore: Peaceful Protests After Police Are Charged In Gray Case


Baltimore (Special to News Talk Florida) -Today, the sun is bright and thousands of protesters are marching through the city in Baltimore in a peaceful rally. The peaceful protest comes after yesterday’s major announcement that the death of Freddie Gray has been ruled by the medical examiner’s office a homicide caused by severe trauma.

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, the chief prosecutor for Baltimore, announced Friday that her office has also found probable cause to pursue criminal charges in connection to the case. Mosby, comes from a police family, to be exact, she comes from five generations of policemen and women.

Officers Caesar Goodson Jr., William Porter, Edward Nero and Garrett Miller, Lt. Brian Rice and Sgt. Alicia Miller were arrested and charged in Gray’s death. The officers were processed last night and released on bail.

Mosby announced a series of charges facing the six police officers involved in putting Gray in custody and transporting him in the police van on the morning of April 12. The charges vary for each individual, but include several counts of manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment, among others. The most serious charge she listed was second-degree depraved heart murder, which only Goodson faces.

Gray, 25, was taken into police custody in Baltimore April 12 and sustained a spinal injury during that time requiring medical attention. He went into a coma several days later and died a week after his apprehension. Police have never said why they took him into custody, noting only that he ran from officers, and they have not publicly explained how Gray received the spinal injury.

Mosby detailed the findings of her office’s independent investigation into Gray’s apprehension, and she detailed how officers are alleged to have repeatedly ignored Gray’s pleas for help and that officers allegedly bound his arms behind his back and put his legs in clamps but did not secure him within the police wagon with a seat belt, which is a violation of Baltimore police policy.

One of the biggest findings that Mosby announced was that the decision to take Gray into custody in the first place was unwarranted because the knife that he had is allowed under Baltimore laws. While the knife was able to fold, it was not a switchblade.

Early Friday In an open letter sent out to the press before Mosby’s news conference, the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police asked Mosby to appoint a special independent prosecutor.

“I have full faith in your professional integrity. While I have the utmost respect for you and your office, I have very deep concerns about the many conflicts of interest presented by your office conducting an investigation in this case,” the statement read. “These conflicts include your personal and professional relationship with Gray family attorney, William Murphy and the lead prosecutor’s connections with members of the local media.”

Meanwhile, 40 miles south in Washington, D.C. President Obama commented on the charges shortly after they were announced, though avoided going into the details of the case because it remains open.

“It is absolutely vital that the truth comes out about what happened to Mr. Freddie Gray,” Obama said.

“I can tell you that justice needs to be served, all the evidence needs to be presented. Those individuals who are charged obviously are also entitled to due process and rule of law. I want to make sure that our legal system runs the way it should,” he said, noting that the U.S. Attorney General’s office is in communication with authorities in Baltimore.

“What I think the people of Baltimore want more than anything else is the truth,” he said. “That’s what people around the country expect.”

Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.