According to CNN, Freddie Gray’s death has been ruled a homicide, and six Baltimore police officers will face charges in the death of the 25-year-old. This news came on Friday in an unexpected announcement. After hearing the news, cheers came from those who have been protesting Gray’s death. In a switch, words of protest are coming from the police union.
The Washingon Post reported that Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby made the announcement explaining what she thinks happened on April 12, when Gray was arrested that led to his death on April 19.
“The 25-year-old died after suffering ‘a severe and critical neck injury’ while being transported ‘handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained’ inside a police van. It is against police policy to transport a prisoner without proper restraints such as a seat belt.”
The police union is calling for an independent prosecutor, saying Mosby has conflicts of interests. Mosby has close ties with the Gray’s family attorney, Billy Murphy. Mosby is also criticized for making the announcement without waiting until police were finished with their inquiry.
Gene Ryan, president of the police union, at a news conference responded to the announcement.
“Let me begin by stating how appalled and frustrated we are at this morning’s events… We are disappointed in the apparent rush to judgment given the fact that the investigation into this matter has not been concluded. Our officers, like every other American, are entitled to due process.”
An attorney for the union, the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police, said the officers did nothing wrong. Michael Davey added, “No officer injured Mr. Gray, caused harm to Mr. Gray, and they are truly saddened by his death.”
Mosby’s decision and her statement that Gray’s death was ruled a homicide quickly spread through Baltimore and across the country. Hundreds of people marched Friday evening near the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center, where the six officers were processed.
Freddie Gray’s stepfather believes this decision is a way of getting justice for Freddie’s death. He said his family are satisfied with the charges that were announced.
The ages of the police range from 25-45. Some officers face more charges than the others. The charges could bring from 10-30 years in prison, if convicted. Of the six charged, one was a lieutenant, one was a sergeant, and four were officers. Five of the police are men.
The officers have already posted bail, which was $350,000 each for four of the police and $250,000 for the other two. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake urged police Commissioner Anthony Batts to immediately suspend all officers facing charges. She said, “There will be justice for Mr. Gray, there will be justice for his family, and there will be justice for the city of Baltimore.”
[Image via Baltimore Police Department]