Baltimore’s chief prosecutor charged six police officers on Friday with a range of crimes including murder and manslaughter in the arrest and fatal injury of Freddie Gray, a striking and surprisingly swift turn in a case that has drawn national attention to police conduct.
The state’s attorney for Baltimore City, Marilyn J. Mosby, filed the charges almost as soon as she received a medical examiner’s report that ruled Mr. Gray’s death a homicide, and a day after the police concluded their initial investigation and handed over their findings. Officials had cautioned that it could take considerable time for her office to complete its own investigation and decide whether to prosecute.
In a city rocked by unrest this week, and now under curfew and patrolled by National Guard troops, Ms. Mosby’s announcement on the steps of the War Memorial downtown drew cheers from the assembled crowd while a nearby cordon of officers in riot gear looked on stonily. As word spread, people in parts of the city took to the streets in spontaneous celebration.
Kudos to Marilyn Mosby for having the courage to do this; I am sure that there was a lot of pushback from members of the law enforcement community against any prosecution whatsoever. Perhaps residents of the city of Baltimore will now have some cause to think that those entrusted with the power of the state to punish wrongdoing are actually on the side of all those who live in the city.