Baltimore’s mayor says at least five of the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray are in custody. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake made the announcement Friday afternoon, hours after the city’s chief prosecutor said they were charged. State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby says the death of Gray, from an unexplained spinal injury, “was a homicide.” She says his arrest was illegal in the first place — and that his treatment in custody amounted to murder and manslaughter.
The stiffest charge — second-degree murder — was filed against the driver of the police van that carried Gray to the station. The other five officers face charges of involuntary manslaughter, false imprisonment assault or illegal arrest. The announcement comes as the city braces for more waves of protests today and tomorrow. The city is still under a nighttime curfew that took effect the day after the rioting that followed Gray’s funeral on Monday.
Here is the full press conference by State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby:
Meanwhile, the Baltimore police officers union says the six officers charged in the Freddie Gray case are not responsible for his death. The union says it’s concerned about Mosby’s ties to an attorney for Gray’s family, Billy Murphy. Murphy was among Mosby’s biggest campaign contributors last year, donating the maximum individual amount allowed, $4,000, in June. He was also on Mosby’s transition team after the election.
President Barack Obama says it’s “absolutely vital” that the truth about what happened to Freddie Gray comes out.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he trusts the legal process that resulted in charges against the six Baltimore officers. The likely presidential candidate told reporters a president can lead a conversation on how to fight the pockets of poverty that can result in dissatisfaction and anger.
Meanwhile there are at least two protests planned this weekend in the Tampa Bay area. Beginning at 5:00 p.m. Friday there will be a rally outside Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg before the Rays game against the Orioles in solidarity with Baltimore’s black community.
Saturday there’s a #Tampa2Baltimore solidarity action at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa beginning at 2:00 p.m.