In a press conference outside of City Hall shortly after the Mosby announced the charges, Malik Shabazz said he was going over to her office to congratulate her and would ask her to speak at the mass rally he has planned Saturday, the second organized by his organization.
“Under the pressure of the world, she has stood up and put the blame squarely where the blame belongs,” Shabazz said. “The blame did not belong on Freddie Gray, the blame belongs on the Baltimore City Police Department.”
Shabazz said it was the beginning of the fight for justice in Baltimore, which should also demand better living conditions for the impoverished people of the city. He also congratulated the youth, including the ones who engaged in a violent exchange with police on Monday at Mondawmin Mall, for starting what he believed was a “Baltimore Rebellion.”
“Whether you like what they did or not, the eyes of the world would be not on Baltimore if there were not some uncompromising youth who stood up to the police of Baltimore,” he said.
Shabazz said that he believed the mass rally planned for Saturday would be peaceful. The group distributed new fliers advertising the rally on Friday that had a toned down message than the one distributed last week. Of note, the proclamation “Shut Em’ Down” was removed from the flier, and a “Youth March” was added. In addition to the rally being against police brutality, the new flier also added “in support of the pain and suffering of Baltimore.”
“We can have peace tomorrow because there’s some justice as we await trial,” he said. “We know that an arrest is just the beginning of it. So we don’t want to go to sleep. We know we must stay vigilant, forceful and focused in the fight for justice.” -- Erica L. Green
ACLU of Maryland: Susan Goering, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland
"For years, victims of police violence, overwhelmingly Black, have sought justice to no avail. Today Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby announced that the state is pursuing criminal charges against the officers involved in the brutal death of Freddie Gray. This historic moment is the result of the tireless efforts of families who have lost loved ones to police violence — here in Baltimore, throughout Maryland, and all across America. They persistently have called attention to the double standards of our criminal justice system.
"We know that today's announcement is only a first step in a state that has historically prosecuted less than two percent of police-involved deaths, while prosecuting thousands of African-Americans for petty offenses. Our systems of justice have been far more willing to treat officers as innocent until proven guilty than they are the communities who are being policed — communities where people are presumed guilty and stopped, searched, and arrested without cause. The ACLU of Maryland will continue to work for the structural reforms needed to end this double standard.
"We hope this marks the beginning of a nationwide awakening to the many injustices and inequalities that we have allowed to continue for far too long."
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) issued the following statement regarding the announcement by Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby that charges would be filed against six Baltimore City Police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray:
“The eyes of the nation have been focused on Baltimore in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray. Today’s announcement that criminal charges will be filed against six Baltimore City Police officers involved in his death underscores that the case is receiving the high level of attention it merits and will continue to be investigated and prosecuted with due diligence and transparency.
“We all want justice for Freddie Gray and his family. Baltimoreans have raised their voices in defense of this young man and we will watch closely as this case progresses. I urge everyone in Baltimore to continue to show their commitment to justice peacefully, and to respect each other by continuing the frank discussions on the larger challenges facing our city and nation. Baltimore, the city we love, has rarely been tested in such a way, but all of us who know her well also know that she will come out stronger and more united.”