National and local reaction to charges in Freddie Gray case

Reaction to City State's Attorney's decision to charge officers in Freddie Gray's death was met by some as a positive sign, but some felt it didn't go far enough. (Baltimore Sun)

Reaction today from Maryland and Baltimore officials, national leaders and local residents to charges issued against police officers in the Freddie Gray case.

Local official reaction


Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

"No one in our city is above the law. Justice must apply to all of us equally."


State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby

"To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America: I heard your call for "no justice, no peace." Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man. To those that are angry, hurt, or have their own experiences of injustice at the hands of police officers, I urge you to channel the energy peacefully as we prosecute this case."

Michael E. Davey, Fraternal Order of Police attorney

"Let me say in no uncertain terms that Lt. Rice and all of the officers involved at all times acted reasonably and in accordance with their training as Baltimore City police officers. No officers injured Mr. Gray, caused harm to Mr. Gray, and they are truly saddened by his death."


Gov. Larry Hogan

"With respect to the indictment, we believe in the criminal justice system. The process is going to play itself out. I don't have much role in that process, but we're focused on keeping the city safe. … We understand that emotions are still high, that there's a lot of frustration out there. I've been incredibly impressed with the people of Baltimore. They care about their community, they're concerned about their neighbors. I want to continue to ask for calm and peace."

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh

"The death of Freddie Gray, or any person in police custody, is a tragedy. The charges announced today by the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office are serious, and the next stage of the justice process now commences."

Fraternal Order of Police President Gene Ryan

"We are disappointed in an apparent rush to judgment given the fact that the investigation into this matter has not been concluded. Our officers, like every other American citizen, are entitled to due process and we will continue to support them throughout the judicial process which we believe will result in a finding of innocence."

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin

"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."

U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski

"Every individual deserves due process under the law. That means due process for Freddie Gray and his family and due process for the officers charged today. I encourage calm and peace in our great city as the legal process proceeds."

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer

"In our country, no one is immune from justice under our laws, especially those who enforce them. I join in thanking the many law enforcement officers who have been working over the past several days to rebuild trust with those they serve and maintain calm."

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Baltimore

"I am very pleased with Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's ability to move judiciously and swiftly to seek justice for the Gray family. Now that the legal process has begun, we must allow that process to run its course. While investigations are ongoing, we must start working now to secure the safety of our children's futures. This is a transformative moment for the City of Baltimore and I will continue to urge my neighbors to remain peaceful while continuing to seek justice for Freddie Gray."

Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Baltimore County

"This is an important step to ensure that justice is done in the case of Freddie Gray, which his family and the citizens of Baltimore deserve. I have every confidence that the State's Attorney will pursue this matter in a deliberate and thorough fashion."

Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Baltimore County

"The facts of the case as outlined by the city state's attorney are deeply disturbing. But we have to remember that we live in a country with a time-honored justice system. We now need to trust the next step in the process, which is a fair trial. I believe that justice will prevail."

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Montgomery County

"The charges outlined paint a very troubling picture of abuse and neglect and disregard for Freddie Gray's rights as a citizen and as a human being. The announcement by State's Attorney Mosby is the first step in the process of justice for Baltimore."

Rep. Donna F. Edwards, D-Prince George's County

"As a lawyer, I understand that this is an ongoing investigation, one that I believe will ultimately bring justice for the family and the community. I commend the State's Attorney for moving forward in a thorough and expeditious manner. The city of Baltimore and the American people deserve a legal system that reflects their values and one that will make our communities stronger."

State Sen. Bill Ferguson, D-Baltimore

"I'm proud of our state's attorney for letting the facts decide where things should go. She did an incredibly impressive job explaining how she came to the conclusion. It was a very well-done investigation, a very well-done process. I believe justice prevailed today."

State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, D-Baltimore

"This was not a rush to judgment. This was a careful, independent investigation and I think she [Mosby] took her time and looked thoroughly at the information and brought the indictments against these officers. It will certainly relieve the minds and the hearts of most people in the city."

Steven H. Levin, criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor

"She has overcharged, which inexperienced prosecutors sometimes do."

ACLU, in a statement

"For years, victims of police violence, overwhelmingly Black, have sought justice to no avail.…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."

Rabbi Etan Mintz, in a letter to Baltimore community

"Instead of falling into sides and categories, let us take time as a community to mourn, introspect and to communicate. There is sadness. There is anger. There is despair. And these are all valid feelings. But sadly, Baltimore city has not had the proper opportunity to mourn for the life of Freddie Gray. And it has not had the time to introspect about the root causes of the injustices in our city and in our society that led us to where we are today."

Pastor Jamal Bryant, of Empowerment Temple


"It's an exciting day for us, but it's actually a sad day when black people have to celebrate the system working. I don't think we would be here if the people hadn't protested and raised their voice."


Baltimore reaction

Richard Shipley, Freddie Gray's stepfather

"Whoever comes to our city — a city that we love, a city that we live in — come in peace. If you are not coming in peace, please don't come at all. Because this city needs to get back to work. The last thing that Freddie would want is to see the hard-working people of Baltimore lose their jobs and businesses because of this."

Kevin Moore, who filmed Gray's arrest

"I'm exuberant. I'm happy. I'm every positive word you can think of. I finally made a difference in the world."

Donta Allen, the other man detained in the police wagon with Gray

"I'm so happy we got justice for Freddie. I know that man for a fact did not hurt himself."

Joyce Green, a community leader who works with officers in the department's Central District

"We have officers in schools reading to kids. We have officers mentoring kids. It's still officers out here doing great things."

Donnell Ray, 19, who lives in Sandtown-Winchester

"It still wasn't right — not no manslaughter, that's a phony charge. It should have been first-degree murder because they let him suffer."

Denise Squire, 51, who lives near the Western District Police Station

"I'm glad to see justice being done. Police officers are always getting away things. The way the whole city came out to protest, people wanted justice. So they looked at all the evidence and they charged them."

Shawntae Williams, who lives in Hamilton

"Every couple weeks, you see a black man getting killed by the police. Enough is enough."

Michael Hall, 52, Baltimore

"I hope she doesn't pin it on one of them when it's time for trial. Are they gonna stick by these charges?"

Dannette Barksdale, 35, Baltimore

"She took her job very seriously. She did her own investigation. She didn't even have to wait for police."

Desmond Campbell, Baltimore City College High School senior

"A lot of times people have to have riots for people to understand that we need a change. For it to happen this close to us, it's just too close for comfort. It showed that we will not rest until we have justice."

Briana Carrington, Baltimore City College High School senior

"I was overwhelmed with emotion, with how necessary this was. It got our point across."

Richard Davis, 48, Baltimore

"It's sad that it had to take this for the government to wake up, but I think it's going to make the city stronger. The Baltimore City police are going to learn from this too."

National reaction

President Obama

"What I think the people of Baltimore want more than anything else is the truth. That's what people around the country expect.…Those individuals who are charged obviously are also entitled to due process and rule of law."

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner

"Public servants should not violate the law. If these charges are true, it's outrageous and it's unacceptable."

The Rev. Jesse Jackson

"The charges are a significant step in the right direction, but the process isn't over. …[The country] cannot heal with one set of charges."

Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin

"Everybody is applauding the decision, but that's just one step toward justice. We still have to go to trial and we'll see if the charges stick. One of the most important eye witnesses is deceased."

Malik Shabazz, national president of Black Lawyers for Justice

"Under the pressure of the world, she [Mosby] has stood up and put the blame squarely where the blame belongs. The blame did not belong on Freddie Gray, the blame belongs on the Baltimore City Police Department."

The Rev. Al Sharpton

"Freddie Gray was robbed of the life he had ahead of him, his family was robbed of a loved one, and the Baltimore community has been robbed of a young man and, in recent days, a sense of peace. I applaud Marilyn Mosby, the Baltimore State's Attorney, for taking the first step today toward bringing justice to Freddie, those who loved him, and his city."

Baltimore NAACP President Tessa Hill-Aston

"Today a great strike has been made against police misconduct and a message has been sent around the nation that business as usual should not be tolerated."