The president of Baltimore's Fraternal Order of Police on Saturday criticized Commissioner Anthony Batts and other officials for statements made on Friday acknowledging errors in the arrest of Freddie Gray, a Baltimore man whose death in police custody has sparked local protests and national outcry.
Batts said officers violated department policies while Gray was in their custody and said the department is investigating whether Gray's injuries resulted from his arrest or a "rough ride" — the term used when police vans are driven erratically.
"We are disappointed in the comments made yesterday by Commissioner Anthony Batts, and various members of his Command Staff, relative to the actions of the officers directly involved in the Gray investigation," said Gene Ryan, president of the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge Number 3, in a prepared statement.
Ryan said the commissioner's comments "appear to be politically driven" and added they were "in direct contrast to the Commissioner's own request not to jump to any conclusions until the entire investigation is complete.
"We believe in the Rule of Law and continue to believe that our officers, like all American citizens, are innocent until proven guilty," Ryan said. "We stand in support of all of our officers as they continue to protect the citizens of Baltimore City."