Baltimore officials have lifted a 10 p.m. curfew and National Guard troops have begun to withdraw as peaceful protests continue over the death of Freddie Gray. On Friday, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced a range of charges against the six officers involved in Gray’s arrest and transport, including murder and manslaughter. Gray’s family says his voice box was crushed and his spine was "80 percent severed at his neck." Police said they arrested Gray for looking a lieutenant in the eye, then running away. We play excerpts from Mosby’s dramatic announcement, when she acknowledges protests calling for justice in the case and argues officers illegally arrested Gray without probable cause, then ignored his pleas for medical help. "To the youth of this city, I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment. This is your moment," Mosby says. "Let’s ensure that we have peaceful and productive rallies that will develop structural and systemic changes for generations to come. You’re at the forefront of this cause. And as young people, our time is now."
AMY GOODMAN: We begin today’s show in Baltimore, where officials have lifted a 10:00 p.m. curfew and National Guard troops have begun to withdraw as peaceful protests continue over the death of Freddie Gray. Gray’s family and attorney say his voice box was crushed, his spine was "80 percent severed at [his] neck," they say. This comes after Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby dramatically announced Friday she had filed charges against the six officers connected to Gray’s arrest and transport on April 12, saying they illegally arrested Gray without probable cause, then ignored his pleas for medical help.
MARILYN MOSBY: As the city’s chief prosecutor, I’ve been sworn to uphold justice and to treat every individual within the jurisdiction of Baltimore City equally and fairly under the law. I take this oath seriously, and I want the public to know that my administration is committed to creating a fair and equitable justice system for all, no matter what your occupation, your age, your race, your color or your creed. It is my job to examine and investigate the evidence of each case and apply those facts to the elements of a crime in order to make a determination as to whether individuals should be prosecuted. This is a tremendous responsibility, but one that I sought and accepted when the citizens of Baltimore City elected me as the state’s attorney. And it’s precisely what I did in the case of Freddie Gray.
Once alerted about this incident on April 13th, investigators from my police integrity unit were deployed to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr. Gray’s apprehension. Over the course of our independent investigation in the untimely death of Mr. Gray, my team worked around the clock, 12- and 14-hour days, to canvas and interview dozens of witnesses, view numerous hours of video footage, repeatedly reviewed and listened to hours of police videotaped statements, surveyed the route, reviewed voluminous medical records, and we leveraged the information made available to us by the police department, the community and the family of Mr. Gray.
The findings of our comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation, coupled with the medical examiner’s determination that Mr. Gray’s death was a homicide, which we received today, has led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges. [...]
While each of these officers are presumed innocent until proven guilty, we have brought the following charges:
Officer Caesar Goodson is being charged with second-degree depraved-heart murder, involuntary manslaughter, second-degree negligent assault, manslaughter by vehicle by means of gross negligence, manslaughter by vehicle by means of criminal negligence, misconduct in office for failure to secure a prisoner, failure to render aid.
Officer William Porter is being charged with involuntary manslaughter, assault in the second degree, misconduct in office.
Lieutenant Brian Rice is being charged with involuntary manslaughter, assault in the second degree, assault in the second degree, misconduct in office, false imprisonment.
Officer Edward Nero is being charged with assault in the second degree, intentional; assault in the second degree, negligent; misconduct in office; false imprisonment.
Officer Garrett Miller is being charged with intentional assault in the second degree; assault in the second degree, negligent; misconduct in office; and false imprisonment.
Sergeant Alicia White is being charged with manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office. [...]
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. I have heard your calls for "no justice, no peace"; however, your peace is sincerely needed, as I work to deliver justice on behalf of Freddie Gray.
To the rank-and-file officers of the Baltimore City Police Department, please know that these accusations of these six officers are not an indictment on the entire force. I come from five generations of law enforcement. My father was an officer. My mother was an officer, several of my aunts and uncles. My recently departed and beloved grandfather was one of the founding members of the first black police organization in Massachusetts. I can tell you that the actions of these officers will not and should not, in any way, damage the important working relationships between police and prosecutors as we continue to fight together to reduce crime in Baltimore. Thank you for your courage, commitment and sacrifice for the betterment of our communities. [...]
Last, but certainly not least, to the youth of this city, I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment. This is your moment. Let’s ensure that we have peaceful and productive rallies that will develop structural and systemic changes for generations to come. You’re at the forefront of this cause. And as young people, our time is now.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby speaking on Friday. She’s the youngest state’s attorney of any major city in the United States. Police union officials are now calling for Mosby to appoint an independent prosecutor, saying her marriage to Baltimore City Councilmember Nick Mosby is a conflict of interest because his district includes the area where Gray was arrested. Marilyn Mosby addressed this during her news conference on Friday.
MARILYN MOSBY: I don’t see an appearance of conflict of interest. My husband is a public servant. He works on the legislative side. I am a prosecutor. I am also a public servant. I uphold the law. He makes the laws. And I will prosecute any case within my jurisdiction.
AMY GOODMAN: All six officers charged in Gray’s death have since posted bonds of $250,000 to $350,000. Meanwhile, Allen Bullock, one of the 18-year-olds who turned himself in for participating in the riots, is facing a bond of $500,000. His stepfather, Maurice Hawkins, and mother, Bobbi Smallwood, reacted to the amount in an interview with The Guardian.
MAURICE HAWKINS: That’s my son on top of the police car with the cone in his hand, hitting the window. We don’t condone that, and we believe in peace. I just want justice to be held and not to be—you know, him looked at as a career criminal or a thug.
BOBBI SMALLWOOD: My son, he’s not a evil child. I mean, he’s not somebody that go around and just hurt people. He’s really not. He was really upset about them police who’s just walking free. You gave my son a half-a-million-dollar bail for breaking a police window, and you gave these cops nothing? Nothing for murder? That’s crazy. That’s crazy. That’s not fair.
MAURICE HAWKINS: That’s not justice.
BOBBI SMALLWOOD: That’s not fair.
AMY GOODMAN: Other protesters in Baltimore have seen their bonds set as high as $100,000 for disorderly conduct.