Whoops of joy and cries of “justice” were heard from bystanders as Mosby, a 35-year-old African American woman who has been in the job for less than six months, spoke. At an intersection in west Baltimore that has become the base for demonstrations, cars honked their horns and drivers pumped their fists in the air…

“This is a turning point in the world. This is a turning point in America,” shouted Jay Morrison of the YMC community coalition, part of the small group of Baltimore residents who assembled to hear Mosby’s announcement…

Rawlings-Blake said she was “sickened and heartbroken” by details of the charges against the officers.

“No one in our city is above the law,” she said. “Justice must apply to all of us equally.”

The most serious charge, second degree “depraved heart” murder, had been lodged against the driver of the van, Officer Caesar Goodson. He and Officer William Porter had at one point discussed heeding Gray’s pleas and taking him to where he could get help…

But then a call had crackled over the police radio: ironically enough, a call for assistance, but one to assist fellow officers…

Any thought of assisting Gray and driving him to a hospital seems to have been suddenly forgotten. Porter hurried off in a squad car. Goodson still could have driven Gray in the van to the nearest hospital. But Goodson knew that fellow cops would be wanting him to transport the new prisoner, and cops come first…

“Despite Mr. Gray’s obvious and recognized need for medical assistance, Officer Goodson in a grossly negligent manner chose to respond,” Mosby alleged.

The van was eventually met by Sgt. Alicia White, 30, a black officer who joined the force in 2010. Ms. Mosby said Sergeant White spoke to Mr. Gray, but “did nothing further” when he did not respond, even though she knew he had requested a medic…

“She wanted to be a police officer because she is a Christian and wants to be a good role model for young black women,” said Ms. Neal, who attended Ms. White’s promotion ceremony. “And she wanted to be that good cop in the community and bridge the gap between the police and the neighborhoods.”…

When Officer [Edward] Nero joined the Baltimore Police Department, it was no surprise to those who knew him. His father said that Officer Nero had joined the Washington Township Fire Department in Gloucester County, N.J., as a volunteer while he was still a high school student…

“He was a certified E.M.T. with the state of New Jersey, and that’s why I know for a fact that my son did not hurt this kid,” said [his father, Edward] Nero, 49. “And if this kid needed medical attention my son would have been the first one to give it to him.”

A source close to the Goodson family say the 16-year veteran has been plagued by flashbacks and nightmares over the death of Gray who died April 19 from injuries sustained in the back of the paddy wagon driven by Goodson.

They told Daily Mail Online he is distraught with himself for not personally checking the 25-year-old prisoner was strapped in adequately – but does not accept he is criminally responsible

‘This is political. The system, the players, the timing – it’s absolutely political,’ said the source…

‘He sits up all night long guarding his family. He’s afraid someone will find them and hurt them.

The Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police created a GoFundMe page for the six officers who were charged Friday in the death of Freddie Gray—but it lasted for less than an hour before being removed from the site.

The Fraternal Order of Police, a union representing Baltimore City police officers, set a fundraising goal of $600,000 to pay for the living expenses of the six officers, who were placed on unpaid suspension after they were charged in Gray’s death. In 41 minutes, the page raised $1,135…

Asked to comment on the removal of this campaign, a spokeswoman told Vocativ, “GoFundMe cannot be used to benefit those who are charged with serious violations of the law.”

National outrage over the death of a black man while in police custody and the speed with which a prosecutor decided to charge the officers who arrested him could have a chilling effect on law enforcement — at least in the short term while passions are running so high…

“If it’s a not-serious street crime, they are probably going to turn and go the other way,” said Frank Rotondo, a former policeman in New York state who now lobbies for police chiefs in Georgia. “They don’t want to be accused.”

Rotondo said such a temptation might be strongest for white police officers who must decide whether to intervene in cases involving minority suspects.

“It would allow that white police officer to think twice,” Rotondo said. “It really would, because even if his actions are correct he might be second-guessed.”

A Baltimore police sergeant informed his Eastern District superiors Friday afternoon that officers “are now being challenged on the street.” The sergeant sent the letter following the announcement that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby was indicting six officers on felony charges associated with the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old who suffered a fatal spinal injury while in Baltimore police custody on April 12…

“I have been to five calls today and three of those five calls for service; I have been challenged to a fight. Some of them I blew off but one of them almost got ugly. I don’t want anybody to say that I did not tell them what is going on. This is no intel this is really what’s going on the street. This is my formal notification. It is about to get ugly.”

BuzzFeed News has also learned that the Baltimore Police Department’s chief of patrol sent out a text message to all commanders ordering officers to take added caution: “2 OFFICERS PER CAR.. DOUBLE UP ALL PATROL CARS,” the order read.

“She has overcharged,” said criminal defense attorney Steven H. Levin, a former federal prosecutor. As a result, he said, Mosby could lose credibility with the jury, making it more difficult to obtain a conviction on any of the charges.

Other attorneys disagreed, saying it was impossible to judge the strength of Mosby’s case without seeing the evidence

The case could take more than a year to go to trial — and most believe it will go to trial — or for the sides to come to a plea agreement. Attorneys predicted the proceedings would be moved out of Baltimore, because it would be nearly impossible to find 12 jurors and two alternates in the city who have not been affected by the death of Gray or by the protests and riots that have followed…

“I can’t think of any situation like this where six officers get indicted where there’s these kinds of charges in one setting,” he said. “It’s kind of like the curtain has been pulled back with videos.”

“In my experience, prosecutors do not bring cases they plan to lose,” says Phillip Stinson, a criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University. “It seems to me that the facts of this case are so egregious that the prosecutor has a really strong case.”…

But the speed with which the charges were brought could also reflect decisions made by some of the officers involved to become potential state’s witnesses. Candace McCoy, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says that in many cases involving charges brought against multiple officers, there are often cops who offer to testify against their colleagues — though she emphasizes that it’s too soon to say whether that’s the case here…

“It’s important that they’re indicting all the officers,” McCoy says. “Trying to convince a grand jury to indict just one person when the jury realizes all of them contributed is difficult. One person alone is not responsible for a death.”…

“Courts are very reluctant to second-guess split-second decisions by officers when a gun is involved,” Stinson says. “But in these other cases, it’s not as easily explainable and they’re not willing to give the benefit of the doubt because they’re oftentimes so egregious.”

John Banzhaf, who teaches public interest law, says that the charges announced by Baltimore state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby on Friday “go too far.”

“I think a prosecutor is going to have a hard time proving that the actions did in fact cause death, since they seem to have no theory as to how it occurred,” Banzhaf said in a phone interview…

“I think it is very difficult to pin responsibility on one person when you have four or five or six each doing a variety of things — or not doing a variety of things — which in some generalized way contributes to the overall outcome.”…

Baltimore police policy dictates that arrestees placed in a police van must be restrained with a seat belt. However, the president of Baltimore’s Fraternal Order of Police has argued that the policy went into effect just days before Gray’s arrest. He also said that the new policy was not being properly communicated to beat officers.

“This is a very sad day for justice in the United States, in Baltimore and in Maryland,” Dershowitz said. “Today had nothing to do with justice. Today was crowd control. Everything was motivated by a threat of riot and a desire to prevent riots.”

“There is no plausible, hypothetical, conceivable case for murder under the facts as we now know them. You might say conceivably, there is a case for manslaughter,” he continued

He added, “My prediction—they have overplayed their hand. It is unlikely they’ll get any convictions in this case as a result of this and if they do there is a good possibility they will get reversed on appeal.”

“The larger message, if there is one, is that we’re moving on these things,” said David A. Harris, a law professor and expert on police racial issues at the University of Pittsburgh. “We’re taking them seriously, and there’s no longer going to be any kind of slowing down and taking it to the point where people wonder, ‘Whatever happened to that?’”…

Like many Baltimore residents, Mr. Jenkins, who grew up in Mr. Gray’s neighborhood, said he thought the announcement might put a damper on further unrest. “I think this will take some of the nervousness off of it, but they’ll still want a guilty verdict,” he said. “It means that we’re absolutely getting a start on justice.”
Advertisement

Standing on a nearby street corner, Renee James, 48, said, “There’s no need to go tear up the city no more.”…

But Abdullah Moaney, 53, an information technology worker from East Baltimore, said that “peace has lost its credibility.” Seeking to justify the violence that broke out Monday, he said that “if it wasn’t for the riot,” charges would not have been filed.

[T]he truth is, violence sometimes has been the answer. I know, because I have witnessed it myself…

At several points in our nation’s history, riots and uprisings have driven attention to injustice and resulted in long overdue social change. The Boston Tea Party and Stamp Act Riots precipitated the American Revolution. U.S. slave revolts galvanized the abolitionist movement. And while the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered as a nonviolent activist, it was the violence on the streets of Selma, Ala. — when the marchers King led were attacked by police with dogs and sprayed with water hoses — that ultimately focused the nation’s attention on civil rights efforts in the South. The brutality that people endured that day was horrific, but those images on television screens across America led to the passage of the 1964 Voting Rights Act. In fact, it was King who said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

The violence seen in the Baltimore this week stemmed from many years of police brutality, poverty and caged unrest. The majority of the brave protesters in Baltimore were, indeed, peaceful. But it wasn’t until violence broke out that many news outlets focused on the city and the public started really paying attention. We don’t yet know what good, if any, will come from the uprising in Baltimore. But it’s clear that people there are similar to New York’s LGBT community in the 1960s: An oppressed community whose voice has been unheard for generations, and for whom unrest is the last option.

Are these riots, or is it an uprising? Semantics. Detroit then was a chocolate city. Baltimore now is a chocolate city. But Detroit had no black power structure. Baltimore today has a black mayor, a black police chief and a black President of the United States. And they are all essentially powerless to stop it.

These riots aren’t a black or white thing–they’re a humanity thing, a dignity thing. When the mayor and the police chief and the President cannot explain to fellow black citizens why Freddie Gray is dead, somebody’s got to be held accountable…

Sadly, when these incidents happen, we have a sort of fake and fleeting national conversation about police misconduct and race relations. And then we return to business as usual. Until it happens again.

We must find the courage to address what kind of nation we want to be. If we don’t have the courage to do that, then I shudder to think what happens to America in the coming months and years.

After his interview was cut off to carry a Fraternal Order of Police press conference live, he continued, “she knows she’s not going to be able to prove these charges beyond a reasonable doubt. This is George Zimmerman and the Duke Lacrosse case all over again. A politically active district attorney or state’s attorney, you can tell the emotion in her voice, she almost did this with glee. And that’s why I believe, like they [the FOP] do…she needs to remove herself from the case. I hope the state’s attorney general gets involved in this, and sees the error of her ways. The smart thing for her to do is recuse herself and name a special prosecutor.”…

Clarke concluded, “there are some things I find in this case — what little I know — that are problematic from a procedural standpoint, but Neil, it doesn’t make it criminal. These cops are political prisoners. I’m calling them political prisoners because this state’s attorney, stood up there and made a political statement at the end, talking about she hears the voices, and no justice and no peace.”