STATEMENT BY REVEREND AL SHARPTON ON CRIMINAL CHARGES OF SIX BALTIMORE POLICE OFFICERS IN DEATH OF FREDDIE GRAY—
Thursday, May 1, 2015
STATEMENT BY REVEREND AL SHARPTON ON CRIMINAL CHARGES OF SIX BALTIMORE POLICE OFFICERS IN DEATH OF FREDDIE GRAY
NEW YORK – National Action Network (NAN) President Reverend Al Sharpton issued the following statement on the criminal charges filed today against six Baltimore police officers in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray:
“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.
“As the State’s Attorney said, Freddie’s death was a homicide, and those responsible must be held accountable through the most severe charges available under the law. But we can’t forget that it’s not only Freddie and his family and community who are owed justice – so too are the families and communities of Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Eric Harris and so many others who are still fighting to have their voices heard. There is no peace without justice, and the swift and smart actions of the Baltimore State’s Attorney should serve as a model for other jurisdictions that are failing to hold law enforcement accountable.
“I am proud of the support and work of our NAN chapter leaders in Baltimore. This has been a difficult and challenging time for all involved, and it is my sincere hope that that the peaceful demonstrations that have characterized the last 48 hours remain peaceful. We do not advance the cause of justice with violence and looting. And we must begin to repair the relationship that exists between law enforcement and the communities they serve. I am optimistic, following our summit yesterday, that if we all work together we can begin to restore the trust and heal the wounds. This is a process that will happen over time, but today’s announcement is a step in the right direction and sends a message that no one is above the law.
“This is a moment for our nation to come together and recognize that while the vast majority of police officers are serving our communities bravely, there is a real and urgent problem with policing in America. Every man and woman in this country deserves to be protected and treated equally under the law and by the officers who swear to protect them. Let’s make sure that police power does not go unchecked, and let’s show that all lives matter. The time for significant, meaningful police reform is now.”