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Obama: Justice must be served in Baltimore

May 2, 2015

The people of Baltimore deserve the truth, US President Barack Obama said Friday. His statement came hours after the state prosecutor announced that six officers involved in Freddie Gray's death were being charged.

Barack Obama fordert umfassende Aufklärung im Fall Freddie Gray
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/S. Thew

US President Barack Obama said on Friday that it is "absolutely vital" that the truth comes out about Freddie Gray's death.

"It is my practice not to comment on the legal process that's involved… but I can tell you that justice needs to be served," Obama said at a press briefing on Friday.

Marilyn Mosby
Marilyn Mosby became state prosecutor for Baltimore city four months agoImage: picture-alliance/AP Images/K. Hairston

"All evidence needs to be presented. Those individuals who are charged obviously are also entitled to due process and rule of law. So I want to make sure that our legal system runs the way it should."

Obama's statement on the indictment comes hours after Marilyn Mosby, state prosecutor for Baltimore city, told reporters that all six police officers involved in Gray's death were being charged.

"The findings of our comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation, coupled with the examiner's determination that Mr. Gray's death was a homicide... have led us to believe that we have probably cause to file criminal charges," Mosby said on Friday.

Murder charges

The driver of the van that was transporting Gray to a police station, Officer Caesar Goodson, age 45, is charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers were charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, vehicular manslaughter, and misconduct. The remaining two were charged with second-degree assault and misconduct.

USA Proteste gegen Polizeigewalt
Protesters across the country demanded the end of police brutalityImage: Getty Images/K. Betancur

One officer was also charged with false imprisonment.

The officers involved in the case arrested Gray for carrying a switchblade knife, which is not illegal in the state of Maryland.

Mosby told reporters that Gray was "illegally arrested" as "no crime had been committed."

A public safety department spokesman said that all six officers charged in Gray's death had turned themselves in and were being processed.

'Justice for Mr. Gray'

Baltimore's Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said on Friday afternoon that she was sickened and heartbroken after hearing the charges leveled against the officers.

"There will be justice for Mr. Gray, there will be justice for his family and there will be justice for the people of Baltimore," Rawlings-Blake said.

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

Rawlings-Blake's statement comes after repeated calls for answers on the circumstances of Gray's death.

ls/bk (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)