Okay, we can all go home now: 6 officers charged in Freddie Gray death

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click to enlarge Baltimore State Attorney Marylin Mosby - twitter
Baltimore State Attorney Marylin Mosby

Days after Baltimore boiled over in protests and rioting over the death of a young black man who died in police custody, Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby has announced there will be charges against six officers in the death of Freddie Gray.

"We have probable cause to file criminal charges," Mosby said in a press conference Friday.

New York Times correspondent Alan Blinder tweeted a list of the charges each officer will face:

Second-degree depraved heart murder? Wow.

Mosby's office determined the arrest was illegal — he was detained for having a switchblade even though the knife he was carrying was not one — and that he sustained the spinal injury, from which he died a week later, while riding in a police van.

"Accountability... you're getting it today," Mosby said.

So far the case's outcome contrasts that of others in which African American boys and men were killed by police in Ferguson, Staten Island and other cases. In those cases, the responsible officers avoided charges.

People across the country, including local leaders, welcomed the news.

"The Baltimore prosecutor laid out a strong argument for these charges," wrote Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch in a Facebook post. "The eyes of the world will once again be watching our system of justice as these cases proceed."

Despite the news that six officers will be tried, demonstrations planned in Tampa Bay are likely to go on regardless, given the area's own tensions between African American communities and police. Activists say the disconnect between police and African American youth runs much deeper than what can be seen on the surface via news reports, and have seized on recent events to present their narrative.

At 5 p.m. tonight, a demonstration is scheduled for Tropicana Field. The Rays are hosting the Baltimore Orioles there because the rioting compelled the team to move what were supposed to be their home games to their opponents' stadium for the weekend.

Protestors from the Uhuru Movement and other groups aim to show solidarity with the protestors in Baltimore.

Tomorrow, a large demonstration is scheduled at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Here's an excerpt from that event's Facebook invite:

Baltimore is not alone. The conditions and circumstances that led to this week's unrest are symptoms of a larger problem: Lack of economic opportunities, hungry children, discriminatory policing practices, and too many stolen lives. This ticking time bomb exploded out in Baltimore this week. As we recognize our own powder keg on inequity in this city and cities across the country, we join in solidarity with Baltimore. We echo and amplify their calls for justice and hope for healing in this time of pain. 

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