The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is gratified by the decisions made and professionalism exhibited by the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s office in the case of the police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray. The homicide ruling and charges brought against the 6 officers who arrested and transported Mr. Gray are just the first steps in what could be a lengthy process. The officers will be tried by a jury of their peers in Baltimore City, and LDF will monitor the trial and await its outcome. It is telling that because charges are brought so rarely in cases of this sort, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s decision has garnered widespread celebration in Baltimore and other communities beset by police-involved assaults and killings. It is imperative that we continue to focus on the need for nationwide reform in policing. Mosby, District Attorney Kenneth P. Thompson in Brooklyn and Solicitor David Pascoe in South Carolina have each demonstrated recently the role that prosecutors can play in undermining the culture of impunity that has surrounded police brutality. Each has shown leadership in seeking charges against police officers involved in killing unarmed citizens. LDF will continue to push for systemic reform so that the communities we represent can have confidence in the integrity of law enforcement and our justice system.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is not a part of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) although LDF was founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. Since 1957, LDF has been a completely separate organization.