Read the PDF of our statement here.
LDF Statement on Reports Suggesting the Justice Department Will Not Charge Baltimore Police Officers Responsible for Killing Freddie Gray
Today, news reports suggested that the Justice Department will not bring federal charges against the Baltimore police officers responsible for killing Freddie Gray. Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement:
“Policing reform – which Baltimore so desperately needs – requires systemic change, including to accountability mechanisms. We know that spines do not break without cause, and the DOJ and BPD’s credibility to make change a reality in Baltimore hinges not just on their ability to institute much needed reforms to police training, policies, and practices, but also on their success in bringing to justice officers who abuse their power and take the lives of innocent residents.
“The onus is now on the BPD to hold these officers accountable at their disciplinary trials this fall and winter. Baltimore will be watching.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.