"For years, victims of police violence, overwhelmingly Black, have sought justice to no avail. Today Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby announced that the state is pursuing criminal charges against the officers involved in the brutal death of Freddie Gray. This historic moment is the result of the tireless efforts of families who have lost loved ones to police violence — here in Baltimore, throughout Maryland, and all across America. They persistently have called attention to the double standards of our criminal justice system.
"We know that today's announcement is only a first step in a state that has historically prosecuted less than two percent of police-involved deaths, while prosecuting thousands of African-Americans for petty offenses. Our systems of justice have been far more willing to treat officers as innocent until proven guilty than they are the communities who are being policed — communities where people are presumed guilty and stopped, searched, and arrested without cause. The ACLU of Maryland will continue to work for the structural reforms needed to end this double standard.
"We hope this marks the beginning of a nationwide awakening to the many injustices and inequalities that we have allowed to continue for far too long."