Emotions run high following dismissal of charges

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jul 27, 2016
and last updated 2018-12-31 21:25:27-05

The emotions still run raw over Freddie Gray's death, and many feel justice has eluded them.

"Once the family was paid off, they were not going to find... there was not going to be a conviction. That's just my personal belief. I believe that's what happened," Norma DeGourville of Northwest Baltimore said.

"This man was alive and then he's dead," added Sharyn Chambers, “but no one was in the van and that's what makes it hard for him to convict him. Somebody is at fault."

Delegate Curt Anderson says, notwithstanding the dismissed charges, change is coming in the police department and the city will benefit from the process.

"Commissioner Davis has put forth a lot of different rules that, had they been in place prior to Freddie Gray's death, maybe Freddie Gray would not have died,” Anderson said, “You just have to remember there's a lot of kids out there like Freddie Gray and they should be treated with respect. They should be treated with care, if in fact, the police think that they should be arrested. Just because they've committed a crime or police suspect them of committing a crime doesn't mean that the police are the ones who can execute the sentence."

Some legal experts say much has been gained in spite of the cases, which were lost.

"I think what we're witnessing is history being made,” said UM Law School Professor Doug Colbert, “It is so unusual for a local prosecutor to bring charges against police officers anywhere in the country."

But there's no silver lining for those who define justice in terms of convictions.

"There's a whole lot of stuff that gets thrown around and gets misconstrued when it's us, but when the onus is on somebody else...” said Calvin Smith of Northeast Baltimore, “I told my wife today, if a monkey escaped from the zoo and went around and killed five black guys, they would not euthanize that monkey. I'm sorry. It's a rigged system. Somebody had to be responsible for Freddie Gray's death."

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