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BPD leader working to 'extend the olive branch'

Posted: 9:19 PM, Sep 10, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-11 01:19:57Z
BPD leader working to 'extend the olive branch'
BPD leader working to 'extend the olive branch'
BPD leader working to 'extend the olive branch'

As a circuit court judge ruled to keep trials against six city police officers inside Baltimore, a group gathered outside where one protester was arrested.

The woman was arrested by the Baltimore County Sheriff's Department, according to Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, speaking to reporters at an afternoon press conference.

The press conference was called about an hour after a morning court hearing in which Circuit Judge Barry Williams heard arguments from attorneys representing the six officers, and representatives from the Baltimore City State's Attorney Office.

Davis praised the work of his officers, deputies and what he said was a continuing relationship with various protest groups.

RELATED: Protesters pleased with decision to keep Freddie Gray case local

When asked to elaborate on with which groups he met, Davis said he wanted to respect the sensitivity of which the talks are conducted, and declined to name specific groups or any names. Davis also said he is aware there is more than "one or two groups" of protestors, and that he will continue working with the groups in the future.

"As time goes by, I'm going to do my very, very best to identify and extend the olive branch to all of them to sit down," Davis said.

The groups he's communicated with initially contacted him, Davis said.

Davis thanked his officers for cooperating with a policy of canceled leave, which also happened Sept. 2 during a desperate set of hearings in front of Williams.

The settlement was a point of focus after some people criticized the administration of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for agreeing to the deal before the criminal proceedings had concluded.

Baltimore police union president Gene Ryan said it was the wrong move in a statement.

"If I'm Gene Ryan, and I believe that my officers are innocent, I would believe that they are going to have a trial ... and at the end of that trial, if I'm Gene Ryan and know that they're innocent, I would know not only is that trial over, but they don't have to worry about years and years of civil litigation," said Rawlings-Blake.

Rawlings-Blake said she feels the judge's decision will let the city focus on healing.

Davis said both pre-trial motions hearings marked big days for Baltimore.

"I want to thank first and foremost the protesters. They gathered peacefully, they peacefully assembled and they said what they had to say and they said it as often as loudly as they needed to say it," Davis said.

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Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and interim police commissioner Kevin Davis said Thursday Baltimore City is prepared for the next phase in the trials of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

Thursday morning, Judge Barry Williams ruled the criminal trials of the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray will not be moved out of Baltimore.

RELATED:  Trial in Freddie Gray case to stay in Baltimore

Rawlings-Blake said she feels the judge's decision will let the city focus on healing.

Davis said both pre-trial motions hearings marked big days for Baltimore.

"I want to thank first and foremost the protesters. They gathered peacefully, they peacefully assembled and they said what they had to say and they said it as often as loudly as they needed to say it," Davis said.

Davis added he has met with several groups that have organized protests and have an open dialogue.