The death of Freddie Gray while in the custody of the Baltimore police has gripped the country.
We now know, the 6 police officers in the police van with Freddie Gray have been charged by Baltimore States Attorney Marilyn Mosby with crimes ranging from murder to manslaughter.
Her decision to prosecute came yesterday after she received the medical examiners report Gray's death was a homicide. That was the key element for Mosby to act.
If Gray's death was a homicide and he was in police custody her decision was a no brainer; it brought cheers from crowds throughout the city.
But not from Michael E. Davey, the lawyer for the Baltimore chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police. He said, "The actions taken today by the states attorney are an egregious rush to judgment. We believe that these officers will be vindicated, as they have done nothing wrong".
Davey's statement is predictable. The FOP will automatically protect its own whenever they're charged with a crime. But him saying "they have done nothing wrong" is an egregious insult to the community that suffers ongoing brutality committed by the police and the reality they mostly have not been held accountable for their actions. It reflects the disconnect between the police and the community.
Mosby acting as she did is not "an egregious rush to judgment". The six, now released on bail will be tried but with the medical examiners report "death was a homicide" there's a need for conviction for the community to believe justice is being served.
There is no getting around it, justice is the key.
The police have to recognize they are there to serve and protect the people in the community and will be held accountable for their actions; not exonerated which has been the usual practice, not only in Baltimore but throughout the country.
I believe we're at a critical juncture in this country. We're all too aware of our present system of unequal justice.
Justice has been set aside for those at the highest levels of government authority who have committed crimes against the Constitution, authorize torture, initiate illegal wars, kill innocents, all acts that are crimes against humanity.
The police represent the lowest level of authority which the people have direct contact with. If real justice can be served at that level, maybe it can be the catalyst for justice at ALL levels and put real meaning into "justice for all".
For there to be any hope in this country, any chance for a real transformation to occur, the people have to believe justice IS blind, with everyone accountable for their actions, including all those in authority.
Maybe a first step on a road to that transformation began in Baltimore on Friday.