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Celebrations Begin In Baltimore As Some React To Officers' Charges

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Cheers erupted as City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that charges were being filed against the six officers involved in the apprehension, arrest and death of Freddie Gray. That feeling of elation reverberated through the streets of Baltimore, and especially the Penn-North neighborhood that was the scene of Monday's riots, as residents applauded the decision to indict.

The scene of Pennsylvania and North avenues was much different from it was Monday, with crowds gathering in joy as opposed to disgust. There was jubilation at almost all four corners of the street, and at times some of the celebrants have taken over the eastbound roads of North Avenue.

People could be seen giving each other high-fives and hugging, while others simply lined the sidewalks to take in the chorus of car horns that blared repeatedly.

One Baltimore resident named Joe was overcome with his elation as he told WJZ's Mike Schuh why he came to the intersection at North and Pennsylvania Avenue to celebrate.

"The city is phenomenal right now. Right now, it's like Baltimore, thank you for listening, thank you for everyone constantly protesting for the betterment of the good. Everyone that's being negative needs to stop being negative, it's so simple as smiling at a baby, to let go of the nonsense," he said. "It's awesome, it's super great."

Joe told Schuh that he was impressed by the stern confidence Mosby showed as she announced the charges earlier Friday.

"The state's attorney, she's the next best thing next to grape Kool-Aid. You could tell she was fed up. She was real about it, everyone on her team was real about the situation, and they made sure they got justice and justice prevailed," he said.

Schuh's voice could hardly be heard at times on the air as the sound of horns drowned him out.

"The horns are sounding for hope and change in our community," Baltimore resident Kenji Scott said.

Other residents of the troubled neighborhood told Schuh that the announcement would help bring peace to the streets.

"I just heard the comment on the bus, that we're happy, there won't be no more fires or looting. The decision to even take the officers to court, that's a relief off the street people, off the people in the projects, the ones who feel like we're victims," one man told Schuh.

"It's absolutely a joyous occasion, some right has been done, some wrong has been righted -- so far," another resident said. "I think we're finally getting some results."

Congressman Elijah Cummings also expressed his approval of the charges and said it was the first step in the process of justice for Gray and those affected by his death.

"This is a great day and I think we need to realize that," he said. "Let the wheels of justice begin to roll, and it's good that they are rolling, instead of standing still."

Some residents said that prominent activists from outside the community aren't needed in Baltimore.

"We're gonna have to work from within. We've got Al Sharpton here, he needs to go home. We need to be able to work on our own issues. Malik Shabazz needs to go home," Scott told Schuh. "We can do this here. I think this is a time that has changed, we're at a crucible. … If we stay united and connected we can change this. We don't expect violence to go away totally, that's crazy, we will always have violence, but not to the degree that we had."

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