BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The spark of the massive protests underway in Baltimore and the unrest that rocked the city earlier this week was the April 12 arrest of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
Mike Hellgren has more.
"We have probable cause to file criminal charges," said City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
Baltimore is still digesting the state's attorney's bombshell announcement where she said officers should never have taken Gray into custody and repeatedly failed to get him medial attention and properly restrain him in a transport van, breaking department policy, leading to her filing criminal charges.
"It's unacceptable and those individuals who usurp their authority---those individuals do a disservice to the hardworking officers who risk their lives day in and day out," Mosby said.
The six officers face decades in prison. They're free at this hour on bails ranging from $250,000 to $350,000, with supporters denouncing the charges as a politically motivated rush to judgment.
"We had several meetings with the state's attorney's office," said Police Commissioner Anthony Batts. "The process is the check and balance for the state's attorney to do what the state's attorney does."
"As Baltimore police officers, we are not at odds with the community," said Lt. Kenneth Butler, Vanguard Justice Society. "Let me repeat that: we are not at odds with the community."
We're also learning more about those charged. Sergeant Alicia White was recently promoted; her close friend said she wanted to be a role model. Officer Edward Nero, whose father said he was an EMT and proud of his job watching over some of Baltimore's toughest streets.
"No officers injured Mr. Gray, caused harm to Mr. Gray and they are truly saddened by his death," said FOP lawyer Mike Davey.
Now the case will head to a grand jury and likely a trial; it's unclear whether that will be in Baltimore.
Gray's family says they simply want justice.
"Without justice, there is no peace but let us have peace in the pursuit of justice," said Gray's stepfather, Richard Shipley.
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