In a move being described as both swift and unusually surprising, Baltimore's newly elected State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Friday that the death of Freddie Gray, who died on April 19 after being injured while in police custody, had been ruled a "homicide" and six police officers involved in his "unlawful arrest" had been criminally charged and warrants have been issued for their arrests.
Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 45, who was the driver of a police van that carried Gray through the streets of Baltimore, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, two vehicular manslaughter charges and misconduct in office, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Officer William Porter, 25, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Lt. Brian Rice, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Sgt. Alicia White, 30, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Officer Edward Nero, 29, was charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office. more >>
GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has accused President Barack Obama of inflaming racial tensions and dividing America in the wake of the Baltimore riots. Cruz also spoke out against those who "vilify" police officers.
"President Obama, when he was elected, he could have been a unifying leader," Cruz said in a session hosted by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He said that instead, Obama "has made decisions that I think have inflamed racial tensions, that have divided us rather than bringing us tougher."
Riots and looting broke out in Baltimore Monday following the death of Freddie Gray, an African-American man who died last month from a spinal injury while in the custody of Baltimore police. more >>
Commenting on the devastating violence that took place on Monday in Baltimore, outspoken Christian professional football player Benjamin Watson explained that the pain, anger and tension that the city and its residents are experiencing can only be healed through the power of Christ.
The 34-year-old 11-season NFL tight end, who plays for the New Orleans Saints, is a frequent commentator on current events and has never been afraid to let his Christian convictions be heard. On Tuesday, Watson took to Facebook to voice his thoughts on the rioting, looting, injuring of cops, destroying of police cars, and homes and businesses that took place in Baltimore after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who suffered a spinal injury while in Baltimore police custody.
Watson noted that Baltimore is not the first city to go through a violent uprising over police negligence, and likely won't be the last. He further asserted that the problems Baltimore faces right now are shared by the nation as a whole. more >>
ORLANDO, Fla. — Megachurch pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas, charged Wednesday that it's corporations and not elected officials that represent "the greatest hope" in effecting change and development in underserved communities across America. He said, however, that they need to "add a moral component to money" to make it happen.
"We need corporations to add a moral component to money," said Jakes, to a group of pastors and Christian leaders at the Reconciled Church Summit on Wednesday. The movement was launched in response to national protests against the killings by police of black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York, by Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, televangelist James Robison, and Jakes in January.
"Starbucks is trying to do it. … If we can tie morality to money, to a purpose, to resources, we can really begin to change things. I don't really believe that the greatest hope is in the elected officials. I believe it is in the corporations and the business opportunities coming together," he continued. more >>
As angry rioters took to the streets of Baltimore this week and destroyed cars, injured 98 police officers, and burned homes and businesses, local pastors have spoken out against the violence and one even called the riots an attempt by Satan to take control of the city.
When the worst of the Baltimore riots went down on Monday, Michael Crawford, the pastor of Baltimore's Freedom Church who also serves as a church growth strategist for the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network, was set to board an airplane headed for Florida but said he knew that God was calling him to remain in Baltimore and pray for the well-being of his city.
The pastor of a youthful and racially-diverse congregation located just a few blocks from the CVS pharmacy set on fire by rioters amid otherwise peaceful protests in Baltimore says it's time for white Christians to acknowledge the existence of systemic racism in America and to listen to those who are angry and hurting in order to help find meaningful solutions.
"There are deep systemic issues. There is no surface issue that's really the cause. There's some deep stuff that's been going on that's been going on for a lot of years," Joel Kurz, lead pastor of The Garden Church in Central/West Baltimore, told The Christian Post on Wednesday.
Some of those "deep systemic issues" are believed to have been at play when Baltimore police officers chased and arrested Freddie Gray and placed him inside a van on April 12. Gray, who was arrested for having a switchblade-like knife in his possession, was admitted to a hospital less than two hours later, and was dead by the end of the week. The 25-year-old died at the University of Maryland's Shock Trauma Center where he had received surgery for his severely injured spinal cord and crushed voice box — injuries sustained while he was in police custody, according to The Baltimore Sun. Protesters had already taken to the streets the day before Gray's death, and when news of his passing came with no information on what might have befallen Gray during his arrest, their numbers swelled. more >>