Baltimore Police Chief: 'We Are Part Of The Problem'

05/06/2015 12:56 pm ET

Baltimore Police Chief Anthony Batts admitted a lot of the tension between the public and the police comes from a distrust in "law enforcement as a whole," not just in his city.

“We are part of the problem,” Batts told CNN.

"The community needs to hear that," he added. "The community needs to hear from us that we haven't been part of the solution, and now we have to evolve. Now we have to change."

Batts had previously acknowledged a "sense of rage" among Baltimore residents. He told CNN he found out Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby would announce charges against the six Baltimore police officers involved in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray just minutes before she gave a press conference on May 1.

Charges including second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and assault were filed against the officers involved in Gray's arrest. Gray died after suffering a spinal injury while in police custody in April. Mosby said Friday he was wrongfully arrested while carrying a lawful knife that officers mistook for an illegal switchblade.

Batts said he was "surprised" by the information Mosby gave him ahead of her announcement. He has previously defended the actions of the officers, saying they "were not out of control."

On Wednesday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake requested help from the Department of Justice to reform the Baltimore City Police Department. A DOJ spokesperson said Attorney General Loretta Lynch is "actively considering" an investigation into the department.

Watch Batts on CNN above.

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