05/03/2015 11:26 am ET Updated May 04, 2015

Maryland Lawmakers Stand By Prosecutor's Charges In Freddie Gray Probe

WASHINGTON -- Maryland lawmakers on Sunday praised State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby for the way she conducted her investigation into the death of Freddie Gray, but cautioned that it's only the beginning of the process for seeking justice.

Mosby shocked many on Friday with the announcement that she is charging six Baltimore officers with crimes including second-degree murder, manslaughter and assault after Gray died in their custody last month. Her probe concluded that Gray, a 25-year-old black man, was arrested illegally, that his death was a homicide and that officers repeatedly ignored Gray's requests for medical help.

Since the charges were announced, some have suggested Mosby moved too fast with her probe. Others have accused her of politicizing the issue.

Some members of Congress from Maryland beg to differ.

"I feel very comfortable with regard to what Ms. Mosby has done," Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who represents Baltimore, said on ABC's "This Week." "She is a veteran prosecutor. She's a young lady who has spent a lot of time addressing these issues. Her integrity is impeccable, without a doubt."

"I think she did an amazing job in laying out the reasons for a probable cause finding," Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) said on "Fox News Sunday."

"What she was really saying is she wanted the process to begin and for people to understand what that is, so that the city and all of our cities could be at peace," Edwards said.

Many in Baltimore who have been demanding that the police be held accountable for Gray's death saw Mosby's charges as a sign of hope. Protests have eased in the city, and a city-imposed curfew of 10 p.m. was lifted Sunday.

But Cummings and Edwards emphasized that the legal process has just begun, and that the officers deserve a fair trial. The Baltimore police union maintains none of the officers are responsible for Gray's death.

"This is the beginning of a process, not the end of it," Edwards said.

Both also called for a review of the police department and more attention to Baltimore's education system as steps to take toward ending the cycle of poverty and hopelessness that has infiltrated the city's black community.

"We're going to have to go back and make sure that we listen to our children," Cummings said. "I feel their pain. Just the other day, a young man told me, 'Mr. Cummings, I feel like I'm in my coffin trying to claw out of it.' That's not the way we want our children to feel."



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