May 1  
When she approached the microphones, Baltimore City 
State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby looked too young for 
someone in such a big job. When the 35-year-old 
started speaking, Mosby sounded a little shaky as 
she raced through her remarks. But when she got 
to the heart of the matter, the arrest of Freddie Gray 
and the horrific actions that led to his death, Mosby 
revealed herself to be a tough prosecutor whose 
closing message to the community and to law 
enforcement will go a long way to calming the 
tensions in Charm City.
What Mosby told an anxious Baltimore and nation 
was not easy to hear. Police officers “illegally arrested” 
Gray after making eye contact with him on April 12.
 The pocket knife subsequently found in Gray’s pocket 
“was not a switchblade and is lawful under Maryland 
law.” Gray was shackled at his ankles, handcuffed 
behind his back and placed in the back of the police 
wagon on his stomach unrestrained. There were 
many stops of that wagon. Many requests by Gray
 for medical assistance that started almost immediately
 upon his arrest. All were ignored. By the time they 
arrived at the police station more than an hour later, 
Gray was unresponsive and “in cardiac arrest.”
Marilyn Mosby announces charges in Freddie Gray case(1:33)
Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore City state’s attorney, says city 
police officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray will 
face criminal charges, including homicide. (Reuters)
Mosby announced that Gray’s death was ruled a 
heard in the distance on television. No doubt a 
relief to a community long under the thumb of 
a police department that applied “undue force.”
 Of course, the charges announced mark the 
beginning not the end of the legal process. But 
they are a relief to a city and nation that has 
grown weary of police officers escaping 
legal accountability for their tragic actions.
Towards the end of her remarks, Mosby struck 
a beautiful balance between the righteous anger 
of the community and the necessary 
respect for law enforcement.
To the people of Baltimore and the 
demonstrators across America. I heard 
your call for “no justice, no peace.” Your 
peace is sincerely needed as I work to 
deliver justice on behalf of this young man…..
To the rank-and-file officers of the 
Baltimore city police department, please 
know that these accusations of these six 
officers are not an indictment on the entire 
force. I come from five generations of law 
enforcement. My father was an officer. My 
mother was an officer. Several of my 
aunts and uncles. My recently departed and 
beloved grandfather was one of the founding  
members of the black police organization in 
Massachusetts. I can tell you that the actions 
of these officers will not and should not in 
any way damage important working

relationships between police and prosecutors….
….To the youth of this city: I will seek 
justice on your behalf. This is a moment, 
this is your moment. Let’s ensure that 
we have peaceful and productive rallies 
that will develop structural and systemic 
changes for generations to come. [an

unusually apt thought for a public official}.

 You’re at the forefront of this cause. And

as young people, our time is now.
By using her personal story, Mosby planted her feet
 firmly in both camps. Her family’s deeply rooted 
history in law enforcement allowed her to say 
implicitly, “I know you” to Baltimore’s police. Her 
own standing as a young person, especially as a young 
city Boston, allowed her to say, in essence, “I am you.” 
The sincerity of her words and their emphatic delivery 
will go a long way in keeping Baltimore calm in the 
months ahead.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @CapehartJ
Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial
 board and writes about politics and social issues 
for the PostPartisan blog.