Other police departments nationwide appear to have learned an important lesson from mistakes authorities made in Ferguson, Mo. — do not attempt to tip the scales of justice.
Six Baltimore police officers face charges in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died a week after suffering a spinal chord injury April 12 while in police custody. Gray, who was black, died April 19.
On Friday, State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced criminal charges against the officers suspended after Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury in police custody.
Like Ferguson, Gray’s death touched off protests, and violence erupted after his funeral. Protesters are right to chant, “Black Lives Matter.”
Protests were coupled with violence, looting, destruction of property and many arrests in Ferguson after the police shooting on Aug. 9 of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Brown was black; the police officer is white.
However, a state grand jury in November announced that no charges would be filed against then-Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in Brown’s homicide.
Baltimore, thankfully, has taken a better path, letting the courts determine the guilt or innocence of those responsible for Gray’s death. The same is true in North Charleston, S.C., where police Officer Michael T. Slager was charged in the slaying of Walter L. Scott, 50, after Slager stopped Scott over a broken taillight.
The April 4 fatal shooting of Scott was captured on cellphone video. Scott was black; Slager is white. That is a disturbing pattern that must be arrested.