WASHINGTON — A Maryland congressman says he understands the frustration people feel about the slow, unsteady stream of information related to the Freddie Gray investigation, but urges patience and expresses “full confidence” that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby will get to the bottom of things.
“We elected her. She’s 35 years old. She’s brilliant; she’s honest, and she’s thorough,” says Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, of Mosby.
But people have to understand, he says, that she needs to be thorough in her examination of the police report into Gray’s death, and that can take time. He fears the effects of public pressure if she doesn’t think she has all the information she needs.
“I want people to understand the process,” Cummings says. “If she looks at [the report] and doesn’t like it, or feels that it’s not complete, or there are inaccuracies, she has the full power of the federal government behind her.”
She can file charges, seek an indictment from a grand jury, go back to the Baltimore police and demand more information, or go straight to the FBI, he added.
Cummings says that as a lawyer who grew up in Baltimore, he’s in a unique position.
“I live in the community, and I also know the process. … They’ve got to let her go through the evidence.”
The slow and erratic flow of information through leaks is driving a lot of frustration, Cummings says, adding, “I understand that.” He recounted hearing two leaks that contradicted each other.
“I have a major problem with the leaks,” he says. “This is one of the worst things [people] can do. It gets information out piecemeal, and you’ve got to have the total package.”
Asked, however, what the harm would be in releasing the police report, Cummings said, “I don’t know.” He added his dissatisfaction with the initial police report, which claimed that Gray “was arrested without incident or force.”
Cummings said he rushed back from Washington to stand on a street corner in Baltimore Thursday night, urging people to remain peaceful.
“I know people are skeptical. … But at the same time, I can’t just say ‘Oh, throw up your hands and do things that might distract us from getting a resolution.’”
As a weekend of demonstrations begins with a 3 p.m. march from the State’s Attorney’s Office to City Hall, Cummings is urging the same thing: “If you expect something, a lot of times, you get it. … Let’s expect to be peaceful.”
WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.
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