Public safety leaders react to Baltimore charges

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INDIANAPOLIS - As our men and women wearing badges honored and remembered their brothers and sisters, six officers in Baltimore were being charged in connection to the death of Freddie Gray.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby made that announcement, Friday. One officer has been charged with several counts, including second-degree depraved-heart murder. Another officer has been charged with several counts, including manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.

Deputy Director of Public Safety Valerie Washington found out before walking into a memorial in downtown Indianapolis for fallen officers.

"We just hope for justice and we understand that citizens deserve justice within their communities," she said.

FOP President Rick Snyder said he wanted to look further into the details of the charges and process it all.

"It's important for everyone to remember that there is a process in place. It appears that process is in progress now and it's important that we allow that process to play out," said Snyder.

As it plays out, there are some concerns about the message this development sends. How will Hoosiers feel about their men and women in blue?

"I think definitely we are keeping a close watch on morale, from the public safety office to the police chief to make sure our officers do feel supported by the leadership," explained Washington. "And we most definitely want to support them."

In the coming weeks, public safety officials are planning to hold a series of events to engage the public to make sure there is no disconnect.

But they are also encouraged saying Indianapolis is not Baltimore.

"We just came out of a summer where our citizens raised up our officers and very symbolically supported them to always get out of their car and to confront evil and continue to defend those that can't defend themselves in our community," said Snyder.

"It's very disappointing to see a city struggling as they are, but we do believe in accountability," added Washington. "We hope that they are following an accountable process with their officers, but we definitely want there to be fairness. And we want citizens to trust their police department and feel protected by them."

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