Obama on Baltimore: Justice Needs to Be Served

President Obama reacts to charges against Baltimore police officers.

President Obama weighed in on the decision by Baltimore's chief prosecutor Marilyn Mosby to criminally charge the six officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray.

"It is absolutely vital that the truth comes out on what happened to Freddie Gray," the president said, adding that he had not yet heard Mosby's remarks at her Friday morning press conference or reviewed the charges. "And it is my practice not to comment on the legal processes involved; that would not be appropriate. But I can tell you that justice needs to be served. All the evidence needs to be presented. Those individuals who are charged obviously are also entitled to due process and rule of law. "

The president said that the Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Justice Department have offered assistance to Baltimore officials to "get to the bottom of exactly what happened" because getting to the truth is paramount. He also planned to talk with the nation's mayors about how to improve relations between local law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve and to seek ways to provide young people with more opportunities.

Like other leaders, he praised the Baltimore protesters' change in tone and encouraged them to keep demanding accountability.

"I'm gratified that we've seen the constructive, thoughtful protests that have been taking place, peaceful but clear calls for accountability — that those have been managed over the last couple of days in a way that's ultimately positive for Baltimore and positive for the country," Obama said. "And I hope that approach to nonviolent protest and community engagement continues."

Follow Joyce Jones on Twitter: @BETpolitichick.

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(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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