Gray family attorney calls for reflection, reform amid violence

An attorney for the family of a man who died after being injured in police custody in Baltimore says he is confident that Attorney General Loretta Lynch will address growing concerns about deadly confrontations betweeen mostly white police and black men.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES (APRIL 27, 2015) (NBC)- Members of Freddie Gray’s family gathered at a church in Baltimore to call for calm and reflection on Monday (April 27) as violent protests erupted throughout the city.

An attorney for the Gray family urged locals to let the investigation process proceed and warned against seeking revenge for Gray’s death. The 25-year-old died on April 19 from a spinal injury days after police arrested him.

“We don’t want a rush to justice. We don’t want that. We want justice,” attorney Billy Murphy told family members and friends gathered at the

New Shiloh Baptist Church.

He said that he and the family were confident about how federal authorities, particularly former Attorney General Eric Holder and newly sworn in Attorney General Loretta Lynch, would treat an investigation into Gray’s death.

“All of them have been black all of their lives. They are not interested in covering anything up and for the first time they have the power as full-fledge citizens of this country to weigh in and do something about this problem,” Murphy said.

Lynch, who was sworn in earlier on Monday, held meetings with President Barack Obama in Washington updating him about protests and unrest in Baltimore.

Lynch condemned the violence and signaled that improving relations between the police and the communities they protect will be high on her agenda.

Murphy also called for reform of police procedures.

“We believe that if they have cameras and if there is firm control legislatively of the on/off switch and harsh penalties for impermissibly turning those cameras off, they will work to increase civility like nothing you’ve ever seen before.”

As riots took place nearby, Murphy called on the crowd to refrain from violence,

“We live here. We love it here. It’s not perfect. It’s like being in a bad marriage but we are not interested in a divorce,” Murphy said.

Firefighters battled several blazes on Monday evening, including a fire under investigation that consumed a church’s senior center under construction in East Baltimore. Police said looting and assaults against officers continued into the night.