Republicans Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, and Rick Perry react to the situation in Baltimore. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Republican leaders on Friday (May 1) sounded off over the prosecution of six police officers linked to the death of an African-American man in Baltimore that has spurred massive protests. At a news conference on Friday, the chief Baltimore prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, had accused the officers of illegally arresting Freddie Gray, placing him in a police van without a seatbelt and with his legs shackled and his hands cuffed, and then ignoring his pleas for medical help. Mosby charged the officer who drove the van with second-degree murder and the others with lesser charges, including manslaughter. In South Carolina, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum expressed hope that the justice system would work. "It's obviously a tragic situation. I understand the indictments were announced today and I hope and suspect there's credible evidence to hand forward those indictments and hopefully that will see that justice can and will be done and at least that process works," Santorum said. Texas senator and 2016 presidential candidate Ted Cruz called the situation heartbreaking. "Our hearts break for the children that can't go to school, our hearts break for the men and women who are afraid in their own homes, afraid in their city and so I hope that all of us, we are lifting up the people of Baltimore in our prayers and I hope we come together with the message that violence and rioting and mayhem aren't the answer," Cruz said. "If there was wrongdoing that needs to be investigated. If there was criminal conduct then it needs to be prosecuted." Former Texas Governor Rick Perry also chimed in, saying the country needs to get to the root of the problem. "I think the real issue and the one where (we) need to have a conversation in this country is why do young people feel that they may not have the chances that they deserve in those particular communities? Is it because the public schools have failed them in some form or fashion, that they're not getting the educational opportunities? Is it because they don't have the opportunity to have a good job? Is it because the laws in those state may put a young person behind bars for a long time because of a drug related non-violent offense?," Perry said. A jubilant Baltimore headed into a weekend of rallies on Saturday (May 2) after news of the charges. Demonstrations over Gray's death are expected to continue across the United States through the weekend, including a massive rally planned in front of Baltimore City Hall with marchers leaving from the Gilmor Homes housing projects where Gray was arrested.