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Baltimore police commissioner: "We are part of the problem"

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

In an interview with CNN's Evan Perez, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said police need to recognize that "we are part of the problem" — acknowledging that distrust toward police fueled the tense protests in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal spinal cord injury while under police custody.

"The community needs to hear that," he said. "The community needs to hear from us that we haven't been part of the solution, and now we have to evolve. Now we have to change."

The interview follows Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's decision to file 28 criminal charges against the six police officers involved in Gray's arrest, including counts of second-degree murder, manslaughter, and assault.

Batts, who is black, came into the police department in 2012. Part of his mission, he's said, is to end misconduct and clean up a department that's been mired by a history of brutality.

"It's going to be a long journey," Batts told CNN. "This isn't going to be a short journey. You can see the distrust that's out there, and we have to find inroads to sit down with people — to show care, to show empathy."

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