Community leaders praise prosecutors for quick charges against police officers

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BALTIMORE (AP) — In the neighborhood at the center of Monday's riots in Baltimore, people today have been welcoming the news that six police officers have been charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

At the intersection where the worst of the rioting took place, drivers honked their horns. When buses stopped, people spilled out the doors cheering.

One woman, Ciara Ford, said she's surprised and "ecstatic" over the decision to prosecute. She says, "I hope this can restore some peace." She and a friend, Stephanie Owens, both said the protests in the city had made a difference in making sure authorities took the case seriously. Ford said, "If we had kept quiet, I don't think they would have prosecuted."

Community activist Ted Sutton said the decision to file charges -- along with a detailed explanation of those charges -- are a first step toward transparency.

City Councilwoman Helen Horton says the filing of charges was a "defining moment." She said she hopes Baltimore will lead the nation to say, "We will take down those who violate the rights of citizens."

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213-a-08-(Representative Elijah Cummings, D-Md., with reporters)-"and nothing happens"-Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland says this is a historic day in Baltimore. (1 May 2015)

<<CUT *213 (05/01/15)££ 00:08 "and nothing happens"

203-a-13-(Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby (MOHZ'-bee), at news conference)-"the BPD wagon"-Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby says Freddie Gray's injury was due to his treatment by police. (1 May 2015)

<<CUT *203 (05/01/15)££ 00:13 "the BPD wagon"

APPHOTO MDAB105: Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore state's attorney, pauses while speaking during a media availability, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (1 May 2015)

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APPHOTO MDDG103: Renay Battle, left, and Charvae Day, right, react to the news from State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby that there are probable causes to charge those involved in the police-custody death of Freddie Gray Friday, May 1, 2015, as they walk through the area of Monday's rioting following Gray's funeral in Baltimore. (AP Photo/David Goldman) (1 May 2015)

<<APPHOTO MDDG103 (05/01/15)££

APPHOTO MDAB120: A man shakes hands with a National Guard soldier outside City Hall, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Baltimore. State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced criminal charges Friday, against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury in police custody. Mosby announced the stiffest charge, second-degree depraved heart murder, against the driver of the police van. Other officers faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault and illegal arrest. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (1 May 2015)

<<APPHOTO MDAB120 (05/01/15)££

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