Baltimore clergy gather for peace after riots, call for swift investigation into Freddie Gray case

BALTIMORE - Faith leaders gathered Wednesday to call for peace following Monday night's riots.

Pastor Delman Coates, senior pastor of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton and president of the Black Church Center for Justice and Equality, led the rally and prayer vigil before the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office.

Coates, joined by Pastor Donte Hickman, senior pastor of Southern Baptist Church, said he’s hopeful Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby will act quickly in her investigation.

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“While the mayor does what she has to do, while the governor does what he has to do, it’s critically important that the State’s Attorney’s Office does what the public elected her to do,” Coates said. “We’re looking for swift answers and swift justice.”

Without it, frustration will continue, Coates said.  He and Hickman both asked protesters to air their frustration peacefully.

“Violence begets violence,” Hickman said.

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Sen. Nathaniel McFadden, D-Baltimore, also spoke at the rally Wednesday, saying the frustration stems from long-running issues between African-Americans and the police.

“This issue has been with us throughout this nation, how, especially African-American men, unarmed, are treated by law enforcement,” McFadden said. “This is simply the tip of an iceberg that has been with us for too long.”

Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, said at the rally the issues in Baltimore are not “just an African-American issue or black community issue.”

“We’re all a part of Baltimore and the healing of Baltimore,” Salguero said.

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