"I followed the news as everyone else did last night. It came as a shock to me. I didn't realize the mayor was going to take that action. I can tell you I got a chance to work very closely during that intense period of time when we were working around the clock with the mayor and the police commissioner. He's a man I think cared very much about his job. He was a dedicated guy. I had a lot of respect for him. I wish him the best in whatever new capacity," Governor Larry Hogan said.
"In BUILD's 38 year history, we have never publicly called for the resignation of a police commissioner. We did not call for the resignation of Batts lightly or unadvisedly," Reverend Glenna Huber said.
Huber made the statement at what was originally scheduled to be a press conference calling for Batts to resign. However, it turned into a reaction to his firing for BUILD, or "Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development".
BUILD leaders said it was time for a change.
"what we assessed as the lack of leadership, being trusted by the police department by the rank and file and by residents in this city. We were at a crisis point and that crisis was not being adequately addressed," Bishop Douglas Miles, Co-chair emeritus of BUILD, said.
More than 155 people have been killed in Baltimore city so far this year. The focus is now on interim police commissioner Kevin Davis to take on the challenges.
"One, he must repair the breach with the community that has developed between the police dept and the community. Secondly, he must gain the trust of his officers as rapidly as possible and third he must sit with us to develop a plan of action to address the violence that's killing our community on a daily basis," Miled said.
They said part of accomplishing that includes walking the communities most effected by the violence. They extended an invitation they hope Davis will accept.
"We look forward to meeting with him and we hope that we'll be able to work together," Rev. Andrew Foster Connors said.