By Paul Cobb, Religion Editor
As Baltimore was burning from the conflagration ignited from the news of Freddie Gray’s death after being injured while in police custody, many women and men clergy members were marching to calm the city.
Newly approved U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch received her first baptism by fire with her first speech devoted to assuring Baltimore that the eyes of the Justice Department would carefully watch over any and all ensuing investigations. Gloria Darden, Gray’s mother prayed and pleaded for calm at her son’s funeral.
After the funeral, the city spontaneously erupted in a fiery riotous outburst of emotion which sparked Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to make a regretful statement by calling the demonstrators “thugs.” But many mothers hugged Toya Graham for rushing into police lines to discipline her son. The video of her “hero mom” courageous “rescue” went viral on social media on both sides of the issue.
With the world watching Baltimoreans become righteously indignant, on the verge of possible repeat of riotous behavior, awaiting the result of the police and State’s Attorney investigation, everybody knows the city is in trouble.
As a minister who marched for peace quoted and paraphrased the biblical prophet Jeremiah when he said, “we are marching and running to and fro through the streets of Baltimore, with bull horns, looking for a leader who can execute justice.”
It seems like State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby is positioned, like the biblical Esther, to help turn things around by executing justice. Mosby, who’s a torch bearer for justice, has the power to determine if she can charge a police officer in Freddie Gray’s death. Her outspoken support for the police will put her in a veritable fiery furnace of public scrutiny in the coming days and weeks.
Mosby, 35, from Baltimore’s inner city, is married to a city councilman who’s been marching with the ministers to bring calm. She will have to stand up for unbiased justice while the Mayor is telling former Oakland Police Chief Tony Batts and his officers to stand down.
Her resume and family chart shows she was born for the job. Her mother, father and grandfather were police officers. She’s wanted to become a prosecutor ever since her cousin was shot to death outside her home, in swimming clothes after returning from lifeguard duties.
Mosby in a recent statement about the police said, “It is my genuine belief despite what we might all want to think, what we might want to believe, the police officers in this city are doing their jobs. I repeat, the police officers in Baltimore city are doing their jobs and taking bad guys off the street.”
With conflicting stories already emanating from the police she supports, she, a newly sworn Attorney, must do her own investigation while the newly sworn Loretta Lynch will have her staff doing their own investigation. Freddie Gray’s mother along with Baltimore’s other mothers will be praying for all the women who can help bring justice to Baltimore.
A minister cited a biblical parable from Luke 18:1-8, which says, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”
In the lyrics of the negro spiritual about the rich man and Lazarus, someone is asked to “dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented with the flames.” Our politicians might heed this message because flippant labelling in the heat of emotion might bring the fires next time.