Lynch in Baltimore: ‘This is a flashpoint’

Getty Images

New Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited riot-scarred Baltimore on Tuesday, less than a week after a prosecutor announced she would file charges against six police officers in the death of a young black man.

Lynch met with Freddie Gray’s family, concerned community members and police officers as she looks to hit the right note on the racially charged events in the city.

{mosads}She met privately with the family of Gray, the 25-year-old man whose death in police custody triggered largely peaceful protests in the city.

Lynch also met with community members, saying she understands the significance of the Gray case.

“This is a flashpoint situation,” she said.

“We lost a young man’s life and it begins to represent so many things,” she added.

Later in the day, she met with police officers who had been on the job during the riots.

“I’m looking at the hardest-working police officers in America,” said Lynch, the nation’s chief law enforcement official.

“To all of you on the front lines, I want to thank you,” she said. “You really have become the face of law enforcement.”

Lynch also met with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D) and praised her leadership.

Last week’s Baltimore riots happened on the same day Lynch was sworn in as the nation’s first black female attorney general. The Department of Justice had already announced a civil rights inquiry into Gray’s death, and said last week it would send other officials to Baltimore to help mediate tensions.

Lynch’s trip to the Maryland city is being watched as observers look to understand how she intends to navigate the prominent national debate over the way police officers treat minorities.

Eric Holder, her predecessor, was outspoken on the issue — especially after a rash of police killings beginning last summer.

–This report was updated at 4:02 p.m.

Tags Baltimore Freddie Gray Loretta Lynch
See all Hill.TV See all Video