Congressional Black Caucus chairman Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina on Friday said civil unrest in Baltimore is tied to poverty and predicted that the budget deal reached by congressional Republicans this week would “wreak havoc.”
The Congressional Black Caucus on Friday also expressed approval of the criminal charges filed against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, who died of a spinal injury after he was arrested on April 12. The charges ranged from second-degree murder and manslaughter to assault and misconduct.
“The Congressional Black Caucus applauds the swift and decisive actions by the Baltimore City State’s Attorney in conducting a thorough and independent investigation of the events surrounding the death of Freddie Gray,” the CBC said in a statement.
“This is the first of many steps to begin the process of mending the fractured relationship between law enforcement and the people of the City of Baltimore. Every citizen has a right to due process of law, and we are pleased to see the legal system is working. We continue to call for calm in the weeks and months ahead as we await the outcome of these cases.”
Butterfield, Democrat from Wilson, N.C., told reporters in a conference call on Friday that the unrest in Baltimore and other cities “can be tied directly to poverty.”
The Republican budget was partly to blame, Butterfield said. “It’s very unkind to domestic nondiscretionary spending and will just wreak havoc in low-income communities.”
The Congressional Black Caucus has 46 members who represent 30 million people.