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Obama on Baltimore Charges: 'Justice Needs To Be Served

President Barack Obama speaks during a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Barack Obama said Friday that "justice needs to be served" in the death of Freddie Gray.

Obama told reporters he had not yet reviewed the charges brought against six Baltimore police officers involved in the 25-year-old man's death, but said it is "absolutely vital that the truth comes out" about what happened.

"All the evidence needs to be presented. Those individuals who are charged are also obviously entitled to due process and rule of law. So, I want to make sure our legal system runs the way it should," Obama said.

Obama said new U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is in communication with Baltimore officials regarding any assistance the federal government can provide.

“What I think the people of Baltimore want more than anything else is the truth. That’s what people around the country expect. To the extent that it’s appropriate, this administration will help local officials get to the bottom of exactly what happened," he said.

The president also said he was gratified to see "constructive, thoughtful" demonstrations in Baltimore. Earlier this week, Obama said there was "no excuse" for the violence that swept the city.

“I’m gratified that we’ve seen the constructive, thoughtful protests that have been taking place, peaceful but clear calls for accountability that those have been managed over the last couple of days in a way that is ultimately positive for Baltimore and the country. And I hope that approach to non-violent protest and community engagement continues," Obama said.

Obama also said he would have announcements in the coming weeks regarding his task force on community policing, regarding improving opportunities for young people and rebuilding trust between the police and communities they serve. The task force was established after the events in Ferguson, Missouri, and the police shooting death of Michael Brown.

One last thing…
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