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 / Updated  / Source: NBC News

An attorney representing one of six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray said Friday that the officers did "nothing wrong" and he believes the choice to charge them was rushed because of media coverage of protests in that city and elsewhere.

"In my 20 years, I have never seen such a hurried rush to file criminal charges," said Michael Davey, who is representing Lt. Brian Rice, and was speaking on behalf of all the officers charged Friday with counts including manslaughter, assault and misconduct.

Davey said State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's decision to charge the officers, which came just a little more than two weeks after Gray's death and a day after receiving confidential investigation notes from the Baltimore police department, was an "egregious rush to judgment."

"I believe that the publicity in this case is driving force to a rush to judgment and causing this prosecution to move forth so quickly," Davey said.

"These officers did nothing wrong," he said.

The Baltimore police union also defended the six officers. Gene Ryan, a union official, wrote in a statement that "they are all committed police officers who have dedicated their careers to the Baltimore City Police Department."

"All that has been lost in all the publicity," the statement said. The Baltimore lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police called for Mosby to appoint a special prosecutor that would decide whether or not to file charges against the officers.

Baltimore Police Lt. Kenneth Butler said the department was "extremely frustrated and shocked" by Mosby's announcement.

Mosby said Friday that Gray's April 12 arrest was illegal and his death a week later has been ruled a homicide.



— Elisha Fieldstadt