Students Organize for Syria (SOS), the nationwide student initiative for Syria, applauds the decision of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby to rule the death of Freddie Gray a homicide, after he sustained a fatal spinal cord injury while being arrested and transferred into custody. SOS also applauds the arrest of the six officers involved in Freddie Gray’s death.

Today, Attorney Mosby claimed that the spinal cord injury, which a medical investigation revealed was the cause of Gray’s death, was sustained while he was being transported in a police van “handcuffed, shackled by his feet and unrestrained,” which is against police policy. Mosby also claimed that the arrest over possession of a switchblade was illegal and that the knife carried by Gray at the time of his arrest was in fact a legal pocketknife.

“It is about time for the police to be held accountable for the deaths caused by excessive police brutality, which is clearly linked to racism. The oppression of our black brothers and sisters in Baltimore and Ferguson and across the country must come to an end, and that starts with ending the impunity which police officers have achieved through a broken system. Attorney Mosby today restored some hope that our broken justice system can be fixed,” said Kenan Rahmani, Policy Coordinator of SOS.

Zana Alattar, Student Director of SOS said: “In 2011, the Syrian people rose up peacefully for their rights, and the government responded with unimaginable brutality–killing thousands of innocent men, women, and children. The people’s decision to fight back, months later, was inevitable because there can be no peace when there is no justice. The same is true in Baltimore, so we pray for peace and justice, and we fully endorse nonviolent protests demanding justice for Freddie Gray.”

SOS continues to mourn the deaths of Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and the hundreds of black victims of police brutality, in addition to the deaths of the thousands of Syrians who are also victims of a brutal and oppressive regime. May they all rest in peace and may their families achieve the justice that every oppressed human deserves.