Gray family lawyer puts his foot in his mouth: War on drugs is a war on black people

The lawyer representing the family of the late Freddie Gray, whose death following his arrest by Baltimore police officers sparked a week of rioting, came close Sunday to saying black culture and drug culture are the same thing.

Good thing he’s not on Fox News.


“The war on drugs has been a war on black people suspected of drugs,” Billy Murphy Jr. told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, according to The Hill.

“That has to be addressed,” he said.

“We have to end this terrible war on drugs that has never been successful,” Murphy added. “We have to end this incarceration of black fathers that has destroyed so many families.”

A person identifying himself as a Baltimore police officer told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Friday that a preliminary toxicology report indicated that Gray had tested positive for both marijuana and heroin.

Local State Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged six police officers with offenses ranging from illegal arrest all the way up to second degree murder in Gray’s death.

Legal experts almost universally agree that the officers should seek a change of venue due to Baltimore’s racially charged atmosphere. Murphy is one of the few who disagrees with that assessment.

“The police officers were both black and white, so there’s no reason to move it outside of Baltimore,” Murphy told Stephanopoulos.

“I have confidence in our judiciary system,” he said. “We haven’t asked for any particular verdict.”

Police union officials evaluated the charges as being motivated more by politics than by justice after they were announced Friday.

“Sour grapes” is how Murphy characterized the union’s statement. “We just want justice,” he said.

Although some readers agreed with Murphy, most responses on social media were along these lines:

Lawyers are generally taught to carefully parse their words, especially when representing a client. Murphy must have skipped the day they taught that in law school.

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