Detroit prosecutor resigns after saying Baltimore rioters should be shot

By Serena Maria Daniels

By Serena Maria Daniels

DETROIT (Reuters) - A Detroit prosecutor who said on Facebook that people involved in Baltimore rioting should be shot has resigned, after her comments ignited fierce criticism, the prosecutor's office said on Friday.

Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Teana Walsh had posted comments about this week's unrest in Baltimore, which was sparked by the death of Freddie Gray after he was fatally injured in police custody, according to a screenshot of her page posted on MyFox Detroit.com.

She described "large swarms of people throwing bricks etc at police who are fleeing from their assaults" and then suggested using guns.

"Simple. Shoot em. Period. End of discussion," Walsh posted.

The comment, which was criticized by local defense attorneys, has since been taken down from Facebook and Walsh's page is not accessible.

The death of 25-year-old Gray, who was black, has become the latest flashpoint in a national debate over the treatment of minority groups by U.S. law enforcement.

The populations of both Baltimore and Detroit are predominantly black. Nearly two-thirds of Baltimore's population and 83 percent of Detroit's is black. Both communities also experienced brutal race riots in the 1960s.

Walsh called Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy on Friday afternoon to say she was voluntarily resigning, and Worthy accepted, said assistant prosecutor Maria Miller in a statement on Friday.

“Walsh has been known for her great work ethic and her compassion for victims of crime and their families," Miller said. "Her post was up on-line briefly and she immediately took it down. The post was completely out of character for her and certainly does not reflect the person that we know.”

On Friday, a Baltimore police officer was charged with murder and five others face lesser charges in Gray's death. The 25-year-old suffered a fatal neck injury while riding inside a police van, Baltimore's chief prosecutor said.

(Reporting by Serena Maria Daniels; Editing by Mary Wisniewski)