Rally for Gray, Due Process

A small crowd of ministers and citizens rallied today in support of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, who is facing a federal investigation into his 2010 campaign.

Organizers denounced calls for Gray to resign when he hasn't faced any legal charges, saying the mayor deserves due process and to be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Invoking a civil rights song and prayer, a crowd of several dozen stood in front of the John Wilson Building to demand that Mayor Gray not be hounded out of office.

“There has been a lot of drama and trauma, with the resignation of two council members -- chair of the city council, another council member,” said the Rev. Graylan Hagler, of Plymouth Congregational. “We all need to continue to create an atmosphere of drama and trauma.”

The Rev. Willie Wilson told the crowd that wrongdoing might be found in any campaign subjected to the level of scrutiny that Gray's has received.

Speakers especially denounced two council members who are lawyers – Mary Cheh and David Catania -- who have called on Gray to resign.

“Shame on you, Mary Cheh,” former ACLU lawyer Johnny Barnes said. “You’re supposed to be a constitutional law professor. Shame on you, David Catania, with a prestigious local law firm.”

In court, federal prosecutors have laid out a $650,000 shadow campaign that helped elect Gray in 2010. Gray has not been charged despite media reports of possible charges soon.

No elected leaders attended Wednesday’s rally, but former Council member Harold Brazil said he wanted to show up and show support for due process.

“There should be a counterbalance,” he said. “There are a number of people in this city that say, Give this man a chance.”

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