Marilyn Mosby, Democratic State’s Attorney in Maryland has finally, after three failed attempts, decided she is not going to engage in further attempted prosecutions of Baltimore police officers in the Freddie Gray case. He was handcuffed and shackled and placed in a police van during the April 2015 riots in Baltimore, and died in that van following transport from the scene of his arrest.
Six officers were involved and, in her opinion, each was criminally responsible and each was charged. The three officers who had faced their trials were each acquitted by the Judge, Barry Williams, who found there was not sufficient evidence to convict on the charges of which they stood accused. Each of these three officers was on trial in separate trials before the same judge, and the cases were all tried by State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. She has dropped the remaining charges against the other three officers who were involved.
Marilyn Mosby is a very telegenic, sometimes angry, black lady. Eddie Gray was a black man. Judge Williams is also black. Gray was 25 years old and was involved in the riots that stemmed from the Black Lives Matter movement in Baltimore. Obviously, these were high profile cases in a very uptight community. Mosby apparently thought she had solid cases against all six officers but she was proved wrong in the three that went to trial.
An AP news report read thusly: “On Wednesday, she (Mosby) was fiery and indignant as she spoke from a podium across the street from the public housing complex where Gray was arrested. She angrily blamed the outcome on an uncooperative police department and a broken criminal justice system.”
If you recall this riot, the city of Baltimore appeared to be on fire. The rioters were ignoring the commands of officers and some were arrested as the result. Eddie Gray was among those arrested. Mosby thought she could gain convictions because she thought the police officers involved had over-reacted and that Eddie Gray had not been properly restrained before transport, and that this was the proximate cause of his death. She tried three separate officers in three separate trials before the same judge. She lost all three. How was it that she thought she’d get a conviction when the evidence presented was essentially the same and it was being heard by the same judge?
I suspect this occurrence was, in Mosby’s mind, her Golden Ticket. She thought she was going to prove the bias against blacks by the Baltimore Police and gain personal fame that would permit her to achieve greater heights at the hands of the voters. She must have believed that the evidence was sufficient or she certainly wouldn’t have proceeded to trial; at least she wouldn’t have gone to trial two more times thinking there’d be a different outcome.
The family of Eddie Gray did receive some $6.4 million dollars from the City of Baltimore as settlement of their claim of what probably was called wrongful death.
It will be interesting to follow Mosby’s career; I suspect we’ll hear and see more of her.