The Freddie Gray cops won again in a lawsuit against Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. Ms. Mosby put six police officers on trial without the evidence to back up the charges. At first, critics said she over-charged the officers, but, in the end, the judge found there was no evidence to back up the charges.
A federal judge in Maryland has allowed a “malicious prosecution” case against Ms. Mosby to go forward because she acted as an independent prosecutor in the Freddie Gray case, the Baltimore Sun reported.
The officers are suing for malicious prosecution, invasion of privacy, false arrest, defamation, and civil rights violations. Those key charges will go forward.
Judge Marvin Garbis denied Mosby’s motion for a stay of all discovery in the case. That means Mosby may have to turn over evidence, including internal emails, to the plaintiffs.
Much of the judge’s ruling rests on the fact that the plaintiffs also sued Major Samuel Cogen of the Sheriff’s Department, who signed off on the charges Mosby’s office prepared.
Garbis ruled: “The discovery contemplated in the instant case is not ‘unnecessary,’ nor would it cause irreparable injury, because almost all of the same claims have been asserted against Cogen, who has not appealed.”
Usually prosecutors are immune from lawsuits. but not if they act as the investigator, the judge ruled.
Gray died of a spinal injury while being transported in a police van in April, 2015. Riots ensued. Mosby criminally charged the six officers involved in the arrest. Two of the officers merely helped get Gray into the van. She accused the driver of giving Gray a “rough ride” but there was no evidence that was the case. Other officers were charged because they did not attack Gray’s seat belt. Mosby also claimed the knife Gray carried and which was used as a basis for the arrest was legal when it was not.
Gray was supposed to be strapped in but it was a new ruling and the officers were unaware. She charged them based on not putting his seatbelt on. A prisoner being transported with Gray said Gray was banging his head into the side of the van. He later took it back and then reversed that.
Three officers were acquitted and Mosby dropped the charges on the remaining three officers last July.
Mosby acted as her own investigator. She did not go to a grand jury for a decision and didn’t trust her own investigators.
Eli Hager of The Marshall Project wrote:
“Of course, a prosecutor who does her own investigation instead of relying on the officers involved, who does not rely on the grand jury process, and who is willing to risk her co-dependent relationship with beat cops in the process, is exactly what many activists have been demanding. But it’s precisely because Mosby took each of those atypical steps that she is a defendant now.”
There will be an appeal, possibly to the Supreme Court.
In an article in The Baltimore Sun, former Deputy State’s Attorney Page Croyder wrote at the time that “Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s ‘quick’ and ‘decisive’ action in charging six Baltimore police officers a mere two weeks after the death of Freddie Gray reflects either incompetence or an unethical recklessness.”
Gray’s knife which appears to have been the basis for the unlawful arrest charges against two officers was illegal after all, she pointed out.
Mosby wouldn’t produce the knife.
Croyder wrote, “In fact, Ms. Mosby was so hasty it appears she locked up two completely innocent officers. She charged Freddie Gray’s arresting officers with “false imprisonment” because she said the knife that Gray had on him was legal. In fact, as The Sun reported, the Police Task Force found it to be illegal after all. It was Ms. Mosby who had no probable cause to lock the arresting officers up, an injustice she could have easily avoided by taking her time.”
In her article for The Sun and again during the interview, Croyder said Mosby didn’t even consult with police investigators and rushed the investigation. Two weeks is unheard of she said. She should have taken her time to not appear politically motivated.
Politics, not justice was behind these charges.
Mosby, she said, did not use her own homicide unit, her most experienced attorneys, nor did she use a grand jury. She didn’t even have the autopsy report until shortly before she announced the charges. “Her mind was already made up. Ditto with the police report,” Croyder said.
Croyder said Mosby’s own charging documents don’t support a second-degree murder charge [against the driver]. Mosby wrote the documents herself. There are serious concerns about the charges of false imprisonment.