The Guardian reported that lawyers acting on behalf of Officer Edward Nero, one of the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, filed a motion to force Marilyn Mosby to produce the knife Gray was carrying at the time of his arrest. The knife is critical because it was used as the cause for his arrest and Mosby deemed the arrest unlawful.
Mosby summarily dismissed the motion. She said she will not release any evidence prior to trial.
The defense motion indicates that the knife was illegal and, if the defense is correct, Mosby made a serous error in charging Officer Nero with false imprisonment.
Mosby’s charges state the knife was legal under Maryland law but what she didn’t seem to know is that the knife is illegal under Baltimore law.
Nero, 29, is charged with two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct and one of false imprisonment.
Attorneys on behalf of Officer Nero said the knife Gray was carrying was illegal.
The prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, claimed the arrest was unlawful and that there was no probable cause. In the charges she contended the knife, which was spring-assisted, was legal under Maryland law.
However it appears the knife was illegal under Baltimore law, a fact of which Ms. Mosby appears to be unaware.
As it turns out, as Legal Insurrection has explored, Freddie Gray was arrested for violating the law of Maryland but Baltimore law is different.
Baltimore has ordinance City Code §59-22, which states in part:
Switch-blade knives. (a) Possession or sale, etc., prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, carry, or possess any knife with an automatic spring.
Nero reported that he saw a knife “with the blade folded into the handle”.
If people don’t like a spring-assisted knife used as a cause for an arrest then they have to go after the politicians who passed the law, not the officers executing the law.
Mosby wanted to quell the riots and dole out social justice. She condemned the police officers involved in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray at every turn to satiate the mob and her own biases.
She overcharged the defendants and conducted a sloppy investigation. For instance, she accidentally charged a plumber and a cafeteria manager instead of two of the six police officers. She charged the driver of the van with second-degree murder for violating a two-week old seatbelt rule. Then there was the claim that the arrest never should have happened in the first place.
That is not to deny Freddie Gray never should have died in police custody and there might be a negligence case of perhaps manslaughter.
These charges against Officer Nero should not hold up by any reasonable standard if this information is correct but if Mosby doesn’t get him, the federal government might. They are out for blood.