January 6, 2017
Freddie Gray case: Judge allows malicious prosecution lawsuit against Mosby to proceed
A federal judge is allowing key parts of a lawsuit against Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, brought by five of the six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, to move forward.
U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis ruled that claims including malicious prosecution, defamation, and invasion of privacy can move forward against Mosby and Assistant Sheriff Samuel Cogen, who wrote the statement of probable cause.
Mosby’s attorneys had said she has absolute prosecutorial immunity from actions taken as a state’s attorney. But Garbis noted that her office has said it conducted an independent investigation.
“Plaintiffs’ malicious prosecution claims relate to her actions when functioning as an investigator and not as a prosecutor,” Garbis wrote.
Other counts, such as false arrest, false imprisonment and abuse of process, were dismissed, as Garbis had signaled he would do at an October hearing. All claims against the state were also dismissed.
…Ellin said he expected that Mosby’s attorneys will appeal. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if the case reached the U.S. Supreme Court because of the questions it poses for prosecutors who take a more active role in investigations.
“The ramifications of this case are huge, and nationwide,” Ellin said.
…Garbis said he was “not definitively deciding” that Mosby and Cogen would not still enjoy immunity. “Rather the court is determining that the existence of this affirmative defense is not clear on the face of the complaint and a firm conclusion on the reasonableness of the probable cause determination requires greater factual development,” he wrote.
The fact that prosecutors said they conducted an investigation that was independent from police also played a role in the criminal trials, with Circuit Judge Barry Williams ruling that they had to turn over documents that would normally be protected from the evidence discovery process.
The plaintiffs are arguing in the civil case that prosecutors overlooked key facts in pushing the criminal charges forward, such as omitting the city code when charging that the knife Gray was initially arrested for possessing was illegal under state law.
Complete article can be read HERE.
by Alice Greene
January 9, 2017
“Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby was quick to blame Freddie’s death on the police officers involved in his arrest and promised to convict six of them two days before the investigation was over.
Mosby has since been accused of deceit, misconduct, and fraud – with more than a few professionals asking that she be disbarred.”
In the June 23, Dan Rodricks of the Baltimore Sun noted that “with precision, confidence and the no-nonsense style for which he is well known, Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams on Thursday destroyed the state’s case against Officer Caesar Goodson, exposing it as a vessel of clay and smashing it to bits.”
When Williams was finished reading his verdicts, there was nothing left.
In fact, the way the judge saw it, there was nothing there to begin with.
The judge’s conclusion: The death of Freddie Gray from spinal cord injuries sustained in the back of a police van was not caused by the criminal conduct of the Baltimore officer who drove that van. It was not murder. It was not manslaughter. Not reckless endangerment. It did not even rise to misconduct.
His report can be read HERE.
I try hard not to judge people except by facts but in this case I am making an exception.
Attorney Mosby deserved to be raked over the coals for her actions during that time. She might have prevented a lot of the trouble and damage that occurred after the actions of that day. She might have been better scripted and advised as to how to support her police department and maintain professional objectivity in her role. But, she did not.
She is as responsible for what happened as the ranting individuals who created chaos, confusion, and destruction. Officers went to trial for her decision. Their good names and lives will forever be affected by the entire episode.
Was it her youth and inexperience, partly. Was it a view based upon personal opinions and experiences, more than likely. Was she influenced in her decisions given connections within the community, I would say yes.
It is obvious that someone pulled strings to get her the job despite qualification needs or her lack thereof. From the words she spoke and actions taken, she did not have any experience to meet the level of expectations from one who holds such a position.
I blame the media, Obama and the DoJ headed by Loretta Lynch even more for their part in creating an atmosphere of hatred and uncertainty as well as encouraging bad behavior.
Hopefully this case can be closed, but then maybe not since a Supreme Court case is being considered.