Baltimore’s top prosecutor announced charges against six officers in the arrest of a black man whose neck was broken in police custody. In Fridays announcement State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby declared that Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide, his arrest was illegal, and his treatment amounted to murder and manslaughter, saying: “The findings of our comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation, coupled with the medical examiner’s determination that Mr. Gray’s death was a homicide..“, which brought the expected reaction from a lawyer representing some of the officers accused, alluding to a rushed judgment, raising ‘grave concerns’ about the integrity of the prosecution. Previous to the announcement, Fraternal Order of Police local president Gene Ryan penned a letter* to Mosby, stating his: “very deep concerns about the many conflicts of interest presented by your investigation in this case” and declaring innocence on the officers part: “Not one of the officers involved in this tragic situation left home in the morning with the anticipation that someone with whom they interacted would not go home that night. Not one of the officers involved are responsible for the death of Mr. Gray. To the contrary, at all times, each of the officers diligently balanced their obligations to protect Mr. Gray and discharge their duties to protect the public.” Ryan’s closing includes: “Most importantly, it is clear that your husband’s political future will be impacted, for better or worse, by the outcome of your investigation.”
Fridays announcement comes less than a day after receiving the results of an internal police investigation and the autopsy report. Five of Baltimore’s finest were charged with crimes including manslaughter, assault, false imprisonment and misconduct in office, while second-degree “depraved heart” murder, the most serious of the charges, was filed against number six, the driver of the police van.
Granted, the results of law-enforcement internal investigations rarely result in anything resembling justice. But, there’s already rumblings and requests of DOJ involvement. In Ferguson, the DOJ found a culture of racism in the police department and city offices. That led to Police Chief Thomas Jackson resigning, joined by a municipal judge, city manager, two police officers, and the city’s top court clerk was fired. May not be nearly enough, but it’s a start…
Some have said the charges are just an attempt to squelch the citizens of Baltimores outrage. Alan Dershowitz told Steve Malzberg: “It’s designed to please the crowd. This was designed to lower the temperature on the street.“** Ok, whatever Alan, it’ll be a lot cooler when bad cops are no longer on those streets…..