As Black America continues to hail Marilyn J. Mosby as a hero for charging six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, the predicted backlash has begun.
Reports indicate that the six officers asked a judge to dismiss their cases. They also want an independent prosecutor assigned to the case. The officers are also threatening to sue the city of Baltimore.
Mosby continues to be heavily criticized for swiftly charging the officers. Her husband, Nick, is the city councilman for the district where Gray was shot and that was the scene of the uprising shown in the media.
One of the issues that is also being raised is the knife that Gray had, which caused his arrest. Mosby asserts the knife was legal, whereas the officers’ attorneys say the knife was illegal.
The officers are now reportedly asking that the grand jury proceedings be transcribed or recorded.
In a statement, Mosby said the evidence obtained through the independent investigation substantiates the elements of the charges filed.
“I refuse to litigate this case through the media,” she said. “I’ve previously indicated, I strongly condemn anyone in law enforcement with access to trial evidence, who has or continues to leak information prior to the resolution of this case. These unethical disclosures are only damaging our ability to conduct a fair and impartial process for all parties involved.”
Mosby received backlash for going on stage during a concert in Baltimore where Prince was performing. The famed singer, who wrote a song for Baltimore, brought Mosby on stage.
Last week, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the launch of an investigation of the Baltimore Police Department. The DOJ’s investigation of the BPD will seek to determine whether systemic violations of the Constitution or federal law by officers of the BPD occurred. The investigation will focus on the BPD’s use of force, including deadly force, and its stops, searches and arrests, as well as whether a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing exists.
While the pattern or practice investigation is ongoing, the DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing will continue to work with the BPD, and the collaborative reform process that was started in October 2014 will convert to the provision of technical assistance to the BPD, allowing for changes and improvements even as the pattern or practice investigation is underway.
“Our goal is to work with the community, public officials and law enforcement alike to create a stronger, better Baltimore,” said Lynch. “The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has conducted dozens of these pattern or practice investigations, and we have seen from our work in jurisdictions across the country that communities that have gone through this process are experiencing improved policing practices and increased trust between the police and the community.”
During the course of the investigation, the DOJ will consider all relevant information, particularly the efforts that the BPD has undertaken to ensure compliance with federal law, and the experiences and views of the community. The DOJ has taken similar steps involving a variety of state and local law-enforcement agencies, both large and small, in jurisdictions throughout the United States.
Individuals who wish to share information related to the investigation are encouraged to contact the DOJ at 1-844-401-3733 or via email at Community.Baltimore@usdoj.gov.