Legal Insurrection, I’d like to introduce you to Page Croyder. Page, Legal Insurrection.

The most interesting thing about Ms. Croyder to my eye is that she’s a retired commander and commissioned officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.  I thank you for your service, ma’am.

What brings Ms. Croyder to our attention today, however, is not her military service, but her 21-year career with the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office.  That experience provides here with a rather unique perspective from which to view and evaluate the recent conduct of Maryland State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby in the matter of the death of Freddie Gray.

And what Ms. Croyder sees, she does not like. Not. At. All.

The Baltimore Sun has published a lengthy op-ed piece by Ms. Croyder in which she expresses her views on the Mosby prosecution of six Baltimore police officers following the death of Freddie Gray, following upon similar sentiments expressed by Ms. Croyder in her personal blog, Baltimore Criminal Justice Blogger:

The Fraternal Office of Police called Mosby’s charges an “egregious rush to judgment.” It smacks more of a calculated push to the spotlight, filing charges after a mere two weeks. She conducted her own “parallel” investigation using her police integrity unit (the only unit for which she fails to list a supervisor on her website.) She received the autopsy report the same day as her press conference announcing the charges. In her haste to step into the national limelight, she circumvented normal charging procedures by grabbing a member of the sheriff’s office to file them for her. Her actions appeared calculated for maximum surprise and effect, and she got it.

But she was so hasty she drew up warrants for the wrong people. And her arrest of two of the officers for making an illegal arrest was itself “illegal.” Had she taken the time to discuss it with the police department, she’d have avoided an embarrassing and unjust result.

I recommend you “read the whole thing,” as the saying goes, at both the Baltimore Sun piece and Ms. Croyder’s blog.

To prepare your cognitive palette I’ll simply bullet her main points from her op-ed:

  • Mosby’s charging of the officers “reflects either incompetence or an unethical recklessness.”
  • Alan Dershowitz predicts the eventual dismissal of most or all the charges.
  • Mosby declined use of most experienced homicide prosector in Maryland, as well as the services of a grand jury.
  • She may well have arrested two completely innocent officers on the basis of false imprisonment [AFB: in which case one wonders if Mosby might find herself charged with false imprisonment].
  • Mosby circumvented normal charging procedures and simply had several sheriff’s deputies, with no personal knowledge of the events, swear to the truth of the charges and file them on her behalf.
  • It appears Mosby set aside the fairness and objectivity demanded of prosecutors in a pursuit of personal and political gain.
  • Mosby may now have laid the foundation for a catastrophic backlash by outraged residents of Baltimore–whom she had led to believe would see officers convicted of murder and manslaughter–should her charges be dismissed because of a paucity of evidence.
  • Mosby has established a new de facto standard for police conduct in which normal errors of judgment exercised under the duress of a street cop’s daily job can be used not merely to hold them civilly liable but to put them in prison.

Again, I urge you to “read the whole thing,” both at the Baltimore Sun as well as at Ms. Croyder’s Baltimore Criminal Justice Blogger blog.

Here is a CNN interview of Ms. Croyder (h/t to Gateway Pundit):

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Updated 5/7/15: 17:15:

Commenter rfy points me to a reference by Ms. Croyder to Prosecutor Mosby in a Croyder blog post from 2014:

Marilyn Mosby, who just defeated Bernstein in the primary election, lacks the experience to fully comprehend the enormity of the task in front of her, let alone be able to hit the ground running. And the state’s attorney’s office will hemorrhage experienced people these next six lame-duck months, making the task that much harder. It doesn’t mean that Mosby, should she win in November, can’t eventually succeed. But her learning curve will be very steep and at public expense.

Commenter rfy suggests that this reference to Mosby is prescient by Ms. Croyder.  I’m inclined to agree.

Nevertheless, it could also indicate a prejudice against Mosby.  Because I’ve cited Croyder as a knowledgeable and informed critic of Mosby, I feel obliged to reference Croyder’s earlier statement, as well. Make of it what you will. 🙂

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Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.


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