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Freddie Gray Case – Is Prosecution Already Unraveling?

Freddie Gray Case – Is Prosecution Already Unraveling?

Defense files motion for independent examination of Freddie Gray’s knife

[NOTE: This post has been updated with a relevant statement released yesterday from Prosecutor Mosby’s office, and embedded at the bottom of this post.]

As Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby continues her efforts to convict six police officers of serious felonies–including depraved-heart second degree murder and multiple counts of manslaughter–in the death of Freddie Gray continue, those charges are already being subject to challenge, and looking increasingly vulnerable.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the defense attorney for Edward Nero, one of the officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, has filed a motion for an independent inspection of Gray’s knife, which formed the basis for the probable cause underpinning Gray’s arrest. (h/t commenter MouseTheLuckyDog)

The motion is embedded at the bottom of this post.

Arrest Timeline: Charges Against Officer Nero, In Context

It is perhaps worth stepping through the timeline of Officer Nero’s participation in the arrest and transport of Freddie Gray, and juxtapose that against the five criminal charges brought against him. (Note: we’re recounting the timeline “facts” as reported by the New York Times.)  All events occur on April 12, 2015

8:39:12 AM

Officer Nero, Lieutenant Brian Rice, and Officer Miller are on bike patrol in a high-crime/drug area of Baltimore, and spot Freddie Gray–a known convict and career street-level drug dealer–acting suspiciously.

This raises the reasonable suspicion needed to justify a “Terry stop,” (commonly known as stop-and-frisk), and the officers seek to do so with Freddie Gray.

(For more details on a “Terry stop,” see Was Freddie Gray’s Arrest Lawful? Almost Certainly.)

Gray observes the officers approaching and flees their lawful stop, further establishing reasonable suspicion. The officers pursue.

8:39:52 AM

Freddie’s flight from the lawful Terry stop lasts only 40 seconds before the officers bring him to a halt.

(Humorously, the New York Times describes the end of this flight and pursuit as Gray “surrendering to” the pursuing officers.  I guess the NYT forgot how to spell “captured by.”)

8:40 AM

The officers prone out Gray and handcuff him, all perfectly lawful and consistent with securing the safety of a Terry stop.

Prosecutor Mosby claims that at this point Gray requested an inhaler, and was not provided one.  She does not indicate her evidence for this claim, nor whether the officers or Gray even had an inhaler in their possession that they could have offered Gray, nor whether the officers have a legal duty–or are even medically qualified–to provide medical assistance to a suspect.

Raising Gray to a seated position, Officer Nero (along with Miller) observes a pocket knife clipped to Gray’s right pocket.  The knife is secured and examined, again entirely consistent with securing a safe Terry stop.

Freddy Gray police complaint 2nstjt5 small

Upon examination, the officers observe that the knife employs a spring-assisted mechanism, and conclude that it reasonably falls within the definition of an unlawful knife under Baltimore City Code §59-22, which provides in relevant part that:

(a) Possession or sale, etc., prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, carry, or possess any knife with an automatic spring or other device for opening and/or closing the blade, commonly known as a switch-blade knife.

The knife thus established the probable cause necessary to escalate the Terry stop to an actual arrest, and the violation of Baltimore City Code §59-22 is specified for this purpose in the formal Statement of Charges:

freddie_gray_complaint 600

 

Officers Miller and Nero put Mr. Gray in a seated position and find a folding knife, which Ms. Mosby said was legal under Maryland law. The officers charged Mr. Gray with illegal possession of a switchblade. The officers then placed Mr. Gray down on his stomach and restrained him until the police van arrived. Ms. Mosby said Lieutenant Rice and Officers Miller and Nero “failed to establish probable cause for Mr. Gray’s arrest as no crime had been committed.”

Notably, on Friday May 1, when Prosecutor Mosby publicly announced the charges against the six police officers, she was reported by the New York Times to have explicitly stated that there was no probably cause for Gray’s arrest because the knife was legal:

Ms. Mosby faulted the police conduct at every turn. The officers who arrested him “failed to establish probable cause for Mr. Gray’s arrest, as no crime had been committed,” she said, describing the arrest as illegal. Officers accused him of possession of a switchblade, but Ms. Mosby said, “The knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under Maryland law. (Emphasis added.)

Since then, however, the investigative Task Force assembled by the Baltimore Police Department has concluded that the knife, was, in fact illegal in Baltimore, as reported by the Baltimore Sun yesterday:

While Mosby said Friday that the officers had made an illegal arrest because a knife Gray was carrying was not a “switchblade,” a violation of state law, the police task force studied the knife and determined it was “spring-assisted,” which does violate a Baltimore code [§59-22]. (emphasis added)

For more details on all of the above see Legal Insurrection’s earlier coverage here Freddie Gray’s Knife – Why is Prosecutor Claiming Unlawful Arrest? and here  Confirmed – Freddie Gray’s Knife WAS Illegal.

The conclusion of the Task Force that the knife in Gray’s possession fell within the unlawful category could theoretically be reversed sometime in the future.

The organized Task Force composed of senior department officers with access to specialized knowledge and the opportunity to examine the knife in complete safety and at their leisure concluded, as the arresting officers had, that the knife was unlawful.  That makes laughable any argument that the officer’s own conclusion under stress to that effect was unreasonable on its face.

And if the arresting officers perception of probable cause for the arrest was not unreasonable, the arrest was not unlawful. Period.

To get back to the timeline, at this time the police van arrived, and Gray was placed in the van.  Video suggests that Officer Nero assisted in the placement of Gray in the vehicle.

The New York Times feels obliged to note here that Gray was not buckled into his seat.  While there may be a perfectly reasonable explanation for why this was not done, it seems irrelevant to Officer Nero in particular, as doing so would presumably be the van driver’s responsibility (Officer Goodson), not Nero’s.

Presumably by this point several minutes had passed, given all of the action just described.

8:46 AM

After the van travels one block Officer Goodson stops the van, purportedly at the direction of police Lieutenant Brian Rice. Along with Officers Miller and Nero, Rice removes Gray from the van, place him in leg restraints, and return Gray to the van, placing him on the floor.

Freddie Gray stop 1

There are many lawful reasons why this conduct may have occurred.  Leg restraints are commonly used only when a suspect remains tumultuous even when handcuffed, and may present a risk of physical injury to himself or others if he is not further restrained in this manner.  Reports that there was another passenger in the van who reported loud noises from Gray’s compartment consistent with a tumultuous suspect would support such a scenario.

In any case, Mosby makes no claim that the use of the leg restraints was unlawful.

On Such Evidence, Mosby Lays Five Criminal Charges

This encompasses the entirety, according to the NYT timeline, of Officer Nero’s involvement in the arrest and transport of Freddie Gray.

On the basis of those facts alone Prosecutor Mosby believes she can convict Nero, beyond a reasonable doubt, of five criminal charges, including:

Assault in the second degree (good for 10 years in prison)

Assault in the second degree (2nd count, good for another 10 years)

Misconduct in office

Misconduct in office (2nd count)

False imprisonment

Freddie Gray charges

Relevance of the Knife to Unlawful Arrest Charges

The alleged unlawfulness of Gray’s arrest would seem to be essential to the false imprisonment charge brought against Nero. (The same charge was brought against Lieutenant Rice and Officer Miller, the other two officers involved in Gray’s Terry stop and arrest.)

As described above in some detail, however, it is clear that it was reasonable for the officers to conclude that the knife fell within the scope of Baltimore City Code §59-22, and was therefore unlawful to carry within the city limits, especially given that the formally organized Task Force has come to the same conclusion.

Officer Nero’s Attorney Files Motion for Inspection of Knife

Now Marc Zayon, Officer Nero’s attorney, is seeking an independent examination of the knife recovered from Gray at his arrest.  His motion explicitly notes, in a clear reference to Mosby’s Friday statement to the media, that:

The State baldly asserts that “the knife was not a switchblade knife and is lawful under Maryland law.” The State further suggests that the Defendant “failed to establish probable cause for Mr. Gray’s arrest as no crime had been committed,” and accordingly the Defendant “illegally arrested Mr. Gray,” resulting in the charges herein.

The contention of Nero’s lawyer is, naturally, that the knife does in fact fall within the unlawful category, that Nero’s arrest of Gray was lawful, and thus that any charge against Nero premised on unlawful arrest (e.g., the false imprisonment charge) must be dismissed.

Increasingly Unlikely Either Serious or Lesser Charges Will Stick

There never seemed to be much of an evidentiary basis for the more serious criminal charges brought by Mosby against the officers–the second degree depraved heart murder and the multiple counts of manslaughter, in particular.  Thus Mosby’s charges were always exceedingly vulnerable from “the top.”

Now it seems that even the lesser charges may lack even the minimal evidentiary basis to survive a probable cause hearing that due process demands the officers be entitled to, making Mosby’s charges vulnerable from “the bottom.”

I suppose only time will tell whether any of the charges whatever will remain of those Mosby brought against these six officers once due process has had its day.  Personally, I’ll not be placing my bets on Mosby.

It’s Getting Hot In Here: For Mosby

I expect, ladies and gentlemen, that things are going to start to get interesting.

Keep a browser tab opened right here at Legal Insurrection for ongoing news on the debacle I expect to be the Freddie Gray-related prosecutions.

As promised, here’s the embedded motion:

[NOTE: This post has been updated with a relevant statement released yesterday from Prosecutor Mosby’s office, and embedded immediately below.  A further discussion of the implications of Mosby’s statement can be found at: More Mosby: “Evidence Cannot Be Released Before Trial”.]

Mosby statement 5-5-15 small

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


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Comments

MattMusson | May 6, 2015 at 8:47 am

If Mosby personally charged the officers and had them incarcerated for false imprisonment because the knife was legal – and it turns out that the knife is illegal – shouldn’t Mosby be charged with false imprisonment?

She personally generated the charges instead of having an aid do it. And, there are questions as to whether she purposely lied on this legal document.

Ragspierre | May 6, 2015 at 9:03 am

“The contention of Nero’s lawyer is, naturally, that the life does in fact fall…”

While that is profound on so many levels, I suggest “…that the knife does…”.

Ragspierre | May 6, 2015 at 9:07 am

Interesting that a Maryland lawyer has to file a motion.

In Texas, we just make Requests For Production And Inspection, and the other side has 30 days to comply or object, or issue a “withholding statement” asserting a privilege. The Federal rules of discovery are pretty much the same.

I think, in this case, I would have sent Miss Marilyn a “spoliation letter”, too…

    dhmosquito in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Yeah, the CBS Radio News at 0700MDT today said that the prosecutor’s office was withholding defense inspection of the knife because it was “evidence”. Huh? IANAL but it seems to me like you say that mere inspection of the knife by the defense attorneys, even under supervision by the prosecutor’s office, would definitely fall into the “discovery” category. From this layman’s perspective, it’s obvious this woman is going out of her way to convict with her objective being prevention of Baltimore going up in flames a la the 1992 Los Angeles “Civil Unrest”. Andrew’s correct: things are going to get interesting.

      Rick in reply to dhmosquito. | May 6, 2015 at 11:28 am

      What facts make you believe that Mosby’s motives are obviously benign?

        dhmosquito in reply to Rick. | May 6, 2015 at 1:58 pm

        Mosby’s motives are not benign. (I fail to understand why one would say that I think so.) It seems evident to me that she is compromising due process for the police officers in order to (hopefully, in her mind) avoid civil unrest in Baltimore.

          Rick in reply to dhmosquito. | May 6, 2015 at 2:27 pm

          “it’s obvious this woman is going out of her way to convict with her objective being prevention of Baltimore going up in flames”
          I must have misread your words, which I quote immediately above, but I don’t understand how. It looks to me that you pretty clearly believe “prevention of Baltimore going up in flames” was Mosby’s motive.

          ConradCA in reply to dhmosquito. | May 8, 2015 at 1:35 am

          She is trying to ride her persecution of the police into higher political office such as the Senate.

      Milhouse in reply to dhmosquito. | May 6, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      Well, of course it’s evidence. That’s precisely why the defense wants to inspect it! If it weren’t evidence, that would be a reason to withhold it!

    Humphrey's Executor in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2015 at 10:32 am

    But the motion says trial is scheduled for “May 27, 2015.” So if nothing else, the defense has grounds for expedited relief.

    It’s hard to imagine the trial would happen that fast but I could see the defense pushing for it since the prosecutrix probably wants this to drag on as long as possible.

      Criminal trial dates are set to comply with speedy trial requirements. Virtually all trials are continued so the trial date always gets kicked out to the future.

    There are all SORTS of other fun games you can play in Texas with a prosecutor that is failing to give access to evidence, statements or discovery in the criminal cases.

    The biggest hammer that I’ve been bringing down lately is a 39.14(a) Motion under statute:

    “as soon as practicable after receiving a timely request from the defendant the state shall produce and permit the inspection and the electronic duplication, copying, and photographing, by or on behalf of the defendant, of any offense reports, any designated documents, papers, written or recorded statements of the defendant or a witness, including witness statements of law enforcement officers but not including the work product of counsel for the state in the case and their investigators and their notes or report, or any designated books, accounts, letters, photographs, or objects or other tangible things not otherwise privileged that constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the action and that are in the possession, custody, or control of the state or any person under contract with the state.

    The Statute itself does not list the sanction for the State failing to comply, but it’s a big enough hammer that making a suppression motion or a dismissal motion upon the State’s failure to provide any demanded evidence that a Judge’s failure to grant dismissal at trial might be reversible error.

      Ragspierre in reply to Chuck Skinner. | May 6, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      Prosecutors who withhold evidence from the defense also expose themselves to civil liability, loss of their ticket, and even criminal prosecution, as I understand. Damn sure some contempt of court exposure.

      Mike Nifong can tell us all about it.

        platypus in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2015 at 4:56 pm

        What on earth would Nifong know about withholding evidence? He didn’t have any evidence to withhold.

        I’m confused, and my head hurts.

        Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Ragspierre. | May 7, 2015 at 12:15 pm

        …as well as being exposed as plain incompetent and/or plain old feloniously criminal – no?

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    “spoliation letter” Please explain for those of us having a less litigious bent, lol.

      Ragspierre in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 6, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      In broad strokes, a spoliation letter is sent by one attorney to his/her opposite number, identifying general (or specific) targets of discovery relevant to their case, and warning them of the need to assure those things are preserved from destruction or tampering (spoliation), along with the penalties for failing to preserve them.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2015 at 5:23 pm

        Cool thanks, makes perfect sense.

        Stan25 in reply to Ragspierre. | May 7, 2015 at 11:38 am

        There are current examples of this concept. 1) The Lois Lerner emails 2) The Hillary Clinton email server erasure. Both of these incidents would be prosecutable if the regular folks did this.

      platypus in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 6, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      Essentially, it’s a warning to the other side to make sure nobody operates a shredder on the stuff that will be useful at trial. The term is used to describe any evidence that for whatever reason is not available even though it once was there. Hillary’s emails is a good example except that she did it on purpose. Spoilation can be either negligent or intentional.

As others have stated here and elsewhere, these charges are politically motivated. It seems to me that the State’s Attorney wanted her pound of flesh in this case to show the Justice Brothers that she was down for the struggle too.

They could not get any traction with Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and the one in NYC, so they are trying to get another do over. As with the previous three cases, this one will also blow up in their faces. I’ll bet that if these cops had shoveled several million dollars to Al Sharpton and his ilk, these charges would not have been filed.

    Deodorant in reply to Stan25. | May 6, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Yes, there was a political motivation. Someone died in police custody while shackled hand a foot. In fact, the van was stopped to added the leg shackles.

    In Baltimore there have been a few cases of giving prisoners ‘rough rides’ It is not common, but it has been known to happen when prisoners are ‘troublesome’. Baltimore has left prisoners traveling in vans quadriplegic before.

    If you could cease your knee-jerk ideology long enough to consider that the police are neither judge, jury or executioner, you might begin to understand the anger – assuming you have the slightest interest in doing that.

      “Yes, there was a political motivation. Someone died in police custody while shackled hand a foot. In fact, the van was stopped to added the leg shackles.”

      None of the above is crime.

      “In Baltimore there have been a few cases of giving prisoners ‘rough rides’ It is not common, but it has been known to happen when prisoners are ‘troublesome’. Baltimore has left prisoners traveling in vans quadriplegic before.”

      The city of Baltimore is not criminally charged here, six individual police officers are. You have zero evidence–none, zip, nada–that any kind of “rough ride” was employed while transporting Gray.

      “If you could cease your knee-jerk ideology long enough to consider that the police are neither judge, jury or executioner, you might begin to understand the anger – assuming you have the slightest interest in doing that.”

      I DO understand the anger–I have a three-year-old at home, and she often gets outraged on purely emotional grounds, detached from all evidence and reason.

      Fortunately she’s not yet burned down her home. 🙂

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        mariner in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 6, 2015 at 11:23 am

        None of the above is crime.

        Ye gods, Andrew! None of the above is even true.

        Gray did NOT die in police custody; he died in a hospital a week after he was arrested, and after surgery.

          Milhouse in reply to mariner. | May 6, 2015 at 12:21 pm

          Where the actual death took place is irrlevant. Everything causing his death happened in police custody, and it seems reasonable to assume that some crime was committed by someone in the department to make that happen. Certainly the department as a whole is civilly liable for his death, and it’s probably morally culpable as well. None of that, though, justifies arresting these six individuals, or putting them through the ordeal of a criminal trial. For that we need specific evidence that they committed the offenses with which they’ve been charged.

          Ragspierre in reply to mariner. | May 6, 2015 at 12:39 pm

          Damn, Milhouse, you were doing so well.

          You have suppositions that something done in police custody RESULTED in his death. But nothing more. You also suppose Gray’s injuries were inflicted by the LEOs.

          Why is it not plausible that Gray injured himself PRIOR to the inception of the custodial stop? Dislocated cervical vertebra can easily result from a fall while running, and they would NOT necessarily immediately damage the spinal cord (this is why your neck is immediately immobilized if cervical trauma is suspected.)

          How ’bout we wait for due process?

          gregjgrose in reply to mariner. | May 6, 2015 at 12:55 pm

          >> it seems reasonable to assume that some crime was committed by someone in the department to make that happen.

          Strike assume that and insert investigate whether

          mariner in reply to mariner. | May 6, 2015 at 1:58 pm

          Where the actual death took place is irrlevant(sic). Everything causing his death happened in police custody…

          1. Where the actual death took place is relevant to Deoderant’s assertion that Gray died in police custody.

          2. Police surrendered custody of Gray to paramedics, who worked on him for ~20 mins before transporting him to the hospital. How do you know that nothing they did could have contributed to Gray’s death?

          3. Gray was in the hospital for ~7 days, during which he underwent surgery. How do you know that nothing that happened in the hospital could have contributed to Gray’s death.

          You’re making [up] claims that you can’t possibly support with evidence.

        platypus in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 6, 2015 at 5:02 pm

        OMG! The 3yo reference is priceless! I promise I will NEVER shoot skeet with you.

        I would like to see the autopsy. There are definitely suspicious things (you’ve noted the alleged crushed larynx). Was there really a crushed larynx? Was the spinal injury a recent trauma? That is the evidence that seems most critical in this case and presumably the defense will be moving to see what the prosecution has.

        What was the rational for stoping to further shackle Gray? Was it SOP or some reason that was justified.

        There are so many open questions with this case it is very hard to evaluate it.

        This is pure speculation on my part, but what if Freddie Gray had some pre-existing injuries that got exacerbated during the ride to the station? That is the sort of thing that could be answered by an autopsy.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to EBL. | May 7, 2015 at 3:41 pm

          As far as the crushed larynx, if it is true, it is possible that it could be a “secondary injury” to the vertebra that were comprised.

          What can happen, is with numerous vertebra “crushed” or injured a person might/probably wouldn’t be able to maintain proper head position/alignment. Most of the structures in the next area are “soft” meaning comprised of muscle and things weaker than bone so they don’t really provide support. The only exceptions being the vertebra and the small horseshoe shaped bone called the Hyoid bone which supports/braces the Pharynx, the Larynx, and the tongue and basically allows us to make all the sounds needed for human speech.

          Usually the term “crushed larynx” means that this bone has been broken/compromised. While this is generally looked at as a sign of strangulation, it is possible that someone with injured/compromised vertebra might not have been able to maintain proper alignment and the Larynx and/or Hyoid Bone been injured as a result of the improper alignment. It doesn’t always mean strangulation.

          The head is heavy and when the main support (i.e. the spine) is compromised it can lead to secondary injuries.

      Ragspierre in reply to Deodorant. | May 6, 2015 at 9:27 am

      “Baltimore has left prisoners traveling in vans quadriplegic before.”

      So has New York City. So have school districts all over the nation left chil’rens dead or crippled. Stuff happens, even with the very best of intentions.

      And you have no idea who did what to whom, when or where. So stuff your, “judge, jury, and executioner” crap until you can come here with something besides your hate.

      Milhouse in reply to Deodorant. | May 6, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      The facts as you recite them are grounds for reasonable suspicion that one or more officers committed a crime. These are grounds to justify a full investigation, which may or may not turn up evidence of a prima facie case against one or more officers. If it does, then those officers should be charged.

      But none of that has happened. It is unlawful to arrest any individual without probable cause that that individual has committed the crime he is charged with, and it’s unlawful to make him stand trial without having a prima facie case that he has committed those crimes. Reasonable suspicion is simply not enough.

      Nor is even a near certainty that someone in the department must have committed some crime resulting in Gray’s death; one must have clear evidence that the charged individuals committed the charged offenses. And, at least as far as we know, that evidence is lacking. It may be that Moseby has compelling evidence which she is keeping secret, but we have no basis for assuming so, and her conduct so far doesn’t give confidence in her integrity.

DINORightMarie | May 6, 2015 at 9:23 am

…that the life does in fact fall within the unlawful category….

I’m sure you mean this:

…that the life knife does in fact fall within the unlawful category….

inspectorudy | May 6, 2015 at 9:31 am

What has me puzzled is that a cop facing a situation where something is not right, in his eyes, and so he proceeds to investigate and then discovers something that he thinks is illegal. Ms. Mosby is now contending that this cop has to become a forensic expert just to make an arrest? If the knife had any form of spring assist then I would have decided it was illegal under the statue of the city. Even a lay person like myself would consider this “Probable cause” for an arrest. Arrest doesn’t mean conviction and usually would mean a booking and then release with only a time inconvenience to the arrested. If Mosby’s view is upheld then almost any probable cause arrest will be a thing of the past.

    Stan25 in reply to inspectorudy. | May 6, 2015 at 9:51 am

    In most cases yes, But not First Degree and Capital murder. These charges, as far as I know are the only ones that bail is usually not allowed. Although, there have been some let out on bail with these charge pending.

    DINORightMarie in reply to inspectorudy. | May 6, 2015 at 9:58 am

    The way I see it, this woman, believing it is “justice,” wants the police to stop doing their job of enforcing the law and making arrests if the suspect is not white.

    It’s straight-up racism, whether she (and the MSM) will admits it or not.

    (NOTE: I refuse to use the term “reverse racism” as that term accepts the premise that the word “racism” is in fact defined as ONLY whites acting against minorities, particularly of “brown” or “black” skin – which is a fallacious redefinition – a revisionist, leftist, PC lie.)

    OT but related:

    The case in Philly of the man walking his dog who was shot and killed by 2-3 teens (at least 2 of them black, both 15 or younger at the time of the murder)…..

    What if that man had had a gun, had used it to defend himself, had shot one or more of those black teen males? The way our MSM (the propaganda machine) report – and how apparently the current DoJ is proceeding (which appears to be supported by Mosby in Baltimore) – I believe that man would today be in hiding, fearing for his life, as riots would be destroying the “city of brotherly love” – and he would have been the man defending himself – the VICTIM!

    Sadly, the reality is he is in fact a murder victim…..and there is silence over this heinous crime. No outrage. No riots. No MSM 24/7 reporting. And no outrage over what causes such young black men to do such horrible, depraved things as rob and murder a man in such a seemingly callous, premeditated manner.

    Is that not selective outrage? Is that not racism, against this murdered man, being exercised by our legal system and MSM?

      Eskyman in reply to DINORightMarie. | May 7, 2015 at 3:30 am

      An excellent observation, DINORightMarie.

      “What if that man had had a gun, had used it to defend himself, had shot one or more of those black teen males?”

      Any white person that defends himself against a black teen is going to get hammered in the media, and will probably have to go into hiding- and God only knows what happens to his wife/family.

      Our out-of-control and extremely one-sided media is one of the biggest problems we face. It’s not just the outright lies and innuendo, it’s the constant framing of every question; the cherry-picking of stories- some are hyped, exaggerated, and constantly in-your-face, while other stories are always left on the cutting room floor (like successful self-defense using a handgun.)

      Sadly I think we’re past the point of no return. Something’s gonna have to give.

      OT: Damn trolls downthumbing everything, grrr!- who left the door open?

    guyjones in reply to inspectorudy. | May 6, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Another blog touched on your point; I forget who and where. I think there may also be caselaw to that effect, essentially stating that to expect absolute interpretive statutory perfection from cops in terms of assessing and evaluating the basis of probable cause to arrest a person is unrealistic and, in fact, not required to perform a legal arrest. Basically, even if the knife turns out to be legal, the cops had a reasonable basis to conclude that, in their minds, it violated the statute, which means that the arrest of Mr. Grey was lawful. Asserting that the arrest was unlawful is a red herring intended to add meat to a factually thin and bare-bones indictment.

    Milhouse in reply to inspectorudy. | May 6, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Cops do not need to be forensic experts, but they do need to know the law. If the law were clear that a spring-assisted knife of this kind is legal, and a policeman were to arrest someone because he was ignorant of this law, then the false imprisonment charge would be justified. In this case the law seems clear in the other direction; the knife seems clearly illegal. If, due to some ambiguity, a court later rules that it’s legal after all, the cops could not be expected to know that.

In the case of a mere typographical, spelling, or grammar error, the change is noted in the comments in the form of a thanks to the person who brought the error to our attention.

As was done in this case.

If the minor error is self-identified, we simply fix the error.

I see no reason to clutter up the body of the text with “notices” of spelling corrections, do you?

Substantive changes to the text, however, receive a notice of modification in the body of the post.

That’s how we roll. 🙂

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    olafauer in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 6, 2015 at 10:19 am

    “I see no reason to clutter up the body of the text with “notices” of spelling corrections, do you?”

    I believe he do! Some people like to pick the fly s**t out of the pepper.

    Cecil Turner in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 6, 2015 at 10:43 am

    “That’s how we roll. :-)”

    Please don’t change. I’d suggest not bothering to fix ’em at all, but then the comments section gets bollixed up with good intentions.

Her charges, the case, her integrity and her career are all swirling the drain

    Humphrey's Executor in reply to kimosaabe. | May 6, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    If she keeps going like she’s going, her career as a lawyer will not be long or prosperous. But her future as a politician looks bright.

    platypus in reply to kimosaabe. | May 6, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    My opinion is that she had no integrity in the first place, so nothing to swirl around the drain.

DINORightMarie | May 6, 2015 at 10:07 am

This is further commentary on this Mosby over-charge debacle:

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby May Face Criminal Charges for Her Sloppy Work.

Unraveling, indeed.

    CalFed in reply to DINORightMarie. | May 6, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Hmmmm…hoisted by her own petard?

    Bruce Hayden in reply to DINORightMarie. | May 6, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Interesting suggestion in the last line or so of the article – the prosecutor may have forfeited her qualified immunity by personally indicting the six officers, instead of taking the case to a grand jury. And, yes, if she illegally has the officers arrested, then that too would likely be false arrest. Critical to that, I would submit, is that she asserted that the knife was legal under MD statutes, but the police were charging Gray under the (different) Baltimore laws. Which, she had constructive knowledge of, given her position.

If any or all of these officers are eventually vindicated do they have any legal recourse for damages against an overzealous prosecutor? I have a feeling that now that their names and faces have been made public and sacrificed to appease the “mob” that any hopes of continuing their careers in Baltimore law enforcement is seriously compromised at a minimum but more likely at an end.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to LIreader. | May 6, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    They may have some recourse. We shall see. Normally, she would be protected by qualified immunity. An article that was linked to above suggests though that her choice to personally indict, instead of taking the case to a grand jury, may open her to personal liability.

      Ragspierre in reply to Bruce Hayden. | May 6, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      Any officer of the court, on signing a pleading, certifies several things to the Court. Among them, that their statements are true and correct to the best of their knowledge, AFTER having made a reasonable inquiry, and are supported by existing law or a good-faith argument for an extension of law, and are not made for any improper purpose.

      Like I say below…

      Poor lamb.

        Bruce Hayden in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2015 at 7:53 pm

        I think though that you are talking more about either sanctions or discipline. Could be wrong there. I was aiming more at civil liability (criminal would also be nice, but is highly unlikely given the politics).

Thanks for the clear and thorough explanation. I had thought that our blind squirrels had finally found a nut, this time, due to admitted failure by police to secure the prisoner. That action could give rise to charges of negligent homicide. Then, the prosecutor said the arrest was bad, because the knife was legal.

I would fully expect an experienced police officer to spot the difference between a legal and an illegal knife. Further, I would not expect a prosecutor to lie about whether a knife, that had been recovered from a prisoner and was therefore in the physical custody of the police department, was legal or not.

Now I also read that the officers stopped the van within a very short distance, and put the prisoner in leg shackles and placed him on the floor of the van, actions consistent with an attempt to subdue an obstreperous prisoner, and at the same time, protect his physical safety.

Andrew: Is there a timeline available from the time the van stopped and Gray was shackled until arrival at their destination? Am curious about the use of Gray’s legs when he was removed from the van to be shackled. Did he struggle, that is, was he kicking, and could that have broken his back? Or was he already paralyzed? My understanding is that by the time they reached their destination he was dead. Does the other passenger in van indicate he continued to struggle after this stop? At what point did Gray become silent? Or are these details unknown at this time?

“The New York Times feels obliged to note here that Gray was not buckled into his seat. While there may be a perfectly reasonable explanation for why this was not done, it seems irrelevant to Officer Nero in particular, as doing so would presumably be the van driver’s responsibility (Officer Goodson), not Nero’s.”
____________________

One of the articles I read reported that it is protocol in Baltimore for the van driver to just drive; the arresting officers are the ones who are responsible for securing their suspect in the transport vehicle. That’s why the van driver didn’t do it originally, and that is also why Goodson wasn’t the one to put the leg shackles on Gray when he stopped the van due to Gray’s moving about in the back of the van. It’s one of the things that makes the murder charges against Goodson so ludicrous. Goodson did everything he was supposed to do, and there is no evidence whatsoever that he drove the van “roughly” in a deliberate attempt to injure Gray. Goodson did his job by the book: he allowed the arresting officers to secure Gray in the back of the van, and then when he realized Gray was not secure and was moving about, he radioed the officers and requested that they secure Gray better, and he stopped the van to allow them to do so.

The problem with this case is that you have an inexperienced, and probably incompetent, state’s attorney, who was elected because of her skin color, playing to the mobs. When this case collapses in on her, and it will, I sincerely hope that she is the one facing charges.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Observer. | May 6, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    It is also interesting to me that we know for at least part of the ride Gray was not the only prisoner in the van, yet we have heard no other claims that anyone else complained of a rough ride.

It’s interesting that you’re arguing that placing someone in handcuffs and restraining them for no other reason other than “trying to avoid police” was a Terry stop.

But then, the NYPD calls random general searches “Terry stops” too.

This guy was arrested for avoiding the police and came out a corpse. It’s a given that the officers will escape punishment – the actual death wasn’t on camera.

    Mac45 in reply to JWB. | May 6, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Actually, this stop would be a Terry stop. In this case, the police were operating in an area noted for the street level dealing of illegal drugs. They say what appeared to be a drug transaction involving a known drug dealer [Gray] and approached him. Gray then ran to avoid contact with the police. This provides more than sufficient RS for an investigatory stop. As drug dealers often carry weapons, it is easy to justify the frisk after the stop was made. Gray could have been legally handcuffed either prior to the search or after the knife was discovered. If the knife met, or reasonably appeared to meet, the definition of a knife which was illegal to possess within the Baltimore city limits, then the arrest was justified. And, the definition of the characteristics of such a knife, in the Baltimore City Code, are not real specific.

    The problem with this whole case is that no evidence exists that the arresting officers did not possess sufficient RS for the stop and frisk. There is no evidence that the officers knowingly performed an improper arrest. There is no evidence that any of the officers took any action which would have resulted in the injuries to Gray. There is no evidence that the transporting officer did not do all he could, to the limits of his knowledge and training, for Gray, when he found him lying unresponsive on the floor of the van. In other words, there is no evidence that any specific person did anything to directly cause Mr. Gray’s injuries. You don’t need Perry Mason to get an acquittal in this case, recent law school graduate Elmo Smutts should be able to win this case.

      BOOM.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Mac45. | May 6, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      A couple of quick additions.

      Gray was a known drug dealer, with maybe 18 arrests over the previous 8 years (presumably most, if not all, by the Baltimore PD), most involving drugs of one type or another. I think that he had also served a short term prison sentence for such, and, thus was a convicted felon.

      Second, the purpose of a pat down search in a Terry stop is officer safety. They are searching for weapons that might be used against officers while temporarily detained. As I understand it, the borderline cases involve non-weapons discovered in Terry stop searches, not illegal weapons. You can maybe argue that that a joint was obviously not a weapon, and doesn’t feel like a weapon, so shouldn’t have been sufficient for probable cause for an arrest for illegal possession of pot. But, you really can’t argue that a weapon that was discovered looking for weapons wasn’t probable cause for arrest if the weapon discovered during that legal search for weapons happened to be illegal.

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Mac45. | May 6, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      Let me add – cops are pedaling along, and a known ex-felon drug dealer sees them and starts to run away. The obvious question running through their heads is why is he running? After a quick chase (they are on bikes, and he apparently is not), he is captured. At that point, the first thing that they are going to do is to check him for weapons. This is standard procedure for police pretty much across the country. For their own safety, they need to determine whether or not he has a weapon on him. This is policy, because officers have died when neglecting this precaution. And, the type of weapon that the police discovered is just the type of weapon that is so dangerous to them – a hidden knife that is somewhat easily deployed against them, even maybe by someone in handcuffs. (At those close quarters, knives are arguably more dangerous than guns).

    Milhouse in reply to JWB. | May 6, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Um, what do you think a Terry stop is, if not “placing someone in handcuffs and restraining them” because a policeman has a reasonable suspicion that they have committed an offense? Do you have another definition of a Terry stop? Or do you deny that there was reasonable suspicion here?

    I don’t know whether there was a camera trained on his hospital bed at the time of actual death; I imagine there wasn’t, but please explain how that is relevant.

“It’s interesting that you’re arguing that placing someone in handcuffs and restraining them for no other reason other than “trying to avoid police” was a Terry stop.

But then, the NYPD calls random general searches “Terry stops” too.”

When I start arguing, I expect you’ll know it. I’m not arguing what a Terry stop is. I’m simply telling you what a Terry stop is. You’re free to not like the fact, but that doesn’t have the slightest impact on the fact.

As for your NYPD reference, you need to focus. A Terry stop ALLOWS cuffing, it doesn’t REQUIRE cuffing. The Baltimore were free to cuff Gray in their Terry stop of him, and NYPD is free to not cuff someone they want to Terry stop on the street. Both are good Terry stops.

“This guy was arrested for avoiding the police and came out a corpse. It’s a given that the officers will escape punishment – the actual death wasn’t on camera.”

It’s not a criminal offense of a police officer if a clumsy oaf of a convict street-level drug dealer falls over, bumps his head, and dies. So far that’s at least as likely an explanation of Gray’s death than is second-degree depraved heart murder, which would have to be proven to every member of a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

THAT’S why you won’t get a conviction on that charge. You haven’t the necessary evidence.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Midwest Rhino | May 6, 2015 at 11:29 am

Here is the map with the various stops all listed. I’m sure Google maps could give a street view.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bal-map-freddie-gray-arrest-timeline-20150421-htmlstory.html

From Andrew’s OTHER blog, where he discusses the press release he provides as an update here…

“There’s only one take-home message possible from Mosby’s pronouncement yesterday.

Well, two.

She really knows very little–perhaps nothing–about the practice of criminal law and the Constitutional right to due process.

She’s got nothing substantive with which to support these charges–increasingly appearing to be utterly ridiculous–brought in such a reckless and self-serving manner against these six police officers.”

Coupla thangs…

1. Let’s have Miss Marilyn provide some shore-nuff “ethical” codes AND rulings on them in support of her attempt to suppress information in this case.

2. As I’ve said before, this has Sharpton’s lil’ cloven hoof prints all over it. It is increasingly apparent he pwnd a weak, overly-ambitious, and ideological lawyer into stepping out on the courthouse steps and making a human sacrifice to appease the mob.

She didn’t have the snap to see SHE was the sacrifice…!!!

Poor lamb…

    Eskyman in reply to Ragspierre. | May 7, 2015 at 3:54 am

    In the movies it’s always the beautiful young virgin that is to be the sacrifice, thrown into the cauldron of boiling lava in the volcano, with high dramatics and broad gestures, much emoting amidst chaotic scenes.

    My first impression of young Mosby was that she was quite lovely, physically; my second impression was that her beauty wouldn’t last, as she was very ugly inside.

    So I conclude that she is a worthy sacrifice, and I will waive the virgin requirement without investigation.

    Toss the bitch!

      Ragspierre in reply to Eskyman. | May 7, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      She’s a convenience food. A self-basting lamb.

      She set the plank and now will stupidly walk it.

Char Char Binks | May 6, 2015 at 11:36 am

Has Mosby ever lost a case? If so, she’s guilty of unlawful prosecution. Obama’s Lynch mob needs to get on this case.

CNN was just letting their bias show when they were discussing the legality of the knife. Not one mention was made that the knife was illegal in Baltimore City. They were going on what Mosby said as the gospel truth. Sycophants…

    Char Char Binks in reply to Arby. | May 6, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    They keep missing the relevant points: The police were BALTIMORE police, not state police, the arrest happened in BALTIMORE, not in the Maryland countryside, the far more important question of lawfulness concerns the ARREST, not the KNIFE, and the knife was definitely illegal under Baltimore law, and probably, but irrelevantly, under state law.

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Char Char Binks. | May 6, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      Just to pick some nits. The arrest would have been legal if the knife had violated U.S., MD, county, or city law. Here, it appears to have been illegal under Baltimore city law, and, thus, her statement that it was not illegal under MD law was irrelevant. Gray was arrested for violating Baltimore law, not MD law, and the prosecutor should have known and understood that (esp. since the arrest document shows a citation to Baltimore law).

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Char Char Binks. | May 6, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      “They keep missing the relevant points:”

      “They keep purposefully ignoring relevant points to protect the narrative.”

      There I fixed it for you.

What a face of hate. But then, that is the face of the left.

She fits right in.

Hmmm…..Knife sounds a lot like Nifong.

At what point do the cops get their payday for being subject to this political theatre?

We are talking about lives and careers that are being ruined. At some point she’s got to stand for the damage being caused and the actual victims made right.

I’m so sick of all this. We just lost an officer in Coeur d’Alene yesterday – shot to death by a 26 year old man with a history of assaulting the police. When is this country going to acknowledge that the police are the victims of the social decay that is infecting this country. And now they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

My son is a LEO. His first assignment was in N. California near the coast which is a haven for marijuana growers and meth heads. That assignment changed him so much. He said to me one time that he had to come home to the Bay Area once in a while to remind himself that people have teeth. That assignment was eye opening to him. Fortunately he is in the Bay Area now and he is with the Highway Patrol so he isn’t dealing with a lot of evil people, just stupid ones. But evil is out there on the road and I worry about him every day. I worry about the evil getting him in more ways than one. It is hard to not be cynical about your fellow human beings when you have to deal with the dregs of the earth that law enforcement must deal with. I would dare any of the critics of law enforcement to go spend a month in their shoes. I’m not advocating for police violence. I’ve told my son the day he feels the urge to get violent should be the day he looks for a desk job. I pray for him and his fellow officers every day. We don’t understand the world they live in.

    JoAnne in reply to JoAnne. | May 6, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    To the idiot who is down ticking every one – Either state your grievance with my post or go away. You are part of the problem, not part of the solution. The day YOU have to pull mangled bodies out of wrecked cars, try to calm screaming children who just saw the body of their dead mother being cut out of a car, held sobbing parents whose child was just hit by a car, been shot at by a sniper on highway 101, arrested a man for beating the tar out of his wife, tried to stop a meth-fueled 20 year old woman from diving off a cliff into the Eel river to her death – you will never know what law enforcement goes through. Get a life, twerp.

      Marcus in reply to JoAnne. | May 6, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      superb smackdown, JoAnne 😀 😀 😀

        JoAnne in reply to Marcus. | May 7, 2015 at 12:20 am

        Thanks!

          Eskyman in reply to JoAnne. | May 7, 2015 at 4:03 am

          Excellent putdown JoAnne!

          It’s bittersweet to think that LI has become so popular that it’s attracting more and more moronic trolls; I think we’re up to 6 now. Regulars, that is.

          Too bad hardly any of this sans-cojones crowd will even attempt to argue their disagreement. They’d rather hide & throw crap when they think they won’t be caught. Sorta like the rioters, come to think of it!

      Gremlin1974 in reply to JoAnne. | May 6, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      God Bless you for supporting your sons service and God Bless your son for his service, may he watch over you both and keep your boy safe.

        JoAnne in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 7, 2015 at 12:19 am

        I’m sorry, I accidentally hit the thumbs down trying to hit the reply button. I just wanted to thank you for your kind words. Means a lot to this mom.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to JoAnne. | May 7, 2015 at 6:41 am

          Better watch out, if you start competing with the professional thumbs downers they might get mad and file a complaint. LOL! 🙂

          amwick in reply to JoAnne. | May 7, 2015 at 7:13 am

          This has happened to me, especially when using a tablet. I can switch back to a laptop I suppose, but I cannot switch my fat fingers.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JoAnne. | May 6, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      JoAnne, I completely understand and agree with what you’re saying. I worked LE in NorCal many years. It’s a very, very dangerous place for reasons too numerous to count.

      I would uptick your posts 10,000 times if I could.

      Bravo to you for stating so well the truth of what LE faces daily. People generally have no idea of the heinous inhumanity, depravity and foolishness LE in NorCal and elsewhere see pretty much daily, and the CHP deal with some of the absolute worst of it.

      May God keep your son safe from all harm.

One aspect of this case is that no one, especially the Baltimore State’s Attorney, has fully explained. Where are the Grand Jury proceedings? One would think that in a high profile case, like this one, there would be a Grand Jury empaneled to sort out the facts and render a true bill or a no bill. Thus, they rushed to file charges that in their minds would solve the whole problem of the rioting. I think that the State’s Attorney and Al Sharpton did not want what happened in Ferguson and New York City again. That is the Grand Jury found that the state did not have a credible case and no billed.

    mariner in reply to Stan25. | May 6, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Where are the Grand Jury proceedings? One would think that in a high profile case, like this one, there would be a Grand Jury empaneled to sort out the facts and render a true bill or a no bill.

    Exactly. Especially for a charge of depraved heart murder.

    I think that the State’s Attorney and Al Sharpton did not want what happened in Ferguson and New York City again.

    I think Sharpton wants exactly what happened in Ferguson and New York City–and as many other places as he can incite it.

      Stan25 in reply to mariner. | May 6, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      Let me clarify a bit on a statement. When I made the statement that the State’s Attorney and Al Sharpton did not want happened in Ferguson and New York City to happen again, I meant the Grand jury no billing the accused and thus, letting them walk. They want these cops to hang (metaphorically) and they will do anything legal or extra-legal to see that happens.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Stan25. | May 6, 2015 at 5:26 pm

        I believe you are spot on. That is the only reason I can see for a prosecutor to bring such serious charges against police officers themselves without overwhelming evidence of wrong doing. They knew that if this went to a Grand Jury that they had very little to no chance to get an indictment.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Stan25. | May 6, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    You give Mosby far too much credit.

    I don’t think you have a clue about the larger political goals behind these arrests.

      I fear you are correct.

      Reports indicate that pResident Obama has had a lot of private meetings with that humble man of the people, the Rev. Al Sharpton. To discuss Urban Renewal, no doubt.

      Pictures show both of them grinning broadly; enjoying themselves. Great pals, they are.

      Hmm. I wonder who the little emaciated emancipator cheeping in Moseby’s ear could be. I wonder what he might be saying.

      “Burn, baby, burn. Burn it all down.”

      Was that the whisper?

I want greater precision on “acting suspiciously.” That is conclusory. What crime was he suspected of committing at that time? This was all before any knife was discovered, and led to its discovery.

    It doesn’t matter a whit what you WANT, it only matters what the law REQUIRES. And that’s damned little–a mere “reasonable suspicion.”

    Reasonable suspicion simply means a suspicion based on reason, meaning the inference from evidence and not mere speculation.

    A known drug-dealer on a known drug-market block who flees at speed upon observing the presence of police officers is MORE than sufficient to constitute reasonable suspicion.

    Once the Terry stop took place, the people visually observed a knife clipped in his pocket, no frisk necessary to find it (although a frisk would have been permissible as part of the Terry stop).

    The officers then reasonably concluded (as the police department Task Force would similarly conclude in reviewing their actions) that the knife was of a mechanism prohibited by the Baltimore City Code thus making its possessor subject to arrest.

    Boom, probable cause for the arrest.

    This is not rocket science.

    –Andrew, @LawSelf Defense

      TX-rifraph in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 6, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      The cops have seconds to make an inference and decide what actions to take. And, there is a risk of people getting hurt whether they act or do not act. They do not work in a faculty lounge.

      Thank you Andrew for your patience in clearly explaining this.

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 6, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks for the clarification. I had assumed that the police had discovered the knife through a pat down. So, I argued above how that would not only be legal, but required by policy in many jurisdictions. But, apparently, it never even got to the pat down stage.

        Oh, I’m sure there was a pat down. Cops would be fools not to.

        But the knife in question was observed clipped to the pocket, and visible to casual observation without need for a pat down.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Char Char Binks in reply to pdxnag. | May 6, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Its not at all conclusory; the cops fully explained their reasons, all of which, if true, are valid. And they don’t need anything close to proof at the arrest stage, only probable cause. They also don’t need to be robots, incapable of noticing body language, demeanor or suspicious actions, as so many of their critics seem to demand. And all that stuff Andrew said.

    Milhouse in reply to pdxnag. | May 6, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    The reasonable suspicion necessary to justify stopping someone does not need to be articulable, let alone specific. It’s enough that it was reasonable for the policemen to suspect that he had done something illegal; they didn’t need to know what. The requirement for an articulable reason to believe that he has committed a specific offense doesn’t arise until they arrest him, by which time it appears now that they had that.

      CalFed in reply to Milhouse. | May 6, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      “The reasonable suspicion necessary to justify stopping someone does not need to be articulable, let alone specific.”

      I believe you are wrong on the “articulable” issue. The reasonable suspicion does need to be articulable, but it need not be crime specific.

      A typical example would be an officer hears a blood curdling female scream and then sees a man running away from the area that the scream came from. He must articulate these facts to establish “reasonable suspicion”, but he need not identify a specific crime that his suspicion attaches to.

        Indeed, reasonable suspicion MUST be articulable.

        Being articulable is what differentiates it from a “hunch,” or “everyone knows black people steal stuff.”

        But what need be articulable is merely the basis for suspicion, not an explicit crime.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          dystopia in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 6, 2015 at 8:38 pm

          How can you blame readers of this blog for having trouble with the concept of reasonable suspicion if the Baltimore prospector does?

          I dare say that every judge, law enforcement officer, criminal defense attorney and all but one prosecutor in the nation have a good grasp of reasonable suspicion.

      gregjgrose in reply to Milhouse. | May 6, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      What?!

      Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard of proof in United States law that is less than probable cause, the legal standard for arrests and warrants, but more than an “inchoate and unparticularized suspicion or ‘hunch'”;[1] it must be based on “specific and articulable facts”, “taken together with rational inferences from those facts”,[2] and the suspicion must be associated with the specific individual.[3]

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasonable_suspicion

    Gremlin1974 in reply to pdxnag. | May 6, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Look at it this way. You drive into your driveway and see 2 guys at your front window looking into your home. Upon seeing you they bolt like scalded dogs. Wouldn’t you be “reasonably suspicious” that they were up to no good?

    That is almost exactly what happened here. A known felon, with a history of selling drugs in the very area that this occurred, who was most likely on some type of probationary status due to pending charges was in what could have been a drug transaction. Upon seeing the cops he bolted like a scalded dog. So why should the cops be any less reasonably suspicious of Gray’s behavior.

    What it comes down to is that in most cases innocent people don’t run.

      Ragspierre in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 6, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      I’ve often thought the same thing about joggers…

      Something VERY wrong there.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2015 at 5:28 pm

        I agree, running for fun is every wrong, lol!

          Eskyman in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 7, 2015 at 4:23 am

          If I were to go running on the beach… women would gather their children and hold them close; brave men would blanch and look for the massive evil that must be pursuing me; girls would scream and clutch themselves, while looking to escape; the very ocean would recede, and tsunami may result.

          So I don’t go running on the beach.

          Never did understand that jogging thing.

        platypus in reply to Ragspierre. | May 6, 2015 at 6:41 pm

        Rags, you da man!

        Bruce Hayden in reply to Ragspierre. | May 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm

        I have always found it interesting that mountain lions tend to consider anything running away from them to be prey. No surprise, a couple decades ago, a jogger west of Denver in the foothills was taken by a mountain lion. It was a guy, so probably could have scared the cat away, if given the chance. But he wasn’t.

          Ragspierre in reply to Bruce Hayden. | May 7, 2015 at 12:49 pm

          “Soft and pink, with no horns, antlers or NUTIN’. An’ it’s like they can’t hear or smell us AT ALL!

          “I tell you, cat, this is eating. You gotta get one of these things!”

    Crapgame13 in reply to pdxnag. | May 7, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Illinois v. Wardlow

    -Reasonable suspicion justifying a Terry stop is met in this situation. Determination of reasonable suspicion has to be based on commonsense inferences about human behavior, and officers are justified in suspecting that defendant was involved in criminal activity based on his flight and the fact that he was in a high crime area.

    -Officers are not required to ignore relevant characteristics of a location in determining whether further investigation is warranted.

    -Headlong flight is suggestive of wrongdoing.

    there is a good reason as to why trolls are so dumb…. and your comment explains with all clarity why it is that trolls tend to write stuff without first thinking it through.

    If I make no sense then I suggest people look at the absurd nonsense written by this troll.

    A known felon, a petty drug dealer is seen by 2 police who are on patrol in an area where they know that drug deals are being performed. The known felon and the person with him both run. The police who had seen the pair interacting chase the known felon.

    I would think that the suspicion of an illegal drug deal would be sufficient to give chase and arrest this known drug dealer felon.

Char Char Binks | May 6, 2015 at 1:44 pm

Mosby said Gray’s knife was legal under Maryland law, a red herring which may or may not be true, so why didn’t she also say it wasn’t a bazooka, a stolen diamond, or a kidnapped child? Aren’t those statements also true, and just as relevant to the question of whether or not Gray’s arrest was lawful?

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to Char Char Binks. | May 6, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    If she had it evaluated only according to Maryland law, not Baltimore law, that could be because she was taking suggestions and guidance from the Gray family attorney.

    But she should know what the law is and that there may be a difference between Maryland law and Baltimore law. She spent 5-6 years in the state’s attorney’s office (circa 2005-2011) some of that as a prosecutor, even if she’s not extremely familiar with knife carrying law.If she had it evaluated only according to Maryland law, not Baltimore law, that could be because she was taking suggestions and guidance from the Gray family attorney.

    But she should know what the law is and that there may be a difference between Maryland law and Baltimore law. She spent 5-6 years in the state’s attorney’s office (circa 2005-2011) some of that as a prosecutor, even if she’s not extremely familiar with knife carrying law.

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | May 6, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      Right now, on this machine, my comments, did not get posted, and others have complained about this from time to time. One clue may be that the Post Comment or Submit button does not look right but is the two words are superimposed on each other.

      When this happens, comments can still be posted as a reply.

      Now in the last one, I wrote something short, and put it in the clipboard before attempting to send it. It didn’t post, and then I sent it as a reply, but I seem to have managed to paste it into the comment box twice so my words are repeated.

      . Now it looks like I cut my last attempt, and then pasted it twice.

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | May 6, 2015 at 8:21 pm

      The thing that bothers me a bit is that the Statement of Charges (Above) refers to statute 19 59 22, which turns out to be a cite to Article 19, Section 59-21 of the Baltimore Code, which is what AB cited above (reproduced here for convenience):
      § 59-22. 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 or
      other device for opening and/or closing the blade, commonly known as a switch-blade knife.
      (b) Penalties.
      Any person violating the provisions of this section, shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not
      more than $500 or be imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both, in the discretion of the court.

      The Statement of Charges has the same date and case number as the Application for Statement of Charges and a Summons or Warrant. This is pretty obvious notice to the state prosecutor that Gray was being charged under Baltimore, not MD, law. It is hard to fathom how she could have believed that Gray was being charged under the latter, but that is precisely the argument she made, that Gray had not violated MD law.

        Char Char Binks in reply to Bruce Hayden. | May 6, 2015 at 11:16 pm

        The fact that she said it is no proof that she believed it.

          Bruce Hayden in reply to Char Char Binks. | May 7, 2015 at 9:55 am

          True, but I assume that she is engaging in legally ethical behavior, which knowingly making a false statement would not be. Call me naive, but I like to give attorneys the benefit of the doubt, until I know better. I actually do believe that attorneys are more honest than the average citizenry. Again, call me naive, but I have spent my lifetime around them.

          Bruce Hayden in reply to Char Char Binks. | May 7, 2015 at 10:01 am

          Maybe I should make my previous point a bit more clear. We have essentially two choices. Either she is dumb/wrong, or is dishonest. I chose the former, instead of the latter, because I continue to believe that law is a noble profession. Though, here, it may be a bit hard to impute minimal competence, given that she should have had the Gray charging documents in front of her when she charged the officers. On the flip side, she must have known that people would read those documents and try to second guess her actions (which, at a minimum, the officers’ defense attorneys would be duty bound to do). Which may bring us back to the evils of affirmative action….

          Ragspierre in reply to Char Char Binks. | May 7, 2015 at 11:47 am

          I’ve found that dumb/incompetent attorneys adopt dishonesty as a means to stay in the game. They are the very worst litigation opponents because they can manage to cheat and blunder their way into a “win”, where an honest, competent attorney would have short-stopped the same wobbler of a case with some negotiation in the best interests of their client.

          “…because I continue to believe that law is a noble profession.”

          I think you are correct as long as you get outside the big city. Inside, those cities were long ago taken over by a corrupt cabal of democrats and unions, and honesty and competence were the losers.

Sammy Finkelman | May 6, 2015 at 2:55 pm

I think the lawyer for Edward Nero may have asked to look at the knife, because they are wondering if the knife the State’s Attorney has is even the knife that Freddie Gray was carrying.

This case is so controversial with so many bad things happening related to it, that a switch is possible, altough you may still think other explanations for why the State’s Attorney’s declared the knife legal are more likely. (for instance, that the person who evaluated whether the knife was legal didn’t see the knife.)

The State’s Attorney did not say what kind of a knife it was, and it is perfectly possible that whoever described the knife is being accused of lying about it.

Of course, maybe a simple explanation may be that the Gray family attorney, who also was one of the people who helpled the prosdecutor in her campaign, may possibly have suggested this, and her evaluate it only according to Maryland law, not Baltimore law. Of course she spent about 5 to 6 years in the State Attorney’s office, (circa 2005-2011) some of it as a prosecutor, so she should know what the law is, and that’s there’s a Maryland law and there’s a Baltimore law.

We shall see what becomes of this.

So I think Nero’s attorney would like to nail that down as what the basis is of the claim that the knife was legal.

Sammy Finkelman | May 6, 2015 at 2:59 pm

If she had it evaluated only according to Maryland law, not Baltimore law, that could be because she was taking suggestions and guidance from the Gray family attorney.

But she should know what the law is and that there may be a difference between Maryland law and Baltimore law. She spent 5-6 years in the state’s attorney’s office (circa 2005-2011) some of that as a prosecutor, even if she’s not extremely familiar with knife carrying law.

Sammy Finkelman | May 6, 2015 at 3:03 pm

My comments, when posted not as a reply did not get posted. Now it looks like I cut my last attempt, and then pasted it twice.

Richard Aubrey | May 6, 2015 at 4:19 pm

If, as seems likely, this case falls apart due to its lack of…existence, the mob is not likely to grasp there’s no there there.
So we’ll see another iteration of the post-exoneration riots.
Which we wouldn’t have if the whole thing hadn’t been started in the first place.
Am I being too suspicious when I suggest this was designed to provoke yet another riot? Plus a call for federalizing the cops?
IOW, without this, the city might have been rioted out. Can’t have that.

Gremlin1974 | May 6, 2015 at 5:06 pm

“Prosecutor Mosby claims that at this point Gray requested an inhaler, and was not provided one. She does not indicate her evidence for this claim, nor whether the officers or Gray even had an inhaler in their possession that they could have offered Gray, nor whether the officers have a legal duty–or are even medically qualified–to provide medical assistance to a suspect.”

This could also be a major issue for the prosecutors charges. Many states have very strict guidelines as to who can administer or even assist with the administration of medications. Here in Arkansas most cops are trained in nothing more than first aid/CPR neither of which teaches nor certifies the person to assist with and/or administer medications.

After talking to a couple of LEO friends of mine both state and federal they were clear that there were policies in place that forbid unlicensed personnel from giving medications. Now most of these guys would probably help someone with an inhaler, however they would be perfectly right for not helping with medications, considering they most likely do not have the training to know what they are doing.

Even if Gray did have an inhaler and requested it (neither of which has been substantiated) then they aren’t necessarily wrong for not giving it to Gray.

There is also the question of if the “inhaler”, if it existed, was even a prescription inhaler. I have seen druggies put cocaine into Vicks Nasal inhalers and carry them around, so the “inhaler” might have been an over the counter product and in that case they had absolutely no obligation to provide it to Gray.

I did some cursory checking on Maryland’s medication administration laws and they seem to be somewhat more strict than the ones here in Arkansas so I would imagine most cops view towards medications is very hands off, unless they are putting it into an evidence bag.

Gremlin1974 | May 6, 2015 at 5:08 pm

“The organized Task Force composed of senior department officers with access to specialized knowledge and the opportunity to examine the knife in complete safety and at their leisure concluded, as the arresting officers had, that the knife was unlawful. That makes laughable any argument that the officer’s own conclusion under stress to that effect was unreasonable on its face.”

This seems like a question the knifes manufacture could answer toot-sweet.

MouseTheLuckyDog | May 6, 2015 at 5:32 pm

As I have pointed out before, it is my belief the whole pretense of “illegal arrest” is pushed so that Mosby does not just charge the black officers. IOT would be polical suicide to charge the bacl cops but not the white ones.

With the stunt of withholding the knife but making unwarranted and incorrect claims about it, it’s pretty clear that SA Mosby wants to try this in the press on her terms, not on her opponents terms.

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury” None of the crimes thte officers are charged with are capital, but certainly manslaughter counts as an “otherwise infamous crime”. Due to circumstance, I think it could reasonably be argued that all charged crimes are infamous. If for any reason there is a conviction on any count, the first appeal should be to have the verdict thrown out because the trial itself was unconstitutional. Of course, I’m not a lawyer. Just someone who believes that the Constitution is not all that difficult to read and unsderstand.

Richard Aubrey | May 7, 2015 at 4:14 pm

IMO, Mosby presumes correctly that the red herring wrt Maryland law will be sunk into the relevant skulls as gospel and isn’t ever going to be removed or corrected. Mission accomplished.
Not a goof, in other words.

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