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Freddie Gray Case: Meet Prosecutor Mosby’s Lead Investigator

Freddie Gray Case: Meet Prosecutor Mosby’s Lead Investigator

Lead Investigator ex-cop Mackel had been stripped of command, tasered by SWAT

One of the interesting facets of the charges brought in the Freddie Gray case is that even at the earliest stages it appears that Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby was running an independent investigation in parallel with that of the Baltimore Police Department.

Naturally, any investigation has a lead, and so it seems worthwhile to ask who Mosby assigned to that sensitive and responsibility-burdened position for her own investigative team.

This is, after all, the man who generated the evidence presumably used by Mosby in bringing her 26 charges–including second-degree depraved-heart murder and manslaughter–against six Baltimore officers associated with the death of street-level drug dealer Freddie Gray.

Legal Insurrection, I introduce you to Avon Mackel. Let’s roll the video tape from Anderson Cooper on CNN:

As an aside, how typical it is that the Progressive propagandist journalist Anderson Cooper’s take-home message from this report is to question the motives of those who “leaked” this factual public information as opposed to questioning the motives and judgment of Mosby for appointing such an apparent loon to lead her “investigation.”

For those not in an immediate position to watch the video above, or those disinclined to watch CNN in general, here’s the gist of that reporting:

Mr. Mackel used to be a high-ranking Baltimore police officer, according to CNN.

Well, until things went horribly wrong.

In 2009 Mackel was stripped of his command position because of a grievous failure to follow through on allegations of a mishandled robbery investigation by two of his officers.

In addition, according to that same CNN report the Baltimore Sun newspaper reported that police in Mackel’s district were falsely “down-classifying” crimes in order to suggest crime rates were lower than was actually the case–and to make Mackel look more effective as a crime-fighter than he was.

But it gets even more interesting.

Four months after his demotion, Mackel engaged in a drunken gun-wielding incident at his home of sufficient severity that the Baltimore County police department sent in their SWAT team. Mackel was non-compliant with officers and obviously (the responding officers reported) intoxicated.

Despite being tasered by the SWAT team, the armed and intoxicated Mackel managed to barricade himself in his bedroom.

After that, the police record apparently gets vague, without any clear explanation for how the incident ended.

For some bizarre reason–I am shocked, SHOCKED!–Mackel was not arrested following these remarkable events.

I rather expect that if I had engaged in the same behavior in Baltimore County an arrest–if only to secure my assessment by psychiatric personnel–would have been effected post haste.

But who am I to speculate.

In any case, that’s the guy Prosecutor Mosby assigned to lead her investigative team assigned to the Freddie Gray death.

Make of that what you will.  I can assure you that’s exactly what defense counsel will do, with barely concealed glee.  In particular: Is it not possible that Mackel has an axe to grind with the Baltimore Police department that shamed him?

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


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Comments

Spiny Norman | May 10, 2015 at 7:36 pm

“Send in the clowns” is just a figure of speech, Baltimore, not a policy! Dammit.

Why do I keep checking the URL to be sure I am not reading The Onion?

In the urban bilge that is twenty first century
Baltimore a Court will likely rule that this information is inadmissible even for purposes of impeachment.

You don’t actually expect a fair trial before the lynching (err I mean Justice for Freddie Gray)?

    great unknown in reply to dystopia. | May 10, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Methinks this is going to be a federal suit, with the grubby hands of the Baltimore [legal] cesspool far away.
    And as the Seventh Circuit just pointed out, there is no immunity for swearing to a false warrant. Even for prosecutors.

    So if the state’s attorney made false statements on the arrest warrants, good-bye Baltimore budget for the next decade.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to dystopia. | May 11, 2015 at 12:26 am

    “…before the lynching Lynching.”

    There, fixed it.

“I rather expect that if I had engaged in the same behavior in Baltimore County an arrest–if only to secure my assessment by psychiatric personnel–would have been effected post haste.”

If you resisted a SWAT team to the point of being Tasered and then barricaded yourself into a room the chances are better than even you would have ended up on a slab, dramatically reducing the need for a psych eval.

    I would hope so. 🙂

    For some reason, SWAT didn’t even bother with a measly arrest in the case of Avon Mackel, even after the displayed handgun, failed taser, barricade events.

    Man, those white dudes get ALL the breaks from de man.

    Wait, what?

    Oh.

    Never mind.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    DaveGinOly in reply to xdevildog. | May 11, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Any other armed subject who failed to respond to commands to drop a weapon would have been shot – no taser involved at all.

Holy Mackel. Something smells fishy.

Meet Freddie Gray’s Arresting Officer:

“The Baltimore police lieutenant charged with the manslaughter of Freddie Gray allegedly threatened to kill himself and the husband of his ex-girlfriend, during incidents that led to him being disciplined and twice having his guns confiscated.

“Brian Rice, who pursued and arrested Gray after the 25-year-old “caught his eye” on 12 April, was reportedly given an administrative suspension after being hospitalised for a mental health evaluation when he warned he was preparing to shoot himself in April 2012.”

(The Guardian)

    What would be the relevance of Rice’s three years prior mental health crises to his arrest of Freddie Mack?

    Don’t see it.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Why would these 3 year old incidents by the officer responsible for instigating the Freddie Gray arrest be any more relevant than the 6 year old incidents by the man charged with investigating the case? I don’t know. This whole case is already a farce in all aspects from start to finish, but if we’re going to start admitting character assassinations as evidence, both sides should get to play.

      http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/05/freddie-gray-baltimore-police-brian-rice

      https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2072504-lt-brian-rice-peace-order-complaint.html

      The Baltimore police lieutenant charged with the manslaughter of Freddie Gray allegedly threatened to kill himself and the husband of his ex-girlfriend, during incidents that led to him being disciplined and twice having his guns confiscated.

      Brian Rice, who pursued and arrested Gray after the 25-year-old “caught his eye” on 12 April, was reportedly given an administrative suspension after being hospitalised for a mental health evaluation when he warned he was preparing to shoot himself in April 2012.

      Rice, 41, also received an internal discipline when a judge granted a temporary restraining order against him after a request from Andrew McAleer, the husband of Karyn McAleer, who is the mother of Rice’s young son and a fellow Baltimore police officer. Rice has been married to and divorced from two further women, according to court records.

      A sharply critical 10-page complaint against Rice, which Andrew McAleer filed to a court in Maryland in January 2013, is being published in full for the first time by the Guardian. It details what McAleer, a Baltimore firefighter, described as a “pattern of intimidation and violence” by the officer.

      McAleer said in his court filing, which was first reported by the Guardian last month, that Rice forced one of Karyn McAleer’s young children to “shoot” a photograph of her and her husband that Rice had “taped to a piece of cardboard intended for target practice”.

      Deputies from the Carroll County sheriff’s department responded to an emergency call and transported Rice to a hospital, before confiscating his police service weapon, his personal 9mm handgun, two rifles and two shotguns.

      It is unclear how long Rice spent as a patient. The police response to an incident at Rice’s home was first reported earlier this month by the Associated Press, which said it resulted in an administrative suspension from Baltimore police.

      Rice was allegedly given another administrative suspension and had his guns confiscated again eight months later, according to court filings, after McAleer obtained the week-long peace order against the police lieutenant.

      Rice was ordered to stay away from McAleer, his home and his workplace after a series of alleged confrontations, including one armed standoff in June 2012 when officers from two police departments responded to a 911 call and spent 90 minutes defusing the situation.

      McAleer alleged Rice was screaming and smelled of alcohol during the 2am confrontation in front of McAleer’s house. He said his wife later said Rice had told her he planned to kill McAleer during the June 2012 encounter.

      “I witnessed Brian Rice remove a black semi-automatic handgun from the trunk of his vehicle,” wrote McAleer, who said officers from Carroll County sheriff’s department and Westminster police department arrived after he called 911.

      ————————————–

        Right, so Rice’s three-years old mental health crises is NOT relevant to his arrest of Freddie Gray. Clearly the Baltimore Police Department believed him suited to be on active duty.

        Meanwhile, Mackel’s past confrontations with the police department–in which he triggered a SWAT response through acts of violence, threatened them with a gun, was non-compliant with lawful orders, was tased, demoted then fired–IS relevant to the credibility of his investigation into that department.

        Rice: No prior interaction whatever between Rice and Gray, and no reason to believe his three-years old mental health crises had anything to do with his arrest of Gray.

        Mackel: Substantial prior interaction between Mackel and BPD, to the catastrophic professional harm of Mackel, and every reason to believe this would leave Mackel with an axe to grind against the department.

        See? It’s not that hard. 🙂

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          NavyMustang in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 11, 2015 at 8:43 am

          Andrew, I’m with you that Mackel has an axe to grind with BPD, but the “wrongs” you describe in this post were done by another PD, the county force, not the city.

          Lots of folks confuse the city and the county force, even here in Maryland.

          Ah, got it, thanks for that. So the SWAT stuff might be less relevant.

          That would leave us with his removal from command and alleged falsification of crime reports in his job at the Baltimore PD, however, correct?

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          NavyMustang in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 11, 2015 at 12:26 pm

          “That would leave us with his removal from command and alleged falsification of crime reports in his job at the Baltimore PD, however, correct?”

          Exactly.

          NavyMustang in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 11, 2015 at 12:37 pm

          And I don’t know if this would have any legal bearing, but Baltimore city is an “independent city.” It isn’t part of any county. I guess the biggest effect of that is that there are no moderating forces outside the city except MAYBE for the governor.

        Ragspierre in reply to 2KC. | May 11, 2015 at 9:45 am

        “Character assassination…”?

        I dunno much, if anything, about Mackel’s “character”. But his career as a LEO is certainly suggestive of his own bias, which, when coupled with the amazing incompetence of his boss and her own apparent biasesssssss, calls in to question the objectivity of their “investigation”.

        So, clear linkages are reasonable.

        With Rice, what are you proposing?

        What links do you urge to anything criminal respecting Freddie?

        m1 in reply to 2KC. | May 12, 2015 at 1:45 am

        I must say ,while I don’t think this case is a farce,I appreciate you bringing up the background of Lt Rice. Gray’s arresting officer. At least your not engaging in hypocrisy,unlike Andrew and several others. If Mackel’s background is relevant,so is Rice’s.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to m1. | May 12, 2015 at 2:24 am

          Wrong. The investigators background is relevant because of his possible bias and integrity while on the job. He was pretty obviously a bad cop.

          The officer had what was apparently a mental breakdown that lead to problems.

          There is a big difference between willfully making decisions that you know are wrong and the decisions made while under possible mental instability.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to m1. | May 12, 2015 at 2:25 am

          By the way M1 welcome back, haven’t seen you since the last verbal butt kicking you took, I think it was during the Zimmerman case. Glad to see you are back for more.

Noted with interest the tape of the arrest of Freddie clipped out the part where he stands on the step/bumper of the van and tucks himself inside.

Shades of bsNBC?

    platypus in reply to Ragspierre. | May 10, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Rags, you pay too much attention to details. There’s a meme going on here and you need to stick to it.

    Repeat after me – Freddie was fine when he went in and near dead when he came out. Police must have done it. Burn baby burn.

      healthguyfsu in reply to platypus. | May 11, 2015 at 2:14 am

      That’s not actually the narrative for the misinformed SJW. According to them, he was injured in the tackle and not treated for it.

      These special little snowflakes say the video is “proof” he can’t walk on his own…never mind the possibility of willful non-compliance, which I’m sure is quite common with arrests of this nature.

        Char Char Binks in reply to healthguyfsu. | May 11, 2015 at 11:35 am

        True, the SJW were ready to blame the injury on the “nickel ride” until they found out the driver and the other cops involved in that were black, so now were back to the racist, violent white cops injuring poor Freddie Dindunuffin in the takedown.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | May 11, 2015 at 2:39 am

    They did indeed. In their first few showings of their edited video, you can see screen hiccups where they cropped it. Pretty funny. Fortunately, there are plenty of extant photos revealing Freddie standing on his own two feet as he entered the van.

    Another amateurish NBC attempt to manipulate the narrative. Truly pathetic political fail, but this one was sort of comical. 🙂

    Char Char Binks in reply to Ragspierre. | May 11, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    But didn’t you hear the concurrent narration on the video? Gray’s leg was broke, and they draggin’ like dat? Did you see how his leg was bent? Next you’ll be claiming that Gray had knees.

      Ragspierre in reply to Char Char Binks. | May 11, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Freddie had a bright future in pantomime.

      If it’s possible for anyone to have a bright future in pantomime….

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | May 11, 2015 at 11:33 pm

        Little did Freddie know that instead of a stupendous career as a mime working a continuum of ghetto lawsuits, he instead became a mere puppet.

MouseTheLuckyDog | May 10, 2015 at 11:30 pm

Except for Cooper this is old news: so before I watch, a little story by the Baltimore Sun:http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/sun-investigates/bs-md-ci-freddie-gray-investigation-20150502-story.html#page=1

The police unit investigators were shocked by Mosby’s press conference.

dorsaighost | May 10, 2015 at 11:33 pm

any chance one of the six was on scene during the drunken incident ? could explain a motive to be this bad …

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to dorsaighost. | May 11, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    I think Mackel’s axe to grind would be with the department, not the officers on scene at his drunken barricade meltdown. The on-scene guys actually cut his psycho butt a break.

Maybe the answer is obvious, but I’m wondering at what stage the possible motive of the investigating officer comes into evidence. I understand the defense being able to raise questions about what the investigators did and did not do, and have expert witnesses on that topic. But is it going too far afield to “try” the issue of the investigator’s motive? Is that impeaching on a collateral matter, or some such thing?

    Mackel led Mosby’s investigation, which underpins her charges, so he’ll be called as a witness, a hostile witness if necessary, and he’ll sit in that witness stand and be absolutely mauled by the defense.

    Were _I_ the defense attorney of one of these officers, I expect a bear attack would be preferable to Mackel compared what he’d experience on hostile direct or cross.

    By the way, the SWAT team that responded to his house? Tasered him when he drunkenly refused to comply and waved a gun at them? Tore him out of his barricaded position in his bedroom?

    ALSO witnesses.

    THAT’S the guy who led the investigation against “my” client? REALLY? My client the Baltimore cop? The same department that deposed, tasered, humiliated this “lead investigator”?

    Yeah. Let’s think about THAT.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 11, 2015 at 12:18 am

      These charges should never see the inside of a courtroom, but a cross and re-cross of Mackel would be worth crawling over hot coals to see live. 🙂

        If it comes to that I plan to ride down to Baltimore and do everything within my very limited power to watch the proceedings live. 🙂

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 11, 2015 at 12:40 am

          You go, dude! And we, here, will expect to not have so much as a courtroom cough left out of your report. 🙂 We want the whole bloody mess served up to us like Hannibal at a cadaver fest. :tasty:

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 11, 2015 at 7:00 pm

          Somehow I just know that would make the news, lol. “Noted Self Defense Legal Expert seen in gallery at trial.”

          Andrew, do you think they will all chose to be tried together or separately, or is there even a choice?

      I understand that Mackel will be called as a witness, certainly to testify about what he did and did not do, what he instructed others to do or did not instruct others to do.
      But is it relevant why he did or did not do things? If his motive becomes an issue, then the prosecution could introduce witnesses to show his good motivation, and his motive becomes a side show. It seems arguable that the motive issue is too remote and possibly confusing to the jury. Just because he is a bad guy, does that mean he did not do a good investigation? If he is a good guy, does that mean he did do a good investigation?

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Rick. | May 11, 2015 at 12:48 am

        Mackel will be walking into the courtroom with a “When did you quit beating your wife?” hanging over his head in neon. The events of the night he was zapped, drunk and barricaded, and the circumstances under which he left the department and ended up at the prosecutor’s office, will be enough to sink him like the Titanic.

        It will be dee-licious! 🙂

          I don’t see why that is relevant. I’m not entitled to anything here, but as we beat this around I am still not seeing the relevance.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | May 11, 2015 at 1:02 am

          Life-changing personal bias. Axe to grind. Mackel got busted down by the department for pushing the officers in his district to downgrade crime reportage to make himself look better and for falsifying reports. Then he nutted up because of it. He shortly then left the department altogether.

          If you don’t see a problem with that, oh well. Whatever.

          I get the bias argument, but the question is what evidence can be introduced to show bias, especially for someone like Mackel who is not a percipient witness to what the defendants did or did not do.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | May 11, 2015 at 1:25 am

          Rick, do you know what this thread is about? Did you read Andrew’s opening post?

          Mackel is Mosby’s lead investigator for the investigation on which she has based her charges. If Mackel was biased against the mailman, it wouldn’t matter. If Mackel was biased against the butcher, it wouldn’t matter. If Mackel was biased against the ice cream truck driver, it wouldn’t matter. But bias against a department and officers you are investigating, especially as the lead, and giving that investigation report to a prosecutor to base very serious criminal charges against those officers and that department, DOES matter.

          Now, you’re starting to come off like a 4 yr. old who asks daddy question after question about why the grass is green.

          We’re done. If you really don’t get it, go learn about it. if you do, then you’re just trying to be a pain in the ass.

          I appreciate your thoughtful guidance.
          While away I attempted to look up the rules of evidence in Maryland. I was not able to get the text, but there seems to be a rule 5-403 that may permit the judge to exclude otherwise relevant evidence if it runs the risk of confusing the jury, or wasting time. I have done some reading that suggests, also, that there are limits on “impeaching on a collateral matter.” Those rules could result in the exclusion of evidence about what happened years ago in the investigator’s career.
          In a lengthy trial I suppose that the judge would want the jury to hear and see evidence about what the defendants did and did not do.
          Raising the issue of this investigator’s conduct, which it seems did not even result in him being charged with any crime, could open up that issue and allow the prosecution to put on evidence showing why he was not charged. That could amount to a little trial within a trial, which, as I understand it, rules like rule 5-403 (whose text I have not been able to read) are designed to prevent.
          As I understand it, there has to be a basis for admissibility other than “it’s just so.”

          healthguyfsu in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | May 11, 2015 at 2:18 am

          A special kind of rambler, you are.

          “I haven’t bothered to read the rule that I think will get this thrown out.”

          The Easter Bunny is also real and you are Batman.

          I would have bothered to read the rule if I could get it online, which I can’t. But the name of the rule suggests that it operates like other state’s rules of evidence, which on occasion result in the exclusion of the type of evidence we are discussing, even if it is otherwise admissible.

          Rick – for crying out loud, it goes to credibility. It goes to reasonable doubt. It goes to whether the jury should trust that his version of events is accurate and fair. It cannot be confusing to the jury because it is under cross. If the confusion was present under direct (prosecutor offering the evidence of the witness testimony), then your query would be meaningful. Cross is never per se confusing to the jury; individual lines of questioning on cross may be but would need to be made at the time. The prosecutor MUST put this witness on the stand in order to lay a foundation for the case against THIS defendant. And if there is any possibility that someone else could be the bad guy, the defense is entitled to try to prove that. If they do prove it, bingo – reasonable doubt. Client goes home.

        Hey, Ajaf7, how’s things? 🙂

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        inspectorudy in reply to Rick. | May 11, 2015 at 8:29 am

        I think one of the things Mackel did in his past is the falsifying of police reports to make his command look good. That shows that truth to him is a malleable object and he twists it to suit the occasion. Getting drunk with a gun is just routine stuff in B’more so no biggie.

          Observer in reply to inspectorudy. | May 11, 2015 at 10:27 am

          Yes, the willingness to lie on official reports directly calls into question his credibility as a witness, so those prior incidents will surely be admissible. The trier of fact will know, one way or another, that this lead investigator is a person with a sketchy past and a willingness to lie when he thinks it will benefit him in some way. So his testimony will have little, if any, usefulness to the prosecution and likely will be a big boon for the defense.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Rick. | May 11, 2015 at 7:05 pm

        It’s basically direct impeachment of a witness. Simply put the claim is that his entire investigative process is flawed because of his “Jaundiced eye” towards the department.

        I also wonder if one of these officers might have been involved in his incident?

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 11, 2015 at 12:32 am

      My understanding is that this investigative unit was assembled by Mosby specifically to investigate this incident.

      It calls into competence Mosby’s judgement to put someone in chrge with such a checkered past.

        Yes, but what does Mosby’s competence have to do with the defendant’s guilt or innocence? Is Mosby’s competence going to be an issue, along with whether Mackel is a good guy or a bad guy?
        The more we discuss this, the more it feels to me that a judge could reasonably keep all of it out of evidence. Says the judge to defense counsel: “Please introduce evidence about what the defendants did or did not do, and stop trying to run down the prosecutor and the police.”

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Rick. | May 11, 2015 at 12:54 am

          Mosby’s competence directly relates to charges being filed in the first place. She is required to have a provable case WITH evidence – real evidence. She doesn’t even have viable innuendo.

          Rick in reply to Rick. | May 11, 2015 at 2:22 am

          Right: she has to have evidence. Whether Mackel had a bad prior experience with the cops, or not, does not create evidence or refute evidence.

          If a witness’ TESTIMONY is relevant–and obviously Mackey’s investigation is key to the charges themselves–then the witness’ CREDIBILITY is relevant, and is subject to attack by opposing counsel.

          Stop. End of sentence. Period. Always.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Sorry: I should have stopped at “trying to run down the prosecutor.”

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Rick. | May 11, 2015 at 1:08 am

          Maybe your best avenue to take would be to read threads on this site relating to various cases, whether they went to trial or not, so that you have a fuller understanding of the legal issues and politics in play, court processes, rules of evidence, rules of court, etc..

          inspectorudy in reply to Rick. | May 11, 2015 at 8:35 am

          Haven’t you ever seen from televised trials where expert witnesses are vetted by the opposing sides? If you are a forensic expert for one side then the other side will ask you about your experiences and how you are qualified to be an expert witness. There have been many experts dismissed from duty because of a poor background. If ever there was a bad background it would be Mackel’s.

    Milhouse in reply to Rick. | May 11, 2015 at 12:23 am

    I would think it goes to the credibility of his findings. Just because he says he found evidence doesn’t mean it’s true.

      Rick in reply to Milhouse. | May 11, 2015 at 12:34 am

      I don’t see why his findings are relevant to the guilt or innocence of the defendants. Guilt or innocence, I suppose, should turn on what the factual evidence introduced at trial shows. I doubt that the prosecution will be introducing a document that lists Mackel’s findings, but I don’t know much about criminal procedure.

        healthguyfsu in reply to Rick. | May 11, 2015 at 2:22 am

        I don’t see how you can repeatedly reply with the same nonsense over and over when you even admit you don’t know what you are talking about.

        Then again, it’s the internet…you’ve got the time to look stupid.

          Gosh, those thumbs down really hurt.

          healthguyfsu in reply to healthguyfsu. | May 11, 2015 at 8:08 am

          I didn’t bother to down thumb you passive aggressively; I went straight to the point to explain how assinine it is to post the same thing over and over, while admittedly not knowing what you are talking about.

          What you are suggesting would be akin to excluding the character evidence against Mark Ferman in the OJ criminal trial. It’s NGTH in a federal court.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Rick. | May 11, 2015 at 7:11 pm

        “I don’t see why his findings are relevant to the guilt or innocence of the defendants.”

        Huh? Seriously? He was the frappin lead investigator his “findings” are at the heart of the charges against these men. His “findings” most likely comprise the heart of the “evidence” against them, such as it may be.

        Milhouse in reply to Rick. | May 12, 2015 at 4:09 am

        The prosecution evidence will be his findings. Therefore they will only be as credible as he is.

      Rick in reply to Milhouse. | May 11, 2015 at 2:29 am

      Nice talk.
      Maybe you can supply what seems to you to be an easy answer to the question: Of what relevance is it that Mackel may have had a prior run-in with the cops? Huffing and puffing, and calling names, is not a basis for admissibility as far as I know. But, again, I have not read the Maryland rules of evidence, but I suppose you have.

        Milhouse in reply to Rick. | May 12, 2015 at 6:31 am

        It seems pretty obvious to this non-lawyer. “Your honor, Mr Mackels says he found this [piece of evidence that proves my client guilty], but I think he’s lying, I think he didn’t find it at all, and I’m going to ask the jury to share my disbelief, so I need to show them why he would do such a thing.”

    Ragspierre in reply to Rick. | May 11, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    The more we discuss this, the more it feels to me that a judge could reasonably keep all of it out of evidence. Says the judge to defense counsel: “Please introduce evidence about what the defendants did or did not do, and stop trying to run down the prosecutor and the police.”
    ————————————————-

    At which point, any competent defense counsel will respectfully ask that those instructions be made very clear on the record.

    “Your Honor, in order to make sure I understand your instructions, do I understand you to say that I may not examine the State’s witnesses respecting possible bias? Is it also your instruction that I may not examine them with regard to their experience and competence?”

    What do you think? Reversible error on the part of the judge? Or does your imaginary judge back the fluck off?

      If Mackel was demoted or fired for falsifying official records I don’t see how that’s kept from the jury if he’s testifying, and I don’t see how as the lead investigator of Mosby’s charges he doesn’t testify.

      Such demonstrable misconduct clearly goes to credibility and (in this particular case) potential bias against the department he was investigating, and thus is relevant to the jury’s assessment of his testimony.

      Of course a judge can decide whatever the judge wants to decide, but given Mackel’s central role in the case excluding this challenge to his credibility would certainly seem reversible error to me.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Ragspierre in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 11, 2015 at 1:11 pm

        Damn straight. And an immediate motion for mistrial would seem real appropriate.

        One of the things trial counsel does is offer judges the opportunity to create reversible error on the record. A few judges take up the chance with gusto, but they’re pretty rare. This case will be tried…I both expect and hope…by a seasoned judge who would never issue such instructions as Rick imagines.

          Rick in reply to Ragspierre. | May 11, 2015 at 4:32 pm

          I share your hope, but I don’t know what to expect in that jurisdiction, especially if Mosby is in any way typical of Maryland’s public servants.
          I attach one example of the use of a judge’s discretionary power to exclude evidence. Of course, ever case is different. The attached rulings went both ways and do not indicate how similar issues would be decided in a trial is this matter. This type of exercise of judicial discretion generally is tough to overcome on appeal.
          http://simpson.walraven.org/golden.html

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | May 11, 2015 at 5:29 pm

          Despite the fact those are holdings by judge Ito…who lost control of his trial and court in the O.J. trial…I think those are pretty solid rulings in limine. You are not expected to understand what that means. It doesn’t mean that those subjects can NEVER be examined at trial. I means that they will require a showing that, in the course of trial, they ARE necessary before they can be pursued.

          And I hope you can see that those rulings are readily distinguished from the topics being discussed here. There really is no rational relationship to a stupid…perhaps boozy…statement with no tie to anyone involved in the matter that would be probative of any damn thing at trial.

          There certainly is a rational tie to Mr. Mackel’s LEO career in the BPD and how it ended, and the subsequent behavior of the man, and what we ANTICIPATE his testimony may be. I certainly would ask, as a small part of my closing argument, if anyone on the jury would have chosen this man…of all the possible choices…to be my LEAD investigator.

          Wouldn’t you?

          Put slightly differently, would you have put him in that role IF you were interested in conducting an investigation you were motivated to assure was objective and above reproach? ESPECIALLY given you could count on it being raised as an issue (or issues) at trial?

          (This last is ANOTHER item that strongly suggests that Miss Marilyn is not a competent trial attorney, much less prepared for her current responsibilities.)

          Rick in reply to Ragspierre. | May 11, 2015 at 6:12 pm

          The rulings in limine that I pointed to highlight the discretion that the trial judge has with respect to excluding otherwise relevant evidence if the judge believes the evidence could lead to confusion of the jury or an undue consumption of time. (As I mentioned last night, I do not know Maryland’s precise interpretation of its statute on this evidentiary subject.)
          Not by way of questioning your conclusions, but as an example of how this can go:
          If the defense counsel, in arguing a motion in limine regarding the evidence we have been discussing made the argument that you suggested, i.e., “would you have put him in that role IF you were interested in conducting an investigation you were motivated to assure was objective and above reproach?”, the prosecution could argue in response: You see, Your Honor, that is exactly the type of confusion of the issues that makes this evidence unduly prejudicial. The question for the jury is the guilt or innocence of the defendants, not whether my boss made the right decision in the selection of the investigator. Further, if this evidence comes in then the prosecution will have to be allowed to put on evidence regarding why Mackel was a good choice, including evidence of all that was going on in Baltimore at the time that compelled that choice, and this trial is going to take too long as is.” etc, etc.
          Of course there are responses to that, but I am not sanguine that the judge would necessarily allow the subject material into evidence.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | May 11, 2015 at 6:39 pm

          I note that in your obdurate drive to be right, you didn’t answer the questions I asked.

          At least two trial lawyers have told you things you just seem to ignore. At least two of us have written and faced Motions In Limine, and argued them in real trials. We have assured you that the issues discussed in this thread are relevant, more probative than not, and worth examining even given the time restraints of trial.

          I believe, if this matter comes to trial, you will see them examined.

          Beyond that, I dunno what I can add.

          Rick in reply to Ragspierre. | May 11, 2015 at 7:09 pm

          As others have said: “I’m not being deposed.”
          I have not ignored anything written about this, whether written by trial lawyers or not.
          I have no doubt that you believe the subject matters will be allowed into evidence if there is a trial.
          You may be right.

Does this stuff ever end? Every time you kick over a rock something crawls out.

Judging from her picture, it appears Ms. Mosby might not be black enough to really be down for the struggle.

Looks to me like she has a lot of chromosomes swimming around with very white sounding names like “Chad” or “Todd”.

Maybe Mark Halperin could ask her to fry some chicken.

MouseTheLuckyDog | May 11, 2015 at 12:09 am

I guess Anderson Cooper doesn’t like “leaks” unless they are from a lead investigator to his/her gay lover reporter.

BTW I don’t think it can technically be called a leak. Everything mentioned is in the public record. What some insider did was point out to a reporter how to “connect the dots”.

Sammy Finkelman | May 11, 2015 at 5:43 am

The important fact is that Avon Mackel is probably not honest – and has no record of honest invesigation – quite the contrary in fact.

Not that his bias lies in any particular direction.

Marilyn Mosby or her loyalists/defenders etc. could argue that Avon Mackel has a pro-police bias, so how much more reliable must be his ionvestigation here than of somebody who doesn’t have a record of orotecting policemen?

In reality his bias is toward whatever helps his career.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | May 11, 2015 at 5:54 am

    Correction: That should be “his bias is toward whatever he thinks helps his career.”

    Failure to follow through on allegations of a mishandled robbery investigation by two of his officers might have been a blunder – or, more likely, they had “mishandled” it because of him, or because of procedures he had set up.

    It raises questions about bribery. (like the robbers, or other people on their behalf, paying off cops.)

    Of course that possibility itself then raises the question:

    Is there something really wrong with the Baltimore police department, or parts of it?

    Which then sounds like: Oh, then, maybe she has a case.

    But, the thing is, it is important, of course, to be accurate in making charges, which doesn’t sound like what Mosby’s been doing.

    When things are really bad, you get BOTH Type I and Type II errors.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | May 12, 2015 at 12:02 am

      A “mishandling” of one robbery case might be excusable, but when you add to that the record of falsifying records by directing his officers to do that, it becomes a very different picture. Adding even more is his breakdown.

      Dishonest, unstable = lead investigator assigned in a case charging his former department that canned him?

      Mosby HAD to assign it to Mackel. He’s likely the only one with enough of a beef with BPD to torpedo them, which is what she needed for her career and a payday for her mentor, the Gray family attorney.

      I just wonder how the Gray family came to choose that particular attorney. Gee.

      So Mosby got the one investigator willing to sink BPD for her on behalf of her best lawyer buddies.

Mister Natural | May 11, 2015 at 8:02 am

once upon a time there was a relatively minor auto accident.
George S. Patton died in Germany on December 21, 1945, as a result of a fractured spine and spinal cord damage, from the automobile accident twelve days earlier.
no seat belts back then and he wasn’t paying attention to the road as he was back seat passenger .
if freddie was in cuffs and shackles with no seat belt and no windows he would not be aware of when the van would move or stop leaving him vulnerable to being thrown about the van.
most cervical spine fractures are, i believe, a result motor vehicle accidents.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Mister Natural. | May 11, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    This is actually what I think happened. Contrary to common belief it doesn’t take as much force to injure vertebra. In medicine any time someone falls from a height greater than their own height we assume possible spine injury. So the force of a sudden stop or acceleration with being flung against the door could easily explain Gray’s injuries.

It appears that the lead investigator has been great at getting to the bottom of a bottle and doing so within the context of self-barricading away the truth.

Beyond that he is providing the defense with a plethora of reasonable doubt with his exceptional competence in the unique field of incompetence.

The defense will Mark Furman him. Only in this case, the charges will be true.

The audience spanned a wide range of ages and backgrounds, much like Prince’s fanbase. Many were surprised to see Baltimore’s State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby invited on stage shortly after Prince began to perform around 9 p.m. A spokeswoman for Mosby — an avid Prince fan — said late Sunday the tickets were a Mother’s Day gift from her husband, Councilman Nick Mosby.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/music/bs-md-prince-concert-20150510-story.html

Mosby is a very dumb person, this is really too much.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Moe4. | May 11, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Expect a motion to append the incident to the motion already present. ( Or whatever they call it. )

If only Freddy Gray was a white drunken racist criminal from Maryland, killed by an off duty smaller black cop he preyed upon. There would be no fraudulent discrediting of the prosecutor,her investigator. No affirmative action and other code words. I’m pretty sure of this Andrew. However,I could be wrong.

    Ragspierre in reply to m1. | May 11, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Welp, you always have been in the past. Why break form?

    Ragspierre in reply to m1. | May 11, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Oh, and “affirmative action” is not a “code word” (sic)…term.

    What it IS is rank racism. Racial discrimination straight up. Your Collective just rationalizes that it’s OK.

    It isn’t. It’s a blight on our society, as all racial discrimination has been. It hurts us all, but none more than its “beneficiaries”. As usual with your Collectivist bullshit.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to m1. | May 11, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    “fraudulent discrediting of the prosecutor,her investigator”

    Now, prove that this true, please. I await your evidence with bated breath.

Richard Aubrey | May 11, 2015 at 2:11 pm

From the outside, it looks as if one would have to be outstandingly, incredibly incompetent to put together this dog’s breakfast and not see the oncoming catastrophe.
That’s one possibility.
The other is that she’s been told a catastrophe is what is wanted.

You missed something (as I did also, first time through). The incident at his home was with the Baltimore COUNTY Police – Baltimore County surrounds Baltimore City – they are NOT the same police department (yes, I live in Baltimore, so I know).

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to jlronning. | May 12, 2015 at 12:16 am

    It doesn’t matter which of the two possible law enforcement agencies showed up for the drunken barricade/taser incident. That it happened at all shows his temperament and instability.

    What matters is which agency busted him down for directing his officers to downgrade their crime reporting and later firing him. That was BPD, not county. Mackel worked for BPD, lost his command and rank at BPD, and got canned by BPD.

Anyone willing to take bets on how many of the 3 black police officers walk, and how many of the 3 white police officers don’t?

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Twanger. | May 11, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Personally, I think all of them are going to walk, except maybe the driver of the van. Someone was negligent in not putting on Gray’s seat restraint. No one is arguing that Gray shouldn’t be dead, because he shouldn’t. But to charge these officers with capital crimes is just ridiculous.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 12, 2015 at 12:23 am

      None of the offenses the officers are charged with are “capital crimes.”

      Milhouse in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 12, 2015 at 6:51 am

      If it’s true that the policy requiring restraining prisoners was only three days old, and had not yet become standard practise in the department, then where’s the negligence? When I was on a med-mal jury we were instructed to consider only what was the standard of care at the time, not what it is now, or what we think it should have been.

        Ragspierre in reply to Milhouse. | May 12, 2015 at 10:07 am

        THAT is a very pretty point, and one I’ve made a few times slightly differently.

        Is it “policy” to belt in a combative prisoner at all costs? Because the LEO risks injury, and would risk having to injure the prisoner in many situations I can imagine.

        THAT will be a question in any trial. What was the standard of care for a LEO with a Freddie, and was it clearly established and promulgated by the department on that day?

Yes, but what does Mosby’s competence have to do with the defendant’s guilt or innocence? Is Mosby’s competence going to be an issue, along with whether Mackel is a good guy or a bad guy?
—————-
So you only ask questions. But you won’t be “deposed”?

Dialog is composed partly of questions and answers. But I gotcha now.

    Rick in reply to Ragspierre. | May 11, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    My questions were rhetorical and unanswered, and I did not complain about it.

    Rick in reply to Ragspierre. | May 11, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Further regarding the difficulty of accurately predicting whether evidence, even relevant evidence, will be admitted under the court’s discretionary power to exclude evidence that may be too prejudicial is the confounding fact that sometimes it is the power of the evidence itself that tips the balance against allowing it to be admitted into evidence. That type of an effect can be seen at the end of item #9 of the following linked order issued by Judge Ito in the OJ trial: http://simpson.walraven.org/fhr_tps2.html.
    In this light comments such as JackRussellTerrierist’s at 12:48 last night, with which I do not disagree, could work against the subject evidence being admitted.

Just wanted to say it is nice to see some detailed analysis of the available facts, to counter all the gaslighting the newsies are doing these days.

There are days when I wonder how this country will survive, when half of it seems ready to burn down the other half for the sake of the narrative.

My friend buzzsawmonkey has suggested that Moseby is deliberately messing this case up because she wants an acquittal, preferably in the summer of 2016, so we should expect her to try to drag it out as long as she can, but not to win.

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