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Freddie Gray Case: Did Prosecutor’s Request Lead to Confrontation?

Freddie Gray Case: Did Prosecutor’s Request Lead to Confrontation?

“This is a case where the witness and the prosecutor are one and the same.”

Once again information emerges that Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby is an integral actor in the circumstances surrounding Freddie Gray’s arrest and death, rather than an objective prosecutor simply addressing a criminal case.

Roughly three weeks before Baltimore police officers arrested Gray for possession of an illegal knife Mosby herself was strongly advocating for substantially increased policing in the very neighborhood where Gray would be taken into custody, according to a report by the Baltimore Sun.

Lt. Kenneth Butler, a shift commander for more than a decade, and a representative for an advocacy group for women and minority officers, is quoted in the Sun report as saying that he had never before seen such orders come from the state’s attorney’s office.  Further, he expressed no uncertainty about what the consequences would be: “Once you’re given an order, you have to carry it out. It’s just that simple.”  And in terms of the tactics that would necessarily be involved?

They want increased productivity, whether it be car stops, field interviews, arrests — that’s what they mean by measurables. You have to use whatever tools you have — whether it be bike officers, cameras, foot officers, whatever you have — to abate that problem. So you’re going to have to be aggressive. (emphasis added)

The original source of the order is Mosby herself, according to emails unearthed by the defense counsel that were sent to the six police officers criminally charged in Gray’s death.  In that email, Joshua Rosenblatt, the division chief of Mosby’s Crime Strategies unit writes:

State’s Attorney Mosby asked me to look into community concerns regarding drug dealing in the area [in which Gray would later be arrested] . . . [by] targeting that intersection for enhanced prosecutorial (and hopefully police) attention. (emphasis added)

Rosenblatt’s email was sent to Baltimore police Major Osborne Robinson, who then forwarded the message to several supervisory officers working the relevant neighborhood.  Robinson also told these supervisory officers to begin “daily narcotics initiative . . .  effective immediately” in the neighborhood, and cautioned that he would be collecting “daily measurables” on their performance.

One of those supervisory officers was Lieutenant Brian W. Rice, who would be one of three officers who placed Gray under arrest, and who is now charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, and other offenses.

The defense lawyers for the six Baltimore police officers charged in Gray’s death are using the disclosure of Mosby’s advocacy for increased policing in Gray’s neighborhood as yet another argument for having her recused from the case.  In a motion filed yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court they note that

Mrs. Mosby herself is now an integral part of the story and as such is a central witness. This is a case where the witness and the prosecutor are one and the same.

As usual, Mosby’s office has no substantive response to these new allegations, stating only that “Consistent with our prosecutorial obligations, we will litigate this case in the courtroom and not in the media.”

Naturally.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


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

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Comments

Ew. THAT thar is a bad problem for Miss Marilyn. I expect that Maryland has the same ethical rule that essentially prohibits a lawyer from trying a case AND witnessing before a jury, on the supposition that it would be confusing to a jury.

It also goes to show what an odd, hot-house lamb Miss Marilyn is. Was the targeted district in her hubby’s constituency?

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Ragspierre. | June 10, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    There is even more. Having played some role in the circumstances that lead up to the incident, she had an interest in creating an appearance that minimized her role. One of the ways that she has of doing that is by maximizing the role of the cops — ie scapegoating them. This is a clear conflict of interest.

    Elliott in reply to Ragspierre. | June 10, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Was the targeted district in her hubby’s constituency?

    That would be affirmative. The power duo of Baltimore wanted law and order, arrest and prosecution stats for joint career advancement until they didn’t.

Char Char Binks | June 10, 2015 at 11:53 am

The cops were just following Mosby’s racist orders.

MouseTheLuckyDog | June 10, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Does anyone know of an official Maryland/Baltimore site where people can obtain the filings and the judges orders?

    Alarming Surge In Murders And Shootings In Baltimore…

    Damm her for trying to stop it. Too bad she’s now under control of the political forces who worry more about their own future than the city and those looking to profit from it.

Gotta love that defiant Barky pout-face.

BOAFFT.

MouseTheLuckyDog | June 10, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Off topic but related.
According to an article linked to from the DrudgeReport, the NYC Chief of Police has said that he cannot find enough black police to work in minority neighborhoods because so many applicants have arrest records.

    Supposedly The Guardian (a very openly left-wing British newspaper) heavily distorted what he said. The Guardian does this kind of thing with regularity.

    The Brits made it seem like stopping and frisking people (Terry stops, like in the Gray case) in and of themselves disqualified people from becoming police, which is utterly ridiculous, and the NYPD doesn’t have Baltimore’s recent issue with mass arrests followed by mass releases. (Which is disturbingly close to “Round up the usual suspects.”) An outside the US acquaintance of mine through Facebook thinks that this is some kind of mass campaign of fake evidence and fake arrests ruining black lives. That’s tantamount to saying crime in New York is fake. I don’t.. think so, myself. A lot of people get convicted for a lot of very legitimate reasons.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | June 10, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Well, there you do then. That’s all the MORE reason to stop the policing and arresting of blacks, no matter what crimes they commit. That way, more of them can become cops, armed and loose in our neighborhoods, with color of authority instead of being criminals of color, and hardly any will wind up in prison where they are disproportionately represented and recruited by the NOI. Even better, the venue where they become radicalized muzzies doesn’t HAVE to be a prison, you know. It’s not mandated in the Koran that they can only use prisons for recruitment. They can use Facebook instead and also cordon off streets for recruitment rallies while blaring foul hiphop and chanting “Kill whitey!”

    He’d be better off citing the actual number and include those of non blacks than saying the generalization which of course will be twisted to make him a racist.

    The actual number becomes a damning fact to kill the narrative where as the generalization just feeds the narrative.

She should be praying to be conflicted from this mess of a case…

MouseTheLuckyDog | June 10, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Lt. Kenneth Butler, a shift commander for more than a decade, and a representative for an advocacy group for women and minority officers, is quoted in the Sun report as saying that he had never before seen such orders come from the state’s attorney’s office.

So she used the influence of her office in an unusual to further her husbands career.

We are moving from NiFong territory to Blagoyovich territory.

I would it’s oiver for her now, we are just waiting for it all to play out.

“Consistent with our prosecutorial obligations, we will litigate this case in the courtroom and not in the media.”

You’ve got to be kidding me! After all the prosecuting of the case in front of the media and pandering the mob that Mosby has done, she now claims that she’ll prosecute it in the courtroom instead of the media?

The woman is delusional.

I still don’t see how this is really significant. There doesn’t seem to be any dispute that that was a high-crime area, or that the police were justified in patrolling it. Mosby hasn’t publicly denied it, and in any case it’s trivial to prove, so the fact that she knew about it doesn’t change anything. I can see the defense calling her as a witness in order to disqualify her from prosecuting, but if I were in her position I’d offer to stipulate that it was a high-crime area and ask the judge to rule that her testimony was not needed.

In fact there doesn’t even seem to be any dispute that the officers who chased Freddie Gray had grounds for reasonable suspicion that he’d done something wrong. At least I haven’t heard anyone on Mosby’s side challenge it. Their entire case (such as it is) seems to be that Gray was not just stopped but arrested without probable cause, that they ignored the days-old policy to secure him in the vehicle, and that the driver deliberately gave him a “rough ride”. So far they haven’t given any indication of why they believe these things, or why anyone else should believe them, but for better or worse that seems to be their case. I suppose we are meant to guess that they’re sitting on secret evidence, but that charade can only last so long, since they will have to disclose it to the defense or admit that it doesn’t exist. In any case, I don’t see how this email affects any of that.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Milhouse. | June 10, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    You seem have glossed over the correlation between Mosby directing that this specific neighborhood, which is her husband’s council district, be targeted for special crime control and that is not customary for state prosecutors to do this. Most of the city of Baltimore needs “targeting” for crime control – it’s something like fifth or sixth in the nation for per capita crime, and it isn’t all in her husband’s district by any means or mapping. Her directive, which apparently was unusual in itself, for this specific neighborhood demonstrates Mosby’s personal interest in the case and thus the motion to recuse her from the case. The suggestion that she stipulate that it’s a high crime area would be like saying water is wet. It’s completely beside the point.

    Elliott in reply to Milhouse. | June 10, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    She didn’t ask the police to patrol her husband’s district more she TOLD them to do it. She doesn’t have the authority to do that but she did it anyway. Again there is a reason that the police and prosecutors have SEPARATE offices and responsibilities. Her own prosecutor office investigators hand picked by her for their dubious qualifications (fired, crazy, incompetent, old) and refused to use the BPD’s investigation. This stunt tells us why she did that. Separation of powers she does not understand. She wants the judicial power of the courts AND the executive power of running the police. She wants unchecked power.

      The immediate question that comes to mind is, “Does she have the authority to issue such an order?”

      Without that, she’s King Canute, ordering the tide not to come in.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to georgfelis. | June 11, 2015 at 4:21 pm

        Technically, probably not, since she is a State Attorney and they are a municipal police force. However, even though she may not be technically able to give the order, I would imagine that the “request” from the state attorney is something that is ignore at your own peril.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Milhouse. | June 10, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Well JRT said somethings in a slighty clumsy way that area partial answer. It will enhance her appearance of having a conflict. SAome points he missed though.

    Obviously there are a lot of things that lawyers stipulate to in a trial [1] I were advising Mosby though. I would tell her not to stipulate to anything to avoid testifying.

    If she tries, here are some things I would think that the defense would want her to stipulate to things like:

    1) She wrote the email.
    2) The email was a command,
    3) The email was exceptional.
    4) The email suggested that police push the boundary of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

    Shall I go one? The thing is that once she starts stipulating, sh is gonna get outmaneouvered, because the defense lawyers are good and she stinks.

    [1] I remember an old episode, Adam-12 or some spin off of a prosecutor played by Robert Conrad, where the fresh out of law school defender wouldn’t stipulate to anything a simple burglary of a refrigerator. It kept dragging on until Conrad realized that accesorys in the refrigerator drove the cost up over the theft barrier to the grand theft barrier. Then the defense pled veery quickly.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | June 11, 2015 at 1:10 am

      Mouse, there’s an ad drifting around this blog about 3 things that ruin your eyesight. Your post is one of them.

      Clumsy, eh? I’m so glad to see you posted about this subject so eruditely. Your clarity, punctuation, sentence structure, etc., is a thing great journalistic beauty.

      See, that was just little dumbass me simply trying to address Milhouse’s points, not rewrite the Dead Sea Scrolls with a crayon.

      And I’m a she, not a he.

Thomas Lifson over at the American Thinker says she’s in over her head. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/06/baltimore_states_attorney_marilyn_mosby_filed_gag_order_motion_in_emwrong_courtem.html.

Here’s my recipe for a new Summer Treat: The Mosby Cocktail:
1. Take one known felon acting suspiciously
2. Add six police officers
3. Handcuff and place unharmed suspected felon in empty paddy wagon
4. Remove now injured felon from transport at destination
5. Add arrogant, politically motivated, inexperienced young black female lawyer
6. Shake vigorously then pour over racially charged situation

Curly, Larry and Moe couldn’t do any better than this farce.

Freddie Sykes | June 10, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Anyone else notice how Andrew Branca omitted the fact that Mosby has since indicted herself for being part of a criminal conspiracy that lead to Gray’s death. She has decided to act as both prosecutor and defensive lawyer in her own case.

This proves how fair and open minded she is and why their is no need to recuse herself. 🙂

Bitterlyclinging | June 10, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Obama, the Community Organizer In Chief, seeking to set all of America’s cities in flames moving his chess pieces around or just opportunistically “Never letting a legitimate crisis go to waste” In either case, Comrade O’s fingerprints are all over this.
Marilyn might have simply been wanting to lower the crime level in that particular area when she gave the order, or somebody in DC wanted to stir the pot, Ferguson, New York City, Madison, Wi etc. Now it was Baltimore’s turn. Once Freddie Gray was dead, it was time to maximize any return on it, anyway. That’s why “Space to Destroy” Rawlings Blake gave the MD GOP Governors liason to the city the slip at the height of the riots, he couldn’t be privy to any one on one conversations between Rawlings Blake and the WhiteHouse and DOJ. The same lack of response to the rioting characterized the Ferguson response to the mob, Governor Jay Nixon telling the Missouri National Guard to make themselves scarce. You just knew after Eric Holder’s DOJ Community Resources teams being all over Ferguson lecturing on “White Privilege” in the months before the Grand Jury’s findings were released, that Holder and Obama were whispering very loudly in Jay Nixon’s ear. Then we see the exact same response with Rawlings Blake.
Letting the ‘Wookies’ or the dispossessed and America’s enemies win is a hallmark of this administration. Its what Community Organizers do.

holger danske | June 10, 2015 at 2:10 pm

/Given Mosby’s inept performance to date why on earth would the defense want her to be replaced with what would clearly be a more competent prosecutor?

    Elliott in reply to holger danske. | June 10, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Because a competent prosecutor will drop all charges and save their clients the trouble of paying for a defense, being punished by being tried, be out of work and financially ruined, getting death threats. You know being persecuted for following Mosley’s improper and ill conceived own requests. Little things really.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to holger danske. | June 11, 2015 at 1:15 am

    Think Duke lacrosse.

Anybody else finding the patterns in the down votes on this group of stories amusing?

So if the police being charged have any civil or criminal liability for the death of Freddie Gray, then would not at least the civil liability go all the way up the chain of command to Mosby herself for asking police to be more aggressive in making arrests in that neighborhood?

After all, she would, or should, know about the potential problems that might happen as a result – especially given some of her recent anti-police comments. So believing that she then nonetheless asks for enhanced police action in that area. That spells liability to me!

Of course, such liability would rest upon whether the police acted inappropriately that day – something I doubt, but that Mosby firmly believes. So ironically, if she is right then I think she is also has civil liability. Heck, using her own logic she should charge herself with murder!

I went over on a liberal blog because I do want to hear both sides . Got blasted even when I told them i just wanted to get more knowledge and get sources . I don’t believe Im always right . i got butchered over there. Not with ideas but Klan this Klan that they are nasty and never countered any of my arguments. One said the leftwas always right .I would never claim thta about any ideology . I made reference to Pol POt Uncle Joe and the Chairman . I left I bet they are having a field day with that

Has anyone been following all the teachers , principals ect getting fired for supporting police and the women who was in the pool party . I can understand the activist have a right to question govt officials but now we can’t even have an argument fight between private individuals that is not regulated . The woman in the pool fight in Mckinney lost her job. Now, I imaging both sides in that fight argument behaved badly , but a 20 year old and a 15 year old is unquestion, when several adults are not even asked their side . Not seen where anyone has tried to even get the story. . This is ridiculous.

sorry unquestioned stupid phone

Look at Baltimore Sun story Black Guerrilla Indictment picture.Is Mosby just ticked off because she is not center stage or her fellow ideologues are being busted. Thank you for your comment section allowing easy editing, my typing skills are atrocious

Mosby filed new information on probable cause. She says it’s probable that they did it. Cause she said so. This woman would be funny if the stakes for Baltimore and the rest of the cities Were not so dire.Or is it racist to assume this would happen.I don’t know I just assume everything is now

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