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Freddie Gray Analysis: Officer Edward Nero Trial, Days 1 & 2

Freddie Gray Analysis: Officer Edward Nero Trial, Days 1 & 2

Once again, “Freddie Gray” prosecution’s case appears laughably weak & politically motivated

Yesterday saw the start of the latest trial related to the arrest and transport of Freddie Gray on April 12, 2015.  Gray would die a week after his arrest, and his death was promptly used as a justification for days of violent rioting, looting, and arson in Baltimore.

This time the defendant is Baltimore Police Officer Edward Nero, one of a total of six officers against whom criminal charges were brought following Gray’s death.

Officer Edward Nero

Officer Edward Nero

The prosecution is being led by Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow, an attorney with relatively little criminal law experience.  Schatzow previously led the failed prosecution of Officer William Porter in the first “Freddie Gray” trial earlier this year. (Porter’s trial ended in a hung jury, and prosecutors have announced they intend to re-try him.)

Nero is being represented by defense attorney Marc Zayon.

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, Schatzow’s boss, appears to have no day-to-day role in the prosecution, although she was personally present in the court room’s spectator seats for the first day of trial yesterday.

Marilyn Mosby

Officer Nero has opted for a “bench trial,” meaning that there will be no jury. Instead, trial judge Barry Williams will assume the roles of both judge, making decisions of law, and the jury, making factual determinations.

Nero has been charged with several crimes related to two distinct phases of Gray’s police custody—first, the initial arrest ; and second, the loading of Gray into the police van in which Gray was to suffer his eventually mortal injury.

In particular, Nero has been charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in regards to his involvement in Gray’s initial arrest; and reckless endangerment and a second count of misconduct for the manner in which he helped load Gray into the police van.

Interestingly, Nero played virtually no role in either of these phases. Rather, Nero’s participation in both phases was almost entirely ancillary. The officer has pled not guilty to all charges.

Nevertheless, here we are.  So, let’s dive into the first two day’s testimony, structured in alignment with the alleged basis of the criminal charges.

Gray’s Initial Arrest

Two of the charges against Nero—second-degree assault and misconduct—are based on what the prosecution claims were unlawful acts by Nero during Gray’s initial arrest.

There were three officers involved in Gray’s initial arrest, and Nero was one of these. The other two were Lieutenant Brian Rice and Officer Garrett Miller, both of whom are also charged with crimes related to Gray’s arrest and transport. Of the three men, Nero has the least active role in Gray’s arrest.

Lt. Brian Rice (l); Officer Garrett Miller (r)

Lt. Brian Rice (l); Officer Garrett Miller (r)

These three officers and others were in the neighborhood of Gray’s arrest because State’s Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby had requested an increased police presence to address rampant drug dealing in the area, a neighborhood infamous for its drug trade.

It is perhaps not a coincidence that Mosby’s husband, Nick Mosby, is the political representative of that area to the City of Baltimore. A call for increased police presence in that neighborhood could reasonably be expected to have benefited Nick Mosby’s constituency generally and his own political fortunes particularly.

It was Lieutenant Rice, the senior officer involved in Gray’s arrest, who triggered the initial pursuit and stop of Gray. This occurred when Gray made eye-contact with Rice in that high-crime neighborhood, and immediately began to flee. Such conduct has long been held by the courts, including the US Supreme Court, to amount to sufficient reasonable suspicion to warrant a Terry stop (see Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, US Supreme Court 1968).

We covered the nuances of a Terry stop, an actual arrest, and similar issues in some detail in a previous post: Freddie Gray Case: Prosecutor Doubles Down On Wrong Law, but in brief a Terry stop is permitted when a police officer has and articulable reasonable suspicion that a suspect is engaged in unlawful activity.

The purpose of the stop, which is brief and relatively non-intrusive compared to an actual arrest, is to determine whether probable cause exists to make an actual arrest. Once a Terry stop has been initiated the officers are permitted to put their hands on the suspect for purposes of maintaining control of the suspect during the stop, and may search the suspect for weapons in the interests of public safety.

Lieutenant Rice recognized that Gray’s flight under the circumstances authorized him to initiate a Terry stop under existing legal precedent and departmental policy. Accordingly, he called over his radio for assistance, and was immediately joined by Officer Garrett Miller. Together Rice and Miller would pursue Gray, halt his flight, and initiate a Terry stop. During that stop a knife was found in Gray’s possession, of a spring-assisted type determined by the officers to be unlawful under Baltimore City ordnance. It was on the charge of violating this city knife ordnance that Gray was arrested.

Officer Nero played no role in Gray’s pursuit or stop, and virtually no role in Gray’s arrest. Gray had already been pursued and halted by Officer Garrett and the Terry stop initiated by Rice and Garrett by the time that Nero walked up to the scene pushing a pair of police bicycles (one his own, the other having been left behind by Garrett in the course of the pursuit of Gray). Had Nero not been present at all Gray would still have been arrested in the same manner by Rice and Garrett. Indeed, today one of the state’s own witnesses, Brandon Ross, a friend of Gray’s who observed Gray’s arrest, testified to seeing Nero arrive at the stop with the two bikes only after Gray had already been handcuffed. (It is notable that Ross is currently being held at the Baltimore City Detention Center while awaiting trial on an assault charge from March. Immediately after his testimony he was handcuffed and removed from the courtroom.)

Indeed, both the charging document and the criminal complaint against Freddie Gray were executed by Officer Miller, and bear no mention of Officer Nero at all.

Charges against Freddie Gray

Criminal Complaint

Nevertheless, Nero finds himself on trial for second-degree assault and misconduct.

The prosecutor’s argument is that Nero put his hands on Gray without legal justification. But doesn’t the Terry stop provide that legal justification? In this case, the prosecution appears to be arguing, Nero never made an independent determination of whether a Terry stop of Gray was lawfully authorized under the circumstances.

Remember, it was Lieutenant rice who initiated the pursuit and Terry stop of Gray, based upon observing Gray flee upon eye-contact with Rice. Nero himself did not personally observe this conduct by Gray, but merely responded to Lieutenant Rice’s radio call for assistance. Nero simply deferred to his superior’s assessment that a Terry stop was warranted.

Prosecutor Schatzow explicitly argued this position in his opening statement yesterday, claiming that Nero “had no idea what was suspected, and he made no effort to find out. Their plan was to … arrest him, and the decide whether to unarrest him.”

Because of his lack of personal knowledge of Gray’s conduct, the prosecution argues, Nero could not have formed a reasonable subjective basis on which to determine that a Terry stop of Gray was warranted. This means, the prosecution argues, that Nero could not have a Terry stop justification for his touching of Gray, and therefore his touching of Gray constitutes second-degree assault, as well as misconduct.

In the defense opening statement defense counsel Marc Zayon noted that his client was simply responding to his superior’s radio call for assistance when he got involved in Gray’s arrest, as he is trained and required to do by department policy.

Further, the defense noted that second-degree assault requires that the alleged touching be unconsented to by the purported victim. Here, the defense argues that the only time Nero touched Gray was in response to Gray’s requests for his inhaler, as Gray claimed to be having difficulty breathing.

Gray’s request for his inhaler indicated his consent to Nero engaging in the touching necessary to obtain the inhaler from Gray’s person. Nero, in addition to being a police officer, has been trained as a fireman and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and was merely seeking to assist Gray.

In his opening statement Attorney Zayon argued that “It is clear in this case that everything that was done, not only by Officer Nero but all of the involved officers, was done correctly.” He noted that the legal standard for judging Nero’s conduct is whether he acted as would a reasonable officer under similar circumstances, and informed Judge Williams that the defense planned to present expert witnesses and other officers to testify that Nero’s actions were indeed reasonable.

Gray’s Transport in the Police Van

Numerous officers were involved in placing the non-compliant Gray into the police van. Interestingly, Officer Nero was not involved in initially placing Gray in the van. Nero’s did not become involved in Gray’s transportation until the van made a second stop to address the fact that Gray was making an enormous amount of banging noise in the rear of the van. At that second stop Officer Nero shackled Gray’s ankles, to prevent further ruckus, otherwise leaving Gray in the position the other officers had placed him, on the floor of the van.

The prosecution argument is that Nero’s act, and more particularly his omission, constitute reckless endangerment and a second count of misconduct. The prosecutor’s rationale is that these criminal charges are appropriate because of Nero’s failure to buckle Gary into the police after shackling Gray’s ankles at the second stop. In support of this argument the prosecutor points to an email sent out the very day of Gray’s arrest noting that a few days earlier the Baltimore PD had changes it’s seat belting procedure from optional to mandatory.

The defense attacked the prosecution’s argument on several grounds.

First, although the Baltimore PD confirmed that an email from the department about the seat belting policy change was sent out that day, they were unable to confirm that this email had actually been seen by Nero, and thus that he had actually been informed about the change.

The PD apparently sends out a large volume of emails on a wide variety of administrative matters to officers on a routine basis, and there was no flagging of the seat belt policy change email to indicate that it carried any exceptional importance. The defense denied that Nero had ever seen the email, and noted that the policy had not been announced at roll call or any other time. In fact, Nero had been off work on the days when the emails had been sent.

In any case, the defense noted, the policy is just that, a departmental policy, not a law the violation of which warrants criminal punishment. Violations of department policy are properly handled by the officer’s department, not by way of criminal prosecution.

Second, long-standing policy within the Baltimore PD is that once a suspect is placed in a van the responsibility for the welfare of that suspect transfers from the arresting officers to the van driver. In this case the van driver was Officer Caesar Goodson, not the defendant on trial, Officer Edward Nero.

Third, even the state prosecutor’s own police witness, Capt. Martin Bartness, who testified about the seat belt policy being changed to mandatory was compelled to concede on cross examination that the officers on the scene always retain the ultimate discretion to make decisions appropriate to the particular circumstances.. Captain Bartness explicitly testified yesterday that police officers “make discretionary judgments every day in our roles.” In that case the so-called mandatory rule was not, in fact, mandatory, as it remains subject to the discretion of the officers on the ground.

Such discretion is normally applied such that the standard operating procedure is followed unless there is a rational reason to not follow it. In the context of seat belting suspects into a police van, the defense argued that there were often good reasons for not doing so.

In particular, in the tight confines of the van officers were concerned about being bitten or head butted by suspects while the officer was in a constrained and vulnerable position in close proximity, and vulnerable to suffering serious bodily injury even from a handcuffed suspect.

Indeed, the defense explicitly argued in its opening statement that it would’ve been impossible to seat belt Gray & maintain officer safety because Gray was “combative, passively and actively resisting.” In addition, an angry crowd was forming, making time of the essence in moving on from the scene.

Today’s Testimony

There were only a few witnesses today, in contrast to the eight state’s witnesses who testified yesterday.

The first of today’s witnesses was Brandon Ross, mentioned above as a friend of Gray’s who is currently awaiting trial on charges of 1st and 2nd degree assault for a stabbing attack.

Ross’ testimony seems to have been unremarkable, apart from one humorous exchange with defense counsel Marc Zayon on cross examination. Asked by Zayon if the neighborhood of Grayu’s arrest was known to be a high-crime area where drugs were sold, Ross replied: “Where drugs not being sold at in Baltimore City?”

Next up was the state’s 10th witness overall, Detective Michael Boyd, with the Baltimore PD’s Force Investigation Team. It was Boyd who had interviewed Nero as part of the investigation into Gray’s arrest, transport, and death, presumably before Nero had even imagined he might be prosecuted for his actions that day. Indeed, Nero waived both his Miranda rights and police union privileges and readily agreed to the interview.

Among the statements made by Nero during the interview, as reported by Jessica Anderson and Kevin Rector of the Baltimore Sun:

  • Nero describes Gray as uncooperative, at initial stop when police van shows up.
  • Nero said Gray was loaded into the van, placed on the bench without a seatbelt. Van went down the street to get away from crowd forming.
  • Nero said in recording several people in crowd asked why the officers had tased Gray, even though Gray wasn’t tased.
  • Gray didn’t want to move, didn’t appear hurt. “It seemed as though he just didn’t want to go.”
  • Nero said Gray was loaded into the van, placed on the bench without a seatbelt. Van went down the street to get away from crowd forming.
  • Nero cited his experience as EMT, said Gray was screaming and resisting, asked for inhaler, but did not appear to actually be in distress.
  • Nero described the scene, the crowd gathering, Gray resisting: “Everything was just happening so fast.”

The state’s next witness today was Stanford O’Neil Franklin, the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), and a retired state police officer.

LEAP is an advocacy group for the legalization of currently illegal drugs. In the view of LEAP, in a just world Gray should simply not have been subject to a Terry stop at all because controlled substances would not be illegal in the first place.

OK, folks, that’s all I have for today.  More coverage next week when the trial resumes.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


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Comments

ugottabekiddinme | May 13, 2016 at 6:09 pm

Is Judge Williams the same judge as presided over the prior officer’s mistrial?

    Yes. Plan is that he’ll be trial judge for all the “Freddie Gray” trials.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      As a retired detective with a generation of policing behind me, I am appalled with the fact this is even a trial! But it reminds me of what my ex-partner said when I used to lose my mind trying to figure out what the state attorneys were doing.

      “Remember who you are dealing with. These are people who voluntarily spent a hundred thousand dollars and four years of their lives to unlearn all the common sense, morality and ethics they ever had. If they could measure, they would be engineers, if they could count, they would be CPA’s, but all they can do is argue.”

      I am of the mindset that if civilization ever crashed, the only chance it would have to recover is if all the lawyers were eliminated first! Ever since the study of law became corrupted back in the sixties, it has been down hill ever since.

      There are good lawyers, I met one about ten years ago, but he was half nuts trying to navigate the obscenely corrupt system. His comment was this; “it was a shallow incestuous pool, where everybody knows everybody and it is all a game.”

      That said, the prosecution’s theory- that every officer responding to an assist call from another officer must independently investigate for PC BEFORE assisting- should not even be allowed as a theory in that courtroom. The fact the judge allowed it and did not dismiss on its face is horrifying. He’s neck deep in the corruption too.

      Baltimore, like most democrat cities, is doomed.

assemblerhead | May 13, 2016 at 6:28 pm

So … the “kangaroo-court” is on. Nero obviously plans on an appeal overturning the verdict.

So far, the rest of the State Courts want nothing to do with this mess. I wonder if that will effect the chances of a successful appeal?

What a waste of time/effort/money.

If memory is correct, wasn’t the State going to force a one or more fellow Officer(s) to testify against him WITHOUT immunity to Federal Charges?

    Officer Miller’s lawyer was in court today, took part in a bench session. I expect Miller will testify on Monday.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      assemblerhead in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 13, 2016 at 7:13 pm

      Thanks for the info.

      I hope the Officer(s) being forced to testify have more sense than God gave idiot geese. The 5th Amendment should be used “exclusively” for the testimony.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to assemblerhead. | May 14, 2016 at 2:18 am

    I wonder if getting the appeal process started my not be the whole point of asking for a bench trial. Surely they have no faith that Williams will make a fair and unbiased assessment of the case, because if he did he would have to find Nero innocent on all counts which would begin the destruction of Mosby’s whole plan.

    So they ask for a bench trial get a guilty verdict and then immediately bounce it to the appeals court who will most likely have a field day.

    Milhouse in reply to assemblerhead. | May 15, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    If memory is correct, wasn’t the State going to force a one or more fellow Officer(s) to testify against him WITHOUT immunity to Federal Charges?

    No. The state’s position is that there’s no need for a specific federal grant of immunity, because testimony compelled in state court is automatically barred from use in federal court. Long-established Supreme Court precedent supports the state’s position. I am not aware of any argument against it.

      The “long established precedent” theory is no longer. When attorney, who have state immunity from misconduct, realize they can do anything they want, regardless of consequences, they will do just that.

      I would demand a written immunity agreement- period. Most of what the Obama administration is doing today is without legal precedent or Constitutional authority, but yet here we are!

      Plus, the cost of defending yourself against the charge in federal court is overwhelming most average people- so they submit to the illegal act.

      Nope- I get immunity, or we talk about birds and baseball and other stuff- but not the case.

“BREAKING! The fully updated newest edition of our best-selling book has launched,…”
***
OT..just received my copy and noted that even Massad Ayoob seems to be confused by, as he calls it, “Stand Your Ground Law Hearing” and a self defense immunity hearing in Florida.

Steve

Wow – just wow.

So Nero was not involved in the chase or the stop. He did not load Gray into the van. He “touched” Gray to access Gray’s inhaler at Gray’s request.

I would say that this is considerably less than “novel”. What legal basis is there for a conviction? It reminds me of the “probable cause” discussion on the preceding post.

Since there was no grand jury but the prosecutor took upon herself to charge Nero, is there any legal jeopardy for Moseby?

    sequester in reply to David Jay. | May 13, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Mosby has absolute immunity from civil liability for any acts she undertook as a prosecutor. That would include charging Nero on an information pleading. Her self described independent “investigation” may not be a pure prosecutorial function. It may be covered only by “qualified immunity” in a civil suit.

    As far as criminal prosecution, Mosby has nothing to fear. She is the prosecutor. The Federal Government only has limited color of law authority and even if it were willing the case would be difficult.

    I believe there WAS a grand jury.

    But, you know … grand jury. In Baltimore. Post-riot.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 14, 2016 at 2:21 am

      If I remember she started to charge them directly, but then changed her mind and let it go before the Grand Jury.

When is someone allowed to testify to what the law should
be.
The Leap guy stated in a just world Freddie wouldn’t have been chased.
1 . Is that the only suspicion he raised
2.What kind of trial are they running there.

Even if the Judge can separate the wheat from the chaff, but it

    Actually it was _I_ who used the “in a just world” verbiage. I’m projecting his position based upon the stated positions of his organization. But I couldn’t quote his testimony, because MD doesn’t allow cameras in the courtroom.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 14, 2016 at 2:22 am

      I don’t get the point of the LEAP guys testimony, was he testifying as a former cop or a member of LEAP? I don’t see his value to the prosecution unless it is to confuse the issues at hand even more.

    rabidfox in reply to dmi60ex. | May 13, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    I thought the arrest had to do with the knife he was carrying? Why was the drug angle brought in?

“Once a Terry stop has been initiated the officers … may search the suspect for weapons in the interests of public safety.”

Officers may only conduct a patdown for weapons, and this only if there is reason to believe the detainee is armed, I believe.

    Pat down is correct, I should have been more clear, and that’s what these officers did to detect the knife.

    Not sure there has to be a reason to believe a weapon is present, certainly not required for doing a “reachable areas” search of a motor vehicle. I believe allowed to pat down simply for purposes of securing the scene, public safety.

    But my expertise is use-of-force law, not 4th Amendment law. 🙂

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Gremlin1974 in reply to gravytop. | May 14, 2016 at 2:24 am

    If memory serves the knife was visible because it was clipped to his pocket, which would leave the top of the knife exposed and easily identifiable.

    NavyMustang in reply to gravytop. | May 14, 2016 at 9:11 am

    When I would do a Terry Stop (or any other kind of detention for that matter), I would pat down and if I touched something that I suspected was possibly a weapon, I would pull it. Officer and public safety. Now, according to my “knowledge and experience,” LOTS of things can be used as a weapon. So, I had lots of discretion in being allowed to pull items from pockets, and elsewhere.

    Guns can be disguised as cell phones, knives can be hidden in apparently benign objects, pens can be used as a weapon. You get my point.

Andrew, why do you think that Nero chose a bench trial instead of a jury trial. Seems jury would be better, but i don’t know.

    Fiftycaltx in reply to Shane. | May 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Any jury would have black members. Those blacks would be in jeopardy if they voted to acquit, no matter how weak the evidence. This is a kangaroo court, with the outcome determined by the players. It is designed to give time to “heal” the wounds.

    Bench trial was a smart move for Nero. He’s the first WHITE GUY (TM) to be on trial for Freddie Gray’s death. Any jury drawn from the local Baltimore community is sure to have at least one juror who would be scared to death to go back to the ghetto having voted for acquittal. The prospects of having at least one juror ABSOLUTELY UNWILLING to vote for acquittal would merely mean he’d have a hung jury and face a re-trial, like Porter.

    In this case, very few of the facts are in dispute. It’s the LAW that is in dispute. If Judge Williams makes those calls and they go against Nero, that’s readily appealable to the appellate courts.

    In contrast, if it appeared that a FACTUAL matter had gone against Nero, the appellate courts almost never touch that. That’s the jury’s province.

    The inevitable blurring of law/fact you get with a bench trial makes it easier for Nero to argue that anything that went against him was on the law side of things, because the same person (Judge Williams) is making both calls.

    One thing for sure, Nero won’t face a hung jury. He’ll either be acquitted, or he’ll be convicted and appeal. No second trial for him.

    I would have made the same call.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Tsk. Tsk.

      No second trial for him.
      The appeals court can make rulings that don’t find nero not guilty, but require a retrial ie the defense can argue that a change in venue was warranted, and that by denying it Nero was denied the right to a jury trial. The appeals court could order a new trial in a new jurisdiction.

      Doesn’t this put Williams on the spot?
      If he rules guilty, can the other parties argue to the appellate court that the ruling itself ignores the facts and law to the extent that it indicates bias? Wouldn’t that cause the court to recuse him from the rest of the cases?

      sidebar in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 14, 2016 at 6:00 am

      I don’t know much about Maryland law or its appellate practices. In many states, appellate courts can affirm a trial courts actions without issuing an opinion; or the appellate court may issue an unpublished opinion that does not create binding law. That’s how the Zimmerman slander case was unjustly disposed of by Florida’s 5th DCA.

      I am afraid these Officers may be the contemporary equivalents of human sacrifices.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to sidebar. | May 14, 2016 at 2:56 pm

        I think it’s obvious that these officers are being sacrificed to advance political careers and agendas. No question about it. If the arrests alone didn’t prove that, Mosby’s speech on the courthouse steps the day of the arrests should make the purpose of this clear to anybody with two firing brain cells.

Unless I am missing something, I see absolutely no justification for these charges. Does Mosby risk any kind of formal ethical or criminal or civil actions or complaints? What an abuse of government power.

    TX-rifraph in reply to TX-rifraph. | May 13, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Somehow I missed a couple of earlier comments on my question. However, does she face any kind of ethical action as she is an attorney? Or, am I just dreaming/hoping for justice that will not come?

    In most jurisdictions prosecutors have absolute immunity for conduct committed in the pursuit of their prosecutorial duties.

    That’s why Angela Corey and her prosecutorial team hasn’t been severely sanctioned. Indeed, John Guy is now himself a trial judge in Florida.

    I expect MD is the same.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      This is not totally true. most states legal systems still recognize malicious prosecution, malicious use of process and abuse of process. Malicious prosecution usually requires that the prosecutor (1) intentionally (and maliciously) instituted and pursued (or caused to be instituted or pursued) a legal action (civil or criminal) that is (2) brought without probable cause and (3) dismissed in favor of the victim of the malicious prosecution. Malicious use of process is used when the process is civil in nature, rather than criminal. Then you have abuse of process. The elements of a valid cause of action for abuse of process in most common law jurisdictions are as follows: (1) the existence of an ulterior purpose or motive underlying the use of process, and (2) some act in the use of the legal process not proper in the regular prosecution of the proceedings. So, even though a state may have a shield statute, granting immunity from prosecution, it is usually limited to good faith actions. If the action can be shown to be flagrantly unwarranted and malicious, the state does not protect the prosecutor or judge.

      The problem with actually pursuing a case of malicious prosecution or abuse of process is that it is all but impossible to initiate, unless it is initiated by the State, itself. And, judges and attorney’s are reluctant to support any action which might undermine THEIR statutory protections.

        So, bottom line, Mosby either has LEGAL or PRACTICAL immunity from prosecution. 🙂

        I mean, WHO in the Baltimore legal infrastructure is going to prosecute a black female State’s Attorney fighting for JUSTICE for Freddie Gray?

        Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? 🙂

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    CalFed in reply to TX-rifraph. | May 13, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Stranger things have happened

    Michael Nifong, the prosecutor in the Duke Lacrosse case was disbarred, removed from office and is currently being sued by 6 Lacrosse players for conduct related to his handling of that case.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to CalFed. | May 14, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      All the Duke lacrosse lawsuits have concluded. Nifong got off dirt-cheap. Nevertheless, all three young victims have had the last laugh with stunning career successes underway while Nifong is working as a paralegal somewhere in Durham. I expect he’s saving up to move into Happy Acres Retirement Village where he will dine on meatloaf, canned green beans and tapioca pudding the rest of his miserable life. He can watch reruns of Matlock.

      His effort to get his bar card back a couple years ago failed. It was viewed as so preposterous as to be a joke.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | May 14, 2016 at 3:35 pm

        I should have also mentioned that Crystal Mangum, the prostitute/stripper who devised the rape accusations to escape a drug test when the cops picked her up to avoid her probation being violated and hopefully get a paycheck from whitey, is serving fourteen years for second-degree murder in NC.

Shane
I would say he knew that in Baltimore he knew there would be one or two who would nullify and vote guilty no matter. Maybe he felt that since the facts are not in dispute in any way , he would rather have the Judge rule

Andrew have you ever heard of a jury deciding an issue such as probable cause. I always thought that would be something that would be argued out in a pretrial motion.

I know it is Baltimorgue

    Judges rule on probable cause all the time, and usually in a pre-trial hearing. So I’m not sure I understand the question.

    Clearly these charges against these officers should have been dismissed, but Judge Williams has decided to entertain this “novel” (meaning not the law anywhere at any time in the US) legal theory of the prosecution.

    It’s shameful.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Tx riprapf
You ask if Mosby would face any kind of discipline or misconduct .I answer as I did above

It is Baltimore and the answer is no .
This is what it is coming too.

Paul In Sweden | May 13, 2016 at 10:23 pm

While I understand that back home elephants are being phased out but were there people going through the isles selling hotdogs, popcorn, peanuts, Cracker Jack and those little plastic flashlights on lanyards?

Crap on a cracker… smh…

“The state’s next witness today was Stanford O’Neil Franklin, the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), and a retired state police officer. LEAP is an advocacy group for the legalization of currently illegal drugs.”

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Paul In Sweden. | May 14, 2016 at 2:31 am

    Oh, but isn’t the Calliope beautiful!

    (P.S. Sorry for the down vote I meant to hit “Reply” and hit the down thump instead.)

      Paul In Sweden in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 14, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      NP on the down, it happens and of course the calliope is beautiful and sounds amazing but I have always been partial to the glass harmonica and the sound of the harpsichord myself. Concerto for 2 being my favorite.

“Gray made eye-contact with Rice … and immediately began to flee. Such conduct has long been held by the courts … to amount to sufficient reasonable suspicion”

So no “eye contact” (before running) means no “reasonable suspicion”? And if so, doesn’t that put incredible pressure on any law enforcement officer to include “eye contact” regardless of whether it happened?

    Gunstar1 in reply to Icepilot. | May 14, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    “Eye contact” being the person looked over, saw police, then ran away in the opposite direction.

blacksburger | May 14, 2016 at 6:30 pm

AIUI Gray had prior convictions for drug dealing, and the police recognized him. When they made eye contact, he started running.
Under the circumstances, the police suspicions were appropriate.

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