Most Read
Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

Freddie Gray Tag

The announcement today by Maryland state's attorney for Baltimore, Marilyn J. Mosby of numerous charges brought against the six officers purportedly involved in the death of Freddie Gray is rich in political theater and shockingly lacking in evidence of criminal malfeasance. The full press conference video is at our prior post. A solid foundation for this having been a partisan political, rather than reasoned legal, decision is laid out succinctly by the counsel for the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police who noted:

While I have the utmost respect for you and your office, I have very deep concerns about the many conflicts of interest presented by your office conducting an investigation in this case . . . . These conflicts include your personal and professional relationship with Gray family attorney, William Murphy and the lead prosecutor’s connections with members of the local media. . . . Most importantly, it is clear that your husband's political future will be directly impacted, for better or worse, by the outcome of your investigation. . . . In order to avoid any appearance of impropriety or a violation of the Professional Rules of Professional Responsibility, I ask that you appoint a Special Prosecutor to determine whether or not any charges should be filed.

Gray family lawyer William Murphy is reported by the Baltimore Sun newspaper to have contributed $5,000 to Prosecutor Mosby's political campaign. Prosecutor Mosby's husband, a city council member, has been prominently present at the riots, and commenting on them in a manner suggesting that the acts of violence are understandable:

The NY Times reports:
Baltimore prosecutors, in an unexpected announcement, said Friday they had probable cause to file homicide, manslaughter and misconduct charges against police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, who died after sustaining a spinal cord injury while in police custody. In a news conference, the state’s attorney, Marilyn J. Mosby, described repeated mistreatment of Mr. Gray. Time and again, she said, police officers mistreated him, arresting him without grounds and violating police procedure by putting him in handcuffs and leg restraints in the van without putting a seatbelt him. Ms. Mosby also said the officers had repeatedly failed to seek medical attention for Mr. Gray after he was injured. By the time he was removed from the van, she said, “Mr. Gray was no longer breathing at all.” The death, Ms. Mosby said, is believed to be the result of an injury Mr. Gray sustained while riding in the van without a seatbelt.

There appears to be much rending of garments and gnashing of teeth over the claim that Freddie Gray's arrest itself was unlawful, thus tainting every aspect of subsequent police conduct, thus murder!11!11! The thinking, as near as I can understand it, is as follows:

(1) Freddie Gray did no more than merely make eye contact with police officers, and then flee. (At this point the police did not know that Gray possessed a knife, whether legal or not.)

(2) On this basis the police initiated a pursuit and stop of Gray.

(2) This police conduct fails to meet the standard of probable cause necessary for an arrest to be Constitutiona, making the arrest unlawful

(4) Even if Gray's knife is indeed unlawful it must be suppressed as evidence because it is the fruit of the tainted tree of the unlawful arrest, as the police did not know of the knife when they initiated their interaction with Gray.

(5) ????

(6) The police in custody of Gray murdered him.

Sadly, this conception of the events in this case and the conclusion drawn merely reflects a rather profound ignorance of what the Constitution permits in terms of police interaction with the public.

This is a follow up to our post, Mom Sets #BaltimoreRiots Son Straight. The two sat down for an interview with ABC News:
The teenage boy publicly shamed when his mom smacked him around at the Baltimore riots this week said he knows she "really cares about me." A video shows Michael Singleton being dragged from the protests and whacked by his mother, Toya Graham, after she saw him on television and recognized a key piece of clothing. "What caught my eye was his sweatpants," she told ABC News. "Even though he had on all black, I knew those sweatpants he had on, they had a stripe on the side of it and then his eye contact met mine. And I knew that was my son." Though he was visibly annoyed and tried brushing off his mom in the video that has now gone viral, the 16-year-old recognizes that she was just looking out for him. "I’m like, 'Oh man! What is my momma doing down here?'" Michael told ABC News, laughing while thinking back to the moment his mom nabbed him Monday afternoon. "All my friends know my mother. Every time they see her they’re like, 'Toya coming.' Oh, yeah she’s coming. Everybody better get straight," he said. He added: “I understand how much my mother really cares about me. I just got to try to do better.”

According to a new report from FOX News which is sure to generate controversy, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake gave an order for police to stand down during the riots which decimated the city this week:
Source: Baltimore mayor ordered police to stand down Despite a firm denial by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a senior law enforcement source charges that she gave an order for police to stand down as riots broke out Monday night, raising more questions about whether some of the violence and looting could have been prevented. The source, who is involved in the enforcement efforts, confirmed to Fox News there was a direct order from the mayor to her police chief Monday night, effectively tying the hands of officers as they were pelted with rocks and bottles. Asked directly if the mayor was the one who gave that order, the source said: "You are God damn right it was." The claim follows criticism of the mayor for, over the weekend, saying they were giving space to those who "wished to destroy."
Bill Hemmer of FOX News asked the mayor to comment but she denied the claim. Watch:

One of the most remarkable aspects of the death of Freddie Gray is how little is publicly known about the physiological cause of death, and the lack of evidence behind all the speculation. The autopsy will not be released, according to police, but will be handed over to state prosecutors. There is a report in The Washington Post that Gray tried to injure himself in the police van, but that is far from certain at this point. This naturally complicates reasoned analysis of the events, and provides fertile ground for false, politically-motivated narratives that lead to violence, rioting, looting and arson. Let's take a step back, examine the claims and narratives that have been promulgated to date, and consider whether there exists even a hypothetical scenario in which the death of Freddie Gray is the result of events not involving police malice.

Assumed for Purposes of Discussion: Gray’s Arrest Was Lawful

There is no dispute that Freddie Gray was arrested on the street by the Baltimore police department. Some claim that the arrest was committed without adequate probable cause. This is, of course, possible. Given Gray’s extensive criminal record, familiarity to local law enforcement, objectively suspicious behavior—-flight upon spotting the patrol officers—-and a police claim that he was in possession of an illegal (in Maryland), spring-assisted opening knife, it’s at least equally possible that the police had probable cause.
Font Resize
Contrast Mode