Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby held a press conference today regarding the dismissal of charges against officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray. During his arrest Baltimore police officers shackled Gray’s hands and legs. He was then put unsecured by seat belts and taken for a “rough ride” through the streets of Baltimore.The ride in the van caused Gray to be taken to a hospital with neck injuries and a detached spinal cord. Gray died three days later. His death was ruled a homicide.
Mosby spoke passionately and at length regarding the difficulties her office faced in bringing charges against the officers.
“For those that believe that I’m anti-police, it’s simply not the case. I’m anti-police brutality. I need not remind you that the only loss and the greatest loss in all of this was that of Freddie Gray’s life. For over a year, my office has been forced to remain silent in all six of the cases pertaining to and surrounding the death of Freddie Gray. Despite being physically and professional threatened, mocked, ridiculed, harassed and even sued, we respected and fulfilled our obligation and dutiful silence in accordance with Judge Barry Williams gag order, restricting any commentary from the state. In accordance with my oath to pursue justice over conviction, I refuse to allow the grandstanding of some and the hyperbole of others to diminish our resolve to seek justice on behalf of this young man. I was elected the prosecutor. I signed up for this, and I can take it. Because no matter how problematic and troublesome it has been for my office, my prosecutors, my family, and me personally, it pales into comparison to what mothers and fathers all across this country … go through on a daily basis knowing their son’s mere decision to run.”
Critics of Mosby have stated that the charges against the officers were overreaching and on weak ground for the prosecution of the officers. As officers who decided for a bench trial before a judge were acquitted and another was ordered for retrial.After the latest acquittal of Lt. Brian Rice it became apparent that Mosby was on a losing streak.
Mosby went on to state: “The prosecution of on-duty police officers in this country is unsurprisingly rare and blatantly fraught with systemic and inherent complications…Unlike with other cases where prosecutors work closely with the police to investigate what actually occurred, what we realized very early on in this case was police investigating police, whether they’re friends or merely their colleagues, was problematic. There was a reluctance and an obvious bias that was consistently exemplified not by the entire Baltimore police department, but by individuals within the police department in every state of the investigation which became blatantly apparent in the subsequent trials.”
Gathered around Mosby were Freddie Gray’s family members, who wiped tears from their eyes as Mosby continued to speak. Mosby concluded by saying, “What I ultimately learned throughout this arduous process is that, although no small task, justice is always worth the price paid for its pursuit. You see, in spite of the fact that the verdicts didn’t go in our favor, there have been many gains throughout this journey to ensure that what happened to Freddie Gray never happens to another person that comes into contact with police.”