Freddie Gray was the Black American man killed by police in Baltimore last year that led to riots.
The medical examiner ruled the death of Freddie Gray a homicide, yet the judge could find no guilt in three of the six police officers that came before him, not even in the commanding officer.
Last week Marilyn Mosby dropped charges against the remaining three officers:
“As a mother – as a mother – the decision not to proceed on these trials, these remaining trials, is agonizing. However, as a chief prosecutor elected by the citizens of Baltimore, I must consider the dismal likelihood of conviction at this point.”
Lt Gene Ryan, president of the police union:
“justice has been done”
Mosby, now no longer under orders from the judge to remain silent, saw it differently:
“There was a reluctance and an obvious bias that was consistently exemplified not by the entire Baltimore police department, but by individuals within the Baltimore Police department at every stage of the investigation. Which became blatantly apparent in the subsequent trials. Although commissioner Davis was and has been extremely accommodating, there were:
- individual police officers that were witnesses to the case, yet were part of the investigative team.
- Interrogations that were conducted without asking the most poignant questions.
- Lead detectives that were completely uncooperative and started a counter investigation to disprove the state’s case by:
- not executing search warrants pertaining to text messages among the police officers involved in the case,
- creating videos to disprove the state’s case without our knowledge,
- creating notes that were drafted after the case was launched to contradict the medical examiner’s conclusions,
- turning these notes over to defence attorneys months prior to turning them over to the state, and yet doing it in the middle of trial.”
In short, she found herself dependent on a police cover-up.
“We do not believe Freddie Gray killed himself, we stand by the medical examiner’s determination that Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide. However, after much thought and prayer it has become clear to me that
- without being able to work with an independent investigatory agency at the very start,
- without having a say in the election of whether our case is to proceed in front of a judge or a jury,
- without communal oversight on policing in this community,
- without reforms in the criminal justice system,
we could try this case a hundred times, and cases just like it, and we would still end up with the same result.”
All was not in vain: everyone got to see how broken the system is: police officers rarely face public trial. And the case led to reforms in the Baltimore police, like body cameras, cameras in all police vans, medical attention when requested, a no-excuse policy on seat-belting, etc.
Mosby remains unbowed:
“We will fight for a fair and equitable justice system for all. So that whatever happened to Freddie Gray never happens to another person in this community again.”
– Abagond, 2016.
- Mosby’s full remarks: video (14 minutes, said with emotion), transcript.
- Freddie Gray
- Marilyn Mosby
- Baltimore police:
- grand jury – where most police brutality cases are undermined. Mosby got past this stage.