Legal analysts ripped Baltimore prosecutors Monday over their handling of the Freddie Gray case, saying the prosecution should drop all charges against the three remaining police officers or risk more embarrassment in the courtroom.
“Though they may have been ordered by Mosby to do what they did, that is no defense. Every prosecutor has an individual obligation. They aren’t some minions way down below on the chain that really have no choice. These are the two major people in charge of making the decisions. I think they are as guilty of ethical violations as she.”
What’s more, John Banzhaf, an activist law professor at George Washington University, said he would file a complaint Tuesday with the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission calling for the disbarment of the lead prosecutors in the trials of the six police officers accused of wrongdoing in the 2015 arrest and death of the 25-year-old black man.
The pointed criticism came Monday after Lt. Brian Rice was acquitted of all charges for his role in Gray’s arrest and death. The lieutenant was the highest-ranking of the accused officers, and his full acquittal was the third consecutive loss for prosecutors. Another trial ended in a hung jury in December, and a retrial has been scheduled.
“It’s quite clear that the prosecution should not continue on. The prosecution in the next three cases should strongly make a suggestion in court — on the record — that these cases have not been proven and will not be proven and therefore they should be dismissed.”
But legal analysts said any subsequent trials should be canceled. They noted prosecutors’ failure to convict the most senior officer involved in Gray’s arrest (Lt. Rice) and the driver of the police van in which Gray’s neck was broken (Officer Caesar Goodson).
“It’s quite clear that the prosecution should not continue on,” said Barry Slotnick, a prominent defense lawyer who has followed the trials in the Gray case. “The prosecution in the next three cases should strongly make a suggestion in court — on the record — that these cases have not been proven and will not be proven and therefore they should be dismissed.”
“It’s rather sad. The fact of the matter is that I think this prosecution was commenced by people who were concerned about community reaction. People should not be accused of a crime to have a community satisfied. It’s absolutely inappropriate.”
Still, Mr. Slotnick said it’s unlikely that Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby will drop the remaining trials. He attributed her filing of charges against the six officers to an intent to appease the community.
“It’s rather sad,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that I think this prosecution was commenced by people who were concerned about community reaction. People should not be accused of a crime to have a community satisfied. It’s absolutely inappropriate.” Read the rest of this entry »
Officer died at scene, found without his gun, equipment
AWR Hawkins reports: According to CBS Chicago, “Lake County Sheriff’s Det. Chris Covelli said, around 7:50 a.m., the officer radioed he was pursuing three suspects, after looking into their ‘suspicious activity.’ Police lost radio contact with the officer, who was later found with a gunshot wound.”
Police indicate that the trio consists of two white males and one black male. CBS Chicago points to “unconfirmed reports” that the trio may have taken the fallen “officer’s gun and pepper spray.”
The manhunt appears to be centered “on a marshy area off Rainier Way and Rollins Road.” Read the rest of this entry »