Others are trying to catch up
On May 1, 2015, the elected Maryland State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, African American Marilyn Mosby, carried out her responsibility and duties without delay. She “announced charges against six Baltimore City police officers for their alleged role in the death of Freddie Gray.” Three Black, three White (five are men; one woman). What the ultimate verdict will be, and what considered opinions will be about the cause of Freddie Gray’s death and causes of the ensuing riots, only time will tell. The case has garnered much worldwide attention.
The key: Ms. Mosby began her office’s “independent investigation…upon receiving notice of the incident,” without delay. The young Ms. Mosby (“the youngest chief prosecutor of any major city in America”) is already serving as an example for state’s attorneys, county attorneys and city attorneys across the United States. It will be more difficult to delay action and announcements for future investigations. It is painful to say that the mayor’s police department and investigators had neither the tenaciousness nor the aggressiveness to move as quickly.
Contrary to liberal critics, this was not a rush to judgment. Ms. Mosby showed that commitment resulting in the pursuit of justice could be achieved without delay, as she demonstrates: April 12, Freddie Grey arrested. April 19: death of Freddy Gray while in police custody. May 1: Ms. Mosby announced her charges. She ordered her investigators to begin immediately. April 13: Investigating the circumstances involving the arrest and as a result was ready when told of his death.
At the time of Gray’s death, Mosby was already six days into that investigation. The coroner’s office ruled Freddie Gray’s death a homicide (human killed by a human), raising all the obvious questions: Was the double-broken vertebra an accident? Involuntary? Premeditated? Shackles? Seat belt? Negligence? Incompetence?
Each officer is charged with three-to-six counts. Among the counts, depending on the officer, misconduct in office, second-degree assault, involuntary manslaughter, depraved heart murder.
She kept the investigation quiet and stayed away from leaks, unlike the Baltimore Police Department and Mayor Rawlings Blake. In moving as quickly as possible, Ms. Mosby restored hope to African Americans all across the United States, as she models what too many Black leaders lack: quickly taking nonviolent action to change the city by showing all lives matter, doing so under the color of law.
She comes from a law enforcement family (grandfather, father and three uncles). She has been recognized by both the voters and her peers (“50 Women to Watch,” “Leading Women,” “Top 40 under 40”).
She is a public official elected by the citizens of Baltimore City, who takes seriously her job to prosecute those who violate the law and take a human being’s life. I would think that all true constitutionalists would be proud of how Ms. Mosby cut through the bureaucratic red tape that strangles justice for those who for far too long have been denied a seat at the table of justice.
In the law schools of the future, Marilyn Mosby will be remembered as a prosecutor who took great pride in her oath of office and her commitment to the residents and voters of Baltimore City. I have a great appreciation and respect for public officials who do their jobs without excuses.
In Ferguson and St. Louis, MO, they did the wrong things in the wrong ways with the wrong results. Officer Darren Wilson of St. Louis should be happy he wasn’t on patrol in Baltimore, MD in the summer of 2014 with Ms. Mosby as chief prosecutor. God bless Ms. Mosby as she moves forward toward the jury results of weighing the charges.