Mosby family ties to police provide no answer to charge of anti-police bias [UPDATED]

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore city’s state’s attorney, has countered charges that she’s biased against the police by saying that she comes from “five generations” of cops. But a closer look at her family history raises more questions about her view of the police than it answers.

Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller reports that Mosby’s mother, Linda Thompson, was forced to retire from the Boston police force in 2008 after violating the department’s drug policy for the second time. Her father, Alan James, reportedly was fired from the department in 1991 following accusations that he and a partner robbed drug dealers.

And that’s not all. According to Ross, two of Mosby’s uncles were fired from the Boston police, one after testing positive for cocaine. That’s quite a family tradition.

Mosby’s grandfather had an unblemished record as a cop, according to Ross. However, he sued the Boston police department for alleged racial discrimination when it refused to rehire him after he lost the use of one eye. Whatever the merits of the case, it’s unlikely that this dispute between the department and her grandfather makes Mosby feel warm and fuzzy about the police.

Let’s be clear. The history I’ve described doesn’t establish that Mosby is anti-police. That case stands or falls on her conduct, including the overcharging of the six officers involved with Freddie Gray’s fateful arrest and detention.

But the fact that the police careers of so many family members, including her mother and father, ended badly demolishes Mosby’s attempt to ward off allegations of bias against the police by invoking family history. We’re not talking about Blue Bloods here.

Finally, it’s worth noting that one of the lead investigators whom Mosby relied on in bringing charges in the Gray case is a former high-ranking Baltimore officer who was stripped of his command due to misconduct. The former officer, Avon Mackel, reportedly lost his post for failing to follow through on a robbery investigation that two of his officers mishandled. Furthermore, police officers in the district were accused of classifying serious crimes as lesser ones, in order to log lower crime rates.

Mosby might well have been unaffected in the Gray matter by her family’s unfortunate history with the police; it’s far less likely that Mackel was unaffected by his own history. And it’s quite plausible to believe that Mosby’s decision to rely on an officer who fell from grace was influenced by the similar fall from grace by so many of her cop ancestors.

UPDATE: I should also have noted that Mosby’s claim to come from five generations of cops equates the number of relatives who served in the police with the number of generations of relatives. Two parents, two uncles, and a grandfather doesn’t equal five generations.

Marilyn Mosby seems to be a dope.