Marilyn Mosby, the prosecutor in the Freddie Gray case, continues to make news for all the wrong reasons. First, her motion for a gag order in the case was dismissed because she filed it in the wrong court. The Baltimore Sun reports:
Judge Charles J. Peters ruled the motion lacked standing in an actual proceeding, as it was filed by Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office in Circuit Court on May 14. At that time, the officers’ cases were still in District Court. They weren’t transferred to Circuit Court until May 21, when the officers were indicted.
Mistakes like this aren’t unheard of in litigation, but they smack of amateurism.
Second, it has been revealed that Mosby directed Baltimore police to ramp up narcotics patrols with increased “targeting” at an intersection near where Freddie Gray was arrested. Mosby’s directive does not, of course, bear on the question of whether police officers committed crimes in their treatment of Gray after he was arrested. An order to ramp up patrols isn’t an invitation to injure people.
However, Mosby’s directive seems to undercut what’s left of the criminal charges she filed in connection with Gray’s arrest, as opposed to his treatment thereafter.
You probably recall that Mosby originally based her charges of false arrest on the claim that the knife Freddie Gray possessed was one he had the legal right to carry. That claim unraveled because (1) it appeared to be contrary to Baltimore city law and (2) at a minimum, the police had “probable cause” to believe the knife was illegal.
Mosby had a fall back position, though. She could base her false arrest claim on the view that the police didn’t discover Gray’s knife until they had already arrested him. Thus, she could argue that the arrest was based on the fact that Gray fled when the police made eye contact with him, perhaps out of a reasonable fear that he would be mistreated. As such, the arrest was unlawful — or so Mosby could contend.
Here’s where her directive to target the location of the arrest for ramped up narcotics patrols comes into play. As Megyn Kelly and Trace Gallagher pointed out last night, the Supreme Court has ruled that reasonable suspicion is enough to stop an individual who flees unprovoked in a high crime area. Mosby’s directive will make it difficult for her to argue that the area from which Gray fled is not a high crime area.
Actually, it was always going to be difficult to make that argument. Now, it would be embarrassing.
It has been plain all along that Mosby, probably motivated by political concerns and mob sentiment, overcharged in this case. We are now beginning to see the consequences.
It has been suspected all along that Mosby is in over her head. The two developments discussed above add to this impression.