Soon after the announcement that all charges were being dropped against the Baltimore police officers who had been complicit in the 2015 death of Freddie Gray, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby angrily called out the system that allows law enforcement to investigate themselves and demanded reform.
Speaking at a news conference in West Baltimore, Mosby said that there was simply no way to successfully move forward with the case under the current system.
We do not believe that Freddie Gray killed himself. We stand by the medical examiner’s determination that Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide,” she stated. “However, after much thought and prayer, it has become clear to me that — without being able to work with an independent investigatory agency from the very start, without having a say in the election of whether our cases proceed in front of a judge or a jury, without communal oversight of policing in this community, without real, substantive reforms to the current criminal justice system — we could try this case 100 times, and cases just like it, and we would still end up with the same result.
The prosecution had tried to prove that the officers had purposefully given Freddie Gray what is known as a “rough ride,” leaving him unbuckled in the back of the police van and driving like maniacs with the intent of injuring him. Unfortunately, they were unable to secure conclusive evidence to prove their case. Mosby blamed this on the “systemic and inherent complications” involved with trying police officers.
Unlike with other cases, where prosecutors work closely with the police to investigate what actually occurred, what we realized very early on in this case was that police investigating police, whether their friends or merely their colleagues, was problematic,” Mosby said. “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.
Up until now, Mosby had been unable to speak about the case due to Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams’ gag order. Now that the case has been closed, she is able to come forward. She said that “as a mother,” the decision to drop the charges against the officers was “agonizing.” The Baltimore State’s Attorney vowed to continue fighting equality in the criminal justice system.
This system is in need of reform, and when it comes to police accountability, and as long as I am the chief prosecutor for this city, I vow to you that my office and I will fight. 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.
Watch Mosby call out the system here:
Featured image via video screen capture