A criminal trial costs a lot of money and the sole purpose should be to determine the guilt of innocence of the accused. Simple concept.
Yet police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore have filed suit against state attorney Marilyn Mosby, who, they believe, charged them for reasons not having to do with their guilt or innocence. The Baltimore Sun reports:
The officers claim that Mosby and Cogen knew the statement of charges filed against the officers and other statements made by Mosby at a May 1, 2015, news conference announcing the charges "were false."
"These among other statements were made not for the purpose of prosecuting crimes that had allegedly been committed by White and Porter, but rather for purposes of quelling the riots in Baltimore," the suit alleges.
Quelling riots is important– but trying somebody without sufficient cause to appease rioters is not the proper way to do this.
Perhaps a better way to do that would have been for Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to refrain from saying that she wanted to give violent protesters “who wished to destroy” the space to do so.
It is (and should be) extremely difficult to sue a prosecutor for doing her job. As Hot Air notes, it is unlikely that this suit will go very far. But that doesn't mean that it is a meaningless action. Hot Air comments that the suit will likely have merit in the eyes of the public:
From the moment the riots began it was obvious that both Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Mosby were looking to appease the masses in the streets and shift the blame to the cops. Mosby stood before the cameras on the steps of City Hall and promised the city that she would “deliver justice on behalf of Freddie Gray.”
The Mayor was complicit in arranging for a multi-million dollar payout to Gray’s family before the first jury was ever seated in what could only be interpreted as an admission of guilt on the part of the police department. These were the acts of city officials who were trying to side with the rioters in the streets and buy some measure of peace rather than simply finding the truth underlying the events of Gray’s arrest and deliver justice no matter the reactions of the crowd.
Mosby may escape criminal or civil liability in this matter, but her career is likely over, much like that of the Mayor.
If the charges are as meritless as they appear to be (so far Mosby has gotten an acquittal and a mistrial), filing them was an abuse of power from public officials who appeared more interested in currying favor from a mob than in doing their jobs properly.
Only in a police state are people tried without cause and forced to suffer financial and emotional consequences for the convenience of officials.
With public officials like Mosby and Rawlings-Blake . . .