With the dropping of all remaining charges against three last officers in the death of Freddie Gray, it is clear–the cases were brought not because of evidence that the officers acted improperly but because a state attorney wanted to curry favor with a mob.
When announcing that she was filing charges, Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby said as much, telling the mob that "this is your moment," not exactly the way blind justice is supposed to operate in the United States. Meanwhile, Ms. Mosby sat for a session with world renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz for a laudatory spread in Vogue magazine.
In ending this charade, Mosby, whose office failed to get convictions in the first three cases (against officers Caeser R. Goodson, Edward Nero, and Brian Rice), blamed racist bias for her inability to prosecute successfully–natch:
But, given Williams' acquittal of Nero, Goodson and Rice and the likelihood that the remaining officers would also choose bench trials before him, Mosby said she had to acknowledge the "dismal likelihood" that her office would be able to secure a conviction.
"After much thought and prayer it has become clear that without being able to work with an independent investigatory agency from the very start, without having a say in the election of whether cases proceed in front of a judge or jury, without communal oversight of police in this community, without 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," she said.
She said there is an "inherent bias" whenever "police police themselves." She said the charges she brought were not an indictment of the entire Baltimore Police Department, but she also broadly condemned the actions and testimony of some officers involved in Gray's arrest or in the department's investigation of the incident — alleging "consistent bias" at "every stage."
She said she is not "anti-police," but "anti-police brutality." She also noted the "countless sacrifices" of her prosecutors in the case, including Schatzow and Deputy State's Attorney Janice Bledsoe, and said her office will continue to "fight for a fair and equitable justice system for all."
In clearing Nero, Goodson and Rice, Williams had repeatedly said that prosecutors presented little or no evidence to support their broader theory in the case – that the officers acted unreasonably, and willfully disregarded their training and general orders, when they decided not to secure Gray in a seat belt in the back of a police transport van, and that the decision directly led to his death.
All of the officers had pleaded not guilty. Their attorneys have said they acted reasonably and professionally, and that Gray's death was the result of a tragic accident.
So justice prevails–sort of. All these officers (some non-white) have had to hire lawyers and put their lives on hold. They had to live with the fear that they would end up in prison to satisfy rioters.
Hot Air comments that this is a good ending and notices that another figure in the Gray story, the mayor who said rioters "who want to destroy" should have the space to do so, is somewhere special this week:
There’s something to be said for saving the city the time and money on further wasted efforts, not to mention the risk of additional protests and potential rioting each time another officer is cleared of charges, but the damage to the city’s credibility is long since done.
There’s one other political aspect to this story which reaches well beyond the borders of Charm City. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was part and parcel of the decision to go after the officers in the first place and Mosby had her full backing and endorsement for the effort. She’s not in Baltimore right now because she’s been busy running the proceedings at Hillary Clinton’s convention here in Philadelphia. I’m sure that’s yet another headline that the convention organizers didn’t need on the eve of their candidate’s big acceptance speech, serving as a reminder of the failed policies which the Democrats have foisted off on America’s urban centers for generations.
Hat tip: Daily Caller