A New York Times magazine profile of Baltimore's state's attorney Marilyn Mosley, who rose to national fame after the death of Freddy Gray in police custody, presents Mosby and her husband Nick, a Baltimore City Council member, as a "couple in the midst of a public ordeal."
Not perhaps as much of an ordeal as the Baltimore policemen Mosby put on trial without enough evidence of wrong doing to get a single conviction. But what the heck? Here is how the reporter, Wil Hylton, a personal friend of Mosby, concludes the profile:
There was a long silence, and I realized that when you looked at the fallout from Gray’s death — the devastation to his family, the eruption of the city, the polarizing trials and dismissed charges, the rift between cops and prosecutors and the surging violence — the scars were everywhere in this city, but it sometimes seemed as if the only public figure who had really suffered for his death, who put her career and private life on the line, whether right or wrong, the elected official who paid the highest price was the one who set out to make sure someone did.
Freddy Gray's death was a sad and unnecessary death. But the evidence pointed overwhelmingly to Gray's having died because of his own behavior, not because of actions of the police. If Mosby has suffered (if you can call being lionized in the New York Times suffering), it is because she brought politically-motivated cases to court without the basic evidence that those on trial had been responsible for Gray's death. The courts are to provide justice, not to mollify a mob that was baying for blood and vengeance.
Clearly not a fan of broken windows policing, Hylton believes that the problem was arresting Gray in the first place:
Here is Freddie Gray. He’s standing on the corner in a pair of bluejeans and a light jacket over a black Lacoste T-shirt. Let’s say he’s holding a few pills of dope, or let’s just say he’s selling them, when a pair of cops roll up on bicycles and Gray takes off.
Probably at this point the cops should let him go, because really, who cares? Veteran officers know that the city is awash in violent crime and that mucking around with Gray over a dope collar amounts to nothing. But these are cops on an enforcement detail, under pressure to make arrests, so we have a pursuit, and pretty soon, they have Gray down. But when they search his pockets, they can’t find the pills. No surprise.
Any suspect on the run is going to consider tossing his dope or swallowing it, and it seems as if Gray ate his. His toxicology report will eventually come back with traces of opioids in his blood, and even the cops will admit that Gray wasn’t a junkie or a user. In fact, some of them will tell you that he worked with them as an informant and that they wish the flex squad had left him alone. “When I catch somebody and I can’t find the drugs, I’m like: ‘All right. You win today. I’ll get you tomorrow,’ ” a cop who worked with Gray told me. “But those young guys, those bike cops, honestly they’re kind of looking for numbers.”’
I wasn't there. I don't know whether Gray should have been arrested. But I do know this: when the police begin to ignore drug collars because it's just too much trouble, it's not going to be people like Hylton, who sips wine with the Mosbys, who suffer.
It is going to be the less affluent who live in the inner city.
If Mosby is goint through a bad patch, bewailed by Hylton, it seems to be because of a career setback, and a career setback is what a prosecutor should have after bringing cases for political reasons.