Now that a police officer in the Freddie Gray case has been acquitted, the finger is being pointed once again at State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. She’s been accused of “rushing to judgment” by charging the six police officers with homicide.
It’s easy to look back now and analytically assess all the mistakes Mosby may have made. But put yourself back into the heat of the moment.
Gray, a 25-year-old black man was arrested for possession of an illegal switch blade. He was placed in a police van and while being transported he fell into a coma. He died at a trauma center a week later. It was discovered that spinal injuries he sustained during his “rough ride” to the police station led to his death. There are other documented cases where unrestrained passengers were thrown around and sustained similar spinal injuries, paralysis and death.
The other thing to keep in mind is that on August 9, 2014 unarmed teen Michael Brown was gunned down in the street by a Ferguson, Missouri cop. The shooting sparked a wave of protests and riots that began Aug. 9, 2014 to Aug. 25, 2014, then from Nov. 24 to Dec. 2 and in 2015 from Aug. 9 to Aug. 11. Some of the protests were peaceful but there was also lots of vandalism, looting, arson, gun and cases of police firing tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds.
Gray’s April 12, 2015 arrest and death a week later happened while the Michael Brown tragedy and the reaction was still fresh on the minds and hearts of people around the country.
It’s so easy to point the finger at Marilyn Mosby now and highlight all the mistakes she made. I can’t argue with legal analyst Sunny Hostin when she says Mosby’s role is to be a prosecutor and not a politician. Other critics have even said, Mosby was looking after the interest of herself and her husband Baltimore councilman Nick J. Mosby. And it only gets worse for Marilyn Mosby as two officers in the case are now suing her for defamation of character claiming she knew they weren’t guilty when she charged them.
In hindsight it’s all so clear that there may not be enough evidence to convict the rest of the officers. It is a tough lesson for Mosby but I wonder if she would have done it differently if she had the chance.
I can’t be mad at Mosby because I am one, and I know I wasn’t alone, who has believed that swift action should be taken against police when controversial shootings of unarmed black people happen. The longer you allow people’s emotions to fester the more they will believe that black lives do not matter. The fact that she read the report of what took place while Freddie Gray was in police custody and was moved enough to want to see those officers punished doesn’t make her political, it makes her human.
I believe that if the young State’s Attorney in the face of a tough dilemma decided to do what it would take to bring a level of calm to the city of Baltimore doesn’t automatically mean Mosby rushed to judgment. Maybe it was a rush to justice. And now she’s paying for it.