Patterico's Pontifications

7/27/2016

Police Prosecutions in Freddie Gray Death Come to a Merciful End

Filed under: General — JVW @ 10:17 am

[guest post by JVW]

Faced with their dismal record in court thus far, the Baltimore’s State Attorney’s Office has dropped all charges against the last three officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Trials of the four officers that had previous taken place ended in one mistrial and three acquittals.

Beleaguered State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby played the feminine card at a news conference earlier today, telling reporters that “as a mother” this decision to halt the prosecutions greatly affected her. She also once again accused the police of protecting their own, claiming that there was “a reluctance” on the part of police to investigate and “an obvious bias” that they brought to the investigation. Standing next to Ms. Mosby, Gray’s mother Gloria Darden accused police of lying, claiming “I know they lied, and they killed him.”

After having 211 homicides for the entire year in 2014, Baltimore’s number rose to 344 last year and stands at 167 year-to-date for 2016. Gray’s arrest and death took place in April 2015.

The Baltimore Sun has an interesting run-down of reaction to these developments. It would appear that Ms. Mosby retains significant support in Baltimore’s African-American community, notwithstanding the wasted resources devoted to these prosecutions. Ms. Mosby declined to answer questions at her news conference, citing civil lawsuits that have been filed against her.

Previous posts concerning the sad Freddie Gray situation can be found here.

– JVW

58 Responses to “Police Prosecutions in Freddie Gray Death Come to a Merciful End”

  1. You can go on Twitter and read what the latest Hollywood intellectual, Jesse Williams, thinks about all of this 140 characters at a time. It’s good for inducing eye-rolling and head-shaking.

    JVW (f97acd)

  2. Mosby is a hack, and Baltimore will continue to burn until the adults reclaim leadership.

    Steve Malynn (b5f891)

  3. A woman standing next to Freddie Gray’s mother and grandstanding to the radical Black Lives Matter community is accusing the police of “an obvious bias.” Classic.

    JVW (f97acd)

  4. Marilyn should be expecting a Nobel representative at her door this week.

    mg (31009b)

  5. As he said in today’s news conference (where Trump also tears Hillary a new one), Mosby should prosecute herself.

    Denver Guy (4750ec)

  6. I guess Brown’s mother did not speak last night,
    Good thing
    For her own sake, she should be left alone and not put in the middle of continuing a lie.

    MD in Philly (fd8637)

  7. Why was gray’s mother in baltimore. The democrat convention with all the thugs mothers is in Philadelphia. Why wasn’t she invited to speak?

    Jim (a9b7c7)

  8. Legal Insurrection also has excellent coverage.

    scrubone (c3104f)

  9. I know it’s terrible of me to think it, but the police force should just leave Baltimore and let the city consume itself.

    TheNaBr (0c7c2f)

  10. 7… Good point, Jim!

    Mosby isn’t a big enough person to let the system work and accept the results, she tries to take it all down with her. A poor choice for S’sAG all the way around.

    Colonel Haiku (9298f8)

  11. TheNaBr wrote:

    I know it’s terrible of me to think it, but the police force should just leave Baltimore and let the city consume itself.

    Let the city continue to consume itself, you mean.

    There are several cities in these great United States in which Escape From New York ought to be viewed as an action plan.

    The movie fan Dana (f6a568)

  12. So, with one jury trial, we got a hung jury, meaning that a substantial number of Baltimore citizens were willing to convict regardless of the lack of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In the three bench trials, the judge, who is black, weighed only the evidence and the law, and acquitted on all charges.

    I think that says something about the supposed impartiality of juries.

    The Dana who isn't an attorney (f6a568)

  13. It’s becoming obvious that The Wire was too kind to Baltimore.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  14. And now you know why the Colts moved to Indianapolis.

    The football fan Dana (f6a568)

  15. JVW wrote:

    Standing next to Ms. Mosby, Gray’s mother Gloria Darden accused police of lying, claiming “I know they lied, and they killed him.”

    Mr Gray was a thug who was, to use the euphemism, “known to the police.” If Mrs Darden hadn’t been such a shitty mother, and reared a son who was decent and law-abiding, instead of a petty criminal, her son would be alive today.

    I have exactly zero sympathy or respect for the parents of criminals.

    The unsympathetic Dana (f6a568)

  16. and the reason why the soon to be gone Sears left their eponymous Tower in Chicago for the bucolic farthest NW corner of Cook County.

    urbanleftbehind (8b1575)

  17. Sears IS gone. It’s really K-Mart.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  18. BTW, anyone who has not SEEN The Wire should make a point of it, now released in HD. How cities fail.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  19. Sears will be gone that much faster if Trump keeps his big promise, that place is propped up by certain families and their chamacos.

    urbanleftbehind (8b1575)

  20. The Wire is free to watch with Amazon Prime.

    The book it’s based on, Homicide, is even better than that show. I’ve been through Baltimore many times. Like St Louis, it has parts that make the ugliest sections of Houston or Dallas look like Beverly Hills.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  21. I didn’t expect an 0-fer. It appeared to me that one of the officers clearly ignored a significant safety protocol and in that environment, a criminal conviction would result.

    Odds on all of the cops retaining rank and pay as if this never happened?

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  22. That’s cause even in their hoods, half the houses in Dallas and Houston proper have in-ground swimming pools.

    urbanleftbehind (8b1575)

  23. “Police Prosecutions in Freddie Gray Death Come to a Merciful End”

    Unlike the life of Freddie Gray.

    Tom Ryberg (167a32)

  24. So, with one jury trial, we got a hung jury, meaning that a substantial number of Baltimore citizens were willing to convict regardless of the lack of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In the three bench trials, the judge, who is black, weighed only the evidence and the law, and acquitted on all charges

    I get you, but let’s celebrate the fact that there is apparently at least one juror in Baltimore willing to step into the Henry Fonda role from Twelve Angry Men and hold out for an acquittal. That likely takes guts.

    JVW (f97acd)

  25. I didn’t expect an 0-fer. It appeared to me that one of the officers clearly ignored a significant safety protocol and in that environment, a criminal conviction would result.

    That was the driver, Officer Goodson, who was acquitted last month. He clearly failed to follow the proper protocols, and he (along with most or all of the other officers involved) still faces internal disciplinary hearings which could result in job termination. But for the prosecutors to try to pin second-degree depraved heart murder on him was a galactic overreach. I wonder if Mosby’s office didn’t expect plea bargains from the accused, not realizing that their union has the wherewithal to mount a vigorous defense for each and every one of them. I’ll bet her office is used to overcharging poor black defendants and having their public defenders cop to a lesser charge.

    JVW (f97acd)

  26. I’ve been through Baltimore many times. Like St Louis, it has parts that make the ugliest sections of Houston or Dallas look like Beverly Hills.

    Conversely, Dustin, I love the Inner Harbor of Baltimore and Fells Point. Those are fantastic places to visit and spend time. But that’s the case with a lot of decaying American cities: a vibrant and thriving inner core surrounded by despair and decay.

    JVW (f97acd)

  27. The book it’s based on, Homicide, is even better than that show

    There was an earlier network show, “Homicide: Life on the Street”, set in Baltimore and based on the same David Simon book. It is perhaps notable for creating the character Detective John Munch (Richard Belzer) who has appeared in 10 different series, including Arrested Development, 30 Rock, the X-Files, several versions of Law & Order as well as The Wire itself.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  28. Munch is kinda the Greg Packer of TV detectives.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  29. It was lost in the hullabaloo over Trump’s nomination, but this past Thursday was Mario Woods Remembrance Day, as declared earlier this year by a resolution from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

    Who was Mario Woods? He was a young African-American man shot by SFPD officers in an incident that was caught on video. But that’s not the whole story. From the S.F. Chronicle:

    Woods, who was shot dead by a group of police Wednesday, was named in a 2009 civil injunction as an active member of the Oakdale Mob. The injunction was filed by the City Attorney’s office as a way to help reduce gang activity in The City.

    His gang-related activities included armed robbery and attempted armed robbery, shooting incidents, weapons possession offenses and driving a stolen car. Woods was also involved in an automobile injury accident that occurred while fleeing from police, according to the City Attorney’s Office. It is unclear if Woods was ever charged for the alleged shooting incidents or the two automobile incidents.

    The injunction, originally from 2007, was meant to target gang activities across The City and impacted seven gangs from the Mission and Western Addition to Bayview and Visitacion Valley.

    The injunction limited who suspected gang members in certain geographical areas could be in public with. Specifically, they are barred from consorting with other suspected gang members.

    Woods also had a criminal record, according to court documents. He pleaded guilty in 2008 to possession of a firearm by a felon, but the original charges included carrying a loaded firearm in a public place.

    In another case from that same year, which was resolved in 2010, he faced robbery charges with gang enhancements. In 2010 he pleaded guilty to robbery and participating in a street gang and was sentenced to seven years in state prison. He already had served 895 days in County Jail.

    As a #NeverTrump person, I was PO’d for other reasons last Thursday. This was icing on a cake made out of head cheese. But before the day was over, I tweeted the following:

    https://twitter.com/LNSmithee/status/756752731856003072

    L.N. Smithee (b84cf6)

  30. Great comment, L.N. Smithee, and you just picked up a new follower on Twitter.

    San Francisco is such a weird place. No matter how depraved the life you lead is, no matter how much criminal activity you engage in, you are always just one step away from becoming a hero to the radical left.

    JVW (f97acd)

  31. Greetings:

    In the bit of her news conference that the PBS NewsHour decided to broadcast, Ms. Mosby seemed just a tad bit angrier than a grown- up should be when “conducting” the public’s business.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  32. Never forget these words, oft-repeated by the great and good Thomas Sowell:

    A lot of black people don’t want equality; they want revenge.

    Deuce Frehley (73c323)

  33. I read that the hung jury was 11 innocent, and one holdout for guilty.

    Ingot (c5876b)

  34. @Ingot – which case are we talking about?

    Sammy Finkelman (372aad)

  35. The solution to the mystery actually most likely is taht Freddie Gray stood up whle handcuffed while the van was moving. He didn’t commit suicide and he wasn’t killed.

    Sammy Finkelman (372aad)

  36. Greetings, Sammy Finkelstein: ( @ (372aad) — 7/27/2016 @ 5:04 pm)

    I used to watch “Cops” on Fox TV and a number of times I saw an arrestee do himself harm after being placed in the back of a patrol car. Unfortunately, that never seemed to come up or out in the Baltimore coverage that I’ve come across.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  37. Indeed. Thanks for the reminder, Deuce Frehley.

    mg (31009b)

  38. #31 “A lot of black people don’t want equality; they want revenge.”

    In this instance, equality would look like whites being victimized by police brutality at similar rates. A lot of white people don’t want that kind of equality.

    Of course, the best kind of equality would be if neither black nor white people faced unnecessary violence from police.

    TR (2c5752)

  39. “He didn’t commit suicide and he wasn’t killed.”

    True. Most Darwin’s are won unintentionally.

    Rick Ballard (04482a)

  40. It’s becoming obvious that The Wire was too kind to Baltimore.

    Kevin M (25bbee) — 7/27/2016 @ 1:52 pm

    I thought The Wire a little too slick. I preferred Homicide: Life On the Streets. At least the first four seasons. Just a matter of taste in Baltimore crime dramas is all.

    Bill H (971e5f)

  41. Of course, the best kind of equality would be if neither black nor white people faced unnecessary violence from police.

    TR (2c5752) — 7/27/2016 @ 6:02 pm

    The best way to avoid that is don’t commit crime. The police are far less likely to kill you if you don’t give them reason.

    Bill H (971e5f)

  42. #41

    I agree to a point.
    The point would by accentuated by when Philando Castile, who was supposedly allowed some kind of open or concealed carry, moved his hands across his gun.. maybe to get ID and permit, but still… jeez just be smart enough to tell the officer what is going on and ask him how he wants to handle the process.

    You don’t reach towards or past the gun. Just like the other guy in Louisiana… don’t be waving a gun around in the street or when the cops show up, they might shoot you.

    Both these things are part of Darwin’s laws of self preservation

    steveg (fed1c9)

  43. I agree to a point.
    The point would by accentuated by when Philando Castile, who was supposedly allowed some kind of open or concealed carry, moved his hands across his gun.. maybe to get ID and permit, but still… jeez just be smart enough to tell the officer what is going on and ask him how he wants to handle the process.

    You don’t reach towards or past the gun. Just like the other guy in Louisiana… don’t be waving a gun around in the street or when the cops show up, they might shoot you.

    Both these things are part of Darwin’s laws of self preservation

    steveg (fed1c9) — 7/27/2016 @ 10:03 pm

    True enough. Point at, reaching for or waving a gun with a cop around just isn’t a good idea. Pulling a Michael Brown is a sure ticket to the morgue. Seriously people- just what kind of retardation do you have that makes you want to take an already nerve-wracking situation and escalate it to the point of no return? Not getting killed by the cops really simple: don’t be stupid. When the cops tell you to put it down or don’t reach for it, newsflash, Sparky- they mean it.

    Bill H (971e5f)

  44. Not getting killed by the cops really simple: don’t be stupid. When the cops tell you to put it down or don’t reach for it, newsflash, Sparky- they mean it.
    Bill H (971e5f) — 7/27/2016 @ 11:16 pm

    The trouble this is! Like General (?) in New Orleans said! Stuck on stupid they are!

    Yoda (feee21)

  45. Stuck on stupid in life they are, still stuck on stupid when dead they become!

    Yoda (feee21)

  46. Their gear shift of life has only one gear. No Drive, No Reverse, only S for stupid it has.

    Yoda (feee21)

  47. So, with one jury trial, we got a hung jury, meaning that a substantial number of Baltimore citizens were willing to convict regardless of the lack of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.[…] I think that says something about the supposed impartiality of juries.

    The scuttlebutt was that only one juror wanted to convict. That’s not a substantial number.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  48. Mr Gray was a thug who was, to use the euphemism, “known to the police.” I

    “Thug”?! He was a career petty criminal, but I’ve never heard that he was violent to anyone. Dealing drugs isn’t thuggery.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  49. I didn’t expect an 0-fer. It appeared to me that one of the officers clearly ignored a significant safety protocol and in that environment, a criminal conviction would result.

    There was no evidence that anyone ignored the general order. Until just a few days before this happened the general orders explicitly gave officers discretion not to seatbelt prisoners if they thought it a bad idea. The closest the prosecution came to demonstrating a breach of that order was an unsupported assertion that Rice (I think) had not taken the time to consider whether seatbelting Grey was a good or bad idea, and he had a duty to make that assessment before deciding not to do it. That’s a very weak case; how can you know how long it should take an experienced policeman to assess and decide?

    Even the new order would presumably be subject to the general rule that all orders are subject to officer discretion where they are counterindicated by the circumstances. But since the state couldn’t prove that any of the defendants were even aware of the new order, that question wasn’t reached.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  50. That was the driver, Officer Goodson, who was acquitted last month. He clearly failed to follow the proper protocols, and he (along with most or all of the other officers involved) still faces internal disciplinary hearings which could result in job termination.

    I don’t think it’s at all clear that he failed at anything. The general orders that were in effect until just a few days before this left it to the officers’ discretion whether to seatbelt Gray, and it was reasonable for Goodson to defer to that discretion.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  51. In this instance, equality would look like whites being victimized by police brutality at similar rates. A lot of white people don’t want that kind of equality.

    They are. There’s no evidence that police as a class have it in for black people. A greater proportion of black people than white ones are arrested because a greater proportion commit crimes and need arresting. A greater proportion of black arrestees than white ones are treated roughly because a greater proportion put up a fight and need to be subdued. Interestingly the proportion of black criminals who are shot is slightly lower than that for white criminals.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  52. The point would by accentuated by when Philando Castile […]

    Just a reminder that the facts on that case are still not out, so most of what we hear is speculation. In due time we will have some solid facts, and will be better able to figure out what happened and what degree of fault, if any, rests on each participant.

    Alton Sterling is a much more clear-cut case. The shooting was clearly justified, just based on what’s already public.

    Milhouse (5a188d)

  53. Mr Milhouse wrote:

    Mr Gray was a thug who was, to use the euphemism, “known to the police.”

    I

    “Thug”?! He was a career petty criminal, but I’ve never heard that he was violent to anyone. Dealing drugs isn’t thuggery.

    Yes, it is. The drug trade is an inherently violent thing, as different dealers try to enforce their territory. Whether Mr Gray was ever personally arrested for a violent crime, by participating in the drug trade, he was participating in violence.

    The coldly realistic Dana (f6a568)

  54. Greetings, The coldly realistic Dana: ( @ (f6a568) — 7/28/2016 @ 8:19 am) )

    Back in the mid-70s Bronx, I was making another of my attempts at a college education. For some forgotten reason, I was taking a course in “Contract Law” in which the professor, undoubtedly aware of his geography, mentioned several times that the main problem facing career criminals is conflict resolution.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  55. The trouble this is! Like General (?) in New Orleans said! Stuck on stupid they are!

    Yoda (feee21) — 7/27/2016 @ 11:34 pm

    General Russel Honore. I think he was Louisiana National Guard.

    Bill H (971e5f)

  56. Stuck on stupid in life they are, still stuck on stupid when dead they become!

    Yoda (feee21) — 7/27/2016 @ 11:36 pm

    Yes, but at least by that point, their stupidity no longer involves anyone else.

    Bill H (971e5f)

  57. 11B40, citing an old professor, noted:

    the main problem facing career criminals is conflict resolution.

    Well, of course he was right, and if President Obama were informed of this, he could, no doubt, come up with an Executive Order, spending millions of dollars, providing federal conflict resolution mediation to the young men of his hometown. This liberal program would prove the benefits of progressivism, thus paving the way for Elizabeth Warren’s — or Michelle Obama’s — presidency.

    The wryly amused Dana (f6a568)

  58. The coldly realistic Dana (f6a568) — 7/28/2016 @ 8:19 am

    Mr Gray…by participating in the drug trade, he was participating in violence </blockquote. Some people don't realize that. What's wrong with the drug trade is much more tahn simply poisoining people. that's why the sellers of crack coacaine are worse than those selling regular cocaine.

    It's the violence taht users may do to obtain the money (more middle class people use less violence) and the violence between the deelers.

    Sammy Finkelman (643dcd)


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