Friday, May 1, 2015

The Baltimore Indictments: It's Troubling

Today's blockbuster news is that 6 Baltimore police officers have been charged in the death of Freddy Gray. I want to comment on this, but with a degree of caution.

I don't yet know what the circumstances of Gray's death are. I don't know if the cops had sufficient cause to engage him in the first place. There are background stories going around that Gray, a known drug dealer, was engaged in a drug deal when the cops confronted him leading to a chase and him being tackled. True or not- I don't know.

We also don't know if his critical spinal cord injury occurred during the struggle on the street or inside the police van. One report says an officer was pinning Gray on the ground with his knee on his neck and that Gray was complaining he couldn't breathe. Did he inflict his own injuries inside the van as reported? Should the cops have buckled Gray in when they put him in the van? I don't know, and there is no sense trying to try this case in this column. It may very well be that one or more officers crossed the line or was neglectful in his duties leading to Gray's death. We just don't know.

I must, however express concern over the manner in which this indictment has been announced. The public comments by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings- Blake and the State Prosecutor, appointed to this case, Marilyn Mosby, were inappropriate. Telling a crowd that you have heard their cries of "No justice, No peace" and that you are going to get justice for Freddy Gray smacks of a lynch mob atmosphere. The celebrations on the streets of Baltimore are also troubling. Can it really be that this is a case of mob justice in the making?

Mosby has been asked to remove herself from the case based on a claim of conflict of interest. She has a relationship with the Gray family attorney and is married to Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby, who has been front and center and on television during the past week. Yesterday, he blamed the mess that exists and has existed in Baltimore on things like Reaganomics, stop and frisk, mass incarceration and "contraband". Here is the CNN transcript of the interview by Chris Cuomo.

CUOMO: Is this on you guys? The mayor is a Democrat, you're a Democrat, 50 years of Democratic rule here, and is this an idea that you haven't gotten it done as a party, as a structure here, and is that the focus on the blame? 

MOSBY: Leadership is not based off of party lines, and at the end of the day, have individuals failed in this city, in this state, in this country? Yes. Have there been failed policies? Yes. Have things adversely affected places like Baltimore? Yes, whether you're talking about Reaganomics, whether you're talking about the contraband where they talk about stop and frisk procedures or mass incarceration. All of these things directly play into recidivism and play into the things that plague these communities. So it's all about leadership and not necessarily about parties. 

Actually, if you listen to the tape, Mosby appears to say, "Iran contraband", whatever that refers to. Did CNN clean up the transcript?

But I digress. Mosby has no wish to admit that long years of Democratic control of Baltimore (and numerous other cities) has resulted in nothing but misery. 

In the final analysis, the guilt or innocence of these officers must be decided by a fair and impartial jury without the pressure of the mobs outside. I don't think that can be accomplished in Baltimore given the current climate and the attitudes of the city's leaders.


Squid said...

I agree that this indictment is very troubling. We do need to know what happened to Freddy Gray. He did not desire to die over a questionable arrest. We still need the facts, as you said. But one wonders what is going on behind the curtain. We know that President Obama called mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, which is his style (remember the Cambridge Professor buddy of Barry, T. Martin would be like a son to him, inserting Holder into Ferguson Etc.). The Mayor also hide behind Al Sharpton (T. Brawley, Crown Heights, Duke Rugby Team) which can not be good.
Of course we have Rawlings-Blake telling her police Commissioner to stand down the force so the rioters can loot. Take a look at the FBI stats on Baltimore. They show that the city has the fifth highest crime rate in the country. In addition, Maryland and Baltimore has one of the strictest anti-gun laws in the land. Worse that California and in line with New York and New Jersey. So, the citizens of Baltimore have no way to protect themselves. This is a crime!
Did the Presidents men and the Mayor get to the over-charging Marilyn Mosby? Remember, she quoted the Sharpton, NAN calling card; "No justice, no peace", at the end of her announcement of the indictment.
The defense lawyers need to sent this trail out of the city, in a different venue and have Mosby recuse herself because of political contributors and connections.

Gary Fouse said...

It was reported that the mayor was in regular contact with Valerie jarret in the WH.

Squid said...

It is very unfortunate for Americans that Valerie Jarret is, in part running the country. She was born and raised in Iran to age six. Her parents hated America and moved to Iran before Val was born. She shares the ideology that America is not great or exceptional, with Obama. I imagine that is why they are such good buddies. Val made her money in Chicago doing slum-lord real estate.
I feel bad for the police in Baltimore, who have to be lead by such a far left, sell-out of law enforcement.


Gary Fouse said...


Baltimore is in a sad state. Despite the Inner Harbor, it may go the way of Detroit thanks to their poor leadership.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Should the cops have buckled Gray in when they put him in the van? I don't know...

You don't? If you had placed a suspect in the back of a van in your DEA days, you didn't have a protocol about buckling them in? If you didn't, something is wrong here.

The evidence released so far strongly suggests that Grey suffered his spinal injury rolling around in the back of the van.

The public attorney did a thorough investigation of available evidence, and found charges warranted. It still has to go to a jury. The police officers will be able to put on a defense, and I have no doubt it will be well funded. Some may even be innocent of the charges. But something wasn't done right, and it resulted in death. There is likely to be at least some negligent homicide in there.