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Thursday, May 7, 2015

(Video) Op/Ed: Unjust Criticism of Rawlings-Blake, Mosby Used as Threat Against Powerful Black Women

Photo Credit - IU News & Talk
Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby (R) and Baltimore Mayor
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (L) both have received a barrage of unjust
criticism in the aftermath of Freddie Gray, 25, death suspected at
the hands of Six Baltimore City Police Officers.
Op/Ed: Written by Monica RW

African-American Women and our opinions are frequency dismissed regardless to the status, educational level or achievements.

Specifically, when reviewing the recent criticism as of State Attorney Marilyn Mosby and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake received post death of former Baltimore resident Freddie Gray, 25, during an arrest on April 19 resulting in Gray's Spinal Cord being broken in three places.


After returning Baltimore back into a state of relative peace following a day of rioting, supporters of maintaining the disturbing cycle of law enforcement overreach in place, deployed a onslaught of character attacks about Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Attorney Mosby.

Mosby made national headlines last Friday after publicly announcing a series of indictments against Officers suspected in Gray's death, described as the Baltimore Six.

Baltimore Police Officers Caesar R. Goodson Jr., William G. Porter, Edward M. Nero, Garrett E. Miller, Sgt. Alicia D. White, and Lt. Brian Rice were criminally charged with offenses ranging from Second Degree Murder, Involuntary Manslaughter, Assault in the Second Degree, Misconduct While in Office and False Imprisonment resulting in the end to Gray's life.

Rawlings-Blake, highly criticized after calling some protesters "Thugs" after rioting broke out in Baltimore April 28. The day of rioting occurred after two weeks of relatively peaceful protests Gray's death. On Wednesday asked U.S. Department of Justice to launch an investigation into the city's Law Enforcement Department practices.

Baltimore's Mayor made the request after peace and order was resorted back into city by Delaware's National Guard after April 27 one day riot. A CVS Pharmacy store was burned and a Senior Center.


Baltimore's Fraternal Order of Police Union Lawyer Michael Davey immediately held a press conference on May 1 expressing outrage about State Attorney Mosby indictments against the Baltimore Six last Friday earlier in the day.
"In my twenty years as an Law Enforcement Officer and sixteen years as an Attorney, I have never seen such a hurried rush to file criminal charges which I believe are driving by forces that are separate and apart from the application of law and the facts of this case, as we know them," said Davey. "These officers did nothing wrong."
Mosby waited nearly a month to file May 1 announced Criminal Charges against the Baltimore six as Freddie Gray died April 19, 2015. Gray's initial incident on April 12 resulted in Gray succumbing to death by falling into coma from severe injuries to his spinal cord.

During last Friday's indictments announcement State Attorney Mosby described what her office believed was false imprisonment of Gray for an alleged pocket knife, which according to Mosby was not illegal him to possess under Maryland's Compiled Laws.
“The knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under Maryland law." Mosby said during her press conference announcing charges against the Baltimore six.
Moments since Attorney Mosby's statement the mainstream news press corps, supporters of the Baltimore Six, Politically-Aligned Right wing resources and television media resources have criticized the Officer's criminal charges in the "Court of Public Opinion" instead of a "Court of Law".

Others have called Mosby's charges an "rush to judgement" about the Baltimore Six.


On Wednesday in a article in "The Atlantic" questionable titled, "Can the Baltimore Prosecutor Win Her Case?" Associate Baltimore School of Law Professor David Jaros in a interview with reporter David Graham, agreed State Attorney Mosby had rights to file the indictments against the Six City officers. 

Jaros was not sure if Baltimore's top governmental lawyers would be able to convict the law enforcement officials on the Second Degree Murder charges.
"I love how surprised people are by the fact that a prosecutor may have overcharged. This is something prosecutors do all the time, as a strategic choice, for various reasons, and it's ironic that suddenly the [Fraternal Order of Police] is up in arms over this," said Jaros.

"What's surprising is that we see a criminal-justice system moving rapidly to respond to allegations of police misconduct. Did she move too quickly?
 
A lot depends on how much she was relying on the police's own investigation, because they had given her their report something like 24 hours before she actually came out with the charges," he stated.
Jaros, not privy to evidence within Attorney Mosby charges against the Baltimore Six, told Graham although the indictments occurred 24 hours after Mosby's office completed their investigation last Friday, a rushed time frame depending on facts only the State Attorney's office assesses.
"Once you know the facts of the case, the timeframe’s not really the issue. The question is, did they have sufficient time to get a clear understanding of what they believe happened, and then based on their understanding of the facts, what crimes do they have probable cause to believe were committed?," said Jaros.

"We don't know what she knows. It could be that there's an officer who's saying, "We all said, 'No, he's going to die,' and he said, 'I don't care!'"

"But if the facts as Marilyn Mosby related them in her press conference were close to what was known, it would appear to me very hard to successfully convict for second-degree murder.
 
It’s not necessarily a huge hurdle to get manslaughter or negligent homicide. And that's what we see in tons of criminal cases!" Jaros replied.

I think there's reason to be really concerned about that kind of prosecutorial overreach. But we can't be concerned about it only in the cases involving police officers."
Page Croyder, acting as critic based on her former role as Baltimore's Deputy Attorney. has not been privy to evidence Mosby has on the Six indicted Officers. Yet Croyder on Wednesday similarly accused current State Attorney Mosby of making a "rush to judgement". 

Croyder writing an article printed in "The Baltimore Sun" and next as a commentator about the case on CNN Wednesday, Croyder called charges against the Baltimore six "incompetent at best".



In Croyder's piece, the former Deputy Attorney makes a range of assumptions without reviewing evidence leading to current State Attorney Mosby filing criminal indictments against the Baltimore Six.
"The Fraternal Office of Police called Ms. Mosby's charges an "egregious rush to judgment." It smacks more of a calculated push to the spotlight, filing charges after a mere two weeks. 
She conducted her own "parallel" investigation using her police integrity unit (the only unit listed on her published staffing tree missing the name of a supervisor.)," former Baltimore Deputy Attorney Croyder wrote on Thursday, May 7.

"She had no time to evaluate the crucial autopsy report, or consult with experts about its implications. In her haste to step into the national limelight, she circumvented normal charging procedures by grabbing a member of the sheriff's office to swear to their truth and file them for her.
 
She calculated her actions for surprise and maximum effect, and she got it," she said.
Viewers out of Baltimore's metro area following the death of Freddie Gray or facts on what caused Gray's Spinal Cord following his arrest in a police van under the Baltimore Six control, did not know who State Attorney Marilyn Mosby was or had any clue her office was conducting the investigation prior to the indictment charges.

Mosby's name never appeared in any articles, news resources or as a mainstream media commentator on Gray's case before announcing criminal indictments against the Baltimore Six last Friday afternoon.

Calling into question the motives of former Deputy Attorney Croyder's judgmental statement in The Baltimore Sun, "In her haste to step into the national limelight, she circumvented normal charging procedures by grabbing a member of the sheriff's office to swear to their truth and file them for her."


Freddie Gray was arrested by the six charged Officers on April 12, 2015 and died after being in coma since the arrest on April 19.

Florida's 4th Judicial Court District Prosecutor Angela Corey held a globally watched 24 minute press conference on April 12, 2012.

Corey announced a series criminal charges against Neighborhood Security Guard George Zimmerman resulting in the death of Trayvon Martin in Stanford, FL February 26, 2012. Despite the 24 minute press conference, Corey was not accused of using the opportunity for future political office aspirations.




Croyder also wrote that State Attorney Mosby office had no time to review Gray's autopsy report. Although on April 24 during a press conference.

Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Anthony Batts openly admitted Gray was not properly restrained by the indicted Six City Police Officers within the transportation van. Batts said the Officers lack of care to follow proper prisoner transportation procedure likely resulted in Gray's grave injuries.

"We know he was not bucketed into the transportation wagon as he should have been. No excuses for that, period. We know that our employees failed to get him medical attention multiple times, period." Commissioner Batts stated on April 24, five days after the death of Freddie Gray April 19.



Commissioner Batts during the same April 24 press conference stated, "If somebody harmed Freddie Gray, we are going to have to prosecute them.

We are trying to be as open and transparent as possible, but if somebody harmed him they have to be held accountable."
Once corresponding evidence was completed by the Baltimore Medical Examiner’s report ruling Freddie Gray's death as a Homicide on May 1, State Attorney Mosby on May 1 started what is normally referred as the legal pursuit of justice. Mosby charged the Baltimore Six with Criminal Indictments initiating the prosecution process.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake called for a U.S. Justice Department Wednesday to conduct a full-scale civil rights investigation into the pattern and practices of the Baltimore Police Department. The Justice Department probe would examine excessive force, discriminatory harassment, false arrests, and unlawful stops, searches or arrests.
"We all know that Baltimore continues to have a fractured relationship between the police and the community," Rawlings-Blake said during a May 6 Press Conference. "I'm willing to do what it takes to reform my department."
The City Police Department and the U.S. Justice Department have had Baltimore's Police Department under a Collaborative Review since October 2014, or six months prior to the mid April 2015 questionable death of Freddie Gray, after residents contacted the Federal Department of Justice about excessive force and other misconduct by Baltimore officers.

Prior to Mayor Rawlings-Blake first request for DOJ oversight of her Police Department in October 2014, the city had paid $5.7 million in court judgments and settlements in 102 civil suits alleging police misconduct since 2011. Nearly all of the people involved in the incidents leading to the lawsuits, were cleared of criminal charges. 

Some Baltimore Police Officers were named in more than one lawsuit filed against the city.

The announcement was made during a October 24 Press Conference held by Ronald L. Davis, the director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services with the Baltimore Police Department, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, Mayor Rawlings-Blake and City Police Commissioner Batts.

On Wednesday Ed Mullins President of the Sergeants Benevolent Association in New York said on WABC "The Rita Cobsy Show" Baltimore Police Chief Anthony Batts and Rawlings-Blake should step down.

Following what Mullins described as their failures to allow officers enforce laws in the City after the one day of rioting April 28 in response to Gray's death.

“My heart goes out the Baltimore Police officers because they were forced to be in a situation, which they had no control of and the mayor herself should step down,” said Mullins. “I don’t blame the police officers by any means, but I certainly blame the Police Chief and the Mayor.  The people who live there should hold them all accountable.”
If calls by Mullins for Mayor Rawlings-Blake and City Police Commissioner Batts resignations' along with questionable criticism of the Baltimore Six charges by former Deputy Attorney Page Croyder of current State Attorney Marilyn Mosby results in the ouster three of Baltimore's Top Officials , such an action would leave in the mist of an upcoming criminal protection of Freddie Gray's death and a DOJ prove into City Police practices.

Raising further questions on if the "criticism" is designed to make the African-American populace in yet another major America city experience upheaval and chaos. 


Just when it appears officials are finally attempting to address some of the wrongs within its' governance and police department existing for years -- and likely resulting in the death of 25 year-old former resident, Freddie Gray.     



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