The Corner

Law & the Courts

Freddie Gray Prosecutor Faces Civil Charges after Conducting an ‘Independent Investigation’

Marilyn Mosby, the Baltimore state attorney at the center of the Freddie Gray fiasco, will face civil charges. After the criminal case against the police officers fell apart, five of the six officers filed a lawsuit against Mosby and Assistant Sheriff Samuel Cogen for various infringements of their rights, and a federal judge is allowing their claims of defamation, malicious prosecution, and invasion of privacy to move forward.

Refusing her claim of prosecutorial immunity, the judge reasoned that “Plaintiffs’ malicious prosecution claims relate to her actions when functioning as an investigator and not as a prosecutor.”

The Baltimore Sun noted how Mosby’s decision to launch her own independent investigation had already helped her prosecution of the officers fail, since prosecutors “had to turn over documents that would normally be protected from the evidence discovery process.” It’s safe to say that the risk of conducting her own investigation has not yielded a reward.

This is an unusual trial for a state attorney to be facing, but Mosby’s aggressive and seemingly political tactics — such as her appearance onstage at a Prince concert honoring Gray’s death — give reason for suspicion about her actions and motives.

The criticisms of Mosby’s handling of the case are too numerous to recount, but many who followed the events in Baltimore alleged that Mosby’s actions constituted extreme or even gross negligence. Former deputy state’s attorney Page Croyder wrote in the Baltimore Sun that Mosby’s decision to charge the officers a mere two weeks after the incident “reflects either incompetence or an unethical recklessness.” A George Washington University law professor also filed a complaint that she violated conduct rules. Even Democratic Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake accused Mosby of rushing to charge the officers for political reasons.

This latest case is the beginning of yet another chapter in the court drama that started when Mosby used Gray’s death to enter the limelight. But now she will be the one defending her actions during that dark hour for the city of Baltimore.


The Latest