The Corner

Freddie Gray Prosecutor Requested Police Target Gray’s Neighborhood Prior to Fatal Arrest

Why were Baltimore police officers in Freddie Gray’s neighborhood back in April? Ask prosecutor Marilyn Mosby. Via the Baltimore Sun:

About three weeks before Freddie Gray was chased from a West Baltimore corner by three Baltimore police officers — the start of a fatal encounter — the office of prosecutor Marilyn Mosby asked police to target the intersection with “enhanced” drug enforcement efforts, court documents show.

“State’s Attorney Mosby asked me to look into community concerns regarding drug dealing in the area of North Ave and Mount St,” Joshua Rosenblatt, division chief of Mosby’s Crime Strategies Unit, wrote in a March 17 email to a Western District police commander.

The email was disclosed for the first time Tuesday in a motion filed in Baltimore Circuit Court by defense attorneys for the six officers being prosecuted in Gray’s arrest and death. The attorneys said Mosby’s involvement in the police initiative means that she should be removed from the case.

Mosby is not going to recuse herself, obviously, and it’s difficult to imagine any judge removing her from the case. But the significance of this is not legal as much as political. Mosby (like her husband, the city councilman for Gray’s Sandtown neighborhood) has expressed her sympathy with the “No justice, no peace!” crowd — that is, those who believe that Freddie Gray, like Michael Brown and Eric Garner, was targeted because of his race. But if “structural racism” is to blame for Gray’s arrest and death, isn’t Mosby, then, part of the injustice complex?

When Mosby’s office issued its directive to Baltimore police, she was not being racist, of course; she was concerned about crime, and she addressed it in the obvious way: by flooding the area with those best suited to stopping it.

In other words, according to Mosby, police were not the problem; they were the solution.

We noted last week that Mosby hoped to keep confidential Gray’s autopsy and other “sensitive” documents (that motion was rejected earlier this week). Now we know why.

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