Mosby says that jus­tice pre­vailed in Gray case

At BCCC, state’s at­tor­ney says changes since 2015 death im­proved sys­tem

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Ali­son Kneze­vich Bal­ti­more State’s At­tor­ney Mar­i­lyn J. Mosby al­isonk@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/aliknez

Two months af­ter Bal­ti­more State’s At­tor­ney Mar­i­lyn J. Mosby dropped charges against the re­main­ing po­lice of­fi­cers charged in the ar­rest and death of Fred­die Gray, she told a group of stu­dents Mon­day that “jus­tice has still pre­vailed.”

While none of the six of­fi­cers she charged was con­victed, the city’s top pros­e­cu­tor told a crowd at Bal­ti­more City Com­mu­nity Col­lege the case has helped to fuel re­forms — such as the launch of the Po­lice Depart­ment’s body cam­era pro­gram and the use of cameras in­side all po­lice vans.

“What is now guar­an­teed is that what hap­pened to him will never take place in the city of Bal­ti­more again as a re­sult of those charges,” she said.

Mosby spoke at a Con­sti­tu­tion Day event at the col­lege’s main campus on Lib­erty Heights Av­enue.

She told stu­dents she never imag­ined that “do­ing my job would place me in the dead-cen­ter of a na­tional con­flict be­tween ur­ban pop­u­la­tions of color and the law en­force­ment agen­cies that are sworn to pro­tect and serve them.”

Gray, 25, died in April 2015 af­ter suf­fer­ing Bal­ti­more State’s At­tor­ney Mar­i­lyn J. Mosby, shown last week, spoke to stu­dents on Con­sti­tu­tion Day, which was Mon­day. se­vere spinal cord in­juries in po­lice cus­tody. Mosby drew in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion when she an­nounced crim­i­nal charges against six of­fi­cers in­volved in his ar­rest and trans­port in a po­lice van.

The charges ranged from mis­con­duct in of­fice to sec­ond-de­gree mur­der.

All the of­fi­cers pleaded not guilty. Cir­cuit Judge Barry G. Wil­liams ac­quit­ted Of­fi­cers Ed­ward Nero and Cae­sar Good­son Jr. and Lt. Brian Rice, and pros­e­cu­tors dropped their cases against Of­fi­cer Gar­rett Miller, Of­fi­cer Wil­liam Porter and Sgt. Ali­cia White.

“As a woman of color with black broth­ers, neph­ews, cousins and a black hus­band, I never had to go through a cul­tural sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing to know how Fred­die Gray and young boys like him were be­ing treated by the po­lice in cities across this na­tion,” Mosby said.

In Au­gust, the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice is­sued a scathing re­port ac­cus­ing the Po­lice Depart­ment of rou­tinely vi­o­lat­ing the civil and con­sti­tu­tional rights of the city’s res­i­dents.

Mosby told the stu­dents it is easy to feel out­rage.

“But my ques­tion to you to­day is: What are you do­ing about it?”

Mosby spoke of the un­der­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women and mi­nori­ties in her pro­fes­sion.

“Had I not had the seat at the ta­ble to make the un­prece­dented de­ci­sions that I was forced to make, had there been no ac­count­abil­ity, there’d be no ex­po­sure, there’d be no re­form,” she said.

Women of color make up 1 per­cent of elected pros­e­cu­tors na­tion­wide, the Women’s Donor Net­work re­ported last year. White men make up 79 per­cent.

“The crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem has a dis­pro­por­tion­ate ef­fect on com­mu­ni­ties of color,” she said. “What do you ex­pect when 79 per­cent of those pros­e­cu­tors in this coun­try are white men?”

Mosby said some peo­ple have mis­in­ter­preted her pas­sion for her work. “Peo­ple want to mis­con­strue that as anger,” she said. “And it’s not anger; it’s just pas­sion about this job.”

She also touched on the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

There is “an ever-in­creas­ing, bla­tant and scary ra­cial di­vide in this coun­try, overtly per­pet­u­ated by a nar­cis­sist misog­y­nist run­ning for pres­i­dent,” she said, and added: “We can­not al­low our si­lence to be­come a cat­a­lyst for the Don­ald Trumps of this world.”

Con­sti­tu­tion Day com­mem­o­rates the sign­ing of the Con­sti­tu­tion in 1787. Pock­et­size book­lets con­tain­ing the doc­u­ment were placed on each stu­dent’s chair be­fore the event.

“The Con­sti­tu­tion is about their lives,” said his­tory pro­fes­sor Re­becca John­sHack­ett, one of the or­ga­niz­ers of the event.

‘What hap­pened to [Fred­die Gray] will never take place in the city of Bal­ti­more again.

KEVIN RICHARD­SON/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

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