Tags: Baltimore Riots | Page Croyder | Marilyn Mosby | Freddie Gray | police charged

Ex-Baltimore DA: Charges in Freddie Gray Case 'Unethically Reckless'

Ex-Baltimore DA: Charges in Freddie Gray Case 'Unethically Reckless'
Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 01:34 PM

A former Baltimore prosecutor has joined a growing list of legal experts condemning the charges filed against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray.

"Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s 'quick' and 'decisive'  action … reflects either incompetence or an unethical recklessness," ex-prosecutor Page Croyder wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in the Baltimore Sun.

"The breadth of the charges, Ms. Mosby's overreaching, is all-too-obvious," wrote Croyder, a longtime Baltimore resident who worked in the State's Attorney's office for almost 21 years.

In the wake of unrest that followed Gray's death, Mosby unveiled the indictments Friday in a press conference that drew international attention — and criticism.

Legal scholar and famed defense attorney Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV that the quickly filed charges, including second-degree murder, were more about crowd control than justice.

A former FBI assistant director, Ron Hosko, said the press conference resembled a "political pep rally" and that the charges are more serious than the facts of the case are likely to support.

"In her haste to step into the national limelight," wrote Croyder, "she circumvented normal charging procedures … She calculated her actions for surprise and maximum effect, and she got it."

But Mosby "may be undermining the cause of justice" by creating "an expectation of guilt and conviction," and leaving cops on the beat to wonder whether "mere mistakes, or judgments exercised under duress, can land them in the pokey," Croyer wrote.

"If I were a Baltimore police officer, I'd be looking for another job immediately," she  wrote. "And as a Baltimore citizen, I may start looking for someplace else to live. When the police cannot depend upon the state's attorney to be as thorough, competent, non-political and fair with them as she is supposed to be with all citizens, none of us will be safe."

Gray, 25, died on April 19 of a spine injury he reportedly suffered while in police custody a week earlier, leaving Baltimore as the latest U.S. city to be rocked by violent protests over race and policing since the death last August of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Some assertions Mosby made in her press conference are already being contradicted. Contrary to one Mosby claim, for example, police found that Gray was carrying an illegal, "spring-assisted" knife in his pocket, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Croyer argued that Mosby had, but "ignored," tools at her disposal that would have allowed her to get all the facts before proceeding with indictments and arrests.
 
"She has one of the most experienced homicide prosecutors in the state of Maryland as chief of her homicide unit, but did not ask him to investigate," Croyder wrote. "She had the police report all of one day before filing charges, her mind already made up. And she failed to make use of the grand jury to gather, probe and test the evidence before a group of average citizens."

Gray, 25, died of a spine injury he reportedly suffered while in police custody, leaving Baltimore as the latest U.S. city to be rocked by violent protests over race and policing since another black man, Michael Brown, was shot and killed in August by an officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Croyder followed up her op-ed with an appearance on CNN Newsroom Wednesday in which she said that "to this day we don't know how he [Gray] died," Mediate reported.

"If there was evidence immediately available that showed that a police officer had broken [Gray's] neck, there would have been an immediate arrest," Croyder told CNN. "This is not that situation. This is a situation which called for an investigation and she did not use all of the tools available to her to do a completely thorough investigation."

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A former Baltimore prosecutor has joined a growing list of legal experts condemning the charges filed against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray.
Page Croyder, Marilyn Mosby, Freddie Gray, police charged
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2015-34-07
Thursday, 07 May 2015 01:34 PM
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