When Marilyn Mosby announced she would drop all charges that remained against three of the six officers, I speculated that her decision was motivated, at least in part, by her desire to keep herself and her subordinates off the witness stand. It now appears there was another significant motivator, as The Baltimore Sun reports:
A veteran Baltimore prosecutor who objected to continuing the prosecution of a police officer charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray quit on Friday, two days after her boss dropped all of the charges in the case.
Lisa Phelps, a 15-year veteran prosecutor who led the state’s attorney’s office’s training division, was assigned three months ago to try two of the cases against city police officers.
In recent weeks, she raised concerns over whether the trial of Officer Garrett Miller, which was set begin last week, should go forward, according to sources close to Phelps.
Phelps was to be the lead prosecutor in the cases of Garrett Miller and Sgt. Alicia White, and was also scheduled to re-try Officer William Porter. Mosby and the rest of those most intimately involved with the Freddie Gray case refused to comment about Phelps’ abrupt and unexpected departure. Phelps also declined comment.
I’ve already reported that a number of competent prosecutors resigned upon Mosby’s election. That’s not unusual, particularly in a big city prosecutor’s office where politics always simmers just under the surface. However, it’s not unreasonable to speculate about what occasioned Phelps’ resignation.
It would seem that she was one of a few honorable, professional prosecutors in that office. Faced with essentially arguing cases based entirely on lies, she likely refused. Marilyn Mosby is not the kind of person that takes kindly to being opposed in even the slightest way. She’s a social justice true believer, and there is no room in her prosecutor’s office for prosecutors that wish to uphold the rule of law.
The departure of Phelps is another serious nail in the coffin of police/prosecutor relations, but more on that shortly.
To understand the unenviable position of the Baltimore Police, we must briefly review the foundation of the Black Lives Matter Movement, which is merely a racist, opportunistic offshoot of the Social Justice Movement. The moral claim that made the Freddie Gray prosecutions inevitable rests on the entirely unworthy shoulders of three criminals, young black men, seized upon by racist political opportunists in a bid for money, fame and power.
Trayvon Martin: Seventeen year-old Martin was a burglar and thief, a wanna-be thug who affected false gold teeth, gang signs, and smoked pot on social media. With the help of his father, he obtained at least one illegal handgun, and imagined himself a street fighter. On the night of his death, he was staying with his father at his father’s girlfriend’s home in Sanford, Florida because he had been suspended from school. High on pot, Martin attacked and tried to kill George Zimmerman. In one of the most bizarre trials of all time, the prosecutors actually proved self-defense. It was a classic case, and Zimmerman was exonerated. Despite the fact there was no police involvement in the case, it is continually cited as evidence of a police conspiracy to kill young black men.
Michael Brown: An 18-year old adult, Brown was 6’4” tall and weighed nearly 300 pounds. A regular pot user, just before his death, Brown committed a strong-armed robbery–a violent felony–to steal cheap cigars. He intended to hollow them out and fill them with pot, making “blunts,” which he and his accomplice intended to smoke. Brown did have a juvenile record, but it was never released to the public. Approached not only because he was walking in the middle of the road, but because he matched the description of the robber, he chose to attack and beat Officer Darren Wilson and tried to seize his handgun. Wilson managed to fire one shot that slightly wounded Brown’s hand, and he ran, but rather than flee, he turned and charged Wilson, who fired in self-defense, killing Brown. Not only was Wilson exonerated by the local prosecutor, but by the racialist Obama Department of Justice. Even so, “hands up; don’t shoot” is still chanted by Black Lives Matter cracktivists even though Brown never did or said any such thing.
Freddie Gray: Gray, an adult drug dealer and criminal, was under the influence of pot and opiates when he was lawfully arrested. With a background of “crash for cash” schemes, Gray played to the gathering crowd, and his reckless struggles rocked the transport van on several occasions. As multiple trials proved, his death was a bizarre accident, caused by Gray himself.
While there are others occasionally held up as holy social justice martyrs, these three are the foundation of a movement that has been very financially and politically lucrative, not only for relatives of the criminal martyrs, but for social justice cracktivists and various politicians. All were experienced criminals. All were drug users. All died because of their deranged characters and their own terrible choices. All are incredibly poor personalities on which to found a social movement claiming moral legitimacy and superiority, yet in Marilyn Mosby, the BLM movement found a willing and enthusiastic true believer.
By choosing social justice–“justice for Freddie Gray”–over the rule of law, Marilyn Mosby, and the politicians that supported and assisted her, have brought ruin to Baltimore and misery and death to the poor, black people they claim to represent and exalt.
Every police officer everywhere knows the blue line between civilization and anarchy is very thin indeed. They must know, beyond any doubt, that the judgment calls they are empowered and required to make will not be second-guessed. They must surely know that when they act within the law and within the reasonable exercise of professional discretion, their superiors and the politicians that hire them will not punish them, and will support their decisions.
Police officers also need to know that the prosecutors and judges that work with them also recognize these factors and adhere to the rule of law just as they are required, and glad, to do. A judge that decides to dismiss all speeding tickets causes damage that reverberates throughout the system. The same is true for a prosecutor that decides to prosecute police officers for unremarkable, lawful actions.
In the Gray case, it is now known that Mosby lied about the “independent investigation” her office conducted; there was no such investigation. In fact, she turned down investigative assistance from agencies outside Baltimore and refused to accept the BPD’s investigation, which by all accounts–and the evidence–was complete and professional. There was no probable cause for the arrests, a fact every Baltimore Officer could easily understand.
Police officers do tend to support each other because they know the general public has no idea of the law, or of the realities of police work. It’s easy to criticize split-second decisions made in the heat of battle. However, they do not support officers that knowingly commit serious crimes. In the Gray case, there was no doubt the officers were innocent, and every local officer knew it.
Police officers are hired to do what citizens cannot do and don’t want to do. They’re hired to take the risks, to willingly go into dangerous, ambiguous situations. They’re expected to not only stop crime before it starts, but to catch criminals after they’re successful. They’re expected to make life and death decisions in seconds and to do it perfectly. The Freddie Gray case forced officers to stop taking risks, and most destructively, to ignore criminals obviously about to commit crimes. Deterrence went out the window.
The consequences were fast and dramatic. Officers immediately dialed back their response to crime. Rather than proactively stopping and investigating criminals, they avoided contact with known black criminals, effectively turning the city over to them. Terry stops, always something social justice cracktivists try to eliminate, essentially ended. Knowing the police wouldn’t stop them, criminals began carrying handguns. Within a year, the murder rate shot up over 60%, and violent crime in general experienced a similar rise.
Every officer that could easily retire or leave the BPD did, and recruiting became very difficult indeed. Many of the kinds of people applying to become police officers were unfit in every imaginable way. The shortage of officers contributed to the rising crime rate, and this situation will worsen. From the moment they’re hired until a new officer is ready to patrol on their own takes about a year.
Rather than reassuring officers that the Gray case was unusual and the Baltimore Prosecutor’s Office would behave professionally, Deputy Prosecutors Michael Schatzow and Janice Bledsoe’s rhetoric and tactics gave precisely the opposite message. Their self-righteous, arrogant rage against the officers, and their unprovoked and aggressive attack on Det. Dawnyel Taylor poisoned the well to a previously unimaginable degree. That Taylor was black and female made it clear no one was safe, and honorably upholding the law was no protection against irrational and unfounded charges.
After her bizarre and destructive social justice political rally announcing the charges, Mosby claimed the high road and didn’t specifically speak on the matter until she went full social justice in announcing she was dropping charges and blamed the police and Judge Barry Williams for her own incompetence and lack of professionalim. However, her behavior alone was sufficiently destructive. Acting the social justice celebrity, appearing onstage with Prince, playing the celebrity for Vogue, and soaking up all the accolades a race-bating prosecutor can expect was terribly destructive to police/prosecutor/pubic relations.
Police officers were also horrified to watch their superiors follow the unlawful and dangerous orders of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, orders that turned them into targets for rampaging rioters, rioters they were not allowed to arrest. It is difficult for most to understand the disgust an disillusionment of police officers that believe themselves to be the protectors not only of the people they serve, but of their community and civilization itself as they were forced to watch the worst criminal elements taking full advantage of the “space to destroy” Rawlings-Blake so idiotically gave them.
But even before Mosby’s incredible press conference in front of a mural of Freddie Gray, one of the worst and most damaging role models anyone could choose, there was an additional blow. The police officer’s union was nearly bankrupted by the defense of the six officers. Despite getting reduced rates from willing attorneys, the thousands of hours necessary to defend six innocent officers over more than a year, left the union within inches of insolvency. Union leaders went to the officers and gave them a choice: a significant dues increase, or the union would fold, leaving them unprotected the next time Marilyn Mosby went on a crusade.
It is significant that their decision to nearly double their dues was unanimous. They understood that with Mosby in office, each and every one of them could, and likely would, be prosecuted for lawfully doing their jobs. Consider, gentle readers, that every time every officer reviews their pay report, month after month, year after year, they’ll be reminded of Marilyn Mosby, her minions, and the damage they have wrought.
Mosby’s juvenile blaming of the police, the judge, and her multiple lies, left no doubt they made the right choice. There is no trust between the Baltimore Prosecutor’s Office and the Baltimore Police. Every law enforcement officer over which Mosby has jurisdiction surely has no respect or trust for Mosby or her acolytes.
The six officers now face internal, administrative reviews. While these investigations are being done by an outside agency, it is the administrators of the BPD, and their political bosses, that will decide what to do with the results of those investigations. High-ranking officers in big city police agencies do not get–or keep–their jobs without the willingness to follow the leftist political winds as they blow.
If the officers are not punished for their unremarkable actions in the Gray case, for doing what police officers around the nation do each and every day, high-ranking BPD heads will roll. If they are punished, the chasm of mistrust between administrators and police officers will become irreparable. Even more officers will leave the BPD and recruiting will become even more difficult and the results, even more unsatisfactory.
The changes to procedure caused by the Gray case are also destructive. The taking away of discretion in such matters as using seat belts endangers officer’s lives, and is inherently insulting. Immediately summoning medical aid for every criminal that happily demands it takes control and power from officers and gives it to thugs.
Decontamination: Baltimore is now a city on the verge of ruin, and the damage done there is spreading around the nation. Police officers have been murdered, and more will be, based on the deranged martyrdom of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, kept alive by people like Marilyn Mosby. Not only are Baltimore officers forced to keep a very low profile, not only must they, for the most part, ignore crimes by young black criminals, their lives are in enhanced, continual danger.
Consider the plight of the six officers. Some may wish to return to the street, the honorable angels that compelled them to become police officers will compel them to once again try to do their jobs, but they will not succeed. Marilyn Mosby has pronounced them guilty and indicted the entire BPD for forcing her to drop charges. She has given marching orders to any racist thug that would attack or murder those officers, or any officer.
As much as those officers want to do their jobs, it will be too dangerous. Their mere presence will endanger every officer around them. Large portions of the Baltimore population will feel empowered to ignore and harass them. The inherent authority of the blue suit, already dramatically diminished over the last year, will be all but eliminated for those six officers, who will be harassed, followed, and video recorded wherever they are. The insidious stresses on those officers and their families must not be underestimated.
And there will be many angry thugs, inflamed with the lies that are the Black Lives Movement, seeking to murder those innocent officers. Absent a chance to kill them, they won’t be picky about which officers they kill.
Is it possible for the Police and Prosecutors to work together? The Police will do the absolute minimum. They will do their jobs, but any productive working relationship and/or respect is gone. As long as Marilyn Mosby or anyone of her willing cohorts works there, the damage will be present. Even if she leaves, it will take years before there is any hope of a professional relationship.
It is that breach, that damage, that has already cost the innocent citizens of Baltimore so much, and that will take more and more lives, mostly black lives, that don’t matter at all to BLM cracktivists unless there is something in it for them. Marilyn Mosby is far from done. She has profited handsomely by the destruction she has caused, and there are those that will continue to reward her. More honorable, professional prosecutors will flee, leaving a staff of social justice true believers, or weak-willed milquetoasts ready to do whatever is necessary to keep their paychecks, regardless of whom they harm.
If the officer’s lawsuits against Mosby are dismissed, additional damage will be done. If they continue and the officers win against Mosby, additional damage will be done. The rule of law will be upheld, but it’s truly a no-win situation.
And the police? They’ll do their best to survive. That’s just about all that is left them these days in Baltimore.