At long last, the final Baltimore Police Officer caught up in the Freddie Gray social justice crusade/persecution has been exonerated—again. Actually, that’s not quite accurate, but I’ll explain shortly. The important fact is Sgt. Alicia White, the BPD officer who had the least involvement with Freddie Gray, no longer faces criminal or departmental charges. The Baltimore Sun reports:
Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis dismissed all administrative charges against the last officer facing discipline in the Freddie Gray case on Wednesday, meaning all six officers who were accused in the arrest and death of the 25-year-old two years ago will keep their jobs.
Police spokesman T.J. Smith said Sgt. Alicia White, who faced charges that could have resulted in termination, would face no further administrative actions. Two other officers have been acquitted of administrative charges by police trial boards.
Davis ‘feels proceeding with this administrative hearing would not be in good faith, and has dismissed the charges,’ Smith said.
None of the prosecutions, or the subsequent departmental charges were done in good faith.
White’s attorney, Tony Garcia, said White was ‘grateful’ for the decision.
She has always maintained her innocence from the very beginning,’ Garcia said. ‘I think that whenever someone dies, they wish they could do the whole thing over so it didn’t happen. But she doesn’t feel she did something wrong.
Her feeling was founded in fact; she did absolutely nothing wrong. This did not, of course, prevent the resultant social justice witch hunt, which will never end. Freddie Gray, like Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, has become a holy social justice martyr, whose urban legend, based entirely on lies and allegations impossible to prove, will eternally be repeated as gospel truth.
Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said, ‘this final decision places Baltimore at a moral crossroads.’
‘A young man entered the custody of police and within an hour his spine was broken, his voice box crushed,’ she said. ‘Our city has been defined by this. Now Baltimore must decide how to go forward. Baltimore must commit itself to whatever changes to policing, to internal police discipline, to our legal system are needed to ensure that this cannot happen with impunity ever again.
Translation: Baltimore has been defined by riots, insane allegations, a skyrocketing violent crime rate and racism perpetrated by elements of the black population and politicians, the very people complaining about the disaster they created. Progressive social rule failed utterly, but Baltimore must abandon the rule of law, the presumption of innocence and due process in favor of social justice so the right outcomes may be assured regardless of a lack of evidence. There was no probable cause for arrest, and no proof, but they’re cops, so they’re guilty.
The Fraternal Order of Police union said ‘the evidence shows that what happened to Mr. Gray was a tragic and unintentional accident,’ and said the Police Department in April 2015 was sending officers onto the streets with outdated policies and inadequate training.
Freddie Gray’s death set off a hysteria used by local criminals and progressive politicians to actually set Baltimore ablaze (the SMM Freddie Gray archive is here). The city has yet to recover, economically and otherwise, and its violent crime rate, particularly the murder rate, continues to skyrocket, with no prospect of improvement in sight. Officers are leaving the BPD in droves, and the City is having great difficulty replacing them. Remaining officers, understanding their administrators, the local political establishment, and local prosecutors not only do not support them, but would love to prosecute police officers to “get justice for Freddie Gray” by proxy, are doing as little as possible, and absolutely avoiding any interaction with favored progressive victim groups.
There was never the least probable cause to arrest the officers, and there was certainly no possibility of proving the excessive, insupportable charges against them beyond a reasonable doubt. The probable cause statements laying out the supposed evidence against the officers were written by a Sheriff’s Department administrator who had not the slightest involvement in the case, other than being convinced by the ethically challenged prosecutors to perjure himself. Before a single officer was tried, the City gave $6.4 million dollars to Gray’s family, a settlement far beyond any settlement ever given by the city, an amount the facts of the case couldn’t possibly justify. Certainly, Baltimore politicians thought it was what the political market at the time could bear. In this, and everything else, they would be drastically wrong.
Rioters were given, by the mayor–Stephanie Rawlings-Blake–complete freedom to burn the city, insanity she admitted and later tried to deny. Police officers were ordered to allow the rioters to commit any crime they pleased, and many officers, inadequately equipped and without leadership, were injured by rioters. Even by the standards of urban Democrat political failure, this was an extraordinary case.
The prosecution was driven by newly elected prosecutor–Marilyn Mosby–a social justice true believer with little prosecution experience and less ability. The first trial of Officer William Porter, before a jury, ended in a deadlock, and a mistrial was declared. Mosby swore to try Porter again, but his retrial was scheduled after the trials of the remaining officers. Obviously, Mosby hoped to convict someone of something, which might make convicting Porter the second time around easier. What Mosby and her minions lacked in common sense and ability, they made up for with blind arrogance, political pandering and a haughty indifference to the rule of law.
The trials against Officers Edward Nero, Caesar Goodson (the transport van driver), and Lt. Brian Rice, held before Judge Barry Williams without juries, ended in acquittal. These acquittals were particularly damaging to Mosby and social justice true believers because Williams is black, and a former federal prosecutor specializing in prosecuting cases of police misconduct. His carefully written decisions made clear the prosecution had no evidence to convict any of the officers on any of the multiple charges. It wasn’t a close call.
Mosby’s statements to this day made it clear she wanted to continue the prosecutions of the remaining officers, including Porter. It’s unknown what political pressure was brought to bear, or who brought it, but the fact the two female prosecutors Mosby appointed to prosecute the remaining officers resigned rather than do as Mosby ordered, seemed to be the last straw, and Mosby was forced to drop all charges against the remaining officers. Not a single officer was convicted of any charge.
This left departmental charges—allegations the officers violated the policies of the BPD—as the only hope of obtaining a social justice pound of flesh. The federal government announced it would not prosecute any of the officers, an outcome that would have been unlikely even under the entirely corrupt Obama Department of Justice. Officers Edward Nero and Garret Miller accepted minor discipline to get the mess behind them, while maintaining they never violated any BPD policies. They immediately returned to work. The remaining officers were completely acquitted in department trials by administrators from outside agencies. As with Judge Williams, they discovered there was not only no evidence of wrongdoing, the police investigators didn’t bother to do a competent job, apparently satisfied the certainty of social justice would be sufficient. It wasn’t.
Lt. Brian Rice’s exoneration finally convinced the political establishment their witch hunt was futile. The prosecutors and BPD always had exactly the same, grossly insufficient evidence in each and every case. They had the same witnesses, all of whom failed miserably to convince anyone but social justice true believers of the officer’s guilt. All that remained, their last chance to convict someone, somehow, of anything, was Sgt. Alicia White, and that was a real problem.
The local media, for more than two years, said little about White, except a grudging admission she was loved and respected by the local community. She was last in line for prosecution because she had the least involvement in the Gray case. Even Mosby knew she would be the hardest to convict. In fact, her only involvement was to check on Gray, in response to community concerns, at the 5th stop, where she briefly asked Gray if he was well. He was, at that point, still moving and speaking, but declined to speak with her, leaving her the impression he was merely being uncooperative, a common arrestee response. She was present at the 6th and final stop at the jail, and when it was then obvious Gray was in medical distress, she, and the other officers, immediately summoned it and tended to Gray. White had no role in Gray’s arrest—she wasn’t there—and never touched him, except to facilitate medical help at the 6th stop.
Even the hapless Marilyn Mosby must have understood they had no chance to convict White. Normally, under the norms of social justice, White would have been immunized. She was female and black, and well liked in the black community. Unfortunately for her, she was a cop, and cop hatred always trumps race and gender. Obviously, Mosby hoped to convict someone, anyone, of something, which might make it possible to convict White, the most obviously innocent and sympathetic officer, of something. It’s no coincidence White was also scheduled last in the department trials, and for the same reasons.
As the BPD lost each of the department trials, they must have panicked. Even The Baltimore Sun, a paper sympathetic to social justice concerns, wrote about the inadequacy of the BPD’s case, and the many errors the BPD made, as well as revealing the disgusted reactions of the members of the trial boards, who, like Judge Williams, saw no evidence of wrongdoing. Considering the overwhelmingly negative Baltimore Sun coverage, the testimony in the departmental trials must have been an absolute disaster for the BPD and the political establishment.
Commissioner Davis’ decision to drop charges against White was one of the few moments of rationality in the entire case. The only surprise—to rational people—is it took so long. The reality is Davis didn’t drop charges because he was concerned with good faith; he finally reached the limits of embarrassment even he was willing to endure. Every BPD officer knows that well.
Years of effort and millions of dollars later, the facts haven’t changed: Petty criminal and neighborhood drug dealer Freddie Gray, under the influence of two classes of illegal drugs, stupidly caused the police to pursue and catch him. They found an illegal knife, and properly arrested him. While being transported, he behaved badly and accidentally killed himself. Perhaps one of the greatest ironies in a case full of irony is the officers were present on that particular corner because Mosby asked the police to aggressively patrol it. It was a favorite hangout of drug dealers, and in the district of Mosby’s husband, Nick, then a Baltimore City Councilman. Not a single officer was convicted of any crime, and only two accepted minor discipline as a means of being done with the insanity.
But the case is not over. The lawsuit filed by most of the officers against Marilyn Mosby remains. In addition, a complaint filed with the Maryland bar against Mosby by George Washington University law professor John Banzahf, remains active—as far as we know.
Also remaining is the damage the social justice true believers of Baltimore have done to their police department, their poor neighborhoods, the entire city, and to relations between the police and public across the nation. A great many Baltimore citizens are now dead, who most likely would have been alive, had Baltimore’s elected officials believed in the rule of law instead of social justice. Those politicians still show no sign of understanding the damage they’ve done, nor of caring about it.