Attorneys for six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of a man who died of a spinal injury he received while in custody asked a judge Friday to dismiss the case or assign it to someone other than the city’s top prosecutor, who they say has too many conflicts of interest to remain objective.
At a minimum, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby should be replaced with an independent prosecutor, the lawyers state in a motion filed in Baltimore District Court.
In the latest legal move to challenge the charges, which range from assault to second-degree “depraved-heart” murder in the death of Freddie Gray, the motion says Mosby’s prosecution has been “overzealous” and “politically motivated.”
Mosby announced the charges a day after receiving an investigative report from the police.
In an interview with CBS News, she defended the charges, saying: “At the end of the day this was a thorough investigation to get to the right result and I believe that we did.”
Mosby’s youth and upbringing has drawn national interest. The 35-year-old mother of two is the youngest top prosecutor of a major city. She comes from a five generations of police officers, including her father, mother, aunts and uncles.
“Law enforcement is instilled so I recognize the commitment, the sacrifice that police officers make day in and day out, time away from their families, their daily sacrifice of their lives for the betterment of our communities,” said Mosby. “I also recognize that there are individuals who usurp their authority and they avoid the public trust, it’s unacceptable. Those individuals who usurp their authority, those individuals do a disservice to the really hard working police officers who risk their lives day in and day out.”
The motion for her dismissal argues that part of the reason she acted so swiftly was to quash protests that gave way to violence in West Baltimore, where Gray was arrested and where Mosby’s husband, Nick Mosby, is a city councilman. A separate motion argues that her rapid decision could be at odds with a law that requires a thorough investigation prior to filing charges.
“The need to quell the raging inferno of human rage and revulsion within the confines of the 7th District was emergent,” the motion reads. “These officers soon found themselves offered up to the masses by Mrs. Mosby to quell the uprising that caused most harm to the district where her husband is the City Council representative.”
Gray was arrested April 12 and died a week later. Authorities say he suffered a spinal injury in the roughly 45 minutes between his arrest and his arrival at a police station in the back of a prisoner transport van. He was not wearing a seatbelt inside the van, and was in handcuffs and leg irons.
Read more: CBS News