Must-Flee TV: The Misadventures of Baltimore's Marilyn Mosby, Child Prosecutor

We return now to our ongoing series, “The Misadventures of Marilyn Mosby, Child Prosecutor.” You’ll recall that Mosby is the state’s attorney for the city of Baltimore, and that it was she who, in a nakedly political attempt to appease a riotous mob, brought charges against the six police officers implicated in the 2015 death of Freddie Gray.

The four trials conducted in the case resulted in three acquittals and a hung jury, a pattern of defeat sufficient that even one as blinkered as Mosby could see there was no hope of securing a conviction against any of the officers. Faced with this reality, Mosby declined to proceed with the cases against the two defendants who had not yet been tried and the one whose trial had ended in a hung jury.

Given what thin gruel the prosecution’s case was revealed to be, and given the humiliation Mosby and her office suffered with each succeeding failure in court, one might have hoped that Mosby would acknowledge her mistakes and step away from the case while showing some degree of grace and humility. Alas, these are terms foreign to her vocabulary, for when in July she announced that she would be dropping the case, she did so not from her office or the courthouse steps, but rather from a street corner in the West Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested. And the manner in which she delivered her remarks was not characterized by even a hint of grace and humility, but rather by a childlike petulance and the same rabble-rousing bombast with which she announced the filing of charges against the officers less than two weeks after Gray’s death.

Mosby is not without her defenders but she has been widely criticized, not least by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who in September accused Mosby of acting precipitously in charging the officers before a thorough investigation had been completed. “The political pressure is real when you are in big jobs,” Rawlings-Blake told the Baltimore Sun, “and you can't bow to the political pressure and charge when you're not ready. You have to stand up, be in the big role and say to the people ... you need time to continue to investigate.”

Despite this public drubbing, Mosby has shown no sign of regret at how she conducted the matter, and indeed she has now staked out a position that further isolates her office from the police officers with whom she must cooperate in fighting Baltimore’s very considerable crime problem. On October 20, Mosby wrote an op-ed column for the Baltimore Sun in which she made five proposals for modifying the manner in which allegations of police misconduct are investigated.