A federal judge ruled Friday to allow key parts of a lawsuit against Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby to proceed. The lawsuit was brought by five of the six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray,
U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis ruled that claims including malicious prosecution, defamation, and invasion of privacy can move forward against Mosby and Assistant Sheriff Samuel Cogen, who wrote the statement of probable cause.
Mosby’s attorneys had said she has absolute prosecutorial immunity from actions taken as a state’s attorney. But Garbis noted that her office has said it conducted an independent investigation.
“Plaintiffs’ malicious prosecution claims relate to her actions when functioning as an investigator and not as a prosecutor,” Garbis wrote.
Other counts, such as false arrest, false imprisonment and abuse of process, were dismissed, as Garbis had signaled he would do at an October hearing. All claims against the state were also dismissed.
The ruling means that during the discovery stage, Mosby and others involved in the investigation could be deposed to explain how they came to charge the six officers in the death of Freddie Gray.
“We’re looking forward to the depositions and learning about what really happened,” said David Ellin, an attorney representing Lt. Brian Rice. “We think the discovery process will really allow us to flesh out many things.”
Ellin said he expects Mosby’s attorneys to appeal and said that he wouldn’t be surprised if the case reached the U.S. Supreme Court because of the monumental questions it poses for prosecutors.
“The ramifications of this case are huge, and nationwide,” Ellin said.
After Mosby dropped all of the charges against the remaining police officers in the Freddie Gray case last summer, Ron Martinelli, a forensic criminologist and expert in forensic investigations and police practices, explained in The Hill why it happened.
As Prosecutor Mosby, her team, the media and so-called “No Justice; No Peace” Black Lives Matter supporters have embarrassingly learned time and time again in the cases of Trayvon Martin v. George Zimmerman (Stafford, FL); Michael Brown v. Officer Darren Wilson (Ferguson, MO); the State v. Officer Michael Brelo (Cleveland, OH); and now the State v. the Freddie Gray officers (Baltimore, MD); it is ultimately the forensic facts and not the false narratives that prevail in an ethical court of law.
Mosby is now learning the hard way what happens to a prosecutor who embraces a false narrative over the facts and forensic evidence.
Here’s hoping that starting in 2017 politicians and the media adopt a more sober and educated stance in reaction to officer-involved uses of force and death cases and that the “Black Lives Matter” era of rushing to judgment in such cases is essentially over.