Six cops now face criminal charges in the death of Freddie Gray:
Baltimore’s chief prosecutor charged six police officers on Friday with crimes including murder and manslaughter in the arrest and fatal injury of Freddie Gray....
The state’s attorney for Baltimore, Marilyn J. Mosby, filed the charges almost as soon as she received a medical examiner’s report Friday that ruled Mr. Gray’s death a homicide, and a day after the police concluded their initial investigation and handed her their findings.
It's being argued that she should recuse herself, in part because of her ties to the Gray family's lawyer:
Her electoral victory in the Democratic primary, over former state's attorney Gregg Bernstein, was a surprise to many. After the victory, she set up a transition committee that included Baltimore attorney William H. "Billy" Murphy, who is representing Gray's family. Murphy was among Mosby's largest campaign contributors last year, according to The Baltimore Sun. He donated $5,000 to her campaign.
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) also donated to her campaign, the Sun reported.
Right-wingers nationwide are echoing this. That's rich, because when you talk about any campaign finance reform in this country, right-wingers howl about money being free speech and accuse you of hating the Constitution. Also, I know of no right-wingers who thought Staten Island DA Dan Donovan should have recused himself in the Eric Garner chokehold case, even though he's been endorsed by New York police unions, including Patrick Lynch's Patrolemen's Benevolent Association. (Donovan, of course, did not obtain an indictment in the Garner case, and is now running in a special congressional election, which he's expected to win this coming Tuesday.)
The other reason the Baltimore cops don't like Mosby?
The local FOP lodge asked Mosby to appoint a special prosecutor because of her personal connection to Murphy and her marriage to Nick Mosby, the city councilman. In a letter, Gene Ryan, president of FOP Lodge 3, said he had "very deep concerns about the many conflicts of interest" in her office pursuing the case. "Most importantly, it is clear that your husband's political future will be directly impacted, for better or worse, by the outcome of your investigation."
By that logic, she shouldn't be allowed to run for a local elective office at all, because any issue of great concern to her constituents is likely to be of great concern to his. Do we want that to be a constraint on anyone who wants to run for office? What's the standard?
When Mosby ran, she ran as someone who'd deal with this issue in the way her constituents hoped she would:
People like Tawanda Jones, whose brother Tyrone West was killed after a violent scuffle with police, campaigned forcefully for her -- in part, Ms. Jones said, to get rid of her predecessor, Gregg L. Bernstein.
“I would have been a supporter of anybody to get him out of that chair,” Ms. Jones, who has been protesting police treatment of black men here since her brother died, said in an interview. “I was trying to get anybody that would take this seriously.” She said that after watching Ms. Mosby, she became convinced that she would....
“She gave us her word. I said, ‘How will you handle police brutality?’ She said, ‘If you put me in this chair, I don’t care if they are in uniform or not. I come from a family of officers. Some are good, some are bad, I will hold everybody accountable to the law.’ And thank you, Jesus, she lived it out.”
This despite the fact that, as she said, she comes from a long line of police officers:
In previous interviews, Mosby has said that five generations of family members have been police officers. Her father, mother, and grandfather were cops, The Daily Beast reported, and she grew up in what was known in her Boston neighborhood as "the police house."
So this is a democracy, and she made a campaign pledge, and she's fulfilling it. And that's bad, because this is America.
The talk about her husband, on the right, goes beyond the notion that his "political future will be directly impacted" by her investigation:
Really? Watch the clip and notice what Nick Mosby actually says about violent protestors:
... These young guys are frustrated, they're upset, and unfortunately they're displaying it in a very destructive manner. You know, when folks are undereducated, unfortunately they don't have the same intellectual voice to express it the way other people are doing it, and that's what we see through the violence today.
... Is it right for people to loot? No. I mean -- I think you've missed everything I've tried to articulate to you.... The violence is wrong. That's never acceptable.
Mosby goes on to call this a symptom of economic and educational deprivation, and to note that there have been white riots as well. But he's not condoning violence or property damage.
On the other hand, he doesn't call the looters "thugs," or blame the families or gay marriage of the "Democrat plantation," so, to the right, he's "blowing off looting." And every right-winger "knows" that's what his real message was without listening to his words, because the right-wing tribal drum says so.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog