According to the Associated Press, attorneys for the six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, a man who died of a spinal injury while in custody, asked a judge Friday to dismiss the case or assign it to someone other than the city’s top prosecutor. They claim she has too many conflicts of interest to remain objective.
The lawyers state that at a minimum, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby should be replaced with an independent prosecutor.
The motion was filed in Baltimore District Court.
In the latest legal move to challenge the charges, the motion says Mosby’s prosecution has been “overzealous” and “politically motivated.”
Ms. Mosby announced the charges a day after receiving an investigative report from the police. The motion 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,” according to the Associated Press. A separate motion argues that her rapid decision could be at odds with a law that requires a thorough investigation prior to filing charges.
“It was a long journey of conscience for a former Louisiana prosecutor,” stated the Huffington Post.
“He went from celebrating a death sentence with rounds of drinks three decades ago to writing an anguished, open letter of apology after the convicted man was recently declared innocent and set free.”
“I apologize to Glenn Ford for all the misery I have caused him and his family,” A.M. Stroud III wrote in a letter published in The Times of Shreveport. “I apologize to the family of Mr. Rozeman for giving them the false hope of some closure.”
Ford is an exonerated prisoner released earlier this month from the Louisiana State Penitentiary after serving nearly 30 years on death row. Isadore Rozeman was the elderly victim who was killed in a 1983 robbery.
Stroud’s letter was more than just an apology. It was a condemnation of the state’s decision to oppose compensating the now cancer-stricken Ford for three decades lost. It was also a firm statement against capital punishment.
Unfortunately, a Caddo Parish, Louisiana judge ruled on Friday, March 27th, that Ford will not receive state-mandated compensation, states nola.com.
Ford, 65, petitioned the state for wrongful conviction and imprisonment compensation roughly nine months after Louisiana prosecutors filed a motion to vacate his 1984 conviction.
However, First Judicial District Court Judge Katherine Clark Dorroh sided with a challenge to that petition made by the Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office. It alleged that Ford failed to meet the law’s “factually innocent” clause. That provision requires petitioners to have not committed the crime for which they were originally convicted as well as “any crime based upon the same set of facts” used in the original conviction.
According to lohurst.com, real estate mogul Robert Durst – suspected in the 1982 disappearance of his wife and the 2000 murder of his friend Susan Berman – seemed to confess in the conclusion of the HBO documentary “The Jinx” on Sunday.
The Boston Herald states that authorities found more than a quarter-pound of marijuana and a gun in Durst’s New Orleans Marriott hotel room when he was arrested over the weekend.
Filmmaker Andrew Jarecki suggested in “The Jinx” that it is Durst ‘s handwriting on a note directing police to Berman’s body. Durst later left his microphone on as he went to the bathroom.
“There it is. You’re caught,” he said, adding moments later “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
A member of the grand jury that declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson sued the prosecutor in the case on Monday, criticizing the way evidence was presented to grand jurors and seeking court permission to speak publicly about the way the case was handled.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in St. Louis against St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch by the grand juror, whose name was withheld and was referred to as “Grand Juror Doe.”
The lawsuit relates to the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri.
According to MSNBC, “witness 40” spoke on the record for the first time to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, raising new questions about the Bob McCulloch’s grand jury process.
NY Daily News states that witness 40 – Sandra McElroy – claims her version of events, which happened some 30 miles from her St. Louis home, is the truth, and that investigators just tried to discredit her “because of my racial slurs.”
McElroy presented the grand jury with copies of her Aug. 9 journal entry about her “random drive to Florisant (sic)” in her attempt to “understand the Black race so I can stop calling Blacks N—–s.”
McElroy’s racism is well-documented in her social media footprint.
She also used Facebook to chime in on the Ferguson shooting. On Aug. 17, she wrote, “Prayers, support God Bless Officer Wilson,” and used the social media site to try to raise money for the officer.
In her journal entry about the Ferguson shooting, she wrote, “The cop just stood there dang if that kid didn’t start running right at the cop like a football player head down.”
In September, it appeared to some that Bob McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor, wasn’t trying to get an indictment. He had a long record of protecting police in similar cases, and his decision not to recommend a specific charge to the grand jury essentially guaranteed there would be no indictment.
Recently, a Black police officer in the St. Louis county police department was charged with a felony after hitting a person on the hand with his baton, even though officer Darren Wilson did not get charged with any crime at all.
Is this appropriate, and why would that be?
Dawon Gore, a Black 13-year veteran of the St. Louis County Police Department, was charged with felony assault after striking a MetroLink passenger on the hand with his expandable baton following an argument, according to CBS St. Louis.
CBS St. Louis reports, Gore is accused of using excessive force against an unnamed 24-year-old light-rail passenger in late April at the Hanley Road station in Clayton.
According to a police press release, the investigation was forwarded to prosecutor Bob McCullough, the same prosecutor who did not charge Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer in the murder of Mike Brown, an unarmed Black teenager.
The investigation was sent to McCullough with a recommendation to press charges, which is what he did. Gore, who is a 44-year-old Ferguson resident, was charged with second-degree assault. He was jailed on a $3,500 with a cash-only bond.
Michael Brown’s parents are expressing their frustration after Officer Darren Wilson spoke out about having a “clear conscience” following a grand jury decision not to charge Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of their son.
Wilson spoke to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday, saying, “I know I did my job right.” In the interview, Wilson said he feared for his life as he tried to defend himself against the 18-year-old, who was allegedly throwing punches at him while Wilson was inside his police vehicle.
The altercation then shifted outside the vehicle, where Wilson said Brown charged at him after initially running away. That’s when the fatal shots were fired. Witness accounts heard by the grand jury differed.