Baltimore City state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby has pushed back against claims that she is biased against the six officers charged in the Freddie Gray case, but the 35-year-old rookie prosecutor’s social media activity suggests there is some truth to the accusations.
On May 6, Mosby favorited a tweet calling the six charged officers “thugs.”
On the same day, Mosby endorsed another controversial tweet, this one with racial overtones.
On May 1, Mosby announced 26 felony charges against the six officers for their involvement in the April 12 arrest and transportation of the 25-year-old Gray. Gray died on April 19 after sustaining severe spine injuries while riding in a police van. The involved officers were formally indicted by a grand jury last week.
The case has led to nationwide protests as well as riots in Baltimore. Mosby’s public statements about the case have led some to complain that she is biased against the officers and that she overcharged them in a “rush to judgement.”
By endorsing a tweet labeling the officers as “thugs,” Mosby undermines a defense she made on behalf of the rioters and looters who descended on Baltimore last month. During a speech she gave in the days after the riots — but before Baltimore police investigators had concluded their investigation — Mosby slammed public officials who called the rioters “thugs.” (RELATED: Marilyn Mosby Gave A Fiery Speech About Freddie Gray Days Before Police Concluded Investigation)
“Our young people, I know that they’re called ‘thugs,'” Mosby angrily told an audience of clergy members. “Those are young people crying out. There’s a sense of hopelessness in this city.”
Mosby has also been accused of using rhetoric better suited for a political stump speech than a criminal case.
“To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for ‘No justice, no peace,'” she said when announcing charges against the officers. “Your peace is seriously needed as I seek to deliver justice to this young man.”
“As young people, our time is now.”
Besides complaints about her public statements, attorneys for the charged officers have filed motions for Mosby to recuse herself because of several alleged conflicts of interest.
Mosby’s husband is a city councilman representing the area where Gray was arrested and where heavy looting occurred. She is also a close political ally of Billy Murphy Jr., a legendary Baltimore attorney who is representing the Gray family. Mosby met with Murphy and the Gray family before she announced charges against the officers.
And though Mosby has made public comments about the case in numerous national interviews, she has also called for a gag order to be placed on the officers’ attorneys.
Mark Weaver, a former Justice Department official and an Ohio State University law professor pointed out that hypocrisy in a recent op-ed in The Baltimore Sun.
“But she already shares the most troubling common denominator of certified-unethical attorneys: the willingness to abuse media relations and the prosecutor’s authority just to brighten her political horizons,” Weaver wrote.