Two days before the Baltimore police department concluded its investigation into the death of Freddie Gray, Marilyn Mosby, the Maryland state’s attorney for the city, gave a fiery speech in which said she planned to “pursue justice by any and all means necessary.”
Mosby entered the national spotlight on Friday after she announced charges against six Baltimore cops involved in Gray’s April 12 arrest. Many believe that Gray, who died on April 19, was the victim of police brutality or negligence.
“[The criminal justice system] has historically and disproportionately affected so many communities of color, and what we’re seeing right now when we turn on the news and we open up the newspaper is that frustration,” Mosby told the Multicultural Prayer Movement group during a brief speech Tuesday morning.
The night before saw widespread rioting, looting and arson in Baltimore sparked by outrage over Gray’s death.
Mosby, 35, did not mention Gray by name during her remarks, but the prayer group described her as speaking about “stepping forward with the Freddie Gray Case.”
“And it’s not just Baltimore City,” Mosby continued. “That’s every urban city across America. We’re seeing the frustration of this system, and recognizing that…I couldn’t listen to the naysayers.”
Seemingly hinting at what course of action she would take in a surprise announcement three days later, Mosby told the audience of local clergy: “We will pursue justice by any and all means necessary.”
Mosby echoed that sentiment during her press conference on Friday, less than 24 hours after police concluded their investigation.
“To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for ‘No justice, no peace,'” she said. “Your peace is seriously needed as I seek to deliver justice to this young man.”
“As young people, our time is now,”she added.
Mosby slapped Caesar Goodson Jr., a black officer who drove Gray from the arrest site to central booking, with the toughest charges. He faces a second-degree depraved-heart murder charge and manslaughter charges. Three other officers face involuntary manslaughter and other charges. The two officers who helped arrest Gray face second-degree assault charges. (RELATED: Baltimore Police Release Mugshots Of Six Officers Charged In Freddie Gray Case)
Mosby’s decision was denounced as a “rush to judgement” by the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police. And a report from the Baltimore Sun published on Saturday described police investigating Gray’s death as “stunned” that Mosby had determined charges less than a day after being handed the case. (RELATED: Law Professor: Baltimore Officers Were Overcharged, Charges Will Likely Be Dropped)
While Mosby has captured the hearts of many because of the aggressive charges and her tough talk, she has also been accused of bias for both her political relationships and her social justice activism.
Mosby’s husband is Nick Mosby, a Baltimore city councilman who represents the area where Gray was arrested. The Fraternal Order of Police expressed concern that Nick Mosby’s position would put pressure on his wife to throw the book at the officers.
Mosby, who is the youngest state’s attorney of any major city in the U.S., said on Friday that Gray’s arrest was illegal and that he was not properly restrained in the police van. She also alleged that the officers did not provide Gray with medical attention even though he asked for it.
Other alleged conflicts of interest include the $5,000 in campaign contributions Mosby received from Billy Murphy Jr., the attorney representing Gray’s family. Mosby appointed Murphy Jr. to her transition committee after being voted into office. (RELATED: Marilyn Mosby Accused Of Conflicts Of Interest)
Mosby, who ran on a tough-on-crime and police reform platform to unseat incumbent Gregg Bernstein, has been outspoken about other high-profile cases involving young black men.
She rallied in protest of the July 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman. She also criticized how St. Louis Co. prosecutor Bob McCulloch handled the grand jury process in the case of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot Michael Brown last August.
In a homecoming speech last October at her alma mater, Tuskegee University, Mosby lamented that Wilson had not been indicted for killing the 18-year-old Brown, who she said was “a boy.”
During her remarks Tuesday, Mosby slammed commentators who had used the word “thugs” to describe the rioters and looters who tore up parts of the city the night before.
“Our young people, I know that they’re called ‘thugs,'” Mosby said, her cadence rising. “Those are young people crying out. There’s a sense of hopelessness in this city.” (RELATED: Obama Refers To Baltimore Rioters As ‘Criminals And Thugs’)
While many others criticized the use of the word “thugs” to describe rioters — they claimed it had racist connotations — the two most high-profile officials to do so are black. Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake used the word on Monday. President Obama, to the surprise of many, used it on Tuesday.
“Our time to do it, and I’ve been saying this for the past two years, this is a bubbling up, a culmination of that hopelessness.”
Mosby did not respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.