Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Baltimore Cops Indicted in Freddie Gray Case

My article from the May 25, 2015 issue of FrontPage magazine:

Baltimore Cops Indicted in Freddie Gray Case

By Matthew Vadum

Six Baltimore police officers were indicted Friday in the death of Freddie Gray after prosecutors forced a local grand jury to move at what is considered lightning speed in the criminal justice system.

Although there may indeed be police malfeasance in the death of Gray, news of the indictments that the grand jury considered at an unseemly pace is anticlimactic. It’s not like anyone expected grand jurors to toss the charges out in the anti-cop lynch mob environment that now grips Charm City. And there are serious doubts whether the police officers can receive a fair trial in Baltimore City because the petit jury pool there isn’t exactly filled with law-and-order enthusiasts.

This case of what many observers have characterized as scapegoating by an out-of-control prosecutor arose after the suspicious April 19 death of career criminal Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man with a long arrest record. Since then angry mobs, racial-grievance profiteers, and radical leftist agitators have turned Maryland’s largest city into a Hobbesian jungle with the official encouragement of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a Democrat. The mayor infamously admitted after riots began that she gave space “to those who wished to destroy.”

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, a Democrat, told reporters Friday that the charges had to be amended to reflect new evidence. “As our investigation continued, additional information has been discovered, and as is often the case during an ongoing investigation, charges can and should be revised based upon the evidence.”

Mosby has also said all six police officers engaged in misconduct by their “failure to perform their duty regarding the safety of a prisoner.” Gray died in a hospital of injuries including a severed spine that he apparently suffered in a police van after being arrested a week after reportedly running away from cops.

The revised list of the specifics of the criminal charges does not yet appear to be available online but it has been reported that the charges are largely the same as they were when Mosby originally unveiled the charges on May 1. The grand jury heard evidence for two weeks.

On May 1, which happens to be May Day, a celebration of Marxism, Mosby invoked the mantra of the mob, “no justice, no peace,” to explain her actions. It is the battle cry of leftist rabble and racial arsonists hellbent on destruction that Americans became familiar with during the Los Angeles riots of 1992. Those riots appear to have been sparked by the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King, a black man, after a high speed chase. (King accidentally drowned in his swimming pool at age 47 in 2012.)

On Friday, “[r]eckless endangerment charges were added against all six officers, while false imprisonment charges against three were removed,” the Baltimore Sun reports.

The van driver, Officer Caesar R. Goodson, a black man, now stands accused of second-degree “depraved-heart murder,” manslaughter, second-degree assault, along with two counts of vehicular manslaughter and misconduct in office.

Officer William G. Porter, Lieutenant Brian W. Rice, and Sergeant Alicia D. White, are charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, and misconduct in office. Porter and White are African-Americans and Rice is white.

Officers Edward M. Nero and Garrett E. Miller, both white men, are facing second-degree assault and misconduct in office charges.

Earlier this month renowned criminal lawyer and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz accused Mosby of “overcharging” the three white men, two black men, and one black woman, in order to appease the rioters. Charging a defendant with an excessively serious crime makes it more likely the jury will acquit and when that happens there will be more riots, he said.

It’s fair to say that Mosby isn’t motivated by the pursuit of justice. She is seeking so-called social justice, a very different thing whose definition changes at the whim of left-wing influencers and community organizers. 

The angry mob is demanding that someone pay for the death of drug-dealing Gray and Mosby is building the gallows, not overly concerned with the question of the defendants’ guilt.

Meanwhile, Baltimore, long a dangerous place to be, has turned into the Wild West in recent weeks.

As of 9:36 p.m. yesterday, at least 18 shootings had been reported over the Memorial Day weekend, the Baltimore Sun reports.

“Thirty-three people have been killed so far in May, the first time the city has had 30 homicides in a month since June 2007. No month in the last 15 years has had more than 33 killings.”

Violent crime has surged after the mayor deputized members of gangs such as the Bloods and Crips, essentially making them part of Baltimore’s city government. The Democratic politicians who have long been running the city into the ground have managed to convince themselves that organized crime figures are part of the solution.

Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, a Democrat, praised the young men of the city’s under-appreciated organized crime sector. “These men have been out on the street quelling the senseless violence that has consumed our society.”

Mayor Rawlings-Blake, whose policies have exacerbated violence in her city, doesn’t see any connection between her pro-crime behavior in office and the rise in thuggery.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” the mayor lamented. “It is disheartening, but I am still resolved to continue to reduce violent crime in our city.”

Perry Chiaramonte of FoxNews.com reports that “[h]omicides in 2015 so far stand at 100, up from 71 for the same period last year, and on pace to be the Charm City’s deadliest year since 2007. Nonfatal shootings are up 70 percent this year, following a particularly violent week that saw 19 people shot on Tuesday and Wednesday alone.”

Baltimore police officers complain that they are not being allowed to do their jobs and police morale in that city and across America is at rock-bottom. Recent FBI statistics show that in 2014 twice as many police officers were killed in the line of duty compared to 2013.

While crime surges in Baltimore, “the numbers of arrests have been dropping with numbers dipping 22 percent in the first three months of 2015 and even more sharply after Gray’s death on April 19 touched off rioting,” Chiaramonte reports.

“The police down there [in Baltimore] are definitely cautious,” said New York Police Department (NYPD) Sergeant Ed Mullins, who is president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association in New York. “I’m sure many of them think, ‘If I go and get involved what is the consequence?’”

Mayor Rawlings-Blake reportedly ordered Baltimore police to stop arresting rioters.

“There’s pure lack of political accountability,” Mullins said. “All we have seen lately are Baltimore police officers running from people who attack them and not getting arrested for it.”

“There’s no doubt that the criminal element was emboldened after the riots,” he said. “When you don’t make arrests, you gave people the go-ahead to do whatever they wanted to do.

There will be plenty more opportunities for the rabble in Baltimore to burn down more businesses and assault more police officers in order to advance the Black Lives Matter movement that is built on demonstrable lies and gross exaggerations about the state of race relations in America.

The six police officers, who have been released on bail, are scheduled to be arraigned in Baltimore Circuit Court on July 2.

When and if any of the cops are acquitted or convicted of lesser charges in Freddie Gray’s death, community organizers will be able to return to the important work of burning Baltimore to the ground.

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