BALTIMORE, MD- Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby, the woman who again struck out at officers of that department.
On Tuesday, Mosby identified 305 city police officers whom she said have “integrity concerns.” Mosby presented the list to a state policing commission which had been formed to “identify department issues that fostered a corrupt police unit.” Mosby said that the integrity concerns basically means those officers will not be able to testify in court.
Brian Nadeau, the deputy commissioner of the department’s Public Integrity Bureau told the commission that most of the listed officers do not have credibility issues, however, did identify 22 officers on the list who should not be allowed to testify. Only two of those officers are still on the Baltimore PD.
“Nobody on that list that I wouldn’t have working on the street, making cases,” Nadeau said.
The number represents nearly 15 percent of the city’s 2,300 member police force.
One of the commission members and an attorney, Sean Malone remained concerned about the number of officers on the list, saying “That’s just a disturbing number.”
Nadeau downplayed that concern, noting that “quite a few” officers named were subjects of complaints that were not sustained.
Nadeau was also concerned that the state’s attorney’s “hit list” can also be used by defense attorneys to benefit their clients under what is known as “Brady/Giglio material, or exculpatory information.
While noting that the state’s attorney’s office has a much broader policy for disclosure of information to defense than other agencies, Mosby’s deputy Michal Schatzow noted that material passed on to defense attorneys isn’t necessarily admissible in court.
Mosby related that the list served two purposes. One to identify material that should be shared with defense attorneys, and secondly to alert the department of any possible issues with its officers.
“We think it’s important for the police department to make a determination of what they are going to do with their employees,” she said.
She also said the list is “fluid, something we update rather frequently,” noting that it went from 183 names to 212 to the current list of about 305 since October. Apparently, the list only goes up, not down.
Mosby initially mentioned the list during a policing forum in October. At the time of the announcement, Baltimore police spokesman Matt Jablow stated in an email:
“We are aware of the list and the officers who are on it. Some of the issues involve current Internal Affairs investigations that could result in discipline, though there are many officers who are on the list despite allegations of wrongdoing that were not sustained.
At the time of the announcement, public defenders in the city said that they would expect Mosby’s office to release the list, since it raises questions about the officer’s credibility.
“We do not have any information about whether the State’s attorney has compiled a list of officers with credibility issues,” said Melissa Rothstein in an email.
She’s the spokeswoman for the Office of the Public Defender in Baltimore.
“If so, this would be classic Brady material, constitutionally required for disclosure, that we would expect to get a copy of.”
“Brady material” refers to the Brady/Giglio information referenced earlier.
Of course, private defense attorneys are also all over this.
“If she does have a list, she should publish it so we would know in case they [the officers] slip through the cracks and are called,” said Warren Brown.
He’s a defense attorney in the city.
“A lot of defendants plead guilty on the advice of their lawyer because it’s a police officer’s word against yours. I would love to know who’s on this list so I could go back and see if they have testified in any of my cases.”
The forum that Mosby was speaking at was a town-hall forum on policing sponsored by Players Coalition, a non-profit founded by former NFL players Anquan Boldin and Malcolm Jenkins to promote “social justice and racial equality.”
Of course, the NFL is very familiar with crime and criminals. However, that is another story.
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During the forum, Mosby referenced a past high profile corruption case in the Baltimore PD, Gun Trace Task Force, where eight former members of the department’s gun squad were convicted of federal racketeering crimes and sentenced to prison terms from eight to 25 years.
During a year-long investigation, more than a dozen other BPD officers were discredited. As a result, they petitioned courts this month to throw out nearly 800 criminal cases that related in particular to 25 police officers.
“Some of these allegations were rather egregious, like GTTF. That’s an extreme, planting guns and drugs on individuals. And yet, they were still employed, right? And they were putting us in a position where in essence we’re not going to call them, right? But it’s incumbent on the department to do something with their employees,” Mosby said.
Of course, Mosby has her own credibility issues. In 2015, Mosby brought charges against six Baltimore City police officers for their alleged role in the death of criminal defendant Freddy Gray.
Gray had been stopped in Baltimore and was subsequently arrested. During his transport to the police station in a police van, Gray became unresponsive sometime during the trip. It was found that his neck had been broken and was compressed, which prosecutors likened to a dive into a shallow pool.
Three of the six officers were acquitted in separate bench trials. The remaining three had their charges dropped by Mosby’s office.
In charging the six officers, Mosby took on more of a role of social justice warrior than a prosecutor. Her press conference at the time inflamed police officers nationwide.
The news conference took on the tone of being politically motivated and came in response to demonstrations across the city and in areas across the country. The speed at which the “investigation” took place was also taken into question.
“To the people of Baltimore, and the demonstrators across America, I have heard your call of ‘No justice, no peace,’” she said. “Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man.” The announcement came after overnight rioting and looting in West Baltimore.
Among the charges the six officers faced were in part: one for second-degree murder, three for involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Three were also charged with false imprisonment. It should be noted that Freddy Gray was black, as were three of the defendant officers. Three were white.
Five of the six officers filed lawsuits against Mosby for malicious prosecution. The suit was dismissed in a Richmond, VA federal appeals court, stating that Mosby has prosecutorial immunity. The United States Supreme Court denied a writ of certiorari last year and refused to remand the case back to the appeals court.