Lawsuits filed by Baltimore police officers against Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby must be dismissed, according to the law. The United States Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors acting within the scope of their duties in pursuing criminal prosecution are immune from civil suits.
The role of a prosecutor in a criminal case is to seek justice and represent the People of a given jurisdiction against a person charged with committing a criminal offense. This is exactly what Marilyn Mosby did when the officers involved in Freddie Gray’s death, which the medical examiner ruled a homicide, were indicted by a grand jury.
In criminal cases, particularly felonies, facts are presented to a grand jury to determine if there is probable cause to proceed with criminal charges. If the grand jury feels that there is enough probable cause to proceed, they return an indictment. In the case against the officers, a grand jury felt that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute in the death of Freddie Gray. At that time, the case goes through a process leading up to trial.
During a trial, the prosecutor has the burden of proving that the defendant is, in fact, guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The first officer tried for the death of Freddie Gray was William Porter. Porter was tried in front of a jury and at the end, the jury could not return a verdict. There were some jurors who felt that Porter was guilty and some who felt that he was not guilty.
This fact was overshadowed when the remaining officers elected to have their case heard by Judge Barry Williams, who determined that they were not guilty. Based upon proof presented at the jury trial, some jurors felt that William Porter was guilty, which indicates that Mosby did the right thing in pursing and prosecuting the officers based upon probable cause. One must remember that there are different standards of proof in proceeding with a case versus finding a person guilty.
A single person, in this case the judge who presided over the bench trial, cannot be the determining factor when deciding if a prosecutor abused her power. Mrs. Mosby followed the laws and rules of criminal procedure, she did nothing wrong. We cannot allow people to begin filing civil suits against prosecutors because a defendant is found not guilty. There are men and women found not guilty in trials all the time and it has always been maintained that absent some showing of blatant misconduct, the prosecutor is immune from such civil suits and bar complaints…this case is no different.
If we begin to allow people to bring such suits against prosecutors, then everyone who is ultimately found not guilty or later exonerated after a criminal conviction must be allowed to bring civil suits or bar complaints against the prosecutors in their cases. Under the logic of the officers who seek to sue Mrs. Mosby or have her disbarred, O.J. Simpson, Casey Anthony, and Michael Jackson should have been able to sue and seek disbarment of the prosecutors who pursued their cases.
Mosby’s office did what a prosecutor’s office is supposed to do – there was an investigation followed by a presentation to the grand jury, which returned an indictment, and the case was put before a trier of fact. What America has become used to are prosecutors becoming the trier of fact. We saw this in Cleveland, with Timothy McGinty, and Chicago, with Anita Alvarez.
Prosecutors have never been the trier of fact under the rules of criminal procedure. Their role is to present evidence to the people charged with determining what’s true or not and if the facts fit the elements of the crime charged. When a prosecutor follows the role placed upon them by the criminal justice system, they cannot be subjected to disbarment or civil suits…especially in the absence of gross misconduct, which was not present here.
Mosby should be commended for taking the difficult road and pursing charges against the officers involved in the night Freddie Gray died. It is time for Baltimore police and its union to move forward and work with Mosby in the pursuit of law and order to keep the citizens of Baltimore safe.
Benjamin L. Crump, former president of the National Bar Association, is the attorney for the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown and represents victims of former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, who was convicted of rape charges for preying on African-American women in his capacity as a police officer.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
67 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. De’von Bailey, 191 of 67
2. Christopher Whitfield, 312 of 67
3. Anthony Hill, 263 of 67
4. De'Von Bailey, 194 of 67
5. Eric Logan, 545 of 67
6. Jamarion Robinson, 266 of 67
7. Gregory Hill Jr., 307 of 67
8. JaQuavion Slaton, 208 of 67
9. Ryan Twyman, 249 of 67
10. Brandon Webber, 2010 of 67
11. Jimmy Atchison, 2111 of 67
12. Willie McCoy, 2012 of 67
13. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 2113 of 67
14. D’ettrick Griffin, 1814 of 67
15. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 15 of 67
16. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 16 of 67
17. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 17 of 67
18. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 18 of 67
19. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 19 of 67
20. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 20 of 67
21. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 21 of 67
22. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 22 of 67
23. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 23 of 67
24. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 24 of 67
25. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 25 of 67
26. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 26 of 67
27. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 27 of 67
28. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 28 of 67
29. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 29 of 67
30. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 30 of 67
31. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 31 of 67
32. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 32 of 67
33. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 33 of 67
34. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 34 of 67
35. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 35 of 67
36. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 36 of 67
37. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 37 of 67
38. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 38 of 67
39. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 39 of 67
40. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 40 of 67
41. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 41 of 67
42. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 42 of 67
43. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 43 of 67
44. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 44 of 67
45. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 45 of 67
46. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 46 of 67
47. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 47 of 67
48. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 48 of 67
49. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 49 of 67
50. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 50 of 67
51. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 51 of 67
52. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 52 of 67
53. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 53 of 67
54. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 54 of 67
55. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 55 of 67
56. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 56 of 67
57. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 57 of 67
58. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 58 of 67
59. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 59 of 67
60. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 60 of 67
61. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 61 of 67
62. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 62 of 67
63. Patrick Harmon, 5063 of 67
64. Jonathan Hart, 2164 of 67
65. Maurice Granton, 2465 of 67
66. Julius Johnson, 2366 of 67
Court Must Dismiss Police Lawsuits Against Marilyn Mosby was originally published on newsone.com