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
62 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Eric Logan, 541 of 62
2. Jamarion Robinson, 262 of 62
3. Gregory Hill Jr., 303 of 62
4. JaQuavion Slaton, 204 of 62
5. Ryan Twyman, 245 of 62
6. Brandon Webber, 206 of 62
7. Jimmy Atchison, 217 of 62
8. Willie McCoy, 208 of 62
9. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 219 of 62
10. D’ettrick Griffin, 1810 of 62
11. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false 11 of 62
12. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 12 of 62
13. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false 13 of 62
14. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 14 of 62
15. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 15 of 62
16. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 16 of 62
17. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 17 of 62
18. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 18 of 62
19. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 19 of 62
20. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 20 of 62
21. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 21 of 62
22. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 22 of 62
23. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 23 of 62
24. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 24 of 62
25. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 25 of 62
26. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 26 of 62
27. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 27 of 62
28. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 28 of 62
29. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 29 of 62
30. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 30 of 62
31. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 31 of 62
32. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 32 of 62
33. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 33 of 62
34. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 34 of 62
35. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 35 of 62
36. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 36 of 62
37. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 37 of 62
38. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 38 of 62
39. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 39 of 62
40. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 40 of 62
41. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 41 of 62
42. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 42 of 62
43. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 43 of 62
44. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 44 of 62
45. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 45 of 62
46. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 46 of 62
47. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 47 of 62
48. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 48 of 62
49. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 49 of 62
50. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 50 of 62
51. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 51 of 62
52. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 52 of 62
53. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 53 of 62
54. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 54 of 62
55. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 55 of 62
56. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 56 of 62
57. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false 57 of 62
58. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 58 of 62
59. Patrick Harmon, 5059 of 62
60. Jonathan Hart, 2160 of 62
61. Maurice Granton, 2461 of 62
Court Must Dismiss Police Lawsuits Against Marilyn Mosby was originally published on newsone.com