In the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray, State’s prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby prosecuted 6 officers. Four trials ended with no conviction and the remaining cases were dropped. But, that’s just the beginning of her troubles as five of the six officers are suing over defamation and the manufacture of evidence. In a normal investigation, the police investigate and turns the evidence to the prosecution, who decides whether to charge a suspect. That didn’t happen here. To read about Mosby’s possible framing of the six police officers, click here.
This is the second court that has refused to toss the case, which many thought was a longshot at best. It is always problematic when you sue for defamation. First, you have to prove that the assertion was false. That’s obvious. Secondly, you must prove real damages. Considering how much lawyers cost these police officers, that’s not a problem. Here is the hard part. You have to prove that the defamer knew that the accusations are false. That’s nearly impossible.
So, why didn’t the judges toss the lawsuit? Simple. As the article I linked to before, Mosby twisted evidence in a way that allowed her to bring charges even though she couldn’t convict.
The fact that this one still hasn’t been thrown out may prove the exception to the rule. When Mosby first challenged the suit back in September a judge came back and refused to toss it. One legal analyst in Baltimore who was familiar with the case explained at the time that this was a fairly unique situation. Normally it’s the police and other law enforcement agencies who conduct the initial investigation and they then hand the case off to the prosecutor to take it to trial. But in the Freddie Gray aftermath, Mosby’s office took over and conducted their own investigation and she moved forward based on her own findings. That, at least in the opinion of some observers, may wind up eliminating the normal, de facto immunity that she would enjoy.
At this point Mosby is running out of legal maneuvers to head this off at the pass. Without some significant new development, we may actually be going to trial this year. And if that happens, the media circus will be moving back to Baltimore once again.