Baltimore prosecutors seeking the conviction of police officers involved in the case of Freddie Gray who died in police custody have decided to double down on secrecy this past week when they filed a motion for a gag order with the court.
The gag order would prevent everyone involved in the incident including the six officers charged, witnesses and defense attorneys from talking about the case leaving State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby – who made political statements concerning the guilt of the accused during the charging phase of the case – to mold and manipulate public opinion in the case going forward unopposed.
Assistant State’s Attorney Antonio Gioia, who authored the gag order motion, said it was mailed to defense attorneys last week. State Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office confirmed that the prosecutor was seeking the gag order.
Many people familiar with the case said Mosby has numerous conflicts of interest following the announcement of the charges ranging from second-degree misdemeanor assault to “depraved-heart” murder with rushing to judgement having filed charges after just one day of investigation.
The charges came only a week after Baltimore street protests turned into rioting that Democratic Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake seemed to support after initially ordering police to give rioters “space to destroy” – an order that led to more than 100 injuries among police, looting and the destruction of dozens of businesses from fire in the downtown area.
Ultimately, these events led Mayor Rawlings-Blake to implement a curfew and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to declare a state of emergency for the city calling out the National Guard in a support role with police to quell violence and limit further property damage.
Attorneys for five of the six officers charged in the case have not spoken publicly. Ivan Bates and Tony Garcia, who represent Sgt. Alicia White, gave a news conference presenting their client’s view of the prosecution.
“I can say emphatically when this trial is complete and all the evidence is laid bare, you’ll see perhaps justice wasn’t the only thing the state’s attorney was attempting to accomplish here”…”and that perhaps you’ll see that there’s a fine line between fame and infamy.”
Defense attorneys have filed numerous motions calling into question the basis for the charges… whether Mosby can prosecute the case objectively… and that investigators produce a knife found on Gray on April 12 to the defense.
The alleged presence of a “spring-activated” knife in Gray’s possession has served, in part, as the legal basis for arresting Gray in the first place – a bar that Mosby said the accused officers had not met. In a joint statement, defense attorneys said:
It is “imperative that the public understand the facts and the law beyond the bald allegations publicized by Ms. Mosby”… adding, “The charges…have yet to be supported by a single piece of evidence. We have made one simple repeated request: Show us the evidence.”