On April 12, 2015, six Baltimore Police officers apprehended Freddie Gray, who allegedly was carrying an illegal switchblade. During transport to the county jail Gray fell into a coma and later taken to a local hospital. Gray succumbed to his injuries on April 19 and on April 21 all six police officers were suspended with pay.
The Baltimore City State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, filed charged against the officers on May 1, 2015 after Gray’s death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner. The officers were to be tried separately, but on July 27, 2016 all charges against the police officers were dropped after several trials that ended in mistrial and not guilty sentences.
In April 2016, five of the officers sued Mosby for malicious prosecution. After Mosby appealed the lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Marvin Garvis ordered for depositions and discovery to go forward.
On Friday, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision and ordered court proceedings to be delayed until a decision has been made for Mosby’s appeal.
Maryland attorney general’s Office, representing Mosby in the lawsuit, argues that prosecutors have immunity from city claims, which includes Mosby. According to her attorneys, Mosby has a “strong likelihood of success on appeal” and should not be forced to undergo the discovery process.
Sargent Alicia White, Lieutenant Brian Rice, Officer Garrett Miller, Officer William Porter and Officer Edward Nero sued Assistant Sheriff Samuel Cogen and Mosby, alleging they both brought false charges. Cogen and Mosby deny the allegations, even though Cogen is the one responsible for filling out the affirmation of probable cause charging all six officers.
In this case, Mosby’s office did not act as merely prosecutors, but as independent investigators and does not enjoy immunity, Garbis said.
Mosby has until June 13 to submit her opening brief to the appellate court judges. The attorneys representing the officers must submit a response by July 13.
Assistant Attorney General Karl A Pothier wrote that in May of 2015, Mosby claimed her Office had carried out an independent investigation. The officers’ disputes are related to her examination of the evidence and not the investigations itself.
According to Mosby’s attorneys, a grand jury had also found probable cause for the charges and Barry Williams, trial judge, rejected several attempts to have the charges dismissed during the trials.
Another case involving Mosby, which is also pending is an appeal by Keri Borzilleri, who is a former assistant state’s attorney. Borzilleri alleges that Mosby wrongly fired her because she supported Gregg L. Bernstein, Mosby’s opponent in the 2014 election. A federal judge, saying prosecutors are “at-will employees dismissed the lawsuit.