Charged Officers Assail Baltimore Prosecutor

     BALTIMORE (CN) – The six police officers facing criminal charges related to the death in Baltimore of Freddie Gray filed a civil suit Tuesday against their prosecutors.
     The nine-page emergency complaint, which includes the motion to dismiss they filed previously as an exhibit, claims that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has a conflict of interests and should be taken off the case.
     Mosby brought charges against officers Caesar Goodson, Garrett Miller, Edward Nero, William Porter, Brian Rice and Alicia White on May 1 for the arrest a month earlier that caused Gray to die of a spinal cord injury.
     Gov. Larry Hogan had to call in the National Guard, and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake imposed a city-wide curfew to quiet the riots that erupted in Baltimore after Gray’s funeral.
     Assault charges loom against all six officers connected to Gray’s death. Four in the group face manslaughter charges. Goodson alone faces an additional charge of second-degree murder.
     The officers filed their declaratory judgment action in circuit court one day after seeking the appointment of a stenographer to record testimony in the case against them later this month in front of a grand jury. In the alternative, the officers want such testimony video-recorded.
     Their motion to dismiss in district court sites the 14th Amendment and the right of citizens to be protected against “overzealous prosecution.”
     The motion specifies Mosby’s conflicts of interest as “the seizing of political and person gain by Mrs. Mosby and her husband; personal relationships with individuals who will be witnesses at trial; the role of her office as the ‘investigators’ for this case; pending civil claim against Mrs. Mosby and her office and the financial interest of the attorney for the family of Freddie Gray, a close friend and financial supporter and attorney for Mrs. Mosby.”
     Claiming that the charging documents against the officers fail to allege any force on their part against Gray, the officers say “it is simply the position of the State’s Attorney the original arrest was unlawful, as the knife [Gray possessed] was ‘lawful under Maryland law.'”
     The motion also points out the State’s Attorney Mosby’s husband, Nick Mosby, is the Baltimore city councilman for District 7, the exact area where the arrest of Gray was made and where the riots that damaged more than 200 businesses happened.
     The motion claims Councilman Mosby was in a particularly influential position to get his wife to bring forward charges against the officers.
     Judge Althea Handy in circuit court signed a brief order Wednesday denying a motion by the officers to shorten the time for prosecutors to respond to their complaint.
     
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the motion to record testimony in the case against the officers to the grand jury. The officers filed that motion. Courthouse News regrets the error.

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