Sunday, May 3, 2015





Around the internet, I'm seeing a few lawyers say these 6 officers were over-charged. Of course there are those who don't think police brutality or racism exist.  It's the lawyers with a "progressive" reputation that worry me. And based on what has passed for law and order recently, I'm worried that they might be correct

If Freddie Gray died as a result of a "lack of a seat belt" in the back of that police van as the prosecutor said more than once, this might be a done deal. All of these officers may walk.

 Only one of the officers in the van was in charge. As I understand it, nobody in the back with Freddie actively beating him. So how did the prosecutor charge all of them as if equally responsible?

The police are quasi-military in function. Only one person was in charge. And that should have been the one to be charged with most, if not all, of the charges at each location (a) the point of arrest and (b) in the police van. Those of us who do not work in quasi-military environment have had a supervisor ignore us until the client or customer went ballistic. And person in charge was the person truly at fault

Charging the wrong people with the wrong things is what allowed Rekia Boyd's murderer, Dante Servin, to walk away.

The defense will likely be able to prove that hundreds of police officers in Baltimore have done what they did to Freddie Gray hundreds and hundreds of times. Does the prosecutor think the breaking the seat belt rule is going to send them to prison for killing Freddie Gray?

If we're going to pretend that Freddie Gray was perfectly healthy and able to walk before he got in the van and wasn't already having problems breathing, then the most they are going to be able to say about the officers is that they should never have arrested him; should have given him his inhaler; and made their way to the hospital sooner.

This means at least half of the officers were over-charged. Again, charging all the officers as if they are equally responsible instead of the laying most of the charges on one officer-in-charge at each location (street arrest & van) might throw enough mud in the water to set them all loose.

If somebody doesn't prove that Freddie Gray's spine was actively damaged during arrest, that spine damage is the reason he couldn't walk, then...essentially the officers are going to be guilty of false imprisonment (something else that's probably been done hundreds of times) and not providing him with that inhaler. "We didn't realize..." is going to be the bottom line on the spine damage.

I don't know that it matters how dedicated to the black community the two black women out front, Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, are or aren't. I not at all sure either one of them has enough power to get justice done when the police are involved, especially since what actually happened is being made to sound as if it is so ambiguous

Rekia Boyd's murder was unambiguous as it gets. Her killer, Dante Servin, was (1)an off duty copy with (2)an unregistered weapon (3)who shot over shoulder (4)after initiating a confrontation over a noise complaint. And Servin was set free by one speech by one judge in a very few minutes on a single afternoon (click here to read more).  And like the previous 100 or so people in Baltimore that have sued the police department and won, Rekia Boyd's parents also won a civil settlement against the police department in Chicago but still lost in criminal court. 

There's a pattern here. Police don't go to jail even when it's been established in civil court that the police are responsible for the death and the victim died as a result of "homicide," which technical term that does not mean somebody committed murder. Eric Garner died as a result of "homicide." His killer, Daniel Pantaleo" is walking around free too.

Since Rekia Boyd's killer was set free, I've become unsure about who has the power to put a police officer in jail unless everyone from the governor down to the people on the street are pushing hard for conviction. And, by the way, we haven't heard much of anything about Maryland's republican governor.  So I'm worried.

I'm especially worried whenever compare the proof to charges gap in Rekia Boyd's case, since her murder was so much clearer.

Let's assume the prosecutor charged Boyd's killer, Servin, with manslaughter because she didn't think she could get a murder conviction (a safe assumption in a city where a cop hadn't seen the inside of a courtroom in 17 years.) The judge set Servin free because the prosecutor described Servin committing murder but was only charged with manslaughter (Under-charged) George Zimmerman, on the other hand,  was charged with murder when nobody knew exactly what happened in those last few minutes of Trayvon Martin's life. But there wasn't anyway that anybody (officially) thought there was premeditation, which led some to say that Zimmerman was overcharged.


My head is spinning. I don't see how "the van did it" and "lack of seat belt" is going to get any sort of murder conviction.  It's too easy to say for some of the cops involved to say "I didn't know" and others cops to say "I wasn't in charge."

Not that Uncle Ruckus in a uniform couldn't have been involved, but the white cops that arrested Freddie Gray either damaged him before they put him in the van or they didn't. The man couldn't walk and looked like he was in pain BEFORE the van. They were carrying Gray BEFORE the van. Why don't her charges address what happened BEFORE the van?  Excuse after excuse after excuse (read more here) have offered for Freddie Gray's death. And I'm not sure "The van did it!" isn't the final one.