Mosby Asks Appellate Court to Stop Lawsuit Against her

Dec 6, 2017

The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia is where Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby hopes a lawsuit against her is reversed—at least parts of it that were allowed to move forward.  Mosby was sued by five officers involved in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray in 2015. 

Gray died after suffering a severe spinal cord injury that was attributed to a so-called "rough ride" without a seatbelt while in the back of a police van. His death sparked anger and uprising in Baltimore for several days. 

Earlier this year, a lower court judge dismissed parts of the lawsuit, but ruled other parts of the case could proceed.  During a hearing Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Karl Pothier told the three-judge panel that as a prosecutor, Mosby has immunity from the lawsuit filed by officers who were charged but later cleared in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray. Pothier urged the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a judge's decision to allow parts of the lawsuit to go to trial.

Attorneys for the officers feel otherwise. They argued that Marilyn Mosby, acted not as a prosecutor, but rather an investigator, and by acting as such, is not covered under lawsuit immunity. Mosby charged six officers in Gray's arrest and death, an announcement that brought celebrations in the streets. Three were ultimately acquitted and Mosby dropped the remaining cases. Back in September, The Department of Justice declined to bring federal civil rights charges against the six officers — three white and three black — meaning none could be held criminally responsible for Gray's death. Two officers accepted administrative punished—even though they believed they did anything wrong.  Their punishment was never revealed to the public.  Meanwhile, trial board hearings in recent weeks, with a police officer panel and no civilian members ended with acquittals for two other officers in Gray's arrest. Soon thereafter, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis decided to dismiss a final trial board.

As for the lawsuit, the court did not indicate when it would rule.