Baltimore Prosecutor Asked Police to Target Area Where Freddie Gray Was Arrested

Kevin Rector, Baltimore Sun, June 9, 2015

About three weeks before Freddie Gray was chased from a West Baltimore corner by three Baltimore Police officers–the start of a fatal encounter–the office of prosecutor Marilyn Mosby asked police to target the intersection with “enhanced” drug enforcement efforts, court documents show.

“State’s Attorney Mosby asked me to look into community concerns regarding drug dealing in the area of North Ave and Mount St,” Joshua Rosenblatt, division chief of Mosby’s Crime Strategies Unit, wrote in a March 17 email to Major Osborne Robinson, a Western District police commander.

The document was disclosed for the first time in a motion filed Tuesday in Baltimore Circuit Court by defense attorneys for the six officers being prosecuted in Gray’s arrest and death. The attorneys said the email showed that Mosby should be removed from the case.

“Mrs. Mosby herself is now an integral part of the story and as such is a central witness. In the charges relating to the initial arrest and/or detention of Mr. Gray, Mrs. Mosby herself has become essential exculpatory evidence,” the defense attorneys argued. “This is a case where the witness and the prosecutor are one and the same.”

Mosby’s office has dismissed previous defense calls for her recusal, including conflict of interest allegations over her husband’s position as a City Councilman representing the area where Gray was arrested. {snip}

In his March 17 email to Robinson, Rosenblatt wrote that Mosby’s office wanted to build on success reducing crime in the West Baltimore neighborhood through the Operation Ceasefire program, specifically by “targeting that intersection for enhanced prosecutorial (and hopefully police) attention.” In that program, prosecutors, police and community members work together to convince criminals to reform.

On March 20, Robinson forwarded Rosenblatt’s email to several officers in the Western District–including Lt. Brian Rice. He was one of the three officers who arrested Gray and one of the six later charged in Gray’s arrest and death.

Robinson told Rice and the other officers to begin a “daily narcotics initiative” focused on North and Mount, according to the email, and said he would be collecting “daily measurables” from them on their progress.

“This is effective immediately,” Robinson wrote, noting the officers should use cameras, informants and other covert policing tactics to get the job done.

{snip}

According to Rosenblatt’s email, Mosby had been contacted for help addressing drug dealing on the corner of North and Mount by a “mentoring group” that described a “drug shop located directly outside of their facilities.”

Rosenblatt, a former Baltimore detective, also said Mosby had received photographs from a local resident of drug dealing activity at the corner.

{snip}

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.