BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City State’s Attorney is calling for major changes in investigations of police misconduct.
State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby pushes reforms for officer misconduct cases, including granting her office arrest powers.
Do her proposals go too far or do they fix a broken justice system?
Mosby wants the power to limit officers from choosing bench trials–after the strategy proved successful for the officers she charged in Freddie Gray’s death. It’s one of several changes the state’s attorney is asking for in police misconduct cases.
Gray’s death is still having a huge impact on the state’s attorney, but critics say getting the reforms she wants will be difficult. Mosby signaled Thursday, she’s willing to fight for them.
“We learned a lot in the 14 months that we prosecuted that case,” said Mosby.
Mosby says the failure to get a single conviction against the six officers she charged in Freddie Gray’s death, led her to propose sweeping reforms that would give her office more power in police misconduct cases.
“I do not equate justice with convictions. Equality before the law must be a felt reality that we strive toward each day no matter the turmoil,” said Mosby.
She says the police department should not be investigating its own officers and wants an independent investigative team that includes a member of the civilian review board and a member of her office. She also wants to give her own investigators police powers.
“Such powers include the ability to issue warrants, make arrests, and carry firearms,” said Mosby.
Mosby also wants to take away officers’ sole discretion to choose a bench trial, where a judge alone, instead of a jury decides their fate. After Judge Barry Williams cleared every officer brought before him in Freddie Gray’s death of wrongdoing.
Tony Garcia, who represents Sergeant Alicia White and Officer William Porter in a civil suit alleging Mosby was negligent and malicious in prosecuting his clients, says the state’s attorney wants to change the rules to fit her agenda.
“It’s definitely a power grab. She had every opportunity to win. She did a horrible investigation and put on a horrible trial. Multiple times. This won’t make that go away,” said Garcia.
The Police Commissioner released the following statement Thursday afternoon: