BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A day after Gov. Larry Hogan called on the attorney general’s office to prosecute more violent crime cases in an effort to make Baltimore safer, the city’s state’s attorney had harsh words for the governor’s plan.
In a letter to Gov. Hogan Thursday, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said she was “stunned’ by the plan, which she said she first heard of through media reports.
“While I do not agree with the action you have taken, I’m encouraged that you are showing a sense of urgency in addressing the violent crime that has taken too many lives and destroyed too many families in our community,” Mosby wrote.
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Mosby expressed support for collaborations between local, state and federal law enforcement, including those that led to arrests in the shooting of Baltimore Police Sgt. Isaac Carrington, but called out what she called vitriol and finger-pointing.
In the letter, Mosby offered five suggestions for how to make the city safer:
- “Collaborat(ing) to solve more homicide cases and increase homicide clearance rate;
- “Collaborat(ing) to remove guns from our streets;
- “Interrupt(ing) cycles of gun violence;
- “Collaborat(ing) to stop rampant violence funneled between state prisons and the streets of Baltimore; and
- “Collaborat(ing) to fix broken juvenile justice system.”
She also took issue with claims her office wasn’t tough enough on crime, saying, “the prosecutors in my office are doing an excellent job.”
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh also responded to the demands from the governor that his office take on more cases to cut down on the raging violence in Baltimore City.
Attorney General Brian Frosh responds to Governor Hogan’s demands that he take on more criminal cases in Baltimore City. He says he needs more details and more resources. More tonight on #WJZ at 6 and 7 📺 @wjz pic.twitter.com/592x5zyBLb
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) September 19, 2019
“I don’t know any of the details about what the governor is asking for,“ Frosh told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren. “We are delighted to help. We are delighted to work with him. We are delighted to work with the state’s attorney and with the police, but we only have eight people right now.“
Frosh said the governor would have to provide more resources — including adding more prosecutors to those eight currently in his office.
“Depending on how many cases they’re talking about, we are going to need more. Each one of our eight prosecutors is busy handling big cases right now,” Frosh said.
He said his office has “already gone after some of the most dangerous people in the state, complex cases, gang cases.”
Gov. Hogan has complained about too many repeat, violent offenders getting plea deals from the city state’s attorney’s office and lenient judges.
“We are not putting people in jail when they shoot people,“ the governor said. “We are going to make sure we start locking people up who are continually shooting people on the streets.“
Gov. Hogan cited the shooting of Baltimore City Police Sergeant Isaac Carrington as an example of leniency in the justice system. He made the remarks in Baltimore Wednesday.
Hogan said one of the suspects, Karon Foster, had a pending murder charge yet was out on the streets anyway.
“That’s unacceptable,” Hogan told WJZ.
The governor said the crime problem in Baltimore requires more drastic solutions. “We are beleaguered. We are overwhelmed. We have more than 300 murders every single year.”
As part of the crime fight, Gov. Hogan has also authorized state police helicopters to fly over Baltimore and commanded state police ramp up enforcement of outstanding warrants.
He estimated there is a backlog of 60,000 such warrants.
“We are going to take over and start prosecuting the most important violent criminal warrants in the city,“ the governor said. “We are no longer going to continue to not let that be done.“