Baltimore’s state attorney ordered justice and restored peace to the city. The youngest top prosecutor in the United States of any major city has now become a key role in the latest police brutality drama to grip the nation. Just four months on the job, Mosby has gained a national spotlight and garnered her place in history by rendering a verdict long overdue within the African-American community.
The death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray was not in vain, according to many residents of this city and of a community of people who have often been reduced to second class citizens. Unfortunately, he died after suffering a spinal cord injury while in police custody. His death sparked outrage across the nation in search of justice. Baltimore police suggested their victim died by self-inflicted injuries as opposed to the reality which Mosby plans to prove. The 35-year-old prosecutor has determined charges are warranted in Gray’s controversial death.
Mosby was elected to the office in January and is not like any other prosecutor Maryland has seen. Many may not have heard of her before this case, but she has quickly become a household name. She is the tough talking Democratic state attorney who broke down barriers when she handed down criminal charges to six officers in the death of Gray. During a morning news conference Mosby said:
The findings of our comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation, coupled with the medical examiner’s determination that Mr. Gray’s death was a homicide, has led us to believe that there is probable cause to file criminal charges.
Mosby cited what appeared to be incontrovertible evidence against the six officers as she read a litany of charges against them. The greatest charges was against the driver of the police van, officer Caesar Goodson Jr., accusing him of driving Gray roughly through the streets of the city for about 40 minutes before getting him much-needed medical treatment.
The Baltimore prosecutor did not take the case lightly. Mosby comes from a long line of police officers and has been troubled by the allegations since they surfaced. During the news conference she spoke directly to the people who elected her to office by saying:
I heard your call for ‘No Justice, No peace’ but your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man.
Mosby hails from the inner-city of Boston, Massachusetts and was drawn to the legal profession at a young age. She now lives in West Baltimore, is married to 7th District Baltimore City Councilman Nick J. Mosby and is the mother of two daughters. Having graduated magna cum laude in 2002 from Tuskegee University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science she went on to receive her law degree from Boston College Law School in 2005.
In 2005 she joined the Baltimore City State Attorney’s Office and was promoted to Supervisor of the Early Resolution Court after only five months. Mosby had already, by 2011, been promoted to the General Trial Division where she received praise for having prosecuted some of the most heinous felonies in Maryland. Richard Woods, a Baltimore-based attorney, who has known Mosby for many years said:
She has a natural affinity for police officers and law enforcement types, and at the same time, she is aware of the incredible number of complaints against the Baltimore City police department.
Mosby is a product of five generations of police officers; her father, mother, uncles and grandfather were all members of law enforcement. Mosby spoke highly of the majority of law enforcement who are hardworking officers and risk their lives daily, but also acknowledged there are some who do a disservice to their duty and vowed to hold them accountable.
The accountability Mosby so gracefully spoke of began on Friday with the charges of six police officers who are being forced to give account in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. According to Mosby, the young man was arrested unlawfully and mistreated while in police custody. Although celebrations took place across the country, many know this is just the beginning of long-awaited change in the judicial system for African-Americans. Even if the six officers are not indicted, law enforcement nationwide has been warned that change is on the horizon. Baltimore Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby has ordered justice and restored peace to her city.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
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