David Ellin: “The ramifications of this case are huge, and nationwide.”
Source: Justin Fenton | Baltimore Sun
A federal judge is allowing key parts of a lawsuit against Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, brought by five of the six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, to move forward.
U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis ruled that claims including malicious prosecution, defamation, and invasion of privacy can move forward against Mosby and Assistant Sheriff Samuel Cogen, who wrote the statement of probable cause.
Mosby’s attorneys had said she has absolute prosecutorial immunity from actions taken as a state’s attorney. But Garbis noted that her office has said it conducted an independent investigation.
VIDEO: A Federal judge is allowing key parts of a lawsuit against State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, brought by five of the officers involved in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, to move forward. (Baltimore Sun video).
“Plaintiffs’ malicious prosecution claims relate to her actions when functioning as an investigator and not as a prosecutor,” Garbis wrote.
Other counts, such as false arrest, false imprisonment and abuse of process, were dismissed, as Garbis had signaled he would do at an October hearing. All claims against the state were also dismissed.
The Maryland attorney general’s office, which is representing Mosby, declined to comment on the 65-page ruling, saying officials needed time to review it.
Three of the officers charged in the April 2015 arrest and death of Gray were found not guilty of all charges by a judge, and prosecutors dropped charges against the remaining three officers last July.
David Ellin, an attorney representing Lt. Brian Rice, said that barring a reversal on appeal, the ruling means the officers’ attorneys will begin the discovery stage, which includes deposing Mosby and others involved in the investigation.
“We’re looking forward to the depositions and learning about what really happened,” Ellin said. “We think the discovery process will really allow us to flesh out many things.”
Ellin said he expected that Mosby’s attorneys will appeal. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if the case reached the U.S. Supreme Court because of the questions it poses for prosecutors who take a more active role in investigations.
“The ramifications of this case are huge, and nationwide,” Ellin said.
Gray, 25, suffered a broken spine while in police custody and died a week later. Mosby charged six officers involved in his arrest and transport with criminal counts including manslaughter and second-degree murder. The charges alleged the arresting officers had no grounds to detain Gray, and that the others ignored department rules requiring them to secure him with a seat belt in the police van and seek prompt medical attention.
The the full article from the Baltimore Sun at http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/freddie-gray/bs-md-ci-mosby-lawsuit-to-proceed-20170106-story.html.