Wandering Eye: A rebuke of Marilyn Mosby, Obama talks Baltimore with Letterman, and more

Page Croyder has a scathing rebuke of State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's decision to charge all six officers in the death of Freddie Gray. She says the arrest of the officers for illegal arrest is itself illegal, because the knife Freddie Gray carried was "spring assisted." The former city prosecutor cites other legal experts to argue that Mosby is pandering to the protesters and making egregious legal and ethical errors on the way. "Suppose Gregg Bernstein was still in office, and two weeks after Gray's death announced that he did not find criminal culpability," she writes. "Wouldn't we all agree that he could not possibly have taken his time to reach the right result? And we would not also be suspicious because his wife was a major player in police operations not long ago? People approve of Mosby because they like the result, but the process is more important in the long run." Croyder, who retired under Pat Jessamy and criticized her office in a report, was no ally of Bernstein either. She ran for judge last year against Alfred Nance, whose cringeworthy from-the-bench commentary, including sexual innuendo, has become legendary. She lost. Croyder's blog has been a real resource for those seeking to understand Baltimore's criminal justice system. She has  made some mistakes, though, leveling whithering fire on Judge Nathan Braverman for his decision to grant bail in a shooting case that turned out to be trumped up. That's the thing with courts and criminals: They are complex and imperfect, and people make mistakes. Croyder says the Freddie Gray charges amount to a huge, unforced error. "If no convictions occur, many will blame the system as unfair or unjust, when it may have been Mosby's own lack of competence and/or ambition in bringing charges so quickly. However much her performance raises her to star status, she will have dealt a blow to the justice system." (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

When the curfew was lifted on Sunday, many (white) folks took to social media to rejoice that things were finally "back to normal"—which is a pretty tone deaf and frustrating response, as the #BaltimoreUprising stands in direct opposition to what is "normal." In an interview with Smithsonian Magazine, the founding director of National Museum of African American History and Culture, Lonnie Bunch, says that since museums are seen as "trusted places" they ought "to be part of the most important conversations that can occur, and that is about fairness, about justice, about making America better." He also addresses the mainstream media's recent portrayal of Baltimore and says he's "amazed at how ahistorical the coverage is," as it ignores the deeply rooted issues of race and class, which people are revolting against. These issues aren't new, and the fight for equality isn't either, but it's pretty clear now more than ever that silence won't change anything. "I think the way the media is depicting Baltimore, especially," Bunch says, "is as if the choice is either don't protest, which may lead to violence, or accept the lot." (Rebekah Kirkman)

 

President Barack Obama has discussed police brutality—and more recently, the death of Freddie Gray here in Baltimore—in a number of forums. Just yesterday the president formed a nonprofit to help young men of color called My Brother's Keeper Alliance. The new group will "focus on improving early childhood education, keeping black and Latino boys out of the criminal justice system, and on preparing young men to be more successful when entering the workforce," according to The Washington Post. The subject even came up when the president appeared on the "Late Show With David Letterman," one of the final shows for the departing late-night host. "It is important that now that charges have been brought in Baltimore that we let the process play itself out," Obama told Letterman. "Those officers have been charged and they deserve to be represented and to let the legal system work its way through. We don't have all the facts yet and that's going to be presented in a court of law." Of course, there was a bit of humor, too, like when the night's Top 10 was "Questions Dumb Guys Ask the President," and Letterman asked Obama: "Is this the first country you have presidented?" (Brandon Weigel)

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