Interesting development in the aftermath of the Baltimore Six trials in the death of Freddie Gray. A federal judge, Marvin J Garbis, has allowed a “malicious prosecution and defamation” lawsuit against Baltimore Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby to proceed.
Under normal prosecutorial constructs her office would most likely be correct. However, the judge rightly pointed out that Mosby conducted an independent investigation using her office for more than just prosecution:
“Plaintiffs’ malicious prosecution claims relate to her actions when functioning as an investigator and not as a prosecutor,” Garbis wrote. –link–
You might remember, almost all of the initial findings -used to construct the original charging documents against the Baltimore officers- stemmed from Ms. Mosby’s own independent investigation of fact.
It appears Marilyn Mosby’s independent approach, to ensure the officer’s arrests and prosecution, could now be her own undoing. Judge Garbis attaches direct liability to her for actions, behaviors and decisions she exclusively controlled.
All claims against the state were dismissed by Garbis, but the claims against Ms. Mosby will go forward:
♦ […] Plaintiffs allege facts adequate to present a plausible claim that at least some of Mosby’s defamatory press conference statements were made with knowledge that they were false or made with reckless disregard of whether they were false or not, that is with the requisite malice for defamation purposes
♦ […] Plaintiffs have presented factual allegations adequate to present a plausible claim that Mosby knew of the falsity of her statements, or acted with reckless disregard of the truth and the false light, in which Plaintiffs would be placed
♦ […] Plaintiffs have alleged facts adequate to present a plausible claim that Mosby was instrumental in the investigation on which the Application was based and participated in writing the Application – even though Cogen signed it and submitted it to the Commissioner.
They have plausibly alleged that Mosby, in her press conference, read false statements in the Application that she had created and knew were false for such purposes as “appeasing the public and quelling the riots,” getting the benefit of national attention and media coverage, and promoting her political agenda.
**Thunderclap** That there is a pretty blistering affirmation by Judge Garbis to the position of the plaintiffs, the six police officers.
Obviously, Ms. Mosby will appeal this decision to a higher court. However, if continual rulings favor the plaintiffs, and there’s no reason under these very specific circumstances to believe they won’t, well, this means discovery in the lawsuit against her will begin.
Can you imagine the discovery in this case? Marilyn Mosby and all of the investigators she controlled, leveraged and pressured may soon find themselves being the subject of depositions, inquires and investigation.
Justice, in this malicious case, could yet be delivered.