What are they trying to hide? There was just a little too much emotion, not enough fact, at the press conference by the state attorney for Baltimore, Marylin Mosby. I admit, most of the time I have a pro prosecution bias. However, Ms. Mosby went over the line and, for the good of the people of Baltimore and the state of Maryland, she needs to be reigned in and the investigation handed over to a special prosecutor.
Former Maryland governor Bob Ehrlich said yesterday that “we have mob rule, we have majority rule, whatever the majority wants. Damn the facts. [a]nd that’s not what the country is about and not what the legal system is about.” Governor Ehrlich is the only politician, to date, that has called it like it is. Maryland needs a lot more of that right now because there will be little justice meted out if leaders failed to contain the passions on raw display the past few days.
Any state attorney worth his or her mettle is supposed to lead by, in part, not rushing to judgment in volatile situations. The litany of charges filed against the police officers are absurd. Investigations take time. What could Ms. Mosby and other Baltimore County officials reviewed in a few days that takes weeks to do right? Rather than lead, Ms. Mosby is buckling under pressure and making rash decisions as well as imprudent statements. Then there are the personal conflicts of interests that are beginning to surface.
By saying, “[t]o the people of Baltimore and demonstrators across America, I heard your calls for, “[n]o Justice, No peace. Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man,” Ms. Mosby crossed the line no prosecutor should ever cross. Ms. Mosby does not appear to be guided by facts, rather she seems to be allowing politics and the street to guide her actions. In her rush to judgment, she, and all County officials who support this witch hunt, further erode confidence in our legal system as a tool to resolve conflict and mete out justice.
As an attorney, as well as someone who a considerable amount of time politics as well as government, what I saw on display this week from Baltimore leaders was sheer incompetence. The police officers charged in the matter are going to need good counsel, because they are the scapegoats for decades of Democratic Party political negligence in the city of Baltimore. That is what, I guess, Ms. Mosby, and other Baltimore County leaders are trying to hide. Because if there is a problem with community policing, and that is doubtful, it did not happen over night.
If there is a national policing crisis, a big if, then the best way to start tackling this issue needs to be done on a state by state basis, not a national fix it. For example, Ohio Governor John Kasich brought together a politically diverse group of leaders, including police, to set standards for community policing that could serve as a model for other states. That is how you fix problems, by leading. And to the extent it can be done without federal money, even better (the moment a locality, city, or state takes federal funds for any program, it loses little bit of independence and, in some cases, sovereignty).
The hyper politicization of our legal system, and police, as we are seeing in Baltimore, is not that right way to go. The people of Maryland deserve better as do Mr. Freddie Gray’s family and the police officers involved in the matter. So does the nation. Prosecutors try cases, not causes. Ms. Mosby needs to be replaced and I suspect a motion or two will be put forth by defense lawyers in the not to distant future to make it so.
Society, not government, is supposed to work toward improving our lot in life and not, as James Madison penned centuries ago in Federalist 10, giving in to the ‘violence of a faction’. And, make no mistake, this issue goes well beyond Baltimore, plagues many major metropolitan areas, and fueled by elements of the Left who opt to balkanize the country, and not work toward the common good.
Listen to this fellow in Texas yesterday, to the point and on point (starts at 1:28):