If prosecutors want to limit media attention on the Freddie Gray case, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby shouldn't have appeared in Vogue and Cosmopolitan, argue attorneys for the six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray.
Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby is seeking a protective order to block the release of Freddie Gray's autopsy report and other "sensitive" documents related to the investigation of six officers allegedly responsible for Gray's death.
Prosecutors "have a duty to ensure a fair and impartial process for all parties involved" and "will not be baited into litigating this case through the media," Mosby told the Baltimore Sun.
The protective order would require all new court filings to be sealed and attorneys would have to keep evidence to themselves. In response to the protective order request, the officers' defense attorneys wrote:
"Issuance of a protective order is not necessary to preserve the integrity of the adversarial trial system. Rather, refraining from appearing in glossy magazines before the discovery process has begun may help abate the degree of media attention."
Mosby was profiled in the July issue of Vogue and in a Cosmopolitan interview titled: "Marilyn Mosby: 'You Have to Be Guided by What Is Right.' "
In the flattering Vogue profile, Mosby is described as "warm" and "willing to accept hugs" from Baltimore citizens "who thank her for giving us justice." She is the "steely prosecutor" who won't discuss "specific details of the Freddie Gray case." The profile then quotes at length from experts and critics on the impact of Mosby's swift charges and controversial press conference.
"I have heard your calls for 'No justice, no peace,' " said Mosby when she announced the charges. "However, your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of Freddie Gray."
Attorneys for the officers wrote in their response that no one is harmed by the evidence becoming public and that restricting access would violate the First Amendment. In the back and forth over the protective order, defense attorney Ivan Bates argued, "Now that it is time to turn over the evidence, to ask for a protective order is beyond disingenuous. It's as if she wants to do everything to make sure our clients do not get a fair trial."
On Friday, Mosby's office turned over thousands of pages of documents and a total of 52 gigabytes of digital files to the defense. Defense attorneys wrote they won't necessarily reveal the evidence wholesale but do not see reason to refer to the documents as under seal, reports the Baltimore Sun.
An autopsy ruled 25-year-old Gray's death from injuries sustained while riding in a police van after his arrest a homicide, and Mosby charged the police van's driver with second degree murder, three other officers with manslaughter and two officers with lesser charges, according to the Baltimore Sun. All the officers have all pled not guilty.
The latest defense filing follows a flurry of court filings on the case, including defense calls for Mosby's office to recuse itself from the case because of conflicts of interest created by her public statements. They have requested a change of venue to move the case out of Baltimore.
Mosby describes her job as prosecutor as "easy" in the Vogue profile, set to appear in the July issue. Given the time that passes between an interview and a periodical's printing, one wonders if she would still describe her job that way.