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Two officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray are suing Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby for defamation and invasion of privacy, reports the Baltimore Sun.
Sgt. Alicia White and Officer William Porter, both charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 25-year-old’s death last April, filed the lawsuit against Mosby, Baltimore Sheriff’s Office Maj. Sam Cogen, and the state of Maryland in Baltimore Circuit Court on May 2, records show.
The officers claim Mosby and Cogen knew the statement of charges filed against the officers and other statements made by Mosby at her May 1, 2015, news conference announcing the charges “were false.”
“These among other statements were made not for the purpose of prosecuting crimes that had allegedly been committed by White and Porter, but rather for purposes of quelling the riots in Baltimore,” the suit alleges.
Mosby, who announced the charges one day after receiving the official police investigation into the incident, said that she had conducted her own independent investigation with the help of the Sheriff’s Office. Cogen signed and filed the initial charging documents in the case, outlining the state’s probable cause.
Attorneys for the officers have expressed skepticism about that investigation, saying evidence submitted to them through discovery provided little proof that any such investigation occurred.
In their 26-page lawsuit, White and Porter ask for more than $75,000 in damages for each of four counts — two of defamation and two of invasion of privacy and casting them in a false light. They outline in 141 numbered points what they say their roles in the incident were, and the ways in which they allege Mosby and Cogen violated their rights.
Meanwhile, Monday’s acquittal of Officer Edward Nero drew sharp criticism of Mosby from New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton.
“The charges occurred within several days of her coming into the case,” said Bratton. “District attorneys usually don’t move that fast. They usually investigate more thoroughly, and so I think that the loss of some of these cases may be in fact the fact that it was not investigated thoroughly.”
Bratton, who has also lead Boston’s and Los Angeles’ police departments during his career, called Mosby inexperienced and said she was playing to the crowd.
“In some instances there was overcharging, as was clearly the case in the officer who was acquitted yesterday by the judge,” he said. “The idea that it was an extraordinary stretching of the law in that case in my opinion. As to whether there were violations of law, violations of rules and regulations, well, that is ultimately the process that is being gone through at the moment.”
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