Five of the Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who suffered a fatal spine injury while in custody, are appealing the dismissal of their lawsuit against the city’s top prosecutor.
The officers filed their appeal Thursday with the Supreme Court, asking the nation’s highest court to overturn a May decision by a Richmond, Va.-based federal appeals court to block their lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby maliciously investigated and defamed them.
Gray, 25, died in April 2015, a week after he suffered a spinal injury in a police van. His death sparked days of protests.
Mosby charged six officers in his death and arrest. Three were acquitted and Mosby dropped the remaining cases.
Five of the officers — Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White and Officers Edward Nero, Garrett Miller and William Porter — sued Mosby in civil court. Only Officer Caesar Goodson, the driver of the van in which Gray suffered his injury, did not join the lawsuit.
Lawyers for the five officers claimed Mosby didn't have enough evidence and charged them to ease the unrest that followed his death. Mosby's lawyers argued that as a prosecutor, Mosby was immune from the lawsuit.
“We resoundingly reject the invitation to cast aside decades of Supreme Court and circuit precedent to narrow the immunity prosecutors enjoy,” Chief Judge Roger Gregory wrote in the court’s opinion. “And we find no justification for denying Mosby the protection from suit that the Maryland legislature has granted her.
The officers’ appeal asks the Supreme Court to review that finding.