Advertisement

Prosecutors in Freddie Gray case say defense 'fishing' in request for police training materials

Baltimore prosecutors say a request for police training manuals by defense attorneys in the Freddie Gray case is a "fishing expedition" that would be "oppressive" to meet.

The office of State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby also called a separate defense subpoena request for the "complete file" on the investigation into Gray's death — including his autopsy — an "end run" around court rules governing "the scope and timing of permissible discovery."

Advertisement

The state's attorney's office responded this week in Circuit Court to three separate subpoena motions by attorneys for Officer Garrett E. Miller, one of the officers charged in Gray's arrest.

Discovery in the case is due June 26, and Mosby's office said it would provide all documents governed under discovery rules, including the autopsy, by then. But her office said it should not have to provide the documents sooner, as the defense is requesting.

An attorney for Miller declined to comment Friday.

Six officers have been charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, 25, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in the back of a police transport van, according to prosecutors.

Gray's death April 19, a week after his arrest, sparked days of peaceful protests that took a turn on the day of Gray's funeral when rioting and looting broke out in the city. Gov. Larry Hogan called in the National Guard; Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake instituted a curfew.

Mosby charged the officers days later, and they were indicted May 21.

Since then, attorneys for Miller and Officer Edward M. Nero, another of Gray's arresting officers, have sought more information about the injuries Gray suffered. They have also sought other evidence in the case, including permission to inspect a knife found on Gray and to review documents governing police training between 2012 and the present.

The defense attorneys contend Gray's knife was a switchblade illegal under city code. Mosby's office has said the knife is legal under state law and that the officers arrested Gray without probable cause before finding the knife.

This week, Mosby's office pointed to the use of force and lack of probable cause in Gray's arrest in further outlining second-degree assault and misconduct charges against Miller and Nero.

In the subpoena requests, Miller's attorneys say materials used by the state's attorney's office and the Police Department to train young officers at the city's police academy will be "relevant and necessary to the defense in this case."

But prosecutors said the requests for police training materials, as written, would force the state to produce "all training, on any conceivable subject (including wiretaps, ballistics, preparing search and seizure warrants, to name a few)."

Police Department general orders allow officers to stop and handcuff individuals before determining probable cause for an arrest. Officers can make "investigatory stops" if they have a reasonable, articulable suspicion that a crime has been committed.

Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts reiterated that policy this week.

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, the union that represents officers in Baltimore, has said Mosby's decision to bring charges against the officers in the Gray case has had a chilling effect on police in the city. The number of arrests in Baltimore plummeted to 1,531 in May from 2,677 in April.

Advertisement

twitter.com/rectorsun

Advertisement
Advertisement