THB, Banditos, Wayward and more confirmed for Cosmic Cocktail!

Judge unseals defamation lawsuit against Mosby in Freddie Gray case

Federal judge unsealed another defamation lawsuit filed against Marilyn Mosby by officers in Freddie Gray case

Two more Baltimore police officers charged in the Freddie Gray case have filed a lawsuit against State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, alleging defamation and false arrest, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Officer Edward M. Nero, who was acquitted on all charges last month, and Officer Garrett E. Miller, who is awaiting trial, filed the joint lawsuit against Mosby and Sheriff's Office Maj. Samuel Cogen on April 29.

The officers allege that Mosby and Cogen knowingly filed false charges against them "in furtherance of [their] own personal interests and political agenda."

"Their illegal arrests were made without probable cause and demonstrated ill will, improper motivation and/or evil purpose," attorney Joseph Thomas Mallon Jr. wrote.

The cases bring to five the number of officers known to have filed lawsuits against Mosby and Cogen in the Gray case.

In each case, the plaintiffs asked that the documents be sealed. They said the lawsuits had to be filed before May 1 to meet cocerns over the statute of limitations but that they did not want to anger Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams.

Williams, who is presiding over the criminal trials of the six officers charged in the Gray case, has imposed a gag order that forbids those involved in the cases from discussing them.

Two federal judges, Marvin J. Garbis and James K. Bredar, granted orders to seal the lawsuits brought by Nero and Miller, and by Lt. Brian W. Rice.

But in state court, Judge Althea M. Handy declined to seal lawsuits brought by Sgt. Alicia D. White and Officer William G. Porter, and then Garbis and Bredar decided to unseal the cases they are overseeing.

In unsealing Nero and Miller's case, Garbis wrote that there was an "absence of adequate justification for denying public access" to the file. Bredar unsealed Rice's case earlier in the week.

Nero and Miller were patrolling the area around Gilmor Homes on bicycles in April 2015 when Gray saw them, ran and was arrested, police say.

In announcing charges against the officers, Mosby said the knife that Gray was carrying was legal. A police task force later said the knife was illegal under the city code.

Nero, who was charged with four misdemeanors, chose a bench trial last month and was acquitted on all counts.

Prosecutors alleged that Nero had not taken proper legal steps to justify detaining Gray. Miller testified that Nero did not participate in the arrest except to help Gray find his inhaler.

Miller's trial is scheduled to begin in July.

In their lawsuit, Miller and Nero say they "lost their freedom and dignity and suffered physical and psychological harm from being arrested and detained without cause."

jfenton@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
28°