Again I read in Mr. Rodrick’s column (“Marilyn Mosby’s experiment in ‘progressive prosecution’ calls for patience, something in short supply in crime-and-grime-weary Baltimore,” June 11) that it is alleged that Baltimore Police officers do not arrest for offenses for “on view” public drinking/urination, drug possession/selling, prostitution and other so-called minor offenses because Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has decreed that such offenses will not be prosecuted. If such a decree was issued by the State’s Attorney’s Office when I was sergeant with the Baltimore Police Department, I would have laughed at such a ludicrous display of hubris. Since when does the state’s attorney declare laws and ordinances null and void? For another matter, her office doesn’t control the police department; she isn’t the police commissioner. Plus, if State’s Attorney Mosby’s assistants refuse to prosecute a legal, probable cause arrest, that is on her office. When the complaints come in about police not legally clearing the drug corners, or enforcing public drinking outside of a bar and with pedestrians being harassed, she can handle the outrage.
If Baltimore Police officers have been told not to arrest for certain offenses because the perpetrators will not be prosecuted, than shame on a department that I served in for almost 24 years, 17 as a sergeant/supervisor. The officers I supervised would have done more “letter of the law” arrests if told not to do their jobs, and left discretionary policing by the wayside when it came to the offenses that would not be prosecuted.
There is nothing “progressive” about State’s Attorney Mosby’s decree about what offenses would not be prosecuted. Better she come up with a legal way for the department to get illegally carried guns off the streets of Baltimore by involving the people in those neighborhoods that suffer the most from gun violence. Oh, by the way, is chronic plea bargaining by her office, “progressive”? Or is it that cases are disposed of in this way in consideration of practical expediency rather than legality?
Jim Giza, Baltimore
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