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Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby talks about why she is running for re-election after officially filing at the State Board of Elections in February.
Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby talks about why she is running for re-election after officially filing at the State Board of Elections in February. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)
Undated family handout picture of Freddie Gray. ORG XMIT: BAL1504201110484280
Undated family handout picture of Freddie Gray. ORG XMIT: BAL1504201110484280 (Handout / Baltimore Sun)

In her inane and self-serving commentary, "Marilyn Mosby: I 'knew that nothing would be the same' after charging police officers in Freddie Gray's death" (May 1), incumbent State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby completely and spectacularly misses the point of the tragedy that was the Freddie Gray case. When the police illegally stopped and searched Gray, in the process causing his death, they were carrying out the warped mandate of the War on Drugs that for decades has motivated policing in Baltimore. Over the past 40 years, the police have been free to degrade, seize, and kill black men in the name of interdicting narcotics.

Instead of interpreting the Freddie Gray matter as the hideous culmination of the ineffective drug war and its corrupting influence on law enforcement, Ms. Mosby somehow manages to see in it a divine plan for her to both showboat and incompetently (by proxy) try the police officers involved in Gray's death. "Guided by my faith," she writes, "believing that I was put in that position at that moment for a reason, I felt that if we were ever going to make real on our promises to reform the criminal justice system — no matter how daunting the task — that moment had arrived." Apparently, God intended for her to flaunt her non-achievements in Vogue in 2015 and elsewhere while Gray moldered in the grave.

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In fact, Ms. Mosby has learned nothing from our city's trauma over Gray's death and has done nothing to counteract the policing practices that caused it. In this election year, her prosecutors seek lengthy jail sentences for run-of-the-mill drug offenses; they routinely proceed against defendants for whom there is strong evidence of innocence; and they pursue prosecutions in cases where the State's witnesses are police officers with serious integrity issues. These are the practices of a prosecutor's office that is out of ideas, not of one that has any.

Gray's life and death should stand for something real in this city. For a repudiation of the War on Drugs. For an actual commitment to ethical policing. For investment in and support of our young people. Instead, Ms. Mosby invokes his name to polish her weak reputation and, presumably, to muster votes. He, and we, deserve more.

Isabel Lipman, Baltimore

The opinions expressed by the writer, an assistant public defender in Baltimore, are her own and do not represent those of her employer.

Send letters to the editor to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

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