Lawyer for accused Baltimore officer decries 'rush to judgment'
An attorney representing one of the Baltimore police officers accused of killing Freddie Gray is pushing back against what he calls the "politics" of the case that has resulted in a "rush to judgment" against the officers.
"I'm not going to get caught up into the politics. That's what's getting us, I believe, here today," said Michael Davey, who is representing one of the officers but spoke for all those charged.
"I believe that the publicity in this case is a driving force to a rush to judgment and causing this prosecution to move so quickly," he added.
Davey said the process of bringing the charges was too swift, criticizing Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
"In my 20-year career as a law enforcement officer and 16 years as an attorney, I have never seen such a rush to file criminal charges which I believe are driven by forces separate and apart from the application of law and the facts of this case as we've heard them," Davey said.
"Let me state in no uncertain terms that Lt. Rice and all of the officers involved at all times acted reasonably and in accordance with their training as Baltimore police officers," he added. "No officer injured Mr. Gray, caused harm to Mr. Gray, and [they] are truly saddened by his death. These officers did nothing wrong."
Gray, a 25-year-old black man, suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody, and later died.
Mosby's office alleges that Gray was fatally injured when officers restrained him — using shackles and cuffs — in a police van without strapping him in with a seat belt. Six officers have been charged on a range of counts, the highest being a second-degree murder count for the driver of the van.
Was there a "rush to judgment"? The prosecutor received the report from police on Thursday and handed down indictments on Friday. It can sometimes take weeks for the prosecutor to weigh all the evidence presented by police in order to reach a decision to indict.
Anyone who doesn't think politics isn't driving this investigation is naive. The mob needed a pound of flesh and the prosecutor gave it to them. This isn't to say that the officers are innocent. But their chances of getting a fair trial at the hands of this prosecutor are slim.