After a string of high-profile defeats, the Baltimore prosecutors who were unable to win convictions of police officers in the death of Freddie Gray defended themselves yesterday and sharply accused the city’s police department of undermining them, the New York Times reports. At a news conference the day after their boss, Marilyn Mosby, announced she was dropping charges against the three officers who still awaited trial, the lead prosecutors said the police had failed to serve search warrants for the officers’ personal cellphones. The lawyers also echoed a charge made in court that a detective assigned to the case was sabotaging it.
They disputed critics’ contention that they rushed to bring charges, and said they never doubted their theory of the case or whether they had the evidence to win. “There was sufficient evidence for a rational juror to convict,” said Michael Schatzow, deputy chief state’s attorney. The appearance by Schatzow and Janice Bledsoe was the first time the prosecutors, who like all the lawyers, defendants and witnesses had been subject to a gag order, spoke outside the courtroom, about a case that has torn apart the city and drawn national attention. It is “extraordinarily unusual” for prosecutors to criticize the police publicly, said David Jaros, a law professor at the University of Baltimore. He said the trials highlighted the need for independent investigators and prosecutors to handle police misconduct cases. A police department spokesman said the police would “not engage in public banter with our criminal justice partners.” Gray, 25, was arrested on April 12, 2015, in the blighted neighborhood where he grew up. He sustained a fatal spinal cord injury and died a week later .