Federal judge allows parts of lawsuit against Maryland State Attorney in Freddie Gray case

Federal judge allows parts of lawsuit against Maryland State Attorney in Freddie Gray case

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Maryland ruled [order, PDF] Friday to dismiss in part and allow in part a lawsuit from officers who were charged in the death of Freddie Gray against Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby. The false arrest, false imprisonment, abuse of process, conspiracy, Fourteenth Amendment violations, Fourth Amendment violations based on presentations to the grand jury, and all claims against the state of Maryland were dismissed. The claims of malicious prosecution, defamation, invasion of privacy, and Fourth Amendment violations are allowed to proceed. The Fourth Amendment violation allegations for the presentation to the grand jury were dismissed because prosecutors are given “absolute immunity for actions taken before a grand jury,” but the plaintiffs are still able to make other claims that Mosby caused their arrest without probable cause, violating their Fourth Amendment rights. David Ellin, the attorney for Officer Rice, stated [Baltimore Sun report] that he “wouldn’t be surprised if the case reached the U.S. Supreme Court because of the questions it poses for prosecutors who take a more active role in investigations.”

Gray died after sustaining a spinal cord injury while in police custody in 2015. Six officers were charged in the death of Gray. The charges against three of these officers were dropped [JURIST report] in July. The other three officers were acquitted of all charges in May, June and July [JURIST reports]. In September 2015, Baltimore reached a tentative agreement with Gray’s family to pay $6.4 million in settlement [JURIST report]. In April 2015, Amnesty International urged Baltimore police to exercise restraint [JURIST report] during protests, prioritize non-violent means and limit the use of force.