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Who killed Freddie Gray?
According to Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby, Freddie was murdered in a conspiracy of six cops who imprisoned him in a police van and there assaulted and killed him.
The killer was African-American officer Caesar Goodson, driver of the van, who, with a "depraved heart," murdered Freddie.
This is a summation of the charges against six Baltimore cops made Friday by Mosby, as she ranted into the TV cameras:
"To the people of Baltimore, and the demonstrators across America: I heard your call for 'No justice, no peace.' . . . To the youth of this city: I will seek justice on your behalf. . . .
"This is your moment. . . . You're at the forefront of this cause and as young people, our time is now."
Mosby has cast herself as the avenging angel of those clamoring for retribution. But unless she has far more evidence than has been revealed, Mosby is talking a stronger hand than her cards are showing on the table.
For consider the captivity of Freddie Gray, step by step.
Making contact with a cop at 8:39 in the morning, Freddie fled, was caught with a knife, and put in a police van that made four stops.
On the first, the cops lifted Freddie off the floor and sat him down. On the second and third, they looked in on him again. On the fourth, they had detoured to pick up another prisoner.
Mosby is charging that not only did the cops willfully ignore Freddie's cries for help, but also the driver deliberately handled the van in so reckless a manner as to inflict a fatal injury, the severing of his spine.
But where is the evidence for any of this?
True, as Freddie had a legal knife, he had committed no crime and should not have been arrested. And the cops should have used the seat belt in the van to buckle in Freddie.
But those are police failings, not police felonies.
And while Freddie should have been taken sooner to a hospital, did the cops know how badly injured he was? How could they have known—if they had done nothing to injure him?
And when and how was Freddie's spinal cord severed?
There appears thus far no evidence that five of the cops did anything to cause this. And no evidence has been brought forward that Goodson tried to injure Freddie by giving him "a rough ride."
The Washington Post reported that the second prisoner said that on the final leg of the trip to the police station, Freddie was thrashing around, possibly injuring himself.
Consider. In the Rodney King case, where there was film of his extended beating with billy clubs, a Simi Valley jury refused to convict any of the four cops. In Ferguson, Michael Brown sustained half a dozen gunshot wounds. Yet officer Darren Wilson was not indicted.
On Staten Island, 350-pound Eric Garner was seen on film being taken down by five cops in an arrest that led to his death, but none of the cops was indicted.
And there is far less visible evidence of any police crime in the case of Freddie Gray than in any of those three incidents.
The heart of the case against all six is that they denied Freddie the medical treatment needed to save his life. But where is the proof the officers knew how gravely injured he was, that he was in danger of death?
By going on national television and ordering the arrest of the six officers on charges that could mean the rest of their lives in prison, Mosby may have stopped the riots and calmed the crowds in Baltimore.
But she has kicked this can right up the road into 2016.
For what is coming is predictable.
Thus far, Freddie Gray has been portrayed by the media as the victim of brutal vigilante cops. But, soon, those six officers are going to be seen as flesh-and-blood cops who may have blundered in not seeing the extent of Freddie's injuries, but who are being railroaded by a malicious prosecutor pandering to an angry mob calling for vengeance.
While we have seen film of the arrest of Freddie Gray and his placement in that van, film that is inconclusive, what we are going to hear now is the other side of the story, the cops' side. From now on, they will be the underdogs, and Americans love underdogs.
A nation already riveted by the Freddie Gray episode, already divided, will become more so, as we move toward the indictments, the trials and the verdicts.
In our deepening political divide, the left invokes the narrative that black males are all too often terribly treated by brutal cops, while the right sees tough policing as having cut crime to more tolerable levels and cops as the thin blue line between them and anarchy.
The battle lines have been drawn upon which the "War On Cops" issue will be fought out in 2016.
As Pete Seeger sang, "Which side are you on?"
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM
For heaven's sake, Mr. Buchanan, Ms. Mosby read an indictment, not a verdict. "[W]here is the evidence for any of this?", you ask. Presumably the evidence will come out at trial. That's the way the system works. "Mosby may have stopped the riots and calmed the crowds in Baltimore", you allow. Why not leave it at that? Why go on about a "War On Cops" for which you adduce no evidence in Baltimore other than media blather? Why not instead round on the media for its sensationalism? Oh, wait, maybe that's because you're one of the media blatherers making a fast buck off media sensationalism. I proudly voted for you, but you slip a notch in my estimation every time you write such sleazy stuff as this.
I think "media blather" can be a dangerous thing. It forms people's perceptions right or wrong. It does this because media has it's own self interest. It sells papers and it gets viewers. The recent reports of so-called police brutality and acceptance of this notion by the public due to liberal media bias is not going to lessen crime in the streets. It may instead lead to mob rule. The police are in the business of protecting the public. They risk their lives for you and me. Hopefully, these cases will be decided not by the court of public opinion but by the court of law.
I don't think that you judge Mr. Buchanan fairly. Ms. Mosby's words are not the stuff of a prosecutor dispassionately following the evidence or looking to be objective. She instead appears vengeful. Seeking to harm the officers for either the percieved injury to Freddie Gray but more likely the percieved injury to the city in setting off the riots. As her call to the "youth" as opposed to the victim's family indicates.
The media has responsibility but so does society in their response to what the media shows them. Or how the people of Baltimore were acting prior to the cameras seems to be problematic and should be looked down upon. Perhaps Mr. Buchanan created a false dichotomy of black vs. blue and the "war on cops" but I have no reason to doubt that Mr. Buchanan actually believes it. I think that Mr. Buchanan is a smart man and if he wanted to make "a fast buck" he'd have tempered more of his views in the past. I do not see the evidence to support the picture that you painted of Mr. Buchanan. I also don't see the writing as sleazy but an honest perspective.
While I was surprised at the level of venom unleashed for what I felt to be an innocuous and honest peice I suppose it has been a good reminder that we shouldn't concern ourselves too much with other people's estimations.
Mr. Olsen, I strongly disagree with your comments. It is a big deal for a prosecutor to rush to an indictment and "overcharge" the officers involved just to appease potential rioters. Why not just lynch them now if placating the mob is your goal? Maybe some show trials to teach the police some lessons? The end result can only be injustice to the officers or further fanning of the passions of the mob when the trial comes. Remember, the riots in Los Angeles did not start when the edited footage of the beating was shown. The destruction started when the officers were acquitted by a jury that saw all of the video recording.
It seems not to have sinked in to the media that half of the six racist cops are black.
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