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by Peter Moskos

April 1, 2016

"Prosecutors ordered officers in fatal shooting be read Miranda rights"

I'm surprised that I can still be surprised at Baltimore's State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's continued battle again Baltimore's police. I don't know, maybe she thinks all cops are bad because she grew up around so many bad cops. But Freudian analysis aside, imagine if the public prosecutor was out to get you and your colleagues. This concerns the latest police-involved shooting:
The Baltimore Police officers involved in Thursday's fatal shooting of a father and son armed with weapons were videotaped being read their Miranda rights at the direction of prosecutors after declining to give statements, a police union attorney said.

Michael Davey, the attorney, said it was the first time he could recall such a move by prosecutors in 16 years working with the police union.

"These guys should get a medal for what they did, instead of being treated like criminals by the State's Attorney's Office," Davey said.
It's almost charming, in that Baltimore criminal kind of way, that father and son were out doing something together. My dad used to take me to the beach.

Says retired deputy commissioner Anthony Barksdale:
If that guy could've let off with that rifle, all three of those cops would've been dead. That pink rifle might look silly, but it is highly lethal. You're goddam right they fired 56 shots.


Jay Livingston said...

The Barksdales of Baltimore. I seem to recall a TV show. . . .

Anyway, the prosecutors could claim that they were on the cops' side, saying to them in effect, "In case this thing goes bad, the prudent thing for you to do right now is to not say anything. You have the right to remain silent; use it."

Moskos said...

They could claim that. But of course nobody (at least in law enforcement) believes anything the Baltimore City's S.A.'s says right now. And had they said that, I don't think we would have heard about it.

ramapoblog said...

This can be argued from both sides. Under Miranda v. Arizona, everyone has the right to remain silent when being questioned by police, or in this case prosecutors, and they have the right to counsel. A lot can argue that the prosecutors were looking out for the officers and making sure that every detail of the investigation was done by the book to deter accusations of misconduct or bias towards the police.

On the other side, the state attorney may have a personal vendetta to make sure all police officers in the state are acting properly and doing their jobs effectively. This vendetta can come from her personal experience with "bad cops" as the article states. According to the article, the state attorney grew up in a corrupt police neighborhood, and is allegedly acting this way because of it. Bias is something very hard to prove, but in this case, I think that the prosecutor is just making sure that everyone is covered, and that the town does not receive any more ridicule over its supposed "corruption."

Moskos said...

To be clear, Marilyn Mosby didn't grow up a *neighborhood* of bad cops. She was raised by a *family* of bad cops. Her parents and some of their siblings with drug problems and punished and fired for cause.