- Karen Edmond
The Trials and Tribulations of Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby
State attorney Marilyn Mosby, the youngest chief prosecutor of any American city, has faced more drama from racist politicians than the law should allow. Mosby was born Marilyn James on January 22, 1980, in Boston, Massachusetts. Mosby's parents were both police officers, plus her grandfather was one of the first African American police officers in the state. Mosby graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tuskegee University with a bachelor's and earned a "Juris Doctor" from Boston College Law School in 2005. By January 8, 2015, Mosby was sworn into office after winning the general election for state attorney for Baltimore City, MD. https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/36loc/bcity/stattorneys/html/msa17087.html
(Pictured below Marilyn pictured with her husband Nick Mosby when they were HBCU sweethearts at Tuskegee University.)
Being young, Black, and talented made Mosby a perfect person to usher in change in a city notorious for having a high crime rate that ranks above the national average in 2014. Mosby reestablished community liaison positions plus policy and legislative units to advocate for legislation to help keep residents safe. Plus address racism in police departments that discriminated against Black officers. Mosby, also being the former city prosecutor, had a better understanding of what was making the area so crime-infested in the first place. So why are racist groups and co-workers trying so desperately to throw her under the bus?
(Pictured below Baltimore City State Attorney Marilyn Mosby pictured with her husband Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby)
It's all in response to Mosby demanding accountability regarding police misconduct cases. Moreover, for shining a light on the long-term racism that has plagued and divested from the city's Black communities for years. Per an afro.com article titled Mosby Faces Relentless Racist Attacks October 12, 2017, by Sean Yoes, shares that the newly elected Baltimore State Attorney Mosby came across "900 cases tainted by police misconduct." The overt misconduct of police officers led cases to be "dropped" or convictions overturned. Later the following Tuesday, Mosby "announced her office's decision to dismiss a large number of drug cases in response to troubling police body camera footage that has been or will be dropped since this issue first emerged over the summer" of 2015. https://afro.com/mosby-faces-relentless-racist-attacks/
(Pictured to the left Freddie Gray - to the right Baltimore City State Attorney Marilyn Mosby)
Mosby also took a strong stand in the area of the Freddie Gray case. Per an abcnews.go.com article written by Lauren Effron on June 4, 2020, titled "Advice Marilyn Mosby, Prosecutor In Freddie Gray Case For Those Handling George Floyd's," shared that 25-year-old Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in the back of a police transport van. He slipped into a coma and died one week later, on April 19, 2015. His death sparked days of violent protests in Baltimore. "The following day, Mosby announced her office was launching an independent investigation to determine if criminal charges were warranted. Almost two weeks after Gray's death, six police officers were arrested on several charges."
The article furthermore disclosed that the Baltimore Police Department shared "that Freddie Gray was arrested for possession of an illegal switchblade. When Mosby announced the charges against the officers, she claimed, "The knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under Maryland law," enraged racists. And although none of the officers involved in the Gray case were sent to prison, Mosby's presence, accountability, and straightforwardness in the Freddie Gray case shook the status quo to their core in B-more. https://abcnews.go.com/US/advice-marilyn-mosby-prosecutor-freddie-gray-case-handling/story?id=71063711
(Pictured below Mosby standing with Black leadership in Baltimore while campaigning for re-election)
America has a long history of having a problem with dealing with strong Black female leadership who clap back & do the right thing. Especially when confronting racist organizations and groups who have a long account of discriminatory behavior towards Black citizenship.
Case and point Shirley Chisholm. Per Andre M. Perry's book titled To protect Black women and save America from itself, elect Black Women. Shares that Chisholm, "the first Black woman elected to Congress (in 1968) and the first woman and African American to seek the nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties (in 1972), famously said, "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair." Author further shares, "When Black women do run for office, they are less likely to receive the early dollars and endorsements that help establish campaigns. This is the structural racism and sexism that Black women must contend with. Because of these structural hurdles, Black women often lack access to candidate training to help them translate their experience into effective campaign strategies. Support for Black women on the campaign trail often comes not when they desperately need it, but when their impact can no longer be ignored." https://www.brookings.edu/essay/to-protect-black-women-and-save-america-from-itself-elect-black-women/
Perry's example provides readers with the mindset of how Black female leadership schema operates as an overcomer, even in the face of when conventional democratic processes fail. Strong Black women speak up and tend to take matters into their own hands and get the job done. It's a survival mechanism developed through years of oppression plus broken glass ceilings. Thanks to progressive moves made via Black history makers, the civil rights movement, and affirmative action enforcement.
(Fannie Lou Hamer (1917 – 1977) was one of the founders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and deeply committed to helping African-Americans gain their voting rights. An advocate for equal rights for Black citizenship, including organizing the Freedom Summer campaign in the summer of 1964.)
One more thing. Mosby came into office with a vision to help empower and enrich the city's residents and rebuild trust in the criminal justice arena. For instance, in 2015, Mosby launched a series of community-friendly enrichment programs as follows:
"Aim to B'More – Begun in the spring of 2015 to provide an alternative to incarceration and a criminal record for first-time, non-violent felony drug offenders. Eligible defendants are granted probation before judgment and placed on three years of probation. During probation, defendants complete 150 hours of community service, job skills training, GED testing, and substance abuse treatment as needed. The Office of the State's Attorney partnered with local employers to secure full-time jobs for program participants following completion of their job skills training. If successful, after three years, participants can apply to expunge their records."
"Junior State's Attorney – Launched in the summer of 2015, the program introduces up to 30 promising middle school students each summer to careers in the criminal justice field."
"Community Day in Court – In an effort to rebuild trust and faith in the criminal justice system, Mosby began holding quarterly Community Days in Court, bringing the public and law enforcement quarterly together to discuss issues plaguing the city."
(Pictured below Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby pictured with young people who participated in "Junior State Attorney Program.)
Because Mosby is a competent, educated, Black woman, her "popularity of being a sought-after national speaker" only made her more of a threat to biased media and self-serving political parties. Who, in turn, trumped-up charges against her in hopes of making her look wrong and unethical. (Smoke & mirrors.)
In closing, Baltimore City's State Attorney Marilyn Mosby attacked for doing the right thing in the presence of people who have normalized bad political practices. That, by the way, per some studies, leads to overly populated areas that have experienced budget cuts over the years, which leads to higher crime instances in the area—also known as segregation.
This leads readers to understand that Mosby doesn't deserve the harassment and accusations from accusers who have a history of racism behind their motives. Mosby's integrity and straightforwardness befuddle and dismantle the schemes of a power structure in Baltimore that has been in power for way too long. And now that change has arrived and has come in the form of a beautiful, intelligent Black woman. The direct descendent of people who survived chattel slavery & 1st nation genocide on the east coast - shady people and their cohorts are bugging. Why do you ask? Because Mr. and Mrs. Nick & Marilyn Mosby are the forerunners and example of an army of Black intellectuals who are stepping up to the plate and taking offices for the good of all people. Including long-term discriminated and oppressed Black folks. And I say God bless them.
Thank you for reading. Please pray for the Mosby's. And enjoy Douglas Miller - Pass Me Not Oh Gentle Savior" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdcPvTo8BmI