Attorneys for the six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray filed a motion Friday to have the case dismissed or have Baltimore State's Atty. Marilyn J. Mosby's office taken off the case.
The motion lists what attorneys say are numerous "undeniable" conflicts of interest and concerns about the investigation by Mosby’s office, according to a copy obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Gray died from an injury that partially severed his spine, according to an autopsy report. There were no indications of force or bruising, police said, and they do not know when or how his spine was severed. He died April 19, a week after his arrest.
The concerns described in the dismissal motion by the police officers' attorneys include:
"Seizing of political and personal gain by Mrs. Mosby and her husband"
The filing points to the dramatic news conference that Mosby held May 1, the day the charges were announced, when she said she had heard the call for action from demonstrators in Baltimore and beyond. Mosby, the filing alleges, ordered the officers' arrest to both placate protesters and neutralize the political damage her husband may have faced.
In the filing, attorneys for the six described the officers' arrest as an attempt to “quell the uprising that caused the most harm to the District where (Mosby’s) husband is the City Council representative.”
"Personal relationships with individuals who will be witnesses at trial"
The filing argues that Mosby and one of her chief assistant prosecutors have personal relationships that would qualify as conflicts of interest in the case. Mosby’s husband, City Councilman Nick Mosby, represents the West Baltimore district where Gray was arrested, and according to the motion, one of her chief prosecutors is in a relationship with a local television reporter who interviewed the prisoner who was in the police van with Gray on April 12.
Mosby's "inciting rhetoric in this case reveal clear extra-prosecutorial motivations and ambitions," the dismissal filing says.
"The financial interest of the attorney for the family of Freddie Gray, a close friend, financial supporter and attorney for Mrs. Mosby"
The filing says that Mosby has a close professional and personal relationship with William H. "Billy" Murphy, the Gray family's lawyer and unofficial spokesman. Murphy has a "substantial financial interest in the outcome of the case," according to the filing.
"Mrs. Mosby's connection to Mr. Murphy is of great concern to the undersigned counsel and it should be of greater concern to the residents of this city," the dismissal filing says. "The connection between Mrs. Mosby and Mr. Murphy is undeniable and the conflict it creates is detrimental in the pursuit of justice."
"The pending civil claim against Mrs. Mosby and her office"
The filing states that on Thursday, a notice to pursue a civil suit against Mosby and others was filed on behalf of the six accused officers.
The “officers intend to pursue a claim against Mrs. Mosby and those responsible for charging this case, as the charging documents contain errors and omissions that resulted in the unlawful arrest and detention of all six of the officers,” the motion says.