Marilyn Mosby’s main loss in Baltimore caps 8 years of attacks and stumbles – Baltimore Sun

In 2014, Baltimore residents frustrated with violent crime elected a 34-year-old insurance attorney who had never been tried in a murder or rape case to be the city’s chief prosecutor.

Eight years and more than 2,500 murders later, city Democratic voters ousted Marilyn Mosby as Baltimore state attorney, choosing defense attorney Evan Bates On Tuesday primary.

Mosby’s campaign declined an interview request. In a statement, Mosby acknowledged that she called Bates Saturday morning to congratulate him.

“I am grateful to my family and colleagues in the state attorney’s office for their commitment to our city and all of their hard work on behalf of the citizens of Baltimore,” Mosby said. “We have so much to be proud of and I am forever indebted to so many for their love, support and partnership over the past eight years.”

Her time in office was polarizing, and will be remembered as much for her progressive prosecuting policies and the prosecution of police officers as for investigations into her conduct. There are a range of reasons why individual voters choose not to run Mosby for a third term, but supporters and critics alike have pointed to her strained relationships with other city and state agencies, her inability to curb violent crime and perceived retaliation toward those who disagreed with her. to her.

Her supporters said the fact that she was under federal indictment hurt her campaign. In January, Mosby was charged with two counts of perjury and mortgage fraud. It has denied these allegations.

William H. said: A prominent criminal defense attorney and supporter of Mosby, on the criticism Mosby faced during her tenure.

He said, “Everything has increased.”

From the start of her career as a state attorney, Mosby has battled with the Baltimore Police Department. In 2015, she made national headlines when she announced that her office was indicting all six officers involved in the death of Freddy Gray, a 25-year-old man from Sandtown and Winchester in West Baltimore. None of the officers was convicted, and the fraternal police union of Baltimore City has attacked her repeatedly since then.

Her prosecution policies, specifically the decision to end a trial for petty drug possession, prostitution and trespass, were praised by progressive critics, and criticized by the city’s business community and the FOP. Petty crime prosecutions disproportionately affect poor people and blacks, and Mosby sought to reform systemic inequality in the criminal justice system.

“The white community hasn’t supported Marilyn, for the most part, since the beginning of her tenure,” Murphy said.

Some have cared less about policy change than how it is presented. Former prosecutors told the Baltimore Sun in June that they regularly found out about office developments from the media, not Mosby herself. Police Commissioner Michael Harrison also said Mosby had not previously told him that her office was no longer prosecuting drug possession.

Her victory in the 2014 primary, a shocking surprise to incumbent Greg Bernstein, was the product of a ruthless grassroots campaign focused on eliminating crime in the city. She lived in the community of Reservoir Hill in West Baltimore, endearing herself to a constituency of working-class black voters who were tired of what was going on in their neighborhoods.

“When you live in West Baltimore and crime plagues your community, you get angry,” Mosby told The Sun at the time.

But murders rose during her tenure. In 2014, Bernstein’s last full year in office, Baltimore recorded 211 murders. There have been 202 murders in the city so far this year, and in every year of Mosby’s tenure, the city has passed 300 murders.

As the killings continued, Mosby’s office deteriorated. In 2018, more than 200 prosecutors worked there, according to the city’s payroll records. As of June, there were fewer than 140 plaintiffs among the staff. Her management cited the COVID-19 pandemic and salaries as reasons for people to leave. In contrast, former lawyers told The Sun in June that the grueling hours, large case numbers and drained morale drove them off. Moreover, staffing levels were so low that they likely posed a threat to public safety, they said.

Like Mosby in 2014, Bates Thiru Vinearajah, the third candidate in Tuesday’s primaries, pledged to reduce violent crime as part of their campaign. With Bates likely to be elected to office in November — Baltimore has been democratically elected as the state’s attorney general every year since 1920 — he will be pressured to make good on his promises.

But Mosby’s supporters question the attorney general’s ability to reduce murder rates.

“A lot of the criticism of the attorney general is unfair, because prosecutors can’t prosecute if the police don’t file the cases,” Murphy said.

“If the police are giving up at work, and there is plenty of evidence of that because the arrests have fizzled out, what are they going to do now?” Murphy said. “Are they going to start making the arrests because we have a new prosecutor? I hope they will.”

The department remains subject to a federal consent decree created in 2017 after an investigation by the US Department of Justice found a pattern of unconstitutional policing — particularly in predominantly black slums.

Mosby’s campaign supporter and defense attorney Warren Brown said it was possible that people who had grown tired of Mosby and supported Bates would be impatient with him afterwards.

“When things aren’t going, you have to throw that anger somewhere,” Brown said.

Her supporters said the federal lawsuit against her has clouded her campaign, limiting her ability to raise money and garner support among her regular base.

In court documents, prosecutors say Mosby lied about her financial circumstances to make early withdrawals from her retirement account to purchase two vacation homes in Florida: an eight-bedroom home near Disney World and an apartment on the state’s Gulf Coast. Prosecutors also say she lied to mortgage applications about where she lives, her plans for a Disney home and about the tax lien the IRS imposed on her and her husband, Democratic City Council Chairman Nick Mosby. He is not accused of anything.

Marilyn Mosby has vowed to fight the accusations vigorously. to her The trial date has been set for September 19.

“That cut down on the ads,” Brown said. “You had a lot of people who were reluctant to come out and express their support for her because they didn’t want to be in the crosshairs of the Feds. Add to the bad feelings about her husband’s power dynamics as city council president – people don’t like that.”

Bates and Vignarajah, the former attorney general, greatly angered Mosby during the election.

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What Mosby did was be able to connect with black Baltimoreans in the communities most affected by gun violence. She regularly advances members of these communities at press conferences, community meetings, and on social media, promising to fight for them.

East Baltimore resident Jessica Waters, 30, volunteered to campaign for Mosby after making personal contact with the state’s attorney. Waters said Mosby contacted her afterwards Saved a child from a burning house. Waters said Mosby’s efforts to positively influence the city’s youth were courageous. Mosby regularly hosts events for children and teens.

“Having someone like Marilyn Mosby who can lead these guys and teach them different things, I feel like that gets away from crime,” Waters said.

Mosby remains popular on social media, and regularly receives messages of support from her followers.

Arguably Mosby’s biggest critic, Kelly Davis is even aware of Mosby’s political skill. Mosby’s office is trying to prosecute Davis’ husband Keith Davis, killed for the fifth time. Mosby once gave the middle finger to a Keith Davis supporter and later denied doing so, even though it was caught on camera.

“She’s so good at making you think she’s a celebrity,” Davis said. “She’s a brilliant politician, I don’t think she’s a very good prosecutor.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Alex Mann contributed to this article.

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