Marilyn Mosby’s first loss in Baltimore is the culmination of 8 years of attacks and missteps [Baltimore Sun] – InsuranceNewsNet

In 2014, Baltimore residents, frustrated by violent crime, elected a 34-year-old insurance attorney who had never tried a homicide or rape case to be the city’s top prosecutor.

Eight years and more than 2,500 homicides later, the city’s Democratic voters have been ousted Marilyn Mosby as Baltimore state attorney, choosing a defense attorney Ivan Bates in Tuesday’s primary.

Mosby’s campaign declined a request for an interview. In a statement, Mosby conceded and said she called Bates on Saturday morning to congratulate him.

“I am grateful to my family and my colleagues in the State’s 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 people for their love, support and partnership over the past eight years.”

His tenure was polarizing and will be remembered for his progressive police prosecution and prosecution policies as much as investigations into his conduct. There is a litany of reasons why individual voters chose not to nominate Mosby for a third term, but supporters and critics have pointed to his frayed relationships with other city and state agencies, an inability to reduce violent crime and perceived vindictiveness toward those who disagreed with her.

The fact that she is under federal indictment has also hurt her campaign, supporters said. Mosby was charged in January with two counts of perjury and mortgage fraud; she denied the allegations.

“I hope no official ever has to go through what Marilyn went through because there is so much a human being can go through before it starts to have a negative effect on your performance, your attitude” said William H. “Billy” Murphy, a prominent criminal defense attorney and Mosby supporter, of the criticism Mosby faced throughout his tenure.

“It all piled up,” he said.

Early in her tenure as state’s attorney, Mosby ran into the Baltimore Police Department. In 2015, she made national headlines when she announced that her office was charging the six officers involved in the death of Freddie Graya 25-year-old man from Sandtown-Winchester in West Baltimore. None of the officers were found guilty and the Fraternal Order of the Baltimore City Policethe police union, has attacked her several times since then.

His prosecution policies, in particular a decision to stop prosecuting for simple drug possession, prostitution and trespassing, have been praised by progressive pundits and lambasted by the city’s business community and the FOP. The prosecution of petty offenses disproportionately impacts poor and black people, and Mosby has sought to address systemic inequalities in the criminal justice system.

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

Some took issue less with the substance of the policy change than the way it was rolled out. Former prosecutors said The Baltimore Sun in June that they were regularly informed of developments in the offices by the media, rather than by Mosby herself. Police Commissioner Michael Harrison also said that Mosby did not tell him in advance that his office would no longer prosecute drug possession.

Her victory in the 2014 primaries, a shocking upheaval for the incumbent Gregg Bernstein, was the product of an aggressive and grassroots campaign focused on reducing crime in the city. Living in the Reservoir Hill community in West Baltimore, she endeared herself to a voting base of working-class black voters who were fed up with what was happening in their neighborhoods.

“When you live West Baltimore and crime is rampant in your community, you become outraged,” Mosby said. The sun then.

But homicides have skyrocketed under his tenure. In 2014, Bernstein’s last full year in office, Baltimore recorded 211 homicides. There have been 202 homicides in the city so far this year, and each year of Mosby’s tenure, the city has topped 300 homicides.

And as the killings continued, Mosby’s office deteriorated. As of 2018, more than 200 prosecutors worked there, according to city payroll records. In June, the staff numbered less than 140 prosecutors. His administration cited the COVID-19 pandemic and wages as reasons people left. In contrast, former lawyers have said The sun in June, grueling hours, a heavy workload and low morale drove them away. Additionally, staffing levels were so low they likely posed a threat to public safety, they said.

Like Mosby in 2014, Bates and Thiru Vignarajah, the third candidate in Tuesday’s primary, has pledged to reduce violent crime as part of his campaigns. With Bates likely to be elected to the post in November – Baltimore has elected a Democrat as state’s attorney every year since 1920 — the pressure will be on to keep his promises.

But Mosby supporters are skeptical of a prosecutor’s ability to drive down murder rates.

“A lot of criticism of a prosecutor is unfair because prosecutors can’t prosecute if the police don’t do the business,” Murphy said.

“If the police are on the job, and there’s plenty of evidence of that because arrests are down, what are they going to do now?” Murphy said. “Are they going to start making arrests because we have a new prosecutor? I hope they will.

The department remains under a federal consent decree established in 2017 after a US Department of Justice investigation revealed an unconstitutional policing pattern – especially in poor, predominantly black neighborhoods.

Mosby campaign supporter and defense attorney Warren Brown said people who got sick of Mosby and supported Bates are likely to grow impatient with him afterwards.

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

The federal case against her has cast a shadow of uncertainty over her campaign, limiting her ability to raise funds and enlist support from her usual base, supporters said.

Prosecutors, in court documents, say Mosby lied about his financial situation to make early withdrawals from his retirement account to buy two Florida holiday homes: an eight-bedroom house nearby disney world and a condo on the state Gulf Coast. Prosecutors also say she lied on mortgage applications about where she lived, her plans for the disney domicile and a tax lien IRS placed upon her and her husband, Democratic City Council President Nick Mosby. He is not accused of anything.

Marilyn Mosby pledged to vigorously fight the charges. His trial is set for September 19.

“It reduced publicity,” Brown said. “You had a lot of people who were hesitant to come out and express their support because they don’t want to be in the crosshairs of the federal government. Add to that the bad feelings about her husband’s power dynamics as president of the municipal Council – people don’t like it.

Bates and Vignarajah, a former prosecutor, significantly outperformed Mosby throughout the election.

What Mosby had was an ability to relate to everyday black Baltimoreans in communities most affected by gun violence. She regularly made overtures to 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 for Mosby’s campaign after establishing a personal connection with the state’s attorney. Waters said Mosby contacted her after saving a child from a burning house. Waters said Mosby’s efforts to positively influence the city’s youth were valiant. Mosby regularly organized events for children and teenagers.

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

Mosby remains popular on social media and receives regular messages of support from his followers.

Kelly Davis is arguably Mosby’s biggest critic, and even she acknowledges Mosby’s political skills. Mosby’s office is trying to put Davis’ husband on trial, Keith Davis, for murder a fifth time. Mosby once gave the middle finger to a Keith Davis supporter and later denied doing so, although it was caught on camera.

“She’s so good at making you think she’s a figure you can relate to,” Davis said. “She’s a masterful politician, I just don’t think she’s a very good prosecutor.”

Baltimore Sun journalist Alex Mann contributed to this article.

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