Just four months on the job, Baltimore's elected chief prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, is facing one of the biggest cases of her career as she announced charges against six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray. As applause rang out from the crowd that had gathered for Mosby's press conference and social media showered Mosby with praise, some are left wondering about the prosecutor's background and whether or not she is seeking justice or on a witch hunt to appease a volatile situation.
Marilyn Mosby grew up in inner city Boston and is said to have been thrust into seeking a law career after her 17-year-old cousin was killed in front of her house after being mistaken for a drug dealer. The 35-year-old Mosby attended Tuskegee University in Alabama and was the first person in her family to graduate from college. Marilyn, who is married with two daughters, previously had a career as an insurance company lawyer.
While some of that background information may seem to give a broad picture of who Marilyn Mosby is, it is the next tidbit that may make her decision to charge police officers in the Gray death more interesting. Marilyn Mosby is the daughter, niece, and granddaughter of police officers. In fact, Mosby's grandfather was a founding member of one of Massachusetts' African-American police organizations.
As Marilyn Mosby stood before a crowd and multiple television cameras this morning, vowing that she would seek justice for Freddie Gray in issuing arrest warrants for the police officers involved in Gray's death, she also addressed the law enforcement community, reminding citizens that an entire group should not be condemned for the actions of a few.
"To the rank-and-file officers of the Baltimore City Police Department, please know that the accusations of these six officers are not an indictment on the entire force...Thank you for your courage, commitment and sacrifice for the betterment of our community."
Mosby encouraged the Baltimore Police Department to continue a positive working environment with the prosecutor's office in an effort to protect and serve the community's best interest. Her plea came on the heels of a letter that was released by Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police president Gene Ryan, in which he denied any wrongdoing by the six officers and requested an independent prosecutor be assigned rather than the continued prosecution by Marilyn Mosby's office.
In the wake of a multiple questionable police use of force deaths, communities have remained divided by the "us or them" mentality of those who support prosecution of police officers and those who support police officers in general. Marilyn Mosby's tie-in to the law enforcement family could possibly bridge the gap that has long divided citizens and police.
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[Image courtesy of Andrew Burton/Getty Images]