The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has sent a letter to Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby demanding that her office withdraw from the investigation into the death of Freddie Gray due to alleged conflicts of interest.
In the letter, released Friday morning just moments before Mosby declared that Gray’s murder was a homicide, FOP Lodge 3 President Jean Ryan said that Mosby’s personal and political ties were problematic.
“I have very deep concerns about the many conflicts of interest presented by your office conducting an investigation in this case," the letter states.
"These conflicts include your personal and professional relations with Gray family attorney, William Murphy, and the lead prosecutor's connections with members of the local media. Based on several nationally televised interviews, these reporters are likely to be witnesses in any potential litigation regarding this incident.”
Murphy reportedly donated to Mosby’s election campaign for the State’s Attorney position.
In her reply, Mosby dismissed such concerns and noted that the police union had supported alternative candidates in the State’s Attorney election. The Daily Mail also reported that Warren Brown, a defense lawyer who supported the FOP’s concerns, backed Mosby’s rival, Greg Bernstein, in the election for the chief prosecutor post.
“State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby has been elected by the residents in Baltimore City to uphold the law in every neighborhood including her own, regardless of if her husband is the councilman within the district where numerous crimes occur," said spokeswoman Rochelle Ritchie.
"Hundreds of people donated to her campaign. There is no conflict of interest surrounding Billy Murphy. He is representing the family in a civil case which has nothing to do with the criminal case."
The FOP letter also resisted any attempt to place criminal responsibility on the six officers involved in the arrest of Gray April 12.
“As tragic as this situation is, none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of Mr. Gray."
Mosby disagreed, issuing warrants for the arrest of all six officers involved.
The charges include second degree murder for one officer, with a maximum prison term of 30 years, and manslaughter and assault charges for the others, carrying 10-year sentences. All officers involved were also charged with misconduct while on duty.
Mosby said Friday that Gray had been illegally detained, with the knife he was carrying only being detected after he was arrested. Police had earlier suggested it was a switch blade, but it was allegedly a knife that Gray was legally entitled to carry.
Gray died on April 19 due to spinal chord injuries suffered while in police custody the previous week.