Baltimore prosecutor appears onstage with Prince during tribute concert to Freddie Gray

A weird thing to do during a pending case for an officer of the court who’s already been accused, and not just by police, of ramping up the charges against the Baltimore cops who arrested Gray for political reasons. Maybe save the pop-star grandstanding until after we figure out whether Mosby was right or wrong when she told the universe Gray was arrested unlawfully, no?

On the other hand, how could a young aspiring mayor/governor/senator resist a photo op like this?

The audience spanned a wide range of ages and backgrounds, much like Prince’s fanbase. Many were surprised to see Baltimore’s State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby invited on stage shortly after Prince began to perform around 9 p.m. A spokeswoman for Mosby — an avid Prince fan — said late Sunday the tickets were a Mother’s Day gift from her husband, Councilman Nick Mosby.

Earlier this month, some applauded Mosby as she announced charges for all six officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray. Prosecutors say he died after sustaining a spinal cord injury while in police custody. Mosby has faced criticism about rushing to her decision to charge the officers. Others have accused her of having a conflict of interest. She denies those claims…

[Prince] played the song [“Baltimore”] shortly after taking the stage, and invited Mosby to join him, where she waved to the crowd but didn’t offer remarks.

They called her a “rock star” after the charges were announced. Little did they know she’d take it literally.

I wonder what happens now if she decides down the road that the evidence simply won’t support second-degree murder against the driver of the police wagon. The more face time she gets with the public as the uncompromising hero who spoke truth to power, the de facto voice of Freddie Gray at major public events like last night’s, the harder it’ll be for her to reduce the charges. She’s put herself in a position where she’s got to press ahead and let the jury acquit these guys, at least on the more severe offenses, rather than drop those offenses and betray all of her new fans. (What would Prince say?) In general, though, I like the idea of prosecutors in highly politically charged cases taking public bows alongside entertainers — before a jury’s even been seated. No bad incentives could come from that. In fact, the next time the DOJ busts up a terror plot, Loretta Lynch should show up onstage with Toby Keith when he does that song about putting a boot up terrorists’ asses. That’ll make the voir dire later extra fun.

Exit question: Prince’s new song references not just Freddie Gray but Michael Brown, and features the line, “If there aren’t no justice then there ain’t no peace.” Who wants to tell him that Barack Obama and Eric Holder took a hard look at the Brown shooting and concluded there was no injustice?