Note that I am not arguing against a prosecution for some form of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Mr. Gray. That is a different issue from whether he was properly detained and arrested in the first place. Once the police have a suspect in their custody, they have a duty to keep the suspect safe and secure. It seems absurd to me, on the facts as we now understand them, for a prosecutor to charge murder when there appears to be no evidence of intent to kill (a fact the prosecutor implicitly concedes by the contradictory charge that Mr. Gray’s death was a case of involuntary manslaughter or negligence). Yet it is entirely possible, if not probable, that death was caused by criminally culpable police misconduct.
There is, however, much more at stake here than finding out exactly what happened to Mr. Gray, as important as that is.
If police are now to conclude that they cannot, without fear of being prosecuted, take routine investigative steps based on reasonable suspicion, communities cannot be protected. There can be no security and no commerce. Innocent people will be preyed upon and killed.
The unlawful-imprisonment charges filed by prosecutor Marilyn Mosby are not even social justice, much less justice. They are a death sentence for Baltimore.