When Marilyn Mosby on May 1 announced the charges being filed against the police officers considered responsible for the death of Freddie Gray, she also gave insight into her family. She revealed that she comes from five generations of law enforcement, and expressed that “Law enforcement is pretty much instilled within my being”:
I come from five generations of law enforcement. My father was an officer. My mother was an officer. Several of my aunts and uncles. My recently departed and beloved grandfather was one of the founding members of the black police organization in Massachusetts.
These comments have been used in a seemingly coordinated assault on Mosby by associating her character with alleged misdoings of her relatives. A retired Baltimore police officer spoke with The Daily Caller(founded by Tucker Carlson), the story was picked up by Powerlineblog.com (whose article called Ms. Mosby a “dope”) and LEO Affairs (whose article states “Mosby’s family history gives them adequate reason to believe that it’s time that the state attorney recuse herself from the Gray case.”) AFOX affiliate also has also joined the character assassination by association.
Mosby has responded to the comments, her statement read, in part, “As a child, I personally observed [my family’s] sacrifice and commitment to protecting my community. I learned at a very early age that everyone makes mistakes.”
She also stressed that “Everyone deserves a second chance at redemption, a chance to become a better person.” She then linked her family life back to her profession: “These are the values that I learned growing up, and these are the values I have brought to my work as a prosecutor when applying justice fairly and equally.”
And when Mosby spoke at the press conference where she announced that she would be charging the police officers, she still emphasized that this was by no means to blame the entire department, or law enforcement as a whole: “To the rank-and-file officers of the Baltimore city police department, please know that these accusations of these six officers are not an indictment on the entire force.” And subsequently, she has continued to speak highly of law enforcement, telling Vogue magazine in an interview, “I know the majority of police officers are outstanding, dedicated, loyal public servants, just like my family.”
Others also agree that Mosby’s unique upbringing would not have a negative effect on her career. In fact, David Jaros, who once served as a defense attorney and now teaches law at the University of Baltimore, believes it could be beneficial as long as it doesn’t impact her impartiality.
“Every person brings their own experiences,” Jaros said. “We ask them everyday to put aside their experiences and follow the law.”
And Mosby’s accomplishments speak for themselves. She developed a passion for justice at a young age after the fatal shooting of her 17-year-old cousin. She went on to graduate from Boston College Law School and is currently the youngest chief prosecutor in any major American city.
Mosby has garnered many well-deserved supporters in her career. She has made it clear since running for her position that her goal is to remain connected to the community, especially given her personal circumstances, saying, “I believe that we are the justice system. We, the members of the community, are the justice system because we are the victims of crimes.”