RUSH: Baltimore. Freddie Gray. Arresting officer Edward Nero found not guilty on all charges. Not guilty on every single charge. He rejected a jury trial and chose a bench trial. For those of you in Rio Linda, that means he let the judge decide. It was a wise, wise move. He obviously figured he couldn’t get a fair and impartial jury in Baltimore, given the racial component here. Now, this case… Let’s go back and listen to Marilyn Mosby. She’s the state attorney here, and this is the day — it’s May 1st of 2015, a little over a year ago.
She’s announcing all of these charges, and it took her 15 minutes to recite these charges if you recall. You may not recall. I do. I was here. Fifteen minutes to recite all the charges. She overcharged this. I actually think — there’s a part of me that thinks — that Marilyn Mosby had to know she wasn’t gonna get convictions on very many of these charges. I think the point of making the charges was to satisfy the mob at the time. Because, you know, many people think a charge is the equivalent of a guilty verdict.
The way the criminal justice system is reported on, all it takes is for somebody to say, “Such-and-such charged with first degree, third degree, fourth degree, fifth degree,” and guilty is the assumption people think when they hear this, because they think why would law enforcement waste their time charging people they’re not gonna convict. So she, I think, was trying to buy some time with this excessive charging, and buying herself some insurance in case verdicts came back not guilty.
But I don’t think she’s planning on not guilty on everything. That’s why she overcharged. One reason you overcharge, is to get guilty on something even if it was just blowing your nose in a no-crossing zone, something like that, anything. But she didn’t even get that. Let’s go back and listen to Marilyn Mosby. And remember this: Her politics were being born on her sleeve, on her bra strap. You couldn’t miss them.
MOSBY: To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for “no justice, no peace.” Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man. To those that are angry, hurt, or have their own experiences of injustice at the hands of police officers, I urge you to channel the energy peacefully as we prosecute this case. I’ve heard your calls for no justice, no peace. However, your peace is sincerely needed.
RUSH: It was never about the facts. It was always about the politics. It was always about cultural and other socioeconomic things. It was never about the facts, as evidenced by her comments. “I have heard your call for ‘no justice, no peace.” I’m standing here on the courthouse steps, and I’m an attorney, I’m a prosecutor, and I’m not going in there with facts; I’m going in there to satisfy you. “I have heard your call for ‘no justice, no peace.” That’s what I’m taking in this building with me when I turn around and walk in it. “Yay! Yay!” And of course, “No justice, no peac,” is not supposed to have any place in the proceedings. This is the next bite. Tell me if this doesn’t sound a little bit like Obama in front of the plastic columns at Denver in his acceptance speech…
MOSBY: Last, but certainly not least, to the youth of this city. I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment. This is your moment. Let’s ensure that we have peaceful and productive rallies that will develop structural and systemic changes for generations to come. You’re at the forefront of this cause, and, as young people, our time is now.
RUSH: “Our time is now.” What’s that got to do…?
RUSH: Right on, right on. What’s that got to do with anything? “Our time is now. I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment. This is your moment.” Well, it turns out to have been a dud. I mean, this moment blew up in everybody’s face, because Freddie Gray arresting officer Edward Nero has been found not guilty on all counts by the Baltimore City Circuit Court judge Barry Williams. Edward Nero faced charges of second degree assault, reckless endangerment, and two counts of misconduct in office.
Now, according to the reports at the time (which you may not remember, but I do), the prosecution began with the prosecution of officers Porter and Nero. Porter, that trial ended in a mistrial back in, I believe, December. It was a hung jury (not to be confused with a hanged jury). A hung jury and a mistrial back in December. So Officer Porter and Officer Nero, they went first because Mosby believed these were the two most likely cases in which she was going to get a conviction on at least one or some of the charges.
Now, Edward Nero waived his right to a trial by jury. His bench trial began May 12th. Final arguments were heard Thursday. The verdict came today. Not… I mean, all told, we’re looking like 10 days here. It was smart to pass on a jury trial. The other officers might be well advised to do the same thing. In case you’ve forgotten, Freddie Gray was “a 25-year-old black man from the Sandtown area of Baltimore, died April 19th last year of spinal cord injury he sustained while in custody.
“His death set off more than a week of protests followed by looting, rioting, and violence in his name.” Of course, that prompted a citywide curfew. Edward Nero is one of six cops charged in relation to the death of Freddie Gray, the second to be tried. William Porter’s trial, as I say, ended in a hung jury and a mistrial in December. There are four other officers: Garrett Miller, Lieutenant Brian Rice, Sergeant Alicia White, Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. have not yet been tried. Now, Goodson’s trial, Caesar Goodson Jr., has been delayed once.
It is now set to start on June the 6th. He was the driver of the van that transported the young man, Freddie Gray, from the spot where he was arrested at the police station. “When the van arrived the Western District police station, Gray was critically injured and unresponsive,” so they say something went on in there. Now, Goodson, the driver, “faces charges of second-degree depraved heart murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, two counts of vehicular manslaughter and misconduct in office.”
Gee, is that all? So the Drive-Bys… This a report from the CBS Eyewitness News affiliate in Baltimore, WJZ. They’re already moving on to the next defendant. They couldn’t even bother… In this story, they couldn’t even bother to list the crimes that Officer Nero was found to be not guilty of. They couldn’t even do it. So that’s that. That’s out of Baltimore, and everybody’s waiting to see now if Marilyn Mosby will go back down to the steps and continue to ask for peace and address the people in the “no justice, no peace crowd.”
See if she continues to say we need peace while she seeks convictions for these remaining officers to see what happens.
RUSH: Elijah Cummings, Congressional Black Caucasians, has weighed in on the verdict, the nonverdict — well, the not-guilty verdict on all counts — of Officer Edward Nero in Baltimore. Is on CNN’s Legal View, Ashleigh Banfield speaking to Congressman Cummings, who’s from Baltimore, and she said, “I want to get your personal feeling about today.”
CUMMINGS: This is the way the justice system works. And so, in the first trial with Officer Porter, there was a hung jury. And here the judge — Judge Barry Williams, who I’ve known for over 20 years, a very fair judge and runs a strict courtroom and brilliant young man — made a decision. In many of these cases, charges are never brought; there is no trial. Again, this is the way justice rolls. There always gonna be people who are not gonna be satisfied.
RUSH: Come… (chuckles) Oh, man.
CUMMINGS: Keep in mind, we also have five more trials to go.
RUSH: Can you imagine this reaction after the Rodney King police officer beatings? Can you imagine, “Hey, you know, that’s the way justice rolls. That’s just the way it is. The judge is great! I know the judge for 20 years. Fair man. Hey, you know, in most places we wouldn’t even a gotten a trial, so I’m looking at this as a win. We got a trial, the judge is a great guy, and this is how justice rolls.” We’ve not heard that reaction. You imagine that reaction after…? Well, take your pick. You imagine that reaction in Ferguson when the grand jury came in?
“Well, that’s the way justice rolls. We gave it our best shot. We blew up every store we could. We turned over and set to fire every cop car we could, but we lost. We got a great grand jury in there. The guy that runs it’s a very good guy. I know the guy 20 years! He’s a great, great, great lawyer in there.” Can you imagine that? So what explains this? Where is Reverend Sharpton? Where is the Reverend Jackson? This is a second trial where the accused and zip. There’s a reason for this, folks. This was always… Well, I’ll let you fill in the blank. There’s a reason why Congressman Cummings is not the least bit upset here.
Tom in Glenville, New York, as we start on the phones. It’s great to have you, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hello. How are you, Rush?
RUSH: I’m doing great, thank you.
CALLER: Thanks for taking my call. My comment is, I’m just looking for your take on this $6.4 million settlement with the city of Baltimore or Stephanie [Rawlings-]Blake, the mayor, whoever it was that agreed to award the family after Freddie Gray’s death. And the fact that it looks to anyone, I believe, as a guilty verdict immediately, and apologize for misconduct on the city’s part. And, you know, did it restore any faith that this verdict actually came down this way after something like that happened?
RUSH: So what are you saying? You think that the verdict…? The payment to the family was what?
CALLER: I want an admission of guilt, a reprimanding of the police force. I mean, I can’t believe that they actually were able to — and I’m glad. The results, I think, are justified, that this poor guy is found not guilty.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah. Stipulate with that. Yeah, yeah. Agree with that. Yeah, yeah. So I think it was an advance payment on peace.
RUSH: I mean, if you pay the guy’s family $6 million it’s okay in nobody riots. Then let the neighborhood go to the family and say, “We want our share,” and let them deal with it. You give the family $6 million. They’ve never seen that kind of money before, takes care of the neighborhood. In case you get a not-guilty verdict, still got the payoff. It’s the city buying no riots — no peace no justice — whatever it is they’re buying.
CALLER: That makes sense. Do you think not going to the jury trial had any effect on that?
RUSH: Oh, yeah. I think this judge is gonna preside over all of the Freddie Gray trials. Absolutely. It’s a huge, deal, absolutely, that they choose not to go before a jury there.
CALLER: Well, it’s interesting your take on the payment. I understand that. But it does restore some of my faith in society.
RUSH: Well, look, not trying to talk you out of your opinion totally. I think can be combination of things. It could well be that the mayor and the prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, they may have said, “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! The cops are guilty!” You know, these are liberals. They think the cops are corrupt to begin with, even their own cops. So they may have said, “Oh, my God. They’re… Oh, gee! Oh, this is horrible. Pay off! A payoff is the fastest way. Pay ’em off.” And then you’re buying insurance, and you’re taking care of them. You’re acting as though there is guilt involved, which is what the mob wanted. So, I mean, they potentially killed a bunch of birds with one stone here.
CALLER: And, in light of that, this judge still did what I think is the right thing, apparently. Of course, I haven’t seen all the evidence but I mean in light of all that and in light of the pressure.
RUSH: Come on. These cops should have never been charged with anything in the first place. That’s the bottom line here, and that’s what everybody knows, and that’s what Elijah Cummings knows and that’s why he’s out there praising the judge and not calling for more justice and peace and whatever it is they do to incite people. He’s trying to calm everything down here. I mean, if Elijah Cummings — who represents that town in Washington — is not gonna be mad about it, then there’s no reason anybody else to be. I mean, that’s the desire.
That’s the hoped-for reaction when he goes out praises the judge up and down. “Oh, I’ve known him for 20 years! This guy, why, he’s the fairest judge anybody ever could have had! He’s just the greatest guy. I’ve known him for ever!” All of that is designed to tamp down violence, which, look: No city wants. I understand that. I think they probably knew that no jury was ever gonna give Freddie Gray’s family $6 million or… Well, they didn’t know that. You know, there’s a third thing.
Maybe they thought if it went jury went civil that they could end up paying way more than $6 million if it went the wrong way on ’em. There are probably three different reasons (and maybe more) why they decided to do that. But I don’t think the primary reason is because, “Uh-oh! Our cops did it. There’s guilt everywhere. We’re gonna pay off.” I think that’s a factor, but I don’t think it’s what drove the payment of $6 million.
RUSH: What do you think the Reverend Sharpton’s cut of $6.4 million is? When they announced that the family Freddie Gray was getting $6.4 million — he was awarded that for wrongful death — the Reverend Sharpton was there with the family. What do you think his cut was? (interruption) Well, what are you laughing at? (interruption) What okay. All right.
RUSH: All right. I have to issue a correction, slight correction. The Reverend Sharpton was not standing side by side with the family, the Freddie Gray family when they got the $6.4 million settlement. I was confusing that. He did stand side by side with the Eric Garner family in New York. But I’m not totally wrong. I never am. Nevertheless, the Reverend Sharpton was involved in the Freddie Gray shakedown. He was leading all those demonstrations about Freddie Gray’s death.
I have been rethinking the call — the first question we got in the first call today — about the purpose of the settlement, the $6.4 million settlement, and one thing else. It’s important to remember about all of this that the medical examiner in Baltimore had to be corrupted in order for any of this to happen because the original report from the medical examiner exonerated the cops in the death of Freddie Gray. The medical examiner issued his report before Mosby went out and did her impersonation of Sharpton and Jackson.
And then that guy, they had to get to him. He had to revise his studies and his conclusions. And people have forgotten, and I did, too, ’til I was reminded by Andy McCarthy. He submitted a column on all of this to National Review Online. Anyway, I’ve been thinking about the $6.4 million settlement, and I stand by my answer, but I’m really having thoughts about this now. I do think that the $6.4 million settlement was to try to buy guilty verdicts. I don’t think it was because they were suffering any guilt. Mosby and the mayor.
I don’t think they were suffering any guilt and were afraid that there might not be guilt, guilty verdicts. I think they wanted to ensure that a jury would return guilty verdicts so they pay the Freddie Gray family $6.4 million to make it look like, “Why, look at this! Why, even the city thinks it’s a slam dunk. The city’s not even gonna try to defend the cops. This city’s already paying the family, for crying out loud! The cops must be guilty.”
That’s what they were trying to create in the minds of jurors, potential jurors. So it’s even more important than the cops have decided to forgo jury trials and instead just have a trial before the judge — an Elijah Cummings-approved judge, as it turns out. They tried to create the optics, the atmospherics, that they at City Hall knew these cops are guilty. “They were so-so guilty, they’re already paying off before the trial’s even happening!” So that was supposed to taint the jury pool. And, of course, it ends up backfiring because there was no jury pool.