The MOORE Report

By Ralph E. Moore, Jr.

Ever since Marilyn Mosby was indicted by a federal grand jury, January 13, on two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements on loan applications for the purchase of two vacation homes in Florida, the likes of Fox 45 News and a local newspaper columnist have been all over the story like ugly on an ape.

Mosby, the chief prosecutor for the city of Baltimore, first rankled the establishment in town by beating Greg Bernstein out of the state’s attorney job in 2014 as a young, “upstart” attorney, new to politics. While becoming increasingly endeared to everyday folks in the community when she brought charges against the six Baltimore police officers who last handled Freddie Gray in custody when he died, she suffered the disdain of haters who couldn’t wait to condemn her and to outfit her with a target on her back.  For some in the local media she became the main public official they loved to hate.  But Mosby courageously kept doing her job and proceeded with the prosecutions against the odds of success.  Few charges were ever brought against police officers at that time and just about no convictions were ever achieved.  She did the right thing, despite the officers all getting off and going home; and Freddie Gray is still dead.

From the vantage point of moderates to conservatives in the establishment media, Mosby could just do nothing right. So, by the time she announced last year (during the pandemic) the new, practical policy of her office to not prosecute for minor drug possession and prostitution, the haters were fit to be tied.

Incidentally, researchers at the Bloomberg School of Johns Hopkins found no adverse effect of the new policy. No increase detected in drug use or sex work according to JHU public health research.

Marilyn took a bold step and landed on the toes of the ‘lock ‘em up’ types; but she was right.  More attention must be paid to serious crimes like murder and shootings and less attention to victimless crimes, she reasoned.

Mosby’s brains, confidence and boldness were driving some folks crazy.  They took the side of incumbent Bernstein, the side of the police vs. Freddie Gray and they chose ‘law and order’ against all they considered criminal. But Mosby is right.  She is a progressive prosecutor who understands the flaws in the criminal justice system, seeks equal justice under the law and understands she is not in a popularity contest as she goes about her sworn duties.

And then a federal indictment is announced.

You could hear them jumping for joy at Fox for another story they could slant for ratings’ sake.  And the self-righteous in the newspapers can be judge and jury in print and aiming in the court of public opinion without full benefit of treating Mosby as innocent until proven guilty.  And so, we get attack dog headlines and columns because they gotta get tv ratings and gotta sell papers, especially before the lights go out. They bully and exploit the story by any means necessary. Mosby’s situation is just a means to an end and perhaps another end—of a media outlet as its sun sets.

To this non-lawyer there are many questions about the indictment; why did the investigation take so long if there were straightforward documents available to the federal prosecutors?

Whose work was the indictment mainly? Erek I. Barron just got the Maryland U.S. Attorney job.  The indictment presumably had been in the works before he was sworn into the position.  Any chance the motivation came from a Republican holdover in the office?

And why did the indictment come down just six months before Mosby’s primary for re-election?

Without the inside story, the question is why would Mosby knowingly appear to break the law?  She is smart, knowledgeable of the law and aware of the target folks had placed on her back. So why would she act in a counter-intuitive manner?  It doesn’t make sense.

And why didn’t the federal prosecutors give Mosby the chance to offer exculpatory evidence, that is information that would clear her? Is this a set up? If so, why?

Finally, Mosby is accused of taking $90,000 using the CARES ACT’s Corona Virus Relief Program.  Let us be clear, she didn’t steal anyone’s money; the funds in question were from her own Deferred Compensation Program, her own retirement plan.  The charge is that she misrepresented her situation to avoid taxes and obtain a lower interest rate on her loans. Okay, but wrongdoing remains to seen, if it exists and yet still to be proven.

Here is some interesting information: “While the global coronavirus pandemic has crippled significant segments of the economy, leading to the United States suffering the sharpest rise in its poverty rate in more than 50 years, the collective net worth of the country’s billionaires has grown by $1.1 trillion over the past ten months, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness.

According to the report, which was based on Forbes data, the combined fortune of America’s 660 billionaires as of January 18 had climbed to $4.1 trillion, representing an increase of 38.6% compared to their collective net worth in mid-March of 2020.

On average, the wealthiest 15 billionaires’ fortunes increased 58.7%, while some, such as Elon Musk, are up more than 500%.

At the start of the pandemic, there were 614 billionaires in the United States; that number has increased to 660, with 46 new billionaires being minted over the past ten months.” 

Mosby’s transaction is miniscule in comparison to all of the money scarfed up by the uber-wealthy.  And we can recall how big, well-off companies jumped to the head of the line in 2020 to use the Paycheck Protection Program, a Small Business Administration loan that helped businesses keep their workforce during the onslaught of COVID. The small companies were crowded out and many well financed ineligible companies used the program.  Too little was said of that by the haters.

The bottom line is that Mosby is innocent until proven guilty.  And many Whites, including the media, are harsh in looking at the doings of Black folks anyway.  So, bear that in mind as you watch the slippery, sly as a Fox 45 TV News and as the Sun sets on the presses of the paper; they get paid based on ratings, ads and copies sold.

Marilyn Mosby is still loved by many in Baltimore.  She will always have the respect of most in the community and she deserves it.

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