This Is BC Issue One Thousnd

Marilyn Mosby is the fearless Baltimore chief prosecutor who took on the six police officers who essentially killed Freddy Gray, a young man who was arrested and given such a “rough ride” that he suffered fatal neck injuries. Mosby’s bold attempt to hold so-called “law enforcement” accountable attracted the ire of the Baltimore police department, then-Governor Larry Hogan, the status-quo “law and order” establishment, and others. How dare she, this young Black woman, the youngest ever to earn election as chief prosecutor, take on the police? Now, she has been convicted on a flimsy charge and may face as many as 40 years in jail.

Usually, prosecutors look the other way toward police violence, which is why so few officers are indicted, much less convicted, for violations of both the law and human decency. In Baltimore, the officers broke laws that required passengers in police transport to be secured by seat belts as they were moved from their arrest site to a police station. Mosby took the unprecedented step of indicting six police officers involved in the death of Freddy Gray. Two were acquitted, one had a hung jury, and three others had their charges dismissed. The federal government declined to prosecute the officers, which means they got away with murder; the City of Baltimore paid Gray’s family $6.4 million when they threatened to sue.

All of this happened in 2015, five years before the murder of George Floyd. Officers were convicted in that case, and the ringleader of the mob, Derek Chauvin, will spend two decades in jail after he infamously put his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Arguably, had Marilyn Mosby not had the courage to indict officers in the death of Freddy Gray, there would have been no precedent in indicting Chauvin and his gang of thugs for killing George Floyd. Mosby, in other words, is a trailblazer.

She is now being punished for her boldness. Convicted of, essentially, lying on a mortgage application and using her 401k savings to fund an investment, she could face as many as 40 years in jail. Many Black women, including political pundit Angela Rye and Dick Gregory Society leader E. Faye Williams, have rallied around her as she has asked for a presidential pardon. She has lost almost everything she values – her reputation, her marriage, her property, and there is a motion to revoke her law license, leaving her with no means of support.

This case is not only about Marilyn Mosby. It is about the misogynoir that she has faced. She was targeted and prosecuted because she had the nerve to take the system on, targeted, and charged just like Fannie Lou Hamer, who was blinded and then evicted from her home after she registered voters. She has been targeted because she has been a vocal advocate for justice, opposing mass incarceration, racial disparities, and police violence. Pushing for police accountability, she has collided with well-financed opponents who want to see her punished, making an example of her as a deterrent to others who speak up.

I do not use the term lynching lightly. There were nearly five thousand documented lynchings in this country, and nothing compares to a noose around the neck or the burning alive that so many of our people experienced. But the writer, Richard Wright, once spoke to the widespread effect of lynching, saying that a lynching that happened in Mississippi could be felt in Chicago. In other words, lynchings were a warning to Black people – stay in your place. Similarly, the prosecution of Marilyn Mosby is a warning to Black women. Stay in your place. How dare you challenge the establishment?

It is a warning to other Black women. In Georgia, prosecutor Fani Willis has had her personal life embarrassingly explored in public because the former President doesn’t want to face charges that he tampered with 4an election. In New York, prosecutor Letitia James has faced potshots, threats, and ignorance because she has pursued financial fraud charges against the former President. In Maryland, billionaire bully David Trone has spent $57 million of his own money to defeat Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. Alsobrooks may beat him, but if not, will she pay a price for standing up to a bully? He has the dollars and the racist, vindictive nature to hurt her. In San Francisco, Mayor London Breed is up against financial bullies whose misogynoir is troubling.

It’s open season for Black women, and we must respond in kind. Black women can support the sisters on the firing line, Mosby, who will be sentenced in May unless she secures a pardon; Alsobrooks, whose primary is May 14, and Breed, who is in a fight to retain her mayoralty. We must be vigilant about attacks against those courageous prosecutors who are simply doing their job of bringing charges against the former President. A specious attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. Misogynoir is a disease, and it puts us all in jeopardy.

BC Editorial Board Member Dr. Julianne

Malveaux, PhD (JulianneMalveaux.com)

is former dean of the College of Ethnic

Studies at Cal State, the Honorary Co-

Chair of the Social Action Commission of

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated

and serves on the boards of the

Economic Policy Institute as well as The

Recreation Wish List Committee of

Washington, DC.

Her latest book is Are We Better Off?

Race, Obama and Public Policy. A native

San Franciscan, she is the President and

owner of Economic Education a 501 c-3

non-profit headquartered in Washington,

D.C. During her time as the 15th

President of Bennett College for Women,

Dr. Malveaux was the architect of

exciting and innovative transformation at

America’s oldest historically black college

for women. Contact Dr. Malveaux and