The BCSAO has pledged to apply one standard of justice for all regardless of race, religion, sex and even occupation. With this pledge, it is critical that our office remain transparent, to the extent the law allows, to ensure that we are rebuilding community trust in law enforcement. State’s Attorney Mosby is cognizant of the distrust that many citizens of Baltimore City harbor towards police officers that are supposed to serve them, which is why we are committed to holding police officers accountable for any abuse of power or illegal actions that they may commit.
Recognizing that front line Assistant State’s Attorneys work hand in hand with police officers day in and day out, State’s Attorney Mosby has created an independent unit, the Public Trust and Police Integrity Unit (PTPIU), comprised of experienced trial attorneys from other jurisdictions who can fairly and objectively analyze and, when necessary, prosecute cases against police officers. The primary function of the PTPIU is to independently investigate complaints of unnecessary or excessive force, or any other act that may be corrupt or illegal.
Any law enforcement officer of any law enforcement agency acting within Baltimore City is subject to the review of the PTPIU. However, as the majority of law enforcement work done within the city is by the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), the PTPIU attorneys and their staff review and monitor all BPD Internal Affairs matters, and select and follow up on those cases that may warrant independent investigation. The PTPIU attorneys and staff also handle all cases brought against law enforcement officers whether on or off duty (eg: DUI).
On a day to day basis, the primary goal of the PTPIU is to hold corrupt police officers accountable for their actions. The long term goal of the PTPIU is to restore public trust and confidence in law enforcement and the entire criminal justice system. The PTPIU has successfully secured several notable convictions in accordance with the Mosby administration’s commitment to hold all individuals accountable regardless of race, religion, sex and occupation.
Notable PTPIU Convictions
DECLINATION TO CHARGE POLICY
The BCSAO is currently the only jurisdiction in Maryland following the recommendation of the Association of Prosecuting Attorney’s (APA) 21st Century Prosecution Standards, which encourages prosecutors to communicate directly with the public when declining to charge an officer. Consistent with 21st Century Prosecution Standards, the BCSAO posts case summaries to its website that explain the BCSAO’s legal rationale for not pressing charges against the accused officer(s), as well as provides supporting evidence and documentation for the declination to charge, as well as provides supporting evidence and documentation for the declination to charge.
ONE STANDARD OF JUSTICE
Vacatur of GTTF-Related Cases
In the interest of justice and fairness, the BCSAO will move to vacate nearly 800 convictions compromised by the unethical actions of corrupt police officers, including the former Baltimore Police Department Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF) officers. During the 2019 legislative session, the BCSAO, along with sponsor Prince George’s County Delegate Erek Baron, successfully proposed vacatur legislation, HB 874, providing prosecutors the procedural right to ask a judge to overturn past convictions and secure justice for those unfairly or wrongly convicted. While the BCSAO filed motions with the Office of the Public Defender to vacate convictions believed to be hopelessly tainted due to the unethical conduct of the GTTF, several of those motions, prior to the passage of HB 874, were denied on the grounds that there was no legal basis for a prosecutor to request that the judge vacate the conviction. With this new legislation, the BCSAO may now right nearly 800 cases impacted by the wrongful and illegal acts of the GTTF.