The messages sent to law enforcement in Baltimore County, Maryland, show “blatant disregard for the safety of the public,” said a member of the county council.
County Councilman David Marks, who represents Elkridge and part of Clarksville, said he took offense to messages the county’s police force received from the state’s attorney’s office the day of the Democratic primary election. Marks said he believes police have been intimidated by Marilyn Mosby’s electioneering ahead of the race.
“I don’t know what else to say,” he said, adding that the “message of permissiveness” from the attorney’s office is leading to a spike in crime and called on the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office to prove otherwise.
“Anybody who actually met with this office, heard their concerns, was treated like family and completely denied the courtesy of any effort, let alone investigation, from the office of the state’s attorney,” Marks said.
The notes, first reported by ABC2 News, were shared among key community leaders — including Marks — ahead of the primary in April, multiple sources confirmed.
The notes were from Lt. Christopher Bell and Chief Terry Sheridan. Bell, who was described in the notes as the person who “governs all decisions regarding Mosby and her electioneering,” praised Mosby for her “lessons learned [sic] from the prosecution” of Freddie Gray in a 2016 death from injuries sustained in police custody.
Sheridan is quoted as saying, “The Democratic Party stated that they wanted Mosby elected since her training makes her the best candidate.” He then gave what appeared to be written comments on the heroin epidemic and officers’ working conditions, according to one note.
Marks told CNN that he became concerned about the messages just before the primary.
In May, Baltimore County Police Chief Terrence Sheridan’s communications director Greg Shipley said that the department issued the notes, but the decision was a mutual one between the Baltimore County state’s attorney’s office and police officers.
“That is the notion we had at the time,” Shipley said of Sheridan’s staff’s intentions to communicate with the community.
Marks said that only now has it been clarified that the messages were taken out of context.
“I really never knew how this got blown out of proportion,” he said.
Baltimore County State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby held her first public press conference since being elected in December 2014, which was quickly met with protests from demonstrators after she criminally charged six officers in the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died of injuries sustained while in police custody.
At the time, Mosby said she had no intention of prosecuting the officers charged in Gray’s death unless new evidence surfaced. The case proceeded to trial and ultimately to mistrial. After the acquittal, Mosby announced the officers would be retried. The retrial is scheduled for June 1, 2019.