A judge has grilled lawyers for five Baltimore officers about why they should be allowed to sue the city's top prosecutor for charging them in the arrest and death of a young African-American.
Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the 4th Circuit repeatedly interrupted the officers' lawyers Wednesday while hearing an appeal by State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby. She is asking the court to overturn a judge's decision to allow parts of the officers' lawsuit against her to go to trial.
Mosby's lawyers insist that as a prosecutor, she is immune from the lawsuit.
But the officers' lawyers say she maliciously prosecuted the officers to ease public unrest in Baltimore after Freddie Gray, a young African-American, suffered a fatal injury in a police van. Three were subsequently acquitted and Mosby dropped the remaining cases.
Wilkinson raised his voice several times, saying allowing the officers to sue Mosby is an attempt at "muzzling prosecutors who have publicly expressed grounds for prosecuting police officers."
Lawyers for five Baltimore police officers charged and later cleared in the death of Freddie Gray have asked a federal appeals court to allow their lawsuit against the city's top prosecutor to go to trial.
Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in the back of a police van. His death sparked days of protests and rioting in Baltimore.
A federal judge ruled that parts of the lawsuit could move forward, including the officers' claim that State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby maliciously prosecuted them in Gray's death to ease public unrest.
A Maryland assistant attorney general argued before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday that as a prosecutor, Mosby has immunity from lawsuits.
Lawyers for the officers told the three-judge panel that Mosby acted as an investigators instead of a prosecutor and isn't immune from being sued.
A federal appeals court is being asked to decide if Baltimore's prosecutor is immune from a lawsuit by five officers who claim she maliciously prosecuted them in the death of a black man fatally injured in police custody.
Freddie Gray's death from a spinal injury in 2015 prompted days of protests and rioting in Baltimore.
State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged six officers in Gray's arrest and death. Three were acquitted and Mosby dropped the remaining cases.
Five of the six officers sued Mosby. They contend she acted as an investigator, instead of a prosecutor, and isn't immune from being sued.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments Wednesday in Mosby's bid to overturn a decision from a judge, who ruled parts of the lawsuit could continue.
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