POLICE: Baltimore State’s Atty Screwed Up – Freddie Gray’s Knife Violated Baltimore Code

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged the wrong people, wrong names, wrong birth dates and wrong addresses during Friday’s much hyped press conference.

baltimore cops charged
The six Baltimore officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray are (top row from left) Caesar Goodson Jr., Garrett Miller, Edward Nero and (bottom row from left) William Porter, Brian Rice and Alicia White. (Baltimore Police Department via AP)

Now this— Accused Baltimore Officer Edward Nero claims the arrest of Freddie Gray was justified because of the type of knife he was carrying was illegal. Officer Nero is demanding State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby release a photo of the weapon.

While State’s Attorney Mosby said Friday that the officers had made an illegal arrest because Gray’s knife was not a “switchblade,” a violation of state law, the police task force studied the knife and determined it was “spring-assisted,” which does violate a Baltimore code.

The AP reported:

One of the Baltimore police officers who arrested Freddie Gray wants the police department and prosecutor to produce a knife that was the reason for the arrest, saying in court papers that it is an illegal weapon.

The city’s top prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, said Friday in charging the officer and five others that the knife was legal under Maryland law, meaning they had arrested Gray illegally.

The motion was filed Monday by attorneys for Officer Edward Nero in Baltimore District Court.

Nero is charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment — charges that can only be proven if Gray was wrongly arrested, said Andy Alperstein, a Baltimore attorney who has represented police officers but is not involved in the Gray case. If the knife was illegal, “there is no case” against Nero and another officer, he said.

“If the facts were that the knife was illegal then the Gray arrest would be justified. Even if it wasn’t illegal and the officers acted in good faith, it would be the same result. All charges fail,” Alperstein said.

Marc Zayon, Nero’s attorney, argues in his motion that the knife in Gray’s pocket — described in charging documents as “a spring assisted, one hand operated knife” — is illegal under both Baltimore’s switchblade ordinance and state law. Gray was charged under the city ordinance, which has a different definition than the state law of what constitutes a switchblade.

A city ordinance says any knife with an automatic spring or other device to open and close the blade is illegal. State law says a knife is illegal if it opens automatically by pushing a button, spring or other device in the handle.

Baltimore officials haven’t released a photo of the knife or provided details, such as the manufacturer or model.

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