Earlier this year, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby published a shocking statement that said, she would no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases, regardless of the quantity or a person's prior criminal record.
In her announcement in early February, Mosby explained how the policy change would dramatically increase police resources to tackle the homicide crisis. She added that additional funds would be diverted to the community level to improve the police-community relations in Baltimore City.
When you look at Baltimore and what’s led to the violence, you quickly realize the complexity of the chaos. https://t.co/K51g5miAT7— FOX Baltimore (@FOXBaltimore) August 21, 2019
Her statement said, "Prosecuting these cases have no public safety value, disproportionately impacts communities of color and erodes public trust, and is a costly and counterproductive use of limited resources."
Mosby said additional resources would be poured into crime-fighting units used by police to tackle the out of control homicide crisis.
Baltimore has never been the same since the death of Freddie Gray, a young black male who died from injuries he suffered in the back of a police van in early 2015. Shortly after the death of Gray, riots broke out across the city, and the National Guard was called in, and a variant of Martial law was enacted for about a week across the area. More importantly, the riots triggered a violent crime wave in the years after.
For the past three years, Baltimore has experienced a killing per day. In 2018, there were 309 homicides. And in 2019, homicides could quickly surpass the 300 level in the coming months.
More than six months into Mosby's announcement, Fox 45 News Baltimore investigated the complexity of Baltimore City Police's crime-fighting abilities, found that in one instance, the state's attorney dropped a case that involved more than three pounds of marijuana found in a car.
During a routine tariff stop in Southwest Baltimore, one of the highest per-capita homicides rates in the country, a Baltimore Police officer's body-worn-camera captured the moment when three pounds of marijuana was found in the trunk of a car.
The video helps explain at least one instance where Mosby's announcement earlier this year about not prosecuting criminals has made Baltimore's crime-fighting rather tricky.
Although police charged the individual, state prosecutors eventually dropped the case. This decision irritated the U.S. Attorney General who recently took issue with Mosby's decision before members of law enforcement.
A Fox45 investigation said, "we uncovered contradicting facts between the statement Mosby made earlier this year and decisions made by prosecutors in the case captured on an officer's camera."
This is because if anyone possesses marijuana with the intent to sell, it will result in standard jail time. If there's no intent to sell, the person can walk free.
Fox45 said the three pounds of marijuana were sealed in baggies and jars, and with the look of it, it seemed that intent to sell was quite evident.
So the million-dollar question is: Did Baltimore just stop prosecuting drug dealers so that they could focus efforts on solving the homicide crisis?