In recent weeks, Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's career has taken off. The high-powered prosecutor rose to national prominence when she charged police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray earlier this month. She was widely praised for calmly fending off political attacks by the police officers' union over her investigation. Mosby also appeared onstage at a city benefit concert performed by Prince and was interviewed by prominent culture magazines. And on Friday, she and her husband, City Councilman Nick Mosby, will be guest ringmasters for the UniverSoul Circus, according to a Baltimore Sun report.
The guest stint was expected to fuel critics of the Mosbys, who have been accused of cashing in on the national spotlight to further their careers. The prosecutor's officer, however, said the invitation to appear in the circus came before the death of Gray on April 19, from a severe spinal injury suffered during his arrest by Baltimore police.
The Mosbys will be awarded the "UniverSoul Circus Community Service Award for their commitment to the well-being of the Baltimore community" at Friday afternoon's performance, a spokesman for the African-American-run circus said. The theme for this year's performance, "Your life matters," reflects a national call for reforms in use of force and racial profiling against blacks by police.
Hank Ernest, the circus spokesman, confirmed to the Sun that the ringmaster invitation had been planned prior to Mosby's involvement in the Freddie Gray case. "She's doing positive things in the community," Ernest said. He added that the couple was chosen because they have two young daughters.
“I am honored to be a part of this initiative, and my girls and very excited to see Mommy as a ringmaster!" Mosby said in a statement Thursday night. "They have been asking about the circus every day since April 3rd, when I received the invitation." The Mosbys said other Baltimore youths will attend the circus with their family.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake served as a guest ringmaster at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 2012. But Rawling-Blake's appearance didn't meet with the criticisms that the Mosbys have received.
I assume Marilyn Mosby is overseeing a literal circus as a metaphor.
â€” caitlin goldblatt (@trustpunch) May 29, 2015
Nick Mosby? Well, can't have a circus without a clown. https://t.co/c15x7m8Qte
— Dennis (@dennisthecynic) May 28, 2015