Marilyn Mosby
Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby should recuse herself from the criminal trial against six Baltimore police officers charged in relation to the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, one of the officer's lawyers said on Friday. Reuters/Adrees Latif

The lawyers for the six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray filed a motion in court on Friday calling for all charges against them to be dropped and for Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby to recuse herself from their criminal trial. The officer who drove the van in which Gray sustained a fatal spinal injury was charged with second-degree murder, while the other five were charged with a series of offenses including involuntary manslaughter and second-degree assault.

The 107-page motion cites five reasons the recently elected Mosby should remove herself from the trial, according to WBAL-TV: the “personal gain” in play for Mosby and her husband, a city councilman; personal relationships with witnesses in the trial; Mosby’s close relationship with the Gray family attorney, William Murphy, who donated $5,000 to her campaign and served on her transitional committee; a pending civil claim against Mosby’s office; and the “role of her office as the investigators.”

“The pleadings speak for themselves, and we look forward to litigating them in the courtroom,” said attorney Marc L. Zayon, who is representing one of the arresting officers, Edward Nero.

A Fraternal Order of Police chapter called on Mosby to take herself off the case and appoint a “Special Independent Prosecutor” to handle the trial. FOP Lodge 3 also says that the six officers charged with Gray’s death were not responsible for his fatal injuries. Gray broke three vertebrae at some point during the 45 minutes he was in police custody following his April 12 arrest. Mosby accused the officers of using overly aggressive tactics to subdue Gray, failing to properly ensure his safety during transport and for repeatedly ignoring his pleas for medical attention.

The motion cites Mosby and Murphy’s relationship, but the two would not actually be in the same courtroom together. Mosby is responsible for prosecuting the criminal case against the six officers, while Murphy is handling the civil suit filed on behalf of Gray’s family. A spokesman for Mosby’s office brushed off the FOP’s accusations of a conflict of interest, saying that hundreds of people had donated to Mosby’s campaign and that her husband’s council seat does not reflect on her conduct in any way.

It was disclosed separately on Friday that one of the officers criminally charged by Mosby, Lt. Brian Rice, used his position with the Baltimore Police Department in an attempt to intimidate a neighboring police department to arrest the husband of his ex-girlfriend in March. In an incident report filed by the Westminster Police Department, Rice reportedly told a WPD officer that he saw the car of the husband outside his ex-girlfriend's home at around 3:45 a.m. and demanded WPD arrest him on a violation of a protective order his ex-girlfriend, Karen McAleer, had against her husband. Rice said “heads will roll if something happens to her or the children, if you do not go arrest him.” WPD checked on the welfare of McAleer and the child she had with Rice, per regulations, but Rice appeared dissatisfied and continued to demand that McAleer's husband be arrested.