In June, the latest pre-trial hearing against Keith Davis Jr. began with the so-called progressive State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby asking for the trial to be moved out of Baltimore because, she claimed, it was not possible to find an unbiased jury. Not only did the judge strike this request down, but he placed a “gag” order on everyone involved in the case, including Mosby. This prevented them from saying anything that could affect public opinion. This order was violated hours later by Mosby when she went on a radio talk-show, speaking about the case. She now has to appear in court to argue why she should not be held in contempt.
How did the case get to this point? Davis has had five trials for the same incident that happened in 2015. He is only the second person in U.S. history to go to trial this many times for the same incident. In this case, someone shot and killed a security guard in early 2015. In June of that year, police cornered Davis in a garage and shot at him 44 times, hitting him with three bullets. He survived, but then his court trials started. In one case, Davis was acquitted. Then there were 2 mistrials, and 2 convictions were overturned, all while he has remained in prison since 2015. These cases are riddled with over 200 discrepancies, including lies from the prosecution and its witnesses. And while in prison, Davis has had to defend himself from an assault by another prisoner as well as from Covid outbreaks. Mosby has consistently added charges against Davis after losing a trial. When Davis was first acquitted, a murder charge was added, and when that failed, the prison attack was charged against him as the aggressor a full year after it happened.
From the beginning, Davis’s family and friends have protested that he is innocent. Many other Baltimoreans have joined them in protest actions throughout the last seven years.
Mosby shows us that she is here to protect the police who attempted to murder Davis. As Baltimore activist Tawanda Jones, whose brother Tyrone West was murdered by police, has said, “Why does she keep trying to convict this man…”; it’s because “she’s protecting the police and… herself.” If Mosby gives up this prosecution now, she will have to admit she wasted taxpayers’ money on all these failed prosecutions. Activists involved in the fight against the corrupt Baltimore government clearly see the role the government plays. It subjects Black communities to police violence and afterwards uses its power to try to clear itself of wrongdoing. The grassroots activism supporting Davis has continued, but the prosecutors and cops also continue their war against Davis. Although the police commissioner and chief prosecutor are Black, the system they represent is still racist. We have to continue the fight to free Keith Davis, Jr.