Among the surprising things we learned today from Baltimore’s chief prosecutor Marilyn Mosby — besides the news that she was indicting six Baltimore police officers for the death of Freddie Gray — was that Gray’s ordeal began with an improper arrest.
Police had claimed that Gray was arrested for possessing an illegal weapon — a spring-loaded switchblade. Gray was arrested on April 12 and put into handcuffs and shackles for his ankles. Police then loaded him into the back of a police van. But by the end of his ride to jail, he’d suffered a severed spine, resulting in his death seven days later.
Mosby today revealed that Gray’s death has been ruled a homicide, and she has charged six officers with charges of murder and manslaughter.
Mosby also announced that in fact, the weapon police found on Gray was not illegal after all. He was in possession of a knife that was not only legal under Maryland law, but its blade was tucked in a safe position and was inside his pocket.
Freddie Gray, it turns out, was legally bearing arms, as the Second Amendment of the Constitution guarantees.
His arrest, and his death, appear to be a violation of a number of his civil rights, and those rights include his Second Amendment rights to carry a weapon.
And it turns out that there are a number of organizations that make an awful lot of noise about our Second Amendment rights.
Here, in fact, is what a leader of one of them has said specifically about the right to carry a knife: “The Second Amendment is not just about guns; it is about freedom, the freedom to own the ‘arms’ we choose to own. Whether guns or knives, our founding fathers clearly intended that ‘the people’ would be able to choose their arms freely and that this right would always be protected by the Second Amendment.”
Those are the words of National Rifle Association Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre.
We called the NRA today to ask if the organization would be making a statement about Freddie Gray’s arrest. We’re still waiting for a response.