Who Will The Baltimore Police Officers' Defense Lawyer Be? The Arraignment Is Scheduled For July

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: Baltimore Police officers in riot gear look toward protestors along Reisterstown Road near Mondawmin Mall, April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. A group of young protestors clashed with police in the streets near Mondawmin Mall in the afternoon following Freddie Gray's funeral. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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Now that a grand jury has indicted all six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, the question now arises of who will defend the Baltimore police officers. While at least one officer, Edward Nero, who was indicted on second-degree assault, misconduct in office, and reckless endangerment, has a personal defense attorney, as of this point the only other attorney to make statements on the officers’ behalf is the police union’s lawyer, Michael E. Davey.

At the beginning of May, Davey didn’t seem to be too concerned that the charges filed against the officers, which he thought would eventually be cleared. According to The Wall Street Journal, Davey thought the charges were being largely fueled by the case’s publicity. When Davey made an appearance with Gene Ryan, president of the Baltimore police union, he defended the officers and criticized the delivery of the charges.

I have never seen such a hurried rush to deliver criminal charges. We believe these officers will be vindicated as they have done nothing wrong.

The grand jury seems to have decided differently. On Thursday, the most serious charges against the officers, which included “depraved heart” murder, assault, misconduct in office, and reckless endangerment, remained standing.

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Davey certainly seems like the right man to tackle this defense. According to Davey’s biography on the website of the Law Offices of Schlachman, Belsky & Weiner, Davey joined the firm after a 20-year career with the Maryland State Police as a state police captain. The University of Baltimore School of Law graduate focus is on serving law enforcement officers in cases of police misconduct. Thus far in his career, he has represented more than 175 police officers in shooting cases throughout the state of Maryland.

However, although Davey may be involved in the case as a whole, this case might only bring his count up by one officer. According to NBC, Davey is just representing one of the six police officers, Lt. Brian Rice. That said, Davey has been speaking on behalf of all of the officers.

The only other attorney that has appeared in the press at this point is Marc Zayon, who is defending Nero. Zayon is a criminal defense and personal injury attorney at the law office of Roland Walker and Marc L. Zayon. Despite the indictment news, Zayon remains confident that his client will be acquitted of all remaining charges.
I’m very glad that the grand jury chose not to indict officer Nero on false imprisonment and one count of second-degree assault. I’m quite confident he will be acquitted of the remaining charges at trial.

We’ll soon find out if Zayon’s prediction is correct. Moreover, as the case continues to develop the officers’ defenders — and defense — should become clearer.

Images: Getty Images (1)

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