It’s interesting to watch the left try to figure this out. Over at Daily Beast, there’s a somewhat bizarre piece about the prosecutor and the legality of Freddie Gray’s knife.
The weapon police described is definitely illegal—so why did Marilyn Mosby say it wasn’t? The answer hinges on a single spring.
So the man goes to jail or goes free, lives or dies, according to whether or not his knife has a spring in it?
Larry Kobilinsky, a professor of forensic science at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, believes Gray’s knife could make or break Mosby’s case.
“I think it makes a lot of difference if the arrest was legal,” Kobilinsky said. “If they took him into custody and had reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed, then they acted reasonably in restraining him and taking him to jail.”
Furthermore, by saying the arrest was illegal, Mosby has made the case to the public that cops should have never begun what ended with Gray’s death. Cops surely had no right to kill Freddie Gray, but they may have had the right to arrest him. All of that—and what happens next in Baltimore—may now hinge on a single spring.
Freddie Gray had a substantial criminal history, and running when you see the police is something that may draw police attention, but he was arrested and ultimately ended up dead – whether due to trying to injure himself in the back of the police van in order to serve time in a hospital rather than jail, or malfeasance or murder on the cops part – because of a cutting tool that’s been around for thousands of years.
It’s a knife. Who cares how it opens?
(Also a minor note in the Daily Beast piece – cops do not have a “right” to arrest. They have an authority to arrest. A right is intrinsic, God-given or nature-given, and inherent to free men, an authority is derived from the state’s power.)
While it is theoretically possible that without the presence of a knife in his pocket, Gray might have been arrested on some other trumped-up charge, it is clear that the presence of a knife was used as the actual basis for the arrest, and the practice has unfortunately become a common one.
Thousands of law-abiding citizens are regularly harassed and arrested for nothing more than carrying this basic tool, and that is unacceptable. Knife Rights is committed to forging a Sharper Future by passing knife law preemption and removing all restrictions on the lawful carry of knives. Those who misuse any tool (knife or otherwise) in the commission of a crime should be severely punished, but law-abiding citizens who possess knives should be left alone.
If Freddie Gray was out on his streetcorner dealing drugs (and discussion of repeal of drug prohibition is another question), then why wasn’t he arrested for that? If he was out conspiring with other known criminals to conduct some crime, why wasn’t he arrested for conspiracy for that attempted crime?
When the arrest is “he had an illegal knife”… I’d be curious to know why that knife was illegal? Also, with the thousands of incomprehensible laws on the books making mens rea for any crime a real stretch, did he know that knife was illegal?
And how is a ban on a sharp piece of metal Constitutional? And how is a conviction for carrying a sharp piece of metal ever upheld as Constitutional?
Knife laws are often even worse than gun laws, because people just know to avoid certain states when it comes to guns. People don’t know that some municipality decided to ban carrying of a pocketknife because some pants-wetting progressive statist in the 1950s saw “West Side Story” and decided they needed a way to arrest those ethnic hoodlums.
The left does want to see everyone defenseless, and would agree with draconian Sword Hunts in order to render people defenseless, but for those people who don’t believe in being dominated by an all-powerful state, why would you want anyone chased down, arrested, sent to prison or possibly killed because they have a sharp piece of metal in their pocket that opens with a spring?
Why is Freddie Gray dead over something that’s legal in so many other states?
And why is the left so infuriated over an arrest for knife control laws they support and the resulting death in police custody in a leftist state that has the kinds of leftist knife (and gun) control laws they want to inflict on everyone? They got the government they wanted to make. They got the knife from his cold dead hands.
As an addendum, there are a handful of people who are coming around to seeing that the roots and the effects of knife control laws are racist (just like gun control laws). Despite the story being from inherently biased Bloomberg:
“I don’t see knives posing that big of a danger to the public,” Representative Harold Dutton Jr., who sponsored the bill, said in an interview. “Now that we’re going to let everybody have a gun, I think we ought to set knives free.”
Dutton, a black Democrat from Houston, sees knife laws as a threat to civil rights.
“It is another one of those things that helps establish probable cause for a policeman to stop you,” he said.
Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old Baltimore man whose April death in police custody ignited riots, was arrested after police said they noticed a knife inside his pants.
Guns or knives in this case are just the same – they’re tools and also individual arms for any uses that don’t infringe on someone else’s life, rights, property or person. Frankly it’s insane that the state’s enforcers could send you to prison for decades for the “crime” of owning them, or that you could end up dead in police custody arrested for a knife that might have had a spring in it, and even more insane that there are people who still support and advocate eliminating the rights of the citizenry to own those tools at all.
The argument is frequently heard that “if those weapons exist in people’s hands they will hurt someone”, which is both absurd and as ridiculous as the “if it saves one child’s life” plea for more tyranny. Regardless of anything else involved in the case and his past history, Freddie Gray is dead because some hand-wringing leftist demanded he be sacrificed for their world where only the police and the state have weapons – the very institutions that killed Freddie Gray.
Lives only matter to the progressive left when it’s convenient – doesn’t matter the gender, age, creed, background or color they are.