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Alicia White and William Porter

Two black officers charged in Freddie Gray’s death are now suing Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby for defamation of character.

Sergeant Alicia White and Officer William Porter filed the lawsuit against Mosby in Baltimore City Circuit Court based Mosby’s statement that they were directly involved in the death of Gray.

They claim that Mosby included “false statements” in the Application for Statement of Charges and “spoke in a divisive and inciting manner” during the press conference in which she outlined the charges she was filing against the six officers, the lawsuit says.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the officers had asked that the lawsuit be sealed to “avoid any suggestion” that they were “not complying with the spirit of” a gag order issued in their criminal cases by Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams, and to “avoid any additional pretrial publicity in connection with their upcoming criminal trials.” They said they had to file the lawsuit at this time because of statute of limitations concerns.

But Judge Althea Handy on Wednesday denied the motion to seal the case, saying the officers had “failed to provide a special and compelling reason to preclude or limit inspection of the case record sufficient to overcome the presumption of openness” under Maryland law.

They are seeking more than $75,000 in damages for each of four counts — two of defamation and two of invasion of privacy and casting them in a false light.

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