Friday, May 1, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3173: Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby - Freddie Gray's Death Ruled Homicide - charges to be pressed against police (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Today Ms. Marilyn Mosby, the Maryland State Attorney for Baltimore City, stunned many when after she disclosed that Freddie Gray's death has been rule a homicide, she also announced that she will prosecute six officers in the death of Mr. Gray. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of Ms. Mosby's announcement.


"I also commend the brave men and women, both in uniform and out, who have stepped up Monday ... night ..."

Unilateral forehead Elevation - which is indicative of clear disbelief. 

"It is my job to examine and investigate the evidence of each case and apply those facts to the elements of a crime in order to make a determination as to whether individuals should be prosecuted. This is a tremendous responsibility, but one that I sought and accepted when the citizens of Baltimore City elected me as a State's attorney - and it's precisely what I did in the case of Freddie Gray .... [thin lips of anger with a jaw jut displayed at 1:45]"

Horizontally vectored, the thinning of Ms. Mosby's Lips coupled with her "Jaw Jut" are highly indicative of the primary emotion of anger with a secondary emotion of resolve.


"... Over the course of our independent investigation ..."

Exaggerated mouth, lips and jaw movement in the course of speaking routine words, indicate a perceived relative self-alpha status and self-righteous mental-emotional tone (In this moment as Ms. Mosby speaks the word "independent").

2:04 (2:03 - 2:05)

Elevated Central Forehead Contraction (Elevated CFC) with a congruent saddened mouth expression as Ms. Mosby says, "... in the untimely death of Mr. Gray ..."

This cluster indicates sincere empathy that Marilyn Mosby has toward Freddie Gray. She is not going through the motions, but feels real sadness for him.

3:34 (3:33 - 3:42)

Additional elevated-CFC with congruent mouth of pain/sadness as Ms. Mosby describes police officers perusing Freddie Grey.


"... Officers Miller and Nero then handcuffed Mr. Gray and moved him to a location a few feet away from his surrendering location [then she displays a mild-moderate Microexpression of Contempt display at 3:55].


"Lieutenant Rice, Officer Miller and Officer Nero failed to establish probable cause for Mr. Gray's arrest - as no crime had been committed by Mr. Gray. Accordingly Lieutenant Rice, Officer Miller and Officer Nero illegally arrested Mr. Gray ..."

Ms. Mosby's jaw jut as she says the word "illegally" transmits both her anger and her alpha status.

5:43 (5:41 - 5:44)

"At Baker Street, Lieutenant Rice, Officer Nero and Officer Miller removed Mr. Gray from the wagon, placed flex-cuffs on his wrists, placed leg-shackles on his ankles and complete ... completed required paper work......"

Another display of an elevated central forehead contraction indicates significant empathy for Mr. Gray. The simultaneous elevated left forehead and eyebrow indicate a disbelief (as if to say, "I can't believe these officers were doing paperwork when this guy needed medical attention" or "I don't believe this is want really transpired").

7:01 (7:00 - 7:04)

"Several blocks later, Officer Goodson called into dispatch, that he needed to check on the status of his prisoner ..."

Additional elevated-central forehead contraction with a congruent (sad-distressed) mouth expression. Ms. Mosby continues to feel emotional pain for Freddie Gray.


A mild, yet highly significant elevation of Ms. Mosby's left eyebrow as she says, " ... Despite ... (Did you spot the even more subtle version of this same microexpression less than a second before at 8:15.1?).

A "Head-Torque" (at 8:20) is a signal of frustration, an adamant mindset and alpha emotional tone.

Ms. Mosby displays a fantastic example of a head-torque at 8:20 when she says, "Despite Mr. Gray's obvious and recognized need for medical assistance [then displayed a Head-Torque], Officer Goodson, in a grossly negligent manner chose to respond to the 1600 block of West North Avenue with Mr. Gray still unsecured by a seat-belt in the wagon without rendering to or summoning medical assistance for Mr. Gray ..."

These are just a few of the nonverbal signals displayed by Marilyn Mosby during a press conference this morning. What others did you see here? How many body language displays in your own professional life did you completely miss during this past week?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3172: Jameis Winston, the NFL Draft, Body Language and Predicting Violent Behavior 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2589: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Admits to Smoking Crack Cocaine - Body Language of the "Head Torque"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3169: Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez regarding the Death of Freddie Gray - Body Language Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3162: Robert Downey Jr. walks out of Interview - Star walks out when asked about past

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3165: Bruce Jenner's 20/20 Interview, Part I - Body Language Tells