As Riots Follow Freddie Gray's Death in Baltimore, Calls for Calm Ring Hollow
Rioting broke out on Monday in Baltimore—an angry response to the death of Freddie Gray, a death my native city seems powerless to explain. Gray did not die mysteriously in some back alley but in the custody of the city's publicly appointed guardians of order. And yet the mayor of that city and the commissioner of that city's police still have no idea what happened. I suspect this is not because the mayor and police commissioner are bad people, but because the state of Maryland prioritizes the protection of police officers charged with abuse over the citizens who fall under its purview. The citizens who live in West Baltimore, where the rioting began, intuitively understand this. I grew up across the street from Mondawmin Mall, where today's riots began. Over the past four years, more than 100 people have won court judgments or settlements related to allegations of brutality and civil rights violations. The people now calling for nonviolence are not prepared to answer these questions.
Related: Résistance & activisme
• APRIL 2015
• Black in America