This is why those people in Baltimore are so angry. Freddie Gray went into police custody alive and came out dead. There’s been no official explanation as to how, exactly, a man had his spine severed while on his way to police headquarters. He was riding in a police vehicle after having been arrested for giving police officers a sideways glance and then for having been discovered to be carrying a knife. The officers involved swear that they didn’t do anything. But the city’s citizens don’t have to work particularly hard to assume that the people tasked with arresting him had something to do with his injuries and his subsequent death.
Also, this is why those people in Baltimore are so angry. Freddie Gray wasn’t the first citizen given a “rough ride” after all. Twice before the Baltimore has settled with people arrested by city police and subsequently injured while being given a ride to the station. The arrested are put in the back of a vehicle but not belted. They’re then subject to whatever kind of driving the driver engages in. This was front page news at least once before. Sussing out what happened to Freddie Gray wasn’t hard.
Also, this is why those people in Baltimore are so angry. Assuming that the police had something to do with it would be a remarkably easy assumption to make even if all of the available evidence didn’t already point squarely at the police. This has been happening for generations after all. Outright brutality after outright brutality after outright brutality…
Also, this is why those people in Baltimore are so angry. The only thing that has happens in response to any of this is city officials using taxpayer dollars to pay off its police department’s victims. That appears to be the entirety of the city’s long-term strategy. It is unclear if firing the guilty cops, if charging the guilty cops, if shaming the guilty cops ever even crossed anybody’s mind. Paying the victims sure did though. Making it all go away sure did too. Because that’s what paying off victims does: it repairs the shattered relationships, right? It makes it okay that the police abused privilege. It makes it okay that politicians sanctioned the abuse. It makes it okay that voters rewarded the sanction.
Also, this is why those people in Baltimore are so angry. Because the murderous thugs that have been perpetrating these crimes literally for years have the audacity – the unmitigated gall – to demand that those protesting their criminality do so peacefully. Because now at this very moment is when peace has finally started to matter. Not when the police are killing a citizen whose only apparent crime was making eye contact with a police officer. Not then. Certainly not then. Never then. But definitely now, when an innocent person is dead at the hands of the police, when innocent people have been beaten so badly so that the city thinks it better to pay them than to risk trial, when the notion of justice is laughable fantasy.