I spent most of Monday watching the live news coverage of what was happening in Baltimore, Maryland. I’m not sure I have the words to describe what I am feeling, which makes me wonder what the people who live in the Baltimore area must be feeling. The madness that has overtaken the city doesn’t make me angry (though that may be what I end up feeling tomorrow); it makes me sad – intensely sad and overwhelmingly frustrated.
This all began about a two weeks ago when a young man by the name of Freddie Gray was arrested after a short foot pursuit through a Baltimore housing complex. By all accounts Mr. Gray seemed alive and well when he was first taken into custody, but by the time he arrived at the Western District Police station, the police were forced to call for an ambulance to rush Mr. Gray to the hospital.
Mr. Gray died on Sunday, one week after he had been arrested by Baltimore police. It seems that at some point between his arrest and his final arrival at the police station, he suffered a severe spinal cord injury, his voice box was crushed and his neck was snapped. The circumstances of the tragedy are now under investigation, and Mr. Gray’s family and local leaders are demanding justice for Freddie Gray. For the last week, most of the demonstrations have been peaceful and the federal government has taken an interest in the investigation, which should hopefully lead to justice being done, in whatever form that might take.
This situation differs from what we saw in Ferguson, Missouri, because of the racial makeup of the city – as John Schindler pointed out on Twitter.
Again: Baltimore has a black mayor, a black police chief & almost half the cops are black. This ain’t Ferguson, folks.
— John Schindler (@20committee) April 27, 2015
Sadly, the people who are on the streets now seem to have no interest in justice for Freddie Gray, but seem wholly focused on taking a pound of flesh from police and from the city of Baltimore.
Some of the projectiles that were thrown at Baltimore Police pic.twitter.com/Z2HJr7EZKq
— Athena Jones (@AthenaCNN) April 27, 2015
Baltimore police spox: Several police w broken bones, one knocked unconscious
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) April 27, 2015
Maybe it seems silly, but this really has been heartbreaking to watch. The Gray family and the people of Baltimore really do have a grievance that needs to be heard, but because of the darkest corners of the human heart, those grievances are being lost. Vicious and criminal looters acting in a lawless manner have stolen the storyline from the sad death of Freddie Gray and turned it into another example of evil from a mob of crazed criminals.
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