Tag Archives: Freddie Gray

When is it appropriate to talk about black on black crime?

This morning I was reading an article in the Chicago Tribune about a grandmother sitting on her southside porch with her son. She was already grieving over the death of her daughter, and the funeral scheduled for today when she and he were shot. They weren’t  the Klan’s latest victims. No, they were shot by members of their own community. So where is the outrage? Where are the cameras? Where is the media? All of these questions are rhetorical because we all know the answers. Killing within the community by people who live in the community is not news. When high profile killings like Freddie Gray happen all eyes are on the case, and if anyone attempts to bring up black on black crime they are labeled as a Uncle Tom, Aunt Jemima or conservative. So let’s agree in the midst of a national story might not be the time to have the conversation, but when is the time? If the Klan was actually killing black people on a daily basis it would be a national story, but killings happen daily within the community and it is barely mentioned on the daily news. So what do you think? Can we talk or is this not the time? Share your thoughts.


Why do the Millenials hate their elders in the movement?

Last night I watched Roland Martin’s townhall held in Baltimore and televised on TVOne. The event was held at the HBCU Morgan State. The event featured a panel and he also gave members of the community an opportunity to share their stories. The conversation centered around the Freddie Gray case, but other similar cases were also discussed. Several young people shared their stories, but one recurring theme was the disdain for organized groups. More than once the NAACP and Urban league were maligned. The young people claimed these groups were offering nothing and the grass roots organization were more valuable to the movement. Some members of the NAACP challenged the assertions but that did not keep the group including panelist Member Jeff Johnson of taking his shot. The question is do these century old organizations have a role now, and if so what should they be doing? Or do you think it is time to retirement them and concentrate on grass root organizations? Share your thoughts.

Freddie Gray is now a Martyr

On last night while watching the local news they showed a mural in Freddie Gray’s neighborhood. The mural is being done by a neighborhood artist with the help of Gray’s brother. It features a larger than life picture of Gray but I  was struck by the side images which featured Martin Luther King Jr. Gray has been elevated to martyr status. What happened to Gray was criminal. No individual should be treated like he was, but does that treatment erase any of his prior deeds. So often when someone dies everyone seeks to make that person the nicest person to walk the earth. perhaps you have been sitting at a memorial service and you heard all these wonderful things about the decedent that you wonder if you are at the right service, but it is another thing when you complete erase the person’s past because it does not fit in the newly crafted narrative, but i guess that is what happens when you become a martyr.

How could we have helped Freddie Gray?

When you talk about Freddie Gray is it wrong to talk about his arrest record? Gray had been arrested 18 times prior to the fateful day he had his last encounter with the police. Most of the arrests were for minor offenses. It seems that anyone who attempts to talk about it are quickly shutdown. Last night NBC Lester Holt interviewed members of Gray’s family and he tried to broach the subject, but he was quickly shutdown by the family attorney Billy Murphy. So is this subject off limits or were the arrests just Baltimore cops gone rogue? We should be able to discuss this without name calling. There is something wrong when a 25 year old man has 18 arrests. This can not be viewed as the norm and it all can not simply be attributed to harassment. Last week during the media outbreak we saw them relinquish their microphones to anyone with a tale to tell. The journalists did not make any attempt to substantiate the claims no they just shared them. The more sensational the tale the more airtime you received. No one is offering any cover to the police regarding the treatment of Freddie Gray,  but we have to be willing to have the hard conversations free from rancor. This case offers more issues than the murder of Gray there should also be some analysis of his life, and how we can keep others in the community from suffering a similar fate. Share your thoughts.

Do you know what it is like to live in poverty?

What is it like to live in poverty? Fortunately, I can not answer that question, and most of the people who make laws can not answer it either, but they are tasked with making the rules that govern the lives of the impoverished. Do they ever talk to poor people and find out about their lives or are the rules simply numerically generated? Over the past week we witnessed the events in Baltimore. We were told about Freddie Gray’s neighborhood and how so many people his age had been exposed to lead poisoning. The sad fact is the homes they lived in had not been painted by the landlord since the 70’s so the children of the 90s were victims of decades of neglect. It is easy to be judgmental and say they need to work hard and they can get out of poverty, but the reality is a lot of people caught in the poverty spiral are already working hard. What’s the answer? Don’t know but it might start with the rule makers having a conversation with people who are actually living in poverty.

What did Freddie Gray, Eric Garner and Eric Harris have in common…they all said “I Can’t Breathe”, and no one bothered to help

Yesterday when Marilyn Mosby announced the charges against the six Baltimore policeman she read the details of Freddie Gray’s injuries. One thing she said that struck me was that Gray said on 5 occasions “I Can’t Breathe.” This refrain was also uttered by Eric Garner and Eric Harris and in both instances they were also ignored. All three of them died from their injuries but the sad question is how well were they breathing prior to their fatal encounters with law enforcement? This is not an attempt to put halos on their heads or equip them with angelic wings, but to actually look at their lives they were living. Garner was selling “loosies” on the corner, Harris was attempting to sell firearms to an undercover cop, and Gray had a history of low level drug crimes. Was this the life they thought they would be living? Did Garner aspire to sell loosies? No I am sure all of them wanted more but did they actually have an opportunity to get more? We hear people say work hard and you can achieve anything but is that true for the Gray who was exposed to lead paint as a child and survived off “lead checks”, like so many others in his community. My question is were these men already suffocating before they were killed. Were the circumstances of life destined to squeeze the oxygen out of their lungs? Share your thoughts.

Justice for Freddie Gray?

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore States Attorney filed charges against the 6 police officers involved in the arrest and subsequent death of Freddie Gray. This is a first step.It is wonderful to see the jubilation within the community but they need to be reminded that this is the first step in a long process. The cameras are here and the people are happy, but the spotlight is going to leave Charm City and the real work will begin. People will still need to state engage because while today is a victory the war has only just begun.

Police Charged in Freddie Gray case

Charges filed in Gray case
Charges will be filed against officers in the death of Freddie Gray, State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby said Friday morning.

Mosby said an investigation found officers bound Gray’s wrists and ankles and left him stomach-down on the floor of a police van as they drove around West Baltimore. Despite his repeated requests for medical attention, they did not provide it and continued to drive without securing him in the van, she said.

Officers on at least five occasions placed Gray in the van or checked on him and failed to secure him, she said. By the time they reached the Western District police station, he was not breathing and in cardiac arrest, she said.

Six officers are each facing multiple charges, including manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment: Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White, Officer William Porter, Officer Garrett Miller, Officer Edward Nero and Officer Caesar Goodson. Goodson, who drove the van, has been charged with second-degree murder, Mosby said.

Mosby called on the public to remain calm.

“I heard your call for ‘no justice, no peace,'” she said. “Your peace is sincerely needed
as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man.”

Gray was injured after being arrested at Gilmor Homes in West Baltimore on April 12. He died of a severe spinal injury a week later at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Sources familiar with the investigation into Gray’s death said Thursday he suffered a serious head injury inside a prisoner transport wagon, with one wound indicating that he struck a protruding bolt in the back of the vehicle.

Police have said that though Gray asked for an inhaler and medical attention during the arrest, they did not provide it. They also said they did not properly restrain him in the back of the police wagon.

“We know he was not buckled in the transportation wagon as he should have been. No excuses from me. Period,” Batts said a week ago. “We know our police employees failed to get him medical attention in a timely manner multiple times.”

What will happen to Baltimore when the lights go out?

It is bound to happen the Freddy Gray story will become old news, and all the media along with their camera crews will move on to the next hot story. All week Baltimore has been the epicenter of the news. The conversation has not just been about Gray, but it has been about education, poverty, the breakdown of the family and how can these problems be addressed. Seems like I heard this same conversation when Ferguson was the hot spot. Sadly, the neighborhood Gray lived in is not on the tourist attraction list for Charm City. These neighborhoods are invincible to everyone except those who live there. There are invisible communities in every major city. The death of Freddie Gray has demanded the public’s attention, but we have a short attention span. So this week all pundits everywhere will ask what can we do, but they are really not going to be interested in this neighborhood and others like it long enough to do anything, but talk about it.

President Obama says violence in Baltimore is “counter-productive”

Share your thoughts.