Baltimore City

background on the Freddie Gray trials

What Weekly reminds us what's going on, with a report from Justin Sanders:

Why You Need to Stay Informed About the Freddie Gray Trials – |... (What Weekly)

Baltimore is like every other city in America: its criminal justice system is a corrupt machine used against the people.

That might be distasteful to read, but it’s true.

I can offer you statistics and numbers to prove it to you. I can point you to court cases which state, unequivocally, that the police are under no legal obligation to protect you, thus raising the question: if the police are not for our protection, then what exactly are they for?

...

At the sound of Gray’s name some people in this city cross themselves and pray, “I hope they don’t riot again.” I always wonder why their prayers never go, “I hope the police don’t kill any more people,” or “I hope this is the last time we have to try our police officers for brutality and corruption.” But, it’s always, “I hope they don’t riot again,” which is an infuriating notion—first in how it assumes my community is stalking an opportunity to burn another CVS and break some more windows; second in how it completely absolves the police of any responsibility.

I’m talking with the guys in my barbershop and there’s a theory I hear, it’s one that’s been repeated to me many times while talking to people on the street. The theory goes that Freddie Gray was killed by the cops as a hit because the cops are connected to the drug trade in Baltimore and Gray either saw something or did something—what exactly varies depending on who’s doing the telling—and the cops put out a hit on him to protect their interests. That’s why his back was broken and his larynx crushed, to send a message. This is not a theory I subscribe to, but I do think that the theory is telling of how my community views the police. We don’t view cops as there for our protection. We don’t put it beyond them to murder us in service to their own interests. We know, for a fact, that they allow and profit from the drug deals many of us do just to maintain poverty.

muggers got medieval on his ass

So, yeah, then this happened. Given the trivial availability of guns in Baltimore City, my guess this guy wasn't wielding a flail because he couldn't get a piece; it's interesting that the attacker apparently struck the intended victim and then made a demand that he turn over his phone.

Man in Patterson Park attacked with medieval weapon (baltimoresun.com)

According to a police report, the man said he was sitting in the grass in Patterson Park next to the baseball field on Thursday night at about 8 p.m. when four juveniles, about 14 to 16 years old, came up to him.

One of them was wielding a "ball and chain," and struck him in the face as the others stood by, the report says. The weapon is called a "mace" in the report but could also be referred to as a flail.

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Baltimore activist live-tweets standoff with BCPD SWAT

Baltimore activist James MacArthur is live-tweeting and webcasting his standoff with SWAT team over . He says he's being silenced for whistleblowing, and is broadcasting his phone conservation with police at his blog:

http://www.baltimorespectator.com/

https://twitter.com/BaltoSpectator

I don't know this guy from a hole in the ground; he may be a nutcase or he may be genuine. But its important to witness BCPD's actions. And it seems clear that the cops have escalated a simple warrant for failure to appear into a situation with potential for great violence. As an institution, the BCPD is not trustworthy.

If nothing else, listening to this is an amazing insight into a how a crisis situation goes.

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