With each week it seems as if there’s a new name to add to the growing list individuals killed at the hands of police, as new cases have cropped up seemingly faster than the officer involved can be acquitted. Though each case deserves an honest examination of the facts prior to drawing a conclusion, each incidence has whittled away at the public’s perception of the authorities that patrol their streets daily.
The death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died from severe spinal injuries while being transported to a local police station, has sparked an already volatile powder keg in Maryland, as thousands have taken to the streets in protest. Baltimore has reached it’s boiling point; and if the $5.7 million paid to residents victimized by brute police force in the last three years alone is any indicator, it’s been a long time coming. As the city takes its turn on the national stage many are questioning the misguided rage that so far has resulted in the destruction of churches, a burnt nursing home, local business looted and more.
With the National Guard officially called in to subdue the massive crowds and general unrest, residents have now been placed under a week-long 10pm curfew as they try to piece their city back together. Meanwhile the rest of the nation will find out whether the six officers involved in the death of Gray will face any charges on Friday, (May 1.)
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake spoke with CNN regarding the ongoing strife, “We are responding to incidences all throughout the city. I said I was giving the people the space to protest not destroy the city. The fact that some people exploited that doesn’t mean we take away the people’s right to protest.” Blake added, “We will bring order. It’s very clear that my goal is to bring calm, but we will have order and we will have peace.”
As Baltimore continues to burn, the rest of us are left to wonder just how many other similar situations there are simmering across the nation. As of this report, 27 individuals have been arrested in connection with rioting and over 15 police officers have reportedly sustained serious injuries, prompting Governor Larry Hogan to declare a state of emergency.
This story is still developing.