Peace vs. The Police
April 29, 2015
As the story about Freddie Gray continues, so do the protests in Baltimore. After a night of violent rioting, resulting in the city to reverse time to the Martin Luther King Jr. riots of 1968, a new day arrived. The people of Baltimore banded together and cleaned up their city. MSNBC reports that people cleaned up the burnt CVS that they had just rallied together to have built. The community had to endure a lot to finally have CVS move into their neighborhood and they’re devastated that their hard work has now been reduced to ashes.
At that point, I just lost it…I was shocked, I was angry, because you never want to see your child out there doing that.”
— Toya Graham
As Tuesday progressed, the protests become more and more peaceful as elders of the community helped control the emotional adolescents. People danced in the streets and held signs that cried out for answers about the death of Freddie Gray. CNN reports that the people of Baltimore believe that the brutality is not a race issue, but an issue of power among police. They want peace in Baltimore, but they also want answers.
Mayor Rawlings-Blake declared a state of emergency on Baltimore and had 2,000 National Guard troops come in to control rioting. A line of Baltimoreans congregated in front of police to help protect them from the rioters. One woman by the name of Toya Graham saw her son out rioting and decided to take action. CBS news reported that she took her son forcefully out of the crowd and called him out on his actions. She told CBS reporters “At that point, I just lost it…I was shocked, I was angry, because you never want to see your child out there doing that.” Actions like this from a mom shows that the community really does want peace and not rioting. Video of Toya can be found at http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/28/us/baltimore-riot-mom-smacks-son/.
Freddie Gray’s family lawyer, William Murphy, spoke out about the police brutality in Baltimore and said, “Has there been an increase in police brutality?” The crowd answered, “Yes, sir.” Then he went on to say, “That’s the verdict of the black community which has had a direct experience that was hidden from you by cover up after cover up…” The problem in Baltimore can be solved by action of the people.
Later in the night, Baltimore police, National Guard, and police from neighboring states began to enforce the strict curfew at 10 P.M. by using smoke canisters on the crowd. Up until about midnight, they had made ten arrests since the 10 P.M. curfew, but the police commissioner stated in an interview with CNN that “the city is stable.”