Some Justice, Some Peace

First up, a couple of corrections, and an update.

The Baltimore Sun, from which I got some of my information regarding Freddie Gray, was wrong on at least 2 counts.

The first one is, the deceased was in possession of a common pocket knife, NOT a switchblade as was initially reported.

Secondly, the deceased did NOT just get out of the hospital with injuries from a car accident.  How they came to this conclusion is even stranger – someone found paperwork about a claim paid to the deceased.  But it wasn’t for a car accident, it was for damages the deceased suffered as a result of lead paint poisoning in his childhood home.

That means that the horrific injuries this man suffered were due to the treatment he received at the hands (fists? feet?) of the Baltimore Police.  In case you don’t recall, he had a crushed larynx and a severed spinal cord (“Could Freddie Gray Have Severed His Own Spine in a Baltimore Police Van? It’s Highly Unlikely”, Dr. David Samadi, New York Daily News, 4/30/2015).

Now the good news: The 6 police officers involved have all been charged.  The most serious charge – “second-degree depraved heart murder” – was leveled against the driver of the van.  He was also charged with voluntary manslaughter (“6 Baltimore Police Officers Charged in Freddie Gray Death”, Alan Blinder & Richard Pérez-Peña, New York Times website, 5/1/2015).

Here is the rundown:

Office Caesar R, Goodson, Jr – Second-degree depraved heart murder, involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, gross negligent manslaughter by vehicle, criminal negligent manslaughter, misconduct in office,

Officer William G. Porter – Involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office.

Lt. Brian W. Rice – Involuntary manslaughter, 2 counts of second-degree assault, 2 counts of misconduct in office, false imprisonment.

Officer Edward M. Nero – 2 counts second-degree assault, 2 counts of misconduct in office, false imprisonment.

Officer Garrett E. Miller – 2 counts of second-degree assault, 2 counts of misconduct in office, false imprisonment.

Sgt. Alicia D. White – Involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office.

(“List of Charges for 6 Officers in Freddie Gray’s Death”, Greg Toppo, USA Today website, 5/1/2015)

3 of the officers are white, and 3 are African-American.  This was a straight-up case of police brutality, an “us against them” siege mentality that many police officers have.

That is not to say that police do not target African-American males.  They do.

But the Baltimore police traditionally have a reputation for violence.

I have seen it first-hand.

I went to a Rolling Stones concert in 1969 at the Baltimore Civic Center.  As I was walking to the restrooms, I saw 2 Baltimore policemen beating the heck out of someone (a long-haired male).

So that was what? 46 years ago?  And nothing’s changed.

Now take what I just told you and extrapolate that to living in a Baltimore low-income neighborhood.   What a nightmare to have to live in.   Add profiling to that, and it’s a wonder anyone would ever leave their house.

For now, the streets of Baltimore are quiet, and the rebuilding will be slow and painful, I’m sure.  It would be a tough position for any business that was looted and/or burned to be in, trying to decide whether or not it was worth it to rebuild.

But I really hope they do.  Especially large corporations such as Rite Aid.  And if they’re smart, they’ll initiate some programs in that community to help the residents, especially the young people.  Even if they have very little compassion, it would make business sense to do so.  And, unfortunately, it’s usually the bottom line that determines what a company does or doesn’t do.

The media – most online newspapers – never seem to want to try to understand why this stuff happens.  They slant things, of course, and leave things out, like the sources who showed pictures of young people holding up the items they stole, and pictures of signs stating “black-owned business” (presumably to protect some business owners from having their shops looted).  Then they leave everyone to read the comments section for the “analysis”.

Racists conclude that it proves African-Americans are violent criminals.  Conventional liberals (by that I mean those who think voting Democrat is the only solution to anything) either ignore what’s being said, or focus on endless statistics regarding which races do what and how often “blah blah blah our side is right!”

Both are wrong.  Neither side will address the issues.

I would suspect some of the reason they don’t is, they’ve never been poor.  Not truly poor.

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