What we’re reading: Baltimore edition

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While most of BlogDH’s content focuses on Brown (and RISD), we acknowledge it doesn’t take an on-campus event to send this community reeling. This special edition of our “What we’re reading” column aims to provide students with a roundup of the coverage of the recent issues in Baltimore, Maryland that we found particularly enlightening, as we did with articles on the events in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this year.

If you are new to the topic, The Atlantic provides a concise, thought-provoking summary on what we know to have happened to Freddie Gray. Gray was arrested on April 12th when he made eye contact with a cop and ran away. On April 19th, he died of a spinal injury that was not present before his time in custody. As of this morning, the Maryland state’s attorney, Marilyn Mosby, charged 6 Baltimore officers in Freddie Gray’s death. The details on how this injury was sustained have not been unveiled. You can watch a video of the initial arrest here, and you can also read about the extensive record of police brutality in Baltimore (5.7 million dollars worth of lawsuits sxtince 2011) through this Baltimore Sun expose on undue force.

On Monday, a funeral was held for Gray. A few hours later, some of the protests turned into riots, and the National Guard was called in. Major news outlets have worked with the angle that the violence of the protests was premeditated. Many of you probably saw the headline, “Rival gang leaders agree to come together to take out police officers.” However, MotherJones, through on-site interviews at Mondawmin Mall, catalogues a different story. In “The Baltimore Riots Didn’t Start the Way You Think,” witnesses account a scene where police, in full riot gear, prevented many children from returning home from school, and using traffic barricades, potentially escalated the situation themselves. Continue Reading