Freddie Gray protests: Governor of Maryland Declares State of Emergency
April 27, 2015 5:26 PM   Subscribe

The Governor of Maryland has declared a state of emergency due to the situation in Baltimore. For several days protesters have been highlighting the cause of Gray, an African-American who died after being taken into police custody for making eye contact with an officer, then attempting to run away. Gray's spine was nearly severed at the time of his death, possibly having to do with his seatbelt not being fastened in the police van.

There was some discussion of this issue in a previous thread about the killing of Walter Scott.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles (1109 comments total) 72 users marked this as a favorite
 
God fucking dammit, America.
posted by sciatrix at 7:31 PM on April 7 [50 favorites −] [!]

posted by Fizz at 5:27 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm glad I don't live in Baltimore anymore. This is going to keep escalating, and unlike Ferguson, this is real close to a lot of places. This is a lot harder to ignore.
posted by kafziel at 5:30 PM on April 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Most likely scenario to me seems to be that they put Gray in the back of the van (shackled, eventually) and without his seatbelt. Which is a blatant violation of both common sense and procedure. Seems like a slam dunk negligent homicide case.
posted by Justinian at 5:31 PM on April 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


A local sportscaster tweeted his disregard for the violence that has happened during the protests, and then the COO of the Orioles replied, high and inside:
We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the US and while we are thankful no on was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights and this makes inconvenience at a ball game irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.
posted by Etrigan at 5:32 PM on April 27, 2015 [189 favorites]




I watched the CVS burn down and a bunch of local businesses get looted. I would say CVS can suck it, but for the fact it's probably what a franchise and the owner is going to get burned. I wonder why the businesses don't get left alone -- the cops are unassailable targets?

Maybe this is an old lady comment, but I don't see how things don't get worse as inequality worsens. You have things that set it off, such as these police brutality/homicide cases, but really isn't this about the lack of meaningful jobs, the holes in the safety net, and inadequate schools.
posted by angrycat at 5:35 PM on April 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


20 00 days since a high-profile case of American police murdering a black guy
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:36 PM on April 27, 2015 [34 favorites]


I posted this in the Scott thread, but it's even more relevant here: The Brutality of Police Culture in Baltimore.
posted by rtha at 5:36 PM on April 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


Two city recreation centers in West Baltimore, the Robert C. Marshall Recreation Center in Upton and Lillian Jones Recreation Center in Sandtown-Winchester, closed early. All Pratt Library branches closed early.


Jeez. Didn't they do this in Ferguson too (along with closing the schools)? What's the point-- why take away (theoretically) safe spaces?
posted by damayanti at 5:37 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


They also shut down public transportation around multiple high schools right around when school lets out. Gee I wonder why there were so many kids around.
posted by kmz at 5:37 PM on April 27, 2015 [28 favorites]






Most of the shit that happened today was kids. There was an Instagram message that purportedly said a “purge” was to take place at 3 p.m., starting at Mondawmin Mall and ending downtown.

I only saw screenshots of it, never actually saw it on instagram. The folks involved today did not seem at all to me like the folks from recent days and weeks, protesting brutality. Even when there was some violence near Camden yards, those folks were apparently agitated in part by others who had been drinking and watching the game at local outdoor bars.

Gray's family explicitly asked on Saturday for there to be no protests on Sunday (yesterday) or on Monday, today, which was the day of his funeral. I would legitimately call the people who acted today, opportunists. Dumb kids (weren't we all), who took advantage of the situation. At least one of the people who acted today got in trouble. You can put on your mask and try to be as bad as you want, but when mom shows up, that's that ass.
posted by cashman at 5:38 PM on April 27, 2015 [4 favorites]




for making eye contact

We can do better than this.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:38 PM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Henry David Thoreau, On Civil Disobedience:
"All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable."
...
"All machines have their friction; and possibly this does enough good to counterbalance the evil. At any rate, it is a great evil to make a stir about it. But when the friction comes to have its machine, and oppression and robbery are organized, I say, let us not have such a machine any longer. In other words, when a sixth of the population of a nation which has undertaken to be the refuge of liberty are slaves, and a whole country is unjustly overrun and conquered by a foreign army, and subjected to military law, I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize. What makes this duty the more urgent is the fact that the country so overrun is not our own, but ours is the invading army."

!!!!
posted by Fizz at 5:39 PM on April 27, 2015 [21 favorites]




one reason to burn shit is anger, frustration, fear - it's a lashing out. it doesn't have to make sense. the other reason, if you need a reason, is that many people seem to care a lot more about a few broken windows and a couple fires than we do about black people being murdered by the group who are supposed to "protect and serve."

and even if the groups of people aren't connected - it makes perfect sense to me that teenagers, with all the good sense teenagers usually have, would react this way. yes, there's probably a lot of them just trying to get away with some new sneakers or tvs or whatever, but they're reacting to the events around them all the same. at some point it must look like if they're going to get anything ever, they're going to have to take it by force.
posted by nadawi at 5:42 PM on April 27, 2015 [65 favorites]


I am not a violent person, and I don't condone what's going on in Baltimore. But reading accounts of how they believe Freddie Gray makes me so infuriated that I can imagine throwing bricks. Especially if Freddie Gray looked just like me.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:43 PM on April 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


the cops are unassailable targets?

The cops were getting shit thrown at them for hours. Rocks, cement, bricks. Earlier, one officer in riot gear got hit in the head (and is probably one of the 2 officers still hospitalized, of the 15 that needed medical attention) and 5 or 6 officers had picked him up and were rushing him off. And the kids were still throwing rocks. Like, sizable rocks. There were the 5 or 6 officers carrying the guy who got hit, and then a moving perimeter of 4 or 5 other officers, deflecting things coming in at a steady pace. Thunk, thunk-thunk, thunk, thunk. I was kind of shocked, to be honest.
posted by cashman at 5:44 PM on April 27, 2015 [10 favorites]


I would say CVS can suck it, but for the fact it's probably what a franchise and the owner is going to get burned.

For whatever it's worth, I'm like 99% sure that CVS doesn't franchise? They might not have actually owned the building, but the sort of people who own commercial real estate are not the kinds I find terribly sympathetic. The employees, however, I will feel sorry for.
posted by Sequence at 5:45 PM on April 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


Baltimore mayor announces citywide curfew, blasts 'thugs' who 'incite violence'

Richard M. Stallman also calls police 'thugs' when he writes about them.
posted by mikelieman at 5:46 PM on April 27, 2015 [12 favorites]


In one sense I'm glad to no longer be living in city limits anymore. In another sense, I wish I was there right now to contribute to solidarity.

I'm reminded of growing up, and seeing the cannons on top of Federal Hill, and how those guns were used to keep city authorities subdued as the Civil War lumbered on its bloody way. A war that never ended, apparently.

There is something deeply and fundamentally wrong with Baltimore. And I know this can apply to a lot of American cities, but the racial policy that has informed the city's own planning, and a police force that has been able to operate with impunity, for decade after decade ... how long are people supposed to put up with that?

If city hall wants to avoid repeating history (any further), they better clean house, from top to bottom, and fast. Give the community back to the community. It's their fight to lose.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:46 PM on April 27, 2015 [7 favorites]



The Brutality of Police Culture in Baltimore
: $5.7 million is the amount the city paid to victims of brutality between 2011 and 2014. And as huge as that figure is, the more staggering number in the article is this one: "Over the past four years, more than 100 people have won court judgments or settlements related to allegations of brutality and civil-rights violations." What tiny percentage of the unjustly beaten win formal legal judgments?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:48 PM on April 27, 2015 [26 favorites]


I assume the police officers who were injured are receiving the same care and medical attention that Mr. Gray received.....oh wait.

I am not saying that these officers deserve to be injured but my sarcasm comes from frustration because seriously....I mean seriously...fuck.
posted by Fizz at 5:48 PM on April 27, 2015 [15 favorites]


The report on what happened with Freddie Gray is to be submitted to the State's investigators on Friday. That doesn't assure that the findings will be made public. But from the previous articles detailing others in 2004 and 2005 if I remember correctly, things look like they gave Freddie a "nickel ride".

CNN had a piece recently on a white woman who also experienced one of these, at the hands of Baltimore Police. She lived to tell the tale though.
posted by cashman at 5:48 PM on April 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


it seems difficult to fully condemn people who attack the cops in situations like this. if the blue shield protects the murderers (and thieves, and abusers, and and and) behind the badge, then they might find that at times they take their lumps as a group too.
posted by nadawi at 5:49 PM on April 27, 2015 [34 favorites]


There's a building on fire, like a roaring fire, at Chester and Gay street. The Mayor spoke earlier, the Governor is speaking now.
posted by cashman at 5:50 PM on April 27, 2015


If you have the urge to say you don't understand how rioting helps anything, you should take a closer look at the history of this country.

Sometimes (oftentimes) nobody pays attention until somebody throws the first brick.

Don't wag your finger at a community reaching its breaking point because nobody was listening.

You don't have to be pro-riot, but climb down off your lofty perch long enough to pick up a history book and recognize clear patterns.

Time and time again, the oppressed are swept aside until they cause such a commotion they can no longer be silenced.


I was working in Baltimore today and had to drive some coworkers home after someone threw a chunk of brick through the window of a car that they was riding in on Pennsylvania Ave. It was a car full of college students who are from the city and have absolutely no association with the police. Fortunately she got the glass out of her eyes and got to her family okay. Yeah, I don't understand how rioting helps anything.
posted by _cave at 5:50 PM on April 27, 2015 [11 favorites]


There is something deeply and fundamentally wrong with Baltimore.

Maryland: The state that really really wishes they'd lost the civil war.
posted by PMdixon at 5:50 PM on April 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


Yeah, if there's a pretty solid chance you'll take a beatdown, for no good reason, from a cop sometime in your young life, why would you not take an opportunity to make a preemptive strike when surrounded by hundreds of your peers.
posted by OHenryPacey at 5:51 PM on April 27, 2015 [32 favorites]


We can do better than this.

Well, be the change you want to see in the world, I guess. But:
Police never saw the knife and chased Gray only after he took off running, the attorney said.

Court documents said Gray "fled unprovoked upon noticing police presence."
Also I was listening to the video attached to that page as I was writing this and the reporter literally said that he was chased because he made eye contact (or at least people on-scene reported that was the case. Were you there?)
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 5:52 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Perfect example of "you reap what you sow".
posted by futz at 5:53 PM on April 27, 2015


Another thing that happened was that the Mayor gave a press conference on Saturday, and in the process, tried to explain how giving peaceful protestors turned into exploitation by those who wished to do violence. Of course conservative places jumped on that and as fucking ridiculous as it seems, tried to make it seem like the Mayor was saying she instructed police to let people destroy Baltimore. During tonight's press conference (an hour ago) she made it clear that of course she was not saying that.
posted by cashman at 5:53 PM on April 27, 2015


Yeah, those looted stores have been real troublemakers?
posted by Justinian at 5:53 PM on April 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


or does it explode?
posted by kokaku at 5:55 PM on April 27, 2015 [37 favorites]


Chris Matthews was just on MSNBC lamenting the loss of middle class and manufacturing jobs in Baltimore as a cause of unrest.

Yesterday he was shilling for the passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:56 PM on April 27, 2015 [39 favorites]


When there is a complete and total breakdown of civilization due to the failure to ensure that the police do their duty with honor and integrity, don't go looking for logical motivations for people's violent outbursts. Since the police don't care about lives and property, why should anyone?
posted by mikelieman at 6:00 PM on April 27, 2015 [52 favorites]


those who benefit from privilege will sometimes suffer the consequences of our broken system. is it how it should be? of course not. but the reason it's that way isn't the fault of the people who have taken to the streets in anger and opportunism.
posted by nadawi at 6:01 PM on April 27, 2015 [17 favorites]


Moreover, how are people who are clearly being suffered injustice under police who aren't accountable to the law supposed to respond when their options have run out? Move to a new city?
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:02 PM on April 27, 2015 [13 favorites]


Also note that Gray was arrested on April 12th. He "lapsed into a coma, died, was resuscitated, stayed in a coma and on Monday, underwent extensive surgery at Shock Trauma to save his life. He clung to life for seven days and died" April 19th.
posted by cashman at 6:02 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


local NBC live feed

They're saying that the acre-sized large fire that is burning may very well not have anything to do with the protests.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:03 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]




FWIW, Here's what's being fired at protestors.
posted by waitingtoderail at 6:06 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


from another tweet below waitingtoderail's link - "serious injury or death" might occur if shot at people.
posted by nadawi at 6:09 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


A list of people to follow on Twitter who are on the ground in Baltimore.
posted by standardasparagus at 6:09 PM on April 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


Most likely scenario to me seems to be that they put Gray in the back of the van (shackled, eventually) and without his seatbelt. Which is a blatant violation of both common sense and procedure. Seems like a slam dunk negligent homicide case.

Wait, what? How would that result in him coming out of the van with a severed spinal cord? Did the van crash?

Eyewitnesses are suggested he was injured during the arrest.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:09 PM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, this isn't coming out of a vacuum.
posted by waitingtoderail at 6:10 PM on April 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also, from last year and always good to have on hand:

White people rioting over stupid shit: Let's put those Ferguson pictures in perspective, shall we?
posted by standardasparagus at 6:10 PM on April 27, 2015 [59 favorites]


The elite in this country know exactly how poorly blacks are treated, which is why they're so terrified of riots.

That's why when a couple dozen kids burn down a few buildings, the government marches in thousands of troops.

This "riot" is nothing. They're bringing in a bazooka to kill a fly, while there's a hungry tiger in the distance. It's a bizarre overreaction brought on by being in a legitimately terrifying situation.
posted by miyabo at 6:12 PM on April 27, 2015 [20 favorites]


Court documents said Gray "fled unprovoked upon noticing police presence."

I feel like some parts of the country have reached a point at which police presence in itself is sufficient provocation for any sane person to flee, regardless of anything they've done or not done.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 6:13 PM on April 27, 2015 [113 favorites]


I'm glad I don't live in Baltimore anymore. This is going to keep escalating, and unlike Ferguson, this is real close to a lot of places. This is a lot harder to ignore.
posted by kafziel at 8:30 PM on April 27 [+] [!]


I dunno. It seemed pretty easy to ignore when the President and others were yukking it up about police brutality at the White House Correspondents' Dinner a couple of nights ago. CNN said that anyone who wanted info about the protests should check twitter.
posted by Slap Factory at 6:13 PM on April 27, 2015 [9 favorites]




This is also bigger than Freddie Gray. As has been noted, this has happened in years gone by, and nothing happened. But the Michael Browns, Eric Garners, Trayvon Martins, Oscar Grants, Walter Scotts, Aiyana Jones and on and on and on - you're basically telling people that your lives don't matter. We'll kill you, and go home and have tea. I get that. And I would fully support what is happening if it seemed to be coming from somewhere, but this was more like a flash mob. It went against the Mayor, who is black, Freddie Gray's family, who is obviously black, and it didn't target anything that mattered. I agree that you can't make sense of everything, but at the same time, fuck, make it count. You're highly connected, you have social media, you're organized. Do something strategic. When the kids got to the mall, the police already knew about it and were waiting. And that's where the clashes took place. Kids were taking selfies in front of riot-geared police, and it was more to me a sign of folks that just have nothing to look forward to in Baltimore, more than a Freddie Gray related anything. There is video of Pastors and religious leaders marching together tonight. Guys from the Nation of Islam marched with Christian leaders, and got down and prayed, and got in front of stores, and told kids to go home. Maybe this is a generational thing, and the old black guard has finally and officially become outdated and out of touch with the current generation of kids. I mentioned on mefi recently that if the inequality continued, the revolution was going to come. So don't think I don't see the part societal inequality plays in this. I suppose I foolishly thought the revolution would be, if not televised, somewhat organized. But it appears not.
posted by cashman at 6:17 PM on April 27, 2015 [15 favorites]


I recall in the mid 80's, a documentary about the Soviet Union's treatment of dissidents, and it culminated with smuggled footage of dissidents being transported to and from hearings regarding their involuntary committal for mental illness, (the ilness in question being proved by their political activities, natch).

The footage showed them being treated to obvious nickel rides.

I'll just leave that observation here.
posted by ocschwar at 6:19 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


in-defense-of-black-rage-part-1
Yall worried about how we "look". We are laid out in the street dead then handcuffed in cold blood. That's how we look.
posted by prefpara at 6:20 PM on April 27, 2015 [49 favorites]


Wait, what? How would that result in him coming out of the van with a severed spinal cord? Did the van crash?

"Nickel rides". "Rough Rides". The Baltimore Police have a history of causing spinal injuries and killing people this way.
posted by cashman at 6:21 PM on April 27, 2015 [16 favorites]


I foolishly thought the revolution would be, if not televised

....tweeted.
posted by Fizz at 6:21 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Another thing that happened was that the Mayor gave a press conference on Saturday, and in the process, tried to explain how giving peaceful protestors turned into exploitation by those who wished to do violence. Of course conservative places jumped on that and as fucking ridiculous as it seems, tried to make it seem like the Mayor was saying she instructed police to let people destroy Baltimore. During tonight's press conference (an hour ago) she made it clear that of course she was not saying that.

From your link, what she said Saturday night was:

"I made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech," she said. "It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate."

It's not fair to blame "conservatives" for a stupid statement like this. I'm sure she didn't mean it or wouldn't have said it if she had time to reconsider (which is why she retracted it), but this is a really stupid thing to say.
posted by Slap Factory at 6:24 PM on April 27, 2015 [5 favorites]






This is going to keep escalating, and unlike Ferguson, this is real close to a lot of places. This is a lot harder to ignore.

What does that mean? I may be biased, living 10 minutes away from Ferguson and all, but how is a suburb of St. Louis not "close to a lot of places?"
posted by Foosnark at 6:25 PM on April 27, 2015 [11 favorites]


I assume s/he means D.C.
posted by waitingtoderail at 6:26 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I feel like some parts of the country have reached a point at which police presence in itself is sufficient provocation for any sane person to flee, regardless of anything they've done or not done.

If you're black? Who can blame you?
posted by emjaybee at 6:27 PM on April 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


I think the implication is that people coming from out of town can't hop a bus and be in St. Louis in a few hours. Baltimore is close to DC, Philly, New York...
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:27 PM on April 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


cashman, i was thinking about your comment in another thread about the old guard and kids who seem to be lacking cohesion - and i think part of that is just a thing that happens. we hope that all the agitating and organizing and fighting for whatever is near and dear to us has some positive outcome - that the next generation and the one after that won't have to fight so hard, will stop lashing out and figuring out how to help sooner - that rarely happens, unfortunately.

i was also thinking that on this topic specifically, the disconnect between the kids and the leaders might be related to the missing/taken parts of the communities and generational ptsd.
posted by nadawi at 6:27 PM on April 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


Richard M. Stallman also calls police 'thugs' when he writes about them.

And, what, assuming this is based on an actual quote, I'm supposed to disagree or something because RMS? Fuck that. Dude has been right a lot.
posted by brennen at 6:28 PM on April 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


Wait, what? How would that result in him coming out of the van with a severed spinal cord? Did the van crash?

Cashman answered but since you quoted me originally I will agree with him: "Rough Rides". They punish people by putting them in the back of the van unbelted and then deliberately swerving and stuff. Though come to think of it at that point you've gone beyond negligence and have deliberately endangered the victim. So I'm not sure what the appropriate charge is. 2nd degree?
posted by Justinian at 6:28 PM on April 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


I don't think calling anyone a thug is okay.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:29 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I suppose I foolishly thought the revolution would be, if not televised, somewhat organized. But it appears not.

You do know about the FBI and local PDs consistently spying on, infiltrating, and harassing groups that organize for social justice, right? Surveillance so bad that kids who might have someone who maybe has a gang connection in their Facebook network, even if unbeknownst to them, getting threatened with prison? Because that shit is happening too.

People have organized and protested peacefully and sometimes it works but a lot of times they end up in jail or beaten up. See: Ferguson, Oakland, Occupy encampments, etc. etc.
posted by emjaybee at 6:31 PM on April 27, 2015 [31 favorites]


What does that mean? I may be biased, living 10 minutes away from Ferguson and all, but how is a suburb of St. Louis not "close to a lot of places?"

I read it more as close to the iconic city stuff. Some of the violence the other day was right outside Camden Yards and they had to cancel the game today. Would be kind of like if the St. Louis violence was occurring right under the arch.

I don't think anybody is going to violence tourist into unrest in Baltimore from nearby cities.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:31 PM on April 27, 2015


Hundreds of people brutalized by BPD, nothing on the national news. Some rocks get thrown, some stores burn, and suddenly "the city is being destroyed." Apparently beating citizens doesn't destroy a city, but torching a chain pharmacy is the onset of municipal apocalypse. The people telling the story value stuff over humans.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:34 PM on April 27, 2015 [202 favorites]


assuming this is based on an actual quote, I'm supposed to disagree or something because RMS? Fuck that. Dude has been right a lot.


I'm quoting RMS from his Political Notes.

27 April 2015 (Criminal Attack)

As Beatriz Paez was making a recording of US marshalls arresting someone, one of them ordered her to stop, then grabbed her phone and crushed it.

Fortunately that criminal attack was caught on another phone.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, the thugs that killed a captive also tried to confiscate a video recording of the killing.
In this context, "thugs" refer to the police, and I don't disagree with the assessment that RMS has been right more often than he's been wrong...
posted by mikelieman at 6:36 PM on April 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


but how is a suburb of St. Louis not "close to a lot of places?"

as someone who has lived in the flyovers nearly my entire life - population density? i mean - yes, there's a lot of living that happens between the mountains which those on the coasts often gloss over or ignore - but baltimore is a lot closer to more people/bigger cities/more media outlets/etc than st. louis is.
posted by nadawi at 6:36 PM on April 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


This was from before things escalated today, but still important to, as always consider the hypocrisy of the media coverage in Baltimore.
posted by TwoStride at 6:37 PM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's not fair to blame "conservatives" for a stupid statement like this. I'm sure she didn't mean it or wouldn't have said it if she had time to reconsider (which is why she retracted it), but this is a really stupid thing to say.

She's the mayor. She literally started the press conference condemning the violence. It is positively fucking asinine to think she was saying she wanted to make sure people had space to destroy Baltimore. She has gone on television a number of times the past few weeks, urging calm and wanting peace. It just makes no sense at all to go there. And I saw people parroting that nonsense like fools.
posted by cashman at 6:37 PM on April 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


"Nickel rides". "Rough Rides". The Baltimore Police have a history of causing spinal injuries and killing people this way.

I honestly don't know what to do with this information.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:38 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


What does that mean? I may be biased, living 10 minutes away from Ferguson and all, but how is a suburb of St. Louis not "close to a lot of places?"

On the East Coast, a "minute" doesn't mean 2/3of a mile. It means a minute by foot.
posted by ocschwar at 6:40 PM on April 27, 2015 [11 favorites]


Cashman answered but since you quoted me originally I will agree with him: "Rough Rides". They punish people by putting them in the back of the van unbelted and then deliberately swerving and stuff. Though come to think of it at that point you've gone beyond negligence and have deliberately endangered the victim. So I'm not sure what the appropriate charge is. 2nd degree?

Surely, since it was a premeditated assault that resulted in death, this is felony murder. Isn't that 1st degree equiv?

I defer to the US lawyers on this, I'm out of my depth.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:41 PM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Another thing that was well-meaning but bothered me, was that at Freddie's funeral today, they had signs inside the church that said "all lives matter". It's a church and I'm sure they meant well, but no. The whole point with blacklivesmatter is that it isn't a question that white lives matter. You don't see white people being slaughtered by police and wanna be police in every manner imaginable - shot in the chest, shot in the back, choked, electrocuted, let a dog chew your face off, shot in the head - with no consequences for those doing it, and a "I feared for my life" excuse being the get out of everything free card.
posted by cashman at 6:42 PM on April 27, 2015 [32 favorites]


What does that mean? I may be biased, living 10 minutes away from Ferguson and all, but how is a suburb of St. Louis not "close to a lot of places?"

I've marked both cities on a population density map of the US, just for reference.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:43 PM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


i really like this all lives matter poster. gets right to the point...
posted by nadawi at 6:44 PM on April 27, 2015 [40 favorites]


I defer to the US lawyers on this, I'm out of my depth.

IANAL (yet), but my understanding is that a situation like this would be constructive manslaughter, unless it were possible to discern that they intended to kill the guy.
posted by fifthrider at 6:45 PM on April 27, 2015


It's worth remembering that these fucked-up neighborhoods were made that way on purpose. Redlining was invented in Baltimore. Read Not In My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City by Antero Pietila to learn how that process played out.
posted by Fnarf at 6:45 PM on April 27, 2015 [46 favorites]


And before anything violent happened, there were so many people complaining about the peaceful protests because at times the protestors blocked streets. The police closed off highway access at times. And people complained. News flash, if you're complaining more about the protests than you are complaining about police killing people at their whim, you're the one with the problem. The protest that happened Saturday that was 95% peaceful, was about not letting business go on as usual. And protests that block streets, that's what they are about. Making sure that if something is going to affect the black community, well guess what, it's going to affect you too. 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'
posted by cashman at 6:46 PM on April 27, 2015 [56 favorites]


Ta-Nehisi Coates' The Case for Reparations also does a good job explaining how these neighborhoods came to be.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:47 PM on April 27, 2015 [5 favorites]




The destruction of private businesses and property during these protests-turned-riots is unfair but the blame shouldn't fall on those protesting/rioting. The police and government that supports them are the ones to blame. They've created the environment and system that leads to this type of violence. They've broken the rules of a civil society first.
posted by AtoBtoA at 6:48 PM on April 27, 2015 [12 favorites]


I think it's irresponsible to post accounts of the riot under the healine "Freddy Gray protests" without some evidence that people protesting what happened to Freddy Gray are engaged in rioting.

I'm ready to accept without further proof that the people rioting are upset by what happened to Freddy Gray, but I think it takes more than that to legitimately describe the riot as a "Freddy Gray protest."
posted by layceepee at 6:51 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


She's the mayor. She literally started the press conference condemning the violence. It is positively fucking asinine to think she was saying she wanted to make sure people had space to destroy Baltimore. She has gone on television a number of times the past few weeks, urging calm and wanting peace. It just makes no sense at all to go there. And I saw people parroting that nonsense like fools.

Her words. You can argue context or subtext or whatever but saying the police "gave those who wished space to destroy" as part of the de-escalation was stupid. It doesn't matter if she's mayor. She could be Ghandi and it would still be a stupid thing to say. Which is why she retracted it.
posted by Slap Factory at 6:52 PM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, this is interesting: it looks like Maryland not only has a felony murder rule, but it doesn't apply the "merger doctrine" to exclude assault from qualifying as the initial crime. (See Roary v. State, unless that's been superseded; could a MeFite with access to better legal resources than me Shepardize this?) If rolling somebody around in a van counts as assault, this could be a second-degree murder charge.
posted by fifthrider at 6:53 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ta-Nehisi Coates' The Case for Reparations also does a good job explaining how these neighborhoods came to be.

Speaking of that, for interested Baltimore residents, Coates is going to be at the Homewood campus tomorrow. Guess what for? A previously scheduled conference on Race in America. It's the first of a series of talks about race in different formats, in Baltimore. Bet that's going to be interesting, assuming they don't cancel it.
posted by cashman at 6:54 PM on April 27, 2015 [13 favorites]


You don't see white people being slaughtered by police and wanna be police in every manner imaginable - shot in the chest, shot in the back, choked, electrocuted, let a dog chew your face off, shot in the head - with no consequences for those doing it

You do, actually.

It happens disproportionately to black people. There are good reasons for anyone worrying about the racial focus as much as they're worrying about it happening to anyone at all. Saying black lives matter doesn't take away from the idea that all lives matter.

But it's overstating the case to say this doesn't happen to white people and or even that caring about the general case could be a worthy focus. The goal isn't racial parity when it comes to police killings or brutality.
posted by weston at 6:55 PM on April 27, 2015 [14 favorites]


The goal isn't racial parity when it comes to police killings or brutality.

I get what you're saying, but while those things should be eliminated completely, racial parity would be a good start too.
posted by uosuaq at 6:58 PM on April 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


. The goal isn't racial parity when it comes to police killings or brutality.

I rather think that ** an incidence rate of zero ** WITH racial parity would be a good goal when it comes to police violence.
posted by mikelieman at 6:58 PM on April 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


Which is why she retracted it.

She didn't retract anything. Tonight she made it a point to say she was noting that people used the opportunity to Hijack the protests, and be violent. You're dead wrong on this one. It was a ridiculous assumption to make, and people are fools for even thinking for a second that the damn mayor was saying she wanted to make sure people could destroy her city. Just the dumbest shit imaginable, and you really have to have an agenda to parrot that like it even had half a chance of being anything close to true. It was nonsense from the start. This is the type of shit Anita Sarkeesian talked about. She has damn near gone crazy trying to pore over every sentence trying to make sure some idiot guy doesn't try to make it sound like she's saying something clearly she was not. It's just nonsense.
posted by cashman at 6:59 PM on April 27, 2015 [14 favorites]


A clear narration of what my students and I just saw (and please SHARE this so people know the story): we drove into Mondawmin, knowing it was going to be a mess. I was trying to get them home before anything insane happened. The students were JUST getting out of Douglas, but before that could even happen, the police were forcing busses to stop and unload all their passengers. Then, Douglas students, in huge herds, were trying to leave on various busses but couldn't catch any because they were all shut down. No kids were yet around except about 20, who looked like they were waiting for police to do something. The cops, on the other hand, were in full riot gear marching toward any small social clique of students who looked as if they were just milling about. It looked as if there were hundreds of cops. So, me, personally, if I were a Douglas student that just got trapped in the middle of a minefield BY cops without any way to get home and completely in harm's way, I'd be ready to pop off, too.

I hope everyone's kids are getting home to them safely tonight.

posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:00 PM on April 27, 2015 [51 favorites]


I would say CVS can suck it

As the news anchor pointed out while it was being raided/burned, it is an issue for the residents as well, since there aren't other pharmacies in the area. I don't really care about CVS, but they do provide a necessary service and cheering for its destruction is asinine, since it will make poor people who are already burdened by the distance of basic services even more burdened.

at Freddie's funeral today, they had signs inside the church that said "all lives matter". It's a church and I'm sure they meant well, but no.

I was at Freddie Gray's funeral today. The signs actually flashed between "Black Lives Matter" and "All Lives Matter." This wasn't stage-managed by white people. It was the message that the church chose to project and I respect that. During the service the speakers continually emphasized the fact that Freddie's death was a result of a racist system. It was not a light stepping or Pollyannaish affair. Various speakers talked in no uncertain terms about the role of legal and economic injustice. It's too bad that the sign that the pastors chose wasn't radical enough to please you, but you can rest assured that it didn't reflect the message or tone of the ceremony.

It's a little disheartening - if not really surprising - to see how many people here seem to be basically condoning the destruction. As DeRay McKesson said today on Twitter, "I do not have to condone it to understand it." Baltimore is a brutally unjust apartheid city and I can't even imagine the sort of resentment that would have built up in me had I grown up under this type of oppression. But the destruction today is awful and terrifying, and most of the people who have suffered or will suffer from it are innocent victims, like the storekeeper who was pulled out of his store and beaten by a mob on live TV earlier. I guess maybe when you don't have looters in your neighborhood it's easier to be abstract about it.
posted by vathek at 7:02 PM on April 27, 2015 [83 favorites]


Wow, that Senior Center fire is pretty big. Not good.
posted by clavdivs at 7:03 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


The signs actually flashed between "Black Lives Matter" and "All Lives Matter."

Excellent. The broadcasts I saw only showed when it said All Lives Matter.
posted by cashman at 7:04 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, that Senior Center fire is pretty big. Not good.

I've seen a few people saying it was a senior center under construction but haven't seen links verifying that, can you hook me up?
posted by Drinky Die at 7:05 PM on April 27, 2015


Everyone on my social media feeds are changing their profile pictures for tomorrow's Supreme Court arguments, and I can't help but think that these events don't happen without the first rock thrown at police during the Stonewall riots.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:05 PM on April 27, 2015 [51 favorites]


i watched the live feed for awhile and saw crowds of looters moving with no police interference while a few blocks down, many police were standing in the streets

perhaps they were afraid of escalating the situation, but that is what i saw
posted by pyramid termite at 7:05 PM on April 27, 2015


Baltimore schools have been closed for tomorrow.
posted by cashman at 7:07 PM on April 27, 2015


I don't think anybody is going to violence tourist into unrest in Baltimore from nearby cities.

I sure wish a few million citizens would decide to take a little protest road-trip, though (despite the extent to which that would tax the local infrastructure). But I suppose it wouldn't do any good since the narrative is, as always, pre-written.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:08 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]






I sure wish a few million citizens would decide to take a little protest road-trip, though (despite the extent to which that would tax the local infrastructure). But I suppose it wouldn't do any good since the narrative is, as always, pre-written.

People gotta work.

If it doesn't personally impact you then well...couple decades of ignoring the problems and here we are.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:10 PM on April 27, 2015


There's a lot of chatter on Baltimore police radio (obviously), including a lot of sirens and anxious-sounding officers. Unsettling.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:10 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I would legitimately call the people who acted today, opportunists. Dumb kids (weren't we all), who took advantage of the situation.

It's interesting how many people rush to de-politicize the looting and rioting. It's always just "opportunists" or "kids" or "thugs" or "outside agitators" who seemingly never have any motives or reasons of their own. When in fact the institution of the police in America was first professionalized from the ranks of the fugitive slave hunters, and were specifically mandated to protect white property from slave rebellions and to enforce white supremacy with violence. As we've seen in all these police murders, nothing has changed. The justice system and the police still primarily exist to target, profit from, and brutalize black communities - it's what those institutions were invented to do.

Burning a CVS to the ground doesn't seem incoherent at all to me. It is striking at the root of the system.
posted by bradbane at 7:14 PM on April 27, 2015 [41 favorites]


i watched the live feed for awhile and saw crowds of looters moving with no police interference while a few blocks down, many police were standing in the streets

The police screwed this one up. The crowds rioting were often large, but after seven officers were injured by kids with improvised projectiles during the melee at Mondawmin Mall that started the riot, they basically abandoned the project of protecting the city in favor of an extremely cautious approach seeking to minimize the possibility of officers being injured. Today, it was true for once that cops had a dangerous job and they just fucking abandoned it. Looters spent an hour and a half at Pennsylvania and North without a single officer present. Justin Fenton, the Sun's excellent crime reporter, was protected by a group of Crips who were disappointed in the actions of the rioters. Eventually the Nation of Islam and later Christian pastors came down to try to defuse the situation. The police didn't even close the road! People were coming in their cars, jumping out to loot the CVS, and driving off with their loot. The police finally showed up ages later. Jesus. A bunch of cowards and bullies who will kill a man for nothing but can't stand up to the legitimate danger they're meant to protect us from.
posted by vathek at 7:15 PM on April 27, 2015 [75 favorites]


It's interesting how many people rush to de-politicize the looting and rioting. It's always just "opportunists" or "kids" or "thugs" or "outside agitators" who seemingly never have any motives or reasons of their own.

Well, sure, call it political expression. But a lot of political expression can be pointless and destructive political expression. Political expression through fear inducing violence against civilian targets, well, that can have a few different terms attached to it depending on your perspective on the issue at hand. I think you are more generous when you stick with blaming opportunism and high emotions.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:20 PM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Glad I voted for Hogan. Secretly, I'll bet Stephanie feels the same way.
posted by fraxil at 7:23 PM on April 27, 2015




Does Maryland have an Emergency manager law for civil municipalities?
Like Michigan has.
posted by clavdivs at 7:30 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cops always abandon dangerous fucking jobs. I mean, if there's one thing I've noticed about protests, and one thing I've noticed about my heavily policed neighborhood, it's that the vulnerable groups are the ones the cops pick on. May I never forget it, the last really violent protest I was in the thick of, the cops were throwing around this tiny girl in her early twenties. And everyone knows that the cops pick people off late in the protest - the ones who are straggling away from the group, or trying to go home.

In fact, here's some free advice to anyone who expects to be in a sticky situation - be very careful how you leave. Make sure that you can break away from the main group quickly and get away from the main site of the protest fast, fast, fast - don't be straggling around the protest in ones and twos, that's how you go to jail. And don't be the last ones there.

The other thing: every protest gets "hijacked" because every protest is always different from the perfect imaginary one in our heads. There is no non-hijacked protest where everyone behaves with the perfect combination of militancy and dignity, bold enough to shame to cops but organized enough to avoid anyone doing anything silly or dangerous. It doesn't matter from our end. If you're running the protest, naturally you want to make things go as well as they can for whatever your purpose is, but from the observers' standpoint, getting fussed about some people at a protest not behaving like Bayard Rustin is just a waste of time. Looting is and isn't a political gesture; I'm personally uninterested in sorting out whether a given looter is a poor person taking something they need or deserve or a slumming college kid picking up some extra vodka. It just doesn't matter very much.

Before anyone starts judging how things work on the ground, I highly recommend actually attending a large protest. I can't claim to understand how things work all the time - and there are things that have obviously changed since my young and militant day, based on attending a couple of recent Black Lives Matter ones, but large protests are weird and fluid and uneven, and once things get really rolling no one has guaranteed ability to control the crowd - regardless of whether the crowd wants to go into the street, march downtown, break something....There's always ten different crowds in one, different groups planning and anticipating and wanting different things. In some ways it's easy to predict how things go - I feel like most large militant protests I've been at have followed a pattern, and I think even the Ferguson ones have the same structure - but on a moment-to-moment basis, things can be very, very fluid.
posted by Frowner at 7:31 PM on April 27, 2015 [144 favorites]


Understanding the violence is different from condoning it. I don't think people should destroy their city and the private property of others but they are.

One response to the situation is to place the responsibility on the protestors. Steer the conversation away from the cause. Create a conversation primarily focused on how the protesters should stop the rioting. How awful this violence against public/private property and, in some instances, innocent bystanders is. Focus on the opportunists. Depoliticize the acts and make it about "poor people stealing TVs, which is all they really want anyway." Why don't they just behave?

Another is to place the responsibility on the police and government. Steer the conversation towards the real cause, which is police brutality and lack of governmental support in the community. Start a conversation about how the destruction of the CVS and the beating of a store owner is not the failure of the protesters but rather a failure of the city, state and country.

Too often the former is the go-to response. Fingers being pointed within and at the broken community.

The protesters and rioters shouldn't have to look for new leaders and people to peacefully guide them, they should already exist in the government and police force. The fact that they don't is why the situation has reached the point that it has. It's awful and sad.
posted by AtoBtoA at 7:36 PM on April 27, 2015 [19 favorites]


No comment on this one.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:37 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Baltimore PD Twitter feed They are a little hyper about calling people criminals every other tweet.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:37 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


They are a little hyper about calling people criminals every other tweet.

Well, when the only tool you have is police brutality, every problem is a criminal.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:40 PM on April 27, 2015 [34 favorites]


just retweeted into my feed - written prior to these most recent events, but still on point.
Since 1935, nearly every so-called race riot in the United States—and there have been more than 100—has been sparked by a police incident, Muhammad says. This can be an act of brutality, or a senseless killing. But the underlying causes run much deeper. Police, because they interact in black communities every day, are often seen as the face of larger systems of inequality in the justice system, employment, education and housing.
Yes, Black America Fears The Police. Here's Why.
posted by nadawi at 7:41 PM on April 27, 2015 [21 favorites]


Police are having a news conference at 11pm.

Separately, there's a different mall that is apparently a new purge target for tomorrow. I've seen reports of different things in many parts of Baltimore. I hope to god that none of these kids dies in all this. If the police want to change the narrative, they'd better figure out a way to magically get that Freddie Gray report out by noon tomorrow, or otherwise update the case. When it started, I thought it would blow over, or just return to the normal, peaceful protests. But honestly this might be turning into something major. I've read some pages from kids involved, and I don't think this is going to go down as a one day thing. Hopefully I am wrong.
posted by cashman at 7:47 PM on April 27, 2015


> It's worth remembering that these fucked-up neighborhoods were made that way on purpose. Redlining was invented in Baltimore. Read Not In My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City by Antero Pietila to learn how that process played out.

Here's an article on that. The roots are deep, and the media is never innocent.
posted by gingerbeer at 7:47 PM on April 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


Cashman, do you feel comfortable sharing any of those links?
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:49 PM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


I just came from Canton, which is a gentrified mainly white neighborhood fairly separate from where the violence is occurring, and then Dundalk, which is a working class mainly white neighborhood that's just a bit outside Canton. The friends I was with shrugged it off at first, reasoning that it would be contained to West Baltimore (where this is happening), and getting more and more worried as the news continued. That giant fire was right down the street from my friend's house, and his neighbor took a picture of it from his rooftop. We were at a trivia night in Dundalk, and there was a lot of the vaguely racist coded language about the people involved. Everyone should read that article about redlining if they want to know the history: there's a reason that my friends in Canton expected this to be contained to West Baltimore. That's how the city is designed. However, I've heard that there's looting in Fells from multiple sources (a fully gentrified, upper class white neighborhood), which indicates that this is spreading beyond the boundaries of what has been expected.
posted by codacorolla at 7:51 PM on April 27, 2015 [10 favorites]


I don't think they understand that the Purgers were the bad guys...
posted by Justinian at 7:52 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Please do share any links, cashman, I work throughout the city and it would be good to have some warning of what will happen in ahead of time. There are forty other students who work with me.
posted by _cave at 7:52 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lastly, there was a screenshot going around from someone associated with the police, alleging that the report will find that Freddie Gray broke his own neck by ramming his head into the wall, and that the other prisoner who was in the van (who could hear, but not see Freddie) would attest to that. Which of course if you've read the previous "rough ride" reports seems like hogwash. It would definitely not be accepted well, mostly because it seems like complete nonsense, partly because I believe a neurosurgeon said it would be almost impossible for him to cause that injury himself, and also because if that was indeed the case, why on earth would it take 3 weeks to tell the public that? Anyway, when the governor came out, he mentioned he'd talked to President Obama. I'm guessing he's going to have to get involved in this in pretty short order.
posted by cashman at 7:53 PM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


From Twitter: Deuce River ‏@gapsuited

Black people Tried using their Voices against police violence.

They were told "Fuck Your Breath"

posted by emjaybee at 7:53 PM on April 27, 2015 [42 favorites]


It's interesting how many people rush to de-politicize the looting and rioting. It's always just "opportunists" or "kids"

Actually, the looting has been consistently politicized. The looters have been called "protesters" or "demonstrators" nonstop, all day long. But I tend to think that opportunists is a clearer description than either of those options. Yes, people who take an opportunity like this because they're disenfranchised, because of a racist system. But there's no such thing as burning the system to the ground. Do you realize how ridiculous it sounds to call one West Baltimore CVS "the root of the system"? Symbolic? I guess. But it's not a symbolic place. It's a concrete one, and now the people in that neighborhood, where many are poor, where many don't own cars, will have to walk an extra mile to pick up prescriptions.

Start a conversation about how the destruction of the CVS and the beating of a store owner is not the failure of the protesters but rather a failure of the city, state and country.

Do we have to choose only one party that failed? This an hideous and broken system, but the rioters are not automatons controlled by a broken system. I support keeping systemic problems in focus but right now rioters are literally destroying the city so maybe that can help you make sense of why people who are directly affected are talking about them at the moment.
posted by vathek at 7:54 PM on April 27, 2015 [15 favorites]


I have the feeling Democratic voters who sat out the 2014 gubernatorial election in MD are going to discover the results of that contest are extremely fucking relevant.
posted by duffell at 7:55 PM on April 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


Qualified immunity was fun but it needs to end. Make police carry brutality insurance. Hitting their wallets is the only thing they'll understand.
posted by Talez at 7:56 PM on April 27, 2015 [28 favorites]


"This is not a lawless city," Rawlings-Blake said. "I'm at a loss for words."

I would start by not re-electing this person.
posted by clavdivs at 7:57 PM on April 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time-out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is "correct" or "wise" anymore than a forest fire can be "correct" or "wise." Wisdom isn't the point, tonight. Disrespect is. In this case disrespect for the hollow law and failed order that so regularly disrespects the rioters themselves.

-Ta-Nehisi Coates
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:58 PM on April 27, 2015 [117 favorites]


Cashman, do you feel comfortable sharing any of those links?

My sincere apologies. I'm not trying to exacerbate things on the ground or unintentionally spread the message and make things worse, so I didn't include them. I'm sure they will pop up soon enough. If it's reached me, it'll reach you soon, I'm positively certain.
posted by cashman at 7:58 PM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


These jackholes complaining about protests and riots. Do they not consider that one of the ways of not creating these protests and riots would be to fucking not murder black people with the police?
posted by qcubed at 7:59 PM on April 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


Qualified immunity was fun but it needs to end. Make police carry brutality insurance. Hitting their wallets is the only thing they'll understand.

From one of the 'rough ride' links above:
In 2004, a man named Jeffrey Alston won $39 million from Baltimore after he was paralyzed from the neck down during a police-van ride. The following year, Dondi Johnson Sr. won $7.4 million after a ride left him a paraplegic.
That was a pretty big hit. When does the understanding kick in?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:00 PM on April 27, 2015 [22 favorites]


I am pretty much told in
These comments not to believe what the police say

I am also told tha the three street gangs United to go after the police

how do I know that is true?the police said so
posted by Postroad at 8:00 PM on April 27, 2015


The Brutality of Police Culture in Baltimore - via the Atlantic, a long and damning list of abuse and lies, with many links.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:02 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


well - those settlements were paid out by the city, yeah? which means taxes, yeah? those aren't the cops' pocket books - especially if baltimore has the same system most have - where the cops don't live in the areas they police.
posted by nadawi at 8:03 PM on April 27, 2015 [21 favorites]


That was a pretty big hit. When does the understanding kick in?

Cops don't give a shit about a civil judgement. The city pays that. It comes out of taxpayers' pockets. Meanwhile if they have a brutality lawsuit and it's settled the cop's brutality insurance will go up and after a couple of "accidents" the bad cops will find it impossible to even get insurance.
posted by Talez at 8:04 PM on April 27, 2015 [11 favorites]


when asked if he'd still be coming to speak in baltimore tomorrow, ta-nehisi coates said hell yes
posted by nadawi at 8:04 PM on April 27, 2015 [24 favorites]


If welfare recipients - who get their money from taxes - have to answer to the taxpayer, then why should civil servants get a pass ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:04 PM on April 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


I don't think they understand that the Purgers were the bad guys...

Um, Justinian, the purgers were everyone. Have you seen the Purge movies? That was the point—one day a year was a day during which anyone could do anything, resolve all grievances themselves, with impunity.

I'm not condoning a "purge," but part of what made at least the initial Purge movie so satisfying was specifically the notion that your fancy house and your fancy security system and your 1 percenter status won't protect you from anything.
posted by limeonaire at 8:05 PM on April 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


That was a pretty big hit. When does the understanding kick in?

Worth noting that Maryland has a statutory damages cap, so all those million-dollar trial awards you read about are always reduced to $400,000 on appeal.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:06 PM on April 27, 2015 [35 favorites]


When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time-out, it exposes itself as a ruse.

Wow, that's a great quote.

We could have some sort of ceasefire to make it even. The protestors will only protest using methods MLK would approve and police can only make arrests/keep the peace using methods MLK would approve for one month. Let's see who breaks first!
posted by Drinky Die at 8:07 PM on April 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


Cops don't give a shit about a civil judgement. The city pays that. It comes out of taxpayers' pockets.

This is the part I don't get. Shouldn't the city be putting severe pressure on the police department to not cost the city millions of dollars in lawsuit payouts?

My apologies for sounding naive, but I feel like I'm reading a rejected Mad Max VS Robocop script here.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:07 PM on April 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Damages for police brutality are capped at $400,000 In Maryland. Until a few weeks ago the cap was $150,000 (i think ). Nobody got millions.
posted by postel's law at 8:08 PM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


re: the schools closing - 71,380 students in Baltimore schools rely on free/reduced cost breakfast & lunch to have enough to eat every day.

Because nearly 72,000 hungry kids out of school with nothing to do and a lot to be angry about will totally be great for the whole looting problem.
posted by fifthrider at 8:08 PM on April 27, 2015 [22 favorites]


Damages for police brutality are capped at $400,000 In Maryland.

Aaaaaaaarrgh! This is insane! How did it get to the point where the deck was so stacked?!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:15 PM on April 27, 2015 [15 favorites]


Before anyone starts judging how things work on the ground, I highly recommend actually attending a large protest. I can't claim to understand how things work all the time - and there are things that have obviously changed since my young and militant day, based on attending a couple of recent Black Lives Matter ones, but large protests are weird and fluid and uneven, and once things get really rolling no one has guaranteed ability to control the crowd - regardless of whether the crowd wants to go into the street, march downtown, break something....There's always ten different crowds in one, different groups planning and anticipating and wanting different things
This x 1000. I've done various forms of perimeter / peace monitoring volunteering for protests ranging from early 2000s anti-globalization to Iraq War to Occupy, and the thing to remember is that, at any point, a large protest is still an exercise in anarchy. Everybody comes to it with their own agenda, and while there's usually some consensus about who the leadership is and what most of the participants will do, there's never any guarantee that everyone who shows up will be onboard with all of the plans, and even if a protest group has a volunteer bloc that's trained to do peace monitoring, that set of volunteers is still usually woefully undersized for the overall protest size and can't be everywhere at once, nor can it coalesce in any way to defuse or deter a dedicated bloc of vandals.

The idea of a peace movement that stays purely dedicated to non-violence, in the tradition of Gandhi and King has, I think, been handed to us with a heavy hand of mythmaking. Yes, King and Gandhi pulled off many events that were peaceful and powerful, but it happened amid a great number of riots and other threats of violence. If anything, neither King nor Gandhi could have had the success that they enjoyed if they weren't able to present themselves as the reasonable alternative to the very real possibility of armed insurrection.

You can't expect the revolution to be well-behaved or peaceful. It must always carry a credible threat of violence, or it will be ignored.
posted by bl1nk at 8:15 PM on April 27, 2015 [60 favorites]


In 2004, a man named Jeffrey Alston won $39 million from Baltimore after he was paralyzed from the neck down during a police-van ride. The following year, Dondi Johnson Sr. won $7.4 million after a ride left him a paraplegic.

That was a pretty big hit. When does the understanding kick in?


When the money gets deducted from the police pension fund, and not the Baltimore general budget.
posted by ocschwar at 8:16 PM on April 27, 2015 [42 favorites]


This is the part I don't get. Shouldn't the city be putting severe pressure on the police department to not cost the city millions of dollars in lawsuit payouts?

Politics. If a mayor is stupid enough to even think about telling them to reign it in the police act in lockstep. De Blasio (who has a half black kid) basically said politely "I have a black kid" and the police literally stopped writing tickets. It can dry up a city's major revenue stream faster than you can blink. And this wasn't even any real action. This was De Blasio just saying he has fucking skin in the game.
posted by Talez at 8:18 PM on April 27, 2015 [21 favorites]





Politics. If a mayor is stupid enough to even think about telling them to reign it in the police act in lockstep. De Blasio (who has a half black kid) basically said politely "I have a black kid" and the police literally stopped writing tickets.


This is one of those cases where the mayor could have won, though.

When it comes to traffic safety in NYC, the police literally do more harm than good.

And they could be replaced by dumb bollards protecting the sidewalks, bollards that don't randomly kill people and that collect neither a salary or pension.

Tell the NYPD to ditch the tickets and replace them with the inert works of the Department of Transportation, and life in NYC would quickly be safer and more pleasant.
posted by ocschwar at 8:21 PM on April 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


Tickets aren't about safety. They're a profit center for a city. That's why the NYPD went straight after it.
posted by Talez at 8:23 PM on April 27, 2015 [17 favorites]


Tim Pool Live Stream
posted by Drinky Die at 8:24 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


> De Blasio (who has a half black kid) basically said politely "I have a black kid" and the police literally stopped writing tickets. It can dry up a city's major revenue stream faster than you can blink. And this wasn't even any real action. This was De Blasio just saying he has fucking skin in the game.

You know that's not remotely close to what happened, right? That's there's been extensive organizing to put pressure on the mayor to change the citation process? Plus a lot of tension between the mayor and the police?
posted by gingerbeer at 8:24 PM on April 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


I watched the CVS burn down and a bunch of local businesses get looted. I would say CVS can suck it, but for the fact it's probably what a franchise and the owner is going to get burned.

Well, the people whose prescriptions were strewn all over the area around the CVS -- pills scattered like seedpods as filmed by WJLA -- after the looters sifted through them, would you say they can suck it? People who need insulin, inhalers, antibiotics, epilepsy medication -- should they just suck it? And the people who had jobs there -- not the best jobs, most of them not family-sustaining jobs -- what about them? The people who need diapers for their kids?
posted by jgirl at 8:26 PM on April 27, 2015 [15 favorites]


Everyone is throwing the Mayor under the bus. And it's one of those articulated buses.

I've seen a few people saying it was a senior center under construction but haven't seen links verifying that, can you hook me up?

It was apparently a project of the New Shiloh Baptist Church, which is on the East Side (most of the mayhem was West Side.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:26 PM on April 27, 2015


You know that's not remotely close to what happened, right? That's there's been extensive organizing to put pressure on the mayor to change the citation process? Plus a lot of tension between the mayor and the police?

You caught me. It was only half the story. They also turned their backs on him and basically started being openly insubordinate to the man they're ultimately accountable to.
posted by Talez at 8:31 PM on April 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


When there is a complete and total breakdown of civilization due to the failure to ensure that the police do their duty with honor and integrity, don't go looking for logical motivations for people's violent outbursts. Since the police don't care about lives and property, why should anyone?

Because if the problem is that the police don't care about lives and property, then the problem is only made worse by people not caring for lives and property.
posted by Dalby at 8:31 PM on April 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


That Tim Pool livestream is banana's.
posted by RedShrek at 8:32 PM on April 27, 2015


>That Tim Pool livestream is banana's.

That's his thing, walk right up to where the most police action he can find is, then interview some guy who goes on an eloquent rant for ten minutes including stuff like how this is all is similar to Israel and Palestine.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:35 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


News in Baltimore talking to a young man about *Why* and he lays it out plain : "When you take the schools away, you took our recreation centers away, What do you think we're gonna do?"
I don't think its possible for us (honkeys) to really get what that is like. We can try to empathize, but any projected empathy is still going to come from a point of expecting a certain set of standards and "givens" to make up the landscape around us.
Its funny, because I was just watching "Over the Edge" this weekend, which was based on a true story of well-off *white* kids in a Bay Area planned community that turned to violence and vandalism because the community was planned with everyone *but* them in mind.
I simply don't think it's possible to truly understand what its like to have nothing and no options and then on top of that get harassed and sometimes even murdered without possibility of redress. And that's really what we're talking about here: privileged people think rioting and looting is "easy" in the way they think being on relief is "easy." We can't really truly imagine a situation that isn't at least in some ways buttressed by our privilege and so the idea of welfare sounds like a paid vacation rather than a 24 hour a day grind and psychological crisis to eek out a living on a fraction of next to nothing. We think rioting is easy because our brains can't imagine not being able to return to at least relative comfort once we've decided we've had enough and the fun is over.
Believing in a racial predilection for violence and civic unrest is not only offensive, it's also hugely lazy intellectually. Im reminded of back in the 80s when whites genuinely thought the reason that blacks excelled in sports like track and field and basketball were due to ancient hidden extra muscles and differences in physiology and other stuff that would make a phrenologist blush. Of course, the real reason was simply that African blacks didn't have any pools to learn to play water polo in and inner city blacks could more easily get a ball and a public hoop than they could lacrosse equipment. But that doesnt satisfy that primal bigotty itch quite as cozily as imagined racial gifted skillsets.
Every time we see riots like these (and its honestly feeling like what I imagine 1968 did around here of late) a million white guy armchair sociologists wonder why they just can't "get it together" in the inner cities. And that's the problem with talking instead of listening when dealing with things you dont/can't understand: the moment you start, you're already reframing events to your own preferred context. Which is great if what you want is to feel like you understand something. It's just not so great at *actually* understanding something.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:38 PM on April 27, 2015 [55 favorites]


Out of curiosity, since I haven't seen Over the Edge... those white kids. Were they portrayed as the heroes?
posted by qcubed at 8:42 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


They were. But a soundtrack that's mostly Cheap Trick will do that for anybody.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:44 PM on April 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm fully in favour of unions and organized labour.

But if Scott Walker can break public sector unions in Wisconsin, why not start with breaking police unions?

Fire them all, then rehire the people who commit to conducting themselves like human beings.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:45 PM on April 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm trying to be surprised at that twist. Seems like a cheap trick that the kids in Baltimore are being portrayed as the very opposite by a lot of the media.

I'm sure there are lots of reasons why, of course.
posted by qcubed at 8:45 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


It was apparently a project of the New Shiloh Baptist Church, which is on the East Side (most of the mayhem was West Side.)

No, the senior center under construction was a project of Southern Baptist Church, which is in Broadway East (East Baltimore) right near the fire location. New Shiloh Baptist, where Freddie Gray's funeral was, is in Mondawmin (Northwest Baltimore) near the mall where today's activity started.
posted by weebil at 8:47 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Moreover, there are alot of qualified unemployed or underemployed people out there who would kill for a cop job and the salary and benefits, but wouldn't kill people while they're doing it. Because they're good people.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:47 PM on April 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


honkeys

Oh, please. Really?
posted by jgirl at 8:49 PM on April 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yall talkin like the police being violent oppressors is a problem internal to the current police forces, and if only we could clean house just this once it would go away. But it didn't get like this by accident, and it won't stop with a few firings.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:50 PM on April 27, 2015 [31 favorites]


honkeys

Oh, please. Really?


My monocle popped out! o.O!
posted by 0xFCAF at 8:52 PM on April 27, 2015 [29 favorites]


Yall talkin like the police being violent oppressors is a problem internal to the current police forces, and if only we could clean house just this once it would go away.

Nobody is talking like that. You just have to start somewhere.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:57 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cheap Trick puts on a rocking show.
Perhaps some MoTown...no?

"why not start with breaking police unions?"

That's a good question. The only way I can do a work around is to fire them then have the sheriff deputize folks in church parking lots or parks.

The hunter/gatherer club. Just like the 20th century.
posted by clavdivs at 8:58 PM on April 27, 2015


To be fair, mandolin conspiracy kind of is talking like that (though not "y'all"):

Fire them all, then rehire the people who commit to conducting themselves like human beings.
posted by axiom at 8:58 PM on April 27, 2015




Nobody is talking like that. You just have to start somewhere.

Sure, but if you replace the current force, you're just plopping new people back into the same old system. Make it so cops who assault people are automatically suspended without pay. Appoint special prosecutors for brutality cases who aren't pals with the cops. Expand legal aid by about a million percent so that cops' victims have half a chance of getting redress when their rights are violated. I'm sure there's other stuff that smarter people than me could come up with. Then clean house, with those rules in place.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:59 PM on April 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


I wonder why the businesses don't get left alone

Business owners have political power. They are the ones contributing to campaigns of "law and order" politicians. It seems that every time riots happen business owners get more civic-minded as a result, then they get short-sighted and the whole cycle sadly turns over.
posted by any major dude at 9:01 PM on April 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


Changing police culture is all but impossible to do incrementally. A complete system purge could, at the very least, put an end to a lot of the bad ideas that keep getting passed down - blue flu, etc.
posted by kafziel at 9:03 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Militarization of the police on full display.

Might be actual National Guard, not police.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:09 PM on April 27, 2015


Might be actual National Guard, not police.'

Hard to tell, sadly. The Guard has been called in, but the BPD has APCs as well.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:13 PM on April 27, 2015


.

Maybe if cops and politicians don't like riots, cops shouldn't be murdering people they arrest.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:13 PM on April 27, 2015 [16 favorites]


"He has access to our full compliment that's here within the state, which means up to about 5,000 troops that can be put onto the streets to protect property and people. I would highly recommend that we all go in and take cover for the night and actually go to sleep and get some rest and let things settle down so that we can restore order to the city," Maryland National Guard Gen. Linda Singh said."

Yep, the ole move in and get some shut-eye routine.
posted by clavdivs at 9:16 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


You can see national guardsmen behind the APC. It's the military.
posted by Justinian at 9:16 PM on April 27, 2015


He has access to our full compliment that's here within the state, which means up to about 5,000 troops that can be put onto the streets to protect property and people.

Note that 'property' came first in the list of things to protect...
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:17 PM on April 27, 2015 [15 favorites]


You guys wanna hear something funny? For work I have to find articles about issues related to the rights of detainees and accused persons worldwide, including prison conditions and police abuses, to tweet about. I saw this article about students being injured by police in Myanmar while being arrested for protesting, and it had this line in it:

President Thein Sein of Myanmar (formerly Burma) has defended the action of officers, telling the BBC that in many Western countries a similar situation might have ended in gunfire and death.

Really let that shit sink in for a second. A country just a handful of years out of being a literal military junta is justifying its own police brutality by comparing itself favorably to us. (Because of course he's talking about the US there.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:18 PM on April 27, 2015 [119 favorites]


How did it get to the point where the deck was so stacked?!

The deck came out of the shrinkwrap stacked.
posted by aaronetc at 9:21 PM on April 27, 2015 [10 favorites]


Business owners have political power. They are the ones contributing to campaigns of "law and order" politicians.

I'm sure the looters are checking the voting records of these business owners before doing the deed.
posted by Dalby at 9:24 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Apparently another CVS further west (2500 W Franklin) is going up.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:25 PM on April 27, 2015


A country just a handful of years out of being a literal military junta is justifying its own police brutality by comparing itself favorably to us.

Anybody can compare themselves favorably to anyone else; it doesn't make it so. The USSR favorably compared themselves to the United States on a regular basis. As does North Korea.
posted by Justinian at 9:27 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I grew up white in a black neighborhood not far from Mondawmin. My mom still lives there.

when asked if he'd still be coming to speak in baltimore tomorrow, ta-nehisi coates said hell yes

I'm interested to see if he can step up, no one else in the black leadership has.

Something you can see in this is the utter bankruptcy of the sort of characters usually promoted as black "leadership," all the way from that twenty-something pastor, son of the New Shiloh pastor was on local TV practicing his bland soundbites, to Mayor Nepotism-Rawlings and all the way up to professional hucksters like Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton who are now scheduled to swoop in.

the only way things could change for the better is if all those nice polite church people and responsible sounding black politicians actually expressed solidarity with the kids on the street. instead they are going to look increasingly like head wardens and guards in the open air prison that is Baltimore.

People on metafilter love to talk about the Poeee-lice. But this really isn't about the cops, it's about considering the lives of 20-30% of Americans black and white to be absolutely wasted, while you chatter about iWatches. Baltimore is a big warehouse of people whom society would just as soon see dead; the US is full of places like that.

Why do you think humane policing is going to solve the problem of a society treating so much of our population as if they aren't human?
posted by ennui.bz at 9:28 PM on April 27, 2015 [65 favorites]


I'd add that getting rid of the rotten crop is for naught unless laws around how they conduct themselves do not change. And that's across alot of jurisdictions, so that's wildly complicated, pie-in-the-sky stuff.

But they still need to go.

From the Baltimore Sun:

Police would not say whether the other officers were disciplined.

The problem isn't unionized public employees - it's when police unions behave like organized crime.

But for all the fiscal conservatives out there: Chances are, the single biggest labour cost in your municipality is the police, notwithstanding the cost of all of the legal settlements related to their brutality.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:30 PM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why do you think humane policing is going to solve the problem that is treating so much of our population as if they aren't human?

Well, you can't do the latter without the former.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:32 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't imagine what it would be like to be a Black person in one of these chaotic situations and know that if you seek help from the authorities there is a not insignificant chance that you will be deemed a "looter" and beaten or killed.
posted by threeants at 9:32 PM on April 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


Anybody can compare themselves favorably to anyone else; it doesn't make it so. The USSR favorably compared themselves to the United States on a regular basis. As does North Korea.

Yeah, but the thing is, he ain't wrong.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:33 PM on April 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


Well, the Crips just held a press conference. And did a better job than the Chief.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:33 PM on April 27, 2015 [12 favorites]


Apparently another CVS further west (2500 W Franklin) is going up.

I feel like I missed something here; why are CVS stores getting particular attention from looters and press?
posted by fifthrider at 9:35 PM on April 27, 2015


I feel that this is, in part, a question of normality.

College kids riot in Ohio State after winning a football game and burn down a chunk of their town - that's normal. Some people care, but otherwise it's just what's expected.

Police officers abuse and maim the umpteenth black person this year, violating their civil rights, and breaking the rule of law - that's normal. Sometimes it gets on the news, but nothing really gets done or changes.

Black people who've been getting the living shit beat out of them (or their friends, or their family) by the police for years snap and act violently - no sir. It's now a national crisis.

There's what's expected and what isn't. The recurring national crisis that we seem to be experiencing on a monthly basis at this point indicates where our priorities lie.
posted by codacorolla at 9:35 PM on April 27, 2015 [37 favorites]


Yeah, but the thing is, he ain't wrong.

He manifestly is; no protestors were shot in Ferguson or, thus far, in Baltimore. A couple cops in Ferguson were shot I guess.
posted by Justinian at 9:36 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why do you think humane policing...

You can demand humane policing and universal health care and better labour laws and public infrastructure and a less unfair economic order all at the same time. The problem is the cops are roaming the streets with guns. Some of them are good people. Some of them are raging thugs. The problem is, this is the contact with the state you can easily have if you step out for a bite to eat, and it's a crap shoot who you're going to get.

It doesn't have to be either/or neither/nor.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:37 PM on April 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


I feel like I missed something here; why are CVS stores getting particular attention from looters and press?

I'm sure there's a bunch of reasons, but simple copycatism is probably the main one.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:37 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


He manifestly is; no protestors were shot in Ferguson or, thus far, in Baltimore. A couple cops in Ferguson were shot I guess.

I took "a similar situation" to mean "during an arrest," not "during an arrest for protesting."
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:38 PM on April 27, 2015


I feel like I missed something here; why are CVS stores getting particular attention from looters and press?

If I were planning to loot a store, a pharmacy is a good bet. It's full of drugs that can't be bought without a prescription, are small and easy to carry, and have high desirability and resale value. But of course it could also be random, or some other reason we don't know about.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:41 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


why are CVS stores getting particular attention from looters and press?

Because in much of East and West Baltimore, CVS or Rite Aid is the only store there is. There are corner stores (often liquor stores), carry-out restaurants, and barber/beauty shops, but no real retail to speak of. If you're out to break windows, loot, and set stuff on fire, CVS is where you're going to do it.
posted by weebil at 9:42 PM on April 27, 2015 [15 favorites]


I feel like I missed something here; why are CVS stores getting particular attention from looters and press?

Big box retail can be few and far between in West Baltimore. That CVS probably functioned as the local grocery store for many food items (mainly crap) and toiletries. You can see in one of the photographs someone carrying off diapers, potato chips and iced tea; there probably isn't anything else near by where you could get those things.

You can demand humane policing and universal health care and better labour laws and public infrastructure and a less unfair economic order all at the same time. The problem is the cops are roaming the streets with guns. Some of them are good people. Some of them are raging thugs. The problem is, this is the contact with the state you can easily have if you step out for a bite to eat, and it's a crap shoot who you're going to get.


Nope. the problem isn't the thuggish police. The problem is that if you consider 30% of the people around you to be utterly useless, you are going to need thugs to keep those people from asserting their basic humanity. Deep down, you really believe that with a decent education, resources, and some better choices, there are places in American society for all those black people in Baltimore. What if that's not true? What if society had literally no use for your life? That's what living in Baltimore is like if you are young and black.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:50 PM on April 27, 2015 [31 favorites]


Because in much of East and West Baltimore, CVS or Rite Aid is the only store there is. There are corner stores (often liquor stores), carry-out restaurants, and barber/beauty shops, but no real retail to speak of. If you're out to break windows, loot, and set stuff on fire, CVS is where you're going to do it.

This really speaks to the heart of the problem, doesn't it? Neighborhoods so cut off, despite being in major cities, that they don't even have many appealing targets to loot. Although, now that I think about it, CVS stocks Tide, which would potentially make it more than just a target of opportunity.
posted by fifthrider at 9:52 PM on April 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


@RectorSun: "Rioters pulled police to "opposite ends of the city," spreading resources thin. They 'outnumbered us and outflanked us,' Batts said."

Sounds like they need to call in air support and the navy seals.
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:54 PM on April 27, 2015


The cops were getting shit thrown at them for hours.

good
posted by NoraReed at 9:57 PM on April 27, 2015 [26 favorites]


Sounds like they need to call in air support and the navy seals.

You jest, but honestly, if we learned anything from Ferguson it's that the military wannabes in the police are infinitely worse at crowd control and gun safety than the military. The Seals could at least be expected to act the part of professionals and not go around pointing assault rifles at people for no reason.

Then again, are we really at the point where we're weighing shades of martial law? Jeez.
posted by fifthrider at 10:01 PM on April 27, 2015 [10 favorites]


Obviously we need to be occupied by Canadian Peacekeepers until we demonstrate that we can govern ourselves.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:03 PM on April 27, 2015 [32 favorites]


No, during martial law, I think you actually can shot people in the back. Now a civil insurrection is what might have taken place if the baseball fans weren't locked down. The idea of the protesters and baseball fans makes the head swim.
posted by clavdivs at 10:06 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


demonstrate that we can govern ourselves.
posted by Pope Guilty

Avignon!
posted by clavdivs at 10:10 PM on April 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


the military wannabes in the police are infinitely worse at crowd control and gun safety than the military.

Absolutely. While I hate the idea of deploying the military against US citizens, they are far more competent and level-headed than the police. Their training is better and they are not as emotionally invested in the situation. And they aren't stocked with shiny new "nonlethal weapons" that they are itching for the chance to use.

(And yes, the National Guard is a military organization, despite some legal hair-splitting that may occur. They exist to fight wars.)
posted by miyabo at 10:11 PM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Considering the complicity that the Canadian government has had in the oppression of First Nations people there, I don't exactly trust them, though maybe anyone would be better than American police forces.
posted by NoraReed at 10:11 PM on April 27, 2015 [5 favorites]




A friend made a point that I found very deep. We live in Baltimore and she's a nurse, and she changed jobs because she couldn't stay present and compassionate to her patients when she was constantly getting lied to and played by them for extra pain meds to feed addictions. I've heard this described by other Baltimore nurses as well. It beats them down.
What my friend realized is that these police officers are in a similar boat. Like the Eric Garner choke-hold story: how many times had the officers been told "I can't breathe" by suspects in a lock who want to slip out if there's any chance? Maybe they've even had people slip out and run. There's nothing right about what they did or what happened, but it's also, well, basically unimaginable to me that a police force could exist here in a sustainably compassionate way without some very deep change. How could an officer sustain their connection to suspects as human beings when they are constantly being manipulated, as that's just the rules of the game. And I say this when I think about what it's like to be a nurse in a rough spot here.
posted by kroshka at 10:11 PM on April 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


Obviously we need to be occupied by Canadian Peacekeepers until we demonstrate that we can govern ourselves.

Um. Maybe not.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:12 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Won't link to the actual photos of Shidane Arone and what the Canadian Airborne Regiment did to him, but feel free to search his if you want to see the men who mutilated and tortured him posing with his body.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:15 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I understand riots hurt innocents and whatever message rioting may send to perpetrators of social injustice and dehumanizing oppression may be garbled to the extent that those perpetrators may come to believe their abuses justified.

But another part of me, a different and implacable part of me, rejects the rational and righteous argument (vathek's) that those who suffer most from riots are innocents.

That part of me feels that when the police (!) have killed yet another impoverished, marginalized and unarmed black man (children in some cases) that innocent lives have already been taken.

Seeing innocence is no prophylactic, an angry vengeful side wants the whole thing burned down. Not just Baltimore, but every last inch of these racist and elitist United States, innocents be damned.

In this view, the worthless lives of innocents are made valuable only when they are sacrificed and when they are made to suffer. Freddie Gray didn't matter at all until he was killed.

So let's save the remaining innocents by burning everything to the ground. It's no less than what we deserve.
posted by mistersquid at 10:17 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


And when actual Canadian military are deployed the streets of the United States any of that will be relevant. I don't think anyone actually believes foreign nationals should be stationed in the USA but rather are trying to score cheap rhetorical points. If they do think foreign troops stationed here would improve matters they have taken leave of their senses.
posted by Justinian at 10:17 PM on April 27, 2015


Not just Baltimore, but every last inch of these racist and elitist United States, innocents be damned

Does that wish include your family on the ashheap?
posted by Justinian at 10:18 PM on April 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


What was that about cheap rhetorical points?
posted by nom de poop at 10:20 PM on April 27, 2015 [14 favorites]


Like the Eric Garner choke-hold story: how many times had the officers been told "I can't breathe" by suspects in a lock who want to slip out if there's any chance? Maybe they've even had people slip out and run.

maybe they should not be putting them in headlocks then. maybe there's a problem when it's preferable to have the police kill a man by choking him than deal with a possibility of him getting away with the extremely minor crime he was committing. maybe there's a problem when the fucking response to someone who has extremely powerful weaponry and backup being "afraid" of being "tricked" is "fuck your breath".

and maybe there's a problem when you're willing to make up this narrative in order to come up with a way to sympathize with the white supremacist powers in control than the person who was murdered.
posted by NoraReed at 10:21 PM on April 27, 2015 [111 favorites]


Deep down, you really believe that with a decent education, resources, and some better choices, there are places in American society for all those black people in Baltimore.

Do you? No, honestly. Do you?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:21 PM on April 27, 2015


Yes Justinian, and yours too.
posted by mistersquid at 10:22 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]



Note that 'property' came first in the list of things to protect...

You're a commie! (Just kidding) (kinda) (It's complicated) Hey look! A bird! ----->
posted by rankfreudlite at 10:24 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


And to be clear, by "do you?" I'm not intending snark. Please elaborate.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:25 PM on April 27, 2015


This is not to silence from my place of simultaneous privilege and privation, but as a black male I have directly experienced police harassment and the immediate black male members of my family have experienced much worse than I have, though none have died at the hands of police.
posted by mistersquid at 10:26 PM on April 27, 2015 [20 favorites]


A friend made a point that I found very deep. We live in Baltimore and she's a nurse, and she changed jobs because she couldn't stay present and compassionate to her patients when she was constantly getting lied to and played by them for extra pain meds to feed addictions. I've heard this described by other Baltimore nurses as well. It beats them down.

This is a problem caused not by damn dirty junkies, but by crushing poverty, a lack of social services, and a lack of better options for life than getting high.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:33 PM on April 27, 2015 [77 favorites]


Does that wish include your family on the ashheap?

To be perfectly honest, if, at this moment, I were given the choice to save humanity or let an alien species exterminate us, I do not know how I would respond.

I mean, what could the Reapers do to us that we won't do to ourselves? And, let's be honest, even Zinyak would just preserve whatever is worth preserving, like the works of Austen.
posted by qcubed at 10:33 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Uh, can I chime in with a vote for NOT exterminating humanity
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:35 PM on April 27, 2015 [27 favorites]


Uh, can I chime in with a vote for NOT exterminating humanity

I suppose, if they asked you. It's probably a good thing they aren't asking me. I'm finding it very difficult to see the good these days.
posted by qcubed at 10:35 PM on April 27, 2015


[I know it's a hard topic and an angry day, and I know it's not literal, but let's try to be decent to each other in here and not go on about killing each others' families.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:38 PM on April 27, 2015 [23 favorites]


Really? I've seen a lot of strength, brilliance, love and solidarity from the protesters and people speaking out against white supremacist police violence.
posted by NoraReed at 10:39 PM on April 27, 2015 [20 favorites]


This you may say of man — when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back. This you may say and know it and know it. This you may know when the bombs plummet out of the black planes on the market place, when prisoners are stuck like pigs, when the crushed bodies drain filthily in the dust. You may know it in this way. If the step were not being taken, if the stumbling-forward ache were not alive, the bombs would not fall, the throats would not be cut. Fear the time when the bombs stop falling while the bombers live — for every bomb is proof that the spirit has not died. And fear the time when the strikes stop while the great owners live — for every little beaten strike is proof that the step is being taken. And this you can know — fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.

Lay down in the dirt if you like, but don't insist that everyone else do it with you.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:40 PM on April 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


Which is all well and good. For another 20 days.

Then we'll have some other cops in some other city murdering some other kid. If not that, probably something just as bad. It sometimes does feel like resistance is just so futile.

You know what? I'm going to close this window, stop reading depressing non-fiction news, and just go to sleep.
posted by qcubed at 10:41 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is more or less exactly how the South Africans killed Steven Biko. Well done, America.
posted by genghis at 10:48 PM on April 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm going to third what mistersquid and qcubed have said. To quote from Frank Whale's Bride of Frankenstein, "We belong dead". I love my family and my community and my life, but if you add my sense of history to my sense of justice, then everything deserves to burn. We're like cats- cute, fun, charming omnicidal hedonistic murder machines. The luxury that we enjoy is derived from slavery, and our security is derived from genocide. We're apex predators that take turns oppressing and torturing each other because we've run out of challenging things to kill.

Are you familiar with the Pirate Jenny by Kurt Weil, as performed by Nina Simone? That expresses my sentiment towards my people and mycivilization. If you accept the theory that Kubrick's The Shining was about the genocide of Native Americans, then that too expresses my sentiment. Our civilization deserves to experience every horror that it has been paying out to the rest of the world.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 11:03 PM on April 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


Yeah that sure sounds like a reasonable and desirable solution to the evils and sufferings of the world: way more evil and suffering.

This is nothing more than fetishistic self-flagellation. You don't really want to see your friends and neighbors bombed and tortured into oblivion. It just makes you feel a little better to pretend you do.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:07 PM on April 27, 2015 [28 favorites]


Like the Eric Garner choke-hold story: how many times had the officers been told "I can't breathe" by suspects in a lock who want to slip out if there's any chance? Maybe they've even had people slip out and run.

good example of another possible non-murder outcome in the previous thread. let's see what happens when 4 swedish cops break up a fight in nyc while on vacation! calm professionals at work, a goddamn miracle.

i assume they didn't have guns on them either so i don't even know how you can effectively do anything without the threat of deadly force on your side at all times. i mean the man was *screaming* at one point, and don't you know? Police officers are like mice — they are more scared of you than you are of them.

(2nd link also from the other thread. sorry for re-linking but it was pretty far down, also i feel like if we're going to have the same but-the-rioters-are-bad-too conversation we can at least inject a little bit of fun).
posted by twist my arm at 11:11 PM on April 27, 2015 [10 favorites]


You jest, but honestly, if we learned anything from Ferguson it's that the military wannabes in the police are infinitely worse at crowd control and gun safety than the military.

Ah, no. I don't think so:

Missouri National Guard Called Ferguson Protesters ‘Enemy Forces’

It'd be much better to have more compassionate police leadership like Ron Johnson and more involvement from civic leaders. I guess it would also be good to find someone that highschool kids will listen to and who could convince them to go home. Not an easy task.

This is a problem caused not by damn dirty junkies, but by crushing poverty, a lack of social services, and a lack of better options for life than getting high.

Infact, it is highly likely a lot of the people asking for pain killers want them to sell on the street rather than personal use.
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:12 PM on April 27, 2015


By extension, virtually every country and civilization on the planet throughout all of history also deserves to burn. That doesn't seem particularly smart, useful, or reasonable to me. I understand it as a purely emotional reaction but still... there's a reason we have brains and not just hearts.
posted by Justinian at 11:12 PM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


I mean, this is basically "Kill them all and god will know his own". That wasn't a very nice period of history.
posted by Justinian at 11:14 PM on April 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


A friend made a point that I found very deep. We live in Baltimore and she's a nurse, and she changed jobs because she couldn't stay present and compassionate to her patients when she was constantly getting lied to and played by them for extra pain meds to feed addictions. I've heard this described by other Baltimore nurses as well.

I have a friend who has sickle-cell anemia, and on multiple occasions when admitted to the hospital for treatment (which happens regularly due to the nature of his illlness) he is denied the proper level of painkilling medication by nurses who assume he's an addict trying to play them. Even though they should, as nurses, be aware that sickle-cell is excruciatingly painful. It's been empirically shown that in general, medical personnel believe black people are less affected by pain than white people, (and therefore by inference are less entitled to pain meds.) And of course it goes without saying that abuse of prescription medication isn't exclusively a black thing, in fact data indicates it's disproportionately committed by white people.

So, with that in mind, I have a different take on your anecdote as it relates to cops. Maybe cops are pushing their own stereotypes on the populations they serve just as nurses incorrectly stereotype their black patients as being disproportionately inclined to scam painkillers. And in some cases allowing those stereotypes to prevent them from doing their jobs properly, respectfully and compassionately. Just as my friend continues to suffer because some nurses look at him groaning in pain and just see another black dope fiend trying to score some drugs with the ol' sickle-cell con.
posted by xigxag at 11:38 PM on April 27, 2015 [133 favorites]


Won't link to the actual photos of Shidane Arone and what the Canadian Airborne Regiment did to him

The Somali Affair might be a relevant precedent for how to change an out of control racist institution.

In the early 1990s, the Canadian Airborne Regiment was an elite infantry unit, sort of like the American Marine Corps. It was also amazingly racist: Nazi paraphernalia, confederate flags, etc. Then it was deployed to Somalia as part of a peacekeeping mission. They brutalized, tortured and murdered civilians. When this came to light after an attempted cover-up, Defence Minister Kim Campbell (later Prime Minister) referred to this as a "youthful folly."

The way to deal with an institution gone this far wrong is organized public rage leading to accountability for those involved. The soldiers who tortured Arone were imprisoned, along with their Major who was deemed to have been negligent in failing to prevent the crime. The Airborne Regiment was disbanded entirely. Training procedures were revised throughout the armed forces. Officers who had anything to do with the cover up (and some who didn't) were sacked. Two Chiefs of the Defence Staff were forced to resign. The political career of Prime Minister Campbell was cut short. The upshot is that Canadians can be reasonably sure that their armed forces no longer engage in systematic torture of prisoners.

Widespread public revulsion can force things to change. For that to happen, police reform needs to become an election issue.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:43 PM on April 27, 2015 [18 favorites]


I saw this article about students being injured by police in Myanmar while being arrested for protesting, and it had this line in it:

President Thein Sein of Myanmar (formerly Burma) has defended the action of officers, telling the BBC that in many Western countries a similar situation might have ended in gunfire and death.

Justinian: Anybody can compare themselves favorably to anyone else; it doesn't make it so. The USSR favorably compared themselves to the United States on a regular basis. As does North Korea.

Yeah, but the thing is, he ain't wrong.

Justinian: He manifestly is; no protestors were shot in Ferguson or, thus far, in Baltimore. A couple cops in Ferguson were shot I guess.


Um, Justinian, what's your definition of shot? This is just straight-up disingenuous, and the cutesy, mealy-mouthed, eye-rolling "I guess" isn't helping. Plenty of protesters were shot in Ferguson—albeit with rubber bullets, CS gas canisters, pepper balls, wooden pellets, beanbag rounds (such a misnomer—they're also called baton rounds). But that stuff counts as gunfire, does significant damage, and can kill you too, in several ways.

Oh right, and regarding the cops who were recently shot in Ferguson, the shooter was targeting a protester nearby. So go somewhere else with that nonsense.
posted by limeonaire at 11:46 PM on April 27, 2015 [19 favorites]


[A couple of comments deleted. Folks, let's table a protracted debate of the wisdom of destroying humanity wholesale at this point (and please back off the personal insults, etc.). Thanks.]
posted by taz at 12:07 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I belong to a super-liberal hippie church with a congregation filled with super-liberal nice white people. We have three pastors; one of them, named Amy, is Black.

Amy preached last Sunday on the parable of the persistent widow. For those of you unfamiliar with it, I'll reproduce it here:
The Parable of the Persistent Widow
18 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
"I'm going to take a bold step," she said. "Brace yourselves, y'all: I think this Scripture is wrong. I don't think this is a parable about why it is important to pray unceasingly." (If for no other reason that in that interpretation, God is placed in the role of the unjust judge. -- kt) "I think this is the story of a piece of direct political action by a community in crisis, long ago. And as I sat and tried to write this sermon, and I thought of Rekia Boyd, and of Freddy Gray, and of Michael Brown, and of Tamir Rice, and of the thousands of others whose names we don't even know because our country in its infinite wisdom has chosen not to track how many people are killed every year, every month, every day by police violence, I had to wonder: where are our persistent widows?"

You could have heard a pin drop in that church, full of nice well-meaning white people.

Our persistent widows are in the streets, crying out for justice day and night, with their voices and their feet and, yes, sometimes with thrown rocks. The judge in the parable granted justice not out of a sudden realization that it was the right thing to do, after all, but out of fear that the widow would attack him. I find it hard to criticize their persistence when the justice they seek is so resolutely denied.
posted by KathrynT at 12:20 AM on April 28, 2015 [105 favorites]


>>This is a problem caused not by damn dirty junkies, but by crushing poverty, a lack of social services, and a lack of better options for life than getting high.

>Infact, it is highly likely a lot of the people asking for pain killers want them to sell on the street rather than personal use.
posted by Golden Eternity at 2:12 AM on April 28 [+] [!]


Yes, exactly.
posted by mcrandello at 12:24 AM on April 28, 2015


I had literally just finished Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower, and then I picked up my morning newspaper to read about this (I live in London). I saw so many parallels (the callous brutality of the police; the seemingly inevitable slide into anarchy; the great sadness and anger of the dispossessed) that I was quite emotional as I got off my Tube train. I fear for those in the firing line, and I hope against hope that something positive may come out of the increasing awareness of white supremacy highlighted by these terrible events.
posted by Myeral at 1:23 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Plenty of protesters were shot in Ferguson—albeit with rubber bullets, CS gas canisters, pepper balls, wooden pellets, beanbag rounds (such a misnomer—they're also called baton rounds). But that stuff counts as gunfire, does significant damage, and can kill you too, in several ways.

If you've been following the thread it should be apparent in context that "shot" meant "shot with regular bullets". Since the comments from Myanmar specifically mentioned "gunfire and death". "Gunfire and death" is a pretty plain meaning so I think its obvious you're taking "shot" out of context.
posted by Justinian at 1:29 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


So go somewhere else with that nonsense.

This is the thing that gets me about these threads. I realize its an emotional topic. But limeonaire is replying to me as though I'm defending police brutality and the killing of innocent black men which anybody who has read the entire thread would know is patently absurd. But if any single statement someone makes can be taken, even completely devoid of context, as not anti-cop enough all of a sudden it's nonsense that should be taken somewhere else. No. This happens all the time and it's tiring. This thread isn't simply a place to pour rage out, it's also a place where we can talk about things.

Taking issue with the idea that Myanmar has something particularly useful to teach the United States on human rights is not a defense of police brutality. So you go somewhere else with that nonsense.
posted by Justinian at 1:35 AM on April 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


Mcrandello, you seem awfully possessive of the opinion that people in Baltimore would be trying to illicitly obtain prescription drugs for resale.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:05 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I need to not visit imgur for a while. So many people posting about how these guys are just rioters and thugs, and spreading lots of misinformation.

Thanks, MeFi, for reading and empathizing well beyond expectations, and not passing slipshod and unnecessary personal judgment.
posted by halifix at 2:53 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think the Coates argument is an important point, but increasingly the defenses of the violence are missing something more important: given how violent the BPD has been shown to be, what is the likely outcome of further encounters? Isn't it more dead and injured citizens?

This was especially evident yesterday when the BPD seemed like nothing more than a scared, angry riot themselves, looking to GET EVEN. In that context, resistance is dangerous and impractical. Because the cops have guns and tanks, and many of the so-called "protesters" were actually high school students trapped by the police. Sure: violence was the predictable result. But it was more violence against Black people that was predictable. More broken bones and severed spines.

It's important to fight the cable news perception of Black irrationality here. But let's not celebrate merely symbolic non-compliance as some sort of real progress. Nonviolent protest works, at least sometimes, if not easily or quickly or without suffering violence: fighting with the police doesn't. Check out @300menmarch for what it can look like.
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:02 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos, not particularly, I agree with Showbiz Liz that pill seeking is a problem caused by the reasons she listed. That some (or a lot, as the other poster suggests) are using them as a revenue stream is as likely a consequence of these same external forces. My impression was that the person I quoted was trying to correct/clarify that in a way that passed some moral judgement, and I just wanted to point out that the practice is also to be expected wherever you've got poor people with few options/outlets. I've known at least a couple folks who sold whatever pain meds they could spare due to lack of money and decent insurance, just to keep themselves functioning. I don't believe that this is a problem specific to Baltimore, or worse than anyplace in general, I definitely didn't mean to frame that in a manner that seemed judgy, and I'm sorry if that's what I did.
posted by mcrandello at 3:15 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


There appears to be no rational goal because there is no rational goal. The only thing that can stop a Bad Cop is a Good Cop who isn't afraid of being killed by the Bad Cops.

When the police devolve into a gang of thugs lead by the Bad Cops who murder, steal, and rape with impunity, and have no respect for lives or property, why should anyone care about lives and property?

Civilization has literally fallen, lead by the Bad Cops.

If there's any hope, it's that the Good Cops see this too, and do their duty to restore honor and integrity to their service.

Otherwise, it's just going to all burn down. Because there's no way for anyone but the Good Cops to do *anything* that would be constructive. So, since non-violence earns "fuck your breath" here we have reaped what we've sown...
posted by mikelieman at 3:15 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


When I see images on the news of a swarm of poor black kids smashing a cop car, my first thought is that civilization is collapsing. But that's the exact kind of bullshit that's been built into the walls of racism forever, ever since a slave master walked through his camp nervously, faintly catching the sound of distant drums, and responding with more overseers. My first thought should be "those poor kids must be really angry and desperate. What can we do as a society to make sure more riots don't happen?" We can coach our fear as liberal sanctimony ("We deserve to be revolutioned!") but it comes from the same place as the horrible "thugs" and "animals" comments you see on YouTube.

Civilization isn't collapsing. The underclasses aren't going to murder you in your bed. How about we address this problem with politics first before we throw up our hands and start digging bunkers? Legalize drugs. Elect more Deblasios (who at least promised to change the police, whether he will or not remains to be seen). Insist that Democratic candidates have to address it in debates and platforms. Do not despair, not least because that lets the terrified fascist in your own heart win.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:31 AM on April 28, 2015 [21 favorites]


All this despair against "the human race", the wondering if we're worth a damn as a species, the gleeful "despair" at the thought of our species getting wiped out, reflects the exact same fucking privilege as saying, I dunno, that riots are more heinous than systemic police brutality. What, suddenly you're made AWARE of how fucked-up our society is, how unfairly it subjects vast swathes of its population to barbaric, uncivilized violence and oppression, and your response is, "Welp, away with it!"? As if the most despairing thing imaginable is your having to find out about a thing that's been happening all the fucking time?

This is not new. This is not some sudden drastic revelation. This has been happening all along. Our country was founded on racial oppression, and on finding convenient excuses to act like racial oppression was no longer a thing. You have not been alive at a time in which this was not happening in America, in every town and city across the nation, in some form or other. It's not that we are fundamentally incapable of progress, it's that progress is really fucking tricky when you're starting out at a point of vast inhumanity and trying really, really, really, really hard not to admit that to yourselves.

And now you see it and your reaction is to throw up your hands and say "Fuck the world". NO. Do you think the people suffering this, the people protesting and rioting because there is literally no other way to make the media pay attention to them, think that the solution to all their problems is more slaughter and genocide? Your insipid little reveries — and have no illusions about yourself, reveries is what they fucking are — are just a last-ditch attempt to abdicate responsibility for the society which collectively is composed of us.

You don't necessarily need to grow up knowing all this shit — I didn't — to realize the responsibility you have once you do know it. But that responsibility is there, and this mock-hand-wringing despair, the kind that doesn't take you to the streets or to figuring out what the hell you can do, but instead gives you a chance to shrug and say "welp, we're fucked, no point in trying now", is the height of arrogance: to insist, even seeing a problem, that the problem can't be yours to respond to. It's infantile at best, damned ugly at worst.
posted by rorgy at 3:38 AM on April 28, 2015 [108 favorites]


Whoa Rory and I agree this is huge.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:07 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Civilization isn't collapsing. The underclasses aren't going to murder you in your bed.

Civilization has collapsed. The police WILL murder you in your bed.

The police *define* civilization, and if the Bad Cops who murder, steal, and rape control the police, and the Good Cops are afraid to stand up and stop them, game over man, game over.

If the police don't care about life and property, why should anyone? Is the answer going to be "Because we're 'better' than the police?" That's ALL sorts of fucked up, seeing as they're just like us except for the unlimited power to kill and steal, shouldn't they aspire to be *better* than us?
An honest cop still can't find a place to go and complain without fear of recrimination. The blue wall will always be there because the system supports it.
Frank Serpico
posted by mikelieman at 4:10 AM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


But cops have always gotten away with shit like this. It's not new. If this is civilization collapsing, then we've never been civilized. (I kind of think this might be true, though.)
posted by NoraReed at 4:12 AM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


If this is civilization collapsing, then we've never been civilized.

I would not necessarily disagree. But it still leaves open the issue of the Bad Cops ruining it for everyone.
posted by mikelieman at 4:13 AM on April 28, 2015


They're a major part of a racist system that everyone who benefits from white privilege is, to some extent, complicit in, and they hold that system up. They're actively preventing humanity from collectively getting better.
posted by NoraReed at 4:27 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


The word "civilized" is such a loaded word, though, and one with so many racist/colonialist/imperialist/xenophobic connotations, because it's always contrasted against something, some "uncivilized" behavior, and those people are always outsiders/a minority group/someone with different customs/etc, and I think the word itself is worth unpacking and thinking about.
posted by NoraReed at 4:29 AM on April 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'm depressed by all the headlines about violence in Baltimore because they all present the situation as if the violence was new, as if until the riots Baltimore was a peaceful place.

But, of course, it isn't and it wasn't. Baltimore has been wracked by violence for decades, it's just that since the violence was police on citizens it never got much press. Sure, you don't get many burned out stores with standard cop on citizen violence, but that doesn't mean the violence isn't there and a threat.

Now that people are fighting back though the press is there to decry the violence. Where were they for the decades when the cops were beating people, crippling people, murdering people, stealing and looting with impunity under the asset forfeiture laws? The answer, of course, is that they were either silent or they were supportive of the cops in their violent actions against the (mostly black) people.

When the police steal under asset forfeiture it isn't decried on the news as looting. When the police torture someone it isn't shown in the news as a threat to the community. When the cops run wild and kill people it isn't portrayed in the media as the cops running wild and killing people. "Violence", apparently, is something that exists exclusively when normal citizens lash out in their frustration and rage.

That isn't, of course, to justify looting and burning stores, that's both senseless and bad in general. But expecting people who have been shat on for, literally, centuries who have finally been fed up and had enough to act sensibly isn't realistic. I don't try to justify the rioting and the burning and the looting, but it isn't just happening at random or because the people doing it are bad people. It's the inevitable result of people finally lashing out after spending their whole lives under siege.

And, as others have pointed out, rioting does produce results betimes. And often it produces results that otherwise wouldn't have happened. Peaceful protesting, self evidently, accomplishes nothing at all. If it had there'd have been reform after Ferguson, after BART, after all the others. Instead we see that following a peaceful protest the cops a) do their best to harm the peaceful protesters, and b) go right on torturing, murdering, and stealing from the underclass.

Much as I hate to say it, I'm pretty much convinced that it is only by riots and other violent means that there will ever be police and prison reform.
posted by sotonohito at 4:46 AM on April 28, 2015 [35 favorites]


Violence is incompetence. That's why you had the ongoing corrupt, improperly trained violence by the police force without any accountability. And now the angry, despairing violence of the rioters. And at a remove the linguistic violence of the various criticizers.

Violence is a breakdown of social relations. For instance, responsibility. That's why you have each of these three sides unable to claim responsibility for their own past/current action or inaction. It is always another's fault or problem, not their own.

This is the cycle, the force of nature (c.f. Coates' "forest fire"), that cannot be reasoned with. But though it is arational, it can be fought with reason and the other tools of social competence. I think this is what some people have been getting at, except just in a conflated way.
posted by polymodus at 4:51 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


HELLO FROM THE 200 BLOCK OF NORTH AVE, BALTIMORE MD!!!

Shit was absolutely insane last night and a drug store two blocks from me was looted. There was also a gigantic fire very near. I spent the evening glued to twitter and having a bat handy just in case. It never came down my street but I'm literally in the middle of the city on a major street so emergency vehicles and cop cars were flying everywhere.

The national guard is on another major street at the inner harbor and from what I see it looks like an occupying force. It's all pretty scary. I am very worried/interested to see what happens on Friday. If the police are found not to be at fault I can't see any way things going other than full bedlam.

I work at a bar, the Bullpen, and on Saturday there was trouble. You can read all about it here. Basically the bar patrons were being total fuckfaces.

Justin Fenton is probably sleeping right now but his coverage of all things Baltimore is top notch.
posted by josher71 at 5:00 AM on April 28, 2015 [51 favorites]


The upshot is that Canadians can be reasonably sure that their armed forces no longer engage in systematic torture of prisoners.

That's pretty optimistic thinking. The Conservative Party prorogued parliament to cover up a similar abuse scandal in which no one was ever tried or convicted and that has largely been forgotten.
posted by Poldo at 5:03 AM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is also worthwhile.

I'm still an anxious mess and haven't had a chance to read through this entire thread so please bear with me if any of these links are doubles.

What I saw riding my bike around today.

posted by josher71 at 5:05 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]




The word "thug" is a racist dogwhistle. People can't say the n-word anymore so this is their socially acceptable substitute. When was the last time you heard it applied to white guys? Call that shit out for what it is whenever you see it. I know far too many people who should know better, still using it.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:28 AM on April 28, 2015 [25 favorites]


I can't believe that people condone the rioters or even say that they understand the rioters. The rioters aren't the protestors. The rioters aren't protesting. This is just like in Ferguson when the protestors had to act like human shields around local businesses to prevent rioters from looting them. Stealing stuff from stores is not a reaction to the police violence. Instead it's a crime of opportunity which is using the protests to justify it.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/16/ferguson-protesters-guard-stores_n_5684042.html
posted by I-baLL at 5:37 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]




Schools are closed today. Many Baltimore students rely on school breakfast and lunches to eat. Some schools it is 100 percent of students.

Help feed students tomorrow while school is canceled. Kids need to eat. Follow #BaltimoreLunch http://operationhelporhush.org/donate/
posted by josher71 at 5:42 AM on April 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


When was the last time you heard it applied to white guys?

Quite often, actually, although mostly in reference to fictional characters in TV shows, movies, video games, etc. But that fictional stereotype is strong enough that when I hear "thug" I immediately picture hulking white guys with stubble in tracksuits -- I had no idea it had any other racial connotation until it came up in a previous discussion on MetaFilter.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:44 AM on April 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


From this post: I watched Police Commissioner Batts chase after two boys, one of them tripped or got knocked down, and screamed at Batts: “WHY???”

And you know, on some level, we all know why, but that is the sound of someone who, when pressed needlessly by a force greater and more violent than themselves, is struck by the level of cruelty in all of this and can find no answer to calm their fear.

À la Gil Scott Heron, the question of "Who Will Survive in America" has been on my mind for days now.
posted by Ashen at 5:45 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I feel like I missed something here; why are CVS stores getting particular attention from looters and press?

The CVS is typically going to be a little slab of suburbia in the middle of the city. They're usually very well maintained and stocked, clean, orderly, well staffed, well lit and generally pleasant. They're not what you expect in an a depressed urban environment.

This is good, as folks can get medicine (and now some walk-in medical care!) and daily essentials at not-too-horrible markups, and be treated with basic dignity and respect. This is bad, as it's the only store like this you're going to be able to regularly shop at as an inner-city resident, and there are still little reminders of where you are - the Tide and baby formula and razor blades are going to be locked up or behind the counter, for instance.

If you're of a state to take out your frustrations at something you can actually reach, a CVS is going to stand out in your mind.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:46 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Want To Help End Systemic Racism? First Step: Drop the White Guilt
The point of identifying and exposing inconsistencies within the social systems and cultural norms of the United States isn’t to make whites feel guilty, but to garner greater empathy that will inspire change. The main problem with white guilt is that it attempts to diminish the spotlight aimed at issues germane to marginalized groups and redirects the focus to a wasteful plane of apologetics and ineffective assessment.
posted by audi alteram partem at 5:49 AM on April 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


I feel like I missed something here; why are CVS stores getting particular attention from looters and press?

Couple of reasons stand out to me: large parts of Baltimore are a food desert. And I'm talking even well to do areas like Mount Vernon. Second, Baltimore has a very high population of drug addicts.
posted by josher71 at 5:50 AM on April 28, 2015


I know an older guy with whom I commonly talk about news of the day, what disastrous thing a local sports team has done recently, that sort of thing. He is old enough that I do my best to apply some deprogramming, as he gets a solid stream of Tea Party doctrine from his email, Facebook and TV and I despair when he takes FWD: FWD: FWD: FWD: FWD: as gospel sometimes.

It discourages me that when talking up issues such as this, I can pull out a bingo card and win in ten minutes. "They keep pretending that that Michael Brown was some kind of saint... But that AL SHARPTON... If Obama hadn't... They're not protesting, they're looting... They just want an excuse to kill cops..."
posted by delfin at 5:52 AM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


I work at a bar, the Bullpen, and on Saturday there was trouble. You can read all about it here. Basically the bar patrons were being total fuckfaces.
Here were drunk, angry, white baseball fans and bar-goers who were equally guilty for the violence that happened that night and embraced the chance to fight and provoked some of it, and any accurate narrative must acknowledge that and barely anyone has acknowledged that. If you’d like to call Baltimore County whites and Boston Red Sox fans “outside agitators,” then you’ve got your outside agitators.
This is my surprised face.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:01 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]




This is my surprised face.

You know, I realized how naive I am because I WAS surprised. "We don't care"? I mean, now I'm not shocked but at the time I was dumbfounded. How fucking dumb could people be? How fucking assholish could people be? How shitty was the security at the bar next door that they didn't tell those guys to shut the fuck up or GTFO?
posted by josher71 at 6:07 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Baltimore has been wracked by violence for decades, it's just that since the violence was police on citizens it never got much press. Sure, you don't get many burned out stores with standard cop on citizen violence, but that doesn't mean the violence isn't there and a threat.

George Takei on Facebook yesterday, asking people to stop rioting, said something about "No peace without justice" has the corollary "no justice without peace." But what police have been doing is not peace.

I'm a pacifist myself, but am of two minds about riots in cases like this. Police killing yet another black man, in very questionable circumstances? Little media attention. 10,000 peaceful protestors speaking out against police brutality and institutionalized racism? Little media attention. A hundred people breaking windows and burning drugstores? STOP THE PRESSES.

It would be nice if white people who are suddenly afraid of "thugs" and "the collapse of civilization" and so on had the empathy to consider the fear that black people have of police officers every single day.
posted by Foosnark at 6:21 AM on April 28, 2015 [14 favorites]




> How fucking dumb could people be? How fucking assholish could people be? How shitty was the security at the bar next door that they didn't tell those guys to shut the fuck up or GTFO?

For several reasons, I've given up on the idea that people act in good faith out of enlightened self-interest. I'm certainly not advocating Calvinist doctrine of Total Depravity, but the expectation that people will do what's Right, in my direct experience, has turned out to be have been unfounded.
posted by mikelieman at 6:26 AM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Okay, yes, looting is bad for the neighborhood in which it happens. Is everyone who handwrings about that going to kick down money or labor to rebuild stuff? If they [not so much people in this thread but the outside world] are so upset about that poor, poor neighborhood, why can't they actually work with organizations that literally rebuild stuff? Why can't they start a foundation to run a co-op drugstore? If you're literally mostly upset about how bad looting is for the looted neighborhood....well, there's stuff you can do about that.

Otherwise, if you're mostly upset about the looting/rioting stuff, what you're really saying is that the state should be able to press down on people and press down on people as much as it likes, and smash up unions and use COINTELPRO to smash up organizing, and cut funding and cut funding, and lag on healthcare and jobs....the state should be able to exploit people as much as it wants and destroy every channel for policy-based or militant-but-strategic change and everyone should just lie down under that.

You fuck with someone until they snap and then you blame them for snapping. "Oh, I just poked Tommy in the shoulder a little, Mom, and then he hit me, it's Tommy's fault".

The only excuse for the state is that it does better than people do by themselves. The only excuse for state power is the idea that the state will be responsible. We're not seeing that; we're seeing a nationwide state of lynch law.

That's another thing. If we were reading this in the history books and it was the 1930s and people were rioting in response to lynchings*, there wouldn't be so much handwringing and second-guessing and "the world is ending". What these police killings are is lynch law, they're the Klan in the 1920s, they're white citizens' leagues. They have the same purpose and the same kind of immunity, and probably the same kind of people involved.

If you wouldn't wring your hands about people rioting when someone hung some poor kid in 1920, you shouldn't be handwringing now.


*And I know that most American race riots have been whites rioting against people of color
posted by Frowner at 6:33 AM on April 28, 2015 [37 favorites]


"I think you've missed everything I've tried to articulate to you." Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby, speaking to Fox News.

(Apologies in advance if this was already linked somewhere upthread; I'm still catching up on new comments since last night.)
posted by BlueJae at 6:45 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Deep down, you really believe that with a decent education, resources, and some better choices, there are places in American society for all those black people in Baltimore.

Do you? No, honestly. Do you?


I believe the people who own America have decided to make about 20%-30% of the population totally disposable. So, no.

the response from Coates is weak sauce.
When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con.
the "state" in Baltimore is a pretty weak affair, and on a certain level it's run by upwardly mobile black people like himself. Why is it that some people get golden tickets to leadership forums sponsored by 'The Atlantic' magazine (or get to be mayor or congressman, etc.) and others don't: that's what is driving the politics of black Baltimore right now.
posted by ennui.bz at 6:45 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you wouldn't wring your hands about people rioting when someone hung some poor kid in 1920, you shouldn't be handwringing now.

Calls for peace strike me as pretty reasonable given that we have good evidence that the Baltimore police are spoiling for a fight and have a record of acting well outside of even the standard "angry LEO score-settling" norms.

It's not like more police violence is going to improve the problem of police violence: that's some accelerate the contradictions nonsense. Even if you want a revolution it's not fair to expect a bunch of high school kids to go up against armed and armored cops. They have tanks!

This kind of line is one step behind in the argument; no, Black violence is not unreasonable in response to a chain of abuses by law enforcement and white supremacist government, and yes we're all complicit in the neglect of Baltimore and antiblack violence by police.

BUT! We can't cheer from the sidelines while the BPD finally gets what it deserves or something like that. The way this will go down will involve more severed spines and broken bones for Black men, and defending violence in this moment is opposing the on-the-ground Black leadership calling for peace to keep their people safe.

Check out @300menmarch and the kinds of massive peace-building and anti-violence work that gangs, churches, and activists have been doing. Nonviolence is not passivity and it's not compliance: it's active, organized resistance.
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:46 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I always hate when people say, "you're just proving their point!" in regards to rioting or looting. You learn early on, as a black person, you're always proving their point, good or bad. I can't tell you how many times people said to my face that I was only at my prestigious high school because I'm black. And here I am, trying to do the right thing, still being reduced to stereotypes. You really get over worrying about "proving their point."
posted by girlmightlive at 6:47 AM on April 28, 2015 [103 favorites]


It occurs to me that if your concern is with the people who have riot gear and guns, the authority to discharge them, a Twitter feed full of remarks calling citizens "criminals" and the ability to show no remorse for severing a young man's spine, you should probably re-examine your way of thinking.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:53 AM on April 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


Here's one of them, mikelieman. You see what happened to him though.
posted by cashman at 7:09 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why Baltimore Burned: Black infants in Baltimore are almost nine times more likely to die before age 1 than White infants. AIDS cases are nearly five times more common in the African-American community.

“Only six miles separate the Baltimore neighborhoods of Roland Park and Hollins Market,” interim Hopkins provost Jonathan Bagger said last year. “[B]ut there is a 20-year difference in the average life expectancy.”

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:10 AM on April 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


I guess I responded to a now deleted comment. The link above is to a petition for Joseph Crystal, a Baltimore Police officer who crossed 'the blue line'.
posted by cashman at 7:11 AM on April 28, 2015


They're staying the hell out of the back of the police trucks, that's for sure.
posted by delfin at 7:11 AM on April 28, 2015


"Faced with a potentially life-changing dilemma, Joseph Crystal asked his parents what to do. “Both my parents were NYPD police,” Crystal says by phone from a law office in New York City.

Both told him to report wrongdoing by fellow police officers, he says.

“Mom said I already knew what I had to do. Dad said the badge doesn’t mean anything if I’m not gonna do what’s right,” Crystal says. “Neither of them wavered.”

What Crystal did next cuts to the heart of police culture, in Baltimore and a lot of other cities. For turning in two officers who brutalized a drug suspect, Crystal was threatened and ostracized and eventually hounded out of the department. On Dec. 22, he filed a civil lawsuit demanding more than $10 million.

The police department has a policy of not commenting on lawsuits, Det. Ruganzu Howard, a department spokesman, says. He also declines to discuss the underlying issue: officers who give suspects a little extra punishment for disrespecting the badge, fleeing, or maybe just because the officer is having a stressful day.

“Cops don’t tell on cops,” Officer Bernard Cawley, who was known on the street as “The Mechanic” because of his penchant for “tuning up”—i.e. beating—criminal suspects, told the Mollen Commission in 1993. “And if they did tell on them, just say if a cop decided to tell on me, his career’s ruined. He’s going to be labeled as a rat.” That was in New York, where Crystal’s parents worked. Cawley went to prison for drug-and-gun dealing. Turned out that the brutal cops were often also the guys who stole drugs from dealers and sold them to other dealers who they protected.

Still, Crystal says he did not know what was coming. “The academy doesn’t prepare you for this,” he says. “They don’t necessarily talk about the blue wall.”

...Crystal says his sergeant told him to forget the incident or face career ruin. So, Crystal says, he had to choose between keeping the respect of his parents and keeping the respect of his colleagues—and the career he’d always wanted."


posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:18 AM on April 28, 2015 [23 favorites]


The NRA gets out in front of the story.

NRA : "ON April 27, Baltimore reporter Justin Fenton was saved from a mob of rioters by a Baltimore business owner with a shotgun."

Justin Fenton: " No. A group of gang members surrounded me, saying they were protecting me. The guy with shotgun was protecting his business"
posted by maudlin at 7:22 AM on April 28, 2015 [43 favorites]


Given how quickly the cops were to scream "lynch mob" at the very start of the protests, I'm not sure why anyone would have believed the "credible threat" stuff yesterday, as The Grio discusses.
posted by TwoStride at 7:24 AM on April 28, 2015


I don't think the police set this up. They aren't that smart. They'd make themselves look good, otherwise. Nope. This is "normal" Baltimore police incompetence.

Really curious now how this long curfew is going to work out.
posted by josher71 at 7:27 AM on April 28, 2015


The NRA gets out in front of the story.

The NRA has been explicitly stoking anti-PoC violence, including targeting civil rights groups, for years now. And they're supposed to be the "sanest" members of the gun lobby.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:29 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Most likely scenario to me seems to be that they put Gray in the back of the van (shackled, eventually) and without his seatbelt.

The slang term for this is a "Nickle Ride". Philadelphia PA got sued over this and they stopped doing it.
posted by Renoroc at 7:31 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]




I sure wish a few million citizens would decide to take a little protest road-trip, though

Would this be helpful? Ferguson was too far away for me, but I only live ~4 hours drive from Baltimore and have been wondering all morning whether it's time to hop in the car and go...
posted by Jacqueline at 7:34 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


If you've been following the thread it should be apparent in context that "shot" meant "shot with regular bullets". Since the comments from Myanmar specifically mentioned "gunfire and death". "Gunfire and death" is a pretty plain meaning so I think its obvious you're taking "shot" out of context.

I read the sentence and I understand the context and we clearly disagree on the "plain meaning" of this. Gunfire is what comes out of a gun, which includes things other than metal bullets and effects other than death.

This is the thing that gets me about these threads. I realize its an emotional topic. But limeonaire is replying to me as though I'm defending police brutality and the killing of innocent black men which anybody who has read the entire thread would know is patently absurd. But if any single statement someone makes can be taken, even completely devoid of context, as not anti-cop enough all of a sudden it's nonsense that should be taken somewhere else. No. This happens all the time and it's tiring. This thread isn't simply a place to pour rage out, it's also a place where we can talk about things.

Taking issue with the idea that Myanmar has something particularly useful to teach the United States on human rights is not a defense of police brutality. So you go somewhere else with that nonsense.


There's plenty to learn from Myanmar on the subject of human rights—what not to do, largely, but nonetheless. That said, the point is that shit is well and truly fucked up here in the U.S. if people in Myanmar are using us as an example and an argument can legitimately be made for that. But go on, keep on taking things out of context.

Have you had a change of heart in the last few months, Justinian, that we should all be aware of? Enjoy your reductio ad absurdum, but know that it's not a thick enough smokescreen to hide your repeated disingenuousness in these threads about police brutality.
posted by limeonaire at 7:35 AM on April 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Philadelphia PA got sued over this and they stopped doing it.

They claimed to stop doing it. Many say that the practice was quietly re-introduced in...2013? Ish? Not as common, but not over.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:36 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am really fascinated by the reports of gangs being peacekeepers and helpful in this situation.
posted by emjaybee at 7:36 AM on April 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


I am really fascinated by the reports of gangs being peacekeepers and helpful in this situation.

Nature abhors a vacuum, I guess?

Seriously, there have been so many stories of the Bloods and the Crips standing side by side, quelling violent outbreaks, and protecting people. I guess if the police want to act like gangs, the gangs will end up acting like police.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:40 AM on April 28, 2015 [59 favorites]


Most likely scenario to me seems to be that they put Gray in the back of the van (shackled, eventually) and without his seatbelt. Which is a blatant violation of both common sense and procedure. Seems like a slam dunk negligent homicide case.

Maryland uses a contributory negligence standard, which would make any ensuing trial functionally all about whether the officers had any reason to arrest Gray to begin with. That would be a very, very ugly trial indeed.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:43 AM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Maryland uses a contributory negligence standard, which would make any ensuing trial functionally all about whether the officers had any reason to arrest Gray to begin with. That would be a very, very ugly trial indeed.

Could there be other avenues to prosecution other than negligence? From my (admittedly limited) understanding of the situation, it looks like they could use the felony murder rule to allege an assault (the ride) leading to death as a 2nd degree murder charge. Or would that still require a finding of negligence?
posted by fifthrider at 7:51 AM on April 28, 2015






you know, I try to be free of anger and hate, but the NRA trying to use this as a guns 'r great situation makes me think of the fact that one day, Wayne LaPierre will ashes and dust, and I smile.
posted by angrycat at 8:01 AM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think it's irresponsible to post accounts of the riot under the healine "Freddy Gray protests" without some evidence that people protesting what happened to Freddy Gray are engaged in rioting.

I think it's grade-A bullshit that we're supposed to listen to "not all cops" or "a few bad apples" and not judge the rest of the force (which largely looks the other way and fails to police itself) but protests are only judged by the worst aspects of them.

Personally I think the people paid to uphold the law have an obligation that fellow protestors don't, but at least maybe we could aim for parity.
posted by phearlez at 8:02 AM on April 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


Coates talk postponed?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:05 AM on April 28, 2015


If we can't call them the Freddy Gray protests, how can we differentiate them from the violence that starts every time police in riot gear show up after they've killed someone? I mean we could name them like hurricanes, but there's only 26 letters in the alphabet.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:08 AM on April 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


Yeah I figured Coates' talk might get canceled. There are a couple of different places across the city that are being targeted, I saw someone report their car had gasoline poured on it and that was 10-15 blocks from where Coates would be speaking, and the Mayor mentioned yesterday that groups splintered and went in all directions, so the police had a hard time tracking them. There has been damage all over the city.
posted by cashman at 8:09 AM on April 28, 2015


"The death of Freddie Gray. I don't care if he's been arrested. I say this as former police office, if you go into police custody alive, you can't come out dead... The police here are at fault."

Peter Moskos, here on CSPAN, is a sociologist who became a Baltimore cop as part of his dissertation research.

Despite the quote above, it does seem at times like he has at least sipped the kool-aid (note that I don't mean to imply he was violent, which I have no reason to think, just that he seems to buy in to some of the police POV).

Here are his notes from the one day of riot training he received in the Baltimore police academy.

Warning: The call-in commenters are about as thoughtful and inciteful as youtube commenters.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:12 AM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Saw this map of incidents/damage in one of the local reporters' Twitter feeds; I'm not sure of the data source.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:13 AM on April 28, 2015


Coates still isn't sure it's canceled, but it probably is.
posted by cashman at 8:14 AM on April 28, 2015


They should move his talk off campus and webcast it instead.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:15 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure of the data source.

Looks like at least partially from scanners.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:19 AM on April 28, 2015


I'm also seeing twitter and reddit citations.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:20 AM on April 28, 2015




Orioles game for today has been canceled (postponed).
posted by cashman at 8:25 AM on April 28, 2015


Maryland uses a contributory negligence standard

Woah, that is fucked up. So in the US "contributory negligence" in practice means that if you in any way contributed to an accident or injury, you get nothing at all? It's as if it's all your fault, even if it's found to be like a 10/90 split? What on earth is the purpose of that? That's not what contributory negligence means where I live.
posted by Hoopo at 8:26 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well, maybe shopping therapy.
posted by phearlez at 8:28 AM on April 28, 2015


You don't necessarily need to grow up knowing all this shit — I didn't — to realize the responsibility you have once you do know it. But that responsibility is there, and this mock-hand-wringing despair, the kind that doesn't take you to the streets or to figuring out what the hell you can do, but instead gives you a chance to shrug and say "welp, we're fucked, no point in trying now", is the height of arrogance: to insist, even seeing a problem, that the problem can't be yours to respond to. It's infantile at best, damned ugly at worst.

*shrugs* You can judge how you like, but that's explicitly not the root of it, at least in my case.
posted by qcubed at 8:28 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Woah, that is fucked up. So in the US "contributory negligence" in practice means that if you in any way contributed to an accident or injury, you get nothing at all? It's as if it's all your fault, even if it's found to be like a 10/90 split? What on earth is the purpose of that? That's not what contributory negligence means where I live.

Contributory negligence is the minority position in the US, because, as you say, it's fucked up. It's used in Maryland, DC, Virginia, North Carolina, and one other state (Alabama? I think). I'm not sure how that tort law would interact with a prosecution for criminal negligence (Maryland has separate statutes for homicide by operating a vehicle in a grossly or criminally negligent manner), but that is the rule in those states for regular tort actions.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:34 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


The president is expected to speak around noon (7 minutes from now), but it isn't confirmed he'll speak about Baltimore. Apparently the White House expects him to be asked about Baltimore.
posted by cashman at 8:53 AM on April 28, 2015


Rand Paul: Baltimore Violence Is About 'Lack Of Fathers' And Morals (AUDIO)
"I came through the train on Baltimore (sic) last night, I'm glad the train didn't stop," he said, laughing, during an interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham.

Railing against what he repeatedly called "thuggery and thievery" in the streets of Baltimore, Paul told Ingraham that talking about "root causes" was not appropriate in the middle of a riot.

"The police have to do what they have to do, and I am very sympathetic to the plight of the police in this," he said.

As far as root causes, Paul listed some ideas of his own.

"There are so many things we can talk about," the senator said, "the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of a moral code in our society."
I hope that brogressives remember all that racist dog-whistling and Charlie Pierce's Five Minute Rule the next time they look to him for support on prison reform.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:53 AM on April 28, 2015 [23 favorites]


https://twitter.com/brandon_weigel - right now, at Penn and North, Ann Arundel County police in riot gear advancing in a line to clear street of people who are helping to clean up?

Other reporters to follow - with info on where citizen groups are serving lunches for kids today etc -
https://twitter.com/justin_fenton
https://twitter.com/baynardwoods

Dispatches from the entire week leading up yesterday from the City Paper.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:53 AM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Railing against what he repeatedly called "thuggery and thievery" in the streets of Baltimore, Paul told Ingraham that talking about "root causes" was not appropriate in the middle of a riot.

What a fuckwit. He's only saying that because he doesn't want any discussion on how he is complicit and possibly condones the kind of bullshit that causes this.

Then again, I'm not surprised. People like him always want to avoid talking about root causes whenever a tragedy strikes, because if we never talk about root causes, we never actually have to own up to the poisoned legacy we have.
posted by qcubed at 9:01 AM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Rand Paul glarg fart glarg fart

FUUUUUUUUUUUCK this guy. Fuck all libertarians who just jaw endlessly about civil liberties and freedom and the moment they get a tiny sip of power it melts away into the recesses of their back brain, only to be trotted out occasionally to excite certain very naive people.
posted by selfnoise at 9:03 AM on April 28, 2015 [38 favorites]


Rand Paul: Baltimore Violence Is About 'Lack Of Fathers'

I wonder where they went?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:11 AM on April 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


If black people rioting over police brutality is a sign of lack of morals in black culture, what the hell does the epidemic of white people rioting for fun say about white culture?
posted by dirigibleman at 9:12 AM on April 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


what the hell does the epidemic of white people rioting for fun say about white culture?

That a whole bunch of us are entitled shitheads with fucked up priorities and no respect for others? That isn't really news or particularly controversial, is it?
posted by Hoopo at 9:20 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


what the hell does the epidemic of white people rioting for fun say about white culture?

Dude, if we had culture of our own we wouldn't need to keep appropriating black culture. DUH.
posted by phearlez at 9:22 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Rand Paul has a point, one of his children would certainly never engage in dangerous, reckless, illegal activity because he is such a strong father. I applaud him.

Argh, come on, the evils of the drug war are one of the few things Libertarians have unequivocally right and if you seriously believe you can beat Hillary Clinton you have to take the advantages you have and get out ahead on the issue. You can't even throw the Libertarians a bone with adding that along with the moral decay bullshit?
posted by Drinky Die at 9:28 AM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


In addition to twitter, the Baltimore subreddit was pretty helpful in tracking what was happening last night; here's the current sticky for today (there was a different one yesterday).

Coates still isn't sure it's canceled, but it probably is.

JHU is closed for the whole day now, with all events canceled and most on campus services shutting down early; I imagine Coates' talk is grouped in with that. Currently I think there is a lot of uncertainty and fear here about what will happen this afternoon / tonight. I can't tell how justified this is but it might be (there was already a relatively (in the current scheme of things) minor incident on homewood campus last night) and I think they don't want non-necessary employees to have to come in today.
posted by advil at 9:31 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


(JHU only closed things in Baltimore City, all other campuses are operating as normal today, but I know from my end at the offsite library storage facility that we've cancelled our physical delivery of items.)
posted by sperose at 9:35 AM on April 28, 2015


Coates is canceled.
posted by josher71 at 9:35 AM on April 28, 2015


"There are so many things we can talk about," the senator said, "the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of a moral code in our society."

Now, now, let's not dismiss this before we examine the evidence. Have we seen any stats on how many of those killer cops have no fathers?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:35 AM on April 28, 2015 [17 favorites]


Dude, if we had culture of our own we wouldn't need to keep appropriating black culture. DUH.

If only this was as hilariously stupid as it sounds, and not something that Very Serious Conservatives take Very Seriously.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:36 AM on April 28, 2015


So this is going to be the boogeyman of the GOP primaries then?

So what is Luther the Obama anger translator doing after Obama's retirement? Because I would love to hear Luther screaming about this fucking bullshit.
posted by angrycat at 9:38 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


President Obama being asked questions about Baltimore now.
posted by cashman at 9:41 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


"There are so many things we can talk about," the senator said, "the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of a moral code in our society."

I love how whenever guys like Rand Paul talk about this mysterious "lack of fathers," they do so as if the US exists in some historyless bubble, like we live in some eternal formless present with no reference to the past. You want to know what the root cause of the "lack of fathers" in the black community is? Take a guess! Could it, perhaps, be the legacy of inequality stemming from slavery? Because that's what it all goes back to: the disproportionate rate of incarceration among black men, the "missing" fathers, the economic inequality, the fractured families and communities...it all goes back to slavery, one way or another.

There is something sick and perverse about our society and our media's unwillingness and inability to reckon with our nation's history. "There are so many things we can talk about," indeed. Start with our history, because it's not over, and it's not just in the past. We do our nation a profound disservice to pretend it is.
posted by yasaman at 9:42 AM on April 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


as thoughtful and inciteful as youtube commenters

I see what you did there.

Also: the only response to "Rand Paul says" is Shut Up, Rand Paul, Shut Up Forever.
posted by emjaybee at 9:45 AM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Some interesting stuff about City Paper potentially making the situation worse on r/Baltimore, thanks advil.
posted by holybagel at 9:48 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


"The political goals of rioters in Baltimore are not unclear—just as they were not unclear when poor, Black people rioted in Ferguson last fall. When the free market, real estate, the elected government, the legal system have all shown you they are not going to protect you—in fact, that they are the sources of the greatest violence you face—then political action becomes about stopping the machine that is trying to kill you, even if only for a moment, getting the boot off your neck, even if it only allows you a second of air. This is exactly what blocking off streets, disrupting white consumerism, and destroying state property are designed to do."

"Smashing police cars is a legitimate political strategy"
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:59 AM on April 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


Obama just talked for what, 15 minutes about Baltimore? Hopefully a transcript exists soon. He chastized the things that happened yesterday, but he also went on a long talk about the history behind these things and how we feign concern for a while, and then forget it, and it keeps happening, seemingly every few weeks. It was a pretty great response, considering his first response to the Michael Brown situation was pretty devoid of emotion. Today, in talking about the Freddie Gray situation, he was clearly concerned and his demeanor changed from the discussions he was having with and next to the Prime Minister of Japan, and he started talking with his hands and gesturing and really trying to stress that these problems need to be solved.
posted by cashman at 10:00 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I just want to take a moment to recognize the man of twists and turns' expert use of the title attribute.
posted by duffell at 10:08 AM on April 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Some interesting stuff about City Paper potentially making the situation worse on r/Baltimore, thanks advil.

So, since you mention my name, I feel compelled to distance myself from this particular strand and point out that there are some people in that sub who are in general fairly anti-city-paper (because it is liberal), and I'd be _really_ skeptical of those particular threads. The mods are overall doing a good job of keeping the more overtly racist of this group out of the sticky threads, but frankly I think some of the stuff you're seeing is racist bs posted by people mad about this article, and the fact that it is running counter to the standard narrative about black violence.

The person who is claiming the city paper is lying about the purse thing is, as far as I can tell, not worth giving the time of day, to the point where imo his/her twitter feed is vile enough I'm not going to link to it.
posted by advil at 10:09 AM on April 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Beat up little seagull
On a marble stair
Tryin' to find the ocean
Lookin' everywhere

Hard times in the city
In a hard town by the sea
Ain't nowhere to run to
There ain't nothin' here for free

Hooker on the corner
Waitin' for a train
Drunk lyin' on the sidewalk
Sleepin' in the rain

And they hide their faces
And they hide their eyes
'Cause the city's dyin'
And they don't know why

Oh Baltimore
Man it's hard just to live
Oh, Baltimore
Man, it's hard just to life, just to live

Get my sister Sandy
And my little brother Ray
Buy a big old wagon
To haul us all away

Live out in the country
Where the mountain's high
Never comin' back here
'Til the day I die

Oh, Baltimore
Man, it's hard just to live
Oh, Baltimore
Man, it's hard just to live, just to live

Randy Newman

Nina Simone

The Tamlins
posted by ennui.bz at 10:12 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I work for an NGO, which is currently active on the ground in places like DRC, Yemen, Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. Our CEO was due to go to a big convention-type thing for NGO leaders tomorrow, which was originally supposed to be in Baltimore - but which has just been hastily relocated to Washington as a result.

I sit near his assistant, and I've been overhearing their discussions as she scrambles to rearrange his travel plans; they keep making jokes about "well, at least we're in a country with a stable infrastructure and government," but their tones of voice are taking on a hint of baffled irony.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:13 AM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Meh! Nothing changes and the cycle continues. See you all in the next thread for another black person gets murdered by police where the usual noise is made and the usual racial animosity is played out per script. This is nothing new, as a black man, all I see is a society functioning as designed.
posted by RedShrek at 10:15 AM on April 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


The person who is claiming the city paper is lying about the purse thing is, as far as I can tell, not worth giving the time of day, to the point where imo his/her twitter feed is vile enough I'm not going to link to it.

Sorry, to be clear, I don't know anything about the user 'throwawayspot8' except that I'm skeptical, it's one of the main other pushers of this thing that I'm referring to.

In summary, the sub is useful for the ongoing events and not as bad as some, but apply your usual reddit filters.
posted by advil at 10:20 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Something I've heard very little about is how the curfew is going to impact the local economy.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:35 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


10 images not on the news. I admit, the third video clip down (the police officer responding to the young man) made we well up a bit.
posted by TwoStride at 10:37 AM on April 28, 2015 [12 favorites]




"If you actually cared enough you'd do your homework and the homework says that more black people are killing black people through gang violence and abortions than anything else. But you don't march about that... you give them a pass... even though more black people are dying through that through messing with the police.

The real cancer is black on black violence.

We don't want to look in the mirror and deal with us.... And that's racist. Yes I said it, you are racist. If the only time you got something to say and be an activist is when a white person does something to a different race or to a black person then you are a racist because you are discriminating.... that's hypocritical... that's two-faced... that's phony. You're giving people a pass, and that means, to me, that you really don't care.... You're doing more damage than good.

A real message, especially coming from a Christian man, you go out there, you march, you say you guys did wrong, you messed up, but we're standing here together in unity and we forgive you...

And first of all, addressing the biggest issue first. Which is within ourselves, which takes us looking in the mirror, keeping it real, stop making excuses, stop trying to blame everybody else."


*sigh*

Great to see this video rant* on a family member's facebook feed**. Makes me look forward to holidays where I associate with folks who I know deep down are conservative, evangelicial, and racist assholes just because the wife or I share genetics with them. Bah, I'm in a bad mood.

*From a black member of the US military no less so you know it's not racist or unpatriotic, take that liberals!

** With the blurb "Stop the rhetoric, just listen" in the share text, and a ton of people tagged. If I don't have a BINGO yet I just quit.

posted by RolandOfEld at 10:45 AM on April 28, 2015


The arguments about how rioting is not the right thing to do are like the "if I were a black kid I would be a white kid" article all over again.

If you had a stable childhood with stable caregivers and good role models; if you grew up in a non-ghetto neighborhood, went to an okay school and graduated, didn't inherit centuries of oppression via the trauma of your relatives and the attitudes of everyone around you; and didn't have to wear the signifier of your assumed inferiority everywhere you went, then not rioting is totally logical and you don't deserve a gold star for not doing it.

This is not the situation of most black people in the US. They live in what I can only describe as shitholes. I come from a former third world country and I know shitholes. Low income neighborhoods in the US are world-class shitholes, believe you me. Afghani and Somalian people I work with prefer Kabul and Somalia to the run down neighborhoods they arrive to when they move here, and many actually move back if they can't move out in 6 months.

How can this happen in a developed country without its own citizens feeling betrayed and ignored? Shanty towns are inhumane but inevitable in poor countries. This is the freaking USA. I never thought I would move here to see places comparable to the worst parts of my South American country. I moved here and in 6 years I have made more progress economically and professionally than most of the residents of these neighborhoods ever will because their potential was shut down from before they were born.

Poor people are trapped in this country and made to believe their misery is of their own making. I truly cannot understand how socialism isn't massively popular here. I guess the cold world did a great job brainwashing people into believing the wealthy deserve what they have and the poor are simply not good enough.
posted by Tarumba at 10:46 AM on April 28, 2015 [56 favorites]


Most likely scenario to me seems to be that they put Gray in the back of the van (shackled, eventually) and without his seatbelt. Which is a blatant violation of both common sense and procedure.

Only if you're a caring human being. When I was a kid I remember my father telling me about this -police in NYC at least would do it deliberately and called it 'waffling' - leaving a person unbuckled in the back seat, then driving really fast and short stopping so that their face would slam up against the grate in the vehicle - thus the "waffling" term, as they were intentionally doing it hard enough that it would leave cross-hatched marks on the victim's face.
posted by corb at 10:52 AM on April 28, 2015


Baltimore police giving a press conference soon. I hope they have updates on the case, but highly doubt they will do anything but talk about the violence they're combating.
posted by cashman at 11:14 AM on April 28, 2015


If black people rioting over police brutality is a sign of lack of morals in black culture, what the hell does the epidemic of white people rioting for fun say about white culture?

Cord Jefferson riffed on this in Gawker a while back. Chris Hayes followed up and took it a lot further.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:18 AM on April 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


"In light of the unrest in our city and out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and fellow community members, a decision was made this morning to cancel all classes and events scheduled for today. This includes the JHU Forum on Race in America featuring Ta-Nehisi Coates planned for this evening. We are working to reschedule this event as soon as possible. "
posted by cashman at 11:21 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


i'm watching that Cord Jefferson/Chris Hayes thing right now and i have to say, i nearly started bawling in the first 10 seconds.

it was very hard to watch but also very good.
posted by sio42 at 11:23 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


FUUUUUUUUUUUCK this guy. Fuck all libertarians who just jaw endlessly about civil liberties and freedom and the moment they get a tiny sip of power it melts away into the recesses of their back brain, only to be trotted out occasionally to excite certain very naive people.

Rand Paul is someone who originally said he would not have voted for the Civil Rights Act. The sip of power is what made him change his mind on that and then lie about his previous position.
posted by XMLicious at 11:25 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I truly cannot understand how socialism isn't massively popular here.

"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."

--John Steinbeck
posted by eclectist at 11:29 AM on April 28, 2015 [26 favorites]


Cord Jefferson riffed on this in Gawker a while back.

Even the comments are gold.
posted by Foosnark at 11:33 AM on April 28, 2015




That's a pretty weak analogy, really, and I know from weak analogies.
posted by Justinian at 11:46 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


From Oriorles Twitter: Tomorrow's #Orioles game will be played at 2:05 p.m. and be closed to the public.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:53 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


#BaltimoreLunch on Twitter, citizen groups organizing across the city (churches, rec centers, basketball courts, RedEmma's bookstore,) to feed kids who normally rely on school for lunch. Dig back in the tag a bit to see lists of dozens of sites (churches etc) that have come together for this.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:00 PM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]




Oh, the main guy (?) coordinating that effort (Charles Wade) says they're good on donations but he's retweeting links from other orgs that are helping and could use support.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:07 PM on April 28, 2015


I can't believe that people condone the rioters or even say that they understand the rioters. The rioters aren't the protestors. The rioters aren't protesting.

This also plays into the hands of authoritarians who want to conflate nonviolent protests with "riots" by using the words "protester" and "rioter" interchangeably.
posted by jonp72 at 12:13 PM on April 28, 2015


There's a vast gulf between "understand" and "condone", though. It's important to understand people's motivations. We can seek to understand the motivations of all sorts of people who do terrible things, and we must do so if we hope to prevent the same stuff from happening in the future.
posted by Justinian at 12:20 PM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Riots are absolutely protests. Are they violent protests? Yes. But they are protests.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:20 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Some riots are protests. Some are not. For example, when drunk college dudes riot after their team wins a championship I wouldn't call it a protest. Secondly, all riots which are protests are not the same.
posted by Justinian at 12:27 PM on April 28, 2015 [12 favorites]




Some riots are protests. Some are not. For example, when drunk college dudes riot after their team wins a championship I wouldn't call it a protest. Secondly, all riots which are protests are not the same.

Fair enough point.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:29 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Doni Glover, resident of West Baltimore: Baltimore must 'invest in the people now before it is too late'. The whole thing is worth reading, but here is an excerpt:
"Once last thing: In no way do I condone violence or the destruction of private property. I do, however, understand where the frustration comes from: it comes from living in depressed surroundings loaded with drugs, unemployment and mass incarceration. The recreational opportunities are miniscule and the educational options are limited, but the police budget is incredibly exorbitant. Couple this with people losing their homes to outlandish water bills and you have a lot of stress on everyday people. Then, you ask these same people to be a witness in a murder trial and talk smack about them when they choose not to jeopardize their life any further.

It’s very simple: Invest in the people now before it is too late; if not, there might not be a Baltimore left for anyone to enjoy."
posted by cashman at 12:30 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lawrence Gilliard Jr. from the Wire and The Walking Dead was out helping clean up.
posted by cashman at 12:40 PM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Baynard Woods is at a community meeting starting now at Cloverdale basketball courts, set up and publicized by rappers and other community figures so "the kids can speak" (setting up microphones for them).
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:40 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


That’s where we got the image of a protester, who was most certainly looting, who looks like he’s stealing a purse, but I was there and I’m really not sure if that’s what is happening.
-
The person who is claiming the city paper is lying about the purse thing is, as far as I can tell, not worth giving the time of day, to the point where imo his/her twitter feed is vile enough I'm not going to link to it.

It's pretty clear the guy attempted to grab her purse. Her account of what happened is here.

There does not appear to be any video of her being violent as far as I can tell. To me in the videos she doesn't seem to be looking for a fight, but unwisely trying to mediate. I haven't seen any video where you can hear what she is actually saying though.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:50 PM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


President Obama's full remarks. I'm going to highlight some of the times I thought he made good points, because the media seems to be highlighting, with direct quotes, the portions where he condemned the violence, and omitting or just generally referencing when he also condemned American society for fake concern.
"With respect to Baltimore, let me make a couple of points. First, obviously our thoughts continue to be with the family of Freddie Gray. Understandably, they want answers. And DOJ has opened an investigation. It is working with local law enforcement to find out exactly what happened, and I think there should be full transparency and accountability.

Second, my thoughts are with the police officers who were injured in last night’s disturbances. It underscores that that’s a tough job and we have to keep that in mind, and my hope is that they can heal and get back to work as soon as possible.

Point number three, there’s no excuse for the kind of violence that we saw yesterday. It is counterproductive. When individuals get crowbars and start prying open doors to loot, they’re not protesting, they’re not making a statement -- they’re stealing. When they burn down a building, they’re committing arson. And they’re destroying and undermining businesses and opportunities in their own communities that rob jobs and opportunity from people in that area.

So it is entirely appropriate that the mayor of Baltimore, who I spoke to yesterday, and the governor, who I spoke to yesterday, work to stop that kind of senseless violence and destruction. That is not a protest. That is not a statement. It’s people -- a handful of people taking advantage of a situation for their own purposes, and they need to be treated as criminals.

Point number four, the violence that happened yesterday distracted from the fact that you had seen multiple days of peaceful protests that were focused on entirely legitimate concerns of these communities in Baltimore, led by clergy and community leaders. And they were constructive and they were thoughtful, and frankly, didn’t get that much attention. And one burning building will be looped on television over and over and over again, and the thousands of demonstrators who did it the right way I think have been lost in the discussion.

The overwhelming majority of the community in Baltimore I think have handled this appropriately, expressing real concern and outrage over the possibility that our laws were not applied evenly in the case of Mr. Gray, and that accountability needs to exist. And I think we have to give them credit. My understanding is, is you’ve got some of the same organizers now going back into these communities to try to clean up in the aftermath of a handful of criminals and thugs who tore up the place. What they were doing, what those community leaders and clergy and others were doing, that is a statement. That’s the kind of organizing that needs to take place if we’re going to tackle this problem. And they deserve credit for it, and we should be lifting them up.

Point number five -- and I’ve got six, because this is important. Since Ferguson, and the task force that we put together, we have seen too many instances of what appears to be police officers interacting with individuals -- primarily African American, often poor -- in ways that have raised troubling questions. And it comes up, it seems like, once a week now, or once every couple of weeks. And so I think it’s pretty understandable why the leaders of civil rights organizations but, more importantly, moms and dads across the country, might start saying this is a crisis. What I’d say is this has been a slow-rolling crisis. This has been going on for a long time. This is not new, and we shouldn’t pretend that it’s new.

The good news is, is that perhaps there’s some newfound awareness because of social media and video cameras and so forth that there are problems and challenges when it comes to how policing and our laws are applied in certain communities, and we have to pay attention to it and respond.

What’s also good news is the task force that was made up of law enforcement and community activists that we brought together here in the White House have come up with very constructive concrete proposals that, if adopted by local communities and by states and by counties, by law enforcement generally, would make a difference. It wouldn’t solve every problem, but would make a concrete difference in rebuilding trust and making sure that the overwhelming majority of effective, honest and fair law enforcement officers, that they're able to do their job better because it will weed out or retrain or put a stop to those handful who may be not doing what they're supposed to be doing.

Now, the challenge for us as the federal government is, is that we don't run these police forces. I can't federalize every police force in the country and force them to retrain. But what I can do is to start working with them collaboratively so that they can begin this process of change themselves.

And coming out of the task force that we put together, we're now working with local communities. The Department of Justice has just announced a grant program for those jurisdictions that want to purchase body cameras. We are going to be issuing grants for those jurisdictions that are prepared to start trying to implement some of the new training and data collection and other things that can make a difference. And we're going to keep on working with those local jurisdictions so that they can begin to make the changes that are necessary.

I think it’s going to be important for organizations like the Fraternal Order of Police and other police unions and organization to acknowledge that this is not good for police. We have to own up to the fact that occasionally there are going to be problems here, just as there are in every other occupation. There are some bad politicians who are corrupt. There are folks in the business community or on Wall Street who don't do the right thing. Well, there’s some police who aren’t doing the right thing. And rather than close ranks, what we’ve seen is a number of thoughtful police chiefs and commissioners and others recognize they got to get their arms around this thing and work together with the community to solve the problem. And we're committed to facilitating that process.

So the heads of our COPS agency that helps with community policing, they're already out in Baltimore. Our Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division is already out in Baltimore. But we're going to be working systematically with every city and jurisdiction around the country to try to help them implement some solutions that we know work.

And I’ll make my final point -- I’m sorry, Mr. Prime Minister, but this is a pretty important issue for us.

We can't just leave this to the police. I think there are police departments that have to do some soul searching. I think there are some communities that have to do some soul searching. But I think we, as a country, have to do some soul searching. This is not new. It’s been going on for decades.

And without making any excuses for criminal activities that take place in these communities, what we also know is that if you have impoverished communities that have been stripped away of opportunity, where children are born into abject poverty; they’ve got parents -- often because of substance-abuse problems or incarceration or lack of education themselves -- can't do right by their kids; if it’s more likely that those kids end up in jail or dead, than they go to college. In communities where there are no fathers who can provide guidance to young men; communities where there’s no investment, and manufacturing has been stripped away; and drugs have flooded the community, and the drug industry ends up being the primary employer for a whole lot of folks -- in those environments, if we think that we're just going to send the police to do the dirty work of containing the problems that arise there without as a nation and as a society saying what can we do to change those communities, to help lift up those communities and give those kids opportunity, then we're not going to solve this problem. And we’ll go through the same cycles of periodic conflicts between the police and communities and the occasional riots in the streets, and everybody will feign concern until it goes away, and then we go about our business as usual.

If we are serious about solving this problem, then we're going to not only have to help the police, we're going to have to think about what can we do -- the rest of us -- to make sure that we're providing early education to these kids; to make sure that we're reforming our criminal justice system so it’s not just a pipeline from schools to prisons; so that we're not rendering men in these communities unemployable because of a felony record for a nonviolent drug offense; that we're making investments so that they can get the training they need to find jobs. That's hard. That requires more than just the occasional news report or task force. And there’s a bunch of my agenda that would make a difference right now in that.

Now, I’m under no illusion that out of this Congress we're going to get massive investments in urban communities, and so we’ll try to find areas where we can make a difference around school reform and around job training, and around some investments in infrastructure in these communities trying to attract new businesses in.

But if we really want to solve the problem, if our society really wanted to solve the problem, we could. It’s just it would require everybody saying this is important, this is significant -- and that we don't just pay attention to these communities when a CVS burns, and we don't just pay attention when a young man gets shot or has his spine snapped. We're paying attention all the time because we consider those kids our kids, and we think they're important. And they shouldn’t be living in poverty and violence.

That's how I feel. I think there are a lot of good-meaning people around the country that feel that way. But that kind of political mobilization I think we haven’t seen in quite some time. And what I’ve tried to do is to promote those ideas that would make a difference. But I think we all understand that the politics of that are tough because it’s easy to ignore those problems or to treat them just as a law and order issue, as opposed to a broader social issue.

That was a really long answer, but I felt pretty strongly about it."
posted by cashman at 12:59 PM on April 28, 2015 [86 favorites]


Better chaotic good than lawful evil.

-- some tweet that I don't know how to link or who to link to because the internet is hard.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:07 PM on April 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


FYI: The Baltimore subreddit has some good updates and other stuff. And it looks like they're actually making an effort to moderate the comments, too.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:09 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I tend to think of violence in the context of protests as a result of pressure, not just acutely at the time of the actual protest but also extending to everything that's been adding up over time, the impact of the immediate and general environment and life experience of those involved.

I've been involved in violent protests myself, many years ago and not in the United States. In those cases the violence was a result of the acute circumstances of the protests where police forces used tactics designed to apply pressure and bring things to a boil so they could crack down on the crowd. That's not comparable to what's going on here. The crowd in my case was, just like myself, largely politically motivated, privileged kids from white middle class families in a fairly well off country. Here you're dealing with people who have been systematically mistreated and suppressed for basically ever, a population that is saturated with frustration, fear, hopelessness and anger.

When you put a pot of water on a flame it's going to boil sooner or later, whether you want it to or not. The energy has to go somewhere and barring some other pathway of release it'll heat up and boil. Here the water is the population and the flame is the abuse and suppression, the jailing and killing by police. That energy/stress has got to go somewhere. How it manifests depends on the environment and the actors involved, the mix of timing and individual personalities on the ground.

You can probably point at most individual incidents of violence in the context of these protests and justifiably condemn them. I'd bet you could even get a good percentage of those who committed violent acts to come to the conclusion that it was a dumb idea or bad reaction on their part later on. But on the whole the outbursts of violence are pretty much inevitable. You can't make people's lives miserable and stressful and not expect some of them to snap eventually. Physics of the mind, I guess.

In other words, I believe that those who are condemning the violence and pointing their finger at violent protesters and/or looters are missing the forest for the trees. It's not about individuals but about the entire population. You can't stop water from boiling by swatting at individual bubbles rising. If you don't want the water to boil then you have to turn off the heat. Everything else amounts to sealing it like a pressure cooker with no release valve. It'll blow up.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 1:09 PM on April 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


RolandOfEld: “Better chaotic good than lawful evil.”
“Better chaotic good than lawful evil.”— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) April 28, 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 1:12 PM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Thanks for the cite, I don't use the twitters often.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:13 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


“Orioles Game Postponed Amid Protests in Baltimore”—Michael Smith and Jemele Hill, His & Hers, 28 April 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 1:15 PM on April 28, 2015




From that last article, published a couple of hours ago:
Police investigation: The Baltimore Police Department is leading the investigation into Gray’s death a week after his April 12 arrest in West Baltimore. Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts has said that his department will present a report to prosecutors by Friday. But he also has noted that the "massive investigation" is likely to continue beyond that date. Officials have not said when – or whether -- the results of that investigation will be made public.

Autopsy: The autopsy is being handled by the state medical examiner, and Gov. Larry Hogan has asked that the autopsy report be expedited. Hogan said a preliminary report would be released "as soon as possible," but a complete report would take several weeks.

Potential criminal charges: Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who was elected in November, will determine whether charges are warranted against the officers involved in Gray's arrest and transport. She has said she is conducting an independent investigation of Gray’s death. She has not released a timetable for her decision.

Justice Department probe: The federal agency has opened a criminal investigation into Gray’s death. The agency has not released details, but said it would include the FBI, the U.S. attorney's office and civil rights lawyers within the department.

Internal police discipline: Police officials can discipline officers who violate department policy. Officials already have stated that the officers involved in Gray’s arrest – six have been suspended with pay -- did not give him timely medical care and did not put him in a seatbelt when he was being transported in a police van – a violation of department policy. But the police department generally does not release the details of internal disciplinary actions. State law shields the personnel files of government employees from the public, and police officials generally will not talk about individual officers.
posted by cashman at 1:20 PM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Perhaps dungeons and dragons alignment metaphors aren't the most illuminating way to judge a complicated situation? D&D alignments don't even work particularly well in the context of D&D.
posted by Justinian at 1:26 PM on April 28, 2015 [8 favorites]




There does not appear to be any video of her being violent as far as I can tell. To me in the videos she doesn't seem to be looking for a fight, but unwisely trying to mediate. I haven't seen any video where you can hear what she is actually saying though.

She posted about it on Reddit (she is throwawayspot8). That guy was attempting to steal her purse. Also:

[–]GerminoGreektown 8 points 4 hours ago

Were there bar patrons yelling "Go home niggers"? Were they throwing peanuts and beer bottles at the protesters?

[–]throwawayspot8[S] 14 points 4 hours ago

yes there were

[–]adolescentghost 4 points 2 hours ago

It definitely looked like that dude with the bottle was trying to snatch your purse. I think the guy who wrote that post about you was mistaken and you should clear it up, however it seems like you are admitting that the drinkers were starting shit with protestors and calling them racial slurs. Can you confirm this. Because this is a big part of the story. Before that, people were saying that the protesters randomly attacked the O's fans, but it seems that they were provoked.

[–]throwawayspot8[S] 9 points 2 hours ago

Yes, there were racial slurs from several people. And we call those people dickheads.

[–]adolescentghost 4 points an hour ago

It seems like the media isn't reporting that fact. It is not surprising to me either. There are already so many tensions, and screaming epithets at already charged people is a sure fire way to start a brawl.
posted by longdaysjourney at 1:37 PM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Maybe it's just the Upworthy-style phrasing, but I have a really hard time reading any of Benny Johnson's tweets without wondering why they're supposed to matter.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 1:39 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]




It's probably one of the few things Fox is broadcasting about the riots.
I was watching Fox last night when a reporter found an "angry" resident in the street, an older black woman. You could sorta tell that he was going to interview her because she was upset about the police and the rioting. But then she went into a heartfelt and sad explanation about why the riots were happening, because of hundreds of years of racism and oppression in the US. The reporter stuttered and they went to commercial.
posted by PHINC at 1:51 PM on April 28, 2015 [8 favorites]




American Heart Association has cancelled its meeting in the Baltimore Hilton scheduled for this week (sorry no cite.) Governor Hogan was going on earlier today about how rioting was bad for business.
posted by newdaddy at 1:55 PM on April 28, 2015


Several on my Facebook feed have recently posted what is presented as a rap sheet for Fredie Gray, showing dozens of arrests for selling narcotics. I have no idea if this is even plausible - definitely not confirmed anywhere else that I have seen or heard. Aren't rap sheets personal, protected data?

(Before anyone says it, I do know that even if it were exactly true, it wouldn't exonerate the police of what happened to Freddie while in their custody.)
posted by newdaddy at 2:05 PM on April 28, 2015


Fox News is (rightly, unfortunately) eviscerating the mayor on her comments.

Already debunked upthread. It's like you saying throw the boy across the room the pencil, and someone reporting "METAFILTER USER SUGGESTS VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN". For weeks the mayor has called for calm, said she didn't want any violence. When it was announced that there would be outsiders going into Baltimore to stand with Baltimore protestors, the Mayor said they were welcome if they came to help, not hurt the city. She did televised interviews saying things were to remain peaceful. In the very news conference that clip is taken from, she opens by decrying the violence and saying it is not acceptable to her as a lifelong resident of Baltimore, and it is not acceptable to the citizens of Baltimore. Fox news is doing what Fox news does. Lie. Misinform. Spread untruths. Distort.
posted by cashman at 2:08 PM on April 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


Yeah, local newspeople were puzzled when that story started circulating last night. Nobody here understood her to be saying anything like that.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:11 PM on April 28, 2015


Several on my Facebook feed have recently posted what is presented as a rap sheet for Fredie Gray, showing dozens of arrests for selling narcotics.
I love it when someone points out that a victim of police brutality has a lengthy arrest record for drug offenses. It's like hey look everybody a long list of other times they were victimized by the police.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:12 PM on April 28, 2015 [25 favorites]


Baltimore Orioles VP Just Dropped The Harsh Truth About Riots

Globalization and Baltimore
posted by Golden Eternity at 2:13 PM on April 28, 2015


Local New England CBS affiliate just showed a clip of an interview with the slapping mom which began with, evidently in response to a question about her son, "... he gave me eye contact!" If I ever pass through Baltimore again I am definitely wearing sunglasses the whole time.
posted by XMLicious at 2:13 PM on April 28, 2015


And yes, Freddie Gray had a record. People who knew him and interacted with him have talked about it and said that like a lot of kids in that area, they run the streets. But he wasn't a monster, or some evil dictator. He was like a lot of people in poor areas, who get caught up. Regardless, the Aurora shooter shot 12 people to death and was armed when police caught up to him, and got nary a scratch. The guy who shot Ronald Reagan, the President of the US, is possibly about to get out of jail, and didn't have his spine destroyed by police. But people want to act like it's okay for officers to kill black men, especially if they have a record, or god forbid are behind on payments to the state.
posted by cashman at 2:14 PM on April 28, 2015 [53 favorites]


Oh it's adjudicate the victim time I guess. Poor Freddie won't be pure enough I suppose and we'll just have to wait till the police pointlessly execute someone who passes muster. Maybe some seven year old girl. That will surely be enough to bring people around.
posted by phearlez at 2:25 PM on April 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Gray's record or lack thereof is completely irrelevant. This isn't the Brown case where the assertion was that the officer was made aware of the fact that Brown had been involved in a possible strong-arm robbery immediately before the stop. Gray could have been a serial killer who ate puppies in his spare time and it would be irrelevant. The cops had no idea who he was, they had no idea he had a knife in his pocket, and even if they had been you can't kill a guy by snapping his neck in a police van.
posted by Justinian at 2:27 PM on April 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


So the much covered building that burned down, the senior center, appears to be getting rebuilt. Possibly for free? There is an interview that I'm sure will be making the rounds soon, where the pastor who was in charge got told by a financing and construction company vice president that they are going to rebuild it even bigger and better than previously conceived. The Vice President spoke about how his business is the largest African American church building company in America.
posted by cashman at 2:27 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


HCO Architects is the company.
posted by cashman at 2:32 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Poor Freddie won't be pure enough I suppose and we'll just have to wait till the police pointlessly execute someone who passes muster. Maybe some seven year old girl. That will surely be enough to bring people around.

No, then they just slime the parents.
posted by Etrigan at 2:36 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm really moved to read about the overwhelming community efforts that are so visible today.

That Cloverdale event was partly (?) led by or at least publicized by NBA player Will Barton; from his social media:
"I need all the kids in Baltimore to meet me at Cloverdale basketball court. We're having food, drinks, and peaceful fun!!!" ... "Hey Baltimore- Meet me today at 3pm at Cloverdale on Druid Hill as we come together for conversation and a block party, our city needs us. We're calling all men, youth coaches, teachers, pastors etc. Coaches bring your kids. We need trash bags, plates, cups, napkins, plates, food, hot dogs, rolls, condiments, trash cans, ice, beverages, fruit snacks etc. McDonalds is bringing 2,500 burgers, snacks and more. Please repost and come out. #ILoveBaltimore #BMoreNotLess"
A narrative from Baynard Woods' Twitter coverage of the event [slightly modified punctuation, typos etc for easier reading in this format]:
"Women [here at the park formed a circle and are] praying for [the welfare of] a group of men moving to North Ave. to respond to problem. This was a totally positive scene. [I'm] with .@IamYoungGoldie who is working with other rappers to bring kids to Cloverdale court at 3 pm to urge them to stop violence.

[There's a] PA set up. Woman tells me it is so the children can speak and express their pain. ..Crowds gathering at Cloverdale. Rappers, including @IamYoungGoldie and groups like @SmeBrand want to bring positive force. And give kids a chance to speak. Music blasting, people playing basketball. Asking for grills to cook on. "If you smoking, please put it away."

"We need all the kids here in the city." Calling for the men to surround the perimeter of the courts. Setting up chairs at edge of court as more people arrive. Big crowd arriving at Cloverdale now. "Kids we wanna hear your voice, we wanna know how you feel. we done heard everybody else." "Right now is about letting our kids know we're gonna get justice." "We don't need police, look around. No bullet shells or guns telling us how to act"

"I feel bad for this city because we love it," a kid said. "I feel bad about Baltimore for what they did last night" another adds. "I feel as though if we had more opportunities we wouldn't have trouble," a teen girl says. [2.5 hrs later] Still entirely peaceful and pleasant at Cloverdale. No cops. Plenty of "gangs" and totally under control.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:37 PM on April 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


@prisonculture: "By calling our children 'thugs' & 'criminals,' the Black political class legitimizes police violence against all black children. And for the first Black President to use those words... whew. That's too much. I can't wait until the end of this presidency."
posted by Golden Eternity at 2:42 PM on April 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


Several on my Facebook feed have recently posted what is presented as a rap sheet for Fredie Gray, showing dozens of arrests for selling narcotics. I have no idea if this is even plausible - definitely not confirmed anywhere else that I have seen or heard. Aren't rap sheets personal, protected data?

(Before anyone says it, I do know that even if it were exactly true, it wouldn't exonerate the police of what happened to Freddie while in their custody.)


Snopes notes that 1) you can look up the arrest record associated with the first and last name of anyone in Maryland, and 2) the information represents arrests, not convictions. http://www.snopes.com/politics/crime/freddiegray.asp
posted by 23skidoo at 2:53 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]




Every time (and it's every time) people bring up the arrest records of murdered black people, then they are basically saying that we think it's ok to punish selling loosies, or stealing cigars, or wearing low pants, or jaywalking, with summary execution-by-cop. Making us worse than countries that merely cut off the hands of thieves, or cane them, or whip them.
posted by emjaybee at 3:06 PM on April 28, 2015 [42 favorites]


The Marshall Project: Blue Shield
That such a bill of rights exists was news to many in Maryland. But the mayor was correct to note the significant role that the LEOBoR, as it is called, has played in the investigation into Freddie Gray's death. A set of due-process rights for police officers under internal investigation for alleged misconduct, Maryland’s LEOBoR includes a provision that the officers cannot be forced to make any statements for 10 days after the incident, during which time they are presumed to be searching for a lawyer. It is partly because of this "cooling-off period" — to critics, a convenient delay for the cops to tidy up their stories — that so little has been said by the only people who know what took place within that vehicle.

The standard LEOBoR also provides that an officer may only be questioned for a reasonable length of time, at a reasonable hour, by only one or two investigators (who must be fellow policemen), and with plenty of breaks for food and water.

Samuel Walker, an expert on law-enforcement accountability whose research has focused on the LEOBoR, says that this "special layer of due process" afforded to police officers "impedes accountability, and truly is a key element of our lack of responsiveness to these cases” of apparent excessive force.

"But even though all of this has been on our minds, lately," he adds, "we haven't been talking about the LEOBoR. It's a scandal, really."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:08 PM on April 28, 2015 [10 favorites]




Has anyone seen any independent confirmation of a picture I'm seeing shared of protesters stealing police horses and riding away on them? That seems incredible, but maybe too incredible to actually be true.
posted by corb at 3:23 PM on April 28, 2015


Justin Fenton has nice pics of the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha marching for peace and unity - "This is our Pettus Bridge. It's our opportunity to move it to the next level."
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:26 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Eduardo Encina reports: "According to MLB historian John Thorn, tomorrow's #Orioles game will be the first in MLB history to be played without a paying crowd."
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:31 PM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


From the Baltimore Sun:
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake walks back her earlier comments about "thugs" causing problem in the city.

“We don’t have thugs in Baltimore,” Rawlings-Blake said. “We have a lot of kids that are acting out, a lot of people in our community who are acting out, and the bad part of it is, we all know that on the other side of this they are going to regret what they’ve done, but it’s too late because the damage has been done.” Her comments came after the Rev. Frank Reid III of Bethel AME Church, said “There are no thugs in Baltimore. There are abused children, who are being abused by the cut backs in education, cut backs in housing. Abused people become abusers.” The two were part of a group who gathered at Bethel AME in the Upton neighborhood to announce efforts to provide food Tuesday to children in the city.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:40 PM on April 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Has anyone seen any independent confirmation of a picture I'm seeing shared of protesters stealing police horses and riding away on them?

If that's true, I hope to god they don't run into any San Bernardino County (CA) sheriff's deputies.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:41 PM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Revolution Is A Messy Business
posted by jeffburdges at 3:49 PM on April 28, 2015


Here's the story about Pastor Hickman, whose under-construction senior center was the building that burned down. Apparently they've offered some services free:
"Dr. Michael J. Bluitt was waiting to answer Hickman’s prayers. Bluitt represents HCO, Inc., one of the largest African American church architecture firms in the country. He had a special message for Hickman that brought the man to tears. Bluitt’s firm said it would offer a free conceptual rendering and design consultation, valued at about $40,000."
It made the Pastor cry, but I'm not sure if he was confused into thinking they were going to pay for the building. The lead-in was the reporter saying "Do you believe in Miracles, Pastor? Are you ready for one?" and it really seemed like they were implying the building would get built on HCO's dime. I mean I guess it's a nice gesture, but just not quite what it seemed to be purporting itself as. And then the reporter patted himself on the back pretty mightily, saying "Aren't we good people!?"
posted by cashman at 3:52 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Abused people become abusers

QFMFT
posted by angrycat at 4:42 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Bluitt’s firm said it would offer a free conceptual rendering and design consultation, valued at about $40,000.

Since they were in the process of building the thing, I assume they already had rendering and design taken care of.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:47 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


For anyone in NYC, there's an action tomorrow at 6pm in Union Square, by the same people who organized the Millions March in the wake of the Michael Brown killing. I'd be happy to meet up with other Mefites there so m/email me if you want to coordinate.
posted by Salamandrous at 4:48 PM on April 28, 2015


Her comments came after the Rev. Frank Reid III of Bethel AME Church, said “There are no thugs in Baltimore. There are abused children, who are being abused by the cut backs in education, cut backs in housing....

Oh, I think there are thugs in Baltimore, alright - here's a picture of a bunch of thugs throwing rocks and ganging up on a guy in an Orioles jacket.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:56 PM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


This gentleman is having none of Wolf Blitzer's baiting questions: "Freddie Gray will never be back and those [broken] windows will be."
posted by TwoStride at 5:48 PM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Can we not link to infowars please? (picture of orioles jacket dude link)

I was on my phone and clicked without thinking or previewing.
posted by sio42 at 5:53 PM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Another Twitter list to follow: Baltimore First Person.
posted by standardasparagus at 6:13 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]




Just had a long debate with the mister about this. The debate ended when I said, "My point is that a white man who uses violence to overthrow tyranny is called a hero. A black man who uses violence to overthrow tyranny is called a thug."
posted by Ruki at 6:17 PM on April 28, 2015 [33 favorites]


Thanks Churchhatestucker and Advil for your contributions here. Baltimore Mefi has only a few.
posted by josher71 at 6:24 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's more than a few, but for obvious reasons not all of us are updating.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:26 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]



Several on my Facebook feed have recently posted what is presented as a rap sheet for Fredie Gray, showing dozens of arrests for selling narcotics. I have no idea if this is even plausible - definitely not confirmed anywhere else that I have seen or heard. Aren't rap sheets personal, protected data?

(Before anyone says it, I do know that even if it were exactly true, it wouldn't exonerate the police of what happened to Freddie while in their custody.)


Dozens of arrests for dealing, and not one for a violent offense?

If true, it proves the pointlessness of escalating to a violent arrest when he fled the cops.
posted by ocschwar at 6:37 PM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


So since there are some wackadoodle things that have begun to float around on wackadoodle websites, I'm going to say again that of course the central issue at hand is an alive Freddie Gray getting into the back of the police van, and coming out not alive. But the next issue to me is that a ridiculous amount of time has now passed with no explanation from police about how he died.

When the initial news conference was held where the Mayor said "whatever happened, happened in the van" and Batts spoke about suspended officers and changing numerous policies (some immediately) in the wake of this, I couldn't quite tell what hand they were playing. It seemed like perhaps they thought they (the city) were in the right, and would announce they weren't at fault. The Mayor's language seemed to be just general enough that she was carving out a place for the city and the police to not have been responsible. The event had that "close call" air, where you know you're not liable, but you change a bunch of things anyway.

As time went on, it seemed more and more like perhaps that wasn't the case. They arrested Freddie and he died on Sunday April 12th. A day went by. Then another day went by. Then another day, then another day. Then another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another. Then the next day, full on riots, arrests, fires, you saw it. Another day has passed, and tomorrow will be yet another day, and still we have no information from police or the city about what happened.

At this point, if the officers did nothing, if they put him in the back of the van with no seatbelt but didn't drive recklessly. If the other prisoner, who couldn't see Freddie but could hear him, is certain the officers did nothing. If the officers themselves are saying they did nothing, then we should have known long ago. I hold the police accountable for the damage, the lost business, the state of emergency, having to bring in the national guard, everything, if they had information that the officers didn't do anything. Given national and local context and the clear growing outrage and upset that was no secret, they should have released whatever information they could to inform the public. Information is a resource now. We don't live in decades gone by. Not to again be coy, but I'm not even posting the wackadoodle thing I saw because it's likely going to be one of a bunch of things, akin to Obama being called a secret muslim, not born in Hawaii, et cetera, but I wouldn't be surprised if it surfaces on social media soon, and some of you have probably already seen it.
posted by cashman at 6:44 PM on April 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


Curfew in 13 min. BPD scanner
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:47 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I posted that mother Jones article on fb and some dude said well how does that explain the videos from Saturday? I hope my outspoken liberal friend argues with him bc I just don't have the energy.

It's like, how do I compact this entire thread, all of the threads, bc there are far too many, how do I distill it down to a simple face book platitude?

I'd unfriend him but he's a reminder to me that that point of view exists.
posted by sio42 at 6:54 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know if it's the same people saying it, but I'm amazed that I've seen so much pushback here and elsewhere to categorize harassment, racist aggression, threats, etc. as violence, but willingness to categorize destruction of property as violence. It's a weird disconnect.
posted by NoraReed at 7:03 PM on April 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


I posted that mother Jones article on fb and some dude said well how does that explain the videos from Saturday? I hope my outspoken liberal friend argues with him bc I just don't have the energy.

WTF. I was literally there on Saturday. I WORK AT THE BULLPEN. The City Paper link describes it well.
posted by josher71 at 7:04 PM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Dispatch is reminding police that the press is exempt from the curfew. Which is going to be interesting because half the people out are apparently press.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:04 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Curfew just started. They've been announcing it with bullhorns and helicopters. It sounds like a group of a hundred or two hundred still at Pennsylvania and North - but Justin Fenton is saying many/most are media (allowed to be out after curfew) and others are non-media who are urging others to go home... sounds like not that many actual intending-to-break-curfew folks? But Balt Sun twitter is saying the police are preparing "arrest teams"/staging riot gear nearby.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:04 PM on April 28, 2015


(That's just my summary of current stuff on the twitter feeds of the reporters I linked upthread.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:05 PM on April 28, 2015


Some photos from the Cloverdale park rally from the City Paper.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:06 PM on April 28, 2015




Friend got a photo with Geraldo and I'm pretty jealous.
posted by josher71 at 7:12 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's capitalism, NoraReed. Property is the only real thing; we're here for *it*, not vice versa.
posted by uosuaq at 7:13 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Police moving. Now telling media to leave.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:17 PM on April 28, 2015


You cannot commit "violence" upon property. People can defend themselves for the most. Property must be protected from people, people do not need protection from property.
posted by clavdivs at 7:20 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I made a twitter list during the Ferguson protests last summer. All of those folks are currently reporting on Baltimore, many of them from the ground.
posted by desjardins at 7:21 PM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's entirely possible to decry violence on both sides.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 7:22 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cops in riot gear at the City Schools HQ across the street.
posted by josher71 at 7:22 PM on April 28, 2015


people do not need protection from property

Police vans are property.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:23 PM on April 28, 2015


capitalism is shit
posted by NoraReed at 7:25 PM on April 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


yup
posted by uosuaq at 7:27 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Periscope footage.
posted by josher71 at 7:28 PM on April 28, 2015


It's more than just property. The folks at Trinacria Italian Deli didn't have anything to do with Freddie Gray's death, didn't promote police brutality, and yet their restaurant was essentially destroyed. There are reports tonight about a mother of 3 who is now out of a job because of the CVS that was torched. So property is more than just property - it's people's livelihoods.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 7:29 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


From a FB friend: "More gas. Not good. Pepper rounds."
posted by josher71 at 7:31 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


per Twitter, someone started a (small?) fire outside Pratt Library at Pennsylvania and North, so there's smoke too (i.e., non-tear-gas smoke).
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:39 PM on April 28, 2015


The folks at Trinacria Italian Deli didn't have anything to do with Freddie Gray's death, didn't promote police brutality, and yet their restaurant was essentially destroyed. There are reports tonight about a mother of 3 who is now out of a job because of the CVS that was torched. So property is more than just property - it's people's livelihoods.

Did the folks at Triacria Italian Deli elect in the civic leaders that turned a blind eye when Freddie Gray was killed?

Did the mother of 3 vote at all when it was up to her to choose whether to keep in the judges who would refuse to go after the cop who killed him, or whether to get someone who respected all lives in the community?

Property may be people's livelihoods - but other people are losing their lives themselves. And if we want to reduce the violence, maybe the nonviolent among us need to actually act for a change rather than tut-tutting about the people who are frustrated into lashing out and pointing out the other people who haven't been violent, without asking whether those people have been doing anything at all.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:42 PM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]




per Twitter, someone started a (small?) fire outside Pratt Library at Pennsylvania and North, so there's smoke too (i.e., non-tear-gas smoke).

Appears to be a newsbox fire.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:43 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Did the folks at Triacria Italian Deli elect in the civic leaders that turned a blind eye when Freddie Gray was killed?


I really doubt the "Law enforcement officer bill of rights" that Maryland has would ever pass a referendum anywhere.

While all citizens of Maryland share the blame for not getting that repealed, that blame is heavily diminished when it's yet another example of the democratic process failing in this country.

We need to crush the police unions. They are an idea that has proved to be a very bad one.
posted by ocschwar at 7:44 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]




Did the folks at Triacria Italian Deli elect in the civic leaders that turned a blind eye when Freddie Gray was killed?

Did the mother of 3 vote at all when it was up to her to choose whether to keep in the judges who would refuse to go after the cop who killed him, or whether to get someone who respected all lives in the community?


I don't know, and neither do you.

Property may be people's livelihoods - but other people are losing their lives themselves. And if we want to reduce the violence, maybe the nonviolent among us need to actually act for a change rather than tut-tutting about the people who are frustrated into lashing out and pointing out the other people who haven't been violent, without asking whether those people have been doing anything at all.

It doesn't have to be one or the other. We can take action against injustice and decry senseless violence at the same time.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 7:47 PM on April 28, 2015




It doesn't have to be one or the other. We can take action against injustice and decry senseless violence at the same time.

Conveniently, we can do both at the same time by focusing on the senseless violence that killed Freddy Gray.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:53 PM on April 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


I hadn't been following Jon Swaine but he has the most detailed reporting on the state of the crowd and the last hour or so.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:54 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Tear gas during a curfew?

What are they going to do if it wafts into a house and the residents can't leave?

That stuff causes miscarriages.
posted by ocschwar at 7:57 PM on April 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


Conveniently, we can do both at the same time by focusing on the senseless violence that killed Freddy Gray.

We can do that, and many of us are awaiting the release of the investigation report on Friday. At the same time, we can join with Freddie Gray's family and numerous black leaders in Baltimore to condemn the destruction we saw last night. Again, it doesn't have to be one or the other.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 7:57 PM on April 28, 2015


Desjardins I can't get the twitter list to open for me. Can you paste the names or do screen shot?
posted by sio42 at 7:59 PM on April 28, 2015


Why do we have to do anything? The problem is the Bad Cops and the Good Cops who are too afraid of retribution to do their duty with honor and integrity.

If every "Good Cop" went to work tomorrow and arrested the known "Bad Cops" for the crimes they have personal knowledge of, people would feel the system works and there wouldn't be any riots. The problem is the Bad Cops. Avoiding dealing with that doesn't help anyone.
posted by mikelieman at 8:00 PM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Though it feels a bit trivial as shit hits the fan, here's a slice of life from occupied Baltimore.

I took a bike ride around the city a little while ago, from my home in Bolton Hill to Pennsy & North (the most destroyed site yesterday, where the CVS burned, and the site of much festivity today - see Justin Fenton's tweets from earlier today for some examples) down to City Hall, where I had heard there was another protest.

There's something weird in the air. Even as the city is visibly militarized, there's something a bit looser about people, an understanding that the normal laws are suspended right now in every sense.

That said, Pennsy & North wasn't really what I expected. The good vibes had wound down by the time I arrived, about thirty minutes after sunset. It was mostly people milling around. Most of the white people had signs, most of the black people were just hanging out. There was a wall of officers on the west side of the street, and there was a large front of people facing them. Other than the signs and the cops, if you had come innocently upon the crowd you wouldn't know it from a street fair, albeit a street fair with a seriously weird and tense atmosphere. When I showed up, some dude who looked about forty walked up to me, started drilling me about what I was doing there, and then demanded $5. A woman walking by saw him and I guess our interaction looked weird, because she came over and told him to fuck off, and he laughed and changed from a threatening to friendly tone and said, "Just joking, man." It threw me off. I walked around, said hi to some people, took it in for about fifteen minutes, and biked away.

I rode down Eutaw by Lexington Market. The streets were pretty empty even though it was an hour before curfew. I stopped when I saw a group of six or so black teens hugging cops and posing for pictures with them. The car next to me also stopped. I guess we were both stunned. After thirty seconds of watching, the dude in the car was like, "Man, is that shit real? Is that really happening?" I told him I couldn't believe it either, and he shook his head and said, "Don't they know those guys are the enemy? Don't they know those guys are here fucking us every day?" We both left. He turned off on the next corner and a dude on the corner came up to his window and took some cash.

I took Baltimore Street east. Some dudes in a tricked out sedan were absolutely blasting some rap song that mostly consisted of the words "fuck the police" (not "Fuck tha Police"). I was next to some cops at a traffic light, and they thought it was funniest shit ever. Seriously, the cop in the passenger seat looked like he was on the verge of tears of laughter. When the dudes blasting music drove past me the dreadlocked dude in the passenger seat stuck his head out the window, looked me in the eye, and yelled, "Fuck 'em." I gave him a middle finger and then a thumbs up and he shouted some approval. At the next light I went up to their window and bantered with them. They told me that they were doing a circuit of Baltimore with the song on repeat so they could spread the message before the curfew started.

At City Hall there were only thirty or so demonstrators left. It was 9:20 or so at this point so a lot of people probably needed to head home if they wanted to make curfew. This was a less militant seeming crowd than the one at Pennsy. Some dude was singing Bob Marley. The National Guard was posted up in front of City Hall. Some wasted guy was talking about how he had served and trying to pal around with some of them. They had big guns and an armored Hummer. Anderson Cooper was there.
posted by vathek at 8:04 PM on April 28, 2015 [36 favorites]


This isn't about Freddie Gray anymore.

This is about an ongoing policyof violence and brutality that is sanctioned by the state.

I don't condone violence but I certainly understand it. Do a control f on this thread for persistent widow and read that story.


All I keep thinking is that peaceful protest got people lynched and brutalised during the civil rights struggle. Peaceful protest got MLK Jr assassinated.

I can certainly understand why some people have given up on peaceful protest.
posted by sio42 at 8:07 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


We need to crush the police unions. They are an idea that has proved to be a very bad one.

I'm sure Scott Walker is on this...right?
posted by uosuaq at 8:07 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thanks for your comments vathek! Be safe.
posted by futz at 8:17 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Extracts from Jon Swaine's twitter feed (lightly edited for formatting):
[About 8pm:] Bloods and Crips furious with city authorities for blaming them for yesterday. Say they kept it from being worse.

[About 9pm:] Bloods crips and others moving the crowd away from the police en masse. "We are going home," they say. [I] have never seen a protest being driven back from within like this. Pretty remarkable. MD state senator Catherine Pugh [who was there much of the day doing voter registration] just addressed crowd from police loudspeaker; praised peaceful protest and said "take your babies home"...Another protective line being assembled between police and crowd. ...Those [civilians] clearing the protest sending wave after wave of people with arms linked. Ordering reporters out too.

[About 10pm:] Congressman Elijah Cummings (@RepCummings) is out on the intersection in W Baltimore. "It's ten o'clock. We've got to start moving out." Loudspeaker: "This is congressman Elijah Cummings." Several men, loud and in unison: "Fuck you, n----." Cummings: "I'm begging you. Go home"

[Shortly after 10:] First threat of arrest from police helicopter. "You must go home." Tells media to get out. Police line making moves. Couple of plastic bottles hurled at police. Then the smash of glass. Police have temporarily stopped their march. Another glass bottle smashes at the other side of police line. And then a dinner plate. "No! Don't do this shit!" man shouting at them. [Another minute or so later:] Current state of the standoff. [Three minutes later:] Smoke grenades fired by police. Bangers, flares and smoke grenades fired by police in west Baltimore. All seems like smoke so far rather than teargas where I am. [Ten minutes later:] Now it's teargas.

[Ten-fortyish:] Police fired teargas can. Protester threw it back but it deflected off tree, landed on trash, set it on fire. Took a cloud of it in the face. [Few minutes later:] Fire beside Pratt library was not caused by Molotov cocktail. The teargas grenade landed on trash and its sparks set the fire. Watched it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:20 PM on April 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


Hey is there a live video feed anywhere of the current situation in Baltimore right now? Everything I find is just interviews and stuff that happened yesterday.
posted by gucci mane at 8:21 PM on April 28, 2015


gucci mane, connections appear to be too poor in the area for video (for whatever reason.) The twitter stream and police scanner linked above are working.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:27 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Did the folks at Triacria Italian Deli elect in the civic leaders that turned a blind eye when Freddie Gray was killed?

I'm not sure how this question is relevant unless it is somehow acceptable to exact vigilante justice on others for how you speculate they voted. If there's a different reason you asked this question, please clarify.
posted by Jpfed at 8:29 PM on April 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


I meant to include josher71 in my last comment too. Thanks for all the reports.
posted by futz at 8:30 PM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


gucci mane: “Hey is there a live video feed anywhere of the current situation in Baltimore right now?”
Chris Hayes is out in the street, along with Trymaine Lee, Toure, and others. It's quiet, so it's mostly Chris talking with Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, et al. back in the studio.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:34 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do me (and anyone else) a favor and post a live stream if you find one! I watched Vice's guy on the ground and WBAL yesterday but I can't find any live streams currently. Awaiting Vice to come back with some videos.
posted by gucci mane at 8:34 PM on April 28, 2015


“We Celebrated That Mother in Baltimore. Now, Are We Willing to Face Our Own Hypocrisy?” Goldie Taylor, Blue Nation Review, 28 April 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 8:45 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Do me (and anyone else) a favor and post a live stream if you find one! I watched Vice's guy on the ground and WBAL yesterday but I can't find any live streams currently. Awaiting Vice to come back with some videos.

The reddit moderated live thing is pretty up to date with videos / streams. I don't know that there's much going right now though.
posted by advil at 8:48 PM on April 28, 2015


Thanks for your comments vathek! Be safe.

Don't worry about me. I am at home, beer in hand. The people to sweat about are the ones on the street. The police scanner is worthless but you know there's got to be more hot spots right now than just North and Pennsy - that's just the one that the media was present for. What happened to the people attacking cops at Patapsco?

Did the folks at Triacria Italian Deli elect in the civic leaders that turned a blind eye when Freddie Gray was killed?

Not that this is a question worthy of an answer, but Baltimore is basically run as a political machine, one of the reasons why change is so difficult here. Everyone votes Democratic (90% in most elections), so the only elections that could matter are the primaries. For most positions, the local party just selects a candidate. For more important positions like mayor a few people will run, but the results are close to dictated by voting blocs - particularly black megachurches, as I understand. So if you really want to stand by what you imply, it effectively lays much of the blame at the feet of Baltimore's black citizens. Do you think the folks on the streets should go destroy New Shiloh Baptist or Bethel AME? Maybe the folks who voted Rawlings-Blake should break their own windows. This is the lamest line of reasoning of the several lame lines of reasoning for cheering on vandalism in this thread.

I can't find any live streams currently

I'm under the impression that much of the media is basically gone for the night, not really by their own choice. The exceptions are the City Paper folks, who got tear gassed and ducked into a church. They're at North and Pennsy. Here are two Twitter feeds of people at the scene (1, 2). DeRay McKesson has some good footage from a little while earlier.
posted by vathek at 8:56 PM on April 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


Do you think the folks on the streets should go destroy New Shiloh Baptist or Bethel AME?

That senior housing that got torched was a New Shiloh project.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:00 PM on April 28, 2015


No, then they just slime the parents.

::sigh:: the problem with being sly about a police-murdered black child is that it's not immediately obvious WHICH ONE. I was referencing Detroit and Aiyana and the fact that the cop in question is back on the job.
posted by phearlez at 9:01 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Timeline of BaynardWoods, immediately post-curfew:
[About 10:25-10:40pm:] Police firing pellets..."y'all wanna shoot we can shoot" someone says. Cops about to move....But mostly media. Starting to feel like war on media....BaltimorePolice pointing guns at people and telling them to keep moving. Streets full of gas....Badly gassed. In church.

[About 11:10pm:] This is what a military occupation feels like. ...If coming from Penn this is behind the line. You can't get here. There is a tank on one side of us and a military transport vehicle on other. Boxed into church.

[About 11:30-40:] Still in church. Cops in riot gear posing for pictures outside. Protesters inside flipping them off. ...There is really not much happening. It is police/ media standoff and the police seem to be leaving. The variety of tactical vehicles here is insane.
Sounds like by now (just after midnight) the scene at Pennsylvania and North has cleared out.

Other tweets of interest:

ShordeeDooWhop: The privilege the members of the media are displaying when black folks tell them to get out of their faces with their cameras is UNREAL.

deray mckesson: See, they expected chaos tonight. And it's all media out here. The police are riding around in circles out here with nothing to do.

KingKeem: [11:23] No protesting right now. Just media and white ppl smoking cigs. Cuz they are allowed out after 10. ...They are forcing us off North with rifles. ....[A few minutes later]: So as im pullin away from Penn & North i get pulled over by a Carroll County Tank. Made us open door and pointed AK w/ light at us.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:04 PM on April 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


That senior housing that got torched was a New Shiloh project.

It was Southern Baptist Church, an east side church. New Shiloh is west side. Second time you've been corrected on this in this thread. Not that the distinction particularly matters to your point.
posted by vathek at 9:14 PM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


The cognitive dissonance of Visiting the Maryland Hunt Cup and the protests in one day...
posted by TwoStride at 9:23 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not complaining but the police scanner feed is singularly boring.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:36 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not complaining but the police scanner feed is singularly boring.

I've been listening for a bit. It's slow, for sure, but there's some interesting stuff. Some stern voiced father figurely cop came on to tell everyone that they had to respond to B&Es. "This is people's livelihoods." He told them to come in force and be safe, but the clear implication was that his cops weren't responding at all. There's a red 2015 Subaru that got carjacked by three guys with at least one gun that have been doing some crimes. Somehow even though the streets should be deserted they haven't found it. Sounds like it's in the Northeast district. Somebody just carjacked an MTA (public transit system) vehicle in Cherry Hill. There's a carjacked Toyota out there as well. There have been a handful of break-ins around the city. Sounds like there's some shit going down on the Belair-Edison side of Herring Run Park.
posted by vathek at 9:46 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


“Why Baltimore Rebelled,” Shawn Gude, Jacobin, 28 April 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 10:00 PM on April 28, 2015


Can someone remind me how general curfews could possibly ever be constitutional?
posted by kafziel at 10:05 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ah spring! Protesters are back out in Ferguson tonight, too. As DeRay McKesson says, the movement lives.
posted by limeonaire at 10:08 PM on April 28, 2015


The riots in Baltimore teach us much about America. They’re dark insights
These events provide the nucleus for effective political organization, the raw energy to mobilize powerful coalitions. But they tend to occur in inchoate peoples who lack a political vision of a better world (i.e., something more than dreams).

Their effect is to divide us even further. Resentments build in the Black underclass towards the police and society. Fears increase in the White middle class. The police become even more isolated and insular. The 1% smiles.

We are losing. We have been losing for decades. We will continue to lose until our politics change.

Bell's Curve: Why the Arc of American History Does Not Bend Toward Racial Equality. Toward a Third Reconstruction. How To Destroy A Black Life: A Step-By-Step Guide. The Psychic Toll Of Reading The News While Black.
via Omnivore
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:12 PM on April 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Ah, "rebelled".
posted by mlis at 10:21 PM on April 28, 2015


Can someone remind me how general curfews could possibly ever be constitutional?

The 1st amendment apparently has a sunset provision.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:22 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thanks cashman for posting the transcript of Obama's commentary on the crisis. I think the video is really worth watching, too. It's as pointed as I've ever seen Obama on the issue — or any issue.

We've all already heard this stuff spoken or written more eloquently, more passionately, and more on-point, but seeing our president go there was still pretty moving for me.

President Obama on Freddie Gray's Death
But if we really want to solve the problem, if our society really wanted to solve the problem, we could. It’s just it would require everybody saying this is important, this is significant -- and that we don't just pay attention to these communities when a CVS burns, and we don't just pay attention when a young man gets shot or has his spine snapped. We're paying attention all the time because we consider those kids our kids, and we think they're important. And they shouldn’t be living in poverty and violence.
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:50 PM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]




Terry Pratchett's Sam Vimes on the role of Police and Law:
When we break down, it all breaks down. That's just how it works. You can bend it, and if you make it hot enough you can bend it in a circle, but you can't break it. **When you break it, it all breaks down until there's nothing unbroken.** It starts here and now.
The point is, once the foundation of Due Process and Equal Protection is gone, everything collapses.

The only thing that can stop a Bad Cop, is a Good Cop who isn't afraid of retaliation. Where are they?
posted by mikelieman at 3:38 AM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]




Where is Joseph Kent?
posted by josher71 at 3:57 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Employees traveling to or from work during the curfew should have a valid photo ID and a document from their employer stating their need to work during curfew hours, along with the dates and employee hours, according to the administration.

Identity Papers and Work Passes. Great. It's probably my family history making me twitchy, but that's some scary mach schell shit right there...
posted by mikelieman at 4:16 AM on April 29, 2015 [25 favorites]


It's probably my family history making me twitchy, but that's some scary mach schell shit right there...

Not happy about it.
posted by josher71 at 5:26 AM on April 29, 2015


I'm amazed at how, so far, all the families of the victims have been universal in appealing for calm, calling for non-violence, and urging restraint. I'm fairly certain that if it was my kid who had been killed by the cops I'd be calling for the opposite of all that. They must be better people than me.
posted by sotonohito at 5:37 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


sotonohito, I agree, although these families are being advised by lawyers, and sometimes media PR people as well.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:39 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


[One comment deleted. Mikelieman, you've made your point that "Good Cops need to do something" several times now, no need to continue repeating.]
posted by taz at 5:58 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]




Ugh, this curfew just fucks so many of my friends who work in bars.
posted by josher71 at 6:14 AM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Calls for a 'third reconstruction' are inspiring, but I can t help but recall that the first and second reconstructions only happened during the absence, then the rejection of a significant faction of Congress, because seating pro-slavery members was so offensive to the American dead.

Could a third reconstruction happen if Congress refused to sit the Tea Party caucus, or members of ALEC?

how do we get there from here?

If people are so touchy over a CVS, how will they feel about another General Sherman acting to save American life?
posted by eustatic at 6:24 AM on April 29, 2015




CHT beat me to it because I couldn't pick WHICH story of the blue wall to link to.
posted by phearlez at 6:48 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


The deck's kind of stacked against the good ones.

See under "Schoolcraft, Adrian."

Previously here and also here.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:48 AM on April 29, 2015


We need to have a complete change in how policing happens, and I note that none of the national or local leaders are talking about anything like that. Instead they are all talking about this like it was an isolated incident, a solitary problem to be solved rather than one example of a deep systemic problem.

A real solution would include dismantling the war on drugs, completely altering our prison system, revamping welfare, and altering laws to produce a truly equal mode of policing. Note that the SCOTUS has utterly rejected the last, ruling that evidence of systemic racism is irrelevant and that issues of racism only have legal standing in the very narrow context of pricing that one particular individual has been recorded expressing that fetid actions in a particular case were motivated by racism.

I don't know what can be dine to get things moving on real, systemic, solutions. But I do know that so far no one in power is yet willing to admit that's what is needed.
posted by sotonohito at 7:11 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Steve Inskeep: Baltimore Is Not Ferguson. Here's What It Really Is
That's Baltimore: the place you get offered a wide selection of snacks in a riot zone.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:16 AM on April 29, 2015




Baltimore Chop: A City That's Hard to Love. Part 1/Part 2/Part 3
posted by josher71 at 7:41 AM on April 29, 2015




Instead they are all talking about this like it was an isolated incident, a solitary problem to be solved rather than one example of a deep systemic problem.

To a lot of folks--including me--that seems like the worst possible outcome: violent police officers are treated as exceptions and violent citizens as evidence of pathology. Some argue that both types of violence are evidence of pathology, others that both are exceptions (the classic structure/agent dichotomy.) I'd like to see the claims flipped: police violence is evidence of pathology, while citizen violence (even in deeply oppressed communities like Baltimore) is the exception.

Even if the "riot is the language of the unheard," it's crucial to recognize that the unheard very rarely speak it.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:04 AM on April 29, 2015 [13 favorites]


> It's more than just property. The folks at Trinacria Italian Deli didn't have anything to do with Freddie Gray's death, didn't promote police brutality, and yet their restaurant was essentially destroyed. There are reports tonight about a mother of 3 who is now out of a job because of the CVS that was torched. So property is more than just property - it's people's livelihoods.

And the city is preventing a whole lot of people from getting to their jobs by shutting down the MTA and instituting a curfew. Where's the gnashing of teeth over that collateral damage to people's livelihoods?

Yes yes, you can show your official valid photo work ID (uh, not everyone has this) and pass through...the line of police using rubber bullets and tear gas in riot gear.
posted by desuetude at 8:28 AM on April 29, 2015 [14 favorites]


My main issue with the destruction of things like the CVS and delis and the old people home is that it only hurts their neighbors who depended on those places. The clerk working for $9/hr is not the enemy. Trying to state that the managers of said places probably voted in favor of oppressive laws is really some dubious bullshit.

Empty police vans? I don't care, flip 'em and burn 'em all. Stealing police horses? That sounds kind of awesome, actually. They'll be treated better than Freddie Gray was, I'm sure. To be honest, I'm more okay with the protesters throwing rocks at the police than I am about them hurting their own community. It's just depressing when the downtrodden get kicked some more.
posted by bgal81 at 8:52 AM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Remember when Boston did that whole "shelter in place" thing and conservatives were tripping over themselves to state that Government had no right to tell them what to do, and FREEDOM and all that ?

The silence from them on this has been deafening.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:19 AM on April 29, 2015 [18 favorites]


1. D.C. activists plan rally Wednesday night for Freddie Gray - 7:00 p.m. at the Gallery Place Metro station and march to the White House.

2. Philly is Baltimore support rally planned for 4:30 pm Thursday near City Hall in Philadelphia.
posted by cashman at 9:27 AM on April 29, 2015


David Simon interviewed by the Marshall Project on Freddie Gray, the drug war, and the decline of “real policing.”. He's a lot better when he's providing historical context and analysis and not just chastising protesters.
There’s a real skill set to good police work. But no, they were just dragging the sidewalks, hunting stats, and these inner-city neighborhoods — which were indeed drug-saturated because that's the only industry left — become just hunting grounds.

They weren’t protecting anything. They weren’t serving anyone. They were collecting bodies, treating corner folk and citizens alike as an Israeli patrol would treat Gaza, or as the Afrikaners would have treated Soweto back in the day. They’re an army of occupation. And once it’s that, then everybody’s the enemy. The police aren’t looking to make friends, or informants, or learning how to write clean warrants or how to testify in court without perjuring themselves unnecessarily. There's no incentive to get better as investigators, as cops. There’s no reason to solve crime.
posted by AceRock at 9:31 AM on April 29, 2015 [13 favorites]


I'm a little confused by today's coverage of the events last night. I was listening to the police scanner from midnight to two or so, and it was very clear that a handful of people were arrested throughout the night, more than the original ten. I guess it's probably spin to make the curfew seem more effective than it was. There was quite a bit of breaking and entering and burglary, including groups that were apparently hitting multiple locations, some carjackings, and many "suspicious persons" wandering around, among other things. Some dude was reported to have broken into an east side bar with an axe. I don't know how much this differs from a normal night in Baltimore, though, and it was clear that the curfew and occupation were basically successful. However, despite the enormous police presence, the response times were frequently very slow - like over an hour, if I understood how they refer to it correctly - and the police were particularly reluctant to follow up on B&E reports, as I wrote in my last comment, so the number of arrests probably doesn't correspond very closely to the amount of crime. That said, while there's relatively little follow up on the scanner, I definitely heard of several people who were arrested well after the number ten was reported.
posted by vathek at 9:36 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hillary Clinton: Baltimore Shows Justice System "Out of Balance" [partial video]
Pointing to a wave of violence in Baltimore, Hillary Clinton said in New York City Wednesday that the nation's criminal justice system has gotten "out of balance" and must be restored through steps such as the use of body cameras by every police department in the country. "It's time to change our approach," Clinton said in her first major policy address since launching her presidential campaign earlier this month. "It's time to end the era of mass incarceration."

"In her remarks at Columbia, Clinton also cited the unfairness of black men being more likely to be stopped and searched by police officers, charged with crimes and sentenced to longer prison terms."
posted by cashman at 9:38 AM on April 29, 2015 [7 favorites]






@josher71,

Here is a much more eloquent response to the local vlog video you posted via a user on reddit.
posted by RedShrek at 10:19 AM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]




i feel badly for that man. what do you say to him?

he probably doesn't give a fuck about the history of redlining in baltimore.

sigh.

is there some sand i can go stick my head in?
posted by sio42 at 11:00 AM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]




Orioles/White Sox game is starting. The stands are empty. First Sox batter was struck out. You can hear players talking. You can hear the shutter of cameras. It's weird.
posted by cashman at 11:08 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]






Here is a much more eloquent response to the local vlog video you posted via a user on reddit.

Toni Morrison in 1975: "It’s important, therefore, to know who the real enemy is, and to know the function, the very serious function of racism, which is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and so you spend 20 years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says that you have no art so you dredge that up. Somebody says that you have no kingdoms and so you dredge that up. None of that is necessary. There will always be one more thing."
posted by cashman at 11:20 AM on April 29, 2015 [41 favorites]




Goddamn that's intense.(re toni morrison quote)
posted by sio42 at 11:37 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]




So the wackadoodle theory about Freddie Gray's death that I alluded to previously has been debunked by the Baltimore Sun. FYI - Freddie Gray/Riot coverage at the Baltimore Sun will be free from their paywall.
posted by cashman at 1:05 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Freep was completely and totally full of unsubstantiated shit??? Unpossible!
posted by phearlez at 1:37 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


It didn't originate there, they got it from elsewhere. Regardless, I'm glad to see it debunked.
posted by cashman at 1:48 PM on April 29, 2015


Can someone remind me how general curfews could possibly ever be constitutional?

Constitutional rights may be overridden for a number of reasons, including public safety and welfare, provided the appropriate balancing tests are met. That's why you can't shout fire in a crowded theater.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 2:00 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]




Welp, my work continues to mock me/America. I'm writing up a meeting between legal aid lawyers and police officials in Afghanistan right now:

All the participants showed their support towards [legal aid provider] in the implementation of this project on early access to counsel. Mr. Sifatullah, representative of the police crime branch, and Mr. Abdul Rasol, head of Internal and External Security Crime, suggested if the defense lawyers are always made available during arrest, the legal rights of the suspect and accused would be restored and then no one would be able to accuse the justice and judicial organs of torturing the detainees.

Good fucking point
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:20 PM on April 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


Baltimore Police Will Not Publicly Release Findings of Freddie Gray Investigation

Yep. I thought they would have to spell that out soon. They never said they'd release it, just that they'd turn it over to the state. But if they have some sense, they'd better say something.
posted by cashman at 2:37 PM on April 29, 2015


“Once More, With Feeling,” Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station, 29 April 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 2:40 PM on April 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


I really can't imagine there's going to be anything good in that report.
posted by codacorolla at 2:50 PM on April 29, 2015


The Wright piece is harrowing. And truthful.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:23 PM on April 29, 2015


What is Maryland's maximum holding period after arrest before charges must be filed?
posted by halifix at 3:59 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Normally 24 hours, extended to 48 by executive order under the state of emergency.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:14 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]




Another reporter beaten!
posted by clavdivs at 5:45 PM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


The forum on Race in America that had been previously scheduled for yesterday and was postponed, is on again. "The conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates will take place at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, April 30, in Shriver Hall on the Homewood campus."

For those unable to attend, whereas it was previously going to be recorded and available for a few months within the JHU network, now it's going to be live-streamed. Here's the link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/johnshopkinsu
posted by cashman at 5:54 PM on April 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


Looks like the city is going to go with the, "Stop hitting yourself!" defense.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:33 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


No, it doesn't.
posted by clavdivs at 6:49 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Using Periscope to watch protests and want to hide the (often vile) chat? Swipe right and scroll all the way to the bottom for a button to do that.
posted by glhaynes at 7:07 PM on April 29, 2015


“We disagree with any implication that Freddie Gray severed his own spinal cord,” Downs said.


Gahhhh!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:15 PM on April 29, 2015


Tried to break his own head off. Got it.

"The prisoner...was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him."
posted by rhizome at 7:20 PM on April 29, 2015


Suuuure. A hearsay statement from a police investigator, attributed to an unidentifed prisoner who [even in this obviously made-up bullshit story] couldn't see Freddie Gray, to the effect that this man who committed no crime decided to severe his own spinal cord for no reason.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:34 PM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Looks like the city is going to go with the, "Stop hitting yourself!" defense.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:33 PM on April 29 [0] [?]
posted by clavdivs at 7:35 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


That information that they would say Freddie did it himself and the other guy in the van who couldn't see Freddie would attest to it, was floating around the internet days ago, and I remarked about it earlier in this thread. I hope the Gray family lawyers heard about it then and didn't just find out.

I say now what I said then. If they had any inkling this was the case, that information should have been shared instantly, long before Freddie even died, but most assuredly then, which was 7 days after his arrest on the 12th. April 12th. It's about to be April 30th in little over an hour.
posted by cashman at 7:36 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


He ran into my knife. He ran into my knife ten times..
posted by Justinian at 7:38 PM on April 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


I mean, how do you deduce the city is going to "go with" Mr. Gray ripping 80% of his neck off when a search warrant has been issued for an officer related (presumably) to the arrest?
posted by clavdivs at 7:40 PM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


This whole crisis has really shown me just how nominal the lean in my left leaning friends really is. I expect them to buy that hook line and sinker so long as they think it will get Orioles games back on schedule and stop an extant threat to their property values.
posted by codacorolla at 7:41 PM on April 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


I mean, how do you deduce the city is going to "go with" Mr. Gray ripping 80% of his neck off when a search warrant has been issued for an officer related (presumably) to the arrest?

I'm dubious as well, but Baltimore isn't the best run city in the world.
posted by codacorolla at 7:43 PM on April 29, 2015


MacLeod: Maybe this Fasil was so upset about the lousy wrestling tonight that he went down to the garage and in a fit of depression cut off his *own* head!
posted by Justinian at 7:44 PM on April 29, 2015


when a search warrant has been issued for an officer related (presumably) to the arrest?

"The affidavit is part of a search warrant seeking the seizure of the uniform worn by one of the officers"
posted by cashman at 7:45 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Good evening, Mr. Clavdivs. I'm Drinky Die of Metafilter. The reason I made that comment is that it can sometimes be telling what is selectively leaked at times like this, but also I was being sardonically jokey about the situation. Have a good evening, post safe.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:49 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I do think this illustrates (like Ferguson) the problem with strongly tying legitimate and important rage against a broken system with individual instances of wrongdoing. Because if that instance turns out not to have been wrongdoing (as in Ferguson) it gives people an excuse to dismiss the entire movement.

The systemic problems with policing and prosecution of crime in the USA are important no matter whether any individual case turns out to be a reflection of those problems.
posted by Justinian at 7:59 PM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


From Drinky Die's link:
"The driver made a second stop, five minutes later, and asked an officer to help check on Gray. At that stop, police have said the van driver found Gray on the floor of the van and put him back on the seat, still without restraints. Police said Gray asked for medical help at that point.

The third stop was to put the other prisoner — a 38-year-old man accused of violating a protective order — into the van. The van was then driven six blocks to the Western District station. Gray was taken from there to a hospital, where he died April 19."
So Gray was asking for medical help before the other prisoner got into the van. And even then, the other prisoner rode just 6 blocks with Gray, and couldn't see Gray. Doesn't invalidate anything he has to say, but with the time it has taken for all this, and the odds that he could be in leg irons and handcuffs and still sever his own spine, well it doesn't look good for peace in Baltimore.

There is also still the rumor that he jumped from a 2-story window prior to being arrested. Which is probably untrue as well, but since there is a gigantic vacuum of information and now all kind of things are just flying around, the speculation and creation of stories is going to build. God help his family, and Baltimore.
posted by cashman at 8:01 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


all this is assuming this other prisoner is real, which I am not assuming is true
posted by NoraReed at 8:03 PM on April 29, 2015


"The reason I made that comment is that it can sometimes be telling what is selectively leake..."

Whatever. So, the affidavit was leaked or the mayor got press smacked or what. Your assertion is preposterous. And please stop name dropping. I've seen many members do that and they are no longer here, like your lists. Please stop. If you had memail open, there would be no problem and no need for the comment.
"It can" you say "selectively leaked"
By whom, for what purpose, it was in an affidavit, was it leaked?
Do you think the mayor is that stupid?
Perhaps OED "Sardonic"
Have a fine evening and remember:
Freedom is only an armband away!
posted by clavdivs at 8:06 PM on April 29, 2015


I do think this illustrates (like Ferguson) the problem with strongly tying legitimate and important rage against a broken system with individual instances of wrongdoing. Because if that instance turns out not to have been wrongdoing (as in Ferguson) it gives people an excuse to dismiss the entire movement.

Oh please. Spare me that "it must be a perfect, general protest" stuff. Go up to most people and say you're protesting something general with no specific, outrageous cases, and their eyes will gloss over. If you dismiss the entire movement after there have been decades of protest songs, comedians telling you, news telling you, Amadou, Rodney and so on and on and on, then you are obviously looking for an excuse, and any one will do, and you are the problem. The president of the US spoke about it. People have been yelling it from the rooftops. The innocence project, universities have put out reports. We literally watched a black man get shot in the back 5 times a few weeks ago! You mean to tell me somebody needs more blood from black people before they care?
posted by cashman at 8:07 PM on April 29, 2015 [20 favorites]


Tsarnev
Aurora Shooter
Reagan Shooter
Manson

They all did waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy worse things than anything any of the black men, women, and children killed by police this year.

Yet they've all managed to be safe in police custody.

What's this about dismissing something?
posted by sio42 at 8:16 PM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm sorry, I really do not know what to recommend, but I wish I did. Have a good night!
posted by Drinky Die at 8:16 PM on April 29, 2015


"all this is assuming this other prisoner is real, which I am not assuming is true"

Interesting. Let's assume there is this person, I believe there is an affadavit.
This person did not see the victim but heard. What did he hear. A man in pain sounding like he is...hurting himself...probably around a corner.
I trust my eyes, mr. Gray was in pain and most likely numb. (Fucking bike cops) no way he did this to himself and I doubt this story has credibility for even a corrupt local politican to buy.
posted by clavdivs at 8:18 PM on April 29, 2015


I think it was a thin metal divider of some sort between the prisoners rather than a corner.
posted by Justinian at 8:19 PM on April 29, 2015


Because if that instance turns out not to have been wrongdoing (as in Ferguson)

The fuck that's not wrongdoing. That officer unnecessarily created a situation that led to that chain of events. It was fucking bullshit when the fed created a violent standoff with Branch Davidians rather than just grabbing Koresh while he was out for his morning job, it was bullshit in Ferguson. The fact that it might not have risen to criminal wrongdoing - particularly when you factor in the past-its-time qualified immunity given to officers - is irrelevant for the purposes of a society reacting to an injustice.

MacLeod: Maybe this Fasil was so upset about the lousy wrestling tonight that he went down to the garage and in a fit of depression cut off his *own* head!

Also an on-topic quote from the same movie:
Tony the Hotdog Vendor: [as Tony reads a newspaper headlined: Headhunter-3, Cops-Zero] Hey Moran! Have you read what it says in here?
Lieutenant Frank Moran: You kiddin' Tony? You know cops can't read.
Tony the Hotdog Vendor: [Teasingly to Moran] What does 'INCOMPETENT' mean?
posted by phearlez at 8:20 PM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Jeffrey Damher was a child molesting murdering cannibal and even HE maintained an intact body until a fellow prisoner decided to kill him.

A guy with a head in his freezer was not immediately considered a threat by police.

But a black guy makes eye contact or has a knife... Wel let's all piss our pants and call mommy.
posted by sio42 at 8:23 PM on April 29, 2015 [13 favorites]


A guy with a head in his freezer was not immediately considered a threat by police.

What's worse is that police gave one of his victims back to him because they believed the word of a white serial killer over several black women.

posted by desjardins at 8:30 PM on April 29, 2015 [18 favorites]


The police putatively arrested Mr. Gray for possession of a knife.

The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. 250 white fucks with locked and loaded AR-15s get a How-Are-You-Sir from the cops, but a black guy with a switchblade gets his neck broke.

The NRA - racist as fuck.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:31 PM on April 29, 2015 [14 favorites]


AFAIK the problem was that it's illegal to carry the knife concealed rather than mere possession. But that just begs the question. How can you assert the reason for stopping and arresting someone is a knife which only became apparent after that person was stopped and searched? The previously-unknown fruit of a search can't possibly be used to establish cause to search the person in the first place. That makes no sense.
posted by Justinian at 8:36 PM on April 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


The story I have heard is that he ran after police looked at him which aroused suspicion given the area is a high drug activity zone.
posted by RedShrek at 8:39 PM on April 29, 2015


Your right. I would imagine resisting arrest/ evasion was the initial charge.
posted by clavdivs at 8:40 PM on April 29, 2015


Your right. I would imagine resisting arrest/ evasion was the initial charge.

You can't resist arrest before someone tries to arrest you.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:43 PM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Not unlike arresting someone solely for resisting arrest. What was he resisting in the first place? Why, it's a philosophical conundrum!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:43 PM on April 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


Oh so we're at the "If they run they're VC. If they don't run they are well disciplined VC" point of policing, then.

Does anyone know of any good links talking about the legality of their initial stop and search? Because "He ran away so we arrested him" is bullshit.
posted by Justinian at 8:43 PM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Though, I'm not finding "unlawful glance" in any Maryland statute.

Never said the initial reason to detain him was resisting arrest, just when he was captured "eluding".
posted by clavdivs at 8:47 PM on April 29, 2015


I would imagine resisting arrest/ evasion was the initial charge.

No, his charge in the incident was for the knife. He was chased down because he ran off and the cops were suspicious he had something to hide.

I finally got around to uploading a disco record about how great Baltimore is. This guy has pretty conservative views about what cool shit there is to see around Bmore, and the song is a fun four minute song stretched out to ten, but it gets my civic pride flowing and for some reason it wasn't on Youtube yet.
posted by vathek at 8:48 PM on April 29, 2015


After some reading it appears that merely running from cops even in the absence of any other fact has been deemed sufficient to justify a stop and frisk. Well, shit. Remind me to slowly back away while speaking in a soothing voice next time I see a cop.
posted by Justinian at 8:48 PM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Jebus Justin, your leding the witness!
( that was sardonic)
posted by clavdivs at 8:50 PM on April 29, 2015


An interesting protesting strategy would be to run from any cop you see, always.
posted by rhizome at 9:20 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


An interesting protesting strategy would be to run from any cop you see, always.

...and hope they run out of bullets before they summarily execute everyone for 'resisting arrest'?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:23 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]




@ZaidJilani: "Clinton's book 'It Takes A Village' on the need to get more cops out on the streets and benefits of Three Strikes"

I don't love or even like Clinton either, but that was written 19 years ago. It's not exactly a smoking gun to compare her speech yesterday and her book. So what? Why don't you spell it out?

A cop on the police scanner recently reported that there is a tow truck towing a vehicle on fire.
posted by vathek at 9:46 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I read it as a dig at the perpetual "well, that was then, this is now" rationalization that avoids discussing how we got here. How we got here was the result of people making decisions, making laws, and voting for them. Frankly, her speech yesterday is all smoke until the structure changes. That is, it can't be just her who is responsible for making things better, but the nature of Presidential politics requires that she portray herself as such. I appreciate whatever efforts she makes to move the direction of the wind vane, but some fundamental aspects of US law enforcement and politics simply have to get shanked.
posted by rhizome at 9:55 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


His thoughts were red thoughts: "...and hope they run out of bullets before they summarily execute everyone for 'resisting arrest'?"

No, you run when you see them, not when you are getting jacked up for nothing. If running is reasonable suspicion, then make them suspect everybody, everywhere. Poison the well.
posted by rhizome at 9:57 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


AFAIK the problem was that it's illegal to carry the knife concealed rather than mere possession.

The knife the police allegedly found was a spring-assist knife. These are lumped into the same category as switchblades under Baltimore code and are illegal to sell, possess, or carry (concealed or otherwise).
posted by weebil at 10:04 PM on April 29, 2015


"He ran away so we arrested him" is bullshit.

Two Jews were walking in Berlin in the 1930s when a policeman demanded that they show them their identity card. "What should I do, Moshe," one said, "I don't have any papers!"
"Don't worry," his friend said, "You start running and I'll follow. Just run a bit faster than me."

So they start running, Moshe lags behind and the policeman catches up and tackles him. Moshe pulls out his identity card. The policeman demands, "Jew, if you had identity papers why did you run away?"
"I have a digestion complaint and my doctor told me to go for a run after meals."
"But why didn't you stop when you saw me chasing you?"
"I thought you were another of his patients."
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:19 PM on April 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


Frankly, her speech yesterday is all smoke until the structure changes. That is, it can't be just her who is responsible for making things better, but the nature of Presidential politics requires that she portray herself as such.

And her ability to change the structure is very limited until she has office. She wasn't even voting or making laws then. There are a lot of reasons to be skeptical of her willingness to push for serious change, but pardon me if I yawn at this.

The National Guard has withdrawn from Mondawmin Mall to return to the Fifth Regiment. The cops present seem frustrated and surprised by this, since most of the force present was National Guard.

Otherwise cops are mostly talking about how dead out it is tonight.
posted by vathek at 10:23 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


It seems, according to Hillary's campaign, that she hasn't reversed her position on three-strikes, longer prison sentences, and more death penalties; rather these punishments should be linked to the crime rate. When crime rates are lower as they are now we should back off, but when crime rates are higher the "policy solution" is merited:

Hillary Clinton Calls for an End to ‘Mass Incarceration’
Clinton’s campaign objected to an earlier version of this story that said the former First Lady “rejected” President Bill Clinton’s tough-on-crime stance of the 1990s, when crime rates were significantly higher than they are today. “1999 and 2015 are two very different times,” said a campaign aide. “Crimes rates have dropped by 50%. Different circumstances require different policy solutions.”
This is probably a smart way for her to go. Hillary is still quite popular with working class whites who prefer "tough on crime" policies. By linking her position to crime rates she can appeal to multiple voting constituencies.
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:39 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


And also to people who like blatantly obvious pandering with no logical basis.
posted by Justinian at 10:44 PM on April 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


And also to people who like blatantly obvious pandering with no logical basis.

Trying to use logic in situations like these, which are wholly driven by illogical, human feelings and emotions just makes your brain hurt. It's literally predicated on resisting a non-arrest with no probable cause that any crime had been committed.

Trying to make sense of anything starting from that is impossible.
posted by mikelieman at 3:34 AM on April 30, 2015


It's easy for Hillary to criticize state and local policy. Would she do anything about federal agencies? Obama has let the federal agencies he controls run amuck.

Family of Detroit Man Killed by Federal ICE Agent Says He Was Executed
posted by jeffburdges at 5:33 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]




Though, I'm not finding "unlawful glance" in any Maryland statute.

Maryland prisons will actually punish you for what is called "reckless eyeballing." As David Simon points out in his recent interview, this has returned as a potential offense since the loss of the Baltimore police "code" that indicates the kind of respect due to officers without which they can "humble" you.
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:45 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


30-year veteran investigative reporter Jayne Miller from WBAL went on television last night with reporting that goes against the Washington Post story. She notes that by the time the second prisoner is picked up, Freddie Gray is already unresponsive. The second prisoner was in the van for 6 blocks, 4-6 minutes. She notes that the police commissioner told WBAL that the second prisoner reported that for his portion of the ride, that Gray was mostly quiet. She tweeted that on April 23rd. It's well worth listening to.
posted by cashman at 6:37 AM on April 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


An account from one of the lawyers trying to help folks picked up and corralled in Central Booking for days.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:40 AM on April 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


One of the responses to Jayne's April 23rd tweet linked to a news report from that same day: "In an interview with Baltimore station WJZ-TV on Wednesday, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said a second man who was in the police van at the same time as Gray has said the driver of the van didn't drive erratically. "He didn't see any harm done to Freddie at all," Batts said. "What he has said is that he heard Freddie thrashing about.""
posted by cashman at 6:43 AM on April 30, 2015


From that City Paper piece:

"One man, Sean Carrie, was arrested after being shot in the head by a pepper pellet for taking photographs during Monday afternoon’s fracas at Mondawmin Mall. I actually witnessed, photographed, and tweeted his arrest. “I was taking pictures and . . . he aimed at me and he shot three. One I saw go to my right, one went over that way and one went boom, right in my forehead. And I was like almost blacked out,” Carrie said, the mark on in the center of his forehead clearly visible. Then they arrested him. He said he told them “I’m a reporter, here’s my press pass.” He says the first cop wanted to cut him loose, but a superior refused to and he had been in jail ever since.

Over to the side there were medics offering care. Carrick Bastiany-Gaumnitz was having wounds on his arm dressed. He said he had been badly cut in the hand and abdomen trying to protect a bus driver from a rioter with a knife. He went to Hopkins Hospital and got stitches and “Monday I Was walking back from Fells Point and I wanted to take a picture of Pratt Street and how there was nobody there at all just to show my friends this is what is happening. I wasn’t able to take the picture because officers surrounded me very quickly for having a phone out. The officers strip searched me in the middle of Pratt Street right in front of the Capital Grill and proceeded to empty out all my contacts and started to root through them as if it were a free-for-all like anything that they saw that they liked they could keep. . . They kept two Wi-Fi hot spots, my Sony phone, and my other . . . touch-screen phone.” He said they never returned his belongings and he received only a Tylenol for his wounds."
posted by a fiendish thingy at 6:51 AM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Legislators Say Marijuana Reform Could Ease Tensions In Baltimore And Beyond:
Multiple members of Congress suggested Wednesday that the misguided policies of the drug war have played a central role in brewing tensions between police and residents in Baltimore that exploded into chaos after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.

At a press conference for a new bill that would ensure legal marijuana businesses have access to the banking system, the lawmakers advocated for changes to the nation's drug policies. Reforms would start to address the racial disparities in law enforcement and mass incarceration that the decades-long war on drugs has produced in the U.S., they said.

"Right now when you see all of this disturbance in our inner cities, a lot of that has to do with frustration that's been a problem when police end up doing what -- having to search people to see if they can find some joint in their pocket, a little piece of weed, in order to ruin their life and put them in jail," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.). "That doesn't happen a lot in Orange County, but I know it happens in the inner city."
posted by Drinky Die at 6:59 AM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


The talk at Hopkins has been rescheduled for today (in half an hour actually):

"Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

I am pleased to inform you that the inaugural JHU Forum on Race in America, featuring a conversation with The Atlantic writer and Baltimore native Ta-Nehisi Coates, has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 30, at 10:30 a.m.

We invite you to view the forum live at www.ustream.tv/channel/johnshopkinsu. Individuals who previously registered for the event will receive instructions to print out tickets for the rescheduled event, which is sold out. Tickets will be required for entry.

President Ronald J. Daniels will open the event, which will also include Nathan Connolly, assistant professor of history in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and Debra Furr-Holden, associate professor of mental health in the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

JHU Forums on Race in America is jointly organized and sponsored by the Center for Africana Studies, Diversity Leadership Council, Black Student Union, Black Faculty and Staff Association, Office of Institutional Equity, Homewood Student Affairs, Office of the President, and Office of the Provost. We look forward to continuing these important conversations, and we hope you will view the inaugural event tomorrow.

Sincerely,

Robert C. Lieberman
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
"
posted by sperose at 7:05 AM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


A reporter for WBAL-TV tweeted on the 23rd:

https://twitter.com/jemillerwbal/status/591401433725014017

BPD Comm Anthony Batts says 2nd prisoner in van with Freddie Gray reports no erratic driving by van driver and Gray mostly quiet


Seems he more recently recalled Gray was making a lot of noise.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:31 AM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Maybe the BPD should shut up.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:33 AM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Media Advisory: #PCBatts and #DCDavis will be briefing the media at 11:00am....#PCBatts & #DCDavis announce the investigation into the death of Freddie Gray has been turned over this morning.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:12 AM on April 30, 2015


Freddie Gray: New Timeline Revealed as Police Hand Over Investigation

"Batts said 30 detectives had been assigned to the Gray investigation"

That seems excessive. Trying to inject some bureaucratic apathy?
posted by rhizome at 8:59 AM on April 30, 2015


"Batts said 30 detectives had been assigned to the Gray investigation"

That seems excessive. Trying to inject some bureaucratic apathy?


With 30, it's certain that there will be multiple different conclusions, each with enough people backing them that no one will be able to point to a single one as The Truth.
posted by Etrigan at 9:37 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Davis said they learned of the new stop after examining footage from a privately owned security camera.

Weren't there any honest cops to tell what happened ? They're good, honest cops, so of course, you'll get the full unvarnished truth. It's very curious.

The way I see it, you've got 6 people who conspired to commit murder. Charge them and sweat them like you would anybody else. Maybe Chicago can rent Baltimore the Enhanced Interrogation Site so they can beat a confession out of them like they were a 12 year old shoplifter.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:38 AM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]




Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "Weren't there any honest cops to tell what happened ?"

Well, there's always the unreliability of eyewitness testimony to fall back on, and they can invoke the "officers are just regular people" canard that belies their special training.
posted by rhizome at 9:45 AM on April 30, 2015






Etrigan: "With 30, it's certain that there will be multiple different conclusions, each with enough people backing them that no one will be able to point to a single one as The Truth."

I'm guessing that the "leaked report" that speculated Freddy Gray was trying to break his own head off was some crazy note by one of the 30.
posted by rhizome at 10:22 AM on April 30, 2015


How can we punish police for lying on reports, fabricating evidence, constantly changing their stories? This is maddening.
posted by desuetude at 10:37 AM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]




fleeing "unprovoked upon noticing police presence"

Not seeing any actual criminal charge for this behaviour, and from what I've read -- in NY, at least -- the act of running away itself is not sufficient... Any MD-aware law-talking-people have anything more specific?
posted by mikelieman at 10:53 AM on April 30, 2015


This has a good rundown:
Therefore, the [US Supreme] court held that, while presence in a high crime area, standing alone, is not sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion,iv when coupled with unprovoked flight at the sight of the police, this amounted to sufficient reasonable suspicion to justify the stop.
How that applies to Maryland and Baltimore is unclear to me.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:57 AM on April 30, 2015


Sounds like the cops had every right to make the initial arrest.
posted by corcovado at 11:00 AM on April 30, 2015


Sounds like the cops had every right to make the initial arrest.

I'm assuming you are joking.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:02 AM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Jayne Miller just tweeted: "2nd prisoner tells us he heard some banging noise for 4 secs after loaded in van carrying Freddie Gray but did not see Gray or hear him talk".

She followed that up just now with "Autopsy shows no evidence Gray banged his head against van wall".
posted by cashman at 11:03 AM on April 30, 2015


I don't see them charging him with anything based on fleeing, it's just an explanation for why they pursued and stopped him. Assuming the court accepted that as probable cause to stop him (on suspicion of doing something wrong, the theory being why would you flee if you hadn't done anything wrong?) then the officer would state that he noticed the knife in his pants. Not saying that's right, but it's what the officer is stating in the statement of charges.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:03 AM on April 30, 2015


I'm certainly not a lawyer, but assuming this is true:

Therefore, the [US Supreme] court held that, while presence in a high crime area, standing alone, is not sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion,iv when coupled with unprovoked flight at the sight of the police, this amounted to sufficient reasonable suspicion to justify the stop.

Gray was present in a high-crime area and ran from the cops as soon as he saw them. He had 22 (!) arrests for drug possession and distribution - he was a drug dealer.

So yes, I think it's pretty likely that the initial *stop* (which is technically an arrest but whatever) was justified. It was also justified to bring him in on the weapons charge for the switchblade once it was discovered. It's what happened later that's in question.
posted by corcovado at 11:06 AM on April 30, 2015


When i was in middle school there were these kids who would get mad and chase you just for looking at them. Looks like they became cops.
posted by sio42 at 11:06 AM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


So yes, I think it's pretty likely that the initial *stop* (which is technically an arrest but whatever) was justified.

Based on what?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:07 AM on April 30, 2015


Based on what?

What? He ran from the cops in a high-crime area (justifying the stop), and when caught, was discovered to possess a concealed switchblade, which is against the law in Maryland (justifying the arrest).

That's not even mentioning the fact that he had had 22 (!!, again, for emphasis) drug-related arrests on his record; the cops undoubtedly knew who he was and knew why he ran.
posted by corcovado at 11:13 AM on April 30, 2015


He ran from the cops in a high-crime area (justifying the stop),

Yeah, I don't think that's illegal.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:16 AM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


knew why he ran

So the cops are psychic now?
posted by sio42 at 11:16 AM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Again, Jayne Miller, 30-year veteran of WBAL's twitter: "2nd prisoner in police van. .telling us about the ride with Freddie Gray on the other side" (photo of 2nd prisoner)

Looks like the 2nd prisoner is out currently. Last reports I'd seen he was still in jail and unable to be contacted. But clearly that isn't the case based on the picture.
posted by cashman at 11:16 AM on April 30, 2015


He ran from the cops in a high-crime area (justifying the stop),

Yeah, I don't think that's illegal.


It's been judged to be. It's bullshit - running from police should not be taken as legal evidence of guilt - but it's judged to be.
posted by corb at 11:17 AM on April 30, 2015


So the cops are psyhic now?

No, I don't think cops are psychic, but I do know that their beat assignments are geographically stable, and that cops working in Gray's neighborhood likely knew who he was (since, of course, he was a drug dealer).
posted by corcovado at 11:19 AM on April 30, 2015


In the Washington Post report, they said the second prisoner was a 38-year-old. Looking at Miller's tweet(photo), that guy just doesn't look that old at all. Things must be getting mixed up. Watching this unfold is going to be interesting. Something definitely is off.
posted by cashman at 11:21 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Couple of comments deleted. Cool it please.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:23 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't think that's illegal.

It's not that it is illegal - although it may well be. It's that it is, by itself, probable cause to detain.

So far, so good. Police did what the law allows them to do.

How'd Gray's neck get broken ? Well, golly gee, that's just one of them mysteries, there.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:24 AM on April 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


he was a drug dealer

It's not actually illegal to be a drug dealer. It is illegal to deal drugs. Dealing drugs is an action not a state of being.

Did they witness or have evidence of this action? If they saw him dealing drugs, they had evidence that he was dealing drugs, or there was a warrant to arrest him for dealing drugs, that would be one thing. But "I just know he's a drug dealer (C'mon, everybody knows!)" isn't really the same thing.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:34 AM on April 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


BPD started their latest press conference with the number of injured officers. :/
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:40 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, golly gee, that's just one of them mysteries, there.

Personally, I don't find this a mystery at all. I think the likeliest story is that Gray was a bona-fide criminal, and that the cops were mad that Gray made them run and beat the shit out of him. This seems to be common practice in Baltimore - I've seen it in-person and obviously police brutality was a fixture of The Wire.

I think that cops - who are very often sadistic creatures, no doubt - know how to beat someone brutally in such a way that minimizes the chance for life-threatening injury, but something went 'wrong' here. There have been suggestions that Gray injured his back in the weeks leading up to his death, but I don't know what information to trust. More likely, I think that the cops were (illegally, and immorally) beating the shit out of this guy, and something went wrong - he twisted in a weird way during the beating, or the 'rough ride' bounced him in a non-standard way, or one or two cops took it a little too far - resulting in a catastrophic outcome.

It's what happens when large parts of major cities are war zones where police do not live - eventually, cops start seeing themselves as an occupying force rather than an organic part of the community. These outcomes will inevitably follow.

Did they witness or have evidence of this action?

This is an irrelevant question because it appears that the cops did not err in detaining Gray (because he ran from them in a high crime area) or arresting him (because he possessed the concealed switchblade, which is illegal in Maryland). He was not arrested for dealing drugs.

On the other hand, you can't expect cops to be law-enforcement automatons. They're human. They're going to notice patterns in the neighborhoods they police, and if my own experience in a marginal neighborhood is anything to go on, it becomes very obvious, very quickly, who's a troublemaker and who isn't.
posted by corcovado at 11:43 AM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


There have been suggestions that Gray injured his back in the weeks leading up to his death, but I don't know what information to trust.

This has already been debunked.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:44 AM on April 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


A few days ago, Devin Allen, a 26-year-old West Baltimore resident, only aspired to be a professional photographer. For the past two years, he had been photographing models and had tried his hand at street photography, drawing his inspiration from photographers such as Gordon Parks and artists like Andy Warhol.

But, when protests took over his city in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death, the young amateur photographer took to Instagram and found himself propelled on the global stage.

His photographs of the demonstrations — peaceful at first, then more violent — grabbed the headlines: they were featured on the BBC and CNN, and shared by thousands of Twitter and Instagram users, including Rihanna.

Now, one of his most iconic images, shot at the heart of the protests on April 25, is featured on this week’s cover of TIME.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:52 AM on April 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


Wow that pic made me tear up. 1968 Indeed
posted by sio42 at 11:57 AM on April 30, 2015


Freddie's family, via their lawyer, is asking for patience. In the tweet, I think it's supposed to be (whether it was the lawyer or fenton) they don't want a rush to judgement. Regardless, the family is asking for patience. I'm not sure that will have any effect on what happens next.
posted by cashman at 12:01 PM on April 30, 2015




I have a friend who's pretty decent overall, but can be counted on to chime in with "what I heard...," followed by the FOX News line, on literally every outrage appearing in the media. On this one, what he heard was that Freddie had been throwing his body around violently in the back of the patrol car.

To his credit, he later realized this couldn't be true, but it wasn't because of the violent-throwing-himself-around bit. It was something else, something I didn't catch, as by that time in our conversations I pretty much resign myself to focusing on other things so as not to depress myself any more.
posted by JHarris at 12:06 PM on April 30, 2015


roomthreeseventeen: "The Character Assassination Of Freddie Gray"

I remember reading something during Ferguson that when the police start the character assassination and muddying of waters that it's about liability and civil suits, and that the goal is to reduce the calculations of their culpability. A kind of jury poisoning, but directed at insurance companies.
posted by rhizome at 12:22 PM on April 30, 2015


"To his credit, he later realized this couldn't be true, but it wasn't because of the violent-throwing-himself-around bit. It was something else, something I didn't catch, as by that time in our conversations I pretty much resign myself to focusing on other things so as not to depress myself any more."

Oh, great, now I'm going to be wondering what it was. Any chance you, uh, you could ask him?
posted by I-baLL at 12:27 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Y'all need to watch the last 15 seconds of this video if you watch nothing else"

Transcript, from January 6th 2015. (control + f for Baltimore)
posted by cashman at 12:27 PM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


The sources spoke to ABC7 News after being briefed on the findings of a police report tuned over to prosecutors on Thursday as well as preliminary findings made by the medical examiner's office.

Sources said the medical examiner found Gray's catastrophic injury was caused when he slammed into the back of the police transport van, apparently breaking his neck; a head injury he sustained matches a bolt in the back of the van.
Convenient. The only person they'll be able to hang anything on will be the driver. S/he will claim entirely accidental. Maybe they can claim someone swerved in front of them. They won't charge the driver but even if they do they'll never get a conviction. Probably just as well as they don't, as they would surely grant a change of venue and that would stir up a whole additional (justified) round of protests for the cops to rile up into trouble.

Make sure you click the link above to see the concluding line. Assuming you hate being happy.
posted by phearlez at 12:28 PM on April 30, 2015


So the coverup is complete. Oh well, onto the next one.
posted by RedShrek at 12:30 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]




RedShrek: "So the coverup is complete."

Except for the part where they stopped four times, reorienting him at least once.
posted by rhizome at 12:34 PM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


cashman, yeah there was an fpp on that remarkable man.
posted by twist my arm at 12:35 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't get how that's even breaking news. From the beginning, a "nickel ride" was suspected by many. So what in there goes against that? It says his fatal injury was caused in the van. That's what was suspected.
posted by cashman at 12:35 PM on April 30, 2015


> Gray was present in a high-crime area and ran from the cops as soon as he saw them. He had 22 (!) arrests for drug possession and distribution - he was a drug dealer. So yes, I think it's pretty likely that the initial *stop* (which is technically an arrest but whatever) was justified. It was also justified to bring him in on the weapons charge for the switchblade once it was discovered. It's what happened later that's in question.

His record should be taken with an enormous grain of salt. If stop-and-frisk were practiced at the downtown bars where investment brokers and politicos and corporate executives hang out after work, a ton of upper-class white dudes would have a very long rap sheet for possession and distribution.

The idea that running away in a high-crime area is inherently suspicious behavior, rather than a dim excuse for profiling, is just ludicrous. Hey, if it's such a known high-crime area, shouldn't people who want to stay out of trouble be nervously running away from it? If the cops are there, something must be going down that could be dangerous for bystanders. I promise you that I, as a smallish white woman in her 40s, would be yelled at by cops if I didn't flee this scenario.

> No, I don't think cops are psychic, but I do know that their beat assignments are geographically stable, and that cops working in Gray's neighborhood likely knew who he was (since, of course, he was a drug dealer).

Their beat assignments? Where they drive around in their cars? You don't think that cops spend most of their time walking the beat like in the olden days, do you?
posted by desuetude at 12:35 PM on April 30, 2015 [19 favorites]


@rhizome

I have no doubt that this narrative will become the "truth".
posted by RedShrek at 12:39 PM on April 30, 2015


"So the coverup is complete. Oh well, onto the next one."

I don't see how this is a coverup. This is actually pretty damning. They were supposed to buckle him up and didn't. And note how it's the back of the van and not the front. If they braked harshly then he would've hit the front of the part of the van that he was in. The only way he would've had his neck be broken by a bolt is, it sounds like, if he was thrown at it. This could've been caused by really rapid acceleration but I don't think police vans are capable of that, are they?
posted by I-baLL at 12:41 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


People have issues with the religion of the president (I'm thinking jfk here) but no one gives a flying fuck that a civil servant is a high ranking member of an organised hate group? Wow.
posted by sio42 at 12:43 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, was. I realize that guy is no longer on the force.
posted by sio42 at 12:44 PM on April 30, 2015


Negligence
posted by RedShrek at 12:44 PM on April 30, 2015


I thought about that and I feel like it's pretty much impossible to decide just how it could have or couldn't have happened. Maybe they broke hard and he braced himself against it and then they sped back up and he whipped back. Maybe they took a corner fast. It's pretty much impossible to rule anything out. What we know is that he wasn't belted in, and suffered an injury that resulted in his death. I wonder if they will charge the driver with something. Also I wonder how legitimate that report is, because it says the driver hasn't spoken with authorities yet. That really begs more inquiry. Did he invoke his 5th amendment rights or get a lawyer or what?
posted by cashman at 12:46 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sources said the medical examiner found Gray's catastrophic injury was caused when he slammed into the back of the police transport van, apparently breaking his neck; a head injury he sustained matches a bolt in the back of the van.

And the crushed trachea ? Secret stops ? Driver not talking ?

Yeah, you need to be a rocket surgeon to piece that together.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:48 PM on April 30, 2015


They were supposed to buckle him up and didn't.

That's already getting the spin about exactly when the message went out on the policy. At best everyone other than the driver gets a tsk about procedure, not a contributory manslaughter charge.

We've also got the groundwork-laying about Gray moving on his own, so defense (not that there will be a charge I would bet you $20) would go for oh, he was standing when he shouldn't have been at just the wrong moment and the van started and OOPS falls back.

I mean, none of this is insurmountable when you have a group of people interested in prosecuting. But we don't. Even if they are, who's the remaining not-excused jury pool here?
posted by phearlez at 12:48 PM on April 30, 2015


This could've been caused by really rapid acceleration but I don't think police vans are capable of that, are they?

Exactly. Hence this is probably going to be the centerpiece of the "evidence" they present for him somehow committing suicide by throwing himself against the walls.
posted by fifthrider at 12:48 PM on April 30, 2015


BREAKING NEWS
April 30 2016

African American Man shot 237 times in Chicago for resisting arrest.
Witnesses and video from the scene show the man remained completely still during the arrest but rolled his eyes during cuffing, prompting what your uncle and several of the people from the small town you grew up in describe as a "reasonably proportionate response to the situation"

#thenewnormal
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:56 PM on April 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


Depends on the van, but rest assured police get the most powerful of any model they use. Also, it doesn't have to be acceleration from a standstill, they could gas-brake-gas-brake with plenty of change in speed to throw someone.
posted by rhizome at 12:57 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


This could've been caused by really rapid acceleration but I don't think police vans are capable of that, are they?

It doesn't have to be that rapid, if you are already injured, your hands are cuffed, and you have nothing to hold on to. I see people almost fall over all the time on the subway, at relatively low speeds, if the braking is jerking/sudden enough.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 12:58 PM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


His record should be taken with an enormous grain of salt. If stop-and-frisk were practiced at the downtown bars where investment brokers and politicos and corporate executives hang out after work, a ton of upper-class white dudes would have a very long rap sheet for possession and distribution.

Okay?

The idea that running away in a high-crime area is inherently suspicious behavior, rather than a dim excuse for profiling, is just ludicrous. Hey, if it's such a known high-crime area, shouldn't people who want to stay out of trouble be nervously running away from it?

Ok, but take it up with the Supreme Court.

If the cops are there, something must be going down that could be dangerous for bystanders. I promise you that I, as a smallish white woman in her 40s, would be yelled at by cops if I didn't flee this scenario.

You're a smallish white woman in your 40's, not a drug dealer with a record. Also, presumably in this scenario, you're not the cops' target.

Their beat assignments? Where they drive around in their cars? You don't think that cops spend most of their time walking the beat like in the olden days, do you?

Do you live in a city? Seriously. Cops can seem like random presences in the suburbs - popping up here and there to give tickets - but in cities with dense neighborhoods, even law-abiding citizens know a few of the local cops at least by sight. What is so surprising about the idea that the police in question probably had some prior knowledge of Gray - a person who had, objectively speaking, lots of run-ins with the cops?
posted by corcovado at 12:59 PM on April 30, 2015


In the video of the arrest, it looks like Freddie Gray has already been injured.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:59 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


We do have Gray asking for medical help before the second prisoner was put in the van. The second prisoner interview (Donte (sp) Allen) is on WBAL right now.
posted by cashman at 1:02 PM on April 30, 2015


Donte Allen is 22 years old, according to WBAL. Not sure what the disconnect is between WBAL and the Washington Post report that said the second prisoner was 38 years old.
posted by cashman at 1:09 PM on April 30, 2015


So it seems the only reason being given for Gray being the "cops' target" is that he was black since a small white woman obviously isn't something the cops are scared of or think may be a drug dealer.

Right.
posted by sio42 at 1:09 PM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


What is so surprising about the idea that the police in question probably had some prior knowledge of Gray - a person who had, objectively speaking, lots of run-ins with the cops?

Nothing. What's also not surprising is their (or your apparent) presumption that he needed to be stopped and talked to under the authority of the law for being known to them.
posted by Etrigan at 1:10 PM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Nothing. What's also not surprising is their (or your apparent) presumption that he needed to be stopped and talked to under the authority of the law for being known to them.

Again, it's not "my apparent presumption". It's the Supreme Court's. At the moment he ran, the police had the right to stop him.

A second question is whether this stop *needed* to happen. I can't answer that and frankly, neither can you (unless you're a cop).
posted by corcovado at 1:14 PM on April 30, 2015


So it seems the only reason being given for Gray being the "cops' target" is that he was black since a small white woman obviously isn't something the cops are scared of or think may be a drug dealer.

Right.


No. Again, I understand emotions are high here, but read this carefully:

1) The Supreme Court holds that individuals who run from the police in high-crime areas are subject to detainment.

2) Freddie Gray was an individual who ran from the police in a high-crime area.

3) Therefore, Freddie Gray was subject to detainment.

4) After he was detained, officers found a concealed switchblade, which is illegal in Maryland. That justifies the arrest.

Gray was targeted first because he ran from the cops, and then because he had the switchblade. The story of his arrest is really that simple.

It's what happened after the arrest that is the issue here. It really doesn't hurt the progressive case here one bit to admit that the guy was a criminal with a long history of lawbreaking - it doesn't change the fact that what happened to him after the arrest was wrong, and that cops' heads should roll over it (figuratively, of course)
posted by corcovado at 1:21 PM on April 30, 2015




What is so surprising about the idea that the police in question probably had some prior knowledge of Gray - a person who had, objectively speaking, lots of run-ins with the cops?

The BPD's history of mass arrests contradicts this. I really encourage you to read the Marshall Project interview with David Simon about the recent history of Baltimore police and the resulting culture of the department. (emphasis mine)
[W]hat it taught the police department was that they could go a step beyond the manufactured probable cause, and the drug-free zones and the humbles – the targeting of suspects through less-than-constitutional procedure. Now, the mass arrests made clear, we can lock up anybody, we don't have to figure out who's committing crimes, we don't have to investigate anything, we just gather all the bodies — everybody goes to jail. . . .

How do you reward cops? Two ways: promotion and cash. That's what rewards a cop. If you want to pay overtime pay for having police fill the jails with loitering arrests or simple drug possession or failure to yield, if you want to spend your municipal treasure rewarding that, well the cop who’s going to court 7 or 8 days a month — and court is always overtime pay — you're going to damn near double your salary every month. On the other hand, the guy who actually goes to his post and investigates who's burglarizing the homes, at the end of the month maybe he’s made one arrest. It may be the right arrest and one that makes his post safer, but he's going to court one day and he's out in two hours. So you fail to reward the cop who actually does police work. But worse, it’s time to make new sergeants or lieutenants, and so you look at the computer and say: Who's doing the most work? And they say, man, this guy had 80 arrests last month, and this other guy’s only got one. Who do you think gets made sergeant? And then who trains the next generation of cops in how not to do police work? I’ve just described for you the culture of the Baltimore police department amid the deluge of the drug war, where actual investigation goes unrewarded and where rounding up bodies for street dealing, drug possession, loitering such – the easiest and most self-evident arrests a cop can make – is nonetheless the path to enlightenment and promotion and some additional pay. That’s what the drug war built, and that’s what Martin O’Malley affirmed when he sent so much of inner city Baltimore into the police wagons on a regular basis.
posted by gladly at 1:24 PM on April 30, 2015 [18 favorites]


> Do you live in a city? Seriously. Cops can seem like random presences in the suburbs - popping up here and there to give tickets - but in cities with dense neighborhoods, even law-abiding citizens know a few of the local cops at least by sight.

desuetude lives in Philadelphia, if that is citified enough. I live in the Mission in San Francisco, where there are plenty of cops and none that I recognize. I am out for walks every day after work and no, I don't recognize them on sight because the only time they are out of their cars is when they are making a traffic stop or waiting for coffee at Philz.
posted by rtha at 1:26 PM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


vathek, corcovado is right, and the more important part is that IT DOESN'T MATTER whether Freddie Gray was actually a criminal or not, or whether the police were correct in pursuing him. The important points are (a) the police apprehension of Gray (not his treatment) would likely be considered reasonable under the law (and therefore doesn't support claims of police brutality or racial profiling), and (b) if the police violated their own procedures and caused Gray's injuries, either during the apprehension or in the van, then it makes zero difference whether Gray's apprehension was reasonable, because the cops are in trouble.

There's a debate to be had over whether Supreme Court precedent is too police-friendly (spoiler: it is), but that doesn't really apply here.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 1:30 PM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


The BPD's history of mass arrests contradicts this. I really encourage you to read the Marshall Project interview with David Simon about the recent history of Baltimore police and the resulting culture of the department. (emphasis mine)

There's nothing in that link that suggests that police have zero prior knowledge of anyone they happen to come across in their shift. It suggests that cops might have less of an incentive to walk a beat, but it doesn't mean that Gray - a person who would have been well-known to law enforcement - was completely incognito to the arresting officers.

In any case, the question of whether he was known before the fact is kind of a red herring, given that the arrest seems legally OK.
posted by corcovado at 1:32 PM on April 30, 2015


I love how Ta-Nehisi did highlight some of the aspects of what counts as reasonable suspicion in areas like where Freddie Gray was detained during his talk at JHU.
posted by RedShrek at 1:34 PM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


4) After he was detained, officers found a concealed switchblade, which is illegal in Maryland. That justifies the arrest.

To be clear, the cops claim to have found a switchblade. Walter Scott died with the cop's taser next to his body, too...

There is often considerable distance between what cops claim and what is actually, objectively, true is what I'm saying.

Also I've seen a number of severe head injuries and seizures are common in those cases. It could very well be that the second prisoner didn't hear Gray agitating. He heard him dying.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:41 PM on April 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


There's nothing in that link that suggests that police have zero prior knowledge of anyone they happen to come across in their shift.

There is more than enough in that link to suggest that the BPD arrests anyone, everyone with the thinnest of pretexts. What are young men who live in high crime areas to do when they see cops but run? It sounds like you'd prefer they just submit, move slowly, and try not to get murdered by the state.
posted by gladly at 1:41 PM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


[Folks, if a line of argumentation is becoming problematic, please flag it and do not respond further. Please do *not* attempt to moderate it yourself - it results in further arguments and thread clutter. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 1:43 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


"That's already getting the spin about exactly when the message went out on the policy. At best everyone other than the driver gets a tsk about procedure, not a contributory manslaughter charge.

We've also got the groundwork-laying about Gray moving on his own, so defense (not that there will be a charge I would bet you $20) would go for oh, he was standing when he shouldn't have been at just the wrong moment and the van started and OOPS falls back.
"

No, they won't get a "tsk about procedure". He's not the first person to be driven this way in a Baltimore police van. He's just the first one that we know has died. The others have ended up paralyzed:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-gray-rough-rides-20150423-story.html#page=1
posted by I-baLL at 1:44 PM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Cops can seem like random presences in the suburbs - popping up here and there to give tickets - but in cities with dense neighborhoods, even law-abiding citizens know a few of the local cops at least by sight.

I agree with rtha. I live several blocks from a major police facility, I walk around my neighborhood a lot, and I never see cops out of their car unless they're going in/out of the police building or the sandwich shop. I wouldn't recognize any of them out of uniform.
posted by desjardins at 1:45 PM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


There is more than enough in that link to suggest that the BPD arrests anyone, everyone with the thinnest of pretexts.

Sure, but that wasn't the question.

What are young men who live in high crime areas to do when they see cops but run? It sounds like you'd prefer they just submit, move slowly, and try not to get murdered by the state.

What? Yes (although the words that you've put in my mouth are impressive). Call me a conservative, but I think the proper thing to do when given an order by police is to follow it.
posted by corcovado at 1:46 PM on April 30, 2015


An archived version of Coates' talk if you wanted to hear it, but couldn't live.
posted by frimble at 1:49 PM on April 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


To be clear, the cops claim to have found a switchblade.

The family does not dispute he had a knife though they say it was a "pocket knife of legal size". Which is a sort of non-denial denial as it could still be an illegal switchblade. The cops could easily release a picture of the knife, of course, and put the whole thing to rest.
posted by Justinian at 1:54 PM on April 30, 2015


I think the proper thing to do when given an order by police is to follow it.

Gray ran before he was given an order. The corruption and well-documented brutality of the BPD is what caused him to run. You are much more than simply conservative if you'd advise someone to submit to a beating because the state doesn't punish those who give it.
posted by gladly at 1:55 PM on April 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


It wouldn't put the whole thing to rest, because the arrest and detainment isn't the issue. It's whether they were reckless or negligent with him (purposely or accidentally) in a manner that caused his death.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 1:56 PM on April 30, 2015


Call me a conservative, but I think the proper thing to do when given an order by police is to follow it.

As a 40 year old middle class white person with no criminal record, I would follow police orders because my chances of getting hurt are extremely low. My calculus would change considerably if I were a black teenager who'd been previously arrested and who had been subjected to police violence - or knew many others who had. I'd be wondering how fast I could run.
posted by desjardins at 1:58 PM on April 30, 2015 [19 favorites]


> What? Yes (although the words that you've put in my mouth are impressive). Call me a conservative, but I think the proper thing to do when given an order by police is to follow it.

There is no amount of "law-abiding" or "obedient" that is sufficient for a black person, especially a black man, to keep from being harassed, abused or killed by police.
posted by rtha at 1:59 PM on April 30, 2015 [32 favorites]


(Gray wasn't a teenager, not sure why I threw that in there.)
posted by desjardins at 1:59 PM on April 30, 2015


@rtha,

That point is something conservatives can't (won't) understand. I'm a black dude in my 30s, no criminal record, played by all the rules. Yet, I have stories of some encounters with LEOs that have made me very wary of them.
posted by RedShrek at 2:02 PM on April 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


Call me a conservative, but I think the proper thing to do when given an order by police is to follow it.

That's funny. Could you remind me when Freddie Gray or I signed up for the military? Wearing a badge doesn't make you equivalent to someone's CO.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:03 PM on April 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Gray ran before he was given an order.

You don't think the cops said 'STOP!' as soon as he started running?

The corruption and well-documented brutality of the BPD is what caused him to run.

This is pure speculation, and it seems clear to me that the more likely answer (to the unanswerable question 'Why did Freddie run?') is that he was a longtime criminal who was actively committing another crime (possession of the switchblade) at the time the cops came into his neighborhood. No doubt he was familiar with BPD brutality, but it seems unlikely that this was the primary reason he ran away.

There is no amount of "law-abiding" or "obedient" that is sufficient for a black person, especially a black man, to keep from being harassed, abused or killed by police.

Whether this is generally true or not - I'm willing to grant that it is - it doesn't suggest that the proper course of action is running away, since the laws of the United States give police the power to arrest you if you do.
posted by corcovado at 2:03 PM on April 30, 2015


That's wrong. You cannot be arrested for merely running away (assuming you have not been detained yet). Running away can be a reason for the cops to then briefly question you, which may reveal other reasons you can be arrested. In this case the purported concealed switchblade.

But no, the police do not have the power to arrest you simply for running.
posted by Justinian at 2:09 PM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Someone posted this on Facebook today:

not an elegy for Mike Brown
Danez Smith

I am sick of writing this poem
but bring the boy. his new name

his same old body. ordinary, black
dead thing. bring him & we will mourn
until we forget what we are mourning

& isn’t that what being black is about?
not the joy of it, but the feeling

you get when you are looking
at your child, turn your head,
then, poof, no more child.

that feeling. that’s black.

\\

think: once, a white girl

was kidnapped & that’s the Trojan war.

later, up the block, Troy got shot
& that was Tuesday. are we not worthy

of a city of ash? of 1000 ships
launched because we are missed?

always, something deserves to be burned.
it’s never the right thing now a days.

I demand a war to bring the dead boy back
no matter what his name is this time.

I at least demand a song. a song will do just fine.

\\

look at what the lord has made.
above Missouri, sweet smoke.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:16 PM on April 30, 2015 [33 favorites]


For what it's worth, outside the 42nd St. station in New York yesterday, the NYPD was doing a huge show of force around the protests. There were literally 50-60 of them standing together, lined up, just staring at folks. I'm a small white woman, and I was terrified.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:16 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Call me a conservative, but I think the proper thing to do when given an order by police is to follow it.

hot damn, i haven't laughed out loud like that in DAYS.

oh dear lord.
posted by sio42 at 2:20 PM on April 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


This is pure speculation, and it seems clear to me that the more likely answer

So, you're purely speculating as well. You're just doing it without acknowledging at least a decade of poisonous police culture in Baltimore.
posted by gladly at 2:23 PM on April 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


The problem with the police claims, that he ran, that he had a knife, whatever...

The problem with the police claims is that we KNOW that cops lie ALL THE TIME. They have zero credibility, and it's more likely that the knife, if there was one, was planted...
posted by mikelieman at 2:30 PM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Like I said, the family appear to agree that he had a knife. If there was a chance it was planted I would expect they would dispute the knife thing.
posted by Justinian at 2:33 PM on April 30, 2015


Justin Fenton linked to a Baltimore Sun article that notes that the final autopsy report is not out yet.
Maryland's chief medical examiner, Dr. David R. Fowler, said his office has not completed an autopsy or turned any documents over to police or prosecutors. He said homicide detectives had observed the examination, a routine practice.

"Our first report will be final, and will go directly to the State's Attorney's Office," Fowler said. He said his office was conducting one of its last examinations and anticipated results would be available "shortly."
posted by cashman at 3:00 PM on April 30, 2015


Some of the Ravens were in West Baltimore distributing food, so that was great. And there was this little kid there, probably 10 years old, who was just a great little sparkplug, talking about the whole thing. Looks like Carmelo is in Baltimore today too.
posted by cashman at 3:02 PM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


corcovado: "Call me a conservative, but I think the proper thing to do when given an order by police is to follow it."

That's not a conservative, much less partisan, sentiment, it's an authoritarian one. People of all stripes would agree with you.
posted by rhizome at 3:04 PM on April 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


Here's a bit more on the Ravens. Class act.
posted by TwoStride at 3:04 PM on April 30, 2015


And if you noticed Rev Run in the picture, you'd be correct.
posted by cashman at 3:05 PM on April 30, 2015


Good job Ravens. And yeah, I know they have some PR debts they are working on paying off in the wake of the Ray Rice situation but that doesn't mean they aren't doing a great job right now.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:08 PM on April 30, 2015


Call me a conservative, but I think the proper thing to do when given an order by police is to follow it.

But that can still get you killed.

They might also issue orders to you that you can't hear because they're choking you and hitting you and grabbing you and you can't tell where the voices are coming from because you can't breathe and you can't think and you can't feel your limbs.

Is there a posted definition of the high crime areas in which running is sufficient cause for detention? For example, I know when I'm in a work zone on a highway where traffic fines will be doubled. I can tell when I'm in areas where noise ordnances are enforced. There are signs that advise me when it's unlawful to openly carry and consume alcoholic beverages.

So it would seem logical that the state, in its magnificence and benevolence, would tell me when I'm in an area where running from a group of people who just might brutally beat me and kill me is wrong. But so far I haven't been able to find a clear definition of such an area nor anything that indicates whether the State must post advisories about the status when it applies.

The way black people slain by the police are always put on trial -- not unlike victims of sexual assault -- has made me wish I could post the following job opening to Monster.com:

Post Date: 4/30/2015
Title: Black Martyr
City: Any
State: All

Description
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY is to surrender your life in the cause of bringing about progress on racial issues in the United States after having lived a life free of any blemishes that could cause a conservative, moderate, or someone "pretty far to the left, but...." to rationalize your death at the hands of law enforcement officers, security guards, or neighborhood watch members. The successful applicant will humbly and meekly submit to assault, physical and emotional torture, and possible death in the fulfillment of their duties.

Other responsibilities will include:
· Representing the entire black race
· Maintaining a lifestyle that is beyond reproach in any way
· Coming to the attention of police, security guards and neighborhood watchmen without having violated, or appearing to have violated, any written or unwritten laws, rules, regulations, or customs.

Requirements
No training will be provided. Ability to control all bodily movement, including involuntary reflexes, a plus.

Must dress in a manner that cannot in any way be construed as "black", "gangster", "urban", non-professional, suspicious, or un-Christian or that flaunts a higher socioeconomic status than law enforcement officers.
Must have a perfect credit rating.
Must have no criminal record or transgression of any kind -- no citations, no speeding tickets, no walked tabs, no late library books, no D's on tests in high school, etc.
Must possess a post-graduate degree.
Must be an excellent husband, father, provider, neighbor, co-worker, boss, and subordinate.
Must be vouched for by at least eight (8) white people who also must be model citizens themselves.
Must be able to tolerate high levels of pain without moving or speaking.
Must be slight of build and never have played any contact sport or studied any martial art to avoid Giant Negro and Black Panic scenarios.
Computer literacy required
Must be a team player and possess excellent customer service skills.
Must be able to successfully pass drug/alcohol screening.
Must comply immediately and submissively with any request from any person acting in any way in a peace-keeping capacity, including private citizens.
posted by lord_wolf at 3:12 PM on April 30, 2015 [77 favorites]


Minneapolis rallied in solidarity with Baltimore. That's so great to see. It's also great to see lord_wolf, cause damn.
posted by cashman at 3:14 PM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Relevant Dave Chappelle
posted by RedShrek at 3:17 PM on April 30, 2015


UDC will defer an exam for any student going to help out in the Baltimore protests. Solid.

Also: my read on the whole "probable cause to detain for fleeing" issue is that, while maybe it's legal in a high-crime area, that area cannot be so broad as to be a whole neighbourhood. It seems more like it's on the level of particular houses/apartments, or even more specifically if there's an active investigation into the area. I don't know enough about Gray's arrest or Baltimore geography to hazard a guess about where he fled from - anyone know it in detail?
posted by Lemurrhea at 3:24 PM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


“Why Black People Running From the Police Makes Perfect Sense,” Neeraja Viswanathan, In These Times, 28 April 2015
Sociologist Alice Goffman explains why the decision of so many young black men like Freddie Gray to run from the police is completely rational.

Cf. “How Poor Young Black Men Run from the Police,” Alice Goffman, VICE, 08 May 2014 [Previously]
posted by ob1quixote at 3:26 PM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Whether he had a knife is entirely irrelevant to the question of "did the police behave recklessly or unlawfully".

My understanding is that Freddie Gray may have been guilty of a misdemeanor; a relatively trivial crime for which he paid the ultimate penalty. In contrast, many of the people reading this may be unwittingly guilty of far more serious crimes that are rarely or never punished.

For example, anyone who sells, purchases, or transports across US state lines an article containing (e.g.) rainforest timber are potentially guilty of a felony, and may be arrested without a warrant. (16 U.S.C. §§ 3371–3378) That law criminalises breaches of the plant and animal protection laws of foreign countries; it is literally impossible for most people to be sure they're not breaking it. You wouldn't expect this law to be enforced, but it's there - and you're not more virtuous because you don't fear the law, are you?
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:31 PM on April 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Right, death is not an acceptable punishment for any crime much less a misdemeanor. But that doesn't mean the details of his initial stop aren't worth discussion.
posted by Justinian at 3:33 PM on April 30, 2015


"...but that doesn't mean the details aren't worth discussing" is the mating call of the concern troll.
posted by Etrigan at 3:50 PM on April 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


The details are pointless and ridiculous. They could have picked him up in the act of beating a clown to death with a tire iron, and it still would be a really big fucking problem that he died in custody.
posted by KathrynT at 3:52 PM on April 30, 2015 [25 favorites]


No doubt he was familiar with BPD brutality, but it seems unlikely that this was the primary reason he ran away.

It seems really unlikely that he ran because he was afraid of being arrested for his switchblade. Nobody's saying "Hey, we found a crap ton of drugs on Freddie Gray" or anything like that. There was really nothing that Freddie Gray was doing at the time that he ran that was super illegal. I'm not sure why you think it's unlikely that police brutality was the primary reason he ran.
posted by 23skidoo at 3:52 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


But that doesn't mean the details of his initial stop aren't worth discussion.

If only to determine who habeased the corpus. The person with custody of the prisoner is responsible for their life -- or death as the case may be. Period. End of story.

In a just world, that person, or people would be sitting in jail awaiting arraignment.
posted by mikelieman at 3:56 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just because this line of inquiry has gone on long enough,

No doubt he was familiar with BPD brutality, but it seems unlikely that this was the primary reason he ran away.

"Earl Williams, who has lived in Sandtown for 40 years, said he had known Gray since he was a child. [Gray] He always got locked up because he’d tell the cops, ‘I ain’t afraid of you.’ He wouldn’t back down. He ran because they always beat him up."

That was in the article posted 2 days ago.
posted by cashman at 3:56 PM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


So, Lt. Rice, the highest ranking official in the arrear, had been suspended twice since 2012 for mental health and judgment issues.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:00 PM on April 30, 2015


Great Moments in Peaceful Protest History [comic]
posted by andoatnp at 4:02 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


317, link?
posted by mlis at 4:47 PM on April 30, 2015


Concerning the "switchblade," stop to think how entirely unlikely Freddie Gray was actually carrying a switchblade. When is the last time you've seen a switchblade? Probably in an 1980's film about the 50's or maybe an actual film from the 50's. Switchblades have been illegal to possess, to sell, and to import and transport across state lines for almost 60 years. The only ones you'll see now are on knife collector videos on YouTube.

He had an assisted-opening knife. "While news reports have described the knife Gray was carrying as a "switchblade," the actual police report (see charging documents at bottom of page) describes it as a "spring assisted, one hand opening knife," which has become among the most common on the market in recent years." This type of knife is sold in every Walmart, Target, sporting goods, and home improvement store in the state, so it seems odd to charge him with possession.

But it's just more of the same, the police use antiquated knife laws written in the 1950's to trump up charges against minorities and the media goes along with the most sensational version of the story the police feed to them.
posted by peeedro at 4:48 PM on April 30, 2015 [21 favorites]


The Medical Examiner found patterned injuries on his head matching bolts in the back of the police van, consistent with his head and neck being slammed against the van.
posted by Renoroc at 4:59 PM on April 30, 2015


Switchblades have been illegal to possess, to sell, and to import and transport across state lines for almost 60 years.

I don't think this is true. Wikipedia (I know, I know) claims otherwise (" It does not prohibit the ownership or carrying of automatic knives or switchblades inside a state while not on federal property, nor does it prohibit the acquisition or disposition of such knives in an intrastate transaction or an interstate transaction that is noncommercial and/or does not substantially affect interstate commerce")

And they are legal in Maryland.

I had a switchblade (legally acquired) until very recently (2 years ago).
posted by thefoxgod at 4:59 PM on April 30, 2015


(They are not legal to carry concealed in Maryland of course which I guess was the issue, but mere possession is not illegal)
posted by thefoxgod at 5:00 PM on April 30, 2015


If I am wearing pants, there's a 99% chance I have an assisted-opening knife clipped to the inside of my pocket. (I am wearing pants 100% of the time I am out in public.) I guess I deserve whatever the police and media decide to do to me?
posted by rtha at 5:02 PM on April 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


The family does not dispute he had a knife though they say it was a "pocket knife of legal size". Which is a sort of non-denial denial as it could still be an illegal switchblade.

I was actually talking about this in another thread - the amount of mostly minority individuals jailed for illegal knives which are actually pocket knives that cops can occasionally cause to act like other kinds of knives is ridiculous.
posted by corb at 5:03 PM on April 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


Like, basically, people think 'Switchblade' they think a stiletto appearing from nowhere, but really any kind of knife that has something you press on to unlock the blade can also count. Which is, pro tip, how most pocket knives are made these days.
posted by corb at 5:04 PM on April 30, 2015


And in my experience, if you're an upper-middle-class white guy who is discovered with a knife that is, perhaps, not appropriate for the state in which you are now residing, the police might be willing to overlook this. In other words, yes these laws are enforced in an uneven and discriminatory manner.
posted by thefoxgod at 5:10 PM on April 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Also, I'm just going to say it. If you're one of the people I usually see with me in gun threads talking about the benefits of concealed carry, then you really have no business talking about how Freddie Gray shouldn't have been carrying a knife. The right to carry concealed weapons to protect yourself is not confined to white middle class suburbanites.
posted by corb at 5:10 PM on April 30, 2015 [26 favorites]


"...but that doesn't mean the details aren't worth discussing" is the mating call of the concern troll.

And "the details aren't worth discussing" is the mating call of people who don't care about anything except spewing rage everywhere without any kind of actual conversation.
posted by Justinian at 5:25 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah I realized that the knife I used to carry could be read as illegal if a cop was so inclined. I never got in trouble for it. If I were a black guy in the inner city I might be in jail instead. Or dead I guess.
posted by Justinian at 5:27 PM on April 30, 2015


Justinian: "And "the details aren't worth discussing" is the mating call of people who don't care about anything except spewing rage everywhere without any kind of actual conversation."

Before we dive too far down into the touchy-feely world of "not caring about actual conversation," I think it makes sense that said delving come with some explanation of relevance or consequence to the larger story. Otherwise, the logical conclusion is something like, "he forgot to feed his cat once."
posted by rhizome at 5:27 PM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Because cops rousting black men with no legal basis is another way in which the system is rigged. It may have happened here. And that's separate from Gray dying; even were he perfectly healthy right now it would be something to investigate and worth finding the truth of, though of course we probably would never have heard of the case in that instance.
posted by Justinian at 5:30 PM on April 30, 2015


The knife was not why he was rousted. It may be why they ultimately decided his life had no value and killed him, but I don't think we know that level of detail yet.

But yes, as someone who shares your luck in not being a black person in the inner city, shitty 4th Amendment practices are something I'd love to see reformed. As for knives, I'm pretty sure the 2nd Amendment has long been suspended in these neighborhoods, so by that token Hillary has her reform work cut out for her, for sure.
posted by rhizome at 5:40 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, not just the knife but the initial pursuit should be at issue. Though as we've established in the thread it appears that simply running is enough to justify a stop in a "high crime area".

That seems like a self fulfilling prophecy to me. If running in a "high crime area" justifies stops, you will be justified in stopping more people in those areas. And stopping more people will mean more illegalities are discovered even if the number of people breaking the law is similar to that in other areas, which will drive crime stats up, which will be used to justify more stops.
posted by Justinian at 6:06 PM on April 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


Exactly.
posted by sio42 at 6:09 PM on April 30, 2015


And stopping more people will mean more illegalities are discovered even if the number of people breaking the law is similar to that in other areas, which will drive crime stats up, which will be used to justify more stops.

It's a racist jackboot stomping on an entire community based on race and economic class, supported by politicians and judges for centuries. It's not a self-fulfilling prophecy, it's an intentional feature of contemporary existence. I don't mean to quibble, but "prophecy" puts it in Hillary's "whoopsy!" territory. "We forgot to predict the future better."

And what if the crime rate isn't higher than other areas? Lots of drugs, sex crimes and financial shenanigans are going through cellphones in the nice part of town, and I wouldn't be surprised to see how well the gray area around financial "misdeeds" used as a rationale not to investigate or prosecute white collar crime maps to the gray area that undoubtedly surrounds "dangerous areas" where running from the cops can get you killed.
posted by rhizome at 6:21 PM on April 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


Suuuure. A hearsay statement from a police investigator, attributed to an unidentifed prisoner who [even in this obviously made-up bullshit story] couldn't see Freddie Gray, to the effect that this man who committed no crime decided to severe his own spinal cord for no reason.

Update: The story direct from the guy in the van does not match up with the one spun by the police investigator. He says they're lying about his testimony.
“And they trying to make it seem like I told them that, I made it like Freddie Gray did that to hisself (sic),” Allen said. “Why the [expletive] would he do that to hisself (sic)?”
My shocked face, this is.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:31 PM on April 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


wow, that article corb posted is shocking and well worth reading. Your whole life could be ruined by something you bought - legally - at Home Depot.
posted by desjardins at 6:34 PM on April 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yes, that is bullshit
posted by Windopaene at 6:43 PM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Just posted: Jayne Miller, WBAL: "New info on Freddie Gray timeline suggests spine injury may have occurred within 14 mins of being in van. 60 min more before Shock Trauma".
posted by cashman at 7:08 PM on April 30, 2015


Just posted: Jayne Miller, WBAL: "New info on Freddie Gray timeline suggests spine injury may have occurred within 14 mins of being in van. 60 min more before Shock Trauma".

By new info, I assume that means 'further bullshit claims by police, who now realise that their supposed witness will not corroborate their lies and so have to come up with an explanation in the time frame where there were no non-police witnesses'.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:10 PM on April 30, 2015


> You're a smallish white woman in your 40's, not a drug dealer with a record.

Oh dear, you do realize that those categories are not mutually exclusive, right?

Do you live in a city? Seriously. Cops can seem like random presences in the suburbs - popping up here and there to give tickets - but in cities with dense neighborhoods, even law-abiding citizens know a few of the local cops at least by sight.

Yes, I do live in a city. A really really big one! With poverty and rich people and working-class people and white people and brown people and black people and all sorts of crimes! I work in one of the poorest neighborhoods in North Philly. I see a LOT of cops, both there and in my now-rather-gentrified South Philly neighborhood. No, I don't recognize their faces. They don't recognize me, either. Even though there is frequent police activity at the end of my block due to a nuisance property. And the police precinct is a block and a half from my house. (They drive over and bring several cars.)
posted by desuetude at 8:11 PM on April 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


I live in nyc and I don't know any cops by sight. Partly because I do my level best to avoid looking at their faces, because what if they decide I'm looking at them funny?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:15 PM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]






cashman: Thanks for that video link. There was a feature on NPR a few months back that featured this guy, but I didn't catch his name as I was driving at the time, and somehow missed the fpp linked up there as well. It would appear that klan activity in the BPD isn't exactly a new thing. A quick googling reveals that the officer who did this wound up retiring in 2011 with 30 years service, I'm going to guess with his full retirement. (Link, to archive.org since the page is now missing off the BPD webserver.)
posted by mcrandello at 12:15 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


showbiz_liz: "Partly because I do my level best to avoid looking at their faces, because what if they decide I'm looking at them funny?"

Yeah, it's nice not to have to deal with them demanding you look at them. "Hey, where are you going?" ACAB
posted by rhizome at 12:56 AM on May 1, 2015


I live in nyc and I don't know any cops by sight.

Me too. My neighborhood in Astoria is kinda borderline high-crime (seems like a lot of places in NYC are, due to the density), and we've had many interactions with cops. Most recently when someone walked into our house a couple weeks ago (while we were sleeping upstairs) and stole a few high-value items. I wouldn't recognize any of the police who handled the initial call, or the detectives who came in after, in or out of uniform.

Partly because I do my level best to avoid looking at their faces, because what if they decide I'm looking at them funny?

I don't really feel that way--but I'm yet another middle-aged white woman. I've had nothing but fairly decent interactions with the police; but I will say I don't get the impression at all that they are looking to form relationships in the neighborhood or get to know anyone or anything like that.

In fact my impression has been that they stay pretty detached. I only learned during this last interaction that police aren't allowed to serve in the precinct where they live. Conflict of interest and all that... but it also means they have less of a personal stake in making sure the neighborhood is safe AND that detainees are treated with care and respect.

I honestly can't imagine what it would be like if one of my neighbors were hauled away on charges of carrying a possibly illegal blade, and good as dead when he arrived at the station. I say this as someone who recently lost a few thousands' worth of goods to a criminal in my house; whatever that dude did, it shouldn't carry the death penalty.

And as to Freddie Gray, there's no reason to believe he'd ever done anything even like what that petty thief did to us. Drug-dealing? Is there any way for cops to learn some sense of proportion?
posted by torticat at 6:06 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I live in a fairly large city on a busy street. In fact there is often a cop parked about 50 feet from my house during the day -- there's a school nearby and the kids sometimes wander around breaking windows and stealing bikes. As a white dude, I've never had any interaction with the cops whatsoever,* which I think is kind of the point.

* I've never even gotten a ticket. The fire department, on the other hand... Someone keeps calling in to report that our house is on fire when it is very clearly not on fire. Oh well.
posted by miyabo at 6:25 AM on May 1, 2015




The State Attorney's Office is holding a news conference in 20 minutes.

Justin Fenton: "Breaking: @MarilynMosbyEsq to hold press conference on #FreddieGray at War Memorial building at 10:30."

For the record, here is the statement the SAO released after receiving the report from Baltimore Police yesterday:
"The State’s Attorney’s Office has in fact received the hardcopies of the Baltimore Police Department’s investigative file; however, the results of their investigation are not new to us.

We have been briefed regularly throughout their process while simultaneously conducting our own independent investigation into the death of Freddie Gray. While we have and will continue to leverage the information received by the Department, we are not relying solely on their findings but rather the facts that we have gathered and verified. We ask for the public to remain patient and peaceful and to trust the process of the justice system.

State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby"
I can't imagine much will be said at this thing or it would have leaked already.
posted by cashman at 7:11 AM on May 1, 2015


I can't imagine much will be said

Scratch that. Baltimore Sun's Justin Fenton: "Am hearing this will be a major announcement by State's Attorney's Office.."
posted by cashman at 7:14 AM on May 1, 2015


deray mckesson just posted: "Interesting that there are reports of the Nat'l Guard flooding W. Baltimore as we learn that the investigation and autopsy are complete."
posted by cashman at 7:20 AM on May 1, 2015


"Interesting that there are reports of the Nat'l Guard flooding W. Baltimore as we learn that the investigation and autopsy are complete."

Sounds like they're anticipating a negative reaction to the announcement. That's not good. That's not good at all.
posted by fifthrider at 7:23 AM on May 1, 2015


WBAL noted busloads of national guard sent to West Baltimore starting this morning, a "dramatic increase" in police presence around the State's Attorney's Office.
posted by cashman at 7:31 AM on May 1, 2015


Press conference beginning now.
posted by cashman at 7:40 AM on May 1, 2015


Filing criminal charges!!!!
posted by cashman at 7:44 AM on May 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


Freddie Gray's death ruled a homicide!
posted by cashman at 7:44 AM on May 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


WOW. People shouting in response.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:45 AM on May 1, 2015


The knife is lawful!
posted by cashman at 7:45 AM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


She's naming the cops.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:45 AM on May 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


Is there a live feed of the press conference? Boston Globe supposedly has it, but it still says "Stand by for live video"
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:46 AM on May 1, 2015


Homicide is not a criminal charge.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:46 AM on May 1, 2015


They failed to establish probable cause for Gray's arrest!
posted by cashman at 7:46 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Homicide is not a criminal charge.

Didn't say it was. She said the medical report found his death to be a homicide.
posted by cashman at 7:47 AM on May 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


Livefeed:

http://www.wbaltv.com/news/city-police-hold-news-briefing/32659784
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:47 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


penguin i'm watching msn
posted by twist my arm at 7:47 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Arrested and killed for legally bearing arms. NRA, come join the protests!
posted by Drinky Die at 7:47 AM on May 1, 2015 [20 favorites]


http://www.playlivenew.com/2010/08/watch-cnn-news-live/
posted by johnpowell at 7:47 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Arrest determined to be illegal.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:48 AM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Hot damn.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:48 AM on May 1, 2015


He was illegally placed on his stomach in the wagon.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:48 AM on May 1, 2015


They stopped the van to check on him, but did not seek or render medical assistance.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:49 AM on May 1, 2015


Dang, they're hanging the cops out to dry instead of doing the usual circling of the wagons? There may yet be some hope.
posted by sotonohito at 7:50 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Gray requested a medic twice. They did not request one, and then proceeded to respond to another call.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:51 AM on May 1, 2015


She is NUMBERING the amount of times they failed to restrain him in the van. We're up to five.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:52 AM on May 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


Pulling no punches on the charges it sounds like.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:53 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


2nd degree murder, manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office, the list is LONG
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:54 AM on May 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yeah homicide just means he was killed by another person, but that's a pretty big deal given all the "leaks" about how he severed his own spine somehow.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:55 AM on May 1, 2015


I'm shocked by this. Thank god for the protests.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:56 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


So the first officer for whom they list charges has multiple homicide/manslaughter type charges. How does that work? They place all the charges and then the jury will decide which fits best? They can't be convicted of more than one kind of homicide for the same person, right?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:56 AM on May 1, 2015


It sounds as if the different charges are related to the multiple times that they did not render aid. Putting him in the van is one thing. Refusing to render aid once he asked for a medic is another.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:58 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, charges against all six officers. I never thought all of them would be charged.
posted by gladly at 7:59 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


"As young people, our time is now."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:59 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Warrant has been issued for arrest of the officers.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:59 AM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Well yes, refusing to render aid, assault etc. are separate. But there were also multiple versions of homicide: manslaughter, there was "murder by depraved heart" or something like that. Can there be multiple homicide convictions for the same dead person?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:00 AM on May 1, 2015


"The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 is asking Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby to appoint a special prosecutor to the Freddie Gray investigation because of her personal connection to the Gray family’s attorney, William H. “Billy” Murphy Jr., and her marriage to a City Councilman.

The letter from FOP President Gene Gyan also states that none of the six officers involved in Gray’s arrest and death were responsible for the 25-year-old West Baltimore man’s death that spurred a night of rioting, looting, protests and unrest. The letter was released just minutes before Mosby announced charges against the officers.

“Not one of the officers involved in this tragic situation left home in the morning with the anticipation that someone with whom they interacted would not go home that night,” the letter states. “As tragic as this situation is, none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of Mr. Gray."

Uh huh.
posted by rtha at 8:01 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hooray for the Good Cops!
posted by mikelieman at 8:01 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think the charges would have ever happened without the protests. I don't feel great about the riots, but they brought national media attention that put pressure on the state, so in the end they were effective.
posted by desjardins at 8:02 AM on May 1, 2015 [18 favorites]


I love the force that press conference got delivered with. Just seeing that made a lot of people across the country, across generations, very happy.

Uh huh.

Oh of course. If they had any sense, they'd let it go. Because if these charges get filed and then they somehow figure out a way to remove her and un-charge the officers, it'll make what happened the other day look like tiddlywinks.
posted by cashman at 8:03 AM on May 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


So, just to be clear on the rules here in light of that Fraternal Order of Police letter - it's only a conflict of interest if the prosecutor actually tries to prosecute cops, and not victims?
posted by fifthrider at 8:04 AM on May 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


. Because if these charges get filed and then they somehow figure out a way to remove her and un-charge the officers, it'll make what happened the other day look like tiddlywinks.

Yeah, from this moment on it's straightforward criminal justice procedure. I'm hoping it moves ahead 100% by-the-book, but I've learned never to underestimate a prosecutor's ability to screw up a slam-dunk.
posted by mikelieman at 8:05 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


This woman is a bad ass!! I have a lump in my throat hearing her speak and take charge. Wow!
posted by pearlybob at 8:05 AM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Jon Swaine, Guardian U.S. "Extraordinary detail from @MarilynMosbyEsq: LEGAL knife in Freddie Gray's pocket not even discovered until he had already been arrested"
posted by gladly at 8:05 AM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]




I don't think the charges would have ever happened without the protests.

I think Mosby as much as admitted it:

"I have heard your calls for no justice, no peace," says Mosby. Asks for help to bring justice. -@jbendery
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:08 AM on May 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 is asking Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby to appoint a special prosecutor to the Freddie Gray investigation because of her personal connection to the Gray family’s attorney, William H. “Billy” Murphy Jr., and her marriage to a City Councilman.

is hilarious because all morning I've been reading about how Marilyn Mosby comes from five generations of police officers and how that might bias her in favor of the police.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:09 AM on May 1, 2015 [19 favorites]




I could be skeptical about them ever doing time, but getting this far is amazing.
posted by Artw at 8:20 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Interviews with people praising god, cars honking in the street, people clapping, arms raised.
posted by cashman at 8:27 AM on May 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


Some of these officers are super young-- 25, 26. I kind of hope that at some point they will talk about the police culture that taught them to believe their conduct in the line of duty was normal/expected/acceptable.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 8:34 AM on May 1, 2015 [20 favorites]


wow, just wow. what a time to be living in.
posted by likeatoaster at 8:35 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


yeah, that bit from the David Simon interview linked above should probably be read verbatim on all news broadcasts.
posted by sio42 at 8:36 AM on May 1, 2015


I hope that this will be another way to demonstrate to people across the country that Baltimore is not Ferguson.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 8:41 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


@AdamSerwer:
Some perspective on how big a deal this is: Cleveland has not finished its investigation in to the November 2014 shooting of Tamir Rice
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:42 AM on May 1, 2015 [24 favorites]


So, just to be clear on the rules here in light of that Fraternal Order of Police letter - it's only a conflict of interest if the prosecutor actually tries to prosecute cops, and not victims?

I would not view any public statement of FOP3 as reliable in any way, unless your goal is to establish that police are never wrong under any circumstances. (Just to give you a taste of the crazytown that is their public face, on twitter the other day, they literally and earnestly said, "We are the thin blue line between peace and anarchy!")
posted by advil at 8:43 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am delighted to have been so wrong about the charges.

wow, just wow. what a time to be living in.

I am all for celebrating progress even when it's incomplete, but we should not be complacent about the fact that this doesn't address underlying racist policies. We could hold every cop accountable for their misdeeds from this point forward and it's not going to stop the other ways the system is victimizing the lower class in general and black folk in particular.

But yeah, I'm a little misty with happiness at this.
posted by phearlez at 8:44 AM on May 1, 2015 [10 favorites]


I would not view any public statement of FOP3 as reliable in any way, unless your goal is to establish that police are never wrong under any circumstances. (Just to give you a taste of the crazytown that is their public face, on twitter the other day, they literally and earnestly said, "We are the thin blue line between peace and anarchy!")

Totally true. The line indicates where anarchy starts and the blue color shows what you add to peace to make the transition. Cop twitter is on a roll with being accurate in ways it didn't intend to.
posted by phearlez at 8:46 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Marilyn Mosby is in fact married to a city councilman. I'm sure that she'll put a lot of consideration into whether to appoint a special prosecutor, because she will want to make damned sure that there aren't any claims of bias or conflict that could affect the outcome of trial or be grounds for an appeal.

That said, she's got a big department of prosecutors. There's no reason why she needs to be the one in the courtroom (although they could still argue that she's pulling the strings).
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 8:48 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would not view any public statement of FOP3 as reliable in any way, unless your goal is to establish that police are never wrong under any circumstances.

Sorry; I should have put a /s tag on my post.
posted by fifthrider at 8:48 AM on May 1, 2015


Baltimore local reporter (white, middle aged) just said: she’s been reporting in Baltimore for decades, and the biggest change since protests started is that the young black men in these neighborhoods now speak to her, now feel like they are being heard. She said the feeling of change is palpable.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 8:50 AM on May 1, 2015 [20 favorites]


Per Jayne Miller, the next step is to take the charges from the charging document, to a grand jury for an indictment. If they don't go to a grand jury for an indictment, then in 30 days there is a preliminary hearing (which is like a mini trial) - but that almost never happens in Maryland, she says.
posted by cashman at 8:50 AM on May 1, 2015


Baltimore local reporter (white, middle aged)

That's Jayne Miller, investigative reporter. 30-year vet of WBAL.
posted by cashman at 8:53 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not surprising in any way, but...

Jon Swaine: CNN, endlessly inept, now telling viewers charges "as high as manslaughter" being brought against officers for Freddie Gray death

and

CNN's Ashleigh Banfield announces wrongly live on air that Officer William Porter has been charged with murder. It's officer Caesar Goodson
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:53 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I was watching she corrected on the second point immediately. Not as sure on the first but they definitely discussed the murder charges, the issue is that the depraved heart murder charge is apparently similar to what people think of for manslaughter. Kind of nitpicky compared to other CNN screwups.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:57 AM on May 1, 2015


It is unbelievably, gut-wrenchingly depressing that we need to celebrate the fact that a blatant homicide is being prosecuted as a criminal offense.
posted by schmod at 9:00 AM on May 1, 2015 [21 favorites]


Baltimore resident: “We don’t want police to be charged with murder. We want police to stop murdering.”
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:02 AM on May 1, 2015 [29 favorites]


I expect an all out effort to assassinate Marilyn Mosby's character.
posted by RedShrek at 9:03 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Depraved heart murder is a step up from involuntary manslaughter, but it's complicated, so I'm not surprised CNN got it wrong. Involuntary manslaughter is "I didn't mean to hurt you, but negligently caused you to die." Depraved heart murder is "I am a bastard who doesn't give a shit if you live or die, and my reckless actions caused you to die." On a conceptual level, it's a big difference, but it's still a healthy step below malice aforethought.

I think (and I'm not a criminal law expert, although I am a lawyer) that the SA's office has done a good job leveling the most serious charges they could without overreaching (that is, first-degree murder would never fly). Prosecutorial overreach can scuttle a case (see George Zimmerman), so I'm glad to see that they're being careful.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:04 AM on May 1, 2015 [25 favorites]


BRB, I've got to pay up on a lot of bets.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:09 AM on May 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


And again, I think the heroes here are not just the protesters, but the folks who FILMED.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:12 AM on May 1, 2015 [18 favorites]


I'm just stunned. Gobsmacked. I'm just so used to the whitewash. I know there's still a long way to go until justice -- and as the person a fiendish thingy quotes, it's really about stopping abuse & murders from happening in the first place -- but still, this is very satisfying. The courts should help protect citizens .
posted by madamjujujive at 9:16 AM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


schmod: "It is unbelievably, gut-wrenchingly depressing that we need to celebrate the fact that a blatant homicide is being prosecuted as a criminal offense"

I think a big part of what is going on is evidence that the system is taking the citizen's side in a visible way. People want democracy, but it's rarely the case. There's an authoritarian Overton Window that has increasingly favored law enforcement officers, and it's extremely difficult to pull it back, and if we look at what history tells us about what is required to pull it back, the activities of citizens over the past week fall right into line.
posted by rhizome at 9:18 AM on May 1, 2015 [17 favorites]


Here's a thing that confuses me: The FOP says that State's Attorney shouldn't try the case because she has motivations to get a conviction, but isn't the DA's role adversarial anyway? You should want the DA to be motivated to get a conviction.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:22 AM on May 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


Hah, from the FOP letter: "Most importantly, it is clear that your husband's political future will be directly impacted, for better or worse, by the outcome of your investigation," the letter states. "In order to avoid any appearance of impropriety or a violation of the Professional Rules of Professional Responsibility..."

What, her success in this case affects her husband's ability to succeed? How does that work in the 'Professional Rules of Professional Responsibility'?
posted by rhizome at 9:22 AM on May 1, 2015


"Most importantly, it is clear that your husband's political future will be directly impacted, for better or worse, by the outcome of your investigation," the letter states.

Wow, that comes across as condescending, threatening, and sexist all at once. Impressive.
posted by fifthrider at 9:24 AM on May 1, 2015 [37 favorites]


4) After he was detained, officers found a concealed switchblade, which is illegal in Maryland. That justifies the arrest.

Just pointing out that this is completely and totally untrue. Legal knife, unjustified arrest.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:25 AM on May 1, 2015 [21 favorites]


Here's a thing that confuses me: The FOP says that State's Attorney shouldn't try the case because she has motivations to get a conviction, but isn't the DA's role adversarial anyway? You should want the DA to be motivated to get a conviction.

Adversarial, yes. But motivated by the facts and the law, not her familial or friendly relationships. (I personally think it's a bullshit argument on FOP's part, but that's the argument.)

And yes, the "Professional Rules of Professional Responsibility" are not a thing. They likely mean the "Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct."
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:27 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Most importantly, it is clear that your husband's political future will be directly impacted, for better or worse, by the outcome of your investigation,

This seems to be a variation on "Do you know why I pulled you over?"

"No."

"You've got a tail light out."

"No I don't."

*SMASH!*

"Now you do."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:28 AM on May 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


I am amazed by this totally reasonable action which is what should have happened in the first place. I hope all the people who fought for this are giving themselves a little time to feel this win, even though there's clearly a lot more fight to come.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:29 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


And yeesh, way to back up the "trust the process, trust the system" talk -- maybe if the system yields the right results more often, people will trust it more.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:30 AM on May 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


More on "depraved heart murder"
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:36 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Marilyn Mosby shows how you use TV to inform

"Two minutes into her press conference, you knew that this official had done her homework and wasn't speaking blah-blah-blah, platitude-sloppy, media-bromide talk like so many elected and appointed officials here have been doing this week.

She talked with the kind of force and precision a legal education is supposed to impart. But it was so unlike the ideologically charged, purely speculative, sometimes foolish talk I heard from so many lawyers on cable TV and the streets of Baltimore this week."
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:39 AM on May 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


I actually wept. I actually wept. Please, please, please let there be a fair and effective trial. Please.
posted by KathrynT at 9:48 AM on May 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: Thanks for posting that - it's great context on the charge.

One caveat for people: roomthreeseventeen's link is an appeal in a case where a child was starved to death and contains some pretty graphic detail.

So, here's some cherry-picked definitional stuff if you want to be spared those details. IANAL, particularly a USian one, but I think I got the gist of how it could be applied to Freddie Gray's death:

"A depraved heart murder is often described as a wanton and wilful killing. The term `depraved heart' means something more than conduct amounting to a high or unreasonable risk to human life. The perpetrator must [or reasonably should] realize the risk his behavior has created to the extent that his conduct may be termed wilful. Moreover, the conduct must contain an element of viciousness or contemptuous disregard for the value of human life which conduct characterizes that behavior as wanton."

[...]

"The critical feature of `depraved heart' murder is that the act in question be committed `under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.'"

In announcing its verdict, the trial court found that "the indifference and the lack of care that has been demonstrated in the evidence presented ... over the past week shows a level of lack of care that is uncommon to cases of this sort" and declared itself satisfied from the evidence "that the element of viciousness or contemptuous disregard for human life has been established in this case...."

[...]

Most cases prosecuted under a "depraved heart" theory involve affirmative conduct firing a gun or driving a car or boat into a crowd, for example.

[...]

But "depraved heart" murder has also been found in cases of malicious omission, including situations where a parent has maliciously allowed a small child to die of exposure or of malnutrition and dehydration.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:52 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Jury selection is going to be insane.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:53 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


from roomthreeseventeen's link

"Moreover, the conduct must contain an element of viciousness or contemptuous disregard for the value of human life which conduct characterizes that behavior as wanton."

Yeah, i'd say this was contemptuous disregard for the value of human life.
posted by sio42 at 9:54 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


contemptuous disregard for the value of human life

What an apt phrase for all of these killings.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:55 AM on May 1, 2015 [16 favorites]


Here's another useful description of depraved-heart murder:
In homicide law, the classic form of malice is referred to as 'express malice.' In its vaster experience with infinite nuances, the law of homicide has recognized various forms of malice. It refers to these as the various types of 'implied malice' (more sophisticated modern analysis recognizes them as forms of 'equivalent malice'). One of these variant forms of malice -- the analogue of the hour -- is that of 'the depraved heart.' It is the form that establishes that the wilful doing of a dangerous and reckless act with wanton indifference to the consequences and perils involved, is just as blameworthy, and just as worthy of punishment, when the harmful result ensues, as is the express intent to kill itself. Alston v. State, 643 A.2d 468 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1994).
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:57 AM on May 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm guessing "Fuck your breath" should also fall under there.
posted by sio42 at 9:58 AM on May 1, 2015 [16 favorites]


Wow. People raised their voices and actually changed something (yes, no decisions had been made on charges, but you're a fool if you think the protests had nothing to do with it).

It's a good day for freedom.
posted by dry white toast at 9:59 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


One hundred percent, if the people of Baltimore did not have the opportunity to share their story and their narrative on a national stage without having to filter it through a central media agency that will shape it into a narrative to suit their own purposes, these charges would never have been filed. I would bet folding money on it.
posted by KathrynT at 10:02 AM on May 1, 2015 [22 favorites]


This is great news. It's been by-the-book so far, none of the shenanigans that came up with Ferguson (the grand jury weirdness, the slowness in getting reports), a bit of shitty leaking (but that hasn't seemed to impact the actual investigations) but nothing abnormal. Hopefully it gets prosecuted in the same way - just as yet another crime, no special treatment or any such garbage.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:04 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ben Trismegistus: "Jury selection is going to be insane."

That's going to be the BPD and FOP job from here on out: poisoning the pool. Their PR people are going to be earning their money over the next months.
posted by rhizome at 10:04 AM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


the biggest change since protests started is that the young black men in these neighborhoods now speak to her, now feel like they are being heard. She said the feeling of change is palpable.
posted by a fiendish thingy


I don't have a complete sense of the coverage since all of my TV now comes through Netflix, Youtube, etc., but from what I have seen it does seem that most of the media outlets have been taking a far more nuanced and perhaps even sympathetic tone since Ferguson and now Baltimore. Not that things are perfect, and there has certainly been a fair amount of bullshit and talk about "thugs" etc., but it seems like the coverage has been much more self-aware lately.

Perhaps it is sad that it took the rise of something like the ubiquitous cell-phone camera to begin to change the national consciousness, but at least now the problem is much, much harder to dismiss.
posted by rosswald at 10:05 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


For those of you who, like me, missed the live press conference, a news station has put a recording up on YouTube. It's worth watching.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:06 AM on May 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


That's going to be the BPD and FOP job from here on out: poisoning the pool.

Honest question: at what point is the Baltimore police union threatening the state's attorney and trying to influence the conduct and outcome of the investigation something that could be covered by RICO?

That said, even if it fit the letter of the law to treat a police union as organized crime, the political will to actually do so would be another matter entirely...
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:12 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]




How Western media would cover Baltimore if it happened elsewhere
The United Kingdom expressed concern over the troubling turn of events in America in the last several months. The country’s foreign ministry released a statement: “We call on the American regime to rein in the state security agents who have been brutalizing members of America’s ethnic minority groups. The equal application of the rule of law, as well as the respect for human rights of all citizens, black or white, is essential for a healthy democracy.” Britain has always maintained a keen interest in America, a former colony.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:17 AM on May 1, 2015 [18 favorites]


mandolin conspiracy: "Honest question: at what point is the Baltimore police union threatening the state's attorney and trying to influence the conduct and outcome of the investigation something that could be covered by RICO?"

Well, at the very least what they're doing would have to be a crime. Where are you seeing, "threatening a state's attorney?" Coming from the First Amendment, threats have a pretty well-established set of criteria required to be criminal.
posted by rhizome at 10:21 AM on May 1, 2015


And this is exactly why it wasn't a derail or disingenuous or whatever to talk about the legality of the initial stop or the knife. Look at all the charges which resulted from the blatant illegality of what happened even apart from Gray's death. False imprisonment! That's serious stuff.

This happens all the time. If Gray hadn't been killed no-one would have looked into it and it would have been just another statistic.
posted by Justinian at 10:22 AM on May 1, 2015 [16 favorites]


I'm watching the news conference Jacqueline linked to.

I had not previously seen any of the arrest footage.

I said this in the Walter Scott thread and I'll say it again here.

In broad daylight.

These killings sound like something that would happen in the dark of night on an unlit back street.

Nope. Broad. Fucking. Daylight.
posted by sio42 at 10:25 AM on May 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


I mean, hell, that guy can't even move his legs as they drag him to the wagon.

What. the. hell.
posted by sio42 at 10:25 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


The mayor just said that five of the six officers are now in custody.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:25 AM on May 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


The other one is still bleaching his uniform.
posted by rhizome at 10:29 AM on May 1, 2015 [17 favorites]


@rhizome, you made me spill coffee on my laptop.
posted by RedShrek at 10:32 AM on May 1, 2015


And this is exactly why it wasn't a derail or disingenuous or whatever to talk about the legality of the initial stop or the knife. Look at all the charges which resulted from the blatant illegality of what happened even apart from Gray's death. False imprisonment! That's serious stuff.

I admit that the false imprisonment charges surprised me. I'm happy to have been wrong about that.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 10:34 AM on May 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


man, that press conference was amazing. half the time i felt like i was watching something from a crime tv show or movie.

that's how crazy this is... it seems so unreal to hear that list of charges of read out without Law & Order leit motif in the background because this never happens in real life.
posted by sio42 at 10:37 AM on May 1, 2015


Dammit. Curfew still in effect for at least tonight and tomorrow.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:39 AM on May 1, 2015


Hey, Democratic Party, I hope you've got your eye on Marilyn Mosby as someone to start grooming to run for higher and higher offices over the next few decades.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:40 AM on May 1, 2015 [29 favorites]


April 29, Ms. Magazine: How to Diffuse Police Violence
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:40 AM on May 1, 2015


At this point the governor should call off the state of emergency so the police have no right to a curfew.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:41 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Huh, I have to admit that I didn't expect charges to ever be brought and definitely not this quickly.
posted by octothorpe at 10:42 AM on May 1, 2015


Well, at the very least what they're doing would have to be a crime. Where are you seeing, "threatening a state's attorney?" Coming from the First Amendment, threats have a pretty well-established set of criteria required to be criminal.

At this point it's at the level of "Gee, it would be a shame if something happened to your husband's political career..." so yeah, agree it's nothing criminal.

Yet.

And whether you could trace that inevitability back, legally, to an orchestrated campaign by the the FOP is another matter.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:46 AM on May 1, 2015


Hey, Democratic Party, I hope you've got your eye on Marilyn Mosby as someone to start grooming to run for higher and higher offices over the next few decades.

Seriously. Mosby for Governor 2020. Mosby for President 2028.
posted by bgal81 at 10:49 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Seriously tho, as a Libertarian who generally doesn't support Democrats, even I am impressed enough by her press conference that I'm disappointed to discover that Marilyn Mosby's old campaign website hasn't been updated to start accepting donations for her reelection campaign or whatever she wants to run for next. Those last 4 minutes (starting at 12:39) actually cracked my thick shell of cynicism.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:50 AM on May 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


Jury selection is going to be insane.

If Baltimore assigns jury duty based on voter registration, I hope somebody there might plan a push to register a lot of new voters in Baltimore soon.
posted by peeedro at 11:01 AM on May 1, 2015


I followed Jacqueline's link for the end of the press conference:

"Let's ensure that we have peaceful and productive rallies that will develop structural and systemic changes..."

I...can't believe I heard an elected official say those words. Yeah...that's all I got.
posted by dry white toast at 11:05 AM on May 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


And the character assassination has begun
posted by RedShrek at 11:06 AM on May 1, 2015


Seriously. Mosby for Governor 2020. Mosby for President 2028.

I actually want at least 10 good years of her being Baltimore City State's Attorney. I want her to keep it up and apply fire and justice and—hopefully coupled with political and economic reinvestment—can position law and order as something that serves the people and fights corruption. For so long, law and order have been code words for keeping people in their places. I want just court systems and police departments that help sustain the matrix for living and thriving for all Baltimoreans as opposed to just the few.

So, yes, if she ever gets ambitious, I'd support her in those higher offices, but for now, I want her to help effect a generational shift in policing, prosecuting, and convicting.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:08 AM on May 1, 2015 [11 favorites]




(holy shit, don't read the comments on that awesome picture)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:10 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


It shouldn't bring tears to my eyes that some blatant and notorious criminals got charged with crimes, but here I am, reaching for a Kleenex.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:10 AM on May 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


never read the comments
posted by dry white toast at 11:12 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


7 Things to Know About Marilyn Mosby

4. While running for election, Mosby spoke out about losing her 17-year-old cousin to gun violence. "I learned very early on that the criminal justice system isn't just the police, the judges, and the state's attorney," she said. "It's much more than that. I believe that we are the justice system. We, the members of the community, are the justice system because we are the victims of crimes."
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:13 AM on May 1, 2015 [14 favorites]


dry white toast, that is the most Baltimore picture ever. All that's missing is a WASP in a Gilman polo shirt. I love it.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:17 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]




It feels worthwhile to pause for a moment and reflect on the repugnant BPD spin The Washington Post published earlier this week. Never doubt that big media companies see it as their job to be a megaphone for the establishment viewpoint.
posted by dry white toast at 11:24 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


My friend Amy, the law prof & defender I have mentioned in past cases, shared this image about depraved heart (and other murder charges and the decision making process involved) created by a former student of hers, Mohammad Qoqandi. He said it was okay to pass it around - "I would rather have the karma points. I just ask that people pay it forward." But if you're a commercial operation you should get his permission before use.
posted by phearlez at 11:26 AM on May 1, 2015 [6 favorites]




I hope somebody there might plan a push to register a lot of new voters in Baltimore soon.

Community organizers in Baltimore have been doing just that!
posted by TheCavorter at 11:30 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video was apparently arrested last night.
posted by dry white toast at 11:47 AM on May 1, 2015




That statement by State's Attorney Mosby was a thing of unfettered beauty. The cynic in me remembers that the 199 LA riots were not caused by Rodney Kings beating, but by the aquittal of the Officers involved.

But for today, I'm just going to bask in the glow of a that little tiny bit of Justice that reared it's head in Baltimore today.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:15 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video was apparently arrested last night.

WTF is up with cops doing this? This isn't even up for debate: there are a million cases, all the way up to the SC, that filming is totally legal. If you're in a situation where your footage will be useful in a high-profile case, any motion by LEOs against you is just going to inflame the situation, and is asking for further legal action. If the original footage is on youtube, you can't unring that bell, so what use is further intimidation? I mean, it's so well-known now that you could easily sue for false arrest and have at least a shade's chance...
posted by eclectist at 12:20 PM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


well, if it's like the guy locked up for filming the murder of eric gardner, the cops might be hoping they can kill him behind bars as payback.
posted by nadawi at 12:23 PM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]






the article about the guy who filmed getting arrested says that ... wait for it... they made eye contact with cops in a cop suv.

not. even. kidding.

The incident began as Moore and his two friends were driving away from a protest demanding justice for Freddie Gray. Moore was in the passenger seat and wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, which is something you see at every protest these days. They drove by some cops in an SUV and Moore made eye contact with one of the cops while wearing the mask.

Making eye contact with cops is apparently considered suspicious in Baltimore as we learned from the Freddie Gray incident, so naturally, the SUV began following the men.


empahsis mine
posted by sio42 at 12:31 PM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


From rm317's link, above

The prosecutor is a rookie, racist and political and working with the mayor, al shapton and the White House in this case.

Wow. She got really well connected really quickly. Maybe she is presidential material.
posted by eclectist at 12:33 PM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Baltimore Police @BaltimorePolice
Media Update: A media briefing will be held at 4:00pm this afternoon in front of police HQ - 600 block E Fayette Street.


Hooboy.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 12:35 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm highly curious what they're going to roll out in order to take control of the weekend news cycle.
posted by rhizome at 12:38 PM on May 1, 2015


if there is a stream i could watch via my phone for that BPD presser, that'd be great. i can't do streaming via work lappy.
posted by sio42 at 12:40 PM on May 1, 2015


It just got postponed, no new time yet.
posted by advil at 12:52 PM on May 1, 2015


If Baltimore assigns jury duty based on voter registration, I hope somebody there might plan a push to register a lot of new voters in Baltimore soon

Ennnh. Voter registration is a good thing in and of itself but anybody who is actively seeking to get on the jury of a specific case should be (and is, if discovered) struck for cause.
posted by Justinian at 12:58 PM on May 1, 2015


A specific jury? Sure. But things like this case should raise awareness that we need diverse juries to ensure a fairer system.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:59 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pretty funny that I'm deep into bar exam studying while all of these nuances of criminal law are being discussed. Here is my dead-simple outline for all the various kinds of homicide (1st degree murder, 2nd degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter), if anyone finds it useful.
posted by naju at 1:10 PM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Guess what-- the FOP says their officers have done nothing wrong! NOTHING.

Every time a reporter asks about strapping Gray in, the knife, etc., etc., they say "no comment" or "idk who can say not me", or "I ALREADY MADE A STATEMENT" basically.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 1:12 PM on May 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


no such thing as a "specific jury" as these are selected. In my experience in this, few people would volunteer for jury duty and it is suspect to do so. The contention is jury tampering.
posted by clavdivs at 1:14 PM on May 1, 2015


You can't arrange to get yourself selected for the initial pool, sure, but people can and do try to make sure they get picked for the jury itself. It's not all that uncommon here in L.A. because of high profile celebrity cases leading to media interviews, book deals, whatever. Not really relevant to other places maybe.

I don't understand how the FOP can say there was no wrongdoing. If the knife Gray was carrying was a legal knife how could the arrest have been anything except wrongdoing?
posted by Justinian at 1:18 PM on May 1, 2015


Nothing to see here. Move along.
posted by sio42 at 1:20 PM on May 1, 2015


Are you lookin' at me?
posted by rtha at 1:23 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ha, now the reporters are pointing out that the FOP claim that the charges were rushed is absurd, because in a normal case filing charges at this point is completely normal.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 1:23 PM on May 1, 2015


a friend on fb pointed out how it was oh so ironic how the FOP is all "rush to judgement" when a rush to judgement is what caused this goddman sitch in the first place.
posted by sio42 at 1:25 PM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]




Yeah, the high profile cases. My godmother served on John Norman Collins trial and jury selection was long. No one wanted to serve. She served because she had no excuse and the system was hinting at contempt for some jurors blatant excusery.
She was guarded night and day.
posted by clavdivs at 1:36 PM on May 1, 2015


http://www.gofundme.com/t5n6ykg

The Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #3 has been overwhelmed with the enormous generosity of people from around the world. We have received many requests to open an online account that will accept monetary donations for the 6 officers who have been wrongly charged in the death of Freddie Gray. All monies collected will be used to assist our officers with their living expenses during their unpaid suspension. as well as to help defray their legal expenses.

In the immortal words of Drew Curtis, "how about jack sh*t and go f*ck yourself?"
posted by Drinky Die at 1:39 PM on May 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


FML.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:39 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


So, if the State's Attorney's office hadn't done their own independent investigation, the word from the police is that nothing wrong happened and everything is fine? Thank goodness for independent investigations.

Also, they keep showing the map of the four stops they made on their way to the police station. It looks like the police station is directly south of where they arrested Freddie Gray. Is there some reason (traffic or whatever) that they would've swung that far east for stops two and three, or is that fishy too?
posted by Weeping_angel at 1:42 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sgt. Lennardo Bailey told the “Eastern Command Staff” [sic’d]:

“I have been to five calls today and three of those five calls for service; I have been challenged to a fight. Some of them I blew off but one of them almost got ugly. I don’t want anybody to say that I did not tell them what is going on. This is no intel this is really what’s going on the street. This is my formal notification. It is about to get ugly.”
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:42 PM on May 1, 2015


Omg i can't get to whisky fast enough
posted by sio42 at 1:43 PM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


"a friend on fb pointed ( problem one) out how it was oh so ironic how the FOP is all "rush to judgement" when a rush to judgement is what caused this goddman sitch in the first place."

(Problem two, it is evident there was no judgement to rush too. IMO a "get him" rush with no judgement other an apparent desire for an arrest/ confrontation.
I'm biased, do not like bike cops or the idea of cops on bikes other then beaches or other nature patrols and that's just an opinion.
posted by clavdivs at 1:44 PM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't understand how the FOP can say there was no wrongdoing. If the knife Gray was carrying was a legal knife how could the arrest have been anything except wrongdoing?

I'm going to go out on a well traveled limb and say that the defense of the arrest will be that Gray fleeing gave them sufficient cause for a Terry stop. Then finding the knife which they "honestly" believed to be illegal, gave cause for the arrest. Gray then would have spent interminable hours being booked, before showing up in front of judge who presumably would have dismissed the case.

Gray's option would then have been to file false arrest charges against the officers. Amusingly, the wiki page on false arrest has what is basically a carbon copy of what got Gray arrested.

As has been shown with the hundred-plus protesters arrested and released without charges, the BPD apparently is OK with an "arrest now, figure out charges (or not) later" approach.

This is weirdly both tangential and relevant, but I read an article a few years ago about the effect of rapid cycling through jails and recidivism on spreading TB from incarcerated to community populations. It specifically looked at Baltimore City's Central Booking and Intake Facility, and thus gave the numbers for how long the average stay in the jail was, and how frequently someone arrested would find themselves back in CBIF (in 2003). From the paper:
All arrestees in Baltimore City are processed through one Central Booking Intake Facility (CBIF). Unlike most local jails, CBIF is operated by the Maryland state correctional system. It is the eighth largest jail in the US, processing over 82000 new arrestees per year. Within 48 hours of arrest, 51% are released; the remainder usually stay 45–60 days. The average recidivism rate is 3.5 visits per arrestee per year.
I think we, as a society expect that we would not have to linger in a jail cell, and the right to speedy trial is built into the constitution. We do have to ask though, if half the people the police arrest are released basically as soon as they get in front of a judge, what was the point of arresting them?
posted by Panjandrum at 2:01 PM on May 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


I am so confused.

My friend was not agreeing with the cops. He was saying that their rush to judgement in chasing after Gray merely because he looked at them is what lead to all of this.
posted by sio42 at 2:02 PM on May 1, 2015


GoFundMe seems to have yanked that cop fundraiser.
posted by maudlin at 2:17 PM on May 1, 2015 [14 favorites]


I love the Gray family's lawyer. I'm not sure what part he'll play in the actual events going forward, but I like him. Hopefully the prosecutors that prosecute the case are skilled and smart.
posted by cashman at 2:28 PM on May 1, 2015


Ha, now the reporters are pointing out that the FOP claim that the charges were rushed is absurd, because in a normal case filing charges at this point is completely normal.

I posted my friend's comment about the disparity in charging/investigating cops back in the Ferguson times and it goes on a lot longer, but here's the meat for this purpose:
It'd be nice if every person charged with murder had the benefit of thorough investigation by the police and the prosecutor before being charged. But our adversarial system doesn't give that benefit to citizens, even those who vehemently claim self-defense in their voluntary statements to the police. I know, I've represented those battered women who killed and were immediately charged, jailed, held, had to make bond, lost their jobs, only for the machinery to spit out a not guilty. If the system is a good one, it should work the same way for everyone.
posted by phearlez at 2:37 PM on May 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


Sio42, I'm saying judgement was not used in this case concerning the the initial officers even what is on film, judgement requires at least thought. I see automated policing, I see disregard and negligence. And that's super mild.
posted by clavdivs at 2:45 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


ah ok. thanks for explaining.

yeah, i think my friend and i are right there with you on that.
posted by sio42 at 2:47 PM on May 1, 2015


i really didn't plan on watching her whole statement, but it turned out to be such a kick-ass, thorough, damning indictment that i couldn't help myself

mosby is playing hard-ball - it's about time someone did in a case like this
posted by pyramid termite at 3:25 PM on May 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


Baltimore & The Walking Dead
Two decades ago, after Los Angeles exploded in the worst American riots of the 20th century against years of police brutality against minorities, the political establishment responded by doubling down and ramping up all the wrong ideas that are blowing back today in places like Baltimore and Ferguson. President Bush blamed the LA riots on liberal anti-poverty programs from the 1960s and 1970s, which he claimed destroyed black families and a sense of responsibility in their communities. Candidate Bill Clinton talked “tough on crime” while squirting a few crocodile tears in public, all part of his New Democrat program. Libertarian Party nominee for president Andre Marrou vowed he would “send in troops right away” as his solution to the Los Angeles riots and grievances. Meanwhile, “principled” libertarian Ron Paul wrote in his newsletter after the riots that he taught everyone in his family, including his son Rand Paul, to use a gun because “the animals are coming.”
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:41 PM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Someone on twitter noted that the officers charged with murder have a lower bail than the teenager who smashed a cop car.
posted by cashman at 4:11 PM on May 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


I bet they're leaning on the driver of the police van hard to get him to flip on the others. That dude is probably being offered a sweetheart deal to roll over.

This is like a perfect Prisoner's Dilemma in real life. If nobody talks most of this will probably go away since juries have so much trouble convicting cops. But only probably, so the temptation on the officers not involved in the initial arrest to take a plea leading to no jail time must be immense, and then the rest of them are looking at hard time.
posted by Justinian at 5:29 PM on May 1, 2015


I bet they're leaning on the driver of the police van hard to get him to flip on the others. That dude is probably being offered a sweetheart deal to roll over.

He's facing the signature charge of the case, though. If anything, I bet they'll try to get a plea deal out of William Porter; Mosby's version of events suggested a couple ways they could spin him as a relatively hapless accessory. If they get Porter to sing it's game: he was there for most of the critical moments, and from the sound saw all the other parties at some point.
posted by fifthrider at 5:51 PM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Remember, plea bargaining doesn't work on cops, so it's murder or nothing.
posted by Artw at 5:58 PM on May 1, 2015


He's facing the signature charge of the case, though.

You don't think that's just an attempt to scare him into flipping?
posted by Justinian at 6:24 PM on May 1, 2015


Finally got a chance to listen to her statement. LOVED Mosby's statement of sadness about how some law enforcement people have been leaking things to the public. That was a definite warning shot across the BPD's bow - you leak and we'll investigate that leak for some form of obstruction.

about time the crackdown on whistleblowers went our way.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:30 PM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I took it the more severe charge was because the driver was the person who had the most chances to help Gray and didn't, at least 5 times (as she emphasized), and he also was the one who chose to go back for the second arrestee rather than taking Gray to somewhere he could get help.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:43 PM on May 1, 2015


And no mention of how the van was being driven, which is interesting. You'd think that would be the reason for charging the driver, that the manner of driving is what caused the injuries. But in the charges anyway she's not saying whether they have evidence it was a "rough ride." She's totally leaning on the seatbelt thing -- which is an objective fact that all the officers must have seen and must have known was against protocol, rather than a more-contestable point like just how much braking and accelerating and turning would be excessive.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:47 PM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


From that letter to the Eastern Command quoted above - “I have been to five calls today and three of those five calls for service" - what does "for service" mean here?
posted by spaceman_spiff at 6:52 PM on May 1, 2015


“Marilyn Mosby talks to Chris Hayes”All In with Chris Hayes, 01 May 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 7:41 PM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have to admit, I thought these charges would get swept under the rug and buried, like so many other incidents.

If I understand procedure, this still has to go to a grand jury, who has to approve the charges before it goes to trial, so there's still time for justice to be stomped out. I can't believe I've become so cynical that I really don't think these will go to trial, I don't think any of these cops will serve a day in jail, and people, primarily men of color, will continue to die at the hands of an untouchable, heavily armed, government supported, gang.

I would love to be wrong. I want to believe Ms. Moseby can enact real change. I really want that to happen. I'm so very afraid that it won't.
posted by dejah420 at 7:43 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love the Gray family's lawyer. I'm not sure what part he'll play in the actual events going forward, but I like him. Hopefully the prosecutors that prosecute the case are skilled and smart.

More on Billy Murphy:

What Happened When Freddie Gray’s Family Heard About The Charges
It was an especially big day for Murphy, one of Baltimore's most revered attorneys, a former circuit court judge, and a one-time mayoral candidate. Murphy looms so large in the city that he once played himself in an episode of "The Wire," the gritty HBO crime drama about the city and its institutions, from politics to the drug trade.

[...]

"I prayed to be involved in this national debate on police brutality," Murphy said, choking up several times. "It was an answer to my prayers because I'm tired of it."

Then he asked the room, filled mostly with middle-aged white men, to "pray for me. If I make one serious mistake, I've set the cause back one million years."
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:47 PM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]




I think if this gets tried before a Baltimore City jury, the cops are going all the way down. I don't know that there's any amount of stupid jury selection tricks that could get a jury impaneled in the city that would be very sympathetic to them, and the evidence against them sounds pretty damning.

Probably the defense's only hope would be to get a change of venue out to the county, like what happened when the state trial of the officers who beat Rodney King was moved out to Simi Valley. That would be a huge miscarriage of justice if it happened.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 9:39 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's a video of Billy Murphy talking at the Gray family press conference after the charges were announced. It's great and he's great. There's a fight of biblical proportions brewing and he seems the perfect person for the job.

Here he is on Maddow, where he is just plain smart. He's good on camera and not buzzwordy, which is so refreshing.
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:01 PM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


We do have to ask though, if half the people the police arrest are released basically as soon as they get in front of a judge, what was the point of arresting them?

Intimidation? 48 hours in jail is still enough for people to lose their jobs for not showing up for a few days or just suffer from the lost pay. Plus, it still bumps up the cop's number-of-arrests stats, making them look good when to their superiors.
posted by JiBB at 11:12 PM on May 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


If I understand procedure, this still has to go to a grand jury

She can file charges directly and only has to show probable cause to a judge. That could have happened in Ferguson as well if the DA believed in the case, which obviously he didn't. But he was too much of a chickenshit just to take responsibility and do his job so he put on that clown show.

Unlike in Ferguson this state's attorney does not appear to be lacking in intestinal fortitude.

But, yeah, she can bypass a grand jury if she wants. In fact it's what usually happens although not as often in high profile cases.
posted by Justinian at 12:44 AM on May 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


Probably the defense's only hope would be to get a change of venue out to the county, like what happened when the state trial of the officers who beat Rodney King was moved out to Simi Valley. That would be a huge miscarriage of justice if it happened.

They wouldn't even have to change it far for it to be a really different jury. Anne Arundel is right next door.
posted by corb at 12:51 AM on May 2, 2015


Want to see Conservative Heads Explode?

Say this completely honestly: "Marilyn Mosby is protecting your 2nd Amendment Right To Keep And Bear Arms by prosecuting Bad Cops who falsely arrested someone for lawfully carrying a legally permitted knife."
posted by mikelieman at 2:10 AM on May 2, 2015 [35 favorites]


And remember, the problem in Ferguson wasn't the grand jury per se. It was the fact that what'shisface, the prosecutor, fed them all of the evidence, and probably some bad law, rather than your normal amount of "just enough evidence that if it's all true and not contradicted a conviction could happen". Which really changes the situation.

I am not getting that impression from Mosby.
posted by Lemurrhea at 3:37 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


According to some friends on Facebook, the fact some of the cops are african-american, means that it's totally not about race.

I really need to quit reading facebook
posted by octothorpe at 8:06 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


According to some friends on Facebook, the fact some of the cops are african-american, means that it's totally not about race.

That's why I work the "Nothing can stop Bad Cops but Good Cops who aren't afraid of them. Where are the Good Cops who care?" angle good and hard. It addresses the real cause, which isn't EXCLUSIVELY about race, which is that cops literally get away with murder. MOSTLY there's a race thing, but that little wiggle room gives them the ability to stay in their comfort zone.


LordWolf's martyr job posting sums it up perfectly

But when you plant the responsibility WHOLLY on the Bad Cops, who can argue?

And when you agree that protests and riots can't stop Bad Cops, who can argue?

And when you point out that ONLY Good Cops who aren't afraid can stop Bad Cops, who can argue?

And when you ask, "Where are the Good Cops who aren't afraid"....

Well, the argument ends...
posted by mikelieman at 8:12 AM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Apparently the six officers arrested yesterday have posted bond last night. The 100 or so people arrested Monday had to sit in jail for two days before being released (mostly without even having any charges brought) but cops charged with murder/manslaughter manage to get out in a few hours.
posted by Weeping_angel at 8:24 AM on May 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


but cops charged with murder/manslaughter manage to get out in a few hours.

Yeah, the system is still fucked, and I still worry that the end result will sadly meet my expectations, but baby steps, and I gotta cheer like a motherfucker for every step in the right direction.
posted by mikelieman at 8:39 AM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Or I'd just stay in bed crying
posted by mikelieman at 8:40 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have heard, but cannot verify that the curfews is only being enforced in black neighborhoods, has anyone seen verified reports?
posted by dejah420 at 8:44 AM on May 2, 2015


I have heard, but cannot verify that the curfews is only being enforced in black neighborhoods, has anyone seen verified reports?

I can verify that there are way fewer police in my neighborhood (Mt Vernon) than there are in W Baltimore / near city hall, though this doesn't mean they're not enforcing (I haven't tried to find out). Here's some twitter discussion (no idea how reliable, though Fenton is reliable) of it being enforced to some degree in a few mostly white/rich neighborhoods, fed hill and the harbor areas, also close-ish to city hall. But something tells me you won't find many cop cars cruising Guilford. I haven't seen anything better than this beyond a few anecdotes.

It's also pretty clear that they're using the curfew primarily as a tool to shut down protests in the evening (and now apparently to control the media or at least attempt to). Since the protests are largely happening in black neighborhoods or downtown, this provides a bit of a confound.

I'm starting to feel like it's the police we have to worry about rioting, not the public...
posted by advil at 9:37 AM on May 2, 2015


oops sorry I see that that was RT'd by fenton, not posted by him.
posted by advil at 9:38 AM on May 2, 2015




In Canton all bars and stores have been closing at 8 throughout this week. Less active police presence than in West Bmore though.
posted by codacorolla at 10:45 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ugh... Cops Charged in Freddie Gray’s Death Receive Lower Bails Than Teen Rioter. (One specific teen; probably not all of them. But still.)
posted by Weeping_angel at 12:56 PM on May 2, 2015 [8 favorites]




Michigan Assistant Prosecutor Resigns After Calling For Baltimore Protesters To Be Shot A Detroit prosecutor, on the same day another unarmed black man was shot and killed by a cop in detroit.
posted by dejah420 at 2:03 PM on May 2, 2015 [2 favorites]




. for Freddie Gray
. for the man in Detroit
... for the next ones...
posted by GrammarMoses at 4:28 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Exclusive look inside the Freddie Gray investigation
The Baltimore Sun was granted exclusive access to the task force and monitored the investigation for days. The Sun agreed not to publish details about the investigation until Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby decided whether to prosecute any of the officers involved in the Gray incident
posted by Golden Eternity at 4:56 PM on May 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was down in the Inner Harbor and Fells Point today and I would estimate that I saw 200 National Guard members out on the streets. There were also not nearly as many residents and tourists out and about as a normal Saturday.

As for curfew, I can share that I saw one police car roll through my Tuscany-Canterbury neighborhood (near Guilford and Roland Park) between 10 and midnight yesterday. A friend in Fells has been stopped by police at 10:02 and at 9:56 the past two nights.

Apparently tonight, predominantly white neighborhoods are holding events to violate curfew and see what happens. I believe the goal is to show the disparity in how curfew is being enforced. Twitter has mentioned one in Hampden, but I believe others are planned too. I'll be curious to see how those go.
posted by JannaK at 5:49 PM on May 2, 2015 [15 favorites]




Apparently tonight, predominantly white neighborhoods are holding events to violate curfew and see what happens. I believe the goal is to show the disparity in how curfew is being enforced.

Achievement unlocked! "The last thing I want to do is to put you guys in handcuffs." Meanwhile, there are reports of multiple arrests at Penn & North.
posted by desjardins at 8:08 PM on May 2, 2015 [13 favorites]


The ACLU of California has released Mobile Justice CA, a free app that allows users to record law enforcement, to alert other Mobile Justice CA app users to nearby law enforcement encounters and to submit videos and incident reports automatically to the ACLU of California. Individuals who believe that they have witnessed a civil rights violation can complete an incident report and send it to the ACLU for review, along with their contact information, for follow-up. (You don't have to be in California to use it, see the FAQ for more info.)

Full disclosure: I used to work at the ACLU years ago but have no connection to this.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:48 PM on May 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


Mark Twain and the Baltimore Riots

The Clock Didn't Start With the Riots - On Thursday, April 30, Ta-Nehisi Coates spoke at Johns Hopkins University in his native city of Baltimore, at the inaugural Forum on Race in America. This article is an edited transcript of his remarks.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:37 PM on May 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


The Conversation asks scholars to weigh in on the implications of the Baltimore riots: Baltimore riots: the fire this time and the fire last time and the time between
posted by Room 641-A at 1:58 AM on May 3, 2015


On the subject of white supremacist police forces being uncannily polite to white people, the thing that really drove this home for me was an action a few months back here in Oakland wherein white and Asian allies of BlackOUT Collective chained themselves to the doors of the OPD headquarters while also blocking the streets around it. Most weren't even arrested.

Whiteness deployed in the support of Black-led organizations can be a stunningly powerful weapon. At the very least, it beats mopey useless white guilt.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:37 AM on May 3, 2015 [10 favorites]


Curfew rescinded.
posted by advil at 7:54 AM on May 3, 2015


I feel bad for the bar owners that paid thousands of dollars to show the Mayweather Pacquiao fight.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:59 AM on May 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Say this completely honestly: "Marilyn Mosby is protecting your 2nd Amendment Right To Keep And Bear Arms by prosecuting Bad Cops who falsely arrested someone for lawfully carrying a legally permitted knife."

Well, I've been pushing that line, as have a couple others - it's actually a huge deal - but I'd be lying if I said it was going over well in all sectors, sadly.
posted by corb at 9:21 AM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


See also Eric Garner being killed for tax evasion.
posted by XMLicious at 11:03 AM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


WYPR's Aaron Henkin & electronic musician Wendell Patrick put out the latest in their "Out of the Blocks" series--a special one focused on Penn North. Each Out of the Blocks episode features Aaron going to a notoriously crime-plagued block or intersection for like a day or a weekend and interviewing residents and business owners about what it's like to live in that grind day to day. And Wendell scores it. Listen here.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 11:11 AM on May 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Can someone tell me what the hell purpose a curfew serves? What does it do other than tell the population of a community that the Powers That Be considers them to be children who shouldn't be out late? It seems so condescending, infuriating.
posted by JHarris at 12:37 PM on May 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can someone tell me what the hell purpose a curfew serves?

It's easier to commit crimes under the cover of darkness.

But mostly, as you said, it's about reasserting control -- psychic control, not physical control. "We are the ones who tell you when it's safe. Without us, the night surrounds you."
posted by Etrigan at 1:06 PM on May 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


JHarris: "Can someone tell me what the hell purpose a curfew serves?"

Using the concept of time as a justification for violence.
posted by rhizome at 1:30 PM on May 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


In theory, curfew is telling citizens that the authorities are unable to maintain peace on the streets so everyone must remain off them for their own good and to allow the authorities to reassert order.

I'm not sure what other strategies might work if you are facing widespread rioting and looting, I would be interested if anybody has some experience with planning for that sort of thing.

In practice, it seems to be an excuse to shut down all protest at night, arrest any "suspicious" person without cause, and in certain neighborhoods to wink and nod at the "non-suspicious" people who are out and about.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:56 PM on May 3, 2015 [3 favorites]






@Sifill_LDF: "Just so you know, we (NAACP LDF) are still working to get Legal Observers released who were arrested last night. It is an outrage. #Baltimore"
posted by Golden Eternity at 6:25 PM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Regarding that interview with David Simon linked above (which is a long and harrowing read and I nth the encouragement to everyone to have a look at it)...

At one point he talks about Martin O'Malley's efforts to reduce crime by basically sweeping everyone off the streets/corners and hauling them in for minor or non-offenses. Simon says, "If you think I’m exaggerating look it up. It was an amazing performance by the city’s mayor and his administration."

I'm not at all doubting Simon's account, but I really would like to read more on that initiative. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Like what was the name of that initiative, how long did it last, what neighborhoods were affected? It sounds utterly insane.
posted by torticat at 7:04 PM on May 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


but I really would like to read more on that initiative. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Like what was the name of that initiative, how long did it last, what neighborhoods were affected? It sounds utterly insane.

Here's some information, WaPo fact checker is basically ok. Key quote:
By 2005, well into O’Malley’s tenure as mayor, Baltimore police arrested so many people that judges had to free arrestees because they could not get court hearings within 24 hours, as required, according to the Baltimore Sun. That year, there were 108,447 people arrested in a city of roughly 600,000 residents. According to a June 2010 report by the Justice Policy Institute, about two-thirds of the people in jail were there for non-violent offenses.
But hey, at least he kept the 24hr thing. There's actually a ton of coverage about this right now since O'Malley has been making claims on the sort-of-pre-campaign trail about his time as mayor, so look around google news for more discussion.
posted by advil at 8:25 PM on May 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Thanks advil, that was helpful.

I'll read more. But I agree with this:
O’Malley’s policies as mayor may have contributed to the decline in crime rates, but there are many variables at play. As evidence of that, Baltimore’s crime rate trend mirrored other major cities at that time; his statement does not provide that perspective.

Giuliani likewise took credit for the "broken windows" policy reducing crime in NYC. But when the downward trend in crime is not specific to certain communities--when it's happening nationally--you have to look for broader causes. And also, of course, scrutinize the downsides of the draconian policies, the colossally damaging breakdown of community and trust.

I have a cousin who lived with her very white family (two kids) in Sandtown for over a decade starting in the early 90s. She said her question, and one she's been hearing from friends, is "do people care more about broken windows or broken spines?" I guess this is what it comes down to for me. It doesn't matter if you smoke pot while wandering a Florida neighborhood; or "strong-arm" rob a bodega, or sell loosies, or deal drugs, or (good god) "flee without provocation." The idea that any of these offenses should end in death is unthinkable.

What I'd like to see (and I know I won't) is:
1) end the war on drugs, obvs
2) police carry batons, not guns
3) police are trained to DE-ESCALATE instead of reacting to every incident as if it's a lethal threat. That whole thing about probable cause if a person runs unprovoked is completely nuts.

Oh and of course reduce the prevalence of guns in the U.S., so cops wouldn't have to be taking a baton to a gunfight. But that wish is so naive it's hardly worth mentioning.
posted by torticat at 10:16 PM on May 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


The Myth of Police Reform, Ta-Nehisi Coates
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:13 PM on May 3, 2015 [11 favorites]


JHarris: "Can someone tell me what the hell purpose a curfew serves?"

Using the concept of time as a justification for violence.
posted by rhizome at 4:30 PM on May 3 [4 favorites +][!]


which strikes me as so darkly hilarious since, as i've pointed out before but didn't make the connection with the curfew, these cops killing people is happening during the day.

so the cops are saying "oooh, better stay inside at night, it's SCARRRRY and dangerous" when the cops are just out there being scary and dangerous at 10 in the morning.

it's ludicrous.
posted by sio42 at 5:47 AM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


my browser is not letting me favorite, but that article TMOTAT links by Ta-Nehisi Coates is amazeballs.

how does that guy have so much brain all the time?
posted by sio42 at 5:53 AM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Myth of Police Reform, Ta-Nehisi Coates

Excellent, as we have come to expect from Coates. But he does leave one thing out of this:
At some point, Americans decided that the best answer to every social ill lay in the power of the criminal-justice system. Vexing social problems—homelessness, drug use, the inability to support one's children, mental illness—are presently solved by sending in men and women who specialize in inspiring fear and ensuring compliance.
and that would be, of course, money. With this slavish devotion to cutting every tax everywhere without being willing to also do less, of course the money comes from somewhere. And when you already don't give a shit about the underclass - and they have less political power - then you may as well soak them for the fees. Add "closing budget shortfalls" to the things we have added to the criminal justice machine's responsibilities.

It's not entirely on point so it made perfect sense for him to leave it out; I think the financing of local governments with these fines is more icing on the racist authoritarian cake then it is the point of it all. But it certainly creates another incentive to target and penalize the people least able to make your cop & pol life difficult. Don't ticket the people who will challenge things and clog up the courts; don't increase fines on the people who contribute to your campaign (or more likely, your opponent who will abolish them). Just keep pulling over that 20 year old car.
posted by phearlez at 7:26 AM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]




Freddie Gray’s life a study on the effects of lead paint on poor blacks
The burden weighs heaviest on the poorest communities, such as the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood in West Baltimore where Freddie Gray lived. Here, most houses were built decades ago, at a time when paint manufacturers hailed lead as a cheap additive. The effect of that lead, which Congress effectively banned in 1978, has been profound on Gray’s neighborhood. Statistics between 2009 and 2013 showed that more than 3 percent of children younger than 6 had possibly dangerous levels of lead in their blood, more than double the figure for the entire city.
previously: Get the lead out.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:31 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]




@HannahAllam:
At corner of north & penn in Baltimore - police appear to have shot young man. Riot police back on scene, ppl stumbling away w/spray in eyes

'We'll be back under martial law tonight!' EMTs take body away on stretcher. Witnesses saying he's alive #Baltimore

Bystanders: 'another black man shot in the back while he was running away.' 'Oh it's gonna blow up tonight' #Baltimore
posted by Golden Eternity at 12:06 PM on May 4, 2015




News article on the new shooting. (I know, Fox) They're claiming a gun was 'reportedly' found next to him on the sidewalk.
posted by corb at 12:24 PM on May 4, 2015


via BPD: The reports of a man being shot at North and Pennsylvania Ave are NOT true. Officers have arrested a man for a handgun at the location
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:24 PM on May 4, 2015


@cmcampbell6: "Commander at the scene confirms it was a shooting. Man had a gun, police tried to arrest him, it fell and went off, he says."
posted by Golden Eternity at 12:25 PM on May 4, 2015


You know, I'm just going to put this in here as a gun owner - with most modern guns it's actually /hard/ to just 'drop them and have them go off'. Like, I can't imagine why the Commander would possibly lie about it with the scrutiny he's under, but this sounds fishy as shit.
posted by corb at 12:27 PM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


@TheAPJournalist: "So far: Baltimore PD says man was NOT shot; appears a gun did go off, but the man was not hit, taken to hospital out of abundance of caution"
posted by Golden Eternity at 12:37 PM on May 4, 2015


The twitters are mostly saying no one shot. Gun went off. Was suspect's not cop's
posted by sio42 at 12:46 PM on May 4, 2015






Powerful: The White Man's Bargain
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:31 PM on May 4, 2015 [4 favorites]








Why Isn’t The Right Defending Freddie Gray? - written by a very right-wing guy and posted on a very right-wing website. A lot of Metafilter users will hate the content on The Federalist, but it would be worth reading the article and maybe sending it to any conservatives you know.
posted by riruro at 10:13 AM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


It is "funny" that the right yells constantly about the dangers of oppressive government but is damn quiet when government is oppressing black people.
posted by octothorpe at 10:28 AM on May 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Is this link about the knife correct? Sounds like it to me but I don't know legal stuff.

Confirmed – Freddie Gray’s Knife WAS Illegal
posted by Drinky Die at 10:58 AM on May 6, 2015


that link isn't saying anything new besides saying that the cops contend it was spring assisted and he seems to be hinging everything on the fact that the cops could mistake it for a switchblade and thus would give them probable cause - basically arguing that their ignorance protects them. it's not exactly the strongest defense and only echoes one side of the story. it's an extreme overstatement to start his article with "confirmed."
posted by nadawi at 11:25 AM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Nadawi, I read the article's most important point as being the second one: A spring-assisted knife is legal in Maryland but illegal in Baltimore, specifically.

Can someone clue me on this? Can any government body anywhere in the US make something a crime? In Canada only the federal government can make criminal, which certainly makes these things simpler. I realize that it's an important common law principle that ignorance of the law is no excuse, but is there any allowance made for the fact that many cities in the US are tiny and walking from your apartment to the supermarket could change the rules and how the hell are you supposed to know the nuances of ever law that changes between your home and your work?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:32 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think there is any chance at all of the unlawful imprisonment charges sticking. I wonder if Mosby thinks there really is or if its the standard prosecutorial tactic of throwing a bajillion serious charges at the defendants in the hopes of scaring them.
posted by Justinian at 11:33 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


how the hell are you supposed to know the nuances of ever law that changes between your home and your work?

Hell if I know. I honestly can't tell you what knives it is legal or illegal for me to carry around despite having specifically tried to look up the answer. Because California has laws about knives. Los Angeles County has laws about knives. The City of Los Angeles has laws about knives. And the City of West Hollywood could have laws about knives but I don't think they do, but I can't be sure?

And the laws can be and, I think, are contradictory. Some places make it illegal to carry knives concealed but legal to carry them openly in a sheathe. Other places make it illegal to carry the knife openly but legal if it is completely concealed. Some places make fixed blade knives illegal and folding knives illegal while others do the opposite.

Is a folding knife with a 3.5" blade carried concealed in your pocket legal where I live? I am not sure. Is it legal 50 feet to the west, south, or east from where I live (which puts me across the line into Los Angeles)? I am also not sure. But the answer may be different. How about if the blade is 2.9"? The answer may be different. What if its spring-assisted?

Hell if I know. And if you guess wrong you could go to jail for a year. Especially if you are blessed with lots of pigmentation.
posted by Justinian at 11:44 AM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


i don't think those charges stick either, but the guy writing that article seems to not know the difference between automatic and assisted. by definition a spring assisted knife is not automatic.
posted by nadawi at 11:46 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


is there any allowance made for the fact that many cities in the US are tiny and walking from your apartment to the supermarket could change the rules

Legally speaking? No. Practically speaking? Sure, happens all the time, if you're not a "suspicious character", or the local municipality doesn't rely on criminal fines to keep its taxes low, or the cop isn't having a shitty day, or whatever.
posted by Etrigan at 11:47 AM on May 6, 2015




I think the issue with the knife boils down to, "If the PC for arrest is the knife being unlawful in the city, why "articulable reason" is there to stop him in the first place. "Eyeballing me funny" is pretty fucking weak when you're not just trying to give a Bad Cop a pass...
posted by mikelieman at 1:49 PM on May 6, 2015


The articulable reason, which has been articulated, is that Gray ran away from the cops in a high crime area. This has sadly been upheld as valid. Apparently "if you have nothing to hide why did you run, citizen" is now the law.
posted by Justinian at 2:09 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I realize I'm way late--this thread took days to digest. Two points:

If the original footage is on youtube, you can't unring that bell, so what use is further intimidation?

It's not about intimidating the person who's already filmed cops being cops, it's about intimidating the next person who thinks about filming cops.

Second, my response to everyone engaging in wialing and gnashing of teeth over the riots--especially those on the left:

The first Gay Pride was a riot. Think again about how riots are inherently bad.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:18 PM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


The articulable reason, which has been articulated, is that Gray ran away from the cops in a high crime area.

Perfectly reasonable behaviour, given the known risks of being beaten by the Bad Cops on the police force. Again, that's fine if your goal is to give a Bad Cop a pass on murdering someone, but the moment you actually challenge it, it falls apart.

Where is the signage designated this "high crime area" where ordinary civil liberties are suspended? Can't expect people to know without constructive notice, can you?

EVERYONE jogging in the city, by that logic, IF the Bad Cop simply lies and says they looked at him funny, is a target, so, that's why cops don't get the benefit of the doubt.
posted by mikelieman at 2:18 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


...and on postview:

basically arguing that their ignorance protects them

why the everloving gibbering fuck do cops get to (try to) use ignorance as a defence when regular citizens can't? fuck that shit fucking sideways.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:21 PM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just googled "baltimore high crime area signs", and it appears that these special areas do not have signs indicating their boundaries.

That seems -- i dunno -- overly broad and arbitrary to say, "Hey, if you're in a High Crime Area there are special rules, but we're not going to post signs delimiting the boundaries of them"...
posted by mikelieman at 2:23 PM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


From the USSC:

"Respondent was sitting on the passenger side of the front seat of a car parked on the street in a "high crime area" in Bridgeport, Connecticut, at 2:15 a. m. when a police officer approached his car. "

So, define objectively, "high crime area" and please let me know how Freddie Gray was expected to know he was within the designated boundaries.

Looks like a decision from 1972 needs another look, and this might be the case to bring it to them...
posted by mikelieman at 2:28 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Supreme Court issued a decision this year that said a police officer can pull you over for "breaking" a law that doesn't actually exist and the stop would still be valid as long as the officer's belief that he was right is "reasonable." That case would not go the way you seem to imagine it would.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:52 PM on May 6, 2015 [5 favorites]




Right here: " First, whether an area is ''high-crime'' is a legal fact. Therefore, the prosecution should have an affirmative burden of production to establish this fact. "
posted by mikelieman at 2:54 PM on May 6, 2015


That's kind of an old article but what I like about it is that it's right. The reason it matters that it's old is that it's not something that defense attorneys have actually managed to get traction with. Apparently being right isn't good enough.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:13 PM on May 6, 2015




Chicago City Council Passes Landmark Police Torture Reparations Ordinance
Today, the Chicago City Council passed landmark legislation providing reparations for torture committed by former Chicago Police commander Jon Burge and detectives under his command. Forty-three years after Jon Burge tortured the first known detainee, a resolution providing compensation, restitution and rehabilitation to survivors passed with overwhelming support.
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:28 PM on May 6, 2015


Golden Eternity: "Chicago City Council Passes Landmark Police Torture Reparations Ordinance"

They still got off cheap.
posted by rhizome at 8:54 AM on May 7, 2015


Seeing Through Police
With the growth of the role of police in democratic societies, a theory of their presence and place in government has simply not emerged in proportion to their power and variable function. The only really worthwhile thing we have is empirical description, from the late 20th-century field of police sociology — and this research has been most useful in dispelling illusions, not creating comprehensive philosophy. An impressive number of practical things have been studied and yielded surprising findings on such topics as work hours, organization, decision making, dramaturgy, constituencies, professional attitudes, and differential application of the law to people of different identities and situations. The radical theorist Mark Neocleous described the results in 2000:
Freddie Gray, Adam Shatz, London Review of Books
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:07 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]




"In some cases, the union’s hostility to scrutiny has been self-defeating. In 2014, the Fraternal Order of Police declined to endorse Gregg Bernstein, then the state’s attorney for Baltimore, after members of the union’s endorsement committee complained that Mr. Bernstein had been too aggressive in prosecuting police misconduct, according to two people briefed on the discussions.

Mr. Bernstein, who suffered from diminishing support in districts where the union has long been influential, lost his re-election bid to the current state’s attorney, Marilyn J. Mosby, who has made prosecuting police misconduct a priority."


Woops!
posted by Drinky Die at 11:24 AM on May 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


Police Struggle With Loss of Privileged Position

N.B.: NOT The Onion.
posted by mikelieman at 11:37 AM on May 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


One police officer responds: Why Cops Like Me Are Quiet
posted by caddis at 12:52 PM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Especially when a wrongful death at the hands of the police is followed by the death of one of our own. Like Brian Moore, who was the same age as Freddie Gray when he was shot last weekend. He was in plainclothes, part of the anti-crime unit in the 105th Precinct. He saw a guy walking oddly and playing with his waistband, a sign that he might have a gun, and tried to question him. The guy turned and fired, striking Brian in the head. He died yesterday, surrounded by his parents and other officers. That’s what half of my News Feed is talking about now. The other half doesn’t even seem to know.

Yeah, nobody noticed. Get back to us when the killer (who was arrested 90 minutes after the shooting, rush to judgement!) isn't charged or is acquitted.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:06 PM on May 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


Well, that article was pretty sickening.
posted by kafziel at 1:07 PM on May 7, 2015


One police officer responds: Why Cops Like Me Are Quiet

I'm for empathy for the difficulty of police work, and I see what Campbell's POV has to do with shootings like Dillon Taylor's.

Campbell loses me trying to tie this to Gray's death, though. That wasn't a situation where someone had to make a quick call about a threat level that could mean they don't survive. It's a situation where someone is in custody and there's no threat... but the officers who had him in custody chose to use their power for no other reason than to make him suffer or kill him. The intention might have stopped at the former but it doesn't matter, that's an abuse.

And there's no excuse for it -- there might be *reasons* why it happens, ones we should be aware of, ones we should even hear cops talk about and listen with empathy. But no excuse. Least of all any argument for police safety, since events like this strengthen the characterization of officers as inhuman opposition rather than members of the community with an important job.

And the other thing... "I back into my corner with my brothers and sisters in blue, people who understand me." I *get it* that a lot of the time the place it's going to be easiest to go for empathy and support are the places where we share identity. But I think it's false to assume that's the only place we can find it. And that falseness grows into tribal danger when we take the next step and fail to extend it outward.

It would be nice if someone hoping humanity will extend that empathy towards police officers would also extend it outward.

(Humanity isn't really good at this, of course. I'm describing an ideal I examine more with Havel-ian hope rather than anything it seems a great idea to bet on...)
posted by weston at 1:32 PM on May 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


@deray: April 2015. The Police Violence Report.
Police violence is higher than usual
Hmm. It seems that we should have color coded police violence threat levels. We could create maps that show high police violence areas to be avoided and where additional police filming is needed.
posted by Golden Eternity at 2:40 PM on May 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


San Francisco Expands Racial Bias Inquiry Into Police
First came disclosures of racist and homophobic text messages exchanged by officers of San Francisco’s Police Department. That was followed by the discovery that officers had been gambling on forced fighting matches between inmates at a city jail. Then on Thursday, the San Francisco district attorney’s office announced that it was expanding its investigation of the department to examine whether it has a deep-seated culture of systemic bias leading to unlawful arrests or prosecutions.
posted by rtha at 2:44 PM on May 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


gambling on forced fighting matches between inmates at a city jail
deputies forced the smallest prisoner, Rico Palikiko Garcia, who weighs 150 pounds, to fight the largest prisoner, Stanly Harris, who weighs 350 pounds. ...

The prisoners were told they would be rewarded with a hamburger if they won, but would be sprayed with Mace, severely beaten and transferred to dangerous housing quarters if they refused to fight at all, he said. Both men were injured in the fights but were told they would be beaten if they sought medical attention.
alls i gotta say is

Police Struggle With Loss of Privileged Position

GOOD KEEP 'EM COMING
posted by twist my arm at 3:24 PM on May 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


There is one question I have after reading Campbell's essay. Does anyone know if cops are routinely treated for or aware of compassion fatigue the way medical professionals and social workers are?
posted by corb at 3:29 PM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Raven Rakia, Black Riot, The New Inquiry 14 NOV 2013 - "The difference between riots and protests has more to do with who and where than what"
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:53 PM on May 7, 2015


@SprtsGamer: "death of officer #BrianMoore a tragedy. imagine the outrage if his killer was on paid leave right now."
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:58 AM on May 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


corb: "Does anyone know if cops are routinely treated for or aware of compassion fatigue the way medical professionals and social workers are?"

Doesn't sound like it:
That’s what a cop’s job is: to swallow the sorrows of humanity — from the banal to the truly tragic — and to return to work the next day and do it all over again. You have to dehumanize people. Your brain does it automatically, to protect yourself. Otherwise, you would need to get drunk all the time or you’d never be able to do the job, period.
posted by rhizome at 11:09 AM on May 8, 2015


I wonder - I mean, does anyone think something like that would be able to be pushed through, or do you think they like their cops 'hard'?
posted by corb at 3:14 PM on May 8, 2015


I think that a sea-change in policing in America needs to happen.

Look at the current situation The Good Cops are too intimidated by the Bad Cops, who are literally getting away with murder, and lie all the time. Consequently the uncontrolled Bad Cops and have destroyed the credibility, honor and integrity of the entire force.

Since you can't discern a Good Cop from a Bad Cop, every cop needs to be considered an imminent risk to your life and safety.

I don't know how to fix it. The Good Cops are the only ones who can. How about offer a reward? If you're a good-cop who rats out a bad cop, you get their accrued pension paid out in cash or something.

Us vs Them needs to be Good Cops vs Bad Cops. Not Bad Cops vs Everyone.
posted by mikelieman at 4:02 PM on May 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wish I could find a cite, but today I was listening to an NPR show and there was a hypothesis thrown around that police corruption may actually starts with politics and the necessity of loyalty that often goes along with it. It goes like this: politicians pick leadership that will take actions that support the narrative they want to use to make themselves look good. Top leadership picks supporting leadership that will do whatever it takes to make them look good. And it goes down until officers throughout the organization understand that the law and protecting/serving aren't what this is about, it's all about politics, so you make your friends who have your back and help you look good... and look the other way when you blow off steam or have an opportunity (and why shouldn't you take your opportunities as they come when everyone else is playing their own game?).

If this is true -- and I'm not sure it explains everything, but I can see it contributing -- then this problem arguably starts at the point where people judge what makes politicians look good.
posted by weston at 6:12 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow..

Defense lawyers for Baltimore police officers filed a motion today for a dismissal of all charges or, failing that, removal of state attorney Marilyn Mosby (claiming conflict of interest.)

I guess this is where we'll find out whether this is a desperate "Hail Mary" play or whether the defense have good reason to believe the system will shut things down to protect the police.

But I honestly can't imagine what the public reaction would be if the prosecutor brought charges but the courts refused to hear them..
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:31 PM on May 8, 2015


Also.. is it just me or is there a really creepy element of sexism totally suffusing the "she should recuse herself because her husband's career might be affected by the case" argument? If anyone can come up with a case where such an argument was levied against a man I'd be glad to have a look for comparison purposes..
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:36 PM on May 8, 2015


The problem is not good cops and bad cops or cops that don't feel compassion. The problem is that cops can get away with assault, murder, and perjury. Human nature being what it is some cops will assault people, murder people, and perjure themselves because there's no punishment for doing so. That's the way the system was set up and the fact that the system retains those characteristics points you toward the real goals of the system.
posted by rdr at 6:42 PM on May 8, 2015


The problem is that cops can get away with assault, murder, and perjury.

But we can't do anything about it. No appeal, protest, or riot can stop misconduct by police.

That's why I call them explicitly Bad Cops, and appeal to the Good Cops who aren't intimidated by them and fearful of retaliation as the only people who can stop the Bad Cops.

It ain't much, but it's all I got that addresses the root-cause of the issue.
posted by mikelieman at 6:45 PM on May 8, 2015


Defense lawyers for Baltimore police officers filed a motion today for a dismissal of all charges or, failing that, removal of state attorney Marilyn Mosby (claiming conflict of interest.)

I guess this is where we'll find out whether this is a desperate "Hail Mary" play or whether the defense have good reason to believe the system will shut things down to protect the police.


Honestly, in a case like this, I'd be more surprised if the defense lawyers didn't try for something like this. Of course it's a Hail Mary, but it doesn't really cost them anything.
posted by Etrigan at 6:46 PM on May 8, 2015


Yes we can. We can prosecute criminal cops. We can require body cameras. If you raise the political costs of police brutality by protesting, rioting, and demanding change from our politicians, then corruption will decrease. Our current system evolved because America decided that it wanted a force that can keep minorities down and poor people locked in poor neighborhoods. That is what the police do. What exactly do you think the appeal to law and order was?
posted by rdr at 6:52 PM on May 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Defense lawyers for Baltimore police officers filed a motion today for a dismissal of all charges or, failing that, removal of state attorney Marilyn Mosby (claiming conflict of interest.)

@virgiltexas: "your honor, it is illegal to arrest cops"
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:03 PM on May 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


[Couple of comments deleted. mikelieman, your Good Cops/Bad Cops thing has been stated in this thread a number of times already; please leave it at that. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:13 PM on May 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Prince's concert is just starting. Live audio stream
posted by Golden Eternity at 5:58 PM on May 10, 2015


It's coy time again, but I'm so fucking annoyed I can't even bring it up. There's a good chance there will be a personnel change soon, for the dumbest of reasons. Just stupid.
posted by cashman at 7:45 PM on May 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


More information on Lt. Rice's mental health issues.

They allowed this guy to continue as a cop. Unbelievable.
posted by rdr at 3:58 AM on May 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also.. is it just me or is there a really creepy element of sexism totally suffusing the "she should recuse herself because her husband's career might be affected by the case" argument? If anyone can come up with a case where such an argument was levied against a man I'd be glad to have a look for comparison purposes..

Clarence Thomas and his wife's lobbying work is an interesting case for comparison on similar issues.
posted by anotherpanacea at 11:19 AM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Jail Cell or the Ambulance?
In a three-year stretch, Baltimore central booking turned away 2,600 people arrested by police, but found by corrections officers to have serious injuries or illnesses.
But that's good, right? No:
Why would central booking turn the suspects away? Booking takes four to five hours in normal circumstances, so corrections officers want to make sure people are up to the ordeal, a spokesman told the Sun. It’s also a matter of cost: Once a prisoner is taken in, the detention center is responsible for providing medical care to them and shouldering the cost, since prisoners are constitutionally entitled to health care.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:19 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Once a prisoner is taken in, the detention center is responsible for providing medical care to them and shouldering the cost, since prisoners are constitutionally entitled to health care.

Hah! I once saw one of those 20/20 / Dateline show episodes where the story was as follows: Woman is in jail awaiting trials and tells the guards she's pregnant. The jail has a doctor come in and confirm the pregnancy. So once she's confirmed pregnant, they let her out of jail because otherwise they have to pay for prenatal/birth care.

So, sometime later, the local sheriff runs into this woman somehow and realizes she doesn't have a kid and never gave birth. On this basis (and pretty much only taht basis) the sheriff has her charged with infanticide. The woman says she was never pregnant and lied about being pregnant because everyone knows they'd rather let you out than pay for prenatal care.

At trial (seriously, it went to trial) the woman points out that she had a tubal ligation before being in jail. Furthermore, some doctor from Columbia does the dye test thing to confirm the tubal ligation had worked. Prosecution argues that the tubal ligation actually didn't work but that after the pregnancy she'd gotten an STD and that's what had rendered her sterile as shown by the columbia doctor. No actual evidence of an STD is shown. This is just conjecture.

So what of the doctor who confirmed the pregnancy? He confirmed it not by a blood test or urine test -- he said those cost money and corrections didn't want to spend money. Something like $70, if I recall. Essentially, he confirmed the pregnancy by asking her about her period etc.

I believe she was not convicted, but prosecutor and sheriff are both interviewed and convinced that she had and killed a baby, even though she could not have been pregnant, did not have a positive pregnancy test, and no one had seen her pregnant or in labour.

So yeah, Corrections will do all sorts of shit to avoid paying for healthcare.

Though I remember this show/episode well (hard to forget!) I've never been able to find anything about this by searching. Does anyone know where this was? What name I might google to learn more?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:26 PM on May 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Here, I finally found it...It turns out it was slightly more complicated in at least two ways:

1. She did confess and plead guilty to avoid the death penalty. Supposedly the three co-defendents all confessed and pled, but none of the confessions matched one another.

2. She, and both co-defendents, have very low IQs. Hers is 40.

More here:
In 1999 Tucker's sister, Victoria Banks, was in jail on an unrelated charge when she told Choctaw County Sheriff Donald Lolley that she was going to have a baby. No pregnancy test or examination was done.

Lolley released Banks, but soon noticed that she no longer looked pregnant, and did not have a baby with her. Lolley became suspicious and called in officials with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. They questioned Banks, who told them that the baby had been born, but that she, her estranged husband, Medell Banks, and her sister, Diane Tucker, had killed the newborn and disposed of its body.

Medell and Victoria Banks and Tucker, all three of whom reportedly have mental retardation, were not represented by attorneys when the investigators interrogated them. The three gave different stories about the child, how and where it was born, and what happened to it after the birth.

They were charged with murder in the case and eventually all three pleaded guilty to manslaughter in order to avoid the death penalty. Each was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The baby's body was never found and there was no evidence of a birth or a murder.

Last year, a medical examination revealed that Victoria Banks could not have been pregnant in 1999 because she had undergone a tubal ligation, an operation in which her Fallopian tubes were cut and tied, in 1995.

So yeah, it's great the state saved those $70 on a pregnancy test so they could put all that money toward railroading three mentally disabled people into 15 year prison sentences. (Overturned on appeal, thankfully).
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:13 PM on May 12, 2015 [14 favorites]




Homan Square detainee: I was sexually abused by police at Chicago 'black site'
Perez claims all this occurred to persuade him to purchase $170 worth of heroin from the dealer.
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:19 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]






Golden Eternity, wow.
posted by JHarris at 7:00 PM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


The video is interesting. Several people crowd around to instruct the girl on her rights and the penal code.
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:02 PM on May 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


God bless moms.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:24 PM on May 17, 2015






NYPD Officers Attempt to Arrest 14-Year-Old Girl- Community Doesn’t Allow It
"You know you're doing wrong, go home!"


What's really amazing about the video is no less than three people with cellphones up taking video.
posted by corb at 6:45 AM on May 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


The frustrating part of the Obama equipment ban is that the news stories I heard yesterday say it was motivated by "police shootings of unarmed black men" like if they didn't shoot the wrong people they could still have them.
posted by rhizome at 2:20 PM on May 19, 2015 [3 favorites]




Wait, infiltrating? That would imply some sort of structure that's meant to exclude them.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:24 PM on May 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


Olympia, Washington is the city for the next thread.

Two guys, 21 and 24, shot in the chest by an officer this morning for being suspected of stealing some beer. There is no (dashcam/bodycam) footage, and someone has already speculated it was deleted.

"Preliminary reports were that both men had been shot in the chest. One suspect is in stable condition at Tacoma General Hospital. One is in critical condition at Providence St. Peter Hospital."

Audio of this morning's shooting (police radio)

"Officer Ryan Donald, 35, shot and wounded two unarmed black men being suspected of trying to steal beer from a Safeway supermarket. Police chief Robbie Roberts says officer Donald was trying to arrest them when one assaulted him with a skateboard. The men are in stable and critical condition. Donald was uninjured. The shooting is under investigation."
posted by cashman at 11:27 AM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]




More details coming in.

"OLYMPIA, Wash. - Two unarmed men suspected of shoplifting beer from a grocery store were shot and critically injured by an Olympia police officer during a confrontation early Thursday, officials said.

The drama unfolded at about 1 a.m. when officers responded to a call from a Safeway store at 3215 Harrison Avenue West, said Paul Lower of the Olympia Police Department.

Store employees reported that there had been an assault at the grocery. They said two black men had attempted to steal beer, and when confronted by employees, the pair threw the stolen beer at them, then fled.

As police investigated, an officer found two men with skateboards matching the suspects' descriptions a short distance away - at Cooper Point Road near 14th Avenue NW. There was a confrontation and the officer opened fire, hitting one of the men, said Olympic Police Chief Ronnie Roberts.

The two suspects then ran into a wooded area. When they emerged, the officer [Ryan Donald] opened fire again, hitting the other man in the torso multiple times, Roberts said.

Witnesses at the scene reported hearing six shots fired.

The men, later identified as Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin of Olympia, were rushed to the hospital, where they are listed in critical but stable condition. The two are stepbrothers, aged 24 and 21. Neither of them was armed with a gun.

The officer who fired the shots [Ryan Donald] was not injured, Roberts said.

The officer [Ryan Donald] later told investigators that when he initially approached the suspects, there was a confrontation behind his patrol car and one of the men assaulted him with his skateboard. The officer said he felt threatened, so he opened fire.

Later, when the two men emerged from the wooded area, there was another confrontation so he fired again.

Roberts said an investigation will determine whether or not the shootings were justified. He said a skateboard could be considered a deadly weapon, depending on the circumstances.

"He (Ryan Donald) believed he had to use deadly force," Roberts said.

The officer who opened fire [Ryan Donald] is white, but Roberts said he did not believe that race was a factor in the shooting. He said the officer was not wearing a body cam and his patrol car was not equipped with a dash cam.

The men's mother spoke with KOMO Newsradio on Thursday morning and said police came to her home after the shooting and informed her what had happened.

She said she can't understand why the officer shot her sons based on a suspicion that they may have been the ones who tried to steal the beer.

"Even if it was them, did they have to open fire and shoot them? I mean, I heard one was shot in the chest. Was that necessary? I don't think so," she said.

Olympia Mayor Stephen Buxbaum called the shootings a "tragic event."

"Our community is strong, caring and compassionate," he said. "This is a challenging time that I know we will live through together."

The officer who fired [Ryan Donald] has been a member of the Olympia police force for three years. He has been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated, following standard policy. The Thurston County Critical Incident Team is investigating the shooting."
posted by cashman at 12:04 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jesus, I hope Olympia handles this properly. It's a small town, and Greeners (as well as the local alums and allies) have plenty of practice with protesting.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 12:12 PM on May 21, 2015


[as a bit of local context, in light of the officer finding "two men with skateboards matching the suspects' description": that Safeway is directly next door to the town skate park. A solid half of the young people in that area at 1am are going to be on or carrying a skateboard.]
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 12:19 PM on May 21, 2015




Washington DC is different from Washington state, in case anyone is thinking rhizome's link and the Olympia situation are more related than they actually are.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 12:34 PM on May 21, 2015


Oh crap, sorry. I totally spaced on the subhed. WA state seems to have a similarly low bar, FWIW.
posted by rhizome at 12:51 PM on May 21, 2015


Wait, infiltrating? That would imply some sort of structure that's meant to exclude them.

Racist Organization Says Racist Organizations Have Been Infiltrating Racist Organizations For Years
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:01 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


i love olympia, lived right next door for a time, and i agree - lots of protesting ability in that town - but it's also very white. i worry since this isn't impacting drum circles or bike trails they won't be as interested in the process.
posted by nadawi at 1:16 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]




It's worth checking out that Politicians are financed by private prisons link posted by Golden Eternity.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:37 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]




Sorry about the ad, but Matt Taibbi wrote something interesting about the Baltimore PD
posted by rhizome at 10:02 AM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


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