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  August 27, 2015

Bullock Trial Begins Friday


18-year-old Allen Bullock broke a police car window during the Baltimore uprisings. Having turned himself in, he faces life in prison and a bail that is higher than those set for the six police officers charged in the killing of Freddie Gray
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biography

Thomas Hedges is a journalist and producer at the Real News. He's also worked as a journalist for Ralph Nader's Center for Study of Responsive Law. He earned a degree in history from Columbia University and majored in English as an undergrad at Colgate University. @ThomasHedgesTRN.


transcript

Bullock Trial Begins FridaySPEAKER: We just want the best, the best for him. And we don't want nobody to judge him for what the media is talking about and all that, and the police is talking, what the system is talking about.

CAPTION: In April, 18-year-old Allen Bullock broke a police car window during the Baltimore uprisings over the death of Freddie Gray.

BOBBI SMALLWOOD, ALLEN BULLOCK'S MOTHER: I think that's ridiculous. And they don't have nothing for these kids to do at all. And I really think it's ridiculous how they build more jails for these little teeny kids. It's ridiculous. What happened to the [inaud.] coming up. What happens to those [inaud.] they need something to do.

CAPTION: He made headlines after the court gave him a higher bail than any of the officers charged with the killing of Freddie Gray.

A group of lawyers, including Bullock's attorney, shared their thoughts on what the 18-year-old faces.

J. WYNDAL GORDON, ALLEN BULLOCK'S LAWYER: We thought that that was outrageous given the nature of the offense.

NATALIE FINEGAR, MARYLAND PUBLIC DEFENDER: I am concerned that they are using this somewhat as an example.

A. DWIGHT PETTIT, BALTIMORE CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Not only is that excessive and unconstitutional and outrageous--.

GORDON: No one was killed, no one was harmed.

PETTIT: But that's a bail that's a political statement to others who are, at that particular time were still active in the demonstrations and what have you.

FINEGAR: If I'm looking at a client who's accused of breaking a window, either a house or on a car, generally we're talking about a misdemeanor.

GORDON: It's like he's been found guilty before even standing trial.

CAPTION: Bullock's trial begins this Friday. He would have sat in jail had a community group not paid his bondsman fee.

GORDON: Baltimore United for Change was gracious enough to extend their resources to have him bailed out.

TRE MURPHY, ORGANIZED FOR ALLEN BULLOCK'S BAIL: It's important to note that Mr. Alan Bullock is not the only ridiculously high bail that has been set like that. We had another $500,000 bail, and then a $400,000 bail. There was a $250,000 bail and a $100,000 bail. There's all of these bails that don't match the crime.

FINEGAR: And that I think creates a lot of problems for the future of Baltimore City. Because what was being demonstrated against by the perspective of those who were out on the streets in the uprising was police brutality.

MURPHY: Compared to the bails that were set for the six officers involved in the tragic death of Freddie Gray, where the highest bail for one of the six officers was $350,000.

PETTIT: The courts always tend to favor the police, historically. So that's nothing new.

MURPHY: The value of black and brown people, like Mr. Alan Bullock, lives don't matter.

GORDON: The message is that justice is available to everyone, the same as the Ritz Carlton.

MURPHY: But the value of six police officers who have just gotten away with murder matter a tremendous amount more than any everyday citizen's life could ever matter.

FINEGAR: And you don't want to quell public discourse about that very important issue. We have the phrase Black Lives Matter because black people have died.

MURPHY: It is a scare tactic that has been used to suppress people's voices, from elevating their voices around systematic issues that have taken place inside their communities for so long. No matter how poorly of a choice, or a way they displayed anger, the community was justifiable in the anger that they displayed. And so the question is always how do we ensure that we're protecting those who are elevating their voices to speak out against systematic injustices?

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.



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