HOT TOPICS ▶ Climate Change     Undoing The New Deal     The Real Baltimore     Reality Asserts Itself     United Kingdom    

  December 17, 2017

Baltimore Students Offer Solutions to Stop Police Brutality

A 5th grade class in Baltimore has completed an comprehensive research project on the unconstitutional and racist tactics used by Baltimore's police department and have turned their work into solutions they hope will improve how law enforcement interacts with the community
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

This is where I am able to find out what is actually developing across the world. Thank you TRNN! - Stan Estus
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


TAYA GRAHAM: This is Taya Graham reporting for The Real News Network in Southwest Baltimore. When we talk about police brutality, we usually are discussing adults but we rarely talk about the impact it has on our children.

ALBERT PHILLIPS: I believe activism starts as early as they're born. And I think it's important to instill in our youth that tradition now, instead of waiting until they become adults.

TAYA GRAHAM: For the children of Baltimore, there are many challenges that their counterparts in wealthier communities don't face. Growing up in a city struggling with poverty and violence. And trying to learn in a school system that is chronically underfunded.

KYRA: I think there is a lot wrong with police brutality because it causes people to die or get really hurt.

TAYA GRAHAM: But there is another topic fifth graders at the Southwest Baltimore charter school have to confront: police brutality.

AMIR: In Expedition class, we have to learn about police brutality and activists that are trying to end police brutality. An example of an activist is Ms. Tawanda Jones, who is the founder of West Wednesdays which is a protest in Baltimore to raise awareness about police brutality.

TAYA GRAHAM: Baltimore's police department is currently under consent decree for using racist and unconstitutional tactics, which is why the students here studied the problem, not just to learn about it, but to seek solutions.

EMILY: My second solution is that we can talk with citizens to see what they need. My third solution is that we could contact our representatives and ask what they're doing to stop police brutality. If we could contact a representative like you and have a conversation with you and other leaders, we could discuss our problems and our needs.

TAYA GRAHAM: They visited museums and spoke with activists.

ANYA: They were also learning about how certain individuals such as John Lewis and Ida B. Wells, how they resisted oppression and created change.

TAYA GRAHAM: They poured over the Justice Department's report and studied cases from the past.

ANIS: According to the US Department of Justice Investigation, about 150,000 police stops were in two small African American districts. This is 44% of all stops in Baltimore. This makes me feel disgusted that people are being treated differently because of their skin color.

TAYA GRAHAM: And they applied their findings to recommendations which they are sending to the police department.

ANYA: My first solution to police brutality is to enforce a test that identifies racist police officers. There should be tests like this to see if that person is fit to be a cop. Also, this can help eliminate or reduce police brutality because then there would be less racist cops policing our city.

AMIR: My third and final police reform idea is for police officers to stop criminalizing everything. If police officers criminalize the small things, they might miss the big, dangerous or harmful stuff. Therefore, pedophiles and murderers can get away.

TAYA GRAHAM: For their teacher, the process of learning the history of police brutality has been empowering.

ALBERT PHILLIPS: It's been beautiful to see. Because they've grown so much. They can see from our step one of the writing process when they just had scattered ideas, to them creating these letters. They can see the growth. And they became more and more interested. "Mr. Albert, but what about this?" They had a lot of questions. So, it caused me to do even more research. Questions that I didn't know the answer to, I would say, "Hey. Here's a laptop. You find it."

TAYA GRAHAM: A sentiment echoed by the students.

ANIS: Police brutality in Baltimore must end. Police should be held accountable for their actions and get proper training if needed, and their income should be lowered if they brutalize.

TAYA GRAHAM: Who hope their suggestions will make life better for everyone.

ANIS: I wrote this letter for you to follow. You're probably going to say, "I'm not listening to a fifth grader." Well, actually anyone can make a difference. Even kids.

TAYA GRAHAM: This is Taya Graham and Stephen Janis reporting for the Real News Network in Baltimore City, Maryland.


Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at

latest stories

Pence Speech Fuels Conflict Between Israel and Palestine
Apple: The Biggest Tax Cheaters in History Repatriate Profits Under Trump's Tax Bill
Despite School Closings, Chicago Mayor Pushes For New $95 Million Police Academy
Women March in Defiance of Trump
Cape Town Water Wars: A Literal Shitstorm
Massive Oil Spill in East China Sea Is the Size of Paris
Rather Than Address Crime, Baltimore Officials Try to Relocate It
TRNN Replay: Reality Asserts Itself - Troy LaRaviere
Real Media: Former British Diplomat Turned Anarchist
Laura Flanders Show: Star Power for People Power
Consumer Protection Moves to Throw the Weakest Under the Bus
Baltimore Spends Billions on Corporate Subsidies but Can't Heat Its Schools
Can a New Baltimore Police Commissioner Fix a Corrupt Department?
Trump Keeps US in Syria and Sets Off New War
Korean Olympic Unity Gives US War Plans a 'Bloody Nose'
Set Up By FBI Informant, NODAPL Activist Pleads Guilty
Prosecutors Push on Against 59 Protesters Despite Defeat
Mayor Announces New Baltimore City Community Grants Program
The US is Arming and Assisting Neo-Nazis in Ukraine, While Congress Debates Prohibition
After Hawaii Scare, Trump Worsens Nuclear Danger
Baltimore Mayor Fires Police Commissioner Kevin Davis
2017 Hottest Year On Record Without El Nino Push
Yemen's Crisis is Far Worse Than We're Told
IRS Private Debt-Collection Program is 'Indefensible'
New Orleans Human Rights Resolution Under Attack Because It Could Affect Israel
The Grenfell Community's Silent Steps for Justice
Abbas Gives Up on US, but Palestinians Give Up on Him
Whistleblowers: Congress Has Entrenched the Surveillance State
Catalonia Independence Crisis Intensifies Spain's Political Divide
Repression Against Honduran Opposition Intensifies,, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Web Design, Web Development and Managed Hosting