One Year After Freddie Gray’s Death, Baltimoreans See Little Change
Residents of West Baltimore’s Gilmor Homes, where Freddie Gray was beaten by police, reflect on the year since his death
EDDIE CONWAY: I’m Eddie Conway. Welcome to The Real News. I’m down here at Mount and Presbury St., a year after Freddie Gray was beaten and the first anniversary. I’m standing in front of the Tudman House and I want to talk to the people down in the community about what has changed. What’s your name? [Inaud] okay and you’ve been down here the whole year since Freddie Gray. Have- what’s the situation down here? Has anything changed?
INTERVIEWEE 1: Not much, [inaud] new things in the community, [indau] I mean they donate for the kids and things of that nature. It’s a little bit better, more [inaud] a little bit.
CONWAY: Has anything changed down here in Gilmore Homes?
INTERVIEWEE 2: No, not at all. It’s ridiculous.
CONWAY: Has the city given any kind of resources of any kind of help or any stuff to make life easier for young people down here?
INTERVIEWEE 2: No they’re attacking young people.
CONWAY: They’re attacking young people?
INTERVIEWEE 2: [inaud] still beating up young people like I said. There is nothing different. Police do what they want to do. [inaud] They going to do what they want to do to people. People got rights too. And if they’re out doing no wrong, why should you want to take them? Why? Cause they’re black? White procedures, white [inaud] they do what they want to do.
INTERVIEWEE 3: Right, and I want to know why did it take for Freddie Gray to have die or whatever happened to him for them to make a big thing- what about Trayvon Martin and all them- they passed too. All of them, why did it have to take for them to make a big thing out of Freddie Gray. They ain’t do nothing down here for the kids. Same police is doing the same thing. They can ride around here and pull people over for minor stuff give them 5 dollar tickets and fines and all this. But they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do. They not doing what they supposed to do at all. They still bothering these boys. They ain’t doing nothing. They don’t see them do anything. I don’t understand why they approach them or do anything to them. But that’s just the police. The police feel like they got the right.
INTERVIEWEE 2: They wonder why the kids are not doing this or doing this or why the kids are in the street doing certain stuff. Where’s the recreation centers? Where’s the basket ball hoops and all that? There’s nothing for them to do but be in the streets. Give them something to do, maybe they won’t be in the streets.
INTERVIEWEE 3: That’s why all these kids bust all these windows around here doing everything unnecessary because there’s not enough for them to do. Why not put playgrounds, like recreation centers like all that in the areas where kids are at. Where the kids going to get at to go down the harbor? They running from down there if they too deep or they too crowded. They running from down there. So why would they throw all the money down there?
CONWAY: Are you looking for any justice in this trail? The next trail is getting ready to start next month for the second officer that was driving the van. Are y’all looking for any justice for Freddie Gray?
INTERVIEWEE 3: Actually I just pray for the family. That’s all I can say because like it was wrong. All I can do is pray for the family and hope that they keep their head up and that they do find justice within their case. Because everybody is the same. [inaud] Who was I before I was a police officer? They ain’t no different. If they do commit a crime, they should do the time too. It ain’t nothing to it. Like everybody got a name, it depend on what you became or who you became. Like they became a police officer, they still- if they do wrong, I think they should do the time too.
INTERVIEWEE 4: And they keep trying to put it off. If they pay the family a certain amount of money, that’s not [inaud]. Okay, if you did, they city was wrong for killing her child. So she deserved the money but still also the justice about it. But y’all keep trying to put it off, or they- keep on putting trails, postpone, when y’all really going to do nothing about it. [inaud] They feel as though oh we gave them the money, we not going to get locked up too. They’re not going to do all that. If they gave them the money, they’re not going to give them the jail time. They going to let it go off. Keep on prolonging and prolonging. They going to put it off.
INTERVIEWEE 3: Right cause if it was one of us, we would have gone straight to trail, we would have been in jail and that would have been that. All because they are police officers… no, it shouldn’t work like that
CONWAY: What’s the condition down here in the community?
INTERVIEWEE 5: It’s pretty much the same.
CONWAY: There’s been no city resources and nothing to help young people down here?
INTERVIEWEE 5: From government? No.
CONWAY: What about jobs?
INTERVIEWEE 5: Nothing.
CONWAY: Has anything changed down here in the community?
INTERVIEWEE 6: No. We get recognition but we don’t get no jobs, we ain’t get no centers. I mean it’s not happening. It’s still the same thing.
INTERVIEWEE 7: What are our kids supposed to do? They’re closing down the rec centers and everything, so basically they want them to be outside. It’s like they’re doing everything else for the city but they’re not doing- they taking away stuff from our youth but they giving it to people who don’t even really need it.
CONWAY: Ok, and who are they giving it to? The Inner Harbor?
INTERVIEWEE 7: Yeah, the harbor. The tourists. [inaud] with the neighborhood, I think. Cause I’ve been seeing- I haven’t seen them. I mean, they’ve been doing their jobs. I can’t say that [inaud] or anything like that. They’ve been basically doing their job.
CONWAY: If you had to suggest something that the city could do to help this community, what would it be?
INTERVIEWEE 7: A whole lot. Basically, there’s a whole lot that needs to be done for this community. Cause getting these guys, helping these guys get jobs. I mean I understand that they started the Safe Streets and [inaud] like that but, they got to do something else to encourage these guys. [inaud]… so these guys can get high school diplomas to get jobs to get off the corner. You know, put up, the way they open up centers- open up a center for the youth in the community. Open up [inaud] for the community. Open up a free summer camp for these kids in the community. I think that that’s what they should do. And I think- I mean the community has been coming along, you know, everybody sticks together around here. So it’s okay, but they just need something to help out.
CONWAY: Ok, thank you
INTERVIEWEE 7: You’re welcome.
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