#FreddieGray Case Spurs Activism and Action in Baltimore Classrooms
The Baltimore High School students that staged a mock trial for the #Freddie Gray case discuss how the events of the past year have impacted their relationship with police, the legal system and the war on drugs.
The Baltimore High School students that staged a mock trial for the #Freddie Gray case discuss how the events of the past year have impacted their relationship with police, the legal system and the war on drugs.
JAISAL NOOR, PRODUCER, TRNN: Last month the Real News brought you the story of how students at a Baltimore high school staged a mock trial for the Freddie Gray case. It came a year after Freddie Gray was killed in police custody. The 25-year-old’s death was felt deeply by the students at Reginald F. Lewis High School.
Even though six officers were charged with Gray’s death last May, not a single verdict has been returned in the case. The trial of officer Edward Nero is set to begin this week. He faces charges of second degree assault and has pled not guilty.
Well, I’m now joined in studio by eight students from Timothy Freeze’s 10th grade law and community justice class: David Hall, Sa’mon Fedd, Tyrea Hall, Antonio Satchell, Molchand Singh, Ty Pierce, Raquon White and Eric Way. Thank you all for joining us.
So, David, let’s start with you. You were a defense attorney in the trial of Officer Goodson, that we came to your class and filmed. Talk about what this process meant for you. And, it all came a year after Freddie Gray was arrested and then died in police custody.
DAVID HALL: Well, for me it was a meticulous examination of, like, how the legal system worked. Like, we were picking it apart piece by piece and seeing how we try to achieve justice now.
NOOR: So, you actually read through all the legal briefs. You read through the medical examiner’s report. Talk a little bit about what the process involved.
HALL: It involved finding out the facts, reading the autopsies, picking and choosing through witnesses, seeing whose, like, whose word was credible and a lot of other stuff.
NOOR: Anyone else want to? Yeah, yeah.
SPEAKER: For me to be in the audience watching the case, it’s kind of a good feeling to see, like, oh, this is what the students think should happen for the case versus what we’re going to see is going to happen, and I just want to see that, hey, we all see our perspective on the case.
NOOR: And so, talk more about what you mean by that.
SPEAKER: I feel as though the Freddie Gray incident, everybody see the facts and everybody see the facts that the media’s going to give us, and what we’re going to, what the final verdict’s going to be versus what everybody else that lives in Baltimore seeing what happened is going to have on, like, our perspective and what should happen.
NOOR: Yeah, because Freddie Gray’s arrest and his death and the protests and everything else that happened, it all touched you pretty deeply, right? It all changed your perspective on the city and your lives and growing up. Talk a little bit about that.
SPEAKER: Living in Baltimore, for me, as far as getting the education, it’s like it’s kind of harder, because being a minority and being in a, like a urban area, it’s kind of different than getting our education at a higher class school and it’s like, most of us feel like, hey, we’re scared, because what happened to him could happen to any one of us, basically.
NOOR: Anybody else? Want to pass the mic down? So, I think this is, like, a really interesting question, so yeah. Talk about how it impacted you and how being part of this process, what that was like and what you learned from it.
SPEAKER: It impacted me in a way, because it’s just, like, now that you see the Freddie Gray case anyone can be a target, talking about it, anyway, whereas us given the chance to reenact the case gives people hope and actually see what they want to believe will happen in the case rather than something they see piece by piece. We give the chance to let you see everything that goes on right then, piece by piece.
NOOR: Right, because in Maryland, you know, cameras aren’t allowed in courtrooms, right, so what you’re hearing, what the public’s hearing about the case, it’s filtered through reporters and journalists, so you don’t actually, I mean, unless you’re physically there, you don’t get to actually understand what’s going on, so.
Do you want to share your thoughts about this? Talk about how Freddie Gray’s death impacted you and what putting on this mock trial, what it meant for you.
SPEAKER: Basically, living in Baltimore I can say, it’s a tough city. This man was chased and his innocence and what he went through as a person, he was, he had different types of charges and he was basically a target. He was ran down for no reason and–
NOOR: –Well, so, he was run down because he made eye contact with the officer, right?
NOOR: So, Tyrea, so, you served as the judge for the mock trial. Talk about what that was like, being the final, you know, being the, kind of key person in the case. You had to facilitate the whole process, and you’re also a senior yourself.
TYREA HALL: To me it was fun, because my class didn’t do it, but to see the younger students do it, it was like, it was an eye opener, because you only hear the facts that they put on the news, so it was better to know, like, the real facts. Like, I never knew the paddy wagon was only what, like 19 inches or whatever the case. That’s kind of small. It was great, though.
NOOR: Well, because the defense, they were arguing that Freddie Gray injured himself. It wasn’t the officers’ fault.
HALL: Yeah. On the news they don’t really say that it was just, yeah, it was really just like it had already happened before he got in the van, so it was kind of awesome to know that it happened while he was in the van.
NOOR: And so, I wanted to ask more about how this experience was different than how the media portrayed it. Can we start with you?
SPEAKER: I think the experience was different because, although I didn’t participate, I felt like–
NOOR: –Well, you were in the audience, right, so you got to hear it.
SPEAKER: I actually feel honored that people would listen to us and we actually have a voice, because most of the time when the media portrays it it’s just as they portray it, because they can add what they want to but sometimes it really doesn’t matter what the citizens have to say. So I feel like, as a school, and although everybody participated I really felt honored that y’all would hear us out and listen to us,
NOOR: Well, it was a privilege being there and being able to share that, so.
But I want to ask you a little bit about something you said. So, how does the media portray young, Black men in this city, like Freddie Gray?
SPEAKER: I feel like they portray us all as a threat, and although, I feel like they portray us by a threat by association as well, by looks. Because, I mean, to me I feel as though looks can be deceiving. Just because I look like a drug dealer does not necessarily mean I am a drug dealer, and I feel like–
NOOR: –I don’t think you look like a drug dealer.
SPEAKER: Thanks, I appreciate that. But I feel like some, because I’ve been picked on, like, a couple times by the police. I walk down the street and they ask me am I selling drugs. I’m like, no. So, I do feel like your looks [crosstalk] have a lot to do with it.
NOOR: [interceding]–Were you in your neighborhood? Where were you when this happened?
SPEAKER: I was actually downtown on the street walking.
NOOR: You were just walking and police thought you were selling drugs?
NOOR: How did that make you feel?
SPEAKER: It made me angry, because I don’t think they would like it if I walked up to them, like, do you feel killing a Black person today? Like, you look like you ready to kill a Black person today. That’s how. It’s like, it’s, to me, disrespectful and really threatening, you know what I’m saying, because they police aren’t supposed to harass you. They’re supposed to serve and protect. And they’re doing the complete opposite, and I feel like not enough people care about that.
When I get into a midst of a lot of police I feel like I’ve got to watch my back, you know? I feel like I can’t let my guard down because you my shoot me, you know what I’m saying, if I’m reaching in my pocket to get my phone, get some money out of my pocket you’re going to shoot me, so I’m more aware, and more than that I feel not really safe when I’m in the midst of the police.
NOOR: So, I wanted to ask, you know, whoever wants to respond, what does justice mean, and how did this case, and being involved in the trial, affect what that means, that word justice?
SPEAKER: Justice, to me, can mean a lot of things, but most importantly it means equal opportunity. Everybody’s side is heard. Everyone gets their point across and everyone agrees with it. That is what it mainly means to me, and the person who did the crime goes to jail for it. That’s what justice is to me, most importantly.
NOOR: So fairness in the eye of the law. Anybody else? And did the case affect what justice means? Yeah.
SPEAKER: Yeah, back to that justice thing, about it being fair. Most of the time it would be right if it was fair, but in the courtroom sometimes it’s not.
NOOR: What do you mean by that?
SPEAKER: Because just a law in general, sometimes if you commit a crime a lot of people get away with it and it’s wrong to the people who have been hurt. For instance, if I was to kill his friend and got off with it, that’s, in my opinion, that’s not justice.
NOOR: Do some people get more justice than others?
SPEAKER: Yes. Like, people of higher class than most. If I’m middle class going against a really rich person, 9 times out of 10 he’s going to win.
NOOR: Why is that, do you think?
SPEAKER: Because he has more respect than me.
NOOR: Well, also, probably has more money for a better lawyer, right?
SPEAKER: Justice means to me, like, justice means that the right thing is happening, basically. Like, justice can mean, like, yeah, like he was saying, whoever did it gets the time for it and not just, oh, he’s a police. He gets more respect because he’s a police figure who’s supposed to protect and serve. That’s not justice because he’s sworn in and thinks he’s more respectable than the person that died. Doesn’t mean that that’s the right thing.
SPEAKER: I agree with all of y’all. It’s based on fairness but sometimes it’s not fair. Like, it’s a lot of innocent sitting in jail for crimes they didn’t commit.
NOOR: Especially in Baltimore, would you say?
SPEAKER: Yeah, especially in Baltimore.
NOOR: Why do you think that happens?
SPEAKER: It’s all just based on, like, where you are at the wrong time, or, like, just because, like, one of the gentlemen can walk down the street and look like another Black person who committed the crime and they will go to jail for that–
NOOR: –If they fit the description–
SPEAKER: –If they fit the description. So, it’s just all about where you are in the right time or the wrong time.
NOOR: So, after going through this whole process, what would you change in our justice system today, in Baltimore, to make it more fair? To make it easier to get justice?
SPEAKER: I would put more responsible people in the right place, because I always feel like the most important positions in life get given away to the corrupt people, because either they get swayed by money or some type of materialistic thing that dissuades them from doing the right thing, and then everybody’s going downhill with everybody else. I don’t think that’s fair, because you make selfish decisions and everybody else has to pay for it.
SPEAKER: I would change, I would really crack down on the rights, because the rights out here being ignored, everything, as far as freedom of speech not being, when you don’t want your car searched, when you don’t want to be searched your rights are being violated–
NOOR: –Did that happen to you?
SPEAKER: It did not happen to me, but it’s a lot of videos out there, so you can record these cops in their faces but they still violate your rights because they think you’re a threat even when you have nothing on you.
NOOR: So, what can we do to change that? Or, what needs to be done to change? Because, like, a lot of you described feeling threatened by police or being targeted, being accused of being a drug dealer.
SPEAKER: What would need to change is, if the cops are violating your rights then they need to be removed from the force or suspended, because we’re all equal. Why should you be carrying a gun and think that you’re somebody bigger than me? What is a cop without the gun? That is the biggest question. Would you be one of us, or how would you portray yourself?
SPEAKER: [inaud.] I also feel like the cops take their authority and power, they use it at an advantage to us, because, to me, I feel like some of the reasons that they do things to us are really petty, and I really don’t think people sit there and just think about it, like, like in my case, if I would have gotten pulled over that day or brought in, most of the time it’s speculation, it’s because you always think, because you think this and you think that, but to me, as a police, I think that you should be able to properly be able to analyze a situation before you go shooting people or, you know what I’m saying?
Because I really think, as a police officer your job is to not necessarily just be to shoot and kill. You should also have to be able to inspect the situation if need be, or talk to certain people before you just, because I just feel like most of the police in Baltimore are just gun happy. Like, they just want to shoot people.
NOOR: But at the same time would you say that police in Baltimore have a tough job, too? [crosstalk] Just to play devil, yeah–
SPEAKER: [crosstalk]–We don’t make it easy for them. We don’t make it easy for them at all.
But I still feel as though, you’re put in a place to do the right thing and you should do your job. I mean, because they know, most of the time some of the officers know that when they become police it’s not going to be an easy job. So my thing is, don’t become a police if you’re not ready for the challenges and the hardship that’s going to come your way.
NOOR: And so, you know, we’ve interviewed the Baltimore police union several times before, and their main argument is that they should get the benefit of the doubt because they’re putting their lives on the line. You know, they’re risking it to protect the community, therefore they should get more rights. Like, you know, in Maryland they have the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. So, if police are accused of a crime, they get more protections. They get protections that no one else gets, right? They have 10 days before they have to talk to an attorney.
But there’s been efforts to change some of that, right? To give, to make it more equal treatment between officers and citizens. Do you guys think that’s right? Do you think police have too many rights?
SPEAKER: I think they get away with too much, because, not that, I don’t think, everything should stay the same about them except for the way they carry things, because, like I said, they carry things like they’re so much above us, but at the end of the day you go home to your family. You eat the same way you do, you know, we all use the daily basic bodily functions the same way, so why would you want to be higher than anybody else? Like, you should want to be able to be close to the citizens so you can think like them so you can know what they experience. Why would you want to be anywhere higher than that?
NOOR: And, you know, there’s a push to make it so police officers have to live in the city, because something like 70 percent don’t even live in Baltimore, the police officers here. Do you want to?
SPEAKER: Well, about the living in Baltimore. Like, the reason most of the police that don’t live in Baltimore are gun happy, like he was saying, they don’t see what’s going on in the city. They don’t know about the stuff that happens. Like he was saying, like, you can’t just classify him as a drug dealer just because he looks like he’s doing something wrong. If you live in the city you know he’s actually one of the better kids that’s not doing anything.
NOOR: So, I wanted to ask you, from, our viewers have asked if this process encouraged any of you or made you think about running for office or participating in the legal system, or, yeah? Go ahead.
SPEAKER: After all the situation that’s going on it just inspired me to go be a part of the innocence project, where I’;m going to look at all of the evidence and stuff, like, oh, this man is wrongly put in jail, but I feel as though the people that’s already, not necessarily the people that’s in the innocence project but the people that’s in the government just don’t care that they’re in jail, they’re in jail. But me joining that is going me a chance, or give them a chance to live their life, basically.
SPEAKER: This process would make me want to go be a judge because it’s like, so many judges these days waste their time on petty cases that don’t even, that last for hours, and you’re putting a person that’s dealing drugs in jail for 30 years versus somebody that just killed somebody that’s probably get like four years. I would definitely change that around, dismiss some of these cases that don’t even need to be in the courts.
NOOR: You’re talking about the war on drugs and how people get locked up for possession or whatever.
SPEAKER: And the amount will be so little, so it’s just like, why are you penalizing them so much for something that’s little, rather than somebody that just killed somebody out here?
SPEAKER: This would make me, like, want to follow the career pathway of a lawyer, because when you review the evidence there are some things that we still didn’t know about that they didn’t talk about yet, and if I was a lawyer I would actually bring it up. I wouldn’t want to hide it.
SPEAKER: I feel like, one crucial thing, I feel like people should be more educated about their rights. Like, if, for justice to be achieved I think, like, the everyday citizen should know, like, their basic rights and how to handle yourself when you’re being approached by police, because, like, I think that will reduce how police officers portray themselves as above you. If you know their limitations and, like, what they’re capable of and how, yeah, how you should carry yourself, then that will cut down on, like, the harm you pose to yourself by giving police officers a certain attitude or something, and it could potentially keep you out of jail for [inaud.]
SPEAKER: I feel as though, like, the way the media portrays the law as being the honest, honest, like they’re doing the right thing type of people. Like, they’re not educated on, like, what actually be happening during that situation, so them thinking that hey, not knowing your Miranda rights is like hey, let me search your car, and him thinking that he’s all nice and innocent. For all you know, he could be incriminating them, planting stuff on them, anything.
SPEAKER: You said, what makes us, has inspired us to be a part of–
NOOR: –Yeah, so, one of the questions from the audience, from our viewers was, has this whole process inspired you to run for office, run for judge, be part of the political process or the legal process?
SPEAKER: It kind of inspired me to be a better lawyer, because I want to be a lawyer, but it’s also, i take a police class called Baltimore City Police explorers, it’s a class to where as though you’re in the classroom with police and other students, and they just educate you on how to be a police and the things they have to do and the codes, like that.
NOOR: They’re trying to recruit you to be a police officer.
SPEAKER: Kind of, yeah. Somewhere in there. So, that kind of, I kind of feel like we need better police officers, so those two subjects, those two choices have been on my mind, because I feel like if a new, I don’t want to say breed, but I guess a new breed of police that have their head on right, that know right from wrong, that know that I have the power to do wrong but I’m still going to do right, I kind of feel like if we had more police like that that the police attitude and their actions and stuff will change and people will start to see police different, because I feel like if they see that not all the police are the same and one police doesn’t use his gun in a situation, or one police actually speaks to people, good morning, can I help you get into your car, are you okay, I kind of feel like people will begin to see police in a new light.
NOOR: Well, that brings up another question from our audience, and they wanted me to ask you, do you think violence and gang activity are caused by poverty and unnecessary drug laws? If so, does that make even well-intentioned police officers’ jobs difficult? So even if, even if you are a good cop, you’re part of this system, right? You’re part of enforcing these drug laws that are going to put you, you’re going to be clashing with people, you know? You’re going to be, it’s going to your job to kind of crack some heads, to kick in some doors, right?
SPEAKER: Indeed. You’re going to have to be tough there on the streets, but just because you’re over east and you have a shootout doesn’t mean the same thing’s going to happen when you’re over west side. It’s okay to be cautious no matter where you go, but you don’t have to be an outrageous cop that’s shooting everything because you’ve been through one incident. Either you take some time off and get yourself together or don’t become a cop.
SPEAKER: I was saying that, yeah, I 100 percent agree that the violence is definitely caused by unnecessary laws and poverty, because people trying to, like, if you don’t have nothing else to do you’re going to resort to selling drugs, and as a result of selling drugs he’s going to get into arguments and fights and stuff. And, like, yeah. It’s definitely going to, if they had a chance, I feel as though, like, the government’s trying to keep minorities oppressed, like it’s trying to keep us down, and, like, we’re going to resort to crime and selling drugs and wars, gang wars and stuff.
NOOR: You’re going to have eat, right, no matter what, [crosstalk] right, you know? Yeah.
SPEAKER: [interceding]–Yeah, no matter what you’re going to have to try to eat, yeah, get your money.
SPEAKER: [inaud.] because I kind of feel like sometimes when you grow up in Baltimore, because we aren’t [inaud.] we make mistakes and things like that, and sometimes some of the mistakes we make are permanent, but that doesn’t mean that just because they’re permanent we don’t [crosstalk] know–
NOOR: [interceding]–What do you mean they’re permanent? What do you mean by that?
SPEAKER: Because, say if I [come up] or whatever and I go to, I get sent to jail for like 30, 40 years and by the time I get out of jail I’ve got my head on straight. I’m ready to do better, and I got a dream to be a lawyer, or I’ve got a dream to be something that requires that you can’t have 30 years of jail on your record, and I want to do that and I can’t, so I’m just like, well, I know my friend who’s selling drugs and he’s making enough money, [inaud.], so I’m going to do that.
And then, before you know it, you get arrested and at that point, because I kind of feel like, like [Satchell] said, the government does push a lot of people against the wall because they don’t give us much of a choice, and then when we do what we can, or the only thing that we know, the only thing that we feel is there to do we get prosecuted. So, I’m not saying selling drugs is the appropriate way, but, if we can’t get a legal job what do you want us to do?
SPEAKER: Like he’s saying, just because a child is sent to jail for selling drugs, that doesn’t mean he’s a bad kid. It means he’s trying to get money, trying to survive, and then when he gets out he’s not going to be able to get a decent job so that’s going to make him resort, going back to selling drugs and doing the same thing that got him arrested, so.
SPEAKER: But also, some people, like, when we were driving past we came up here and we saw a homeless man, I don’t even know what he was doing, but he was out there and this conversation came up between everybody that was in the car, and somebody else was saying that some of them are lazy and some of them just don’t want to work. I kind of feel like they should know the difference between those who just don’t want to work and those who had actually made mistakes and changed their life and are able to want to move on and do better for their self and their families and et cetera.
HALL: Going back to the war on drugs, well, I recently came across a quote from a member of the Nixon staff saying they knew that they couldn’t specifically target minorities just because of the color of their skin, but they wanted to get them off the streets, like, just, in prison, so they put these drugs in the communities and then they make them illegal, so, that way, like, those people are targeted. And they have a viable reason, like, to put them in jail.
NOOR: And so that, that was a front page story in Harper’s magazine a few months back, and that he was saying this was a direct response to the civil rights movement, right? So, they wanted to keep Black people in line, essentially, and even know they know that drug use is actually higher in white communities than Black communities, they were going to do all the enforcement in the Black communities as a way to throw people in jail en masse.
HALL: Yeah. And then, it’s, like, just because of the color of your skin and maybe you have a hood on, like, you’re more likely to get picked out. It’s not that you’re doing anything specific to–This has become a social norm and this is, like, I don’t know how to get rid of it. I don’t see.
ERIC WAY: What was the question that you said about the drug wars, again?
NOOR: So, going back to the question, right. So, the question from the audience was, isn’t the violence and–let’s redo that again, actually. Let me restate the question.
Do you think violence and gang activity are caused by poverty and unnecessary drug laws? If so, doesn’t that make even well-intentioned police officers’ job difficult? So what they’re saying is, even if you’re trying to be a good cop aren’t the laws you are enforcing going to put you at odds with the community? It’s going to put you in a situation where you have violent confrontations with people.
WAY: I kind of feel like I already answered that kind of part of the question–
WAY: –So I was just going to focus on the drug part. I kind of feel like it is, because it’s kind of like anything else. Selling drugs is really like a competition, because you have certain people who are more successful in the drug dealing game versus people who aren’t, and I feel like, kind of, besides that I feel like they do some of the things they do to be able to respond to how the law cracks down on us. Like, when we had the riot, that was basically kind of a statement. Some people were doing it for a statement and some people were just doing it just to do it, but I kind of feel like–
NOOR: –What was the statement people, the people [crosstalk] that were trying to make a statement–
WAY: [interceding]–That we wanted justice. I feel like that’s what they wanted it for. Because I wanted to, but I knew that wasn’t the right way so didn’t partake in it, but I do feel like, I wouldn’t say it’s the cause but it doesn’t help at all towards–It makes more of an issue actually, so, but.
NOOR: Do you think the protests should have been, or there shouldn’t have been protests?
WAY: It should have been a protest but it shouldn’t have got as wild, as crazy as it did, because I feel like it wouldn’t be, a peaceful protest would have made more of an effect.
NOOR: Do you think it would have gotten as many headlines if they were?
WAY: That’s what I was getting ready to say. Probably not. Because, you know, that’s what the media likes, drama and stuff like that.
SPEAKER: And the crazy thing is, the media, they depicted Baltimore City, because of those riots, as a horrible place to live in, and the sad part is they never said anything about how it started off as peaceful protests and how it escalated because of police and both parties, like both sides, escalated because of both of them, not just the people. And the way the media depicts it is that, like, they [inaud.] media to say that it was like, all of the people, like, people doing it. They didn’t say nothing about it starting off as peaceful protests or anything.
And the media, like, the media depicts, it’s not only Black people at this point. Now they’re starting to make it seem like almost all minorities, like me and my friend. He’s Indian but when we’re walking down the street, because of what the media depicts Islamic people as, they think of him as a bad person, like, just because of the way he look. And the media does like drama, like Eric was saying.
NOOR: Do you want to weigh in?
Well, I want to get, I want to give you two a chance to speak because I feel like everyone else has spoken a lot more. Do you guys want to? Can you guys pass that down?
SPEAKER: What was your question again?
NOOR: Well, I mean, we’re kind of just wrapping up now, so whatever you want to kind of like, yeah? And you want to be careful about talking because that’s going to pick you up.
So, just talk about what you took away from the process and the thoughts you want to share with our audience.
SPEAKER: The thoughts I shared about during the case is, it all turns around, like around Black Lives Matter and police brutality and race. Like, I don’t know, how would I say this? It’s basically making it seem like police is just killing just to kill, but it’s basically not like that. Police are supposed to serve and protect, but now it’s making it like police just want to kill and Black people just Black on Black crimes, and it’s giving a bad look for Black people.
And while us Black people is killing each other it’s making look like white people are, like, looking better. And I want to, like, speak on that, like, Black people is killing each other, what is making this doing is making us look bad as people is because we can’t, why can’t I say this? It’s not a better chance for us, and it’s just–
NOOR: –People feel trapped?
SPEAKER: Yeah. I feel as though, yeah, we’re trapped. And we are afraid and we’re hurting, and that’s why we was rioting. We wanted justice. We wanted to be heard. We didn’t have to be heard stomping the police cars, beating other people, stealing out of malls. We wanted to be heard. We wanted to fight, and basically that’s what it was, I mean it was.
NOOR: Go ahead.
SPEAKER: I think it was a lesson to the cops, like, the riot, like, we wanted justice and I can say, like if we would have done it in a better way it wouldn’t have happened the way it did. See, like, I also think it’s–
NOOR: You’re saying the reason people were so upset is because there was a long history of [crosstalk] getting no justice, right?
SPEAKER: [interceding] Yeah. Yeah, they were upset because the way how the cops handled what they did to Freddie Gray and the way the killed him, or, and I guess we was just mad we wanted justice and we ain’t get it, so yeah.
NOOR: Is there one more person that wants to say something that we can?
SPEAKER: You said we’re about to wrap it up?
NOOR: Yeah, so maybe, like, you want to say something too?
SPEAKER: Yeah. I wanted to say, like, the riots were necessary. It started off as peaceful protests. No one was hearing us, so we had to get a little dramatic, had to just, like, push more. That’s all it was. I mean, all I wanted to say was, it was necessary, like, to get our voices heard. Otherwise we’d have just been back at square one.
SPEAKER: I think the riot, that made the cops more afraid of us, I think.
NOOR: Well, what happened, or I guess what happened afterwards was that there was the, you know, most murders since like 1970 in Baltimore, right? Most murders in 35 years, and some people said, you know, the cops didn’t want to arrest anybody because if they got hurt they might get on trial too, right? Do you guys think that’s right, or what do you think? Why do you think there are so many murders? I’m sure some of you might have been, you know, directly impacted or had friends or family that are impacted by it.
SPEAKER: So why are there so many murders in Baltimore?
NOOR: Yeah. Well, I’m saying, like, some people said it’s because those cops got charged that the police just backed off and they stopped, like, going after people and stopped locking people up.
SPEAKER: Some cops are actually scared to go in certain neighborhoods because it’s so gang controlled that they could get shot, but if it’s enforced and you have good cops that actually want to do right rather than being bought off and just bribed you would actually enforce and cut down that whole gang activity in that neighborhood if they really wanted to, rather than be scared.
But you wouldn’t be scared because somebody’s just by their self so you’re able to pick on them. You know, go pick on the neighborhood you’re scared to go in. Don’t just pick on somebody because they look stereotypic, a stereotype. You know, you can’t get that because they don’t enforce it.
NOOR: Cool. Well, I want to thank you all for joining us. That was really great.]
NOOR: Thanks so much for joining us.
SPEAKERS: Thank you.
NOOR: Thank you for joining us at the Real News Network.
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