Baltimore Erupts with Protests in Solidarity with Ferguson
Hundreds march across Baltimore and shut down major thoroughfares the day after a St. Louis County grand jury failed to indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown
JAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: On Tuesday, November 25, hundreds of peaceful demonstrators marched across Baltimore to express solidarity with Ferguson the day after a St. Louis County grand jury announced it was not going to indict Darren Wilson for killing unarmed teen Michael Brown. As of midnight, the local media in Baltimore was reporting no arrests.
Protesters blockaded many major streets, including Interstate 83 several times, a highway that serves as a central artery for Baltimore communities, backing up traffic for hours.
CROWD (CALL AND ANSWER): Hands up! (Don’t shoot!) Hands up! (Don’t shoot!)
NOOR: Students and activists began the days protest at Morgan State University.
UNIDENTIFIED: We’re fed up and we’re tired! We’re tired and we’re fed up! And this is not fair!
FARAJII MUHAMMAD, HOST, WEAA 88.9 FM’S LISTEN UP!: So you can’t have justice with no peace, and there can be no peace without justice. It’s one and the same. So what we’re looking for today is that we want to start the process of getting people organized and mobilized. We come out here today because we’ve got a serious issue with police. And this is not just about Ferguson. It’s about Baltimore City as well.
COURTNEY MERCADO, STUDENT, MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY: One of our brothers lost his life, basically, to a Baltimore City police officer here on Morgan’s campus. And I just feel like that is just lighting fuel to the fire of why does Morgan State students and the Baltimore City police and the Morgan State police don’t get along.
I just feel like our police department does not care about us. They don’t. I just feel like they’ve proven in the way that they us when we’re going to parties on campus like treating me like I’m criminal. I have to be patted down, I have to be met with such stern attitudes and everything, instead of them just appreciating the fact that we’re students.
MARCUS SCALES, MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEE: Absolutely expected it. I mean, Emmett Till happened, what, 15, 60 years ago. You know what I mean? Sean Bell happened a few years ago. Troy Davis. America continues to show us who she is and who she always has been. And until we make her change and demand her to change, she’ll continue to be that same way. So I wasn’t surprised by the verdict at all.
NOOR: Among those taking part was the group Bmore Bloc and Tawanda Jones, the sister of Tyrone West. Ever since West’s death at the hands of police officers last year, the West families helped lead weekly protest demanding charges against the officers who killed him. Some credit the family’s activism for helping unseat the Baltimore City state’s attorney, who cleared the officers of wrongdoing.
TAWANDA JONES, SISTER OF TYRONE WEST: My brother Tyrone West was brutally murdered on July 18, 2013. But the reason I’m out here is to save lives. I’m totally against police brutality. Nobody deserves to be brutally murdered.
So the message is this. We need to end police brutality, we need to get all the bad jokers off, because police have a serious job to do. You know, the good ones that take their jobs seriously and respect the community, they need to be respected as well. But we need to get rid of all the bad ones. And that’s what we’re out here to do.
Jail blocks for killer cops. And we won’t stop, can’t stop until killer cops are in cell blocks. We won’t stop.
NOOR: But Tyrol West was killed in a similar way that–what happened to Mike Brown in Ferguson. So talk about the connections there. And what your thoughts? Because this same thing’s been happening all over the country. It’s happened in Baltimore. But it took Ferguson for people to really wake up and to rise up for this.
JONES: And I think it took Ferguson because Ferguson said enough was enough, and they actually literally got up there, which I don’t condone, like, turn up the streets or none of that, ’cause violence is not the answer.
NOOR: It’s only a small number of people that were committing violence.
JONES: Yes. But what everybody took it seriously and did peaceful things. And they’re still doing peaceful things. And I commend Ferguson. Y’all rock on, y’all go, ’cause in Baltimore, this should have been–my whole city should have been out when my brother was brutally murdered and a community of credible witnesses–the whole city should been out backing us in a peaceful manner and protesting. And then that could have saved a life. It wouldn’t have got that ugly how you have people shot down, a young man just shot in /dɛnəˈsænpɑr/. They want to dehumanize Michael Brown. They want to bring up a robbery clip that had nothing to do with him being gunned down, just like they wanted to bring up my brother’s past that had nothing to do with him being brutally murdered. He wasn’t on any outstanding warrants. He was a healthy young man living his life, driving, and he was living under the grace of God, and they brutally kill him. And then they want to bring up their past and dehumanize them as if killing him wasn’t enough. They want to spit in your face and dehumanize. I’m tired of them dehumanizing our people.
CROWD: Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot! Hands up! Don’t shoot! Hands up! Don’t shoot! What do we want? Don’t shoot! When do we want it? Now! What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!
DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.