In Their Own Voices: Protestors Speak Out as Feds Start Probe of Freddie Gray’s Death
The community is outraged over yet another police custody death in Baltimore.
MEGAN SHERMAN, PRODUCER, TRNN: Anger and frustration over the death of another black man at the hands of police continues to spill into the streets of Baltimore.
CHARVAE DICKERSON, FRIEND OF FREDDIE GRAY: He did whatever a teenager do. [Run] the streets. Point blank, period. But he didn’t deserve not to be here.
SHERMAN: Officials have acknowledged 25-year-old West Baltimore resident Freddie Gray died from the injuries, including a severed spine, he suffered in police custody. Police have suspended and named the six officers involved, and have launched a criminal investigation. And recently, the Justice Department has said that they will open a civil rights investigation around Gray’s death.
But longtime Baltimore civil rights attorney Dwight Pettit, who frequently represents alleged victims of police brutality, says the DOJ’s track record has him skeptical.
A. DWIGHT PETTIT, VETERAN BALTIMORE CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: These other places that I’m talking about and these other murders–and I’ll call them what they are, murders–the national media has picked it up, and the Attorney General himself has come, made speeches what was going to happen, investigations were going to take place, and concluded by finding or indicating that no civil rights violation has been found.
SHERMAN: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake along with Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez revealed few details about what happened to Gray and when.
ANTHONY BATTS, BALTIMORE POLICE COMMISSIONER: My job right now is to drive investigations to answer as many as we possibly can. There may be certain questions out there that we may not have the answer to.
SHERMAN: We still don’t know the events that led up to Gray’s death, and this has led to allegations of a cover up by Gray’s family, and fueled anger against the police here that many see brutalize and kill the city’s residents with impunity. The Real News spoke to demonstrators who were demanding justice for Gray and other victims of police brutality. They spoke of their pain, outrage, and demands for change.
PROTESTER: If the police is out here to help us, help us. Not brutalize us, not have us in the hospital, not have a young man dead for no reason. If y’all can’t help us, get off the street. We can do it ourselves if that’s the case.
JOSEPH WHITING, GILMORE HOMES RESIDENT: I’m 45 years old and my run-ins with the laws have all been negative. And I guarantee you half of these guys out here have bad run-ins with the law. So you already have that depiction of the police.
KAREN SMITH, GILMORE HOMES RESIDENT: You closed the recs. You have no jobs. You take all the educational programs. So where do our kids fit in? Where do our kids fit in? Give us something in our community.
SHERMAN: This is Megan Sherman, reporting with The Real News Network.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.