I don’t want to convey the impression that I have literally had nothing to say about Freddie Gray’s death (murder, really, though maybe it’s premature to call it that) and the subsequent protests/riots that have gripped Baltimore because I don’t care about that story. I simply can’t figure out what to say about this case, about the loss of yet another young black man at the hands of the very institution that we citizens are all supposed to be able to trust to protect us. I don’t know what it must be like to be part of a community whose members must by now have no faith that they will survive any encounter they might have with a law enforcement officer. I lack the right frames of reference to bring any insight to this story, so I’ve decided to read and listen rather than comment.
I will say, though, that if there’s any hope of breaking the pattern of police violence and lawlessness that we’ve seen in stark relief so many times over the past several months, bringing charges against the cops who killed Freddie Gray is a good start. State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby struck the right tone in announcing the charges and urging that further protests be peaceful:
“I’ve heard your calls for ‘no justice, no peace,'” Mosby said. “However, your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of Freddie Gray.”
“This is a moment, this is your moment,” she told protestors. “Let’s ensure that we have peaceful and productive rallies that will develop structural and systemic changes for generations to come. You’re at the forefront of this cause, and as young people, our time is now.”
Hopefully this will be a step toward positive change.