Race & Riots: The Baltimore Uprising
Where there is hopelessness, people will revolt- Tupac Shakur
It seems like every day, there is a new report in the media on how another unarmed African-American was killed by the hands of armed officers. We’ve heard the names of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Sean Bell and now Freddie Gray. But, there are countless other victims that have experienced this injustice that just didn’t make the news.
These killing’s are happening so frequently that it appears as if our lives, black lives, don’t really matter in the eyes of the justice system. It seems like some sort sick game is being played, and we are at a disadvantage. Now, I realize that this is something that has been happening for years on end, but to actually witness through the power of social media and recordings, being senselessly beaten, shot, and harassed, all the while screaming for their life, is something that I just cannot bear.
For years, there has been a constant picture painted to depict the anger and aggression of the African-American male. And, ultimately that has lead to this one-sided view that they are never the victims of this destruction, and that they deserve to be killed or locked down.
Let me tell you this. Nobody deserves to be treated the way that these six men were treated, and also the countless others that have not gained attention. It makes no sense to me that an unarmed man can be shot, while running away from his aggressor (i.e.police officer). To my understanding, and after speaking to a police officer, officers are not supposed to draw their weapon unless they feel as if their life is in danger, and if there is an equal amount of force used against them from the other party.
So, how can a person feel that their life is in danger, if the perpetrator is running away? (Don’t worry I’ll wait.)
I believe that the biggest slap in the face, is that no matter how much visual evidence is presented against the conduct of these officers, it is still not enough to convict them and hold them accountable for their actions.
With that reality in mind, there will continue to be riots, and widespread outrage because as a community we are in a period of hopelessness.
On Monday evening, after a period of peaceful protesting, Baltimore went up in flames, as people demonstrated their outrage for the recent death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died two weeks ago while in the custody of police officers. According to reports, it is said that Gray suffered from injuries to his spine, as well as a crushed voice-box.
Fed up with the injustice, local gang members and people of the community gathered together to go up against the police force.
Officers were witnessed throwing rocks, shooting rubber bullets and administering tear gas, while some members of the community were seen looting local businesses, setting things on fire and destroying police cars.
The riots have gotten so bad that the governor has issued a state of emergency, and has called on the National Guard to alleviate the problem.
What are your thoughts on the current happenings in Baltimore? Catch the video below