Ever since the death of Freddie Gray in 2015, Baltimore has been under the American spotlight as one of the main examples of socioeconomic inequality in the United States. Freddie Gray’s death was a result of injuries to the neck and spine from police vehicle transportation after being arrested for possessing an illegal switchblade. This is actually known as a “rough ride”, a tactic where police handcuff a person without a seatbelt so they get thrown around the back of the van. Some truly messed up shit.
Immediately after Gray’s death, protests erupted in the streets of Baltimore in an effort to find justice, but these were soon soiled by violence and looting, damaging the credibility of the protests by ruining many small businesses and injuring police officers. President Obama condemned the violence, calling it “counterproductive,” which is relatively true. The protests were a good thing, but the anarchical violence hurt the cause. Gangs were getting involved and Baltimore began to unravel.
Baltimore had a history of community violence and police brutality targeting black people before Gray’s death, but things have definitely gone downhill since his death.
Now, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has asked the FBI to help fight the city’s high crime rates. There have already been over 100 murders, and that number is only going to escalate with the summer months approaching. You know the old correlation that murder rates increase as ice cream sales increase? Well, that’s actually talking about the fact that murder rises when it gets hot. It’s getting hot.
Earlier in his presidency, Donald Trump threatened to send the Fed to Chicago. Well, now this could be where the Fed ends up. Hopefully, it will not lead to any more police violence, but optimism and realism obviously don’t go hand-in-hand.