#BaltimoreDispatch: Police Overreaction

We headed into the intersection of Penn and North and it was a scene very familiar to Wednesday night, a large police and media presence for a relatively few protestors. Tonight the small number of demonstrators were more outspoken, however, tonight the police were visibly more aggressive. Led by Capt. Batty, police in riot gear began creating formations, well before the curfew came down, effectively surrounding the intersection that had been taken over by protestors.


 
The people on the street were definitely more outspoken than they were yesterday, engaging with the media and letting them know their distrust of the process and the likelihood that they would achieve justice for Freddie Gray.
 

#BaltimoreDispatch right before curfew.

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#BaltimoreDispatch 10:24pm

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#baltimoreuprising

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#BaltimoreDispatch right before curfew.

A video posted by Elon James White (@elonjames) on


 
After the curfew announcement was made by the police, the group of protestors began to walk down North led by US Rep. Cummings and State Senator Catherine Pugh. The crowd soon broke up with most people heading home but a few heading back to the intersection to continue to demonstrate. One outspoken community member was being interviewed by the press about his feelings in regards to the police and their actions with Freddie Gray. He stated unequivocally that he did not trust the police and did not believe the Gray injured himself during his detainment. “I don’t deal with the police,” he argued, “why? Cuz (sic) they killed Freddie.” Soon after speaking with reporters, the police moved up and arrested the outspoken man. The media was in an uproar because they felt as though the police had distracted them by their formation change in order to arrest the man.
 

#BaltimoreDispatch 10:11pm

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#BaltimoreDispatch 10:13pm

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#BaltimoreDispatch 10:18pm

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#BaltimoreDispatch 1

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#BaltimoreDispatch 10:21pm

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By @elonjames: #BaltimoreDispatch 10:24pm #BaltimoreIsHappening #FreddieGray

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15 minutes after curfew. Very few protestors. This is America. #baltimoreuprising

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#BaltimoreDispatch 11:08pm

A video posted by Elon James White (@elonjames) on


 
Speaking with people on the street at the protest you get a sense of the fatigue this community has in regards to their dealings with law enforcement. Numerous stories of police being overly hostile, unreasonable and unwilling to listen to the community they are charged with serving. One man noted that this was not the first time people have been injured by the “rough rides” and a woman told a story of almost having her arm broken by a policeman during an encounter. There were people of all ages in the street and just begging to be heard. A 24 year old man named Marcus Arvin told us of his arrest over the weekend and the physical violence he suffered at the hands of the police and being threatened with a charge of terrorism if he was apprehended again, a charge all the more loaded because of his Islamic faith.
 


 
Again being on the ground and having the ability to have insightful and meaningful interactions with the members in this community gave a deeper understanding of all of the problems that plague Baltimore and how serves as a reminder that what happened to Freddie Gray was not an anamoly but almost an inevitability given the police tactics within these communities. More demonstrations are planned for tomorrow and #TWIBnation will be there to cover them and hear more from the people’s perspective.

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