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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Race Tensions: Will Baltimore Be The First To Change

Much needed protests turning into acts of random violence is something that appears to be a regularity these days. The city of Baltimore was the latest to record this experience. Police cars were vandalized and a 7-Eleven convenience store was trashed as people outwardly expressed themselves in reaction to the death of Freddie Gray to the hands of some Baltimore police officers.

Twenty-five year old Freddie Gray died after suffering a severed spine as a result of police brutality. Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts voiced months earlier his concerns regarding his officers' handling of daily matters. Now Batts has to handle the reactions of black Baltimoreans who are asking for immediate change.  

The city of Baltimore could be the one place where measurable changes can actually take place. We've seen young black men murdered by police in states all over the country and no one can actually say that "change" has occurred. However, many sense that the city of Baltimore is a place that can be more welcoming to change. Baltimore is one of the smaller metropolitan cities located in a prominently liberal state with a large black population. Each of these factors is an important one if a positive outcome is expected.

Moreover, if a measurable change were to come, many in the city would agree that it would not be because of the responses (and requests for assistance) from black mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake nor from the expected works of black police commissioner Anthony Batts. It's apparent that this matter is all in the hands of the black citizens of Baltimore and the small number of non-black protesters. But most importantly, this group has to survive whatever reaction there is to come.  

Brian L. Elliott, The Scarlet Journal
April 24, 2015, 8:31PM EDT