One of the march leaders Malik Zulu Shabazz of Black Lawyers for Justice
[Black Star Editorial]
People are rightly angry in Baltimore and have been demonstrating, including on Saturday, to protest the brutal death of Freddie Gray, an unarmed 25-year old Black male at the hands of Police.
Freddie Gray didn’t break his own back and that’s a fact.
A crime was committed against Freddie Gray. The only question is determining the details. There are emerging indications that he was transported in a manner that would deliberately cause or worsen his injury if he had already been mortally wounded by the police by the time he was transported after his arrest.
Gray’s spine wasn’t broken when police in Baltimore initially approached him and he ran. Yes, remember; he was able to run.
Why did he run?
Gray ran because he probably remembers what Daniel Pantaleo and seven other officers with him did to Eric Garner on July 17, 2014, in Staten Island, New York.
Gray ran because he probably remembers what Darren Wilson did to Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., on August 9, 2014.
Gray ran because he remembers what Robert Bates did to Eric Harris on April 2, 2015.
Gray ran because he probably remembers what Michael Slager did to Walter Scott in North Charleston, S. Carolina, on April 4, 2015.
These are just a few of the many recent cases where unarmed Black males have met violent death at the hands of the police. Under these circumstances, there is no mystery as to why unarmed Black males would flee from White police officers.
Gray’s back was fine and that’s how he was able to run from the police officers in the first place.
There is a video that shows he was not able to walk under his own power when the police took him into custody. Was his spine already broken by that time? Was the injury caused while he was being transported? Why didn’t the police call for an ambulance so that he could be treated immediately at the scene? Why wasn’t he transported directly to a hospital? Have the police officers all been interviewed?
This is very important before some convenient story is hashed out by all the officers.
The saddest part of all this is that Gray was not committing a crime and would be alive today had police not chosen to approach him, with no probable cause at all. Being a Black male is not in and of itself probable cause.
Until the Baltimore Police Department provide answers to these many questions and take appropriate actions against the police officers, including firings and prosecutions, it will be a very hot coming summer in Baltimore.