Six Baltimore city police officers have been charged in the death of Freddie Gray, who was arrested on April 12, 2015 and died a week later. Here are the names of the police officers charged and the charges. The race of the officers was not provided:
Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 45, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, two vehicular manslaughter charges and misconduct in office.
Officer William Porter, 25, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Lt. Brian Rice, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Sgt. Alicia White, 30, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Officer Edward Nero, 29, was charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Officer Garrett Miller, 26, was charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
The death of Freddie Gray is one that is perplexing in many ways.
Let's face it, Mr. Gray was not exactly an upstanding pillar of the community. At 25 years of age, Mr. Gray had an extensive rap sheet. From what has been leaked in the Baltimore police department investigation, while Mr. Gray was on a bike, he looked suspiciously and an officer on a bike went into hot pursuit of Mr. Gray. Maybe when you read below, if I were Mr. Gray, I would run also:
Keep in mind all of this and Mr. Gray was 25 when he died. And Mr. Gray did serve time in prison and or city jail. The linked article does not mention on what charges he was convicted and actually served time.
Again, no matter what, Mr. Gray did not deserve any unusual or harsh treatment at the hands of the arresting and or driving officer involved.
Essentially, according to this report, Mr. Gray was injured while being transported in a police van. It appears that Mr. Gray's head hit an exposed bolt while being driven around the city. Also, it appears that the van did not go to the nearest police station ASAP. It appears that there was what can be considered an unauthorized stop and another to pick up another prisoner. Mr. Gray died a week later due to a severed spine.
The police gave the information to the state's attorney, the equivalent of the county district attorney, yesterday after completing their internal investigation.
None of this excuses the Monday riots that all but shut down Baltimore.
Thankfully no one was killed.
What the episode has exposed, like it or not, the underbelly of one party and one race rule that has been Baltimore for the past 50+ years.
Here's a little-known fact (unless you are a political junkie).
One of Baltimore's mayors was Thomas d'Alessandro, Jr. Another was Thomas d'Alessandro, III. What is the significance of those two?
They are the father and brother of the current Democrat minority leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.
Shockingly, Mr. d'Alessandro, Jr. was running for the Maryland Democrat nomination for governor in 1954 and had to drop out due to being implicated in a bribery scandal. And Mr. d'Alessandro, III wa the mayor during the last major riot to hit Baltimore in 1968. That coupled with the inability to solve a budget crisis led to Mr. d'Alessandro to being a one-termer.
A little political trivia.
Now all the players involved here are black.
The mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The chief of police, Anthony Batts. The state's attorney. Marylin Mosby. The suspect and dead individual, Freddie Gray. And at least one or more of the arresting police officers.
Now you think I am going down the race path, right?
It's a class mindset and unfortunately, black residents of Baltimore are but caught in the middle.
It is about 50+ years of Democrat rule. Fifty-plus years of a city that has lost population. A city where, like so many major cities across the United States, has lost a balance of jobs where the majority would be considered middle-class. A city where despite liberal rule and dominance, the gulf between the haves and have-nots is widening and has been. Where identity politics now trumps everything. A city where this kind of event can happen and probably does happen more than we know.
I am not writing this to offer solutions as that takes away from the issue at hand. My solutions would not be more of the same.
In this environment, it simply creates a vicious cycle. And rewards demagoguery more than people wanting to actually create an atmosphere of economic growth and opportunity.
Sadly we will watch events play out and hope and pray that the rioting we saw Monday will come to a temporary end and maybe a lot of soul searching by a lot of people can take place to move Baltimore forward.