Before Freddie Gray: A History of Police Violence in Baltimore


Historic Sprawl

Last week, a man named Freddie Gray died of injuries received after hisĀ arrest by officers of theĀ Baltimore City Police Department. Grayā€™s death and the ongoing protests haveĀ focused local and national media on theĀ violenceĀ of police brutality in Baltimore City. Reading stories on the recent history of deaths in police custody, the history of ā€œrough ridesā€ in Baltimore police (both from theĀ Baltimore Sun)Ā andĀ a look back on aĀ decade of police brutality complaintsĀ (ā€œThe Obscene Culture of Police Brutalityā€) have helpedĀ broaden myĀ understandingĀ of this issue. But when Gene Ryan, president of the Baltimore Police Union, statedĀ protests that call for theĀ arrest of the officers involved in Freddie Grayā€™s death ā€œlook and sound like a lynch mobā€Ā ā€“ itĀ is a disturbing reminder that a deeper understanding of AmericanĀ history is essential to reforming an unjust police department.Ā And much of this history is still unwritten.

With all of this in mind, Iā€™ve assembledā€¦

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