Hundreds of angry protesters gathered in front of Baltimore City’s Western District Precinct on Wednesday night to demand justice for the murder of Freddie Gray by Baltimore police.
Freddie Gray, a 25 year old Black man, was arrested on April 12 in front of the Gilmor Homes and was beaten by police officers while in custody. At some point during his arrest, Gray sustained fatal traumatic injuries including a severed spinal cord in his cervical (neck) region, and was taken to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center after long delay by the police. Gray died in the hospital on Sunday after multiple surgical attempts to stabilize his critically ill condition.
The rally drew many youth, who demanded answers about why Gray had been arrested and brutalized, why medical treatment had been delayed, and that the killer cops who inflicted Gray’s injuries be arrested and tried for murder. Protesters made it clear that they were sick and tired of police aggression on the local Black community. 26 year old Shaun Young told Liberation News he grew up near the site of Gray’s arrest and felt he could relate to the incident. “I grew up approximately two blocks away from where he was killed. I’m a year older than the young brother, he’s basically me in my eyes…we need to do something.”
Several speakers addressed their outrage towards the Baltimore City police department and local politicians. Robert Dunn, a 10 year old student, silenced the crowd with a fiery talk. “We’ve been dealing with this for too long and we want justice!”, Dunn yelled from the top of his lungs.
Despite a militarized and heavily-armed police presence at the rally in front of the precinct and around the periphery of the neighborhood, protesters showed absolutely no fear and were determined to fight back. At one moment, tension rose and, in the midst of shouting “Who’s streets? Our streets!” a struggle with the line of cops along the barricades began with more people rushing to join. Two people made it over the line and were arrested immediately. People continued chanting, “All night, all day, we gonna fight for Freddie Gray!”
The rally was emceed by Atty. Malik Z. Shabazz from Black Lawyers for Justice, who called for thousands to join for a major protest and march from Gilmore Homes (1640 Balmor Court) to City Hall on Saturday April 25 at 3pm. The action will be sponsored by groups such as Black Lawyers for Justice, Nation of Islam, Black Lives Matter (Baltimore), Ministers of Defence (Baltimore), Baltimore Citizens for Justice, Pastor Ted Sutton, Lions Out The Cage, and National Black Men’s Movement.