Via Daily Beast:
It’s been two months since violent protests burned a path of destruction through some of Baltimore’s worst neighborhoods. While some sense of normalcy has returned to the streets, the legacy of Freddie Gray—whose death in police custody sparked the unrest—remains a defining feature of the landscape.
On walls and marquees across West Baltimore, Gray’s name shares space with signs calling for an end to the rash of violence that has plagued the city since May. A large mural depicting Gray’s likeness at the corner of Fulton & Presbury in his neighborhood of Sandtown-Winchester calls on police to “Stop Killing Us” while making a plea to the community for peace and love in 2015.
In June, all six Baltimore Police Department officers who were indicted in Gray’s death pleaded not guilty to multiple charges and were ordered by a judge to stand trial on October 13 for crimes ranging from second-degree murder to misconduct in office. A leaked autopsy report obtained this week by The Baltimore Sun shows that Gray died from a “high intensity” injury likely sustained as he was driven around unrestrained in the back of a police van.
In the areas hardest hit by the rioting, dozens of looted stores remain boarded up. Some may never reopen. When asked for their thoughts on what happened, many residents respond angrily, recounting how police stood by and watched their neighborhood burn.
Some black Baltimoreans who are old enough to remember the last time the city erupted into flames—in 1968 after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.—say it’s time to turn those emotions toward reconciliation.
“People are getting tired,” said Sylvia, 57—who sported a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt last Sunday at Baltimore’s annual African American Festival, and identified herself as a member of the Empowerment Temple AME Church, where Gray’s funeral was held. “Right now we are trying to bring people together to work with police to try to heal and stop the violence.”
The police made it very clear that the Mayor told them to stand down. The Mayor herself confessed the she had given the looters ‘space to destroy’. Finally even City Councilman Nick Mosby (State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s husband) said he and other officials had told the police to stand down.