Inappropriate Response To Police Detective's Death Reveals Baltimore's Dark Underbelly

Inappropriate Response To Police Detective's Death Reveals Baltimore's Dark Underbelly

Ordinary citizens should receive the same level of grief as police officers.
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On November 16, a Baltimore City Police Detective named Sean Suiter was killed on the job.

His death has spurred much heartbreak and outrage in Baltimore, as well as arguably unconstitutional activity by the police. Ultimately, his death has revealed our city’s dark underbelly.

At the end of the day, someone was killed. Sean Suiter was a married father of five, and my heart goes out to his family. No one deserves to have a loved one ripped away from them in such a cruel and sudden way. Everything to follow in this article bears this in mind, and means no disrespect to the memory of the fallen or the loved ones he leaves behind.

But the fact is that this incident of violence – and the city’s response to it – reveals an astounding double standard when it comes to who and how we as a city grieve, how we view crime, and ultimately whose lives (and deaths) we value.

Baltimore is currently experiencing the highest homicide rates it's seen in years, with over 300 people having been killed so far in 2017. The intersection where Suiter was found dead has been the site of over a dozen shootings and killings in recent years.

When ordinary Baltimore residents – oftentimes young black men in disenfranchised neighborhoods – are killed, we move on like nothing ever happened. When a police officer is killed, it makes headlines across the state, a $215,000 reward is set in place for whoever finds the suspect, and police officers occupy the block where he was killed while wearing bullet-proof vests and openly carrying weapons, vowing to do whatever it takes to find the perpetrator.

Quite the contrast, no?

BPD Police Commissioner Kevin Davis acknowledges this disparity, but justifies it by saying: “When a cop is killed, that goes way beyond that murder. It’s an attack on American policing…Policing exists to serve our unique democracy, so that’s why the murder of a cop always has been and always will be something that’s absolutely unacceptable in a free society.” (Quote from the Baltimore Sun.)

I do not believe this to be a satisfying argument.

This might feel like a satisfactory response if Baltimore policing did indeed serve our unique democracy and if Baltimore police officers were known to protect the safety and liberties of the people. But the reality is that the Baltimore Police Department is known to be a corrupt and discriminatory institution. While there are certainly good cops who wish to make Baltimore safer, their efforts have clearly not been effective this year, as our crime rates are soaring.

While some may argue that this murder is different than those between ordinary civilians because regular residents killed throughout the year are more likely to be involved in illegal activity, talk to many Baltimore residents and they will tell you that police officers are just as likely – if not more likely – to be criminals than ordinary citizens.

This belief is not unfounded. After all, the U.S. Department of Justice’s 2015 investigation into the Baltimore Police Department concluded in what has been described as a damning report, saying: “We found that BPD has engaged in a pattern or practice of serious violations of the U.S. Constitution and federal law that has disproportionately harmed Baltimore’s African-American community and eroded the public’s trust in the police.”

While a consent decree was reached in a binding effort to address the deep-seated issues in the BPD, Baltimore residents have not exactly been given great reason to believe that it’s working. Since this consent decree, there have been several scandals within the Baltimore Police Department, from video footage of cops planting drugs, to federal indictments of several officers for robbing civilians of over $280,000 over the course of five years.

Just this month Officer Caesar Goodman Jr. received zero administrative consequences for being involved in the killing of Freddie Gray.

The police are ruthless; we know this to be true. As Keith Davis Jr.’s story tells us, they are especially ruthless when they are covering their tracks. This has led many Baltimore residents to question whether there’s something more happening beneath the surface in this case.

Why and how would an officer, an 18-year veteran, be killed with his own gun? And what was the “suspicious” behavior the officers observed that caused them to approach the supposed gunman?

Often, in Baltimore, being poor and black is enough for one to be labeled “suspicious.”

I personally am worried that the BPD will go to any lengths to say they have found the perpetrator, even if it means carelessly framing someone for a crime they did not commit. This could especially prove true if there was some foul play happening between these officers and the suspects.

I could be wrong; after all, I know very little about this man. But it remains true that the absolute, unquestioned reverence with which Suiter has been immediately treated by Baltimore is in stark contrast with the ambivalence most victims of violence in this city receive.

There is no reason for a neighborhood to become a militarized occupied territory. Residents should not have to show their IDs every time they want to enter their own homes or endure having their doors knocked on multiple times a day or being patted down by police officers.

Quite frankly? The occupation of the Harlem Park neighborhood feels less like a reputable institution carrying out a search for justice, and much more like an illegal gang terrorizing ordinary people in an effort to reassert their bruised dominance.

I called my mother and she said to me: “If the BPD cared about police brutality as much as they care about this, the issue would be over. Police violence would be no longer be a problem.”

She’s right.

If the BPD, and all Baltimore City elected officials, cared about ordinary citizens – especially black citizens – as much as they care about the police, our crime rates would be exponentially smaller. The victims of the 300+ homicides in Baltimore this year would have received just as much attention and compassion as Detective Suiter.

But Baltimore has made itself clear. The police, the government, and many of its (white) residents value the lives of police officers far more than they’ve ever cared about Baltimore’s ordinary people.

It’s time for this to end. Stop the police from terrorizing every-day citizens as they try to go about their lives. Maybe take some of that $215,000 reward and put it towards Baltimore City schools, or also finding the perpetrators of some of the other tragic shootings that have occurred this year.

As I said at the beginning of this article, my heart goes out to the loved ones of Sean Suiter, it really does. But enough is enough. To use the death of a police detective as an excuse to justify unconstitutional activity, such as we have seen in West Baltimore, is abhorrent. To pay attention to soaring homicide rates only when it affects those in positions of power is disgusting.

Baltimore has a dark underbelly. This week it has been revealed once again, for all to see.

Cover Image Credit: The Baltimore Sun

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50 Quotes from the Best Vines

If you're picturing the vines in your head, you're doing it right
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In 2017 we had to say goodbye to one of the best websites to ever roam the internet: Vine. In case you have been living under a rock since 2013, Vine was -(sad face)- a website and app that took the internet and the app store by storm in Winter 2013. It contained 6-second videos that were mostly comedy- but there were other genres including music, sports, cool tricks and different trends. Vine stars would get together and plan out a vine and film it till they got it right.

It was owned by Twitter and it was shut down because of so many reasons; the viners were leaving and making money from Youtube, there was simply no money in it and Twitter wanted us to suffer.

There's been a ton of threads on Twitter of everyone's favorite vines so I thought I'd jump in and share some of my favorites. So without further ado, here are some quotes of vines that most vine fanatics would know.

1. "AHH...Stahhp. I coulda dropped mah croissant"

2. "Nate how are those chicken strips?" "F%#K YA CHICKEN STRIPS.....F%#K ya chicken strips!"

3. "Road work ahead? Uh Yea, I sure hope it does"

4. "Happy Crimus...." "It's crismun..." "Merry crisis" "Merry chrysler"

5. "...Hi Welcome to Chili's"

6. "HoW dO yOu kNoW wHaT's gOoD fOr mE?" "THAT'S MY OPINIONNN!!!.."

7."Welcome to Bible Study. We're all children of Jesus... Kumbaya my looordd"

8. Hi my name's Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow. Well I'm a point guard, I got shoe game..."

9. "It's a avocadooo...thanks"

10. "Yo how much money do you have?" "69 cents" "AYE you know what that means?" "I don't have enough money for chicken nuggets"

11. "Hurricane Katrina? More like Hurricane Tortilla."

12. "Hey Tara you want some?" "This b*%th empty. YEET!"

13. "Get to Del Taco. They got a new thing called Freesha-- Free-- Freeshavaca do"

14. "Mothertrucker dude that hurt like a buttcheek on a stick"

15. "Two brooss chillin in a hot tub 5 feet apart cuz they're not gay"

16. "Jared can you read number 23 for the class?" "No I cannot.... What up I'm Jared, I'm 19 and I never f#@%in learned how to read."

17. "Not to be racist or anything but Asian people SSUUGHHH"

18. 18. "I wanna be a cowboy baby... I wanna be a cowboy baby"

19. "Hey, I'm lesbian" "I thought you were American"

20. "I spilled lipstick in your Valentino bag" "you spilled- whaghwhha- lipstick in my Valentino White bag?"

21. "What's better than this? Guys bein dudes"

22. "How'd you get these bumps? ya got eggzma?" "I got what?" "You got eggzma?"

23. "WHAT ARE THOSEEEEE?" "THEY are my crocs!"

24. "Can I get a waffle? Can I please get a waffle?"

25. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAVEN!" "I can't sweem"

26. "Say Coloradoo" "I'M A GIRAFFE!!"

27. "How much did you pay for that taco?" Aight yo you know this boys got his free tacoo"

28. *Birds chirping* "Tweekle Tweekle"

29. "Girl, you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal"

30. "I brought you Frankincense" "Thank you" "I brought you Myrrh" "Thank you" "Mur-dur" "huh...Judas..no"

31. "Sleep? I don't know about sleep...it's summertime" "You ain't go to bed?" "Oh she caught me"

32. "All I wanna tell you is school's not important... Be whatever you wanna be. If you wanna be a dog...RUFF. You know?"33. "Oh I like ya accent where you from?" "I'm Liberian" "Oh, my bad *whispering* I like your accent..."

34. "Next Please" "Hello" "Sir, this is a mug shot" "A mug shot? I don't even drink coffee"


35. "Hey did you happen to go to class last week?" "I have never missed a class"

36. "Go ahead and introduce yourselves" "My name is Michael with a B and I've been afraid of insects my entire-" "Stop, stop, stop. Where?" "Hmm?" "Where's the B?" "There's a bee?"

37. "There's only one thing worse than a rapist...Boom" "A child" "No"

38. "Later mom. What's up me and my boys are going to see Uncle Kracker...GIVE ME MY HAT BACK JORDAN! DO YOU WANNA SEE UNCLE KRACKER OR NO?


39. "Dad look, it's the good kush." This is the dollar store, how good can it be?"

40. "Zach stop...Zach stop...You're gonna get in trouble. Zach"

41. "CHRIS! Is that a weed? "No this is a crayon-" I'm calling the police" *puts 911 into microwave* "911 what's your emergency"

42. "WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? "

43. *Blowing vape on table* * cameraman blows it away* "ADAM"

44. "Would you like the spider in your hand?" "Yea" "Say please" "Please" *puts spider in hand* *screams*

45. "Oh hi, thanks for checking in I'm still a piece of garrbaagge"

46. *girl blows vape* "...WoW"

47. *running* "...Daddy?" "Do I look like-?"

48. *Pours water onto girl's face" "Hello?"

49. "Wait oh yes wait a minute Mr. Postman" "HaaaAHH"

50. "...And they were roommates" "Mah God they were roommates"


I could literally go on forever because I just reference vines on a daily basis. Rest in peace Vine

Cover Image Credit: Vine

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Double Standards Are Plaguing Our Society

What and how are double standards hurting our society?
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Why is that when a female has many sexual partners she is considered a slut, but when a male does it he is celebrated as a king? Why is it when a male wears makeup or paints his nails his shunned by the world, but when a girl does it she looks bomb? How can the pope support ending the gender gap, but refuse to allow women to hold spiritual leadership roles? It’s because we live in a world filled with double standards.

What is a double standard? Merriam-Webster states it’s “a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups.” We see in our society that there are many double standards between races, religions, sexualities, and genders.

Many double standards are hurting our country and even our world. Many people are blind to the double standards that plague our community especially if isn’t affecting them, while some just accept these as okay in our society, but they aren't okay. Here a few double standards that are seen in today's society.

Gender.

  • Women are paid less than men for doing the same exact job.
  • If a man cries he is considered weak, while it’s alright for a woman to do so.
  • When a male is sexually harassed by a woman he is lucky, while it happens to women it’s considered rape (I’m not denouncing rape that happens to women)
  • If a woman asserts any kind of dominance she’s a bitch, but if a guy does it he’s a leader.

Religion.

  • If someone of Muslim faith kills someone the headlines are “Muslim Terrorist Strikes Again!”, but they never announce if the killer was a Christian. They say he was a “lone wolf”
  • If a Christian teacher tried to make the class pray it would be okay, and millions would support them, but if a Muslim teacher tried that the world would go crazy.
  • the KKK (who are “Christians”) is okay, they can recruit through their website which isn’t blocked in any way and even endorsed our current president

Race.

  • If a black person does anything they seem suspicious, but when white people do it, it’s okay.
  • When NFL teams win big games their fans destroy cities, but if any peaceful protest happens it’s a riot and police decide to throw tear gas.
  • If a white person uses weed their considered a stoner, but if a black person does it they’re a criminal.

Sexuality.

  • if a straight couple does anything it’s normal. If a gay couple does it, it’s an abomination.
  • Straight couples can mistreat their own kids and it be okay, but if a gay couple wants to adopt a kid all hell breaks loose.

Weight.

  • If some bigger over eats their considered fat, and unhealthy, but if a thinner person over eats no one says a word.

Of course, there are so many other double standards that affect other groups of people, but just having these few is too many. We have to do something about this! If we allow one group of people to do something we must allow all other groups to do so as well. This must change to allow everyone to feel equal if we claim to be an equal opportunity country.

It isn't impossible to change these double standards as we have seen double standards in the past be changed. such as a male could be a doctor, but a women couldn't. Or even a white person holding a higher position in work and black person couldn't. Therefore, we see a change can happen, but only if we choose to make it happen.

Cover Image Credit: Ashley8053

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