The Baltimore Sun just posted an article co-written by two former cops, one older black male from Baltimore City and one older white male from New York. The focus is their argument that Nero, the officer charged with second-degree intentional assault, two counts of misconduct in office, and reckless endangerment for Freddie Gray’s murder should have never faced charges.
This statement is dangerous for a couple of reasons. Any notion that assures citizens that the cops have it all under control and that we should blindly trust the judicial process is complete insanity. Anyone from this city knows the Baltimore police do not have a finely tuned system going on, especially when considering what happened to Freddie Gray. The attempt to convince anyone that the relationship between police officers and black people should not be publicly investigated is either negligent or purposefully misleading. So, yes, please charge the officers that could have murdered yet another black male in the United States.
It is important to remember that making such a claim in a newspaper article matters. This is not some lengthy internet comment or even a blog site, much like this, that is based on opinion pieces. This is an actual article printed on a legitimate newspaper in Baltimore. If one can rip their eyes off the unsettling title, the article decided to delegitimize Black Lives Matter and other activists who demonstrated their fight for justice involving the case, Moskos and Taylor say “The failure of Freddie Gray is a collective failure. So why does "justice" depend on convicted police officers?” Putting justice in quotation marks binds the words to an overt attack on it’s validity.
Reading this creates an uneasy feeling because it is a blatant display of police officers openly belittling a nationwide movement by taking the premise, justice, and pushing to defuse its spirit. In this quote’s context, they sought to place the Freddie Gray murder into a much larger, system-wide problem that needs greater attention of politicians and policy makers. Gladly will many activists urge to bring the Freddie Gray murder into a wider discussion that encompasses the many faults of the United States in order to achieve progressive action. However, the assumption that police officers should be exempt from this conversation, and more importantly, from change, is not rational, in any way.
There is more than enough evidence in the Freddie Gray case to justify a public questioning of authority. Further, there is more than plenty of corrupt history involving the police to bring this questioning to a racially infused, nation-wide tension. An overwhelming public consensus of these two testaments of uncertainty with police exceeds any reason to issue charges; the movement is justified by an oppressive culture that police help create. No charges? Stop.
The article goes on to compare the officers to doctors, which, I think, is a little much, “Consider patients who die in surgery. Sometimes it's even the doctor's fault. But never would you see an entire operating room arrested.” Well, no, of course not. First, HIPAA (Health Information Privacy Act) laws would account for every interaction the doctor had with the patient. The patient would have been accounted for by multiple check in systems carefully through every step of the process. Any negligent or rough ambulance ride would guarantee the loss of a job is event occurred in 911 scenario. Finally, surgery conducted in effort to save the life of that patient should, in no way, be compared to the attempt to wrongfully imprison the life of another.
The authors then remind us of Freddie Gray in the most destructive, heartless way possible, “Freddie Gray was born premature to a single mother. Living in poverty, their lead infested house sometimes lacked for food and electricity. Gray, an occasional drug dealer, dropped out of school and never held a steady job. We don't bring up these facts to tarnish his memory but to point out that nobody cared about Freddie Gray until police placed him in custody.”
Yes, officers. That is the reality for a lot of people that grow up in poverty. No, officers. These facts do not mean that no one cared about him - shame. The assumptive nature of the police force, and of that kind of statement is exactly the reason that trusting police officers goes with much caution for everyone. This statement is riddled with publicly admitted classism.
The end of the article professes the real criminal activity present, but confuses their previous call to help Baltimore by referring to it an asylum. “There are actual criminals in Baltimore. Those who pick up an illegal gun and pull the trigger to kill a fellow man. Police deal with them every day. So when criminals are seen as the victims and police are made out to be the problem, it's as if the inmates have taken over the asylum.”
If this article was written in effort to bring a larger scope of thinking to the Freddie Gray murder, like Baltimore’s very real issue of poverty and politician’s corrupt spending habits, be my guest. However, if they are going to automatically view the public in terms of their inmate potential and speak of the city as one in a psychotic crises already behind bars, this article is nothing but propaganda that adheres to a specific agenda; pointing fingers away from badges.
Here is the link to the article: