Baltimore Protesters Already Active After Mistrial Declared in Freddie Gray Case
Months ago, the city of Baltimore erupted in some of the most violent riots Americans have seen over the death of Freddie Gray while Gray was in police custody. One of the police officers involved in Gray's arrest was recently put on trial, but the results of the trial left Baltimore in another uproar.
William Porter was the first of six Baltimore City police officers who are going on trial in the convoluted and muddied case of the death of Freddie Gray. Porter was grilled by prosecutors from the city of Baltimore, but, after deliberating for more than three days, the jury couldn't reach a verdict.
That resulted in a hung jury on all the counts against Officer Porter. And that hung jury resulted in an enraged crowd that again took to the streets of Baltimore.
"We will fight for Freddie Gray, all night, all day," chanted protesters. While many of the protests were peaceful, there were several arrests during the course of the day and Baltimore's police commissioner said he would crack down if necessary.
"Folks who choose to commit crimes, break things and hurt people are no longer protesters. You lose the ability to call yourself a protester when you hurt people and destroy property," Commissioner Kevin Davis said.
It's reassuring to see a police commissioner understand what he needs to do to maintain order in his city and to see Davis set such specific boundaries. As family members of Freddie Gray call for a retrial, we can only hope that some of the protesters who might want to resort to violent means will pause first.
But even though Gray's stepfather has asked that protesters "remain calm, patient, because we are confident that there will be another trial and a different jury," the mob mentality that so easily overcomes these racially charged police protests might soon rear its ugly head.