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Sunday, May 3, 2015

3 Officers Charged in Freddie Gray’s Death Are Black — So Is This Still a Racial Case?

Baltimore Police Officers Charged

Baltimore, MD — After about 10 days of peaceful and violent protesting in the streets of Baltimore, the state’s attorney finally announced that six police officers will be charged in the death of Freddie Gray. The charges for each of them ranged from 2nd degree murder to manslaughter to assault. Even more, it was announced that Gray was reportedly illegal arrested, and that the officers failed to get him the medical help he clearly needed after they arrested him.

Then the faces were revealed on national television of what the officers looked like, and guess what? Three of them are Black! So does this mean that it is no longer a racial case? And why did most people assume that all the officers involved were white?

Well, the truth is that this angle isn’t really being discussed yet. Perhaps because it’s not such much a case of racism as it is a case of police brutality. The truth is that in other police brutality cases across the country, some have pointed the finger at Black officers as well for either not doing enough during an attack or for trying to help cover it up.

What makes Freddie Gray’s case particularly bad is that the officer driving the vehicle that was transporting him was Black. His name is Caesar R. Goodson Jr., and he reported stopped and parked the van to check on Gray. He, however, did not offer medical assistance to him. Instead, he returned to the driver’s seat and headed toward central booking with Gray still unsecured. Many legal experts say that he, as the driver of the vehicle, is the most at fault for what happened to Gray because he likely maneuvered the vehicle so that Gray would be slammed around in the back.

Family members of Gray spoke during a press conference, and said they hope the case serves as motivation to reform the way police do their jobs in communities across the country. They also urged members of the public to express themselves peacefully.

Richard Shipley, Gray’s stepfather, commented, “We are satisfied with today’s charges. These charges are an important step in getting justice for Freddie and we ask that whoever comes to our city — a city that we love, a city that we live in — come in peace, and if you are not coming in peace, please don’t come at all, because this city needs to get back to work.”

Meanwhile, all six officers have posted bail and have been released to await their trial.

 

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