Sep 14, 2015
Five months after Baltimore city police killed Freddie Gray, the city has agreed to pay his family 6.4 million dollars. The Gray settlement exceeds the combined total of more than 120 other lawsuits brought against Baltimore police for brutality and misconduct since 2011.
In addition, a judge decided to keep the criminal trials of the police officers in Baltimore.
There’s one reason these moves have been taken: This is happening because young people went out into to streets and made themselves heard – by the whole world. What was done to Freddie Gray was no worse than what was done to many others in recent years. Dondi Johnson, for example, also had one of those now famous Baltimore police van rides in 2005. His neck was fractured, he was paralyzed and he died two weeks later. His family only received $219,000 in compensation for his life – And NO criminal charges were brought against the cops who killed him.
City officials are trying to put a big STOP FIGHTING sign up. “The justice system works: the cops will be tried – in the city and a big payout for the family. So there is no need for any more upheaval and rebellion. Cease and desist.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. If Baltimore shows us anything, it shows how you get something. The answer isn’t to not fight. The fight is not over. The problems that led to the rebellion are definitely not over. There are still no jobs. Black people are still being criminalized for not having jobs that don’t exist. People still have every reason to fight.