Thursday, December 17, 2015

Baltimore: Mistrial, Hung Jury in First Freddie Gray Case Trial

As everyone knows by now, a hung jury led Judge Barry Williams to declare a mistrial in the case of Officer William Porter, the first police officer of six to be tried in the Freddie Gray case.

Despite the slavering of the mainstream media for violence, there wasn't any. Neither was there a hint of it, anywhere in Baltimore, over this development. That didn't stop so-called reporters and news hosts from implying that violence was ready to break out at any minute. There was a small -- very small -- number of protesters downtown. And an overwhelming police presence. (I wasn't there, as I saw no need to protest. A mistrial is a mistrial. It's a fool's errand to try to read too much into it.) 

But this video tweeted by DeRay McKesson is highly disturbing. Sure looks like this kid is attacked for no reason. And even if there were a reason, the sheriff goes after him like a crazed animal. The kid was just standing there, next to the guy with the bullhorn. Then, as if that’s not enough, they all pile on. How many burly, militarized, bullet-proof-vest-clad men does it take to subdue a kid lying on the ground?

(I worked briefly with DeRay McKesson a few years ago, when he ran a school tutoring program here in Baltimore called Higher Achievement. I volunteered with the organization for two years, the first of which was overseen by McKesson. I found him to be a very responsible, hardworking, no-nonsense guy. It doesn't surprise me that he's gone on to be a voice in the Black Lives Matter movement.)