Justice for Freddie?

Freddie Gray
Freddie Gray

Well, well, looks like the shoe’s on the other foot now in Baltimore. I couldn’t help being slightly amused (and therefore ashamed of myself) by the protests from the Baltimore Police Department after charges were filed against six officers in the death of Freddie Gray.

“Rush to judgment.” “Unfair.” “Politics.” “Did nothing wrong.” “Entitled to due process.”

How many times have we heard the same things from and about the victims of police brutality?

Certainly those six officers in Baltimore should not be made scapegoats for the misconduct of cops in other cities. They may well be innocent of any wrongdoing, and I wouldn’t wish a wrongful conviction on anyone.

And obviously there’s a chance that Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby, a young black woman, may be overreacting with her charges and taking advantage of the opportunity to finally throw the book at some white cops — to make them an example to the nation (not to mention advancing her own career). She also has a potential conflict of interests and was asked by the BPD to recuse herself from the case. But her case may very well be rock solid despite all that.

And it seems safe to say that everyone involved has been acting/reacting in the heat of passion in a highly emotional, racially charged situation. Assuming truth and justice prevail (and you know what they say about assumptions … ), it will still take time to get everything sorted out and the case settled.

But this time, today, it’s the police protesting that they did nothing wrong, that they’ve been unfairly accused, that they are entitled to due process.

Maybe, just maybe, what goes around comes around after all.

4 thoughts on “Justice for Freddie?

  1. Two days ago in the evening my wife and I were traveling an unfamiliar suburban street when I suddenly realized that a four-way stop was in front of me. I quickly hit the brakes and stopped in time, but numerous belongings on the backseat all ended up under the front seats. The stop wasn’t even hard enough to activate the ABS, but the sudden shift was surprisingly powerful. We ourselves were belted in and unaffected, except for some extra adrenalin pumping.

    When the police take someone into custody, they become responsible for that person’s safety, just as much as would a hospital receiving a patient. Or, so it seems to me. The only thing about the charges that bothers me is sorting out the decision maker from those who were simply complying with the current culture. That’s where the real guilt lies. I think it’s obvious that person decided to give Gray a “rough ride”, and it got out of hand. That somebody must be the driver because it’s he who bears the most serious charge. (I wonder if he was senior in grade?) Gray was a helpless weight in a steel box. I know what such culture is, the military is similar, and those who don’t fit in don’t last long, courage or not.

    The young prosecutor has done the right thing and it was long overdue, but culture is not easily changed. The ramifications of this are historic.

    1. Yes, historic. I’m tempted to say this could mean we’ve finally turned the corner on police brutality and racism, except that we’ve a long way from any convictions. And what I fear now is that after all this, should there be no convictions (which is highly likely), parts of Baltimore will be wiped from the map. And the rage probably won’t be limited to Baltimore.

      I’m glad you and Mollie weren’t hurt.

      1. Me too. Thanks. The intersection wasn’t a major one, just two suburban streets that looked like all the others. As I’ve aged I’ve made a conscious effort to be more alert in driving, even taking a peripheral vision course touted by my insurance company. I think it saved me this time.

        1. I too try to keep my situational awareness cranked up to high whenever I’m driving, with the assumption that my reflexes are probably slowing. A close call a few months ago reassured me that both reflexes and adrenalin pump are still in pretty good shape.

... and that's my two cents