Can President Obama ensure justice in Baltimore City?
By Roger Caldwell
“Justice needs to be served. What I think people of Baltimore want more than anything else is the truth. That’s what people around the country expect” says President Obama. On Friday, May 1st, at a press conference, 35-year-old Marilyn Mosby, the state’s attorney for Baltimore, said that Freddie Gray’s arrest was illegal and there was probable cause to file manslaughter charges against the police officers involved.
“This is a great day, and I think we need to realize that. I think a message has been sent by our state’s attorney that she treasures every life, that she values every person” said Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland. But the problem with police officers’ cases across the country is that they walk out of court free after the trial.
In Florida, George Zimmerman was charged with murder, and Trayvon Martin had no weapon. Yet, Mr. Zimmerman walked out of court a free man. The judicial system is set up for police to win, and I don’t think the new Baltimore state attorney does not have enough evidence to make her charges stick. Everyday Black men and women are arrested with no probable cause, the charges are fabricated, and they stick.
There is no way the judicial system will allow six police officers to be convicted by evidence that they control. In order to maintain and control the residents in the city, the power brokers will let a rookie state attorney sooth the community with speculation that something is going to change. But illegal arrests happen every day in Baltimore and across the country to Black people, and not much will change. There is $40 million a year spent in that one community to police the residents, and they always win.
When President Obama calls the rioters ”thugs and criminals,” he sends a message to the police and media that most of the residents who live in that community operate from an illegal mindset. Even though he is talking about 1% of the population, the media gives the impression that the majority of the community is violent, and they will break the law if given an opportunity.
The police are always ready to protect their own because they operate as overseers in the community. Instead of building relationships, mending broken fences, and working as public servants, they violate the law and cannot be trusted.
The six officers that were arrested treated Mr. Gray as a criminal with no rights, and treated him less than human by handcuffing him and shackling his feet. The van driver, Officer Godson, received the most serious crime: second degree murder. Lt. Brian Rice was charged with manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment. Officer William G. Porter and Sgt. Alicia White were charged with manslaughter, assault and misconduct in office. Officers Edward M. Nero and Garrett E. Miller were charged with assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
There were four stops, and conflicting stories, but the system is broken and Black people are considered criminals. In all probability, Mr. Gray died in the van and his treatment was standard operating procedure. It would be very hard to convict someone who never received any blows from a police officer.
President Obama wants justice, but no one knows what justice really is or what it looks like. Ms. Mosby has good intentions and Blacks must continue to vote people with her character into office. But justice may just be a trial where the police are told to go to a class on interpersonal relationships, and then allowed to walk out of court a free person.