First of all, I grew up in Baltimore in the inner city. We lived in a row home in South Baltimore or what is now called Federal Hill. When I was a small child, the neighborhood I grew up in was wonderful. Mothers watched their children. People kept their streets and alleys clean and free of trash and debris. Everyone knew everyone and greeted each other on the street or the corner store. Children played outside until dark and came when called to supper. I’ve often called my neighborhood Mayberry by the harbor.
It was wonderful for a while but it wasn’t perfect.
My family suffered from many of the ills that befall a lot of city dwelling families. I lost my eldest brother to murder when I was a small child and almost lost one to drugs. Our house was broken into, I was mugged in downtown Baltimore, had my car stolen, bikes stolen and when my kids were small, I swept crack vials and needles up from the alleys and sidewalk around my home before I could take my children outside to play.
I’m not speaking from some high horse. I’m not speaking from a so called detached, middle white America. I’m speaking of the city I love. I’m speaking of the people I grew up with, went to school with and tussled with.
However, I’m not ignorant enough to believe everything I see on television nor am I biased one way or the other where the Freddie Gray case is concerned. I am however heartbroken, saddened and disgusted by what has been going on a mere fifteen miles from my now, county home. We left the city sixteen years ago because our house was getting too small and I was tired of sweeping up crack vials.
Now, on to the topic I came here tonight to talk about.
Tonight’s Washington Post press release stated:
Prisoner in van said Freddie Gray was ‘trying to injure himself,’ document says
This is not the first time I’ve heard this. However, conspiracy theories that this inmate is being offered a plea deal OR has been paid by police to say this, are already surfacing on the news by the talking heads.
What frightens me the most, is what the reaction to this particular part of the investigation will be with this information being released now.
Unfortunately, the protesters I have heard speak, do not seem to be looking for any witness testimony unless it fits their agenda. They all however, are crying out for the truth but from everything I have seen and read, a great majority of those protesting are hoping for police brutality, ending in the death of a young black man.
I just watched a seasoned police veteran speak to the fact that he personally has witnessed suspects in his police vehicle, as well as transport vans, inflict severe injuries upon themselves in order to claim brutality, lessen their criminal charges or be able to delay the process through hospitalization.
Please do NOT tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about just because I’m not walking around in the middle of these protests or riots. I have read and seen enough, as well as watched interviews of the protesters, rioters and leaders in the black community on every network, and have yet to hear any of them give even a shred of reasonable doubt to any other possibility than police brutality and murder. I am not discounting their negative experiences with the police, nor am I dismissing their right to feel they have been unfairly treated. What I am saying is when we close ourselves off to all possibilities and FACTS and when the truth no longer matters because it doesn’t fit our version of a story, we are doomed and living in a state of self righteous indignation.
Just because the facts do not agree with our perception, that doesn’t make them untrue. It makes us ignorant.
If after the results of the investigation, your perception of what actually happened to Freddie Gray does not match the facts presented, and you cannot accept all of the evidence, witness accounts and FACTS and continue to protest based on your own assumptions, you are biased and no matter how you choose to twist it, if the results of the investigation, prove these officers did not intentionally inflict physical harm, all of this violence and protesting was to further YOUR own agenda and not to seek the truth.
Sadly, I firmly believe if this investigation proves that ether Freddie Gray thrashed about so much while in that wagon that he accidentally caused his own injuries OR the police involved are only charged with negligent homicide or manslaughter, we will see much worse than what we’ve seen so far. Unfortunately, I do not believe neither the protesters nor the rioters are going to get the outcome they are hoping for. In other words, prepare yourselves Baltimore. The worst is yet to come.