Baltimore – 1,000th Lesson With Nothing Learned
Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Baltimore man, was apparently arrested after giving “googly-eyes” to a bicycle patrolman who then gave chase to him. Joined by other officers who, according to witnesses, put him in a 'Boston Crab' kind of position where they bent his legs, face down toward the back of his head while cuffing him. Gray on the videotape, had let them know they had injured him badly.
That wrestling tactic alone puts immense pressure on the vertebrae of those subjected to the position. At some point in the police van Gray was riding in, (without a seat belt) he emerged from the van with a nearly severed spinal column and was heavily struggling to breathe, which is another sign of a broken vertebrae affecting the spine.
While the events of what occurred inside the van are not yet crystal clear, it should be enraging to all Americans that a citizen was arrested and killed by blunt trauma while in custody of the law enforcement members of municipal government. Gray is not the first young black man to be killed by police officers this year or this month and not just the black community is focused.
In Baltimore those who have been arrested and thrown in the “paddy wagon” after resisting arrest, even have a term for the retaliatory actions of police. It’s called “the rough ride.” Hands cuffed behind the back, prisoners are not secured by a seat belt but are then tossed around the back of the van by harsh turns or use of brakes by the driver.
Was Freddie Gray subjected to this “rough ride” on top of a possibly compromised spinal condition because of the arrest procedure? I am speculating because I have to. The Baltimore Police Department has secured any and all remarks about the arrest and the transportation of Gray until they release their internal investigation results.
It should be noted that the Baltimore Police commissioner and mayor are both black, as is the president of the United States and the last two attorney generals so the idea of any high ranking cover-up would seem incredible.
All facts surrounding this matter culminated with the funeral yesterday, of a man who was hunted down by pursuing officers who have still not told the public why he was arrested in the first place. Emotions boiled over for thousands of black Americans. Many protested peacefully.
For many other thousands of angry young black men though, it became an opportunity to raise hell and attack the establishment and innocent alike.
The emergence of decades of failed liberal policy in the inner city showed what has been lying underneath. Lawless, angry and clueless hordes of thugs, assisted by educated agitators who are trained anarchists, living in the same community waiting for moments such as this to present themselves as opportunities for recruitment.
Looting, arson, assaults, auto theft, destruction of public and private properties have eclipsed the death of Gray and by those who don’t give a rat’s ass about him. Here is where it is lost.
Maryland Governor Hogan said President Obama urged him to have law enforcement officers exercise restraint, and he assured the president they would. “But,” Hogan added, “I assured him we weren’t going to stand by and allow our city of Baltimore to be taken over by thugs.”
How did that work out? High school kids hurled lethal objects at the retreating police who had instructions to just take whatever the rioters give them. This was nothing more than piss-poor leadership from the top down.
The strangest moment so far may have been when the very pretty, calm mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, stated to the media that she and police brass had pre-arranged a plan to “give those who wished to destroy space to do that.”
Think about this for a moment. The mayor has acknowledged that the city had ceded a path of destruction as an acceptable part of the riot management. Did she offer an area owned by her or perhaps any of her major campaign supporters? Did she design a police line that allowed for a purge of property most likely to be owned by citizens she saw as political adversaries? Probably no to both questions, but she has allowed for these kinds of accusations by admitting to this reckless design.
She has opened the door for a long line of lawsuits based on that utterance. Remind the confounded owners of some of the stores looted and burned why they pay high municipal taxes collected by the same city that abandoned order and laid down the means to “protect and to serve.”
For the Baltimore police who had to endure a night of carnage, attacks, spit and brick both thrown at their faces, one has to wonder how angry they too must be at the six officers who were responsible for the well-being of the man they chased down just eight days earlier and who was buried earlier that day.
They too are human and have emotions. Officers of of all races endured a night of having to abandon their training to respond to crimes. It is quite unnatural to see our law enforcement being neutered by their liberal elected to stand down, watch the looting, beatings, robberies and arson while being berated by the very same maniacs who were doing these things and then stood unafraid just six feet from the police line.
I think the whole thing has been a travesty of law and of thinking. From the arrest, the way the police brass handled the loss of Gray, the lack of decisive action by the mayor and the allowance for this purge. The worst part of all of this is no one will learn one thing here.
This will happen time and time again as the blame by all involved goes in every direction everywhere in America: to city hall, to the cruisers, to the absence of fathers, to racist indifference, to lack of respect. Everywhere...except to the mirror.