November 20th 2015
Reaction Paper 3
On April 12th, 2015, Freddie Gray, a black male the age of 25 was arrested by the Baltimore Police department for having an illegal switchblade in his possession. Soon after these events Freddie fell into a coma and was taken to a hospital trauma center but due to the injuries to his spinal cord Gray died April 19th, 2015. This event led to many deadly riots all over Baltimore, Maryland. On August 9th, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed teenage black male was shot dead by a white police officer named Darren Wilson. This event was also followed by many violent riots, but this time in Ferguson Missouri. Both riots, Baltimore and Ferguson, had a disgusting aftermath. Each city had many downfalls after these events but how did they compare and contrast?
The death of Freddie Gray sparked violent riots all over the city of Baltimore so in result of this, many things changed around Baltimore, Maryland. Government officials responded to these riots by increasing more security, and promising a deep investigation of the fatal injury that Freddie faced days before his death. Larry Hogan, the governor of Maryland had thousands of police and national guards patrolling the roads throughout each day to make sure there weren’t any more riots breaking out because although, the protests had stopped, the violence and anger that the people of Baltimore had was still in full force. Another outcome that the Baltimore riots created was that the city attractions had a hard time regaining footage to get going again. For example, the attendance to the Maryland Science Center was off by at least 70% after the riots. These riots hurt the whole community in many different aspects.
Michael Brown created some of the same results for Ferguson Missouri. The mayor, James Knowles stated this in one of his speeches a year after the riots, “For whatever reason in the past — either through lack of communication, lack of outreach — there were segments of the community that really felt like they were disaffected and not really part of the community, I think a year later, what you see is a community that’s much more engaged, wholly engaged.” This is the one of the only positive outtakes one could take away from this awful event. On the more negative side of things, businesses around Missouri began to worry because they were down 50% as they began to rebuild what they had before the killing of Michael Brown. The economy would not be able to regain its strength until the violence and protests end completely.
Along, with the death of Freddie Gray, these deaths have impacted the way America sees police today. They aren’t seen as positive anymore. They are seen as enemies to the population. They aren’t seen as people who can protect us anymore. The aftermath of these riots have led some people to despise police officers. People are trying to create “police free zones” in result of these disastrous events that occurred. People have lost all respect for police officers and it’s sad.
The Baltimore riots and the Ferguson riots were triggered by the death of innocent black men. The aftermath of both of these events included some of the same things such as, trouble with the economy, the way America sees police departments today, and the way the government officials dealt with these troubles.