Over the past few days, Baltimore law enforcement stepped up their militarized violence against protesters. Courageous Black folks and their allies calling for an end to centuries of structural racism and discriminatory policing were met with pepper spray, beatings and unjust arrest. 1 And while all 6 officers who killed Freddie Gray have been charged and are out of jail, many protesters are languishing in overcrowded, inhumane jail cells facing unjust criminal charges and outrageous bail.
Will you join nearly 30,000 ColorOfChange members urging State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby to drop the charges against all protesters?
Since the tragic police killing of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, more than 300 people have been arrested for protesting. Among them is Allen Bullock, an 18-year-old facing a $500,000 bail and 8 criminal counts — that carry a life sentence — for smashing the windows of a police car.2 Allen's family urged him to turn himself in, but in the context of a justice system that values property over Black lives and disproportionally treats Black youth more harshly than their white counterparts, Allen faces no mercy.
The people of Baltimore have had enough. Over just the last 4 years, police have killed 109 people in the city. And in 2014, 100% of the people killed by Baltimore police were Black.Baltimore — like most cities in America — has a long and ongoing history of violent, discriminatory and illegal policing.
The same racist and violent Baltimore policing culture that killed Freddie has fueled the recent abuse of protesters. In a harrowing video released this weekend, police are seen pepper-spraying a Black protester point blank and then brutally dragging him across the street by his dreadlocks.3 White people protesting the same unconstitutional curfew instead received a 5-minute-warning.4 Police also arrested 10 legal observers who were documenting human rights abuses by law enforcement.5
Protesters are not criminals. Urge State's Attorney Mosby to drop the charges against protesters and focus the city's resources on preventing violent and discriminatory policing.
Thanks and peace,
— Rashad (ColorOfChange)
1. "A Bloody History of Police Brutality in Baltimore," The Root 05-04-2015
2. "Cops Who Murdered Freddie Gray Released On Bail, Protester Still Stuck In Jail (VIDEO)," ReverbPress 05-04-2015
3. "Balt Police caught treating peaceful protesters diff based on race/or content of speech," SCT LAW Tweet 05-03-2015
4. "White protestors politely asked to leave, black protestor pepper sprayed and dragged away," BoingBoing 05-04-2015
5. "Baltimore's Refusal to Permit Legal Observers to Witness Police Enforcing Curfew Resulted in Mass Arrest," FireDogLake 05-04-2015
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