The riots that have rocked Baltimore in recent days are a major blow to a city which, not without irony, calls itself “Charm City” but where years of economic crisis bring their share of daily violence, deep misery and corruption.
Barack Obama condemns the violence in Baltimore and believes that there is “no excuse” for these events, but nevertheless agrees that the United States is facing a latent crisis with the police, especially in its relations with blacks.
The drama of the Baltimore riots is played out around five characters.
# The victim: Freddie Gray
No, Freddie Gray was not an angel. At 25, his criminal record was long as an arm. In ten years, he has been arrested 22 times, mostly for drug possession or trafficking.
According to the police, he was involved in “criminal activities” at the time of his arrest. Did he deserve to be beaten to death by the police who arrested him? On April 12, he was chased by three officers, one on foot and two on a bicycle, intercepted and brutally thrown to the ground.
A video by a passerby shows him immobilized, screaming in pain, then being bluntly transported to the police van, then taken to the hospital. He died seven days later from his injuries, his spinal cord severed from the neck.
His death comes after a series of police blunders that have rekindled racial tensions in the country. Each time, it was videos of witnesses that helped establish the truth. Police said Monday’s riots, which took place after several days of peaceful protests that brought together more than 2,000 people, were premeditated and orchestrated by gangs.
# Freddie Gray’s mother
Like the parents of Michael Brown, the young black man whose death sparked violent riots in Ferguson last summer, Freddy Gray’s mother called for peace and quiet on the day of their son’s funeral, insisting that that these riots were not a suitable response to his death. In vain.
As with Michael Brown’s funeral, a huge crowd, mostly black, was there. More than 3,000 people had made the trip.
We’re not here because we know Freddy Gray, but because we know a lot of Freddy Gray, “said family lawyer Billy Murphy at the ceremony, in the presence of civil rights activist Jesse Jackson. .
“Freddie’s death will light a light, one of tremendous change,” said the Reverend Walter Thomas. “These demonstrations will serve, in a sense, as a defibrillator for change.”
All the ingredients were there to make this death a symbol that would set the city streets on fire.
The image of another woman, of another mother also made the tour of social networks last night: it is that of this woman who sticks a masterful slap to her adolescent son, who participated in the riots, the grabbing by the collar of his shirt, telling him to “bring his butt back home”.
Because there is clearly a form of exasperation also among blacks against these riots and these scenes of looting. Baltimore’s rage is definitely not Ferguson’s.
# The mayor of Baltimore: Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
After the Ferguson riots, Stephanie Rawlings Blake, the black mayor of Baltimore, multiplied communication workshops and intercommunity discussion groups to improve relations between the young people of her city and the police.
At 45, she gained the image of a dynamic elected official, in tune with the youth. She fought to bring back businesses in poor neighborhoods, these poor neighborhoods now plagued by pillage.
Elected in 2011, she embodied the African American democratic succession, at the head of a city in full economic renaissance. That didn’t stop her from seeming overwhelmed by the events shaking her city.
When 15 municipal police officers were injured, his first statements opened a boulevard for those who accused him of being lax by giving pride to the rioters. At the same time, the young people of the poor districts reproach him for having procrastinated, and too late to denounce the muscular arrest of Freddy Gray.
Many today are calling outright for his resignation.
# The chief of police: Antony Batts
Baltimore is not Ferguson, where a 95% white police force controlled a 99% black city. Here, the police chief – black – knows better than anyone the violence in difficult neighborhoods: he came from it.
Didn’t he grow up in a neighborhood south of Los Angeles, plagued by drugs, prostitution, and gang warfare? When he was 11 years old, he would have asked his mother:
Does anyone care that young people like me lose their lives on these streets? “
This is where he would have shaped his vocation. Appointed in Long Beach, California, he has forged, in 27 years, a solid reputation as a field cop: wherever he goes, he concentrates all his efforts on maintaining dialogue between young people and the police. His record in Oakland, a post deemed difficult, where he disembarked after the murder of four police officers in office is more disputed.
In 2010, he faced protests after the homicide of a disarmed black man by one of his police officers. On Monday in Baltimore, he clearly let himself be overwhelmed by the protesters. By calling on parents to “control their children”, he has fueled the anger of part of the black population of Baltimore who consider it “better to start by controlling his police” as tweeted by several young people.
Six of his men were seriously injured overnight from Monday to Tuesday.
# The journalist
Clearly, journalists who landed in Baltimore to cover the riots were not well received. They even took it in their heads.
In Ferguson, the police were involved, indiscriminately shooting – with rubber bullets – at demonstrators and reporters sprayed with tear gas. This time, it was the demonstrators who attacked the photographers and the cameramen, forbidding them to film.
Incidents have escalated, apparently without the police putting much energy into responding. A CNN reporter and several photographers were severely beaten by the rioters who also stole equipment from them. At least five journalists were injured.
A Russian journalist was robbed of her wallet by a group of young people whom she chased. A cameraman working for CCTV, a Chinese channel, posted a photo on Twitter where he can be seen bloodied. “Broken nose, broken lip, stolen phone. Everything is fine,” he tweeted.
– jim spellman (@jimspellmanTV) April 27, 2015
State of emergency, violence in the streets, massive deployment of soldiers, closed schools. The situation turned to chaos during the night of Monday to Tuesday in Baltimore (Maryland, Eastern United States), after riots linked to the death of a young black man, Freddie Gray, which left 15 injured among the police . And this Tuesday morning, the Baltimore police stood guard on the still smoking streets of the events of the previous day. Freddie Gray died on April 19 of a fractured cervical vertebrae, after his muscular arrest by the police, whose practices are regularly denounced, including by the mayor. The death is the latest in a series of police blunders that have rekindled tensions between the black community and law enforcement.
At the end of Freddy Gray’s funeral, gangs of young people, mainly high school students who had just left school, took the police to task by throwing bricks, pebbles, sticks, bottles …
A heavy material and human toll.
Fires of police vehicles and buildings, looted supermarkets, damage: the material balance of the riots is important. The violence, circumscribed in a district in the northwest of the city, left 15 injured among the police, 6 of whom were hit more seriously, said Anthony Batts, chief of police of Baltimore. Several journalists were also attacked and had equipment stolen. 27 people were arrested, but the police promised to study the videos of the security cameras to find the perpetrators.
VIDEO. Violent riots in Baltimore
State of emergency and curfew.
Faced with the looting of businesses, the governor of the state, Larry Hogan, decided to declare a state of emergency in Maryland. This measure allows him to legally appeal to the National Guard. “Looting and acts of violence will not be tolerated. Baltimore will be placed under curfew from this Tuesday 10 pm local time (4 am Wednesday in France). “Too many people have spent generations building this city for it to be destroyed by thugs,” said mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who decided to establish a curfew.
VIDEO. Baltimore under curfew after violent riots
The National Guard as reinforcement.
Maryland has mobilized several thousand police and National Guard soldiers (military reservists) to restore order to Baltimore. State Governor Larry Hogan said 500 police have been ordered to deploy to the port city. He asked that 5,000 additional police officers be made available to him by the region. In addition, the National Guard (which has 5,000 soldiers) will deploy massively to help the local police.
City schools will be closed on Tuesday. This decision is a double-edged sword because it could put out many young people ready to confront the police. Monday’s violence also broke out after the end of high school classes. But, police said, a “partnership” between local gangs could also be the cause.
The violence of Monday evening contrasted with the calm and dignity of the ceremony in tribute to Freddie Gray. 3,000 people (family, friends and anonymous, all blacks) had paid a calm tribute, in the New Shiloh Baptist Church, to a mixed tribute of prayers and activism to the young man, who lay in an open white coffin and surrounded by wreaths white flowers.
VIDEO. Baltimore: funeral of Freddie Gray, dead after his arrest
Since the announcement of the death of Freddie Gray, demonstrations take place daily in Baltimore. That organized in the night from Saturday to Sunday had also already degenerated into violence. Similar riots broke out in Ferguson last summer after the death of an unarmed young black man killed by a white police officer.
After Ferguson, last summer, an american town is again the scene of violent riots. Barack Obama has condemned Tuesday 28 April, the violence in Baltimore, which erupted shortly after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a young Black man, died of a fracture of the cervical vertebrae inflicted during his arrest by the police.
Believing that there was “no excuse “ for these events, the us president has also agreed that the United States was facing a crisis latent with the police, including in its relations with the Blacks :
“We have seen too many examples of interactions between police and people, particularly African-Americans, who are often poor, which raise troubling questions. “
The quiet was gradually returned to Baltimore on the night of Monday to Tuesday, although a few isolated incidents have yet been reported. These new violence, defined in a neighbourhood in the north-west of the city, were fifteen wounded among the police and led to twenty-seven arrests, according to a preliminary balance sheet.
National guard and curfew
As of Tuesday, a curfew is established between 22 hours and 5 hours in the morning, for a week, announced the mayor of the city. The general of the national guard, Linda Singh has confirmed at a press conference that the paramilitary force would be deployed “massively “ in the city. A senior police officer from Maryland has indicated that the State had required up to five thousand five hundred additional men in reinforcement.
The police equipped with shields, riot have made use of tear-gas and irritants to disperse rioters, who threw back stones and other objects, and burned police cars, looted, and then burned down a supermarket.
Anger and frustration
The violence “do not represent the Gray family, or the last seven days of peaceful protests, and it is for that reason that we ask all those who participate go home “, asked pastor Jamal Bryant, who was celebrating a few hours before the funeral of a young Freddie Gray.
Some three thousand people, family, friends and anonymous, all black, were made in a quiet homage, mingled with prayers and activism to the young man in the baptist church New Shiloh.
Saturday, April 25, more than a thousand people had already manifested itself in Baltimore to mark their anger and frustration after the death of Freddie Gray, 25 years old, died of a fracture of the cervical vertebrae, a week after he was arrested unceremoniously, and placed in custody for possession of a knife.
Several investigations have been open for do the light on the drama, which a federal survey conducted by the ministry of justice. On Friday, police in Baltimore, acknowledged that Freddie Gray would have had to receive medical assistance immediately after his arrest and not nearly an hour after. Six police officers were suspended with pay after the death of the young man.
A dress of Scarlett O’hara worn by Vivien Leigh in the famous film Gone with the wind has been auctioned Saturday 137.000 dollars in the United States, says the auction house Heritage Auction. It is the grey black embroideries worn by Scarlett in his assault on the cabriolet. It was a reward of $ 60,000.
It was part of the approximately 150 lots related to film and sold to Beverly Hills (California) or online on the website of Heritage Auction. The lots came from the collection of James Tumblin, the former make-up artist and hair stylist Universal studios, which had started to gather memories of the film to the 10 oscars in the 1960’s.
The straw hat with green ribbons worn by Scarlett in the scene of the picnic that opens the film was, to him, sold of 52,500 dollars, and one of her blouses, in pink, of 32,500 dollars. Among the other pieces of the sale was a gray suit worn by Rhett Butler played by Clark Gable, he is gone at $ 55,000. A soldier’s uniform confederate worn by Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) has sold less than its estimate has 16,200 dollars. The blue suit worn by Bonnie Blue, the daughter of heroes, the day of his accident of horse, is gone to 15,000.
The script of Hattie McDaniel (who played Mamma) was sold for 29.000 dollars while a waistcoat in grey and red Melanie (Olivia de Havilland) has been taken away to 19,000 dollars.