Baltimore Residents Wary As Freddie Gray Trials Slated To Begin – Jennifer Ludden Updated November 29, 20157:47 AM ET


A mural for Freddie Gray is seen at the intersection of North Mount and Presbury streets where he was arrested in April.

A mural for Freddie Gray is seen at the intersection of North Mount and Presbury streets where he was arrested in April. Jun Tsuboike/NPR

It’s been seven months since protests over the death of an unarmed black man after his arrest erupted into looting and arson, leading Baltimore’s mayor to declare a curfew and call in the National Guard. Now, that unrest remains a potent backdrop as the trial begins for the first of six police officers charged in Freddie Gray’s death.

“I just want peace while the trial is going on,” says Missa Grant, standing at a bus stop across a busy intersection from the former CVS that became a televised symbol of the violence. The store was looted, set fire to, and eventually torn down. The walls of a new red brick structure are now halfway up.

A building is now under construction at the intersection of Pennsylvania and West North avenues where a CVS Pharmacy was destroyed in the riots.i

A building is now under construction at the intersection of Pennsylvania and West North avenues where a CVS Pharmacy was destroyed in the riots.

Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Grant says if the evidence shows the officers are not guilty, so be it. But with such a long and growing list of unarmed black men killed by police all over the country, she doesn’t think everyone will see it that way

“I believe there’s going to be another riot, I really do,” she says. “It’s not what I’m looking for. But I really believe that they’re going to react out if somebody doesn’t have to stand up for what happened to Freddie Gray.”

The officers face six separate, consecutive trials, on charges ranging from second degree depraved heart murder to misconduct in office. Officer William Porter is the first up, charged with manslaughter, assault, and reckless endangerment. He was called in as backup after Gray’s arrest, and was present at several stops of the policy paddy wagon in which the 25-year-old man was transported, handcuffed and in leg irons.

According to charging documents, Porter was present when Gray said he couldn’t breathe. The Baltimore Sun has reported that Porter told police investigators he informed the van’s driver that Gray was in medical distress, though also wondered if he was faking it. Prosecutors say they are trying Porter first because he is a “material witness” against at least two other officers.

“Porter is going to be the key to everything,” says A. Dwight Pettit, a Baltimore defense attorney not involved in the case. “What he negotiates or doesn’t negotiate, whether he’s acquitted or whether he’s convicted, he is going to be the determiner of how the other five proceed.”

Pettit is the first to allege systemic racism among Baltimore police. He’s won a long string of civil cases over excessive force. The city’s paid out millions to settle such claims in recent years. Yet Pettit says the this case is no “slam dunk,” despite that video of Gray’s arrest that played over and over on cable TV.

“That video is very inconclusive in many areas,” he says, as is the “cause of death. It’s going to be a major war between pathologists as to how he died. Ample opportunity to paint reasonable doubt.”

Article continues:

http://www.npr.org/2015/11/29/457404032/baltimore-residents-wary-as-freddie-gray-trials-slated-to-begin

Student protestors at the University of Missouri want a “no media safe space” – Updated by Libby Nelson on November 9, 2015, 7:30 p.m. ET


Members of the Concerned Student 1950 movement speak to students after president Tim Wolfe announced his resignation. — (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

The media flocked to cover football players at the University of Missouri protest the handling of racial incidents on campus, but some of the student protesters balked at the influx — going so far as to form a human shield to keep reporters away from the action.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at Nov 10, 2015 1.58

Traditionally, protesters might have welcomed coverage of their plight, certain that the national media’s attention would amplify their calls and put more pressure on the institution.

There are many reasons for this. The students already accomplished their landmark goal — these tweets were sent after university president Tim Wolfe announced his resignation on Monday. The campus has seen dozens, if not hundreds, of reporters descend, most of them, like the national media, overwhelmingly white. And these students have come of age after the rise of digital organizing. The national media is just another institution they don’t need, as the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery points out:

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at Nov 10, 2015 2.00

The standoff appears to have caught many members of the national media, as well as student journalists at the university, off guard.

Article continues:

http://www.vox.com/2015/11/9/9701376/missouri-protests-media

University of Missouri president resigns amid race row – By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Updated 12:54 PM ET, Mon November 9, 2015 | Video Source: CNN


VIDEO

VIDEO

(CNN)Several University of Missouri organizations, including the football team and the student association, saw their demands met Monday when university system President Tim Wolfe announced he was stepping down amid a controversy over race relations at the school’s main campus.

Saying he takes “full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred,” he asked that the university community listen to each other’s problems and “stop intimidating each other.”

“This is not — I repeat, not — the way change should come about. Change comes from listening, learning, caring and conversation,” he said. “Use my resignation to heal and start talking again.”

His decision, he said, “came out of love, not hate,” and he urged the university to “focus on what we can change” in the future, not what’s happened in the past.

His decision came after black football players at the University of Missouri — with their coach’s support — threatened not to practice or play again until graduate student Jonathan Butler ended his hunger strike. Butler, who was protesting the state of race relations on the main campus and had demanded Wolfe’s removal, tweeted Monday morning, “My body is tired but my heart is strong. This fight for justice is necessary.”

He tweeted after Wolfe’s news conference that he had ended his hunger strike and said, “More change is to come!! #TheStruggleContinues.”

Article continues:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/09/us/missouri-football-players-protest-president-resigns/index.html?eref=rss_topstories