Activists Voice Concern That the Enforcement of Baltimore Curfew Has Been Targeting Poor Black Communities Unevenly

BaltimorePoliceBy Elaine Magliaro

Late last night, Kevin Rector of The Baltimore Sun reported that a group of “about 50 mostly white protesters stood on a corner in Hampden on Saturday just as the citywide 10 p.m. curfew went into effect.” The protesters said they were there because “they knew they’d be treated differently than black protesters in poorer parts of the city.” Rector said that the organizers of the event–“which took place at the corner of 33rd Street and Keswick Road and was promoted on social media under the hashtag #breakthecurfew”–refused to provide their names.

“Media: We are not talking. Please reach out to Black led organizing for analysis on racism/white supremacy in Baltimore,” a sign read.

Raya Jalabi of The Guardian reported early this morning that legal observers and medical volunteers “were among the roughly 50 people arrested in Baltimore on Saturday night, as another evening of protests ended in yet more clashes as protesters attempted to defy curfew restrictions.” Jalabi said that The Guardian witnessed the arrest of two volunteers who “identified themselves as belonging to the National Lawyers Guild.” The legal observers were reportedly “arrested alongside four street medics outside the Baltimore City Correctional Center.”

Jalabi added, “One of the legal observers was wearing a bright green cap, emblazoned with her organisation’s name – caps which have proven useful for protesters seeking legal advice during this past week.” Jalabi said that as Baltimore police were observed handcuffing volunteers, “a seventh man walked past and was apprehended after one officer with a handheld stun gun asked the man where he was going. The man had said he lived in the neighborhood and was on his way home.”

Unknown copy 7

Jalabi:

The arrests outside the building on Greenmount Avenue stand in contrast to the police’s treatment of curfew-defiers in Hampden, a predominantly white neighborhood in northern Baltimore.

Earlier in the day, a group of activists had called for a “silent curfew protest” which they said was intended to highlight the police’s differing treatment of protesters based on race, and to expose the police’s “anti-Black racism, an institutionalized practice of the police force and government”. The [sic] were mostly white.

Deray McKeeson, an activist and Baltimore resident, tweeted out a video that “showed police officers trying to reason with the assembled crowd at Hampden.”

According to Jalabi, thirty people were arrested “at the intersection of Pennsylvania and North avenues.” She said that one protester who was wearing a Fuck the Police T-shirt “appeared to be pulled to the ground by police and tear-gassed.”

Raw: Man Pepper-Sprayed, Detained in Baltimore (AP)
As the 10 p.m. curfew went into effect police have detained one man in Baltimore. The handcuffed man had been pepper-sprayed and police were pouring water into the man’s eyes to try to ease the effects of the spray. (May 2)

Jalabi:

The seemingly arbitrary nature of the curfew’s enforcement has led activists to voice their concern that the curfew was targeting poor black communities unevenly.

NOTE: Aljazeera America reported this morning that the mayor of Baltimore “has lifted a citywide curfew six days after the death of Freddie Gray sparked protests and occasional violence in the city.” In a statement that she made earlier today, Mayor Stephanie said “that her goal was not to maintain the curfew any longer than was necessary.” According to Aljazeera, “A day of prayer and healing has been planned for Sunday.”

SOURCE

Freddie Gray: legal volunteers arrested after defying Baltimore curfew (The Guardian)

Hampden curfew protest: Police form a line at 33rd Street and Keswick Road in Hampden (Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore mayor lifts curfew after dozens arrested overnight (Aljazeera America)

 

 

This entry was posted in Civil Liberties, Democracy, Equal Rights, Law Enforcement, Local Government, Media, Racism, Society, United States and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Activists Voice Concern That the Enforcement of Baltimore Curfew Has Been Targeting Poor Black Communities Unevenly

  1. bron98 says:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-hampden-curfew-20150502-story.html

    “At 10 p.m. the officers returned and the protesters were given a warning.
    Five minutes later, they were given another warning as more police began to stage in the area.
    “It’s five minutes after 10. This is your second warning,” police announced.
    Most of the protesters left.
    About 10:10 p.m., two officers talked to the few remaining protesters and gave them a final warning.
    By that point, a wall of dozens of Baltimore Police officers with shields and helmets lined up in formation.
    The few protesters looked nervous. The media were told to stand aside. The few protesters dispersed.
    Officers were told to stand down soon after.
    Nobody was arrested.”

    oooh, those edgy, white north eastern liberals, they are really tough, they all left when the poh poh came and lined up. although the article does say the poh poh had to ask them 3 times. 10 minutes? roflmao

    If I thought something was important enough to protest, I would be willing to go to jail for my beliefs. Thank the gods that northern, republican abolitionists had more spine.

    I am sure there were a few conservatives in the crowd but most were liberals. Just a “wild” guess.

  2. Elaine M. says:

    bron,

    I think you’ve got your geography wrong. Maryland is not situated in the northeastern part of the US. It’s a Mid-Atlantic state. It’s situated below that Mason-Dixon line–you know, “the cultural border between the Southern United States and the Northern United States.”

  3. bron98 says:

    It is really funny how I have a thought and all of a sudden I find an article by a columnist who is thinking the same thing. Maybe it has to do with the fact that other people are thinking about it too and that the magnetic field of the earth connects us in some way. Sort of like when Mr. Newton and Herr Leibniz developed calculus at the time.

    I have always loved that story, a man, Newton, invents calculus so he can better understand motion. That always tickled my funny bone. Just the shear joy in his own intellect he must have had. But I digress.

    I was just reading po and gbk’s remarks on another thread and then I read Mike’s admonishment of gbk and I thought that the left is becoming very hidebound and opposed to differing points of view. in light of the fact that gbk, in my opinion, is brilliant and extremely knowledgeable about many subjects and I believe he is the best writer I have seen on this blog either as a presenter or a commenter.

    So I was wondering why Mike would chastise him for his disagreement with po and then I started to think that FFS has really just become an echo chamber, a conformation chamber where any ideas not held in common with the core ideals of the left are dismissed out of hand. typically with some statement about how the persons logic isn’t right. I don’t mean to pick on FFS so much as it is becoming institutionalized on the left, this total lack of willingness to even see someone else’s viewpoint.

    So serendipitously enough a friend sent me this article:

    http://thefederalist.com/2015/04/29/the-paradox-of-dogma-how-the-left-is-crippling-itself/#.VUWicfeIE8U.facebook

  4. po says:

    I just realized that Bron’s issue is not liberal or conservative, it is geography. I wonder if he is even a conservative, maybe just a liberal behind the wrong geographical line!
    Reminds me of this Chapelle Show episode….the most incredible thing I have seen.http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/82404406/

  5. Elaine M. says:

    bron,

    For a person who is complaining about people on the left being opposed to differing points of view, what have you to say about the people on the right? Are the “righties” open to those who hold different opinions? Do they respect a woman’s right to choose? Do they respect the rights of atheists not to have religion shoved down their throats? Do they respect the rights of gays and lesbians not to be discriminated against? Are they open to women using their health insurance to provide them with contraceptives? Are they open to the idea of raising the minimum wage so working folks can earn a living wage? Those righties sure are open-minded, aren’t they?

    All you seem to do lately is spew venom about those of us who hold views that you consider to be liberal/lefty. Is your mind open–or did reading Ayn Rand close it long ago?

  6. bron98 says:

    Elaine:

    I am fine with abortion and birth control and atheists and gays. I think the evangelical right is pretty bad.

    So Rand closed my mind even though I am fine with abortion, atheists, gays, contraception, etc.?

    The only thing I am opposed to is the state involved in issues which are none of their business. The only thing they should be doing is protecting individual rights, all individuals.

    Spew venom? by calling people lefties? Oh I guess I did say nuck fut and hss aoles one time describing liberals and conservatives, should I have called conservatives nuck futs and liberals hss aoles?

    Do you need a room where you can go and color and have some milk and cookies? is lefty a trigger word for you?

  7. Elaine M. says:

    bron,

    bron,

    Here’s what I wrote:
    “For a person who is complaining about people on the left being opposed to differing points of view, what have you to say about the people on the right? Are the “righties” open to those who hold different opinions? Do they respect a woman’s right to choose? Do they respect the rights of atheists not to have religion shoved down their throats? Do they respect the rights of gays and lesbians not to be discriminated against? Are they open to women using their health insurance to provide them with contraceptives? Are they open to the idea of raising the minimum wage so working folks can earn a living wage? Those righties sure are open-minded, aren’t they?”

    *****

    Did I say/imply that YOU had a problem with birth control and atheists and gays? I asked what you had to say about the folks on the right. You only seem to criticize folks on the left. Why is that.

    BTW, your using of the term “lefty” is not a “trigger” for me. You claim that we lefties here do not have open minds. Have any of us been critical of Democrats, the Clintons, Obama and some of his policies, Eric Holder? I’m not an ideologue.

    You read Mike’s comments that were critical of gbk–and extrapolated from that that we “lefties” here have closed minds and that FFS is an echo chamber????? Mike’s expressing his disagreement with gbk is–in your mind–proof that liberals have closed minds and that we who write for FFS have a “total lack of willingness to even see someone else’s viewpoint?” Good grief!

  8. bron98 says:

    Elaine:

    I don’t agree with evangelical Christians. They have control issues. While I am personally opposed to abortion, drugs, white flower, sugar, etc. it really isn’t my job to tell you how to live. So my disagreement with both the left and the evangelical Christians is their faith inspired certainty in the righteousness of their cause.

  9. Elaine M. says:

    bron,

    What is the left’s cause of which you speak? Is there just one cause–or is there more than one cause? Do you think the left has no cause which is righteous? Do you think it is righteous to fight for equal rights for blacks and women and gays and lesbians?

  10. bron98 says:

    Elaine:

    I disagree with the left in their desire for control, I also disagree with the right on their desire to control.

    I thought the Constitution provided those rights to all people. I don’t believe in looking at human beings as black, white, gay, straight, female, male etc., we are all individuals As such we have certain rights as individual human beings. We don’t have special rights as a group. All individuals should have the same rights under our Constitution.

  11. Elaine M. says:

    bron,

    So…do you think it’s righteous or not to fight for the equal rights of blacks, minorities, women, gays, lesbians, etc.?

    Just because you look at all people as individuals and don’t discriminate against them doesn’t mean that all people do. If so, would we have had to enact civil rights legislation? Would people be fighting against legislation that discriminates against certain groups of people? Do you think gays and lesbians should have the right to marry? Do you think that women should have the right to vote?

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  13. Bender says:

    Elaine,

    Minorities do have equal rights. The civil rights movement was 50 years ago. The government must treat people of every race equally under the law. However, aside from businesses that offer services to the public, private citizens are free to discriminate for just about any reason as they should be in a free society.

    Not sure what you mean by “shoved down their throat” but atheists have equal rights as well under the law and no one on the right is trying to undo that. Thomas Jefferson, the creator of our government and more or less the Republican Party as well, is widely believed to have been an atheist.

    The women that want free contraception from “their” health care can get it 100% of the time as long as they are paying for “their” health care. When someone else is paying for “their” health care it seems rational that the person writing the check should have some say in what they are paying for. As with any job, if you don’t like the compensation package you can take your skills to another employer with a compensation package more favorable to you.

    Just because MSNBC and CNN say that conservatives hate gays doesn’t make it true. They also helped coin the phrase “Hands up don’t shoot” and said it a million times. Did you believe that too?

    Why is government involved in marriage at all?

  14. Elaine M. says:

    Georgia Conscience Clause: Walmart Pharmacist Refuses to Fill Prescription for Woman Who Suffered a Miscarriage
    Posted on April 14, 2015 by Elaine Magliaro
    https://flowersforsocrates.com/2015/04/14/georgia-conscience-clause-walmart-pharmacist-refuses-to-fill-prescription-for-woman-who-suffered-a-miscarriage/

  15. “Why is government involved in marriage at all?”

    Because it is a specialized form of contract.

  16. Elaine M. says:

    Bender said:

    “The women that want free contraception from “their” health care can get it 100% of the time as long as they are paying for “their” health care. When someone else is paying for “their” health care it seems rational that the person writing the check should have some say in what they are paying for. As with any job, if you don’t like the compensation package you can take your skills to another employer with a compensation package more favorable to you.”

    *****

    Most workers DO contribute to their healthcare coverage. I had to kick in 25% of my premium. It came directly out of my paycheck. My employer did not pay for 100% of my healthcare insurance. I helped to pay for ALL of the medical prescriptions that I got over the years.

    Do you think an employer who is a Jehovah’s Witness should be required to pay for an employee’s blood transfusion(s).

  17. bron98 says:

    Elaine:

    “Do you think an employer who is a Jehovah’s Witness should be required to pay for an employee’s blood transfusion(s).”

    that is an interesting point.

  18. Should people without children pay for public education?

    That was a rhetorical question. Just ask Jefferson. Some things we do for the common good are not directly beneficial to specific individuals, but that does not mean they do not benefit society as a whole or that we should not do them.

  19. po says:

    Or an atheist to support churches through their tax exempt status…
    Or pacifists paying for war…
    Once we start exempting some for religious or moral concerns, there just cannot be a whole any longer.

  20. pete says:

    Or american muslims supporting the Israeli military.
    Or white supremists (sp?) supremacists sending aid to Africa.

    If your answer is no aid to anywhere just remember viruses don’t respect borders.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I’m shocked that this blog neglects to reference the number of police officers murdered by gunfire each year. Last year: 47. To date this year: 8. Most recent: May 2, Queen Village, Queens, New York.

    While I’m an infrequent visitor, and do appreciate some of the articles here, you’d lend a bit more credibility to this site if you provided stories about police officers who go out every day, put their lives in jeopardy so that we can all lead safer lives. Just sayin’…

    http://nypost.com/2015/05/07/a-cops-life-and-death-the-bravery-of-brian-moore/

  22. Elaine M. says:

    Anonymous,

    I think most people know/are aware that police officers put their lives on the line…and have to deal with some pretty bad characters in their line of duty. What many people–including myself–didn’t know/weren’t aware of is how much racism exists in some police departments/communities. We have to address the issue that black men/black people are often treated differently than white men/white people by police in some places. I think it’s important to call attention to the problem.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Elaine,

    I don’t dispute that there exists racism in our society, at every facet in our society.

    I find it unsurprising that it exists within police forces. I grew up next door to a local police chief and a state trooper police detective. They were both bigots.

    I would find it equally unsurprising that racism exists in urban poor communities as well. (Don’t kid yourself into thinking that poor communities are without racism, misogyny and bigotry.)

    I think most people don’t give much thought about police officers’ safety until we hear about their deaths that come about in the line of duty. Equally, I don’t think people give much thought to racism, poverty or hunger until it touches their lives in some way. Or, it blips across media headlines and social media fora. Sigh. “Land of snap decisions, Land of short attention spans, Nothing is savored, Long enough to really understand” J. Mitchell

    I suppose what I’d like to see more on this site is other stories, which highlight police and community partnerships within communities that bridge racism, misogyny and bigotry. I’ll keeping searching.

  24. Elaine M. says:

    Anonymous,

    Thanks for the link. Here’s an interesting story that I heard about on the radio yesterday when I was driving in my car. It has to do with a new drug program being implemented by the police chief in Gloucester, Massachusetts:

    Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello: Addicts who surrender drugs and ask for help won’t be charged, they’ll be helped
    http://www.masslive.com/news/boston/index.ssf/2015/05/gloucester_police_chief_leonar.html

    Excerpt:
    GLOUCESTER — In a sweeping policy change on how the Gloucester Police Department will handle certain drug crimes, Chief Leonard Campanello says addicts who surrender their illegal drugs and ask for help will be offered treatment options instead of handcuffs.

    Campanello, who made the announcement during a weekend forum in Gloucester, is expected to travel to Washington, D.C., next week to meet with members of the state’s congressional delegation, including U.S. Rep. Seth W. Moulton, D-Salem, and the state’s two Democratic senators, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey.

    At a citywide forum Saturday, Campanello announced major changes in how police in this small Essex County city will handle the opioid and drug epidemic gripping Massachusetts and the rest of the country.

    “We are poised to make revolutionary changes in the way we treat this disease,” he told residents at the forum.

    Any addict who walks into the Gloucester Police Department with drugs and the remainder of their drug equipment – needles, pipes or other paraphernalia – and asks for help will not be criminally charged, Campanello said. Instead, they will be steered into a treatment program to help them detox and recover.

    “We will assign them an ‘angel’ who will be their guide through the process,” Campanello said. “Not in hours or days, but on the spot.”

    Former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke raised eyebrows back in 1988 when he called for ”a measured and carefully implemented program of drug decriminalization,” similar to the repeal of Prohibition, arguing that drug prohibition increases crime and doesn’t prevent addiction.

    But Schmoke faced opposition not only from the Reagan White House, with its “Just Say No” to drugs campaign – a slogan created and championed by First Lady Nancy Reagan – but also from his own Democratic Party. At the time, New York Mayor Ed Koch called Schmoke ”a brilliant spokesman for a bad idea.”

    However, Campanello’s reality-based treatment argument may gain more traction than Schmoke’s equally real, but arguably more controversial legalization argument.

    Campanello says he already has support from the Lahey Hospital and Medical Center (the Lahey Clinic) and its affiliate, Gloucester’s Addison Gilbert Hospital, which have agreed to fast track addicts by assessing their needs so proper care can be administered quickly.

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