Baltimore: What Hasn’t Changed

Amid a national epidemic of violence involving police officers and unarmed young black men, the city of Baltimore’s swift prosecution of six police in the alleged murder of Freddie Gray has been seen as a glimmer of hope. Following controversial grand jury decisions not to indict police in similar cases in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York, as well as a prosecutor’s decision not to pursue charges in Madison, Wisconsin, trust in the criminal justice system among African Americans seemed to have reached new lows. Recent polls suggest as many as 8 in 10 believe that police have different standards based on race; nearly 7 in 10 hold similar beliefs about the courts. By contrast, many have perceived the dramatic decision by Baltimore chief prosecutor Marilyn Mosby to charge six officers in Gray’s death—charges since upheld by a grand jury—as a new resolve to restore faith in the law.

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