Baltimore Residents Protest City’s Plan to Build Youth Jail Instead of Improving Education

Saturday downtown march Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun Dozens of protesters march up Calvert Street in support of amnesty for those arrested during the recent Freddie Gray protests
Saturday downtown march
Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun
Dozens of protesters march up Calvert Street in support of amnesty for those arrested during the recent Freddie Gray protests

Few dozen protesters marched across downtown Baltimore Saturday airing more than just concerns over the death of Freddie Gray.

The group, led by the Rev. Cortly “C.D.” Witherspoon, chanted the familiar “No justice, no peace” refrain that has echoed across the city since the 25-year-old Gray suffered a spinal injury while in police custody last month.

But they also spoke out against the state’s approval this week of a $30 million youth jail, called for amnesty for those still facing charges related to protests after Gray’s death, and demanded investment in the city’s poor neighborhoods.

“This is an uprising,” Witherspoon told the crowd. “People are standing up and for the first time are saying enough is enough and meaning it.”

As the march unfolded, police investigated a quadruple shooting on the city’s east side. Two men and two women were shot, less than a day after police reported two fatal shootings in the city — bringing the total to 35 homicides in the past month.

While protests last month led to confrontations with police and baseball fans at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, organizers opted to avoid the crowds and heavy police presence at the Preakness Stakes several miles away at Pimlico Race Course. Sharon Black, an organizer with the group Baltimore People’s Power Assembly, told protesters they planned to avoid such heated interactions until more of the protestors could undergo civil disobedience training.

The protest came as other community groups meanwhile worked to begin the healing process, reconciling residents of the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood where Gray was arrested with police. The West Baltimore Commission on Police Misconduct listened to testimony of those who say they’ve been mistreated by police, and organizers called it a step toward restoring trust between residents and police.

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Source: Baltimore Sun | 

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