Baltimore Anniversary:

Two Lessons Courtesy of a Pig System

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


freddie gray
Freddie Gray

Just over one year ago, a gang of Baltimore pigs chased down 25-year-old Freddie Gray for the crime of “making eye contact”—they beat him down, twisted him up like a pretzel, cuffed him and put him, unbelted, in the back of a police van as they lurched around town in one of the “rough rides” for which they are justly hated... and they kept it up until his spinal cord was snapped and he was dying.

After Freddie’s funeral the youth of Baltimore rose up—RIGHTEOUSLY—to demand an end to this police murder and terror, deeply rocking this system and raising big questions about its treatment of Black people and the legitimacy of its armed enforcers.

Shaken and rocked back on their heels, the system’s political leaders and media went into high gear. They preached “reconciliation,” commissioned reports and investigations and paraded “progressive” candidates for office. They even mounted a half-assed and so-far botched prosecution of some of the cops involved in murdering Freddie. Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby claimed “I hear you; I understand you,” as she filed indictments against the cops. Then they surreptitiously fomented or “allowed to happen” a wave of crime and violence among the people to create confusion and demoralization.

Flash forward one year

Dedric Colvin
Dedric Colvin

On the anniversary of Freddie Gray’s funeral, two plainclothes Baltimore cops rolled up on 14-year-old Dedric Colvin, who was playing with a toy gun. Whether because he was sensibly scared of cops or just thought he was being challenged by two armed men, Dedric took off running. The cops gave chase. A witness said Dedric turned to the cops saying “It’s not real. It’s not real.” Then the cops shot Dedric, in the shoulder and the leg.

Dedric’s mom rushed to the scene, pleading with the cops to tell her “Is my son alive?” When they didn’t answer she tried to leave to call the hospital—the cops handcuffed her and put her in their car! They took her to the station, interrogated her some more, put her in a cell while she pleaded to be taken to the hospital; it was two hours before she saw her son!

Dedric’s blood didn’t have time to dry before Police Commissioner Kevin Davis justified the shooting, saying he had “no reason to believe that these officers acted inappropriately whatsoever...” and “That’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s what cops do” when going after anyone they suspect may be armed. [Emphasis added.] Straight-up, the top cop in the city said that shooting an unarmed and innocent Black youth is “what we’re supposed to do”!

Two major lessons to draw from these two outrages—the murder of Freddie Gray and the shooting of Dedric Colvin

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

First, they show that the system’s promises mean nothing. Until this system is overthrown through revolution and until these murderous pigs, the powers that control them, and the economic system that all this serves have all the power ripped from their hands, they are going to go right on doing this same savage shit.

Second, they show that the brave actions of those rebel youth who rose up after Freddie’s funeral—and rebels like them around the U.S.—were totally justified. In fact we need more resistance and rebellion—built and waged as part of building up strength to overthrow this system.



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