Pig Goes Free in Freddie Gray Murder
Outrageous Verdict... Ominous Move

May 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


On Monday, May 23, a judge found Baltimore cop Edward Nero not guilty on all counts for his role in the murder of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man.

Mural at the spot where police  grabbed and arrested Freddie Gray.Mural at the spot where police grabbed and arrested Freddie Gray. AP photo.

This is obscene. And it is an ominous step in letting all the police who murdered Freddie get off scot-free. The verdict sets things up in a very dangerous way for the upcoming trial of Caesar R. Goodson Jr. Goodson is the only pig charged with murder (second-degree murder) in the death of Freddie Gray. Goodson is charged with explicitly denying Freddie’s desperate demands for what might have been life-saving medical care. And even as Freddie was in extreme pain and near death, Goodson continued the “rough ride” torture. Goodson’s trial is set for June 6.

Freddie Gray Was Murdered by Police

It was early on a Sunday morning—April 12, 2015—when six Baltimore police, working together, murdered Freddie Gray. According to the official story, Freddie was guilty of the “crime” of being eyeballed by a pig and making a perfectly rational decision to try to run. In less than a minute, Nero and his partner chased Freddie down and had him on the ground. They brutalized him to the point that a neighbor described Freddie as folded up “like origami.” Then they threw Freddie’s battered body into the back of a police van and took him on what Baltimore pigs call a “rough ride,” during which he was intentionally slammed into the walls of the van for 45 minutes. At the end of all this torture, Freddie’s spine was 80 percent fractured and his voice box crushed. A week later he died.

So far, there have been two trials of the pigs involved. The first, of William G. Porter, ended in a hung jury. And now Nero: not guilty on all counts.

Nero is guilty as hell. A video taken by Kevin Moore—a neighbor—shows Nero helping to drag Freddie Gray’s battered and tortured body toward a police van. Freddie’s legs trailed behind him, and he screamed in pain. Nero was in on throwing Freddie Gray into the back of a police van and not seat belting him, which every Black person in Baltimore and every cop knows means a “rough ride.” Later, Nero and his partner pulled the brutalized Freddie Gray from the van and placed him in leg restraints before they loaded him head-first onto the floor of the van—like he was a dog, and not a human being.

After all that, how could a judge find Nero not guilty? Here we are not going to analyze all the ways in which Nero’s “trial” was a sick travesty of justice, but we will pose this: What would it mean for a judge to find a cop guilty of unjustly chasing down and arresting a Black man for no reason—setting in motion events that led to that man’s murder at the hands of police?

Baltimore defense attorney Warren Brown, who observed the trial, pointed to the answer when he told the New York Times, “If you’re going to go back and charge every police officer whose arrest was determined to be illegal with assault, or every search that’s deemed to be absent probable cause, you’re going to indict the entire police force.”

His comment speaks volumes to the actual nature of the police: every one is involved in illegal arrests and searches that lead to brutality and even death.

In the ’Hood: Seething Outrage

Reaction to the Nero verdict in Gilmor Homes was one of bitter anger and outrage. On the afternoon following Nero’s acquittal, a woman outside her apartment in Gilmor Homes, who knew Freddie Gray all his life, told Revolution she had heard Freddie’s horrible screams from her apartment, almost a block away. His screams still haunt her.

And that poses a question to anyone who has even begun to—as Bob Avakian puts it, “fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this.” That question is: How can anyone not make a connection to the terror inflicted for decades on ex-slaves in the Jim Crow South by the Klan and lynch mobs, who would kill a young Black man for looking the wrong way at a white person... or for nothing at all. All with the intent that the victim’s screams of pain and terror would send a message to an entire people.

The Only Reason ANY of These Pigs Are on Trial Is Cuz People Rose Up

The murder of Freddie Gray would have been just another police murder in America. But, first of all, Kevin Moore’s video went viral. And then—most decisive—youths in Baltimore rose up in determined rebellion on April 27, 2015, clashing with police long into the night. Youths who under other circumstances might have been fighting, even killing each other, came together to fight the power. Their determination, and the fact that they defended themselves when police tried to suppress their just outrage, was the single most decisive reason the murderers of Freddie Gray are even on trial in the first place. For that, President Barack Obama called them “criminals and thugs.”

Two days later, thousands of students from colleges and universities in and around Baltimore, as well as from some highs schools, rallied and marched through the center of Baltimore to demand justice for Freddie Gray. Outrage spread nationwide, among people of all walks of life. And protests demanding justice for Freddie Gray broke out around the country.

The authorities in Baltimore virtually admitted that it was the resistance of the people that forced their hand in bringing criminal charges against pigs who were carrying out business as usual in the murder of Freddie Gray. Two days after the uprising, and in the wake of mass protest, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced, “To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America. I heard your call for ‘no justice, no peace.’” Translation: The people in the ruling class for whom I am speaking are quite worried that this rebellion may intensify and spread, so I’ve been told to give you a temporary concession while we prepare to take it back.

The Empire Strikes Back—But That Cannot Stand

From the moment the indictments came down, the empire struck back—in different ways trying to clear the ground to let the pigs who murdered Freddie Gray walk. Ruling class media “legal analysts”—who never saw a Black person who wasn’t guilty as charged—turned reality upside down and inside out, claiming the murdering police were “over charged” or not guilty at all.

Immediately after the indictments, police—who essentially “regulate” drug trafficking and crime—orchestrated a spike in violent crime in poor and Black neighborhoods in Baltimore.

And police and their backers whined that they were “under siege” and “afraid of going to jail for doing their jobs properly” because of the indictments. (Quotes are from the head of the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police, but the same basic message was pumped out all over the ruling class media by politicians and “crime experts.”)

What is that other than basically saying police fear being exposed or arrested if they brutalize or murder people on video? And what is that but an admission that wanton murder and terror is an essential part of “doing their jobs properly”? You can’t manage crime without that? Then get the fuck out of the way and take the whole system you enforce so sadistically with you!

* * *

Here we are over a year after the world saw Freddie Gray publicly lynched by police, and so far, no justice. Only a hung jury, and now the Nero acquittal. This has all had the effect of endorsing the murder of Freddie Gray.

The authorities are, step by step, moving to exonerate every one of the pigs who killed Freddie Gray. The next big trial—the one that everyone is focused on—looms on June 6. Caesar R. Goodson Jr. is the one and only cop charged with anything close to murder—the charge being “second-degree depraved-heart murder.” If Goodson is not convicted, it would be a bright, flashing green light to pigs everywhere that it is open season on Black people in America—more than ever.

This cannot go on. That cannot go down.




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