Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Unrest

 Those of you not living in or around Baltimore Maryland may not be aware. Some time back a man named Freddie Grey was taken into police custody. Without going into all the details the end result was he died while in that custody. Immediately following that riots took place in Baltimore. Buildings were burned and looted. Property destroyed and many lives affected. The state's attorney charged four police officers with various crimes up to and including " depraved heart murder. " One officer has had his trial and was acquitted. Today the judge will announce his decision on the next one. This is the one that carries the most serious of charges. I was listening to the morning news and this bit of information stood out. The city says they are ready for anything, the National Guard has been placed on standby ! Yes, you read that correctly, the National Guard has been placed on standby. Let that sink in. 
 Following the rioting that took place after the death of Freddie Grey, a period referred to in the news as a period of " unrest " there was much talk of healing. There was marching in the streets and outreach to the community. The Black Lives Matter movement was represented. Businesses were rebuilt, with taxpayer funding, and the Grey family received " financial compensation " from the city. There was tension with the verdict from the first trial but nothing happened. Now, with this second verdict being announced today we have placed the National Guard on standby ! What I want to know is how did we reach this point ? A point were the authorities have to be concerned that the administering of justice may cause riots. If the verdict doesn't go the way certain groups demand it should, well, we might need the National Guard.
 I don't write this to diminish the severity of the event that precipitated this. That anyone should die while in Police custody warrants the strictest of scrutiny. This case has certainly received that. I do not believe that anyone could dispute that. All the facts are known and fully documented. The only issue, in my opinion, is that the facts support that 1. Mr. Grey passed away while in Police custody. 2. He died as a result of injury. 3. It can not be established that the Police were responsible for that injury. Those facts are not what a percentage of the population want. That is why we have the National Guard on standby.
 What concerns me in this situation is the setting of precedent. Is this to become a pattern ? Stage a riot, destroy your neighborhood and blame someone else. The city in response calls that unlawfulness " unrest " and subsequently rebuilds the neighborhood , at taxpayer expense, taxpayers that did not participate in the " unrest " and offer long term loans and tax benefits. If the verdict isn't what they want today will the Guard have to be called out ? Authorities certainly believe that is a possibility. A repeat of the " unrest ? " If that happens what will be the end result ? More rebuilding, more " reward " for " unrest ? " Justice by intimidation ? Is that what we want ? The real question is, what can be done ?
 The stability of the Republic is being challenged here today. I know it isn't the first time but this one feels a little different. If I lived in the city, I'd leave for a day or two. Perpetrators will parade as victims. Just how should the City respond ? The previous unrest was met with the Mayor saying " give them room " and ordering the Police to " stand-down. " The states attorney levied a bevy of charges against the Police ! A  perfunctory attempt was made to bring those that destroyed property and committed acts of arson to justice. Some were charged but I have heard of no verdicts. At least none were met the necessity of calling out the guard. I'm not certain how this will turn out but I hope for the best, for everyone. These are tumultuous times.