The neoliberal playbook is not only the game plan in Chicago and New Orleans… Baltimore and many other communities are facing the same private-control ideology swathed in a false cloak of civil rights.
Freddie Gray is now a household name. Gray died on April 19, 2015 at the hands of the police, which set off a firestorm of protests in Baltimore. Protests were focused on ensuring that the police officers involved in his case were brought to justice, but were also a direct response to the conditions under which Gray lived.
Freddie Gray’s life was spent in Sandtown-Winchester, a West Baltimore neighborhood that has the highest incarceration rate in the state of Maryland. Over 47% of its children live below the poverty line. The unemployment rate is 22.7%. It is a neighborhood that has faced economic devastation. Freddie Gray’s death was horrific and unjust, but also revealed a much larger problem than just police brutality. It exposed a system of structural inequality so deep that it will not go away with the imprisonment of the police officers charged in Gray’s case.
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