On April 12, Baltimore police arrested Freddie Gray. His hands were cuffed, his legs were shackled, and he was placed into the back of a police van with no safety restraint or seat belt. When Gray arrived at a nearby city jail his spine was broken. He died from his injuries a week later.
Design by Jennifer Luxton. Photo by Fibonacci Blue / Flickr
Since Gray’s death thousands of people in Baltimore have filled the streets in protest. Maryland’s governor declared a state of emergency, issued a city-wide curfew, and called in the National Guard. Meanwhile, the #BaltimoreUprising movement has dominated Twitter feeds, front pages, and evening news reports.
Activists point out that this movement is about much more than any single incident. Sandtown-Winchester, Gray’s neighborhood on the west side of Baltimore, is a community whose residents live with police violence and institutional racism every day.
Design by Jennifer Luxton. Photo by Dorret / Flickr.
Yes, the suspicious circumstances surrounding Gray’s death triggered these protests. But, the people of #BaltimoreUprising want more than just the police officers involved be held accountable for Gray’s death. They are demanding a change to the system that caused it.
Design by Jennifer Luxton. Photo by Arash Azizzada.
Araz Hachadourian is a former online editorial intern at YES!
Jennifer Luxton is an illustrator and page designer at the Seattle Times and the former lead graphic designer at YES!