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.
Jennifer Luxton is an illustrator and page designer at the Seattle Times and the former lead graphic designer at YES!
Araz Hachadourian is a former online editorial intern at YES!