We Should Ask Questions Before Resorting to Violence
By Briana DelBuono
The Baltimore Riots, which followed the death of Freddie Gray, caused absolute chaos in the city of Baltimore, Maryland for over a week.
Six police officers were arrested with regards to the case and some charges included second-degree murder.
Though the death of Gray should never have happened, Gray had apparently committed quite a few crimes. In 2007, Gray was arrested for possession and distribution of narcotics such as cocaine and other illegal stimulants. He was involved in illegal gambling and the possession of stolen property.
Arrested as many as 18 times in the last couple of years, Gray was certainly no saint.
But did he deserve to get killed? Absolutely not. Do black lives matter? Absolutely. Do white lives matter? Yes. But shouldn’t the real question be: “Do all lives matter?”
Why must there be a process of singling races out from others? The idea of race seems irrelevant to the issue. Would cops have treated Gray differently if he were white? My guess is no. Police brutality is police brutality and it should be a huge issue regardless of anyone’s race or gender.
Freddie Gray was running from the cops. It is his or her duty as a public servant to run after someone who not only has a known reputation for being involved in crime, but also looks suspicious.
Cops found a switchblade on Gray that is allegedly illegal in the state of Maryland. Whether the police officers knew that he was carrying a knife before they chased him for two blocks is uncertain. But they sure found it when they apprehended him.
There were a lot of wrongs in the situation that should have been dealt with differently.
If they were, Gray would be alive today. Unfortunately, life does not allow for re-dos. What happened on April 12, 2015 cannot be undone, but should be an incident that we can all learn and benefit from.
It is a mistake to classify the Baltimore Riots as a “string of acts of violence.” The majority of the protesting on behalf of Freddie Gray was done quietly and respectfully. It is obvious that the concerned people of Baltimore just wanted justice to be served and when it was, did not shy away from celebrating.
In every tragic situation–especially ones where people believe action isn’t being taken at the rate they believe it should be–there is a certain amount of unrest and outrage that goes along with that. After Gray’s death, people of Baltimore were understandably seeking answers. They were frustrated, and they had a right to be.
It took the police department over a week to even make any arrests in regards to the case. Now, I think that process should have been sped up with the knowledge that people were up in arms over the situation.
But ultimately, however it may be construed, does that rioting solve nothing but get you in the “6’oclock news?”
The best way to get an important message across is to do it peacefully, which the people of Baltimore were doing until things spiraled out of hand.
Unfortunately, peaceful protesting doesn’t normally make the news. It isn’t exciting when people are holding up signs or walking in circles, holding up traffic?
But somehow, it is newsworthy when there are windows being smashed in and cars getting tipped over.
The entire idea of the Baltimore Riots was to give attention to a person who was wrongfully killed. The fact that it turned into so much more than that is baffling to me.
Maybe if the world spent a little less time trying to be politically correct, we could focus on doing the right thing and recognizing when a situation is going to go from bad to worse and preventing a harmful outcome from resulting from that situation.
Unfortunately, crimes like the killing of Gray will continue and there will be a considerable amount of unrest, especially when it involves police brutality.
No matter what race you are dealing with, all lives are precious and should be treated as such. Freddie Gray’s death was extremely tragic and should have been prevented but two wrongs do not make a right.
Fighting back against men and women in blue did not help to solve anything either.
It has been proven time and time again that violent rioting never seems to end well for any parties involved.
I think we could all benefit from stepping back from a situation before we react in a negative way, too.
I also think that the Baltimore police system should have a careful internal review by the end of this year.
I believe that if we are conscious enough of these wrongdoings, we can prevent other tradgedies from happening in the future and save lives.