'Jersey Boys," fun in Fells Point, street art in Little Italy and lots of free stuff -- this week in Baltimore arts

Baltimore Sun editorials on Freddie Gray

  • The price of freedom

    The price of freedom

    The officers cleared in connection with the death of Freddie Gray are absolutely right to consider the thousands of dollars they owe bail bondsmen to satisfy the conditions of their pre-trial release an ongoing injustice. Likewise, those concerned about unequal treatment for the officers by the...

  • Opinion: Mosby was right to file charges, right to drop them

    Opinion: Mosby was right to file charges, right to drop them

    State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s decision to pursue charges against the officers involved in Freddie Gray’s arrest was the right one. His treatment and the circumstances surrounding his fatal injury while in custody raised serious questions about the legal standards to which we hold police, and...

  • Another acquittal, but we can still do justice to Freddie Gray

    Another acquittal, but we can still do justice to Freddie Gray

    Judge Barry Williams' finding that Lt. Brian Rice was not guilty on all the charges he faced in connection with the death of Freddie Gray can hardly count as a surprise. The evidence presented in his trial was virtually identical to the evidence presented in the cases against officers Edward Nero...

  • Goodson judgment should force Mosby to reconsider charges

    Goodson judgment should force Mosby to reconsider charges

    The acquittal of Officer Caesar Goodson on all counts in the death of Freddie Gray should prompt State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby to re-evaluate whether or how to pursue the cases against the four remaining officers charged in the case. Officer Goodson, as the driver of the van in which Gray was...

  • The long road to justice for Freddie Gray

    The long road to justice for Freddie Gray

    As Baltimoreans consider how to react to the not-guilty verdict against Officer Edward Nero on charges related to his involvement in Freddie Gray's arrest, it's worth remembering what the Gray family has said at every step of the way since Mr. Nero and five of his colleagues were indicted a year...

  • A year after the unrest, seeds of hope

    A year after the unrest, seeds of hope

    This week, as the first anniversary of the rioting in Baltimore approached, residents of Sandtown-Winchester were clearing brush and planting flowers in the tiny sidewalk garden that frames the mural commemorating Freddie Gray's death. Laboring alongside them was a group of students from Loyola...

  • Investing in Baltimore

    Investing in Baltimore

    Today's announcement by a consortium of Baltimore businesses and institutions of their intent to beef up investments in the community through more inclusive contracting and hiring practices comes as a much-needed shot in the arm for a city still recovering from last year's unrest. No one expects...

  • Helping Baltimore

    Helping Baltimore

    If ever there was a time when the rest of the state would step up to do something about the chronic social and economic problems that plague inner city Baltimore, you'd think this would be it. The 2016 General Assembly session will adjourn just two weeks shy of the anniversary of the riots that...

  • Here's why Baltimore County should care about concentrated poverty

    Here's why Baltimore County should care about concentrated poverty

    The settlement Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced today with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development represents an unprecedented acknowledgment by the county government that it must play a role in ending the racial and economic segregation that have for a century...

  • Lessons from Ferguson

    Lessons from Ferguson

    There never was much doubt the federal government would sue the city of Ferguson, Mo., if it couldn't reach an agreement with the St. Louis suburb to reform its criminal justice system. The city came under intense scrutiny by the Justice Department in 2014 after the fatal shooting of an unarmed...

  • Holding officers accountable

    The 22 proposed reforms unveiled this week by a state task force charged with boosting police accountability and transparency in Maryland constitute an important first step toward granting more rights to victims of police brutality and other misconduct. Among the panel's recommendations are proposals...

  • Goodson trial: Postponement was the only option

    Goodson trial: Postponement was the only option

    We don't yet know what the effect will be of the decision by a Maryland appeals court to postpone the trial of the officer who drove the police van in which Freddie Gray was fatally injured. But we do know there was no other good option. At issue is whether one of the six officers charged in Gray's...

  • Kamenetz right on riot reimbursement

    Kamenetz right on riot reimbursement

    The budget for the Baltimore County Police Department last fiscal year was $205,161,521. The Fire Department's budget was $93,517,086. That means that the $257,000 the county spent to help restore order in Baltimore City during April's riots represents about 0.09 percent of its public safety budget...

  • Three lessons of the Porter trial

    Three lessons of the Porter trial

    The trial of William Porter didn't give Baltimore the clear message many were hoping for. Because it ended in a hung jury, we are still waiting for some indication of whether and how the death of Freddie Gray will lead to criminal penalties for any of the officers involved. Nonetheless, the experience...

  • Mistrial for William Porter, clear verdict on the Baltimore Police Department

    Mistrial for William Porter, clear verdict on the Baltimore Police Department

    Whether inaction by Baltimore Police Officer William Porter during the arrest of Freddie Gray amounted to a crime is a difficult question, and we were not surprised to see the jury in his trial struggle with it. Judge Barry Williams' decision to declare a mistrial after jurors failed to come to...

  • The verdict awaits

    The verdict awaits

    Last April, Baltimore caught fire over Freddie Gray but there was a lot more to the ensuing conflagration than the death of one man. From the anger over police brutality here and elsewhere to the desperate conditions in Baltimore's most economically-depressed neighborhoods and some poor decision-making...

  • Rebuilding Baltimore, brick by brick

    Rebuilding Baltimore, brick by brick

    Rarely do people get misty-eyed about the opening of a chain drug store, if only because such outlets are as common in the 21st century American tableau as fast-food restaurants and convenience stores, cookie-cutter emporiums of the cheap and the ordinary. But the reopening of the Rite Aid on Martin...

  • Baltimore police, seat belts and Freddie Gray

    Baltimore police, seat belts and Freddie Gray

    When the news first broke that the officers who transported Freddie Gray from the site of his arrest to the Western District station had failed to secure him in the police van in spite of a department policy requiring it, the head of the city's police union had a ready excuse. Gene Ryan, president...

  • A six-point plan for Baltimore police reform

    A six-point plan for Baltimore police reform

    This week, video surfaced that appeared to show a Baltimore police officer spitting on a suspect who had been arrested and was lying prone on the ground. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called it "disgusting" and said the officer, a 34-year veteran of the force, should resign. Interim Police Commissioner...

  • Finding a fair jury for Freddie Gray

    Finding a fair jury for Freddie Gray

    Each time the attorneys for the six officers indicted in connection with the death of Freddie Gray have raised questions about their ability to get a fair trial in Baltimore, Judge Barry Williams has demurred, saying the jury selection process will serve to determine whether its possible to assemble...

  • Mass shootings in our midst

    Mass shootings in our midst

    Last Thursday, a gunman opened fire on students and an instructor at a community college, seemingly indiscriminately, causing mass casualties. On Friday, witnesses reported a burst of gunfire outside a strip mall. When the dust settled, five people had been shot, including a 71-year-old man. Another...

  • Post-Freddie Gray, two poles of Baltimore leadership

    Post-Freddie Gray, two poles of Baltimore leadership

    The return of the Freddie Gray case to center stage in Baltimore yesterday offered us personifications of the two poles of our city's experience of the last few months. In former Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, who resurfaced for a panel discussion two months after he was fired, we got a reminder...

  • Shattered lives

    Shattered lives

    The headline over Sunday's report on Baltimore's spike in homicides during the month of July read "45 murders in 31 days." It was a record readers of The Sun were already aware of, but we suspect too many of us viewed it with trepidation but not enough empathy. After so many years of violence,...

  • Freddie Gray case: Order in the court

    Freddie Gray case: Order in the court

    For the first several days after Freddie Gray's death in April, thousands of Baltimoreans peacefully took to the streets to protest his treatment by police and to demand broader changes in neighborhoods like the one where he lived. Whatever it was that led to the rioting that followed — outside...

  • Racial profiling and Freddie Gray

    Racial profiling and Freddie Gray

    Attorney General Brian E. Frosh is poised to take a commendable step today in the effort to restore trust between the police and minority communities by issuing a set of guidelines designed to stop officers from using race, ethnicity or other characteristics as a factor in routine law enforcement....

  • Redacting the riots

    Redacting the riots

    The emails Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's administration released this week in response to a Sun Public Information Act request underscore the chaos and confusion city officials experienced as they grappled to deal with the riots that erupted on the day of Freddie Gray's funeral. The real question...

  • Reviewing the riots

    Reviewing the riots

    Maryland's National Guard is reviewing its response to the unrest that followed Freddie Gray's funeral, and its leaders have already briefed the commanders of every other state and territorial guard in the nation on their experience. Maryland Transit Administration Police officials say they are...

  • Firing Anthony Batts

    Firing Anthony Batts

    Baltimore's Police Department has been in turmoil for weeks. The mayhem before and after Freddie Gray's funeral plunged the city into chaos as images of police standing like targets for rioters' rocks and bricks were beamed around the world. Shootings and killings have spiked to levels not seen...

  • Space to destroy

    Space to destroy

    What is almost certainly the most widely repeated and hotly debated utterance of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's career takes center stage in the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police's report on how officers were equipped and deployed during the rioting that preceded and followed Freddie Gray's...

  • 'Hold the line'

    'Hold the line'

    One of the lasting images of Baltimore's unrest on the day of Freddie Gray's funeral was the lines of police officers standing shoulder to shoulder as rioters hurled at them rocks, bricks, bottles and whatever else was at hand. Even as police went down with injuries, some substantial, their fellow...

  • Do your job, too, Madam Mayor

    Do your job, too, Madam Mayor

    Before heading off to San Francisco to be installed as president of the National Conference of Mayors, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake expressed some urgency about the simultaneous massive increase in violence and drastic drop in arrests in Baltimore since the funeral of Freddie Gray six weeks ago. She...

  • Are Baltimore's police doing their jobs?

    Are Baltimore's police doing their jobs?

    Editor's note: Subsequent to this editorial's publication, a spokeswoman for State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby contacted The Sun to contradict an assertion by Fraternal Order of Police President Gene Ryan, first made on June 10 and repeated here, that Ms. Mosby had instructed officers that they could...

  • A memorial for Freddie Gray

    A memorial for Freddie Gray

    When I was The Sun's art critic, I was often surprised to come upon what turned out to be wonderful artworks in the most unlikely places. They were tucked away in old bus terminals and factories that had been shut for decades or in the sub-basements of downtown office buildings and in suburban...

  • Mosby's memo

    Mosby's memo

    It is certainly ironic that a request from State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby for stepped-up drug enforcement in a part of West Baltimore may have helped lead to the sequence of events that left 25-year-old Freddie Gray dead and six police officers charged by Ms. Mosby with a range of offenses up to...

  • No disclosure, no justice

    No disclosure, no justice

    Surely if there is one lesson about police and community relations that should by now be deeply embedded in the brains of Baltimore's elected officials, it's the need for transparency and disclosure. Before Freddie Gray ever entered the national spotlight, there was growing public concern over...

  • Baltimore's deadly May

    Baltimore's deadly May

    Baltimore just endured what appears to be its highest homicide rate for a single month since it started keeping track of killings. The 43 murders in May were the most of any month since 1972, and on a per capita basis they outstrip that grim record by far. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake took note...

  • Baltimore needs an independent investigation into the handling of the riots

    Baltimore needs an independent investigation into the handling of the riots

    Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts took the unusual step Thursday of personally apologizing to the officers under his command for decisions he made that put them in harm's way during the unrest following the death of Freddie Gray. Despite the existence of an audiotape of the remarks,...

  • Keep Freddie Gray trials in Baltimore

    Keep Freddie Gray trials in Baltimore

    Attorneys for the six Baltimore officers implicated in the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody have asked a judge to move their trials outside Baltimore City. That was only to be expected given the publicity surrounding the case and the seriousness of the charges. The attorneys claim...

  • Silencing the victim

    Silencing the victim

    Here is the actual state of affairs when it comes to police-community relations in Baltimore: The death of Freddie Gray brought to the surface years of pent-up frustrations by many city residents about how they are treated by Baltimore police officers, resulting in weeks of protests and two nights...

  • Can Batts get the job done?

    Can Batts get the job done?

    Police Commissioner Anthony Batts says violence is out of control in the Western District in part because his officers find themselves surrounded by people with video cameras every time they show up to do even the most routine police work. To give him some credit for his first significant public...

  • Who will stand up to the violence?

    Who will stand up to the violence?

    Baltimore's Western Police District, the part of town where 25-year-old Freddie Gray was fatally injured following his arrest in April and where the subsequent protests and violence were centered, has seen nearly as many murders so far this year as it did in all of 2014. Of the 95 homicides so...

  • Police won't miss grenade launchers

    Police won't miss grenade launchers

    Baltimore's recent unrest wasn't quelled by trotting out 50-caliber machine guns. It didn't involve grenade launchers of any kind, nor was peace restored by a phalanx of police armored vehicles in the middle of Sandtown-Winchester. Ultimately, the week-long public disturbance was curtailed by following...

  • Rawlings-Blake gets defensive

    Rawlings-Blake gets defensive

    "Nobody died during the riots," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake observed Tuesday in defending her administration's response to the widespread violence and looting in the wake of Freddie Gray's death, mayhem that left scores of police officers and civilians injured, buildings burned, businesses looted...

  • Big business and the inner city

    Big business and the inner city

    On Monday night, as City Council members pressed Baltimore officials on the costs of the recent rioting that damaged 350 businesses and cost the city untold amounts in expenses for police, fire fighters and clean-up crews, the region's business leaders were mingling over cocktails at the Greater...

  • Baltimore's dispirited police

    Baltimore's dispirited police

    Baltimore is experiencing a spike in violent crime — not its first and most likely not its last. During the past two weeks, we have seen 50 shootings and 18 homicides, including 10 shootings in a single day — twice. As is often the case when Baltimore is hit by such an outbreak, people are looking...

  • Do Baltimore police need empathy boot camp?

    Do Baltimore police need empathy boot camp?

    In Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's telling of the fatal arrest of Freddie Gray, one thing in particular stands out: the complete lack of empathy and compassion allegedly shown Gray by any of the six officers charged in his death, including one woman who was specifically sent to check...

  • Police brutality: Not just a Baltimore problem

    Police brutality: Not just a Baltimore problem

    On Tuesday, House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller announced the formation of a task force of lawmakers assigned to study issues related to public safety and police practices to "strengthen the trust and mutual respect that must exist between the law enforcement...

  • What was Rawlings-Blake waiting for?

    What was Rawlings-Blake waiting for?

    Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake asked the Department of Justice to conduct a full-scale civil rights investigation of Baltimore's police department, the kind of thorough probe that, in other cities, has led to court-mandated reforms. What took her so long? The need for something more than...

  • The road through Baltimore

    The road through Baltimore

    In the growing field of presidential contenders, Martin O'Malley has been treated often as a punch line — even President Barack Obama recently got into the act joking that the former Maryland governor could go undetected at his own fundraiser. But Mr. O'Malley said something Sunday that ought to...

  • Is Baltimore back to normal?

    Is Baltimore back to normal?

    Since State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced charges against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray Friday, there has been a palpable sense of relief in Baltimore. Large demonstrations planned for Friday and Saturday, which initially raised fears of a repeat of the violence and looting...

  • Policing Baltimore's police

    Policing Baltimore's police

    The death of Freddie Gray and the riots that followed have brought Baltimore's problems to the forefront of national, even international, attention. The drug addiction, poverty, failing schools, health disparities, deteriorating housing, broken families and unemployment that plague neighborhoods...

  • A step toward justice for Freddie Gray

    A step toward justice for Freddie Gray

    State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby delivered a stinging indictment of the six officers involved in the events leading to Freddie Gray's death, revealing new allegations about his arrest and ride in the back of a police van that depict utterly inhumane treatment of the young man. Based on her account,...

  • Baltimore's tipping point

    Baltimore's tipping point

    Looking back over the protests of the last week, both peaceful and violent, it is clear Baltimore has reached a crossroads. The unrest here has been the focus of intense media scrutiny, and what happens next may well determine whether the world comes to view Baltimore as a city that is succeeding...

  • The problem with 'thugs'

    The problem with 'thugs'

    At first, the word "thug" was so consistently used by city, state and even national leaders to describe the Baltimore rioters — many of them teen-agers — that it seemed a deliberate, coordinated effort to send a message. Gov. Larry Hogan, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and City Council President...

  • Who's in charge?

    Who's in charge?

    Baltimoreans woke this morning saddened and unsettled by the wanton destruction that engulfed much of the city the night before. Just hours after 25-year-old Freddie Gray was laid to rest amid calls for peaceful protest against the treatment of the city's poor and minority residents by police,...

  • Reclaim Freddie Gray

    Reclaim Freddie Gray

    Our hearts go out to the family of Freddie Gray, who not only had to bury a loved one today but also to cope with the violence that raged across the streets of West Baltimore in the hours that followed his funeral. The scenes that played out on the streets — teens throwing rocks and bricks, setting...

  • Why Freddie Gray ran

    Why Freddie Gray ran

    We don't need four investigations to answer what may be the most consequential questions posed by the events leading up to Freddie Gray's death: Why did police approach him on April 12, why did he run, and why did they chase him? The outcome of that encounter was a tragic injustice of the sort...

  • No 'lynch mobs' here

    No 'lynch mobs' here

    Given the circumstances of Freddie Gray's death, it's hardly a surprise that many in this city are justifiably concerned about the behavior of the Baltimore Police Department and the six officers who had contact with the 25-year-old when he was arrested and placed in custody and who have since...

  • Transparency and the death of Freddie Gray

    Transparency and the death of Freddie Gray

    The death on Sunday of Freddie Gray, a Baltimore man severely injured under unexplained circumstances when he was taken into custody by Baltimore police last week, has sparked angry protests by city residents and promises by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony Batts to...

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