Carde Cornish, West Baltimore resident, talks about the news media at Pennsylvania & North Avenue. (Tim Prudente, Baltimore Sun video)

On the corner of Pennsylvania and North Avenues Thursday evening, protesters from Peoples Power Assembly chanted "No justice, no peace."

A small group of protesters gathered peacefully amid heavy police presence. Safe Streets counselors came. Some activists carried signs, "Stop the war on black people."


A crowd gathered, television cameras were turned on and notepads were pulled out. Meanwhile, residents expressed distaste about the increased police and media presence on the day of Officer Caesar Goodson's acquittal.

Television station vans lined the intersection. Members of Baltimore Police Department, Community Collaboration Division and department chaplains walked the streets.

Dominic Nell, 39, used the microphone from a Peoples Power Assembly protester. "I'm tired of people coming out here and filming," he said, adding there has not been violent protests since last year. The Penn North resident said the media was looking for a story that was not there.

"The buildup last year was a combination of a lot of things," Nell said. "This is 300 some odd days later. You're not going to get that buildup."

Other residents said the increased presence could antagonize citizens. Russell White, 52, said peaceful protests should continue, although too often people outside the neighborhood only listen when they are looking for a sensational story.

"Tomorrow, when we come out here, none of these cameras are going to be here," he said.

Vincent Fitzgerald, 50, said the protests were good for residents, though, because the actions show people can organize to make voices heard.

Carde Cornish, 25, said he was frustrated by Thursday's acquittal.

"They let him go. It's like, what kind of message does that send to the people?" he said, more than a year after the death of Freddie Gray, "I feel like it could have been my brother. It could have been anybody I know."

By 6:30 p.m., the crowd had mostly left. And the police were called by a commander down the block to play basketball with children.