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Question of the week

How has the death of Freddie Gray two years ago on April 19 and any of the various responses to it affected your perception of the city or wider world?

Six Baltimore police officers were indicted in the Freddie Gray case; three were acquitted and three had all charges against them dropped. Rioting and arson followed Freddie Gray's tragic death, but no violence followed those verdicts — giving credence that the citizens of Baltimore accepted that justice had been served. The culture of the police department should be examined, bad officers removed and racist actions rooted out. But I am concerned that the current Department of Justice consent decree begins with the same premise assumed by State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby — broad criminal intent and negligence by the police.

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Mary Jo Hofmann, Parkville

Mary Jo Hofmann, Parkville

Glad you asked. The aftermath of Freddie Gray's death frightened me. Especially how hatred of the police is accepted and is condoned. If possible, whenever I see a police officer I thank them for the hard job they're doing. And their smiles make my day. My perception of the city and the world has changed. I'm discovering so much anger has surfaced. I feel I need to be constantly on my guard.

Rosalind Heid, Baltimore

Rosalind Heid, Baltimore

Freddie Gray's murder by "no one" showed me how little has changed in the 42 years I have lived in Baltimore. At the age of 16 (in 1973), a Baltimore County officer pulled a shotgun on Liberty Road and ordered us "n-----s" to pick up trash on the bus stop. We were all young, black and had just gotten off work.

I have hope that new police department policies, procedures, arrests and federal corruption charges will allow our community to trust the police department again. I hope, but I am resigned to the fact that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Michelle Smith, Gwynn Oak

Michelle Smith, Gwynn Oak

Freddy Gray's death, while sad and a devastating loss to his family, was used as an opportunity by some in the Baltimore community to riot, loot and destroy, ostensibly to initiate societal and local government actions to resolve their long-standing issues of disparate living conditions and negative police interactions. To me it was a third-world anarchy reaction and only served to exacerbate the growing racial divide in our city and country, reflecting Baltimore as a dangerous, racially divisive urban area where common refrains of white racism and unvoiced but present black racism foster an adversarial rather than a collaborative living environment.

Jerry Cothran, Baltimore

Jerry Cothran, Baltimore

Next question of the week:

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and the Democratic leaders of both chambers of the General Assembly deemed the recently concluded legislative session a success. Has the two-party dynamic in Annapolis made state government better or worse?

Please email answers of 100 words or less to commentary@baltsun.com with the words "question of the week" in the subject line. Include your name, phone number and town of residence. We'll print a sampling of responses next Friday.

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