A four-day conference of Maryland's Fraternal Order of Police officially opens with a reception Sunday night. But those convening at the Hyatt in Baltimore were greeted first by protesters Sunday afternoon.
Some 300 troops from the Maryland National Guard drilled for a deadly outbreak of a bird-flu-like disease this week that they envisage would spread panic in urban areas and require the killing of chickens by the barnful.
There are some who think of the events in Ferguson as isolated, as simply a moment in time. To me it seemed like part of the continuum in the struggle for progress in our country. When I interviewed King's aides, they were always quick to mention that the civil rights movement didn't die with King. And we still have far to go before we achieve full equality among America's citizens.
In the African American community and others, questions have been asked regarding the value of black life in our society. How can I or any other African American parent look at their sons and say, you are safe when our society seems to suggest that they are not? I can remember the heart break I felt when my 11-year-old son told me he was afraid when he saw a police car. While I told him that he should never fear a police officer our society continues to deepen his fear.
Three campus police departments in Maryland now own surplus military gear ranging from "riot-type" shotguns to M16 rifles to an armored truck under a Defense Department program that's sparked new controversy this month.