Politics of Conflict and Violence
From the broader historical lenses as presented in history books and definite boundaries, these two places are refereed and understood to be places were African generations in the US fled to initially to avoid state-sanctioned violence which erupted in the city before, cases facing their descendants currently. Surprise to many was that even the euphoria cases which came with the election of African American president in the United States. After two weeks of tensions between policy and young men in the state of Baltimore as a result of Freddie Gray death, the state descended into serious chaos on Monday. This chaos was majorly backed and done by two groups that are the police against African American young men in the states who were aggressive as a result of Freddie Cray death (Minteh, 5).
Roaming gangs of younger men in the state mostly composed of young men crashed directly with police were they seriously injured the officers, opened business premises in the state and looted critically from the opened business stocks. Cases of riots and unrest in the states went on for some period of time with clashes between police and young boys resulting in deaths of police officers and shootings of African Americans (Jackson & Foucault 400). On August 9, 2014, a black unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, is shot dead by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson Missouri (Minte 5). This ignited local protest by civilians expressing their dissatisfaction with such an incident where the police in question claimed to have acted in self-defense against an unarmed civilian.
What started as local protests upon media publicity sparked what could be termed as national “multiracial campaigns” with protestors displaying placard messages of “Black Lives Matter” (Minte 5). The incidents following the killing refreshed everyone’s memory on America’s long history of violence perpetrated by a section of law enforcement personnel against Americans of African origin. On April 19, 2015, another civilian died in the hands of police igniting mass protests with violence and brutality (Minte 7). This time, it was a 25-years old Freddie Gray, a man arrested for illegal arms charges, dragged into police fan abled bodied but when came out of police custody, he couldn’t walk, talk neither support his body. He shortly lost his breath and died in police custody.
This sanctioned national outrage translating into mass violent protests that lasted for several days, crippling normalcy of business in the city of Baltimore. During the protests, huge commercial buildings were brought down into ashes, as rioters went on rampage and endless looting that ended as ugly skirmishes between police and civilians. Race remains a central issue in all aspects of violence in these areas but with Baltimore more obsessed with black political leadership and with its police force mostly stock with black police officers a case not particularly found in Ferguson city where newcomers in the area appear to be more of a resemblance of the segregated Watts and Selma. This is a place where African American of different social classes and economic tries were originally united by the restrictive lives and oppressive laws (Bonilla & Rosa 14).
Different commentators on national basis claim that violence in the city of Baltimore is not only based on race matters, but it is also as a result of successive generations and economic disparities of youths structured in the neglected neighborhood and filled schools with little hope place on their futures despite the alterations and changes in the law. That may sound well may be to some, but it is a matter that needs continued attention and action to counter and stop it. With this, discussions cannot only be allowed to put aside the much required and delayed process and movements on the basis of police controls and arrests in the two cities. As the important and original shooting information emerged, police placed curfews on that area and deployed riot police and squads to take and maintain order in the already disrupted area.
The peaceful riots carried out included violent and looting unrest in the vicinity of the initial shootings. As was reported by different media houses in America, there was increased police militarization in dealing with protest and riots in Ferguson. These unrests Ferguson continued in the area up to 24th November 2014 after a grand jury where he did not indict Officer Wilson. Unrest and protest continued in the city during the first anniversary of browns Shootings where justice department concluded that the shootings of Brown were a self-defense (Bonilla & Rosa 13). Recent years, Baltimore and Ferguson witnessed the critical emergence of different powerful strategies which catch the attention of different social movements within the US. These movements quickly managed to achieve more large scales of mobilization and getting people in the streets with no obstacles or limited obstacles.
In Ferguson, protests erupted during the period of a stagnant economy in the city, reduced capital flow, growing unemployment, increased poverty outrange and frustrations during the times of protest (Bonilla & Rosa 8). Nevertheless, the common underlying grievances given out by the protest were rooted in the initial decade of long strains of relationships between the police and Ferguson community majorly characterized by African Americans. Such types of distrust are long lasting in the two cities and are largely attributed to the approaches of law enforcement in Baltimore and Ferguson. Numerous protesters who were marching stopped in order to shake hands with troopers and police. Some individuals stopped to chat and hug with Captain Ron Johnson of the Highway Patrol, who grew up near the community and was overseeing the security issues within the community (Hooker 4).
The scene stood in stark contrast clashes when the officers put on riot gear. Gov-Jay Nixon made an announcement that the Missouri Highway Patrol would be under the control of the issues concerning security in Ferguson and that the unit in the town where there were conflicts would be overseen by John. Nixon said that what took place in Missouri is not what it should be since it had changed from a place where people work, raise their families, go to school and church but it had turned to a war zone and that could not be accepted in Ferguson. Dotson said that there was a sense of change, he further said that what he saw was people showing their First Amendment rights and urged everybody to obey the law.
Charlie Dooly who was the County Executive of St. Louis said that he supports freedom of assembly and he does not support law disobedience. Late on Thursday, Rev. Al Sharpton who was the leader of National Action Network announced a big Unity Rally for Justice for Michael Brown which took place in Ferguson at the Greater Grace Church. He was transported in a police van without a seatbelt and died a week later from a spinal cord injury. The death of Gray resulted in peaceful protests that led to increased tense among the people of Baltimore each passing day. Some hours after his burial, pockets of the city erupted, due to an earlier standoff with the law enforcement officers and youth at a local mall.
The violence, arson, and looting that erupted led to damage of several hundred businesses and injured at least two-dozen police officer and hence this resulted in mass arrests. Supported by the media in the country and the whole world, the condition assisted in propelling the Black Lives Matter movement accompanied by the debates on police brutality and mistreatment of citizens of black color (Rothstein 205). Collaboration and conversations between prosperous and penurious communities began to break down walls of misunderstanding that were made decades ago. The police commissioner of Kevin Davis has strongly emphasized on stronger community ties and he has already started implementing a series of reforms in various departments (Rothstein 205). The reforms included revising policy on the use of force; having police officers wear body cameras; increasing training, encompassing such areas such as cultural sensitivity; variations in the manner detainees are transported; and increased foot patrols.
Davis said that he cannot cling into old ways and he thought within a decade the Baltimore city will be a different place. Even though some of the Baltimore people interviewed in Gray’s old neighborhood claimed that police officers are still using aggressive tactics, others felt that relations have developed (Rothstein 205). All these activities were done to ensure that there is peace in Baltimore City. The State of Justice The two incidents among many others triggered many questions on the country’s state of justice. For instance, the blacks were “forced to consider how to safeguard their children and themselves from the violence they suffer at a disproportionate rate at the hands of their very own authorities assigned to protect them” (Minte 17).
The Moynihan report argues that African-communities hasn’t yet gotten out of unimaginable mistreatment, racist profiling that has always plagued them since the decades of slavery. In part, Moynihan report says that “the mutated black family structure by white oppression is at the core of rising out-of-wedlock births, welfare dependency and high unemployment rates” (Tilly 21) The failure of the American judicial system on many instances to interdict the perpetrators of such injustices in the modern U. This triggers resentment by young black men against cops who reportedly treat them like criminals think that justice is not their right as fellow citizens. In a twist of the story, police community meetings within Baltimore are marked by middle-aged women claims that police have done enough to restore order by curbing crime.
As much as such killings are indicative of law enforcement agency’s injustices on blacks, there are undeniable claims that the whole aspect of policing for black has not been approached appropriately. For long, police in the U. S. These missteps in handling the Ferguson case were largely intentional and negligence built on the thinking that the crowds would dissipate within a short while. It points to the unwillingness of the police to administer justice to the blacks. Strained relationships between the policing department and the black residents can only be blamed for this. As stated by Minte (6) Baltimore police are largely blacks while the municipal administration just like the police commissioner is black American. These racial demographics have always supported the argument that the dynamics of strained police and citizen relationships are partly out of other factors other than white dominance.
Although the Office of the State’s Attorney pardoned many of them that amounted to minor criminal offenses not deserving criminal charges, the repetition of the arrests is highly questionable. It has elements mostly in resemblance to Ferguson’s “catch and release” that is adversely applied during riotous protests often worsening the confrontations between the police and civilians. The pervasiveness of the two cities’ law enforcement and criminal justice systems has earned them the descriptive term of “arrest without charge” that is commonly taken as an intimidation policing practice not intending to serve African-Americans with justice (Pinard 6). Conclusion Violence and policing are the two central forces that are applied to understanding the government from the national security point of view. Yet, they appear to be two antagonistic issues in the people’s pursuit for an effective policing and terminating violence in all communities.
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