TIME Baltimore Riots

Thousands in Other Cities Protest Death of Baltimore Man

From Boston to New York, thousands have hit the streets to protest the death of a black man who died of spinal injuries after his arrest by Baltimore police

(BALTIMORE) — Thousands of people hit the streets in Baltimore and several other cities from Boston and New York to Indianapolis and Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to protest the death of a black man who died of spinal injuries after his arrest by Baltimore police and to demand reforms to police procedures.

While protests of the death of Freddie Gray were mostly peaceful, there were some arrests, including 16 in Baltimore and more than a dozen at a rally in Manhattan’s Union Square. Gray, of Baltimore, was critically injured in police custody.

After meeting with faith leaders and a lawyer for the Gray family, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said officials were working hard to make the investigation into Gray’s death transparent and keep the community informed.

Police have said that they will turn over findings from their investigation to the state’s attorney on Friday

Still, anger and anxiety hung over Baltimore.

Hundreds of protesters, many of them students wearing backpacks, marched through downtown, calling for swift justice in the case of Gray.

Authorities carefully monitored the rally after teenagers started the violence Monday afternoon, throwing bricks and bottles at officers who had gathered near a major bus transfer point. The situation escalated from there, overwhelming police as protesters set fire to cars and buildings and raided stores.

Schools closed Tuesday because of the mayhem, but reopened Wednesday, after the city’s first night of a curfew went off without the widespread violence many had feared.

About 3,000 police and National Guardsmen descended on the city to help keep order, and life wasn’t likely to get completely back to normal anytime soon: The curfew was set to go back into effect at 10 p.m.

The curfew got off to a not-so-promising start Tuesday night when about 200 protesters ignored warnings from police and pleas from pastors and other community activists to disperse. Some threw water bottles or lay down on the ground.

A line of officers behind riot shields hurled tear gas canisters and fired pepper balls at the crowd, which dispersed in a matter of minutes.

Police said 35 people were arrested after the curfew went into effect.

And in what was one of the weirdest spectacles in major-league history, Wednesday afternoon’s Baltimore Orioles game at Camden Yards was closed to the public for safety reasons.

Earlier in the day, protesters outside the office of Baltimore’s top prosecutor said they supported State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who took office in January and pledged during her campaign to address aggressive police practices.

Mosby’s office is expected on Friday to get investigative findings from police on Gray’s death. She will then face a decision on whether and how to pursue charges against the six police officers who arrested Gray.

TIME politics

The Wire Creator Blames Martin O’Malley for Baltimore Police Problems

Win McNamee—Getty Images, Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images (L-R) Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D-MD) and David Simon, creator of the HBO show, The Wire

David Simon lashes out against the former Baltimore Mayor and Maryland Governor amid this week's unrest

David Simon, the creator of the iconic Baltimore-based HBO series The Wire, lashed out in a lengthy interview against Martin O’Malley, saying in the wake of this week’s riots and curfew that the former Baltimore Mayor and Maryland Governor was the “stake through the heart of police procedure” in the city.

Protests that have erupted following the April 19 death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody, have highlighted the deep racial and socio-economic divide in Baltimore and the distrust between the community and law enforcement officers.

Speaking with The Marshall Project, Simon traces his wariness back to O’Malley’s time as Mayor between 1999 and 2007, when Simon says he made “mass arrests” of citizens for minor offenses to pad crime statistics. “[W]hat happened under his watch as Baltimore’s mayor was that he wanted to be governor. And at a certain point, with the crime rate high … he put no faith in real policing.”

Simon, a crime reporter at the Baltimore Sun for more than 10 years before he moved to television writing, has been an outspoken critic of O’Malley for years. He has even said that the Wire character Tommy Carcetti, an ambitious politician who manipulates crime reduction statistics, is partly based on O’Malley, a presumed Democratic presidential candidate.

Read the full interview at The Marshall Project

TIME police

Son Smacked by Mother at Baltimore Riot: ‘I Regret Going Down There’

His mother "lost it" after seeing him with a brick in his hand

The teenager who was shown in a now-viral video being smacked by his mother after she recognized him at a riot on Monday said in a new interview that aired Wednesday he regretted his participation.

“I regret going down there and being in that situation when I was supposed to be home,” Michael Singleton, the son of Toya Graham, told CNN.

Singleton was joining crowds that had gathered at Mondawmin Mall in the wake of the April 19 death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody. The gathering turned into a full-blown riot as young people started throwing bottles and bricks at police officers, leading city and state officials to later call in reinforcements and initiate a citywide curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for the next several days.

“A couple of my friends had been beaten by the police,” he said of his decision to join in. But once he saw his mother—and once she saw him with a brick—the 16-year-old knew he was in trouble: “It was just World War III from right there”

Graham, unaware that she was being filmed, repeatedly whacked her son. “I just lost it at that point,” she said. “I was so angry at him that he had made a decision to harm those police officers.”

“He was actually embarrassing himself by wearing that mask and that hoodie and doing what he was doing,” she added. “If you want to be bold enough to do this, then show your face.”

Singleton, who told CNN he was humiliated by the video, believes he likely will not protest again—and if he does, he won’t be armed with a brick. “My mom talked to me about it, she was just like what did they do to you?” he said. “If I ever do go back down there, I’m going to do it in a positive way.”

TIME police

101 Baltimore Protesters Go Free as Arrest Paperwork Backs Up

Public defender filed habeas corpus petitions to push for their freedom

Dozens of people arrested in violent demonstrations this week in Baltimore were being released early Wednesday evening because police were unable to complete their paperwork in time, the state public defender’s office said.

The 101 detainees began walking free without charges about the same time that Baltimore police announced that their report into the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man who died in police custody this month, wouldn’t be made public Friday.

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts had set a deadline of Friday to file the report with state investigators. Capt. Eric Kowalczyk said late Wednesday afternoon…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Education

Kansas Frat Expels 4 Members for Mocking Muslims

Members expelled day after frat learned of video

A fraternity at the University of Kansas has kicked out four members who admitted involvement in a video posted on social media that mocks Muslims.

Zeta Beta Tau chapter president Jason Finkelstein said Wednesday that the traditionally Jewish fraternity learned of the video April 10 and expelled the members the next day. He said it appears the clip was posted April 9 via the app Yeti.

In a written statement first released over the weekend to the Lawrence school’s student newspaper, the University Daily Kansan, and released Wednesday to The Associated Press, the fraternity said it takes a “strong stance against bigotry and intolerance in all forms.”

The student paper obtained the clip, which shows a man wrapped in a blanket with his face and head covered. He can be heard saying “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great” as others laugh.

The fraternity statement said the members admitted their involvement, leading the organization to invoke a “strict zero-tolerance policy” regarding racism, discrimination and prejudice.

“As an organization, we are ready and willing to take any further action necessary to ensure that those affected feel they are valued and appreciated in our community,” the statement said. “The brothers of Zeta Beta Tau Epsilon Mu Chapter regret the actions that took place and hope that we can use this as a stepping stone to start a positive conversation that promotes diversity.”

Laurence Bolotin, the executive director at the fraternity’s headquarters in Indianapolis, said in an email that the organization supported the “swift actions” of the chapter to expel the members.

Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, a university spokeswoman, said the matter was resolved because the chapter removed the students.

TIME Aviation

FAA Questioned Mental Health of Pilot Who Crashed Jet Into French Alps

The US Department of Transportation's Fe
Saul Loeb—AFP/Getty Images The US Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration building is shown in Washington, DC, on July 21, 2007.

He was awarded a U.S. pilot license after his German doctor said he fully recovered from severe depression

(WASHINGTON) — Five years ago Federal Aviation Administration officials questioned the mental fitness of the Germanwings pilot who crashed an airliner in the French Alps last month, but they awarded him a U.S. pilot license after his German doctor said he had fully recovered from severe depression, government records show.

The records, posted online by the FAA in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, show Andreas Lubitz applied for a U.S. pilot license while he was employed by Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, and was training to be an airline pilot at a flight school in Phoenix in 2010. As part of the application, he initially submitted a medical form to the FAA asserting he had no mental disorders. He then resubmitted the form acknowledging he had been treated for severe depression from 2008 to 2009.

The FAA initially sent Lubitz a letter warning that his license application could be denied and giving him 30 days to provide a letter from his doctor describing his treatment and his current condition. The license was granted after he provided letters from his doctor describing his treatment and saying he had recovered.

Lubitz had suffered an episode of severe depression because he was unable to cope with “modified living conditions,” according to the letters. Lubitz was treated with two drugs, Cipralex and Mirtazapin, which, along with therapy, “enabled him to develop sufficient resources for getting on with similar situations in the future,” the doctor, whose name was blacked out by the FAA, said in one letter.

Prosecutors believe Lubitz intentionally crashed Germanwings Flight 9525 while flying from Barcelona to Duesseldorf on March 24. Cockpit voice recordings indicate Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit after he had left. The captain can be heard on the recordings demanding to be let back in and trying to break down the door.

Lubitz and all 149 others on board the plane were killed in the crash.

TIME cities

Anxiety and Anger Hang Over Baltimore as City Seeks Normalcy

Suspect Dies Baltimore
Matt Rourke—AP Protesters march on April 29, 2015, in Baltimore.

(BALTIMORE) — Cars rolled through the streets, students returned to class and a symphony played on a sidewalk Wednesday, offering the city a slice of normalcy as it recovers from the rioting and looting earlier this week.

Still, anger and anxiety hung over Baltimore.

Hundreds of protesters, many of them students wearing backpacks, marched through downtown, calling for swift justice in the case of Freddie Gray, a black man who suffered critical injuries while in police custody.

Authorities carefully monitored the rally after teenagers started the violence Monday afternoon, throwing bricks and bottles at officers who had gathered near a major bus transfer point. The situation escalated from there, overwhelming police as protesters set fire to cars and buildings and raided stores.

Schools closed Tuesday because of the mayhem, but reopened Wednesday, after the city’s first night of a curfew went off without the widespread violence many had feared.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake talked to fourth- and eighth-graders at New Song Center in West Baltimore, not far from where Gray was arrested. She said she was impressed by the children’s perspective.

“They understand very clearly the difference between demonstrators that have a righteous purpose and those who are preying on this opportunity for their own benefit,” she said.

About 3,000 police and National Guardsmen descended on the city to help keep order, and life wasn’t likely to get completely back to normal anytime soon: The curfew was set to go back into effect at 10 p.m.

And in what was one of the weirdest spectacles in major-league history, Wednesday afternoon’s Baltimore Orioles game at Camden Yards was closed to the public for safety reasons. Press box seats were full, but the grandstands were empty.

Earlier in the day, protesters outside the office of Baltimore’s top prosecutor said they supported State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who took office in January and pledged during her campaign to address aggressive police practices.

Mosby’s office is expected on Friday to get investigative findings from police on Gray’s death. She will then face a decision on whether and how to pursue charges against the six police officers who arrested Gray.

The curfew got off to a not-so-promising start Thursday night when about 200 protesters ignored warnings from police and pleas from pastors and other community activists to disperse. Some threw water bottles or lay down on the ground.

A line of officers behind riot shields hurled tear gas canisters and fired pepper balls at the crowd, which dispersed in a matter of minutes.

Police said 35 people were arrested after the curfew went into effect.

___

Associated Press writers Ben Nuckols, Juliet Linderman, Matthew Barakat, Tom Foreman Jr., Jessica Gresko, Brian Witte and Jeff Horwitz contributed to this report.

TIME Courts

Boston Bomber’s Teacher Says Tsarnaev ‘Always Wanted to Do the Right Thing’

Aloke Chakravarty, prosecutor in the case against Boston bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev arrives at John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse before deliberations begin again in the Boston Marathon Bombing case
Scott Eisen—Getty Images Aloke Chakravarty, prosecutor in the case against Boston bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev arrives at John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse before deliberations begin again in the Boston Marathon Bombing case on April 8, 2015 in Boston.

Testimony came on the third day of the defense case in the trial's penalty phase

(BOSTON) — As a child, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was quiet, hardworking and “always wanted to do the right thing,” his third-grade teacher testified Wednesday to jurors who will decide whether he spends the rest of his life in prison or is sentenced to death.

Catheryn Charner-Laird testified on the third day of the defense case in the penalty phase of Tsarnaev’s trial as his lawyers shifted the focus away from his older brother, Tamerlan. The defense has portrayed Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died days after the bombing, as the mastermind of the attack.

Three people were killed and more than 260 were wounded when twin pressure-cooker bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon on April 15, 2013.

Tsarnaev, 21, was convicted of all 30 charges against him, including 17 that carry the possibility of the death penalty. The same jury must now decide his punishment.

The defense team has focused heavily on Tamerlan, arguing he was a domineering influence on Dzhokhar and led him down the path to terrorism. Prosecutors have said the brothers were partners in the bombing, which was designed to retaliate against the U.S. for its actions in Muslim lands.

On Wednesday, Tsarnaev’s lawyers called witnesses to testify about what he was like as a child, years before he became the Boston Marathon bomber.

“He was just learning English at that time,” Charner-Laird said, referring to Tsarnaev’s recent move to the U.S. from Russia with his family.

Tsarnaev was 9 in the fall of 2002 when he was one of her students in a combination class for third- and fourth-graders at the Cambridgeport School.

“He was incredibly hardworking,” she said. “He cared a lot about his studies; he tried very hard.”

Many times, he didn’t know what to do because of the language barrier, she said. But he “always wanted to do the right thing,” she said.

Prosecutor Aloke Chakravarty cross-examined her briefly, asking if she knew Dzhokhar to be disciplined and smart. She said he was. The question appeared designed to rebut the defense claim that Dzhokhar was under Tamerlan’s influence when he participated in the bombings.

Charner-Laird was one of several teachers who described him in glowing terms.

Rebecca Norris, one of Tsarnaev’s teachers in seventh- and eighth-grade, called him “really bright,” ”well-behaved,’ “pretty much an A student.”

“He wasn’t a rebel. Basically, if you asked him to do something, he would do it,” she said.

Norris said Tsarnaev was one of the school’s best students and soccer players.

“I thought we would get him into a really good college with a full ride, and he would be very successful,” she said.

The defense also showed the jury two photographs of a cherubic-looking Tsarnaev from about the same time. In one photo, he is sitting on a bench next to Tamerlan, who is about 16. Tamerlan has his arm around him, while Dzhokhar rests his arm on his older brother’s leg.

In the other, Dzhokhar is smiling with his mother, two sisters and the landlady who owned the Cambridge apartment building where they lived.

Jurors also heard from two paramedics who treated the Tsarnaev brothers after a firefight with police in Watertown days after the bombings.

Paramedic Michael Sullivan said Tamerlan Tsarnaev was combative after being shot by police and run over by Dzhokhar during a chaotic getaway attempt. Sullivan said Tamerlan “would lift himself off the stretcher and yell and scream and try to resist us touching him.”

He said sometimes people in shock react that way. Tamerlan was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Paramedic Laura Lee said Dzhokhar was awake and alert when he was put into an ambulance after being captured hiding in a boat in Watertown. He had a gunshot wound to his jaw, a leg wound and other injuries.

When someone put a tourniquet-like bandage on his leg, “apparently it was very tight and he was mad and it got loud,” Lee said.

“He said, ‘Where’s my brother?'” Lee said. She said someone else in the ambulance told him, “You’ll find out soon.”

TIME Opinion

Lessons for Baltimore From 1968

Baltimore Arrest During Riot
Picasa / Getty Images A man carried away by police during riots, Baltimore, Maryland, 1968.

How history can heal a harmed city

In the 20 years that I have lived in Baltimore City, I have seen guns fired only twice; in each instance the targets were black men and the shooters were police. In one case the officer was trying to stop a group of men who had apparently stolen a car. They bailed out in front of my house, and as they were running away, the officer fired, but missed. In the second case the officer’s aim was better; an assailant held up a medical student on a bicycle, then ran through traffic right in front of our car. An off-duty cop saw the scuffle and fired. He turned out to be a 14-year-old with a BB gun. The boy lay in the street, shot in the stomach; my 12-year-old son and I waited until the police told us to move on. I called my district and set up an appointment with a detective. No one ever came to question me.

Those incidents came back to me this week when the death of Freddie Gray triggered days of peaceful protests that splintered into something uglier on Saturday, and anti-police violence erupted on Monday. But those weren’t the only moments from the past that seemed worth thinking about. The looting and arson led to comparisons to the unrest that followed the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—and, as an assistant professor of history at the University of Baltimore who has studied Baltimore in 1968, I can see a number of similarities. After several days of peaceful commemoration of Dr. King’s death, disenfranchised youth instigated disturbances in fifteen neighborhood commercial districts. Curfews were imposed, just as they were in Baltimore this week, and hundreds of citizens were eventually swept into custody. During both of the crises, members of the clergy of all faiths walked the streets in attempts to restore order.

But the real link between the two moments, 1968 and today, runs deeper than that. It’s not about the appearance of similarity, but rather the causes and effects.

As UB discovered in a community-based, multi-disciplinary examination of the riots 40 years later, the causes and consequences of urban unrest are complex and multifaceted. As part of our project, our diverse student body interviewed their friends and family, and we heard stories that illustrated deep systemic trends that led to generations of anger and frustration: practices in the private sector like residential covenants that forbade sales to black and Jewish buyers, federal policies like redlining that discouraged bank loans to poor and aging neighborhoods, urban renewal policies that used federal funds to build highways that cut neighborhoods off from the rest of Baltimore; limited job opportunities as Baltimore’s blue-collar jobs began to evaporate. All of those forces had been at work long before Dr. King’s assassination, and, as we see violence along the same streets almost five decades later, Baltimoreans still feel their effects today.

We also heard stories about businesses that were destroyed after families had poured years of effort and capital into them. In 1968 the Pats family lost its pharmacy on West North Avenue, just a few blocks from the CVS that burned this Monday evening. Their business was looted, then their entire block was burned, including their apartment. Their neighbors, who lost their jewelry store, had been relocated to Baltimore after surviving the Holocaust. Baltimore’s retail sector has still not recovered in many areas of the city. A number of neighborhoods have been declared food deserts, and no department store exists within the city limits. When a Target arrived at Mondawmin Mall and hired city residents, Baltimoreans welcomed it. But on Monday night we watched with dismay as looters ran out of Mondawmin, their arms full of merchandise.

In 1968, the governor of Maryland called out the National Guard, just as Governor Larry Hogan did on Monday night, and soon tanks patrolled the city streets. The unrest quieted, and by the end of the week the Orioles held opening day on schedule.

Here’s where the stories diverge. Maryland’s then-governor, Spiro Agnew, rode the wake of Baltimore’s disturbances right into the White House, using his tough-on-crime reputation to become Richard Nixon’s vice-presidential running mate. It is too simplistic to say that the policing approach Agnew advocated led directly to the kind of practices that killed Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner. We cannot exclude from the list of causes Nixon’s War on Drugs, the crack epidemic of the 1980s and ‘90s, the growth of the prison-industrial complex, and the continuing hemorrhaging of blue-collar jobs from America’s aging industrial cities—but the reaction to the urban riots of the 1960s certainly started us down this path.

The similarities can stop. Knowledge of the aftermath of 1968 can help prevent its repetition. In the early 1970s law and order policing reinforced divisions around race, class, and geography in an attempt to lock up the problems instead of addressing them. We can learn from those mistakes. On Tuesday morning the NAACP announced that they would open a satellite office in Sandtown-Winchester, Freddie Gray’s neighborhood, to provide counsel to residents on a host of legal issues, including police misconduct. An external oversight board to monitor reports of police violence would serve as a powerful partner in this effort. Out on the streets on Tuesday morning, Baltimoreans worked together to clean up the debris from the night. I hope that as we work we will find a chance to tell each other our stories, and that this time we will listen.

The Long ViewHistorians explain how the past informs the present

Elizabeth M. Nix is a professor of legal, ethical and historical studies at the University of Baltimore, and co-editor with Jessica Elfenbein and Thomas Hollowak of Baltimore ’68: Riots and Rebirth in An American City.

 

TIME Education

Quiz: Can You Answer 8th-Grade U.S. History and Government Questions?

A national survey shows about three-fourths of eighth graders aren't proficient in these subjects

Most eight-graders are failing U.S. history and government tests, according to the Nation’s Report Card 2014, a federal survey published this week.

Could you do better? Test your knowledge with these sample questions:

 

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