I’ve been watching events unfold in Baltimore and reading lots of commentary. I’ve learned some new phrases, like “rough ride.” This topic is really not for a white, suburban mom. I do think it’s best for people who know this turf to do the talking. But if I say nothing, tweet nothing, people might think I don’t care. So, at least on Twitter, I’ll just RT things that broaden my understanding of the topic.
I can offer one little tidbit for those should do the talking. Wilbur Rich wrote a book back in the 90s, Black Mayors and School Politics: The Failure of Reform in Detroit, Gary, and Newark (Garland Reference Library of Social Science), exploring the question of why urban schools didn’t improve when black leaders gained power. His conclusion was that black leaders repeated the power dynamics of the previous white leaders. To gain election, they made alliances with the teachers’ unions who frustrated reform efforts. Not sure if his analysis applies to Baltimore, but it’s relevant.
I’ve read about ten completed different accounts about how his spine was broken. Did it happen during the arrest, the previous week, during the rough ride? Was it self inflicted? If it happened during the ride, why wasn’t the other guy banged up? If it happened during the ride, wouldn’t there have been more bruises?
I owning my ignorance here, but is it standard practice to chase and arrest someone who flees when he sees police? I’m sure it is. OK, how is that legal?
I’ve been chatting with Steve this morning about these issues. His point is that the particulars don’t matter. We all know that there are problems with policing in this country, and that dealing with the hows and the when of this particular arrest sends people down the rabbit hole. I think that the particulars matter, because lots of people don’t accept that the broad statement that we have a problem with the criminal justice system. In order to change minds, you have to present the facts.