International City Profile

Background and Overview

In 1968, Martin Luther King's death sparked anger across the United States. The 1968 Baltimore Riots lasted 8 days and included the burning and looting of local businesses. In 2015, the Baltimore Riots were sparked by the death of Freddie Gray. Freddie Gray died while he was in police custody and suffered spinal injuries. An article from ABC News explains how the the 1968 riot and the 2015 riot was sparked. The 1968 Baltimore riots were sparked by the discrimination against African Americans in insurance and banking companies. Today, the riots have not been about hope, but about unity through the uses of social media. The article states that, people who loot don't have hope. The results of both riots left local businesses destroyed, buildings set on fire and people left without jobs.

What are causing these riots in Baltimore today? What do they want from the government?

The death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, triggered the Baltimore riots in 2015. Protesters have organised peaceful marches around the city, however the news only broadcasts the looting and rioting in the city. A Baltimore resident, Nacisha Coleman said the following: "Unfortunately in this impoverished neighbourhood  these police are not police. They’re gangsters with badges. And all this looting, robbing and stealing — it wasn’t about our opportunity; it’s about frustration. Built-up animosity."

Another Baltimore resident said that she did not agree in all the looting that was going on around the city. However, she said that people were tired and that there is definitely power in numbers. Many residents of Baltimore believe in the justice of Freddie Gray and the many other Freddie Gray's out there.

"Here's the Real Reason People in Baltimore Are Protesting." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 23 May 2015.

What has not changed in the city of Baltimore since 1968? Are the people fighting for the same things today?

Although the people of Baltimore are fighting for similar rights 47 years after the riots sparked by the death of Martin Luther King, the police conduct on violence has changed positively. The policing approach in 1968 lead to unnecessary deaths, similar to the death of Freddie Gray. The governor at the time took issues directly to the white house and had a strong tough on crime reputation. In 1968, law and order policing divisions locked up the problem, instead of approaching the problem. This has changed significantly as the law and order policing division have already made action in the current fight against racial discrimination and police misconduct. A satellite office near the neighbourhood of Freddie Gray will soon be operational. The office aims to provide residents with a location where they can report any issues, including police misconduct.

How are these peaceful or non-peaceful riots going to have an affect on the city of Baltimore in the future?

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