In 2001, as the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Black United Front brought a federal lawsuit against the city of Cincinnati and the police department for racial bias, a white officer in Cincinnati shot an unarmed black teenager as he fled police. And then, along came a lengthy U.S. Department of Justice investigation that found a pattern of discriminatory practices by the department and an agreement for changes that took months to hammer out. The process of instituting those changes has lasted years. Some would say it’s ongoing.
Out of the Blocks
The 2100 block of Monument Street is anchored by the Baltimore’s Northeast Market, a honeycomb of vendors selling fish, meat, fried chicken, barbeque, bulgogi, deli sandwiches, and baked goods. The commerce spills onto the surrounding sidewalks, where open-air peddlers hawk sunglasses and socks, CDs & DVDs, umbrellas and pepper spray. Unemployed entrepreneurs polish headlights, sell loose cigarettes, and do whatever else they can to make ends meet. It all happens in the shadow of the looming Johns Hopkins Medical Campus, an institution at pains to restore relations with the neighborhood in the wake of longstanding ill will.