Freddie Gray | WYPR

Freddie Gray

WYPR, WEAA and NPR collection of stories around the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody.

bionicteaching / Flickr / Creative Commons

As Baltimore reeled from a surge in homicides since April, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts insisted police are focused, and fighting. He said last week at a press conference that the spike in shootings was driven by 175,000 doses of prescription drugs looted from pharmacies during the rioting: "Criminals are selling those stolen drugs, there are turf wars happening which are leading to violence and shootings in our city. We have established a task force with our federal counterparts to bring state and federal charges against individuals who committed crimes, harmed our officers, and broke and looted our businesses in our city."

So far in June, at least 13 more people have died in homicides in Baltimore. We all want to understand the forces at work behind the onslaught of violence, and what could stop it. Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis joins Sheilah now to talk about it.

A workgroup made up of Maryland lawmakers met today in Annapolis to start exploring potential policing and accountability reforms that can be done at the state level. It was a largely organizational meeting, but advocates ranging from the ACLU and the NAACP to Amnesty International and CASA de Maryland used the date as a chance to make it clear that advocates are ready to put pressure on lawmakers to make change happen.

The General Assembly's leadership convened the workgroup on public safety after protests against police use of force erupted across Baltimore following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray from injuries sustained while in police custody.

Baltimore & The War On Drugs

Jun 8, 2015

A look at O'Malley-era zero-tolerance policing and the drug war, and their effect on the relationship between police and people in Baltimore’s poorest neighborhoods. Guest: Neill Franklin, a 34-year veteran of the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department, now executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

Midday Friday

Jun 5, 2015

In this hour, a look at legal wrangling in the case of the ‪#‎FreddieGraySix with Prof. David Gray of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Plus: Rona Kobell of the Chesapeake Bay Journal on Gov. Hogan's shakeup of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Our weekly business report comes from Rick Seltzer of the Baltimore Business Journal.

Matt Purdy

Amid a spike in homicides since the Baltimore riots in April, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake earlier this week pointed to a bright spot in efforts to reduce violence in the city: Safe Streets, an effort of the Baltimore City Health Department which hires mostly ex-offenders to stop violence in four Baltimore neighborhoods. It claims in reducing homicides in those areas. The Cherry Hill site where Safe Streets works hasn’t had a fatal shooting in a year.

We wanted to understand what Safe Streets’ interrupters are doing right and whether it could bring peace to gun-ravaged areas of the city. We sit down with Greg Marshburn, an Outreach Supervisor for Safe Streets at its Mondawmin site in West Baltimore, and Dante Barksdale, an Outreach Coordinator for Safe Streets, to talk about stopping violence in Baltimore.

Baltimore’s police union announced Wednesday that it is launching a review of the police department’s actions in the days following Freddie Gray’s death from injuries sustained while in police custody.

Lt. Gene Ryan, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, said more than 160 officers were injured during the riots after Gray’s funeral last month. He wants to clear up questions about what orders were given so that police officers will be safe should a similar situation arise in the future.  

In a little less than a month, the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray will be arraigned in Baltimore Circuit Court. There are a number of questions outstanding in this case –more will crop up as more details emerge – but some big ones have already developed.

City Combats Violence Fueled By Stolen Drugs From Riots

Jun 4, 2015

Federal and Baltimore law enforcement officials say enough drugs were looted from pharmacies in the riots in late April to keep the city high for a year.  And they are still counting.

The LAPD In The Wake Of Rodney King

Jun 2, 2015

What reforms did the Los Angeles Police Department enact after the Rodney King beating and riots of 1992? Did these reforms manage to decrease complaints of police brutality? We’ll hear from Joe Domanick, associate director of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and author of the forthcoming book, “Blue: The LAPD and the Battle to Redeem American Policing,” on how the LAPD has changed and what the Baltimore police department may be able to glean from their choices.

Helping People Get And Keep A Job

May 29, 2015

One of the issues raised in the wake of riots after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody was the lack of jobs in his neighborhood.  More than a quarter of the adults there are out of work.

But it's not just a lack of jobs that's the problem; it's making sure people who get past the interview can hold the job down.

Kelly Little, former executive director of the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, said a company approached his organization in April wanting to hire people from the community.

Baltimore in Crisis

May 28, 2015

Homicides in Baltimore have hit a record high, 38 murders; the highest monthly total since 1999. As the spike in violent crime continues, we hear from Kevin Shird, a former drug dealer turned youth advocate, and Wes Moore, the author of the bestseller "The Other Wes Moore," and an Army veteran and former White House aide, on how Baltimore communities can reach young people.

Until last month, part of the narrative surrounding Martin O’Malley was that he was the generally successful mayor of a big city; a mayor whose so-called ‘zero-tolerance’ or ‘broken windows’ approach to policing led to an overall drop in murders.

Then the riots happened.

Towson University assistant professor of political science John Bullock says that tough-on-crime approach under O’Malley damaged the relationship between some residents and police.

Local foundations and the federal government have promised to funnel money into Baltimore for job training programs to respond to some of the communities’ needs articulated during the weeks or protests after the death of Freddie Gray. But what happens when the jobs don’t materialize?

For the first time since the city's unrest on April 27, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts talked openly yesterday about the situation his department faces as they try to re-build relationships with the community. He said it's a time of uncertainty for the city.

All six officers charged in the Freddie Gray case have been indicted by the city’s grand jury, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn said at a press conference on Thursday.

She also announced that reckless endangerment charges were added against each of the officers.

“Additional information has been discovered and as is often the case during an ongoing investigation, charges can and should be revised based upon the evidence,” Mosby said.

Midday Friday

May 22, 2015

Yesterday, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that a grand jury has indicted all six officers involved in the police custody death of Freddie Gray. In this hour, we’ll hear from University of Maryland law professor David Gray on how the charges have changed and how the case is expected to proceed. We’ll also talk about how the city’s small businesses community is recovering from last month’s unrest with Joanna Sullivan of the Baltimore Business Journal. And Rev.

The Moving to Opportunity Experiment

May 21, 2015

We take a look at the Moving to Opportunity experiment of the 1990s, where participating low-income families received housing vouchers to move out of housing projects. Is moving poor kids out of Baltimore the answer? We'll hear from Harvard economist Raj Chetty on the economic outcomes for children who participated in Moving to Opportunity. Plus pediatrician and assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Rachel Johnson Thornton, speaks about the health outcomes for children living in communities of concentrated poverty.

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore's top prosecutor has filed a blistering response to a motion from the lawyers representing six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

The defense lawyers say State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby has conflicts of interest that should force her to step aside and have an independent prosecutor handle the case. They accused her of charging the officers with crimes to prevent more rioting in the district represented by her husband, a city councilman. And they say she's too close to an attorney who represents Gray's family.


The Freddie Gray case has brought renew attention to a decades old  state law outlining due process for officers accused of wrong doing called the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights, or LEOBR.

Governor Marvin Mandel signed the bill into law with little fanfare on May 31, 1974. The Baltimore Sun mentioned it a day later as part of a list of bills that Mandel signed.

Baltimore By The Numbers

May 20, 2015

Jennifer Vey, fellow of the metropolitan policy program at the Brookings Institution, breaks down Baltimore by the numbers -- how the city and region stacks up against others in terms of education and income. Plus, Barbara Samuels, the veteran fair-housing attorney for the ACLU of Maryland joins us with a look at look at efforts to break up Baltimore's concentrated inner-city poverty with more affordable housing choices for low-income families.

The Fraternal Order Of Police

May 19, 2015

For Baltimore City Police, re-gaining the trust of citizens has been a hot topic of conversation since the death of 25-year old Freddie last month.  In this hour of Midday, Sergeant Robert Cherry, former president of Baltimore City’s police union, and Officer Elliot Cohen join Dan for a discussion of police practices, union policies, and how the city can improve police-community relations.

With production help from Midday intern Alia Satterfield. 

Baltimore-based IT editor for Conde Nast's Ars Technica, Sean Gallgher, and Baltimore Sun intelligence and military reporter, Ian Duncan, join Midday to talk tech. We’ll cover the recent ruling on the NSA bulk data collection program, FBI surveillance during the Baltimore riots, and how to navigate the Internet without being detected. Plus, Microsoft debuts the “HoloLens,” a headset that superimposes graphics over what you see. Will holograms come to replace televisions and computers?

The Dagger Newspaper

When Baltimore was shaken by protests three weeks ago, some of them violent, State Senator Catherine Pugh, a Democrat, could be found night and day on the streets of Sandtown-Winchester and other neighborhoods in her West Baltimore district.   Senator J.B. Jennings, a Republican who represents parts Harford and Baltimore Counties, lives in Joppa, but he was also on the streets of Baltimore after the April 27 riots. He was called to service as a member of the Air National Guard.

Senator Pugh is majority leader of the state senate, and will co-chair the work group appointed by the legislature’s presiding officers after the riots, to look at police and public safety issues. Senator Jennings is minority leader of the senate, and will serve on that task force.  

Midday Friday

May 15, 2015

A conversation with Don Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, and Edwin Brake, managing partner of the Ellin & Tucker accounting firm, on how the business community should respond to issues raised by the recent unrest in the city. Plus, a news update from Rick Seltzer of the Baltimore Business Journal, and a preview of the 2015 Preakness.

Image from the research of UMD's Ed Summers

Archives are spaces in which materials of historic interest or cultural significance are stored and ordered. Archives have a unique power to capture and even shape collective memory, from  physical objects to digital material to sorting vast amounts of information. In light of the immense amount of documentation surrounding the unrest following Freddie Gray’s funeral in Baltimore, we want to understand the role of archives in bringing some materials to light, and ask whether that risks marginalizing others.

The Maryland Historical Society has put out a call for professional and amateur photographers to send in images documenting the Freddie Gray protests, and the unrest and clean-up that followed.  In College Park, the University of Maryland’s Institute of Technology in the Humanities, or MITH, already had been collecting tweets relating to events in Ferguson last summer and analyzing them in workshops as part of the university-wide #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Police-Community Relations And Race

May 15, 2015
bionicteaching / Flickr / Creative Commons

Not long after Police Commissioner Anthony Batts arrived in Baltimore in September 2012, he established a unit to focus on community partnerships. He put veteran Lt. Col. Melvin Russell in charge of the division. Today, we’re going to revisit a conversation we had with Lt. Col. Russell two years ago, as part of our year-long series on race and inequality, The Lines Between Us. Like many of the topics discussed in that series, Lt. Col. Russell’s thoughts bear repeating now.

Conversations from the corner of Mount & Presbury Streets, where a new mural memorializes Freddie Gray; and a tour through a historical 19th century mill village in Hampden

Urban Scholar David Rusk

May 14, 2015
Pret a Voyager / Flickr / Creative Commons

As part of our continuing conversation about the city in the aftermath of Freddie Gray-related unrest, urban scholar David Rusk revisits "Baltimore Unbound," his 1995 prescription for a regional approach to solving Baltimore's social and economic problems in a sustainable way. 

Cryor To Lead One Baltimore

May 13, 2015

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Wednesday that former state Democratic Party head Michael Cryor will chair her One Baltimore initiative.

Rawlings-Blake, who unveiled the initiative last Thursday, described it as “a comprehensive, public-private initiative to support the ongoing efforts to facilitate opportunities for the city’s children, families and neighborhoods."

For example, One Baltimore would be the central contact to connect jobs that become available to people who need them and provide training.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

May 13, 2015

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joins us to reflect on the protests, riots, and federal investigations spurred by the police custody death of Freddie Gray. We'll also hear her plans to encourage economic recovery for businesses impact by the riots, and to address the poverty and lack of opportunity in some of West Baltimore's neighborhoods.