Freddie Gray | WYPR

Freddie Gray

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

Explaining the Justice Department Reviews

May 13, 2015

The civil rights investigation of Baltimore’s police department that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced last week is but one of three federal probes of policing in Baltimore. There’s also the “collaborative review” announced last October and a separate civil rights investigation into the Freddie Gray case.

Gray died of injuries sustained in police custody April 19.  Six officers involved with his detainment were charged in his death May 1.

Harnessing Momentum

May 12, 2015

In this hour, we revisit the infamous Rodney King beating and the Los Angeles riots of 1992 with civil rights activist and political commentator Earl Ofari Hutchinson. He’ll give us his thoughts on how the police department there has changed and whether community-police relations have improved.

Excessive Force in Baltimore

May 12, 2015

It turns out Freddie Gray was just one among thousands of arrested suspects turned away from Baltimore City jails due to physical injuries. In Sunday’s Baltimore Sun, reporters Mark Puente and Meredith Cohn revealed that over the past three years, thousands of arrested suspects showed up with a variety of medical problems ranging from hypertension to broken bones. We’ll hear from attorney A.

Local Manufacturing

May 11, 2015

In this second hour of Midday we narrow the focus of our conversation to manufacturing in Maryland. We'll hear from two local manufacturers about how they've maintained their production in Maryland, and a union rep about what role new jobs can play in creating opportunity in impoverished Baltimore communities. Our guests this hour are Drew Greenblatt, President of Marlin Steel, John Danko, President of Danko Arlington, and Jermaine Jones, the Business Manager of the Construction Laborers' Local 710. 

How Can Reshoring Help Baltimore?

May 11, 2015

Many of those who protested the death of Freddie Gray also called for more jobs to reduce unemployment and poverty in Baltimore. Today, a look at whether a trend of growth in manufacturing could help the Baltimore region.
The number of manufacturing jobs returning to the U.S. from overseas — or coming here for the first time — has hit a record level. Sixty thousand manufacturing jobs were added in the U.S. in 2014. A look at whether the Baltimore region will benefit from this trend.

Baltimore police seem to ignore injuries suffered by detainees by the hundreds.

That's according to a review of records by The Baltimore Sun.

According to a report published by the paper this weekend, from June 2012 through April 2015, the Baltimore City Detention Center refused 2,600 detainees brought in by police because they were injured.

A View Of The Unrest From McElderry Park

May 11, 2015
Ian Freimuth / Creative Commons

The corner of North and Pennsylvania Avenues has become a stage for a national debate over race and policing. Nearby West Baltimore neighborhoods like Sandtown-Winchester have been the focus of a wider discussion of the social conditions fueling the unrest, and community efforts to rebuild. But, what about East Baltimore? Just like in West Baltimore, communities there have been working for decades to address challenges like unemployment, addiction, residential segregation, violence, and police brutality.

Baltimore’s public radio stations WEAA 88.9 FM and WYPR 88.1 FM announced a collaboration Monday in which the stations will share news resources and coverage assignments that may allow both stations to cover and produce news content relating to events surrounding the death of Freddie Gray.  


May 8, 2015

A talk about the effects of the recent disturbances on Baltimore life, with Richard Gorelick, restaurant critic of The Baltimore Sun; Sarah Meehan, who covers hospitality/tourism, minority business, marketing and new media for The Baltimore Business Journal; and Heather Harris, professor in business communications at Stevenson University.

DOJ to Investigate Baltimore Police

May 8, 2015

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Friday morning that the Justice Department will launch a full scale civil rights investigation into the Baltimore Police Department.

The announcement comes days after Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake requested the review and nearly two weeks after violence rocked the city in the aftermath of another in-custody death.

The Justice Department will look into whether city police engage in a “pattern or practice” of violating citizens’ constitutional rights.

Media Coverage and Politics

May 8, 2015

Observations about Baltimore's time in the national media spotlight and post-riot politics, with Jean Marbella of The Baltimore Sun, Chris Connolly of the WYPR News staff, and Kimberly Moffitt, associate professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.


Words of protest and reflection from Baltimore poets & musicians, a preview of the music and art at the  Be More Benefit, and a grown man gets a sewing lesson from his mother

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan lifted the state of emergency on Wednesday that he initiated last Monday night after protests against the death of Freddie Gray turned into looting and rioting. The governor said there’s still a lot of work to be done to help the city recover and address the underlying cause of the rage that spilled out over the city’s streets.

Optimism In Investment After Turmoil

May 7, 2015

From Greater Rosemont to Druid Heights, community leaders are seeing last week's riots in the city as an opportunity to attract the investment that by-passed Baltimore for other cities after riots in 1968 after the death of Rev. Martin Luther King.

"Hopefully if our leaders – not only government but the private sector, the foundations and everything – will get together and really focus and opportunities will be created," said Kelly Little,  former executive director of the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation.

The Role of Strong Black Women

May 7, 2015
P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Midday culture commentator Sheri Parks reflects on the role of strong black women in the crisis in Baltimore -- from the mayor and state's attorney to the mom who slapped her son and pulled him away from the April 27 rioting.

Understanding Poverty

May 7, 2015
Matt Purdy / WYPR

Michael Reisch, professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and a leading scholar on American poverty, talks about the socioeconomic dynamics of Baltimore brought to light by the unrest related to the death of Freddie Gray.

Sandtown-Winchester: Past and Present, Part II

May 6, 2015

We revisit West Baltimore's Sandtown-Winchester -- "Freddie's neighborhood" -- with people who live there and who have been involved in the two-decades-long effort to raise the quality of life of its residents. Our guests: Former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, now president of the University of Baltimore; Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the Baltimore City branch of the NAAACP Carol Reckling, executive director of Child First Authority and a senior leader for BUILD (Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development); Rev.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has ended a state of emergency in Baltimore imposed after the riots and looting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray, the black man who, after his arrest, suffered a spine injury and died a week later.

Sandtown-Winchester: Past and Present, Part I

May 6, 2015

We revisit West Baltimore's Sandtown-Winchester -- "Freddie's neighborhood" -- with people who live there and who have been involved in the two-decades-long effort to raise the quality of life of its residents. Our guests: Congressman Elijah Cummings; Carol Reckling, executive director of Child First Authority and a senior leader for BUILD (Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development); Bart Harvey, former CEO of the Enterprise Foundation; Rev.  Louis Wilson of New Song Community Church.

For the last seven decades, it’s been baseball, more than our other major sports, that has led the way in terms of its connection to the broader American social fabric. And nowhere was that association on greater display than last week during the unrest that rocked Baltimore to its core.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has asked the Justice Department to open up a civil rights investigation into the city's police department.

"Such an investigation is essential if we are to build on the foundation of reform," she said during a news conference.

Over the past couple of weeks, Baltimore has seen near-daily protests over the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal spine injury in police custody. Those protests boiled over into a night of riots.

What Did Millions of Investment Do For West Baltimore's Sandtown?

May 6, 2015
Baltimore Heritage//Flickr Creative Commons

Five decades ago, before the riots of 1968, Baltimore’s Sandtown neighborhood was a vibrant community of about 40,000 laborers, professionals and artists. These days less than half that many people live there, and the numbers paint a picture of a community in poor health, with high unemployment, deep poverty, and children not attending school regularly.

Matt Purdy

On April 12th, Baltimore police officers made eye contact with Freddie Gray at North Avenue and Mount Street. Gray ran, the police chased, and you know the rest of the story: the 25-year-old Gray suffered a spinal injury while in police custody and died a week later. Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, in announcing charges against the officers on Friday, said the officers did not have probable cause to arrest Gray.

Even before the Freddie Gray case, the state’s attorney’s office wanted Baltimore police to bring more expertise in deciding when and how to stop someone on the street (or in a car), and what makes a valid arrest. The city has approve $50,000 to put 300 police officers through 12 hours of training. The lawyer who created the training, Byron Warnken, joins us by phone to talk about it. He’s a University of Baltimore Law Professor and the senior member of Warnken, Attorneys At Law, which he founded with his wife.

The images from Baltimore of demonstrations, police in riot gear, looting and outbreaks of violence are familiar to some other cities after encounters with police ended in death for unarmed individuals — primarily black men.

Officials say what comes from those tragic encounters can be important lessons about policing and moving forward.

A week after Baltimore’s mostly peaceful protests turned into riots, tensions flared again after a shot rang out at the intersection of Pennsylvania and North Avenues. Officers pursued a man carrying a handgun, which the police department says discharged when the revolver was dropped.

Multiracial Organizing, After Freddie Gray

May 5, 2015

Sheilah talks to Lawrence Brown, an assistant professor in community health and policy at Morgan State University, about the role of race in policing--and in protesting. 

 Dr. Brown was at Pennsylvania and North Avenues Saturday night when protesters not only broke the curfew, but turned the curfew to their advantage. As the world watched, protesters wanted to show that some parts of Baltimore are policed very differently than others. So several dozen mostly white protesters broke the curfew in the mostly white neighborhood of Hampden. Activist Deray McKesson posted a video of a police officer giving the Hampden protesters their last warning not long after the 10 p.m. curfew.

Employment and Equity in West Baltimore

May 5, 2015

CVS says it plans to rebuild the store damaged in last week's riot, and today we take a look at the needs of West Baltimore and what it takes to bring more jobs and a higher quality of life to its neighborhoods. Our guests: Ron Kreitner of WestSide Renaissance; Todd Cherkis of United Workers; and Jermaine Jones, of the Construction Laborers LiUNA Local 710.

Fair and Impartial Policing

May 5, 2015

As we continue our coverage of the Freddie Gray case, we look new methods of training law enforcement officers to prevent racial profiling. Our guests: Senator Ben Cardin; City Councilman Bill Henry, from Baltimore's 4 District; Lorie Fridel, associate professor of criminology at University of South Florida; and J. Amy Dillard, professor of law at the University of Baltimore.

West Baltimore And The Shadow Of The State

May 5, 2015
Baltimore Heritage//Flickr Creative Commons

Over the last two weeks, as protests of how police treated Freddie Gray spread from Baltimore to other cities and claimed national media attention, much of America that had known nothing about West Baltimore, began to learn about it. One observer in New Jersey didn’t need an introduction.

In the 1990s Sociologist Patricia Fernandez-Kelly was a research scientist at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies. Her research into how de-industrialization was affecting city residents took her into West Baltimore. She immersed herself in the lives of several families, working to understand their experience and in particular, the relation between them and government.

The result is the book Fernandez-Kelly published this spring: "The Hero’s Fight—African-Americans in West Baltimore and the Shadow of the State". Patricia Fernandez-Kelly joins us from Princeton University, where she’s now a senior lecturer in sociology.

Matt Purdy

The looting and destruction of the CVS pharmacy at North and Pennsylvania avenues became one of the indelible images of the unrest last week. It will also have a lasting impact on the Penn-North neighborhood. Residents who need prescriptions filled have had to find somewhere else to go. Baltimore’s Health Department has been aiding residents in locating new pharmacies and overseeing public health efforts post-unrest. With Sheilah to talk about it is Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City’s Health Commissioner.

You can find out information about pharmacy closings, mental health services, and healthcare access at the Baltimore City Health Department website.