Freddie Gray | WYPR

Freddie Gray

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

The All-Nite Images // Flickr Creative Commons

Churches in the black community historically have been a vital institution -- a central force of social change. From Martin Luther King Jr. , to the Reverends Fred Shuttlesworth, Richard Boone and Pauli Murray – myriad church leaders helped birth the modern civil rights movements.

Fast forward to 2015 in Baltimore: On the day of Freddie Gray’s funeral and the night of the unrest, scores of black clergy walked down North Avenue to quell the unrest.  And it raises the question: as the Black Lives Matter movement has grown --a decentralized group of community leaders, activists, authors, journalists and students using digital tools like Twitter--how has the black faith community in Baltimore engaged with this growing group?

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Lawmakers in Maryland charged with exploring potential policing reform measures heard from the public in Annapolis on Thursday. More than a dozen activists from a broad coalition of labor, civil rights and faith groups turned out to call for major changes to make law enforcement more accountable, transparent and community-oriented.

Megan Lewis

Eighty young people have gotten summer jobs as "artist apprentices" in Sandtown in West Baltimore. It’s called Art @ Work: Sandtown. It’s an offshoot of Jubilee Arts’ year-round art programs for teens. This particular effort connects young people, aged 14 to 21, with master teaching artists to create seven murals and a mosaic in their community.

With Sheilah Kast to talk about the five-week program and its progress is one of the program’s teaching artists, Megan Lewis. Also with us are two of the artist apprentices: 18-year-old Eric Hendricks III lives in the Monroe neighborhood. He attended Frederick Douglas school. And 14-year-old Talia England. She lives in Sandtown, and graduated from Collington Square Middle school.

Baltimore in Recovery

Jul 15, 2015

We sit down with local businessman and Democratic strategist Michael Cryor, who was appointed to lead Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake’s “One Baltimore” initiative. We'll talk about Baltimore's recovery -- how people are feeling about the city's comeback from the spring -- if there is such a thing.

The unrest after the death of Freddie Gray continues to roil Baltimore. The city’s police union issued a report sharply critical of Commissioner Anthony Batts Wednesday morning. That afternoon, the mayor fired Batts. Now, something different; a free photo exhibit of the unrest has opened at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum downtown. The show's riveting images helped shape our understanding of what was happening in the streets at the time.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake fired Police Commissioner Anthony Batts on Wednesday. Commissioner Batts had been under-fire since the April riots and the surge in violent crime that followed. The Mayor named Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis, a veteran of the Prince George's County police department, who most recently served briefly as Police Chief in Anne Arundel County. He joined the Baltimore Police Department in January as a Deputy Commissioner.

Rebuilding community relations will be one of Interim Commissioner Davis’s most important tasks. With Sheilah in the studio to talk about how that can be done is Pastor Heber Brown III of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church. He led protests of police actions in the death of Freddie Gray.

Photo Courtesy of Beau Considine // Flickr Creative Commons

The intense debate around South Carolina’s vote to lower a Confederate banner leads us to think about Maryland’s relationship to symbols of the Civil War.

Bob Cherry, past-president of Baltimore's Fraternal Order of Police, joins Midday to discuss the union's "After Action Review," a report that criticizes former commissioner Anthony Batts for the police department's "passive" response to April's unrest. Plus, Munir Bahar, leader of the anti-violence 300 Men March, talks about the group's third annual march against violence, planned for this Friday.

Change in Command

Jul 9, 2015

Follow-up to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's dismissal of Police Commissioner Anthony Batts with excerpts from Tuesday's interview with the man who will replace Batts, Kevin Davis.

Our guests: State Senator Catherine Pugh; City Councilman Brandon Scott; P. Kenneth Burns of the WYPR reporting staff; and Rev. Donte Hickman.