NAACP Statement on Anniversary of Baltimore Unrest

NAACP, April 27, 2016

The NAACP today released the following statement on the one year anniversary of Baltimore unrest:

“One year ago today, the NAACP and the nation watched in shock as police in riot gear confronted a mob of teenagers on the streets of Baltimore, sparking a series of fires and acts of violence that caused more than 200 arrests and resulted in millions in damage to property in one day. It was hard to witness, as the streets of the city that is home to our national headquarters became engulfed in chaos.

“The unrest of Baltimore on April 27, 2015 shocked many people, in Baltimore city and across the country, into confronting the history of segregation, racism, and indifference of the past, and its role in mass unemployment, crime, poverty and neglect that remain today.

“As has happened in Ferguson, in Chicago, in Minneapolis, Charleston and in hundreds of other towns and cities across the United States, the death of Freddie Gray has also sparked a birth of new civic advocacy in its wake and spurred a new dialogue on the state of racism in our nation. That day of violence last year has quickly shifted to meaningful and nonviolent actions that turned the conversation to the future. Last night, more than 123,000 residents of Baltimore city turned out to elect new candidates for mayor and city council running on platforms of change and new opportunity. Thousands of people have joined together in efforts to rebuild and work to create a safer, healthier and more inclusive city.

“Under new leadership, the city police are working with the U.S. Department of Justice to implement long-overdue reforms to police tactics, training and policy, and reestablishing strained relations and trust within communities across Baltimore.

“The problems of poverty, crime, unemployment and neglect remain significant in Baltimore city and across this country. As we pause today to reflect on the life and death of Freddie Gray and the future of Baltimore and our nation, we hope that more people draw from the lessons of a year ago, confront the mistakes of past policies and work to resolve the inequities caused by racial and geographic separation.”

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