Baltimore needs an indictment

There will come a day when I am tired of writing about Baltimore, thinking about Baltimore, caring about Baltimore all together. There will come a day when my energy has been used up, such is the nature of things. What makes me different from a lot of people is that today is not the day I get tired of talking about Baltimore. The riots have ceased. The Facebook statuses have been updated, new tweets are trending, as a culture we’ve taken our first steps away from Baltimore and towards tomorrow’s crisis. Riots are temporary, they are a flash of anger and impulse. The damage they cause will last longer, it will take weeks, perhaps months for Baltimore to recover from yesterday’s intensity. The system that created the anger that sparked the riot is not temporary, it won’t be gone a few months from now, it was built specifically to endure. It hasn’t changed, it hasn’t slowed down, and as of this moment we’ve accomplished nothing.

Guys, we cannot stop now. I won’t say that we’re so close, because I have no idea if that’s true. I do know one truth, Freddie Gray will not be the last. He will not be the last victim of police brutality, he will not be the last man mourned while a judicial system that doesn’t care about it’s people defends the cops that murdered him. He won’t be the last one of us dead on the news with no expectation of justice. I would say that we need clear attainable goals or a list of demands in order for our needs to be met, but the truth is we’re not demanding anything they haven’t promised to us, threatened us with. The law is clear when it comes to murder, it’s also clear when it comes to negligence. There are people who believe that these police officers are innocent, there are people who are convinced that they’re guilty. I don’t know which side is correct but I do know that these police officers need to be tried. We can’t continue to live in a nation where cops don’t have to face the justice they are so quick to dole out. If they’re innocent then they ought to have faith in a court of law to exonerate them with a quick and televised trial. We can’t have another murder without an indictment, and it’s a shame that an indictment is what the people are fighting for. That’s our demand, that’s our need, not an assured verdict, not cops thrown to the wolves, just a chance at one of the people finding justice. We need to see justice work for us instead of against us. We need to see that our lives matter in the eyes of the people we put in charge, the people we’re told are going to work every day with our best interests in their hearts. We need to see that lives matter in general. Not just black lives, but all lives, because the pain we’re facing right now isn’t ours alone. There are lots of non-blacks out there who would point out that it’s been happening to them too, and they’ll be the next people to face this injustice publically, like we are now. If we don’t stop it today, when will we stop it? How many Freddie Grays do we as a nation genuinely need? We shouldn’t have needed Freddie Gray to put a stop to this, we shouldn’t have needed Eric Garner to get us to put a stop to this, let’s end this now before we end up with another body, another headline, another riot we don’t need. Let’s put those cops on trial.