4.6 The Case of Freddie Gray (April 12th, 2015: Baltimore, Maryland)
The police reports indicate that Freddie Gray was chased down by Baltimore police on foot before he was apprehended and arrested for possession of an illegal switchblade. The officers bundled him into a van as seen in a witness video recording where a visibly hurt Gray wailed in pain. Several days later on the 19th Gray succumbed in hospital while receiving treatment for his spinal injuries. Revelations after indictment and latter acquittals of all the officers involved in the arrest revealed that the police manhandled Gray while on transit in the back of the van. None of the police officers involved were held accountable for Freddie Gray’s death.
4.6.2 Traditional Media
Fig 35: Excerpt from CNN’s report on Freddie Gray (Botelho & Fantz, 2015).
In this CNN televised report, the news reports go through a timeline of the events that led to injuries sustained by Gray. The most notable aspect of the report is that it focused on the genesis of the confrontation between the police officers involved and Freddie Gray. The report reiterates that Gray was arrested for having an illegal weapon in a high crime area of Baltimore that is well-known for drug and crime that involves gun violence.
188.8.131.52 ABC News
Fig 36: Excerpt from ABC News’ report on Freddie Gray’s death (Linderman, 2015).
In this ABC News report, the focus of the article is in the evaluation of the challenges that the victim Freddie Gray may have had to endure while on transit in the vehicle that the police officers who arrested him transported him in. The police officers were cited to have made several stops with the sole aim of thoroughly beating Gray. Moreover, other than the battering, the article cited negligence on the part of the officers since they failed to secure Gray using a seatbelt while he was on transit. As such, the article present Gray in positive light essentially noting that he is the victim in the whole scenario.
Fig 37: Excerpt from PBS showing Freddie Gray’s trial outcomes (Barajas, 2015).
Much like the abc News report before it, the PBS news report also presents facts indicating that Freddie Gray was the victim in the scenario and that the police who manhandled him should have been held accountable. Consequently, the report notes that justice was not served since the case was ruled a homicide or manslaughter rather than a murder. Hence, the report indicates that justice was not served for Gray as the victim of police brutality.
184.108.40.206 The Baltimore Sun
Fig 38: Excerpt from The Baltimore Sun on Freddie Gray’s death (Rector, 2015).
The Baltimore Sun takes an investigative outlook or investigation on how events unfolded after the capture of Freddie Gray by police officers. The report reveals negligence on the part of the police officers where it was apparent that abuse of power by the police officers led to the suffering endured by the victim. The report shows that police brutality is an issue to contend with in the United States and by extension the cause of the troubles that Freddie Gray endured including his spinal injury leading to his eventual death.
220.127.116.11 The Atlantic
Fig 39: Excerpt from The Atlantic Reporting on Freddie Gray’s murder (Graham D. A., 2015).
The excerpt from above also shares concerns about the welfare of Freddie Gray while he was on transit immediately after his arrest. The article draws conclusions that the police must have manhandled Gray while he was in transportation to the police cell. The investigations as presented shed light in various aspects of negligence and ignorance on the part of police based on the manner they treated the individual who was on transit to the police station for booking. The most important aspect, however, is the fact that the article clearly shows that Gray was the victim of a case of police brutality as discussed.
4.6.3 Modern Media
Fig 40: Excerpt from YouTube’s CNN Report on Freddie Gray’s Death (DelicatelyDurable, 2016).
The YouTube video provides a comprehensive analysis of the Freddie Gray case that ventures into the valuation of various angles that relate to the case. As such, each of the points presented develop the timeline of the story that brings various issues to light as pertains to the developments that led to the death of Freddie Gray’s death as well as the surrounding factors associated with cause and effect relations that led Freddie to a life of Crime to begin with. The mistrust between people of Baltimore and the police officers presents a formidable challenge that has in effect brewed an environment for police brutality in the United States at large especially against African Americans who bear the greatest brunt, according to this report.
Fig 41: Excerpts from Tweets talking of Freddie Gray’s death (Twitter, 2015).
Twitter presents a myriad of opinions and shows a divided stance among individuals commenting on the Freddie Gray death. As such mixed opinions can be seen from the perspective of racial discrimination where the police are taken to side with White supremacist community while the African American protesters are widely concerned with the plight of Black men targeted by the police. In that respect, Twitter presents a myriad of opinions, in which case, differences in thoughts or stance is aligned with how individuals responded to the information they received about the death of Freddie Gray. Ultimately, the Tweets prove that people are more free to share their thoughts and opinions in social media where interpretation of information takes the form of participation from audiences who contribute bits of their knowledge and thoughts on the matter.
Fig 42: Excerpts from Facebook showing posts about Freddie Gray (Facebook, 2015).
The Facebook post sampled primarily consist of sympathetic messages and messages of concern pertaining to the death of Freddie Gray. To a great extent, the posts are a call for justice for Freddie Gray, and as such, the posts depict Freddie in positive light whereby he is the victim of circumstance and the individual who justice was denied.