Baltimore, Md., last April was torn by rioting that left 200 police officers injured and cost local citizens and businesses more than $20 Million in damages.
This Dec. 16 protesters returned to Baltimore streets.
Last April's protests and violence were sparked by the death of Freddie Gray, a young African-American who suffered what became fatal spinal injuries while in a police van.
The trial of William Porter, the first of six police officers to be tried in connection with Gray's death, ended on Wednesday in a hung jury.
By charging Porter, 26, with crimes that could put him in prison for 20 years, prosecutors apparently hoped to compel his testimony against fellow officers. Porter may now face a new trial, and if acquitted could face triple jeopardy by the federal Department of Justice.
As Craig R. Smith and I explore in our new book, "We Have Seen The Future And It Looks Like Baltimore: American Dream vs. Progressive Dream," we have much to learn about the culture wars tearing America apart by looking at this city that once was the second most chosen destination by immigrants seeking the American dream.
In the 1938 movie “Angels With Dirty Faces," two young male friends run from the police. One, played by Pat O'Brien, narrowly escapes. The other, Jimmy Cagney, a step slower, is caught and sent to reform school.
Cagney becomes a lifelong criminal. His friend becomes a priest who helps young people.
Freddie Gray and William Porter were like that. Both were African-Americans raised in poverty by single mothers after being, in the words of Washington Post reporter Michael Fletcher, "born 11 blocks and less than two months apart in a city notoriously perilous for black males."
Freddie Gray went wrong, was arrested 17 times, and became a heroin user and pusher in this progressive-run heroin capital, where welfare addiction begets despair and drug addiction.
Gray became a kind of urban terrorist who allegedly engaged in chemical warfare against his community by hooking kids on heroin.
"I could have been Freddie Gray," said William Porter. The difference: his mother signed him up at a local Police Athletic League center where caring police officers became the father figure he (and today more than 70 percent of inner city black male children) lacked at home.
Porter became a police officer, part of the thin blue line of people who put their lives on the line to protect and serve their community.
But in Progressive-dominated Baltimore, politicians hold power by preaching class and race polarization. Freddie Gray has become a political martyr, almost a hero.
William Porter, along with three white and two black cops, are demonized and thrown to the mob by politicians.
On Sept. 9, one day before a judge would decide whether to grant these police officers a change of venue, Democratic Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and her city council gave Gray's family a settlement of $6.4 Million, more than all 120 most recent Baltimore settlements concerning alleged police wrongdoing . . . combined.
Such settlements usually come after a police officer is found guilty in a court of law. By this settlement, the city declared these police guilty before they went on trial.
The Maryland state's attorney in this case, Marilyn Mosby, was elected after receiving her largest campaign contribution, $5,000, from the lawyer who now represents Freddie Gray's family. Despite this potential conflict of interest, Mosby has refused to recuse herself from this case.
The officers were denied a change of venue, which meant that the jury of five men and seven women, seven blacks and five whites, who heard officer Porter's case did so under implied threat.
Each juror knew that a vote to acquit the officer might burn down Baltimore or lead to violence against themselves or their families.
But at least one juror voted for justice over personal fear.
In the wake of April's riots, Baltimore's murder rate has soared by 54 percent; more have been murdered here than in New York City, with 13 times more residents.
Afraid for their jobs and freedom, police no longer do as much pro-active law enforcement; arrests are down by 30 percent, and citizen fear grows.
Welcome to Baltimore, progressive paradise.
Lowell Ponte is co-author, with Craig R. Smith, of "The Great Withdrawal"; "Crashing the Dollar: How to Survive a Global Currency Collapse"; "The Great Debasement: The 100-Year Dying of the Dollar and How to Get America's Money Back"; "The Inflation Deception: Six Ways Government Tricks Us . . . And Seven Ways to Stop It"; and "Re-Making Money: Ways to Restore America's Optimistic Golden Age." Read more reports from Lowell Ponte — Click Here Now.
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