Day 18 - Last Words: Freddie Gray Jr.
"I can't breathe."
Freddie Gray Jr., 1989-2015
The morning of April 12, 2015, three Baltimore police officers, Lieutenant Brian W. Rice, Officer Edward Nero, and Officer Garrett E. Miller, were patrolling near the Gilmor Homes housing project when they "made eye contact” with Freddie Gray. Gray fled on foot and the officers gave chase, later arresting him for possession of a spring-assisted switch blade knife. Gray was apprehended and, according to Miller, taken into custody without the use of force.
Two bystanders captured Gray's arrest with video recordings, which show Gray screaming in pain and being dragged to a police van by the officers. The van, driven by Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. stopped six times before the officers called paramedics to take Gray to the hospital. On the fourth stop Gray said to Officer William G. Porter, “I can’t breathe.”
Gray lapsed into a coma with three fractured vertebrae, injuries to his voice box and his spine 80% severed around his neck. During the following week Gray never regained consciousness. He died on April 19, 2015. In September 2015 the city of Baltimore agreed to pay $6.4 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the relatives of Freddie Gray.
Sources: Baltimore Sun, Washington Post
I was told that America is a great and powerful nation. I do not doubt it, but "great" and "powerful" are not always good traits. After all, Pharaoh was both of those things, once. Will this country go on witnessing the fragile lives of its black citizens? Will we continue in our unwillingness to act? Will we continue in our unwillingness to put our power and greatness into the betterment of our most vulnerable people?