As police start to turn the mainstream media in their favor with their first report on the Freddie Gray killing, social media reveals the truth about the Baltimore riots.
J.R. White, right, takes a selfie in front of a mural that was painted at the site of Freddie Gray’s arrest, Saturday, May 2, 2015, in Baltimore, as protesters prepare to march to City Hall.
The Baltimore Police Department on Thursday released the preliminary findings of the investigation into the death of Freddie Gray.
“An investigation into the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray has found no evidence that his fatal injuries were caused during the videotaped arrest and interaction with police officers, according to multiple law enforcement sources,” Brad Bell wrote for WJLA in Baltimore.
Yet the same sources suggest Gray’s death could have occurred from a “rough ride,” Baltimore’s unsavory tradition of causing severe injury through unsafe police van transport.
Just as with every recent controversial cop killing, the media and police unions are spinning events in favor of police actions, all the while ignoring the ways police escalated recent protests in Baltimore.
The brighter side of this grim trend is the increasing ability to access direct, unfiltered news through social media. Twitter’s top activists, citizen journalists and independent media erupted on Thursday to call into question the official police account.
Shaun King, the Justice Columnist for DailyKos, questioned attempts by police to shift the blame entirely away arresting officers:
“Harris From The Post,” a citizen journalist and livestreamer, compiled several independent accounts and eyewitness reports into a visual timeline of Freddie Gray’s arrest:
Our investigation of 3 witnesses of #FreddieGray at Gilmore Homes
— Harris from the Post (@rousseau_ist) April 30, 2015
News2Share’s Trey Yingst tweeted this disturbing eyewitness account, apparently from another man arrested by BPD on the same day as Gray:
— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) April 30, 2015
Meanwhile, “Chuck_MODI,” a citizen journalist and sports culture analyst from POPSspot, has brought followers a glimpse surreal moments of citizens coming to terms with the presence of militarized police on their streets:
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) April 30, 2015
Baltimore BLOC, a “a grassroots collective of friends, families & neighborhoods united to rebuild communities,” provides an important source of live updates on police, local events and calls for solidarity.
— BmoreUnited (@Bmore_United) April 30, 2015
A local activist, Dr. James MacArthur (satirically tweeting, as of this writing, as “Don Lemon’s Shadow”) frequently offers valuable live reports.
— Credible Threat (@BaltoSpectator) April 30, 2015
USA Today’s Yamiche Alcindor became known for her valuable, even-handed coverage of police brutality protests in St. Louis, Missouri, and she’s currently reporting from Baltimore.
Protesters walking through Baltimore. https://t.co/5qTMGKiXN6
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) April 30, 2015
Many of the same activists who were crucial to following events in Ferguson are now part of the #BaltimoreUprising, such as Charles Wade, who is assisting the #BaltimoreLunch initiative to keep residents fed during the unrest.
— deray mckesson (@deray) April 30, 2015
— Rissa (@RissaChanIsCute) April 30, 2015
As always, accounts associated with the Anonymous movement are an important, if sometimes unreliable, source of intelligence from events like the Baltimore protests. Established Anonymous tweeter @OpFerguson was recently joined by a new account, @OpBaltimore.
— Operation Baltimore (@OpBaltimore) April 30, 2015
MintPress News has curated a list of these accounts, which will allow readers to follow the most up-to-the-minute reports on what’s unfolding in Baltimore: