For The Record: The Voices Of Baltimore
ARUN RATH, HOST:
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
(SOUNDBITE OF BALTIMORE PROTESTS)
RATH: Sounds of a night of unrest in Baltimore Monday as businesses were looted, fires set and rocks hurled at police officers - anger over the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a broken neck in a police van and died a week after he was arrested. An investigation by the Baltimore Sun found the city has paid out nearly $6 million to settle claims of police harassment and brutality. Yesterday, we talked with some people in Baltimore who say the relationship with police is damaged, but it wasn't always that way.
PHYLLIS FITZGERALD: The policemen - and I'm not saying all of them - but they don't respect people as much as they did when I was coming up. And I think the younger generation has lost some respect for the policemen for the way that they are treated.
EDWARD HOLMES: The harassment of that man - black while running. That's not a charge, that's not nothing. If I see you and I know you're going to harass me, of course I'm going to run. And it's not saying that I'm guilty of anything. Now, this hurt me to my heart. How do so many young kids get so angry at such a tender age? They are so young and angry already at the police because of harassment.
FITZGERALD: I know their job calls for a lot and it is a stressful job, but they have to treat people like they are people and not like they are other than human beings.
HOLMES: The police were different in the '60s. We knew the beat cops, right? Now, it's like - it's the police against the citizens. Get involved in the community. Get out the car. Get out of the car.
CHARLES TAYLOR: This situation with Gray - I mean, he was stopped. They claim he ran. But what was he stopped for? You know, we're not talking about a terrorist. We're not talking about a fugitive. We're talking about a man that they claimed they stopped for a reason we still to this day do not know really why.
KEVON HALL: They was here to help. But now, as I got older and I've seen all this - this police brutality, it's just made me think twice about it. I really don't like it. It's just not right.
TAYLOR: Whites shouldn't feel like they should live in fear of blacks because of them being angry or mad at something that they didn't do. Blacks shouldn't feel like they should be targets of something that they had nothing to do. We can go on and on and on why none of us should be living in fear for anything.
HALL: Majority of the time, I'm walking around, I'm with my friends, and just because of how we dress or how we're walking in groups or how we're talking - might be on the corner just talking to each other because we've just seen each other. They thinking that we're doing something that we're not supposed to do.
TAYLOR: These are issues that I think all people should be concerned about - white, black, red or yellow. So I think this is a concern for everybody, not just one particular race.
HOLMES: I hope things get better. All I want - I want us to be happy, man, because we're all God's children. We're all God's children.
RATH: The voices of Baltimore residents - 53-year-old Edward Holmes, 74-year-olds Phyllis Fitzgerald, 50-year-old Charles Taylor and 18-year-old Kevon Hall. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.