Freddy Gray made eye contact with a Baltimore cop. He ran like a rabbit so cops chased him like hounds and did what hounds do when they catch a rabbit. They snapped his spine. But the elemental savagery of everyday policing in Baltimore and a hundred other cities is not a fit topic for presidential commentary. The only “criminals” and “thugs” the first black president and for that matter corporate news can see are the citizens in the streets protesting police murder and impunity.
According to the Baltimore Police Department’s own story, all Freddie Gray ever did was make eye contact with a police lieutenant and take off running. In 21 st century America, the relation of young black men to the police is such that when you run like a rabbit, cops will chase you like hounds. When the hounds caught 25 year old Freddy Gray they did what hounds do when they catch a rabbit. Baltimore cops snapped Freddy Gray’s spine, and they may have inflicted additional torture upon him during a half hour in leg irons in back of a police van after which they finally got around to calling the paramedics.
This kind of simple, elemental savagery is the ordinary everyday state of policing not just in Baltimore but in a hundred other US cities. Black Baltimore knows, just like black Chicago, black Los Angeles and Philly and Birmingham and Jacksonville and Detroit — they all know that the courts and ballot box provide no credible remedies to the scourge of police violence or the national policy of mass incarceration inflicted upon Americans of African descent.