Baltimore's police department homicide victim Freddie Grey had a lengthy criminal record of mostly non-violent crime before being murdered by them. I see only a second-degree assault charge on his rap sheet. The altercation leading to his death appears to have no just cause, only citing illegal possession of a switchblade. Unless he was walking around playing with it, the switchblade could have been planted on him too, then he was likely being harassed by police he had a history with. Time will tell if any justice is to follow the announcement of homicide charges being filed against officers involved. Regardless, breaking a man's spine, lying that he walked fine though he was clearly injured and screaming in pain, then not calling medics for 42 minutes, there is no excuse for this behavior by anyone, especially in authority..
It is tragic the legacy of racism creates crime rich ethnic areas with no opportunity. It is the epitome of "the man" keeping people down. Instead of slaves, today many African-American's are slaves to a welfare system, constant monitoring by social services, police patrols and ultimately sadistic babysitters while kept in cages. It has already been clear that the crack epidemic was in part a CIA operation, revelations chronicled in the recent biographical Hollywood portrayal of Gary Webb, "Kill the Messenger."
What a great follow up to the civil rights movement. After a long history of oppression, any thoughtful student of history can see a constantly morphing tendency of self-fulfilling prophecy aimed at justifying the misfortunes of black folks in America.
It is no surprise to see the massive demonstrations, mostly non-violent, that follow this outrageous result of police activity. Whether those acting violently or destroying property are provocateurs or not is one question. Regardless there is certainly some righteous violence that can result from the continuous violent oppression of people. Franz Fanon believed that acts of violence are necessary to overcome the multi-generational psychological baggage of such a colonial history. Fanon's insights foresaw decades of disaster in Africa that followed after his writings. Here is a bit on such views from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
Les Damnés de la Terre is a more abstract analysis of colonialism and revolution. It has been described as a handbook for black revolution. The book ranges over the necessary role Fanon thinks violence must play in decolonization struggles, the false paths decolonizing nations take when they entrust their eventual freedom to negotiations between a native elite class and the formers colonizers instead of mobilizing the masses as a popular fighting force, the need to recreate a national culture through a revolutionary arts and literature movement, and an inventory of the psychiatric disorders that colonial repression unleashes.
If corrupt killer cops being strung up as human pinatas is needed to offset such a terrible history, it would not even come close to the live slow centuries of slavery with BBQing of black men to lynching and suffering at the hands of police African-Americans today. Without an interwoven fabric of oppression the system of inequity could not persist. Misfortune, however contrived, helps promote momentum for the system as it exists. A global crabs-in-the-bucket of not-so free markets, relying on slavery and environmental exploitation. Ignorance, inequality and dehumanization are major factors that need to be addressed to turn the tide against such evils. In the meantime keep the cameras handy, that is one way we can shoot police that may be fatal to their ingrained system of injustice, cruelty and sadism.