Prisons and Policing

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On Thursday, February 28th, the Maryland State Senate voted 28 to 19 to pass the Governor’s gun control bill.[1] It is off to the House of Delegates for final approval, and if approved will move on to the Governor’s desk for signature.

Marcus Pettiford, son of slain Anthony Anderson. Photo by Lance Mc Coy.

It has been almost six months since Anthony Anderson Sr. was brutally murdered by Baltimore City Police Officers on the corner of Montford & Biddle. 

The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide. Yet State’s Attorney, Gregg L. Bernstein, has not prosecuted the officers, which include Todd Strohman.

Photo source: soulbrotherv2.blogspot

Racism as a persistent cancer of the American system, infecting the blood that runs through its democratic veins, is an idea that is not readily accepted by the White status quo. The dominant culture sees racism as some inconsequential strange and unique appendage of the Republic that can be severed, ignored, or accommodated with special considerations for the handicapped. So when Derrick Bell, a cerebral, Harvard legal scholar admired by President Obama, identified racism as a terminal disease that is permanent, Whites went all Farrakhan on him. The media tied Obama to Bell in his Harvard years and pilloried the President with slurs that he is a racist

A black man wears a shirt that reads, "Not Chris Dorner Please Do Not Shoot". Image source:

The mainstream White media represented Dorner as a loony with a grudge and an assault rifle. But an amazing thing happened in the alternative and social media outlets. Although African Americans did not support Dorner’s murder spree, many supported Dorner. The difference between how Black people saw this and White people viewed Dorner was like the parting of the Red Sea. It was like the O.J. case: Blacks on one side and Whites on the other. The issue for some Black people was Dorner’s blowing the cover off the racist, brutal tactics of police bullies in poor black and brown communities. For White people it was just the case of a murderer on the loose.

Protestors in a neighborhood adjacent to Ofer Prison. Photo By: Joshua Stephens

By now, the world is beginning to hear about Arafat Jaradat. A young Palestinian father, imprisoned three months without charge, in the notorious Israeli Megiddo Military Prison. Allegedly, he'd been involved in throwing stones. Two nights ago, he died, still in custody. Still without charge or trial.

Zapatistas march in Ocosingo, December 21, 2012. Source:

On December 21st of last year, as many across the world were speculating about the end of the Mayan calendar, 40,000 actual Mayans marched silently into five cities in Chiapas, Mexico, putting the Zapatistas and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) back into the forefront of grassroots political discourse the world over, and mainstream political discourse in Mexico. A stream of provocative communiques from the EZLN's spokesperson, Subcomandante Marcos, have followed.

Deverick Murray in front of the proposed juvenile detention facility. Photo By: Casey McKeel

Casey McKeel interviews hip-hop artist and activist, DevRock, in front of the site of the proposed juvenile detention center about the release of his new Mixtape.

Cop Toons facebook page. Image by Bonnie Lane.

“Social media policy for officers is being developed. I don’t know who authored this page. It’s not authorized by the BCPD. I haven’t received any complaints on this yet,” stated Anthony Guglielmi of BCPD Public Affairs.

The page Guglielmi talked to me about is Cop Toons. According to the page description, it is a cartoon photo gallery of actual Baltimore Police officers.

Proposed site for new youth jail. Photo By: Reverend Heber Brown, III.

A decision has come in on a controversy that has taken over Baltimore for months: the planned $70 million youth jail in Baltimore. The jail is no longer going to be built. Instead they plan on renovating a smaller facility for the purpose of housing youth that were incarcerated for violent crimes. This turn of events still comes with strong opinions, yet the voices of those that were protesting the new youth jail are somewhat quelled.


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