This week’s riots in Baltimore have drawn many comparisons to the race-fuelled protests of 1968, and Time magazine brings that idea home with its new cover.
The image reminds us that Baltimore — and many other cities across the US — still haven’t resolved some of the problems that sparked massive riots across the country 50 years ago.
In April 1968 after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, Baltimore residents rioted and looted businesses. The National Guard was called in to calm the protests.
The same happened this April after the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Grey, who died of a spinal injury while in police custody. It’s unclear what exactly happened while he was being transported in a police van after his arrest, but many protesters suspect that police brutality contributed to his death.
Rioters torched cars, looted convenience stores, and pelted cops with bricks, rocks, and bottles on Monday. The city instituted a curfew and called in the National Guard to diffuse the situation, and the city has calmed since then.
But many are still calling for justice, frustrated with the vast socioeconomic inequality in Baltimore and with a police force that has been accused of brutalizing citizens, many of whom haven’t even committed any crime.
Police arrested Grey after he made eye contact, fled, and was found with a switchblade knife on him.
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