Media coverage on the Baltimore riots has improved compared to how coverage for the Ferguson protests went, Morgan Freeman said. While the media was one-sided in reporting Michael Brown’s death, it has made a step forward in its coverage of Freddie Gray’s death, he said.
The Baltimore coverage
“Now, they’re getting more of the whole picture. Ferguson? No. Baltimore seems to be coming up with a different scenario in the background. People are saying, ‘You were not all there when we were just talking and trying to make a point, but if we set something on fire, all of a sudden you’re all here. Why is that? What’s the difference?’ And some young reporters are listening. That sort of observation is very useful,” Freeman told The Daily Beast.
Freeman was being interviewed for his upcoming film, “Five Flights Up.” One of the spines of the movie is the story of a young Muslim man stopped by the NYPD while driving his truck on a bridge. What follows is a convoluted media coverage made all the more complex by public speculation – something akin to both Ferguson and Baltimore protests.
Freeman said that technology played a major role to bring to light what actually happened during an arrest by police officers.
“The other thing is that technology lets us see behind the scenes a little bit better. Police have a standard reaction to shooting somebody. I fear for my life and I fear for my safety. Now, at least you can see, ‘Hey, his hands were up in the air! What part of your safety were you afraid of? The guy was running away, what part of your safety was in danger?’ There was one situation I saw where a cop told a guy to get out of the car, said, ‘Show me your driver’s license,’ and the guy reached back into the car and the cop shot him!,” Freeman said.
Baltimore citywide curfew lifted
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has lifted the citywide curfew on Sunday, Fox News reported. The curfew was implemented in the wake of the Baltimore riots. Residents were ordered to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. since Tuesday, April 28. The six police officers incriminated for Gray’s death has been charged on Friday, May 1, and riots has since subsided.
Police said Sunday that 486 people have been arrested in lieu of the protests that erupted on April 23. Additionally, a total of 113 officers were injured at riots, the police said.
Six police officers charged
State’s attorney Marilyn Mosby said that Gray died because of a broken neck incurred when police put him head-first inside the police van. Gray was then handcuffed and his legs were in shackles. This left him slamming against the walls of the paddy wagon as the van traveled to the hospital. Investigators said that the police officers intentionally ignored Gray’s pleas for medical attention, thinking he was faking it.
One of the six police officers was charged with second-degree murder. Three of them were charged with involuntary manslaughter, and the other two were charged with second-degree assault.
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