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A Painful Reminder, Baltimore Community Activist addresses protests in Minneapolis

Posted at 8:41 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 07:07:02-04

BALTIMORE — Five years ago it was Baltimore in the national spotlight.

A young African American man named Freddie Gray died in police custody in West Baltimore and it lead to an uprising.

Community Activist Ericka Alston Buck committed her life and work to Sandtown Winchester.

Five years later, she’s reacting to another deadly arrest caught on camera.

“This man was handcuffed laying on his naked belly in the street,” Buck said. “Incapable, if you move your knee what is he going to do he’s handcuffed? We heard Eric Garner. We’ve heard I can’t breath before. We saw the breath leave out of this body this time. Ugh.”

Mike Freeman, The Hennepin County Attorney, prosecuting this case referenced the prosecution of the officers involved in the Freddie Gray.

“We have to prove to prove it in a court of law,” Freeman said. “I will just point to you the comparison to what happened in Baltimore and the Gray case. It was a rush to charge it was a rush to justice and all of those people were found not guilty. I will not rush to justice. I’m going to do this right.”

State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby responded to that comment, stating in part that the statement Freeman made was "demonstrably false".

George Floyd’s family and Buck want murder convictions for the officers involved.

“They keep getting arrested, no ones been charged with murder thus there are no consequence to mistreating black men,” Buck said.

The Minnesota Governor has called in the national guard.

The fires, the looting— all too familiar for people who lived in Baltimore in 2015.

“Should we be dying in the middle of the street? No. I’m not going to condone violence or looting or arson,” said Buck. “I’m not going to condone officers killing us either. What happened in Baltimore it was oh you see me now? And Minneapolis has the opportunity to say the same thing right now.”

The painful spotlight shifted to the Midwest.

The hurt that never went away in Baltimore amplified, but Buck said she will continue her work to end the cycle of pain and unanswered cries for justice.