baltimore

What do you mean, nothing happened?

“It appears to have been a quiet night in Bolton Hill,” reported our neighborhood association president this morning.

“There has been no repeat of Monday’s violence,” reported the Washington Post.

Why?

Of course we know why. There had to have been “a very strong showing from police,” Fox News predictably concluded, noting that the streets, cleared of human activity after the 10 pm curfew began last night, were “eerily quiet.” This sentiment was echoed by the Baltimore Sun, which reported that “police … patrolled city streets with National Guard soldiers to maintain order.”

But this is what we heard. (Sorry– could not get the embedded video to work.) This, too. “It sounded like Artscape,” said one of my neighbors, who lives on the north side of Bolton Hill, near where the demonstrations were taking place.

Yes, police and National Guard were patrolling the streets. But so were the 12 O’Clock Boys. And so was the black fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha. And even the Bloods and the Crips.

What is missing from press coverage of yesterday’s supposed non-events is the fact that it was the community that wrested control of our city back to itself. They turned violent rage into drumming and dancing. News of demonstrations put the city in virtual lockdown again Tuesday afternoon, but “nothing” came of it. Why? because a great deal happened to make sure nothing would.

Is this the kind of policing we really want or need?

Aside from a few lines in the Sun and brief mentions on NPR, I heard nothing about the community’s transformation of last nights events from confrontation into peace. What’s wrong with this picture?

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