A grand jury has decided to indict the six Baltimore police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, who died after sustaining a severed spine while in police custody in April.
The point of all of this: to keep an eye on our posts and tweets, intimidate protesters before they hit the streets, pen them in on those streets, and ensure that they pay a heavy price for exercising their right to assemble and speak. The message is loud and clear in twenty-first-century America: protest at your peril.
Militarized policing was designed to destroy the dignity of those who contest power. Riot control is — and always has been — about criminalizing acts of disobedience by controlling people, public space and even the air we breathe. The disturbing forms of policing we see in Baltimore provide a small window into a sprawling, transnational business with roots in colonialist violence.