19:12 GMT01 October 2020
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    On the one-year anniversary of the arrest of Freddie Gray, leading to his death in the custody of Baltimore police on April 19, 2015, many have been looking to see what, if anything, has changed.

    Following Gray’s death, the city was engulfed in riots, as militarized police and the National Guard lined the streets. There was looting, fires, and damage to some 400 businesses.

    There has been some progress, as convention bookings went up, tourism rebounded, and 93% of the businesses that closed following the riots have reopened, Reuters reported.

    But sadly, the city still struggles, with deep unemployment and 23% of its residents living below the poverty level.

    “The causes of the civil disturbance in Baltimore last year have not been eliminated,” said Billy Murphy, a lawyer who represents Gray’s family.

    “This can happen again.”

    After the riots quieted, many coalitions formed to address poverty and income inequality, including buy-local campaigns that include black-owned businesses. But progress from those campaigns is taking longer than many hoped.

    “It’s slower than any of us want, and not helping enough people yet, but, definitely, change,” Diane Bell-McKoy, chief executive of Associated Black Charities, told Reuters.

    In the aftermath, the department’s police chief was fired by mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, but agressive tactics continue under new police commissioner Kevin Davis.

    With the Democratic mayoral primary just two weeks away, residents have many options to vote for change. There are nearly two-dozen candidates, 13 of whom are Democrats. Nearly all candidates, across both parties, promise more jobs.

    The field includes Councilman Nick Mosby, husband of Marilyn Mosby, the prosecutor who charged the officers involved in the death of Gray. Also in the running is #BlackLivesMatter activist DeRay McKesson.


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