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Is Baltimore better equipped to handle unrest should tensions rise again?

The city of Baltimore, Maryland, headed into a weekend of rallies and demonstrations after the six officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray were released on bail. For the latest, Luke Broadwater of The Baltimore Sun joins Hari Sreenivasan.

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  • HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR ANCHOR:

    For the latest from Baltimore, we are joined once again tonight by Luke Broadwater of The Baltimore Sun.

    So, what’s the timetable for the prosecution? The charges came down very quickly.

    What kind of a timeline are we looking for now that we know that these six officers are out on bail?

  • LUKE BROADWATER, BALTIMORE SUN:

    Well, felony charges in Maryland have to go before a grand jury.

    So, a grand jury is going to have to hear these charges. Obviously, that’s a one-side situation where only the prosecution gets to present evidence.

    That will have to happen within 30 days. If the grand jury decides to bring charges against the officers, then they will have an arraignment.

    So, we could see that all within the next month.

    And after they’re arraigned, then we’d likely see what they want to plea or go to trial. So we could — we could be — you know, trials in Baltimore notoriously take a long time.

    I mean, we see postponements all the times. We’ve seen cases that drag on for years and years and years.

    But I think with the high-profile nature of this one, I think we will be seeing these cases in court pretty quickly.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    So, three of the six police officers involved were African Americans.

    How is that affecting how this story is consumed, perceived on the streets of Baltimore?

  • LUKE BROADWATER:

    I would say it makes very little difference.

    Almost everybody I talk to on the street says it doesn’t matter to us whether the officer is white or black.

    What matters to us is that we get justice in the case.

    I think, potentially, especially when we’re talking about big, national cases, the race of the officers seems very important to maybe people who are looking in from the outside.

    But on the ground here, I found almost entirely people say that does not matter at all to them.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    So, as this — you know, as you pointed out, that this case could drag on for months or possibly longer, is the city equipped to handle another flare-up or another round of tension given what they’ve experienced over the past couple of weeks?

  • LUKE BROADWATER:

    Well, as we saw on — I would say only one day this week did we really need the National Guard, and that was on Monday.

    That was the day all hell broke loose and the day of the riot.

    That day, definitely, there were a lot of police that were needed to keep order in Baltimore.

    Since that day, there has been no violence at all related to the protest of the Freddie Gray case.

    What there has been is a lot of violence that has nothing to do with the Freddie Gray case, and that is the normal violence that there is in Baltimore.

    I mean, I think we’ve had 17 people shot since the National Guard arrived. We just had a store owner robbed and killed.

    So, we are seeing violence, but it’s not– it’s not from the protesters.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Luke Broadwater of The Baltimore Sun — thanks so much for joining us.

  • LUKE BROADWATER:

    Thank you.

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