Baltimore Rising: Two Years After Freddie Gray’s Death, Shaken City Mends

by: Donna Owens NBC News
/ (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) /
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BALTIMORE — It’s an overcast morning outside Gilmor Homes, the public housing complex where two years ago, Freddie Gray was arrested and placed in police custody. His death one week later—on April 19, 2015— would trigger a series of cataclysmic events that changed countless lives and forever altered a city.

A mural depicting Freddie Gray at the intersection of his arrest, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

On today’s second anniversary — which comes fresh on the heels of a formalized consent decree with the Justice Department intended to guide and monitor police reforms — city leaders, activists and residents reveal a mix of optimism tempered by realism about the road ahead.

“We’re still a city divided. I see both the elevation and the regression,” said Earl Mahammitt, 35, who grew up in Sandtown-Winchester, the historic yet struggling African-American community that Gray called home. “We were starting at a negative axis, not even zero. It’s going to take a lot for the conditions to improve.  “More…

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