Rush hour traffic came to a standstill on major Baltimore roadways as protesters on Tuesday condemned Gov. Larry Hogan’s plans to build a $30 million youth jail and at the same time cut $11 million from Baltimore’s school funding.
The Rev. Dr. Jamal H. Bryant, pastor of the Empowerment Temple and veteran of the Freddie Gray protests, and several groups of protesters blocked exits to 395, Key Highway and several others in downtown Baltimore in an effort to get their demands heard. Rev. Bryant promised that this would be the first of 10 “plagues” that he and his group would visit on Baltimore until Hogan changed his mind.
Asked why he used the term “plague” he said, “I can not find a biblical reference of people protesting. When we try to protest, the media calls it riots.” He added, “We are outraged that the Governor has his priorities out of place. His spirit is towards incarcerating Black males instead of educating them.”
Rev. Bryant said of Hogan, who is on a 12-day trade mission to Asia, that Hogan should bring back computers for Baltimore schools from his trip because the ones students use are often outdated and in disrepair.
Maryland approved a new youth jail facility after the Department of Justice found that young people were treated harshly in Baltimore’s adult jails.
Instead of funding a new jail Rev. Bryant said he hoped Hogan would, in addition to giving more money to Baltimore’s schools, increase funding for the Enoch Pratt Library “because it will stem the tide of violence.”