Article5 Baltimore Ferguson Rally001

Demonstrators at McKeldin Square in downtown Baltimore protest a Missori grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown.

Protesters who were angry and disappointed in a Ferguson, Mo. grand jury’s decision not to issue an indictment against Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown gathered at McKeldin Square in downtown Baltimore on Nov. 25.

As organizers on megaphones led the assembled crowd in various chants, including “no justice, no peace, charge the police,” passing commuters on Pratt Street honked their horns in support.

Sharon Black of the Baltimore People’s Power Assembly, one of the organizers of the rally, said that while she was not surprised by the decision she was nonetheless angry and frustrated.

“It proves to us that the system is broken itself, that racism is still alive and well in this country, and that police abuse of all people—particularly Black youth but also Brown youth, also poor youth—is just an epidemic in this country,” said Black.

Alex Blue, a young man attending the demonstration, called what happened in Ferguson “unjust.”

“It’s kind of hard to swallow it, seeing as though I am a Black man in America, I don’t know what my future holds for situations like this, or even for my future children,” said Blue.

Like many others in attendance, Michael Franklin said he was not surprised by the decision itself.

“This has happened time and time again, and people are angry and just frustrated that this system is not working for us at all,” said Franklin. “It’s not protecting and serving the people that it most needs to serve and protect.”

Shaun Arnold called the decision not to indict “more of the same.”

“I could very easily be Michael Brown, My [12 year-old] son could end up being him,” said Arnold, who worried that his own 6-foot, 3-inch, 320-pound frame could make him subject to the same fate as Brown.

“I’ve had guns pulled on me by police before for what I would consider to be completely unnecessary situations, and so it’s one of those things where, if you’re a threatening Black male in this country, any interaction with the police could be your last interaction with anybody,” said Arnold.

ralejandro@afro.com