BALTIMORE — Residents of Gilmor Homes say that Baltimore is a city with two sides, the rich and the poor. But on the anniversary of Freddie Gray’s death, it can be described as resignation and activism.
Gilmor Homes is a public housing complex at the intersection of North Mount and Presbury streets. This is the corner where 25-year-old Freddie Gray was arrested by Baltimore police on April 12, 2015. This is the corner where people gathered to protest his death. And exactly one year after Freddie Gray’s death from injuries that occurred while in police custody, this is the corner where Baltimore residents are honoring him. Community activists have taken over a row of abandoned town homes owned by the city, college students are planting flowers as part of a day of service, and Freddie Gray’s friends and family are remembering his life. Local residents interviewed here also said nothing has changed.
On the southwest corner of this intersection, the neighbors of Gilmore Homes gathered in the alleyway that divides the housing development. On the anniversary of Freddie Gray’s death, they held a small cookout while toddlers played on the sidewalk, teenage girls talked on the stoops, and the young men hung out nearby.
They all said nothing has changed since Freddie Gray’s death — nothing. A group of women pointed down the street to a young man sitting in a wheelchair. They said he was thrown to the ground and arrested just a few days ago by the Baltimore police. The young man in the wheelchair didn’t want to talk about his experience, and only repeated what everyone else had already said: Freddie Gray’s death changed nothing.
Residents of the area were reluctant to say anything, but across the street there was another cookout going on, this one is larger, and organized by community activists. They had a lot to say, and they were angry.