Evergreene Digest: 1968 and the Invention of the American Police State

  • Baltimore’s 1968 Holy Week Uprising was quite different from the events of this week. But the response to it helped set the stage for Freddie Gray.
  • Juan González on Walter Scott Shooting: When Will the Police Killings of Black Males Stop?

Daniel Denvir, City Lab / The Marshall Project

Apr 30, 2015 | Many have looked back to Baltimore’s 1968 Holy Week Uprising to understand the conflict gripping the city this week. But today’s events have roots less in that year’s civil unrest and more in the nationwide law-and-order movement that was erected on its ashes.

Enormous economic and political changes transformed American cities amid the 20th century’s great black migration to the north. The upshot was both civil unrest and a conservative backlash to it. In Baltimore, the uprising and its leading critic, Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew, helped change American politics forever.

Daniel Denvir is a contributing writer to CityLab and a former staff reporter at Philadelphia City Paper.

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Juan González on Walter Scott Shooting: When Will the Police Killings of Black Males Stop? Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now!

Democracy Now! co-host Juan González discusses how video of the Walter Scott killing echoes other videos of police shootings, such as Tamir Rice in Cleveland and Eric Garner in New York City. “People wonder why the Black Lives Matter movement has grown and spread so rapidly across the country,” González notes, “when people are seeing these videos where people who are shot and not even given immediate aid.” González writes about the issue in his new column for the New York Daily News headlined “When Will the Killings of Black Males by Cops Cease?”

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