Tag: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Baltimore Creates an Additional 3,000 Summer Jobs for City’s Youth Following Freddie Gray Uprisings

A week after protests took over Baltimore in response to the death of Freddie Gray, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake launched OneBaltimore, a nonprofit dedicated to rebuilding the city and its affected residents. While progress toward addressing systematic failures that impact not only Baltimore, but other major cities across the U.S., is no easy feat, Baltimore has since made gains in the right direction.

Since announcing the launch of OneBaltimore in May, the nonprofit, which is supported by private–public partnerships, teamed up with the city’s summer jobs program called Youth Works to create an additional 3,000 summer jobs for Baltimore youth. Usually, Youth Works offers positions to 5,000 young people between the ages of 14 and 21, but this year, with the help of OneBaltimore, the program responded to a record number of applications by offering a total of 8,000 positions.

“When businesses hire one or two youths during the summer they are providing jobs that will inspire young people by giving them a glimpse into their future as productive employees,” Donald C. Fry, the president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee said in a statement.

Currently, it costs $1,500 to fund one young person in a Youth Works program. To help offset this cost, OneBaltimore partnered with other nonprofits, private businesses, and government agencies to meet the needs of the city’s youth and in total raised $15 million for future programs.

In addition to providing employment, Mayor Rawlings-Blake is working closely with Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Operation Hope to recruit volunteers to hold financial education seminars for the participants. She has also partnered with the Maryland Transit Administration to offer free public transportation passes for students to get to and from work.

article by Courtney Connley via blackenterprise.com

Baltimore Plans To Equip Police Vans With Video Cameras After Freddie Gray’s Death

Protests in Baltimore over Freddie Gray
Source: Anadolu Agency / Getty

After a vociferous public outcry over the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal spinal cord injury in police custody this spring, Baltimore officials announced plans Wednesday to equip transport vans with video recording cameras, according to Reuters.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the change comes in the wake of protests after the death of 25-year-old Gray, who was fatally injured while being transported to lockup in a police van in April on an unspecified charge. Gray’s death sparked days of fiery protests over police brutality in the Black community.

From Reuters:

We’re working through a process that will place cameras with recording capabilities in the backs of all our police vans, to ensure that we have a more complete record of what occurs there,” Rawlings-Blake told reporters.

The van in which Gray was transported had a non-recording camera that the driver could use to monitor the passengers, but it was not working at the time.

Rawlings-Blake also announced plans to review riot gear used by police during the unrest, as some of it failed to work, the report says. She said the city needs working equipment so that police can respond if trouble breaks out following trial verdicts in the Gray case.

article by Lynette Holloway via newsone.com

U.S. Justice Department Officially Launches Baltimore Police Investigation

U.S. Attorney General Officially announces investigation of Baltimore Police Department (Photo via newsweek.com)
U.S. Attorney General Officially announces investigation of Baltimore Police Department (Photo via newsweek.com)

Washington (CNN) The Justice Department launched on Friday a pattern or practice investigation into the methods of the Baltimore Police Department, weeks after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.

Calling police-community relations “one of the most challenging issues of our time,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Friday the investigation, which will look into whether the police department has used excessive force and conducted unlawful searches, seizures and arrests, and discriminatory policing practices through the lens of civil rights and constitutional violations.

She said she launched the investigation at the urging of Baltimore officials and community leaders, and with the support of the Baltimore police union.  “Our goal is to work with the community, public officials, and law enforcement alike to create a stronger, better Baltimore,” Lynch said at a press conference Friday.

If violations are found, the investigation will result in a “court-enforceable agreement” to change the practices of the Baltimore Police Department.

Attorneys and investigators with the Justice Department’s civil rights division will meet with Baltimore law enforcement officials and community members in the coming days and weeks, Lynch said.

Lynch said the protests in Baltimore in recent weeks revealed that the trust between the community and Baltimore police officers “is even worse and has been severed” and said she hopes the investigation can lead to reforms to “create a stronger, a safer and a more unified city.”

She also emphasized that the turmoil in Baltimore — from Gray’s death in police custody to the ensuing protests and rioting — should not define the city.

“Earlier this week I visited with members of the community who took to the streets in the days following the unrest to pick up trash to clear the debris and they are Baltimore,” Lynch said, adding that youth leaders and tireless police officers focused on protecting the community “they too are Baltimore.”

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Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Calls For Department Of Justice To Investigate Police Department

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

A day after U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch visited Baltimore in the wake of unrest after Freddie Gray died of fatal injuries received in police custody, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the city’s embattled police department, according to a live report on CNN.

Lynch visited the city on Tuesday and attended a series of meetings with the mayor, embattled Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, and members of Gray’s family, reports The Baltimore Sun. Gray’s death reinflamed nationwide tensions over police brutality in Black communities, sparking sometimes violent protests last week.

Justice Department spokesperson Dena Iverson released a statement Wednesday regarding the possible DOJ investigation:

“The Attorney General has received Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s request for a Civil Rights Division ‘pattern or practice’ investigation into the Baltimore Police Department.  The Attorney General is actively considering that option in light of what she heard from law enforcement, city officials, and community, faith and youth leaders in Baltimore yesterday.”

Rawlings-Blake’s announcement follows a bold move last week by Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby to bring charges against six police officers in Gray’s death, which has been ruled a homicide.

article by Lynette Holloway via newsone.com

“I’m Here For You”: Black Baltimore Police Sergeant K Glanville Gives Moving Speech To Protesters (VIDEO)

Baltimore Police Sgt. K. Glanville (Photo via YouTube)
Baltimore Police Sgt. K. Glanville addresses group of peaceful protesters. (Photo via YouTube)

A police officer’s kind words during a period of unrest over the death of Freddie Gray touched many across Baltimore, who have for so long witnessed police violence in their communities.

Sgt. K Glanville spoke to a crowd on Saturday during a festive rally about her role as a police officer and expressed that not all officers are in the business of harming unarmed civilians. Glanville retold stories of her encounters with pedestrians in the city and says she understands why so many have questioned the tactics of police officers.

The mother says she gives out her number to children in an effort to show she is a protector of the community. According to the Huffington Post,

“My heart is in this,” Glanville told a small crowd. “I’m not wasting time on someone that’s not trying to let me in, when I got all these other people that got the door wide open, saying ‘Sgt. Glanville, please step in.’ I am here, I’m available. I give kids my phone number, I tell people ‘you need something, you call me.’ It all starts with relationship building.”

A Baltimore native and a 19-year veteran, the officer has never received a complaint. Her speech brought tears to the eyes of many in the small crowd. Glanville told onlookers that everyone has to start working together to stop the problem of police violence.

”We have to start doing better,” Glanville told the crowd. “We know better, and we have to start doing better. It doesn’t matter what color you are. People are watching to see the next move that Baltimore makes coming out of this … I want other cities to look at this and be able to see a template….And the main thing we need to do is make sure these babies are ok.”

The following day, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the overnight curfew would be lifted effective immediately. In a statement, Rawlings-Blake expressed that the curfew had helped reduce violence in the city following last Monday’s riots after Gray’s funeral.

Check out Glanville’s speech to the city of Baltimore below:

article by Desire Thompson via globalgrind.com

Baltimore Launches Micro-Loan Program for Small Businesses

To help small businesses in the Baltimore area, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is launching a micro-loan fund to assist owners in hiring and stabilizing their businesses. The program, named BaltimoreMICRO, will enable small businesses with under $1 million in annual revenue to apply for loans that range in amounts from $5,000 to $30,000. To be eligible for the BaltimoreMICRO program, businesses must be based in Baltimore City. The owner of the business must also have a personal credit score of 650 or higher.

“[Small businesses] bring residents together and create a buzz that attracts people from throughout the region,” Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. “We want that to happen in more of Baltimore’s neighborhoods, and we must do what we can to support that. Baltimore’s neighborhoods that have experienced growth and revival in the past few years are known not only for their unique homes and character, but also for their small businesses, including stores and restaurants.”

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