Baltimore COVID-19 News Updates from Independent & Regional Media 6/4

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This week’s news includes: Words and images from the protests in Baltimore, an election debacle, the onset of Phase II in Maryland’s COVID-19 response, and more reporting from Maryland Matters, WYPR, Baltimore Fishbowl, and others.


In Baltimore, a day of peaceful protest, a night of tense confrontation with police
By Fern Shen + Louis Krauss
Published May 31 in Baltimore Brew

Excerpt: Hundreds filled Baltimore’s streets Saturday afternoon and evening, demanding justice following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

The protest included a caravan of cars and trucks plastered with “Black Lives Matter” signs – horns beeping, fists thrust out of windows – and a crowd on foot chanting, “No justice, no peace, no racist police” and “When black lives are under attack, stand up, fight back.”

The group marched in Old Goucher, West Baltimore, Mount Vernon, Harbor East and – late Saturday evening – assembled in front of City Hall, demanding an end to police brutality.

There the demonstrators were met by about 70 Baltimore Police in riot gear, where some tense confrontations erupted, including police at one point firing pepper balls.



I’m going to be out here as long as I’m my son’s mother and fight for him.
Darlene Cain
Baltimore demonstrators march on the Jones Falls Expressway on Monday as they protest police brutality and white supremacy. Photo by Jaisal Noor.

Baltimoreans share why they protest the death of George Floyd
By Marcus Dieterle + Jaisal Noor
Published June 2 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: Darlene Cain’s son, Dale Graham, was killed by Baltimore City police in 2008.

Twelve years later, Cain is continuing to fight for justice for families who have lost their loved ones to police brutality and other forms of violence, and to ensure that others do not meet a similar fate.

“There are men and women, young and old, who lost their life to police, been beaten down,” she said. “We’re just tired and we’re just ready–ready to take action and to get laws changed.”

Cain, 59, joined thousands of protesters in Baltimore on Monday for a youth-led march against police brutality and white supremacy–the fourth day of local protests in the city as part of a nationwide movement that was sparked by the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd, who died in police custody after an officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.

See also:

image: Lorann Cocca

Baltimore Youth Marches Peacefully to Protest Police Violence
By Lorann Cocca
Published June 2 in Baltimore Magazine

Photos From Saturday’s George Floyd Protest in Baltimore
By Larry Cohen
Published May 31 in Baltimore Beat



Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash.

13 ways to support Black communities in turbulent times
By Jessica Watson
Published June 3 in Baltimore

Excerpt: Over the past few months, our world has been forever altered by COVID-19, a virus that has taken lives and liberties from us all. And yet during a time when the world has largely stood still, there has been another virus still ravaging through our nation: one of systemic racism, which runs longer than the Mississippi River and is intertwined into the fabric of our foundation. We see the burning streets shown on repeat in news clips covering protests across the US over the death of George Floyd, and in Baltimore we have the muscle memory of Freddie Gray in 2015.

We do not need to return to normal.

By now, we have all received similar messages in our inboxes, from our banks to our smoothie shops, stating “We stand in solidarity with Black communities everywhere.” Companies want to be visibly on the right side of history, and people do, too. But what happens the day after, the week after, the month after, and so on? We seem to be passionately heated in the moment, but are failing to move the needle on this cause. As the list of hashtags grows longer and we become desensitized to videos of police brutality, it is difficult to have hope.

Activist and lecturer Rachel Cargle asked, “How will you show up in this time of human history?” during her public address on revolution Saturday. “We are at the tipping point,” she said.

Her three-prong approach to revolution includes critical knowledge, radical empathy, and intentional action. This essay explores each category with a breakdown of actionable steps we can immediately take today to impact our tomorrow. This is not an all-inclusive list, but it is a place to start.



(Shaneisha Bryan)

I Got Tear Gassed at Baltimore’s City Hall
By Anthony Comegna
Published May 31 in Reason

Excerpt: Race was invented right here in the Chesapeake—in Virginia, to be exact. For two decades after the English Civil Wars ended and King Charles II was restored to the throne, he used the Chesapeake colonies as a dumping ground for England’s unwanted radicals. For several generations, meanwhile, Virginia and Maryland had been filling up slowly with African slaves. Add the ever-present Indians, and the English gentry was becoming even more outnumbered than usual.

In 1676, Bacon’s Rebellion erupted. This was essentially a border war waged by Nathaniel Bacon, an Indian-killer and genteel rival of the colony’s governor, William Berkeley. The height of the rebellion came when Bacon sacked Jamestown and installed himself as its ruler, forcing Berkeley to flee across the Chesapeake Bay. Bacon’s army included not just white indentured servants but their fellow laborers-in-bondage, the Africans.

There had never been a large number of Africans in Virginia to that point, and the original ratio was about four white rebels for every one black rebel. They meant to dismantle much of the power of the colony’s elites, and for a brief moment it looked as if they would actually manage it. A few months into the conflict, Bacon promised both freedom and land to servants and slaves.

But then he suddenly died, leaving his motley army leaderless. King Charles thought Berkeley was a royal screwup and dispatched Thomas Grantham as the king’s negotiator. Grantham arrived with a portion of the Royal Navy to find a seriously dwindled rebel force. Right there on the James River, he called out an offer to the white rebels: Desert your black comrades and you will go free, with full pardons. In an act of treachery and cowardice which has lived with us ever since, most of the whites complied. Only about 80 rebels remained when Grantham swept the last of their ships, in nearly reversed ratios of white to black.



from The Uncensored City, facebook

The Uncensored City
Published May 30 on The Uncensored City’s Facebook page

Excerpt: Last November, a group of teenagers stood on the steps of City Hall, reading aloud the names of every person murdered in Baltimore that year.

Given the location of the rally — in front of the mayor’s office — I was struck by the fact that Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young did not attend. Nor did any of the candidates running to replace him.

Or so I thought.




The scene yesterday as residents waited to vote at Northwood Elementary School, one of six polling stations in the city. (Louis Krauss)

After disappearing, preliminary vote counts return in Baltimore City election
By Fern Shen + Mark Reutter
Published June 2 in Baltimore Brew

Excerpt: The problem-plagued Baltimore City primary has taken yet another baffling turn.

After wiping clean all election results early this morning, the State Board of Elections has now posted somewhat updated results that show Sheila Dixon ahead in the mayor’s race, Nick Mosby leading as City Council president, and Bill Henry and Joan Pratt neck-and-neck in the city comptroller contest.

Similar results disappeared on the SBE website overnight, replaced by “NR,” or not reported, next to all of the candidates running in the Democratic and Republican primaries in Baltimore City.

So far, there has been no explanation about why the vote count was zeroed out for over six hours.

See also:

Who Won Tuesday? Uh, We’ll Have to Get Back to You
By Josh Kurz
Published June 3 in Maryland Matters



I hesitate to ask for anyone’s resignation, but I think it’s time for some retirements and new leadership. There’s something going on over there that is just completely unacceptable.
Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D)
Maryland Elections Administrator Linda H. Lamone (left) at a legislative hearing. Photo by Danielle E. Gaines

Officials Want to Remove Md.’s Top Elections Administrator. It’s Not So Easy
By Bennett Leckrone
Published June 3 in Maryland Matters

Excerpt: Maryland’s top elections administrator should retire in the wake of glitches and mishaps surrounding Tuesday’s primary election, Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford (R) said Wednesday.

Late ballots, errors in results reporting and a slew of other issues have some officials fed up with longtime Maryland Elections Administrator Linda H. Lamone. Rutherford, along with Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D), called for new elections leadership during a Wednesday Board of Public Works meeting.

“I hesitate to ask for anyone’s resignation, but I think it’s time for some retirements and new leadership,” Franchot said. “There’s something going on over there that is just completely unacceptable.”



Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) announces Wednesday that the state will enter Phase 2 of its reopening plan beginning at 5 p.m. Friday. Screen shot

Non-essential businesses allowed to reopen Friday, but Hogan cautions that not all should
By Marcus Dieterle
Published June 3 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday announced that Maryland will allow nail and tanning salons, various office buildings, and other non-essential businesses to reopen effective 5 p.m. on Friday as the state enters phase two of its recovery plan.

State government offices, including the Motor Vehicle Administration and other agencies that work directly with customers will reopen on an appointment-only basis starting Monday, June 8.

Hogan said the state is ready to begin phase two of the three-phase “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery” plan after seeing 14-day declines in the seven-day rate of positive tests, the number of hospitalizations due to coronavirus, and the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units—key metrics that officials have been monitoring as they determine when and how to ease restrictions.




Racism: A Public Health Crisis?
By Sheilah Kast, Melissa Gerr, and Maureen Harvie
Published June 2 in WYPR On The Record

Excerpt: Scores of U.S. cities are shaken by protests, some of them violent, of how police treat African Americans. In the shadow of centuries of slavery, oppression and inequity, we ask Larell Smith-Bacon, the head of the conflict-resolution effort Restorative Response Baltimore—what message the demonstrations are meant to send to white people. And activist J.C. Faulk, who for decades has created dialogue to address racism, talks about why he’s organizing food deliveries during the pandemic with Bmore Community Food, and what that means for racial justice.



Header image: Lorann Cocca, Baltimore Magazine

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