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In the Media: Police Shoot Youth Carrying BB Gun; Baltimore Students Reflect on Last Year's Unrest

April 29, 2015.
April 29, 2015.

A digest of Baltimore news from local sources.

From the Baltimore Sun: Youth with BB gun resembling firearm shot by police in East Baltimore

"Baltimore police detective shot a boy in East Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon who he wrongly believed was carrying a semiautomatic pistol, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said.

"The boy suffered what police called non-life-threatening injuries to a 'lower extremity,' Davis said. The weapon turned out to be spring-air-powered BB gun — not a real firearm.

"The boy's mother identified him as 14-year-old Dedric Colvin, an eighth-grader at City Springs Middle School. Volanda Young said her son was shot once in the shoulder and once in the leg.

"The incident came on the day city officials marked the one-year anniversary of the Freddie Gray riots.

"Davis said two plainclothes detectives assigned to the Police Department's intelligence section were driving in the 1100 block of E. Baltimore St. shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday when they spotted the boy with what appeared to be a firearm.

"The detectives got out of their vehicle, identified themselves as officers and told him to stop, Davis said. The boy began running, the officers gave chase for about 150 yards, and one detective shot the boy, Davis said.

"Young said she was home Wednesday afternoon when an older son came banging on the front door.

"'Ma,' Alvin Colvin said. 'The police shot Dedric.'

"Young said she ran outside to find the boy bleeding in a side street near a basketball court.

"'All I could see was blood,' she said. 'I was screaming.'

"Police did not release the boy's name. They said he was 13.

"They did release a photograph of the gun they said he was carrying. It appeared to show a Daisy brand PowerLine Model 340 spring-air pistol."

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From the Baltimore Sun: Pugh reveals early plans for mayor’s office

"State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh wants Police Commissioner Kevin Davis and Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen to join her administration, the Democratic nominee for mayor said Wednesday.

"Pugh, who won Tuesday's primary election and is expected to sail to victory in November, said she wants to build on outgoing Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's administration but intends to fire embattled Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano.

"Rawlings-Blake, who did not seek re-election, said Wednesday that she has a 'very good working relationship' with Pugh and is grateful that while on the campaign trail Pugh told voters she wanted to continue some of Rawlings-Blake's programs."

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From the Baltimore Sun: One year after riots, Frederick Douglass students seek to reclaim narrative of Mondawmin

"One year ago today, the voices of Frederick Douglass High School students were mere footnotes after riot scenes projected worldwide from neighboring Mondawmin Mall portrayed the school as the epicenter of chaos, and the students as the culprits.

"The students hosted a panel discussion Wednesday to reflect on the events of last April and the fallout and made one thing was clear: Not this year. This time they would own, and tell, their stories about what really happened.

"'Douglass didn't start the riot, I'm so tired of hearing it, and whoever said that told a huge, egregious lie,' said Dominick Carter, a junior. 'That was just one of those scars, a little mark that we don't need to keep being branded with.'

"In a dialogue riddled with pain and pride, students from the historic West Baltimore high school reclaimed the narrative of the events of last spring, which they say have continued to overshadow their collective success as a school community but has helped them to grow as individuals.

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From the AFRO American: ‘Not About a Riot’ Explores Another Side of the Uprising

"Malaika Aminata, a Morgan State University graduate who has lived in Baltimore for the majority of her adult life, wanted the world to see what they were not being shown about Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death last April and the subsequent uprising. 

“'We all know when it’s time to do something', she said. For her, it was creating the new documentary 'Not About a Riot.' The film covers the massive protest that took place in Baltimore in the spring of 2015, following the death Gray. While in police custody Gray suffered severe injuries that lead to his death. 

"His death came only eight months after the death of a young Mike Brown at the hands of Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. The civil unrest that followed, known to locals as the 'Baltimore Uprising,' drew the attention of national media coverage which focused in on images of looting and the Maryland National Guard posted in various places around the city. 

"To counteract that narrative, Aminata’s film highlights prayer circles, pop-up stoop concerts, and peaceful protests that were going on at the same time. Amongst these images are raw and unfiltered interviews directly from the people that were experiencing everything from being shot with bean bag guns to tear gas bombs. 'My intention is not for my voice to be heard but people whose voices aren’t usually heard,' Aminata said. 

"In the middle of what was closer to a war zone she managed to stay safe. 'Whenever you care about something, safety is not always something that comes to mind; in the mist of it, it’s not even a horizon,' she said. 

"It has been one year since the events of last April. Asked if she had seen any changes Aminata said, 'I think so, I think that the people who were most passionate about wanting to change things have found each other and that they can find support in one another, and that matters.'"

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