HHF Interview: Changa Onyango (West Baltimore) after police officer acquittal, Freddie Gray trials

‘Apathy is the word I'd use,’ Mr Changa Onyango replied via email when asked how people in West Baltimore responded to the decision that saw Officer Edward Nero cleared of all charges. ‘The people don’t hold out hope for justice in any tangible ways any more. Mainly they were happy to see that the world give them a nod for 15 seconds.’

Twenty-five year old West Baltimore native Freddie Gray died on April 19th after suffering a ‘high-energy injury’ an autopsy report said came from the sudden deceleration of the police van in which he was travelling, shackled and handcuffed, but not restrained by a seat-belt. As a result of his injuries – a severed spine and crushed voice box - Mr Gray fell into a coma and died a week after his arrest.

Read the interview here, where Mr Onyango talks about his community development work and the key issue of housing in West Baltimore (or read it on the Hip Hop Forum digital magazine site).  

And check out this very moving personal response, written by Omi Muhammad - one of the great writers we're supporting at HHF via our New Black Writers Program.  

Today's verdict in the Caesar Goodson case, mentioned in the original article, saw the police officer cleared of all charges (including culpable homicide relating to his driving of the van). It's hard to believe really. 

Rest in Peace, Freddie Gray.