Baltimore, MD– As the media was corralled into a degrading staging area “for their own safety” (they must have meant from the police, who were threatening arrest and used chemical weapons on us days before), the show put on by riot police on North and Pennsylvania was not all that was happening in the city of Baltimore.

On Saturday evening, as the disgraced media was put in a pen on the corner of an intersection, the police decided to break into a home and arrest five gang members for breaking curfew. The problem is, the young men were already inside their home.  The officers reportedly did not have a warrant when they entered the residence, violating the Fourth Amendment.

The Bloods and the Crips have united in a peace truce, determined to protect their neighborhood- and even police officers.  The two gangs have actively been guarding stores, called for an end to the riots, and have even been blocking bottles and other objects as they are thrown at law enforcement.  A far cry from the portrait that was painted as the two gangs united became a scapegoat for imposing what nearly seemed like martial law.

One of the young men who was arrested, a Blood who goes by the street name Flex, was recently featured in a profile on Medium where he spoke of how meaningful the unity has been to him.

“You know how long I’ve been waiting for something like this?” Flex asked Scooby, a Crip. “We had a peace treaty a long time ago, like in the ’90s. The police infiltrated it…But it’s stronger now, our bond is stronger now. I’ve been waiting for years for something like that. I was born into the gang; I’ve been bangin’ 25 years. So, aw, man, to see something like this, like brothers gathering? I’m not even gonna lie. I cried,” the 25 year old explains.

So, with all the good these young men are trying to do for the community, why are they still being labeled as monsters and being targeted by police?  Could it be that this unity and excessive positivity is upsetting for the biggest and most deadly gang of them all, the police, and they do not like competition?

Photo by Cassandra Fairbanks
Photo by Cassandra Fairbanks

One thing is for sure; the gangs are absolutely doing a better job at keeping the peace than the police are. On top of that, they are doing so while destroying the narrative that they are all horrible criminals who belong to be in prison simply because of the “gangster” label and not necessarily any personal wrong-doing.