Theft

Baltimore's cash bail system traps thousands, propelling the poor deeper into poverty

Baltimore's cash bail system traps thousands, propelling the poor deeper into poverty

This article is published in partnership with Washington Monthly.

The row house on Cecil Avenue was just like any other in the East Baltimore neighborhood where Rafiq Shaw lives. But one chilly day in December 2015, he had the bad luck to be walking by right as the police were getting ready for a raid.

"All out of the blue a bunch of police cars pulled up and grabbed me," Shaw said. "They threw me to the wall and put cuffs on me." The officers insisted he had come out of the house, which Shaw just as vehemently denied. "They thought I was someone else," he said. "That's what they thought the whole time. They called a...

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