⬆︎ The West Family
The family members of Tyrone West, a man killed in police custody in July 2013, have been tireless and dedicated fighters for police accountability and are in many ways the bedrock of Baltimore's uprising-fueled protest movement. Last week, the family settled a wrongful death lawsuit connecting West's death to police misconduct and excessive force with the city and state for a total of one million dollars. Presumably so that she can still speak out (these settlements often come with a non-disparagement clause), Tawanda Jones, West's sister, is not part of the settlement. This way, she can continue to be one of the city's most vocal—and effective—protesters. She didn't ask to be put into the position she's found herself in, but even still, Jones has found her voice with grace, savvy, and incredible strength.
⬆︎ "The Marc Steiner Show"
This past Monday was the last episode of "The Marc Steiner Show" on WEAA and you'll have to excuse us while we have a bit of a pity party about it. It sucks that the show is going away. It sucks that capitalistic greed and cluelessness from the higher-ups seems to be devouring journalism. Steiner's show is one of the few places where you can hear actual Baltimore residents call in and speak their mind on whatever hot topic of the day. It's a long-running progressive voice in a city that's losing its progressive voices at a moment when it really needs them. Steiner's been pretty adamant about the fact that he's not really going anywhere—he's got a few irons in the fire—but it won't feel the same without his voice on the radio each weekday morning.
Offensive lineman John Urschel retired last week. Though he was best known outside of Baltimore as the NFL guy who took math classes at MIT, Urschel figured to be a key part of the line this year. In somewhat more positive news, the Ravens have indicated they are interested in signing quarterback Colin Kaepernick to possibly fill in while starter Joe Flacco is out with a back injury. Kaepernick has become controversial by being black and exercising his First Amendment rights, but the Ravens have been one of the few teams willing to give him a look. Unfortunately, they've been a little weird about it, signing an arena football passer off the street late at night, bringing Ray Lewis into the conversation, and having owner Steve Bisciotti ask for prayers as they weigh a decision. Um, what? Just worry about football, guys.
Last week in Trumpland, there was that (failed) attempt to strip millions of Americans' healthcare, that fucking bonkers Scaramucci interview in the New Yorker, Trump's ouster of Reince Priebus, his Hitler Youth rally-esque Boy Scout Jamboree speech, and his tweets about banning transgender people from the military (which reportedly came as a surprise to top military officials). And then there was a speech about eradicating the MS-13 gang wherein he essentially advocated for police brutality, envisioning arrestees "thrown in—rough" into paddy wagons and asking police "please don't be too nice" when handling them. The crowd of law enforcement officers cheered at that, which tells you everything you need to know about what's wrong with this country.
By our count, the city notched its 200th murder victim this year on July 25. Kevin Joyner, a 46-year-old African-American man of the 4000 block of Rogers Avenue, was gunned down at about 5:30 p.m. on the 5400 block of Price Avenue in Woodmere. This being Baltimore, where the murder count is subject to dispute and confusion (depending on when the Medical Examiner rules a given killing to be a homicide, or, sometimes, when police deem a particular killing as "justified"), police officially counted number 200 a day later when Donnell Pierce, a 23-year-old African-American man, was shot to death on the 200 block of Greenmount Avenue. July's murder pace topped one-per-day. This weekend is Baltimore Ceasefire—we hope it is.