The Activists Who Are Making a Simple Demand: Stop Killing Us

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© Christaan Felber for The New York Times Johnetta Elzie (left) and DeRay Mckesson at MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse in St. Louis. © Christaan Felber for The New York Times Johnetta Elzie (left) and DeRay Mckesson at MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse in St. Louis.

On the evening of April 25 at the corner of Pratt and Light Streets, in Baltimore’s revitalized downtown district, more than 100 police officers in riot gear stood shoulder to shoulder, shields up. Six officers on horseback fidgeted behind them, staring down at a crowd of about 40, an odd mixture of protesters, journalists and protester-journalists. Earlier in the afternoon, well over a thousand people marched from the Western District police station to City Hall to protest the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose spinal cord was severely injured while he was in the custody of the Baltimore Police Department. Only a handful of live-streamers, an older man in a kente-cloth kufi, five or six teenagers with bandannas drawn across their face and two young women…

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