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When Freddie Gray was arrested in Baltimore for possessing an “illegal knife” in April 2015, he was, by eyewitness accounts, treated “roughly” as police loaded him into a vehicle.  Gray would end up in a coma he would never recover from.

In the wake of a long history of police abuse in Baltimore, this killing felt like a final straw–it lead to five days described alternately as a riot or an uprising that set the entire city on edge.

Wes Moore is one of Baltimore’s most famous sons–a Rhodes Scholar, bestselling author, decorated combat veteran, White House fellow, and President of the Robin Hood Foundation. While attending Gray’s funeral, he saw the city come together: grieving mothers; members of the city’s wealthy elite; activists–all looking to comfort each other, but also looking for answers.

Moore tells the story of these five days through his own observations, and through the eyes of seven other Baltimoreans:  a conflicted black captain of the Baltimore Police Department; a young white public defender; a young black woman who’s own brother was killed by police; a patriarch of the city’s most powerful family and owner of the Baltimore Orioles.

Each shifting point of view contributes to an engrossing account and looks at the  deeper causes of the violence and the small seeds of hope planted in its aftermath.  Perhaps, we will find parallels in this story with the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the violence and hope that followed in St. Louis.

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I look forward to seeing you for a thoughtful discussion!  Guests are welcome.

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