Gabriella Demczuk, Freelance
Baltimore Sings the Blues: The death of Freddie Gray, a black young adult from the west side of Baltimore, while in police custody, sparked rioting throughout Baltimore calling national attention to the decades long racial inequality, economic disparity, extreme poverty and blight, and police brutality that has plagued the city. The repercussions of these riots were grim; hundreds of businesses were destroyed causing $9 million in damages and an increase in gun violence which made it the deadliest year in recent history. Baltimore’s residents, its city council and police department were forced to confront these issues, sparking discussions on how to move forward. While change will be slow, Freddie Gray could be the hope the city desperately needs.
Mary F. Calvert, ZumaPress
Missing in Action: Homeless Women Veterans: Women veterans are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in the United States and are four times more likely to become homeless than civilian women. Women who courageously served their country in Iraq and Afghanistan have arrived home with healthcare issues including Military Sexual Trauma and PTSD, to scattered families, jobs that no longer exist, an impotent Department of Veteran’s Affairs and to a nation who favors their male counterparts. Military Sexual Trauma survivors are the most hidden population of homeless women and often flounder in unsafe relationships, live in their cars and due to their trauma, will endure anything to avoid shelters or the street.
Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images
Baltimore Burns: residents of Baltimore and the police boiled over and riots raged all day and night across the west side of the city. Freddie Gray, 25, who was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody.
Award of Excellence
Jabin Botsford, Washington Post
Baltimore: On April 27, 2015, the day Freddie Gray was buried, hostility between residents of Baltimore and the police peaked. Riots and protests raged for days and night across the city as Baltimore state's attorney Marilyn Mosby raced to indict the 6 officers involved in the case. Freddie Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife on April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he allegedly received while in police custody.