April 26, 2017

Two Years After Unrest, Baltimore Congressional Delegation Continues Push for Greater Opportunities, Criminal Justice and Civil Rights Reforms for the People of Baltimore

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, along with Congressmen Elijah Cummings, Dutch Ruppersberger, and John Sarbanes (all D-Maryland) Wednesday released the following statement two years after the unrest that followed the death of Freddie Gray.

"Two years ago, as the City of Baltimore grieved the loss of Mr. Freddie Gray, we asked our neighbors to honor him through peaceful means rather than violence. Freddie's death was a tragedy that forced a long-overdue conversation on race, poverty and relations between the police and communities they serve. Two years after Freddie Gray's death and the unrest that followed, we have not yet fully built trust between the police and our communities, but we have made progress, particularly with the recently finalized Consent Decree and joint efforts by the Baltimore Police Department and U.S. Department of Justice. For two years, we have listened to and acted with faith groups, community organizations, the business community, and many other groups who love our city and also want to see a stronger Baltimore. We have brought in federal partners, including the White House, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, Small Business Administration and others to provide expanded assistance to Baltimore wherever possible. But our work on behalf of the people of Baltimore - all the people of Baltimore - is not complete.

"On this fateful anniversary we pledge to continue to fight for the future of our city and restore communities by improving housing and education, public health and access to health care. We must continue to work together to ensure that local residents have good jobs and job training programs, quality public transportation options, and comprehensive social services available to all Baltimoreans who need them, including formerly-incarcerated individuals trying to reenter society. We must continue working to ensure that everyone's human and civil rights are respected and protected, and our city is one of equality and opportunity."