African American Cinema, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

HBO doc ‘Baltimore Rising’ explores life after Freddie Gray | The Washington Post BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The producers and participants in “Baltimore Rising” say national and local media sensationalized the protests that erupted after the death of Freddie Gray, but that their new documentary humanizes the narrative.



Activists Kwame Rose and Makayla Gilliam-Price appeared alongside director Sonja Sohn Wednesday at the Television Critics Association’s summer meeting to discuss the documentary premiering on HBO in November.

The film chronicles the passionate feelings on all sides after Gray died a week after suffering a critical spinal injury while in police custody in 2015.

He was a 25-year-old arrested for what police described as an illegal switchblade. The city of Baltimore eventually reached a $6.4 million settlement with Gray’s parents.

African American Cinema, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | David Goldman/AP Photo

African American Cinema, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Eric Thayer/Reuters

African American Cinema, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Matt Rourke/AP Photo

African American Cinema, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

African American Cinema, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

African American Cinema, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

African American Cinema, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Andrew Burton/Getty Images


On April 12, 2015, Baltimore Police Department officers arrested Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American resident of Baltimore, Maryland. Gray sustained injuries to his neck and spine while in transport in a police vehicle. On April 18, 2015, after Gray’s subsequent coma, the residents of Baltimore rioted in front of the Western district police station. Gray died the following day, April 19, 2015, a week after the arrest.

Further riots were organized after Gray’s death became public knowledge, amid the police department’s continuing inability to adequately or consistently explain the events following the arrest and the injuries. Spontaneous riots started after the funeral service, although several included violent elements. Civil unrest continued with at least twenty police officers injured, at least 250 people arrested, 285 to 350 businesses damaged, 150 vehicle fires, 60 structure fires, 27 drugstores looted, thousands of police and Maryland National Guard troops deployed, and with a state of emergency declared in the city limits of Baltimore. The state of emergency was lifted on May 6.

On May 1, 2015, Gray’s death was ruled by the medical examiner to be a homicide. Six officers were charged with various offenses, including second-degree murder, in connection with Gray’s death. Three officers were subsequently acquitted; in July 2016, following the acquittals, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby dropped charges against the remaining three officers. (Wikipedia).