Latinos In Baltimore To March To Call For Justice And End To Violence


, ,



Latinos and immigrant advocates in Baltimore plan to hold a march and vigil Wednesday night to call for justice as well as peace.
Latinos, whose population in Baltimore has grown significantly in the last decade, say many in their community empathize with African-Americans protesting the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who died of a spinal injury days after being taken into police custody.
At the same time, they say, they object to the violence, destruction of property and looting of businesses by the protesters.
“The march is to say we are with them,” said Jesus Perez, a Mexican immigrant who lives in the area where the riot took place Monday. “The African American community wants answers, they want justice, and we are in solidarity with them on that. We’ve had our own cases of people being treated unfairly, with the police stopping them arbitrarily.”
But along with the show of support, Perez said, will be a denunciation of violence as a way to fight for justice.
“Our message to our African-American brothers and sisters is that you don’t need to destroy businesses, our communities, things that families have built over many years.”
Perez, who is 23 and a research assistant at Johns Hopkins University, said he knows of people who worked in some of the businesses that were looted and destroyed. He said that the answer to problems that minorities have with police does not lie in destroying places that employ people in the community, leaving them jobless, or forcing schools to shut down, affecting the children’s education.
“My little 8-year-old brother is home, because they didn’t have classes, and he is asking why, what is happening,” Perez said. “We try to keep the children from seeing the images of the riot and violence on TV.”
To read full story: