For the duration of the late afternoon on April 27 over 750,000 people tweeted about a 25-year-old black man, “the nation’s latest symbol of police brutality,” writes Sheryl Gay Stolberg of The New York Times.

Many of us not in the Baltimore area watched, eyes-glued to the screens of our smartphones, as #BlackTwitter begin to take shape in front of our eyes, and as the world, again, turns its eye to the problem of excessive police force in America that, it seems, is the norm, and a pattern of behavior by police officers that violates basic human rights.

Protesters March Over Death Of Freddie Gray

If it weren’t for Twitter and social media I think half of us probably wouldn’t know Freddie Gray, 25, who died a week after “a spinal injury allegedly sustained while in police custody,” or Eric Garner, or Trayvon Martin, or Mike Brown, and countless of others. The FBI says 400 “justified police homicides” occur each year, “Most of us are here because we knew a lot of Freddie Grays,” said Billy Murphy, Gray’s family attorney, at the 25-year-old’s funeral.

He added, “Too many.”

Lots of people were RTing popular social media users/activists Deray McKesson and Shaun King on Twitter, including me. But these tweets by Morehouse College Professor Marc Lamont Hill perfectly sums up why black people are pissed off at the system and are tired of oftentimes peaceful protests now believed to be pointless:

This doesn’t mean “anything goes,” Hill tweeted, and mentions that he is “upset to see a senior center burned and a church destroyed,” but says, “I’m just more outraged by pervasive state violence & extrajudicial killing.”


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