Baltimore residents were out in force on Tuesday, cleaning up their city and contributing a new round of diplomatic discourse to a tense debate that had boiled over the night before in violent clashes, riots and looting.
While many television stations covered the turmoil breathlessly on Monday night with wall-to-wall images of raging fires, ransacked stores and other destruction, they dedicated much less time to the underlying causes of the unrest. Instead of discussing the crushing poverty, lack of opportunity and patterns of controversial police behavior in the neighborhoods hit most heavily by the rioting, news anchors collectively clutched their pearls, wondering aloud how such bad things could happen in Charm City.
It was a question begging for an honest answer, but instead, viewers got a scolding Wolf Blitzer on CNN, looking at the mayhem and asking, "Where are the police?"
Those would be the same police who have revealed no new information about the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died April 19, a week after suffering a fatal spinal cord injury while in their custody.
With things significantly calmer on Tuesday, residents of Baltimore were able to offer vital context to the debate being covered by the hordes of reporters who had descended upon their city. Some of their insight from Monday night could have improved network coverage considerably.
Above, watch a mashup of the best interviews with residents of Baltimore.
Video produced by Amber Ferguson.
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