Last week, a Baltimore judge found Officer Edward Nero not guilty of reckless endangerment, among other charges, in the death last year of Freddie Gray.  Nero's attorneys said he wasn't aware of an updated policy that required prisoners to be seat belted when he helped put Gray in a transport van, handcuffed, with shackles, and no seatbelt.

According to the medical examiner, Gray died from injuries suffered in the back of the van.

University of Maryland Medical Center

When neighborhood leaders convinced the big university hospital nearby to join them in a community improvement project, no one thought that would lead to a role in reform of the nation’s health care system. Four years later, though, the Southwest Baltimore Partnership finds itself immersed in a program necessitated by the Affordable Care Act – aka Obamacare.

Fraser Smith

 Even before the entrepreneurs made a coffee a luxury item, the drink had a certain community-building quality.

A cup-a-joe spot was a touch stone, a rallying place for people on the way to work or retired people on the way to meet other retired people.

Since the death of Freddie Gray last April and the protests and unrest that followed Baltimore’s Police Commissioner Kevin Davis has talked about the changes the department needs to make to improve relations between the police and the citizens in the city.

Last fall, in an interview for "On the Watch," then relatively new Commissioner Davis said police needed to move away from "zero tolerance" police tactics and show their "human" side.

Chart by Alex Dragone

Baltimore's homicide rate rose last year while fewer cases were reported solved.  In 2015 the homicide rate rose more than 60% from the previous year.  In 2014 there were 211 homicides reported.  The number in 2015 was 344.  At the same time fewer homicide cases were reported solved.  The percentage of homicides solved by the police is called the clearance rate.  Last year, Baltimore saw its clearance rate drop from 57% in April to 40% in June and then it dropped to 30% in August which is where it hovered for the rest of the year, an arrow pointing in the wrong direction for the city.

  Big shouldered, urban "anchor" institutions have been known to try to buy community peace by promising jobs to their neighbors—like leaf raking or housekeeping chores. But the University of Maryland, Baltimore, seeking a more fundamental relationship with the Southwest Baltimore Partnership, has taken a step beyond that with its new CURE Scholars program. 

Video: Will Baltimore's Dirt Bike Riders and The Police Commissioner Come Together?

Nov 19, 2015

This video is part of a special WYPR newsroom series entitled "On The Watch:  Fixing the Fractured Relationship Between Baltimore's Police and Its Communities".  Mary Rose Madden is the reporter on this year long series.

This year-long special series is funded by the Bendit Family Foundation, Sig and Barbara Shapiro, The Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Foundation, and the Open Society Institute – Baltimore.


Mary Rose Madden

On the streets, pushing for change  

Every Wednesday night for almost two and half years, Tawanda Jones and her family gather on the street with supporters trying to get justice for her brother, Tyrone West. They chant, "I can't stop.  I won’t stop. Until killer cops are in cell blocks".

Pigtown Ascending

Oct 12, 2015

Back in the day, pigs arrived in Charm City by train and hit the streets running on their way to the breakfast table.

Mary Rose Madden/WYPR

On the some of the hottest days of this summer, 14-year-old LaAsia Griffin and her big brother Jamal popped a white canopy tent and set up penny candy, chips, and crackers for sale on two long tables at a busy stop light in West Baltimore's Poppleton Neighborhood.