More than half the residents of the Baltimore neighborhood at the center of ongoing unrest didn't have jobs between 2008 and 2012, and nearly one-third of the residential properties in the area were vacant or abandoned in 2012.
Christopher Ingraham from the Washington Post tweeted the shocking numbers for the Sandtown-Winchester/Harlem Park area, which come from a February 2015 report by the Justice Policy Institute and Prison Policy Initiative:
The neighborhood was the home of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died on April 19, a week after he was rushed to the hospital with a fatal spinal cord injury while under police custody.
Not only do residents in this neighborhood suffer from high unemployment, but they also have a median household income level ($24,006) that's far lower than the median in Baltimore ($40,803), and a violent crime rate (23 per 1,000 residents) that tops the overall city (14.1 per 1,000 residents).
The numbers show that the anger in Baltimore may run deeper than the unanswered questions about how Gray was injured and whether the police officers who arrested him were responsible. They speak to a region in Baltimore that has been systemically failed not just by Baltimore police, who have been subject to allegations of brutality in the past, but by the economy as well.
Baltimore police are conducting an investigation into Gray's death that's expected to conclude on May 1. So far, police have refused to release many details in the case — including how Gray received the spinal cord injury and whether the police officers who arrested him caused it.
With few answers, Baltimore has been roiled by escalating protests since Gray's arrest. Riots broke out on Monday, April 27, after Gray's funeral, when demonstrators began looting and throwing objects at police, injuring at least 15 officers. In response to the violence, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake instituted a citywide 10 pm curfew that will last at least one week, starting on Wednesday, April 28.