There is much that can be learned from the life of Freddie Gray. One conclusion that might be adduced from his history is that trouble begets trouble. An article at Fox Nation his lengthy rap sheet, which included two arrests in March, the month before he died, one for possession of a controlled dangerous substance and one for malicious destruction of property and second-degree assault. All told, Gray was arrested a total of 18 times.
Can anything be learned from Gray’s death? The University of Maryland’s Francis Key Carey School of Law thinks so. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the 47th best law school in the nation (out of a field of 205), the prestigious graduate school has added to its curriculum a course titled “Freddie Gray’s Baltimore: Past, Present and Moving Forward.” From the course catalog:
The idea for this course emanates from the recent disturbances in Baltimore arising from Freddie Gray’s arrest and his resulting death. These events have highlighted and/or uncovered serious on-going social and financial dislocations within the City. The course will examine the recent unrest itself and then examine the causes of, and possible solutions to, those dislocations, including an examination of problems in policing; criminal justice; housing; health care; education; poverty; and community development and joblessness. The course is not viewed by its organizers as an end in itself. Rather, it is intended to be a springboard for further student and faculty involvement in citizen and government efforts to reform law and policy in the subject matter areas listed above. Students will be apprised throughout the course of volunteer opportunities to work on the issues addressed in the course.
Each of the eight classes will principally be under the supervision of members of the law school faculty supplemented by other academics, experts and officeholders. Overall course administration will be handled by Professor Greenberger. Individual classes will be organized and taught in whole or in part by Professors [Barbara] Bezdek, Eisenberg, Goodmark, Guerin, Hoffmann, Hutchins, Leviton, [Michael] Pinard and Weimer.
Campus Reform did some digging and determined that two of the instructors — Bezdek and Pinard — have what might be called “special” credentials for a course of this sort. Last August, Bezdek tweeted:
— Barbara Bezdek (@BezdekBarbara) August 24, 2014
The Wilson in question was Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in self-defense. The tweet echoed the demand of Color of Change — the group co-founded by Obama’s defrocked green czar Van Jones — that the crowdsourcing website GoFundMe take down a page dedicated to funding Wilson’s legal defense.
Pinard is also the author of a noteworthy tweet posted in May:
— Michael Pinard (@ProfMPinard) May 22, 2015
The bill that Maryland’s Republican governer, Larry Hogan, vetoed would have extended voting rights to ex-felons.
All in all, sounds like a great course.