“We have one message,” Brandon Scott tells me. “We must stop killing each other. We’re not focused on any other issue.”
Mr. Scott is a city councilman in Baltimore, where jury selection began Monday in the trial of the first of six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray in April. The deaths of Gray and other young black men who encountered police have prompted nationwide protests and ample media coverage over the past year. But Mr. Scott says that “it is unhelpful to only talk about the police behavior. For the most part in Baltimore, the violence is citizen-on-citizen.”
To that end, Mr. Scott and Munir Bahar, a community activist, co-founded 300 Men March, a volunteer organization that trains young men to patrol tough neighborhoods, urges kids to reject gang culture, and calls attention to the far more common inner-city violence that doesn’t involve police. The group, started in 2013, holds a yearly march in honor of the hundreds of annual victims of gun violence perpetrated mostly by gangs and drug crews in the city. Members sport T-shirts emblazoned with the simple message: We Must Stop Killing Each Other.