The news in 2015 was unforgettable, historic, often chilling to watch. From the specter of global terrorism to controversial social issues, from the confused state of politics to corporate corruption, important issues played out on the public stage of opinion, augmented by a hyper-connected global community.
The Second Nexus editors culled through the news that made headlines and dominated trending topics over this past year and selected our ten most important stories, in no particular order. We’re confident only that many will disagree with our list. So have a look, and have at.
Freddie Gray, The Baltimore Protests and #BlackLivesMatter Movement
On the morning of April 12th, police arrested Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American man, in West Baltimore. On April 19th he was pronounced dead. Officials determined the official cause of his death to be a severed spinal cord incurred while in police custody.
The community had many questions. Why was Gray arrested in the first place? How did he receive his fatal injuries? The police promised an internal investigation, but tempers already had risen to an untenable level: Protests began, then escalated to riots in the streets of Baltimore on Friday, April 25th.
The Freddie Gray riots caused damage estimated at upwards of $9 million. But the social costs of the riots’ aftermath is tougher to gauge, particularly the loss of trust between the community and law enforcement.
One of the more damning pieces of evidence from the arrest was a video recording where Gray can be heard screaming and asking for medical attention. Video has played a key role in other stories this year regarding interactions between police and African Americans. Some of these went viral: the arrest of Sandra Bland (who was also pronounced dead after being in custody), a female student of color being flipped over in her desk in South Carolina, and, more recently, two L.A. County deputies repeatedly shooting a black man to death in Lynwood, California. The collective sense of injustice, documented by these videos, galvanized many into the Black Lives Matter movement, which has played a key role in disrupting campaigns and keeping pressure on politicians and the police.
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