On April 12 of this year, a 25 year old Baltimore man by the name of Freddie Gray was arrested for possession of an illegal switchblade knife. He was placed in a police van to be transported for booking. Before arriving, Gray fell into a coma and was taken to a trauma center where he died a week later.
There is still controversy surrounding what took place in the police van. Anthony Batts, Baltimore’s black police commissioner and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore’s black mayor caved into the racial uproar and offered up the six police officers as sacrifices to appease the public. The officers have been charged with various forms of homicide.
The Justice Department has also gotten involved and insisted on better training of police officers. In the wake of all of the racial tension plaguing the city, Baltimore police officers feel like they have been placed under a microscope with every movement and action being scrutinized.
As a result, the police have stepped back their patrols in many of the racially charged black neighborhoods, most of which were also high crime areas. Police union officials have admitted that many officers are afraid of being prosecuted for any actions they take in carrying out their jobs. Whatever progress the police had made in reducing crime in some of these neighborhoods has been lost.
West Baltimore is one of those areas. Rev. Lisa Weah, pastor of New Bethlehem Baptist Church, has seen the impact that has been made in the neighborhood surrounding the church. Prior to the death of Gray, the police had managed to reduce some of the crime including drug trafficking. Now, Weah says she can stand on the steps of the church and watch the open-air drug market taking place a couple hundred feet away.
Since the police have reduced their patrols and presence, the drug dealers have moved back into the area and openly sell their illegal products without any fear of being caught and arrested. They also know that if the police do try to arrest them that all they have to do is scream racism and brutality and the chances are the mayor and police chief will believe them and set them free.
Earlier this month I reported that the Baltimore is seeing the highest monthly homicide rate in over forty years. This is also a direct result of the reduced police presence in many high crime areas of the city which many attribute to the Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s war on the police department and her allowing race riots to destroy her city.
Many residents from the mayor on down claim all of the problems are from a broken police department. I totally disagree. I believe that the racial problems experienced in Baltimore, Cleveland, Ferguson and every other city in the country is a parenting problem, not a police problem.
Had Freddie Gray’s parents done their job in raising their son to be a law abiding citizen, he would not have found himself in the situation that led to his death. Had the parents of Michael Brown done their job and raised their son to obey the law, not steal or bully people and to comply with law enforcement, their son would still be alive today.
Scripture is clear that the primary role of parents is to raise godly offspring and that is occurring less and less in America today and then we wonder why our nation has so many problems. If parents got back to the Bible and followed what it taught, more of their children would still be alive. Every parent needs to heed the words of God given to Moses and recorded in Deut. 6: 4-9:
“Hear, O Israel: ‘The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.’”
And the wisdom gleaned in Proverbs 22:6:
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
If parents would follow these instructions, I’m sure many of our nation’s woes would soon diminish and God might bless our nation once again, like He did so many years ago.