Before Freddie Gray: Here's What Led Up to the Unrest in Baltimore

A look at a brief history of police relations in the area.

A City Long Broken - Baltimore is reeling from tensions that reached a peak on Monday, April 27, as residents took to the streets in protests and riots in reaction to the killing of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old who died days after a brutal arrest left him in a coma and with severe spinal injuries. Yet long before Gray was beaten by Baltimore police officers, the city had been wrought with racial tension among law enforcement officials and the African-American community. Under the leadership of a Black mayor and Black police commissioner, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Anthony Batts, take a look at a brief history of police relations in the area. (Photo: Freddie Gray Memorial via Facebook)

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A City Long Broken - Baltimore is reeling from tensions that reached a peak on Monday, April 27, as residents took to the streets in protests and riots in reaction to the killing of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old who died days after a brutal arrest left him in a coma and with severe spinal injuries. Yet long before Gray was beaten by Baltimore police officers, the city had been wrought with racial tension among law enforcement officials and the African-American community. Under the leadership of a Black mayor and Black police commissioner, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Anthony Batts, take a look at a brief history of police relations in the area. (Photo: Freddie Gray Memorial via Facebook)

Black Mayor, Black Commissioner - Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake hired Baltimore city police commissioner Anthony Betts in 2012. Rawlings-Blake became the city?s mayor in 2010. (Photos from left: Alex Wong/Getty Images, Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Black Mayor, Black Commissioner - Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake hired Baltimore city police commissioner Anthony Betts in 2012. Rawlings-Blake became the city’s mayor in 2010. (Photos from left: Alex Wong/Getty Images, Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Commissioner Batts - Before taking the helm in Baltimore, Batts spent years policing in Long Beach and Oakland, Calif. Since he?s been in the role, he has fired 50 police officers, according to AP, and has reduced officer-involved shootings. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Commissioner Batts - Before taking the helm in Baltimore, Batts spent years policing in Long Beach and Oakland, Calif. Since he’s been in the role, he has fired 50 police officers, according to AP, and has reduced officer-involved shootings. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Inside Sandtown - In Sandtown-Winchester, which was Gray's neighborhood just west of downtown Baltimore, more than half of its residents were unemployed between 2008 and 2012, according to a February 2015 report from the Justice Policy Institute. Also, the area's census tract has the most residents in state prisons than any other tract, the Baltimore Sun reported.(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Inside Sandtown - In Sandtown-Winchester, which was Gray's neighborhood just west of downtown Baltimore, more than half of its residents were unemployed between 2008 and 2012, according to a February 2015 report from the Justice Policy Institute. Also, the area's census tract has the most residents in state prisons than any other tract, the Baltimore Sun reported.(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Decades of Police Killings - Over the course of two decades, Baltimore police officers killed 127 people through 2012, according to an FBI survey of justifiable homicides by the police, the New York Times reports. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Decades of Police Killings - Over the course of two decades, Baltimore police officers killed 127 people through 2012, according to an FBI survey of justifiable homicides by the police, the New York Times reports. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Millions in Settlements -  A Baltimore Sun investigation revealed last year that the city has paid roughly $5.7 million in brutality settlements since 2011, involving 102 instances of excessive force. The city reached an $870,000 settlement with the ACLU and the NAACP in 2010 which required the city to track their arrests. In 2012, however, Baltimore officers still couldn’t justify 35 percent of their arrests, according to AP. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Where Is the Justice? - Jeffrey Alston was paralyzed from the neck down after riding in a police van. He settled with the city for $6 million in 2004, the New York Times reports. In 2005, Dondi Johnson, also paralyzed after a van ride, was awarded $7.4 million by a jury, but the amount was reduced on appeal. Michael Wudtee was fatally shot by an officer at a gas station in July 2012. His family was awarded $175,000 in a settlement. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Where Is the Justice? - Jeffrey Alston was paralyzed from the neck down after riding in a police van. He settled with the city for $6 million in 2004, the New York Times reports. In 2005, Dondi Johnson, also paralyzed after a van ride, was awarded $7.4 million by a jury, but the amount was reduced on appeal. Michael Wudtee was fatally shot by an officer at a gas station in July 2012. His family was awarded $175,000 in a settlement. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Tyrone West - Tyrone West, 44, died in July 2013 after he stopped breathing after he was tackled and handcuffed by police officers. West?s family is suing the city, according to AP.(Photo: Justice for Tyrone West via Facebook)

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Tyrone West - Tyrone West, 44, died in July 2013 after he stopped breathing after he was tackled and handcuffed by police officers. West’s family is suing the city, according to AP.(Photo: Justice for Tyrone West via Facebook)

Anthony Anderson - Anthony Anderson, 46, died in September 2012. Officers said that Anderson fought them after they broke up a drug deal. Anderson was slammed to the ground and died from internal bleeding from blunt force injuries. His death was ruled a homicide. (Photo: Justice for Anthony Anderson Sr. via Facebook)

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Anthony Anderson - Anthony Anderson, 46, died in September 2012. Officers said that Anderson fought them after they broke up a drug deal. Anderson was slammed to the ground and died from internal bleeding from blunt force injuries. His death was ruled a homicide. (Photo: Justice for Anthony Anderson Sr. via Facebook)

George King - George King, 19, died in May 2014 after officers shocked him six times with a stun gun.  (Photo: Baltimore City Community College)

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George King - George King, 19, died in May 2014 after officers shocked him six times with a stun gun.  (Photo: Baltimore City Community College)

Trayvon Scott - Trayvon Scott, 30, died in custody in February 2015 after showing signs of distress in a holding cell, according to AP.  (Photo: Baltimore Police Department)

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Trayvon Scott - Trayvon Scott, 30, died in custody in February 2015 after showing signs of distress in a holding cell, according to AP.  (Photo: Baltimore Police Department)