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Gray case, protests cast spotlight on Baltimore’s image

While the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray has sparked a conversation about police brutality, it has also led to negative media portrayals of a city trying to shake a legacy of unflattering depictions. Under other circumstances Gray’s death after he suffered injuries while in police custody may have remained a local news story. But in the aftermath of recent high-profile incidents involving police and African-American men in Ferguson, Missouri, North Charleston, South Carolina and New York City — and because Gray being taken into custody was recorded, providing cable news networks with the dramatic footage they crave — his death has become national news. As reporters from media outlets such as CNN, Washington Post and New York Times descended on West Baltimore, they helped reinforce an image the city has been trying to shake since the critically acclaimed HBO series “The Wire” aired. News footage has revealed to national audiences a Baltimore beyond M&T Bank Stadium and Orioles Park at Camden Yards. Photos posted to Twitter by a local reporter prompted Esquire to compare West Baltimore to a fake streetscape on the backlot of Warner Bros.

About Adam Bednar

Adam Bednar covers real estate and development for The Daily Record.

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