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Some Baltimore Youth Have Fears of Police Reinforced in Their Schools

Darius Craig was disgusted Monday night watching other Baltimore teens on television as they burned cars, looted shops and hurled rocks at police. But the high school senior understood why his peers were so angry.

Long before Freddie Gray was fatally injured in police custody last month, the city youths had seen plenty of other cases in which young black people were treated with excessive force. They knew it had been going on for decades, and they thought police rarely got in trouble. They were sick of it.

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Baltimore’s unrest has helped show the world why some residents don’t trust police on the streets. But that same distrust echoes in city schools, where officers stationed in hallways and classrooms are often perceived as posing a threat instead of serving as protectors.