In a move reminiscent of the Los Angeles gang truce during the Rodney King protests, Baltimore area Bloods and Crips have agreed to put aside their rivalry and focus on fighting rogue police officers.
Last Saturday, both Bloods and Crips marched side by side in the Baltimore rallies against police brutality. Putting aside differences, both groups united in one voice to demand “Justice for Freddie Grey.”
Reports among members indicate that members of the Nation of Islam organization brokered the truce, much the same as happened in Los Angeles two decades ago.
“I can say with honesty those brothers demonstrated they can be united for a common good,” Carlos Muhammad, a minister at Nation of Islam’s Mosque No. 6 said.
“At the rally, they made the call that they must be united on that day. It should be commended,” he continued.
“We can unite and stop killing one another, and the Bloods and the Crips can help rebuild their community,” Muhammad said in an interview with the The Daily Beast.
A community organizer, DeRay McKesson, confirmed the ceasefire between the groups.
“The fight against police brutality has united people in many ways that we have not seen regularly, and that’s really powerful,” McKesson said.
“The reality is, police have been terrorizing black people as far back as we can remember. It will take all of us coming together to change a corrupt system,” he added.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake acknowledged the peace-brokering efforts of the Nation of Islam, singling them out specifically for helping to stop the violence in the community.
“I want to also thank the Nation of Islam, who have been very present in our efforts to keep calm and peace in our city,” she stated.
The mayor had nothing to say, however, about their criticisms of police violence.