I should begin by noting that I started writing what follows back in April, after the publication of the New York Times story on the "1.5 Million Missing Black Men in America" but before the popular uprising in Baltimore that began a few days later as a consequence of Freddie Gray's death in police custody. In response to the latter, Baltimorean Rudolph Jackson was reported as saying of Freddie Gray "I'm not saying that [he] was an angel; whatever he did is now in the past. But the police have made up their minds about who we are. They figure every black man with his pants hanging down as a suspect, and they stop [us] without probable cause."
A lot was written in the days following the article regarding how long and how carefully we should think on the "suspicions" that Jackson describes, as well as the deadly consequences of those suspicions. For the record, "what happened to Freddie Gray," as far as we know now, was that his spine was severed while in police custody. For whatever it's worth, and this only has a grossly curious worth, experts say that, quite simply, you can't break your spine like Freddie Gray is reported to have done. We also know that Freddie Gray died as a result. Every official and/or "leaked" published report of this incident has described Freddie Gray's injury in the passive voice. Freddie Gray's spinal chord was severed. Freddie Gray died as a result.