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From that perspective, poor white victims are indeed less useful as martyrs for a movement that begins by affirming for black life.

“Then how is it that we never hear about white people being victims? I told her I had covered cases in Baltimore, that I had seen the war on drugs play itself out against poor whites and blacks alike.

She looked at me with disbelief and disappointment, as if I had obliviously blurted that all lives matter.

In this instance, the prisoner was also clearly in distress and ignored.

In this case, the wagon man rode the victim around Baltimore not for 45 minutes without medical assistance, but for a full hour.

The hue of the six defendants in the Gray prosecutions suggests this.

And the fact that the Robert Eugene Privetts of the world were going to their deaths in the back of Baltimore police wagons decades ago affirms as much.

In this instance, the wagon man actually told other prisoners not to step on the prone victim, because, he said, the man had AIDS. Gray, there was considerable discussion about the criminality of the victim, as if by diminishing his human worth and highlighting his failings, a police-wagon death was somehow deserved. And a Baltimore State’s Attorney also took the matter to a grand jury and emerged with no indictments — not for depraved-heart second degree murder or involuntary manslaughter. It was death that just slipped quietly below the waves.

Robert Eugene Privett, 29, died in Baltimore police custody in March 1992. A police reporter for nearly a decade by then, I was certain it would.

So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections.

In light of the frustration that many feel in the wake of this week’s mistrial in the first Freddy Gray prosecution, I thought I’d dig out an old newspaper clip.

Our Word of the Year choice serves as a symbol of each year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends.

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