Jay Z and Beyonce Meet With Freddie Gray’s Family
Last night (May 10), Prince held a concert in Baltimore that aimed in part to raise money and awareness for the family of the late Freddie Gray, the man who was killed by police officers last month. The nearly four-hour set was streamed for free on Tidal, the recently rebranded streaming service owned by Jay Z. As such, Gray's family members were afforded the opportunity to meet Hov and Beyonce, as well as other famous attendees like Alicia Keys. In addition to the concert, Prince released "Baltimore," a song inspired by the protests that followed Gray's death. The proceeds from the concert will not only be delivered to the grieving family, but also to various local charities. Tidal has pledged to match the amount donated.
On April 12, Gray, 25, was arrested near the Gilmor Homes housing project for possessing what police claimed to be an illegal switchblade. (A prosecutor's investigation would later conclude that the knife was legal under Maryland law.) Gray's arrest, documented by bystander video, was brutal; the Baltimore Sun and other outlets report that witnesses saw officers driving their knees into Gray's spine. Following a van ride for which he was thrown unsecured into the vehicle, Gray fell into a coma and died one week later, on April 19. His family reports that his spine was 80% severed at the neck. Following his death, thousands upon thousands of Baltimore residents took to the city streets to protest police brutality. The six officers involved in Gray's death have since been charged and released on bail.