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The Daily: ‘The Daily’ Presents Part 2 of ‘Charm City’: The Legacy of Zero-Tolerance Policing

‘The Daily’ Presents Part 2 of ‘Charm City’: The Legacy of Zero-Tolerance Policing

How did trust between the police and the people in Baltimore collapse within the span of three generations?

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Toby Douglas and her son, Nook, in an old family photo.

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‘Charm City,’ Part 2: The Legacy of ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policing

Relations between the police and the community in Baltimore weren’t always so troubled. But as job loss and drugs tore through the city, a policing idea transplanted from New York City created a generation of young men with criminal records.

Yesterday, we started telling you the story of Lavar Montray Douglas, known as Nook, an 18-year-old in Baltimore who was killed by the police in the spasm of violence that began after Freddie Gray died from injuries sustained while in police custody.

In Part 2, we visit Nook’s mother, Lashanda Douglas, known as Toby, in the house she moved into after her son was killed. She sits on the floor of her bedroom, partially covered by a large pile of clean clothes. She is grieving, and folding them and putting them away is soothing. We learn about her past. She graduated from high school with honors. She fled Baltimore to escape a bad boyfriend. But the city eventually lured her back.

We’ll also go back in time, to the Baltimore of Nook’s grandmother and great-grandmother, of flower pots and tidy blocks, when men were still part of families and middle-class jobs were plentiful. We’ll see that relations with the police weren’t always bad. But job loss and drugs tore through the city like plagues. And the policing idea of zero tolerance, transplanted from New York City, created an entire generation of young men with criminal records.

Every day this week, we’ll bring you a new chapter in Nook’s life and his family’s search for answers about his death. If you’d like to start from the beginning, here’s Part 1.

‘CHARM CITY,’ AN AUDIO SERIES FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
“The Daily” presents a five-part series about the life and death of a Baltimore teenager known as Nook, who was fatally shot by a police officer a year after the killing of Freddie Gray. Nook’s family is searching for truth from the streets where he died, the police who took his life and the city that won’t give them answers.

Tune in, and tell us what you think. Email us at thedaily@nytimes.com. Tweet me at @stavernise. And if you’re interested in advertising with “The Daily,” write to us at thedaily-ads@nytimes.com.


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“Charm City” was produced by Lynsea Garrison, with help from Rachel Quester, and edited by Lisa Tobin.

“The Daily” is produced by Theo Balcomb, Annie Brown, Jessica Cheung, Paige Cowett, Lynsea Garrison, Michael Simon Johnson, Andy Mills, Rachel Quester, Ike Sriskandarajah and Clare Toeniskoetter, with editing help from Larissa Anderson. Lisa Tobin is our executive producer. Samantha Henig is our editorial director. Brad Fisher is our technical manager. Chris Wood is our sound engineer. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.

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