04/30/2015 03:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

12 Powerful Responses To People Who Think The Baltimore Protests Are Unnecessary

Kena Betancur via Getty Images

Protests over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland gripped the city this week and prompted a series of news reports and social media posts reflecting the unrest that has unfolded.

Gray died on April 19 after sustaining a spinal cord injury from an arrest -- and his death has fueled protests, many peaceful but some violent, in response to the ongoing issues of police brutality and officer killings of black men and women.

Much like the reaction to protests in Ferguson, some naysayers suggest that the police "made a mistake," that police protect themselves in "self defense," that if black men didn't commit "so many" crimes, none of this would happen. These same people deflect the blame for poor police treatment on black communities rather than addressing the underlying systemic issues disproportionally affecting black lives. In so many words, Freddie Gray is responsible for his own death.

Those troubling theories are exactly why the protests are necessary. Demonstrators have raised their voices against those misconceptions through protest, and have reinforced their thoughts online and on TV.

To provide a deeper understanding of the uprisings that have occurred and why, here are 12 posts and photos spreading through Twitter and Tumblr that send important messages no one should miss.

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Baltimore Protests