What happened to the generation caught between a crack epidemic that consumed their neighborhoods and the aggressive police tactics meant to fix the problem?
Nook spent the first few years of his life in an affluent suburb. But when he returned to Baltimore, he became part of a young generation caught between the crack epidemic and the aggressive police tactics meant to fix the problem.
For the past two days, we’ve been bringing you the story of the life and death of Lavar Montray Douglas, known as Nook. He was 18 years old when he was shot dead by a police officer in Baltimore in 2016.
In Part 3, we look at Nook’s childhood. He spent the first few years of his life with an aunt in an upper-middle-class home outside Baltimore, taking piano lessons and going to church every week. Yesterday, we learned that Nook’s mother, Toby Douglas, kept returning to Baltimore. The same thing happened to Nook.
We go to Nook’s Baltimore, to his corner on Calhoun Street and Pratt Street. Some of his friends are still there, and we talk to them about Nook’s life. He was ambitious, they say. A leader. His mother was proud of that.
Everybody was talking about the Baltimore police officers who had just been on trial, accused of stealing from drug dealers. You see, they said, we were right. The cops are robbers. We said this all along, but nobody believed us.
Suddenly, two police officers pull up, and we encounter something that seems to be emblematic of the changes in the Baltimore Police Department.