There weren’t many moments of brightness in Baltimore on Monday, where the simmering anger from the funeral of Freddie Gray—who died in mysterious circumstances while in Baltimore police custody—turned a peaceful protest into a riot, complete with looting and fires. More than 200 people have reportedly been arrested, with more than a dozen officers reportedly injured; the mayor declared a state emergency, with the National Guard deployed.
But one man sought to bring positivity amid the negative. Dimitri Reeves, a 22-year-old Baltimore resident who has been singing and dancing all his life, became something of a social media celebrity when his tribute to Michael Jackson, complete with music and dead-on moonwalking, were captured online, bringing a measure of calm and joy during a city’s difficult moment.
— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) April 28, 2015
— Master Tesfatsion (@MasterStrib) April 28, 2015
The Thrill, Maclean’s pop-culture podcast, caught up with Reeves before he was set to return to the streets and perform. “Even if it’s a drop in the ocean, I don’t care,” he said in the interview. “I’m just trying to help in whatever way I can, because I care about Baltimore.” He spoke about dancing up to a line of riot police, why he went out there, what Man in the Mirror means to him, and the ongoing situation in Baltimore.