US

Jesse Jackson: Nation's urban centers in crisis created by structural injustice

  • The Rev. Jesse Jackson, center, stands with Frances Draper, left, of Baltimore, a member of Morgan State University's board of regents, and David Wilson, right, university president, after receiving an honorary degree during the university's commencement exercises, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, in Baltimore. The exercises commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

    The Rev. Jesse Jackson, center, stands with Frances Draper, left, of Baltimore, a member of Morgan State University's board of regents, and David Wilson, right, university president, after receiving an honorary degree during the university's commencement exercises, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, in Baltimore. The exercises commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)  (The Associated Press)

  • The Rev. Jesse Jackson, center, and David Wilson, right, president of Morgan State University, greet graduates and guests during the university's commencement exercises, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, in Baltimore. The exercises commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

    The Rev. Jesse Jackson, center, and David Wilson, right, president of Morgan State University, greet graduates and guests during the university's commencement exercises, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, in Baltimore. The exercises commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)  (The Associated Press)

  • The Rev. Jesse Jackson, second from left, and Kweisi Mfume, left, civil rights leader and former U.S. Congressman, stand during Morgan State University's commencement exercises, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, in Baltimore. The exercises commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

    The Rev. Jesse Jackson, second from left, and Kweisi Mfume, left, civil rights leader and former U.S. Congressman, stand during Morgan State University's commencement exercises, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, in Baltimore. The exercises commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)  (The Associated Press)

Rev. Jesse Jackson says the nation's urban centers are in a crisis created by structural injustice.

Jackson spoke at a commencement ceremony at Morgan State University, a historically black school, on Friday, two days after a mistrial in the case of one of six Baltimore police officers charged in Freddie Gray's death.

Jackson calls the city "a metaphor for abandoned urban America, not protected by laws, not corrected by investment." He calls Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after he was injured in police custody, a symbol of too many youth in urban zones "profiled, arrested and killed in police custody without deterrents for misconduct."

Jackson says people should be marching, not only because Gray is dead "but because of reduced life options and the way he died."