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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  April 27, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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he last half hour here just an hour or so after the funeral of 25-year-old freddie gray a number of young people hurling rocks, bottles, bricks at police armed with their batons and armored vehicles. we'll watch this through the afternoon. i'm brooke baldwin. go to washington. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. xxx p. welcome to "the lead," i'm jake tapper, continuing to follow the violence in baltimore. there is breaking news on the very day that the family of 25-year-old freddie gray bid him adieu in his funeral, late him to rest. the city of baltimore, despite their pleas for peace, has become something of a battle zone. moments ago police seen dragging away a clearly injured police officer from the scene of what appeared to be rye riots with
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protestors. according to images we're getting on the television from affiliates in baltimore, throwing rocks and bricks and bottles at the police who have been forming barricades at certain checkpoints. getting live images from baltimore right now. this scene comes amid other reports that there are rival gangs uniting to target police officers in the wake of freddie gray. still unexplained death in police custody. he died one week ago yesterday. let's go to if we can, cnn's athena jones who's in the streets of baltimore, has been at times in the middle of the chaos. athena, you learned that this was apparently a planned demonstration, and some people were even warned not to go to the area because of a possible riot? tell us more. >> reporter: yes, i spoke with a bystander who told me he was warned in facebook not to be in this area after 2:30 because
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they're planning a riot tell everyone. this is what this bystander's friend told him via facebook. the officer at the mall saids supposed to start here at mondamon and downtown. tell everybody, don't go near their areas. i haven't seen a march take place. we learned the university of maryland and baltimore decided to close early because they'd received an alert from baltimore police there would be a quote/unquote purge at the high school here. right outside of a high school at 3:00. that seems to be a walk-out of sorts but i've spoken to high school students around here who said they didn't walk out. left school at the end of the school day. so we've been here several minutes now. you can see the confrontation with police. a lot of rocks thrown. parts of bricks. we've had to duck to avoid being hit in some cases. we've seen more than one police officer injured. at least three, i think, we've seen so far. we saw some people set a trash
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can on fire. at one point there looked to are smoke from smoke bombs. we don't believe it was tear gas, because it didn't seem like tear gas, didn't affect our eyes but we've been warned by police they may end up using tear gas. i tell you also, helicoptering have been circling the area at least the last half hour. we saw a police chopper fly lower than i've seen three or four stories high and broadcast that a warning, telling everyone to disburse. this is san unlawful gathering and asking folks leave the area. there are fewer students right now than there were maybe half an hour ago, far more than 100, many tussling with police and many others just standing by. some of them confused. some of them not knowing what the plan was, and i've talked to a lot of people who are angry this is going on because as freddie gray's family has been saying for days now they don't want to see more violence they don't believe violence will bring justice and folks around here have been echoing that sentiment.
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>> well, ianina, we've heard from the police department several of their officers injured and they're also reporting the baltimore police, that the crowd is not obeying police orders for the crowd to disburse. >> reporter: they have not -- 134 some of the people seem to have left ofaccord. they didn't want to be a part of this. you can see police moving towards others. we've witnessed police injured. i saw a man lying in the street a few minutes ago with blood. so that is certainly the case that there are several police who have been injured, but as i mentioned, we haven't seen any arrests yet. we have seen some of the students leave the area but a lot still remain. so we're watching the situation. it's very fluid. right now no one's throwing anything but there have been a lot of objects thrown in the direction of police. here we go.
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still throwing. plywood boards rocks, parts of bricks. it seems like -- any number of objects are being thrown. and, again, this is ostensibly a protest against police conduct, and in the freddie gray case but like i said a lot of the bystanders here including young people are not happy to see what is going on here. >> athena there were reports earlier in the day that a lot of these protestors were a lot of these demonstrators, were high school-aged students. who have you seen in the crowd of demonstrators? do they appear to be high school-age? are they various ages as we've been seeing? >> reporter: absolutely. they are mostly high school students. we arrived on the scene. we are right next to a high school. that was the original alert, that there was going to be a purge of a high school. so that's what happened. a lot of the folks i was able to -- speak with on our way here were very young students. one person was in college. one person an adult.
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the one who told me about the warning he'd gotten on facebook but this crowd has been mostly made up of young people that i can tell. not all of them are holding signs, and not all of them seem to be focused on protesting freddie gray. some seem to want to just throw rocks at police. here you see a vehicle that has been damaged by -- some projectile. so -- we're watch aring the situation, but, yes. seems to be mostly young people and i it tell you now from our vantage point i see a lot more police than i do people throwing things, but it's clearly not a situation that is under control at this point. >> athena police have been reporting and telling the media in the last few hours or so that they had heard reports that rival gangs cripps and bloods were uniting with the shared mission of taking out police
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officers. have you seen any evidence of that beyond the police reports? >> reporter: no jake i haven't. this does not seem to be at all related to that. i have not seen any evidence of that and when freddie gray's funeral was over a procession of men, motor bikes, freddie gray we're told used to like to ride the smaller motor bikes that are sometimes popular among many here in baltimore. there was a crowd of riders on the larger motor bikes who said he wanted to escort the funeral procession to the cemetery. that's often a role played by police but, no. they were going to block intersections and escort the hearse and freddie's family to the cemetery where he was going to be put to rest. i put it it to one of them. what about the warning coming from police somehow gangs are out to target them? one particular person part of that procession motorcycle
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procession look we've had problems here with police for years a and years. why didn't they threaten them then? i don't believe that threat is the credible. that's just one person but i haven't seen evidence of police being targeted by any one who seems to be part of a gang. this seems to be a protest by high school students that's gone out of control. >> athena we've seen what appears to be smoke flares in the street there, gwynns falls parkway, something with smoke. you said earlier you thought perhaps police were preparing to fire tear gas into the crowd. what are they seeing in terms of what the police are doing in terms of smoke or flares or tear gas? >> reporter: it -- that doesn't seem to be tear gas. at least it doesn't seem to be
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tear gas in the air. right now they're mostly at this intersection now progressing through it. they've warned us to stay at a certain distance behind them so they can guarantee our safety. you can see now projectiles being thrown. a board, several rocks. we don't want to get too close. but we're basically behind the police line. the demonstrators are on the other side. and we've got -- so we're at a safe distance but right now they're holding the line. you can see -- at this exact moment it doesn't look as though anyone's injured or in the process of being arrested. you can see here this line moving slowly. the police are saying move back. see, as they walk along, they're saying move back. and it's a line at least two or three police officers -- >> issuing a statement a minute ago, the police the group in the area of gwynns falls and
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liberty heights has been aggressive and violent, from the baltimore police. we are continuing to deploy resources. several officers have been injured. we're going to listen too this right now. just take a moment and listen to this confrontation between the citizens of baltimore and their police officers. ltimore, and in the wake of the death of freddie gray. 25-year-old who died while in police custody. miguel there are obviously violent confrontations there were over the weekend, with stores destroyed and confrontations turning very violent. the family of freddie gray
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pleading for peace. the police commissioner warned outside agitators, outside demonstrators to not try to stir things up but if you look at the hometowns of the more than 30 people arrested on saturday into the early morning sunday most of them were from baltimore. what are you seeing where you are? >> that they were from baltimore and this is a very, very disturbing development. in this neighborhood where freddie gray was arrested a couple weeks ago. they were very much over it after saturday's event. thought it got too heated, to violent between protestors and police. and now this on the day of freddie gray's funeral and just a half mile from the church a very very powerful service for 25-year-old freddie gray, and now this. the city is is going to have a
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tough time putting this back in the box. this is how they are reacting on this particular day, because they did not expect it. i think that the police at western district which is in the epicenter of the protest here most angry, but mostly people protest here and then now this at a moment that is several different high school students involved at a mall that is a predominantly african-american area of baltimore and it is so close to the church where mr. gray's funeral was today. it is i think, shocking and i think baltimoreans will have a tough time understanding what is happening in their city because they certainly -- there was no indication at the beginning of this day that this was going to break out. it appears that these are high school students who decided to
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have a mass walkout and start basically going at police and they are, jake. >> miguel had you heard through your time in the streets talking to protestors, talking to demonstrators, talking to people in the baltimore community, had you heard about this plan for a protest? "theen athena reported earlier, she met somebody who was warned on facebook to avoid the area after 2:30. is this something that people in the community knew about? >> reporter: there were fires that were put out. there was some indication that this might be happening. there was the university of maryland and baltimore cancelled classes because they had heard of a purge, or a mass walkout at one of the high schools there. they were concerned that this may be happening, but it wasn't very clear it was going to. there's been so many rumors so much confusion in this city over the past several days because
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of the protests and the concerns officials have had. on the day of his funeral, i think it would come as a great surprise to everybody that this was actually happening. jake? >> yeah and just to catch people up if they're just tuning in obviously today was the funeral of freddie gray, the 25-year-old who died just a week ago -- yes? miguel go ahead? >> reporter: we are driving through the neighborhood now towards police lines. this is probably not the best place to be at the moment. we are on wittier and weisers town road. i am looking up at the police line. we've been driving this direction and now founder ourselves in the center of the protestors here and the police are beginning to come down the lines here. there's a lot of journalists around here. this is not the place one wants to be in a situation like this.
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i'm looking down the street here. there's a one-way i'm looking down. something has happened here. it looks like a journalist may be being attacked and other journalists are coming to their assistance. i'm not really sure what's happening. but there are a hell of a lot of police up ahead of us that are completely -- thank god. we are at the corner of gwynns falls parkway where police, it looks like something out of a a movie with police they've encircled themselves behind shields, behind full riot gear. they are spraying, it looks like possibly -- possibly -- some sort of tear gas. i actually don't feel that we should get out of the car here to be quite honest.
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>> reporter: they're throwing rocks at police. there's a line in the street. >> reporter: they are throwing rocks at police -- >> miguel -- hold on one second. i want to go to athena jones, also in the thick of it down there. athena there is obviously a group of police proceeding down the street on moss.en masse. what are you seeing? >> reporter: trying to form a v before. now seem to be stopping in the middle of the intersection. several were throwing rocks who turned around and headed in the ear direction other direction. we are seeing more policemen with gas masks on and no sign of actual tear gas being used but it looks as though here they're trying to block an intersection and trying to disburse this scene, this crowd. the entire intersection is littered with parts of bricks with rocks. there's movement now here. but you can see the middle of
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this intersection the various things that have been thrown towards the police. they're now trying to shut off this road. the road that you see here several dozen young people ran in the opposite direction after throwing these rocks, bricks et cetera towards police. so it's very unstable as you can see. not even the intersections are entirely shut down. so it is by far a situation that is still not under control at all. jake? >> athena stay with us. i want to bring in former maryland police officer neill franklin a former maryland state police officer, he's on the ground watching the standoff. officer franklin tell us what's going on from the perspective of law enforcement. >> well from their perspective, one of the things they're going to have to do is eventually disburse the crowd that just moves from one small place to the next. they're bringing in more police officers to hem with this
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effort but one van full of police officers just came through the intersection here at gwenn falls, and monroe street the back window was immediately shattered by one of these teens throwing a rock at the back of the van. so i hope no one was injured when the if a glass shattered from that. but they're forming up in the intersection now of rices town road and gwenns falls and we've got a group of protestors here at the corner of gwenns falls and monroe and they just threw a rock at one of the local journalists there, and so it looks like now anyone's becoming a potential victim. but i think the police are going to have to start making some arrests soon and i think they will once they get more police officers on the scene to help out here. i think that's the only way they're going to be able to demonstrate that they mean business. to start taking people away in handcuffs, unfortunately. but that's where we're at. the point we're at right now
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because it's becoming a very dangerous situation. i also hope the local radio stations and other media begin to make announcements to keep people out of the area. this is important. we have a lot of cars still coming down gwenns falls parkway and hindering the efforts of the police as they try to disburse the crowd. >> officer and just to remind viewers what we're watching now is a confrontation with demonstrators throwing projectiles, bottles and rocks and bricks at baltimore police officers. this comes just an hour or so after the funeral of freddie gray a 25-year-old baltimore resident killed while in police custody. still somewhat mysterious what exactly happened to him. he died one week ago yesterday. we're on the phone with former maryland state police officer neill franklin. officer, you said that the police you think, will start soon arresting people. why haven't they yet?
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>> well i think they're still waiting -- for instance the maryland state police quick response team just arrived on the scene. they're actually right in front of me here so i'm going to have to move because of the rocks being thrown at them. but we're getting members from other police departments now to mass on the scene and i think you'll start seeing arrests here made rather soon. so i would advise -- and there are a lot of young people just milling around not actually throwing rocks but they need to disburse go home as well as everyone else. so i'm going to move here myself. go to higher ground. >> absolutely officer. we appreciate you. we want you to get out of harm's way, but can you give us an idea of why you think we have not seen arrests as of now? we've seen individuals throwing objects at police but the police have been holding back standing in a crowd. are they doing that because they
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don't want the situation to escalate further? >> well, in order to plan for making arrests you have to have the right number of officers on the scene. you have to have your strategy down. you have to have a good plan of how you're going to go about doing this. you're going to have to have a number of different teams that are responsible for different tasks when you're trying to do such an effort. and i think they're probably getting to that point very soon. so it's not just that you can gist start grabbing people and making arrests. you've got to have -- it's got to be done in an orderly, planned fashion, and i think we're just about there. so hopefully these young people get the message and disburse. >> the baltimore police issued a statement a minute ago saying that they are asking motorists in baltimore to avoid the area of gwynns falls, ricer town liberty heights, take ultimate routes saying several people in the group of demonstrators are reported to be armed with
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sticks bricks other weapons, and the police are hearing reports that members of the group of demonstrators are now setting small items on fire in the area. if you're just joining us, you're watching live from cnn baltimore affiliates, live images from the streets of baltimore, demonstrators throwing objects at the baltimore police department. we have two reporters down there as well as a former maryland police officer neill franklin telling us what's going on. i want to bring in former fbi assistant director and cnn law enforcement analyst tom fuentes. wuching this unfold what are you observing, tom? >> jake what i think is happening over several days a almost an intimidation of police.police they've been afraid -- too many police out there -- afraid to put body armor or helmets on because it looks mean. afraid to use armored cars for protection because it looks
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militarized and are now in a position where they're weak and not really able to make the arrests that they need to make right now for people that are throwing bottles and bricks and other debris at them. i think now we see them trying to catch up and wait for more backup police to arrive and to suit up and be prepared to make tactical maneuvers to make arrests. i think the police have allowed the narrative of how mean they are and how all of this is their fault, i think they've taken it a little too far and have not protected the community. >> tom, i wanted to get your reaction to something that the mayor of baltimore, mayor stephanie rawlings-blake said over the weekending a giving those who wished to destroy space to do that. these comments came after some violent, violence and vandalism in which storefronts and vehicles were destroyed by demonstrators. what does that mean?
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giving those who wish to destroy space to do that? is that something that law enforcement or public officials ever talk about? meanwhile, tom, before you do that so you know we just saw a group of individuals, young men, throwing objects at a police car on a street. the car -- the driver now appears to be driving away. so hopefully he wasn't injured by what happened but it was a group that ran up and -- violently threw rocks or some such projectiles at police. we are now witnessing it looks like an arrest of an individual by baltimore police. this comes after several minutes of these demonstrators or protestors throwing objects at police. tom, i'm sorry to interrupt, but i did wonder while we talking about police tactics and in your
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view of police being afraid to react or seeming afraid to react to some of this violence against them. what do you think the mayor meant when she referred to giving protestors who wish to destroy space to do that? >> you know jake i think that statement is so absurd. i don't know how to respond. i would let her clarify that. does she want to serve up police cars or other public buildings in baltimore or public officials like the police turn them into pinatas for the people to come out and whack at them so they can get their agres out of their system? i've never heard a statement like that and i think it's ridiculous. >> is there ever a strategy to cede some territory -- i'm speculating i have no ideas what the mayor meant -- to provide an
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area is that a strategy? >> no. it would be so difficult to contain, to allow property to be destroyed in the interests of saving lives. that would lead to danger to the lives there of the police of the people and what property would that be? people own these businesses and residences the vehicles. you know is the mayor offering up other people's property to be destroyed? i don't know. i think she needs to clarify that but the police under no circumstances -- they are there to protect peaceful protests. protests that are within the, you know the guidelines as specified by the supreme court. several decisions, going back to when i was a police officer and had to stand in front of them and protect them in illinois. so you know that's one thing, but when it turns viviolent. >> look at this. i'm sorry, tom. we're watching a bunch of crowd jumping on a police car and trying to kick in the windows.
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>> this is the most violent group right now. >> i can't fell if -- there isn't anybody in that police car. >> approaching 100 -- people here. >> people with -- sticks or bats. >> several of them attacking this vehicle jichumping on the hood, smashing the windows. >> if you're joining us you're looking at live footage from wjz, a cnn baltimore affiliate of demonstrators attacks a police car. this comes on the same day as the funeral of freddie gray. 25-year-old baltimore man who die while in police custody. his family pleaded for peace they don't want this kind of
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retribution played out on our television screens rights now. one hopes there aren't police officers in that car. we don't know right now. >> we've been trying to keep an eye on it. our original point of interest was about a block, right in front of mandaman. now we're trying to keep an eye on at least a mile where all activity is going on. hold on. i have to talk to somebody. i'm on the air, steve. i'll be with you in a second. >> tom i don't know if you're seeing the images on the, on the tv screen right now. coming in live from baltimore of a mob growing, attacking a police car. >> i think, jake this is just becoming increasingly dangerous, and the mob is taking on a life of its own. it's no longer -- i think the adjective of protestors or
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demonstrators doesn't apply to that kind of behavior. now we're getting up to where we have rioters, and they're endangering the public safety public property, private property. this is getting too far out of control. i think. >> tom, stay with us. i want to bring in baltimore sun reporter erica green, who has been covering these protests. she was maced during the protests. erica, where are you right now? tell us what you're seeing and what happened to you earlier? >> reporter: i'm sorry. one second. i'm on gwynns falls parkway right outside the mall where the protest was supposed to begin, there was a notification that went out students would be gathering here after school. i got here around 3:30. when i got here it was much more than a gathering. it was, frankly, just an all-out war between police officers and students in the neighborhood.
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bricks rocks, glass, tires, trash cans, anything that could be thrown was thrown. i saw officers badly injured. i've seen journalists assaulted. it's just been absolutely insane the crowd has swelled over time as has the number of police officers and right now i'm standing in the middle of a big kind of perimeter that the police have formed with their bodies around several blocks of the parkway. gwynns falls parkway. trying to push the people back to where this began and things are still being pummeled across the street at the police but it
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seems like -- >> whoa whoa. erica, hold on one second. hold on one second. >> reporter: okay. >> we're watching serious -- we're watching -- from the helicopter from wjz in baltimore, watching police taking down some demonstrators, protestors. people who were attacking the police car. >> kind of going down pennsylvania avenue. some went in the another direction. we don't know if they'll regroup, but that definitely broke this group up. you could see the damage down there to that police car, quite extensive. several police officers now -- >> -- appropriate to protect the safety of our police officers. >> we're listening to a press conference from the baltimore police department. we're going to take that right now. >> -- from the area. we have officers deployed throughout the city to make sure we can continue to deliver police services to the citizens of baltimore and will continue to keep the city safe. our officers are working at quickly and as appropriately as they can to bring ash order in
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the area and affect arrests of the criminals who violently and without provocation attacked our police officers. >> -- walking in the middle of the street. of all the people that -- >> -- we're still in the middle of this situation. it's still happening. we know as this is going on that seven of our officer is right now have been injured. the exact circumstances that took place that led to their injuries something we'll determine at a later day. go back and do an investigation and will find the people responsible and we will put them in jail. right now it is a group of lawless individuals with no regard for the safety of the people that live in that community, or the safety of our police officers who are there to ensure that the people who live and work in that area could do so safely. >> are these high school students? >> i don't know who's out there right now. that's something that we'll be able to determine as knissthis event
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goes on. we do know that they're criminals, they attacked officers without provocation, no regard for the safety of the people that live in that community and our officers are working hard to bring about order. we're not going to speculate what this is related to. we're dealing with a situation right now. you can hear officers responding out there behind me. right now our focus is making sure that the people that live in this community are safe and that our officers are safe. >> can you speak to the size of the group that you're dealing with right now? >> i don't have aestimate of the size right now. obviously it's a large group of people spread out over a significant area. our officers are deploying as quickly as they can. our primary concerns right now are making sure our officers stay safe. i can't emphasize this enough. we have seven officers injured during the course of this. they have broken bones, one is unresponsive. this is not objection. our officers went out to that situation to make sure the people who live in that community were safe and we're going to continue to do what we can to make sure those people stay safe.
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we have that obligation to the city. yeah. i don't want to speculate about any correlation between the two. what we know this morning we received a threat. it was run through our intelligence section, that threat was determined to be credible. so we took the appropriate precautions of ensuring that that information was not only distributed internally to officers here but to law enforcement agencies nationwide. >> [ inaudible ]. >> i'm sorry. >> [ inaudible ] -- if this continues? >> it's too early to know that now. we have officers still responding to that location. we're doing what we do in these types of situations to bring about order. you're going to see tear gas. you're going to see pepper balls. we're going to use appropriatemethods to ensure that we're able to preserve the safety of that community. >> [ inaudible ]. -- is this the downtown -- closed. do you know the [ inaudible ] --
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>> yeah. i don't want to get into that right now. we're in the middle of the situation. our focus right now we need to let people in that community know that we're doing what we can to ensure they're safety. we're sending extra resources and deploying police officers to make sure that that neighborhood is safe. that the people trying to get home from work can do so peacefully. >> a question -- [ inaudible ]. >> that's something we're going to figure out. we know rocks are being thrown bricks are being thrown. we know our officers are placed in harm's way and seven injured and do everything we can to make sure another officer isn't. again, you'll see us use appropriate measures like tear gas and pepper balls. as we're able to provide nor information later in the night we will do so. thank you very much. >> the name -- captain eric kowal -- >> listening to captain eric kowalczech. spokesman for the baltimore police department reporting on the status of several -- seven specifically police officers who have been injured in what i
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think are fair to describe as riots in baltimore. he said one of the police officers is unresponsive. others have broken bones. "this is not okay." said captain kowalcheck talking about the violence against plit officer police officer and he referreded to the threat law enforcement had heard about their being specific allegations, specific targeting of police a threat they said the captain said, had been run through their intelligence department deemed credible and run through and shared with other police departments throughout the country. i want to bring back cnn's miguel marquez in the thick of the riots down there in baltimore, we're watching it all from a helicopter from wjz. miguel, what are you seeing?
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miguel marquez, we're having trouble with communications. let's go to athena jones. cnn's athena jones, who was also on the scene. i'm seeing miguel marquez -- >> reporter: yeah miguel. thicker than expected. this is rysher town road here, jake. the place -- they're not hearing us. >> we hear you. miguel, keep going. we hear you. we gotcha miguel. go ahead. yeah. you're good. >> reporter: jake this is ricertown road here the location we drove up. you can see the phalanx -- you can see the phalanx -- okay. we can -- you can see the phalanx of police officers there. a very a very large armored truck just came down this road a short time ago, through those officers to affect an arrest in that area. i can tell you that there are dozens if not hundreds of protestors in the neighborhoods around this area. if you swing around this way you
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can see the line of officers this way on gwynns falls road they've actually lit a fire a trash can on fire and put it in the center of the road here as well. and then where athena is over on this side swing all the way around here if you swing all the way around you can see that police are currently clashing with protestors down north monroe street there. it is a -- horribly bad situation, that this is happening about a half mile from new shiloh church where freddie gray his funeral was today. a very very powerful message of defiance but peaceful protests and it has turned into this. it is an absolute war zone. i can say driving through this area and having these individuals look at us me in a tie coming from a funeral, wondering who in the hell we were and what we were doing there. it was as frightening as a situation gets. there were -- a lot of nice
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people who cleared cars out for us and we were able to get through, but there are people of all ages all sexes, with rocks, sticks looking to -- to go after police in this neighborhood of baltimore. it is an extraordinarily bad sign that this is happening on the day of freddie gray's funeral. jake? >> all right. just for those of us who are joining right now, we've been watching what i think are fair to describe as riots breaking out in the streets of baltimore as members of the baltimore police department have been apparently targeted for various violence. a lot of rocks and bricks and sticks and other projectiles thrown at them. we've been watching as rioters have attacked a police car, you're seeing that on your television right now. that's from a few minutes ago. the crowd gets bigger and then starts attacking the car, the police car, even more violently
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than they are right now. there's a long delay i have with me here in the streets of baltimore, our correspondents with me. forgive me. i'll ask a question and then something of a delay. i do want to take a moment to thank viewers, our viewers, not only here in the united states but around the world who are turning in. we are now broad casting this internationally. what you're seeing are the scenes of violent clashes between citizens the residents, rioters, demonstrators, pro techters in baltimore, protestors in baltimore, targeting the police. targeting the police in baltimore. this comes on the same day not long after the funeral of freddie gray, a 25-year-old baltimore resident who was killed, he died in police custody. his family has been pleading for peace, but regardless of that, there was intelligence that came to the baltimore p.d. earlier today that the police would be
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targeted. i'm not sure if the intelligence was specifically about this protest, this demonstration, this riot, or about violence from gangs, also a report that the baltimore police department had heard they would be targeted by gangs, by crips and bloods uniting to attack police. i'm going to go right now if i can, to billy murphy who is antarian for freddie gray's family. mr. murphy, thanks for joining us. this violence that we're seeing right now and that we saw on saturday night, sunday morning, it's exactly what the family of freddie gray said they didn't want. do you know are they aware of what's happening right now? >> well we don't know. they're safer and sound where think live think -- where they live and this is isolated in one part of the city and it looks like it's just teenagers and we hope it doesn't get worse than that frankly, because freddie gray's family does not want this.
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>> yeah i hear you that it might be just teenagers, although you know teenagers can certainly cause harm as well and as the baltimore police department spokesperson captain kowalcheck announced, one of the seven officers injured is unresponsive. others have broken bones. obviously freddie gray's family very upset about the violence over the weekend. one imagines they would feel the same way about this. this all comes hours after freddie gray at the young age of 25 was laid to rest. there must be concern among the family that this type of violence willty tract from the tydistract from the message the family is seeking? >> i am sure that the family is concerned and i am positive that they are against what askis beginning to develop here in town and our hearts go out to the two police officers injured because they don't deserve this anymore and that freddie gray
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deserved it. >> in light of this violence, sir, do you have any idea if the family wants the protests to continue? obviously, most of the protests have been peaceful. most of them have been about justice, and about seeking reforms of the kind of policing that may have led to the death of freddie gray? do they have any requests about the protests kornt ss continuing given what we've seen over the last couple of days? >> we are all concerned about that and probably the best bet is for the protests to temporarily stop, until this violence is contained and eliminated. >> guys if you copy -- >> obviously, there is a long history of tensions with police in baltimore. does it appear to you that this is the protests in general that
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have been about something other than freddie gray? bigger than freddie gray? maybe some people are taking advantage of this tragedy? >> no no. nobody's deliberately trying to take advantage of this tragedy. this is just a boiling over of tensions. >> mr. murphy if you would hold on. i'm sorry. i don't mean to interrupt, sir. i'm sorry. but there is some scene taking place with the cvs in baltimore and we're going to take a look of a helicopter pilot talking. >> trying to get more information on that but right now a lot of activity here at pennsylvania avenue and north avenue. yeah. they've got several groups out here. that's the problem. they've got -- groups here at pency and north, at gwenns falls, monroe street still have groups over there at liberty heights near ocentrally. so it's -- the police are north
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of that location. they just can't go marching in there, because they'll get flanked and again, more officers hurt. they're still waiting for reinforcement now. city police helicopter fox trot is overtop monitoring the situation at pency and north, and relaying information back to the command, but the officers at pennsylvania and north are actually about a half a block north of that intersection where in e formed a line working their way down but they can't afford to be out-flanked. cvs pharmacy other businesses have been attacked cars that have been attacked. i know there's been some officers hurt civilians hurt. this is ongoing and not stopping. >> if we could bring down the
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sound of wbal the helicopter pilot right now i want to tell viewers what they're looking at. on the left side of the screen they're seeing the police commissioner of the baltimore police department. he is with fellow officers as they take to it streets. there are arrests going on. there has been a great deal of violence against police officers today that we've seen. it started, it appeared with high school students. that's what we're told anyway from those in the streets of baltimore reporting for us. miguel marquez and athena jones. the high school students it appeared were the ones throwing rocks, sticks and bricks and other objects as police and then the riot protest, violent demonstration went on from there with a police car violently attacked, we're told by the spokesperson for the baltimore police that seven officers are injured including one who is unresponsive. others with broken ing the
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looting of a cvs. not the first riot in the wake of the death of freddie gray. saturday night, sunday morning, also brought some violence in the streets of baltimore against the wishes of the family of freddie gray. miguel marquez is in the streets of baltimore covering this all for cnn. miguel, what are you what are you witnessing and i should tell viewers, there's going to be about a 20-second delay before he answers because of the difficulty we're having with comes right now in the middle of this riot. miguel? >> reporter: yeah we are witnessing pandemonium here jake. at the corner of ricertown and gwynn falls parkway. we are seeing national guard helicopters overhead -- police in riot gear and dozens of hundreds of protestors who are throwing rocks, bricks. i can show you exactly what the
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sort of stuff they're throwing at officers leer. most of the houses are made of briks in this area and this is the sort of stuff coming at office. officers are responding with either pepper bullets or marking the protestors with paint balls basically, or some sort of paint so they can find them later. anybody who's throwing stuff gets a paintball shot at them and you can see that they are bringing in more officers by the moment as well. down gwynns falls road here there was a trash can that was lit on fire earlier, and police are basically just trying to hold the line. the cvs that you referenced a second ago is over a few blocks from where freddie gray was arrested and now you're looking at a very heavily armed vehicle that will likely make its way through, and this is from prince george's county. clearly, resources from other police departments around the area prince george's right
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north of washington, d.c. now called in to assist here. they are taking,s that the second heavily armed vehicle that we have een, or armored vehicle we have seen move down gwynns falls, or ricerstown road. we came up that road that that car is currently going down and i can tell you it was a frightening thing. i've covered a few things in my life as have you, nothing more 23r50i9 frightening than an angry mob. mostly young people of both sexes with rocks, stick, anything they could fight with. police have a hell of a job on their hands today in baltimore. jake? >> and it is very troubling, and amidst all this there will be a home baseball game this evening scheduled. the orioles playing the white sox, i believe. that was a problem on saturday night. when there were protests outside camden yards, the baseball park in baltimore, and people who
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were at the game were told to stay in the park. >> reporter: they nearly cancelled the game i think, saturday night over concerns about the protestors's when they were marching to city hall passed camden yards, saw police presence changed course went down there and taunted police and then they went to city hall and after the first place, the largest contingent of protestors went back to was camden yards. protestors here promised to go downtown are already in the area of pennsylvania avenue where mr. gray was arrested. they've promised to go back downtown and to cappedenmden yards so i think there will be great concern of carrying out a baseball game. >> amidst all this we're told the white house and department of justice under the control of the brand new attorney general loretta lynch is monitoring the situation, the white house, and
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the department of justice. no statement from either of them. let's go to athena jones, also in the streets of baltimore. athena what are you seeing, what are you witnessing? >> reporter: hi jake. where we are right now is on north monroe. this is the same street that the church was on. the church that held the funeral service for freddie gray today, less than a mile away. this is is a sad situation. we just witnessed someone being arrested here. those hand ties put on him. we flow at least one other arrest in this immediate vicinity. we also know about the seven police officers who were injured including one who is we're told unresponsive. i want to show you some things thrown. this looks like a piece of a shelf of some sort. heavy objects like a canister a rusted out paint canister and even this which looks to be a connection between two pipes. it's very, very heavy, jake. the kinds of projectiles being thrown at police and in our
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direction because we're somewhat close to police. right now it looks as though they're still holding the line. haven't seen as many projectiles thrown, we have seen police holding canisters of different sizes, we'll leave our pepper spray. saw them shoot something in the air. some wearing gas masks but haven't seen anything that is obviously tear gas. >> athena i want to interrupt. >> reporter: it's not -- >> i want to interrupt, athena. one second. we're looking at some looking at images right now that it's a police car appears to be a police car on fire. let's take a listen to the police to the chopper pilot. >> -- i'm sure the officer that was in there is out. >> you're watching a police car on fire in baltimore. >> the department of transportation police vehicle. two of them down there. >> this is not the first -- first police car that's -- we saw another one earlier.
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this is a maryland state police vehicle, we're told. >> the protestors moved to where though officers are and those officers are not protected -- >> there's still a large group of people on this road. this is north avenue. very close to pennsylvania avenue and right now this seems to be the hotbed for a come reasons. this is where one of the larger groups that splintered off when the police made their advance, they went down this way and sort of gathered up here. they've done other things. i do see some police but that's the other reason you don't see a lot of -- we've seen so much down here. there wasn't a large police presence but on -- pennsylvania avenue if we go to the left and then up a little bit, we're going to see some police gathering in the street on pennsylvania avenue. so they're going to be working their way down here because this is the problem area right here. now, on the corner down here is the cvs, we understand -- >> you're waginge ing watching now
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a maryland state police vehicle on fire. set afire, according to the helicopter pilot set on fire by the rioters who took the streets today throwing rocks and pipes and other objects at police. seven police officers injured, one unresponsive others with broken bones, there are starting to are several arrests in the wacts of wake of all of this violence. let's go to athena jones. you say -- we're seeing also looting taking place of a cvs in baltimore. as well as people continuing to throw objects at the police or just into the street. athena, what are you seeing where you are? >> reporter: oh i've just seen you can see now this picture we're showing you of four young men just arrested just brought over to this group to sit on the ground but i can tell you this. a woman was at the home where they were being arrested on an upper story, leaning out a
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second story window saying that the men, the young men being carried away had not done anything wrong. a man across the street also from this neighborhood told me they were just standing outside. they weren't doing anything and they got the wrong people. so this is a very unstable scene. it's not clear who's doing -- why these four men were arrested that the people around them are saying they should not have been. but -- yeah. the police are moving -- they're now holding a line about a block further, a block closer to the church where freddie gray's funeral was held but as i mentioned, one minute seems calm but then a few minutes later you'll have something go down like what went down just now with several arrests in a continuing unstable situation. jake? >> it is an ugly scene on the streets of baltimore. just to reset for those just turning in ing tuning in here in the united states or around the world, one week ago yesterday a 25-year-old
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baltimore resident freddie gray died after suffering severe injuries in police custody. what happened we still do not know know. it is unclear how his neck came to be all but snapped that day. but in any case however it happened whatever reason baltimore police have yet to give the full accounting of what happened and one week ago yesterday he died. there have since been many protests many demonstrations most peaceful then over the weekend they turned ugly turned violent and there were police cars that were attacked. there were storefronts that were vandalized and looted and now today we were told earlier today that baltimore police had heard they would be targeted, and just a few minutes ago, we saw a mob of baltimore residents, told high school students possibly throwing objects at police. since then we have seen at least two police cars attacked. one is now on fire in the streets of baltimore. we are also watching a cvs
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pharmacy a drug store, being looted in the streets of baltimore. you can see the police car also under fire. that's a maryland state police vehicle we're told. athena are police more aggressively arresting individuals? what are you seeing where you are? >> reporter: well i've seen -- i've seen -- i've seen the last few minutes those four arrests. those were the most arrests i've seen since we've been here the last couple of hours. i believe we're showing a picture of some of the residents around here who are yelling at police but we're also seeing more of the police put on gas masks, which makes us believe that the warning they gave us some time ago, they were going to use tear gas, at some point, that it's going to happen soon. i'm seeing moor and more police -- if you pan over here, pan over you'll going to see more police -- here's one police officer putting on what looks to be a gas mask. so this may be the next event to take place here. jake?
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>> have you -- >> reporter: as i mentioned, those four arrests the most we've seen in the last couple of years. we've seen them more and more begin to put on -- they told us some time ago, they warned us they could be using tear gas. we only saw a few police at that moment put on gas tasksing. by no means do them all have gas masks on at this point. it's unclear how close they are to using tear gas. >> i want to bring in -- >> reporter: all right. and i'm told by the producer -- >> naacp, tessa aston, you and i met on the streets of baltimore. >> i'm on the phone talking to them. yeah. i'm sorry. i was talking to people trying to get my attention. >> that's fine. please tell me what your thoughts are? as you witness this? >> i'm upset this whole thing is happening. i feel bad. it's terrible for baltimore and terrible for the people.
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it's terrible for the family because the family had asked people every day not to do anything on the day of freddie gray's funeral and we just finished the funeral several hours ago. right after the funeral, things started happening. i live near here and did drive up that way and couldn't get all the way in which i knew i couldn't but i did see a lot of the chaotic stuff going on and i saw children over near 7-eleven and i was at gwynns falls and ricertown road at the intersection as far as i could get. so i think it's terrible. it's amazing how everybody can get the word just to run out and act like that and who's orchestrating it and directing children to do this? because -- thank you -- what's going to happen? there's going to be several lockups and then it's going to be like i heard on the news that four people just got locked up and people saying they were innocent. you're going to hear a lot of that because what happens in situations like this there are innocent bystanders either
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people participating, but not at the hand where they did something criminal because they're near the criminal activity they're going to get locked up and everybody could get thrown in jail. that's what happens. >> tessa, i have to hand over too wolf blitzer. stay on the phone. i'm sure wolf will want to talk to you as well. you've been waging "the lead" with jt jtdake tapper. we turn it over 0 wolf blitzer and "the situation room." happening now violent protests battles breaking out in baltimore after the funeral for freddie gray. rioters pelting police with rocks and smashing a squad car. at least seven police officers are now down. wounded. we have complete coverage coming ip. up. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." and let's get right to the breaking news in baltimore. just a little while ago police announced at least seven officers have been hurt in attacks by violent and rock-throwing, brick-throwing protestors. over the past few