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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  April 27, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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will not rest until we address this and see that justice is done. we will not rest. >> democratic maryland congressman elijah cummings. we're told he joined a group of 200 to 300 baltimore men who walked through the streets of those neighborhoods calling for peace. we continue now with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> thank you. we're going to continue our live coverage. thank you. the death toll in nepal is over 4,000 tonight after saturday's earthquake earthquake, but here at home, all eyes are on baltimore today after a day of rock throwing at police looting, burning a police car and a store. it's just been announced tomorrow baltimore city schools will be closed. >> we are deploying every resource possible to gain control of the situation and to ensure peace moving forward.
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>> rioting has broken out in the streets. violent clashes between police and roving groups have left several officers injured. >> they have no regard for the safety of the people that live in that community. >> large numbers of young men throwing objects. >> this is a cvs which looters have been working their way through. it is now on fire. >> this police vehicle on fire with a van right behind it. >> meanwhile, hundreds of people pay their final respects to freddie gray. >> gray died after suffering a spinal cord injury while in police custody. >> i have declare add state of emergency at the request of baltimore city. >> what i'm seeing is not -- it's just not acceptable. >> tonight, baltimore is in a
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state of emergency as protests turn violent in one neighborhood in the city today. the governor of maryland has activated the national guard. looters targeted at least four businesses including a cvs where fire broke out after the store was looted. it occurred about a half mile from where the funeral for freddie gray was held this morning. he died after his spinal cord was 80% severed while in police custody. 15 baltimore police officers have been injured. one officer was unconscious and at least 27 people have been arrested. the baltimore mayor stephanie rawlings-blake held a press conference tonight and ordered a curfew. >> we ordered a curfew be in effect instituted tomorrow. the curfew city wide 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. again, city wide sur few 10:00
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p.m. to 5:00 a.m. this will last for one week and be extended as it is necessary. it is idiotic to think that by destroying your city that you're going to make life better for anybody. >> joining us now by phone is jane miller investigative reporter for wbal in baltimore. she has been covering the investigation of freddie grays death. also jamal bryant. he delivered a eulogy at freddie gray's funeral today. jamal bryant tell us about that funeral today and how much time lapsed between the end of the funeral and when this activity broke out this afternoon? >> the funeral really was a heartwarming moment for the family. gave them a peace and solace and prayerfully some closure. we were actually en route back from the cemetery when getting
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the news of the uprising taking place across baltimore. it was disturbing and disenchanting considering we called for a day of no marching and no protesting. to be met with this news is painful and regrettable. it gives a black eye to the legacy of what we've been doing over the last seven days. >> you said hours ago from the scene there in the street that you were going to help activate people from your churches, from other churches, men to go out there into the streets and help bring calm to those streets. how has that been working so far? >> it's been moving. yesterday, what the news did not cover is the blood and krips gangs signed a peace treaty. i extended myself to minister carlos mow a mad, the nation of islam. we partnered with them have men
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dispersed all over the city right now trying to escort and push these young men off of the streets so that we can have calm and peace and go back to the focus which is justice, and not about violence. >> i'd like you to take this opportunity on this network to address people in your neighborhood in that city who in whatever way you would like about how you're hoping people there in baltimore can help get control of this situation. >> i want to urge with everything that i can that everyone in baltimore, please let's live up to our name and legacy. we come from a rich and a proud people of the likes who have in fact paved the way. frederick douglas, who said power concedes nothing without a command. you and your children are the inher ters of what baltimore is going to be. this is not our legacy and all the more this is not our city.
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this is, in fact a bad representation of who we are. let us cool off, let's pray. and tomorrow let's figure out what we're going to do with strategy. violence never got us anywhere. but when we think with a cool head, protesting and marching can get us everywhere. so please, baltimore, let's go back home, let's focus and let's not take away what it is we have been working so tirelessly towards which is changing a policy which is in fact corrupt and broken towards black men in this city. >> i want to go to jane miller. from what i've seen of the map of this trouble today it seems to be confined to a relatively small area of west baltimore and it -- i'm wondering, jane if it's possible if you're on the other side of baltimore to not
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really experience any connection to these events? >> no if you're in baltimore tonight, you're experiencing it. we have a very large fire burning in east baltimore that is believed to be related to the unrest. ironically, it's a new community center in the east side of baltimore that is a -- being built to provide new community services for the east baltimore community. which is similar in some ways in terms of poverty level and abandonment issues in the west baltimore neighborhood where the freddie gray incident started. the downtown area is virtually deserted. there are reports of very dangerous situations in other parts of the city. we're under a state of emergency. this is no small matter. >> jane there are reports that there were -- was a flyer being
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circulated among city school students calling for a purge to take place at 3:00 p.m. today. >> that's not the first time that's happened. i want to make clear that what's going on tonight and what has been going on for the past few hours is probably not the work of high school students. but rather you know criminal behavior of a serious magnitude. >> and jamal bryant what is your impression about how this got started? >> i think that it's -- something is rotten out in denmark, but in baltimore. earlier this afternoon, the police release add report that they had intelligence of gangs coming in and threatening police officers. and then for the first time that i'm aware of some mysterious flyer shows up about a purge
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taking place. about an hour after the funeral is when we have this outbreak. we have no record of either of these things ever taking place. it really sounds strange and it's not adding up in the math. this is absolutely regrettable. it's the first time baltimore has seen anything of this scale since 1968 since the announcement of dr. king's assassination. this is very unnerving and unfortunate. i'm praying we'll be able to get back on the high road. >> jane miller with that intercepted social media message about the purge, which is actually taken from the title of the film "the purge" in which there's a period of time in which all laws are suspended in effect and all criminal behavior is sanctioned, that's where that phrase purge comes from with that intelligence did the police department anticipate that and -- or did they
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underanticipate this? >> i know that they were getting indications earlier in the day that there was going to be this situation at this mall which is right across from the city high school. and they did start kind of assembling troops -- when i say troops i just mean personnel -- in that area. but it turned into a very chaotic confrontational situation. i'm only judging from helicopter video and reports from folks on the ground there that it was the maybe a hundred at most. probably less than that actually. there were police officers there injured. then there was this -- it kind of moved. and i don't know exactly who was involved. but then it centered at an intersection in west baltimore, two-lane streets. that's when there was looting and burning and destruction of
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property. these are -- many of them in that area minority-owned businesses. and then this evening, we had this -- of course there was a big fire on the west side. and now we have a big fire on the east side. they are -- they have -- it's as many police officers they can get their hands on in the region. as i said the national guard is going to be on the street tonight, tomorrow. school's been canceled. they have to figure out a way to take the temperature down and get it under control. >> jamal bryant the addition of 5,000 potential help from the national guard. this is in a city of only 600,000 people. it's roughly the same size as boston but it has a police department that's about a third bigger than the police department of boston. so you would -- you would think that baltimore had adequate
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resources to deal with what was break out this afternoon, but it -- as jane says it doesn't seem like they had enough resources deployed quickly enough to get to this situation. >> i'm grateful the national guard is here. to be honest with you, i hope they stay for a while. our whole focus and angst has been on the incompetence and the lack of character of many who are within the police department. that's why we've been marching and protesting. since 2011 baltimore has had to pay out in excess of $5.3 million because of excessive force of police officers. so if the national guard is here for children i hope they'll stay and monitor the adults who are corrupt within the police department. >> you're looking at helicopter shot from wbal tv in baltimore. we're going to listen in on their coverage of this. >> i do want to back up and just
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kind of set the scene with what was going on at that time. when we got here around 5:00 there was a police squad on fire. there were several explosions coming from that police squad. and there were people running. there were people running from the explosion sound and also people running because they had just looted the cvs on the corner here. we did end up getting a little bit closer to the cvs. there were people running in and out and back and forth. people stopping in the intersection in their cars just to run into the cvs. really just pure chaos. then of course the fires continued. there was a fire in the maryland state police van that was parked near the squad. there was a police car sitting in the middle of the intersection doors open, people jumping on top of that police car. of course when the cvs caught fire, we still don't know how
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exactly that happened. the police finally i think decided they had to make a move and come out here and get the crowd away from the cvs as much as possible. that fire has been out for a few hours now. these police officers are standing here but there really isn't much going on. kate, are you trying to talk to me -- >> that is wbal tv's coverage on the street in baltimore where those police officers are assembled at this moment. jane miller, do you share jamal bryant's feeling that the national guard will face less aggression from this kind of crowd? >> well, i -- i don't know. they represent authority. i'm not sure that this is any particular agency that is getting the wrap. but i do think we have to distinguish here what's going on. we had a situation earlier today that was definitely a group of young people that were having a conversation with police.
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tonight, we have a different situation. i've been in different parts of the downtown area and around the downtown area. and these are definitely not high school students that are kind of roaming around at the moment. that's a more difficult situation to get under control. those aren't big organized groups. any politician is loathe to call for the national guard. but there was -- as reverend bryant said, i think a lot of people are relieved that has happened. you call for the national guard when you don't have any other solution at hand. so you have to bring in you know, a show of strength to try to get the situation under control. i mean this is not city-wide by any stretch. but there are very serious situations going on right now both in parts of west baltimore
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and also one part of east baltimore. and there's scattered looting in like the west side of downtown et cetera. but we do not have widespread burning and fires and looting. i don't want to give the wrong impression. but what is going on is a very serious situation. >> jamal bryant the mayor has announced that the curfew will begin tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. and already baltimore has had a curfew of 9:00 p.m. for kids 14 and under. and so at 10:00 p.m. tomorrow night, there will be law enforcement authority to simply stop anyone who's out there in baltimore as jane was just reporting moving around in that kind of way. do you expect that to be a helpful element of getting control of the situation? >> well, of course. i want to be optimistic and i'm praying with everything that's in me, as is the larger faith
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community, that tomorrow is going to be a much more peaceful day as a consequence. tomorrow night at 7:30 in the city of baltimore, we're having an emergency community town hall meeting to see how we can get some redress to the frustration that has been plaguing our citizens and come up with strategies as to how it is we move from here. obviously because of this new pending curfew we're going to have to cut that down. but we're hoping to bring the entire community together soe with can come frau with some positive solutions. >> reverend bryant, before you go you presided at the funeral today of freddie gray. i'd like you to leave us with some final words about freddie gray and about how his life relates to what is going on in baltimore tonight. >> freddie gray was an average young man. 25 years of age in the prime of his life.
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with a full future in front of him. i want to remind those of you who are watching around the world, he was arrested with absolutely no probable cause. so his life was snatched away senselessly. so we don't know what it is that his life could have become. he could have become the next governor or the next mayor or even the next broadcaster. it was snatched for absolutely no reason. we are in pain because of limitless possibilities that have never been touched and we'll never know what they become. please, please pray for our city, pray for our community and pray for our children. >> thank you very much for joining us tonight. and jane miller thank you very much for joining us. we're joined now by mary cook who is part of the legal team representing freddie gray's family. mary cook one of the complaints on the streets of baltimore is why don't we know more about
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this investigation of someone who died in effect as a result of being -- died as a result of being taken into police custody where his neck was severed? >> we think that that's a legitimate question. there are things that i think can be released. i think there's information that can be released. i think one of the reasons it has not been is because they're continuing to do their investigation. i can talk about -- >> please do. tell us specifically what you think they could release at this time. >> some of the information that could be released is a better timeline in the actual transmissions of the police officers. i mean, as the police officers we've heard the fact that there were several stops along the way from the point in which freddie gray was taken into custody and to the point he was found unresponsive in the paddy wagon, we know there were various things that happened along the
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time. all of those things happened with transmissions between police officers to dispatchers. police officers talk directly to each other over police radio. i don't understand why when we're being give an timeline we're not being given the actual transmissions so that people know exactly what went on. i did read i have to say i read this in the sun paper, a better explanation of why there was not as aggressive an investigation in the beginning. what i mean by that if you tie into the kga tapes and the transmissions between police officers where people were located and where that paddy wagon was located at certain points in time there should have been video -- if there was an opportunity to collect video that would have shown those intersections from not just the cctv which are the city cameras, but from businesses who often times have cameras directed outside for safety issues. there was -- there was an individual who was quoted in the
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newspaper saying the police officers didn't come around to ask for the video that was pointed into the direction of the intersection where the paddy wagon made a stop until eight to nine days after freddie was arrested. and so the both -- and the tape had been recorded over after six days. it was on a six-day loop. you have to ask yourself with that information immediately available to the police officers, why wasn't that something that was pursued immediately. so those are the kinds of things that have not been released. certainly, we haven't seen any of the statements from the police officers. we have no idea what the police officers have said. we don't even know which of the police officers have made statements. the autopsy i know is proceeding. and so that is a process because of the nature of the injury that freddie gray sustained, the autopsy has to be done in parts. and so that is onion going issue. we haven't seen the medical records yet. and so there are lots and lots of little pieces of information
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that can be given to the public that would at least satisfy the public progress is being made in the investigation and people aren't hearing very much other than a couple concessions about a seat that freddie wasn't seat belted in when he was in the paddy wagon and that clearly he should have been given medical care. only anyone who saw that initial video could have figured that out. that was not breaking news other than the fact that the police department admitted that information. >> i heard you use the afraid "paddy wagon" a couple times. not the most welcome term for police wa on. the term paddy is one of those negative ethnic slurs that was invented for the irish over a century ago. the paddywagon was named that because of it was named at a time when the primary criminal population of the north eastern
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cities of america were the immigrant irish. so those wagons were very frequently filled with irish passengers on the way to police stations. what changed in that population over a 50 70-year period was they changed from being the people policed so the people doing the policing. they were the first wave of community policing in america. and i've mentioned this once before in the program. when the first irish police officer was hired in the city of boston, there was a major protest by officials there saying that it was a conflict of interest to have an irish person in law enforcement because they're just criminals. that's how far we've come on the notion of community policing in america. it's a long-winded way of going to you with your experience in your practice in baltimore, could you take a wider view and tell us what you think the value of more community-oriented
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policing would be in a place like west baltimore? >> well, first let me start by saying to you that my maiden name is mcnamara so i appreciate the irish heritage. one of the things that's really missing -- when i think of community policing, what i think about is the officer who used to walk on the street and walk the beat. i'm talking about the officer who would go out and every night on a shift work in a particular community and the community would get to know that individual and the officer would get to know the members of the community. when you have that, when you have the opportunity to meet a police officer one on one and get to know a police officer one on one and in turn when the police officer gets to meet the members of the community, gets to know them as people then i think that that changes the nature of the relationship. then i think it becomes more of a partnership. because i think then people can understand, one, the officers
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can understand that everybody in this community is not the bad guy and that the community can understand that there are a lot of police officers out there who want nothing more than to help. and so i think if we got back to more of that kind of community policing, i think that it would be first of all there would be a police presence which i think is really important. the second thing, i think it would be an opportunity for people to know the police officers who work in their community. you know you can't solve crimes without the help of the community. you can't make community better -- communities better unless there's a partnership forged between the officers and the people who live in the community. and i think until that barrier is broken down and that trust is forged again i think we're going to continue to see these kinds of problems. we're just getting more and more distanced between the role of the police officer and the members of the community. >> mary cook, thank you very much for joining us tonight. your list of reasonably
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available information that the police department could have released by now is very clear. it's just inexplicable why in a communicate with this kind of tension, knowing that all of this stuff would be helpful, that they're still holding back on this basic information that you're talking about. thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you so much for having me. we're joined from the street in baltimore by nbc's brian moore. where are you located and what's the situation there now? >> reporter: we're at the police headquarters where everything predictably is nice and quiet here. let's take you back 11 hours ago when inside that church shallow baptist, reverend jamal bryant was giving this brilliant sermon. a family lawyer was calling for the community to help change to help rip down that blue wall of
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silence peacefully. go back about seven hours ago, it ft the first encounter with police and a couple of youngsters at a mall just about five politics away from that church and it quickly escalated from a few police officers encountering a few youths to more youths showing up violence starting, more police showing up. all of a sudden a police officer is carried off obviously injured, thrown into the back of an armored personnel carrier. from there, it's degraded into what we've seen. vehicles being set on fire businesses being trashed. and really throughout this whole day, it seems that the police have in a lot of instances been spectators rather than confronting them which might have enflamed the situation. it took members of the clergy to
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come in and settle things down. the question now, is anything really settled down here in baltimore. >> also joined now by ron allen, nbc news ron allen. ron, where are you in baltimore now? >> i'm on the corner of pennsylvania avenue. we're in the heart of the area where there's been so much violence and so much mayhem earlier. it's calm for the most part but there are pockets of hot spots, i guess you could call them. literally, we just drove by a street corner where the intersection was pretty much in flames. we could see a couple stores where people were vandalizing looting, carrying things out. it might have been a liquor store store or some sort of grocery store. there's a lot of shouting and yelling and threatening -- a lot
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of threats and we moved on quickly. we're standing now alongside a liep of riot police blocking the streets. it's the 10:00 hour now where this curfew is going into effect for young people, there's a full curfew tomorrow. people don't understand why it's not tonight. allows people to adjust. there's uneasiness across the city. as i said you drive around in this neighborhood and in are pockets of people out in the street for people standing in one area earlier and the police got very agitated and very upset when a number of cars kept coming up towards their line and turning and making u-turns in the streets. they came and pulled one guy out of a car and arrested him and took him away. that got the crowd angry. just fueled the sense of
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grievance that you find here. and of course the grievances are about freddie gray and about so much more, about years of people just feeling margin alized and feeling like they're at war with the police. again, just a very uneasy night here. it's calm for the most part. but as i said, i was stunned to see this intersection a corner pretty much in flames and people walking around. we've also seen a number of young men covering up their faces and putting on masks. and producer notice add number of people carrying around duff l bags which are all very ominous things. police are on guard everywhere you turn, this troubled neighborhood. they're on guard. they're not sure what's going to happen tonight. as most people -- people who live around here too are very concerned and worried about what
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might happen tonight. >> thanks for that report from the street. we'll be coming back to you as the situation develops. here in the studio we have joy reed, mark thompson of sirius xm radio and ben jelles. joy, i want to get your reaction to everything we've seen the latest news announcement is that there will be no school in the public schools tomorrow in baltimore. and as was announced earlier this evening, there will be a curfew tomorrow for all people in baltimore at 10:00 p.m. 14-year-olds and under have always had a curfew there of 9:00 p.m. >> yeah and that was a matter of some controversy when the mayor first announced and enacted that curfew for young people. of course now, people are asking for more cure few, more exchanges of it.
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i think the lawyer for the family asked the questions. it is really kind of shocking that we still don't know what it is that freddie gray was stopped for in the first place. i think all the arguments over when he was injured are very important. but if the police can't answer that very simple question they've got a big problem. i also think what reverend jamal bryant said was the most sail i can't piece. the social norms between the police department and the city of baltimore, particularly west wallet moore and the african-american citizens of that city, those norms broken down a long time ago. this is a city that's paid out $5.7 million in settlements to at least 100 people between 2011 and 2014. and just looking at the baltimore sun's extensive expose. they include a 15-year-old riding a bike a 50-year-old woman selling church ralph
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tickets, a 65-year-old church deacon selling a cigarette. these are not just young black men who have been targeted. it's elderly people, it's pregnant women. this city has a police force with no credibility, zero credibility. i think a lot of citizens will be glad to see the feds come in and have somebody who might have more authority in that dmunt. >> we just had a shot up on the screen of what looked like community leaders linking arms on the streets in baltimore there in a calm holding of position there. that's the shot there that we had. that is what reverend bryant had been asking for earlier in the day, to get that kind of community response out on the street and reestablish calm with that. ben, you have written, i think, the best thing i've read about this in the last 24 hours, this situation in baltimore. in which after listing all of
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the issues that are at play immediately in the current situation, including the need for more facts about the current case, the idea that ultimately it all comes down to communicate policing. i would say that image you're seeing on the screen right now is a version of community policing, not with police officers but they are there trying to in effect police their community right now, members of that community. >> look what you have to understand about west baltimore is it's really the heart of black leadership in the city. it's kind of where we all come from. >> you're from there? >> yeah, my grandfather was a juvenile probation officer for the western district for 30 years. what my grandfather would tell you is reflective of a sort of community policing that the war on drugs has gotten us away from. when i was young, i'd been with him down to work. i was only 6 years old.
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i said, aren't you scared. he said, the kids i worry about the most what i tell them on your worst day, this is where i live. come there at 6:00 sit on my stoop. you will see me walk up the street and we will figure it out before a go inside. what you're seeing right now are frankly people from west baltimore, deeply rooted there, for folks to stand up and take control of our city and neighborhood in a way that reflects the love and connection that's still there. the same time we have to be very concerned about the fact that all the kids are going to be out of school tomorrow. in any city, the time of the most mischief is between 3:00 and 6:00. when you put all the kids out of school, what's going to be needed tomorrow, quite frankly, is folks to be out there being kind of parents to kids that they're not parents of, right?
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the way you're seeing these folks right now, this is our community and we -- >> ben, if you were mayor, would you have made that call with your knowledge of the community and having grown up there, would you have said the better call is for everyone to go to school in. >> the -- look the truth is -- it's where my family's from it's where i spent all my summers. it's not where i grew up. it's where my mom grew up. but working there now, you know, in any city, that's a very tough call to make. you've got to be real that you're gambling with a bunch of folks. when i questioned folks back home in baltimore and said what is going on. what i've heard is we're concerned about the sate of the teachers. that's not our first concern. our first concern is the welfare of the kids. they see their teachers more hours of the day because their
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parents are working so hard. do you risk losing your job, staying home to watch your kid on short notice or do you risk your kid getting a rough ride in the back of one of these vans? not a fair choice to put on parents. look i'd be very concerned. >> and mark thompson the parents have to go to work tomorrow they're not getting the day off. >> that's right. so i don't know what you do with the children. this is truly a tragic situation. the death of freddie gray was heartbreaking enough. and now this situation in baltimore, where his family's from members of my extended family, these are the streets that they helped to build. so see this happen in the way it has happened. but i think what it also does is unfortunately -- and for those perpetrating these types of crimes, we don't really know who they are, this neither represents the nonviolence of
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martin luther king jr. what this really does a play into the hand of the police. now the distraction is about what's happening to the police. the focus is off of freddie gray. the police bear some responsibility. they should have known this was coming. as george pointed out with all those stories. this has been building up for years in baltimore. the police just shoot you. in baltimore, they apprehend you and then you die in custody. that's kind of the reputation of baltimore. it's -- >> but it's also a city where far too many shootings happen far too often. our state is one of the deadliest states as far as cops shooting people. >> we're going to have to take a break here. the panel's going to stay. this is exactly who i want to talk to about this. we're going to take a break right now. re she said her first word. (little girl) no! saw her first day of school. (little girl) bye bye! made a best friend forever. the back seat of my subaru is where she grew up.
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we're back. joining us now from baltimore is howard henderson, he's the president and ceo of the greater
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baltimore urban league. the announcements tonight about curfews to be imposed tomorrow night and no school in the public schools tomorrow in baltimore, what's your reaction to that? >> well, lawrence it's a sad day in baltimore when the community is mourning the passing of freddie gray and especially the wib lyly the winchester community. when you think about what has taken place, it just didn't take place over the last few weeks. baltimore has been suffering from the neglect of our neighborhoods for a number of years. now what we're seeing is the devastating effect of poverty in those neighborhoods. they've called for the national guard to bring peace back to the community, it's going to take some time. it's a sad day for baltimore
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which is a great american city to be going through this challenging time. >> do you believe that the national guard will be better received in that neighborhood than the baltimore police? >> well, only time will tell. i don't think that the undue go for force that the police department has been very restrained in terms of their dealing with the citizens in those neighborhoods. the issue will be will the national guard also have that certain amount of restraint in dealing with the citizens in those neighborhoods. that's of great concern. all it could no is escalate the violence. it's a sad thing when we talk about young people as thugs and hooligans. i think we need to embrace those young people and bring them into the community and have dialogue with them and try to get them back on track. there's a lot of needs in our community. jobs jobs jobs. the economic development of those communities have been
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suffering and lacking for a number of years. so we need to put some resources back into the communities. we had a meeting with the lieutenant governor asking him to see if he can start the discussion about putting more resources in all the neighborhoods in baltimore. the west side is only -- of all the problems facing in every community. north, east and south of baltimore, all our communities are suffering. we need more resources, more economic development, and more training and more actual jobs at the end of the training. the business community need to be called upon to help provide resources if the government and the city can't do it. >> we're joined now by rachel maddow joining us here at the table. one of the tragedies of this kind of situation is what mr. henderson said they need more investment in these kinds of neighborhoods and then images like this tonight inhibit that
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in investment. it will be interesting to see a real test of the institutional strength of baltimore and its neighborhoods. with schools closed tomorrow and the curfew imposed, people not allowed to be out on the street as of 10:00 p.m. tomorrow, there's a question as to where people are going to go. specifically where kids are going to go. you saw a little bit of that in ferguson, they closed the schools and you saw the few other local institutions like the library, we'll be doing programs for kids all day. will somebody step up to give a structured and safe environment for literally the school kids of the city. not everybody is going to be able to get off work on such short notice. that could be a situation in which we're getting mass arrests for people just being on the street. it could be an additional aggravation to people. we don't know the effect of
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having up-armored humvees. that could be an additional aggregation, we don't know. those kids out of school tomorrow all day are going to need something. it's going to be a question whether the neighborhood institutions are going to be able to provide them on zero notice and likely zero support. >> we're joined by ron allen. ron, have you been able to get any community reaction yet to those dual announcements tonight, that there will be a curfew tomorrow and no school in the public schools tomorrow? >> people don't understand why there's no curfew tonight, for everybody. there's a curfew for teenagers. people are now -- [ inaudible ]
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the idea -- i think people for the most part -- leadership i think, for the most part embrace the idea at least temporarily it sort of calms this. now tonight -- [ inaudible ] >> this was a very hot corner earlier where there was a drugstore that was burning. you also saw the looting going on. the police are still lining the streets in their riot gear. at the other end, about a half mile away in that direction -- [ inaudible ] we drove around to a number of other places. there were open flames in the middle of the streets. there was all kinds of debris burning in the middle of the
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streets. there was a store being vandalized and looted openly. a lot of requests to get out of there. very [ inaudible ] helicopters flying around different areas behind us. so this is a very very tense uneasy -- baltimore's a very proud city. drove around the heart of downtown, near city hall the symphony the baseball stadium, the game has been postponed, it's completely deserted completely empty. here in the neighborhoods, it's a much different thing. it's very eerie.
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there's been some confrontations with the authorities, verbal confrontations. there's been debris thrown back and forth. things have calmed down in the last couple hours. it feels like the middle of something, not the end of something is my sense from the last few hours. >> jerry reed, you're a mother of school-anyoned children. if you're living in baltimore, you have quite a challenge tomorrow. >> there were incidents that took place when i used to live in south florida. it can be a real crisis for people in particularly communities where people, as mark was saying can't get the day off. it's not as if you can just on the drop of a hat say you're not coming in. the alternative to that is unsupervised children at home alone. i was home alone. that was in denver colorado in the '80s. that's a totally different
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world. we're just assuming there is a boys and girls club. >> yes, exactly. >> or a church na can stay open. >> and is going to accept the responsibility to do it. whether it is a church group or a library or any other sort of institution like that where they really are going to need to step up tomorrow. there's a question as to whether or not they've got the support they need to be able to do that. especially being asked to do it in the middle of the night tonight. >> how do you think the mayor and the governor have handled this tonight? >> i don't know they've handled it very well. now, there are accusations and the mayor had to address this earlier today. she made a statement that one could infer that they were going to vigorously protect only certain communities and not the african-american community. she was asked about that at a press conference earlier. we saw something similar in ferguson. there were certain -- >> let's actually show exactly
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what she said on saturday. there's a spot in here where she's talking about how you handle protestors and do you give them a little room. and she used the word "destroy" in that. i think that's what the controversy is about. let's listen to what she actually said the full context. >> worked with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protestors were able to exercise their right to free speech. it's a very delicate balancing act because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. and we work very hard to -- to keep that balance and -- and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate and that's what you saw this evening. >> that was on saturday she said that.
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now, as mark points out, she got a lot of criticism for that. she addressed that tonight. let's listen to what she said tonight. >> i made it very clear that we walk -- we balance a very fine line between giving protestors -- giving pro tets tors peaceful protestors space to protest. what i said is in doing so people can hijack that and use that space for bad. it is very unfortunate that members of your industry decided to miss characterize my words and try to use it as a way to say that we're inciting violence. >> mark, what i took her to mean was what she said the second time. unfortunately she used the phrase in effect "space to destroy". >> she did. she said that. and i had clarence on my show today. it was talked about how the police were deployed downtown
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and things were allowed -- >> see, i just took it to mean literally maybe this much of the street. i didn't take it to mean you can have this whole section and do whatever you want. >> i think she lost her train of thought when she started that phrase. i think what she was trying to say was, we wanted to give people room to express themselves and in so doing, we ended up giving them space to destroy. i thought she was trying to say, that was not our intention. but that's the balance. that's what's difficult -- >> i just want to hear mark's full interpretation of it though. >> whatever the case may be and i'm representing what baltimore -- >> said to you. >> witnessed and said to me. this is historic. whenever so-called riots occur, they tend to be confined to our community. there's always very convenient -- that's what happened in ferguson.
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in the long term you asked whether or not they've made good decisions. in ferguson when they brought in the national guard, it increased the tensions amongst those who wanted to engage. almost on cue, on clock work. when it hit midnight 12:01, people were out in the street ready to get down and ready to fight. i don't know. it remains to be seen whether this will actually be helpful. the bottom line is, this is about a community being respected, not being occupied. a community being respected enough so that they have input in their own policing and how police should be deployed in their community and ultimately it's about this community being respected in the name of freddie gray and there being a -- that's the other thing. when are we -- the investigation was supposed to have been done by friday. >> this coming friday. >> i think it's been prolonged. we -- mayor on my show here
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earlier. the question is, when will we get the medical examiner's report. something should already been known by now and they have not been revealed. >> we're going to go back to ron allen on the street there in baltimore. ron allen, you were saying before that this feels like it might be -- you're trying to decide whether you're experiencing the beginning of something or the end of something there. >> reporter: well, it's clearly the beginning to middle of something, lawrence, for the reasons that you were just discussing back there. there's a lot of anticipation about what this -- this friday deadline, this may or may not bring. and i think a lot of expectation that this deadline -- this expectation that it may slide and so people won't have the answers that they want. and not that they're going to get them definitely from the police when they do if they reveal what their investigation
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has revealed before they turn the information over to the -- to prosecutors here. but there's just so much uncertainty going forward. the thing about baltimore, this is a big, bustling city. ferguson -- i've heard a lot of comparisons. ferguson is a place of 21,000. here this is a big place. there's a lot going on here. and, you know, there's a lot going on before all of this. and there's a history here, of course, of -- of crime and violence and police community relations that are -- like so many other big cities in america. and i think that that's an important distinction that this is -- you know it's a big bustling place with a lot going on. and i think it's going to take some time to work through all this obviously. i've heard a lot of people making comparisons to 1968 when martin luther king jr. was
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killed and there were riots here and so many other places and hoping this doesn't become that. obviously the amount of destruction is not comparable at this point but that's the -- the mind set of some leaders here. they're fearful this could be a tipping point that pushes this city in that direction. i'm just repeating what others are saying. i have no sense of that myself. but that gives you a sense of the tenor of the time here the mood. it's very grave. it's very -- a lot of concern. a lot of anger. because again, just like in so many other places, the sense of grievance here, it's not just about one individual, one family, freddie gray. there's so much grievance and a lot of concern echoing what joy was saying about what happens tomorrow when all these kids are out of school and they're in the streets. not a question of whether
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they're supervised or not, what are the good kids going to do. just the potential for so much -- there's just a lot of potential, a lot of uncertainty, potential for a lot of things to go wrong. and you're right. the police are trying to strike this balance between public safety and the right of protestors. but it seems that a fair amount of what was going on here earlier and what i certainly saw driving around the stipulate at night was not protests. it was -- it was -- and the mayor and others have called these people thugs and cowards, this is criminal acts that were going on. this wasn't peaceful protests. there's certainly been a lot of that. there's a concern here about real thuggery. we're all aware of the threats from police that were credible from gang members and gang affiliates and associates who were saying they were going to
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take out plirolice officers. there's a lot of concern about the level of violence that the coming days could possibly bring going forward. >> west baltimore is our harlem. it was our great kind of gateway to the north and to opportunity. poverty there, quite frankly, folks have felt stuck for some time. we have got to get back to a conversation about -- how are we going to bring more jobs to west baltimore. are people in downtown really going to start hiring from west baltimore. are the cops going to -- >> that's something you've tried to -- >> look like -- >> talk about what it's like to try to go into make that case after these images have been on television. >> you know, so like going back to sam ford and places like that. in that instant, the position l power of a mayor or a chief is very small. what you actually need is the actual true rooted leadership
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of -- people that people know, pastors, small business owners, people who run nonprofits getting out there and actually forming consensus about who are we going to be as a community, what are we going to fight for, and how are we going to take the opportunity of this moment when it feels like the glass is more than half empty and flip it around and move it to a better place. baltimore is much bigger but let's be clear. west baltimore isn't these neighborhoods, it's the heart of the city. we have to treat the people there like they're the heart of the city. >> the reason there was controversy when the mayor announced the curfews, because it increases the number of contacts between the police and citizens. in the case of the original curfew between the police and children. there's concern that the increased contacts do not
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produce community policing, they produce more arrests, kids who now have records, known to the police, under even greater threat of more contact. now with those same issues if you have to go to work at night and you are only allowed to be out there for medical reasons. you have to go to work then you have to risk having those incidental contacts with police that make it worse.


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