tv CNN Tonight CNN April 27, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
continue to cover this throughout the night, bringing you the latest live throughout the evening. our coverage continues now with don lemon in baltimore. don? >> this is cnn breaking news. >> anderson thank you very much. live in baltimore, state of emergency tonight in effect just hours after the funeral of freddie gray. this is cnn tonight, i'm don lemon. again, thanks so much for joining us. we'll take you through at least the next couple of hours here on cnn and give you the information as it's coming in. one of america's biggest cities and most notable cities again under a state of emergency tonight. the scene of chaos just 40 miles away from the white house. look at the pictures next to me. this city is on fire. a massive five engulfed a brand new senior center and at least 15 police officers have been injured in all of the violence
that happened today. several with broken bones this evening to tell you about. businesses are burned as we've been showing you. businesses have been looted as we have been showing you. police cars are burned as well and destroyed. a day of shock and chaos, rioting and violence happening all over baltimore. but in the middle of all that in the middle of all that there is some reality, a good reality. there are people here citizens here who are trying to stand up to that violence including the pastors of some of the neighborhood churches in the area some of the leaders here. we'll get to all of that this evening and take you through all of it and give you the information you need to know like no other network can do. i want to get straight to my colleague, miguel marquez, he's been out in the neighborhoods all day, witnessing what's going on. what are you seeing where you are right now? >> we are at the southern baptist church near downtown baltimore. as you can see, what was going to be a home for the elderly is
completely in flames. they were about nine months from finishing this facility. there were 60 units here they were hoping to be able to house people in. it's a transitional neighborhood in baltimore, very up and coming and good neighborhood. the pastor dante hickman, told us a short time ago, that he believes it was set intentionally because of the situation regarding the violence farther north from here. i can say throughout the day we have seen just unbelievable scenes of lawlessness in baltimore. two and a half miles north of here near the area where freddie gray was arrested and driven around. we saw shop after shop that had the windows broken looted. some of them looked like they were fine from the front side. but there were looters going in through the back side. soon as police left the scene, the looters would just descend on these shops and start picking them to pieces. farther up the street near the mall where all of this began,
there was just a massive number of police and rioters in an open brawl almost at one point. we found ourselves sort of stuck in the middle of many of the people on the street. and they were young people male and female with bricks with rocks, with sticks with bats. anything that they could grab to go fight the police. and that took the police several hours to finally quell that situation. meanwhile, cars were burning, just down the way. a cvs was being looted and then eventually burned. police taking a complete defensive sort of position tonight, not going after protesters throughout the day, and this just spiraling throughout the afternoon and into tonight. don? >> miguel you've been out there talking to people in the community. as i said witnessing a lot of this. the question is though and we heard from the mayor, that the curfew in full was going to
start tomorrow. why wait until tomorrow? why not do it tonight as soon as possible? >> it is shocking that they would not do it tonight. the city is -- the people who are doing this and it is not everybody because in these neighborhoods, you have people who are absolutely angry by what they see happening, and they are trying to literally collar young people and pull them out of the crowd and get them to go home. the nation of islam was up in the north avenue and pennsylvania avenue section, literally grabbing young people by the collar and trying to take them home and keep them off the streets. it is not clear why the police here and the mayor have taken such a -- i don't want to say hands-off, but a soft approach to what they are seeing happening in their city. it was angry, but peaceful protesters for six, seven days here. the police took only a defensive position allowing protesters to
go at them even when they marched, unlike new york as you remember when the protesters went out there, the police followed alongside them blocked traffic, that didn't happen here. that's the level of the situation between police that the police didn't feel they could put their own officers out there in the street with the protesters for fear of them being injured. it's just a very bad situation. protesters felt they had the upper hand and it's gone step by step greater and greater. after saturday i think folks thought it would settle down because they had spent a lot of their anger in going at police on saturday. but that is not the case. on the day that freddie gray was buried just a conflagration here in baltimore, don? >> thank you very much miguel. we'll get back to you throughout the evening. that's the whole point of contention here about what happened with the police tactics, what happened with the
mayor, why weren't people called in earlier reinforcements? joe, tell us what you're seeing and what you experienced today. >> hi don. okay we'll give you just a little bit of a sense. here we see another line of police officers blocking off the street the next block over or perhaps two blocks down. there's more police officers blocking off the street. but here's the problem. right through here we drove coming back from one of sort of the war zones this evening and there is a block not too far from here, within walking distance of where i stand, where people have just essentially taken it over. they've got street fires going. there are people standing on the streets, obviously in an angry
posture, with no police intervention. because it's pretty clear that there are some blocks that police are taking over and some blocks that are being left for people to sort of fend for themselves. we did come from one of the neighborhoods where there has been some looting. we saw looting just a little while ago over at a liquor store and around the corner from there, a beauty supply store that had been completely ransacked and trashed. there have been fires in sporadic and different places around this neighborhood. it's not just confined to one, two, or three-block area. fires, you know a couple miles apart and so on. so it's a very strange and disturbing night here in the city of baltimore. you know it's sort of ironic now that we're calling it charm city this evening, don.
>> i want to ask you, joe, i don't know if you're able to get that information where you are. but how are they making those decisions as to where to send the officers where they're needed? >> well i know that where we started out, they sent police officers to essentially lock down the block so that the fire department could put out fires. and the second location we went to not too far from here probably a couple miles, same thing. there were baltimore county police officers there with mobile transport units, you know the armored transport units, and they were there in support of the fire department, which was trying to put out fires. so firefighters come unarmed and they need help when there are people rioting. and that's what we're seeing. as far as this location i can't tell you for sure but i do know that they have been sent in
support. >> joe, what am i hearing? i'm not sure if i'm hearing a generator or a motor, a motorcycle or a police chopper overhead. what are we hearing? >> helicopter. >> is that a police chopper? >> yeah. it's a police chopper that's buzzed us a couple times. we've seen probably two or three in the neighborhood. also i can't say certainly that's a police helicopters, because there are news helicopters up in the air all day and into the evening, don. >> joe, we'll get back to you. stand by. i want to get into this with sunny hostin. neil franklin is a retired state police major. and rob wine hold a former chief spokesperson for the baltimore police department and a crisis and public safety expert. so glad you could join us. neil why not send in the national guard quicker? he said he needed a call from
the mayor before sending in reinforcements? >> right. there's a process for declaring a state of emergency. and i'll tell you, i, for one, beginning the day, i didn't think that would end up where we are now. okay with the funeral occurring today with the request from the family, you know for peace. i for one, did not think it would happen, until we started getting the intelligence from -- over social media regarding what the schoolchildren were going to do. >> you didn't think that we would be at this point today. because this weekend, we saw that there was unrest over the weekend. and you said you didn't expect that, but why did it take so long today even to get people and police out on the street? >> yeah i mean that's a very good question. but the baltimore police department in and of itself doesn't have the resources to do what's needed to be done here. i mean as you saw on the map, the different locations -- >> so is that a failure then? was that incompetence on the
governor the mayor, the police department? that's clearly a breakdown. >> i think it could be a breakdown. a lot of it depends on how much intelligence they had. they had the people out, gathering intelligence from a number of different sources. so it really depends on what intelligence they had. >> we would like to know what that intelligence is. we've asked the mayor to come on. we've asked the police chief and the governor to come on. we would like and i'm sure america would like them to explain themselves. this did not happen in a vacuum. it started in ferguson and it continued to now. it's not like this wasn't a possibility. >> here's the thing. having people on standby is one thing, but being able to deploy them effectively and quickly throughout the city is another thing. and that tends to be what we're seeing is a difficult thing to do here in the city right now. i think they made the calls and contacts with local police
departments and having people on standby and at the ready. the question is where were they? >> okay. >> where were these standby locations and what was the communication set up? how was that set up -- >> we have people working on trying to get some answers to that again. again, any official who wants to come on they're welcome to come on and give us some answers. rob, i have to ask you about this curfew. and chris cuomo is going to come here in a short time and talk to me about an experience he had, witnessing police officers in a confrontation with people saying we don't have to go anywhere. there is no curfew. and then the police officers drove away. why no curfew in full until tomorrow? it doesn't seem to make sense. >> i think the mayor and city council wanted to give folks a chance to plan but the fact of the matter is it's important for parents, faith-based leaders and everyone to try to get everyone off the street and allow police officers to do their job. the first order of leadership is
to provide a safe place to live work and raise your family. right now, it's important for people to go back to their homes, allow the officers to deal with folks who are out there, starting fires, looting, and destroying property and hurting others. >> i have to ask sunny about the city's response. there were hours where nothing really happened where they were trying to coordinate this afternoon. and they began moving police into place. the mayor finally came out, sunny, and spoke. did that delay allow things to escalate to the point where they escalated today? >> i think it's anyone's guess. certainly we can quarterback this on monday night, right? but the bottom line is that i think no one has ever seen rioting happen like a well-oiled machine. they're chaotic by nature. this has been a very fluid situation. i think we've seen the unrest. i don't think that anyone could have predicted or -- well let me say, i don't think that we --
i at least for myself didn't think that we would be seeing baltimore burning today in light of the fact that the funeral was today, that the family had asked for no protests. there were calls for peace. >> sunny, i know you have a relationship with the mayor, but do you think the mayor did the right thing today? >> i do have a relationship with the mayor. i have not spoken to her and questioned her about why she made these decisions, so i would just be guessing. i did ask why the curfew is not in place until tomorrow and the answer i received was that people have to have reasonable notice that there is a curfew, before you can impose a curfew and that makes sense to me legally. you can't start arresting people if they don't know if there's a curfew. so that makes a lot of sense to me. >> so reasonable notice is not a press conference that goes out to the city a press conference that goes out to america and on cnn to the world, saying -- are
police going around saying there's a curfew tonight, you need to get off the streets. there's facebook twitter, social media. that's reasonable notice in this modern day and age. it's not like we're not doing it by horseback anymore. it's not just three news networks anymore. that's reasonable. >> yeah i think that certainly people will feel that way. my understanding is that the answer that i got was, that is not the practice. the practice is you do have to provide reasonable notice. and i suppose the city felt the reasonable notice would be this 24-hour notice. but as someone who was a resident of baltimore, i worked in baltimore, i lived there. i have several friends that are still there. i'm just so saddened by what i'm seeing which is baltimore burning. because the bottom line is, the message is lost. the message of people seeking justice for freddie gray.
the message of where's the investigation? all those answers and those messages are lost now. all we are talking about and framing this discussion is rioting, fires, and looting. and that saddens me. >> i think it saddens everyone president not to. not to put you on the spot, but because you have a relationship with the mayor, i feel like you can provide us with answers that others can't. but i think you're exactly right, it is sad. and i'm not sure it's framing it in that way, when you have a major american city that's on fire, that's what people are going to be talking about. and it distracts from the larger issue, the young man's funeral was today. the city said they were doing everything that try to get to the bottom of the investigation. people need to deal with the issues between police and certain members of society. but all of that gets overshadowed in rioting, in pictures of looting, in pictures of people who are slashing water
lines for fire hoses, and people running in and out of businesses with trash bags and grabbing 40 ounces of beer and liquor. it doesn't seem to make any sense to anyone, sunny. >> that's right. and i don't want to name-call, but i'm seeing arson. i'm seeing assault. i'm seeing crimes. these are criminals. and we're seeing criminal action. i said earlier that martin luther king said riots and rioting is the language of the unheard. and that sort of puts it into context. it doesn't make it right certainly. i don't think anyone is going to say that looting and criminal activity is right. it is wrong. but i think that the larger issue is where does this helplessness come from? why do people feel that this needs to be done? we all know that burning your own community just doesn't make
any sense. >> sunny, you're exactly right. we need to get to the bottom of it but it's hard to do when you have this as a distraction. and i will quote someone who i respect today, a major civil rights leader who said today he feels that dr. martin luther king would be rolling over in his grave if he actually saw what was going on in the city of baltimore. what do you think about all of this when you look at what's burning? does this distract -- obviously it does -- from the larger issues? the poverty with the city the history with the police department those are all legitimate issues but as we're talking, we're looking at fires and smoke. >> yeah i grew up in this city just blocks away from where this kicked off. my mother still lives up there. >> so they renovated and it was helping the community in a way. >> it really was. the area had changed and it was continuing to change. and i must say that again, it
not only overshadows the death of freddie gray and the systemic problems and issues we're having across this country with policing today, but it also takes away from those protesters who were doing the right thing. >> and the family said this is the last thing we want? >> absolutely. so what we see out here with the looting and the burning, those are opportunists. these are folks who really don't care about their communities. they're just taking advantage of what's happening. and i don't want that to overshadow the good folks that are out there doing this the right way. >> go ahead, rob. >> i was just going to say, there are so many wonderful people in the city of baltimore and the surrounding area. folks who have worked for generations to revitalize the city and so on ando forth. and this type of evening is a setback, and it will be for years to come. but i've got to tell you, the fiber of this city has been strong. people want to be heard, they want to be validated, they want
to create steps to make the relationship between the community and the police department much better. >> come around here chris. both you and i have been talking to some of the people here. i've spoke to a police officer. i'll share my conversation with the police officer in just a moment. but as you were coming in and witnessed a confrontation, tell our viewers about that. and about the curfew. >> 600,000 people live here. many people are safe here and under control. as we go west of here the complexion of the city changed in terms of stability. when i was driving around trying to find my way here i did see police coming into contact with some young men, saying get out of the streets and there's a curfew and they gathered around and said there is no curfew you can't make us go anywhere. and the cops left. as we move around and see the
officers trying to seal off streets and frankly tactical decisions being made that it's not worth what increased violence may occur if they try to settle a street. >> has to be surprising to see that type of interaction with officers. >> two things are surprising to see these young men come towards police and see the police leave, spoke to instability, but that could have been just one episode. a second surprise is the stark lack of planning that you had here today. i understand from the mayor's office that it was to give protesters space and it's easy to say hindsight is 20/20, but we know from our reporters in the field that police were watching looting and criminal activity. and you have to talk about, what were the marching orders what was the balance of risk involved? but still at this time there are streets that could use police attention right now, and they're not getting it. >> when you spoke about, you know, the warning, or having enough time to get things into place. this didn't happen in a vacuum.
how many times were we in ferguson? how many different scenarios have we been in since ferguson? and cities have planned for it, not perfectly, but baltimore had the opportunity to know what was coming down the pipe especially when you see what happened over the weekend? >> well the assumption wrong? you know better than we do. it seems as though the decision made by your leaders was give the protesters space. the family, this is their day of mourning. let's not show force. let's not be super aggressive and it seems to have backfired on you in terms of the logistics and the outcome of the situation, is that a fair statement? >> i think it's a fair comment. i think also the mayor wanted people to protest in a very civil manner. frankly, it's good it's people's right to be heard, but by the same token, you have to be very predictive and make sure the right resources and assets are in place. the men and women of the baltimore police department are some of the most courageous hard-working people i know. but we're talking about strategy now.
we're talking about resources and you have a lot of folks coming to the city not only to pay attention, but to provide resources and one has to wonder should this have been in place much sooner to prevent it getting so far out of hand? >> i spoke to several officers. one of them worked for homicide. one worked for major crimes. and he said i'm a member of the homicide units, my buddy is from special victims. we are all out doing this and the business of the city and other places not getting handled because it's all hands on deck. and they feel that the city's leaders let this get out of control. they should never have allowed protesters -- never allowed it to get to this point with protesters or people who are starting to agitate the city. >> people need to be held accountable. but crisis cost time money,
careers and the worst case lives. what we're seeing right now, is stakeholder is consumer confidence and time and money. so while everyone's focused on this they're taking away from the core issue and impacting the economy of the city. and it's really important to pay attention to those things. >> and they also said to me, that they think you can't win. it's a lose-lose situation for officers because if they get in the tactical gear in the riot gear what have you, it would be -- they're going to get looked at as being overlords. if you don't do it then what happens is what happened today. >> i don't think it's a mistake not showing the force, putting it out in front, especially on saturday when it began very peaceful. >> right. >> i think the mistake is not having the numbers of personnel behind the scenes ready to go and to be deployed. and again, you know i think people know that i am not one who -- i'm no friend with the
mayor. i'm one of the first ones to come out and criticize the mayor and the police department if they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing. but this is a very difficult thing to gauge. it's very fluid. it changes at a split second and the only thing that i can say, yeah maybe they could have had more resources behind the scenes behind the scenes ready to go. >> stand by everyone. i want to bring in cedric alexander, the president of the national organization of black law enforcement executives. what do you think about this lack of planning? and the real question is from this point on how can police get back the control of the streets here in baltimore? >> well you know don, let's look at a couple of things here. first of all, the city under the -- with what's going on right now, you had the funeral today, how much planning they may or may not have done i'm not certain on and i certainly don't want to speculate. but they've had a rough day. they had a horrible day.
as your guests were saying just a moment ago, it's really very hard to gauge these type of situations in terms of what's going to happen. things change moment by moment second by second. if police officers go in too aggressive they'll be criticized and someone may get hurt. if they're not aggressive enough you can lose property such as what we've seen earlier too. it's a moment by moment decision in which we have to allow the police department and the leadership who are there on the ground to make the decisions that they make in the moment. there's never going to be a perfect scenario. you're always going to have these type of situations where you're looking at riots, not peaceful protests but riots, where you're going to have these type of issues that cannot often times be solved very easily. they're doing the best they can under the conditions that's being put in front of them. but if we go back to ferguson don, we also have to remember there, we saw some optics that
we all just thought were deplorable. they have obviously learned some things in baltimore, but each and every event such as this is very different. i don't want to criticize the police department or the leadership too harshly. what we have to do is give them the support, because what we have going on right now is a lot of criminal behavior that's taking place, and these criminals must be taken off the street so at some point, people who may want to peacefully protest, have an opportunity to do so without harm. but i'm sad and millions of americans are in terms of what we're seeing tonight, but we have to move forward and we got to support local police and leadership there in baltimore. >> all right. i want everyone to stand by and we'll get back to all of you. you were expecting to hear from the gray family in just a short time. a response from them. should be a press conference about today's violence we'll bring that to you live as soon as we get it.
and who has one starting price for gas or hybrid? mkz hybrid again. mm-hmm. upstaged them. the lincoln luxury uncovered event is on. lease the mkz or mkz hybrid for $289 a month. plus for a limited time competitive owners and lessees get one-thousand dollars bonus cash. there's some facts about seaworld we'd like you to know. we don't collect killer whales from the wild. and haven't for 35 years. with the hightest standard of animal care in the world our whales are healthy. they're thriving. i wouldn't work here if they weren't. and government research shows they live just as long as whales in the wild. caring for these whales, we have a great responsibility to get that right. and we take it very seriously. because we love them. and we know you love them too. ♪ ♪ the beautiful sound of customers
making the most of their united flight. power, wi-fi and streaming entertainment. that's... seize the journey friendly. man: you run a business. could be any kind of business. and every day you've got important decisions to make, like hiring. where are you gonna find those essential people you need? with ziprecruiter, it's simple.
we post your job to over 100 job boards with just a single click, so you can reach millions of qualified candidates. then we'll give you the tools to help you manage, screen and rank your applicants all so you can find the right one. try zip recruiter for free today. >> welcome back we're live with breaking news coverage. state of emergency here in baltimore after hours and hours of rioting, of looting and burning in this city. want to go now to brandon scott. he's baltimore city councilman also here with me is keith haines deputy majority whip for maryland house of delegates who represents baltimore. and jason downs is going to join us in just a little bit. brandon brandon, you said earlier that you were pissed you were angry. why are you so upset?
>> i'm angry because we're destroying our own city. this is a city i love and i grew up i dedicated my life to. this is a city i want to continue to progress. yes, baltimore has its issues but it's a hell of a lot better than the baltimore that i grew up in. we know the rioting doesn't work. i'm angry that we have cowards leading children into doing things that will destroy their future. talk to the kids help them understand how this is hurting them. >> play devil's advocate. the peaceful protests didn't work. years of saying we had issues with the police, and now we can only resort to this violence? >> no what i would say to that i grew up in a city that was still bombed out and depleted in 1968 -- >> glad you said that. >> also understand the progress that we have made.
1993, there were 350 homicides in baltimore. homicides are lower than they have been. police stuff is lower. yes, there's still too god damn much of it but it's getting better. the only way to do that is to work together and try to change laws like they did in annapolis this year. this hurts the cause. because people with that mind-set about baltimore will be invalidated by the actions of a view. >> keathith? >> what we're seeing in baltimore this evening is not indicative of the baltimore which we live in every day. if you look at the coverage that the press is giving you see probably less than 100 individuals who are scurrying throughout the city wreaking havoc, so to speak. that's not indicative of the good people working in the community, the thousands who marched on saturday and the days before that peacefully and civilly. what we want to make sure is
that first of all, we bring peace to this city that we bring calm to this city that we get through the night without any more incident. and continuing to move forward in a way where we're able to address the problems that plague our neighborhoods. >> absolutely correct. but when you have -- and we'll go back to that. when you have baltimore, this is baltimore, a major city on fire when you see people slashing water hoses, what do you think we're going to cover? if we did not cover that if that wasn't front and center we would not be doing our jobs. yes, we should deal with the underlying issues and that should come in time and people like you should encourage us to do it at every turn, but we're dealing with this issue tonight, what's happening, that doesn't make the city look good it doesn't help the city in the eyes of the world, because that's what people are seeing. go ahead. >> and i also think what you got to remember there are folks out there, trying to deescalate.
the nation of islam out there, the 300 man march out there deescalating talking people down. you have to cover that as well. >> and that's the baltimore we're talking about. >> we're not going to forget about you. i just want to get an update on the fires and then we'll come back. miguel marquez, what do you have for us? what can you tell us about the fires? >> well this location at the southern baptist church this was going to be a new senior center and this is baltimore tonight. it was nine months from being completed and it is a complete ruin right now, they'll have to start from square one upon. the pastor believes it was deliberatey set, that it was part of the freddie gray violence sweeping through the city tonight. this is about two and a half miles from the worst of it up at pennsylvania avenue and north avenue where we saw that cvs on
fire where we saw cars on fire and where we saw police and protesters -- not protesters -- just looters and rioters and criminals, fighting openly with police. all of that is still happening in pockets of that neighborhood. i can tell you i was a block away from where freddie gray was arrested just over two weeks ago, and there was a car on fire there. the police were lining up and down the street on north avenue and were getting ready to move in. the western district police station, that has been the epicenter of so much protest over the last week or so that police station has a giant security perimeter around it. they are prepared for the very worst tonight. they're not hearing that anything is going to happen but there's concern they will come under attack at some point. we did hear what sounded like gun shots at one point up in west baltimore. don? >> all right, miguel stand by. i want to bring my panel back in now. you were going to tell us about
that mall. the building that he's talking about. >> it was a building that was being built to help the neighborhood. there's been a lot of investment in that neighborhood. that was going to help out with that and it's just a shame to see it go. >> jason, i want to get your voice in here. jason, i want to get your perspective because you're the family's attorney. the family did not want violence. they've been saying that all along. are they going to hold a press conference this evening to talk about this? are they going to respond to this? >> the family is obviously in grief right now. they're obviously mourning. but the hope is that they're able to give a press conference. but let's be clear, they're very much still in shock. they want answers right now, but they want their voices to be heard, explicitly that they do not want violence. what the violence is doing, it distracts from the cause, the underlying true cause which is what happened to freddie gray? how did his spine become
severed? that's what they want answers to. so what we're focusing on right now, takes attention away from the true cause, what we should be focusing on what happened to mr. gray. >> let's talk about the curfew why not tonight? >> i don't know why not tonight. it could be tonight, but i think what we have to do what i'm worried about now is what's happening and try to deescalate it now. i don't know if instituting a curfew would deal with what's going on. i hope that we're moving forward, now that we know the stakes here that we have more resources. right now i'm concerned about people and their homes and families and businesses and them being safe. >> why do you think the situation deteriorated so quickly on the streets today? >> i think one of the reasons why it deteriorated is because i think saturday sort of laid the foundation for it. what we saw happening saturday camden yards after the protest, peaceful protest in front of city hall. it sort of opened the door. i think what we saw happening
today, on saturday kind of sent the message that it was okay. and it may it opened the door for -- as we are seeing -- obviously so -- >> every police officer i spoke to said that. they didn't want their names used. but what happened the standing back, they believe, by using riot or tactical gear or showing force, that that sent the wrong message and opened the floodgates for what happened today. >> right. i have heard comments from individuals who were more aggressive at one of the last protests actually say the same thing. >> what did they say? >> that same thing which we are saying that because -- on saturday evening, individuals were allowed to -- a lone ring in protests demonstrating, using force and violence in restraint of the police that it
opened the door for further violence today. but those individuals have since realized that this is not the way to go. so they're trying to deescalate some of the actions as well. >> stand by. these are live pictures we're looking at back in new york? yes? we're looking at live pictures that appear to be out of control tonight. this is from our affiliate wjz. i want to bring in miguel marquez who is at the scene of a fire at the senior center. >> this is pastor dante hickman, if i could chat with you for just a moment. this is your facility here. what have you lost here tonight? >> 60 units of senior housing apartments affordable housing, as well as a transformation center which a myriad of human and health services such as workforce development, life
coaching and behavioral counselling and mortgage lending services. it sounds to me like this is exactly what baltimore needs in many places. why would they burn this? >> i have no idea. i think the reason that they burned it is exactly the reason why we needed it. we were seeking to restore people while we rebuilt properties. we wanted to effect change in the human community as well as rebuild properties with affordable housing and development that johns hopkins and no other investor sought to develop. >> you believe this was deliberately set? >> obviously it's one of the results of tonight. the chaos that we're seeing all over baltimore, i sought to organize -- help organize pastors across town to march for peace tonight, and little did i know that someone who was insensitive to what the church and the community was doing here set the place on fire. >> should the mayor and the
police have ordered everyone into their homes tonight and started off with a very strong hand at this point? >> it was obviously a very late response what i heard governor hogan say, and everybody's fixing blame. tonight i'm not about fixing blame. i'm about refocusing on how we rebuild. >> as you look over the rubble what do you see? >> i see revival. i see the opportunity to rebuild from the ashes. i see a church that's been resilient for over 80 years and for the past eight years, seeking to put this $16 million investment in the community. i see us now coming back even bigger and better than before. >> looks like you've had a long week and a very hard day today. >> a very hard day today, but i'm optimistic and i'm seeking the resources and help of our governor of our mayor, and even of private investors to come into east baltimore and change it for the better. >> two and a half miles north of
here things are much worse. is it going to get worse, is it going to spiral? >> i'm a man of faith. and i believe that every negative is just our opportunity to fight back with another positive. >> thank you, sir. very good luck to you. don, this is what you hear throughout baltimore, you have these heartbreaking situations caused by the violence that is rife through the city right now, with no sense of them getting it into control. i don't know where the pictures of looting and rioting in the streets, but two and a half miles north of here in west baltimore, it was not looking good as night fell and the number of police out and the number of individuals on the streets looking to harm police officers and literally just go through businesses. we saw business after business being looted either through the front door or through the back door. it was absolutely frightening and incredible. don? >> yeah miguel stand by.
we're going to neat youed you. you're looking at live pictures now of what's happening on the streets of baltimore. you see fires going. cars are burning in the middle of the street. we have seen businesses set on fire. drug stores senior housing facilities units of affordable housing, according to the reverend that miguel just interviewed there. businesses that were meant to help the community now gone in a flash, in an instant. people here have been concerned about why this was allowed to get out of control. what took so long for police to get into place? what took so long for the national guard to be brought in? people want the leaders of their city to be held accountable. they want answers. quite frankly, the people of
baltimore deserve some answers. most of the people of the city of baltimore are law-abiding citizens and they want the city it be run correctly and they want to be safe. they deserve answers. if i were a leader here i would be all over any news entity i could get on to explain exactly what happened and why the reasons for my response. i want to get to cnn's charles blow now, a cnn analyst and columnist for "the new york times." never thought i'd be seeing the city of baltimore burning. it's possible in any city but here we are. >> right, and i think there's a lot of questions about how this even started in the beginning. not just what's happening now. but how did it begin? "the baltimore sun" has a story now, it's fascinating with how it began with a rumor online, that people were going to take
to the streets in a lawless fashion and then police confronted students as they left their high school and were headed to a mall which is like a transit hub for a lot of these kids. and then those kids started to pelt the officers. officers sprayed mace threw bricks back at the kids. that's what "the baltimore sun" story says and you can see how this starts to escalate escalate escalate and get out of control. i think that it's going to be really important to understand when we do like, the tomorrow story about how this worked what actually happened and whether or not the tactics used actually escalated a situation that could have been deescalated. that's number one. number two is however we look at this as the ill or rather a symptom of an ill. i think it's really important to look at all of these things
together not as one city one kind of civil disobedience or destruction of property or vandalism or riot whatever you want to call it as a separate thing. we see city after city after city where young people are taking to the streets and saying i've had enough. we have to examine how can it keep happening in city after city? is there an underlying issue here that we have to deal with -- >> i have to agree with you. i think we've been doing a good job of covering that every single day since it happened every day since ferguson happened. we've been discussing those issues and what needs to be done about it how to fix it the underlying problems. systemic racism poverty, all of those things but this is the focus tonight because we have a city burning. we'll get back to all of that and we should and the viewer and the politicians and the activists and the community
organizers and leaders, they should press us to do that. but how did this happen? how did we get here? i think you brought up a very good point. and this is from an activist online today, i want to read this and you can respond to it. it says, we were peaceful. we walked through three miles of baltimore's worst neighborhood and nothing jumped off. black non-protesters were using their cars to block traffic. no police were there when we were in the hood. no violence happened. once we got downtown and the violence were on every corner, the whites were calling us the n word calling white protesters niggar lovers and trying to plow us with their cars. they got dug out of their cars. my son and i were pushed by white men. and a group of black men came out and handled them yet we're labelled as animals. yes, it turned chaotic, but only after outsiders instigated.
>> and i think this is the really important point here we cannot look at these people as if they're one organism with one sensibility. when we say protesters that's the wrong word to use in this instance. people who are acting out tonight are criminals and you can call them rioters, whatever you want to call them. that's the very different people to the protesters who were out on the streets, pushing baby carriages and mothers and brought their children and all of those people and with signs and chanting and had messages. and you don't see that tonight. so to even conflate the two, as if these are -- as if it's one organism if you see black bodies then all of those people are the same. i'm able to see difference in people in different groups of people doing different things and being activated by different sorts of circumstances. i think that we have to be as
media, sensitive to that and stop calling these people protesters. they're just as afraid and sad about this situation as anybody else. >> i got to bring in reverend jamal bryant who has been on the street as well. and mark lamont hill and van jones is with us as well. reverend you've been out here on the streets, as you look at these pictures and listen to the conversation that's not only being had here on cnn, but throughout baltimore, what's your assessment? >> it's absolutely painful. what you're seeing does not reflect the real rich legacy that baltimore has. we've had seven days of having absolutely no incident. this does not reflect the movement that we've been going after. we want a complete overhaul of a broken system that has failed us over and over again. what we're seeing on the news is heart-wrenching considering we called for a moratorium no
marching no protesting on today at the request of the family. >> why didn't anybody listen? >> i do not know. we were coming back from the sem ter and getting the news about this happening, just three and a half miles -- less than three miles from where the funeral took place. and so we're really calling your young people into calm. they have a reason to be frustrated but they do not have a right or reason to loot or damage buildings. >> you're looking at pictures burning on the streets of bottom. baltimore under a state of emergency right now. schools are closed tomorrow. there is a partial curfew in effect tonight. but tomorrow it goes into effect in full for minors and every single person in the city of baltimore. i want to bring in mark lamont hill. we've been talking about it the reverend asked for a moratorium as we look at these pictures. they asked for calm and there is no calm tonight.
>> there shouldn't be calm tonight. black people are dying in the streets for months years, decades, centuries. i think there can be resistance to oppression. when resistance occurs you can't schedule a planned resistance. you can't tell me where to die in where to resistance and how to protest. i think there should be an ethics attached to this. we have to be careful not to get more upset about the destruction of property than the destruction of black bodies and that seems to be to me what's happening over the last few hours. we also have to be very careful about the language we use to talk about this. i'm not calling these people rioters. i'm calling them uprisings. it's a distinction. there have been uprising because of the violence against black female and male bodies forever. we can't ignore the fact that the city is burning, but we need to be talking about why it's burning and not romanticize peace and marching as the only way to function. i'm not saying we should be
hurting or killing people but we have to understand that resistance looks different ways to different people. and part of what it means to say black lives matter is to assert our right to have rage and righteous indignation in the face of state killing. freddie gray is dead. that's why the city is burning. it's not burning because of protesters. the city is burning because the police killed freddie gray. >> i understand what you're saying and that's nuance. but in all practicality, the city is burning because someone set it on fire. >> you know this is going to be i think, a difficult conversation for us to have and work our way through. first of all, there does seem to now be just objectively an evolutionary leap in the street tactics that we're seeing. in ferguson you didn't see fires being set apparently strategically to pull the police in this direction or that
direction. something has changed. i think we need to be very clear about that and very concerned about that. i take a little bit of exception to my brother -- >> what do you mean something has changed? why do you take exception to mark? >> well listen you saw a certain set of street tactics in ferguson very disciplined, very non- non-violent. once things got beyond that point, it was very localized, very concentrated where you saw the destruction. you didn't see miles and miles being covered. so this is it looks like an evolutionary leap in terms of how people are taking their outrage to the street. i just think we have to just notice what's happening in baltimore is very different than what you saw happening in ferguson. so that's an important thing to note. we don't know if all these fires were started by arsonists. maybe some were started other ways. but something has changed. now, i would say that we can
take a moral position and say that there's some kinds of protests that are effective and some kinds that are less effective. some that are more desired and some that are not desired. i think it's important for us to say, i don't think that property destruction in poor communities that are trying to come back is a valid form of protest. i don't see any history -- >> is that where you take issue with what mark was saying? >> i think he was taking more of an agnostic view that we need to give some space for a range of taktsics. i would say i disagree. we should be showing moral leadership and saying -- i keep hearing riots are the language of the unheard. the reality is in this situation, the voices at least about police brutality have been heard. certainly cnn and other news agencies have been giving space to those voices. >> for hours and hours and hours
of coverage daily. >> it's going to be a tough conversation to have. yes, dr. king said riots are the language of the unheard. people need to recognize that the conditions for black teens in baltimore are worse than conditions for teens in nigeria. so the outrage should be of course about the incredible injustice both from the police but also the economic deprivation. the righteous outrage, we can take a moral position, as a part of this movement. black lives matter but black jobs matter, and black businesses matter and black neighborhoods matter. and i don't think it's appropriate for us to give any kind of suggestion that the destruction of black communities is a positive or can be positive in this context. >> and to be clear, i'm not suggesting -- >> van jones. go ahead, mark. >> i'm not saying we should see
the destruction of black communities as positive. i'm saying we can't have too narrow a perception of what the destruction of black communities mean. it seems we have all of our outrage tonight and not the 364 days prior -- >> yes, we should be outraged and we get that, we understand that. we devote so much coverage not only this network, but other networks that i've seen to talk about all of those issues that we've seen. we've exhausted many times the viewer with that and we should continue to but we're trying to figure out exactly what is leading to what we're seeing tonight. and i agree with van jones, we cannot give credence to people who want to go out and burn down buildings and to hurt people. >> but that's not my point. >> -- to slash fire houses. >> we can't-- when we use the
language of thugs and riots, we make it seem like it's a pathological dysfunctional, kournd productive -- >> i haven't heard anybody say thugs. >> are you serious? >> i haven't heard that. that's not come out of my mouth. >> i'm not talking about you, don. i'm talking about the way the mayor has framed this and she's done a good job in other areas, but calling the people thugs, and people on the ground -- >> i get you. i understand what you're saying. yeah the mayor calling them thugs at the press conference i get it. i want to get to the -- >> -- conflate them. [ all speak at once ] i think people can have different motivations and the idea that all people are working towards the same end is ridiculous. people are -- it's a complicated, fluid, dynamic neighborhood just like any neighborhood. so you're going to have people who are interested in violence. and you're going to have people
who are interested in doing good and you can't conflate those two groups of people. >> charles, i got to cut you off. i understand that. we'll continue that. the gray family is speaking right now, so i want to get to them. let's listen in to that. >> come on you can do this. >> my name is frederica gray. his twin. i don't agree with the violence for the city. it's too much. i don't think all that's for freddie. i think they doing all that for something else. the violence is wrong and freddie gray wasn't that type of person to break into stores. i don't like it at all. >> let's respect the second story's desire not to really interact she's too upset about it. >> now do you have any questions and i'll take three.
>> they rolled on it. they rolled on it. >> yeah we can give you that. >> john? >> i guess just a get check. just a gut check on what's happened to the city tonight. >> we -- we are hopeful that the intervention of the communities at least slows things down. and you can play a vital role in getting the message out to everybody that what they're doing is wrong on so many levels. and that the elders in the community, the not so elders like me the young men in the community, stand strong against this violence. you have people here tonight who have met with the ministerial community in brotherly love. it's an unprecedented meeting where members of the community include those