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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  April 29, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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john thank you very much for joining us. that's it for "the lead." i'm anderson cooper with john berman. jake tapper will be back tomorrow. i'll be back tonight live from baltimore, 8:00 p.m. eastern till 10:00 p.m. eastern tonight. here's wolf blitzer now in "the situation room." happeninggame protest organizers schedule a rally this hour in baltimore. and with the sun going down soon after that, will things heat back up? aftermath, the governor says baltimore has turned the corner. but more than 200 people have been jailed and as police examine surveillance video from the rioting, will hundreds more join them? and police are keeping quiet about their probe of freddie gray's death but due to present their findings to prosecutors this week. will it spark new unrest? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." the breaking news organizers are calling for another protest
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to begin this hour in baltimore. and police say they expect large crowds. there's tension in the streets of baltimore once again with police and national guard troops lining those streets and community leaders linking arms to keep a lid on the situation, the violence that began raging 48 hours ago clearly has faded, arrests have plummeted. maryland's governor says baltimore has kurndturned the corner. an overnight curfew remains in effect. the potential for ubnrest remains very real. our correspondents and guests are standing by with the late-breaking developments. brian todd is on the scene in baltimore. brian? >> reporter: wolf we're at the epicenter of where the violence occurred, this is pennsylvania and north avenue. you'll notice looking around here no visible police presence now. not sure if that will stay the
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case tonight. we'll see what happens later on tonight. you have street speakers speaking over here. but protests are planned later this hour, a protest march downtown. we're going to be there. also police and local residents hoping for a peaceful night tonight but everybody around here understanding that the anger in the streets still has not dissipated. on the streets, a sense that this city is still very much on edge. protesters picket the state's attorney's office, demanding justice for freddie gray. police are maintaining a strong presence trying to make sure whatever comes next is more like tuesday night than monday night. >> we have resources staged throughout the city obviously we're monitoring social media. we have extensive resources that are on the ground. >> reporter: but not everyone followed the mandatory curfew last night. joseph kent was out in the streets after curfew. he walked back and forth in front of the police lines.
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suddenly a military humvee pulls alongside of him. at the same time the police line opens up and kent is grabbed and arrested. what do you make of that tactic? >> very smart. that's how you train. and what i mean you're trained to make arrests as quickly as possible. the longer it goes the more chance of someone getting hurt the more chance of others joining in. >> reporter: tuesday night, the police were prepared just over 30 arrests compared to over 200 from monday night. we spoke with residents of the neighborhood where the rioting was worse, asking if they thought the 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. curfew was a good idea. >> i think it was right because the only thing you're doing, you're tearing up your own neighborhood. >> reporter: should they have done the curfew or not? >> no, 10:00? we're grown. >> reporter: the co-owner of this discount store says he needs the curfew. he showed us surveillance video of his store getting ransacked for two hours on monday night.
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he said he lost over $22,000 worth of goods. and today one thing was missing from the baltimore orioles versus chicago white sox baseball game -- fans. in a historic and controversial move major league baseball banned fans from the game citing safety concerns. >> a few people decided to send out some instagram messages and say, hey camden yards, such and such a time. and then all of a sudden you've got hundreds or thousands of people converging on camden yards. there's no way you can respond quickly to that. >> reporter: and right now, baltimore police are all about sending the message that they are looking to get out ahead of whatever happens on these streets tonight and the rest of this week after finally gaining the upper hand on tuesday night. wolf? >> brian, we'll stay in close touch with you, thank you. organizers are calling for new
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protests this hour. let's bring in cnn's miguel marquez also on the streets of baltimore, different location. miguel, what's happening where you are? >> reporter: we're very near to where he is. but i think people on the streets here and in this neighborhood in gilmore homes want ways to have their voices heard. they are frustrated and angry. the curfew is a way of, they feel sort of shutting them down. so the protests will be akin to what we've seen over the last few nights. people marching in the streets angrily, loudly but peacefully. this intersection was shut down yesterday, sort of a carnival combined with a political rally combined with a protest. today is open and business as normal. people have come up to this intersection from montgomery county here this group take up to do tykeae kwon do and chess.
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on monday night, people came up from washington, d.c. to -- impromptu jobs fair. out of the chaos, order, perhaps. i think people are optimistic cautiously so that tonight may not be quite as difficult as last night in enforcing the curfew and in future nights to come, that things will start to grow. but i think we have a couple of days yet before anybody is going to be able to breathe out with complete comfort. >> we're showing your viewers the protesters marching down charles street. they're carrying banners, signs, very peaceful right now. they're moving forward. there you see that march. probably going to gain people as they continue their march here on charles street right now. the events that you're seeing over there, miguel it's obviously day three, shall we
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say, very, very quiet so far. the curfew remains in effect going into next week, right? >> reporter: it does. and it's not going to be well-received in this neighborhood. they didn't like it last night. they don't like to be told sort of when to go to their homes. the reason you had the atmosphere that you had out here last night was -- or yesterday all day yesterday was because they wanted to show police who were lined up across pennsylvania avenue blocking flow of north avenue which is a major thoroughfare here that they wanted to show police that this was their neighborhood. i think the protests you'll see tonight will be much of the same. but as you know, in these situation, they can get out of control very quickly. everybody is watching everybody and every move very closely. so i think both the city the police and the protesters, they're all sort of doing this dance. and we will see if it continues down that way and if they can
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continue to dance or if it turns into something more. >> let's hope it's a quiet, peaceful demonstration which is everyone's right in this country. miguel marquez, thanks very much. we'll stay in touch with you. joining us now is nick mosby who represents the district where a lot of the violence took place. nick thanks very much for joining us. you welcome the fact this curfew will continue for the next few days right? >> yeah, i think it's important. we can't be overly optimistic about what took place yesterday. we have to continue to bring calm to our constituents to our most vulnerable folks in the community. and i think the curfew worked last night. the enforcement worked last night and we have to continue to do it until we're out of this dark period in baltimore's history. >> and everything you're hearing -- we see a lot of folks walking down charles street -- is going to be peaceful, it's not going to turn violent, right? >> yeah.
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i would hope that -- about 90% of all the demonstrations that have taken place for the past two weeks have been very peaceful. and the expectation is they'll continue to be the same way. i hope we're past what we saw monday night. and i hope we have the tactical operations in place to ensure that if anything comes about, it won't escalate like we saw on monday. >> baltimore police are expected to send the freddie gray investigation findings the preliminary report friday to the state attorney's office. your wife happens to be the state's attorney. i know you have no involvement in her offices. but sources tell us at cnn it's far from a clear-cut case. evan perez, our justice reporter, has learned that. you're a councilman. how concerned are you about how baltimore residents may react, their expectations if we don't learn a whole lot more let's say this friday when this preliminary report is handed over to the state's attorney?
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>> wolf i think the most important thing is that from a communications perspective the police department are transparent to the level that they need to be transparent to the citizens. you have a seemingly healthy 25-year-old man who seems suspicious to the police they ensue, they chase him, detain him, arrest him. and immediately the community doesn't necessarily get the information that they're looking for while they know that this young man is laying in a shock trauma bed. i think that was the crux of the matter associated with the initial onset of the protests. that's the type of information the folks want the know. they want to really know what took place on that particular day. >> do you think we're going to get that on friday? >> i would hope so. i know that the police have been working around the clock. i know the department of justice are doing their own independent civil rights investigation. and i know the state's attorney's office has been working around the clock to do
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their own investigation. so i think the answers or the facts that can be communicated out to the public will eventually get there. i think it's critically important that as a public servant, we ensure the communication is getting out through the right mediums at the right time. i think we haven't done necessarily the best job of that in the past but we have to ensure we're proactive about it for friday and the coming weeks. >> i want you to stand by nick mosby, baltimore city councilman. we have more questions for you. we're watching the demonstration now. it's peaceful. they're going down charles street in baltimore. we'll take a quick break. much more right after this.
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we're back with the baltimore city councilman nick mosby. these are live pictures coming in. these are protesters. they're marching towards downtown right now. we're told they're heading towards the main train station, penn station in baltimore right now. they're going down very peaceful carrying their signs and placards. we're watching closely to make sure it stays this way. you've said nick that this is a lot more what's going on in baltimore right now than just freddie gray and the incident surrounding him. "the baltimore sun" reports that freddie gray was not the first to sustain serious injuries from inside a baltimore police van. they've reported what they describe as years of police abuse in baltimore. so explain why the anger now, why freddie gray was the tipping point?
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>> i think he was the tipping point because at the end of the day, again, a seemingly healthy 25-year-old man goes on a chase and then 40 minutes later is basically paralyzed with a severe spine -- that's troublesome. police didn't necessarily have the immediate information of why he was chased or what he was ultimately charged for and arrested for. and i think that just grew concern. it happened on that sunday. i got calls to my office that monday morning regarding the incident and we immediately started to look into it. at the end of the day, folks are tired, they're fed up. the one thing about this particular movement, it transcends race and age, it transcends so much. so many different folks are joining the movement of fairness and equality associated with this thing. we understand and know that urban enclaves like where mr. freddie gray lived are really disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system and unfortunately there are thousands upon thousands of freddie grays and a lot of them
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have been joining the movement. i think that's one of the key things that we take away from this time. hopefully this is a defining moment not just in the city of baltimore but in america as a whole. >> the new attorney general of the united states loretta lynch, she spoke out today on what's going on in baltimore. she called the violence that occurred senseless acts of violence and said it represented a grave danger to the entire community and that all of that must stop. what's your reaction to what you heard from the attorney general? she was only sworn in, as you know, on monday. >> well this is a critical issue for her. and she's dead-on. this is senseless violence. and it must stop. we must develop the type of policies and procedures to ensure that we have tactical forces to ensure we don't do this. we can't continue to be erupted like we did on monday. it's not good for us as a community and as america. but bigger than that it's not
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necessarily the what, it's the why. i think that's where we have to go and look at the root cause of what's going on. and i think urban america is speaking out when you look at places like baltimore, folks are tired. these young guys are tired of carrying their father's weight tired of carrying their grandfather's weight. these are decades-old systemic problems. it's the young folks that drive change. and i think that's what they're showing us in these protests and this movement. >> i read an important article in "the baltimore sun" today by michael fletcher who's lived in baltimore for 30 years. he says for all practical purposes there are two baltimore, a more affluent baltimore but then a very very poor baltimore. i suspect that's the situation in a lot of major cities around the united states right now. but talk about the two baltimores. >> it's truly a tale of two cities. this is not a baltimore thing. this is just an american big city thing.
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it's interesting when you drive through the city of baltimore, literally you can go from block to block from an affluent area to an area that has significant troubles and hardships. we have continued to do an excellent job of building up our downtown area around the harbor spreading out the harbor into a project called harbor point. and many folks say we're continuing building downtown, let's start building uptown. that's a lot of the frustration we're seeing specifically in the central west baltimore corridor and throughout the city. i think the infrastructure is here. the interest is here. the one thing, we're at a time when interest rates are probably as low as they'll be in my lifetime. there's a lot of time there's a lot of attention and a lot of energy in building back cities like baltimore. and i think that we need to just develop those innovative and creative ways to build back our communities, provide the right infrastructure and the right opportunities for the folks in those communities. >> nick mosby, baltimore
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sounlmansounlcity councilman thanks for joining us. the nation's attorney general calling the rioting that occurred monday night a grave danger. we dig deeper to expose the root causes of the mistrust under way between the baltimore community and the local police. i'm caridee. i've had moderate to severe plaque psoriasis most of my life. but that hasn't stopped me from modeling. my doctor told me about stelara® it helps keep my skin clearer. with only 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses... ...stelara® helps me be in season. stelara® may lower your ability to
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it only makes american sense. here, the hard things show us who we are. leaving your job to start your own thing. having a kid, when you still feel like a kid. signing a 30-year mortgage on a home. scary sure, but no match for our colossal self belief. we're supposed to do scary. without scary, we don't get to be brave. we're following the situation in baltimore right now. protesters marchers are on the streets right now. they face a curfew in only a few hours.
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president obama once again today condemned the rioting but he also spoke of what he calls the enormous tension between police and some communities. the nation's new attorney general, loretta lynch, is also calling for calm. >> these senseless acts of violence are not only a grave danger to the community and they must stop but they are also counterproductive to the ultimate goal here which is developing a respectful conversation within the baltimore community and across the nation about the way our law enforcement officers interact with the residents that we are charged to serve and to protect. >> our cnn anchor don lemon, as more now on the root causes of the mistrust between police and citizens in baltimore. >> reporter: painful images seen around the world. >> i told you guys from the jump this was going to happen. >> reporter: harsh reminders, local leaders and even president
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obama, we're hearing this night of violence was years in the making. >> it's been going on for a long time. this is not new. and we shouldn't pretend that it's new. >> reporter: the unrest happened just a few blocks from the house where congressman elijah cummings lived for 33 years. cummings is very emotional about the lack of education and job opportunities for many young african-american men. >> they feel as if nobody hears them. >> reporter: cummings and other black leaders fear those young men may turn to crime or other violence or wind up like freddie gray a symbol of another simmering problem. >> baltimore has a long history of police brutality and racial profiling and mr. gray's death represents another example in a series of tragedies of black lives being lost at the hands of someone in blue uniforms. >> reporter: we've heard charges like that and we've seen
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pictures like this in baltimore, in new york and in ferguson, missouri. but when and how will the cycle end? >> we don't just pay attention to these communities when a cvs burns. and we don't just pay attention when a young man gets shot or has his spine snapped. >> i'm telling you, baltimore can happen anywhere and you've got people looking at us right now saying, that will never happen in my community. but, yes, it will. >> that report from our own don lemon. elijah cummings the congressman from baltimore, obviously very emotional, very passionate on this issue. joining us now in "the situation room," our cnn law enforcement analyst, the former fbi assistant director tom fuentes, investigative reporter mark punte, who has work exposed the
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baltimore police department using undue force, sunny hostin and pamela brown. i want all of you to stand by. i want to go back to brian todd. brian, you're marching with those protesters. what's happening? brian, i don't know if you can hear me. hell us what's going on. >> reporter: wolf this is a group of marchers that started back in the gilmore area neighborhood of baltimore, walking along st. paul street here towards penn station, making a lot of noise. we are told this is a group of mostly students leading this rally. don't know exactly which student is the march leader. we'll find that out in a few minutes hopefully. but they've been walking a long way. and this is a common refrain from the people who have been marching in favor of justice for
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freddie gray justice for some of the other victims of police violence. very familiar refrain here. and if experience serves us well they're going to be marching a long way tonight, going to pennsylvania station right now. they're going to hold a gathering to gather more protesters and they plan on marching to city hall. usually they cover a lot of ground, wolf. so we're going to see where they go after they get to city hall sometimes it gets a little bit more -- a little less structured at that point. and then we start following them. they may go back up to the gilmore neighborhood. we'll see where it goes from here. >> and obviously what's on a lot of people's minds is that 10:00 p.m. curfew that goes into effect tonight. right now, they're heading towards city hall or penn station? >> reporter: they're going to penn station because that's where they plan to start their march at 5:45 p.m. eastern.
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obviously they've started it a lot sooner. they've picked up people along the way. trying to gauge how many they've got here. at least a couple hundred extending back at least one block. so pretty sizable group of marchers here in keeping with what's been happening over the past week. we've caught several of these over the past week all very spirited. they have some anger, they have some passion, very large but peaceful crowd just about every time we've marched with these folks. >> are these high school students college students? they seem very young. >> reporter: we are told that they are mostly college students. again, i've just kind of gotten together with them here. we just caught up to them on the street and we are trying to find out exactly which student leader is kind of organizing this and leading it. we'll try to talk to that person as soon as we can. >> brian, stand by. we'll continue to follow the march together with you.
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cedric alexander, for police -- and you're the president of the national organization of black law enforcement executives it's a sensitive moment right now. you allow the peaceful protests to go forward but you have to make sure they remain peaceful so you keep a distance is that what you need to do right now? >> certainly you do. what you want to allow people to do is exercise their first amendment right such as what we see here. we don't necessarily have to like what people are saying but they have the right to march and to march peacefully. as long as they're allowed to do that and it's a measured approach by the police department which is there for the safety of everyone that's involved if we can continue in that tempo, allow people to be able to march, that's a good thing. >> pamela brown, you're getting new information on the investigation into freddie gray's death, right? >> absolutely wolf. as it turns out, the investigation is far from over. my colleague, evan perez, has been on the ground there talking to officials. and he's been told that this is not clear cut. there seems to be a disparity on the perception on the streets in
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baltimore of what's going to happen and where things stand in the investigation. after all, we still don't even have the medical examiner's report which could really hold the key in determining what caused freddie gray's death. that is key here but we know the initial report the preliminary report the baltimore police have been putting together will be handed over to the state's attorney's office on friday. and then the investigation will enter into the next phase, the consideration of whether these officers involved will be charged. >> the state's attorney, correct me if i'm wrong, cedric will have to make an important decision do they submit the evidence to a grand jury do they convene a grand jury to then begin to look into allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the police officers or does she simply go ahead and file charges? >> that will be her decision based on evidence that's presented to her, whenever that evidence is delivered. she'll make a decision either to go forward with charges -- >> or decide there's not enough evidence -- >> or maybe not enough evidence to do anything. there will be a number of
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options there which she has to very carefully look at and make a decision on. >> it's a sensitive decision. stand by. brian, i take it some of the protesters have arrived now at penn station? >> reporter: they have arrived at penn station, wolf where another group of protesters has been waiting for them. a very sizable crowd. i'd estimate it at maybe 300 to 400 people at this point, very spirited mostly young pointeople. we are trying to find the organizer. that may become evident pretty soon when somebody steps up and starts leading the chants. >> brian, stand by. we'll get back to you. i want everyone to stand by. we'll resume our special coverage right here in "the situation room."
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new protests onts street the streets of baltimore. these a live pictures coming in. a lot of these marchers converging on penn station. police are expecting large crowds as the evening goes on. they're reminding everyone there is a 10:00 p.m. eastern curfew in place not only today but in the days to come into next week. we're back with all of our correspondents and our experts. let's check in and see what's going on on the ground over there at penn station. brian todd, what's happening now? >> reporter: wolf we're with two of the organizers of this march. this is tiara and enya.
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what made you decide to take part in the organization of this march in the first place? >> there were numerous protests going on in the city of baltimore and we feel baltimore is our home, our city. we decided it was time for us to take a stand in solidarity with these communities because of the injustice against a black life anywhere within our city in america is an injustice anywhere. and we feel it is important to take care of it right now. >> reporter: do you feel like with the violence that's taken place in recent nights that the focus has been taken off freddie gray and some of these issues? >> i think it has been. people need to know that baltimore is not violent. we have been under a lot of duress duress. the violence that erupted the other day is reaction in the years and decades of oppression and police brutality. >> reporter: you're going from here and to city hall and then where?
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>> we're looking for another leader to lead us down there. we really want to make a stand [ inaudible ] -- we will not tolerate [ inaudible ] -- >> reporter: do you feel the city leaders have handled this situation after freddie gray's well not well? what have they done wrong in your view? >> i think the mayor is wrong in calling us thugs. we are students. we are not thugs. we are sidzs we are citizens of the city. >> reporter: have they reacted positively in any way? >> i don't think they have reacted positively. they have not served baltimore the way we would like to see it. you ask a lot of the people who have lived here for decades will also say they are not happy with the mayor calling us thugs [ inaudible ] -- >> reporter: thank you very much for speaking to us. wolf? >> just to point out, the mayor has now apologized for calling
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some of those rioters thugs. we'll get into that a little bit later. but once again, these are live pictures we're seeing from baltimore, right now protesters converging on penn station, the main train station there, then heading towards city hall. we'll continue to watch it. investigative reporter for "the baltimore sun" is with us, you've done amazing reporting over the years on police brutality in baltimore. give our viewers a little sense of what has been going on in your city. >> "the baltimore sun" did an investigation last year and we showed from 2011 through 2014 the city settled 102 lawsuits and paid out nearly $6 million in brutality cases against their officers. a lot of individuals were injured, anywhere from 87-year-old grandmother down through teenagers. >> and the situation today, has it gotten better based on everything you're seeing over the last year or two? >> after the investigation was published, the justice department agreed to step in at
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the request of the city to curb some of the misconduct. some reforms have been slow to come forward but they have vowed to curb the abuse by their officers. >> so you were not surprised in the aftermath about what we've learned about freddie gray and the fact that he died in police custody? >> freddie gray's case mirrors a lot of the stories or cases we looked at in our investigation, whether it was questionable probable cause, why they stopped the individual a lot of our findings show individuals had the same charges which were quickly dropped by prosecutors and judges. even the mayor of this city is questioning the probable cause in the freddie gray case. >> tom fuentes, you're on the scene there, you're a former police officer. what have you seen in baltimore for the whole day? >> reporter: most of the day, i've talked to maryland state trooper, members of the national guard and baltimore police
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including a commander out in front of the cvs store this afternoon. and they've said that the entire strategy for tonight is going to be similar to last night, trying to have a very measured disciplined response with the idea that the troopers and the guardspeople are in the background and can be called out if violence comes up but that they're not going to tolerate what happened monday night where properties are burned and businesses looted and 20 police officers injured and going to the hospital. but they're trying to be very very measured and low key tonight. >> sunny, i know you're friendly with the mayor and you've pointed that out to us. tell us why she felt it was necessary to apologize for using the word "thugs" in describing some of those violent rioters, the arsonists, the looters, if you will. >> well listen i myself have been critical of the mayor in terms of using that word. i think that what we saw when we
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saw rioters, we saw assault, theft, arson, those are crimes. it's appropriate to call those people criminals. but thugs, in my view -- and i think some others share the opposing view but in my view has become a racialized term. so i think that kind of name-calling isn't helpful in a situation like that. and i think it shows true leadership quite frankly, from the mayor, someone that's able to take criticism, to accept it constructively and then change course. perhaps that's why she changed course. she heard the views of others and of course the views also of the residents and citizens of baltimore because quite frankly many people in baltimore were critical of those comments made by the mayor and she responded. >> the president of the united states also referred to those violent rioters, if you will, as thugs. you think he needs to take back that word? >> well i certainly won't comment on whether or not --
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what the president should do. but in my view wolf i do think that the term "thug" recently has become racialized. of course people of all races have been deemed that word and when you look in the dictionary perhaps it's not a racial term but it has been recently i think, racialized and in terms of describing african-american young men as thugs. and i think that we need to move away from that and perhaps then discuss what the actions are. and, yes, we saw crimes being committed, call them criminals, not thugs. >> sunny and everyone else, stand by. the protesters now seem to be moving from penn station towards city hall. we're moving with them. our own brian todd is on the scene. we'll be right back.
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we are looking at a large and growing protest in the streets of baltimore right now. live pictures. marchers converging on penn station. they are on the move once again, right now. they are headed toward city hall. brian todd is walking with them. set the scene. update our viewers that are tuning in on what's going on. i don't think he can hear me. go ahead. >> reporter: laying out the dynamic of this crowd and the size. this is much bigger than many protests we covered in recent days.
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this is several thousand people strong and extends back several blocks long. as for the dynamic of the crowd, very energetic, angry, passionate. peaceful so far. the make up the age and everything else in recent days seen a diverse group of people. older people marching with very young people. this is mostly college aged students. we are going to speak to students from john hopkin's university. there are kids from many many different colleges taking part in the march. they could march all night. we'll see if that happens. >> as we see the marchers continue to move the allegations of police brutality in baltimore, you believe this is part of a nationwide problem. >> you know if you think about it wolf in this country, there has been a long history of separation between communities of color and police.
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however, there have been tremendous gains that we have to note. still, in this country and a number of cities across this country, we have communities and police that are still struggling with issues around brutality, mistrust and we have to begin to get past that so that we don't have another baltimore, we don't have another north charleston cleveland. there are thing that is we have to begin to work towards. building those communities, working with those police departments. it's a partnership in this. it's not just police alone. it also becomes a responsibility of police and community. >> you know loretta lynch, the new attorney general was sworn in. she deployed the senseless acts of violence that occurred in baltimore. she has a tough road she has to walk right now, including whether she goes to baltimore and makes her presence felt like eric holder did in ferguson
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missouri. >> it's a tough decision. this is her first big test as attorney general. she was just sworn in on monday. hours later, the violence erupted in baltimore. today, she made her first public remarks. she wanted to make it clear she's doing everything she can right now to ensure that there's calm and peace in baltimore by sending the two top people at d.o.j., the woman in charge of civil rights and ronald davis, part of the review of the baltimore police station. that is significant they were sent. the sense i get, wolf is d.o.j. wants to sit back see how it plays out, then make a determination whether it makes sense to send loretta lynch. >> would it be smart for her or the president to show up? >> that's a decision the white house has to make as we continue to progress in the process. they will make that decision
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based on variables. let me say, wolf if we go back and look at the task force report inside that report you are going to find a number of recommendations that are going to be so good for this. >> you are a member of that task force. >> yes, sir. >> we'll stay in close touch with you. stand by as the protesters take to the streets of baltimore. maryland's governor is getting ready update us on the situation. we'll have live coverage, coming up next.
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happening now, protests under way. baltimore police and demonstrators show restraint as sunsets and a curfew takes effect. we are live on the streets. you can see them they are on the move. we want to welcome viewers around the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, you are in the "situation room." we are following breaking news. new protests under way in baltimore, 48 hours after parts of the city erupted in rioting. we are standing by for a news conference the maryland governor, larry hogan getting ready to answer questions. baltimore turned the corner after several thousand troops and police officers were deployed and a curfew resumed. the curfew takes effect in about four hours from now. they will give the raw findings of their investigation into freddie gray's death and arrest. they won't issue a public
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report. we have news makers standing by as we cover the breaking story. brian todd is marching with the protesters in baltimore. tell us where they are and what's going on. >> reporter: we are still on st. paul street marching toward city hall. i can tell you from covering the marches, this is one of the biggest, energetic marches we have covered. i can't estimate crowd size. it's hard in a situation like that to do that. >> he is just starting to speak. let's get an update from the governor. >> we are going to provide you with an update on police and national guard operations around the city. but, first, let me say that we are very encouraged by what we have seen over the past 24 hours. i started the day at -- >> looks like we lost our connection with the governor. we'll try to reconnect with him.
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you heard him say they are encouraged. here he is. >> the maryland state police the city from all across our state and even folks from all around the country. these men and women are working incredibly hard with the national guard. i want to thank them including those from out of state. after we hear from -- after we left this morning from the command center we went to sand town which is the neighborhood where freddie gray was from. we met with residents, walked the neighborhoods, we met with neighborhood leaders and leaders of the naacp at their new headquarters which just opened yesterday. we got a chance to talk with people who were among the worst affected by these civil unrests. i can tell you, they were very thankful for the efforts of the national guard and maryland
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state police. i was also encouraged by the optimism i saw there. and by the number of people out helping in the community. we then went to maryland emergency management agent. we held a cabinet meeting to ensure that every single state agency was trying to provide as much assistance as many resources as they could to the situation here in baltimore and helping people who were most in need. every single state agency is focused on the crisis and providing a number of necessary services and a lot of help that's very much needed in the city. let me also say that the maryland emergency management agency is doing a fantastic job of helping to coordinate critical resources. state, city and allied police along with the national guard are working effectively together
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to ensure that baltimore's streets are safe. today, children were back in school in baltimore, people were back at work and city residents were cleaning up after monday night's disturbances. we are not out of the woods yet. the state continues to utilize law enforcement assets from every corner of the state and from other states. >> looks like we lost our connection once again with the governor. i think he's back. >> we have in place approximately 2,000 members of the maryland national guard and over 1,000 -- over 1,000 state troopers and other allied law enforcement officers including officers from montgomery an annarundel and others. this combined force will not
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tolerate the violence or looting, which has led to the destruction of property and put innocent marylanders at risk. there are peaceful protests happening tonight. we want to make sure individuals can exercise their first amendment rights and express their concerns. we also want to stress and remind everyone that there is a 10:00 p.m. curfew in place in the city and i urge everyone in baltimore to get off the streets at 10:00. when the streets are clear, police and national guard can do their jobs. the vast majority of people in the city are being extremely helpful and cooperative. people are picking up bags and brooms and cleaning up. parents are keeping kids at home and off the streets and community leaders who have been so helpful to us in keeping the peace and urging people to
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protest in a peaceful non-violent way have been urging people to head home before the curfew. across maryland we are seeing the work of people who are urging another quiet night like we had last night. the governor's office of community initiatives and the governor's office of service and volunteerism organized 2600 volunteers people from all across maryland who love the city of baltimore and wanted to pitch in and help. we have launched m.d.aryland to get information on state services and how to volunteer and contribute and donate to various charities. we are all working together and we will continue to be here until the threat of violence ends. our primary mission is to maintain order and to begin to repair the damage inflicted by
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the violence and looting from earlier in the week. baltimore families deserve peace and safety in their community and we are working together very hard to ensure that. at this point, i'm going to turn the podium over to general sing then the colonel who will talk about the actions. then we would be happy to take your questions. general? >> thank you, governor. first, i would like to say i'm just getting back in from actually talking to a number of the support that we have out there. that not only includes my soldiers that are out there, my airmen that are out there, but all the folks from the state police all the folks from baltimore city, all the folks from all the jurisdictions and other states that have provided support. i'm going to tell you something, they are not only high speed,
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they are what i call -- in army terms, that means they are ready to stand tall shoulder by shoulder to ensure we are taking care of our city. so when i think about here and what the colonel and baltimore city team put together and how they moved out with us in support, this needs to be a model we continue to work on and refine for every other exercise we need to do for every other mission that we need to do because the cooperation and the support that i am seeing here that's the cooperation and support that we need in the communities within the folks, that's the patience we need from the communities so that we can get through this get back to business and take care of the challenges that we need to bring to the table for a discussion. i just hope that we remember
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that trying to change culture, trying to change habits does not happen overnight. it's not going to be solved overnight. we have absolutely a lot more work we need to do. i'm asking you to be patient, protest peacefully go to sleep at 10:00, because i would like to go to sleep at 10:00 tonight and let's get on with business. >> thank you. colonel? >> thank you. first of all, the law enforcement community has come together united working together not just from the state of maryland but the state of new jersey. troopers are here the resources they brought in here. metropolitan police department and resources of the national guard to support the entire mission is huge for the state police.
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you know we walked the general dance as we coordinate this together with lots of moving pieces. the commissioner ask eded deputy davis moving through things to make sure we are on the same sheet of music. we are here to support them. they ultimately are the police department here. we realize that. we are here to support them. it's an issue that grew to something bigger than they could handle. we started to help them through the moving pieces. we continue to follow the peaceful protests. the governor's comments that at 10:00, please observe the curfew go home. it is not our desire to arrest everybody or anybody. please listen to the time go home. we want peace in the city we'll continue to patrol the city until the determination is made that we are not needed anymore. hopefully that's sooner rather than later.
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we are here to support the city of baltimore. thank you. >> thank you colonel. we would be happy to take any questions. [ inaudible question ] >> no. anybody else? [ inaudible question ] >> well sure we are concerned. obviously, it could have an impact on tourism. obviously, we are losing dollars every day. people are afraid to come into the city. businesses are closed. i believe we have 200 businesses closed. the first lady tonight, by the way, is at two different meetings.
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nearly half of the businesses are korean businesses. my wife is korean. their businesses were burned or looted. there are a lot of businesses that are hurt. we are losing a lot of money. the city's reputation is being hurt. we have to give people money. working to give the businesses money from the claims they don't have. we are working with the small business administration for people that need money. people that need assistance in housing when their homes were burned. tourism is critical to the city. baltimore is a beautiful, wonderful place. we are going to get back to normal. i saw great things people should be proud of in the city. we are going to get back to the baltimore we love. [ inaudible question ] >> i would say this is not representative of the way things usually are in baltimore. we are very proud of this city proud of the people of the city. it's going to take us awhile to restore order and get things
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back to normal and get everybody comfortable again. we are going to do everything we can to bring people back to the city. [ inaudible question ] do you have anything you can say about having troops on the ground in the city giving up freedom -- >> you know what? i spent 48 hours not only you know handling this crisis and organizing this effort in the community, i spent all day today and yesterday all over baltimore city talking with people. all day long nearly every single person i talked to thanked us profusely, thank you for bringing the guard, thank you for bringing the maryland state police. thank you for bringing law and order back to our city. if you remember on monday night, the city was in flames. cars were being exploded. stores were being looted people
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homes being burnt to the ground. people are happy we are here and things are not like monday night. >> the other day you used the word -- mayor requested the national guard be brought in. have you had time to think about whether the national guard acted fast enough and do you think monday would have happened if things -- >> look this seems to be coming up a lot. i have said over and over again, for the past 48 hours, i have praised the mayor, i thanked her for her efforts. i thought she did a tremendous job. it's not worth arguing over what happened what could have happened. they did as best job they could. they were overwhelmed and undermanned. that doesn't reflect badly on the mayor or the city of baltimore. they didn't have the manpower. we didn't lose a single minute.
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doesn't matter when a call was made or not. we were prepared and ready a week in advance. it takes eight hours to stand-up the guard. we got it done in three. if she called at 3:00 we were still five hours early. we didn't slow down or miss a beat. by the time we got in there around 9:00 or 10:00, things were calmed down. last night was a dramatically different picture. we are working in conjunction, cooperation with the mayor. we are talking every day. i probably had 100 interviews where i praised her actions and that of a city. we are working as a team. we are here to back up the mayor of baltimore. we are here to support the police department of baltimore. we don't want to waste a lot of time talking about personalities and feelings and who might have been concerned about what. i think it's an excellent operation. we are all working together.
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i'm proud of the joint effort. [ inaudible question ] >> that was a decision made by the commissioner of baseball it did not include us didn't involve us. we didn't ask for it to happen. i am happy there weren't tens of thousands of fans there. things were peaceful and under control. like the curfew we cleared the streets. having tens of thousands of people at the stadium may not have helped. that's a decision they made. we didn't make the decision. anybody else? [ inaudible question ] >> well you know we have spent -- yesterday, i called
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together our very first day on the job, in addition to getting the law and order restored i met with faith basted leaders and community leaders from all over the state, i mean all over the city and asked for their input and asked questions on how we could help. today, we met with the neighbors and in the very neighborhood where this started and talked with them. i talked with them, i listened to them. i met with the naacp, i met with church leaders. there are issues that are bigger than what's happening today that have to be resolved. as general singh said they are not going to resolve immediately. after we get the initial crisis taken care of a lot of people need to sit down. it's a problem we have to come up with a solution. i spoke with the attorney general of the united states last night. i spoke with the president
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yesterday. i spoke with valerie jared at the white house today. we are in constant communication with the city with other states with our local county partners and with the federal aspects as well. i had a conversation with the entire federal delegation that represents maryland and washington. everybody is cooperating. everybody is helping. everybody is very pleased with the success, so far, of this operation and the cooperation and communication we have had. [ inaudible question ] >> well that's a bigger issue we don't have time to discuss today facing this crisis in baltimore. i'm going to focus on keeping baltimore safe then we have have a discussion about society and problems in the united states. [ inaudible question ] >> we are hoping more peace and calm in the streets. we are going to continue to be careful about staying on top of everything that's happening.
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we are going to continue to meet with community leaders. we are going to continue to make sure we are out there protecting the city. we don't know what is going to happen. there are a number of protests tonight, a number of things taking place. we are urging calm. we are urging peace. we want to make sure there's no violence. we are prepared, if things get out of control like they did monday night. you know things could potentially flair up later in the week. we are going to hope for the best and prepared for the worst. >> last question. any businesses in baltimore -- >> well my primary focus is economic development and trying to bring more jobs more businesses more opportunities and more jobs to baltimore and the state of maryland. this doesn't help. it's something we have to get past. we are going to have to continue to work and focus on the mission, the things the city needs most. a job solves a lot of social
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ills. we are going to focus on it. we are going to try to first of all, take care of the businesses we have lost here in the city just on monday night, and take care of them. we are going to try to maintain the business zs here in the city and make sure they are successful then try to rebuild the city of maryland. thank you. >> there he is the governor of maryland larry hogan, updating us on what's going on hoping for the best but he's getting ready for the worst, if that were to happen. this is the protest under way in baltimore. brian todd is on the scene for us. where are you now? that protest has been peaceful so far. >> it has been peaceful. we are ahead of the procession at city hall. we have been talking to protest leaders. now we want to talk to rank and
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file leaders. mary you came out here. she has a serious acl injury. you tore your acl, walking with the help of a cane. what brought you out here? >> my friends are up on the truck. i feel like i have the luxury of being here. people on the ground were killed by the police and police brutality and white supremacy are no longer here. as long as i have an able body -- >> reporter: what message do you want the community to take away from this when the media and crowds leave? >> it's a bigger picture. it's not just freddie gray it's ending white supremacy and equality throughout the nation. >> reporter: very spirited crowd. we are going to the main plaza in front of city hall. i can tell you, it's a crowd of several thousand. we can't get over it now. you get a sense here of the
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dynamic nature of this crowd. >> the crowd in baltimore. brian, stand by. we are seeing the protesters bringing up a major northeast cities bringing in pictures from crowds in boston new york city as well. let's go to new york city and alexandra field at union square. hundreds of people gathered for a show of support for the people of baltimore. what is their mission here? what are they saying alexandra? >> reporter: this is a crowd that's grown quickly. we are trying to make our way through. it's materialized very quickly. it was advertised on social media when we got here earlier. organizers said this was going to be a place for people to come and gather to express outrage and sadness. they have a full program of speakers. that's what's going on in the background. they have different people stepping up to the mic. the crowd is shouting back. it's a very controlled situation. a respectful crowd.
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they are people that came to listen and to be heard. a lot of them holding up different signs saying black lives matter no justice, no peace. this wasn't planned, it's intended to be a gathering. the kind of marches that occurred before in this city. this is going to be organic that people are going to do whatever they feel inspired. i do want to highlight the difference that i am seeing out here. union square this is the same spot where we were with our cameras back in the winter when protests erupted all over the city following the death of eric garner. at that time we saw an environment where they came out here and faced off with police in a verbal confrontation. you have seen a line of officers and protesters. they were having a verbal exchange. we are not seeing that out here today. so far new york city verbal confrontations with police officers no physical confrontations with police officers. police are employing a different
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tactic than in the winter. before the protest started, police brought vans set up a loud speaker. they warned people if they walked in the streets and obstructed the sidewalks, they could be subject to arrest for disorderly conduct. this is not something we saw last time around. they are handing out fliers trying to control or warn the crowd before this gathering started this evening. wolf? >> innya lot of signs saying #blacklivesmatter. we'll get back to you. in the piano time i want to bring in the president of the naacp. thanks for joining us. let me get your reaction first of all, demonstrations not only in baltimore are moving to new york and boston. what do you think? >> i think this is a very powerful and encouraging
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development. the fact of the matter is the nation is saying not only that black lives matter all lives matter. our country and constitution matter. it matters so much we cannot allow young, black men to lose lives at the hands of police on video tape across the country without us responding. this is a very encouraging development. be clear, this is just one chapter in an ongoing national narrative. the likes of which, we are going to conclude with an end to racial profiling. this is a movement. it's not a series of disconnected events. this is not merely a matter of disconnected events on social media. there's a real movement. there's a consensus we have arrived at a point where enough is enough. >> what do you think, mark it looks like these protests are certainly spreading, as they say, not just baltimore, but other cities new york boston
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and elsewhere as well. >> cornell is right. i think he's spot on. this began 18 months ago or so almost two years ago with the trayvon martin incident. that tragic incident. since then there have been 12 high profile incidents involving unarmed black men and in the case of tamir rice a boy. people are taking to the streets, exercising their first amendment rights and expressing a sense of outrage and a sense of it's time to change the way things are in a way we haven't seen wolf in decades. this is unprecedented. we support, encourage and associate ourselves with peaceful protest. what we have to do is we have to have a national anti-racial profiling law. what we have to see in maryland
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is comprehensive reforms to the baltimore police department. there's a role for the governor and the legislature to play. that is the repeal of a law enforcement officers bill of rights. so these actions have to lead to concrete steps with respect to change. i think that is why this is going to continue and i think it's going to continue to grow. let's also wolf not lose focus on the investigation into the death of mr. gray. an investigation that continues and an investigation for which there hasn't been if you will an update on the status of that investigation. i would hope that the officials in baltimore and in maryland would update the community to the extent they can on the progress and how that investigation is involved because after all, at the heart of the matter that is what many of these protests are about.
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that's where the outrage and concern is. a man with a broken spine who is now gone. >> all right. stand by for a moment. let me update our viewer who is may just be tuning in. you can see the demonstration in baltimore, a huge gonedemonstration protesting what happened to freddie gray in baltimore, a 25-year-old man who died in police custody. expecting a report from police on friday. we'll see if any of that is made public. in new york union square a huge demonstration developed. they say, the organizers they want to show solidarity with the people in baltimore. boston there's a demonstration going on right now. i want to go to miguel marquez. you are watching the demonstration. what are you seeing? >> reporter: this is going to be a test for the city of baltimore
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tonight, wolf. there are several protests three, perhaps four that are planned, different starting times, different starting places all focused on city hall and the state's attorney's office. they want to hold the city and the state accountable for whatever happens on friday and whatever comes out of this investigation they want to keep their feet to the fire. they want to show the city that they can protest peacefully and with a strong voice but they can take to their own streets regardless of whether there's a demonstration. it sounds like they intend to be out of there by the time 10:00 p.m. comes around. this is clearly a lot more organization a lot more planned. a level of organization that the city and the neighborhood that we haven't seen in a long time. we are expecting a march out of here as well on pennsylvania and north avenue. they are seeing so much activity it has yet to materialize. there is talk of one from here
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as well. they seem to be very well organized on social media and pop up quickly and they are off. >> very well organized, indeed. very peaceful for now. loud noisy, peaceful. keyword, peaceful. cornell, you are the president, ceo of naacp. you listened to the mayor, larry hogan awhile ago. you want to react in what you heard? do you have confidence in the governor what he's doing? >> what i have confidence in is there seems to be we hope to be an equal emphasis on security and free expression allowing people to express the need for fundamental reform. that's encouraging. we need to be clear. this is more than one evening's rest or one night of peace. the fact of the matter is, we
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see the demonstrations across the country. the naacp has 2,000 plus units. they were on a phone call last night. we are organizing. we must be clear here. the people on the streets, the people in communities across the country are seeking fundamental reform body cameras, the passage of the end racial profiling act. a fundamental shift change paradigm shift, if you will in policing across this country. if we think, simply deploying several thousand national guardsmen will bring peace to the country, we are sadly mistaken. we are grateful and appreciative that we have a night of rest and quiet and we hope that continues but the way to ensure peace long term is to ensure that we have justice in the short term and the long term. critically important. to do that we have to bring about systemic fundamental reform. >> that's a long-term charge
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obviously. itis not going to happen overnight as all of us know. mark you agree that this curfew should remain in effect the national guard personnel should remain on the streets, at least going into next week? >> i think there's no choice but to maintain the proper presence. it's a dual responsibility to protect the public safety but also to protect those who want to peacefully protest their constitutional rights. i want to add, wolf this is an observation. i saw the governor's press conference. i think the message would be stronger if the governor and the mayor were holding joint press conferences each day because what that would convey is not just the words, but the action of a joint operation. one of the things that cause tremendous confusion during the
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tragedy of katrina were the mayor and the governor not appearing to be on the same page. i have tremendous respect, i don't know the governor tremendous respect and support for the mayor. in these instances, everyone has to avoid even the appearance of politicalization one upsmanship a sense of taking credit for what the response may indeed be. this is fluid. today may be a better day but there's tomorrow. there's the weekend. there's an ongoing series of activities. the protests you see, i think, are going to be a continuing set of protests until such time as there's a conclusion or decision with respect to the investigation into mr. gray's death. >> mark stand by. cornell brooks stand by as well. i want to check in with brian
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todd in the middle of a protest in baltimore. what is the latest? >> reporter: very interesting here wolf. they stopped at the corner of lexington and east gay street. this protest took on a different texture than most marches we have seen. here, in the last hour our cameraman is going to pan over here. they stopped in a vehicle. there's a lead vehicle leading the march. they have speakers that have come to the bed of this truck here. they are calling different people to get up and speak. this is different than we have seen. it's more structured and certainly larger. this is several thousand strong extending back several blocks. a lot of protesters feel the violence has taken the focus off the freddie gray case and other cases. they want to keep attention on them. michael brown, eric garner. they want to draw attention to
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those cases. back to freddie gray and back to friday when the report comes out. now we know local authorities here are trying to manage expectations there may not be a lot of information coming from the report. you can bet people are going to be out anyway looking for answers. that's what this crowd is all about. answers on friday likely people will come out and organize marches like this. >> i want to go to jason carroll monitoring the protests in baltimore. where are you? what are you seeing? >> reporter: what time did it start at john hopkins? >> we started at 4:00. >> reporter: we are starting in the midsection of where the crowd is. there are hundreds and hundreds of people in front of city hall trying to make their way into the courtyard of city hall. they are students members of amnesty international. it started at johns hopkins
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university and marched to penn station. now, they are here. give me a sense of what voice you want heard. what statement are you trying to hear? >> we are tired of injustice. we are not going to stand for it any longer. i want the fact that this is peaceful to be known. most of the protests have been peaceful. they are giving out flowers. >> reporter: how long do you plan being out here today? >> until it ends. >> reporter: until it ends. 10:00? >> curfew is 10:00. >> reporter: these are folks planning to honor the curfew. i ran into one protester, who i saw in ferguson and again in new york city. he says he is here today. he says he will be out here tomorrow and they will continue to have their voices heard. wolf? >> we are going to get back to you. we are going to monitor the protests in baltimore, in new york, in boston. much more of our special coverage coming up here in the "situation room."
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we are following breaking news. new marches in baltimore. police are saying they expect a large protest this evening. you are looking at live pictures. a very large protest, peaceful so far. let's hope it stays that way. evan perez is joining us from baltimore right now. tell us what you are hearing about the investigation and what you are learning. >> reporter: well wolf you know the protesters out here are expecting answers on friday. the police are not going to provide any of those answers.
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they are going to turn over their investigation, the preliminary report to the state prosecutors office. we don't expect that we'll know whether or not there's going to be charges coming from this case for weeks, perhaps months because the investigation is going to continue now. what i'm told from talking to people who are close to the investigation is that there's no clear cut case here. they are still reviewing the evidence. there's no clear indication they can bring charges against the officers involved here. while the protesters are expecting handcuffs on police officers soon we are a long ways away from that. the question is how are the streets of baltimore going to respond. >> we will see friday when the report is made available. evan stand by. i want to bring in our fbi assistant director former i should say, fbi director our cnn law enforcement analyst.
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also pamela brown, our senior league analyst, jeffrey tuben and the former nypd chief department philip banks. you are in new york philip banks. there's a protest in union square boston and a huge one in baltimore. this is a sensitive moment for law enforcement. you want to show some presence but not go overboard, right? >> it's a delicate balance, wolf. the unfortunate thing about this is that it seems like a few months ago, there was a series of protests in multiple cities. unfortunately, we could see that in the shortcoming future. somebody thooz figure this out pretty soon. i'm so happy to hear the governor talk about the protests thus far turned peacefully. certainly, it's something we can't rest in laurels. it's potential to be a powder
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keg again. it needs to be settled country wide. >> everybody needs to be sensitive to that. tom, you are in baltimore for us. what does it feel like? what is the sense you are getting about the situation? we don't want it to be a powder keg. >> i think it is a powder keg, even though we don't want it to be. it could escalate the coming days especially friday when there's no answers that please the public. friday and saturday could be very dangerous times here. >> let's talk about what the state's attorney is going to get to. there's going to be a report a preliminary report from baltimore police to the state's attorney. she has to decide what to do with that evidence. she's got various options, she could file charges against some of the police officers involved in the arrest of freddie gray she can send it to a grand jury to consider what to do or decide there's not enough evidence to do anything. talk about the legal process because you know the community
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is going to be watching this very closely. >> well almost certainly, the prosecutor is going to say i need more evidence. i need a fuller medical examiner's report. in maryland the rule is 30 to 45 days for a medical examiner's report. that may not be clear. that's probably the central piece of evidence in this case how and why did freddie gray die. experts have to be consulted. this is obviously a very important case and the most important thing that can happen is that the prosecutor get the right answer not necessarily the fast answer. the legal system as we all know often moves at a frustratingly slow pace but, she has got to take her time assign the right people reinterview witnesses, put them in the grand jury and decide
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whether criminal charges are justified. this takes time. there's no alternative to doing it the right way, which is going to take weeks, if not months. >> let me get cornell william brooks' react to that. cornell, you are an attorney you understand the legal process well. what should we be bracing for on friday? >> well i think we should brace for a community that will be disappointed in terms of the expectation gap. rather than brace for the worse, i like to prepare for a better outcome. one way that could be done is for the governor for the mayor, for the justice department to explain over and over again through the community groups through the organizations what the process is and what to expect and whatnot to expect. simply share with the people in clear, unambiguous concerns it is better to have a thorough investigation rather than a fast
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investigation and better to have questions answered as opposed to simply getting more information. so friday should not be seen as some kind of deadline for justice. friday should be seen as another step in the process toward hopefully getting a just result. we really need state, federal and municipal chief executives coming together with the community to let people know what to expect how much to expect and when to expect it. if that is not done this is a potentially dangerous situation. >> cornell, i want you to stand by. joining us on the phone is general linda, the commander of the maryland national guard. we have been seeing her with the briefings with the governor. how many national guards troops have been deployed in baltimore, general singh? >> at this point, almost 2,000
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on ground in baltimore. we have access to another 3,000 if we need to. that doesn't include being able to access forces in our neighboring states that will provide us support when ever necessary. >> what is their mission, general? >> caller: our mission is to help maintain and restore peace in the community. we are in support of the police forces that are here and our goal is really to come in and help to protect property and ensure that you know, we can ensure that the citizens are going to be safe and that you know we can get everything back to what i think is going to be a city that is getting back to normal business. >> so i guess, i have been covering the military for awhile. the question rules of engagement. say the demonstration, we hope
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it doesn't, turns violent. what would the troops there, the troops of the maryland national guard, what are the rules of engagement? what would they do? >> caller: first off, the way we are using our forces are in terms of what we consider to be presence patrol and using them in static position. that's protecting property and places that we have actually had either problems or escalations of community where, you know they have asked us to step in and support. we are taking the direction, really of the police and they are deploying us in the places they need us. when rules of engagement are deployed right now, we are in support and we will not, however, will not, allow any of our forces to be harmed at any precaution. the key thing is that you know we really do not want to have to get into any type of violent situation. the police force doesn't want to
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get into a violent situation. we would be the last force and measure and, you know the key thing is if we had to engage we will engage with whatever force is appropriate based on the situation and there are rules for how we have to escalate and how we have to be employed. we are following those very very carefully. i think it's important that people know that. right now, the police are in control and the guard is in support to protect property and >> very quickly before i let you go general, are your troops there deplayed with mace with tear gas, water cannon? do they have lethal weapons? what kind of protection do they have? >> all right, so first off, i'm not going to go through the specifics of the stuff that they have with them. but let me just say that our troops have the ability to employ nonlethal and lethal
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capability. basically means smoke and gas and things like that. but we are not the first level of response. everything that's happened thus far has been employed by the police department. usually we are not the ones that will be employing those tactics and methods unless we absolutely have to do so. >> general lin sa sing commanding general of the maryland national guard, general sing good luck to the men and women of the maryland national guard. hopefully this will remain peaceful and all of you guys could go home. appreciate it very much. thank you. >> absolutely. thank you. >> all right, thank you. well we'll take a quick break as we continue to watch these protests in baltimore, in new york and boston. much more right after this.
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protesters are on the move right now. live pictures coming in from baltimore right now. you see large numbers of protesters there. in new york there's protests going on as well. in boston. there were also some protests last night in ferguson missouri. let's bring in john gaskin who can help us better appreciate what happened in ferguson. it got sort of violent last night? >> it did. unfortunately things got out of hand last night. and it's my hope that tonight and across the country as people mobilize and are out in the streets, exercising their rights that people will remain
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peaceful yet continue to lift this issue up. this is a very positive moment. the images that we're seeing in new york and across the country and in baltimore standing in solidarity with that city as we continue to mobilize and talk about this very critical issue. >> you know you're a young guy, john. when you hear all this talk about whether or not it was appropriate for the president or the mayor of baltimore to use the word thugs to describe the vie lent protesters those who engage in arson and looting and then the mayor apologized for that explain to our viewers why that word thugs is inappropriate. >> so often we find ourselves overusing words in our vocabulary that have no business being there. oftentimes too often in this country, we're finding "thug" referring to young african-american men in our community. sadly, many leaders see that that's possibly the new equivalent of the "n" word.
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it's unfortunate that president obama and mayor blake used those words. i believe they're better than that. they're quite competent leaders and very intelligent. and those words are far beneath who they are as people and who they are as leaders. however, i do appreciate the fact that mayor blake was humble enough and intelligent enough to reconsider what she said and try to clarify that. but i certainly hope that they do not continue to use that type of language especially other leaders who call themselves representing african-americans, representing americans in this country. >> jason carroll, you're there on the scene at this protest in baltimore, what's going on? >> reporter: wolf now this group here this group of hundreds and hundreds of people that marched their way right in front of city hall we're now in the process of marching back to penn station. they started at johns hopkins university. a very diverse group of people. we met some students from johns hopkins, we met some nurses
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holding signs saying nurses for healing. the big common denominator here wolf within this crowd, this huge crowd now moving throughout the city of baltimore, is peace. they want a peaceful demonstration. they want to show that they can march, they can voice their opinions without resorting to violence like we saw in previous days. in terms of what happens next again, let me see if we can get our camera just to turnaround here very quickly. you can see this huge group now. this massive group of demonstrators walking in silence for freddie gray holding up peace signs, holding up signs that say black lives matter police brutality must go. they say they're going to continue marching. they're also saying they plan on honoring the curfew. some of the people that we spoke to to. that cur sue still in effect the people marching for peace. >> the curfew goes in effect in three hours. hopefully it will be honored in these marches whether in
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baltimore, new york, boston, will remain peaceful. i'm wolfs blitter in "the situation room." cnn's live coverage will continue right now with erin burnett "outfront." erin? thank you, wolf. we are continuing our breaking news coverage of the state of emergency in baltimore and growing protests around the country. right now this is a protest you're looking at in new york city. as people are gathering around the country in response to protests in baltimore. on the streets of baltimore, police warning they're expecting massive crowds and the outrage as i said is spreading. you've got other major cities knock being just one of them boston also having demonstrations tonight in solidarity with the city of baltimore. the rally here in new york billed as rise up and shut it down with baltimore. in baltimore nearly 250 people arrested in the past two nights. at least 20 officers injured, six seriously. the cure few goes into effect in