tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC April 28, 2015 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
ployment and the problems of policing. we must not only end the violence, we must pick up our -- our mutual responsibilities and fight for change so these kinds of issues will be things of the past. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. maas >> the streets will be empty and so will the stadium. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. well tomorrow afternoon at 2:05 a statement will be made 35 miles north of here. the baltimore orioles of the american league will host the chicago white sox with no one in the grandstands. camden yards one of the most classic stadiums in the country
will be closed to the public. a major american city has admit it had can't keep peace, not even at a ballpark. whatever else this is it's an historic and horrific failure of politics. see those kids rioting in the streets? the police officers wary of what's next? see the world of failure in which this is all taking place. where are the jobs and the training for jobs the chances for a real life in west baltimore? what has this democratic republic done for this people who live where people had not once just hope but real jobs. oh, yeah they did. these row houses were built for workers, not unemployed people, for workers to energize the city of baltimore. the city of baltimore was built of houses just like these so people could live near factories that now no longer exists. are the politicians going to do something about this? are they going to create summer jobs and education that leads to full-time jobs are they? because if not, these kids' younger brothers and their kids will be hanging on the same streets the next time this city explodes. so what happens tonight? 24 hours ago west baltimore was a scene of protests rioting,
arson, looting and chaos. more than 200 arrests last night. nearly 150 vehicle fires, and we watched them. 15 buildings set ablaze. at least 20 police officers injured, and some very seriously. 1,000 national guardsmen right now are fanned across the city of baltimore. 400 state troopers and law enforcement officers from the surrounding counties 300 from pennsylvania, 10 in jersey and 45 from d.c. in fact the u.s. capitol police, where i once served are in baltimore tonight guarding government buildings. in just the last half hour or so or hour or so we've heard from both the mayor of baltimore and the governor of maryland. here they are. >> last night was a very rough period for our city but today i sympathy we saw a lot more of what baltimore is about. we saw people coming together to reclaim our city to clean our city and to help heal our city. i think this can be our defining
moment. >> you can't ensure that there's not going to be any unrest. i'm not a magician but what i can assure you is that we will put all the resources that we have at our disposal to make sure that the disturbances don't get out of hand and we don't get overwhelmed like happened last night. >> nbc's peter alexander is with us now from baltimore with the latest. what's it look like compared to last night? where are we headed? >> well, chris, that's a good question. where we're headed nobody really knows right now. we certainly have our fingerses kroszed this will be a quieter night and given the police presence you laid out very clearly the city believes it will be a quieter night as well. right now in a variety of different places akrosz the industry appear to be peaceful protests peaceful marches taking place. there are members of the clergy meeting in a variety of areas as well focussed on getting the message across to so many of the young men and women who were involved as looters and as part of the riots that took place here. as one person described it this
was a combustible mix of poverty, crime and hopelessness and the hope tonight is that it certainly doesn't see a repeat itself. what's striking about this spot been to baltimore many times, behind us we're right in front. his ftorek city hall and over my shoulder you can see the number of national guardsmen who are now on post on that site. they expect to be here throughout the night. their hope is that that sends the message to the young people tonight to stay home. >> well, you know baltimore, washington is a government town but baltimore is a real city, it really is, and i mean that in a sense that it has neighborhoods t.clearly has a culture and identity going way back. i was pointing out it was one city in the united states that had the most political conventions in history going back to the beginning of the republic. can you feel the different shadings of attitude as you move throughout the city tonight.
is it all best baltimore or is the whole city on edge? >> i think the whole city is on edge and let's be clear that most of the focus was in west baltimore, the area where freddie gray was put into the back of the police van and ultimately where he died. there's areas that have pocked this entire city where there was violence and also looting. i was in east baltimore, a different area, several miles away from where the majority of the violence took place last night, and we went into a sporting goods store. this was a family-owned business. the levy family have had the property for 35 years, chris, and when you walk into the store, the place wasn't just vandalized or ransacked it was gutted. more than $1 million in property damage. boxes strewn shoes gone. the entire episode was caught on surveillance tape, this family, three brothers and a father who owned this place for 35 years were at home from 10:00 last night till 7:00 this morning watching their surveillance cameras on their computers and on their phones as they saw young men just going in and out,
in and out with their property. they were devastated. they said it felt like they got punched in the gut. they were nauseous as they returned to the property today, but it wasn't just that family that was impacted. also a young black woman, a woman that we interviewed by the name of theresa joyce as we hear some honking go by young individuals honking as they pass us by keeping our guard up to see exactly what the circumstances are. this just appears to be some peacefulness as they pass by city hall but a young woman by the theme of therese joyce worked in that business for five years, mother of three. this isn't hurting the levy family but hurting my family, too. she's now out of a job. >> are they going to prosecute these young people because they have cameras everywhere. normally these would be serious crimes, but in this mayhem are they going to move on and say we're not going to go back and look at pictures. do we know what's going happen in the aftermath of all of this? >> it's a real good question, a
question that city hall and the mayor herself is getting a lot of questions about right now because in the language they used in how they wanted to handle the situation. the police commissioner himself said that had we handled. situation differently, given there were so many young teens, 13, 14, 15 if we came out there with assault rifles and the like we would be under fire for that. >> i agree with that. >> they say the circumstances were different because of the youth of these individuals and it's unclear exactly what they will do in terms of prosecuting them. again, us a hear behind us over the course of the last couple of minutes, loud honking heard around the corner from this location. as soon as we're done but we eel check out exactly what that is about but at this point it appears to be the form of a peaceful protest. >> like all of us who think about these things, where would our kids be in the crowd? would they go with the crowds? kids don't go with the crowds. don't think individually at 14 and 15 and they are moved by others. thank you. nbc's peter alexander for a dratd report. let's go to our star lester holt from baltimore covering this story. lester, give us your sense of
this story as it's developing into the evening. >> well, first of all, let me set the scene. behind me is the rubble from that community center a church-sponsored community center, senior center that went up last night. we watched it burning throughout the night. atf was here. they still haven't determined if it was related to the riots. we're on the east side of baltimore versus the west side where the bulk of the rioting you saw last night occurred. i spent most of the day over there talking to people and trying to get a sense of how does this relate to freddie gray. explain the roots. what caused that eruption of violence. of course, no one can make an excuse for it but they can certainly try to explain the environment, an environment where more than 50% of the people don't have jobs a food desert, a place where a third of the residential housing is abandoned or empty. all the things that have fueled it, and i made a note on "nightly news "a few minutes ago that a couple people stopped me and said where was everybody? where was all this attention before freddie gray? these issues here were bubbling for decades, and, of course it
puts a spotlight and now they are in the spot light for all the wrong reasons in terms of what happened here and as i was talking to a community leader today, he said, you know no one is talking about freddie gray. we're talking about the violence now so it's shifted certainly the conversation. and the point being that you've got to get to the younger people who don't really have a sense of the history. they don't remember the riots here in the '60s and what it cost these communities in terms of stores and vital services that they lost so a lot of the older people are shaking their heads and, of course the younger people are saying they are angry over what we believe has been a pattern of neglect, a pattern of police abuse and a pattern of owe briggs so it's a multi-generational view to all that's happening here chris. >> yeah. one of the most iconic pictures last night because every kid growing up especially boys can understand what it's like having your mother hitting on you on the head and trying to rip off the hoodie or whatever. you come back home. in fact she's using some pretty
graphic language that woman. there she is. look what she's doing. like mann man handling this kid. what about the generational rift? is there one or does everybody realize they are living in a hell hole. where are they on this? >> i think that picture kind of pointed out something, you know in the context of all the young people who you know behind this violence they look one way and then when you see it separated as a mother and son trying to set that son right, you see it in a different perspective. >> yeah. >> a lot of people say that's what's needed here. they need adults. i mean i talked to one man. he's been in prison. he's a recovering substance abuser, but he said look i've got a date and i've got to be there for her and we don't have enough men in this community anymore. too many men are looked up. too many men are dying, and he says if more of the kids that you saw rioting yesterday had men in their life perhaps we wouldn't see that. i mean all these social issues bubble up when you have something like this.
suddenly everything comes under the microscope and we wake up to these issues that are festering not only in communities like west baltimore but in communities like it all across the country. >> lester i was just thinking the same kids at 2:00 yesterday were trying to figure out algebra, you know trying to do their homework in school and an hour later because the word got out that there's something happen they all got involved and now we say a parade going on. lester holt -- go ahead. >> all right. >> lester holt thank you soich for joining us from "nightly news." joining me right now is civil rights leader and reverend jesse jackson. he spoke at freddie gray's funeral yesterday. reverend jackson, great to have you on here tonight. >> yes, sir. >> take a couple of minutes and put this all together if you can put this thing together. >> well this structural injustice. we're bringing in troops but police are who -- police in baltimore don't have to live there so they work there as occupiers and not as neighbors whose children don't go to school there, who don't shop for grocery there. 18,000 vacant homes and
abandoned lots. you bail outled banks and the people who are victims of subprime and predatory spending. you have a case of 30% unemployment, and so you just have a combination of structural injustices and so we need to see hud come to town department of housing and urban development, secretary of treasury and labor and job skill training. this is time for the government to put for the a plan for urban reconstruction. >> let me ask you about the politicians. a very strong black caucus in d.c. and have represented these neighborhoods forever. have a lock on them politically. are they doing the job? let's start at the community level. is anybody making enough noise? >> yes or no. >> the they advocate but the power to transfer the funds are not there. you look downtown beautiful downtown the river front.
money, pension money, banking money. all the financial stuff is in one slot. you have the ravens and orioles, but what it shows when the ballpark is empty tomorrow is whatever happens directly to one group affects the other group indirectly. you'll have an even playing field or no playing field at all >> you know leverage. you understand leverage. why is there no leverage from the urban population and their elected officials that has influence. i mean everybody presidential eselection decided by the electoral college. every electoral college majority comes from the big cities especially when the democrats win. there's a lot of power there. you know that better than i know it. >> certainly puts a lot of weight -- none of the candidates have been discussing or even react yet to the crisis of the urban policy of poverty. poverty itself chris, is a weapon of mass destruction. they have food deserts and health deserts. >> yeah. >> even when they begin to rebuild these kids don't have the trade skills to rebuild where they live. i've walked down the streets in baltimore earlier today and see
blocks and blocks of boarded houses when there should be window panes, jobs in removing lead paint, jobs removing wood and putting up window panes. if you just have a plan, a commitment to reconstruction, you'll put people back to work and people really want to work but some police living in pennsylvania -- i think residents is important. police and firemen must be seen as neighbors, not as occupiers. >> let's talk a little bit about the incident that ignited all of this freddie gray's death. do you have any information on it? are the police -- are they slow walking this report or what do you know that other people don't know that's just as frustrateing for you to find out what happened in that police car? >> he's the 111th victim of police killings since 2010 for example. he's number 111. the difference is the cameras not the character. led police blue code police will -- police are afraid of each other. they are afraid if they expose
somebody that they will miss an appointment or will miss a promotion. they could get hurt and the corruption from the police department's culture is a factor in this. police know that this guy used excessive force before. he had a very bad reputation in the neighbor. the guy saw him and he started running. the police walk in as pallbearers and come in with a broken spine. it's taken three weeks to tell us what happened. you don't have the capacity to break your spine. he was killed by police and it will be interesting to see what the report will show on this coming friday because that report will determine the next level of this tragic situation. >> well how do you bring that up to date reverand because you've been involved in civil rights advocacy since the '60s but these police forces are pretty well integrated, a lot of black officers involved in these cases. you can't say white people hate black people. what is causing this? is it police are afraid of these kids? are they angry because they are afraid? are they angry because of the statistics?
what generates this constant problem of police shootings that you talked about and you've got the numbers? >> well the police problem tends to be a culture. for example, once you join the culture, you want to get promoted. you don't want the worst detail. you want to be accepted in the group and it has its own culture, but, chris, i want to go a step further. yesterday around 2:00 while in the funeral, we got the notice on social media that -- that there had h been a threat on the police by some gangs coming together. >> the crypts and blood. >> they immediately cracked down closed businesses and cut off public transport so when those kids got out of school yesterday they had no public transportation. there was no plan of exit for them so they got out of school, thousands of them with no way to get home. they just joined the flow so that was a very strategic mistake there. >> right. so i knew about this at the time. i wish the police had known about how they were going to screw it up. they let the kids out of school because of the fear about the gangs and the kids are sitting there and make sure that the kids can't get home so they
gather together and they are led by the worst kids in the crowd probably. reverend jesse jackson, it's great to have you on sir, with your knowledge and history here, thank you. >> thank you chris. hundreds of people are gathered outside the cvs drug store in west baltimore that watched that place get loot and burned and we've been watching a peaceful parade protesters marching and dancing on the streets. our msnbc's thomas roberts joins us now from baltimore. thomas? >> chris, i think you can see and hear me right now. i'm talking to one of the people that have come out today. darryl, you were talking about the fact that this is a line of people behind us that have gotten it -- it's a lineup in front of the police and right behind them is the police front. >> right, and so what we're trying to do is to stop any of theage traitors that are coming out toishing the police on and myself and fraternity brothers and everyone else out how to try to assist mayor and to stop the violence to stop the egging on of the police.
they are out here trying to do their job, and so they have -- some folks have decided we're going to take this as an opportunity to destroy our community. hurt people hurt people and there's a lot of people that's hurt in the community so what we're trying to do is -- to hear them but there's a right and wrong way to do things. >> do you think the curfew will work tonight at 10:00 in the city? >> i hope so. it is my prayer. we've been praying all day that the curfew will work so hopefully with the additional police presence and other sports that we have in the city that it will work tonight, so you know i hope that they will treat folks with dignity and respect and -- and urge them to get off the street. >> there were some bad actors that we all witnessed last night. the world has seen. >> yes. >> so how is the city trying to reclaim the narrative? >> well again, this is baltimore. you hear bands playing. you have all kinds of folks that are out here community activists, pastors, fraternities. everybody is out here tonight just trying to make sure that we
self-police ourselves and so hopefully on friday we'll get some answers as to what happened to brother gray and we can begin to heal. because a lot of times there's injustice that happens. we don't want to have the tough conversations about race racism and all the other isms and only when we have those conversations will this community really begin to heal and also to move towards forgiveness. >> do you feel there's an urgency that's coming for may 1st for the friday deadline of when they are snowed to reveal results of what happened with freddie gray? >> man, the timeline as each tick on the clock ticks, there is definitely urgency that we need to get to the bottom and give this city answers because they are crying out for answers right now and so hopefully on friday the mayor and police commissioner and others that's going to make that decision of what happened we'll get those
answers. >> but do you think that the city can keep itself calm enough between now and then? >> i don't know. the honest answer to you is i don't know and it is my hope that we will be able to hold the composure and keep the city together. i was born and raised here and so i don't want my city to burn so that's why you see pastors, other community-based organizations out here community-based organizations, fraternities, sororities we're all out here just trying to make sure we do our part because we're not going to leave after the sun goes down. we'll be out here. >> thank you very much. chris, you're hearing this is the tone from most of the people that we've had an opportunity to speak with today about taking back the narrative that they aren't going to let a few bad actors overtake the story of what this is really about about freddie gray and about finding out what happened to this 25-year-old man after he was taken into arrest on april the 12th and died a week later. the intersection where we are now at north and pennsylvania it was much more crowded earlier. the crowd has shifted a little
more to our left down this way, as you can hear a band is coming through, but there's been a little thing, almost a low tide of the evening. we're in front of the css z zcvs that was burned out but the curfew goes into effect at 10:00 fm. most people that i had the opportunity to speak to feel that the curfew is needed and necessary, and they are okay with being home by 10:00 p.m. chris, back to you. >> thank you so much thomas roberts, for a great interview with that fellow. anyway, gabe gutierrez is on the street where protesters have gathered. gabe, fill us in. >> reporter: hey there, chris, good evening. i'm not too far where thomas just was, but as you can see behind me hundreds of people have just come up on this intersection, the intersection of west north and pennsylvania where that cvs was burned and looted yesterday. the crowd now moving into the intersection. over here on this side that's where police in riot gear had been for much of the afternoon. there had been a larger crowd
there earlier this afternoon. that crowd moved out and moved to a different location. we heard that they were marching towards a park. at least some of them have returned here and now you see the -- the music and these protesters, these peaceful protesters right now. i want to bring in anthony who is a resident here of baltimore. anthony, tell me what -- what do you think when you see this? >> we're here to show we can be peaceful at the same time of getting our point across. we need answers. yes, last night was not baltimore city. last night was anger and pain showing up in one night but we're here to show that you we're here to be peaceful and at the same time we still need answers, sir. >> anthony, i've been hearing over and over again today that what people want is to shift the focus back to freddie gray. do you think that that focus -- how much was it lost last night? >> last night the protesters or the riots and the quote, unquote thugs were sensationalized and
at the end of the day it's all about freddie. at the end of the day it's all about these mishaps that keep happening. at end of the day it's all about the disenfranchised youth that's not being heard, sir. we need to be heard and we're showing it right now in a peace until manner. >> how long have you lived in baltimore? >> my entire life. i live in east baltimore. >> how much does it hurt to see those images? >> it pains me and it pains me to know that someone's life is missing. pains me that we destroyed our city and we need answers and we really -- we need answers. >> so this protest right now is peaceful, has been peaceful throughout the afternoon. what happens at 10:00 with this curfew? what do you think will happen? do you think that this crowd will dispercent? do you think it should disperse or do you think that the curfew should not have been imposed? >> i understand when they implemented the curfew but at the same time i guarantee there will be a couple of knuckleheads, every religion every sect there's a couple of knuckleheads, focus on what's
going on right now, a couple of people out here showing us how to do it correctly. we should disperse at 10:00 because that's the law and i don't want to see anybody in more pain, but i totally understand a few people who will not obey the law, but they should. >> anthony, one last thing before i let you g.earlier today i saw some residents walking up to the police and thanking them, some were thanking them for keeping the peace -- now we're hearing this police helicopter overhead. they are asking people to get off the road. okay well anthony, earlier today we did hear people thanking some of the police officers, saying thank you for keepingled peace. others felt that the police presence, at least here in this neighborhood shutting the street down that it was a little too much, what do you think? >> i think that the people who think that the police officers needed to be because yesterday was a little bit over the top, but at the same time this is just pain being released. this isn't just a week -- weeks
of turmoil. this is decades of mistreatment to minorities. it's not a black thing. it's not a race thing. it's -- it's the police department treating american citizens. we're all humans. >> thank you so much for talking to us. really appreciate you taking the time. so, chris, the crowd here has gathered and dispersed just a little bit ago. now it's back here. several hundred strong again. very peaceful protests for now. a lot of people wondering what will happen though at 10:00 when this curfew takes effect. chris, back to you. >> thanks so much gabe gutierrez. let me bring in some people here, my friends. all been sitting here watching every single thing since 7:00 michael steel and michelle steele and eugene robinson. who has been paying to west baltimore until now? >> that's right. i spent a few hours in west baltimore earlier today right at this intersection to see, you know where the cvs was burned
out. that's a busy place, right. that intersection is by far not the worst of baltimore. it's kind of a transit hub and there are a lot of small businesses but i parked about, you know two approximate away in front of a row of just derelict bombed-out row houses. >> yeah. >> you know baltimore can switch just like that and -- and it -- it was a reminder of just how depressed the city is. this was a huge bustling, thriving city when i was a kid. >> yeah. >> and its population has been close to cut in half probably. it's certainly gone way down. it's -- it's amazing. right across north avenue from that cvs is a branch of the public library. >> i've been there. great library. >> one of the great public libraries in america completely untouched. >> they respected that. >> unscathed. >> and open for business today.
>> i love that. >> every time you have a book to sell you go there. >> i know that. >> michelle i was -- i was thinking about this and even in the roughest neighborhoods there's families and a mother with limited income and maybe not a husband around. >> yeah. >> and they got to keep life. >> they got to keep life. >> i'll tell you, a few years ago i spent time going from neighborhood to neighborhood in baltimore talking to mothers in -- in east baltimore about what their hopes and dreams and aspirations were for their children, and despite all of the stereotypes that people are accustomed, to i didn't meet any single individual who said i want my children to get out of here, to have a better life than me, to have an education, but the question then becomes is the american dream -- is it failing? is our promise of equality for all failing and how do we get to a point in time where we can make sure that everyone has equal access to an education? >> but, you know in other ethnic groups they escape brooklyn. from the time they are 15 all these guys you read their books
and movies i can't wait to get out of this hell hole and go to the university of michigan and university of mississippi and tennessee. they go to the university of utah, blacks can't get away can they? is that part of it stuck in the old neighborhood? >> not that you can't get away. we have a conundrum where we're dealing with the mistakes of the past and the sins of today. >> i know. >> and there are people who cannot escape poverty because there are no jobs. there's no education. where are you going to go? >> and a lot of african-americans did, did get away. >> yes. >> that's part of the problem. the sort of professional class, the educated class. >> they split. >> who had the opportunity to leave, many of them left. >> the "a" students. >> exactly, exactly. >> let me -- >> prepared to take advantage. >> let me go back -- i'm not an economist but i do believe economics explains a lot. you're looking at me. you know these houses row houses were sturdly built most of them like d.c. built for
ages. good housing stock. they were built for worker's families and not built for unemployment or on welfare. the people that live there don't have the job opportunities that people used to have and something's got to be done summer jobs real jobs training. you talk to me like mayor nutter of philly wish they had the money to do this to train people so they can move on. >> a big part of frustration that touches on what was just said is economics. baltimore trying to emerge into the 21st century bigger better stronger than its past and the reality is as they pushed that development east, and i served on the east baltimore development -- >> the inner harbor? >> heading east out, hopkins and alled corporate interests had begun to redevelop and redesign that area, the one question i asked in my very first meeting as lieutenant governor and chair that have committee is what happens to the 75-year-old
grandmother when we redevelop this area? what happens to the how is that she's been in for the last 45 or 50 years? that balance is the one -- >> it gets jentified. >> this is where it becomes generational. you have 16 17-year-old kids having washed their parents and grandparents get pushed out and pushed to the side and their frustration is rooted from there. >> i heard a lot of people talking about, that heard them talking about freddie gray and about police violence and about gentrification. >> gene let's talk 14th street in d.c. 14th street was bombed out because of martin luther king's assassination and it was torched and for the middle class and working class black people it was hell on wheels and now the whites have moved in. it's economic development, but pushing out people. >> when i was -- when i was a student at howard university that whole neighborhood, 14th street, that area, you didn't walk the streets of d.c. even as a student at howard. >> you might run. >> completely different now. >> you might run, but not walk
it. >> i saw "the godfather" at the corner ever 14th and u, and they made that comment about whites in that. >> a test for political leadership, don't you think and national leadership alike, don't you think and back with more of how to watch the parades of protest. looks pretty good. last night it was rioting and dancing and almost cheerleading here. a mixed bag, of course tonight. these look like regular neighborhood people who have come out of all ages not just kids and that's a good sign when the parents are out. this is "hardball," a place for politics.
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it's socially positive from what we've watching so far. this is like a block party is what it looks like. anyway, the curfew in baltimore goes into effect tonight at 10:00. that's serious business. illegal for anyone of any age. long had a curfew for kids under 14 but everyone has to be off the streets by 10:00 and we're learning right now about a protest group. seems like an organized group, peaceful group heading to the baltimore inner harbor. >> i'm here in the inner harbor area and there's a group of 100 people or so converging there and the area is very barricaded off. there's a lot of police almost like a staging area and we went behind where the crowd was and we can see some of that happening and saw a line perhaps. several dozen officers with riot gear sort of moving into position just in case. right now things are very calm. it's not yet nightfall here
and -- and it all seems to be going well. of course the countdown to the curfew. but this area is very barricaded. a lot of police on alert making things right now. >> what age group is it a mixed age group or kids? adults? >> younger people it seems for the most part younger people. they have been walking into this area. we heard the reports of crowds moving towards the inner harbor area, and we've been trying to get a grasp of what's going on downtown. downtown is very quiet. there's not a lot of activity going on. i think a lot of businesses are shutting downch the orioles game was postponed so there won't be that crowd down here. a lot of people i think are trying to get out of town and get home and get out of way of anything that might happen here. last night when we were downtown it was like a ghost town and i think it will happen again. again, the police here it's a very significant police presence. there's a lot of government buildings here. police headquarters is not far
and the inner harbor which thisity is famed for is not far away. last night we watched the senior center burning and in the distance you could see downtown baltimore, so a lot of concern about where all this might move if it moves tonight and if it grows, but right now it seems under control, and the police are watching it very, very closely. a lot of helicopters flying overhead as well keeping track of things, and you might hear in the background some sirens as -- some sirens as there's more police activity moving into position. chris? >> okay, thank you so much. nbc's ron allen now on the scene in the inner harbor. during this turmoil elected officials are facing a test of leadership. of course, city's mayor stephanie rawlings-blake has been criticized for remarks she made perhaps by accident over the weekend in which she appeared to signal that law enforcement intentionally allowed demonstrators to become violent in a certain area. here she is. >> i've made it very clear that
i worked with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. it's a very delicate balancing act because while we tried to make sure they were protected from the cars and from the other things that were going on we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. >> well since then rawlings blake has tried to clarify those remarks. here she is. >> listen i'm going to protect people's right to protest. the fact that people exploited that does not mean that i -- i do not have an obligation to protect people's right to protest. i never said nor would i ever say that we are giving people space to destroy our city so my words should not be twisted. >> well baltimore city councilman carl stokes criticized the mayor to the "washington post" saying she wasn't acting like we were in an emergency situation. chuck todd mad outrare of "meet
is pretty" and political director of nbc news. thanks so much for being here chuck. i have to say the beat i cover and you cover most of the time which is politics you just wonder where the senate candidates in the state of maryland are. >> sure. >> where are the people that normally rush to get to the cameras? if seems to-- it seems to me they don't want to be on camera right now. what are your thoughts? >> interesting way of putting it. we saw a parade of 60 cars that appear to be residents standing up in their car threw their sun roof holdingp their hands and honking their horns and heading towards downtown just something worth keeping track of and worth following. look, to your other question and for what it's worth i ran into martin o'malley here around the corner about half an hour ago. he's been driving around the city. of course, former mayor, former governor. i don't know whether he was looking for tv cameras or not. i didn't -- he didn't
necessarily seem overly anxious to go or he would have gotten in front of a camera. i just look at it in a larger sense to. hear the president today, very passionate and spoke about it for 15 minutes but he ended his comments that came across a little exasperated saying we've tried to do a lot of these programs but there's only so much you can do and, you know what, it's up to the public to try to do more and to try to create more and it just struck me as like well should the president use the symbolism of his presidency a little bit more. he's always been hesitant to do that in incidents like this. never walked the streets of ferguson never did go down to sanford, florida or north charleston or does he walk the streets in baltimore here when things calm down and talk to small business owners. i think there's something to be said about that as only being a positive, not a negative especially if he's trying to bring attention to the needs and the plight and i talked to the
pastor of this church. this is 50 years of this. this corner here behind me that burned yesterday, i was told it burned 50 years ago in '68, so you know, this isn't a new problem. >> yeah. well, you know most people they go to a tough neighborhood wish they could get through it faster, let's be honest about it. >> they speed through a neighborhood, right. >> that's the problem. here's my question about jobs. those homes were built, those homes this that neighborhood were built for factory workers, for people to work, not built for the unemployed or welfare purse, built for the workers but the jobs that the workers once had in those neighborhoods are gone now and we can cry about the trade deals but the fact is kids are growing up with two routes to go really really. one route if they are "a" students and not many of them, request they are "a" students they get to be professors teachers and go out and become a doctor or lawyer and split. the other route is a "c" student, what's he got for him, especially the boy who becomes a man, the drug trade. that's the only business plan floating in his direction. they don't have the local
factory jobs that my uncle and grand pop had. a factory job within two subway stops. they are not there anymore. i remember rahm emanuel say don't let a crisis go unexploited. we have a crisis and who is going to exploit it except the kids causing trouble? >> right, that's my point. i think that's what you know use this moment, if you want to bring attention of how you're going to get real investment in urban communities, that isn't just what you talked about on the panel earlier which isn't just about gentrification which essentially pushes poor people out of neighborhoods and makes it too expensive for them to live here and actually figure out urban renewal that brings new jobs here and invest in the education system. ultimately, look politicians can't create jobs. the biggest mythology is how some politician will create this job. politicians don't create jobs but they can invest in better education, better local education, better access to community college, things like that, and, yes, safer
communities, and -- and in order to create the environment that allows for look if somebody wants to get an education and get out, that's fine or to get an education and find out that there's something to do right here in baltimore. look. you're a philly guy. philadelphia's rebuilt itself and refashioned itself washington, d.c. has. for some reason baltimore's been behind sort of the east coast urban renewal -- and i think there's a lot of reasons for that. >> chuck todd great having you on. joining me now is the host of "all in why the "my subsequent colleague after me every night chris hayes. he joins me outside the cvs that was set afire. so chris, same name as me so what are you learning that we didn't know last night? what's it feel like to be on that site that we watched last night hours together? >> you know it's -- it reminds me of the thursday after michael brown was killed which was the -- the first night after two -- two consecutive nights of
rioting, two consecutive nights of not even rioting so much as massive police presence tear gassing, massive amounts of arrests, huge huge tactical vehicles, and on that nurse night the fever kind of broke. ron johnson took over and there was this kind of almost release of cathartic energy in the air. it felt like a block party t.felt like some kind of neighborhood festival and that's what it feels like right now. i mean frankly, you've got people black and white, young and old, men and women, across different ages you've got step groups out here you've got drummers and a second line that had come out with a brass band so there's been a huge kind of boisterous atmosphere that i feel like is a representation of people feeling a real intense sense of ownership of this neighbor. i mean, there's tremendous local pride here. a lot of frustration and anger at the cops and the mayor and the governor and the members of the city council and the entire political class but fundamentally a very deep loyalty, a very very intense
defensiveness over what this neighborhood is and over who lives here. >> it reminds me an old phrase of nixon the silent majority. that neighborhood instead of locking their doors tonight, maybe it's the weather, tell me why you think they are out rather than at home with the door locked. you would think they would be hovering in the living room instead of out in the streets dancing. they don't look exactly happy but don't like intimidate sglid think that's the point. i think there was a real concerted effort, i mean, let's remember, this area right around here burned down in 1968 and it burned for two weeks and it burned for two weeks and spiro agnew called in the national guard, as you know chris and you wrote about this period and called the national guard that made him a national star and he would be on the ticket based on his performance during those riots. i mean, people remember this neighborhood had really burned and burned for two weeks and it was pretty grisly. there was a real determination and nothing has settled yet, this is the first night after last night's riots, a real determination starting first
thing in the morning to make today different. you saw elders out here and preachers and people in the crowd trying to manage the young people. that has been the theme throughout the entire day. >> okay. chris maize, thanks so much for reporting. "all in" coming up right after this. let me go to gene on this. you and i have been through this and '68, writing about this practically since then. >> yeah. >> what's coming to your head now? what is old is new again, right? >> yeah yeah. >> the -- the echos, the history's echos are very strong. i come back to something that chuck todd said about baltimore. baltimore is 40 miles up the road from the headquarters of the u.s. government and almost more important the headquarters of political media in this country and it's on the acela corridor. there's an opportunity perhaps to bring a kind of -- a degree of attention to these urban problems in baltimore that may not have been there with lewis.
may not have been there with some of these other cases. so -- so you know i think chuck makes a good point. this could be a moment to be seized. >> it's a real city. i don't want anybody to feel bad about that. it's culture. it's a real city. >> absolutely. >> you go and don't feel like you do in d.c. transients and business and politics. this feels like baltimore. >> look being at the picture and i'm thinking about barbara jordan's old statement there's no law or executive order that can force us to be a national community and we can do it as individuals and that's what we're seeing now. >> baltimore, pronounced baltimore. baltimore colts. much more ahead from baltimore. be back with the protests. don't look that bad right now. see as 10:00 arrives. just a little mohr than two hours and the curfew that goes into effect. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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i am. i am. i just want peace. just, everybody. just this is not the way. >> that was face of pain wasn't it? welcome back to "hardball." baltimore residents are trying to take back their city tonight. they're out on the streets tonight in a very almost merry way in some cases trying to bring back peace to the streets. let's go back right now to nbc's peter alexander down at city hall in baltimore. protesters have gathered. peter, what kind of a protest does it look like right now? >> reporter: yeah, chris, the protesters wrapped up in this spot literally within the last five minutes in the commercial break. saw several hundred people marching here. they came several miles from where freddie gray was picked up earlier this month and lost his life in police i'm joined by one of the men who organized this jay. i want to get a sense from you, you came down as a community organizer. the priority was to put the energy you witnessed last night to good use.
what are you trying to accomplish? >> we want to organize the energy. the energy in our youth. we want to draw global eyes on the injustices faced by not just freddie gray but many african-americans in america. so we want the world to see that our experience here is hurting us. it's different. >> reporter: but as you said, all it takes is one person acting out to get these awful headlines and your priority is much greater than that. >> yes, as you see, we have a great turnout. we marched several miles, hundreds of us and if our community leaders step up which is why i'm here, right, this is a new generation. the day of al and those guys have done their due diligence, their work. it's time for us to step up, the next generation. i don't want us burning buildings, causing distractions. focus on freddie gray the six officers who know what happened to him and no one arrested on leave now getting pay, and the many other injustices and the back lakck of independence for african-americans in america. >> reporter: is this going to be
peaceful tonight? >> we're rallying. go to join ymc.org. we're trying to keep it as peaceful as possible. i can't control every human being and their action. ymc community coalition, ymc.org, we're about rallying people. >> reporter: jay, be safe, be peaceful. thank you very much. >> all lives matter. >> reporter: as they've been chanting, black lives matter all lives matter. that was the message as they arrived with their fists in the air outside city hall adjacent to the national guard members holding this place as their post over the kpors of the day. there was a news conference that police held within the last several minute minutes. they talked about their desire to enforce the curfew tonight. goes into effect two hours from now at 10:00. they say the curfew can be enforced at the discretion of offer officers. if you're wandering around, you could be taken in, a criminal charge, you could be spending the night in police custody.
if pockets of the city, they say the numbers are growing and in the words of one of the leaders of the local police department here in baltimore, they say they're increasingly angrykreescreasingly frustrated and their desire is to not see a repeat of last night. >> let's go to msnbc's joy reid at the town hall meeting, she's been covers that since 7:00 at the empowerment temple in baltimore. joy, nothing yet. what has happened there so far tonight? >> reporter: well, chris, i can tell you it's a packed house here at the empowerment temple which is pastored by reverend jamal bryant of course, the pastor who preached freddie gray's funeral. this is one of the churches in the community, chris, that opened its doors to some of the thousands and thousands of kids forced to stay home from school today. this church has been up and running since early this morning feeding kids. they also had a training session for high school students about 300 students came out to learn nonviolent civil activism and nonviolent resistance. they learned that from ben jealous, former naacp president. now there's a packed house behind me a town hall going on.
it started with an interfaith prayer, jewish muslim as well as christian prayer. this community is, as chris hayes said earlier, trying to take back the community. retake the momentum here and really sending a message of unity and of getting together to do more than just improve police relations but also to improve the job situation. the economic situation. they want more from their leadership and i think even with the protests that we heard were coming down primrose avenue which is right outside this church tonight, they are hoping for the best and expecting the best because they're saying that they are taking control. >> thank you so much joy. we got to go right now to toure who's right in the middle of a protest developing there. toure, can you tell us what's happening? >> reporter: yeah chris, pretty extraordinary scene going on. a man had a seizure in the nis midst of a marching band performance. the police moved through in a formation, but it was to pick up the man who had a seizure. now they're moving back. people jumped in front of the police at certain points and
other people ran and grabbed them in a bear hug and threw them out of the way. and then were shaking hands with the police as they were trying to take care of the man who was having a seizure. now they're moving back to their formation that they were in before near pennsylvania avenue. right near where the cvs was looted. pretty extraordinary situation of the cops trying to move in and take care of somebody who had gotten hurt in the midst of all this sort of peaceful celebrating and they're just trying to out here show that this is not -- this is the baltimore that they believe they are. not the baltimore they say that we've been showing. pretty extraordinary situation out here chris. >> well tell me about the crowd because you've opened the door for us. looks to me from the crowd it's almost like a block party. people are out there if not in a merry mood certainly in a confident mood. they're on the streets. the streets aren't run by the young kids some of them causing trouble. it's just profound to me they were so ready to get out and be community leaders tonight.
when they wouldn't have done this a week ago. >> reporter: well, i mean, i wasn't here. i don't know what they would have done a week ago, but this has definitely been somewhat of a block party kind of atmosphere. something of a joyous moment or at least an attempt to have a joyous moment within what is clearly a tense situation. what is clearly a situation where people have a lot on their minds. a lot on their souls. but they also wanted to show the world and show themselves that there is another part of baltimore that is joyous that is enjoying the moment that is still happy and proud to be baltimoreians. that said, it is definitely a tense situation with cops all around, and people with a lot on their minds. >> okay. >> reporter: and people with talking about freddie gray quite a lot. >> thank you. toure, great reporting. what a scene to be on. let me go back to the panel now. gene, michelle, and michael. last thoughts. in that order. >> well let's hope it's a quiet night in baltimore. situations tend to turn often
turn when it gets dark. so we'll wait. >> i'm hoping that everyone will remember why this happened and continue to ask the important questions, why was that young man's spinal cord almost severed? exactly, why did he have a crushed voicebox? all the attention on the cvs and the home and anything else that's been burned down it's important, but his life was more important. >> for me it's jay morrison the young man we saw the interview with who i think articulated the future of baltimore. he is its future. i think i would rather put my trust in him and those who are working with him to grow -- >> i was impressed, too. >> very impressive. >> absolutely. >> she's the future of baltimore. it's a great city with great people and he represented that tonight. >> you know, it's going to be the middle class of every ethnic group that makes the city work the regular people. the regular people that live in those houses that should be working for a living. there should be jobs. michael steele my republican brother, michelle bernard, and eugene robinson.
that's "hardball" for now. coming up next "all in canwith chris hayes" already there live in baltimore. that's how you say it, baltimore. good evening from west baltimore. i'm chris hayes. this is "all in." we're live here at the corner of north and pennsylvania. it was this corner that just 24 hours ago yesterday was burning out of control. cvs pharmacy with chopper shots beaming it across the country and across world. as west baltimore last night saw the worst unrest looting, rioting and burning in four years plus since 1968 when riots in the wake of martin luther king jr. burned down much of this neighborhood and burned it for two weeks straight ultimately calling in the national guard. very forceful response. and lives lost. luckily, last night, no lives were lost. there were police injuries upwards of 15 according to police. lots