tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC April 30, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
about the criminal justice system. >> thank you both for joining us tonight. >> thank you. what killed freddie gray? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. what happened in that baltimore police van three sundays ago? what caused 25-year-old freddie gray to suffer a catastrophic injury, one which led to his death, while traveling to the police station? this is the question fuelling the protests, the anger, the bursts of violence in this major american city. the police report, overseen by the deputy police commissioner,
which many expected to be released publicly late this week, remains in the hands of baltimore prosecutors. that said, a narrative is beginning to emerge. abc's washington, d.c., affiliate is reporting that gray's mortal head wound is consistent with a metal object on the van's wall, that it could have been sustained during his ride to the police station, while the prisoner was handcuffed, his feet shackled, and actually unrestrained in terms of movement in the van. the station's report sending anonymous law enforcement sources, is that freddie gray's catastrophic injuries were caused when he slammed into the back of the police transport van, apparently breaking his neck. well, the report says that a head injury he sustained matches a bolt in the back of the van. another description of event, gray suffered one single catastrophic injury. meanwhile, wbal also has fresh testimony tonight from a fellow prisoner in that police van that there was a knocking sound during the ride that might be
consistent with a seizure mr. gray may have experienced following the horrific injury to his head. we're joined right now by wbal, a reporter who broke that story, jane millard. jane, tell us about what you've been reporting today and i'll ask you about the rest later. >> reporter: chris, first of all, we have been reporting for about -- for two weeks, since this incident happened and mr. gray died, that all of the focus in this case and all of the focus in the investigation has been on what happened inside the wagon and not during that highly publicized vapid initial arrest. and, yes, what we have reported from the autopsy is that mr. gray suffered this very severe spinal and neck injury because of hitting something inside the van. there is no other injury to suggest that he did it on his own, that he was banging his head against the van wall, because the injury is so catastrophic, it is really the kind of injury that is suffered in a car accident.
in addition to that, we have reported that have at the time that mr. -- the second prisoner was loaded into the wagon, mr. gray was unresponsive, that is according to sources familiar with the investigation. today we spoke to that second prisoner and he did say he heard some banging in the back of the van in that four or five minutes he was in the van, but he could not see gray and he did say that when they got to the police district, finally, at the end of the that prison, or that police wagon ride, that mr. gray was unresponsive. >> let's watch that for a second. let's watch the comment by the fellow prisoner in the van. here he is. >> when i got in the van, i didn't hear nothing. it was a smooth ride, we went straight to the police station. all i heard was like a little banging for about four seconds. you know what i mean? i just heard little banging, you know, just little -- you know what i mean, boom, boom, just little banging. just little banging. >> there it is, jayne.
it's all a bit speculative here, but the idea of a seizure, but do you give any credibility to his testimony right there, that person you had on the show today, on your program? >> dante alan is his name. his account shows up in the search warrant that "the washington post" reported about last night, which became this story that gray was banging his head against the wall of the van and may have injured himself on his own. what mr. alan is reporting is, he's filling in the blanks. he really has to speculate about what may have caused the banging that he heard or the noise that he heard, because he can't see the other prisoner. in fact, he didn't even know there was a prisoner back there. so what you have to rely on are other elements of this investigation, that as we reported, according to sources, that gray was unresponsive at that time, just the stop before, the van driver stopped, because
he obviously suspected something was wrong and wanted other police to come and check on the prisoner. chris, this case boils down to a couple of really key questions, and will that rise then to criminal negligence. did the van driver do something to cause that, to cause mr. gray to get slammed into the side of the wall? did he do it intentionally? the mere fact that he wasn't secured is by a seat belt as required by policy makes him vulnerable and raises all kinds of questions about what police should have been doing. and then by policy, they're supposed to call for a medic, if they either see that it's necessary or that the prisoner asks for it. and police commanders have admitted publicly that that did not happen in this case. this case is really going to center on, was there criminal negligence in the death of freddie gray, was there criminal negligence on the part of the officers that had responsibility to ensure his safety? >> is there any precedent, i've heard whispers that this was
something of a practice in some cases, where the police would give this person the ride of their life, on the way to the police station, that there would be that possibility of serious injury, a roughed and ready ride. >> yeah. they call it a lot of different things, but, yes, that has been kind of the story of what happens. that really doesn't have to happen in this case, chris. because if you're -- if you are in that wagon and you're handcuffed and you're shackled, you are not going to be able to balance yourself with movements, sudden movement, sudden stopping, sharp turn around the bend. the van will go one way, you'll go with it, and what happens is, if the van stops, is you slam back, and in this case, the speculation is, and the theory -- i should call it, the theory is that he slammed his head back, hit either the back partition, something in the back of the van, because the way he was, he was in the right side of the van, so he would have been in this position, so the van
moves forward and he kind of gets slammed back, the injuries, according to the information that we have, the injuries are wards the left side of the head, as if the head hit first and snapped the neck. so you can imagine, if you can't hold yourself, and if you don't have anything to hold on to, and you're not belted in, you're kind of helpless in the van. you are at the mercy of the movement of the van. and that's what this all centers on. is, is had they belted him in, we wouldn't be talking about this. >> well, one last question. if baltimore's got this renowned shock trauma unit, in fact, my wife, years ago, reported on this almost 40 years ago when it was first established. i remember, it was a big deal. you guys had the first in the country, shock trauma. and the whole idea of a shock trauma unit, i went back and looked it up, the golden hour. you got to get that person there as soon as possible. you don't take them to some other hospital, you take them there. is there a question as to whether the police were negligent in simply not racing him to the shock trauma unit the minute they saw him in dire straits?
>> reporter: chris, there is -- according to the information that i gathered, the leading speculation, and this has to be speculation, is that whatever happened in the van to cause him to incur this injury, probably happened within the first ten minutes, 10 to 12 minutes to have the ride. now, he's in the van for another 20 minutes or whatever. what medical experts tell me, and this is probably going to come out as this case proceeds, in a more authoritative way, in particular to this case, is that with this type of injury, you slowly deteriorate. the breath starts to come out of you. so, obviously, this is the christopher reeves injury. it's that same injury. the difference, he survived, at least for a number of -- at least for a while. he survived because he got care so quickly. that is not the case here. the reporting that we have done
and the other prisoner in the van told us today, when they got to the district, he was unresponsive and he heard police officers say, he has no pulse. >> great reporting, wbal's jayne miller. thank you, jayne, for joining us. peter alexander reports us now. have you been listening to this powerful reporting. and is it squaring with what people are thinking in the crowds? i'm experiencing a serious delay in getting information to the crowds, as to where this narrative seems to be emerging and taking us toward. >> chris, you're exactly right. jayne spent a lot of this day together. but let's be clear, have very little of that information has made it to west baltimore. while many of those who live in freddie gray's community, they weren't detored by the rain. the information hasn't moved nearly that quickly to those folks. we were there again points yesterday and today. and individuals we spoke to made it very clear that they were anticipating friday.
friday was a day circled on their calendars. >> earlier today, we spoke to one of the pastors in this community, and he spent some of his morning going to the high schools with other community leaders, speaking in classrooms. he said he didn't think it would be a good idea of to have a full assembly right now, given the sbebsty of the feelings in this community. but speaking to individual classrooms and trying to make sure people were aware of the situation right now, so there wouldn't be some level of disappointment. in his words, he said people, for whatever reason, were anticipating a, quote, verdict. they thought that thing would be resolved in some way on friday and there's real concern about what could happen. he described it like putting a metal plate in the microwave. he said, the sparks will start to fly and we're concerned about what happens next. >> well, what's the buzz? do people think this was a case of perhaps criminal negligence? do they think the guy, freddie gray, was beat up? that's happened in the past by police, in paddy wagons? but what is the sense, the visual notion that people out there at worst think happen?
>> reporter: well, they haven't been using words like criminal negligence when we've been speaking to them. they refer to this in terms like murder. one guy said manslaughter, but one said, this is murder by officers. that's the language they're using here. >> that's what i'm afraid of. >> reporter: and i think the challenge will be in a community like this is to try to describe any of this stuff in the legal jargon that the prosecutor's office and others speak with right now. they want answers and accountability and a type of language -- >> but peter, it's not a matter of lingo. either you beat the hell out of a guy or the guy gets hurt by a car driving too fast are two different matters, i think, in terms of -- >> reporter: but that's a good point. >> those are different points. >> reporter: so to be fair, they think -- to be fair, they don't believe the reporting that we're now getting from this police investigation. >> i understand that. >> reporter: that the catastrophic injury occurred inside. they think he was badly beaten outside. they believe that's where the significant extent of his injuries took place. and the reason they think that is because they say they've seen
it. that it's happened to them or to others. there are so many arrests. i think jayne knows the number better. something like 50,000 arrests over the course of a year in baltimore. 50,000 arrests. this isn't something these folks haven't seen many times before. >> the disconnect is going to continue, especially as you pointed out, peter, everybody in the news business thought we were going to sent out a public report on friday and now we're not going to get one. it's not just the people out there in civilian land, if you will. anyway, thank you so much, peter alexander of nbc. msnbc's joy reid has been talking with protesters who have gathered at the city hall in baltimore. joy, it's great to have you on. you've probably been listening to this conversation about what's leaking from the police report, and i think it's starting to emerge as sort of like an old polaroid. we're starting to get a picture here, but i'm not sure that's the picture people have outside the police department. your thoughts or your information? >> reporter: absolutely. i think if you can sum up people's feelings here, it's here we go again. people are extremely cynical about this baltimore police department, and to the
conversation you were just having with peter, i would agree that when we talk to people about what happened to freddie gray, no one talks about what happened in the van. what people talk about is the idea of police officers putting their knees down on freddie gray's neck. they talk about him being lifted up limp and obviously injured and thrown into that van. people talk about that not just for freddie gray, but as something that the baltimore police, that that's how they treat black people in this city, quite frankly. and there's a definite sense that the police department, according to the people that we're talking to, is not being honest, they're not telling the truth and i'll tell you, chris, leaks to "the washington post," that doesn't help. the more things that leak that seem to be trying to clear the officers, people don't have any expectation those officers will be held to account. they believe those leaks are providing the alibi that will get these officers to walk away. and in their mind, that's just one more time this is happening. >> i'll tell you something. my view is that reporters who are good reporters know how to interview cops as well as
anybody else and they can tell when they're being bs'd and they're trying to figure out by talking to multiple sources a story that adds up or doesn't add up. so the report for brad bell from washington, the abc affiliate, he mentioned multiple sources said he's a serious reporter who has a background working in baltimore. i don't think he's guy that just scribbled down some notes from some cop. so i'm a little more believing of this. but i understand why other people are not. joy? >> reporter: well, chris, i'll tell you, now that we've done unfortunately so many stories like this, the way this tends to go, at least in my experience, is that you get a leak from the police department or multiple leaks the from the police department, that tell the story that winds up being the story. and that these leaks tend to be what the defense is going to be. and it tends to work. and i think that, you know, for african-americans, this is not a new thing. and i don't think people necessarily just believe that is the story that police are telling, but i think this is the preview to what is going to
expullkate the officers. >> it could also be the truth. >> reporter: people here are not believing that. not even a fair amount of people are cynical, they're angry. it's not just about this case, it's about the day-to-day experiences that people have with the police and they're not good, quite frankly. the relationship people describe it as not a bad relationship, no relationship. and a sense that the police are sort of an alien occupying force rather than part of the community. there's a lot that needs to get fixed. it's not just here. i was talking to a guy earlier who was saying, this isn't just a baltimore thing, this is the whole country. there needs to be a broad conversation about policing. because every new case, chris, just makes it worse. >> and everything you say can be true and everything the community up there in baltimore and around the country thinks and their experience has led to their knowledge and that can all
be true and this case could still be uniquely true in itself and that's the problem we have. to find out what happened here. uniquely here. not just the general application of the way things are. anyway, thank you so much, msnbc's joy reid. let me bring in right now baltimore city councilman. thank you for this. joy gave us a good description for the mood and we have to find a search for the objective truth. we have six police officers involved in this. usually somebody breaks. eventually, you get to something close to a human truth here. do you think we'll get it? >> right. i think we will. as you said, we have six officers here. but as the pressure comes down from one place or another, i think there is going to be a break. i think someone is going to say something that either can be corroborated or not. sometimes, often, the fact that it can't be allows the
investigators to then ask the questions, the right questions, of the others, to get to what should be the truth. >> councilman, you have a famous name, sir, by the way. i am already inclined towards you. are you related to the carl stokes, lori stokes' father. >> i am not. >> well, that's too bad. >> it is! >> it's a great thing. let me ask you about -- >> it is a great thing. >> and lou stokes, the former congressman from cleveland, his brother was mayor of cleveland, the famous mayor, and his beautiful daughter is a newscaster, as we all know. used to work with my wife at channel 7. okay, you have some power. you're a councilman quick all right? i feel like i'm howard cosell here. what can you do, sir, to make things better next year than this year. next april comes around, how's it going to be better if you can do what you can do? >> i've got to get a majority of my council members to, you know,
we've got to get a majority of the council members to say, not to talk about it. we've got to put more money in the budget this year, this budget year, it starts july 1st. and we're going to pass a budget in the next four weeks. we've got to determine, sitting with young people and mentors projects that would make the most impact, the most difference, immediately, and i think we've got to put together a budget, so that on july 1, we start the fund, full summer employment for our young people. >> yes. thank you. >> we've got to do that. >> that is music. marion barry is mayor of this city in d.c. and he had many personal problems, as we all know. he was a mixed bag, but he was so right about summer jobs for kids here. he did that and it worked. >> it absolutely works. and the mayor of the city, marion barry, said, every kid, every who wants a job will go-ahead get one. >> good luck in the council, getting that majority. much more from baltimore when we return.
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welcome back to "hardball." a maryland u.s. congressman donna edwards represents the district just south of baltimore city. u.s. congressman edwards is also a mother. in a passionate editorial, an op-ed piece in today's "washington post," she described her frank talk with her own teenage son about the relationship between the police and the african-american young people. she wrote, as black mothers, we know our sons' vulnerability is measured by the exceptions that feel like the rule. this must change. joining me right now is u.s. congresswoman donna edwards, also a candidate for the united states senate in maryland. congresswoman, you've been on the show many times before, you'll be on many times again, but today, i would love you to just talk for tv what you wrote in the paper today. >> well, you know, chris, i've
been feeling this a lot and it's the pain that i have felt as a mom when starting very early on, when my son was just in middle school, i began to have conversations with him about what to do if he had an encounter with police officers. and it's not that all officers are bad, we know that there are an awful lot of good law enforcement officers out there. but as black mothers, i know as a mom i worried about my son in those encounters. i worry about him every single time he left the home or he was on his own and hanging out with friends. and even today, he's a young adult male and i still worry about him. and i worry that he might have an encounter and i would tell him, don't mouth off, you know, keep your hands above the steering wheel, i just want you to get home safely. and i think that this is the pain that a lot of moms are feeling. and that hasn't been expressed in this. and when i saw what happened in baltimore over these last several days, i thought about the pain of black mothers and
that our voices really need to be heard and how we can fix our communities. and it isn't just about baltimore, it's about communities all across the country that have been disinvested in, where there are not jobs, where young people feel a sense of hopelessness and despair. and we have to get this right. this is our calling to get this right, for all of our sons and our daughters too. >> do you believe there's a real charge of truth behind the comment of driving while black, that people are stopped and pulled over because they're african-american. is that something you believe happens in maryland? >> i do believe that when stopped, that there is a circumstance that i know for my son, when i want him to do is to have an engagement, if he gets stopped, that doesn't result in him losing his life or being incarcerated. and i think that that is just a reality check. now, the fact is is that my son
actually comes from a relatively privileged background, and so i think about the young people in communities whose only encounter with government is with law enforcement. and to me, as a parent, that is the back end of what we need to be doing for all of our communities. the fact that we're talking about bad policing practicals or body cameras, we need to have that conversation, but we need to have a conversation about 20th century schools, when we have to prepare children for a 21st century education, about the lack of jobs, about jobs that long since left, where people can't even work for a decent wage that allows them to take care of themselves and their children. and until this country has that conversation, we'll just continue to deal with policing practices and the response that comes afterwards. >> let's talk jobs, because i think it's a part of this, especially for young men, about having the kind of job that the young men is looking to have in life, besides the drug trade, of course, which is the worst possible direction.
we have this trade bill and will it pass or not is a separate question from tonight's question, but if it passes, once again we'll be left with people, left on the sidelines, economically. the market will not provide opportunities for them. what can the u.s. government, and you running for the senate, what can the u.s. government do to create training for 21st century jobs, so young kids -- "c" students, not the "a" students, they take care of themselves, but the "c" students, where are they going to go when they're 18 and 19? >> i think this is a huge problem for us in the united states. look, we have to be able to have a system where if you want to go to college, you go to college, but you should be able to go to a trade school or a community college and get the skills that are going to allow you to participate actively in the economy. we need to be rebuilding our roads, our bridges, all of our infrastructure that's crumbling, that would create jobs all across this economy. this is not rocket science and if we don't do this, it shouldn't be a surprise to us that our cities, our communities are falling apart.
>> is it going to happen? >> well, you know what? if it were up to me, and i had my magic wand, of course i would make it happen. it's going to take republicans and democrats taking, we're going to create jobs in this economy, we're not going to trade them all overseas, and then we're going to make sure that people can earn a decent wage, at a decent job. we have to have those kind of jobs in our economy. we can have them again, but it's going to take all of us committed to doing that. >> a "hardball" question for you. do you believe the black caucus has been forceful enough in demanding this kind of action, because it's the people that you oftentimes, most of the time, represent in big cities that are getting hurt by this lack of opportunity. do you believe the black caucus in the u.s. congress is strong enough of will to insist to use its leverage for the democratic party, especially, to insist that the democratic party stand for summer jobs, for job training, for young people, especially young men? are they doing it? are they delivering? >> i'm going to tell you something. when i look at the legislation that members of the black caucus
have proposed, to make sure that people can get jobs and have opportunity, i mean, there are pages of legislation. where are the republicans in the congress joined with democrats in the congress to make these things a reality for all of our communities. this is not a problem of the black caucus not having ideas. it's a problem of all of us, as members of congress, not supporting those ideas, so that they become a reality. >> has the caucus, as we call it, has the caucus used its leverage and its power to get this stuff done? >> i think that what we've done is we've called -- we have called on our colleagues in the congress to pay attention to our communities. and you know what? today, in baltimore and all of the other baltimores, all across this country, this is a clarion call for us to get it right now. so whether we've gotten it right before in the past, it's time for us to get it right today. >> thanks so much. great to have you on, as always, u.s. congresswoman donna edwards of maryland.
thank you for that beautiful article today for everybody. and now, you've probably seen the video showing toyya graham, the mom in baltimore who, look at this, forcefully encouraged -- that's a good word -- encouraged her son to move away from a riot. the so-called mom of the year, that's what people are calling her, says her actions were motivated by downright fear. >> that's my only day, and at the end of the day, i don't want him to be a freddie gray. joining me right now is toyya graham's pastor, the reverend john lunn of the barion baptist church. reverend, thank you for joining us tonight. you know, sometimes we see heroes in the worst possible situations, and i think we just saw one, toyya, toyya graham, and your thoughts about her as a member of your congregation and what you know about her situation and her? toyya is a wonderful mom, she's always bringing her children to church. they participate in different programs in church.
they sing on the choir, some are in the dance ministry. they're involved in the youth groups. so, she keeps them pretty active and she's a great mom, because she's always staying on their case. and she's always with them. >> how do you see this story affecting you? you have a sermon this sunday, i'm sure, that is tor, and it will probably be about this, i'm presuming. and what are you going to say? >> i'm going to talk about -- last week, we talked about parents being responsible for their children, and telling them the story and everything that we have been through as a people, and we had a blurb on that last sunday, we shared, and evidently, she was listening very well. and i was explaining to the congregation, make sure we take of our children and our grandchildren, because we are all they have. and on monday, that's exactly what she did. she came in to take care of her son, to make sure everything was
going to be all right with him. >> reverend, it's great to have you on tonight. thank you so much for joining us. anyway, the son of toyya graham, michael singleton, says his mom -- well, that would have held if they kept that up there anyway. says his mom, keep going, was trying to do more to just keep him out of trouble. let's listen. >> that's my only son. and at the end of the day, i don't want him to be a freddie gray. >> boy, isn't that something, michael steele? ruth marcus, and jonathan capehart. isn't that something that a mother -- it isn't about right and wrong, it's basic survival skills we're talking here. >> it is. moms are -- they're the front line between their children and the rest of the world. and when they feel threatened, when they see the world coming at them in a way that is not consistent with their values and how they're raising their kids, you see moments like that, and when the kids sort of break the
line and want to get out into the world the wrong way, moms are there to stop it. and i think, you know, she really reflect, i think, a lot of mothers, as you spoke with the congresswoman, about the piece she wrote. that is so true. what i would like to hear and see are the fathers. and i don't care what shape they're in, i don't care what their condition is. if they have a child, if they have a son, especially, their voices are equally important at times like this. >> how do you speak to a son in this, anybody hear, speak to a son when you have to tell them, look out for the law, because you're black, and you're going to get a different situation than somebody else when you confront a police officer? >> it's the sheer reality of life. and i have not had the experience of speaking to my black son, but as the only mom on the panel, my heart goes out to donna edwards, having to have that conversation with her kids. to the mom of the year, whose name i'm forgetting. >> toyya graham. >> toyya graham. >> you know, i understand, there has been some criticism, we're not supposed to hit our kids, that's not the way we teach them
things. i'm sorry, if i saw my children -- >> she was cuffing him. >> the mama grizzly would have come out. and i have to say, i have two white daughters, and when they go out at night in their cars, i worry about them every single time, but i do not worry. i tell them, if they're stopped by the police, to be polite. i don't worry about them being injured by the hands of police. and if they were african-american, i would. >> i had lunch the other day with a former republican congressman, african-american guy, and he went through all the stories, stopped by police, stopped by department stores. guys you never expect. >> as the only black kid who's gone through that conversation with his mother, decades ago. >> it wasn't decades. you're too young. >> well, it was. it's a painful conversation to hear as a young, idealistic person who thinks the world is perfect and everything's going to be all right. my mother, still, when i talk to her on the phone and tell her i'm going somewhere, be careful,
be careful. and i know that's something that all mothers say, but when it's my mother, i know what that be careful means. >> so she knows that even though you present yourself carefully, you still present that. >> and one of the reasons why, when the trayvon martin situation happened, and i wrote so personally, and even outside the michael brown situation, i wrote so personally, every time an african-american, particularly a male, was killed by police or someone, especially unarmed, i wrote about it personally, because i know that despite the way i look, despite the way i dress, despite the way i present myself, one day, i could be them. there's nothing that separates me from walter scott, from freddie gray, from even michael brown, because when someone who is perhaps biased or subconsciously biased, they don't see me, they don't see the person that folks on msnbc all
the time, they see a brown face. they see a black face, and impute all sorts of nefarious motives. >> they throw the stats at you. >> right. >> let's go right now to msnbc's torre, who's out in baltimore. he's with a group of protesters right now and they're moving fast. torre? >> reporter: chris, i'm at north and penn, where hundreds of protesters marched from city hall, to here, it's a little more strident march than we saw yesterday. they've been chanting all night, all day. we'll work for freddie gray. no justice, no peace. at city hall, when some of the protesters said, we need to be patient, some of the folks on the lawn chanted back at them and yelled back at them, they don't want patience, they want justice now, they said. but people in this community said they didn't expect justice to come, day didn't expect a reckoning to come. they're too cynical for that. chris, there's something larger going on here. at the march, when the rain started coming down, they said from the crowd, they said, that's not the only storm coming.
this is a peaceful crowd, but it's a little more edgy than we've seen before. >> great to have you on again, see you later. toure. msnbc's thomas roberts is among other protesters right now. thomas? >> reporter: chris, thank you. yeah, i'm here with karima and tammy, they're part of this large group you can see behind us. you live if bolton hill. why did you want to be a part of this? >> just because, you know, why not? it's time for a change. we need to do something. we can't just sit at the sidelines and, you know, just continue to let this stuff happen. >> tammy, how do you feel about the transparency issues from the police department, from the incidents that they're saying now through these reports that the police officers were not involved in any injuries during the arrest of freddie gray? >> well, police brutality has been going on for quite a while and this has just become a very big and bad thing. there needs to be justice served and there is a lot of charges that hasn't been put forth
towards a lot of police, that's still working and getting paid, like the ones that's having paid for freddie gray. and they're just sitting home, getting paid, while this investigation is going on, freddie gray is deceased, and we're out here fighting and hoping that everything goes well. we want a very peaceful protest. i do hope that all of the violence and the black-on-black killing stops, because that's not going to help or solve any problems. it's just time for a change. and a lot of the kids, they just need to wake up and think positive and do positive things. >> reporter: but what if charges are not going to come from this investigation. if the investigation clears the police, how is that going to make you feel? will you be satisfied that everything was done to the investigation and that you trust in it? >> no. >> absolutely not. >> no, i will not be satisfied, at all.
>> because there needs to be an independent investigation. there needs to be other investigations, not just from the police department. i think that's a very biased -- you know, we need more than that. because there are certain things that just don't make sense. there's no way that you can sustain the injuries that he did, just riding in the back of a police car. it just makes no sense, you know? so, there needs to be, you know -- it just needs -- there needs to be more independent investigations and something done, more. >> reporter: last question, about the curfew, are you both okay with the curfew that's been imposed by mayor blake? >> yes. >> reporter: yes? >> i mean, we understand and we certainly obey it. so, it's not a problem, you know, it's for our own safety. >> reporter: tammy, same thing for you? >> yeah, same thing. >> reporter: so will you be home tonight, not with the protesters? you're going to be home by 10:00? >> yeah, i'm usually to bed around 8:00, so it's not hurting me at all. >> reporter: chris, i'll send it
back to you. just like us, we're usually in bed by 9:00, typically. but they are out here now, making their voices heard. they've marched from city hall down here, this again is the intersection of pennsylvania and north. the burned out cvs is just over here on my right-hand side, but we know that there is frustration, as there has been issues with a lack of transparency, or they feel a lack of transparency calling with the police department, as we know that the driver of that police van has yet to give an official statement of what happened that day on april the 12th. >> well, i think that's going to be -- i love what the woman there just said. i even thought of that, outside investigations probably is going to come from the united states department of justice. it looks like they're going into this case as a civil rights -- whenever you have local officials possibly abusing their authority, that's the perfect opportunity for the justice department to go in and look and see if people's civil liberties were abused there. also, of course, the district attorney isn't automatically on the side of the police, although
you have to suspect that. anyway, thank you so much, msnbc's thomas roberts. the hbo crime drama, "the wire," is based on the police department in baltimore itself, while it's a work of fiction, many this week are pointing out that the series reveals a lot about the city's problems today. the real problems, in his piece, why "the wire" should be must-see tv for baltimore pundits, "the wire" played as a tragedy, where cycles of poverty and inaction weren't broken because, with few exceptions, nobody had the combination of will and resources to do so. the depressing nature of that vision no doubt helps explain why the series generated more rave reviews than viewers, striking a little too close to home. anyway, today the white house hosted a call with celebrities and athletes with strong ties to the city of baltimore, to encourage them to do what they can do for the city. among the participants was new york knicks' star, carmelo anthony, as well as rehman lewis of the baltimore ravens.
but actor sonia sohn and benya of "the wire" have already been speaking out and join us. thank you so much for joining us. what can you do? >> well, i just spent the last two, three days down in baltimore and it's been an intense scene. i think it's important not to depict the city as a tragic scene, though. there's a lot of beautiful things that "the wire" showed that was native to baltimore. there's a spirit there, a unique culture there. but the article in "variety" was true, that there's a tragedy there that is systemic, and there's a failure to address it. i think there's a lot of political will to keep things exactly the same way. there's a lot of economic will to keep things exactly the same way. and it's not unique to baltimore. this is true in cities all around the world. people with power and people without. >> well, what do you think of
local politicians in a black community. do you think they put the pressure on the majority in the country? do they use their clout? there's an awful lot of members of the african-american and black caucus in the d.c. and federal government. and i just wonder, do they crack the whip enough? do they make sure that people listen to them, you know, as a deal. if you want to be part of the majority that wins elections, you've got to help us. >> i have to say, it's difficult. these are people who have dedicated their lives, you know, for the most part, for serving the community and public service, but it's also, within a system that is inherently flawed and inherently does not serve the public and the masses. so to play along, to get along, you've got to play along. and i'm not accusing anyone from the black caucus or any black official of power of that, but it's almost a systemic inevitability, that there are compromises that, to the cost of the people. >> you think it's an attitude of go along to get along or get along to go long, rather than push? >> it's both. it's both. i don't think the system is set
up. and when i say, the system, i mean on a state level, i mean on a national level. i don't really think it's set up to benefit the people in a way that maximizes what we can do as a people. i'm sure you've been to baltimore. these are row homes, blocks of abandoned row homes for no reason, that have been there for decades. it's hard the to grow happy and healthy in a situation like that. people aren't heating or eating well, and this is the life they're expecting. like i said, i was just down there and interviewing people, left and right, who grew up, who grow up with police violence. and this is normal to them. they don't expect anything else. they just don't want to be killed for it. that's it. they expect to be beaten by the police. that's the normal relationship. and we know this, but it hasn't changed. >> sonia, your views? >> yeah, i mean, i agree with everything that he says, but having lived in baltimore and worked in baltimore, both with "the wire" and with the nonprofit they started and led
for five years, i have a slightly different take on the leadership there. and i think that those row homes are empty, but i think they're empty for a reason. the row homes are not empty for no reason. i think there's an economic reason behind it. i think there is -- the will of the politicians is to built a tax base there, and i think that there has been a slow gentrifycation, and maybe sometimes not so low of these communities where marginalized citizens live. and i think that -- you know, i'm not -- i have to refrain from making, you know, direct statements around, direct accusations, but those on the ground, who work with that population knows that the will of the leadership there isn't necessarily to support thriving communities. we know that leadership there tends to cater to business.
and i think that's what we're seeing right now. the root cause of what we're seeing right now are years and years of neglect of the people's needs, especially young people. i'm going to stop right there. there are a few more things i would like to say, but i do believe that the police and this culture of non-transparency and abuse, physical abuse of men, men and boys of color on the streets, is at a -- has brought the people to a place of no tolerance. and i have to tell you, chris, if there is no doubt. if there is no officer held accountable for what's happening there in baltimore, baltimore is -- i'm really afraid that baltimore will burn. that there will be, you know, an escalation of violence, you know, much worse than we saw on monday, because folks are sick and tired. and i was will.
>> thank you so much, sonja for joining us. strong words, but i heard them. thank you very much, gentleman and lady. coming up next, manufacturing used to be a huge part of baltimore. people could get good jobs right out of high school. now those jobs are gone and we're seeing how hard that is for places like baltimore. by the way, those row houses, when people working for a living, it was okay living there. if you had a job, it was a totally different environment, i would argue. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
♪ [container door closing] what makes it an nx is what you can get out of it. ♪ introducing the first-ever lexus nx turbo and hybrid. once you go beyond utility there's no going back. welcome back to "hardball." we continue to watch protests in the streets. we're looking right now at a protest in solidarity with the people of baltimore to the south. joining me right now is the mayor of philadelphia, michael
nutter. mayor, thank you for joining us. i bumped into you the other day. what is the message from metropolis, usa, not just baltimore? >> well, we have some demonstrations going on here in the city of philadelphia. they've been peaceful. they were at city hall and then walked around city hall and have dispersed to a couple of other place. but what's also going on is we're currently hosting the cities united convening, second convening where we're talking about with other elected officials and folks across the united states of america -- obviously this was planned a long time ago but timely, talking about issues related to violence affecting african-american men and boys,
the need to listen to our young people, engage with them about issues related to jobs and education opportunity and how their lives can be improved but how they can be much more involved in what's going on in our cities all across america. so these are the topics that we're talking about. 74 mayors across the united states -- over 70 mayors have signed on to the cities united agenda because these mayors and elected officials black and white, democrats and republicans, care about what's going on in our cities all across america. and we need to get the issues of justice, we need criminal justice reform in our system. we need to look at as we are here in philadelphia, look at and examine ourselves about use of force, officer involved shootings. we called in the justice department into philadelphia under the leadership of police commissioner ramsey. they gave us a report, collaborative reform, giving us recommendations which we're going to implement. >> i got to ask you about this, police clashes i'm getting in my ear, reports that sound like
real clashes. rahm emanuel, one of your fellow mayors, says never let an opportunity go unexploited. how do you save the kids, the future of the city, coming out. how can you say to the republican side of the aisle you saw what happened here, let's not let this happen again? what will you do to exploit this tragedy so far? >> we have to be doing what we've been doing about summer job, for instance. we're at the last job in april but we need to be focused on summer jobs, full year-round jobs, how do we make more investments as we're trying to do here in philadelphia in our education system, job training programs, the cuts that have come unfortunately out of washington. many members of congress not understanding the devastating impact of cutting grant programs
for jobs for our young people in the summer and job training programs for older adults. these are the consequences of the actions by some in washington, d.c. and the partisan bickering, the fighting -- constant fighting by the congress with president obama. as he said the other day, if they would pass many of his agenda items, they could deal with these issues in baltimore, in chicago and cities all across the united states of america. it is time for all elected officials, local, state, federal, to wake up, stand up, make the investments, do your job so other people can get a job. >> michael nutter, mayor of philadelphia, thank you, sir, for coming on as always. the mayor isn't just talking this back when he was first elected, we had dinner one night. he said what i want to do in this city is teach young men, especially young men, job training that will make them proud to be young men, not just a plier and a screwdriver but teach kids how to fix cars that
would make them lots of money and be proud when they come home at night, guys job. i know this doesn't sound like the women -- >> women can do guys' jobs, too. >> you come home, you're sweaty. my grandpa, my uncle, they grew up like that as a birth right. there was always a job like that a couple subway stops away. it was there. it isn't there anymore. the training was there. >> mayor nutter is trying to do the best he can. >> he wanted to do there. >> mayors around the country are trying to do the best they can. you're asking questions about where is the black caucus and -- >> let's use the opportunity. >> right. but i want to ask speaker boehner, you're the speaker of the united states house of representatives, you are a leader in this country. where are you in this conversation? it's fine to look to the president, whoever the president is, but we happen to have president obama now.
yes, the president should be mindful. but i have not heard anybody ask where's the speaker of the house on this? congress needs to be involved. it's not just the black caucus, it's congress -- >> so who is the speaker of the house worried about you? you or the tea party? he's worried about the guys that play hard ball. >> he doesn't worry about what's happening in baltimore and philadelphia and los angeles -- >> his party doesn't represent those cities. that's why we have to figure out how to leverage this. >> michael, how do you leverage this? >> i agree, the attitude has to change but we're living in a time -- >> it isn't going to change. the power's going to change. >> that's where it is. the power is in how those constituencies leverage this opportunity, how the black community aligns itself in such a way that it leverages not just the speaker boehners of the world but the mayor nutters and the city councilmen. >> nobody works harder than
nutter. i wish there was a way to make this work. we're going to talk about this a little later than just the latest street protests. we ought to be doing this professionally and pushing it forward. i hate to give sermons. we'll be right back after this. alone does less than half the job leaving behind millions of germs. complete the job with listerine®. kill up to 99 percent of germs. and prevent plaque, early gum disease and bad breath. complete the job with listerine®. power to your mouth™. also try listerine® floss. its advanced technology removes more plaque.
good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes. with me from baltimore is msnbc's trymaine lee. we have major developments in the case of freddie gray, who sustained fatal injuries. baltimore police handed over the results of their investigation to the states attorney who was just sworn in in january. it will be up to her office to decide whether to pursue charges. police also revealed that the police van carrying gray made a previously undisclosed stop on its way to the station, discovered only after reviewing foot and from a privately owned camera. today a station reported new information on injuries who claimed that they found gray's