tv News Nation MSNBC May 1, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PDT
riots and said some of the protesters have a point. are you worried about the appearance of any conflicts of interest? >> i don't see an appearance of conflict of interest. my husband is a public servant, i am a prosecutor i am also a public servant. i uphold the law. he makes the law. and i will prosecute any case within my jurisdiction. i can't answer that question. i thought it was very important to have an independent analysis as to what took place and transpired from the very beginning. we are independent agencies from the police department. >> what do you think needs to be done to make sure -- [ inaudible ] >> accountability. >> how are you going to get there? >> you're getting it today. >> how do you make sure it's systemic? the system failed for so long.
>> ask your question one more time, please. >> can you talk about the resources -- >> i can tell you, as i stated we have a number of investigators, you can see it's been an all hands on approach from the very beginning, so i sent my investigators out to the scene, we have a number of them right here. we have working collaboration and working with the baltimore sheriff's department who has police powers and again independent from the baltimore city police department, so yes, we have leveraged the police investigation, but at no point did we compromise our own independent investigation into this case. >> we're taking a few more questions and that's it. >> change the rights police have right now, where they have the ten days to not talk to anybody, something the community has wrote up? >> i can't give you my opinion on that. >> last question. >> you would have to ask commissioner. >> have you spoken to her?
>> i've spoken to her, the governor, yes. i've spoken to the governor and the commission you'd have to ask him. >> have you had any previous complaints? >> i can't do that. all that again, we have to be mindful that this is still an ongoing investigation, and i can't -- i have to be mindful at what can come out at this point. >> thank you. thank you. >> and what she's describing as accountability, we just heard a stunning announcement from baltimore's state attorney marilyn mosby just in the job three months and now facing perhaps, the first major test of her young career. we're now learning six officers will be charged with crimes related to the death of freddie gray. they start at second-degree murder and go down to manslaughter, false imprisonment, negligence, misconduct, a laundry list. good morning to everyone i'm
tamron hall, this is "news nation." you've been following and watching this breaking news and announcement that i don't believe many people expected so soon after this preliminary report done by the baltimore police department turned over to the prosecutor that you're looking at there. and her office just a day early, and now we're getting great detail in the events that played out leading from freddie gray's arrest to his death. he was arrested to remind you, on april 12th. all caught on a cell phone camera. he died a week later. the details have been sketchy at best, with conflicting stories on what happened to mr. gray after he was picked up but we're now learning details, including allegations of false arrests. our colleague ari melber is with us, ron allen, and a laundry list of others. ron, we are hearing at least what the prosecution believes or
the state attorney believes happened in putting together some of these holes here. let's start with what marilyn mosby described what happened from the very beginning in which she described as a legal arrest of mr. gray. >> absolutely tamron. this is just scathing and as you said just stunning that it would happen so quickly, but clearly she's making the point that she did a thorough and independent -- she must have said the word "independent" several times. her allegation of that the police had no reason to stop freddie gray he made eye contact with them he ran, but when they stopped him and tried to arrest him, that there was no probable cause for that. he did have a weapon a knife, she said it's a legal weapon to have. they restrained him, arrested him, put him on the ground called for a police wagon to take him away then she says during the course of that at least five times she said he was
in the back of the van, unrestrained, at one point -- several points the van stops, he's checked, he's looked at asked for medical help those pleas are not responded to by the authority, by the police. they essentially drive him around the city for any number of minutes, i believe it's about a half hour or longer. the picture that she paints is of a man shackled handcuffed bouncing around unrestrained in the back of this van where he receives this catastrophic injury that later results in his death at a hospital. just the analysis that she put forward is very detailed there are statements from at least six police officers who are involved in this as i understand it there was an officer who is driving around and there were at least five other officers involved in the process of arresting him and then putting him in the police wagon and taking him eventually to the hospital. but what's stunning about all this is the detail and how
quickly she is saying and promising to the young people of this community that she, as a newly elected prosecutor who is just 30 years old herself, very experienced, that she says this is justice for the young people of this community, it's justice for this community, she was careful and sincere in saying this does not paint the entire baltimore police department with a brush. she emphasized her own background, her own family ties her mother, her father were police officers, her grandfather, she said was one of the founding members of an african-american police organization in massachusetts where she's from. just a thorough and detailed case presented by this prosecutor, that's going to hopefully help this community move forward and ultimately she asked for patience and peace as this community now goes forward. >> we heard the reaction from the people who were there. ari, let me bring you in. five generations of law enforcement, we know that
although her office is independent of the police department, there are always sensitivities on both sides, police will say, you know the job we do people do not understand and you have people in baltimore, ferguson new york cities around this country that continue to point out what they say are the injustices that happen with the policing and minority communities. there are many things to talk about, but just from the onset that mosby says the arrest itself was illegal, that mr. gray should never have been stopped, knife he had, there were reports it was a switchblade, all of these allegations and according to the state's attorney was not true. >> that's right, this will be tested in court. we just learned according to the prosecutor, there was no probable cause for the stop and arrest. that is to say, freddie gray according to the prosecutor should never have been arrested and put in this van to begin with and that cast aspersions of doubt on the rest of the treatment. now what's the legal headline here? the prosecutor is charging one officer with murder the
deliberate taking of a life. what is the murder weapon according to these charges? the vehicle, okay and the other five officers are being charged with a range of assault and negligent homicide, which we associate with car accidents that means they didn't deliberately murder but one officer charged with second-degree murder and the rest charged with being a part of it. >> that officer, caesar goodson, he has been on the force as we understand since 1999 as ari pointed out, second-degree murder charges, manslaughter assault, gross negligence, criminal negligence and misconduct. other officers william porter involuntary manslaughter assault, misconduct. when mosby laid out the situation from the very beginning of mr. gray pleaing for help ari, help us understand how those charges of neglect and even false imprisonment factor into this. >> the false imprisonment that he was not lawfully arrested. this was without probable cause essentially an illegal arrest. he was imprisoned in an unlawful
manner because there wasn't legal conditions for the arrest and then there is what she is calling violence perpetuated on him through the car, through what she called multiple violations of policy that we've been learning about and reporting on that he should be seat belted in he should not be thrown around in the car and such and the extra stops. >> this also speaks to what we also know has been happening within the baltimore police department, which is a number of cases settled with that police department with similar allegations if these play out to be convictions and any of these officers are found guilty it rings so similar to the allegations that this police department has faced for some years now, including cases the baltimore police department has settled. >> that's correct. the baltimore sun reporting over a four-year period in 2014, 100 cases settled on the civil side, civil settlements where the police or city are turning over
money or some sort of culpability without saying they did anything wrong based on the police treatments and some of the photographs and evidence from that being damning. the other thing i would point out legally, this was such an independent investigation. one of the conflicts of interest we've seen in so many cities is even when prosecutors may want an independent investigation, what they do is wait they get that police report. yesterday some of the reporting made it sound like the police have turned it over and now this investigation begins. what we heard here from prosecutor mosby very clearly was, no from day one she had her own people on the scene doing her own investigation, treating their officers as potential suspects now, tamron they are defendants. >> we understand a warrant has been issued for these officers but to your point about the relationship between the state's attorneys office an police department, we heard this discussion with the eric garner case and in ferguson where there's a belief among some it's difficult for the state's attorney to be independent because in so many cases to prosecute cases that are brought
in, you need the help of the police. so it then becomes a complexed relationship between police and the prosecutor. >> yeah and this goes to who has the power and who has the guns. you heard the prosecutor here in this press conference saying she also works with the sheriff's department, which has police powers. what does that mean? she has a different arm structurally in the way baltimore's organized separate from b.p.d. to come in issue the warrants do these arrests, so she is not relying on police to arrest each other in the case necessarily, but as you say, she's issued the warrants for the arrest this morning for all six. this will be a case she's not relying on testimony of one against another. she is indicted all six, one on the second-degree murder the deliberate taking of the life and the other five on going along, being in the car. >> but does that tell us perhaps at least she's anticipating some of these officers who were charged, they are all very serious, but not charged with second-degree murder they are
the people who can piece this together? we now know for example, this report in the washington post the individual was arrested in the last five minutes of that van transportation ride he could never see what was happening with mr. gray. there was a report that there was an affidavit signed by one of the officers or an officer that this man said mr. gray was injuring himself. this guy comes out and says i've never said anything like it and i couldn't see him, i barely heard a murmur. if she pieces this timeline together as it was presented, one would believe, ari, some of this had to come from one of these officers. >> that's certainly possible. we don't know yet. >> we don't know. >> all the charges are serious in the sense of mistreatment of a human life. having said that, legally, it's fair to say some of these have fairly low sentences, assault, assault imprisonment far lower than second-degree murder in maryland. may be cooperation led to this or may be she's throwing the book at all six and expecting those with a lot left to lose
may ultimately get out without going to jail at all. false imprisonment and that kind of thing is very different than the murder charge. >> let me bring in reverend al sharpton, he is on the phone, of course, the host of "politics nation," president of national action network. rev, what is your reaction to the development six officers have now been charged with various actions related to the death of mr. gray? >> well i am surprised, but i am surprised in a good way, because i thought that the announcement today would not go that far, though i had no doubt there was evidence for some to be charged. i spent yesterday and tuesday in baltimore, we had a big summit yesterday with the mayor and civil rights leaders and people the other day, our chapters have been involved in the protest and i think this is what young people have said in that they've been targeted in
baltimore, they've done nothing wrong, these charges vindicate a lot of what the young people are saying they are stopped for no reason and in some cases abused. we're not saying all police but certainly some. now for this prosecutor to bring about charges, i think, clearly we have to see where the case goes clearly we know charges does not mean the conviction, we saw that with trayvon martin but at least now we have a day in court, at least things are done. this, i think, is a very positive thing. i think it is a very necessary thing if the evidence was there, and i think that we ought to congratulate her for following the law and that we should not use it to say that all cops are bad and that the system does not work. it will if the system has the spotlight on it. so i think it is certainly not the end.
journey, it's the beginning of the process in the courts which is where it should be. >> listen we've heard, rev, ms. mosby say, listen she comes from five generations of law enforcement, as all police officers are not bad all people who live in west baltimore or any neighborhood that looks like it are not bad either. so you hear this applause we also know there's a protest that is still planned, as i understand, for tomorrow but to your point of this case we don't know how it will play out in court, but it does shine the light on a real conversation we've heard from last summer with ferguson to now and many others that perhaps will come in the future this idea of the policing in neighborhoods of poor and minorities being unbalanced and in some cases, all too many people men and women, being illegally arrested and charges and ultimately thrown into the system. >> well i think that it is clearly -- it is clearly a
situation of one, you've got to now ask yourself it's in north charleston, south carolina be sure to make charges and arrests. in baltimore they can make charges. it puts a lot of pressure on places like staten island where there was a videotape of eric garner on why there were no charges there, why there were no charges in other places. so now i think what the charges have done because neither one of the cases have been tried, i think what the charges have done now is say to the nation these people are not making it up. here is a state prosecutor with five generations of law enforcement charging six policemen, so if anything i think it makes those of us that have been demonized and denigrated to say wait a minute there's something here we need to deal with. now where it goes from here i think we've got to be cautious and careful, because again, we're not dealing with a
situation of politics now or activism, we're dealing with a court proceeding and evidence and the evidence has to speak for itself because every defense attorney is going to try and discredit this prosecution and this prosecutor. >> already the police union says the six officers are not responsible for freddie gray's death and were diligent. this is just coming in to us from the police union. with that said to your point, this still has to work its way through the legal system but it does again bring up what or where would we be without video, without that cell phone video. in some cases it has given the justice that has been sought by you and other civil rights leaders and families it did not in the eric garner case there was video there, but here wonders why there's still a resistance to have body cameras that at least might paint a picture of some of the developments that we would normally not have seen.
>> i think that it is very critical that we keep now insisting on body cameras, and i think that even you have seen some that were against it now supporting. in north charleston south carolina, and in baltimore, it makes all the difference in the world. in staten island it did not, and i think it puts a lot of pressure on staten island. but these young men, both the 40-year-old in north charleston and young mr. gray in baltimore, would have been gone and their stories never believed have it not been for the videos which is why we've been saying all along, we must have body cameras as law. it protects the police and the citizens. why were the policemen not want a body camera unless the policeman was the one at fault. why would the citizen not want it, unless they were at fault. i think this makes the point even more. >> thank you so much for joining
us. >> thank you. >> we have tremain standing by but i want to read more of the statement from the baltimore police officers union. the fraternal order of police president gene ryan made these comments in a letter. as tragic as the situation is none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of mr. gray. to the contrary at all times each of the officers diligently balanced their obligations to protect mr. gray and discharge their duties to protect the public. that is a part of the statement at least from the police union. now let's go to tremain lee in baltimore. what's some of the reaction you're hearing there? >> i just talked to a gentleman who said finally sounds like justice and there were young people taking to the streets and pushing, even pushing the boundaries, they got all the attention to pull the coverage back on issues folks have been talking about. again, the state attorney said
the arrest was illegal, the knife was legal under maryland law and once they got him into the van, face down on his belly and he said he couldn't breathe, they wouldn't give him an inhaler, he pleaded for medical attention, didn't get it. she said again and again there was negligence every step of the way. so folks now, another woman walked by and said it's justice, we got justice. of course, you know this is just the beginning of a long process here but folks are already starting as word trickles out, folks are feeling like their hopes have been answered in some degree. >> all right. let me bring ari back into this. i've got more from the police union. trymaine, if you could stand there, as well. the union is now saying they asked marilyn mosby to have a special independent prosecutor but after announcing the charges today, she said she would not turn the case over to a special prosecutor. the union has an attorney who says 5 of the 6 officers gave voluntary statements on the day of gray's arrest.
we do not know if one of those statements was that affidavit that was quoted in the washington post, but they are saying here voluntary statements but what we knew yesterday, ari, for example, the pieces of the story were trickling out to us including the commissioner pointing out they didn't know of the stop at that convenience store, which at the time we know of far more stops as revealed in this press conference today with mosby. yesterday we thought it was up to three and one was caught on a private security camera, so while these officers gave their statements on the day of gray's arrest it's clear through the police investigation and state's attorneys office there was more to be uncovered. >> that's right, that doesn't mean you're a bad person it means you're caught between different obligations. they are entitled to a presumption of innocence, also to a vigorous defense, which may include not speaking but that desire at an individual level for a potential suspect, defense
or quiet or noncooperation is completely at odds with the police department's sworn obligation to investigate crimes, even crimes that may occur within the department. so her investigators here were clearly able to ferret out information. >> the number of officers you're talking about here just individually that would take so much time to uncover each alleged role. >> the speed also goes to the type of investigation she was able to do because if the winds were turning over time and the officers felt that this was going to turn on them they may have gotten quieter later. by having her investigators in she felt she was able to get enough information, material testimony and forensic evidence to move forward with this and they'll go ahead and make their case through the legal process. >> let's talk about the most serious of these charges, officer caesar goodson, second-degree murder involuntary manslaughter second-degree negligent assault, manslaughter by vehicle means of
gross negligence the list goes on and on here but he is facing the second-degree murder here i don't want to lead you to speculate here but it is interesting the level and the difference in charges here when we know there was more than one individual there. >> tamron we don't have the full indictment yet. working off the public statements and the prosecutor, this sounds like lesser included offenses. what that means, go for the highest charge second-degree depraved murder that's an intentional killing, you meant to kill someone but you happened to do it in the moment. you didn't plan it, that would be first-degree murder. very serious charge and maryland can carry up to 30 years and it would appear the way she announced it if that is not convicted, you go down to lesser charges of taking of the life et cetera. goodson would be seen according to the theory of the prosecutor as the ring leader here the person who acted in a way and treated this suspect, mr. gray who was unlawfully arrested in
a way that resulted in intentional killing while the other five are basically going along for the ride. literally for the ride. and the rest when you look at involuntary manslaughter this is often a charge used against people with no malicious intent you could be in a car accident and that results in the taking of a life and you get an involuntary manslaughter charge, serious charge carries up to ten years prison time in maryland. >> mosby said mr. gray was in cardiac arrest and was severely and critically injured. the belief is that the fatal injury occurred while he was unrestrained by the seat belt in the vehicle. obviously, when people ari, saw the video of mr. gray there were many who wondered was he injured in the minutes or the seconds before, because his legs were dragging. he seems to be screaming in dire pain which would in some way match the description of the injuries to his body. never moved his legs but
according to this information, these injuries happened in that van. >> that's what it looks like. according to this prosecutor's theory, whatever injuries he had, the lethal injuries injuries that led to his death, legally what are significant for a murder charge occurred in the van. he may have been hurting and it was exasperated. i spoke to a former head of a major police department this week who didn't want to take a position on this case but said on background you do see a lot of people fake injuries because they don't want to go in but watching the video, this is the view of someone who ran a major city police department, they said it didn't look like he was faking going into that van. it looked like he'd already been hurt. now we have this prosecutor saying however hurt he was going in, the injuries that led to his death were sustained inside that ride. >> let me bring in michael skolnick, president of global grind and the president and founder of the 300 men march movement. the group has been on the streets working to stem the violence in baltimore and is holding an antiviolence rally in
the city tonight. let me get your reaction to the developments in this case that six officers have now been charged. munir? let us work out this audio issue, but let me go to michael skolnick. you've been on the show many times discussing various cases around the country where there have been in some of these cases no charges, no indictments, now here you are with six officers now being charged, and according to the state responsible for the death of freddie gray. what is your reaction? >> i think, tamron if i could have a moment to uplift the young people around this country, to see attorney mosby talk about as she said young people now is our time she heard the calls from no justice, no peace from the three incredible women who started black lives matter patrice,
opal alicia, people in ferguson for hundreds and hundreds of days that have been protesting in new york million hoodies, 300 men, to be more black, who have been protesting because they know and we know the truth, as a white person in this country, there are black and brown young people leading this movement and we are allies at their side fighting for justice, because we know these issues are affecting their communities and not affecting our communities in the same way, so we see a situation today and see the attorney of maryland state attorney from maryland speak and press these charges against these six officers, it's just a beautiful feeling for the young folk who have been called thugs, people who are trying to create violence, so many young people around this country have been marching for months, almost a year now, and many for decades, you know for justice and we know this is not justice. this is just the beginning. this is just the charge and
we've seen as reverend sharpton said, we've seen cases and cases, never got a conviction. uplift her name that case being thrown out just a few weeks ago. we will be persistent and resilient in our quest for justice, but i think if we thank you to the attorney for respecting young people as a 35-year-old woman, the youngest top prosecutor in any major city across this country, to respect young people and not look down upon them and call them names, respect them and uplift them and thank them for exercising their first amendment right, i want to take this chance to echo those sentiments. it's beautiful to see an elected official to do that on national television at the same time as defending a family and seeking justice for that family. >> let me bring in the president and founder of the 300 men march movement. i think we've worked out the audio there, but let me get your reaction to the charges. what's your reaction? >> well this makes our job a little easier in terms of the calm and the relief that the
community is feeling right now. i mean even as we're standing on the corner of pennsylvania right now, a lot of people honking, a lot of people cheering, so this is definitely changing the mood of the community. i think this is a big game changer in terms of the potential for the escalation of violence or anything. so, i mean for us for the 300 men march movement, this is good, you know because our job is to try to keep the peace, you know in a situation where people are validly feeling frustrated because of what happened to freddie gray. >> munir, as i mentioned, you were preparing for a number of people to join you today in rallies, there's a huge rally expected on saturday does this announcement change any of those plans? >> no. we actually -- we're hosting our own rally tonight, because, you know even in spite of the incidents and what happened with
freddie gray we're still dealing with the reality that there are a lot of -- there's a lot of violence in baltimore, violence that's happening on a day-to-day basis. just in the last seven days we've had ten homicides in baltimore, so our rally this evening is to give voice to those families and friends of the victims of those homicides. we look at the total picture of what's happening here in baltimore and that's that we have a violent culture that more people have to step up and work to decreasing if we're to have a safer baltimore. >> you know, we've talked a lot to you and many others about baltimore and the unemployment rate the struggle of the young men especially put in focus after this arrest. we've talked about ways to reach out and how does this problem get addressed beyond words? we know this has happened many times, going back to the '90s when so many young men were being carted off to prison with
what's now, i think many people grease excessively long prison terms for drug charges, profiling, the list goes on and on and sometimes they believe the change is beyond reach here. what does at least the charges, there's no convictions here but what do the charges do to make these men and girls feel that at least they are not invisible when it comes to the justice department in this one case. we cannot blow this whole thing up to sudden change but this one case? >> right. well i think what's happening, you know it's that freddie gray's humanity is being recognized. you know with what's happened in the past few years, large amount of young black men who have been killed by police officers and then for no charges and no convictions to happen you have a lot of young black men who may internalize that as
their humanity not being valued as much. when you couple that with the reality that in baltimore the majority of the homicides of young black men are committed by other black men, we see a huge issue where the humanity of young black men is not valued to the degree of everyone else and other members of society, so at least from the system perspective, i think this is a good sign for the community to see that you know young freddie gray's life his humanity, is valued is being taken serious, and the loss of his life is you know warrants the necessary attention that it is getting right now. >> munir, i cannot ignore the fact you've been able to pull in a diverse group of men to join the 300 men march. there's not just one type of person or one race who joined in with your effort here. this does speak beyond men and beyond african-american. >> yes.
i mean humanity you know we advocate for the preservation of humanity regardless of race regardless of religion regardless of the race, religion, or profession of the perpetrator or the victim you know, the 300 men march movement, we cross all lines and look at how do we preserve the humanity of everybody. we happen to be in a majority african-american city and the majority of the homeless are african-american, but that's not to say that our conversation is just limited to the killings of young black men. the killings of any person woman, man, child, christian, jrue jew, or muslim is a loss of humanity and that's something we're against and we've been advocating against since our inception in 2013. >> thank you so much for your time, munir, we greatly appreciate it. i do want to play more of what marilyn mosby said a short time ago regarding what set up this line of events including what she describes as officers not
having probable cause to arrest mr. gray in the first place. let's play that. >> the knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under maryland law. these officers subsequently removed the knife and placed it on the sidewalk. mr. gray was then placed back down on his stomach, at which time mr. gray began to flail his legs and scream as officer miller placed mr. gray in a restraining technique known as a leg lace. while officer narrow physically held him down against his will until a b.p.d. wagon arrived to transport mr. gray. lieutenant rice, officer miller and officer narrow failed to establish probable cause for mr. gray's arrest as no crime had been committed by mr. gray. accordingly, lieutenants rice officer miller and officer narrow illegally arrested mr. gray. >> she went on to say that upon arrival the medic determined
that mr. gray was now in cardiac arrest. let me play more of how she described freddie gray died in police custody. >> upon arrival, the medic determined mr. gray was now in cardiac arrest and was critically and severely injured. mr. gray was rushed to the university of maryland shock trauma where he underwent surgery. on april 19th 2015 mr. gray succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. the manner of death deemed a homicide by the maryland state medical examiner is believed to be the result of a fatal injury that occurred while mr. gray was unrestrained by a seat belt in the custody of the baltimore police department wagon. >> let me get more reaction to this breaking news. with us now councilman brandon scott of the baltimore city council. thank you so much for joining us again. let me get your reaction six officers warrants out for their arrest and have been charged in connection with the death freddie gray.
>> it shows our attorney is serious about her business. we also have to make sure that we understand that this is not justice, this is not the end of this process. this is the beginning. we've seen these cases around the country, we've seen indictments and charges, but we've never seen a conviction. folks, this is a great day for people who have been upset about this. this is a day they are going to be happy, they are going to be excited, they are going to be jubilant. they feel once again in their city and country that black lives matter but also they have to make sure we stay even and stay even headed and level headed as we move forward through the process that could take some time so folks don't feel disappointed as they have throughout the history of the country. as leaders, very critically important that we talk to them about that. this process is just beginning, but today they are going to be very happy and if that's the way they feel, they should be happy. again, like i said they feel black lives matter but this is
the beginning of the process. >> to your point, this is the beginning of the process and we should note again the fraternal order of police issued a statement saying that the officers are not responsible for the death of freddie gray and they have an attorney now, at least who will represent at this point we believe five of the six individuals. you have people still wondering about the curfew in place. we were talking with a young man just a second ago, one of the peaceful protesters and i could see police in riot gear walking behind lining up. what can we expect as far as the police response tonight in baltimore? >> i don't know. actually, when the news broke, i was in talking to students about what was going on and trying to help them understand the process and help them deal with their emotions and the trauma they have been dealing with. probably in the next hour or so the mayor and governor will be updating on that. everyone wants to go back to normal but we'll get there eventually but today this is a
focus and the focus is also have to remain safety. >> the aclu has called for the curfew to be lifted. do you believe that should happen today or perhaps even tomorrow? >> well, i think it could, but i think that's to be determined. we know they have things they check, threat levels and things they check, because ultimately we want people to be safe. they want people to be safe. this isn't just about having some kind of source of martial law, this is about the safety of the citizens. i think they'll do their due diligence and make a decision and we have to react accordingly. >> thank you for your time. let me go to my colleague, msnbc's thomas roberts, he's live in baltimore for us. what type of reaction are you hearing to this? >> tamron we're at the corner of pennsylvania and north avenue. this is where we've been doing a lot of our broadcasting and a lot of our reporting from and i know you've seen the cvs store is right here to my left. a lot of excitement in this intersection right now, as word as traveled about the
indictments of these officers but also very heavy police presence here at this intersection. much more than i've seen in daylight before because it's a combination of the national guard, it's a combination of the state police in maryland also different local agencies here in maryland, but i also noticed around the corner pennsylvania state police are also here. you can hear the horns and everybody honking as the news has started to travel. we were out shooting in west baltimore, i was putting together a timeline of the different stops that the police van encountered after picking up freddie gray on pressbury street and then we heard the news and we ran into people who were calling each other, mom was talking to her daughter on the phone, who was relaying all the information the state's attorney mosby was relaying through the tv set and people are relieved this is a first step in the right direction. it is interesting to see the different charges that have been
leveled against all six of the officers and whether or not legally they'll be able to meet that bar when they take the case further down the line but as we look at the charges, we can understand and start to evaluate from a legal perspective exactly what they were considering in the state's attorneys office based on the police investigation and independent investigation, but the reaction tamron from at least this part in west baltimore, for these residents, these neighbors that have been out and paying very close attention to this story, i think there is a sense that they are happy with the fact that the state's attorney's office sees there is merit for movement with the judicial charges. >> thomas roberts, fantastic job in your reporting there. we greatly appreciate it. we are going to take a quick break. we'll be right back with more of the breaking news of the day. six officers charged in the death of freddie gray. we'll have more reaction coming up here on "news nation". shopping online... ...is as easy as it gets. wouldn't it be great if hiring plumbers
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welcome back. we continue to follow the breaking news baltimore state's attorney marilyn mosby just a short time ago. >> coupled with the medical examiner's determination that mr. gray's death was a homicide which we received today, has led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges. >> the six baltimore police officers now charged with the death of freddie gray joining me now by phone is pastor jamaal bryant, he actually delivered the eulogy at mr. gray's funeral is on his way back to frederick douglas high school to explain what happened there to the students there. thank you so much for your time. i don't know if you've had an opportunity to speak to mr. gray's family or the attorney representing, but i know you've been in close contact with them for some time. >> yes, it's a day of excitement, as you can imagine, i'm going to see them this afternoon, the family of trayvon martin is just landing in
baltimore, so those two families are going to meet today. this is really a turning page and point, not just for the city but for the movement at large. >> all along, pastor bryant, you and others as well as the gray family, have maintained that this was a wrongful arrest that even when allegations surfaced yesterday that maybe the injuries were caused by mr. gray himself, you've maintained all along his death was the result of what happened in that van and what happened with his interaction with the officers. >> absolutely. we had questions all of the doubts we had about the system have really began to diminish. i'm going to the high school to really help them understand that while we celebrate this process, but it's not completion. we still have a trial ahead of us and we still have a system we've been marching around. it's much larger than freddie gray as an individual. he really symbolized an area of
corruption within the police department, not just in baltimore, but across the country slanted against african-american males. >> we just spoke with a young man who's a part of the 300 men march and he put it this way, at least acknowledges the humanity there is a human being, that there's a face it's not just another person of color pulled over or killed that this -- these charges recognize the humanity that exists and that is often ignored. >> no i think he's right on point, that we've got to stay focused with sefrg that is going on and not getting distracted. there's a whole lot of freddie grays, not just in baltimore, but you have trayvon martin michael brown, eric garner jameer rice and that's why we're seeing protests and rallies from around the nation from philadelphia to new york is because across the country people can identify. >> we know as well that the attorney mosby recognized the young protesters who came out and peacefully protested, and
also acknowledged those like congressman cummings who came out and tried to tamp down some of the frustration, tamp down some of the anger at the height of this what do you hope to see saturday, for example, if the protests continues? what is the message that you want heard from the many who are expected in your city over the weekend? >> well today at 3:00 we're going down to the baltimore city jail to do a rally there, to really have an image and picture in front of us of what is our target. this time line and what michelle alexander calls the new jim crow, mass incarceration of black males, complete police reform, not just in baltimore, but across the state of maryland. >> pastor thank you so much for your time we greatly appreciate it. and joining me still again with me is msnbc chief legal correspondent ari melber. i'm going to put your legal hat to the side and let's talk
politics here since the pastor brought this up this mass incarceration, you had hillary clinton at the beginning of the week going against her husband's policies that many have pushed back against and cited as some of the long-term problems that exist in communities right now, poor communities, communities where minorities live long prison sentences and this will become a part of the political debate as rand paul is striking back now on hillary clinton over this. >> absolutely. there is a wider rethinking going on a lot of the architecture of the national war on drugs is bipartisan the law that ronald reagan signed that put in mandatory minimums passed 98-0 in the senate. a lot of democrats ran for decades on being so-called tough on crime, which was associated with, as you say, mass incarceration incarceration, broken windows policing, aggressive approach to drugs, that's changing on policy eric holder has led a smart on crime reform you know reform packages that have dealt
with racial disparities, drugs, some of this but to your point about rand paul john kasich who may run in ohio at the state level, hillary clinton giving the big speech this week that was her first policy speech. it was about responding to this. then you have other republicans who at least want to be involved. you have tea party republicans in mike lee in the senate who aren't running for higher office but are saying we need to change this approach so it's a larger conversation not only about police/citizen relations, which is what we've seen in so many of these terrible, terrible incidents, but also about what are the underlying laws that set up these interactions. >> yeah absolutely. and we can't go back enough to the point that was made by attorney mosby of this illegal arrest this knife was found and many have pointed out that the police would never have found the knife if they had not arrested him and pulled him over. wasn't as if he was walking down the street with this knife, which turned out to be a legal possession of a knife, according
to mosby, was not a switchblade, and it talks about aggressive policing. you lock eyes and you are of a certain background in the wrong neighborhood, locking eyes gets you background in a certain neighborhood locking eyes gets you arrested. that is what this case makes it sound like. exactly. when you talk about excessive government. the greatest power take your liberty or life imprison you, arrest you, et cetera. you have individuals stopped repeatedly for no reason without probable cause or in this case the prosecutor beginning her announcement today with her findings. that's the prosecutor's side. police have their chance to respond. with her findings in this investigation, this individual freddie gray who's now dead should never have been arrested in the first place. >> it goes back to ferguson. the large conversation at the beginning was the heavily
militarized police departments and opp eds from rand paul and others saying what's going on? local police departments are armed to the t. now this case with freddie gray. you make eye contact and that results in a chain of events that leads to your death. >> or you're holding in his case a weapon a knife that was not illegal. this is when a majority of households have a gun in them. when you talk about violence or protecting yourself. this individual -- we know baltimore can be dangerous. he's got a kind of weapon according to the prosecutor is not illegal. he's got interaction that has no criminal content. yet he is not only taken, he is arrested according to the prosecutor illegally and then put into conditions. this we know. this is uncontested. put into conditions that led him to be killed.
>> let's go to our colleague in baltimore. toure spoke to a police officer ands has reaction. what a did he say? >> reporter: tamran he said he was somewhat supportive of the charges. he said if they have the evidence charges should be filed. he kept saying it's day one stuff. the whole job is procedure. why would you not buckle someone? he seemed to not understand that decision at all. if they didn't follow procedure he said that's negligence. he was one of many many cops that we've seen and all different sorts of cops. they've called people from all over the state. he said they put out the message doesn't matter if you're on vacation off duty you must come in today. we need everyone. we're seeing a wide police presence throughout the city in the inner harbor the tourist area a lot may have visited. troopers, state police a lot down by city hall.
everyone in the city a lot of cops, a raid all around. this cop we spoke to said he thinks these charges being filed and announced will create a different mood. he suspects some will say hey this still proves that all cops are bad and still have some anger and frustration. he thinks it will calm the mood today. >> tell me about the police presence from your vantage point. >> reporter: we see large number of national guard and state troopers. they have been here throughout the time i've been here. this is a little bit higher in terms of number of folks we're seeing. if the camera could turn around something different a large line of cops over by the war memorial. some of them in riot gear. they're prepared to -- they're staging over there prepared to move a large group of cops over there that we haven't seen
before. >> toure, excellent reporting. again the breaking news of this hour the state's attorney for baltimore announcing that six officers have now been charged in connection with the death of freddie gray. officer cesar goodson second degree depraved-heart murder. he was behind the wheel of the van. also lieutenant brian w. rice manslaughter, assault second degree. officer edward assault second degree. garrett miller same charge assault second degree and alicia white a number of charges.
the most serious, the depraved-heart murder charge against goodson. trayvon martin's parents just touching down in baltimore. we understand the protest planned for saturday is still going on. a number of rallies as well including one being led to the correction facility in that city. this story continues to develop. a lot of reaction including i should note again from the police union who is insisting that the officers are not responsible for mr. gray's death. they plan to defend those officers as well. this is just the beginning. these are charges. this will all play out in court. it's been an incredible day of news so far. thank you so much for joining us for this edition of "news nation." we'll continue coverage coming up with andrea mitchell. i will see you on monday.
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accelerating the timetable. baltimore's top prosecutor makes an unexpected announcement indicting six police officers in the death of freddie gray. >> the findings of our comprehensive, thorough independent investigation, coupled with the medical examiner's and examination that mr. gray's death was a homicide which we received today has led us to believe we have probable cause to file criminal charges. >> state's attorney marilyn mosby appealed to protestors a that have been in the streets of baltimore over the last week. >> i heard your call for no justice no peace. your peace is sincerely needed. as i work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man. >> and she made this pledge to the youngest citizens of baltimore. >> i will seek justice on your behalf. this is a moment this is your moment. let's insure that we have
peaceful and productive rallies that will develop structural and systemic changes for generations to come. you're at the forefront of this cause. as young people our time is now. >> and good day. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. a dramatic day in baltimore. crowds beginning to gather in the streets after the state's attorney announcement charging six officers in the death of freddie gray. the investigation found there was no probable cause for gray's arrest in the first place. >> gray was seated in a position and found a knife clipped to the inside pants pocket. the blade was folded into the handle. the knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under maryland law. officers failed to