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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Riots Erupts in Baltimore; Maryland Governor Activates National Guard; Maryland Governor Declares State of Emergency. Aired 7-8:00p ET
Aired April 27, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:08] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you very much. And good evening to all of you. I'm Erin Burnett.
And we do have our continuing coverage of this breaking news story tonight. Baltimore erupting. We have riots in Baltimore right now out on the streets tonight. It was peaceful. It has turned ugly and violent. You're looking at live pictures. Stores have been looted and destroyed, now even lit on fire by rioters. There is a massive fire and fear that it could get worse as darkness falls tonight. The angry rioters today overtook a police car. They smashed the roof and the windows with bats, metal rods and rocks. Others set a police car on fire that fire spread to a second patrol car. Rioters then set a third car alight.
Seven officers have now been injured. Some of them have broken bones. And one officer was actually found unconscious. This is according to the Baltimore Police Department. All are now receiving treatment. We have seen the crowds looting stores. And this is what Wolf was just talking about, that CVS was looted. You can see people running in and completely emptying that store, breaking the windows, destroying it. A check cashing store also looted, a liquor store. And once this looting started, there was very little if any police presence actually seen at any of those locations. It's a stark contrast when the riot first broke out this afternoon when heavily armed police clashed with protesters on the streets. There was fighting going on. Hand-to-hand combat, if you will, multiple arrests. Maryland state police are ordering an additional 40 state troopers to Baltimore tonight as darkness falls.
Our Athena Jones was reporting right by a high school. A lot of students walked out this afternoon, reportedly to join rioters, throwing rocks at police and reporters. A large number of officers carrying a wounded policeman moved in to exactly where Athena was standing, here's what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A police officer clearly hurt here. Look at that. Do you see that? This is a police officer that had been pulled out. You guys, we got to move back. Move back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That was Athena this afternoon. That police officer injured outside a high school. Just moments ago, the situation raging out of control. Tonight's game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox postponed. Literally, 20 minutes before they said they were going to go ahead with it. The situation has deteriorated so quickly and so rapidly that they had to then postpone that game. All of this was on the day of the funeral for Freddie Gray, the man at the heart of this, the black man who died after suffering a spinal injury while in police custody.
We begin our coverage tonight with Miguel Marquez. Miguel, it's been incredible to watch you out on the street. As you said, you have been in this neighborhood for six days. The words you just used a few moments ago describing what you experience at this moment was "Holy Hell."
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Holy hell is right. We don't know where this is going right now. We had very little notice that this was going to happen today, this protest from a high school that has just exploded into pockets of absolute riot and chaos throughout the city of Baltimore. This is the corner of North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. This is near just a few blocks from where Freddie Gray was arrested. And the police station where he was eventually taken and then moved into an ambulance there. The police here, the riot police have moved the crowd down this way on the other side of them is the CVS that was burning for about a half hour before fire trucks were able to get in there. There were two vehicles, one a police vehicle right down the way from it that had burned for an hour with no fire trucks around to service it.
The hose that you see there at the end of the police line, to the left of the police line, we watched them hook that up in a very fast and professional way. And as soon as the firefighters walked away or turned their backs, somebody walked up with a knife and cut holes, two holes into that fire hose. Firefighters were able to come back, shut the water off, remove the link, and then reestablish the connection. So they are getting water on the fire now. And I can tell you that the smoke end up the fire in that CVS is much less right now. But absolute pandemonium. I want to show you here. This is Pennsylvania Avenue. That's towards downtown Baltimore. This is the area where the street, they walked down on Saturday.
This is the direction that most of the protesters or I shouldn't even call them protester, rioters and looters at this point, where they have moved. I understand they are moving toward downtown Baltimore. It is not clear where. I understand the arena here in Baltimore is a place where a lot of students get off on the bus. And that's a place where they've had some problems. But clearly, the Camden Yards has also always been a target of theirs. Certainly it was on Saturday. That's where the worst of the violence was on Saturday. And then the large number of people you see down this street are for the most part members of the nation of Islam. They're highly respected in this neighborhood and they're trying to establish order on their own -- Erin.
[19:05:05] BURNETT: All right. Miguel, thank you very much. We're going to be going back to Miguel. I just want to update everyone on the breaking news. The governor of Maryland, our republican Governor Hogan has now just declared in the past few minutes a State of Emergency for Baltimore City and activated the National Guard. So for those who were hoping that you wouldn't see Ferguson-like images, obviously this situation has deteriorated incredibly quickly. One must ask what those rioters have to gain from setting a local CVS on fire in their own neighborhood.
I want to go to Joe Johns. He is OUTFRONT near the CVS that is on fire. Joe, you just heard Miguel talking about how rioters literally cut holes in the pipe that was going from -- with water to put out this fire. And then firefighters had to put another one and attach it. Pretty horrific.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We've had an unusual situation that we just walked up on a little while ago. Over here you can see a couple of cars clearly that burned. The firefighters apparently had to take some time before they got to those to put those fires out. Now the police have been moving down the street, apparently sort of a street-sweeping operation. And we're moving with them, Erin, as I talk to you. The fire is out. That's the good news. The question now is what are the police planning to do next. There are only a few people out here on the street. I don't see anybody who is confronting them. And we haven't seen any rocks thrown since we got here at least. The smoke is extremely strong, and the longer we stand out here, the more difficult it is, quite frankly, to breathe. Behind the police officers, you can see a number of fire engines as they continue to try to work on the building fire, the structure fire that is just across the way from us. We can't even see it partly because of the smoke and all the vehicles, Erin. So police have stopped here for the moment. But periodically they take a few steps forward. And they look like they're trying to clear the street.
BURNETT: And obviously they are in that line. They're trying to hold the line. I mean, at this point it does look rather militaristic. I know now, Joe, the governor of Maryland has just activated a state of emergency for Baltimore City. We're going to bring in the National Guard. Have you seen any evidence of that at this point, or I would imagine they're really just getting on their way. But have you seen anything?
JOHNS: No, we have not seen National Guard out here. As I look at these officers, I'm trying to get close enough to see some of the badges. They're all Baltimore City Police as far as I can see. I don't see anybody from any other units, at least from this location -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Joe Johns, thank you very much. We're going to go back to our reporters. And we have reporters all across this area of Baltimore as they find out more of what is happening.
OUTFRONT, we're going to bring in now Jamal Bryant, pastor of the Empowerment Temple of Baltimore who gave the eulogy at Freddie Gray's funeral. Also with me, State Representative Keith Haynes. Representative Haynes, let me begin with you. What is your reaction to what we're seeing tonight? I mean, just a deterioration, riots, rioters cutting holes in a fire hose so that police and firefighters can't even put a fire out in a CVS. KEITH HAYNES, DEPUTY MAJORITY WHIP, MARYLAND HOUSE OF DELEGATES:
Yes, that's my understanding. That is correct. I have to say first of all, let me just simply say this initially. That we are urging calm, peace and civility in the city of Baltimore. We understand that emotions are running high, and that people are frustrated and outraged. But violence is not the answer. So we are asking for calm. At this moment. I am really at a state of surprise that the situation has deteriorated to -- at this point on today. We have had a number of civil protests since over a week ago, I think on two Saturdays ago they began.
HAYNES: And we're very proud that individuals were able to exercise their constitutional right to protest and exercise their freedom of speech and do it in a civil way. We are grappling with the situation now in our communities and across the city. And I do understand that the governor has just issued a few moments ago a state of emergency in the city of Baltimore. But at this point, we are urging calm. People are frustrated, understandably, and they're outraged and are seeking answers. And they deserve it. But at the same time, we do want to exercise as much civility as we move forward.
BURNETT: Of course, they lose. They lose the hearts and minds of a lot of their fellow countrymen by what they have done today. Seven police were injured. One was unconscious, as I said cutting that fire hose, looting stores. I mean, what they have done is pretty horrible.
[19:10:12] HAYNES: Well, you're absolutely right. No one wants to see anyone injured in a protest or in a situation where individuals are demonstrating. And to see I think seven police officers that have been injured, I think one is unresponsive, and several cars have been set afire is not the answer. And it's not the direction in which we as a community, my legislative district or the city I would say would want to move. And I am hoping that with all the community leaders, all the legislative leaders across this city, all the religious leaders across this great city, and I'm joined with one of the greatest leaders here in the city of Baltimore, Pastor Jamal Bryant, that we can do whatever is necessary to exercise calm among those that are causing the problem. And let me simply say this. I don't think that there is a tremendous overwhelming number of individuals that are at this point razing areas of destruction in comparison to those -- the numbers that have been protesting peacefully over the last week and a half.
BURNETT: Reverend Bryant is with us as well. And Reverend Bryant, of course I know you gave the eulogy at Freddie Gray's funeral. I know that this is personally distressing to you what we're seeing. Let me get your reaction first to the breaking news that the Governor of Maryland has now put a state of emergency on Baltimore City, and the National Guard is going to be coming in. Fair? Is that the appropriate response, given the riots that we're seeing?
REV. JAMAL BRYANT, ORGANIZED FREDDIE GRAY'S FUNERAL SERVICE: It's amazing. We are in a state of emergency. And have been in so for several years now because of the excessive force and how it is that African-Americans have been treated. But to what has happened today, yes, that is a state of emergency as well that needs some redress right now. I have pastors gathering at New Shiloh Baptist Church from around the city, and I'm taking clergy to the streets of Baltimore because we don't trust the police. And so we've got to learn how to police ourselves. What has happened today is absolutely inexcusable and does not mirror the level of dignity that we're looking for in this movement. We want justice and not revenge. And violence had never brought justice. And as a consequence, we're asking for a complete redress, but we're hitting the streets tonight. We don't want to see any of our children hurt, wounded, or even teargassed or tased. So we're moving to pull them back, because this does not motto reflect the nonviolent movement we've been a part of the last seven days.
BURNETT: And Reverend, I know, I hear what you're saying, but I have to ask, you know, what? You're saying you find it inexcusable and you want the dignity of the people preserved. But at the same time, when you're saying you don't trust the police, do you think that ads at all to the anger that you're seeing among young people, right? They're attacking police.
BRYANT: No, you are responding as if what I'm saying is a newfound phenomenon. When you're considering how many people in Baltimore have had to have redress right here in Baltimore. Over $5 million has had to have been paid off for excessive force. So what I'm saying is new to CNN, but it's not new to citizens of Baltimore who are already frustrated. And that's why we've been protesting in the street. There is absolutely no reason in the world that today we should have funeralize a 25-year-old. So many times we look at the riot but don't look at the root. The riot is absolutely out of order, but the root still has to be addressed by the same governor who has dispatched the National Guard, is the same governor who would not give redress to the officers' bill of rights that have given them a kind of blue shield where for ten days they don't have to give testimony, they can wait to have an attorney, and even what it is that they say is not necessarily admissible in court.
BRYANT: So yes, this riot is out of order. But we still have to stay focused on why it is that we're marching.
BURNETT: All right. Reverend Bryant, Representative Haynes, I appreciate both of your time. We'll going to have a special report here, the breaking news on the National Guard, how many, what they're going to do. We're getting that just into CNN. We're going to get that to you in just a moment. Also, the rioters breaking into the stores, crowds looting the shelves. Where were the police when this happened?
Plus, the President has now been briefed on the riots by the new attorney general as the governor of Maryland declares a state of emergency. The National Guard coming in at this hour. We'll be right back.
[19:18:20] BURNETT: The breaking news. A violent riot breaking out in Baltimore tonight. The Maryland governor has now declared a state of emergency just moments ago. The National Guard is going to be coming in to Baltimore. At least seven police officers have serious injuries from the rioters today -- broken bones. One officer found unresponsive. They are getting treatment at this hour. We don't have an update on that officer's condition, however. Rioters smashing police cars, throwing bricks, large rocks at officers directly. Two cop cars set up in flames. Stores around the city looted. The CVS set on fire. When firefighters tried to put that fire out, rioters cut holes in the hose. This violence comes just hours after Freddie Gray, the young black man who suffered that spinal cord injury when he was with Baltimore police was laid to rest the day of his funeral.
Brian Todd is OUTFRONT in Baltimore. And Brian, you've been in the middle of the riots during the day -- okay, we're going to go to Joe. All right. So everyone, obviously given the situation down there, we have intermittent transmission issues. We'll go to Brian Todd when he can get him back. I believe we have Joe Johns though who is just around the corner from where some of those cars were set on fire -- Joe.
JOHNS: Right. Okay. So, you want to spin around here? Yes. I just want to show you, we've got a lot of people standing in the street, and some members of the nation of Islam, looks like the fruit of Islam moving through the street at this time. We're right in front of Simmons Memorial Baptist Church where only moments ago, the police, Jay, if you'll spin around here, only moments ago the police cleared out of the street. And it looks like the community now is trying to restore some calm here on the street. Pastor Simmons, this is your church.
PASTOR SIMMONS, SIMMONS MEMORIAL BAPTIST CHURCH: Yes.
JOHNS: You're out here trying to get people to get off the streets?
SIMMONS: Exactly. Exactly. Because --
JOHNS: Just tell me this. There was a huge gathering of police officers up there on the street.
JOHNS: Were you concerned that that was contributing to the situation? And how would you like to get it resolved, at least on your block?
SIMMONS: No, what I mainly want to do is find out what their itinerary is. Once I find that out, assist them because these are our jewels in the community. And a whole lot of them are operating off of a blown emotion. And if I can get them to cooperate, to disperse, to clear the street, because I understand exactly what's going on now.
JOHNS: Who are these individuals, Pastor, with the black shirts on?
SIMMONS: These are 300 -- 300 black men. And their task is to assist in any way, shape or fashion in dispersing the women and the children off the street.
JOHNS: Okay. So they're trying to bring calm out here.
SIMMONS: They're bringing calm. They're bringing calm, along with the nation of Islam.
SIMMONS: So it's a group thing. Okay. Thank you very much, Pastor. Erin, back to you.
BURNETT: All right, Joe Johns, thank you very much. I believe now, Brian Todd we have your shot back available. You've been up in the middle of the riots. What are you seeing now?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, we're seeing a phalanx of riot police right here. This is on Pennsylvania North Avenue. Right behind us is where the fire was at the CVS. It looks like that is still smoldering, but a lot of that has been contained. They have three ladders here as they try to get more water into that facility. We saw several firefighters going into it earlier. Smoke was just pouring out of there. And as they try to get some water into that facility. We were told by a firefighter just a short time ago that protesters, rioters had cut some of the hoses that firefighters were using to try to get some water into that CVS building. But a lot of it of course has burned down now. Maybe you can see if our photo journalist John Bennett can train his shot, if we can get it, of that firefighter climbing up that ladder there, still trying to contain that fire at CVS there.
Some protesters, some people on the street were pushed that way by a line, a cordon of riot police. And we came around the block to this section. Also, we just saw a team of S.W.A.T. vehicles come through here as they made their way east on North Avenue, there has been some commotion here where some people were challenging police officers, but that kind of died down after a while. And look, over here, if we can swing our camera here, John, people have come out to this neighborhood to try to clean up in the immediate aftermath of what has gone on here. Sir, if you can talk to us. Do you have a second to talk to CNN? Can you tell us what's gone on here? What has this done to your neighborhood?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is a black eye to our neighborhood. I have a business right there. Been here for like 12 years. And we don't support this, not this.
TODD: How bad is this compared to some of the other unrest you've seen in Baltimore recently?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is bad. This is really bad.
TODD: Can your business recover at this point? UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Well, they didn't bother us. They didn't
bother us. But we want to know if our neighborhood can recover from this.
TODD: Good luck, sir. Thank you very much for talking to us. Erin, just trying to recover -- a lot of burned out buildings. CVS was looted. A check cashing business was looted. Rioters were throwing bricks at police cars with police still in them. And they're just starting to kind of recover as they push some of the protesters and rioters down the street that way toward downtown Baltimore -- Erin.
[19:23:50] BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Brian Todd. And you know, and I think worth emphasizing at this point, you know, when Brian is talking to that local business owner, yes, you are seeing these rioters. The majority of the people in these neighborhoods one would imagine are horrified by what is happening in their neighborhoods and in their name.
I want to go to Pamela Brown now OUTFRONT in Washington. Pamela, the breaking news at this hour, the governor of Maryland declaring a state of emergency just moments ago activating the National Guard. So, what does that mean? When people hear that, they think of Ferguson, Missouri, right? They think of the National Guard vehicles moving in, the armored cars, armored trucks. When are they going to show up in Baltimore, and how, and how many?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they should show up soon, Erin, because I know there is a great concern there in Baltimore that as night fall there that the violence of course could escalate. Now you mentioned the National Guard in Ferguson. They were deployed there, and they played a secondary role. They didn't have direct interaction with the protesters, which the rioters. They were more there for site protection. So it's very likely that they could play a very similar role here on not the front lines, but behind the police, behind the officials who are there who are confronting the rioters and there on the front lines. We know that a thousand officers in addition to the National Guard have been deployed to Baltimore from surrounding counties, including Montgomery County, also 40 additional Maryland state troopers have been deployed today as this violence unfolds. Again, there is great concern, Erin, that the violence will escalate as night falls.
BURNETT: All right, Pamela Brown, thank you very much. As Pamela said, we expect the National Guard to be showing up momentarily because of the fears that they have in Baltimore about what is going to happen as it gets dark, which you have heard from locals as our reporters have been talking to them. And of course from law enforcement.
OUTFRONT next, more on the breaking news. The major riot on the streets of Baltimore. Tonight, violence, looting, fires, the situation that has gotten out of control. We're going to go live to the streets and that state of emergency. President Obama has now been briefed on the riots as the National Guard is called in. We're going to go to the White House. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[19:29:55] BURNETT: We're continuing to follow breaking news out of Baltimore tonight. The Maryland governor just declaring a state of emergency, activating the National Guard. You're looking at live pictures right now as police try to regain control after rioters looted a number of buildings, set a CVS on fire. We have video now from inside that CVS. This is moments before it was actually set on fire. You can see the destruction that had been wreaked by rioters who were ripping everything off the shelves. It was Tom Fuentes who pointed out. Of course, now, there are people in that neighborhood who lost their job because CVS is now gone. This comes just hours after Freddie Gray, the black man who died after suffering a spinal cord injury in policy custody was laid to rest.
Miguel Marquez is on the phone now from Baltimore. We saw him moments ago. I told you, because of the situation there, transmission is a little iffy. Miguel is seeing heavy looting going on.
Miguel, where are you and what are you seeing?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): We're about four blocks from where we were before on North Avenue, where Pressman and Pennsylvania Avenue. Pennsylvania is the main avenue that cuts from West Baltimore right down into the inner harbor and the very touristy areas of the city. I'm staring at a liquor store that is being looted now. The window in front is smashed out, people jumping out with boxes and bottles of whatever they want. Stores all along this area being looted.
I'm looking at police two blocks away, watching the looters do all of this and not establish any control. The police seem to have enlisted city buses in order to move police officers in large numbers to different parts of the city.
We're hearing as many as 10 different pockets of rioters right now throughout the city of Baltimore. Some of them moving toward downtown Baltimore on Pennsylvania Avenue. That's why the game has been canceled. On Saturday, Camden Yards, the Oriole park here, became the focal points for the looters here, of where the protesters, which is now turned to looting and rioting and utter chaos -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Miguel. And we are just getting word right now that the mayor of Baltimore is going to be having a press conference in just any minute here. So we're going to be taking that live as soon as we get word of exactly when she is going to begin speaking. As I said, that could be any minute.
We do know she had a conversation with the president of the United States. He has been briefed on this.
Michelle Kosinski is OUTFRONT from the White House.
Michelle, this is now something that is front and center on the president's desk. MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you
know, it is. But I think what we've been seeing is a very measured, you might even call it a low-key response from the White House. And if you look at other prior incidents of questionable behavior by police over the last couple of months, that's what we've seen lately.
I mean, the president hasn't wanted to get out there and get in the briefing room and make a grand statement about this. What the White House wants to do is have this first be handled within the local community, but offer the assistance of the Department of Justice.
In fact, for a while today, while this was going on, we're seeing the pictures of the rioting escalating and escalating. But then at the same time here at the White House, we're seeing pictures of the president walking around with the prime minister of Japan, who is in town for a state visit. And the White House wasn't putting out a statement just yet.
We were wondering when we were going to hear something. You know, is the president going to appeal for calm? Is he going to make a comment on this?
But it's pretty consistent with what we've seen, that they haven't wanted to sort of give the young rioters a higher profile than maybe is deserved. They sometimes want to give it some time and see how it plays out.
I mean, the pictures are stunning and extremely disturbing. But still, in the grander scheme of things, this is a localized disturbance. It's not spreading from city to city across the country right now.
So, the White House hasn't wanted to say too much. What they did was deliver a readout or a summary of this meeting that was held with the brand-new attorney general, Loretta Lynch, this afternoon.
And, by the way, that meeting was not called because of this unrest. It was a prior scheduled meeting. But they did talk about Baltimore.
So, the president is being constantly updated on this situation. The Department of Justice is handling sort of the upper-level response here. They've offered assistance. And we also did learn that the president spoke directly with the Mayor of Baltimore earlier today.
But the White House isn't saying if that was pre-riot or post- riot. I mean, the way it was read out is that the mayor was talking about methods to try to keep the peace. Well, if that was prior, it doesn't look like those methods held for very long. But that's what the White House is saying thus far -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Michelle. And as I said, momentarily, we expect a live press conference from the mayor of Baltimore. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who had a conversation with President Obama today. Also, I can tell you the Baltimore police will be joining her.
Captain Eric Kowalczyk, who's been a guest on this program is also expected to speak at this press conference, which is I indicated, she begins sometime in the next five to 10 minutes.
We're going to bring it to you live. In the meantime, I want to go straight to Dave Klinger, former Los Angeles police officer, along with L.Z. Granderson, our commentator.
[19:35:02] Let me get just your reaction to this sort of -- David, first of all, from the police side of things, there are seven injured police. It's been horrible what's happened to police today, there is no denying that. When you did see the rioting, though, and the looting at several of these stores, there didn't seem to be any sort of police presence in any of the footage that we have or that reporters saw.
Why would police have withdrawn?
DAVID KLINGER, FORMER LAPD OFFICER: Unfortunately, I think an awful lot of police commanders around the country lack the intestinal fortitude to step up and do the right thing. And that is because the people above them, the mayor, the governor, so on and so forth will not step into the breach and support them.
So, they're caught in limbo. And they don't feel as if they can do the appropriate thing in terms of command and control, getting things together, and putting their officers in the appropriate posture to stop this.
The problem is, is there is going to be video of police officers using force against rioters who are trying to do the wrong thing, and somebody on your network or somewhere else will be very sympathetic to these poor individuals who are being bludgeoned by the police.
And so, what we need to do, we need to step back, we need to understand that the police are there to protect life, to protect property, and rioters cannot be let loose to run riot literally.
We learned this in L.A. I would have thought. I used to work in Redmond, Washington, and Los Angeles, California. And in my old PD in Los Angeles, we had a situation, Florence and Normandy, a flash point. And the commander on the ground withdrew and the whole city blew up.
Unfortunately, we haven't learned that lesson. I do not understand why. We cannot get people in power who are willing to support officers on the street doing this tough job to protect life and property.
BURNETT: Of course. There is the vicious circle then.
L.Z., the video of the riots that you have seen has left you speechless. Why that word?
L.Z. GRANDERSON, CNN COMMENTATOR: You know, first I just want to address something that your other guest said. Excuse me. And that is that these incidents aren't happening in vacuums. I understand that the police officers have are a very difficult job.
He brought up the L.A. riots. You had a police chief, a police detective, rather, planting evidence on a black man, and had been doing it for years. And it was well-known within the police department, and the police did not do anything about it until the O.J. Simpson trial.
Here you have in Baltimore, you have police, millions of dollars being spent because of brutality, and now you're talking about doing the right thing because of the riots. I do not support the riots.
KLINGER: I always advocate police officers doing the right thing, L.Z.
GRANDERSON: I allowed you to finish, I allow you'd to finish. All I'm saying is the state of emergency is not when people completely frustrated act out in completely inappropriate behavior. The state of emergency is when it becomes known that you have a police department that has millions of dollars spent out within a short period of time because of brutality. That is the state of emergency.
BURNETT: Well, that's the point Reverend Bryant was making as well. Go ahead, David.
KLINGER: These are two different things. If the police are doing something wrong, that needs to be squelched. And anybody who knows me knows I speak out very strongly against inappropriate police conduct.
This is something completely different. People are destroying the livelihoods of innocent people who happen to be living in the wrong neighborhood. That is wrong, wrong, wrong, has always been wrong, will always be wrong and must be stomped out.
I don't understand why it's even an issue that we're debating. It is completely inappropriate.
BURNETT: I mean, L.Z., I see your point, L.Z., but isn't there a problem just in the fact that the police who knows exactly what the reason are, but David's point, they might be intimidated. So, they're not stepping up and stopping this because they're scared about the next video that someone is going to put out there?
GRANDERSON: I'm scared about the next brown person that gets killed just trying to get from one place to another.
Again, I'm not saying that the violence that we see right now on the streets of Baltimore should be ignored. And I do agree they are two separate conversations.
But just because they're two separate conversations doesn't mean we cannot have them simultaneously. We need to be talking about both sides. There is video of police officers throwing rocks at people. There are video of police officers that aren't behaving in an appropriate manner in response to this. And I understand everyone is human and you can't control your
emotions in that sort of situation. But we have these two conversations simultaneously. They are two different conversations, but that doesn't mean we ignore the one because we're upset by images of the other.
BURNETT: All right. I appreciate both of your time.
Right there, as L.Z. was finishing his comment, what you could see were looters going in another store and starting to come out of it, as we're seeing that around this neighborhood in Baltimore. Our Miguel Marquez is seeing a lot of it where he is standing.
Next, we're going to go back to Baltimore. What began as rock throwing has now become a full-blown riot, looting, fires, multiple arrests. Police officers are injured.
And we're going to talk to someone who is on the scene when the riot began to talk about this moment. Why did protests that had been lauded, rightfully so for being so peaceful turn so very violent?
[19:40:03] We also have the mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake about to give life press conference with the Baltimore police department. So many questions for them to answer tonight. That's going to be live and it's going to be on the other side of this break.
BURNETT: We're continuing to follow the breaking news out of Baltimore tonight. We're awaiting a live press conference from the Maryland -- from the mayor of Baltimore, as well as the spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department. The governor of Maryland has declared a state of emergency, activating the National Guard, which should be coming in momentarily, because they want to try to get this under control as darkness falls.
As we're awaiting this live press conference, which could start any moment, I want to bring in Justin Fenton, reporter for "The Baltimore Sun". He witnessed this turn from peaceful to violent this afternoon. He has been in the streets since all of this started.
And, Justin, I apologize in advance if I have to interrupt you to go live to this press conference. I know you'll understand. But let me just start by asking you what happened? I mean, we had all been talking about how there were just little brief moments of anger, but this was so peaceful.
[19:45:00] Then, all of the sudden, today, it just turned. You were there when it turned. What happened?
JUSTIN FENTON, REPORTER, BALTIMORE SUN (via telephone): I really can't explain it. Earlier in the day, there was reports of -- there was social media memes going around saying everybody purge today, a reference to a movie in which there is a period of lawlessness. And, so frankly, we've seen those go around before. We've seen
them go around. We get them forwarded to us from concerned residents and say is this real? And police tend to beef up their presence downtown and nothing comes of it.
Well, today the climate is obviously a bit different with the frustrations in the community. And so, police sent out an incredible number of officers to our downtown area and to the Mondawmin Mall.
And, you know, it was something where there was a handful of students who were at the mall. This is a place where students go to catch buses. There are no yellow school buses in Baltimore. Kids ride public transportation.
And so, this was -- it is unclear whether people were actually participating in this so-called purge, whether they were simply trying to get home. But police were there in riot gear. Students started throwing things at them. And shortly afterwards we got reports that a mile south, a police officer was injured in a police car was being destroyed. That's when I ran down and got in the middle of everything.
BURNETT: And, Justin, in terms of how things are now, we have seen looting now in several stores, now can report that inside the Baltimore mall, which you were just referring to, I don't know if you can see this, but we now -- Baltimore police say they have reports several people are now inside that mall. They are looting, destroying property. This is according to Baltimore police, the latest that we have.
How much looting have you seen, or are you seeing now?
FENTON: Yes, I was inside of the area, Pennsylvania Avenue and North Avenue where a lot of this is taking place. And the police had perimeters set up up the road and I think to the south.
And really, people were freely flowing either side. Civilians were driving through, and there was -- there was just this sense that you could come to this place and break in to stores, and you could set fires, and you could stand on the police car and get a selfie taken. And that's what was going on.
And people were coming out with bags of groceries and various things. At one point, it was bizarre. The check cashing place had been broken into it. And it seemed like people had sufficiently raided it.
And then -- word must have spread on social media or something that this is a place you could break into it because like 200 people rushed it all at once. I had a group of self-identifying Cripps gang members who were protecting me saying I wasn't safe.
I ventured away from them at one point to take a picture and a man with a hoodie pulled tight over his face approached me with mace. He told me to kick it out. He wanted my cell phone. He sprayed me in the head. And I retreated back to my safe spot where I was with a store
owner who had a shotgun protecting his property.
BURNETT: Wow. Just to give us a sense of how dangerous it is and also the point that Justin is making, everybody. And I think important to emphasize that a lot of the gangs have been on the streets, they say trying to impose their own sorts of order, playing a very significant role in this.
Right now, you're looking at pictures of looters going into the Baltimore mall. I just told you police reported there are people in there looting. And now, you're looking at just moments ago, I'm sorry, this is about five minutes ago, that this picture was taken.
Let me go to Miguel Marquez.
Miguel, you've seen a lot of looting. You said it picked up. You're now seeing arrests?
MARQUEZ: Yes, disturbing that the Mondawmin is now being looted as well that would be lots of protesters or lots of looters, and basically criminals inside that mall, looting a very big mall.
Right here, we're at Press Roberts and Pennsylvania Avenue. You see the individuals against the wall there. I counted seven or eight arrests. These two on the ground there are now waiting for transport by police because of this, right up the street here, if you look up that way, you can see on the right side there is a sign, and you can just make out a small number of people there that is a liquor store that they have been looting at -- with abandon, without any concern for police whatsoever.
The police I can tell you are right over here, watching those looters do all of that, unable to really do anything other than stay in a defensive position and take care of their own. You can see the police down Roberts Street as well where the arrests were being made --
BURNETT: And it sounds like we have obviously just lost Miguel's audio.
As I've been emphasizing, just given the fluid nature of the situation that we're seeing in Baltimore, we've had sporadic transmission issues.
We are, of course, waiting this live press conference from the mayor of Baltimore, as well as the Baltimore City Police Department. That city now put under a state of emergency by the governor of Maryland. The president of the United States has been briefed on this situation.
We're going to take a brief break and we'll be right back.
[19:53:44] BURNETT: All right, this press conference, you are looking live at where this is going to happen. It is going to start really in just a few seconds with the mayor of Baltimore, as well as Baltimore City police giving an update on the riots that are happening in Baltimore.
The mayor of Baltimore has spoken to the president of the United States already today about the situation.
This is a live picture of looters outside the Baltimore mall, which is put in this -- it is a very downbeat area of Baltimore, where you've seen the riots. This mall was put in to try to rejuvenate the area. It is now being looted. Police said there are several looters inside, we can see this ourselves.
Our reporters have seen increased looting going on in the past 90 minutes as dusk has fallen. The governor of Maryland has put a state of emergency on the state of Baltimore and activated the National Guard.
Our Pamela Brown is reporting that the National Guard should be arriving in Baltimore pretty much at any moment. This isn't something they're going to wait on for a day or two or even for a few hours, they want to get them in tonight because of the situation and how dicey it is.
The numbers that we have, seven police officers injured today. One of them was unconscious. We don't know the status of that officer. We do know that the others were receiving treatment. We now know that some looters have been taken under arrest.
[19:55:00] But as you can see here, while looters are running around, there has been at least for more -- from what our reporters have seen, what our cameras have seen, very limited police presence throughout the afternoon with the looting going on around Baltimore.
The Orioles game of Baltimore City, of course, baseball team, was supposed to go on today and they were sticking with that until just about an hour suddenly had to postpone it at the last minute against the Chicago White Sox. So, that game postponed at Camden Yards tonight.
All right. This press conference, literally, as I said, to begin in seconds. We have our little warning here. Just as we await that, I want to bring back David Klinger, former LAPD officer, and L.Z. Granderson.
Apologies to both of you because I'm sure I'll have to interrupt you as this begins.
But let me just start with you, David. So what should police do right now? Right now, you're looking at the Baltimore mall, which I said was really put in this neighborhood of Baltimore to try to rejuvenate it, now being looted by people who actually live in that neighborhood.
KLINGER: It is difficult to know because I don't have a 10,000 foot or 5,000 foot view of everything. I don't know where the roads are running. I don't know how many people the Baltimore police can call on, so on and so forth.
KLINGER: It strikes me there should have been a good bit of preplanning in terms of logical places that rioters might strike. And certainly, once rioters show up, they should have enough people to move in force to stop it at some point. Why that isn't happening, I can't say other than --
BURNETT: So, L.Z., I'm sorry, so, L.Z., what are they supposed to do at this point? Community leaders, right, who share your frustration, and saying this is a long, long problem with police, but now in this immediate term what is happening is wrong and -- sorry. L.Z., the mayor of Baltimore is coming out, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings- Blake.
Let's take a listen to her live, she begins to speak with the Baltimore police captain.
MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE (D), BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: Thank you all for being here this evening.
What we see tonight that is going on in our city is very disturbing. It is very clear. There is a difference between what we saw over the past week with the peaceful protests, those who wish to seek justice, those who wish to be heard, and want answers, and the difference between those protests and the thugs who only want to incite violence and destroy our city.
I'm a life-long resident of Baltimore. Too many people have sent generations building up this city. For it to be destroyed by thugs who in a very senseless way, are trying to tear down what so many have fought for -- tearing down businesses, tearing down, destroying property, things that we know will impact our community for years.
We are deploying every resource possible to gain control of this situation and to ensure peace moving forward.
I've been in contact with our governor and he has agreed, and I have requested and he has agreed to deploy the National guard as soon as they are available, they will be immediately deployed.
We've ordered a curfew be in effect, instituting tomorrow the curfew city-wide, 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Again, there will be a city wide curfew, 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. This preliminary curfew will last for one week and be extended as it is necessary.
Let me be clear, we already operate under a juvenile curfew, and those young people who are 14 and under have a 9:00 p.m. curfew, because it is a school night. Over 14, it's 10:00 p.m. That is tonight and every school night.
Again, we have ordered a curfew to be instituted starting tomorrow, 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. And we've also activated the emergency operation center to be available, to have an administration wide response to the incidents as they occur. I want to thank the city council president, Jack Young, for being
here. I want to thank Councilman Brandon Scott for being here. Also, Councilman Eric Costello. I want to thank Kieffer Mitchell for being here on behalf of Governor Hogan, and for all of your work coordinating this response.