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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
New Protests in Baltimore and Philadelphia; Freddie Gray's Police Report Now In Hands of Prosecutor; Report: Gray's Catastrophic Injury Happened in Back of Police Van. Aired 7-8:00p ET
Aired April 30, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: And thank you, Wolf. Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. We're continuing our breaking news coverage of the growing protests tonight not only in Baltimore, a massive crowd also gathering in Philadelphia. As you can see on your screen, we're going live on the ground shortly. First, those stunning new developments in the investigation into Freddie Gray's death. The outrage fueled in part by new details we're learning tonight on the streets that we're seeing. These are live pictures as I said that you're seeing on your screen. This is Philadelphia now on the ground where people are marching in solidarity. Here is what we know now in terms of the breaking developments.
According to our affiliate WJLA in Baltimore, a medical examiner found the catastrophic injury that Gray suffered happened in the back of that police van. In fact according to WJLA, the head injury that Gray sustained matches exactly the shape of the bolt in the back of that van. Now, this is a major development that could mean Gray's death was a direct result of the van ride with police. However, the big question is who caused that injury. Because tonight there is a report from a prisoner who was in that same police van. That prisoner reportedly telling investigators he thought Gray was quote intentionally trying to injure himself.
These developments are coming just hour after police released a new bombshell in their investigation. They now admit that the van carrying Gray made an additional stop that was unreported until today. That means once Gray was in custody, that van stopped. If you look at your screen quickly you will see so total of five times before an ambulance was finally called. So, what happened in that stop, that stop that wasn't reported until now? We have a team of reporters covering every angle of the story moving very quickly tonight.
Poppy Harlow is live tonight with the massive crowds in Philadelphia. Poppy, you're marching where the protesters. What's the mood, what's the scene, how many people are you with?
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's so hard to estimate, Erin. I mean, the last estimate from the police here in Philadelphia was 600. I can tell you by eyeballing it's a lot more than that. We have aerial shots that are coming from our local affiliates, so you can see the crowds. But this has been and I really want to emphasize what a peaceful protest this has been throughout. It started at 4:30 this afternoon right in front of City Hall, about an hour people speaking there, chanting "no justice, no peace." And then they took to the streets. We've been walking with them for the last hour.
A few of people that I've spoken -- a young mother named Kimberly who I just spoke and she's here with her daughter said, I'm here because I believe that there is a big problem with economic -- the income gap, the opportunity gap and this is about a lot more than Freddie Gray. A young African-American lawyer told me this is about not being seen as equals under the eye of law enforcement. And another young woman told me that she wants answers not just about Freddie Gray but about black men dying in the hands of police. She wants answers on that. So, this is about a lot more than what's happening in Baltimore. But I will tell you the hashtag here in the name of this protests is Philadelphia is Baltimore -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Poppy, thank you very much. And obviously massive crowds in Philadelphia tonight.
Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT of course where this all started in Baltimore with protesters. Miguel, major developments today that we're hearing of reports on what happened in that van, how Freddie Gray died. Who's responsible? What is the crowd's reaction where you are?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Two words, not good. I think people are concerned that all of this information that's coming out is setting up that Mr. Gray will take the blame for his own death. They don't like the way this is going and they're concerned about what they're hearing. There are several hundred, perhaps over a thousand protesters marching down Pennsylvania where we've been --
(Crowd chanting): No justice! No peace! No justice! No peace! No justice! No peace!
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It's important because we have to let the kids that we care.
MARQUEZ: Do you think that (INAUDIBLE) Mr. Gray is going to get justice? Are you concerned?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I'm a little concerned. Because we have information coming from everywhere and then information coming that he could have hurt himself. And that's really concerning.
MARQUEZ: It doesn't square with reality --
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It doesn't add up. And a lot of the kids out here because when the cameras leave we want to see --
MARQUEZ: This is the biggest concern, that the videotape that they have seen and these reports that are now coming out, they just can't square a circle they say and it just doesn't make a lot of sense to them. One other thing I will say, I want you to swing around here. This is the first time in any of these marches that we've seen police, not only march with the marchers, but stopping traffic for them. So maybe that is a very good sign -- Erin. [19:05:20] BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. As you
would hear, the passion there where Miguel was. And he said the words not good in terms of the response of protesters to the leaks that have been coming out about Freddie Gray's death. Tonight the Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby is reviewing the findings from the police investigation. She's actually the one, that's a name to know. Because she's the one that's going to decide if any of those six officers who are now suspended will actually be charged for the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT now in Baltimore near the CVS that was burnt down on Monday. And Jason, what are you learning about the investigation into Gray's death? Because there have been several leaks as Miguel said, the perception among the crowds is that all of these leaks favor police.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well first of all, new details about the time line leading up to Freddie Gray's death. Also, new details about how he may have injured himself. All this, Erin, as local leaders are working around the clock to keep the streets of Baltimore calm.
FREDDIE GRAY, DIED FROM SPINAL CORD INJURY: Ahh! Ahh! (Bleep) (Bleep)
CARROLL (voice-over): The mysterious death of Freddie Gray was not caused by the officers who arrested him, that according to CNN affiliate WJLA. Multiple law enforcement sources briefed on the police findings tell them the report found Gray was injured in the van with a head injury he sustained matching a bolt in the back of the van.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Good morning, everyone.
CARROLL: This comes as Baltimore police handed over their investigation to the state attorney today. While refusing to comment on what caused Gray's death, they did reveal the arresting officers made four stops that day, not three as police previously reported.
KEVIN DAVIS, BALTIMORE DEPUTY POLICE COMMISSIONER: We discovered this new stopped based on our thorough and comprehensive and ongoing review of all CCTV cameras and privately owned cameras.
CARROLL: "The Washington Post" reports that a prisoner inside the van that picked up Gray said he could hear Gray banging against the wall and that he told authorities that he believed Gray was, quote, "intentionally trying to injure himself." Anthony Melvin was a friend of Gray's for years.
(on camera): Do you believe that there's any chance at all that Freddie Gray was trying to hurt himself?
ANTHONY MELVIN, FRIEND OF FREDDIE GRAY: No, I did not believe he was trying to hurt himself. I don't know why they put that rumor out there. What reason would he have to hurt himself? He was already hurt.
CARROLL (voice-over): Given all the arrest this week, local leaders have promised justice but are also bracing for an outcome that protesters may not agree with.
REV. RON OWENS, ORGANIZED FREDDIE GRAY'S FUNERAL: We shouldn't rush to immediate conclusion. We shouldn't rush to burn up or tear up our own because at the end of the day what we tear up may not be replaced.
CARROLL: The question is, is there message reaching those who need to hear it most?
(on camera): You've got religious leaders trying to reach out to the community. Is their message getting to you?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes, yes, yes. Because what everybody doing out here, you know, looting, it's not right. I don't really agree with it. But I can understand where people are coming from, why they're doing it.
CARROLL: You mean the rioting and the looting?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I understand why they're doing it but me personally, that's not in my heart.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think the message is getting through to a certain point but people are still sour about not knowing information. We're waiting on answers. That's it.
CARROLL (voice-over): The question is, is their message reaching those who need to hear it most.
CARROLL: And, Erin, I spoke to one local leader, Reverend Pamela Coleman. She's been out here on the street corner night after night when things got particularly tense trying to convince people to stay calm. When I asked her about these most recent reports, he said yes, people are angry. People are going to continue to be angry. But she says all they can do here in terms of the local leadership is to continue working to make sure that the streets stay calm -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Jason. Thank you very much. And OUTFRONT now, Jason Downs, an attorney for the family of Freddie Gray. Obviously the man at the center of all of this.
Jason, so let me just start with these new reports. Our affiliate WJLA saying the medical examiner report concludes that the death injury happened in the back of the police van, a van like the one we're showing our viewers now. That's the conclusion. Obviously, that's the narrative police have been trying to push. So, first of all, what's your reaction to that?
JASON DOWNS, ATTORNEY FOR FREDDIE GRAY'S FAMILY: Well, first, we can't react to rumors. The first thing we have to do is actually see the medical examiner's report. And there's no suggestion that the medical examiner's report has actually been released let alone completed. And so at this point, the first thing is we can't even respond to a rumor. We must respond to facts, the fact being that right now we don't even have that written report.
[19:10:10] BURNETT: So you're saying you don't have it. Obviously this is a WJLA report. They're saying they have sources in the medical examiner's office. But you have not actually seen it. It has not been released to you. You're still in the dark?
DOWNS: That's correct. That's actually correct.
DOWNS: And to get to the -- I'm sorry.
BURNETT: No, no, no, finish please.
DOWNS: Well, to get to the core of it, any suggestion that Mr. Gray harmed himself in the back of that van is something that Freddie Gray's family strongly disagrees with. Frankly, you should not check your common sense at the door just because the law is involved. And in this case, common sense did state that Freddie Gray did not sever his own spinal cord whether it was outside of the van or inside of the van. Mr. Gray did not sever his own spinal cord.
BURNETT: And I wanted to ask you about that. Because obviously that report out there now from "The Washington Post" as well as from our affiliate. You know, they're citing another prisoner who was in the back of the police van. And I want to emphasize Jason that a prisoner that says he could hear Freddie Gray but not see him because there was a partition. He's the one saying that Gray was trying to hurt himself. So, you just completely dismiss that?
DOWNS: I think what we have to do is place it in context. When you place it in context, you have to keep in mind that just a few days ago the Baltimore Police Department released information saying this very same prisoner didn't hear much of anything and now a few days later we're having another rumor or more information that oh no, this very same prisoner actually did hear Mr. Gray and he thinks that Mr. Gray was trying to harm himself.
DOWNS: So placing this in context, we can't respond to it because there's so many different stories at play right now. We have to get to the core or get to the facts right now and we don't have the facts.
BURNETT: Right. And I mean, because here's the problem, as you're aware, what we have are reports coming out citing sources. I'm not saying the reports are wrong, they're obviously the source of some kind of leaking. That's all we have. There's one other thing I want to ask you about before I ask you about the leaks overall. And that is this. Reports about Gray's health leading up to the arrest. You've seen these as well. They're saying that there was a preexisting condition, some kind of an injury that he might have had, a spinal injury that might have been responsible for this that predated this entire incident all together. Do you know anything about those?
DOWNS: At this point we have absolutely no indication, no suggestion that Mr. Gray, Freddie Gray, Jr. had any preexisting spinal injuries whatsoever. Nothing that we have. We haven't spoken to one person. We haven't seen any document suggesting that Freddie Gray, Jr. had any preexisting spinal injuries whatsoever. In fact that's probably nothing but a rumor. At this point we don't have any information to verify that at all. The information we have suggests that Freddie Gray was healthy.
BURNETT: Right. And I know you're conducting your own investigation into this. So, you're saying nothing backs that up. So, then, what do you make overall about all of these leaks. You know, I don't know if you heard our reporter Miguel Marquez on the street. He's saying protesters are angry because they feel that the leaks are all supporting the police narrative. Do you share that frustration?
DOWNS: I mean, the Gray family right now just wants to transparent investigation. They are obviously frustrated with all of the different changing time lines. The fact that there was an additional stop that wasn't reported until today.
DOWNS: The fact that there are these different rumors leaking about Mr. Gray, Jr. having a preexisting spinal injury. The Gray family is frustrated, what they want are truthful answers.
BURNETT: All right. Jason, I appreciate you being with us again. Thanks, again.
And next breaking news of the protests growing into cities across the country. Baltimore, thousands out tonight in cities including Philadelphia and more on that report that Freddie Gray's catastrophic injury was sustained in the back of the police van. So did police do it to Freddie Gray or is it possible he did it to himself. You heard his lawyer saying absolutely no way he did it to himself. We've got a forensic pathologist and all eyes on this woman. She's the 35-year- old newly elected prosecutor who will decide if there are charges.
[19:17:40] BURNETT: Breaking news. Protesters gathering across the nation. You're looking at live pictures now. Marches in solidary with Baltimore. In Baltimore, they are protesting the death of Freddie Gray. In police custody, we have learned new information today. Our affiliate reporting the medical examiner says Gray's catastrophic injury was sustained in the back of the police van, not during his arrest. Another prisoner in the van who could reportedly hear but not see Gray tells an affiliate that Gray was trying to hurt himself. Also tonight, police revealing the van transporting Gray made an additional stop that they had not previously discloses the first we have heard about it.
Brian Todd is OUTFRONT, he is in Baltimore right now. Brian, what's happening where you are?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, we're at the head of the procession with the marchers. They're getting back to the original intersection where they started this march on north and Pennsylvania Avenues. A very spirited energetic crowd tonight. I'm here with Montrez White (ph), he's a 17-year-old junior from Frederick Douglas High School. Now, this high school was reported on earlier this week in not a positive way. The police said that some students from this high school were the ones that started the confrontations with the police which led to some of the unrest later on. Now Montrez, you think your school has gotten kind of a bad rap from that. What I want to ask you is this, you're a young man looking it through a very formidable time in your city. What do you want for the future of the city stemming from this entire situation?
MONTREZ WHITE, FREDERICK DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: I just want our young people to come together as one. You see what I'm saying? You see what power we have as youngsters out here, man. Fight for a better cause. You understand what I'm saying? I'm just trying to bring positivity to the neighborhood where I am right now. You understand what I'm saying?
TODD: Thank you very much for talking to. We appreciate it. Good luck.
All right. Erin, this is kind of the spirit of what we're seeing tonight. These protesters are committed to being peaceful at least for the moment and they have been peaceful the last two nights. And this march as I have to day, when we're marching with these people in sometimes crowds of many thousand, they have been very peaceful, they've been very energetic, they've been hiking miles throughout the city. They're doing it again tonight despite the weather by the way which really has been kind of a mitigating factor here. And they just don't -- they're not satisfied with the answers they've gotten from the police so for. They don't think they've gotten enough answers, they think that's what's kind of leaked out today by the police is not really to their satisfaction. They are willing to be patient they say, but you know, their patience is running a little bit thin especially with what they perceive now is the dribs and drabs of information that they don't believe is very complete from the police right now -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Brian Todd, thank you very much. And I think there to say, it isn't complete. It is dribs and drabs. It leaks information hasn't been fully released and then there's no doubt a lot of frustration about that. You just heard that from Freddie Gray's family attorney.
OUTFRONT now, Dr. Michelle Dupree, forensic pathologist, former police officer. Van Jones, former Obama administration official and David Klinger, former LAPD officer. Great to have all of you with us.
Dr. DuPre, let me start with you. With these leaks that have been coming out, our affiliate WJLA reporting the medical examiner said the catastrophic injury was caused by Gray being slammed into the back of a police transport van. Another prisoner in the van telling an affiliate Gray was trying to hurt himself. Most people sit, when they hear that, they say it's absurd to say that someone could do this to themselves. That they could do this to their own spine. You're a forensic pathologist, would it have been possible?
DR. MICHELLE DUPRE, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Erin, it would be possible. I think it's unlikely. But I do believe that it would be possible. But again there's where it's so important to take a very good look at the actual injury and match it up with this bolt.
BURNETT: All right. So you say it's possible but unlikely. What would you look at to determine whether it really did happen? I mean, given that we're getting this leak, right, that this is what a prisoner is saying. Right? That's what they're putting out there and they're not putting out anything that would back that up or back that conclusion up in any way.
DUPRE: Right. We would take a thorough look at the body. We would look at the trajectory if you will, or the angle of impact, where that bolt actually entered the body. We would look at any other evidence inside the van, any blood spatter patterns that may be there. We can learn an awful lot about that. And we would make sure that what we see inside the van, which is our scene, makes sense with what we see on the body.
[19:22:02] BURNETT: Right. And of course they're saying that a bolt in the back of the van matched an injury on Freddie Gray's head. Van, you know, you've heard this reporting. You've heard Dr. DuPre. She says it's possible but unlikely he caused this to himself. Of course another report is quoting a prisoner in the van with Freddie Gray who I want to emphasize could hear but not see him saying that Gray was trying to intentionally hurt himself. Do you have an open mind at all to the possibility that police are not guilty here or do you think this is all selective leaking trying to defend them?
VAN JONES, FORMER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, look. I would say that anything is possible. We should definitely lock at the evidence. But I think at this point you have to say give the police credit for creativity. Listen. This is not a guy who looked like he was wanting to hurt himself. He was crying out for help. He was a guy who was hurting wanting help. Not a guy who was trying to hurt himself. Also, let's just be rational here. If in fact this guy was committing some bizarre act of suicide, the very first thing that police would have said was, my God, I've never seen anything like this, we arrest this guy and he killed himself in our van.
JONES: Why would you wait week after week after week if that's what happened. And the only statement we've got from the police at this point turns out itself to have been a lie because they've lied about how many times they stop. So, you got the only statements on the record turns out not to be credible and then this frankly bizarre story that now this guy is some kind of, you know, a freak suicide guy, I think you've got to give the police credit for creativity if nothing else. But I don't think anybody is buying it right now tonight.
BURNETT: I mean, because David, it is at the least distasteful. I mean, all of these leaks seem to be coming out pro-police, right? But they're not putting out anything to back up their side of the story.
DAVID KLINGER, FORMER LAPD OFFICER: I have no idea why there's leaks. One of the things that drives me nuts and I've talked with Van about this is, little bits, dribs and drabs coming out. It shouldn't happen that way. We need to get a complete investigative case file together and then the complete case file gets released unless or until a prosecutor or some official says we will give you the entire autopsy at this point, we'll give you this portion of the investigation, but the dribs and the drabs and quite frankly I agree with them, it doesn't make sense. But I do think we also need to understand that prisoner's emotions can shift and they can try to harm themselves. But a catastrophic injury that will lead to a death is quite remarkable. And that's about all I can say right now. I think one thing we do have to take into account is we do know that Mr. Gray was not seat belted in. And so, theoretically if the medical examiner says it's possible what may have happened, a shortstop, he falls over and then his head slammed into that bulk head. So, that could be something that's in play as well.
KLINGER: You knows?
BURNETT: Well, speaking of stops Van, what about the significance we found there was an additional unreported stop? That could be a minor thing or could be a very major thing.
JONES: Well, listen. From an actual factual point of view, could be minor, could be major. From a political point of view, from a public confidence point of view, this is devastating. What this means is that we now know we have police officers who were on the scene, about four of them all said the same thing and they all happened to leave out the same stop.
JONES: Now, hey, maybe they all just happened to have amnesia at the same moment. But there's something very, very foul in the public mind now about all of these officers.
BURNETT: Yes. There is. And the public mind, a public that needs to trust the process ad trust the outcome. Thanks very much too all three of you.
Next, more of our breaking news. The protests in Baltimore and in cities across the country. Demonstrators chanting "no justice, no peace."
Plus the fate of the six Baltimore police officers in Freddie Gray's death now in the hands of this woman, a young prosecutor four months on the job. Will she give protesters what they want?
[19:29:57] BURNETT: Breaking news. Protesters gathering across the country tonight. This is Baltimore. A very impassioned crowd. They are chanting. They are moving. We've been seeing with all of our reporters marching through the streets tonight peacefully. In Philadelphia, police bracing for thousands of protesters tonight, marching in solidarity with Baltimore. All of this of course from the death of Freddie Gray, the black man who died from a spinal injury in Baltimore police custody.
Tonight, though, major new developments in the investigation and here is what we can tell you now. Sources telling CNN affiliate WJLA that a medical examiner found Gray's death was caused by catastrophic injury after he slammed into the back of the police van, not during his arrest. That's according to that report.
Police are also revealing that the van carrying Gray made an additional stop. A stop, they have given us exhaustive breakdown of stop after stop, they have never revealed this stop. We don't know how significant that is, but we do know we knew nothing about it until today.
Poppy Harlow is OUTFRONT. She's in Philadelphia. Massive crowds have been gathering there for hours.
And, Poppy, what are you seeing right now?
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're seeing this big crowd. Police said at least 600 strong, looks bigger now. They've been marching for an hour and a half, Erin.
But I want to show you the police, because this is what we've been seeing as well, is real strong police force but they have been allowing these protesters to protest. There have been absolutely no clashes between protesters and the police at all.
I spoke with the chief information officer for the Philadelphia police who said to me, "This is going to be a very loud, a very large and a very lawful protest. These are people that need to be heard. And our job as police in this city is to protect them and their right to vocalize what they need to say." He said to me, "Protesters are citizens, not suspects and that is how we're going to treat them."
So, what we've continued to see is very peaceful protests. A mother who brought her daughter her telling me I am bringing my daughter and I'm here because I believe this is bigger than Freddie Gray. This is about a lack of economic opportunity and a lack of inequality under the eyes of some in law enforcement.
Another young attorney telling me earlier at the protest at city hall that for her she's here because she thinks that there needs to be opportunity from the ground up. She said, "As a black American I was born with less opportunity and that needs to change. The system needs to change." But again, it's very encouraging to see all of the people out
here completely peacefully interacting with the officers. I was told by the head of police here they will be allowed on the streets as late as they want to be as long as it remains peaceful and the police are not worried about violence at all -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Poppy.
And now, Melanie Campbell joins me, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. She's been in Baltimore this week, with leaders in the community.
D. Watkins back with me tonight, and appreciated D., a long time professor, professor, who wrote about his experiences growing up with the Baltimore police in a "New York Times" op-ed.
Melanie, let me start with you. These new reports, you know, and a lot of protesters have frustration pointing out these reports -- these reports that are coming to our affiliates seem to report the police narrative that this happened in the back of the van, that it may not have been at police hands. These obviously are coming from one side. They're not coming from the other. The family attorney told me they haven't seen any of the reports themselves.
How concerned are you about these leaks?
MELANIE CAMPBELL, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL COALITION ON BLACK CIVIC PARTICIPATION: I'm concerned that the leaks are not based on what we saw. We saw that Freddie Gray was hurt going in that van. We also know that when he got in that van, none of us know what happened other than he was hurt going into the van.
So, if you're hurt going into the van and you're in excruciating pain, you're going to continue to be in pain. And so, I don't know how that the reports are saying that now that means that he hurt himself and that he broke his own back. He injured his own spine.
It's just not logical. And it's telling us what we saw in the video is not what happened. And that's just not fact.
BURNETT: That is a frustration. You know, people on social media, they have been saying, look, he looks like he was injured getting into the van. How could you be saying it happened in the van?
D., what's your reaction? You know, if there ends up being no charges in this case, and that is certainly the ground, you know, our justice reporters have been saying that's a real possibility, right, that there may not be, what will the reaction be? Will there -- is there any way to convince the community that the investigation has been fair and thorough?
Obviously, we don't have D.'s audio. He could hear me but we couldn't hear him. When we get that up, we'll share that with you.
Melanie, let me put that question to you. When this is all done and there's an investigation, the family attorneys for Freddie Gray and the family have weighed in.
[19:35:01] There's an outcome. If it is not an outcome that results in charges for those officers, what happens?
CAMPBELL: I think that we have to let the investigation be just that, an investigation. We don't know what's going to happen until the investigation is complete.
You have the state attorney having an investigation. You have a federal investigation. And I think we have to let the judicial system work to see if justice will be done in the case.
We know that our young people deserve the ability to know that the justice system can work for them. They're crying out -- that's why you're seeing protesters in this community. It's up to us, those of was who are adults especially.
I was with Reverend Jamal Bryant at the one Baltimore town meeting where we saw 13-year-olds, 14-year-olds, 17-year-olds breaking down because they're in pain, and hurt and don't understand why this is happening to young people all over this country.
You're seeing young people of all races in New York, in Philadelphia, you know, in D.C., all across the country. And I think you're going to continue to see unrest and peaceful protests, we pray that it continues to be peaceful.
But until we see justice, this -- we're in a movement for justice for our young people to be able to live a life where they don't have to be afraid of the police. In one of my other lives, I worked for the late Maynard Holbrook Jackson in Atlanta, Georgia. I was part of his team when Rodney King took place.
CAMPBELL: It's very important that we let the system work with the investigation and not decide what's going to happen until those decisions are made.
And, D., I know we have your audio back. I apologize for that. What about this point. What if the process determines something that the public doesn't want to hear, as it did in Ferguson?
D. WATKINS, BALTIMORE RESIDENT: Right now, we have to be calm and you know we have to get the final result. But I do feel like, you know, if his neck was broke in the back of the van, whoever is driving that van is still a murderer and should be charged.
The trust for the Baltimore City Police Department is at an all- time low. We don't trust these investigators. We don't trust these medical examiners. We don't know who they are or what they're doing.
The family hasn't seen the documents yet. So, we should wait for the end result and urge people to stay as calm as possible. But again if his neck was broken in the back of van, then whoever
was driving the van is a murder. Obviously, they feel like the videotape is lying. But if you look at the videotape, he is limp. He could not walk. So, it definitely doesn't look like it happened in the van.
BURNETT: So, D., what you going to tell the community to do, though? I mean, you're a community leader. You're there in the middle of the protests. You know, you're stuck in an awkward position. Obviously, you believe very strongly in what you think happened. But if that isn't the verdict, whether you agree with it or not -- let's say it isn't the verdict you agree with -- what do you tell people on the street to do? Do you tell them to respect it or do you tell them to rise up?
WATKINS: No, I tell people to just right now we need to remain as calm as possible. I don't want to project any more violence or anything else negative to happen.
You know, some of the more negative things that happened now was already unfortunate. We don't want that. So, we're not going to jump to conclusions and I'm not going to ask anyone to do anything wild or dangerous. Right now, we just got to, you know, support the family and react the way they want us to react.
BURNETT: All right. Melanie and D., thanks very much to both of you. I appreciate that.
And now, a brief note on a segment from earlier this week. We talked with Baltimore Reverend Jamal Bryant about a community town hall he was hosting on Tuesday. He stressed the importance of gang members attending. Immediately after that interview, we showed a live picture of the town hall. It noted the reverend said gang members were attending, along with other members of the community. Members of a sorority Zeta Phi Beta were shown in that live picture. And we're sorry if anyone got the impression that we were calling that sorority, gang members. That wasn't our attention.
Zeta Phi Beta, by the way, is a 95-year-old organization which right now is distributing supplies to seniors in Baltimore, cleaning up the city and getting ready to host the meeting on youth and law enforcement.
OUTFRONT next, we are live in Baltimore as the new protests break out.
And the Freddie Gray case, now in the hands of the prosecutor. She's a fascinating story, the daughter and granddaughter of police officers. Can Marilyn Mosby get the right verdict?
[19:43:25] BURNETT: And the breaking news tonight: crowds growing in Baltimore, protesting the death of Freddie Gray. Demonstrators tonight chanting "no justice, no peace." This is the location actually in this live picture that you're seeing of where some of the worst looting happened earlier this week. This is actually in front of the CVS that was on fire earlier this week.
We also have new protests in Philadelphia, thousands taking to the streets already. It's expected to get bigger as the night goes on. There is no curfew. So far, it has been peaceful in Philly.
All eyes are on the prosecutor in this situation now. Really, this is the woman at the center of all of this. Her name is Marilyn Mosby. She'll determine if there's sufficient evidence and reason to charge the officers involved in Gray's arrest and her personal story is fascinating.
Jean Casarez is OUTFRONT.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the city of Baltimore spills into the streets demanding justice for the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, the decision to bring charges rests with its newly elected state attorney, Marilyn Mosby.
Just 35 years old, it is the biggest case of her short career. Her official bio says she's the youngest chief prosecutor of any major city in America.
Six officers have been suspended pending an investigation into Gray's death. Mosby must decide if there's enough evidence to prosecute those she works with and those she was raised to respect.
MARILYN MOSBY, STATE'S ATTORNY FOR BALTIMORE: I come from a long line of police officers. My grandfather was one of the first African American police officers in Massachusetts.
[19:45:04] And one of the things that he instilled upon us is the importance of public service.
CASAREZ: All four of her uncles were police officers and so was her mother.
A. DWIGHT PETTIT, CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER: Part of her campaign was police excessive force and brutality. What he campaigned on is that she was going to have a transparent and open investigation when these questions came up.
CASAREZ: Raised in Massachusetts, Mosby was accepted in a school desegregation program at the age of six, and then participated in a study of the civil rights movement.
MOSBY: After having had that awesome experience, I knew that I wanted to be an attorney.
CASAREZ: In 1994, her cousin was murdered on her front doorstep, further solidifying her drive to be a lawyer.
MOSBY: The way in which the district attorney's office dealt with my family is something that inspired me. CASAREZ: Following law school, she married her college
sweetheart, moved to Baltimore, and started life as a prosecutor. After six years, she left the office to become counsel for an insurance company. Then, last fall, she jumped back into the ring, winning the state attorney's office.
KURT SCHMOKE, FORMER MAYOR OF BALTIMORE: It was somewhat of a surprise upset election. But she already had has the credibility now coming out of the community.
CASAREZ: Something her husband knows first hand as a councilman who represents the neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested.
NICK MOSBY, BALTIMORE CITY COUNCILMAN: She's my wife, she's a strong woman. You know, she was built for this.
CASAREZ: And prosecutor Marilyn Mosby now has that chance.
Jean Casarez, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: Joining me OUTFRONT, our legal analyst Mark O'Mara. He's a criminal defense attorney who represented George Zimmerman during the Trayvon Martin trial.
Mark, good to have you with me.
You know, I mean, her story is fascinating. She's a fascinating person. She comes from a family of police officers. That is one fact of her background. You were defending Freddie Gray as our guest at the top of the program is, would you be concerned about that? Would you think that that would prevent you from getting a fair hearing?
MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, my concern is not just that she has family members who are police officers, but it's still that question that came up in Ferguson, which is whether or not prosecutors should be investigating their own officers. And even though the African-American community may be less concerned with this prosecutor than they were with McCullough, the question still remains of whether or not we need to have an independent prosecutor to come in and to look at this case completely independently.
I think in this case, as I said in Ferguson, we should have an independent prosecutor.
BURNETT: An independent prosecutor, so you think that's the way to go. At this point, though, they've made their decision. They're not going to change it, right?
O'MARA: No. I think that Ms. Mosby is going to take on. I do think she's going to do a great job. And here's why I think so -- she already has five years of experience as a trial prosecutor. That's great. She also knows that she's in the public eye, and that's great.
And let's look back to Ferguson for a second to see how much of an investigation law enforcement did in that case. I was sort of encouraged by the fact that they found an additional stop of the van, and here's why: if law enforcement is doing that good of a job at least of gathering the information, that they went all around the whole path of that van, then hopefully we're going to see the thousands and thousands of pages we saw in Ferguson, and we're going to have a complete investigation that we all can look at.
BURNTT: Yes, let's hope that we do, because that was one of the issues in Ferguson. Thank you, Mark.
I want to go straight to Poppy Harlow now. We've been talking about the peaceful protests in Philadelphia. Right now, you're looking at a clash going on between police and protesters. Poppy is on the ground there.
Poppy, what's happening? Can you tell us?
HARLOW: I'm here.
Erin, here's what's happening. You have a better vantage point because you're seeing my camera shot which is in front of me. It appears to be a clash because some of the protesters, it looks like, have tried to enter the freeway entrance here to East 676 or Interstate 95.
The police told us before if these protesters tried to block the highway at all, they would not be allowed to do that. It may be what's happening right now. I will tell you that for hours leading up until now, for the past three and a half hours, these protests have been completely peaceful and calm.
This is the first time that we have seen a clash. And I will tell you that it is among a relatively small group of protesters. Most of the protesters have been peaceful, Erin, this entire time.
BURNETT: And obviously so you're saying what it is, Poppy, that we're seeing on the screen -- we have is an aerial picture. So, everybody, you can see both on the left, you can see Poppy's camera. And on the right you can see an aerial of what we're seeing. These are just different vantage points of what's happening on the streets of Philadelphia.
[19:50:00] But what Poppy is saying is that these protesters were trying to block the entrance to major interstate highways, which police have said that was a line that they could not cross. They could be blocking traffic within the city but not going out on to the actual interstates.
Poppy, from your vantage point, is this escalating or being handled. Right now we can see the altercation on the screen and a lot of people obviously coming to take picture, people in the crowd -- protesters of the altercation. But it's hard to tell whether it's calming or not.
HARLOW: You know, Erin, I do want -- I'm trying to hold my photojournalist back a little bit for his safety and for the safety of our team. So, we're going the back up a little bit because what we're seeing is a line of protesters with their hands above their heads right at the entrance to Interstate 95 East.
They are trying to enter the highway. The police have said they cannot. They've said take a different route, and let's hope this doesn't intensify more. You have police on horses, you have police on bikes. You have support patrol cars around and people are backing up now.
These protesters have been allowed to march on the street peacefully for the past two hours. But police say if they come to the freeway and try to block the freeway, they will have to stop them. That's what's happening now.
BURNETT: Are you seeing any arrests?
PROTESTERS: No justice! No peace! No justice!
HARLOW: I'm sorry, what?
BURNETT: I'm sorry, there was just some chanting of "no justice, no peace" right when I asked you. Whether you're seeing any arrest or not? It looks like it's calming from our aerial shot.
HARLOW: Right. So, it is I have not seen any arrest all day and I have not seen any arrest right now and it's calming a bit. You have protesters who are putting their hands up. You have some using bull horns, yelling "no justice, no peace", and you have police officers holding the line, holding the line. But it does appear to have calmed down. I cannot report whether there had been arrest or not, Erin, I just don't have that vantage point.
BURNETT: Poppy, from where you're standing and I know you're obviously in the middle of this because you're talking about trying to hold your cameraman back to protect the safety of your crew.
How many people are there in this vicinity?
HARLOW: OK. The best estimate I can give you from the middle is there are possibly about 200 people gathered at the entrance at 95 East -- Interstate 95 East. A number of them in front of me have their hands up. Earlier, there were upwards of 600,000 protesters. But again, it is still the minority of them who have decided to try to enter the freeway here.
But I will say and I want to make it clear, Erin. Hopefully, you can see in our shot. These protesters are not pushing through the police line. There was an altercation moments ago. Now, it seems they are not pushing through aggressively. They are not pushing through the police line.
They want their voices heard. Someone walked by me and said, are we going are we going? So, you do have some and they're now trying to push through. But most people are not pushing through.
BURNETT: Poppy, is there someone next to you maybe that you can grab and I ask them what their perspective is on this and what's happening in this moment?
HARLOW: Can you a quick question? I'm Poppy, I'm with CNN. You're live on the air right now. What is your name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Noelle.
HARLOW: Can you tell me? You're one of the protesters with your arms up. We're at the highway entrance to 95. Why are you standing here right now? What is this about for you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The police are trying to block us from a peaceful demonstration. They pushed us back. There was -- I don't know if there was gas or mace but people almost got crushed out here. You have a right to be out here to protest in a peaceful way and they are pushing people back. People getting trampled back here.
HARLOW: The chief inspector of the police telling me earlier today this is going to be a loud, large, but lawful protest, saying they need to be heard. They deserve to be heard. And we are going to treat that way. I was marching with you guys in the last two hours, but it seems as though when it came to highway end here, the freeway, that's where it stops.
Can you guys understand that? Will you back up to the main street?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no.
HARLOW: So, being here is important.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm good. I'm good on that case (ph).
HARLOW: OK. So, Erin, as you heard there, they feel like they are being blocked. They are being blocked, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. This happening in Philly at this moment. We're going to take a brief break. We'll be right back on the other side see if we can figure out exactly how the situation resolves itself live in Philadelphia. We'll be right back.
[19:58:40] BURNETT: And breaking news in Philly, where there's a confrontation going on between police and protesters who are trying to get on a freeway.
Van Jones is with me on the phone.
Van, what's your reaction how the police are handling this?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR (via telephone): Well, it's hard to see exactly. I know that protesters would maybe want to block the highway. Trying to create more -- a traffic congestion to make a bigger point. I think the Philadelphia police have been very smart. We want to help you do everything in a lawful way. But it could be very dangerous to put people on a highway. So, at this point, they do not intend to make arrest apparently.
They're just trying to use physical force to keep people off that highway. This could turn very, very ugly, and this kind of conflict gets spread, we could have really problem --
BURNETT: Right. So, you're saying it could turn. Obviously, it's getting dark. We only have a few seconds left. You're saying, the bottom line is, police are right. You can't let people on to a freeway. I mean, there is a line to draw.
JONES: Well, what I'm saying is that probably some of the demonstrators want to have a bigger disruptive impact, and peaceful, non-violent, but a bigger disruptive impact, and the police decided they don't want to go that far, but now, you've got the stand off and how it's handled, we'll have to wait and see.
BURNETT: All right. We are watching this live go down in Philly where you can see this big pushing and shoving fight going on between police and protesters.
Our breaking news coverage of this continues with "ANDERSON COOPER 360" -- Anderson.