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Six Officers Charged In Freddie Gray's Death; Prosecutor: Gray's Death Was A Homicide; Royal Family Welcomes A Baby Girl; Protests and Rallies Expected Today; Calls for Change in Baltimore; Reaching the Epicenter of the Quake; Fight Night. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired May 2, 2015 - 08:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, yes, it is a girl. The Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to baby number two. The big question, what is her name? We hope to find that out this morning. Good morning to you. I hope that you're doing well. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell live in Baltimore this morning. I'm here where more rallies are expected today over the death of Freddie Gray. This of course coming after police faced off with protesters overnight after that huge decision to file criminal charges against the six officers involved in Gray's death.

More than 50 people were detained late in the evening including some who violated the city's curfew. Now, it's important to point out that there is calm returning to this city that was rocked Monday by the riots, the burning of cars, the burning of businesses, that new senior center that was to be finished pretty soon.

And now we're getting some details about the officers at the center of this controversy. I think we have the six mug shots, here they are, typically who took people to central booking. They were being booked themselves on yesterday.

But we know now that all six have paid the bond, they are out of police custody. And today more protests surrounding these six and the death of Freddie Gray across the country.

We've got a map. I think more than ten cities across the country, as far south as Baton Rouge, head out west to Los Angeles, Boston, Pittsburgh as well. We'll be following the protests across the country.

I want to get now to CNN correspondent, Rene Marsh. Rene, city leaders were trying to coincidentally tamp down expectations for what people would hear on Friday.

They were trying to tell people you won't hear a list of charges. You won't hear specifics about this case. But, in fact, they got the act opposite.

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know what? I think that caught a lot of people by surprise. I mean, I spent the day within that intersection of Pennsylvania and West North Avenue. I know you were there, too.

Person after person who I spoke to, they said we didn't think that it would come this quickly. Some people, depending on who you speak to, were happy to get information because there was a great deal of detail from the state attorney.

But there was some criticism as well specifically coming from the attorney for the police union, criticizing that perhaps this state prosecutor made a rush to judgment. So we're finding both reactions here.

The majority of people in the community happy that this is moving along at the pace that it is, but you have representatives for police officers saying this happened just way too quickly.

BLACKWELL: Because the expectation was that the report from the police would be simply handed over. We know that that happened on Thursday. What we learned on Friday was that the state's attorney's office was conducting its own investigation.

MARSH: Right. That was all happening parallel to the Baltimore Police Department's investigation and at the end of it all, I mean, she came out with some very serious charges. One of the officers, second degree murder, the most serious, they range from manslaughter to second degree assault.

So all six of these officers charged with something, but again, she's faced some criticism. Some people saying this is over-charging. Others, like Representative Elijah Cummings, who has been here every day saying he trusts the system.

He trusts the state prosecutor, and they're happy with the results. I just want to show you, we've got front page.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the "Baltimore Sun."

MARSH: So this was the reaction. This pretty much sums it up, this picture here. People just rejoiced when they heard this message. In that intersection that I spoke to you about, horns were honking, people were screaming out the window.

You know, people felt this sense of victory. People meaning people within this community and they felt that this was moving forward in the right direction. But of course, we know there's still a trial and I think many people realize that, too.

BLACKWELL: These aren't just charges, one step in this process. Of course, thank you so much. We will continue to talk throughout the morning.

Now after announcing the charges against those six officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, State's attorney, Marilyn Mosby spoke with CNN's Don Lemon and she addressed a lot. Everything from probable cause in this case to her views on police officers. Listen to part of the interview.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Let's talk about the -- what's happening now, what you just did. You just completed your investigation has left you with no doubt that these six officers are responsible for Freddie Gray's death?

MARILYN MOSBY, BALTIMORE STATE'S ATTORNEY: I can't really get into the specifics of the case, but as a prosecutor you should not bring charges if you don't believe that you have probable cause that these individuals are responsible for the charges.

I understand the time, the commitment, and the sacrifice that these police officers make time away from their families on a day-to-day basis. You know, risking their lives for the betterment of our communities.

[08:05:10] But at the same time, recognizing that these officers are making those sacrifices and I'm not saying in particularly with this case, those officers that you serve their authority, you have to be able to hold them accountable because it does a disservice to the really hardworking police officers.


BLACKWELL: So after the announcement of the charges, Freddie Gray's stepfather told reporters the family is satisfied with those charges and it is a step forward to justice.


RICHARD SHIPLEY, FREDDIE GRAY'S STEPFATHER: These charges are an important step in getting justice for Freddie. And we ask that whoever comes to our city, a city that we love, a city that we live in, come in peace.


BLACKWELL: Let's bring in the Gray family lawyer, Mary Koch, now. Mary, I wonder if what the family is feeling this morning. We heard that they are satisfied, but tell us, how are they?

MARY KOCH, FREDDIE GRAY FAMILY ATTORNEY: You know, it's a difficult process. So they are glad that the assist -- state's attorney for Baltimore City, Marilyn Mosby, took a careful look at all of the evidence and that she made a decision that charges were appropriate.

And that it will be -- that the case will move forward to potentially a trial, depending on what happens between now and then. But they're still, at the end of the day, they lost their son. And so the loss of their son, it can't -- the charges, you know, will hopefully extend his legacy and bring some changes.

It can't bring back their son. They're still processing that. They're still dealing with that. They're hoping that, again, I want to reiterate what Freddie's stepfather said and what the family's position is. Everyone has a position on this. Their position should be heard, but it should be done without violence.

BLACKWELL: Yes, there's a way to express that without destroying your own community.

KOCH: And that is what they really hope for because at the end of the day, you know, all Freddie has now, what his legacy is going to be and they want the legacy to be that this doesn't happen to people anymore. And that we peacefully ask government to change the way business is done.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about a request and a claim that came from the police union, the request that the state's attorney here Marilyn Mosby recuse herself, that there be a special prosecutor involved and the claim is, is that fellow family attorney, Billy Murphy, is too close to the state's attorney, supporting her campaign, involved with the transition, as well. What do you say to that claim?

KOCH: You know, I don't think that claim has very much merit. I think if somebody had a concern like that, they have known from the very beginning that Ms. Mosby would be the -- she is the prosecutor for the Baltimore City, elected by the citizens of Baltimore City.

And if they have that problem, that issue, that should have been raised a long time ago. Having said that, if a special prosecutor, somebody thinks a special prosecutor needs to be appointed that's something that's going to be dealt with through the state's attorney office.

And I think I just want to say that our role as the attorneys for the Gray family is vastly different from the criminal prosecution. The Gray family, Freddie Gray, is the victim. The victim's family has rights when a case is prosecuted.

Certainly they have an overriding interest in the prosecution. We represent them on the civil side, completely different case, and different burden of proof.

I say that because, you know, this whole idea of influence, the burden of proof in a civil case is substantially less than a burden of proof in a criminal case.

So the two are so vastly different that it really doesn't -- it matters very much that the right thing happened, but in terms of the civil case it's a preponderance of the evidence and it's beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case.

So to say that there is a conflict of interest in those two things, the other thing I would say is, you know, I don't think anybody can point to anything. I think that anything untoward has been done.

I mean, Ms. Mosby has conducted her investigation. She has been in contact with the police department. She has reviewed the evidence. She has made a decision. She has made one step in the process, the charging.

Ultimately the decision in this case will not be made by Ms. Mosby. It will be made by the citizens of Baltimore who serve on that jury. The process is going to work itself out. I don't see anything to in any way indicate that there is anything wrong with the way in which this case is proceeding.

BLACKWELL: All right, so we heard from the police union and they released statements and we heard from them yesterday at the news conference. Want to get the other side of that and get a response to those accusations as well. Mary Koch, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

[08:10:04] KOCH: Thank you for having me. Have a good day.

BLACKWELL: You too. Now for the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, coming up we've got answers to the questions surrounding the prosecutor's decision to file, the timing, just one day after receiving the police department's investigation although we learned that her office had conducted its own parallel investigation.


BLACKWELL: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Live here in Baltimore. More protests are planned here today also across the country. The six officers facing charges in the death of Freddie Gray and they are out of jail this morning. They posted bail last night.

Joining me now in Baltimore is Defense Attorney Scott Bolden. Also back in the studio in Atlanta we have forensic analyst and former investigator with the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office, Joseph Scott Morgan.

Scott, I want to start with you here. We're still learning some of the details of this case, both from sources that are speaking with media but also from the state's attorney. What do you imagine or from what you know thus far the defense will be for these officers?

SCOTT BOLDEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the defense will be, especially if all six hang together, remember, the government is going to try to separate these defendants out because they don't have a witness to exactly what happened in that van at least not yet.

And the defendants don't have to talk or even take the stand. And so at this juncture I would expect that they would be presenting the case to the grand jury. The investigation continues. There may be additional charges, quite frankly, so we'll have to wait and see.

BLACKWELL: Joseph, this man was on his stomach, on the floor of this vehicle, has asthma, legs shackled, handcuffed, stretch his chest.

[08:15:10] How would that impair his breathing? Kind of talk us through that.

JOSEPH SCOTT MORGAN, FORMER FULTON COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER'S OFFICE: Let's think about this from a perspective of positional asphyxia. He is incapable of drawing a breath because there is such pressure being applied to his diaphragm. He is in a dependent position facedown. He's also in a very confined space. We operate with our arms free. His hands were shackled behind him. He's in very confined area, bouncing down the road in essentially a metal box. It would be very, very difficult to breathe, particularly if you're in the middle of an asthmatic event.

BLACKWELL: Scott, you said that there is no witness to what happened in the back of that van. There is one person in there with him, Dante Allen. Do you see that he is a credible witness in this case?

BOLDEN: He made statements in custody and his earlier statement was inconsistent with this statement that he sounded like Freddie Gray was trying to hurt himself. There's no visual between that witness and Freddie Gray.

And so the pounding that he heard doesn't necessarily mean that Freddie was alone, if you will. Again, it's going to be difficult for the jury, I think, to believe that he injured himself and that he was banging around because you're talking about a severed spine.

There's got to be more to it than that. I quite frankly think that Freddie Gray was at least partially injured, whether he was faking some or not, during the arrest before he got into the van.

And then in the van it was aggravated, quite frankly, and if police officers entered that van and did further damage to him, you can see how these massive and significant injuries took place.

BLACKWELL: Yes, Joseph, let's talk about that. Is it possible to in that position sever one's spine? I mean, how much of this had to happen just because of one's anatomy and basic science outside of the van?

MORGAN: Well, if he is going through this asthmatic event this could have led to a condition that would have put him -- he's very anxiety laden. He may have been seizing. There's any number of things.

If he is actually having a seizure, we keep hearing about this bolt that was -- that he struck allegedly. I'd like to know if they've had a tool mark examiner that's taken a look at the bolt and compared that to the injury that's on the spine or to the skull that have been nonspecific about that.

One other thing I'd like to know is, what actually did he have onboard as far as going on chemically in his system? I think that a big piece to this that we don't know anything about right now is the toxicology report.

I'm hoping that the blood that they drew when he was initially admitted to the hospital, that the ME got their hands on that and that's being tox tested right now.

BLACKWELL: Still many questions here although we've got a lot of information yesterday. Still many questions unanswered. We'll try to get as many answers as this process will allow before a trial begins. Joseph Scott Morgan, Scott Bolden, thank you both.

BOLDEN: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Christi, back to you.

PAUL: All right, Victor, you know, we have some truly remarkable video coming up that you want to see. CNN's Arwa Damon has walked for days and in just a few minutes she's taking us to the epicenter of the Nepal earthquake. It's video you're only going to see right here.

Plus, it is indeed a princess, the duke and duchess of Cambridge, proud parents again this morning. There is a live picture of Buckingham Palace and all the people who just want to be part of this historic event. The isle is there with all the information. We're taking you live to London next.


PAUL: I love to bring you happy news. A Royal delivery in London as the duke and duchess of Cambridge welcome a baby girl.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 2nd of May in the year 2015, we welcome with humble duty the second born of the royal highnesses, the duke and duchess of Cambridge.


PAUL: So here's a fun tidbit for you at home. That town cryer is not a palace official, his name is Tony Appleby. He does this on his own.

CNN London correspondent, Max Foster, is in front of the Lindo Wing at St. Mary Hospital where Katherine, of course, gave birth. Max, we know that everybody is wondering if when naming this child they might incorporate Princess Diana's name somehow. Is that kind of talk there as well? And how long before we know a name?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, lots of talk about that. But, you know, we haven't been given any information or indication from the palace of any suggestion of names at all. So it's all speculation.

But certainly people are betting on Diana. There are other names much more popular in terms of betting like Charlotte and Alice and Alexandra, names like that. Olivia is a name that's been -- (inaudible) on drastically.

There's a flurry of bets around Olivia apparently which is in the U.K. quite a popular name at the moment. Princess Olivia doesn't have that regal heritage other names have. It's a nice name and a lot of people like it.

Maybe they are looking to something slightly outside traditional royal names. George is a very traditional royal name and he will go on to be monarch. So that was always going to be a more traditional name.

So it will be interesting to see if they go less traditional on a princess name, but huge amounts of interest because everyone was sort of secretly wishing for a girl, I think in this country and then all across the world. They wanted a princess. They've already got their prince.

PAUL: You know, it's interesting when we talk about wagers. I hear there are also wagers out there, who are trying to decipher what color dress she's going to wear and who is going to be holding the baby when they come out.

FOSTER: Everything.

PAUL: Max, really?

FOSTER: Yes. Yes. Well, we're a betting country. We bet on anything. So, yes, you can bet on anything and we will bet on anything. But last time William and Kate held the baby, didn't they, outside. It was very balanced.

William told me that he changed the first nappy as well. It wouldn't surprise me if he came out holding the baby. He drove the car. He drove Kate in the car this morning when she was in labor to the hospital. It's a very hands-on couple, very modern monarchy, if you like.

So I think whatever happens here they will be in charge of it. They won't have any officials around them really doing anything for them or telling them what to do. They don't really operate like that.

[08:25:11] PAUL: All right, well, Max, I can hear the flurry of people talking and chatting behind you because I know you are not there alone. We will come back to you throughout the morning to get more information as some of the details come out. Congratulations to them and thank you to Max Foster there.

Some are calling it this generation's fight of the century whether you have Pac-Man fever, if you're a Mayweather fan. You might not believe the big bucks that are going to the loser, the loser of this boxing match.

Also, the events in Baltimore have been trending all morning on Twitter. We're answering your questions, discussing your comments. That's coming up. Join the conversation right now. Use the #newdayCNN.


BLACKWELL: All right, singing "This Little Light Of Mine" you've got demonstrators here. I wouldn't even call them protesters at that point when you saw them celebrating the decision to charge six police officers you see here after the death of Freddie Gray.

According to court documents they've now paid the bond and are out of jail.

[08:29:49] Overnight police sent a message though to the protesters -- go home or go to central booking. About 50 people were detained including about 15 who broke the citywide curfew.

And today more protests and demonstrations are planned in Baltimore across the country.

You've got a map here of the larger protest -- Baton Rouge down in Louisiana; Houston, Texas; you've got Atlanta; Chapel Hill; out to Los Angeles as well. Pittsburgh there are demonstrations planned. #freddiegray continues to trend on social media this morning.

We know you have a lot of questions about this case, about the charges, about what's next. We're going to get answers to some of those questions if you have more. Use #newdayCNN and we will, of course, get them.

We have with us CNN commentator LZ Granderson, CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes; and Tessa Hill Aston, the president of the Baltimore City branch of the NAACP.

And Tom, I want to start with a question from Sean on Twitter. "Deeply frustrated that America has become", in his words, "a police state"; and he has some questions about objections here. "Deeply frustrated here that America has become a police state in Baltimore with so little objection or recognition by the masses." What do you say in response to that?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I think that Victor here you have the mayor ordering the curfew, the commissioner of police, the other officials of this city saying that after the violence the other night they couldn't have a risk of that happening again, with properties being burned, people's safety being put at risk, firefighters and police officers being injured with rocks and bottles, fire hoses being cut when they try to put the fires out.

BLACKWELL: But five days later, is it necessary?

FUENTES: Well, I don't know. I think they want to get through this weekend and see and make sure that it's going to go back to being peaceful before they release -- I think they're afraid of letting the police go too soon and maybe having another incident like last Tuesday.

BLACKWELL: LZ, you have an op-ed on and I've written down part of it here. It's I think just the tip end in which you say "There isn't a new reason for why Freddie Gray's death triggered outrage, just new ways for people to validate apathy and explain away racism." Expound on that, if you will.

LZ GRANDERSON, CNN COMMENTATOR: Part of that, you know, has a little bit what Tom just said, which is, you know, this idea of going back to a peaceful Baltimore. When you look at the statistics, when you know how much money has been spent because of police brutality and settling out of court. When you realize there've been more than 100 cases just in the past four years instances in which the police have been found to be doing some wrongdoing.

There wasn't peace before Freddie Gray's death. There was just a simmering. And the simmering has been happening in Baltimore, in Chicago, in Detroit for decades and decades and decades. And we keep searching for ways to explain why this anger and frustration happens in these communities.

The fact of the matter is that the same racism that has plagued this country from its very beginning is still a part of our fiber and until we are willing to point it out and be courageous in pointing it out and weeding it out we're always going to continue to try to find ways to explain the ramifications of that racism. So that's what I meant when I wrote that sentence.

BLACKWELL: And, you know, LZ, when I spoke with these young males, I spoke with three 17-year-old black males just a couple days ago. We're getting the audio situation fixed here. You know what they were offended by most, what they were touched by most? When the mayor called the people who were involved in the riots even "thugs".

Anecdotally I've heard from other photographers. The use of the word "thug" to describe them really resonated with them. And that stood out to me.

GRANDERSON: I don't know if you remember or not when NFL player Richard Sherman did an interview with Erin Burnett shortly after heading towards the Super Bowl. And he was very energetic and, you know, he was kind of in his face -- in her face with the interview. And Twitter exploded with people calling him a "thug". And it was because he had dreadlocks like me, but he was also a Stanford graduate and he was being interviewed at the height of his career. And people referred to him as a thug.

And if you looked at the energy in the intent behind that they were sort of using the same sort of, I guess, emotional outrage at his behavior that we normally have tied with the "n" word. I think that's part of the reason why so many people have been offended by the current usage of the word "thug" because it seems to only apply to men of color.

When you look at the behavior of white counterparts, whether you're talking about the pumpkin fest riot that happened in the northeast, the surfer's riot that happened in California, Justin Bieber's behavior, if you will -- these are thuggish behaviors and yet the word "thug" is not used to describe what they do.

But when you have an upset black man or an emotional black man and he has, you know, hair that doesn't seem to fit the traditional look that you would want for a black man or what America thinks a black man should look like you start describing him as a thug in the same sort of energy that you have used in the past with the "n" word. I think that's what resonated with the young black men in Baltimore.

[08:35:13] BLACKWELL: Yes, it wasn't that they were angry or frustrated. They were angered and frustrated by some other things. But that they took personally and it hurt them.

Tessa, LZ said that this idea of going back to a peaceful Baltimore after these demonstrations is a fallacy because if you look at the economic situation and the situation that the communication, relationship between police and communities, there was never really a, quote/unquote, "peaceful Baltimore".

TESSA HILL-ASTON, NAACP: It's not. It's not peaceful in the sense of the needs of the people in the communities. So one of the things is that government, non-profit, everybody, faith-based and NAACP, everybody who cares about the community, we need to figure out a way to work together so we can find healing and to better the communities with job opportunities, training. We need to outreach. We need to reach out to the communities and to the African-American males that need our help.

Once you embrace them they want help. I think it can turn around. They need to be loved. Some of them have come from homes maybe they didn't have a mother. Some of them have been in foster care. Not all of them. Some of them just don't have job opportunities. I think it's our responsibility to help them.

BLACKWELL: All right. Tessa, Tom, LZ -- thank you so much. We'll continue to have this conversation throughout the morning. And not just about Freddie Gray and the six officers.

But we go to these cities. We go to New York, we go to North Charleston, we go to Ferguson. We're now in Baltimore. And we have these conversations about the event, but what changes in the community aside from that event. Hopefully we can expound on that.

Thank you all for being part of the conversation.

The state attorney for Baltimore says that she is seeking justice on the death or in the death of Freddie Gray for the youth of Baltimore.

Listen to that part of her statement from yesterday.


MARILYN MOSBY, BALTIMORE CITY STATE'S ATTORNEY: To the youth of this city, I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment. This is your moment. Let's ensure that we have peaceful and productive rallies that will develop structural and systemic changes for generations to come. You're at the forefront of this cause. And as young people, our time is now.


BLACKWELL: Their time is now. I sat down with a group of young black teenagers -- 17-year-old boys here in this community, in west Baltimore. They attend Carverville -- a vocational technical high school. I asked them about how they feel about police.


KYRIQUE JONES, 17-YEAR-OLD WEST BALTIMORE RESIDENT: There are some good police but then there are some that aren't. And what you go with is you don't know who they are, so you take the bad first. The police have like -- it's not image of justice or people that serve the people. It's more fear and stuff like that.

BLACKWELL: Are you afraid of the police?

JONES: I'm not afraid but I don't want to run into them.


JONES: It's just not something good. When the police want to have a talk to you, when is there ever a good time for them to talk to you? What do they have for you that's good?

BLACKWELL: So you believe there's nothing good that can come from police if they want to talk to you?

JONES: I mean what are they going to give you a piece of candy?

TERRY BROWN, 17-YEAR-OLD WEST BMORE RESIDENT: No, they aren't. They aren't giving you a piece of candy. It's either something that you did and they are on you. They want you for something.


BLACKWELL: Those boys have each described run-ins with police in which one says that he was stopped on several occasions just to run his name to see if he had warrants. Another one was, in his description, manhandled on a bus stop. His face kind of scraped into cement.

They say that not all cops are bad, not all police officers are bad, but there are a few who give the rest of them a bad name. This relationship between police and some communities here in Baltimore from descriptions of people in the community is nothing new.

Still ahead, a look at the struggle between the officers who patrol the streets in the community and the communities they serve.


[08:42:50] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your hands out. Put your other hand out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your hands up.

BLACKWELL: Celebration throughout the day but here you see the defiance, police detained more than 50 people. These people were arrested because they defied the curfew, violated that curfew citywide that began at 10:00 p.m. since Tuesday of this week.

This is coming after the Baltimore state's attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that six officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray are now facing criminal charges. And it's important to point out that there is this calm that is returning to the streets of Baltimore although you still have behind me Maryland state police, you've got the National Guard as well. So they're still here.

There are protests, demonstrations planned today and tomorrow here in Baltimore and around the country.

Now, I grew up here in Baltimore. Born at Sinai Hospital and lived in Baltimore all my childhood. So did our next guest, born here in Baltimore, Adam Jackson, the CEO of the grass roots think tank Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, urging change here in the city. I'm glad to have you this morning.


BLACKWELL: Your organization has issued some demands. The first of which was to get charges against these six officers. That has been accomplished.

JACKSON: Yes, sir.

BLACKWELL: There's also, you want a commitment to either alter or overturn the law enforcement bill of rights which I think a lot of people heard about for the first time as they waited for answers in this investigation.

JACKSON: Yes, sir. So most people in Maryland, particularly in Baltimore, don't know about the law enforcement bill of rights. And the way that this public policy affects our ability to investigate police is astounding.

One example of that is the ten-day rule. What people don't know is that these officers have access to the charging documents and have access to the evidence being put forth against them in terms of the issue of the murder of Freddie Gray. What they get time to do in that ten-day period, they get time to look over the evidence and essentially corroborate each other's story as before they get to make a public statement.

If I murder somebody or kill somebody I'm immediately sent to jail and I have to get a statement immediately. But there are these separate provisions for police officers in Maryland. So we want to overturn these specific provisions because we don't think that -- we think that everybody should be treated equally in the eyes of the law so they don't get to corroborate their story.

[08:45:07] BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the communication and the relationship with the community. Do you believe that these officers should be required to live in the communities they serve?

JACKSON: Intuitively, yes. But the problem is when you have systemic inequality kind of -- and levied that against, you know, the conditions of the communities here in Baltimore, the people don't think that that makes sense. So when we talk about recruiting police officers that live in Baltimore that are from Baltimore, people don't trust the police already and that's exacerbated. You have to grab people who are -- I actually was a fellow with the mayor's office a couple years ago and I had to do a ride around with someone who wasn't from Baltimore in my own neighborhood, who was only here if six months from New Jersey. So I was like, what is -- how does this make sense? You know, intuitively you would think that Baltimore would try to recruit and retain police officers from Baltimore. But that's not what we do here. We recruit people from other places that come here and (inaudible)

BLACKWELL: You know, the conversation we had in Ferguson was that there was a racial disparity. That the white -- mostly white police officers -- the police force did not mirror the community it was representing. Not the case in Baltimore. Is it socio-economic, what is the gap there? What is the chasm?

JACKSON: The fundamental problem here in Baltimore is that there is systemic inequality embedded in the way that we approach policing. And so one thing that's interesting about Baltimore in particular was Martin O'Malley when he was mayor from 1999-2007, still a mostly black city council, white mayor, but he illegally arrested over 757,000 black people.

But that, the remnants and the tendencies of public policies like that still extend to the Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's administration. So we don't look at those systemic inequalities and how they impact over time. You can see black faces in the seats. But there are be still laws and public policies that are still in practice that still affect the way that police do policing here in Baltimore.

BLACKWELL: You know, one of the things I heard from the conversations I've been having, and I asked the question about race and police, the voice specifically I spoke with said that it doesn't matter the race of the officer. From their perspective, it's the badge that they see. It doesn't matter the race of the officer, male or female.

So hopefully we can have more of that conversation. Adam, thank you for being part of the conversation this morning as we try to understand more, aside from just the death of Freddie Gray, some of the systemic issues that have been plaguing in Baltimore for a long time now.

JACKSON: Thank you for having me.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: Victor -- we have learned so much from your great conversations this morning. Thank you. Victor is going to be back with us, too, again at 10:00 this morning when we come back.

There are things that you can do to help rebuild Baltimore. A lot of times you look at the story and you want to do something and you don't know what to do. Well, just logon to We've got some ideas and ways to facilitate that for you.

Also want to show you some unbelievable new images, images you're not going to see anywhere else. A CNN crew walks for days witnessing rubble and devastation as they attempt to reach the epicenter of the earthquake in Nepal. Guess what, they did it. We're going to show you some of what that is all about later.

Also, the eyes of the sporting world will be on Las Vegas tonight. Boxing fans preparing for the fight of the century as it's been dubbed. Live update for you from Sin City coming up.


[08:52:11] PAUL: All right. Let's get you to a CNN exclusive here. The epicenter of the devastating earthquake in Nepal is where Arwa Damon has trekked. She and her crew have gotten there and it has taken days as they trekked through villages and talked to people in those urban areas, rural areas, rather, that we've been talking about and wondering what it's like there.

We know the death toll, I have a new number here for you. It's now at 6,841. Nepal's government is announcing that the chances of finding more survivors are, quote, "extremely slim". But look at what CNN's Arwa Damon and her crew did find as they spent, as I said, days getting to the epicenter of this monster quake.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is Barpak, the epicenter of the earthquake where right now we hear the constant sounds of people trying to put their lives back together, a town that was once made up of some 1,400 plus homes 95 percent of which have been completely damaged or no longer inhabitable.

In that home there you see a family not only trying to rebuild its life but also trying to recover from the loss of a loved one. An 11- year-old girl died there. That is her father who is trying to put pieces of what -- seems was the roof, that sheeting there, up on the wall. Her brothers are up on the wall, also, trying to help their father rebuild their home.

This is a nation that is still struggling on so many levels to cope with what happened. Not to mention a severe lack of aid despite the fact that so many different nations have pledged so much to Nepal. Aid has yet to reach these areas in the quantities that it is need.

We were speaking with some members of the Indian contingent that is here earlier. They've been helping families remove the bodies of the dead. They've also been helping to try to remove some of the cadavers of the livestock that has been killed.

And they're saying that aid is being very slow to reach this part of the country -- food aid, and medical aid. In the farther out areas the situation is even more dire. It is very difficult to reach this part of the country. It is entirely cut off for any sort of vehicle access. We hiked here. And this right now is what so many people are trying to deal with.

Again, not only rebuilding their lives physically but for those that have lost someone who they love, trying to mostly recover from this ongoing trauma.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Barpak, Nepal.


PAUL: You know when Arwa said the epicenter when she talked to people about what it was like when it hit. They said the ground wasn't only breaking apart but it was spinning which is something that they felt differently than we heard from the folks there in Nepal. Arwa Damon -- thank you so much.

[08:55:08] Fight night, it's here. We're hours away at this point. Floyd Mayweather set to take on Manny Pacquiao. Coming up a live report as we talk about the fact that apparently betting, not boxing, may end up being the biggest story of tonight's epic battle.


PAUL: Here's a look at some of the other stories making news this morning. The stepchildren of a woman killed in a crash that involved Bruce Jenner has filed a lawsuit against the former Olympian now. Authorities say Jenner's SUV hit Kimberly Howe's car, pushed it into the path of another oncoming vehicle. This was back in February. The reality star says he's cooperated with police as they investigate the fatal collision. The lawsuit calls for unspecified damages and the cost of the suit itself.

It's nearly time to break out the mint juleps. We're hours away from the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby. The famed horse race, the first of three events that make up, of course, the Triple Crown. American Pharaoh is this year's favorite to come in first on the Churchill Downs (inaudible). We'll see if that happens.

And from the track to the ring the countdown to fight night under way this morning as Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather get set to face each other. The two men took part at the weigh-in at the MGM Grand. That's the site of tonight's fight, by the way.

And that's where we're going to find CNN's Coy Wire. Coy -- so moneywise, this fight is already making some history. Is that right?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: Absolutely. They're projecting $400 million in revenue for this fighting, Christi. Most of that is going to be split between the fighters. Some will go to the networks. But you have to think about the magnitude of this -- $74 million just in ticket sales. That's more than the $60 million that last year's Super Bowl brought in with four times as many seats in the stadium.

When you think about this if these fighters make the $300 million that they will reportedly split 60 percent to Mayweather, 40 percent to Pacquiao, and this fight goes the distance, Christi, that means they would split $138,000 per second, Christi. It's just bonkers.

PAUL: You know, I've listened to a lot of people talking about this fight. And so many people that I've heard from have said that they want Pacquiao to win because for them it comes down to the character of these two men. And you know, there's kind of a shady past, right, with Mayweather? WIRE: Yes. It's -- there's been seven instances that have resulted

in citation or arrest on Mayweather's behalf dating back 14 years ago. He has a shadowed past.

Manny Pacquiao has converted to Christianity and really into his faith. And so last night at the weigh in, it showed. 90 percent of the people of the 10,000 people who bought tickets to that event were cheering for Manny Pacquiao. Only 10 percent were cheering for Floyd Mayweather who received mostly boos. I may be generous with that.

Most of the people in that arena seemingly here in Vegas are rooting for Manny Pacquiao, Christi. So it will be an interesting fight -- a clash of opposites, a beautiful juxtaposition for what's going to be one of the greatest fights of all time, possibly.

PAUL: Wow. Ok, we've gotten seconds. Who is going to win it in your opinion?

WIRE: I'll change my mind in ten minutes but I'm going to go with my heart and say Manny Pacquiao.

PAUL: All right. All right. I'm with you. I'm with you for Pacquiao, Coy. Coy Wire, thank you so much we appreciate it. Have fun tonight. You've got a heck of a view.

We're going to see you back here meanwhile at 10:00 eastern in the CNN newsroom. Thank you so much for sharing your time with us this morning.

[09:00:01] "SMERCONISH" is starting for you right now.