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Trump Addresses Protests Erupting Across U.S.; Trump Tweets Provocative Comments After Protesters Clashed With Secret Service Outside White House; Protests Get Tense In Chicago; Protests Heating Up In Los Angeles; Protesters Gather In New York's Time Square. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired May 30, 2020 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Arrests being made in just one of the cities where we've seen demonstrations across the country. This as the day wears on and the night approaches. CNN special live coverage continues with Ana Cabrera right now.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.
This is a country under a state of dire emergency right now for more than one reason. Police officials in several cities facing more, sometimes explosive, public protest this weekend and all of it happening at the same time as the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
On the East and the West Coast and in so many cities in between, community leaders are urging protesters this weekend to express their frustration and their pain and their fear and all of that emotion over the death of George Floyd. But they are making it clear that violence and destruction won't be tolerated.
The governor of Minnesota today promising to, quote, "fully mobilize the National Guard," to watch over protests he says had nothing to do with a senseless death and everything to do with creating fear and disruption.
And all of this as the cloud of Coronavirus has not gone away at all. Health officials are begging people to avoid clustering together, especially groups of strangers. But you can see, that's hard to do. This is Los Angeles today. Social distancing is, apparently, out the window.
CNN correspondents and crews are all over the country. We will be checking in with those other correspondents after we talk with Omar Jimenez, who is live in Minneapolis for us this afternoon. What are you seeing? What are you hearing? What are the dynamics on the ground there today, Omar?
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, so far, the dynamics have been largely peaceful protesting over the death of George Floyd and how it's been handled since. We are right outside the Fifth Police Precinct here in Minneapolis.
And you can see the crowds that have gathered here with signs up. They, over the course of the day, have been chanting. There have been performances, even a little song as well. Again, this is part of what officials want to see, the peaceful side of allowing people's voices to be heard.
What they haven't seen, in many cases, is when it comes down to nightfall. And, over the course of the past three days, the Governor Tim Walz here actually described yesterday what he had seen as 48 hours of anarchy.
So, yesterday, when he came up, they added more state resources along with local law enforcement, as well on top of it instituting a curfew, to try and curb some of the rioting, looting, and the buildings being set on fire that we had seen night in and night out. Yesterday or last night, it proved that those efforts were not enough.
So, we heard from them again today. And what we are learning is that they are deploying more National Guard members here in the state than they ever have in their more than 140-year history on top of the curfew they have.
And what we are hearing from state officials is that a lot -- or based on the data they're looking at, a lot of the people that have been coming in have been coming in from out of the state. So, that is a factor that they are continuing to look at, as they try to get a handle on the contrast of what we see during the day, like what we're seeing now, and what we've seen at night -- Ana.
CABRERA: And, Omar, I know you've been there, obviously, for days now. What does it feel like today, at this time compared to what it felt like yesterday at this time?
JIMENEZ: Well, we're kind of in unprecedented territory, timing-wise, because this is the first weekend we have had since this actually happened. But I can tell you, around this time every single day, Wednesday through Friday, there always have been demonstrations.
Either at the site where George Floyd was arrested, and where we saw that cell phone video unfold, or they have largely been outside the Third Police Precinct for Minneapolis police. But that one went up in flames two nights ago.
So, this is the first time we have seen a steady collection of people building over the course of today. I can tell you, in this neighborhood that was affected by a lot of buildings burned, a lot of people were already out sweeping and cleaning up their community, trying to get things back to normal.
But, again, I can't emphasize enough the contrast of what we have seen during the daytime hours versus the night. And Tim Walz, the governor here, has laid out what a path to restoration is going to look like for Minneapolis and for the state. He says it starts with regaining control. And that, again, is a process we have seen them struggle with this week.
He then says it's going to come down to getting swift justice. And while we have seen one officer, one of the four arrested and charged, protesters and the family want to see all four. And then, he says, and this might be the most important one, regaining trust. Trust that he says was frayed not just over this -- the course of this past week, but trust that has been frayed over the course of generations -- Ana.
CABRERA: And it's good to see people wearing masks. It looks like people are being very calm and protesting productively today, at least, at this point.
CABRERA: Omar Jimenez, we'll check back with you. Thank you for that reporting.
Let's go from the heart of the country, and perhaps the heart of the emotion over all of this, to the West Coast now in Los Angeles, where leaders are urging calm right now, as that city braces for more demonstrations. And you can see quite a large crowd is gathering there. These are live pictures right now. Huge crowds already coming together. This is around the Fairfax district of Los Angeles.
It has been largely peaceful so far. But, remember, last night, it was as chaotic and destructive there as anywhere. These protests, you can see, became violent and there's a lot of vandalism and there were officers injured and there were hundreds of protesters arrested.
Let's go live to CNN's Paul Vercammen, joining us live in Los Angeles. Paul, what is happening there right now?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A dramatic unfolding situation. I'm at the corner of Fairfax and Third. These are two main arteries that you take on surface streets through Los Angeles. And the demonstrators, well over 1,000 of them, have completely taken over this intersection. Cars are stopped in front of me. You can see people have jumped on top of a city bus.
You can also see throughout, people have got on top of traffic light poles. And the chant is in unison. It's Black Lives Matter. They want their message heard and they've done some -- something here by sealing off this intersection. You can see there are people in these cars. We've been talking to people about what it meant to them to come down here.
And we're going to talk to Marilyn London in just a second here. Marilyn, come on in. I know for you, that image of that officer's neck on Floyd's -- that officer's knee on Floyd's neck was just absolutely disturbing. Describe for me what your emotions were when you saw that.
MARILYN LONDON: It was terrible. And when I seen that, I couldn't -- I couldn't go to sleep for two days. So, it was just embedded in my head. And I think we need reform justice in the police department. ASAP.
VERCAMMEN: And how do you feel about this scene that's now playing out before us, with this intersection sealed off. People on these traffic light poles, et cetera?
LONDON: I think it's good. We're making a big statement.
VERCAMMEN: I thank you for your sentiments. If you look around here, across the way, they've jumped on the roof of a neighboring business. And, as I said, you can see all of this completely sealed off. This started as a very peaceful demonstration. And we have not seen any acts of violence. It started in Pan Pacific Park. And then, it went down this street. And is it now sealed over.
And we're looking behind us, as people are trying to get their cars out of here. Obviously, they've been stuck in this intersection for quite a while. I'm going to toss it back to you now, Ana. And we'll be sure to let you know if anything dramatic happens here. Dramatic enough that so many people came out with such loud voices in protest of what happened to Mr. Floyd in Minneapolis.
CABRERA: Paul, obviously, it's only 2:00 in the afternoon there in Los Angeles. And nighttime, when that sun falls, has been when problems have popped up across the country in the last couple of nights. Do you have a sense of what the plan is? What are protesters telling you their plan is?
VERCAMMEN: They, basically, said that they want to hold a peaceful demonstration. They wanted to make a statement. So, this is a protest organized by Black Lives Matter and many cohorts, many like-minded groups.
They have not said anything about going downtown. This is in the Fairfax district, by the way. They have not said anything about, you know, wanting this to turn violent. But, as you pointed out, and we've seen this in the past, when the sun's gone down, we have had incidents of violence. You may know, there were more than 500 arrests in Los Angeles last night and six officers hurt.
But, so far, we have to compliment them. Despite sealing off this intersection, we've only seen decorum. And we have not seen anybody throwing anything, any acts of violence. And the police, by the way, as you can tell, are extremely hands off. In fact, since we've been in this intersection, we have not seen a single police officer. So, that might be a deliberate strategy. We'll just have to wait and see -- Ana.
CABRERA: OK. Paul Vercammen in Los Angeles for us. We'll check back. Thank you.
CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro joins us now in New York and among the protesters there. We can see Evan. Where are you? And describe for us what you're experiencing there.
EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hey, Ana, I'm in the West Village neighborhood of New York on Perry Street, just across Bleecker Street. If you want to know what kind of neighborhood this is, this street that I'm standing on is like the fictional home of Carrie Bradshaw from "Sex In The City". So, a nice neighborhood.
This crowd that I'm on, they started marching from Union Square earlier today, where they had a rally, and then they've moved. [17:10:02]
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: They've, sort of, marched around Manhattan and are now marching here into the West Village. So far, and with no indication of otherwise, an extremely peaceful protest. There's been a lot of passion. A lot of, sort of, anger. But really just been very, very peaceful overall.
We've seen even indications of -- you know, there's a police presence here. And we've seen some protesters yelling epithets at police and getting right in their face. And the police, sort of, not reacting and the police being able to cross through the crowd. So, this is a safe but angry protest. Obviously, the concern here in New York, it's a concern that we've had every else in the country which is that the nighttime tends to be a little bit more dangerous.
Last night in New York, there were incidences of violence and protests in Brooklyn and other places that the mayor, Mayor Bill De Blasio, a Democrat, said today that, you know, he didn't want to see that happening and he didn't want to see another night in New York like he saw last night.
But during the day today, where I am right now, we see no indication of that happening. But, of course, the sun's up and we haven't seen the -- you know, the crowd change yet -- Ana.
CABRERA: And who's in that crowd with you, Evan? What type of people are turning out? It looks like there's a lot of diversity among you.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Yes, it's a very large crowd, a few hundred people, and very diverse. And it started out today pretty diverse and it got more and more diverse as the day went on, to be perfectly frank. This is a good mix of New Yorkers. This is a lot of what New York looks like. And people have come together, and they're marching together.
You know, we've seen a lot of people from all over the -- all different ages and different colors and everything else, and that's not a surprise. The most amazing thing has been, as they march along, sometimes they run into traffic and the people in traffic. Rather than be annoyed that there's this crowd marching through them, end up honking their support, which has led to a lot of pretty interesting moments here -- Ana.
CABRERA: OK, we'll check back. As always, thank you. Evan McMorris- Santoro, again, in New York City.
Let's go to Chicago now, where we know there was some intensity there already today. Ryan Young is joining us live. Ryan, it looks like things are relatively calm right now. What can you tell us?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, absolutely. That's because the crowd is on the move. You can see this guy waving the flag, basically, in the officers' faces. But there was something that was a rallying cry. Because, up until now, there really hasn't been any organization.
But I'm going to start walking down the street, because this is where everybody's headed. Ana, the entire crowd started walking this direction, and I'll tell you what got them all ready to go. Someone said, let's go to Trump Tower. And, at that point, the crowd said, yes. And now, they're marching toward Trump Tower, which is, of course, one of the tallest buildings here in Chicago.
Look, this city's really a tale of two cities. On one side, there's not a lot of violence. On the other side of town, they've been ravaged by violence and there's people who are upset about the mistreatment from police officers in the city, not only what's going on in Minneapolis.
But one of the things that we've noticed is this crowd is super diverse. There are people who are locked into this traffic ring throughout the city. They've been stuck here for over an hour, trying to get their voices heard. It's like a caravan. But they can't move because the protesters are shutting the streets down block by block.
Now, the officers have been trying to do the best they can to make sure that they don't stop all the traffic. In fact, they've brought some buses in to sort of block some of the protesters, at one point. But then, what we started noticing was something different. Every time a group of officers showed up, the protesters would surge around the officers and start screaming at them.
And this city's had a long history with protests, especially after the shooting of Laquan McDonald, and that's something that people have been talking about. So, as we walk toward Trump Tower now, this is what people have been saying. They want systematic change.
Now, the mayor, for her part, has said she understands the anger in this city and why people are upset. But she wants to make sure they do it peacefully. Last night, for the most part, it was peaceful. Then, all of a sudden, people started rushing out and breaking windows.
There's graffiti on some of the businesses here in town. I talked to one business owner today who said he was devastated because of the fact they've been closed for two months because, don't forget, COVID has hit this area hard.
This is one of the few intersections that we've come across where traffic's actually working. But, at the same time, you think about it. COVID has hit Chicago hard, especially in the black and brown neighborhoods. So, you have that, combined with the idea that they're upset their voices are not being heard. If you put all that together, Ana, and you have people who are hitting the streets. And let's not forget last night, things didn't take a turn until after 2:00 a.m.
CABRERA: Right. And, already, --
YOUNG: 108 arrests were made.
CABRERA: -- Ryan, we are getting reports that, in broad daylight today, police vehicles are being vandalized already. So, it sounds like confrontations are already happening there. Do police have a plan? How are they going to prevent protests from getting out of control today?
YOUNG: Well, Chicago actually does a pretty good job of handling large crowds. In fact, they handled the G-7 years ago. And even during the Laquan McDonald situation, they handled property damage OK.
What we've seen so far is the officers haven't done anything to antagonize the crowd. What you see in some other places. The crowd, for its part, will surround the officers. They will yell. But, then, everybody seems to move on. So, there hasn't been a lot of those flashpoints.
But what we did see is last night, after everybody went away, that's when another group came out and started throwing rocks into windows. So, that's the genesis of this worry about what could happen later.
As you see now, people want their voices heard. And that's what the push is. And, again, we are probably about a half a mile away from Trump Tower. That has become the flashpoint for so many protests in this city. When people want their voices heard, they go outside Trump Tower. They start yelling and screaming and having choice words toward that building. So, you can understand that ground swelling of people who are moving this direction, at this point.
The officers, for their part, most of them are back this way. Another group on bicycles went around this area to make sure that they are not seen as they're moving in position near Trump Tower.
CABRERA: OK, Ryan Young in Chicago for us. Thank you.
I want to bring in civil rights icon, Jesse Jackson, joining us from Chicago as well. You have been fighting for equality for over six decades. You were with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the day he died, April 4, 1968, in Memphis. You've been arrested in sit- ins. You've marched in Selma back in 1965.
Reverend, you called George Floyd's death a lynching in broad daylight. When you see some of the images of unrest in America right now, I mean, in what we've seen the last 24 hours, so horrible, and yet so familiar, what is your reaction?
REV. JESSE JACKSON, POLITICIAN: Well, the streaks of violence is unfortunate. It distracts from the agenda. The reality is the real violence is that a police officer with 18 citations still on the force. He killed a man. Three police looked on and nothing happened. All four of them should be charged with manslaughter (ph). Eighteen citations.
And now, the focus of the police in -- they're not leaving (ph) the city. The violence is unacceptable.
CABRERA: Civil rights leader, Andrew Young, reacted to the violent protests that we've been seeing, tweeting, we have to round up the reasonable young people that are part of their group and let them know they have made their point and now they hurt their cause.
Reverend, when you see looting, buildings set on fire, an officer in Oakland killed, is this even about George Floyd anymore?
JACKSON: The people's cup runneth over. I really do not encourage the violence, to the contrary. But think about the killing of Trayvon Martin. The police walked away. (INAUDIBLE) and the police, they walked away. (INAUDIBLE), they walked away. (INAUDIBLE), they walked away. People (INAUDIBLE), it's wrong. And legal lynching is the most horrible form of humiliation. I think whites are embarrassed by the violence. Blacks are humiliated by it.
CABRERA: If there are protesters or police listening right now, what do you want to tell them?
JACKSON: First of all, while you folks on code blue, police behavior, don't (INAUDIBLE) with Corona. I hate to see young people marching and when we're on the protocols and hand sanitation, hand sanitizing, eventually have a spike in Corona. That's my one fear. For our folks who are on code blue, police behavior, don't forget we have another war to fight at the same time.
CABRERA: You know, it's been decades, as we mentioned, that you have been fighting for equality, for justice. The Reverend King said, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what -- and what is it that America has failed to hear? And I just wonder, what do you think? What is America not hearing?
JACKSON: In Minnesota, there have been 11 cases of blacks shot by police and killed. Never an indictment.
JACKSON: Be heard. We saw them -- we saw George Floyd suffocate to death on the -- and by the way, he knew Floyd. They had some relationship. I don't know what his motive was. He -- the police looked on and he walked away, not in handcuffs, walked away.
Without these protests, he could be walking free today. The protests are why he's in jail. Without the camera to expose it, without the protests to further amplify it, all four would be walking the streets today. Just another day at the job. Eighteen citations, one guy, still has his job.
CABRERA: Reverend Jesse Jackson, I really appreciate you taking the time and offering your thoughts. I know so many people look up to you and are listening closely. Thank you for being with us.
JACKSON: And the one thing for the people who are marching is please, if you march, you deal with the death of Corona, on the one hand. The death by police on the other. Do not mistake and contract Corona while fighting this fight. You have two death warrants at the same time and both of them matter very much.
CABRERA: Absolutely. You're absolutely right. This confluence of crises is happening in our country right now, and they're both very important stories and related, obviously, as well. Thank you for being here with us. We have much more on our live coverage. Protests across America from Minneapolis to Los Angeles this hour. I want to take you live to Baltimore right now. These are live images there. This, as the president is threatening the direct use of force on protesters at the White House.
CABRERA: We're back with our breaking news, continuing to follow the unrest happening around the country right now. These are live images out of Chicago where you can obviously see protesters surrounding a vehicle that was vandalized and they are pushing on it.
And we know there are hundreds of people who are gathering in Chicago, and we just checked in with Ryan Young recently. He talked about multiple areas where protesters are gathering and, obviously, we apologize for some of the language you may be seeing on our air or hearing today, as we covering these protests. People expressing their anger, their frustration, and their outrage clearly. And, right now, working to tip over that truck. We'll work to gather more information and details as to exactly what's going on in this image.
I can tell you, in Chicago, our reporting is protesters have been throwing water bottles at officers who are on scene in riot gear. And our understanding is there have been several police vehicles vandalized already today in broad daylight.
Again, it is now 4:30, approximately, in the afternoon in Chicago. And while America is watching all of this unrest, this is what the President tweeted earlier. Liberal governors and mayors must get much tougher, the President tweets, or the federal government will step in and do what has to be done. And that includes using the unlimited power of our military and many arrests.
He went on from there, saying, protesters, the president says, would be greeted with the most vicious dogs and most ominous weapons, if they attempt to breach the barricade between Pennsylvania Avenue and the White House. Because we do know there were protests outside the White House last night, and secret service was confronting those protesters.
CNN's Jeremy Diamond joins us from the White House. Jeremy, what is the situation outside there right now?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana. Well, we do know that there are, it appears, a couple hundred protesters outside of the White House, between Pennsylvania Avenue and 17th Street. The secret service does have a broader perimeter around the White House than they did last night.
Last night, you saw protesters coming right up on Pennsylvania Avenue. There's a park, called Lafayette Park, just above Pennsylvania Avenue. That's where you normally see tourists on the street. This time, though, Lafayette Park is entirely closed off to the public. And so, these protesters have gathered at a nearby intersection. We do know already that several -- that at least one of -- secret service police vehicle has been vandalized. Its windshield broken in and graffiti sprayed on it, anti-Trump graffiti sprayed on it.
But, Ana, as these protests are happening, the president is, of course, down south in Florida at the Kennedy Space Center where he just watched that launch of -- that SpaceX launch. And the president is now giving remarks, Ana, and addressing, perhaps, the most -- in the most comprehensive manner that he has so far, the situation happening around the country.
On Twitter, as you noted, Ana, what we have seen from the president is a series of attacks at Democrats, trying to use this as a partisan issue, and threats directed at some of these protesters. Yesterday, of course, we did hear the president in person talking about the death of George Floyd, lamenting the situation.
And now, it appears the president is addressing this issue, as a whole, more comprehensively. Let me just read you one quote that I'm getting from the speech which is the president saying, I stand before you as a friend and ally to every American seeking justice and peace. And I stand before you in firm opposition to anyone exploiting this tragedy to loot, rob, attack, and menace. Healing not hatred, justice not chaos are the missions at hand.
So, Ana, you see some more comprehensive language that we're getting from the president here. But he is certainly not backing off the tough language that he has directed at many of these protesters, particularly those who have gone on to loot and vandalize property. The president, once again, making this a partisan issue, accusing radical left criminals of carrying out the violence that we have seen erupt in some of these cities around America.
So, certainly, the president not backing off of this kind of tough-on- crime stance that he has espoused as Americans have taken to the streets across the country to express their very real concerns and anguish and anger at the situation of police brutality in the United States of America.
We'll bring in more of those comments as we get them, Ana. But again, the president addressing this issue now perhaps most comprehensively that we've seen him do in the days since the death of George Floyd.
CABRERA: Jeremy, I know we are working to turn that sound with the president as he's making these remarks,
But in the meantime, let me ask you, because the president tweeted earlier something that seemed to suggest there may be counter-protests or maybe he was encouraging counter-protests? Can you tell us more about that?
DIAMOND: The president awoke this morning to tweet about the protests that were happening at the White House last night, not only to threaten those protesters if they were to return with much more severe reaction from police, including vicious dogs, he said, ominous weapons, if they were to even come close to the North Lawn fence here at the White House.
But he also suggested that perhaps his own supporters should come out and counter-protest those supporters, saying, "Tonight, I understand, is MAGA night at the White House," with three question marks.
The president was asked this afternoon as he left the White House whether he felt those comments were perhaps going to incite additional violence outside the White House. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you concerned that you might be stoking more racial violence or more racial violence or --
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, not at all. MAGA is Make America Great Again. These are people that love our country.
I have no idea if they're going to be here. I was just asking. But I have no idea if they're going to be here.
But MAGA is Make America Great Again. By the way, they love African- American people. They love black people. MAGA loves black people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DIAMOND: A pretty strange comment from the president there saying the MAGA love black people, suggesting there's a difference between his supporters who are not black and black people in the United States in general.
There are, of course, some black Trump supporters, although, they are certainly a minority in that group. But some strange comments from the president there. But nonetheless, he's saying that this is not about encouraging violence.
What we do know, Ana, is that this is a president who, in the past, has stoked division in this country and seized on existing divisions, existing cultural flashpoints in order to -- for political gain, essentially.
And certainly, we saw the president a couple of days ago saying this phrase, "When the looting starts, the shooting starts," a phrase that was coined in 1967 by the Miami police chief, who was known for racist police tactics. The president said yesterday that he did not know the origin of that phrase.
But nonetheless, some striking language to hear from the president -- Ana?
Jeremy Diamond, at the White House for us, thank you again. Reminder, we'll work to get the sound from the president this
afternoon as he addressed what is happening in these protests around the country and specifically what was happening in Minnesota in the last couple of days.
These are live images as we continue to follow protests happening around the country this hour.
This is in Baltimore where you can see a vehicle has been overturned. It does appear there's a little bit of smoke in the air as well. It's very hazy in this live shot as we see these aerial images. And something is clearly burning. And you can see how many people are turning out to protest or to make their voices heard and, unfortunately, also causing destruction in the streets of Baltimore.
We'll continue to watch this and gather information about what's happening there.
We'll be back in just a moment. Stay with us. You're watching live coverage here on CNN.
Look at that vehicle on fire.
CABRERA: These are live images in Chicago. At this hour, protesters, as you can see, in a line facing police officers there right now. We do have reports of some vandalism happening there. We showed you the images earlier of a car that protesters were pushing on there.
I want to take you now, street side, with our reporter on the ground in Chicago. And you can see in these aerials there are protesters in many different parts of the city.
Ryan Young is with some of them at this hour.
Ryan, set the scene where you are.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. Look, that crowd that you saw earlier, that was being vandalized was a Chicago police vehicle, it was right here. They almost turned it over, but they were able to get out of the way and move it down the street.
The thing that people wanted to talk about and where they were going is right here. This is Trump Tower. This is where they wanted to end up. So this is where all the protesters have been converging.
And then someone said, let's go to Michigan Avenue, and that's when it changed again.
I think the police department was thinking ahead because they were trying to protect all the businesses down there. So you see how they've raised the bridge to make sure the protesters can't cross over on to Michigan Avenue. But you see how large this crowd is as it goes back in this direction.
It's just a sea of people at this point. And it's sort of swelling towards the base of the bridge.
And of course, they were originally going to have something in front of the Trump Tower. A lot of people have been stopping and giving signs to the Trump Tower, so to speak.
But at the same time, there's been a lot of anger obviously swelling in this crowd. A lot of times when you have protests, you have a leader who's sort of chanting or leading people in a certain direction. This crowd is devoid of that.
And what we have noticed so far is people all have different chants. So you do have some people who are saying, look, we are mad with the police. There are some people who are mad with immigration issues. They are mad about a host of issues.
But every single time they see a police officer, they focus their anger there. In fact, we actually got some video of a man tagging some of the buildings with profanity toward police officers. So that's sort of what's been going on throughout this.
Again, last night, it was peaceful. It was a large crowd that moved through the city. Everything was fine.
It was later on where the crowds seemed to get agitated and they came back and did damage. And 108 people were arrested. At this point, they said they were going to have a zero-tolerance situation here.
Well, once we saw them attacking that police van, we noticed a different sort of -- in this crowd. So there are people here who are definitely going at police, and they are making sure their voices are heard.
Look, that's the iconic bridge over Michigan Avenue. People travel from around the world to see the bridges here sort of rise. And the Tribune Tower is just over the edge over there. Everyone knows this.
And this is the street where a lot of the protests for Laquan McDonald back in 2017 happened. People shut down this street.
Like I said, the cops knew that, and they're walking along here to make sure they can shut down that area so they didn't occupy that situation.
Now, a lot of the businesses on Michigan Avenue have actually been boarded up because of the fact of COVID, so that is the best point. They wanted to make sure those businesses were protected during the pandemic. Let's not forget that so many people here having suffering from COVID-19.
So at this point, we're walking with a crowd to see what's happening. Ana, if things take another turn, we'll come back to you. CABRERA: That sounds good. And we are seeing a lot of people wearing
masks and you mentioned the coronavirus. Good reminder to those protesters who may be getting ready to head out as well. Those peaceful protesters wearing masks.
Thank you very much, Ryan Young.
Let's go to Paul Vercammen, in Los Angeles, where I'm understanding the situation is heating up there.
Paul, what is happening?
VERCAMMEN: Hang on one second.
CABRERA: Hey, Paul, I'm not sure if you can hear me. You are live right now. You're live right now, Paul.
If you can hear me, it's Ana Cabrera, in New York. Tell us what's going on where you are.
VERCAMMEN: We've got a standoff here on Third Street in Los Angeles. The police have blocked off an intersection. They have shot rubber bullets. We're seeing some event organizers encouraging the crowd to calm down. And you can hear this chant, it's "Hands up, don't shoot."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They started shooting rubber bullets at us first. We've been standing here this entire time. It's been very peaceful. And then we got to a certain point, for whatever reason, they told us they wanted to stop.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's excessive force. It's not necessary.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They shot rubber bullets at us, and for what? We haven't been violent. We've been peaceful. And everybody that's got on top of the bus, nobody got hurt.
But now, all of a sudden, you have people that started to get violent, which is the cops, and what are we supposed to do? You sit there, shoot rubber bullets and tear gas into a peaceful crowd, which you can all see right now, and how am I supposed to react? You're supposed to just react and lay down and sit down?
Everybody's sitting down because they're scared. Everybody's scared.
And at a time like this, you're supposed to band together, which we've been trying to do. But you have cops like this that can't even step up and say themselves. Look, they can't --
VERCAMMEN: Sorry to interrupt you.
We just heard the fire of rubber bullets again here. This is the Fairfax district in Los Angeles. To set the scene, earlier, they shut down the intersection of Fairfax
and Third. They came down the street here toward the beach and set up at this intersection. LAPD blocked their progress. And this is where the standoff has occurred.
And now you can hear the crowd shouting, "George Floyd, George Floyd."
We should note that the protest organizers said that, as far as they were concerned, the demonstration was over and go in whatever direction you should choose. Well, they came down this way.
And we'll show you. These police officers here are surrounded by protesters.
Chris, show them way down the street over there.
There's another group of demonstrators who are there. So they've sealed off this part of Third Street in two directions.
And we now have a standoff as people are trying to get through the intersection and join up with the other protesters, it seems. But from time to time, we've seen officers here fire off rubber bullets.
And, Ana, I warn you, I can't hear you very well because it's contentious and loud.
CABRERA: Understandable. I understand.
VERCAMMEN: Chris, come on over here.
We got some -
CABRERA: Paul? Paul, can you hear me?
VERCAMMEN: He swung a baton and it's getting crazy. We're seeing bottles being thrown. and they're trying to back up the protesters.
There goes more rubber bullets and more bottles. Now someone has kicked in the hood of this police vehicle to my right. We'll show you that in a second.
Again, this was what started as a very peaceful protest in the park, came down Third Street, and that's where we've had this confrontation between the LAPD and people protesting the death of George.
We're going to slide over here along police lines and get another vantage point.
CABRERA: Paul, can you hear me? Can you hear me OK, Paul? I don't think Paul Vercammen can hear me but he is moving. We are
looking at these live images right now. Again, this is on the street in Los Angeles as protesters and police are coming face-to-face, as Paul Vercammen was just reporting. There have been rubber bullets fired. There have been water bottles, as we saw --
VERCAMMEN: Again, you can hear the sound of rubber bullets being fired.
We should also note there is a city bus driver who was in a sense trapped inside his bus. They got him out. The crowd cheered. And now we're seeing random acts of violence.
If you look over here, Chris, to my right, you can see someone trying to hack out the police car's windows with a skateboard, using the skateboard wheels.
And so the violence has erupted here on Third Street. And we've got people who are pushing and shoving with police officers.
And again, that telltale sound of rubber bullets being fired by L.A. police officers in this area.
This is not very far from the Grove Shopping Center in Los Angeles. It's considered more of an upscale neighborhood.
But now we're seeing the police cars being vandalized. Someone just jumped up and tried to kick in the windows.
CABRERA: Paul, can you hear what they are yelling? It's hard for us to understand and hear what the protesters are saying.
VERCAMMEN: Multiple cars now are being vandalized.
Ana, if you could say that again, please. I would appreciate it.
CABRERA: Paul, couple of questions. If you can hear me. One is, what are the protesters saying? We hear protesters yelling but we can't hear what they're saying. What are they saying to police?
CABRERA: And then also, the cars being vandalized, are those all police vehicles or not?
VERCAMMEN: They're all police vehicles. They're being hit with a batch of graffiti and their windows are being kicked in and knocked in.
The protesters started with, "Black lives matter," and were chanting, "George Floyd." And then when they got sealed off on this part of Third Street, things became tense.
Officers sort of formed a box at this particular spot. And some of the protesters tried to push past them, and that's when it turned violent. Many of the protesters are yelling that this started peaceful. But we
can tell you that people did start throwing water bottles and other bottles.
And you can't pinpoint a moment when this turned much more confrontational and violent.
Now, we should say, we have not seen any officers attacked. We've seen their vehicles vandalized. And we've seen people shove them. But I've not seen any full-on punches thrown here. The police, of course, responding with rubber bullets.
And we're going to go ahead and show you. There's this standoff right here.
And then, Chris, come on down.
If you look over that way, there's another standoff with protesters. All of these people had started earlier in Pacific Park. Very difficult to estimate the size of the crowd. But needless to say, thousands.
And there goes another round of rubber bullets -- at the corner of Edinburgh and Third here in Los Angeles.
We're going to come back this way and show you what's been going on. People are standing on police vehicles. And you can clearly see they're trying to kick in the windows of police vehicles as they get on top of them. And those cars now are littered with graffiti.
CABRERA: Paul, have you seen --
VERCAMMEN: Now, you asked what they were saying. There have been some chants of expletive the police.
I'm so sorry. Go ahead -- Ana?
CABRERA: Paul, have you seen any arrests being made? How are police --
VERCAMMEN: We have not.
CABRERA: -- are handling it?
VERCAMMEN: We have not seen any arrests yet.
However, talk about being from the inside and looking out, sometimes, as you know from your years of reporting, you're so in the middle of the crowd, you don't really see who might have been let out.
So, if somebody was arrested, no, I have not seen that. But that is a huge yet. Because it's very, very difficult to get that 20,000-foot view when you're on the sidewalk and you're watching the conversation between protesters and the police.
As you can see, she's holding up a sign right here that says, "No justice, no peace." And they're talking to LAPD right now.
Again, this intersection, this traffic section completely blocked off in this part of Los Angeles. And for a moment, just a moment here, we're not hearing the firing of rubber bullets. So perhaps this has calmed down just a little bit -- Ana?
CABRERA: Well, that certainly is our hope as well.
We're going to take a quick break here.
Paul Vercammen, please stay safe as you continue to cover these protests live in the streets of Los Angeles for us.
And we have pictures we're continuing to also monitor around the country right now. You can see live pictures there on the left side of your screen in San Francisco.
And also pictures on the right side there in Baltimore, provided by our affiliate, WBFF.
We are seeing some cases of vandalism and violence and police firing back with tear gas as well as rubber bullets.
We are continuing to coast to coast the protests taking to the streets.
Again, initially, this was all about the death of George Floyd, at the hands of a police officer, four police officers, one of whom has been arrested now and charged with murder.
Stay with us.
CABRERA: We're back as we continue our breaking news coverage. Right now, protests happening around the country.
We want to New York where protesters are facing off with police.
And I want to bring in Shimon Prokupecz. He's in New York's Times Square with the protesters who are gathered there.
Shimon, what are you seeing?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: So it's some tense moments here at the moment, Ana, as police are starting to push a lot of the protesters back now.
For the most part, the protesters, they will announce -- you look at this announcement, police will make the announcement and tell them that they need to move. And if people don't leave, the police will then move in and start making arrests. That is when some of the most- tense moments start.
Police move in, they start arresting people. Some people running from the police. Arrests have been made.
As you can see, this is what the police do. They keep walking with us and the protesters, trying to get them out of the area.
We are in Times Square. And what happened was a lot of these protesters were marching along 5th Avenue and then decided to turn into Times Square, where they were met by police.
And as they fathered in the street, police were making the announcement telling them to back up, to leave. And when they refuse, police, as I said, would move in.
What's been happening is that some of the protesters have been throwing bottles at the police. As the police move in, bottles come flying at them. And then they chase people.
I will say to you, today, we are seeing a little different tactics from police. They are wearing helmets, which they didn't initially do yesterday. It was some time last evening while we were at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn that we started seeing a difference in the police. They started wearing helmets.
Also today, a little bit of a difference. And there's a bottle being thrown. As you can see, there was a bottle thrown. And now police are moving in, telling people to move back because there's an unlawful assembly. And that is what's happening here.
CABRERA: Shimon, if you can hear me.
CABRERA: Shimon, why is it unlawful gathering there --
CABRERA: -- on a public street in Times Square?
PROKUPECZ: Right. There's an ordinance here, there is a law here where they make that announcement, and that gives them the legal authority to move. And as you can hear, they are making this announcement. That is why they are making this announcement.
There's a police officer right here with the speaker. He makes the announcement. There are also NYPD legal, lawyers from the NYPD with him. And they tell him to make the announcement, and then they decide when it is legally authorized to move in and make the arrests. And that is when they go ahead and move in.
But they make the announcements several times. And then, after making the announcements, if people don't leave, they will move in and make arrests. And that is what we're seeing here play out. And this has been going on all day, various part of Manhattan, as
protesters have been gathering. Hundreds of them just marching.
And then, for whatever reason, they decide they are going to stop. They get in the street, and that is when things change and police move in and tell them to back out.
The problem is also that a lot of protesters, from what I can see, they have been throwing bottles. And of course, that agitates the police. I've seen police chase people down. Some people get away. In some cases, they have been letting people go.
Yesterday and the day before, when I was out here with a lot of the protests, the police were moving in much quicker. Today, after what happened last night in Brooklyn, they have been allowing the protesters on the street. They have been allowing them out.
And then only in moments like this, as you are seeing here, Ana, police decide they are going to make this announcement, which they are doing now. And they are telling people to move back. And that is what you are seeing here, as you can hear -- Ana?
CABRERA: Is the rule that protesters have to keep moving, Shimon? Is that why they are clearing the area?
CABRERA: Because we're not seeing any violence in our live shot here. So why are they so adamant that the protesters need to leave?
PROKUPECZ: Because that's -- because in their -- legally, they are allowed, when people are assembling, a number of people assembling together, they can say move.
And there's an ordinance, there's a rule here, that what happens is, they say you have to leave, you have to move. And, if you don't move, they can move in and make arrests.