Return to Transcripts main page
Pain, Outrage and Desperation Spill Out into the Streets of America. 7-8p ET
Aired May 31, 2020 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Thank you for being with us, as we continue to follow these protests gripping the nation right now. It is the sixth straight day of protests following the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died after a white Minnesota police officer kneeled on his neck.
And these are images out of Santa Monica at this hour, where you can see vandalized vehicles or maybe that is the National Guard moving in. We know that the governor did order the National Guard to assist with law enforcement tonight after the violence there went out of control as it did in many other cities across the nation. We know there are more than 20 states and nearly 40 cities enacting curfews tonight in light of protests.
Let's head to Washington right now where a tense situation is unfolding near the White House. And CNN's Alex Marquardt is there.
Alex, bring us up to speed.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana, tense is right. And frankly we couldn't be any closer to the White House if we try. That is because of a significant line of law enforcement that is right in front of us. We are at the frontline of these protests behind some barricades that protesters have moved forward into Lafayette Park.
Now this is federal land, normally it is heavily policed by the U.S. Park Police and protesters have moved in here and had gotten fired upon with pepper spray rounds. Now it looks like the protesters are on the move. They're going around it sounds like to a different side of the White House. They have been here for the last several hours, having marched from Howard University, many of them, not all of them of course, and what was very much a peaceful march.
Now you hear that gentleman saying we're going to go march. So clearly they're moving to a different location. But that gives me a chance to show you what we've been seeing here. This very long line of a mix of different types of police forces. They have been moving back up and back -- I'm asking my cameraman Darren (PH) to point to the left there. They are moving back but they had been firing into the crowd when the crowd has gotten a little unruly with pepper spray rounds.
And here because this is the heart of Washington, D.C., because this is right outside the White House, you have extraordinary amount of manpower and a fire power, a mix of Secret Service, of park police, of the Metro Washington, D.C. Police Homeland Security. And as we noted earlier, Ana, the D.C. National Guard has also been called up.
The sun is about to set. The mood is certainly turning and I fear, having seen a lot of protests, turning for the worse. There have been projectiles going back and forth. We haven't seen any tear gas or rocks or bricks or anything like that like we have seen here in the past few nights, but these protesters angry, frustrated, they have been out here for a long time. They are now on the move but not going home, certainly not leaving protest. Just taking it around what it seems to a different side of the White House.
A lot of what we've heard from these protests can really be put into two buckets, a lot of the anger about the deaths of African-American men and women at the hands of the police, but then again anger directed firmly at the man who occupies the White House, President Donald Trump, from whom these protesters have heard nothing. Instead, what they have heard from the president is threats of unleashing vicious dogs and ominous weapons against them.
Something that the mayor of D.C. has responded very harshly to, saying that essentially it incites violence. So a very tense scene here in Washington, D.C. right in the heart of the nation's capital, right outside the White House amid these protests that are certainly changing and evolving, getting more tense, potentially getting more violent and show no signs of evading, Ana.
CABRERA: OK. Alex Marquardt, in Washington for us, thank you. We'll check back.
I want to take you now to Philadelphia, and CNN's Brian Todd.
Brian, that city is one hour into a mandatory curfew tonight. What are you seeing?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, we have kind of moved into the Center City area of Philadelphia where the police have staging areas back here, I mean, in this building and right by city hall over here. They have apparently instituted this curfew and they've also told municipal workers that they should not come to work tomorrow. The municipal buildings will be closed tomorrow. That's the latest that we have.
We also have some figures on arrests. They have made several arrests, at least a dozen or so for looking since noon today, including in an area where we were just a short time ago where I think you saw us transmit live from the last hour, the area of 52nd Street and Arch Street in West Philadelphia which got very, very dangerous.
We had to kind of draw back from that area because it got so dangerous. Our team was among a crowd that got fired on with tear gas and rubber bullets. We had tear gas canister land on a wall right above our heads and we were forced to kind of run with those people away from where the police were firing.
I can show you down Broad Street here. Just to illustrate just how tightly they've kind of shut off part of the Center City area. You see the police lined down there with the vehicles. Now normally on an evening like this it would be just a lot of people out on the street. And especially with the nice weather, but they are shutting the Center City area down to anyone except residents and business and they've been told business owners that basically they have to shut down now as well.
So the question is, the areas in Western Philadelphia where we were, are those going to be secured? What kind of manpower are the police going to deploy in that area? When we were there, this was an area where four cars were set on fire including police vehicles. We're told by the police that at least five police officers were injured. When we were there at about 5:00 Eastern Time, it was very dangerous and the police did not have a presence there even though their cars have been burned out there.
Then they moved in very quickly, with tactical vehicles, armored vehicles, a lot of police vehicle and police in riot gear, and they started to move up and down the street firing tear gas. That's what we got caught up in. And the question is going to be, what kind of presence are the police going to have in that area of West Philadelphia that got so dangerous and remains dangerous at this hour?
And when darkness falls very shortly, you know, that's going to be kind of a test of where the city is going to go. But it is very tense here. The police have basically locked down this whole section of the city where so much of the looting and vandalism and fire took place last night in this area by the statue of Frank Rizzo, which is just over here. That statue was defaced and there was a fire set over there last night, and then back in this area where there's some high-end shops and restaurant in the Center City area. That scene was just a scene of absolute carnage last night.
You know, multiple stores looted, many places burned. We came upon fires and there is a bus stop right there that was just completely charred right behind me. So this area right now, the police are taking no chances here on the Center City area that basically cordoned it off from anyone except those who live here right now, Ana. The question is, Western Philadelphia, where we just were, is that going to remain secure or we're going to see flareups there in the coming hours after dark.
CABRERA: We sure hope everybody stay safe there tonight.
Brian Todd in Philadelphia, thank you.
Let's go live now to the West Coast where California Governor Gavin Newsom has now formally declared a state of emergency for Los Angeles County. And CNN's Kyung Lah is in Santa Monica, California.
And we know, Kyung, in just a couple of hours another curfew will take effect there. Do police expect people to respect it tonight? What are they preparing for? KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me explain
first where curfew has already started. I am in the city of Santa Monica, and here in Santa Monica, as of 4:00 local time, seven minutes ago, the curfew began. This was suddenly called by the city of Santa Monica after large groups started taking over essentially these streets.
Now what you're seeing over here is the group of protesters. You can see how they have completely filled up this portion of the street. This is just one of three groups of protesters who have largely been peaceful. They have been protesting for several hours here in Santa Monica. And largely what you've been seeing is this.
Now there have been issues, there have been problems, but it's really difficult to tell if it's -- you know, what percentage of the group is breaking away and trying to cause problems. But there have been stores that have been looted, there have been issues, and so what you're seeing now, you see this large space here, over here, a tense situation as police here are gathering. You can see the number of police officers.
Jordan, I'm going to ask you to step down a little bit further, and you can see even further down the police vehicles over there. So what we are not clear on as we are watching the police officers move -- OK. So this is being -- we're going to step back a little bit. So protesters are throwing things at the police and now they are scattering.
CABRERA: Do you know what they're firing? What police are firing at the protesters or firing towards the protesters there, Kyung?
LAH: That's certainly -- I can't quite tell, Ana. I can't quite tell. But, you know, so these tense situations occur. What we heard from these protesters just before 4:00 local time here are these protesters counting down to when curfew begins. Because when curfew starts, they are subject to arrest.
And so you see them gathering again and sitting down. But it only takes one or two people in the crowd to get angry, to throw something at the police. And then for --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of there, (INAUDIBLE).
LAH: For all of this to escalate. OK. So, you know, again, more water bottles, glass.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like being at (INAUDIBLE).
LAH: One bit of context. I mean, you can see the police officers there wearing helmets. You know, when a rock --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shoot in my way.
LAH: One rock or glasses gets thrown at the police, you know, the -- we saw the L.A. -- OK. We're going to go get behind the street.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shoot me. Get down.
CABRERA: Kyung, your safety, your photographer's and producer's safety obviously is most important. If you need to break away, you let us know. We are staying with your live picture right now as we do see more what appears to be, you know, gas coming from whatever it is that the police are firing toward protesters.
I know you don't know what it is, neither do we. Protesters we are watching now run away from that area. But you mentioned, there is a curfew in effect. And it doesn't look like these people who've turned out are planning to go anywhere, Kyung.
LAH: Certainly not. And this is just one group of three, Ana. There's a group near the pier. There's another group that's assembled elsewhere in Santa Monica. And, you know, it's so hard, when we show you these pictures of these skirmishes and these confrontations, you know, it's been hours where we've actually watched them marching the streets, sitting down and being peaceful. There are -- that's fireworks. So try not to be too alarmed as you're watching this.
That's something we've seen for the last few days. It's really just these protesters sort of trying to escalate it. And I shouldn't say all of these protesters. It's a couple of them.
LAH: But when you get into these large crowds, and you get in these confrontations with the police, and there's so much passion and so much anger, it becomes a dangerous situation.
I just want to explain a little bit about some of the looting that's been happening here in Santa Monica. From what we've observed from our affiliate pictures, it looks like to me that people are breaking away and choosing to loot. That the great majority of the crowd, just from the pictures we're seeing, the aerial pictures, they are moving in a uniform matter throughout the streets of Santa Monica.
So it's -- you know, we want to bring you these pictures, but at the same time we want to try to keep this into context. We should mention that the National Guard is here. OK.
CABRERA: What is the plan with the National Guard, Kyung? Because you're right, we know the governor of California called in the National Guard.
LAH: The -- so yes.
CABRERA: At the request of the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti.
LAH: Right. So the National Guard is assembling at the Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles. And they are not patrolling the streets. If you don't live in Los Angeles, I just want to make clear, you're not going to see the National Guard rolling up and down the streets of Los Angeles. They're staging. They're here in a supportive role and they're trying to keep the peace.
And I believe what we're -- I believe what we're watching other than these fireworks being thrown, what you're seeing the police do is to just try to get these protesters to disperse and to move back. But --
CABRERA: And as we watch this, Kyung --
LAH: Down there, you can see the crowd has backed down. Uh-huh.
CABRERA: Yes. And I've noticed that some of what we've seen the police officers fire has had some kind of coloring in whatever, you know, the substance is that's coming out of those weapons. And what I'm learning is that sometimes police fire these neon marking rounds, I guess, is what they're called, if they see someone throwing something or instigating violence so they fire off these non-lethal marking rounds so they can further investigate later who that person was.
So that gives us a little bit a sense of, you know, how they're going about this and then I guess cops see someone with the neon marking on their clothing. They can stop them later during the protest. They can inquire about whether they were, you know, among the instigators there.
Again, these images in Santa Monica in California. And as Kyung was just reporting, there have been some, you know, fire crackers, fireworks also being deployed in the street there by protesters and these skirmishes as she's called them have been coming and going all afternoon. A lot of these protests have been peaceful that we've been watching in many cities across the country.
Let me bring in right now retired FBI supervisory agent James Gagliano.
And James, what are you seeing? What are you noticing about what's happening here?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it's harrowing to watch this. And Ana, I -- you know, I was around during 1992, during the Rodney King riots, and obviously the last few years in 2014 and 2015 I was still with the FBI. This isn't all hands-on-deck effort right now. And look, I don't want to criticize from the -- you know, the Monday morning quarterback position, but I thought that at least in Minneapolis and in other major cities where we would expect and anticipate things like this would happen after that tragedy last Monday, I thought for certain that we would have been better prepared.
And what I mean by being better prepared, we've learned lessons from these things. You can't come out with a light footprint and figure out that we'll just -- we'll let a few agitators and instigators, will allow them to act them, and we don' want them to incite anything because it emboldens these mobs. And that's what it is. Now, the vast majority of these folks are out there exercising their
constitutional rights and they're not part of the problem. The problem for the police is ferreting out who those agitators are. If you can't see them, if they're hiding in the crowd, if you can't pluck them out and remove them, they metastasize.
And look, policing right now is a tough business. You know, I've been critical all week about what took place in Minneapolis. There was no excuse for it and justice needs to be served. This is not helping the situation because the rest of the country, the rest of the world, is watching this horrified.
It is not going to solve any problems. And look, we've already had one police officer, a federal protective service office, in Oakland two nights ago lose his life. We've also had attacks on police. We've had attacks on citizens. This is difficult. We don't have the number because there are about 1.2 million law enforcement officers in the country. A country of 327 million people.
And all the perfect things are coming together right now to coalesce, whether being hot, it's the springtime right now, people are out of work, the economy is down, and this is just -- it's not going to get better before it gets worse, I'm afraid.
CABRERA: James, can you tell us more about what the police officers are maybe firing at the protesters?
GAGLIANO: Sure. So on the continuum of use of force, you know, first of all, there -- what's critical right now is maintaining a dialogue with the people that could possibly quiet things down or quell things, or going to require comm skills. What they use for less than lethal force. There are bean bags that can be shot, or rubber bullets. They're called less than lethal. Yes, people can die. If you get hit in the right place by one of those, but that's not what they're designed to do.
There's also tear gas. Tear gas is being used to help, you know, scatter the crowd or help move them from particular places. Look, the last thing a police officer wants to do right now in one of these skirmish lines, the last thing is have to shoot somebody. They're not going to do that unless it's in defense of their own life or someone else's.
But when people in the crowd are throwing incendiary devices, Molotov cocktails, fireworks, police don't know what's incoming, they don't know if it's an incendiary device like a pipe bomb or whether or not it's a harmless (INAUDIBLE). They don't know that. So right now they're trying to keep the protesters back. The ones that are looking to advance.
And again it's the way it is in law enforcement. Non-compliance tells us there's something wrong. So if police say move back, disperse, go home, and people don't do that. They don't respect the curfews, they don't respect these lawful commands, what is law enforcement supposed to do? And I'm asking that, Ana, as a rhetorical question. But the answer is, they've got to make people follow these edicts, these guidelines. They've got to be able to do that. We cannot have another night like we had last night, the night before and the night before that.
CABRERA: Do you anticipate that these police officers will just sort of try to wait it out? I mean, we know there's a curfew in effect in this area. What are their options?
GAGLIANO: Sure. And I know with what we all watched with -- you know, with our own two eyes on Monday, the release of that video, that horrific video of George Floyd's killing, I understand people being inflamed and angry. But right now they are putting innocent people into harm's way and they're taking their anger out on police officers that weren't involved in that.
And here's the situation. There are bad people in every profession. I understand that law enforcement is armed instruments of the state, it's different. I get that. But it's an infinitesimal amount of bad apples. You're now attacking or threatening police officers that are just there to protect your right to protest. That's the hardest part about this.
And Ana, I'll leave you with this incredible statistic. Every year in this country, police officers had 250 million interactions with private citizens. 250 million. Every year police officers kill a thousand people, 99.9 percent of those fatal shootings are justified. The handful of them, the five, six or seven that are questionable, that require scrutiny, that require justice like what happened on Monday are not indicia of the men and women that you see standing out there right now on those lines, trying to protect people and property.
The folks that are doing this, the folks that are firebombing buildings and the folks that are tossing Molotov cocktails, beating up shop owners, threatening police, pulling them out of their vehicles, the people that are doing this are going to get people killed. That's not what we want here.
I understand wanting justice, I don't understand exacerbating this and making this worse than it has to be.
CABRERA: I hear what you're saying, James Gagliano. I do want to ask, though, because again the root of the pain here has to do with the injustice in the system. Right? And what we saw happened with George Floyd and what has happened to countless of other African-American men and women who have been victims of police brutality and the system that is not equal. What kind of reform fixes that? And how do police gain trust?
GAGLIANO: Ana, that is a -- just an incredibly complex question. It's a fair question. It is exceedingly complex and difficult. I'll say this. You know that I'm not offensive or a guy that speaks in nuances and vagaries. I call stuff what it is.
The entire criminal justice system requires reform. I have been saying it for a long time. Congress has been battling it for a long time. Presidents from both political parties have urged it and called for it. It requires reform.
Now, I've never been a black person. I don't know what it's like to walk in an African-American male's shoes. I do not. I have plenty of them that call me dad, that I coached the boys' and girls' club in Newburg, New York, for years and years and years. But I do not know that condition and I can't claim to. But I can speak to this. In the criminal justice system that I served in for 25 years, it wasn't skewed racially. It was skewed against the poor. The poor just do not have the same resources that people with wealth and means have.
Now that's not a cop out. That's not to suggest that what happened on Monday and what happened other times are not chilling and do not demand justice. But one of the other problems that I sense in all this, Ana, is the fact that we aggregate cases that have nothing to do with each other. The Michael Brown case has nothing to do with George Floyd. George Floyd, I believe there is going to be a murder conviction in that case.
Michael Brown, the Eric Holder Justice Department determined was not killed unjustifiably by police officers. Yet we speak in hashtags. We list all these names. And we don't look at these cases individually. Yes, there are bad cops, yes, we police officers and law enforcement professionals have to do a better job of calling out our own. Yes, training needs to be better. Yes, all those things need to occur.
But look what we ask our police to do. Look at those scenes right now on CNN that we're watching. What we are asking are undermanned, under resourced police department to do. They've got to be social workers. They've got to be on-the-job psychologists. They've got to be, you know, safety officers. They've got to be communications experts and they've got to run toward the sound of gunfire when that happens, if everybody else goes the other way.
CABRERA: OK. James Gagliano, stand by.
GAGLIANO: Tough job.
CABRERA: Stand by. Stay with me but I want to go back live to Kyung Lah right now on the scene in Santa Monica, California.
Kyung, bring us up to speed. We've been watching these images. What is happening on the ground?
LAH: What you're seeing is basically these groups -- this particular group would fall back as we are seeing the police send out, you know, they're shooting rubber bullets, they're putting out smoke bombs.
They're trying to disperse this crowd. But then this crowd will come back with, you know, construction equipment or signs or, you know, looks like plywood and almost create a barrier with -- you'll see Black Lives Matter is on one. And you know, earlier we heard them chanting "George Floyd." And so this crowd certainly does not intend to go anywhere. We can hear the sirens of more police officers coming this way. And
now it's a little difficult because of all the -- because of all the smoke -- above all the smoke that we're seeing. But I was going to point out that from my vantage point, I can see a second protest, just a -- oh. Just a block away. So there's a lot of stuff flying back and forth between the police and these protesters. Here, hold on.
CABRERA: There's so much uncertainty there, obviously, and I know you guys are moving to try to keep yourself in a position that is safe and that's most important.
Kyung, I mean, these are not scenes typically seen in Santa Monica, California. We're seeing police officers who would normally be in patrol cars or on bicycles patrolling the streets right now, suited up in riot gear.
LAH: Yes. I mean, you know, a block away, I can see the Santa Monica pier. This is a place where parents bring their kids to ride the Ferris wheel. And you know, a block away from the ocean which is normally filled with families walking up and down the boardwalk before this -- before coronavirus -- I mean, it's -- it is hard to comprehend that this happening, you know, anywhere in the streets of America.
But, you know, in such a storied beach community that, you know, is known for leisure and tourism and families and, you know, people playing right -- you know, up on a Ferris wheel. I mean, it's really, really difficult to comprehend.
You are asking earlier about -- see that man limping away? The police are firing and I can see the remnants of it. They look like little black rubber bullets. And so that's what they are firing from the guns that they are holding up. But it doesn't seem to be breaking up this crowd at all. If anything, some of the exterior crowd is backed up but then they're up above on that sort of pathway. You see that balcony up there that's now packed with people.
They've all moved up there. There are -- they just actually look like they've moved down the street. It does not look like many of them have left this area. And I just want to say -- I just want a bear reminding, it's 4:30. Thirty minutes ago, 4:30 here on the West Coast. 30 minutes ago the curfew started and so all of the people you're looking at are potentially subject to arrest. So they know that. They were counting down to 4:00 Pacific Time and it almost seemed to embolden them that they wanted to make a point that, you know, this was a protest and that they did not want to leave. And they wanted to send a message.
You know, we were talking -- this is not Minneapolis, right? You know, this is the beach community of California. But for these protesters here, this is very much as well about black lives and the indignities that black people suffer here in the United States.
CABRERA: And we'll watch these images. Kyung, we're going to take a quick break. We see protesters and police continuing to, you know, have this standoff in Santa Monica right now, with police firing some things at protesters who Kyung mentioned had been sending projectiles in the other direction right now. It looks like police and protesters are continuing to stay away from each other. But this is a community that's hurting right now. It's a community that is under curfew right now, too. And it's very unclear where this goes from here.
A quick break. We're going to continue to follow this scene and many others across the country. We'll check in with some of our other reporters on the ground in other cities when we come back.
Stay with us, you're watching CNN.
CABRERA: Welcome back. Let me take you to a couple of other cities around the country right now. You can see on the left side, Detroit where a protest is are underway and in Atlanta as well.
Police and protesters on the streets there. We bring back retired F.B.I. Supervisor Agent, James Gagliano. And James, I mean, I think it's important to know, a lot of protests today have been peaceful, but as night falls, that's the biggest concern as we have seen so much destruction and violence occurring around the country at night time in the last few nights.
What should be the strategy going forward? If you are to lead one of law enforcement agencies right now, how do you de-escalate and not escalate?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, there are a number of things, Ana. First of all, you've got to be working your communications with community leaders and faith leaders.
You've got to be connected to people that are angry and protesting but they are doing it the right way, and that's the vast majority, folks. It is important to note that.
But you've also got to be prepared for the worse and I am sorry, you know the folks that are going to act out, and there will be more of that tonight. There is just no denying that.
I mean, to not sense that there is going to be more of this in a number of American cities would be putting your head in the sand.
And look, from the perspective of being an unseen commander, my first priority here, first, is to protect people and property and people means innocent bystanders, it means my officers out there on the frontlines and it means, innocent protesters that are out there just looking for their voices to be heard. That's number one.
GAGLIANO: Number two, I want to discourage criminality. So, how do I do that? Well, presence, meaning a large presence is probably the best deterrent. And unfortunately, like we talked about in the last segment, there are
about 1.2 million police officers in the country and the country is 327 million people. In many of these municipalities, they are outnumbered.
Now, I know that the President has requested this and a number of the state governors have called up the National Guard. They have done it in Atlanta. They have done it in LA. They have done it in Minnesota and that's a good thing.
But the bottom line is, we don't want to create a situation either where we have the National Guard having to get into physical confrontation with protesters and with rioters. We just don't want that.
We've got to maintain order here and it is going to be tough because as you have seen over the last couple of nights, the vast majority of the folks that are not respecting the curfew are looking to engage with police. They're looking to, you know, cause havoc and chaos and anarchy and mayhem. Go ahead.
CABRERA: Some of them are. I am looking at images of the scenes right now and they are not necessarily engaging with police. We see protesters there and with some of them with their hands up, signs that say "End the Hate."
Let me go to Santa Monica, California, Kyung is right now. And Kyung, have you had a chance to speak to any of the people who showed up today to protest and what is their purpose? What do they want to communicate by being there?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In all honesty, I have not been able to go up to this particular group because in order to do that, I have to basically step in between these protesters and the police. So that is absolutely something that we are going to do, but right now, we simply just cannot do it.
What you are seeing the police do right now is -- it's a little difficult to tell because they have so much black gear on. But they have just put on their gas masks, and so they are certainly forming to do something.
So, that's something important to show.
CABRERA: And Kyung, standby with me. Let me bring in former Boston Police Commissioner, Ed Davis who is also joining us. What do you think they are planning to do as they put on those gas masks?
ED DAVIS, FORMER BOSTON POLICE COMMISSIONER: Hello, Ana. Well, clearly, what they have been doing with these .40 millimeter soft projectiles and sting balls and things has been to separate their numbers from the crowd.
So, they are keeping the crowd back because the crowd is using projectiles. So, that open space in between is very important. But now that the curfew is in place and they are going to try to move
this crowd now. They are going to use teargas. They will use launchers and handheld units and toss them into the crowd and that usually pushes the crowd back.
They are tactically pushing that crowd in a certain direction. They want to keep it away from shops and places that can be looted and burned.
CABRERA: What is this? What do you think that is? Is that teargas?
DAVIS: Yes. Well, they can use a number of things. They can use smoke, but the most effective -- there goes a round being thrown out. The most effective is teargas and chances are, that's what it is because people can't stay there. They have to move away from that.
CABRERA: And what do you anticipate here? Because we know that in this area, Santa Monica, California, it is part of Los Angeles County. We know the National Guard has also been called in to help assist the local law enforcement. How does that coordination work?
DAVIS: Well, it works through a system that's set up really trained by the Department of Homeland Security and there is a process, it is called NIMS, National Incident Management System that brings in Federal authorities to assist.
So right now, the Commander of the National Law Guard Forces will essentially be working for the Mayor of Los Angeles and work with the Police Chief and putting strategies together to quell the violence.
So it is a very sophisticated process that everybody is trained and it was used when we did the marathon. It is a pretty standard behavior.
CABRERA: Okay, thank you so much, former Boston Police Commissioner, Ed Davis. Please stand by. We are going to squeeze in a quick break, getting these live images from Santa Monica, California right now. A standoff between protesters and police.
Stay with us. You are watching CNN. You are live in the NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: I want to go back to Santa Monica right now and our Kyung Lah who is live on the ground. And Kyung, just bring us the very latest.
LAH: Okay, so what we have seen from law enforcement is they have deployed teargas. They have fired rubber bullets and they are now advancing. I can see the zip ties. It looks like that they are certainly going to start moving in and enforcing this curfew.
So, the police line has moved up. They're asking us -- it looks like they are going to order us back a bit. But what you are seeing to the right, if we can get up here, it is a little difficult to see, but over there to the right all the way down, that's the crowd.
LAH: Sorry, we are trying to listen to the police and comply with their orders. Right here, Jordan. Are we okay here?
So, what you are seeing down there is -- okay, so we are being ordered to leave here. We've got to figure out a place to move.
CABRERA: Okay, Kyung, we will let you go so you can do that.
LAH: Okay, wait. No, no. We're okay. Hold on. We are going to run -- okay, so we are behind the police line now.
Sorry, Ana, we are trying to figure out where exactly to stand. But what you see here is the police line and then right about a block away, that's where the protesters are.
And so, I can't see it from the back here, but you can see law enforcement has the plastic wristbands and they are now positioned to move in and start enforcing the curfew.
So, the difficulty here will be, this is a very determined crowd and for a few hours they have been extremely peaceful, but what we have seen are these skirmishes where they are throwing glass and water bottles. We have seen firecrackers and a little difficult to tell on the timing, but it certainly looks like the police are going to start moving in.
I just want to point out a little bit about what you are seeing them fire. Jordan, let's just give them a quick look. These are some of the rubber bullets that they are firing. These cartridges are now all over the street.
And this is a very, very hard plastic, so this is what they are deploying on that crowd that is still not moving. So, they're using these rubber bullets. They are using teargas and all we are seeing is a slight movement back. But this is a crowd that is not dispersing.
It looks like the other crowd behind us has moved. There was another protest when we first arrived about a block away. But I want you to listen here.
And basically, you are looking at the perspective of law enforcement as they are trying to break up this crowd.
But one thing, hey, Jordan, let's take a look.
These bits of concrete, this is what is being thrown at law enforcement, so if you are wondering where the escalation is coming from, that's part of the reason.
An LAPD officer last night was injured, his skull was fractured according to the Police Department. So, flying projectiles are certainly a big risk here for law enforcement.
And with curfew set, it looks like they are, at this point going to start moving in -- Ana.
CABRERA: Okay, Kyung, we're going to break away from you and leave you there in Santa Monica, California right now where again, a standoff continues to be between police and protesters.
Thank you, Kyung for your reporting. Joining us live right now as we head to Los Angeles is the Mayor, Eric Garcetti.
And Mr. Mayor, I can only imagine how intense things are for you right now, all 10 million residents of Los Angeles County are getting ready for a curfew tonight. How will you be enforcing that curfew? Because clearly people were not respecting the curfew there in Santa Monica?
MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES: Well, obviously, we have to take protective measures even in the midst of our pain crying out for justice for George Floyd.
But I would just encourage people, like we have done even with our fight against COVID-19, most of this relies on us. We will never have enough people to ensure and enforce that everybody is indoors.
So, please, use your discretion and go early, go home. Stay home. Help us make sure that those who want to change this conversation from being about racial justice to be about burning things and looting things don't win the day.
GARCETTI: If we let them win the day, then they change the conversation. They take us away from the hard work and common ground that we have found between good police officers and everyday citizens and people who have for too long said enough is enough and who are sickened by what they saw.
That's our common ground. Racism lives when we can finally divide ourselves again and so we each have to show that restraint.
I'm proud that here in Los Angeles, the city we have been able to use things that show that restraint and also have accountability for if anybody believes we haven't. We have to have both.
If we're going to have a criminal justice system that protects and serves, but there is no question, we cannot have justice if we don't have peace on our streets.
CABRERA: Where in the city are you most concerned right now? And what are your biggest concerns as you head into the evening hours? Because we have seen protests from Oakland to La Mesa to Santa Monica over the last 48 hours, and we know in some cases, it has turned violent as Kyung was just reporting there.
There were concrete or rocks or some projectiles that injured officers in the past couple of days' protests. How are they doing? And where are you most concerned?
GARCETTI: So, you know, I don't have a specific neighborhood because people can be mobile, but we have here in Downtown Los Angeles where we have been sweeping up and rebuilding and boarding up and trying to help businesses that this weekend should have been reopening, and trying to get back on their feet to protect those with both our law enforcement partners and the National Guard that are here.
But I would say, you know, there's three kinds of groups. There's protesters who should never be classified as looters. Looters are looters. Protesters are protesters.
But secondly, in between that, there are folks who kind of seem to be itching for a fight, who aren't stealing anything, aren't committing crimes there, but please, my advice would be if law enforcement asks you to move on for your safety and the safety of others, do it. These are such volatile situations.
My heart aches if your heart aches, and I know yours does. If you're right feeling upset, so are we. But we have to make sure that people don't die, whether it's like you said, the police officer who had his skull fractured last night because of projectiles or when someone lights a police car on fire and there are bullets in it, and it can explode and kill innocent people.
This cannot stand. We have to get back to the urgent work of building justice, not burning a city down.
CABRERA: Your father, Gil Garcetti became Los Angeles District Attorney as that city was recovering from the Rodney King beating and riots. Are there any lessons to be learned?
GARCETTI: Absolutely. I remember when my dad was first a candidate. He had never run for office before and right after the unrest in 1992, he was out there with a broom just starting to clean up after some of the worst days.
What we learned from that is we have to actually start to listen to each other. Law enforcement has to hear the pain of African-American men and communities of color that while strides have been made, still too often, we see black men and women who have now just been killed because they were sleeping, they were jogging, they were wearing a hoody. That has to be your fight, too if you wear a badge.
But secondly, we have to humanize who those people behind the badge are, too. If we want good guardians, we have to not just look at them, yell at them, say that they are all terrible people when we know they are mentors, they are people who step in in domestic violence situations to save people.
They are people who find rapists. They are the ones who do the work that we should demand be done fairly.
But what our lessons were from 1992 is we have to dialogue and find common projects together. And I do believe as soon as the peace is here, we can get back to that in cities across America.
CABRERA: What's your message to members of your community who are clearly in pain right now? The protesters who are there for the right reasons and how do you plan to help your community heal?
GARCETTI: I would say to anybody in pain, I'm in pain. And for us to heal, we have to do the work that this moment demands, that George Floyd's death demands. Let us not change that conversation.
Let us look at raising our minimum wage. Let us look at how we make college free. Let us look at how COVID is killing black people more and a black woman is more likely to die in childbirth than a white woman.
Let us fix those things together to make sure that the criminal justice system, as well as our entire society doesn't keep some people at the 50 yard line and others at the five yard line.
We can do this work. It's painful work, but it never happens with violence and in the face of violence.
CABRERA: All right, Mayor Eric Garcetti, we appreciate your time this evening. Best of luck as you head into the evening, and we are sending our best to you, to your whole community and wishing everybody there peace. Thank you so much.
GARCETTI: Thank you. Peace and love to you, too.
CABRERA: And here we are again in Santa Monica as we continue to watch the protests there, and police officers trying to disperse this crowd.
There was a curfew that went into effect almost an hour ago now there in Santa Monica, California, and we have been seeing police standing by, firing different types of rubber bullets, gas of different types into crowds of protesters who have at times dispersed and then returned to this face off.
CABRERA: And now, you can see there are additional things happening in different parts of the city there. Again, watching the protesters, our Kyung Lah is there on scene and has been reporting that protesters have at times thrown projectiles towards police including concrete as well.
And so, at this point, it's unclear exactly where this scene goes, especially as we head into the sun setting and the evening hours. We know this is, again, not far from the Santa Monica pier, a place where mostly families and everyday residents of that neighborhood are often times enjoying their day there.
So, we will continue to monitor the situation in Santa Monica as well as other scenes around the nation tonight.
Thank you for being here with me. I am Ana Cabrera in New York. Please stay safe.
Our CNN special "I Can't Breath: Black Men Living and Dying In America" begins right after a short break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)