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Don Lemon Tonight
Protesters And Police Clash In Los Angeles; Chaos And Crisis In America; Protests Erupt Across United States Following Death Of George Floyd; Fury, Frustration In American Cities On Fifth Night Of Protests; George Floyd's Death Ignites Rage In American Cities. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired May 30, 2020 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here it is a stroll of rallies, a stroll of stores. And so when police control one block, they have to move because the protesters will move through the alleys and reform in another area and then there could be looting in that area they have reformed.
It has been a challenge for the police to try to keep people - so what we have been seeing is a lot of passion on the streets again, but a lot of violence. Just watch this, Don. You can see what the police are carrying there. Jordan.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: You are a residence of Los Angeles, Kyung. You have probably gotten on your phone or anywhere in the area a public safety alert that says the City of Los Angeles is declaring curfew will be in place from 8 p.m. tonight 5:30 am for the entire city of Los Angeles traveling to and from work, seeking or giving emergency care and emergency responders are exempt.
Additional information is available on the city's website. It is at top of the hour it is 11:00 pm eastern here in New York City, it is 8:00 pm central in Los Angeles or 8:01. We are watching these scenes unfold all over the country tonight. Our Kyung Lah as you can see is on the streets of Los Angeles and she is being moved back by what appears to be LAPD. She will correct me in just moments as soon as I reset here.
LAH: That is the LAPD.
LEMON: But we have been watching this play out in Los Angeles, we've been watching it play out in Atlanta, we've been watching it play out in Philadelphia, New York City, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., Miami, Seattle, Salt Lake City, all over.
The pictures we are looking at are from Los Angeles I should say and where there is a curfew that went into effect two minutes ago. It doesn't appear obviously that these protesters on the street are abiding by the curfew. Our Kyung Lah reporting now live from the streets. Kyung as you correctly observed LAPD, take us to the streets here. LAH: What you are looking at - we were unbeknownst to us really sort of squeezed in with the protesters just a few minutes ago. The line of police came in from the north. I am standing to the North of where the protesters are and then to the South a second LAPD police line formed and they moved to the North.
So what you are looking at is a group of protesters now squeezed into the center. They are sitting. You can see that they are sitting and their hands are up. At this point it is peaceful. As you rightfully point out, there is now a curfew in effect throughout the City of Los Angeles.
They are subject to arrest per that order so we are waiting to see what happens. You can see the LAPD officer here - so Jordan, if you can take a look at that there you can see that there are a bunch of zip ties there so it certainly looks like the LAPD at least is prepared to take people into custody. So we're going to see how this unfolds.
And the reason why the police are, as they back up, the reason why the police are here is this particular block just in the moments before we saw the police arrive, store after store was being looted with wild abandon?
Protesters were lifting the gates of the front of the stores, they were breaking locks, and then they were smashing through the glass, setting fires on the street and then running in and running out with their arms full of designer clothes, shoes and handbags. It was just bizarre.
The police have now responded. We can see that there is the advancement of the police from the south and the advancement of the police from the north. And they are going to try to stop some of what has been happening for hours here on the streets of Los Angeles.
So the police officer told us to stay behind him and the reason why, a snapshot of what we have been seeing from our advantage point.
LAH: And again we have not been all over the City of Los Angeles. We are going to move over there. What we have been seeing the police go through - he said we could stay here. We are negotiating where we can stand to watch this so we can bring this to you safely.
What law enforcement has been going through - I'm just holding up my CNN badge here. What law enforcement has been going through here, beyond just trying to tell the press where to stand - you just saw us negotiate where we would be able to stand without being an impediment to the police or danger to ourselves.
Everywhere that we have been the police officers have had water bottles thrown at them, rocks, trash cans. I saw a dumpster on fire being whirled down to a bunch of police cars as police cars have been driving through the streets. There have been projectiles thrown at squad car. So it has been a challenging day for law enforcement as they try to stop this looting but also you know try to allow peaceful protests. Earlier in the day there was peaceful protests and we saw examples of peaceful gatherings. But at least on this particular block where we are right here it was not peaceful. There was damage to property.
We are watching to see how this plays out. You are looking at again curfew. It is now curfew in Los Angeles. This was set all across the city. Police to the north and to the south of these protesters who are now sitting and there - well it appears to be a leader with a bull horn walking amid this crowd instructing them.
I can't quite hear what he's saying. I don't know if there is any negotiation happening between the police and these protesters. It is a sizable group. There are several dozen here that I am looking at, Don.
LEMON: Kyung, I am hearing from some of my friends who are in Los Angeles, saying that they have had to evacuate their home because it is getting way too close to them and they are afraid. Not to mention that all of this is going on in the middle of a pandemic when people are still under stay-at-home orders or at least having to socially distance themselves from other people, to add insult to injury.
If you will stand by Kyung, we're going to keep on top of these pictures. Wondering as I am, I'm sure as many across the country and across the world who are watching these pictures on CNN have to be wondering who is going to really step into the void here, into the breach and show some leadership or calm.
This is really a tale of two styles here. The President of the United States tweeting out the National Guard has been released in Minneapolis to do the job that the Democrat Mayor couldn't do should have been used two days ago. There would not have been damage and police headquarters would not have been taken over and ruined. Great job by the National Guard no gains.
Then again tweeting let New York's finest be New York's finest. There is no body better but they must be allowed to do their job. No call for calm or message to the nation about togetherness just a two divisive - one divisive message that the Democrat Mayor couldn't do.
And then we have John Lewis who is a legend when it comes to civil rights and of course a Congressman. Part of his message says I know your pain, your rage, your sense of despair and hopelessness. Justice has indeed been denied for far too long.
Rioting, looting and burning is not the way. Organize, demonstrate, sit in, standup, vote, and be constructive, not destructive. History has proven time and time again that none violent, peaceful protest is the way to achieve the justice and a quality that we all deserved. John Lewis, Congressman thank you. We're back in a moment.
LEMON: Tonight there is crisis, a crisis in America and there chaos in America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Less than an hour ago at this point, and this was the night that the Governor, officials and law enforcement say that they were going to stop the rioting and looting that we had seen play out the night before. You see protesters here are launching that whatever law enforcement has throwing back in here but there is so much gas that has been launched again in just the past two minutes or so that you can barely even see that line of officers right there. It looks to be state patrol officers--
LEMON: This is Minneapolis just a short time ago our CNN crew running for safety as police and angry protesters clash for the fifth straight day. Also in Atlanta tonight and Philadelphia and Chicago and Los Angeles protesters and police clashing at times violently public went anger in those places aimed at police and public officials after the death in police custody of George Floyd.
LEMON: And last Monday this in America tonight. This anger is not localized. It's nationwide. I want to get straight to Minneapolis now where protests are unfolding on the streets again tonight. CNN's Miguel Marquez is on the ground for us. Miguel, what is going on?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So very tensed moments right now Don. These are the same protesters that we were with just about a mile away down at the Lake Street Mitchell Bridge. We have now arrived at the third precinct. This is precinct that burned two nights ago now that the police try to protect. This is the area that's been hardest hit.
Police have just sort of come up to the front of the protesters. I mean the protesters - give it a look. Jump on up there, Pete. You can see them with their heads up. They have been completely peaceful. They want to have their voices heard. It is not clear - what clearly they have had fair warning.
They knew that if they were out tonight they were going to face police. They have prepared for this. They are staying together, they have - they're very organized. These are young people sort of put this scene together and they want to be able to walk the streets of Minneapolis and have their voices heard.
Clearly police and I don't see where the police have gone. It looks like they have actually moved off. Down the side streets we see no police. It was kind of stunning that there was such a heavy presence down on that side of the bridge and they fired tear gas, canisters, and huge volleys of tear gas canisters at the protesters to move them back off the bridge and then allowed them to walk down Lake Street.
That is just off to the left Pete, that building there, that is the burned out remnants of the third precinct that was the initial focal point of so much rage here. The fifth precinct is the one that last night was the focal point and today there was a big protest as well where our Omar Jimenez was. Pete, watch your back. And police - there were just two or three squad cars. It looked like there might be another confrontation, but they have gone away. What is your name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is SJ. They call me SJ.
MARQUEZ: SJ? What is your real name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't tell you that.
MARQUEZ: Well, why not?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I heard it is not safe to do that.
MARQUEZ: Oh, please. How old are you?
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: Me? I'm 19.
MARQUEZ: Why are you out here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm here as black lives matter. They need to know that.
MARQUEZ: Why did you say oh, boy? Why are you concerned about giving your name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have got to protect my family.
MARQUEZ: Why do you feel nervous about that, because it is CNN?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no not CNN. - Because there are people out there preying on the downfall of all of us.
MARQUEZ: And what are you willing to risk tonight, arrest?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure if it happens, it happens. We are out here, front line, front line.
MARQUEZ: Thank you very much.
UNIDENIFIED MALE: This is not the messaging that the entire group is trying to stand. This is not the group conscious of the rest of the people in this presence, just so you know.
MARQUEZ: I know you were one of the organizers of this thing. How concerned are you about how things are going right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I am concerned about the morale and direction of the leadership. Some people speaking in voices I don't know have thought things through. I don't know. I am not sure I am happy with the direction.
MARQUEZ: I assure you everyone has been well-spoken tonight. What is the plan? You guys have been pushed back from the bridge. What now? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we're not really sure I'm as right now because this is stay together and stay safe. I think just step by step we're making decisions as we go.
MARQUEZ: You knew you would face police presence out here if you came out tonight. Is so the arrest the likely end to this. What will you do?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know what the likely end is because we are not the one playing that hand. I'm going to tell you last night we were successful in keeping peace in the protests that we had.
I hope that we can maintain that type of mentality through tonight. We had some good interaction with police last night. I think if he keep that morale, we might be okay. But I don't know how they're going to play their cards tonight?
MARQUEZ: And I saw you exhorting people all throughout the day yesterday and it was peaceful until it got to the fifth precinct. What do you say to people not only here but across the country that are in George Floyd's name are committing violence and looting?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First off a lot of violence and looting has not being done in George Floyd's name. Second off when we arrived at the fifth precinct was to go through that crowd and collect as many of them as we could and infect them with the peace and positivity that we're roaming with that night.
I don't think the looting and rioting is being done in George Floyd's name like I said. What is being done in George Floyd's name is this type of gathering right now and we're going to try and keep this peace and the morale the way it is. Our goal tonight is to keep the energy high and the tension low. We're going to keep that up, okay.
MARQUEZ: All right. Thank you very much. Good luck. That is the sensibility here. It is not clear where all this is going. Turn around this way. They are marching back toward the area where they came, Don. It is not clear how far they are going to go or where they're going go?
I know the goal earlier tonight you said, was just to keep moving so that the police couldn't directly engage the police and they couldn't engage them and just sort of stay on the streets and make their voices heard.
It is not clear the police are going to allow that. Now they are moving back toward where they started which was the very spot where George Floyd had that knee to the neck for so many minutes. Now this is kind of - keep doing this to sort of collect themselves they'll go down on one knee and get instructions and they'll figure out what they're going to do next as a group, Don.
LEMON: All right. I had to tell you Miguel they are tenacious. I am sure there are different groups who are going around, but police trying to break them up but they are staying together they're continuing to walk. We will see how this transpire, continues to transpire. Stand by Miguel Marquez reporting for us in Minneapolis.
A programming note for you, black man dies at the hands of police. Why does this keep happening? When will this end? Make sure you join me for an important conversation, "I can't breathe" black men living and dying in America that's tomorrow night at 8:00 eastern. We're back in a moment here on CNN.
LEMON: All right, we want to get back now to Los Angeles where police and protesters went head-to-head this evening. CNN's Paul Vercammen out west for us tonight Paul, what is the scene like now?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So we have gone on north of Fairfax. We will back up, no problem. You can see right now as we were speaking Don, officers just advanced to these people in this intersection. This was another one of these flash points and these demonstrators are sealed in.
We are now, after the curfew here in Los Angeles so they are in violation of it. If we look over here to the right and down the street, you can see those police cars. It is not an easy shot to see from here, but there are at least I would say a dozen people.
You can see them being led off in those plastic white police flex cuffs. I talked a ranking officer on scene here and he said every one of these people is going to be booked and arrested. Last night they were extremely lenient and they let a lot of people go but not tonight.
They say they are all going downtown and they're going to have a bus waiting for them. So back here in this intersection they were having an extremely difficult time clearing Fairfax main - you look right here. We understand that we don't have a great view of it but some of these stores were also looted here. This is not far from where we were before where you saw that the Nordstrom's was looted Don as well as that Ray Ban glasses place.
LEMON: So in relation to where you were and Kyung is, how far apart are you guys? Are you in the same neighborhood or you near each other?
VERCAMMEN: We are near each other, but this is a vast expanse of a protest demonstration and we will call it arrest area. I think it is for an entire square mile because on this street Fairfax north Fairfax it went all the way back to third street Beverly, all of these streets in Los Angeles.
So what happens when you walk around here, Don, it is somewhat surreal? You see this different little skirmishes or places where there has been mass arrests or looting or whatever it is. And there you see someone else being led off. They have not flat stated it this way, but it seems that once that curfew hit, they came out with an attitude of we are not going to play. So if you look across the other way, all of those officers blocking these people who are sitting down, they will arrest everybody.
We have seen in other actions like this where there has been violent protests, the LAPD do this. They deliberately Pinkster them in and they make mass arrests and that's clearly what the agenda is right here on this corner.
LEMON: Did that seem Paul to put a damper on the protesters at all?
VERCAMMEN: Well, a multilayered answer here. There were also people in this crowd who were trying to calm down the protesters who didn't want to see it get violent, who if they saw somebody pick up a rock, we saw them say don't do it, please.
VERCAMMEN: I am not seeing these protesters' spirits dampened really I mean you can really look at them. They are sitting down. Nobody is chanting let us go. I think it could be that some of them knew they were going to be arrested and figured that this was their statement, their civil disobedience. Their way of saying we stand in solidarity with the people of Minnesota.
We want George Floyd's death not to be in vain. And as I said the echoes throughout the night here in Los Angeles this eerie night now have been they don't just want one officer charged, they want four officers charged with the most severe penalties possible. That's the - that we heard all day long Don.
LEMON: Well, it's interesting that they are - the folks who are here appear to be peaceful protesters who are sitting or kneeling or whatever they are doing. Why they are arresting these people and not arresting the actual people who have been doing the looting and who raided the stores? Do you understand what I am saying?
VERCAMMEN: I know exactly what you are asking, but it is not an easy answer because Don I was not here when the actual looting was going on. So it's possible that some people could have been looters. I don't want to call anybody who was not a looter, one.
It happened so quickly. They ran down the street so fast it begin smashing windows. And so as we showed you earlier we saw the aftermath of what happened at Nordstrom and Ray Ban and we saw people running with bags. I don't know that any of these people sitting down now you know where. Really hard to say standing here you know on Fairfax looking at it from the inside out.
LEMON: Now we are seeing some scenes - live pictures that we are looking at live. Stand by, Paul. Paul, hold on. These are live pictures that you're looking at on the left side of your screen. It appears to be looting at the Mascot which is I believe that is an eyewear store which is I'm not exactly sure where in Los Angeles but these are live aerials of people running into the store and then running out.
You see someone entering there and then someone exiting and someone now trying to break the window. There you go. Paul, I don't know if you know where there is a mascot score in Los Angeles. I don't know if it is Beverly Hills or where which you know somewhere in Los Angeles?
VERCAMMEN: I can only make an educated guess and just by catching a snippet of some of these officer's scanners, we have heard there has been or is looting going on Mel Rose.
LEMON: Mel Rose near Fairfax?
VERCAMMEN: I'm not sure but that stands to reason. That's just up the street from us here to the north. We are sealed off here. We might go ahead and try to make a move in that direction. We are hearing now the pop, pop, pop of rubber bullets being fired.
LEMON: So it is 8:33 in Los Angeles tonight. We have been watching some looting live happening at Mel Rose and Fairfax just a couple blocks west of where Kyung Lah was, and we saw her live not too long ago and not far from where Paul Vercammen is live for us now. There are peaceful protesters who are sitting on the street, who peaceful protesters and I want to get to Governor Walz of Minnesota now who is speaking live I believe. Let's listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're in a position of strength significantly greater tonight in Minneapolis and Saint Paul than we were last night. Currently ongoing missions for the Minnesota National Guard are ten ongoing with another five missions in planned stages and pre- execution.
We are fully integrated and unified with law enforcement fire emergency management systems in all of our state agencies to ensure the safety of our citizens in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding communities. We know there is a long way to go tonight. We're prepared for that your citizen soldiers are staying fast to support the citizens of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Thank you.
PAUL SCHNELL, COMMISSIONER, MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS: I am Paul Schnell; I'm the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections. I am currently assisting Commissioner Harrington who is actively overseeing this along with Colonel Langer in the Minnesota State Patrol.
SCHNELL: So I am here to assist them tonight and give you a little bit of a briefing as to what is happening in the field. As you know slightly before 8:45 officers went out and began to enforce the curfew that had been put in place by Executive Order and by Mayoral Order.
That was decisive and strong that will continue through the evening. That's what was committed to as this operation began. There is a large presence of law enforcement from throughout Minnesota. They are being supported General Jensen by the Minnesota National Guard. It's very early. We know that some of the groups that are here are in this for the long haul. Based on that we know it's early. We don't want to get to a point now where we are overly confident. We feel like we had a really good start to this operation, but the ultimate goal as was mentioned first and foremost to preserve life, second to preserve property and third to restore order in the city.
There are a number of groups. This started out with one concentrated group largely in the area of the fifth precinct. That group was approached by law enforcement and resulted in some splintering of those groups which was intended--
LEMON: Minnesota State Patrol are giving an update on what happened earlier that chaos that we saw play out earlier. Just before we came to you, Governor Walz was there at the podium and stepped away and turned it over to both gentlemen you saw speaking.
We are going to stay in Minnesota. We go back to the streets now CNN's Miguel Marquez still out on the streets with those protesters who had been walking around and protesting for hours there and I'm wondering if the situation has changed at all Miguel as we get to you go on?
MARQUEZ: It's entirely changed. You can see we're now pushed back on to railroad tracks. There are protesters up on the side - this is an entrance to one of the freeways that are all closed down now. They are trying to exhort people that follow them there.
Watch your back, watch your back. Tracks, tracks and tacks careful this way. So police are up on the freeway firing tear gas on protesters and pepper balls. They are also down here. They moved in, in force just as the protesters were starting to move again as they were over here. So police up along the freeway here they're under the overpass there.
They are - the protesters were now basically split. They were down on a bridge earlier, they came this way. Maybe a third went in a direction we're just going, a third went the other direction and then a few of them went up on to the freeway.
So the police have essentially split them up. One thing those protesters wanted to do tonight was to stay together. There is great frustration. They want to be out there, they want to be there - they want to have their voices heard, but they also were given fair warning which they understand that if they were out, this would be the result and here we are. Don?
LEMON: How far away are these officers who are doing this? Are they on the other side of this wall that we're seeing, it's hard to tell because they're start coming out?
MARQUEZ: Yes. That wall - so we just crossed - that wall - Pete stay back just a bit because they are so far firing stuff. That's not a wall. It's a bridge of one of the freeways here that they have blocked off basically.
Police are up on top of that freeway and then they're on under past there so that's Lake Streak where Pete is pulling the camera right now. Police came in force, in cruisers as the protesters started going under that over pass and then they jumped out and started firing on them almost immediately.
Protesters tried to stick with it, they put their hands up they begged them that they were peaceful, that everything was fine but they persisted and they fired tear gas on them and that really broke them up. They are now moving on sort of from two different directions to try to keep them from reforming their group and get them to go home essentially.
MARQUEZ: It is surprising that they didn't really try to affect any arrests. They basically just tried to break up the group and keep it splintered. Don?
LEMON: All right, Miguel Marquez reporting live from Minneapolis. And again we are covering all of these scenes from cities across the United States. The scenes calms down, as Miguel Marquez pointed out to you its peaceful and then all of a sudden something flares up.
There are curfew orders in place in many cities across America tonight. These protesters are not heeding these orders and they are being taken into custody in Los Angeles it appears in Minneapolis as well also in Philadelphia tonight. And that's where we will find CNN's Brian Todd.
Brian Todd it was chaotic earlier this evening. There were scenes of protest and then also some looting going on. You are in center city, Philadelphia. What is the scene now? What is happening?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don a massive police sweep in part of Philadelphia. We'll take it down here where three young men were told by these police officers are being arrested for violating curfew. They have got zip ties on these three young men. They are moving very aggressively through the center city area to get people out of here.
Again they're violated the curfew according to these police officer but there are other people just walking kind of loosely around. You are not sure exactly why they are picking some people out for arrest. The curfew is in effect from 8:00 pm until 6:00 am tomorrow.
We have some other information regarding a police officer in Philadelphia who was injured tonight. One of the ranks of these people was a bicycle officer according to Philadelphia police was injured when this officer tried to stop a vehicle it was involved in a looting incident earlier.
That vehicle ran over the officer. The officer is okay, suffering a broken arm and injuries but will be okay we are told by Philadelphia police. But again let's say these guys, take a look here, they are going after these people for violating curfew. They are chasing these people down the street.
They have just got this guy; these bicycled officers got this gentleman here. They're going after - they just tackled somebody over here. We are on Broad Street. Let's just walk over here and see what we can see. They just tackled this individual here at the corner of Broad Street.
We are about a block away from city hall. And again I was just saying this is part of the sweep of this are Don. They are being very aggressive moving people out of this area. They want to get people away from the areas of looting. We are very close to areas there were just scenes of carnage. They have this man on the ground here. You can see him we don't want to get too close to him.
Again Don, I have to say these people, this gentleman was among some people down here who were just simply just walking. Maybe they were trying to get home. We don't know exactly what the situation. They weren't causing trouble that we saw, but again this is part of a sweep of this are of the center city.
They are really aggressively moving to try to get people away from this part of the city. And there is a gentleman over there being put in zip ties as we speak. This just happened right in front of us. I mean, you've guys saw it play out.
Again you know where this comes as we get information that a police officer was hurt when trying to stop people involved in looting who ran over this police officer in a vehicle that police officer is going to be okay suffering a broken arm and some other injuries.
Now they're leading this man away, they chased him all the down here. I believe I saw some other people with him that may have gotten away. Let's actually take a look down here. They did chase people down this street. We are on Broad and Samson Street and these police officers are going down that way.
We can't see anything going down there now. They have chased people down that way. So Don, we happened to see it unfolding in front of us. Very aggressive moves by the police they take down people get them out this area. Again they just took several people into custody. We did not see them do anything dangerous or destructive. But they're moving very aggressively here in Philadelphia.
LEMON: Brian Todd, I want you to stand by because I want to get to Washington, D.C. We have seen the pictures next to Brian on the left of the screen as Brian was speaking. I believe this is one of our affiliates. Can we listen in to one of our affiliate there WJLA.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is one to two blocks - in front of the building on fire and to the left of it is the Adams hotel, one of the most historic hotels in D.C. to the right of it, I am not sure what that building is that's been renovated right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But that building itself again it appears to be been renovated the one that is on fire. You can see police yelling right now. I think they are about to move us back. Here comes the fire department in the distance. Again they're going to need to get here because it definitely looks pretty serious.
And again one of the older hotels very historic hotel, Rich, that is the Hey Adams, right? I believe that it is. The fire department arriving on scene they are now within a block. You're about to see them pool up. Fire appears to have started well above street level. You see the fire department pulling up here. They've got a job ahead of them. It's unclear how they started that fire because it appears to have started well above street level.
We just had more firefighters pull up. The fire seems to be getting more intense whatever building it is that's been renovated, the fire has gone up into that building. I don't know if you can tell that from where we are. But I can tell you--
LEMON: All right, you are listening to our affiliate WJLA in Washington, D.C. and according to the reporter who is there on the scene, they believe it is the Hey Adams or very close to the Hey Adams historic hotel there in Washington, D.C. and an adjacent structure.
We're going to confirm that for you. That's our affiliate reporting. CNN will confirm that for you but that building has gone up in flames. You can see the fire department is on the scene. Several fire trucks on the scene there and folks are just standing around watching.
So another city in flames, Washington, D.C. and this time it is playing out very close to the White House to the seed of power in this country. We have Minneapolis on fire last night and tonight we have Washington, D.C. Los Angeles is being looted as well as other cities around this country.
This is a country that is in chaos right now. No one knows what is going to happen. This is unfolding right in front of our very eyes. We are getting these pictures in live. You are seeing them for the first time as I am seeing them for the first time.
And so I am walking you through this as I am seeing it. So this is very unusual and unprecedented time for our country. As I came on air tonight with you at 9:00 pm Eastern Time as I've said to you there are 40 million Americans tonight who are out of work, there are more than 100,000 Americans who have lost their lives to COVID-19.
There are people upset about the death - millions of Americans and people around the world seeing the death of a man at the hands of a police officer on videotape. We don't know what is happening in this country right now?
Perhaps this is some sort of mechanism for a restructure in our country or for some sort of change in our country for us to deal with whatever we need to deal with in this country. As we look at pictures on the right of burning and pictures on the left of looting in Los Angeles.
I actually don't know - I am at a loss for words as a person who is sitting here guiding you through this. I really don't know what to say at this moment except for this is America. This is where our country - this is what it has come to right now. And I am wondering who is going to step into the void and call for some calm and try to pull us altogether instead of dividing us. This is a deep division in our country. How a propos it is as I am watching this from east to west - or west to east on our TV screen, it spans the entire country, from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., from the from the entertainment capital of the world to the seat of political power in the world.
LEMON: And you're looking at all different demographics on the left hand of your screen going into that store and taking things out. I haven't seen this since Rodney King to be frank with you. And no one condones what's happening. In this video, or in these live pictures that are coming into us from Los Angeles.
This is actually quite sad to watch. And it is indication and indicative of the pain and sadness in this country of people who feel that they have no other alternative but to exhibit this behavior in our country. No other option.
When you have nothing to lose, you have nothing to lose and then on the right side of our screen in the seat of political power not far from the White House a fire raging firefighters on the scene. And we have since this all I should say - and I want to make sure that is clear. Since all of this chaos broke out this evening, no call for calm, Americans coming together, we are all one.
Not that I have heard of. I sure would like to hear that. I sure would like to hear that we are all Americans and we all need to stick together. We all need to come together because if we can't live together as Americans, then what do we have?
Do we even have a country anymore? This is unbelievable what is happening here unbelievable from west to east and east to west. I have shown you pictures of just about every major city in this country, from Los Angeles to New York to Washington to Seattle to Philadelphia to Chicago, to Minneapolis, Miami all over.
When did this country get out of control? When did we lose control of this country? When did we cease to be a country - a group of people who wanted to at least live together in spite of the differences because of our differences?
Isn't that the whole reason for the thing that we are here because we want - because we are different that we're supposed to try this grand experiment? And let's not forget, if anyone is judging this, I'm not judging this. I'm just wondering what is going on because we were supposed to figure out this experiment a long time ago.
Our country was started because - the Boston Tea Party rioting. So don't - do not get it twisted and think oh, this is something that has not - never happened before and this is so terrible and where are we and these savages and all of that. This is how this country was started. But we thought that we had at least figured it out and gotten beyond that, where we could live together in some sort of democracy. But this is not democracy. This is quite frankly anarchy. And so far silence. I've heard from the great John Lewis tonight.
I've heard from some of the leaders who've called in. Hey, listen. I've heard from Senator Kamala Harris. I've heard from Ilhan Omar. I've heard from some Democratic leaders. I would love to hear from some Republican leaders. Please call in and talk to me. I want to hear what you have to say about this. I really do.
I want to hear what the President has to say. I really do. I want to hear from everyone. But so far I have heard nothing. And you know who I also want to hear from? I want to hear from - this is who I want to hear from. And I'm going to call people out because a lot of these young people, not all young people are out there looting and rioting.
LEMON: We heard from young people who were out there because they were upset about what's happening in their country. And they are taking the leader, stepping into the void, and fighting for what's right. They're sick and tired but yet the people who have made it many of them who are of color and white folks as well.
They are - these young people have put themselves on the line. They have nothing. They're not wealthy. They're poor kids, a lot of them who are out there. But a lot of people I asked to come on the show to talk about this, wealthy celebrities, wealthy political people, I can't do it, I'm mad, I don't want people to see me mad, it might hurt my business or I'm so upset that I have to go to my country house and I just can't do it.
Where are you? Why aren't you fighting for these young people? If you don't do it now, when are you going to do it? If you are a millionaire or a gazillionaire or a movie star or a politician and you don't step up now, when the hell are you going to do it? Stop making excuses.
What are you worried about if you have made gazillions of dollars and you are rich and you have established - why are you afraid of what someone else is going to think about you and your anger? That it's going to hurt your business or your reputation or your - I hate this word.
This drives me crazy. Your brand "I hate that". You are your brand. Step up, people. Step up, black Hollywood. Come on. Get out there. Come on CNN or wherever. I don't care where you go. You can go on Fox News. You can go on MSNBC. You can go on ABC, CBS. I don't care where you go. But get out there and talk about this. Get on social media.
Beyonce released a message. You can't? You can't step up and talk about the injustices? You can't step up for these young people who are out there who are mad? If you don't do it now, when are you going to do it? Where's the black leadership?
I want to hear from everyone. I want to hear from the Former President. I want to hear from the Former First Lady. And I already said I want to hear from the current President. I want to hear from the current President. I want to hear a message of hope. What do we do?
I am a cable news anchor and I am trying to figure out what we do. I cannot be the only person, the only voice who are calling for people to come together. And who's calling for peace. Look at this. Are you watching, America? Are you watching? Do you see this? Can you please help me? Can you? The time is now. Go to break.