All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 04/28/15
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from West Baltimore. I`m Chris
Hayes. This is ALL IN.
We are live here at the corner of North and Pennsylvania. It was this
corner that just 24 hours ago yesterday was burning out of control. CVS
Pharmacy with chopper shots beaming it across the country and across world
– as West Baltimore last night saw the worst unrest, looting, rioting and
burning in 40 years-plus since 1968 when riots in the wake of Martin Luther
King Jr. burned down much of this neighborhood and burned it for two weeks
straight, ultimately calling in the National Guard, very forceful response
and lives lost.
Luckily, last night, no lives were lost. There were police injuries,
upwards of 15 according to police. Lots of property damage, and burned
Today, a very, very different scene. We are right now in the
epicenter of what has been the kind of protest activity all day.
From beginning early today, there has been a line formed from midday
today, a line form of folks standing between the crowd and the police in
riot gear. The police in riot gear have kept that line now going on six,
seven hours. The people in front of them, community members, linked in
arm, men and women. They have kept that line going for six and seven
At several moments earlier today, we were here, there were a few
bottles thrown. A few words exchanged. Some tensions escalating. But at
every moment tension escalated, elders, protesters came in and defused.
There has been a widespread consistent consensus from everyone I`ve
talked to on the streets here today from the moment we touched down here in
the afternoon, a determination not to see West Baltimore burn again, a
determination for tonight to be different than last night, a determination
for folks to be out here with young folks to make sure that some of the
unruliness that happened last night does not happen again.
There`s a lot of anger at the police, alongside that, a lot of anger
at political leaders, alongside that. But also a tremendous sense of pride
in place in this place, a tremendous determination to fight for their
Joining me now, I have Keenan Richardson. Keenan is a resident of
West Baltimore, grew up in East Baltimore.
Keenan, today you organized a kind of youth peace rally just a little
– just a few blocks from here. Tell me about what that was.
KEENAN RICHARDSON, BALTIMORE RESIDENT: Actually I got together with
my big brother, Stokie, and he called me this morning, said, hey, it`s
something we got to do. Let`s do. We got together and got the city to
come out to Cloverdale Park, a very familiar basketball court by all
Baltimoreans, actually world renowned.
HAYES: That`s where folks run, right?
RICHARDSON: Yes, definitely, definitely. You have Melo and everybody
come to play.
So, we organize it there, you know, as a central location for all the
youth to come, you know, and voice their feelings, their emotions. Because
it`s a lot of anger, a lot of tension going on right now. And we had to
bring them so that they can voice their – voice their perspective, their
opinion, on everything that`s going on right now.
HAYES: There`s a lot of drama.
HAYES: I mean, folks are frustrated, they`re angry. People I talked
to are talking about the kind of emotional weight of their life`s
experiences dealing with police officers and growing up in west Baltimore.
A lot of that was coming out in really, really violent negative ways
Was the idea to kind of give expression to that today, to listen to
people so that we didn`t have a replay of last night?
RICHARDSON: Definitely. Definitely. We don`t want no replay at all.
But I will say this – we do not condone the acts that happened last
night, but we understand, like you said, it`s police brutality that`s been
happening for years here in Baltimore, and especially black children as
ourselves, we grew up experiencing these things firsthand. So, at the end
of the day, they`re going to react in a way that, you know, nobody else
really probably going to understand, except for those who are from here and
those who really experience police brutality.
HAYES: What do you think is going to happen today? There`s now a
curfew at 10:00 p.m. there`s such an obvious determination here to not
have a repeat of last night. There`s been so many community leaders out
here, 10:00 p.m., a curfew happens.
The question is, where does all this go? Like what happens tonight
and what happens the next day?
RICHARDSON: Well, I`m no fortuneteller, but at the end of the day, I
honestly think all the positive voices have been heard. You know, the kids
have been hearing us. And I honestly don`t believe that, you know, we`re
going to have a repeat of, you know, last night tonight, or tomorrow night.
But I will say, we are very impatiently waiting on this verdict.
We`re very impatiently waiting, and I cannot express how – how eager
we`re, you know, we`re trying to hear –
HAYES: You want to know – I mean, you want to know what happened to
Freddie Gray in police custody that ended up in him dying.
RICHARDSON: We need to know. We need to know.
HAYES: How much is that – there`s been people going back and forth
about this. This is about Freddie Gray/this isn`t about Freddie Gray, this
is about larger things, about hooligans being opportunistic.
What is your sense of it?
RICHARDSON: You know, it stemmed definitely from, you know, the
Freddie Gray situation, but at the end of the day, as I stated before,
there`s been a bunch of Freddie Grays that the world don`t even know about.
There`s been a bunch of, you know, young guys brutalized by the police
that`s not even being seen right now, or even – or even being, you know,
publicized right now.
So, at the end of the day, what I`m saying to the world, what I`m
saying to you, I`m saying that we`re going to react as peacefully and
positively and we`re going to promote peace, positivity, and love as much
as we can. But at the end of the day, we`re waiting for that verdict.
And I cannot promise you that, you know, we won`t react in a manner
that, you know, that they won`t understand.
HAYES: Like we saw last night.
All right. Keenan Richardson, thank you for coming out. Thanks for
what you`re doing.
RICHARDSON: I appreciate it.
HAYES: I believe – I believe we have Ganesha Martin on the phone
right now, is that correct?
GANESHA MARTIN, BALTIMORE POLICE DEPT. (via telephone): That`s
correct. That`s correct, Chris. How are you this evening?
HAYES: Ganesha, how are you?
MARTIN: I`m well.
HAYES: What is your sense of where things stand now today?
MARTIN: Chris, I am ecstatic. I am so proud of our city. You are
seeing right before your eyes what Baltimore is made of. We are proud of
our city. We are proud of what we are starting to accomplish. We have
come together to voice the need for peace in our city.
What everyone saw last night was not representative of who we are as a
city. We`ve come together. The police department, the community, and we
are working together to bring peace to our city. This is what we`re made
HAYES: There`s a lot of – there`s a lot of frustration with the
police right now. There`s a lot of frustration from folks that I heard
here who said, there – as Keenan just said, there are Freddie Grays you`ve
never heard of. In fact, I had a gentleman say to me today, if Freddie
Gray wouldn`t have died, it would just have been another person picked but
by the police and injured in police custody. They would have shrugged even
here in West Baltimore because they`re so acclimated to it.
MARTIN: Chris, the police commissioner has acknowledged that there is
a huge risk and a huge distrust between the police and the community. And
as a matter of fact, that`s the reason why the mayor brought him here, the
recognition that something has to change. The community members, when they
were given a voice as to what type of police commissioner they wanted to
see in their city, it was one that understood and listened to the community
and tried to heal these wounds.
Now, these wounds did not – were not created overnight. It`s been
decades and decades of mistrust. And the schism has just grown larger.
But since the police commissioner has been here on his daily basis, he has
made it his goal to try to repair that relationship from having our
officers go out to schools to read to the kids, for creating a summer camp
for kids this past summer where we said to kids, lunch, breakfast, did
activities, self-esteem. We brought in our community members, many of
which stood with us today here at the police headquarters, where the police
commissioner has started involving community members in promotional panels.
So, you can become a major or a captain here without a member of the -
HAYES: With all due respect –
MARTIN: – that`s clear, from the protests, people are expressing
their frustration, their hurt, their anger and distrust with us, but we
have made some strides and what I hope to do from this, what the police
commissioner hopes to take from this is to take this tragedy and turn it
into a triumph, that we come together the way you`re seeing our citizens
and police on the streets. And come up with solutions, long-lasting
sustainable solutions to help us heal our city and help us reach our
HAYES: There – all of that said, and obviously the Baltimore Police
Department has undergone a lot of community outreach and community
programs. Those can happen parallel to some of the kind of basic everyday
indignities that people have been reporting to me and, frankly, have been
reporting to the press where you have $5.7 million in settlements over
police brutality in just a three-year sequence and you now have a man who`s
dead. Sixteen, 17 days later we don`t know how he died.
When will people find out what happened to Freddie Gray?
MARTIN: Well, what you have right now, Chris, the police commissioner
has demanded of this organization to take a process that normally goes from
anywhere from four to eight months and condense that as best as possible
into three weeks. I will tell you that I`ve said in several briefings at,
you know, 11:00, 12:00 at night, he has formed a task force where people
are working around the clock to come up with the answers that we need.
We`re continuing to canvas, we`re reviewing hundreds of hours of tapes.
We want to know as much as the community does what happened to Freddie
Gray. We want to know why because we cannot abide by having our community
members hurt, and if somebody`s responsible for that, we have to do
something about that.
The police commissioner in his 10 years since he`s been here has
pushed people out to retirement. He has arrested officers. He has done
what he has to do to try to get rid of the officers that bring down the
credibility of the men and women, the ones you have seen out there every
day exercising restraint in the face of rocks and spit and all sorts of
things being hurled at them.
He wants those officers – I tell you, we had a couple of officers in
our lobby today, or rather people that wanted to apply to be officers, and
the police commissioner went over there, he says, if you`re not here to be
humble, if you`re not here to serve, if you are not here to better this
community, then I don`t want you as an officer. And so, what his –
HAYES: Ms. Martin, can you tell me – can you tell me – I`m sorry.
Can you tell me what the plan for a curfew is tonight? In previous places,
I`ve been in when a curfew was imposed, it can become a kind of flashpoint
of conflict, a little bit of a stare-down can ensue.
What is the game plan for the 10:00 p.m. curfew tonight?
MARTIN: So, I talked to the police commissioner, especially in light
of all the good vibes that we`re having right now in the community and the
peace, the peaceful protests we`ve had, what he said is obviously the
curfew will begin at 10:00.
What we have to keep in mind is this, and you`ve seen this, we had
peaceful protests, you know, all day, and then we had some people who were
bent on destruction and violence determined to do that as night fell. So,
the police commissioner is up in the watch center. He is watching the
movements of the crowd to ensure that we deploy and do what we need to do,
but as far as the curfew goes, he is going to – he is going to institute a
balanced approach. People do need to respect the curfew and not be on the
But we are going to exercise restraint and common sense in how we
treat our citizens when we`re dealing with enforcing the curfew.
HAYES: We see a lot of riot police here, although it`s actually a
fairly restrained presence. We`ve got a riot line that`s been here.
There`s some tactical vehicles, there`s some reinforcements several blocks
I mean, I guess the question is, is there an anticipation that they
will then move in and try to disperse at 10:00, or will they kind of make
dynamic decisions based on what the kind of atmosphere is like?
MARTIN: I believe the police commissioner`s thoughts are that we`ll
start talking to the crowd asking them to respect the curfew. We
anticipate that the citizens that have been there peaceful and have obeyed
lawful orders all day will continue to do so when they`re told about the
curfew. And then if for some reason there are people that do not want to
comply, then we`ll deal with them in a reasonable manner.
But my anticipation is that people will have been out. They`ve been
able to speak in protests. About 10:00 they probably want to go home,
anyway. So, that`s why we made it at such a late hour. And if there`s
anyone out there that decides to stay on the streets and – and participate
in any violence or destruction, we have the resources out there to deal
with those people.
HAYES: All right. Ms. Martin, thank you very much for all your time
tonight. I really do appreciate it. Appreciate it very much.
Coming up next, we have Joy Reid. She spent all day at a Baltimore
church. There`s a town hall happening there. She will give you the
We are here as night falls here in West Baltimore, a very different
scene than last night.
Stay with us.
HAYES: All right. We`re back here in Baltimore as sun is setting
here on the West Baltimore, at North and Pennsylvania, right at the site
yesterday of the worst burning. Community members out tonight singing,
drumming, praying, chanting, determined not to see what happened last night
happen again tonight.
Joy Reid joins me now. She`s at the Empowerment Baptist Church.
And, Joy, you just heard a police representative describing the
police`s posture tonight. Does that jive with what you`re seeing?
JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Again, Chris, I can`t quite
hear you. I heard the first part of your question. I was listening to the
But I can tell you, Chris, behind me at the Empowerment Temple in a
packed house, town hall meeting what`s happening here, what we`re hearing
is very emotional testimony. A very young girl got up and wound up in
tears talking about the treatment that police have visited on members of
her family, her friends, her schoolmates.
There was just a woman who just finished speaking who said essentially
the same thing, saying how can we continue to exist if the police keep
killing us and killing all of our African-American men?
Extremely emotional. People really are angry, and I don`t hear a lot
of what your guest was just talking about in these sort of initiatives and
People have been telling me all day that there are no community
centers, there are no rec centers. This church has been open all day
having to feed people, feed kids who are out of school. There is no YMCA
for them to go to, no Boys and Girls Club.
So, there`s a real sense, I think, of need in this community and the
feeling that both civic leaders as well as the police, quite frankly, have
ill-served the community. I have heard nothing but the kind of stress and
distress that is going on behind me right now.
HAYES: Joy, there`s kind of a big disconnect, I feel like, between
how the police are sort of talking about those community outreach efforts
and what is kind of – what people, folks even right here are saying to me
about there`s more than one Freddie Gray, there are so many of these.
There`s a real question about both what happened to Freddie Gray and also
what just happens more broadly with the Baltimore police in this
REID: Yes, absolutely. Chris, you mentioned the $5.7 million in
settlements just in the last three years, just for over 100 cases. What
you hear from people here, those are the ones that we know about.
There was a young man this morning during the part of the day when
they were taking care of high school students and letting them basically
stay here all day. This young man who had to have been about 18 years old,
he got up and he described Freddie Gray as essentially the usual and he
expressed the fear that, you know, that a year from now, no one will even
There were young people who got up and talked about Trayvon Martin.
You know, that trauma is still live in the hearts of young people that were
here in this church. And these were kids who are churched and actually
have the connection to the faith community. You can just imagine, you go
outside of here and kids feel a greater sense of disconnect.
I will say one thing, Chris, that reinforces what you were saying
earlier. There`s a definite sense of empowerment that I am getting amid
that kind of despair. People have decided to seize control of their
destiny. This church is saying we`re going to do it ourselves.
You have people who are really not necessarily looking to police to
fix things. They`re trying to empower themselves. They definitely feel, I
think, a sense that there is no relationship. It`s not a bad relationship.
It`s a non-relationship.
I think the police have a long way to go to try to get the trust of
the people I`m hearing behind me.
HAYES: Joy, thank you so much for that.
We will be right back with much more live from the streets of
Baltimore. Don`t go anywhere.
HAYES: All right. We`re back on the streets of Baltimore.
I`ve got to say, as we`ve been here, as the camera lights come on,
folks have a lot to say. They feel very angry, they feel upset, feel
indignant about what happened last night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
HAYES: They don`t want to see what happened last night happen again
but they don`t want to lose sight.
Duwan (ph), you wanted to talk to me. What`s your name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I did. My name is Duwan. And this is not
about last night, goes on years, it goes back. We want justice and not
just justice for Freddie, Michael, Emmett Till, it goes on.
Like you`re criticizing us like we`re hurt inside. We live here. You
come and visit and see what`s going on. We live in this city and we hurt.
We go through stuff every day, every day. This is the life.
We deal with this every day. Just because we react, you all want to
criticize us? Don`t do that. We black. Come on, now. We the same skin.
That`s all I`m saying. Don`t criticize our youth. We messed up inside.
That`s all I want to say, we messed up inside.
HAYES: What do you mean by that? When you say “messed up inside”,
what do you mean?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hurt. Killed another black man. Not just one
black man, it`s more.
I can`t count on my fingers. It`s more. It`s more. It`s more. And
y`all just come down, bring the National Guard. Why the National Guard?
We don`t need (INAUDIBLE). We messed up inside. That`s all it is
anger. That`s all it is anger. And I just want to say, don`t criticize
us. Get us coming together as blacks.
See everybody together? Blacks. We`re working together right now.
Everybody is working together at the moment.
HAYES: All right, Duwan. Thank you very much, man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m done? I got a lot, man. I got this –
I`m going to go to Rehema Ellis. I`m going to go to Rehema Ellis.
That was – I heard a lot of that today out here. I heard a lot of
that today. A lot like that. People got a lot of stories to tell.
Rehema Ellis, Rehema, you were following folks out here earlier this
morning cleaning up. Tell me what you saw today.
REHEMA ELLIS, NBC NEWS: I saw a lot of people coming together in a
community that says they want to be remembered for their cohesiveness and
rather than their divisiveness. They want to be remembered for something
that`s positive rather than something that`s destructive.
So, they decided to take matters into their own hands and not wait for
the sanitation crews to come out onto their streets, and instead, people
got their own plastic bags, their own brooms, their own dust pans and they
went out onto their own streets and they cleaned up and they did it as a
And they were very, very sorrowful about what they had seen. And one
of the things that always strikes me and I think it was striking for people
now in the city of Baltimore, versus other cities where we`ve seen this
kind of violence erupt, is that people know that there was somewhat a
tinderbox of possibility that this could happen. But still, they`re still
surprised when it does because this is where they live.
That CVS that was burnt, women stood in front of that CVS today. I
saw them. They were just hunched over huddling with one another weeping
over the fact that they had spent years trying to get a CVS – not CVS, but
a pharmacy in their neighborhood.
They finally got one. And now, it was burned. It was ransacked and
they don`t have – a man said now I don`t have any place to go and get the
medicine for my baby in the middle of the night.
This was a heartbreaking scene for so many people, and yet, again,
that`s not what they want to be remembered for. Not the heartache, but the
fact that they do have the willingness and the strength to come together
and to say, even in the face of where there seems to be hopelessness, they
have hope – Chris.
HAYES: Rehema Ellis, thank you very much.
We`ll have much more live from the streets of west Baltimore. Sun is
setting here. A 10:00 p.m. curfew looms in the distance, although a
determination among everything here to keep things chill.
HAYES: There`s been a lot of talk here in Baltimore about gang
activity. There was a statement put out by the police department
yesterday, a credible threat from some of the major gangs in Baltimore.
Lot of people I talked to here were talking about how gang members had
actually played a very constructive role interrupting acts of vandalism and
violence last night.
I want to go now to my colleague, Toure, who`s got some more on that -
TOURE: Yeah, Chris.
I`m here with Nico Caldwell, who is a Blood. He`s a lifelong
Baltimorean. And you and your group are promising peace tonight?
NICO CALDWELL, BLOOD MEMBER: We`re definitely promising peace
tonight. We weren`t founded on an idea of destruction. We were founded on
an idea or protecting our neighborhoods and the citizens of our
TOURE: How far are you willing to go to make sure that it`s peaceful
CALDWELL: Well, we`ve been keeping the peace all day. So we`re
stopping – we`re blocking people who throw bottles at police officers.
We`re blocking them making lines and grabbing the persons that are
involved in the crimes that they`re trying to commit against the police.
We don`t want that. We want peace. We don`t want anymore police hurting
TOURE: We heard the Crips and Bloods are actually working together in
this peace initiative. How did that happen? How did the two groups come
CALDWELL; Well, the two groups came together because of the death of
Freddie Gray. I went to school with Freddie Gray at Way Mace LaMell Middle
School (ph) here in Baltimore, Maryland, on the west side. And based on
ideologies that the Bloods and Crips were founded upon, we decided to go
back to our roots because we`re tired of the harm that these police are
giving us on a daily basis. We don`t want that anymore, so we decided to
And for the record, everyone in the United States that`s a Blood or a
Crip that has a certain type of beef amongst each other, I want you all to
squash that and unite, unite, because we need each other.
TOURE: Now, wait a minute, there were reports the Blood and the Crips
were out to get the cops who went against the cops last night. Is that
CALDWELL: No, that is definitely not true, because me personally, we
were protecting a phone store up the street. There were about nine Bloods
and a few Crips standing in front of the store protecting the store making
sure no one went in that store and stole anything. And the police threw a
grenade at us to make sure that we scattered.
That`s not true. We don`t want any problems with the police. We
don`t want anyone else hurt. We don`t want anyone shooting. We don`t want
anything. We want a cease-fire. We don`t want any problems.
We were not the cause. We were the same ones protecting this
neighborhood that we`re standing in right now, protecting these store,
making sure people don`t loot them and pollute them and doing the things
they were doing. They were stealing and everything.
But we made sure some of the stores were protected.
TOURE: Now let me go back to something you said a second ago. You
CALDWELL: Yes, I knew Freddie.
TOURE: What was Freddie Gray like?
CALDWELL: Well, I haven`t seen Freddie Gray for a few some years,
because I went to middle school with him. But judging by his middle school
that he was a funny guy. He wasn`t really into the streets. He was a good
person. He didn`t deserve to die.
TOURE: It would shock a lot of people I think to hear about the Crips
and the Bloods working against people for peace. That goes against what a
lot of Americans think of when they think of Crips and Bloods.
CALDWELL: Well, Crips and Bloods, despite the history we have of
committing violence, there`s always a story to that. Always. It doesn`t
matter what gang we identify with, you can be a civilian out on the streets
and commit a harmful act towards another individual.
Us Bloods and Crips, some of us have made a wrong choice and deciding
to join a gang, but honestly, certain people like me, for example, at the
times that we joined these gangs, we didn`t have families and they were our
So, I ask America not to judge us for what we are. Just know that
everything we do right here, everything we do is not always a bad thing.
TOURE: All right. That`s Nico Caldwell. He`s a Blood. He`s a
lifelong Baltimorean. He says that the Bloods and the Crips are working
together to create peace tonight. Back to you, Chris.
HAYES: Toure, thank you.
I want to bring in now Chris Wilson who works with young, does
workforce development, works with young people here in Baltimore, works
with folks that are involved in gangs.
Chris, we just heard from a member of the Crips talking about – or of
a blood, talking about
the Crips and Bloods having a kind of cease-fire in the midst of this,
attempting to kind of keep order. Have you heard the same thing?
CHRIS WILSON, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: Yes.
My experience in the city, that most of the people that`s in gangs or
affiliated gangs, are just equally upset about what`s going on about Mr.
Gray, his loss. And the rumors about gangs coming together to target law
officials like I don`t think that`s true. That hasn`t been my experience
working in the community in my conversations…
HAYES: Chris, these – the gangs in Baltimore have obviously caused a
lot of bloodshed, a lot of violence. There has been a source of a lot of
havoc on the streets. What is the way forward, do you think, when you talk
to young people about how you transform the basic facts on the ground in
which gangs provide order in a place that often lacks order other than the
order of a police force that comes in?
I think it`s also important to frame the relationship with gangs in
our community, like these gangs were formed because, you know, society for
the most part ostracized these groups and people come together to look out
for each other. Like their interest is in taking care of themselves, their
families and it`s not necessarily about harming others.
So I think that the way forward is for, you know, society to provide
pathways for these people to step out of this lifestyle and gain jobs and
go to school and things like that. I feel like that`s the way out.
HAYES: Chris, I`ve heard conversations – I grew up in the Bronx. My
father is a community organizer in the Bronx in the 1980s when basically
the entire borough of the Bronx was burning down. I`ve heard people
talking about workforce development, pass out jobs. I`ve heard that for 30
years. I`ve heard people talking about it on the west side of Chicago.
I`ve heard people talk about it in the Bronx. I`ve heard people talk about
it here in Baltimore or in Philadelphia.
And here we are in 2015 and the incarceration rate and the
unemployment rate in a neighborhood like this, basically as high as they`ve
WILSON: Right. I agree with that.
I think that`s a good point. And I think the way we need to move
forward is to try something different. You know, just the whole workforce
development – I think we need to focus more on
entrepreneurship and creating the business that allows the opportunity to
provide jobs for this particular population.
I think that what`s going on right now, that we should focus on the
issues that brought these people here which is police brutality and
inequality in our social systems here, and I think this is also an
opportunity for our leadership to do something different.
Like these issues are happening all over the country. Here`s the
opportunity for our leadership to do something different, to change
policies, to create job opportunities for this particular population.
HAYES: All right. Chris Wilson, thank you very much. We`ll be back
with much more live after this. Don`t go anywhere.
HAYES: All right.
I want to bring in Councilman Brandon Scott who represents District 2,
north and southeast
Councilman, you are quite frustrated, angry last night in talking
about what was going on. What`s your feeling almost 24 hours later?
BRANDON SCOTT, BALTIMORE CITY COUNCILMAN: I`m still quite angry, and
still quite frustrated, but I`m in a little better mood today because I
spent the day out walking with my guys 300 men marched walking from East
Baltimore to West Baltimore and back again talking to folks, interceding
when there are issues, telling folks that we have to restore order and take
control of our neighborhoods again.
HAYES: Are you convinced that this situation is being handled the
best way it possibly could by both the mayor and the governor?
SCOTT: From what I can – what I saw out there today, I think it`s
been handled as best as
possible. I`m not going to Monday morning quarterback, but also I wasn`t
out there looking and critiquing today. I was out there today not just as
a council member, but as a citizen, as a man in this
community trying to step up and do my duties as a man to protect women and
children, protect neighborhoods in this city.
So I wasn`t out there looking as a government official and critiquing.
I was out there as a citizen today.
HAYES: Are there efforts being undertaken tonight to try to sort of
go out and bring the evening to a calm resolution, given the curfew that is
set to kick in at 10:00 p.m.?
SCOTT: That`s what we were doing all day today. And we just hope
that has an impact. We hope that has an impact and we hope we don`t have
any issues. We think that folks are starting to get the message of
peacefulness. We saw little children out there today cleaning up their
neighborhood – women, old ladies, old men, young people, college students.
So that is the great thing. That is Baltimore. And I want everyone to
know, that is the true Baltimore.
Baltimore is known as Charm City, and the charm in Baltimore are the
HAYES: All right.
Councilman Brandon Scott, thank you very much for your time tonight.
I really appreciate it.
SCOTT: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. We have got a lot of folks here who have a lot to
say. I want to bring in this young lady. What`s your name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ranita.
HAYES: Ranita, where are you from?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am from Washington, D.C.. And I`ve living in
Baltimore attending college, Morgan State University.
HAYES: You go to Morgan State. You`ve been out here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, sir.
HAYES: What do you think about what`s going on today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, what I feel is that we are in a
neighborhood where a lot of
of these people are oppressed. They have limited resources and they do not
really have a good sense of how to channel their energy and their
Their frustrations are stemming from a long history of injustices that
they`ve been subjected to and now they are acting out.
HAYES: But I`ve heard that. And I think that`s – a lot of people
who would agree with you. But I also feel like a lot of people, what that
gentleman was saying to me before is, Freddie Gray died, people got angry,
they got upset. We saw what happened yesterday after the funeral. People
only are paying attention now because we burnt some things down. Now
you`re here and these camera lights and I am going to go home, and everyone
from the national media is going to go home, and college students might
graduate and leave. And then what?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, that`s the problem.
We need to continue and focus on the positive things because at the
bottom line, we need a change to come from this. We are out here. We are
protesting, but what we need is laws to be changed because innocent lives
are being lost. And it shouldn`t take looting to bring you guys out here
when this is something that`s going on in our Baltimore streets on a day-
So a lot of times the media, you guys are here to cover the negative
looting. However, what about the positives? Today people are out here
collectively working together and collaborating as a
HAYES: Yeah, there`s been a lot of collaboration today.
Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you so much.
HAYES: Mayor Rawlings-Blake actually has had a few different bills
that she`s working with in the state legislature around police reform.
There was a body camera piece of legislation that has hit stumble blocks.
There`s also been some pushes for more transparency in police
We should note that as of now, the City of Baltimore is completely
almost entirely in the hands of the Democratic Party. It`s largely in the
hands of local elected African-American leadership.
Some of the disconnects that we cited if places like Ferguson, or even
cited in a place like North Charleston, which is a place that went for
Barack Obama by 75 percent and has a white Republican mayor who`s been
there for almost two decades, those kinds of political disconnects, those
kinds of gaps between the people doing the representing and the people
represented, they aren`t really quite as in effect here in Baltimore. And
that`s led to a lot of very interesting conversations, a lot of interesting
critiques of local leadership, of what`s been going on in this city.
We will be back with much more live. Don`t go anywhere. After this.
HAYES: Some of the best investigative reporting into police
misconduct and police brutality in the whole country has been done here in
Baltimore by the Baltimore Sun into the Baltimore Police Department.
We`re going to talk to an investigative reporter who works that beat
along with a retired Baltimore Police Officer who worked for decades on
these streets. That`s right after this break.
HAYES: All right. I want to bring into the conversation Mark Fuente
is an investigative reporter for the Baltimore Sun, which as I said has
done some really stellar investigative reporting into the Baltimore Police
And Leon Taylor, who is a retired Baltimore Police Officer who worked
Maybe, Leon, I can start with you. I know you`re a veteran of the
Baltimore Police Department, and I got to tell you, talking to people here,
there was not a lot of positive feeling toward the Baltimore Police
Department, and not just among people that folks watching at home might
describe as young ruffians or hooligans but a wide array of folks.
When you hear people talking about the Baltimore Police Department as,
quote, going hunting in the neighborhood or jacking people up, how does
that make you feel? What is your response to that
having worked on that side of the blue line?
LEON TAYLOR, RETIRED BALTIMORE POLICE OFFICER: I think it`s not
exactly accurate. I think there are times in policing that you have to be
aggressive, but what`s not being said, or what`s not being noticed is that
a lot of police officers on the force are Baltimore residents.
I know quite a few officers that are natives of Baltimore and work and
live in the same areas that are troubled in the city – West Baltimore,
East Baltimore. So I think Baltimore is different. It`s very unique in
that there`s always a connection to the community.
HAYES: Mark, obviously the Baltimore Sun ran this pretty incredible
investigative series about brutality in the department, but there`s a lot
of folks who say, well, you can, you know, point your finger at any major
urban police department in America and turn up something that wouldn`t look
Do you have a sense there`s something particular about the Baltimore
Police Department or
are we just looking at a particularly acute example of the conflicts of
modern urban policing and the war on drugs?
MARK FUENTE, BALTIMORE SUN: Well, I think Baltimore is a little bit
different than what you just described in their own strategic plan that
they put out in 2013 they noted that discipline has never been a priority
within this organization.
This is a large urban police department. There`s a lot of problems in
most urban cities. But as our undue force series pointed out, there was a
lot of heavy handed officers and the city paid millions of dollars, a lot
of folks had injuries and questionable arrests where people were never
charged with a crime.
And this kind of mirrors the Freddie Gray case where people want to
know, what was he stopped for, what led to the foot chase? Where was the
The mayor of this city has questioned the exact same thing.
HAYES: Leon, when you – when you hear people talking about the
Freddie Gray case, I mean, there`s a real just genuine desire for answers
aside for whatever frustration people – and anger people have at the
police. I mean, what do you make of this when we have a guy who suffers a
spinal cord injury in police custody and we still don`t know what happened?
TAYLOR: Well, I think what`s important right now is to wait and let
the investigative process play out. I mean, we also have officers that
suffer injuries making arrests. That`s not to excuse anything because as
with anyone else, we don`t know the entire facts of the case.
But it does happen. Injuries do occur while making arrests. And it`s
just a part of life in policing in Baltimore.
You know, both parties get injured when there`s a subject that flees
from the police. It`s unfortunate. It`s always unfortunate. It`s
extremely unfortunate that it resulted in a death or serious injury.
HAYES: Let me ask you this, having worked in the Baltimore Police
Department, are you
confident that if someone in that department saw something incriminating,
that shouldn`t have been done to Freddie Gray, if, in fact, that`s what
happened and we don`t know, but if a member of the Police Department saw
something, they would come forward and they would blow the whistle on that?
Can you be confident that would happen?
TAYLOR: I think it`s happened before. It`s happened several times
that I know of. When there`s any impropriety, when something is done in
the line of policing that compromises the integrity of other officers, in a
city like Baltimore where you can`t escape the community because you`re
deeply entrenched in it, I think that it behooves an officer their personal
safety even to come forward and state the facts of the case as they know
HAYES: Mark, can you give us a sense, quickly, if will have been
major changes in the trajectory of this department under Commissioner Batts
and under this mayor?
FUENTE: They have made some changes. Reform has been slow. After
our series was published, they asked the DOJ to come in and reform it.
They developed a force investigative team prior to that to investigate
excessive force cases. They vowed to curb misconduct. They say they`re on
the right path.
But on the flip side, there was 156 lawsuits filed in 2013 and 2014
going through the system right now for similar accusations.
HAYES: All right. Mark Fuente from the Baltimore Sun, Leon Taylor,
retired Baltimore Police
Department officer. Thank you, gentlemen both, really appreciate it.
We will be back with more live from Baltimore right after this.
HAYES: All right. We`re almost at an hour until the curfew kicks in
here in Baltimore that`s been set for 10:00 p.m.
Lots of folks here on the street, but it`s a pretty chill atmosphere.
Tyler Dryden is a student here
in Baltimore. What do you make of this scene here right now?
TYLER DRYDEN, STUDENT: I think that, you know, we`re just being as
peaceful as possible. We`re pretty angry about everything that`s been
going on in the city and around the world, you know, for a very long time.
But, you know, we want to see something change. We want to – we want to
you know, police be held accountable. We want to see mayors be held
accountable. You know, that`s ridiculous.
I`m originally from Brooklyn, New York, and we deal with the same
thing there. And I just
think that it`s a shame that we have to, you know, black men keep getting
killed like it`s nothing.
HAYES: Do you feel like the president, President Obama today spoke
about this, and do you
feel like he – he said that basically this isn`t new, we`re just seeing it
more now. You think that`s true?
DRYDEN: Yeah, yeah, definitely. I like that he said that.
But I don`t feel like he advocated for our people as well as he
should. But I do appreciate the fact that he actually – he let it be
known that, you know, it`s been going on for a long time.
HAYES: Are you confident tonight is going to kind of come to a quiet
DRYDEN: You know, it probably will. But the thing is that a lot of
times, the people that are doing these violent acts, they`re not
protesters, they`re juvenile children. You know?
DRYDEN: So you can`t – you can`t – you can`t hold the child
accountable, you know, for violent acts when they`re mad. It`s not all of
HAYES: Yeah. OK. Well, thank you, Tyler. I appreciate it, man.
All right. Night has fallen here in Baltimore. It`s been a long day,
a lot of cleanup activities, a lot of town halls, activation of community
leaders. People have been out in the streets. There`s been drums and horn
sections. There`s been street preachers. There`s been bullhorns. There`s
been DJs. There`s been music. There`s been prayer circles.
There has been a lot of people in the street trying to hold things
together in the wake of last night when I think people in the neighborhood
saw a little vision of something that they really did not want to see
repeated. And that has been basically unanimous.
What`s also been almost nearly unanimous is some sense of
understanding of where the anger
came from that led to last night and continued anger and frustration with
the fact that here we are more than two weeks after Freddie Gray, 25 years
old, was stopped by Baltimore police for reasons that we still don`t know.
Freddie Gray was put into a police van. On a videotape we have, that he
was in that police van for 45 minutes to an hour. And in that time, it –
we know he suffered some kind of spinal injury, that spinal injury led him
to fall into a coma, to go to a hospital where he would die.
And here we are more than two weeks after that day when what was
basically just an everyday occurrence in West Baltimore turned into the
death of this young man. There are still very, very few answers about what
happened to him.
Stay with us for much more live coverage. Rachel Maddow in New York
now picks it up.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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