The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 04/29/15
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Excellent, my
friend. Well done.
Thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour.
It is 9:00 o`clock on the East Coast. We`re just under an hour away
from the second night of a mandatory curfew in the city of Baltimore. In
one hour from now people protesting, ordinary citizens, everybody not going
to or from work or having a medical issue or working as press or law
enforcement – everybody else will be asked and then told for a second
night in a row to go home and clear the streets.
Like last night, law enforcement officials will be allowed to use
discretion at the individual level in terms of whether or not they arrest
they find out past 10:00 p.m. Like last night, we expect law enforcement
will have a plan to handle any large groups of people who are still out
after 10:00 p.m. last night. Police tactics around a large group of people
that was still out in one community in West Baltimore did lead to one
confrontation between police as they sort of took that space back and
protesters who wanted at least for a little while to defy that curfew.
There was one confrontation at a West Philly intersection last night.
About ten arrests citywide at the start of the curfew last night.
But ultimately last night, the curfew did take effect relatively
quickly and relatively easily and the streets were quiet and empty
overnight. That was night one of what is supposed to be a week-long curfew
in Baltimore. Tonight at 10:00 p.m., we will be heading into night two of
That said, today, a spokesperson for Baltimore Mayor Stephanie
Rawlings-Blake said the mayor will consider ending the curfew sooner, not
doing it far whole week, if the mayor believes that circumstances warrant
that. The spokesman said, quote, “The second it comes that we feel the
curfew is not needed anymore, we won`t keep the curfew in place and we
won`t keep the National Guard here, even if it doesn`t last a full seven
Another new ripple in the story that we`re keeping an eye on tonight
is the developing protests in support of what`s going on in Baltimore, in
protest of the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray while in Baltimore
police custody. But these solidarity protests tonight are happening across
This right here is Minneapolis. Right now, you see a pretty large
group of protesters blocking a significant roadway in Minneapolis,
Earlier tonight, the largest protest for a while was in New York City.
This is Union Square tonight in Manhattan, in New York City. Hundreds of
people started gathering late this afternoon at this New York event.
A little bit earlier on in this evening, those protests in New York
City did turn confrontational. Law enforcement started arresting people at
the protests that had started in Union Square. Police had handed out
flyers to protesters saying they would arrest people if they stood in the
street or if they blocked traffic even pedestrian traffic. Some of that
We do not yet know how many arrests there were in downtown Manhattan
today and tonight, but we are monitoring the situation on the ground in New
York. We`re going to have a live report in just a moment.
We`ve also been getting footage in from other protests around the
country today, significant rallies and marches in Boston, Massachusetts.
What we`re told, about 500 people turned out. Also, Washington, D.C.,
which is only about 40 miles away from Baltimore. Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
and Minneapolis, as you saw there, Minneapolis, the group organizing those
protests said they were expecting more than 2,000 to show up to their
protest in solidarity with Baltimore. This is the view of that protest
In Boston, as I said, it was about 500 people protesting on a march
throughout the city today. Specifically, protesters in Boston calling for
a drawdown of the National Guard in Baltimore.
In Washington, D.C., a group of roughly the same number, about 500
people, marched from Chinatown to the White House, demanding that D.C.
officers who were sent to Baltimore be called back home to D.C.
In Baltimore tonight, the law enforcement presence is big. It
includes the military as well, but it`s roughly about 2,000 National Guard
troops deployed there now alongside Baltimore police and a Baltimore police
contingent that has been augmented by additional police from a bunch of
neighboring states and jurisdictions.
Now, when you think about that, lots of police and even troops, it can
be nervous making to imagine lots of outsiders, lots of strangers to
Baltimore flooding this, you know, city on the edge, right? The already
very tense streets of this city, it can be nervous making to imagine law
enforcement officers being there when they don`t know the city, when
they`re not familiar with it and when certainly none of the protesters know
That said, even with this big presence today in Baltimore of National
Guard troops and Baltimore police and police from lots of other places,
honestly the day to day in Baltimore was celebratory and almost entirely
peaceful today. There were big peaceful protests that moved through the
city of Baltimore late this afternoon and into tonight. There`s a big
protest that started at Penn Station, which is the city`s main train
station in Baltimore, and that march went from the train station to
Baltimore City Hall.
At the corner of Pennsylvania and North in West Baltimore, where a CVS
store was burned and looted on the first night of rioting where some of the
largest crowds had gathered on each day of this crisis this week, today on
that corner, the library opened up, did its library stuff as usual. A
community church group set up an impromptu playground with a bounce house
and at one point, a hot dog stand handing out free hot dogs. It`s a
celebratory mood, almost a festival-type atmosphere.
Baltimore schools were back in session today after being closed
yesterday. Transit was reopened throughout the city today. The governor
of Maryland today announced that 200 businesses throughout Baltimore do
remain closed as of tonight but that Baltimore is trying to get everything
reopened and cleaned up.
That said, protests do continue over the weekend, and there has been
protests throughout the day today in Baltimore over Freddie Gray`s death in
Baltimore police custody. And again, we are awaiting that curfew at 10:00
p.m. Eastern Time, less than an hour from now, to see if the calm will hold
tonight as id did for the most part last night and certainly today.
In total, Baltimore police say the arrest count today was a total of
16 adults and two juveniles. There have been more than 200 people arrested
in total over the past three days, most of them arrested on Monday. One of
the things we`re going to be checking in with tonight is the status of all
those people who have been arrested, when they`re getting out and how their
treatment and arrests may affect the mood in the city particularly as they
get back out.
So, there`s a lot to figure out about what is going to happen in
Baltimore, what is going to happen nationwide in response to this Freddie
Gray case. There`s a lot to understand about what has happened already as
this big American city copes with the state of emergency and the National
Guard in the streets after all those fires and all that looting and all
But for all of the images that we have, for all the facts that we have
about the number of law enforcement officials on the ground and the number
of arrests and where protesters are right now at this very moment, honestly
for everything that we can discern in our reporting, nobody can really tell
you right now what happens next in Baltimore.
If you`re looking for foreseeable benchmarks for when things might
happen and what things might happen, in this story we don`t know what the
benchmarks are going to be. For example, we were told today by police
there`s no time line for when the public might expect to hear updates about
the police investigation into Freddie Gray`s death. The police say they
will give information to the local prosecutor about the police
investigation into Freddie Gray`s death. They`ll give that information to
the local prosecutor on Friday, but don`t expect to see any of it. The
public won`t see any of that information. There`s no reason to expect that
what happens on Friday will give the public any information that they do
not already have about this case.
We also do not yet know when the state autopsy on Freddie Gray`s body
will be made public. In terms of the prosecutor, we, of course, don`t know
if or when anybody will be charged in Freddie Gray`s death and if they are
charged what they will be charged with. We don`t even know when that
decision will be made. We don`t have any advice on that subject at all.
We don`t know how long the National Guard will be deployed in
Baltimore. We don`t even know how many more days to expect this 10:00 p.m.
curfew, and the National Guard in the streets in military Humvees and
We can tell you what`s happened thus far. We can show you what`s
happening now, but we don`t know what the arc is in terms of how this is
going to go from here on out. Nobody does.
What we know is that Baltimore is out there protesting in large
crowds, they have done so today as a community. They did so today and
yesterday, and almost without exception, they did so peacefully. We know
We know now that in cities like Minneapolis, which we`re showing you
right now, there have been relatively large gatherings, marches and rallies
in solidarity with the people in Baltimore and in protest of Freddie Gray`s
We can show you what`s happening. We cannot tell you what`s going to
happen. We do know the curfew goes into effect in Baltimore at 10:00.
Trymaine Lee is a national reporter with MSNBC. He walked with the
big Baltimore march today that started at Baltimore`s train station at Penn
Station and then went to Baltimore City Hall.
Trymaine, thanks very much for joining us. Good to have you.
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: Thank you for having me.
MADDOW: So, the protests that you were part of today, Trymaine, can
you tell us sort of the character was of the protest and what happened when
it arrived at its march destination?
LEE: I`ll tell you what, Rachel? This – the mood of this march
earlier today – this protest, was much different than what we`ve seen. It
was perhaps the most diverse crowd you`ve ever seen. It was billed as a
march for, you know, high school and college students. Most of them seem
to bending towards college age, white, black, younger and older.
They were excited. They were jubilant, marching from Penn Station to
city hall. Now, when they got to city hall they kind of erupted in chants,
chants they had been chanting all the way, that they`ll fight all night and
all day for Freddie Gray.
But like you said, who knows what happens next. Even though people
says there seem s to be a normalcy, settling back in, that`s what concerns
many people, that what normal here in Baltimore is terrible, when you look
at the disparity, the economic issues. When you go to West Baltimore and
you see how people are living and surviving and struggling, no wonder why
there`s such a conflict between the police and the community.
And so, as you mentioned again, what`s next, nobody knows? They seem
to be focused on, at least pushing for some sort of change, whatever that
looks like. But again, you mentioned another thing about Friday, the
release of information. A lot of people expected this information to give
us some insight into what happened to Freddie Gray, how his voice box was
crushed, how his spine was snapped. That doesn`t seem to be the case now.
And I talked to a couple people who said, you know what, if we don`t
get answers soon and this doesn`t play out, it could get worse before it
gets any better at all.
And to that point, I want to bring in April Love. She`s a Baltimore
resident. She`s from here.
And we talked a little bit about this. And, April, I want to ask you,
there`s been so much turmoil in this community, especially in the last
week. Folks were hoping that on Friday, we might get something, some
How are you feeling about the process? Do you think that the
authorities are acting in good faith or do you think they`re trying to
perhaps drag their feet on this?
APRIL LOVE, BALTIMORE RESIDENT: I feel like the process has taken too
long. The system is corrupt. It`s been long going. It`s been decades of
this, you know?
And I feel it would be a major disappointment to the city of
Baltimore. I`m from Baltimore City, born and raised. So, I have
experienced everything that we`re going through. We all out here, everyone
out here – we`re Freddie Gray. It could be any one of us, and the ones
that lead up to us.
It would be a major disappointment to wait this long for them to sweep
this murder under the rug, just tell us absolutely nothing.
LEE: Do you get the sense in the turmoil we`ve been in and the ashes
literally in this community, and young people expressing themselves in
sometimes violent and destructive ways and some young people that are
building and these two forces in the city – do you get the sense there`s
something important happening here in a way to move the city and the
LOVE: I definitely feel like it`s a major, a major, like, movement in
the city. We definitely need it because a lot of the youth have been
forgotten. You know, we vote these politicians in office and then they get
comfortable, and they forget about who you were in office for. You have to
be for the people. Come out, talk to your people. Talk to the youth.
Talk to us. Let us know you care about us, you know?
We`re not sitting here doing this for nothing. We`re trying to voice
out. Some of us don`t know how to express ourselves, so we do it in ways
that may be destructive. But at the end of the day we want answers. We
need accountability – accountability across the board.
LEE: Do you think people understand? People across the country, when
they see images we saw Monday night, a bunch of young people out, buildings
burning, do you get the sense people outside of this community and outside
of communities that are in similar situations, really understand the sense
of isolation, the hopelessness that so many young people have especially?
LOVE: I`m going to tell you what? Coming out of the high school of
Douglass, to come out of a high school and see armed guards with machine
guns in front of kids, that`s not showing us that you care about us. It`s
only let me know you care about what is going on to help you look better.
LEE: There we have it, Rachel, the kind of capturing the sense of
what I`ve been hearing all day. Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Trymaine Lee, with April Love, life-long Baltimore resident.
Trymaine, thank you. And, Ms. Love, thank you. That was good to hear.
MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid is also out on the streets of
Joy, thanks for being with us. Tell us what you`ve been seeing
tonight. We`re about 45 minutes away from the second night of curfew
JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Rachel, I could not
hear your question. It`s quite loud here and a motorcycle just went by.
So, I didn`t hear your question. Can you ask it again?
MADDOW: The best news is that it was really generic. I know where
are you and what have you been seeing, Joy?
REID: OK. Yes, it`s been surreal scenes here, Rachel. You know, you
never get used to seeing Humvees and armored tanks on the streets of an
American city. When we got to Pennsylvania and North, which is a very
bustling area on an ordinary day, but has this sort of extra atmosphere of
things happening. I don`t know if you can see it, but there`s an impromptu
protest going on behind us, somebody pulled up in a van that is essentially
a mobile prison cell so people are out here with signs, out here making
And there was this heavy police presence earlier in the day that then
just sort of picked up and left. We saw these convoys leaving, going to
where these protests that Trymaine Lee was just reporting on were.
So, now that night has fallen and we`re within an hour of the curfew,
there are still a lot of people out here on the street, a lot of people
still out here expressing their views about what happened.
I actually met a young lady who`s also named April, coincidentally
enough. I want to bring her over.
And, April, we were talking earlier about seeing this city in this
state and so much attention on it. What do you expect to happen when the
attention goes away? What is the city like when we`re not here?
APRIL: I expect it to be the great city that it is. I expect our
communities to pull together even more, to build them up, to repair what
was broken, to fix these policies in place that don`t protect us, that
don`t reach out to us.
We are the city. The youth is the city and the future. And hopefully
all of you guys bringing attention to this issue will make those changes.
REID: And what do you want city leaders to do differently? There`s
ban lot of criticism of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for using the term
“thug.” She`s had to walk back some information like the idea it was going
to be some sort of release to the public on Friday. That is not the case
What do you want to see city leaders do differently?
APRIL: I want them to step up and not take it as an attack on them
but take it as a charge to do what you were elected to do, do what you were
put in place to do. Make the city safe.
It`s already profitable. Make it safe. Make it thrive. Use it as a
chance to stop this cycle of our young men being shot down, being killed,
being hurt by police unjustly. Use it as a chance to change.
REID: And so, Rachel, as you can see, all of the Aprils I think are
pretty much of one accord. This reflects what we`ve heard all day long,
when we`re talking to young men, young women in this community that was
hurting long before anyone burned the CVS, quite frankly.
There are a lot of buildings with no window, boarded-up window,
systemic poverty. You can walk one long block from where I`m standing
right now and see buildings that are uninhabitable. It`s hard to believe
in a modern city like this with Johns Hopkins University just basically a
stone`s throw away, that there`s so much hurt here.
So, I think what we`re hearing is pretty much what you`ve heard
tonight, that people want to see the city leaders step up, they want to see
change, they want to see justice for Freddie Gray and his family but they
want more than that. It`s become bigger than just him.
Back to you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Joy, thank you very much. Good to have you guys out there
tonight, especially given the contrast of what we`re seeing there, where
Joy was in that neighborhood, this time last night, we were seeing a very,
very, very large police presence already ahead of the start of the first
night of the curfew.
As Joy was explaining there had been a big police presence there
before. There does not seem to be now. We don`t know exactly how police
are planning on enforcing the curfew tonight on the second night. They
were clear about how they were going to do it last night.
But we don`t know how this is going go. A lot of people are still out
on the streets. Less than 45 minutes from when they are supposed to be off
the streets. So, we`ll see.
In Baltimore today, I think the very important point is that people
are still angry about Freddie Gray, people are still interested in
protesting to show their anger about what happened with Freddie Gray and
other things they`re dissatisfied with in the city.
But 99 percent of the way I can say that yesterday what happened and
today what happened including this big march that happened late in the
afternoon and early evening tonight is very peaceful.
We`re not seeing a lot of arrests at all. We`re going to get some
interesting information coming up later on this hour about what has
happened to the several hundred people who were arrested on the first day
of protests on Monday that were very violent. But that`s all ahead and
this curfew is coming about 42 minutes from now in Baltimore.
Stay with us. It`s another really big news day today. We have more
ahead on Baltimore, but we`ve also got more on news happening elsewhere.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: So, the nation`s eyes are on Baltimore for obvious reasons.
But the protest, the reaction to the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore
police custody is becoming more than a Baltimore story. This is a scene
right now in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can see a pretty large group of
protesters we`ve been keep an eye on the chopper shots that we`ve had of
this protest tonight over the course of the evening. This protest has been
going for a while. It`s been moving through the city of Minneapolis. At
times, it has blocked some pretty major roads and intersections. Again,
we`re keeping an eye on that demonstration in Minneapolis.
And we have seen some pretty good-sized demonstrations popping up
across the country tonight. One of those right now, can we drop that bug
actually so we can see on the feature (ph)– thank you. On the bottom side
of your screen you can see a pretty large crowd gathered outside the White
House in Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Boston, Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
there`s been a number of cities around the country where there have been
pretty good-sized protests.
The story seems to be getting more nationalized as the days go on.
We`ll continue to keep an eye on these demonstrations tonight, including
one in New York that had some arrests earlier this evening.
We`ll keep you posted. Stay with us.
MADDOW: So, we`re now just under 40 minutes away from a mandatory
curfew that`s set to go into place on the streets of Baltimore on the
second straight night. That curfew means anybody on the streets after
10:00 p.m. without a legitimate reason is subject to arrest, whether they
are alone or as any sort of group.
The Baltimore police warned explicitly last night they would enforce
that curfew and they did. They made about ten arrests. Very shortly after
the curfew went into effect last night, overall, they made about 35 arrests
during the curfew overnight between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Those 35
arrests came on top of more than 200 arrests that police made the day
before on Monday during that day of really heavy rioting and violence and
And, you know, there is a practical question of what you do with all
the people you`ve arrested all at once. In Baltimore, it`s not like the
criminal justice system was hanging around doing nothing with lots of extra
capacity laying around, before they got this influx of several hundred new
arrestees to deal with on Monday.
That big influx has put a strain on the whole criminal justice system
today. Courts today went to maximum staffing to try to process people
through the system. People have been held a long time already without even
being charged. Well, a number of the arrestees finally started appearing
in a Baltimore courthouse early today to officially face charges. But
there are dozens more people who police essentially didn`t get the paper
work in place for.
There`s a 48-hour window in which you can be held without officially
being charged, because they were getting close to the end of that window,
officials suggested they might have to start releasing people who they`d
arrested on Monday but who were getting close to hitting that 48-hour mark,
even though they haven`t been charged. Police in Baltimore warned about
that earlier today and late tonight, 101 protesters who had been arrested
were allowed to go free all at once.
A hundred and one people were allowed to walk. They were not charged.
Police officials were quick to say that does not mean those individuals
should think of themselves as being in the clear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY BATTS, BALTIMORE POLICE COMMISSIONER: We`ve come up on a time
line. We are still releasing them with future prosecution in mind.
REPORTER: Do you expect some of them, most of them, all of them so to
eventually be charged?
BATTS: Oh, we`re not giving up on them. We`re going to follow up.
The system right now is trying to catch up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: System right now is trying to catch up. Couldn`t get them
charged in time so tonight 100 of them at least are out.
NBC News correspondent Rehema Ellis spent some time today at the
juvenile court, meeting with families of a number of young people who were
arrested in the protests and rioting this week.
Rehema, thanks very much for joining us tonight. It`s good to have
REHEMA ELLIS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: For sure.
One thing I should tell you right off the bat about the juveniles
arrested, anywhere between 35 and some 40, it depends on the numbers that
they`re looking at, wouldn`t think that – heard from the public defenders
– because it`s the public defender`s office handling most of these cases
because people don`t have the money to pay for private lawyers – 21 of
those 35 or 40 cases public defenders tell me are kids who have been
arrested who have no prior criminal record.
ELLIS: So, that notion that these are thugs in terms of those
juveniles, some mother whom I talk to, they bristled at that
characterization, even some fathers I talked to, they bristle at it too.
They said people have to remember these are someone`s kids. And they may
have been misguided, they may have walk in the wrong place at the wrong
time, but they did not appreciate that title.
And again remembering they have no prior criminal record. That`s 21
of the 35.
MADDOW: I`m sorry, go ahead. I was going to ask you of the 35 to 40,
do we know if all of those kids are going to end up getting charged or is
that still an open question at this point?
ELLIS: Well, what`s happening is that they had a mandate to try and
process today. They normally have between one and two courts operating in
the juvenile detention court system. Today they say they`ve put on two to
three courts with judges on the bench dealing with these cases because they
wanted to process them through. We were over there until court just about
ended today. It was a long day for many parents who came in at 9:00 and
they didn`t see their kids until 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 in the evening because
they wanted to get them processed.
That meant this was a bail hearing day. And so, they determined that
they would be released in their parents` custody for many of these kids and
they will be back in court in 30 days to answer to the charges.
And what are those charges? Burglary. That`s a euphemism as you know
for basically looting. Disorderly conduct, what could mean throwing rocks
or something of that nature. Then some of these kids are saying they just
got swept up in the moment. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time
and the police were coming through and sweeping people up and some parents
feel that their kids got swept up that way.
MADDOW: Rehema, do we know anything from the kids or their families
or anybody else that`s been able to observe it about the conditions of
confinement these kids were held in? Obviously, a lot of these kids were
held for some considerable amount of time. Are there complaints about the
way they were held or the circumstances in which they were held?
ELLIS: We talked to a young man and he was very shy about it. His
dad was standing next to him and his dad was unhappy about the fact that he
had been arrested.
And he talked about he was in a small room, it was a small cot, it was
such a small cot that he literally took his blanket and slept on the floor
because it was so uncomfortable.
These kids were shackled. I saw these kids come out of detention
after they were going into the court and to go into the court they had
shackles, chains on their ankles.
Now, we see a lot of these plastic bracelets that the officers had out
here. They didn`t have plastic bracelets on these kids` ankles. They had
shackles on them.
Young man told me he felt like he was in a cage and that that`s what
they do to animals, they put chains on animals. It was very humiliating,
it was demoralizing. He said it was something he hopes – it never
happened to him before and hopes it never happens to him again.
This was a very difficult situation for – these were essentially
children. When you`re teenagers you don`t like to be called a child but
they are essentially children, under 18 years old and some have never been
through this kind of treatment before.
The public defender`s office, they also bristle at it. They think
that these kids shouldn`t have to be treated this way. But it is tough
treatment. Once you get picked up and swept up in the juvenile justice
system, there aren`t a whole lot of kid gloves used to treat these kids.
That`s one of the reasons why so many people are saying we`ve got to
do the right thing. People have got to be providing the kind of services
and the kind of education and the kind of guidance that these kids need so
they don`t get caught up in this, because it`s a very difficult system and
it can be very demeaning for a young person to go through.
MADDOW: NBC News correspondent Rehema Ellis, really, really valuable
information. Definitely those numbers you got from the public defender`s
office, I haven`t heard those anywhere else. Thanks for helping us
understand it. I appreciate it.
Again, Rehema Ellis there spending time today at the juvenile court.
These are important numbers. She`s saying of the 35 to 40 juveniles who
have been arrested in the protests and the rioting this week, she`s told
that 21 of those kids have no prior criminal records whatsoever, no prior
This is their first contact with the criminal justice system and they
are getting into the criminal justice system at these the sharp end of it.
Kids held overnight, held in shackles, in difficult conditions of
confinement, and facing serious charges including burglary, disorderly
conduct and a lot of other things that have been charged en masse among
these hundreds of arrests that have resulted from these protests and from
All right. We`ve got more ahead tonight. Some of it from Baltimore,
some of it not, but we`re about 29 minutes away from the curfew.
Please do stay with us.
MADDOW: A couple things going on right now. In a moment, we may have
the first information we`ve yet had about the investigation into the death
of Freddie Gray. We`re working to confirm that information right now, but
we may have that for you in just a moment. So, I`m going to want you to
stay with us for that.
The other thing that`s going on right now. This right now is a live
shot of Times Square in New York City. As you see, police out there in
pretty significant numbers. The reason police are out in significant
numbers is because there have been arrests just in the last few minutes at
this ongoing street protests against the death of Freddie Gray that`s been
happening in the last several hours in New York City.
This is – I think we`ve got some footage of some arrests in Times
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
MADDOW: OK. Again, this is just within the last couple of minutes,
last few minutes in New York City in Times Square. Obviously, a rough
confrontation there between protesters and police.
We`ll keep you posted as we continue to keep an eye on those protests.
Plus, we`ve got some news coming in just a moment, some new breaking news,
newly reported information about the investigation into the death of
Please stay with us. We`ll be right back with that.
MADDOW: Congressman Elijah Cummings was speaking with reporters
moments ago at Pennsylvania and North. He`s been up there consistently
throughout protests, trying to both keep things peaceful and also last
night and now tonight, encouraging people to leave the streets and not run
afoul of the curfew.
Can we listen in a little bit on this?
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: Please, I beg you, I`m not
asking, I`m begging. It`s very important that we keep the peace. We`ve
got to keep the peace. We`ve got to keep the peace.
MADDOW: Congressman Cummings have been a frequent, almost constant
presence in the streets in Baltimore, talking to people, trying to get them
both to remain peaceful, to channel their anger and specifically, he has
been overt, working one-on-one, sometimes behind a bull horn, sometimes
just making the case face-to-face with individual people to pay attention
to the curfew to stay clear of police and to avoid the kind of
confrontations that are going to get people arrested.
You don`t often see members of Congress doing that kind of personal
one on one work, but he`s been doing that a couple days. We`re keeping an
eye on this situation. Obviously, the curfew goes into effect very
shortly, in less than 20 minutes now in Baltimore. But we`re still seeing
quite a few people out on the streets.
Police say they will enforce the curfew. So, anybody out after 10:00
will be risking arrest.
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: OK. We`re keeping an eye on what`s going on in Baltimore in
the streets right now as we come up on that 10:00 p.m. start of the second
night of a curfew in the streets – 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. is supposed to
be the court few throughout the city. It was enforced without much
occasion last night. We`ll see tonight whether or not it`s also – it goes
as easy. As you see, there are still some people on the streets and
they`re getting close to that deadline.
As we keep an eye on those live pictures, though, I want to tell you
about new information we`re getting in courtesy of “The Washington Post”
within the last half an hour.
All right. The Freddie Gray arrest and the Freddie Gray killing which
led to this, it was the proximate cause of this arrest in Baltimore. The
arrest happened on April 12th. If you know anything about this story, you
know that Mr. Gray was arrested for a reason that`s still rather murky. He
was taken into custody by Baltimore police.
You see that footage here. He`s limp as they bring him into the back
of a police van. By the time he ended up getting out of that police van –
by the time that police van arrived at its destination at the police
station, he was unconscious.
This happened on April 12th. Freddie Gray then went into a coma and
he died on April 19th. His family says that when he died, his spinal cord
was nearly severed and they believe that whatever killed him happened to
him after he was taken into custody either before he was put into that van
or once he was in that van.
Well, now, what has happened this evening is that for the first time
some information has surfaced about what maybe the police investigation
into Freddie Gray`s death. An investigative document obtained by “The
Washington Post”, it`s apparently an affidavit that`s part of an
application for a search warrant. The search warrant is seeking the
seizure of a uniform worn by one of the officers that was involved in the
The search warrant application says investigators are saying Freddie
Gray`s DNA might be found on the officer`s clothes. They`re asking for the
officer`s uniform. There`s an affidavit filed as part of that search
warrant which “The Washington Post” says was given to them, quote, “under
the condition that the person who gave the affidavit would not be named
because the person who provided the document feared for that person`s
So, a lot of ambiguity and cloak and dagger as to where this affidavit
came from, but it is reportedly from a prisoner who was also in the van at
the same time as Freddie Gray.
According to “The Washington Post,” this is a prisoner who is
currently in jail who was separated from Freddie Gray inside that van by a
metal partition and could not see him, but that prisoner sharing that
police transport van according to this affidavit has told investigators
that he could hear Freddie Gray, according to “The Washington Post,”
banging against the walls of the vehicle. The prisoner believed that
Freddie Gray was intentionally trying to injure himself.
Again, this affidavit was written by a Baltimore police investigator
in support of a search warrant that`s being sought in conjunction with the
Baltimore police investigation into Freddie Gray`s death. Obviously, it`s
a very inflammatory claim.
The family of Freddie Gray, their attorneys say the family have never
been told about the prisoner`s comments to investigators. One attorney for
the family says we disagree with any implication that Freddie severed his
own spinal cord, we question the accuracy of the police reports we`ve seen
thus far, including the police report that says Mr. Gray was arrested
without force or incident.
Police say they will give preliminary results of their investigation
into Freddie Gray`s death to a local prosecutor on Friday. Police also
said today the public will not see that when it happens on Friday, but this
leak to “The Washington Post” tonight, which basically claims that Freddie
Gray was injured at his own hand, that`s the first we have seen from inside
Leaks like this always serve somebody`s purpose. We have no idea who
gave this to “The Washington Post” or what their interests are in having
done so. But “The Post” has just published this within the last half hour,
as we watch the streets of Baltimore tonight, 14 minutes away from the
curfew going to affect for a second straight night.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: Things seem to be changing on the ground tonight on the
streets of Baltimore. Baltimore had its first-ever or first in this
incident curfew last night went into effect 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., mostly
without incident. Baltimore`s due to be looking at that curfew again –
I`m just trying to see what we`re looking at there.
Baltimore is looking to be starting that curfew again in 12 minutes.
As you can see, there is a lot of media but also a lot of folks out on the
street tonight still in Baltimore as we get close to the curfew. That`s –
CUMMINGS: No violence, no violence.
MADDOW: – Congressman Elijah Cummings –
CUMMINGS: Time to go home.
MADDOW: – telling people it`s time to go home. He did this last
night both face-to-face and on a bull horn when he could to try to get
people to clear out and get home and to avoid being arrested just for
violating the curfew or for any sort of confrontation.
Keeping an eye on that as Baltimore bear downs on this curfew,
Congressman Cummings has been right in the middle of this for the last
We`re also keeping an eye on New York City where there have been a
number of arrests as the protest has move through the city. Starting in
Union Square today, in Times Square more recently tonight.
MSNBC reporter Amanda Sakuma has been with protesters tonight,
watching their confrontations with police and what else they`ve been doing
to get their message across.
Amanda, what`s going on in Times Square now? And how has it been
AMANDA SAKUMA, MSNBC REPORTER: Good evening, Rachel.
We`re here in New York City`s iconic Times Square where we just saw
two protest groups come together. They were in separate factions. They
had been split up after a peaceful protest that began in Union Square.
They`ve tried to march when police blocked the roadways and many of the
crowds had to disperse and go in different directions. Well, they`re
uniting here now in Union Square.
And with me, I have protesters Brian Caster (ph) who has been out
marching with the folks here.
Tell me, Brian – why are you out here and what is your message?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we are here in solidarity, but all people
across America who are getting beaten down by the police, by the state. We
understand and, you know, that it`s really a big price going on everywhere.
And with the murder of Freddie Gray, it`s something that it cannot be
taken lightly. It`s something that we need to understand as people here in
the United States that, you know, there`s something wrong. There`s
something wrong that`s deeply rooted and we definitely need to come
together. Especially in times like this and join the protest.
SAKUMA: So, what do you hope to get out of this evening and out of
these protests? What is the lasting message that you want to have?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For all voices heard. For voices heard, you know?
We know that the action, our voices are heard. And so, we are here to
inspire movement and help move forward.
SAKUMA: Thank you, Brian.
Rachel, we are here with the protests here in Times Square, where
there are masses amounts of people. It started with hundreds in Union
Square who are gathering.
We heard from Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner who was killed
this summer and they are bringing this message as they have been marching
all day. It does not appear that they will be ending anytime soon here in
New York City.
Back to you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Amanda Sakuma, in Times Square, live with New York City
protests. Amanda, thank you.
Stay with us, folks, as we`ve been keeping an eye there and seeing
some rough arrests and rough confrontations between protesters and police
in New York City.
We`re also keeping an eye obviously on Baltimore, where we`re closing
in on that 10:00 p.m. curfew. And we`re starting to see that large police
presence on the streets again, particularly in places where people have
been gathering over the last couple of days.
Congressman Elijah Cummings is out there in person, trying to get
people to respect the curfew and go home and avoid confrontation with
We`re bearing down on it. It`s about 8 minutes away from when the
streets are supposed to be empty. We`ll be with Joy Reid right at that
intersection and some of the other reporters live on the ground right after
Stay with us.
MADDOW: It`s about five minutes to 10:00 p.m. on the East Coast right
now. You`re looking at a live shot of that key intersection in West
Baltimore that we`ve been keeping an eye on the last couple of days. That
has been a sight of both protests and also lot of community gathering and
people coming together as the protests have continued and the reaction to
Monday`s violence and rioting. It`s happened in part in the streets and a
significant part at this intersection of Pennsylvania and North in West
MSNBC`s Joy Reid is there now.
As police seem to be, Joy, taking up more space in anticipation of the
start of this curfew just a couple of minutes from now.
REID: I can`t hear.
MADDOW: Can joy not here me?
Go ahead, Joy.
REID: Rachel, I can tell you about 20 minutes ago, there was a
protest that was taking place, if we can swing around here, Tony, swing us
around – right in that area, next to the art social club. There was a
protest that was happening, actually, while I was on with you and it was
going along swimmingly. We got closer and closer to that 10:00 curfew
Congressman Elijah Cummings, who actually lives a couple of blocks
away from here, he lives in this neighborhood, came out with a bull horn to
try to disperse that protest and urge people to go home.
As you saw, he gave an impromptu press conference. He talked about
the fact that he loved this community, this is his community, these are his
people. And he started urging people to go.
There was a group of younger protesters who were pretty vehement about
not going. And I remember when we were on earlier, there were a lot of
people. This was very crowded and with less than a half an hour to go
So, Congressman Cummings and another pastor have been walking around,
urging people to just go home. And there has been some back and forth
between police and these protesters.
And if we swing around this way, Tony, can we go this way?
There`s a line of police that came and began to form in this area.
First, they formed a solid, straight line. Now you see them here. Behind
them is a sound truck. And that has been described to me as something
incredibly unpleasant. Hopefully, it will not be used, but the police have
been pretty restrained. There had been what looked like sort of minor
But so far, we have essentially a standoff between people who are not
going home and community leaders, including their congressman, Elijah
Cummings, who are urging people to go.
MADDOW: Joy, I`m not sure if you can hear me. Can you hear me now as
I`m talking to you?
REID: I do hear you now. Yes, I do.
MADDOW: The voice that we can hear in the background there, sounds
like an amplified voice, is that somebody talking to the crowd about what
they ought to do? What`s going on there?
REID: Yes. So we have, in this area, a community leader, if you can
see. I don`t know if you can make out the gentleman that`s got a backwards
cap on. He is one of the community leaders that`s been urging people to
The other person with the bull horn, that`s Elijah Cummings.
CUMMINGS: We love you. We`re proud of Baltimore. We are a great
city. We are a peaceful city. We are a peaceful city.
REID: Elijah Cummings has been walking around. He`s been
circulating, it`s been a little over 20 minutes he`s been walking around,
going to various groups of young men and just really urging them, go home,
The crowd is getting smaller now. There were actually a few of the
young men themselves who were chanting go home and urging people to get out
of this square and go home. And so, it`s thinning out a little bit, but as
you can see, there are still some persistent people and they are still here
and clearly they are not abiding by the curfew.
MADDOW: And, Joy, when you`re hearing those arguments and young
people are arguing back saying we don`t want to love, what is the case
they`re making that they shouldn`t leave? What are they saying?
REID: Yes. I mean, people essentially are taking issue with the idea
they can`t be in these streets.
This is a residential area where people live and there is some
defiance. I think some of it is young men, guys who were part of that
protest that started earlier this evening. It went on for quite a while.
It built up pretty loud.
And they essentially decided that they were not going to abide by the
curfew. People weren`t really giving sort of the reason why. There were
just skirmishes between groups of people who were saying essentially now.
And Congressman Cummings is still out here. He`s walking around with
this bull horn and a member of his staff and another local leader, the
pastor. I don`t know what`s going on over there. Now we have people kind
of moving quickly.
I mean, issue too here, Rachel, is that you know and you reported
earlier, there were issues with being able to process the very few people
who were detained yesterday. There`s a lot more people. So we`re just
sort of taking a wait and see attitude to see what`s happened as the crowd
– I mean, a lot of this is press, but there are a lot of people here, too,
that are just not dispersing.
MADDOW: Joy Reid, you`re doing great work. Stay where you are as
best as you can, obviously. Stay safe.
We`re going to go back into the night as we see this curfew go into
effect. Great work, Joy. Well done.
And that curfew is now in effect in Baltimore. You see Joy Reid.
We`ve got other reporters out there in the middle of it in Baltimore right
Our coverage continues now with Lawrence O`Donnell.
Good evening, Lawrence.
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