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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  May 1, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm PDT

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that are locking people up for no apparent reason and leading to officers abusing their power and ultimately killing people. >> all right. michael skolnik, editor and chief of thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> that's it for me. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." brooke baldwin is in baltimore. she picks up cnn's special coverage right now. want to welcome our viewers in the united states and all around the world. you're watching cnn's special live coverage here from baltimore. i'm brooke baldwin. this is a different city today than what we have felt really for the better part of the last week. much of the frustration replaced with a lot of satisfaction here. the calls for justice may actually be quieted for today after the unexpectedly swift action here by the state's attorney. she's the city's chief prosecutor. she's marilyn mosby. four months on the job.
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steps from where i am now just in front of the war memorial here across the way from city hall she announced that her office filed 28 criminal charges against the officers who mosby stressed wrongfully arrested freddie gray back on april 12th. minutes ago, baltimore's mayor responded to that late-breaking development. >> as mayor, i have said from the beginning that no one is above the law in our city. i was sickened and heartbroken by the statement of charges that we heard today. because no one in our city is above the law. justice must apply to all of us equally. with today's official indictment i have ordered police commissioner batts to utilize the full extent of his legal authority and immediately suspend all officers facing felony charges. in fact warrants have been
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executed and five officers are in custody. we know that the vast majority of the men and the women in the baltimore city police department serve our city with pride, with courage, with honor, and with distinction. but to those of you who wish to engage in brutality, misconduct racism and corruption let me be clear. there is no place in the baltimore city police department for you. today's indictment are the next step in the legal process that's running its course. as mayor, i will continue to be relentless in changing the culture of the police department to ensure that everyone in our city it treated equally under the law. there will be justice for mr. gray. there will be justice for his family. and there will be justice for the people of baltimore.
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thank you. >> that was the mayor here in baltimore moments ago, but let's get back to the state's attorney marilyn mosby. she detailed this morning how these six baltimore police officers repeatedly failed to help this 25-year-old man, freddie gray who suffered a deadly spinal injury in their custody. she also gave an incredibly detailed play by play of gray's fatal ride in that prisoner transport van. here she was. >> the statement of probable cause is as follows. on april 12th 2015 between 8:45 and 9:15 a.m. near the corner of north avenue and mount street lieutenant brian rice of the baltimore police department while on bike patrol with officers garret miller and edward nero made eye contact with mr. freddie carlos gray jr. having made eye contact with mr. gray mr. gray subsequently ran from lieutenant rice.
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officers miller and nero then handcuffed mr. gray and moved him to a location a few feet away from his surrendering location. mr. gray was then placed in a prone position with his arms handcuffed behind his back. it was at this time that mr. gray indicated that he could not breathe and requested an inhaler to no avail. officers miller and nero then placed mr. gray in a seated position and subsequently found a knife clipped to the inside of his pants pocket. the blade of the knife was folded into the handle. the knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under maryland law. these officers subsequently removed the knife and placed it on the sidewalk. mr. gray was then placed back down on his stomach at which time mr. gray began to flail his legs and scream as officer miller placed mr. gray in a restraining technique known as a leg lace. while another officer physically held him down against his will
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until a bpd wagon arrived to transport mr. gray. the officers failed to establish probable cause for mr. gray's arrest as no crime had been committed by mr. gray. accordingly, lieutenant rice officer miller and officer nero illegally arrested mr. gray. upon arrival of the transport wagon driven by officer cesar goodson, the officers loaded mr. gray into the wagon and at in point was he secured by a seat belt while in the wagon contrary to a bpd general order. lieutenant rice then directed bpd wagon to stop at baker street. at baker street lieutenant rice officer nero and officer miller removed mr. gray from the wagon, placed flex cuffs on his wrists placed leg shackles on his ankles and completed required paperwork. officer miller officer nero and lieutenant rice then loaded mr. gray back into the wagon,
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placing him on his stomach, head first, on to the floor of the wagon. following transport from baker street mr. gray suffered a severe and critical neck injury as a result of being handcuffed shackled by his feet and unrestrained inside of the bpd wagon. from baker street officer goodson proceeded to the vicinity of fremont avenue where he subsequently parked the avenue and proceeded to the back of the wagon in order to observe mr. gray. despite stopping for the purpose of checking on mr. gray's condition, at no point did he seek nor did he render any medical assistance for mr. gray. officer william porter arrived on the scene near dolphin street and druid hill avenue. both proceeded to the back of the wagon to check on the status of mr. gray's condition. mr. gray at that time requested help and indicated that he could
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not breathe. officer porter then physically assisted mr. gray from the floor of the van to the bench. despite mr. gray's obvious and recognized need for medical assistance officer goodson in a grossly negligent manner chose to respond to the 1600 block of northwest avenue with mr. gray still unsecured by a seat belt in the wagon without rendering to or summonsing medical assistance for mr. gray. once the wagon arrived, officer goodson walked to the back of the wagon and opened the doors to make observations of mr. gray. sergeant alicia white, officer porter and officer goodson observed mr. gray unresponsive on the floor of the wagon. after completing the north avenue arrest and loading the additional prisoner into the opposite side of the wagon containing mr. gray officer goodson then proceeded to the western district police station. a medic was finally called to the scene, whereupon arrival,
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the medic determined that mr. gray was now in cardiac arrest and was critically and severely injured. mr. gray was rushed to the university of maryland shock trauma where he underwent surgery. on april 19th 2015 mr. gray succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. >> that was the state's attorney this morning in the 10:00 a.m. hour here in baltimore. it was so important, we wanted to play every second of that for you so you heard every detail of what happened on april 12th. the officers' charges range from official misconduct to second-degree murder. that charge against the driver of that police van, officer cesar goodson. cnn crews are fanned across the city to cover demonstrations to hear from members of the community in the wake of this major news in the city. first, let's go through all this with cnn legal analyst mark garagos and sunny hostin.
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also our justice correspondent evan perez. evan let's begin with you. let's run through each of these officers. we've heard five of them are now in police custody. talk to me about the different charges they're facing. >> officer goodson, the driver of the police transport van, he's facing the most severe charges. clearly there's the brunt of responsibility for what happened here. he's facing second-degree murder which means that at any point, he could have stopped or rendered some assistance to this prisoner to this arrestee and didn't. any reasonable person would have been able to see he needed assistance and did not provide it. >> also because it was within the van, we heard marilyn mosby say within the custody, and that's where that injury would have taken place. >> that's right. according to the prosecutor the injury occurs in there. they make three, four stops there altogether look at him multiple times, and do not
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decide to render aid. >> or restrain him as per protocol. >> i think it's important to note that when you're charging someone with this sort of crime, a second-degree murder depraved indifference, it really means that the prosecution here thinks he is the bad actor, that he's the worst actor. when you charge someone like that it is almost like charging someone with an intentional murder. it really means that they acted deliberately in such a reckless and wanton way that they had complete disregard, indifference for human life and that indifference resulted in death. the law almost treats it like a specific intent crime, meaning someone who intended to kill someone. so that is really significant that they felt strongly enough about their case that they would charge that driver with that crime. >> 30 years behind bars. >> if he's found guilty. >> and four of these officers are facing voluntary manslaughter. >> that's right. and that's sort of -- you know of course it's still a killing
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crime, but it doesn't require that intent. it's sometimes called criminally negligent homicide. it means by your recklessness you killed someone. that would go to the theory they checked on him and still didn't render aid. i have to tell you in thenot only as a lawyer and a journalist but as a mother can you imagine the last minutes of this young man's life when he's asking for assistance from another human being over and over again and he failed to get that. that would make a very strong argument in front of a jury. >> mark let me bring your voice in. you're hearing all of their reactions to these charges. on the flip side, i want to ask you as far as these police officers are concerned, as this moves forward in the justice system would it be one trial? do you have six defense attorneys for each of these officers? what does that process look like? >> that's exactly what they most probably will try to do. the officers are going to move, i would imagine, for a severance, number one.
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i suspect that the reason that they've charged different kinds of crimes and seriousness of crimes is they're going to try to get one of these officers to roll over on the other officers. they're going to want to see -- >> to flip as sunny was saying earlier. exactly. >> yeah they want to get that done. but you've got a long way to go before you ever get to trial in this case. there's going to be all kinds of motions asking to recuse the prosecutor. there's going to be severance motions run. all kinds of things that are going to be done prior to ever getting to a trial. >> let's talk about the potential ask for recusal. marilyn mosby said it herself. she's fifth generation police officers in her family. they're asking for a special prosecutor to be brought in. also her husband is a city councilman here. here's marilyn mosby responding
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to that when she was asked about stepping down. >> i can tell you that the people of baltimore city elected me and there's no accountability with a special prosecutor. i can tell you that from day one, we independently investigated. we're not just relying solely upon what we were given from the police department period. >> so sunny hostin what's the likelihood -- i mean, obviously she wants to take the case on. >> of course she wants to keep this case. this is a make or break your career case. but i think there's support for this office maintaining the case because they conducted an independent investigation. when we talk about the george zimmerman case that office was investigating its own, so it make a lot of sense to have someone else come in. >> she pointed out that not only was her office doing its own separate investigation
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obviously they were ready to bring charges the day after getting -- >> i think that's worth reiterating. we kept saying this morning as we were anticipating hearing marilyn mosby speak, but we never thought it would happen so quickly. she had these independent investigators and this police integrity force working with her to work alongside. >> and she brought in outsiders. >> talk about that. >> she said she brought in a couple of outside independent investigators to help her conduct this investigation. clearly, when she got the police report the evidence report that she got yesterday and the medical examiner's report this morning, which ruled this a homicide she was ready to go. >> she was on it. mark final thoughts to you looking ahead. >> look, the reporting on this well she acted really fast. the reality is if these weren't cops if these were civilians that had done this they would have acted even faster. so this was not exactly done with some super sonic speed. this is done the way the system
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usually works. you get a report. they say it's a homicide. you identify who it is that's responsible. the prosecutor files charges. so i think it's a little bit of a misnomer she was acting so quickly. it's only because there's officers involved that there was any delay whatsoever. >> mark, great point. thank you so much. want to show you some live pictures here on the ground within this community. we'll pop them up on the screen. we're watching and listening. we're in the thick of it. we want to hear from people in baltimore. how do they feel now that the state attorney has brought these criminal charges against these six officers? more reaction. we'll take it live. you're watching cnn's special coverage. i'm brooke baldwin in baltimore.
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you're watching cnn. breaking news i'm brooke baldwin. six baltimore police officers have been charged criminally in the death of 25-year-old freddie gray. we learned from the mayor moments ago that five of those officers are now themselves in police custody while the city's chief prosecutor marilyn mosby, emphasized the freddie gray investigation remains ongoing. she warned all law enforcement officers not to say or do anything that could possibly jeopardize this case. >> while i am committed to transparency what i have revealed here today is now a matter of public record. however, the evidence that we have collected and continue to collect cannot ethically be released to the public. and i strongly condemn anyone in law enforcement with access to
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trial evidence who has leaked information prior to the resolution of this case. you are only damaging our ability to conduct a fair and impartial process for all parties involved. i hope that as we move forward with this case everyone will respect due process and refrain from doing anything that will jeopardize our ability to seek justice. >> even the president of the united states earlier today talked about seeking truth here in this case but also reminded everyone these police officers are afforded due process. but how is the community here reacting to this news that these officers are criminally charged? let's find out. let's go to my colleagues both brian todd who's at that cvs that was burned and looted from monday night's riots. i also have ryan young, who's currently outside baltimore central booking. brian todd let me begin with you. tell me what people are saying to you. >> well brooke it is an
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outright street celebration here. a little more than three hours after marilyn mosby made that announcement of charges, it's been very spontaneous all day long. you have people over here on loud speakers giving testimonials speeches prayers. you have a lady there doing that now. we're going to bring it back over this way and show you the police presence here. that's a telling thing too. the police are out in numbers in this intersection but they're really letting these people have space. this is the extent of their involvement. they're directing traffic over here. otherwise, they're just ringing the sidewalks. they're letting people express themselves even come into the street on occasion and maybe block traffic for a minute or two. then people will generally move back. i want to talk to someone here david balding. david had an experience he says similar to the one that freddie gray had. he said he was roughed up by a police officer in prince george's county. he was injured in that traffic stop. he says they threw the case out of court. given the treatment you say you had at the hands of police what are you feeling about this
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situation today and these charges? >> i feel as though the overall situation has been, you know not properly dealt with. all in all, i feel as though justice has been served today. as it relates to my parti situation at hand i'm just asking for justice to be served swiftly. it shouldn't take three years for a case to be resolved. i don't have any prior records or anything to that effect. i'm an upstanding citizen. i treat people the way i want to be treated. i feel as though that's the way this should be conducted. >> you think you'll stay out here for a while and take all this in? >> yeah, you know this is history making, to say the least. i think there definitely needs to be some change that needs to occur. there needs to be true transparency. one particular person's words shouldn't matter more than another person's word. evidence that's being submitted should take precedent. >> david, thanks very much. good luck with your case. brooke that's one perspective out here from a man who says he's gone through something similar. the rest of these people are out here celebrating. what we're told by several
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protesters is they don't believe it's over yet. they're not going to be satisfied unless they get a conviction. of course that's going to be weeks, months down the road. but for now, they're celebrating. >> thank you so much brian todd. thank you so much for letting us hear from that man. we just want to hear from the people get their reaction to the news today from the state's attorney. thank you, brian. ryan young, let me head over to you. tell me why you're there at central booking. i heard earlier there was going to be a march passing by there. sort of symbolic as far as how many yingoung people are in that building behind you. set the scene for me. >> well, it wouldn't surprise me if that happened all day long. we've seen people driving by honking their horns, trying to figure out whether or not the officers have been taken into custody right now. you can see the sign behind me. the media has gathered outside the doors here. that's the sally port where someone would be brought in. you've covered this long enough to know they don't put a sign on the outside of any vans that say, these officers are coming
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in this van. we shoot the vans as they two inside. the people are just happy for this moment. they've been discussing it for quite some time. every time someone drives by they roll down their window are they there yet? you can feel the anticipation. you can see the crowds of people hanging out and wanting to cheer and yell and screaming and honking their horns. dr. robin warren has been working in this community for quite some time. you felt some of the passion this afternoon. obviously people are in a celebratory mood. >> absolutely. people feel hopeless. when you look at the conditions -- y'all have been covering the conditions in that area. it's just hopeless. with this indictment coming down i guess i can call it an indictment, people feel a dplim glimmer of hope. but they still don't trust the system. >> as we've been standing here we've seen people celebrating and smiling. how do you feel? are you worried about what the outcome could be later on? >> absolutely. because we understand the law and know there's a process.
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the prosecutor filled an obligation obligation i feel, to do what she did because the people were ready to riot again. they just feel like there's no justice. no justice, no peace. >> thank you so much. i can honestly tell you, brooke a lot of people have been talking about the idea that they were happy to watch developments today, but there's a lot of people in this community who are also saying, hey, wait, let's not get ahead of ourselves. when we went by that cvs and saw the officers standing there, there's still a lot of conversations happening between the community and officers. there's a partnership going on. it's interesting to see them having these conversations that maybe days ago they wouldn't have had on baltimore city street. >> ryan young, thank you. next here on cnn, today we learned these new details about what allegedly happened in the back of that police transport van where the state's attorney says freddie gray sustained his fatal injuries. coming up next we'll take you inside a similar van. stay right here.
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this morning here in baltimore, freddie gray's death was officially ruled a homicide. we learned that from the state's attorney. now these six police officers involved in his arrest are all facing various criminal charges, five of whom are now in police custody. the driver of that prisoner transport van facing the most severe charge second-degree depraved murder. freddie gray was zip tied handcuffed laid on his stomach, and unrestrained on that fatal ride ultimately to police station and finally to shock and trauma hospital here in the city. his rapidly deteriorating medical condition allegedly ignored by these officers over and over and over again. joining me now, retired nypd detective harry halk. i have forensic scientist larry
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kobaleski. lieutenant snead, let me begin with you. we want to focus in on this police transport van. hopefully most of us have never had to be in one. so just to be able to understand what it looks like. can you just show me inside? especially show me where suspects should be restrained. >> yes, i will. first of all, this is the entrance to the transport vehicle. i'll go inside and show you a few things. this is basically where we put -- this is basically where the subjects will be. as i'm sitting here as you can see, we have seat belts we use to restrain them in. once we put them inside it's just like a regular seat belt. we put them inside put the seat belt on them pull it tight to make sure they're secure in this particular location. >> okay. so that's where somebody should be seated and restrained. also, right in front of you
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looks to be like a metal partition. does that go all the way from the floor to the ceiling? i ask only because there have been reports about another prisoner in a van who could hear the noises made. could you hear? how thick is that wall? >> it's basically a partition that separates male and female prisoners on each side. it's just to separate the two of them. it's not thick at all. it's basically used as a separate separator to separate male and female prisoners. >> okay. lieutenant thank you. harry, listening to the state's attorney this morning going through this chronology of how time and time again this van stopped, fk needed a medic. he was saying he couldn't breathe, was never restrained. i know that's against protocol. how unusual is that?
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>> well as far as she means restrained she's talking about being seat belted. when you put a prisoner in a prisoner van like that he should be seat belted. this way, in the event the vehicle is driving a little crazy, he doesn't get injured. although he still can be injured. what i'm concerned about is the top charge for that officer goodson here. i'm looking at a second-degree murder charge for that officer. i'm assuming the police officer and district attorney's office must have video from the cctv that's all around baltimore following that vehicle of that officer giving mr. gray a rough ride. >> i'm not privy to any kind of video that the city has, but i can tell you that without a doubt, at the end of marilyn mosby's news conference earlier today, she said, you know this spinal injury his injuries
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happened while he was in the custody of baltimore police specifically when he was in that van. >> correct, and i understand that. there was a four-minute time period he was in the back of that van alone. then there was another 25-minute period when he was in the back of that van with the other prisoner inside that van. the other prisoner clearly stated he heard what sounded like gray trying to hurt himself in that van also. also that's -- >> by the way, that's one report from a source from "the washington post." let's be crystal clear that's report. i also have information he apparently talked to the person in the van who disputes that claim. let's just be crystal clear on that. >> right. exactly. we still don't know all the evidence that they have on these officers. we know they've been charged. we got six officers charged. why five other officers are charged with such high crimes i'd like to know about that.
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i'd like to know how did they prove this officer gave mr. gray a rough ride for him to sustain his injuries. they're going to have to prove that. >> absolutely. entirely valid questions. and larry, to you. just for my forensic perspective, because we also learned this morning before any of this news came out about the charges, we learned the medical examiner sent the full autopsy report to marilyn mosby. there were questions over would it come back inconclusive or would it be ruled a homicide? we know it was ruled a homicide. can you explain to me how that happens. if you're an m.e. and putting this report together, what are the telling factors that say homicide? >> well, first of all we don't have the autopsy report. there's very critical information in that report that we really need in order to interpret the mechanism of what happened. medical examiners determine cause of death and manner of
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death. cause of death is going to be respiratory and cardiac failure, secondary to spinal trauma severance of the spinal cord. the manner of death can fall into five categories. some relevant categories would be accident or homicide or natural causes. certainly indeterminate or unknown is another category. but that category of unknown manner of death is when there's insufficient information to come to any kind of conclusion. >> pardon my interruption but it sounds like from the state's attorney's office the injuries happen as he was on his stomach, unrestrained in the prisoner transport van. >> well that's correct. and that leads me to believe that it was either a rough ride that caused a whiplash effect or it could have been that he
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was thrown against a bolt, which injured his head. i would like to see the x-rays of the vertebrae to show there was a compression injury of the vertebrae. that's why the autopsy report is so very important if in fact the injuries occurred in the van. the other possibility is that it didn't occur in the van. the severance of the cord may have happened in the van, but the initial damage to the vertebrae happened upon arrest. now, if that's being ruled out, we need to see evidence in the autopsy report. >> larry, thank you. harry, thank you. and lieutenant snead, thank you all so much. next today the state's attorney marilyn mosby here in baltimore said that the death of freddie gray was a homicide as we've been discussing here. she brought those criminal charges against these six officers all of who are suspended, now five in police custody. she said she heard protesters'
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calls for no justice, no peace, and she responded directly to the young people here in baltimore. also we'll talk with maryland congressman chris van holland and what he thinks about the developments. you're watching cnn. stay with me. with a shout and we see no reason to stop. so cvs health is creating industry-leading programs and tools that help people stay on medicines as their doctors prescribed. it could help save tens of thousands of lives every year. and that w ould be something worth shouting about. cvs health, because health is everything. if you struggle with type 2 diabetes
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you're watching cnn. breaking news here. the mayor in the city of baltimore says she's, quote, sickened and heartbroken after hearing these charges announced against six of her city police officers in the death of 25-year-old freddie gray. mayor steph nigh rawlings-blake said quote, no one is above the law and there is no place for any police officer in her city's department who engages in brutality and racism. those are her words she used this afternoon. today she called for the suspension of all six officers charged and announced five of them are now in police custody. the charges against them
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revealed today by baltimore state's attorney marilyn mosby and includes second-degree murder voluntary manslaughter and manslaughter misconduct and assault. here's marilyn mosby as she made this major announcement. >> the findings of our comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation coupled with the medical examiner's determination that mr. gray's death was a homicide which we received today, has led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges. the statement of probable cause is as follows. on april 12th 2015 between 8:45 and 9:15 a.m. near the corner of north avenue and mount street lieutenant brian rice of the baltimore police department while on bike patrol with officers garrett miller and edward nero made eye contact
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with mr. gray. having made eye contact with mr. gray mr. gray subsequently ran from lieutenant rice. lieutenant rice then dispatched over departmental radio that he was involved in a foot pursuit at which time bike patrol officers and nero officers miller and nero also began to pursue mr. gray. officers miller and nero then placed mr. gray in a seated position and subsequently found a knife clipped to the inside of his pants pocket. the blade of the knife was folded into the handle. the knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under maryland law. these officers subsequently removed the knife and placed it on the sidewalk. mr. gray was then placed back down on his stomach at which time mr. gray began to flail his legs and scream as officer miller placed mr. gray in a leg lace. while officer nero physically held him down against his will nlg a bpd wagon arrived to
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transport mr. gray. lieutenant rice officer miller and officer nero failed to establish probable cause for mr. gray's arrest as no crime had been committed by mr. gray. accordingly, lieutenant rice officer miller and officer nero illegally arrested mr. gray. by the time officer zachary novak, sergeant white, and an unknown officer attempted to remove mr. gray from the wagon, mr. gray was no longer breathing at all. a medic was finally called to the scene whereupon arrival, the medic terms that mr. gray was now in cardiac arrest and was critically and severely injured. mr. gray was rushed to the university of maryland shauk trauma where he underwent surgery. on april 19th 2015 mr. gray succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. to the people of baltimore and the demonstrators across america, i heard your call for no justice, no peace.
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your peace is sincerely needed as i work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man. >> let me bring in maryland congressman chris van hollen live in our nation's capital. i want to ask you about this phone call you were just on in a second. first, i would be remiss out of the gate not to ask you about the news here knowing all these police officers are criminally charged in what appears to be the swift action of the state's attorney. >> well all of maryland i think all of the country is insisting on justice in the case of freddie gray. so we stand with the people of baltimore in the search for justice. nonviolent action and peace in baltimore. so i think it was important that we had this investigation, that the facts were reported in the way they were and that we have
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transparency and accountability. this is the beginning of the process, and the key thing is to make sure people have confidence in the process. i think the way the state's attorney laid out the facts of the case give people a sense of that transparency and the need to move forward. >> let me ask you one more follow-up on marilyn mosby. after she ran through this entire detailed narrative of what happened to freddie gray on april 12th i was also struck by how it seemed at the very end of it she was speaking directly to the young people in particular here in baltimore, saying essentially, i hear you. she was pleading for peace. obviously going into this weekend. but this seemed personal to her. did you hear that at all? >> yes, i think there's a real sense of responsibility that she's taken on in this case. the responsibility to make sure that she gets to the bottom of the facts quickly but thoroughly and she really did lay out the facts in a very
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detailed manner. that's the kind of transparency that we want to see in this case and the kind of transparency that leads to accountability and ultimately justice in the freddie gray case. and if you look at the protests in baltimore, overwhelmingly they have been peaceful. what we want to see is the call to action nonviolent action. and i think her call was to say to young people and people who are paying attention and want justice in this case that it's important to let the process run its course and that she's taking responsibility for doing her part in this process. others will also be playing a role including the attorney general of the united states. >> tell me about the phone conversation you just had, congressman. >> well i think as we look at the awful tragedy in baltimore and other tragedies we've seen
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around the country, we have to make sure we have justice in each individual case but we also have to look at the systemic underlying issues that give rise to many of these tragedies. and that means really focusing on the issue of poverty in many of these areas of concentrated poverty and high unemployment. it means ending the failed war on drugs, which has resulted in millions of americans being locked up for nonviolent drug offenses which in my view should be treated as a health issue rather than a criminal issue. and i was just on a phone conversation with the head of the congressional black caucus as well as congresswoman barbara lee, who's a member of the budget committee that i serve on as well as congressman bobby scott, who's the senior democrat on the education committee and someone who's worked on criminal justice reform. we were talking about the urgent
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need to begin to address these issues of chronic poverty, and we did it in the context of the debate on the budget. just yesterday we had a vote in the house of representatives on a budget that we believe actually makes these problems a lot worse, and we put forward ideas to begin to address these systemic issues. so that was the conversation we just had with the leadership of the congressional black caucus as it relates to freddie gray and other tragedies around the country. >> walking around these neighborhoods this past week it really appears to me and in talking to these young people so much of this absolutely stems -- it's a socioeconomic issue. i'm reminded by people here in baltimore when you look at the other part of this a number of people making a lot of money in states where some of these drugs are legal, like in colorado. they're saying it doesn't appear to be fair. that's a discussion for another
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day. but congressman, thank you so much for your time from washington. >> and thank you. coming up next here in baltimore today, trayvon martin's mother marching. we talk to her. her reaction to the news of these criminal charges involving all six baltimore police officers next. in just this one moment, your baby is getting even more than clean. the scent, the lather, even the tiny bubbles of a johnson's® bath are helping to enhance the experience. the touch of your hands is stimulating her senses. nurturing her mind. and helping her development. so why just clean your baby when you can give her... so much more™? johnson's®. so much more™.
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we now know that as 25-year-old freddie gray lay on the floor of that prisoner transport van, he was zip tied and handcuffed he called out for help. despite his rapidly deteriorating medical condition, his pleas were repeatedly ignored by police officers. for freddie gray's family this disturbing allegation about his final minutes will no doubt be incredibly painful, and no one knows pain better than the mother of trayvon martin, the 17-year-old from miami gardens who was shot and killed by george zimmerman back in 2012. let's go to rené marsh, who
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spoke with se brieabrina fulton. >> we're at pennsylvania avenue and west north avenue. this really has been the epicenter of the so-called celebrations. sabrina fulton was out here a short time ago giving out sandwiches to people within the community. i spoke to her specifically about the announcement today coming from the state attorney and asking her, what was her initial reaction. she said in a word she was surprised. take a listen to what else she had to say. she doesn't want everyone to get this excited just yet. here's why. >> although we are celebrating in some manner that the police officers are going to be charged, that's just one step to getting justice because we know full well that charged does not mean convicted. so a lot of people have to just take a step back and realize that although they might be charged, they have not been convicted of anything.
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in our case with trayvon martin, the person was charged. yes, they were charged. we had a full trial. but he, at the end of the day, was not convicted. so he's walking around just like anybody else as if he has done nothing. but we all know god sits high and looks low. though you might get away with man's law, god sees all. what's going on now is nothing new. it's just being more aware. people are being more aware and it's being put on front street because of the fact that we have so many venues of social media. so now the word is getting out. this is not something new. this is something that we have been substaining. this is something we have been dealing with our entire lives. >> what's your level of optimism? you brought up the point it still has to go to trial. what's your level of optimism these officers will be found guilty? >> i really don't know but i just absolutely think that this is a step in the right
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direction. for other people for people to just see this is wrong. for a person to be murdered in police custody is wrong. >> all right. well i can tell you that sybrina fulton does have a meeting set with the gray family. she's meeting with them face to face. i asked her what would she tell them. she said what she said there on camera which is the lord sits high and he looks low. she's going to speak with them with a spirit of encouragement. all of that happening as the celebrations continue out here. so much so that it's really bleeding into the roadways. the cops out here are having to direct traffic as a result of some very very excited people at the news that the state attorney delivered today, brooke. >> okay. rené marsh, thank you so much for pointing out what all this is about behind you there, what they call penn north there in west baltimore.
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thank you. and we continue on hour two here. i just want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. you're watching cnn's special live coverage just outside of baltimore city hall. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. we are watching a lot today. the demonstrations are about to begin any moment now. just walking around and talking to people i can tell you this is a very different city today than what we've all felt for the better part of the last week. there has been incredible frustration and anger. today you're hearing the honks, you're seeing these people there. a number of them are breathing a sigh of relief at least for now. many of who are satisfied. many of them celebrating in the wake of the news from the state's attorney this morning. these calls for justice may actually be quieted after this swift action by the state's attorney marilyn mosby. we heard from her just a couple hours ago. in fact