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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
One Hour Until Baltimore Curfew; Protesters Marching In Washington, New York; Tension On Baltimore Streets With Curfew Approaching
Aired April 29, 2015 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 HOST: Good evening again, thanks for joining us. It is 9 p.m. here in the city of Baltimore, one hour away from the curfew, after a day in the evening. And has seen thousands of people out in the streets here, as well as in New York and Washington. We're going to bring you the latest on all of it. As well as part two of my conversation with Toya Graham, who became a national sensation, when video went viral for dragging here son Michael from the violence, from the rioting on Monday.
We begin tonight, right now in Washington. Suzanne Malveaux is with the protesters, she joins us now by phone. They're in front of the White House right now, what's the scene, Suzanne?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Anderson, we're in the middle of this group here, hundreds and hundreds of people who has gathered outside of the White House, a walk about two hours, it started at 7th and 8th street, just nine blocks away but we made several stops (inaudible) as well as some other key locations to make a point.
I'll tell you, this is very different than what we've seen from other protest, because it's entirely orchestrated, in cooperation with the authorities and with the police. It's almost as if you see a presidential motorcade, the way you got the cruisers, police cruisers. And each one of these stop blocking off the traffic, in anticipation of the route, three position of where these protesters were going to go.
There are several moments, several times to where the leaders of the protest would say, "Keep your bags up. It's important to keep your bags up." They're really trying to cooperate with local authorities here. This is a number of different organizations, the one that's leading it is called D.C. Ferguson. I had a chance to talk to the head of the group, his name is Eugene Puryear.
And I ask him, you know, "Why are you guys here? Why is this important?" He said two things here, obviously, they want to show a solidarity with Baltimore and with Freddie Gray. But he also says that they want to make sure that people know that this is a bigger national issue and they want to talk about and they have been talking about on the bullhorn legislation.
He says that in terms of the President and what the President has said about this he said, he wants him to basically put his money where his mouth is. That is his word, about what they're going to do. And so he said, there is legislation out there, decriminalizing police and stopping racial profiling that he wants this group to seriously act upon and the President to act upon.
So the crowd our here has been spirited, it's been organized, it's been peaceful. We've heard public enemies fight the power from the bullhorn as they been (inaudible) through the city. We have also seen a sign language interpreter, Anderson, who's been on the back of this pickup truck who been signing everything in a suite (inaudible).
It has been very organized. It's mostly young folks, in their 20s and very, very diverse. You have a lot of white, black, Asian, people on bicycles, students, young professionals who are out here. And it really has been somewhat of a (inaudible) atmosphere and (inaudible), no sense of tension, whatsoever.
But, you know, people who just come up to you and say, you know, this means something to them, it's important for them. And so you've got groups like the Black Lives Matter, we have the National of Islam, a group calling themselves a black united front. All of these folks just gather here, together outside of the White House.
COOPER: Suzanne, appreciate that. What you're seeing there, the demonstrations outside the White House on the left hand side of your screen. Now, full screen, you're seeing the Westside Highway in New York. Marchers have been out in course. There was a gathering that stared in the Union Square.
[21:05:02] If you're familiar in downtown New York around 14th Street or so, they have now apparently gone. The larger numbers have dissipated. I'm told that -- I'm sorry, I'm not told they're walking up Broadway. My monitor isn't -- I can't really see it all that well.
They were on the Westside Highway, they're not apparently on Broadway. This picture coming from WABC. It's -- There have been some arrest. Earlier, we are told, we're trying to get our correspondent in there, on Broadway right now. We'll bring that to you as soon as we have it. Brian Todd here in Baltimore has been out with marchers all evening. He joins us now.
A very different scene right now than the one last night. What are you seeing, Brian?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very different scene from last, Anderson, but it was very dynamic just a short time ago. This is Penn Station in Baltimore, this was both the starting and ending point or the most dynamic march that we've seen since we've been covering this in more than a week.
We have a small police presence, about a dozen officers remaining here. These guys are about to leave. This is where it started at this plaza, right in front of Penn Station, where they had who had been several hundred -- very easily be more than a thousand marchers.
Earlier today, they march through streets of Baltimore to City Hall. They were made up mostly of college students, students from John Hopkins, (inaudible), Morgan State University, at Husson University, other colleges from around here, (inaudible) college. Several of them were college students.
And what they were determined to do was to take back the message. Many of them toll us, they felt like that protesters, the rioters, the people who re doing the looting and the burning of cars on Monday night has stolen the message. They really wanted to put the message back on the Freddie Gray case.
So it was a very dramatic, very organized march through the streets of Baltimore. I know it came to where you guys were in City Hall, you saw a lot of that unfolding. And you know what was interesting? Just a short time ago, now it's 9:00 Eastern Time, the curfew is coming in less than an hour.
Just a short time ago, these people all disperse because the organizers of the march got on the bullhorns and said, "We want you guys to get out of here." And they were very forceful in telling them that. They wanted them to leave this plaza. They said, "We just don't want the police converging on you. Please go home." And really this crowd, like many others, aside from Monday night, was respectful of that message and they left, Anderson.
COOPER: Brian Todd, I appreciate that. Thank you. We'll continue checking with you. With me now is Robert Valentine, he's the Vietnam vet who spoke out so forcibly against the violence on Monday. He's been spreading his message ever since. Mr. Valentine, it's great to have you in the program again.
ROBERT VALENTINE, VIETNAM VET: My pleasure.
COOPER: When we first met you, Joe Johns interviewed you Monday night, in the midst of (inaudible), you were standing with your back towards the police, try to tell some young people to stop taunting and please stop throwing rock or bottles at the police. And I know last night, you were back out on the streets, how did it feel to see so many other people joining you yesterday, doing essentially the same thing. Linking arms, standing between protesters and the police and really policing -- the community policing itself?
VALENTINE: It does me quite deeply because they came together as one, be peaceful and help. You know, that insight or, you know, instigate. The only problem we had up North in Pennsylvania, was when they got the curfew started.
VALENTINE: But we got through that.
COOPER: You got through that.
COOPER: And have you noticed a big change today? Because that's something a lot of us sort have been seeing. It seems like now that there's a sense that protest are peaceful, once again, as they were before Monday, more people actually coming out and kind of taking part.
VALENTINE: Well that's the good thing because the more the people that are not violent, now participate, you drawn out the violence. And those who try to start the violence, they're going to be shutdown by people like me. I don't want to see none of my babies. That means the little ones and the people in school ever get hurt. I don't want to see that about policeman ever get hurt.
COOPER: And it's one of the things I think that we're hearing from protesters today is that -- and it's something you said on Monday night in the heat of things that you want the message to be on Freddie Gray and not all these other stuff. And it's, in fact, taken away from the message.
VALENTINE: True, true. They have to give honor and respect for the young man's death. There suppose to be peace. Yeah, there's rumors that he had some things going on, but he was -- he died and it was bad, it was wrong. Now a example is to recognize it, so how much in respect his family's wishes and (inaudible). Stop it. Curl it down, get it out of the way.
We got to save this city, so they (inaudible) from there.
COOPER: What happens if the community where the CBS is now destroyed and bunch of Mom and Pop business are destroyed, do you think businesses are going to come back?
VALENTINE: Yes, we do.
COOPER: No doubt about it.
VALENTIVE: We will. (inaudible) we ain't going to give it up. We're going to rebuild it, we're going to put it back and hey come back and try it again, they'll find a different person here. And they aren't going to take the best. This is our hood, our neighborhood, our (inaudible), our town.
[21:10:01] We have to protect it.
COOPER: And I really got that sense. Yesterday, again, I mean I keep coming back yesterday by the CBS, we interviewed a woman on the line, linking arms with a man and she brought here 14 year old daughter because she wanted her daughter to be part of that community response.
VALENTINE: Yes. And then they have up there last night. Before this stuff started, you have the kids, you have a drum (inaudible), and they came down. They had the oldest to the smallest. They look so beautiful. We let them see that there is light, you know, in that neighborhood.
COOPER: That's the city you love.
VALENTINE: Yes, and they came out and they represented.
COOPER: Yeah. So...
VALENTINE: It made me cry.
COOPER: Well you represent your city incredibly well. It's really an honor to talk to you.
VALENTINE: And God bless.
COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Valentine.
COOPER: Really an honor. Just ahead, my conversation with a mom who dragged her son home from the violence on Monday. Toya Graham, we show to you part of my interview with her at the top of the broadcast. We're going to hear from her son Michael, coming up tonight.
MICHAEL SINGLETON: When I (inaudible), I didn't like (inaudible). But when I heard, "Put that brick down." I was like, "Oh, that's mother."
COOPER: Live picture of Manhattan tonight. Marchers out in force on the streets in New York, gathering initially in union square and then fanning out. Major demonstrations going on tonight there, in Washington in Minneapolis, we're told as well. Demonstrations of unity with the marchers who have been out in the streets here this afternoon, as well as into the evening.
We're going to continue to monitor them throughout this hour, as the curfew here in Baltimore approaches. And right now, you're probably familiar with the video of the mom on Monday, in the very worst of the violence, confronting her teenage son, dragging him home. Pictures of Toya Graham and her son Michael quickly went viral. So the judgments about who he is, who she is.
The reality is far more complex and more interesting. I spoke with her and with Michael earlier today. But first Toya, more of our conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You know, for people who don't live in Baltimore, haven't been here, haven't been in this community, how tough is it? I mean, you're a single mom, you're raising six kids, you got grandkids.
TOYA GRAHAM, MOM WHO STOPPED HER SON FROM RIOTING: It's really tough. I lost a job and I had two jobs, when I move into my home.
[21:15:01] And I have no job now. And so it's real tough. He knows it's hard for me to keep our roof over he's head. He knows it's hard for me to keep food in his mouth.
So people who just in from another point of view can't see the struggle that we go through. We go through a big struggle where, not having a education and the tools that a lot of other people have to give by. So we try to do as best we can. We have family and friend standing by side of us.
COOPER: Why do you think this resonated with so many people? I mean, there's, you know, your -- this thing has gone viral, there's -- I know Oprah Winfrey gave you a call, there's a lot of, you know, there were headlines and papers saying send in the moms. Why do you think this has been such a big impact?
GRAHAM: Because as mothers, you don't see us. You don't see us. You see our kids walking through the bus stop and maybe speaking with somebody that's on the corner as and they've already been singled out as thugs, as we have already heard that they are. And at no time is my son a thug. He...
COOPER: When you heard the mayor, even the president of United States, they were thugs.
GRAHAM: I just do not believe calling our kids names is getting us anywhere. There are already names called, you know. I mean, they already have a problem with police officers, not as black, not as white but as blue. So they're here...
COOPER: Doesn't matter if the police officer is white or black?
GRAHAM: I doesn't. It doesn't.
COOPER: It's so interesting, because I mean, you know, I grew up in a predominantly white community and always thought the police were there to protect me.
COPPER: You talk to people on this block, that's a laughable idea.
GRAHAM: It is. It is. And my daughter is trying to become a police officer and I applaud her, because I know how I raised her and I know that she would make a difference in society. And this new thing the Commissioner is trying to do, he's trying to bring better people into the Baltimore City department. So...
COPPER: You think change is possible?
GRAHAM: It is possible. It is possible. It's always possible.
COPPER: Thank you very much.
GRAHAM: You're welcome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COPPER: I hope two things come out of the attention that Ms. Graham has understandably and rightly been getting (inaudible). Her daughter would make an excellent police officer. I've spent some time with her daughter this afternoon. I hope someone in the Baltimore Police Department is watching and, you know, hope that applications makes it. And also that Ms. Graham frankly needs a job. She lost her job, as you heard her saying, she was working two jobs when she move into her house, she's got a lovely kept home that we are honored to be invited inside today, spent some time there. And she's looking for work, she needs to be able to pay her rent. So for all the attention she is getting, that's the bottom line and we certainly hope that all these attention leads to that.
She worked as a home health care aid. She loves working with people caring for people. So hopefully there's somebody in Baltimore that somebody can reach out. Michael, her son, her teenage son in the video who is in the ski mask. I spoke with him as well, a little bit later today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Why did you go down there?
SINGLETON: It was just like -- I felt was though my friends are down there, couple of my friends and beating by the police, killed by the police, so I thought it was the (inaudible) to go down there and show my respect.
COOPER: So when you saw your mom, when you first made eye contact, what went through you mind?
SINGLETON: I was just like, "Oh man" like mother -- what is mother doing down here, like why would she be down here, like...
COOPER: Did you know instantly that she recognize you?
SINGLETON: When I'm seeing here, I didn't like well see her, but when I heard, "Put that brick down." I was like, "Oh, that's my mother."
COOPER: So what do you think when you heard that voice?
SINGLETON: I was like, well yeah, I know that's my mother. I know it's my mother. I mean, nobody else talk like that but my mother. So...
COOPER: And then what happen?
SINGLETON: It was (inaudible) from right there.
COOPER: It was (inaudible).
SINGLETON: Yeah. It was just like...
COOPER: What do you think? Were you embarrassed?
SINGLETON: Yeah, I was embarrassed a little bit, until she just stop talking to me when we got home. She was telling me that she did it because she cared about me. And was not just to embarrass me, but just because she care.
COOPER: She was worried about you. SINGLETON: Right. She don't want me to get in trouble by law. She don't want me to be like another (inaudible) or anybody else and then get killed by the police.
COOPER: Do you regret wanting to throw rocks or do you think -- can you explain it to me?
SINGLETON: At firs I was a little like, I don't care. Like I don't care about the law, like police (inaudible). My mother talked to me about it, she was just like, what did they do to you? Did they every hurt you? I'm like, "No, they didn't hurt me, but some of my friend is not here because of what they do."
[21:20:04] COOPER: Do you regret it?
SINGLETON: A little bit.
COOPER: Little bit.
SINGLETON: Yeah, a little bit that I regret.
COOPER: What do you regret?
SINGLETON: I regret that like for me going to down there and getting into the situation where I was suppose to be home.
COOPER: Do you worry about Michael a lot?
COOPER: What do you worry about?
GRAHAM: I worry about him walking out my front. I do. As if the life that we live around here, you don't know if you walk out the door if you're going to walk back in the door or not.
COOPER: Do you think if riots broke out again, you think you'll go down there?
SINGLETON: No, I don't think I'm going to go down there.
COOPER: Are you saying that just because she's standing here?
SINGLETON: No, I'm not saying that just because I finally have seen my mom would care about me, why would I want to (inaudible) myself back into (inaudible) where I just got out of. But if I ever do go back down there, I'm going to do it in a positive way.
COOPER: She cares a lot about you.
COOPER: Well thank you, Mike, appreciate it. I wish you the best. Thank you.
GRAHAM: To you as well. Thanks. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's a real honor to talk to Ms. Graham today and be invited in their home. I want to show you what's happening in New York City right now, that's a live picture. We don't actually have control over this cam, this is from WABC helicopter shot. You can see a light being shined on a large number of protesters who are moving.
I'm told -- I believe that was around 57th Street and it's not exactly clear what's happening, but there is clearly -- that's 57th you're looking at right now. So it looks like it was perhaps over -- perhaps over on 56th that the protesters are maybe moving down, heading east. It looks like that's the Westside Highway, I believe from what I'm looking at.
So you see there's a large number of protesters moving down the street, heading east. But it's not exactly clear what has been going on. It looks like there's a smaller number of people there with some police vehicles around them. We've see demonstration similar to this, if you recall in New York several months ago, there were demonstrations off the Westside Highway, demonstration unlike any of us had seen in the city in a very long time, kind of these roving groups of protesters moving up the Westside Highway moving through traffic, not necessarily having a permit to demonstrate, which is traditionally what you have to have in this city.
And it looks like it's kind of a similar roving group of protesters that have moved on from the main demonstrations that took place earlier in Union Square. But now, we clearly see, it seems like a smaller group has broken off and is moving through the streets.
There had been arrest made earlier and it's very hard to tell from this vantage point what the police presence is, how the police are dealing with this, because it obviously presents some challenges for police when you have groups, shifting, moving from one block to another and kind of changing direction.
We'll continue to follow but you can get us in.
COOPER: Less than an hour, obviously the curfew takes effect here in Baltimore, a very different scene in the city tonight. Nothing like we saw certainly on Monday when at that senior center still under construction was burn down, it would have contained dozens of portable apartments.
Tonight the church that was behind the project is vowing to start over. We're going to talk to the pastor shortly. But I want to show you the situation in New York. Our Alexandra Field is down. Alexandra, where are you exactly and what's been going on?
We just lost contact with Alexandra. Unfortunately we'll -- so what we're seeing here are picture from WABC, it's a little confusing, hard to figure out, but it seems like a larger group of protesters which were in the Union Square has not dissipated, several different groups have broken off.
Alexandra, I'm totally have contact with again. What's going on, Alexandra, where you are? Alexandra, you're on the air, what's happening.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this is a group of protesters who have not walked up from Union Square. Take a look at what's in front of me. Yeah, we've got, really probably at least 100, maybe more than that, protesters who have just come off the Westside Highway, Anderson, they're walking East across Manhattan right now.
There's a long line of police officers who have been escorting them. You actually see big group of police officers walking in the opposite direction right now, not clear where they are headed. But up in front of his crowd, up this street here, we come up on (inaudible) Street, you would actually see that there's a long line of police officers up here, a lot of them on scoters as well, they're just sort of escorting this crowd.
Now, as it makes it way across the city, Anderson, I just spoke to some of the demonstrators, I asked them what their plan is, where are they going. And they basically said that they had started in Union Square with that large demonstration that we saw earlier this evening. And then there are number of different groups that have sort of (inaudible) off right now.
They are speaking to each other on text message, they are trying to meet up in different point in the city, but they really want to keep this alive tonight, they want to show this group, that is out here. And police are still continuing to accompany them.
COOPER: We'll check in with you shortly. I want to go to our Ryan Young, who is on Baltimore. Ryan, we saw here by City Hall, probably about 20 minutes ago, long line of police vehicles, even busses, it look like with police officers. I understand, I think they now have arrived at your location. What's going to on?
RYAN YOUNG: CNN CORRESPONDENT: They have arrived at our location. We haven't seen massive officers in a quite a long time out here. If you look in this direction, that's where the busses went down to, they must have a staging area in the distance. I can tell you, we say about 100 officers on that bus. And the crowd that's been mostly quiet for the night, started yelling with they saw the officers driving by.
We've also seen in cruise, troopers in the area driving through the streets. But this large crowd over here has been -- I'm asking for most of the night, listening to the street performances, from a small kid who is doing street rap. There has been some conversation, it's about what's going on here and making sure everybody is off the streets before curfew.
[21:30:04] It's been all peaceful. People express their views and listening to the young man rap. But so far, when the offices went by in that bus, Anderson, that's when we heard largest cheers or cheers from this crowd. COOPER: And again curfew about half an hour away. Ryan, we'll come back to you. One of the most tragic scenes from here in Baltimore on Monday night (inaudible) affordable housing center for seniors that was being build go up in the flames. The senior center was set to open in just a few months. The fire destroys 60 units, which were meant for low income seniors. The building is own by Southern Baptist Church Pastor.
Donte Hickman joins me now. Pastor, thank you for being with us. When you got there the next morning -- I mean, you there that night, but when you saw it in the daylight, still smoldering. You and I met that day. There were still smoke coming up, what went through your mind when you saw that?
PASTOR DONTE HICKMAN, SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCH: I was devastated it there was a surreal moment or maybe I couldn't believe that it all have come down in rubble and ashes.
COOPER: Even working for what? Six years to build that?
HICKMAN: Well actually eight years. Envisioning it, seeking funding, seeking partners that would invest in it, acquiring the property, cutting (inaudible) and finally we were seeing our vision coming to (inaudible).
COOPER: And do you -- I mean even the night it happened, you were on our broadcast and you were talking about rebuilding, you were talking about even in the depths of the despair, you had not given up the hope of completing this. Do you still believe you can?
HICKMAN: Absolutely. We've been overcoming obstacles all the way for this entire eight years. It started off as a concept in a small road house and it morphed into 4,000 square foot facility through opposition and then that morphed into 60 unit housing facility and we could only imagine that every obstacle has made us overcome even greater. And so we just look into something bigger and better this time.
COOPER: You know, when you and I first met the other day, you were saying something that really stuck with me and I've been thinking about it. You were saying that you had to pass yourself, you know what a lot of this young people are going through, what they're facing, what do you tell them? Because it's very easy not to have hope in the streets of Baltimore in some communities, it's very easy.
I mean homes are boarded up, there's -- unemployment is, you know, is very high. There's not a lot of opportunity. What do you what do you tell people?
HICKMAN: I was expelled from three high schools, I was destined for a life of a failure but I turn my life around getting the G.D. (ph) and experiencing what I felt was a call from God to preach. And so I discovered my purpose, which cause me to have a greater drive and determination to excel every limitation on the estimation that has been place to upon me. I wrote book, the power of being underestimate, turning every negative into a positive. And I think many of our young people don't see hope. They look in the environment in which they live and it's hopelessness, is despair. But I would invite them to get out of those environments, to be expose to other worlds, to other ideas and to seek that inspiration from within them that could cause the to become better.
COOPER: One of the things Ms. Grahams said to me, you know, she dragged here son out of the protest on Monday, I interview to her today. That's also stuck with me. She said, you know, using the label thug, "My son is not a thug" she said, might have made some mistakes, he might have done some bad things, he's not perfect but he's not thug. And that labeling somebody that these kids, our kids already have enough people calling them names, they don't need that label as well.
HICKMAN: The labels are actually (inaudible) the mentality, it causes them to -- it causes all of us to see ourselves in images that other people cast. But I think if we take those images and we began to transform the transcend them and allow them to make us more determine to see something more positive about ourselves, then we can we can actually beat what we think and it's not determine by what people say about you. I think what people say about you can we losses motivation to make you manifest the larger destiny for yourself.
COOPR: I tweeted it out and I put it in my Instagram as well, but you can start and go fund a page for the senior center and, you know, there a lot of good folks who would like to help out. It's "Go fund me"--
HICKMAN: Actually, southernbaptistchurch.org...
HICKMAN: ... they can give online...
HICKMAN: ... (inaudible) center and we've expanded our mission in the community. We're building 75 additional town homes. We're continuing to build multiple (inaudible) development in that area. And so people have been responding overwhelmingly with love and support. And so it's not just that building, we're going to tear down all of the (inaudible) housing in that area.
COOPER: So I hope that continues. Thank you so much.
HICKMAN: Thank you so much.
COOPER: All right, thank you so much, Pastor Donte Hickman. Less than 30 minutes from the curfew if you're here in Baltimore, we're going to check it out -- check in with Chris Cuomo, next. We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Welcome back. Protesters now, in the streets in New York, here in Baltimore, a heavy police presence at the curfew, day two of it approaches, now less than a half hour from now.
Chris Cuomo is on the streets here. He joins us now. Chris, what's the situation?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's time to go home.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Well, Anderson, you can hear the message loud and clear very different dynamic, concerned citizen members are out here. The ratio of young to old is very different. And they are saying, "It's time to go home now."
In the last half hour, the dynamic has changed. There has been a lot of police action here, staging up the street, National Guard, enough personnel carriers, they have a couple of 100. And now, you have Elijah Cummings here, the power of leadership on the ground is being demonstrated also.
Elijah Cummings came. The people are listening to him. The authorities came over to brief him on what the possibilities are, so he was able to give people good information but you now have about 300 people here who aren't sure whether they want to leave or not.
Now, the interesting part of the dynamic is the police aren't sure about what they are going to do or not. There is freelance (ph) lined up. They have to make their decisions yet. The point from command was well we're going to see what the crowd does, but the crowd wants to see what police does. And that's a little bit of confusion.
Elijah Cummings just talked to the bullhorn and said, "Here is what you need to do, if you want to take to step forward, you need to take a step towards your home because that's the law tonight."
[21:40:01] We don't know what's going to happen but there is not the aggression. There is no...
COOPER: Chris, can I interrupt you first? Sorry. Chris, I just have to interrupt you for a second. Alexander Field in New York, what's going on out there, Alexander?
FIELD: Anderson this is (inaudible) right middle of 8th Avenue on 51st Street, a confrontation between all the students and demonstrators. Hundreds of demonstrators out here they turn on to 8th Avenue heading south, there were calls from protesters to fellow (inaudible) get in the streets, we're in this together this are our streets.
We saw the police (inaudible) has been running against traffic, running down the 8th Avenue and then trying to force the demonstrators back up onto the side walk, possibly saw some demonstrators starting to have some verbal conflicts with officers, getting very close. A lot of yelling and shouting from the demonstrators, toward the police.
I saw a one woman arrested, it is all come to a stop right here on 8th Avenue and 51st Street. I think we got the camera in there that can show you what's going on. We've got a very you know, angry group of demonstrators right now, who are standing here shouting at police who have formed a line from in front of them, repeating that mantra, I can't breathe, well it appears that.
Looks like we might have a demonstrator on the grounds being placed under arrest. But this group of demonstrators, stopping to watch it, facing of against the officers who are standing here. This crowd getting very emotional, tensions certainly seem to start to accelerate. This crowd becoming angrier as they see a demonstrator put under arrest. This is something that we saw further downtown.
Earlier this evening, Anderson, we saw, maybe a couple of dozen demonstrators who are in the streets, being arrest at that point. They preceded up to Westside Highway, they preceded up town for a lot of the time there on the sidewalks, but police moving in once they got into the streets, Anderson.
COOPER: We should point out, 8th Avenue it goes northwards where the demonstrators were trying to move south down 8th Avenue. They will be going against the traffic and I assume (inaudible) it's hard to get off the side walk and actually into the street with vehicles. That's when the police have move in, police have really trying to keep them on sidewalks as much as possible, so not to disrupt traffic.
And obviously, it seems as Alexandra said, it will come to a (inaudible) at that point right now. While we continue looking at these images, I also want to bring in guest, Pastor Frank Reid of the Bethel AME Church here in Baltimore, also Sunny Hostin and New York former NYPD detective Harry Houck. Harry, just in terms of police tactics this is obviously very difficult for police in New York when you have protesters, kind of mobile like this, moving against traffic and then try to move into the streets.
HARRY HOUCK, FMR. NYPD DETECTIVE: Well exactly so, you know, as you can see there is some a rest have been made when they go into the street. They're not going to allow the traffic to be block or bridges to get block, this is illegal demonstration. So the police are being lenient in letting them walk on the sidewalk, they're being distorted, there's a probably hundreds of New York police officers out there. And when they see there is...
COOPER: Yeah, sorry Harry, let me just jump in. I want to go to Chris Cuomo. Chris, what's the situation now where you in Baltimore?
CUOMO: All right now we've had gang members who been trying to be a force for good here. We had a group of Bloods linking arms to tell people it's time to go home, even though there was nobody in the street except them. And then some, some opposing members got in there face, there was a little bit of a (inaudible) in the middle for a while. And now, they are just - they are settling it down and they're trying
to line up to try and create some more to the problem is, Anderson. Nobody should be in the street. And now we have -- Jay (ph) come over this way. You just armor show up, you have the police here in bigger numbers. They're getting ready to deploy.
And when they saw the violence in the streets, they're now shielding up and they're getting ready to come up. So you have a situation now where you have people on the public space, the curfew is getting close. They're saying to go home and they're pushing us forward, but then being in the street is going to be a problem.
I know they're saying go home, they're saying keep the peace go home, but they're in the street and walking toward the cops. (inaudible) walking towards the cops in the middle of the street they're going to come out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going home. We're go home. We're going home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We not going to (inaudible) we're keeping the peace. You see right now we split up. All right by split, I want (inaudible) walking down.
CUOMO: Just be careful because you know how they are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes sir.
COUMO: They seem like your being provocative towards them, you know, how things can go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir. Most definitely, most definitely. We're not here for them, we're going home, sir.
CUOMO: All right be safe. Watch out. Watch out. Stay (inaudible). There's a street fight. Now stay back the cops are going to come to break this up.
[21:45:01] Most of the guys, they're trying to break this up, Anderson. You're trying to get him away.
Now, I got to remember this is the community like any other into the city. There's some tensions here that existed before this. And that's what bubbled up here when you have people taking into the street then wearing different colors as significant. And they were linking arms, they were coming down. Some took that as a power move and they round up being some petty fighting going on. The problem is it provokes the police.
So now behind us, look what we have we have nothing. We now have a (inaudible) lines of officers, shielded up with sticks. The only thing between them and this guys is the media. So, Anderson, that's the situation right here. If you have any questions you let me know but we're going to just keep moving around. COOPER: Chris, do you have sense of how many people now are currently still in the street?
CUOMO: Yeah, now it's about several hundred people in the street. They pin back into the corner. They separated the guys who are fighting. Again, it's still little divided by color over there. I don't mean black, white. I mean red and blue, right now. But they're settling it down, they're trying to force some guys down the street moving away from situation. The street starting to clear. Jay (ph), look over the left, so they can see what I'm saying. If the cops move we'll go with them.
So you have two different side, the police are pinching any here you have the police on one side and on the other that you just saw. Now, you can see here, go the left Jay (ph), they're moving him down the street, the guys who are fighting have been sent away. (inaudible) prevail over here, they drag those guys off who were fighting. So now you have little bit of a reorganization going on here. So everybody is still on the street, but there's not the violence, you don't have to link arms that's would sent things off.
It did seems as though it was well intention, Anderson. You heard me talking to the young man. He said he want to go home, they were walking down walking down the street wasn't the smartest thing. Walking in to the guys in the different colored shirts, soon to be a problem also.
COOPER: Chris, were going to stay with your pictures. I want to bring in Pastor Reid here who's been kind enough to stay with us as the curfew approaches. Dr. Reid, you were saying this before we went on air. Monday we saw the worst in Baltimore, perhaps, but since then in the days since then and today we've seen the best.
PASTOR FRANK REID, BATHEL AME CHURCH: We've seen the best and the worst. The funeral for Freddie Gray was the best of Baltimore. We believe that there would be no violence, no rioting, but it broke it out. But then ministers and gang leaders came to together on the streets where the worst violence was and stop the violence. Went back to the church and talk together.
And so the question is not, will people obey the curfew tonight. The question is that answer by Dr. King who said, American democracy is base upon the right of American citizens to disobey an unjust law. But if you disobey that unjust law, you have to deal with the consequences of that unjust law. And today, many Baltimoreans feel like we are in a occupancy.
COOPER: And to young people particularly who feel that -- who feel lack of opportunity, who feel lack of future that they can see a road map to that future, what do you say? Because there are very real reasons to feel a lack of optimism a lack of hope.
REID: More important than what we say is to listen to their pain and listen to what they want. Because as we listen to our young people then we could come up to solutions with solutions together. Everybody is talking (inaudible). Right now the violence we saw in the 1970s, that was year when they took over the freshmen campus and were (inaudible), it would have been young people fighting, young people running around naked and it's just good old boys.
But in the context of what's going on in Baltimore is trying to make our children look like thugs and we want it a change the narrative. Just like Charles Dickens wrote, that's the best of times and the worst of times. We're seeing Baltimore again the best of times and worst of times but things will get better, Anderson.
COOPER: Do you believe that? You believe that things will get better, the businesses will reopen, that the CVS will come back, that all of Baltimore were sharing growth, not just the downtown part of Baltimore, the water front.
REID: Not only do I believe that, but that's what we're working for with businesses, like the greater Baltimore committee with college institutions like the University of the Maryland existed. If we turn to reach out instead of turning on each other, we can change the city. And as you see this is just not a movement of "thugs".
[21:49:58] New York, I think you said Minneapolis, Minnesota, Washington. This is a national movement that is been brewing since the 60s. And 50 years later, police brutality is still a real issue.
COOPER: Dr. Reid, I appreciate you being with us.
RIED: Thank you so much, Anderson.
COOPER: Appreciated it. We want to have a quick break. When we come back, we're going to have more with Chris Cuomo, about 10 minutes away now from the curfew here in Baltimore, protest continue to (inaudible). We'll be right back.
COOPER: And welcome back. I want to go to Chris Cuomo who is standing by as this curfew -- as we are dismissed away from this curfew. Chris, you were showing us that kind of the -- some of the outbreaks of scuffling that were going on, what's happening right now?
CUOMO: All right. The good news is the police have remained content to observe. All right, they are standing and in very fortified positions on both sides to this block, but they have not advance at all.
More good news, leadership matters. Having Elijah Cummings here, they've been following him in a big group, he's had a bullhorn. They are listening to him.
One thing that's a little bit of concern, what you're seeing (inaudible) behind me right here, there is this confusion about who this curfew is for. So you have this young man coming, maybe with intention to say go home, go home. But they are telling the media, the media is not subject to the curfew. It is the citizenry that is subject to the curfew. So they are putting themselves in harms way to tell us to go home, when the police advance, they will arrest you guys because the media is supposed to be you credential to be here, the curfew doesn't apply.
But that said, people are not looking to make trouble. Nobody is confronting the police. They are confronting each other about going home and keeping this peaceful. Keeping this positive led by Elijah Cummings. He's been very valuable here.
[21:55:02] And you can see people have moved down that way. Police are on that perimeter. The fighting is gone. The guys who were fighting were taken away. And you'll see, there is still a packet of people here who aren't sure what they want to do.
But it's much smaller than what it was and as we approach 10:00, it's moving in the right direction. So we're going to have to keep watching it. But that's what I have for you for now.
COOPER: And Harry Houck is also with us, Chris, as we continue to stay on the images that you are showing us. And, Chris, feel free to jump in if you see anything that weren't said.
But Harry Houck, from your experience with the New York police department, obviously, very different situation for the police, you know, wanting to hang back because we have seen so many citizens policing themselves over the last 24, 36 hours.
Clearly, it seems like tonight they want that process to continue without having to actually move in themselves.
HARRY HOUCK: Well exactly, we're probably going to see the same thing we saw last night. They are going to stand back for a while and then eventually start to move very slowly towards the crowd.
We'll probably have a couple of arrest like we did last night but I think it's probably going to quiet down, probably within 30, 40 minutes after 10:00, hopefully.
COOPER: General Honore, you know, I suppose there are some who think. well at 10:00, you should have a firm line and disperse crowd, but do you think it's wise to let that be a fluid time and to start at 10:00 saying to people, please move along, please move along?
RUSSEL HONORE: Show patience. They did it last night and there are going to be some people that's going to drag behind. There are going to be some people who will walk to get arrested, to execute a civil disturbance and be a focused on wanting to get arrested. So they just have to show they're patient.
My biggest concern, Anderson, is that we are going now, toward a national security concern. Multiple cities, simultaneous, when this grow to more cities across America, I think it's time now to (inaudible) from national security council and we focus on how we're going to deal with this as a nation. We got to stop managing this thing and start leading and figure out a way forward. And that needs to come quick with the number of major cities we have now involved in some of the disturbances over this one issue.
COOPER: It's an interesting phrase that he just used, Sunny Hostin, we need to stop managing city by city and start leading.
SUNNY HOSTIN: Yeah. Because I think at this point, we are seeing almost an epidemic. We're not only seeing I think the epidemic of the death unarmed young black man, we're also seeing this very organized protest. And I think we are going to see a lot of civil disobedience, which of course is something that many people use as a way of change -- as a way to change things. But I am concerned, Anderson, that we're here minutes away from the curfew and even right behind us, there are many, many people that are just not heeding the curfew and that isn't necessarily I think what we saw last night.
We saw people heeding the curfew and by 10:00, everyone going home. That is seemed to be the case now with two minutes left.
COOPER: Chris Cuomo, it seems like a -- I mean we're looking at helicopter shot now kind of a group of people in the middle of an intersection, being led up by, well it looks like a light from a helicopter, it doesn't seem like a huge number of people, am I right in that or is that main group that's there?
CUOMO: You are absolutely right. There is no reason to exaggerate these circumstances. And here is more good news, the officers are falling back. This is where they were staging up in this cut between buildings. These officers are moving over to the side of the street. One of the people in the chain of commands said that they were going to try to open traffic. Who knows if that's true? Maybe they are going to come down into this line.
Now, we see the people who are around Elijah Cummings are starting to move across the street. I think he is looking to try to sweep them up the street not into the middle of traffic but through it. And Elijah Cummings as in the middle of that.
And again, Anderson, you have to say it, the leadership matters. There has been criticism about where the mayor and the governor were in some of these flash points, Elijah Cumming, lives a few blocks away from here. He's been here his whole life. They respect him and he -- they are heeding his words. The leadership has mattered.
Now, one of the big problems is one of the things that's being used to coach people into going along with things tonight is that Friday is our day. Friday is our day. Let's make it to Friday. I think that's dangerous speculation, Anderson, because I don't know what's expected on Friday by these good men and women here of good will and searchers for justice, they say. Because there is a very good chance and you have your legal experts there to check.
Very little chance that you get any sense of closure on Friday about what happened to Freddie Gray.
COOPER: Yeah, and that certainly is not the case. What (inaudible) legal experts we've talked to. [22:00:01] I want to hand over our coverage to Don Lemon who is going to be continuing our coverage throughout the night. There are certainly a lot of, moving pieces, the demonstrations both still protesters out in Baltimore. We've seen the demonstrations in New York, we've seen some in Minneapolis as well Washington.