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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
New Protests in Baltimore; Preliminary Autopsy Shows Freddie Gray's Death in Police Van; Driver of Police Van Has Not Given Statement; New Timeline for in Gray's Arrest; Interview with Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. Aired 4-4:30p ET
Aired April 30, 2015 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:02] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And Arwa and her team will continue their trek to the epicenter. Thanks to Arwa for that report.
THE LEAD with Jake Tapper live in Baltimore starts right now.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Someone want to give me a time? Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. We're coming to you live from Baltimore, Maryland. We have some breaking news in our National Lead today. New protests at the start any minute, and a bombshell report in local news revealing new details about how Freddie Gray may have died.
According to WJLA-TV, the preliminary autopsy shows that Freddie Gray's neck was broken in the police van when his head slammed into the back of that vehicle. This is new information emerging just in the last few minutes from WJLA. The latest news on a day full of developments.
I want to bring in CNN justice reporter Evan Perez right now. Evan, tell us what's in this medical report according to this report from WJLA?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: They say this medical report shows, it's a preliminary report that was provided to the police department, and it's part of this report that went to the state attorney's office, shows that he suffered a head injury and the telltale sign of that is that there is an injury in the head of Freddie Gray that matches a bolt that's in the back of the van. Now, again, we haven't seen this report and don't know whether it's completely accurate, what they're reporting, but that is what they say this preliminary report that was provided to the police says.
TAPPER: And also, the report from WJLA says the driver of the van -- there's six police officers in question here -- and we've been told that five of them gave interviews to the police that night, I think even. That day, within the 24-hour period of Freddie Gray being arrested and becoming paralyzed and this report from the WJLA says the sixth police officer is the driver of the police van.
PEREZ: And has not provided a statement, according to this. Now we're heard, you know, different -- Who is the person who hasn't provided that statement, it's been all over the place today, frankly. And we've been kind of trying to check that out ourselves, and so we haven't verified whether that is indeed the case.
TAPPER: Evan Perez, thank you so much. This major new piece of possible evidence that Gray reportedly broke his neck in the back of that police van, according to WJLA, reporting from the medical examiner. This new information comes on top of another startling admission police made this morning.
Let's go to CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown. Pamela, what did police say and do we know when more details on Gray's case will be officially released?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's not clear, but we know that the investigation, the findings have been handed over to the state's attorney. But today the police came out and gave new information about the timeline, revealing today that the fatal trip after Freddie Gray's arrest included yet another stop. That is considered significant by investigators. Police say they didn't find out about this stop until very recently. Still missing from the picture is what happened in that newly discovered stop.
BROWN (voice-over): A surprise revelation from Baltimore police that this van carrying Freddie Gray made a previously unknown second stop.
KEVIN DAVIS, BALTIMORE DEPUTY POLICE COMMISSIONER: We discovered this new stop based on our thorough and comprehensive and ongoing review of all CCTV cameras and privately owned cameras.
BROWN (voice-over): The new information coming from a private camera at this intersection, not from the police officers transporting him who had talked to investigators.
BILL YEOMANS, FORMER DOJ OFFICIAL, CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION: Obviously, it raises all kinds of questions. Somebody in the police department knew about this stop, and what it suggests is that whoever was driving the van, whoever was involved in the van trip, was not forthcoming.
BROWN (voice-over): It was one of a series of stops after Gray was arrested. First, the policeman pulled over here. This video shows police putting leg irons on Freddie Gray. And then the new stop revealed today. After that, the van made a third stop to, quote, "deal with Gray." Police say that's when he asks for medical attention. There would be another stop before an ambulance got to him. It was at a fourth and final stop when police put another prisoner in the van. A week ago the police commissioner said the other prisoner could not see Gray, but could hear him.
ANTHONY BATTS, BALTIMORE CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: What he has said is that he heard Freddie thrashing about.
BROWN (voice-over): According to a police document obtained by "The Washington Post," the prisoner also told investigators Gray was intentionally trying to injure himself.
YEOMANS: It's a very shaky statement and the fact that it was released is, I think, a transparent effort to try to influence the public discussion of the case.
BROWN (on camera): Even though the initial report is now in the hands of the state's attorney, a significant clue remains missing; that is the medical examiner's report, which could hold the key into what caused Freddie Gray's death. An attorney for the Gray family told CNN Gray did not have any previous injuries that he was aware of. Jake?
[16:05:03] TAPPER: All right. Pamela Brown, thank you so much. As all of this new information is coming in, there are new protests going on right now.
Miguel Marquez is out reporting in the middle of the thick of it all as he has been all week. Miguel, how are people reacting to this new information? Are they even aware of it?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're just starting to absorb it and I don't think it's going to be heard well. One thing to remember, police have said from the get-go, that its officers did nothing wrong.
Police here at North and Pennsylvania Avenues, you can see that they're no longer in riot gear. They are just protecting the block, basically. We expect a big march to set off from here. These are the signs that they're already hanging out for the march. Political accountability now. They want to turn this into a real movement.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): In a shocking admission, Baltimore police now say they've discovered a fourth stop along Freddie Gray's transport from his arrest to the Western District Police Station, where the 25- year-old had to get emergency care.
DAVIS: We discovered this new stop based on our thorough and comprehensive and ongoing review of all CCTV cameras and privately owned cameras, and, in fact, this new stop has been -- was discovered from a privately owned camera.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): The report handed up a day early to Maryland State Attorney, who will decide whether to charge officers. The new information about the fourth stop will not be well-received.
REV. JAMAL BRYANT, PASTOR, EMPOWERMENT TEMPLE CHURCH: This additional stop lends credence to their suspicion that something is absolutely off-track. And so for the police to just give out little parcels of information, I believe is absolutely irresponsible. Give us everything or don't give us anything.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Police here also insist the investigation is not over and they are still seeking information. BATTS: If new evidence is found, we will follow it.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Many here concerned police are stacking the deck with selective information leaked about how Gray was injured. "The Washington Post" quoting a Baltimore police report says Gray was, quote, "intentionally trying to injure himself." An attorney for Gray's family disputes that, saying police are strategically leaking information and that they've been given none of the info to check the claims.
ANDREW O'CONNELL, FREDDIE GRAY FAMILY ATTORNEY: What I would like to know and what we have been asking for from the beginning are the radio runs that are recorded during these stops. Whenever a police officer makes a stop, they are supposed to radio it in. Those are recorded in this building right over my right shoulder. We haven't seen those. Those are usually the best way to get an accurate picture of what happened during an arrest event.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): All this as protests, both here in Baltimore and around the country --
PROTESTERS: (Chanting) We're young, we're strong, we're marching all night long.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): -- is gaining steam, demanding justice for Freddie Gray and for other African-Americans in cases of police brutality.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): In New York, nearly 150 people arrested in a rise up and shut it down with Baltimore demonstration. Demonstrators also took to the streets in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. -
PROTESTERS: (Chanting) We're marching all night long!
MARQUEZ (voice-over): -- on Wednesday night.
MARQUEZ (on camera): Now, clearly, the demonstrators here are getting much more organized. We expect one to leave from here and a couple of other locations in town, they're all going to merge and head down to City Hall. They want more justice, but these reports, they believe that they are strategically leaked. They think that they are trying to set him up, basically, so that no one will ever be held accountable for Freddie Gray, and this neighborhood and this town is going to have is a real problem with that. Jake?
TAPPER: All right. Miguel Marquez in the thick of it. Thank you so much.
The former Mayor of Baltimore, two terms, and potential 2016 presidential contender rushed back to his city after Monday's riots -- he was in Ireland -- only to face some angry residents, some of whom blame him for the tension between the police here in Baltimore and the community. I meet up with Martin O'Malley in an exclusive TV interview and ask him to respond.
[16:09:15] That interview coming to you, next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD, live from Baltimore.
Scenes from Baltimore Monday compelled us to watch the chilling spectacle of a major American city literally burning with rage. But this week has brought other scenes as well, rows and rows of boarded up, abandoned houses. Young, African-American men and women, citizen, standing united against a police force that they say has targeted them, unfairly, for the better part of two decades.
This is all part of the complicated legacy of Martin O'Malley, the former two-term mayor of Baltimore, former two-term governor of Maryland, and potential future challenger to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.
I just sat down minutes ago with Governor O'Malley to talk to him about what's happened in his city.
TAPPER: Governor O'Malley, thanks so much for joining us. Really appreciate it.
MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), FORMER MARYLAND GOVERNOR: Thank you, Jake. Good to be with you.
TAPPER: So, there's this report in "The Washington Post" today, the Baltimore Police Department apparently leaking to them that the other prisoner in the police van according to him, according to police, says that Freddie Gray was banging himself around inside the van. This is, as I'm sure is not a surprise to you, being met with a lot of skepticism from people in Baltimore who think the police are doing selective leaks to try to clear their name. There's a cover-up, et cetera.
What's your take?
O'MALLEY: I think the entire leadership of Baltimore city from the mayor to the state's attorney to the police commissioner want to make sure that a thorough investigation is done, and that justice is done in this case, and I think that all of our leaders are anxious to get to the bottom of exactly what happened with the best evidence possible as quickly as possible. And I think that's what's happening right now.
[16:15:10] TAPPER: But you know this from your experience as a two- term mayor and governor, there are a lot of people skeptical of the police --
O'MALLEY: Oh, absolutely.
TAPPER: -- and skeptical that the power structure can investigate itself in a fair way?
O'MALLEY: Look, I served as mayor here for two terms. Beginning in 1999, a year we had become the most violent and addicted city in America. There is no issue more intertwined with a brutal racial legacy that we have an Americans than that of law enforcement and race.
So, this -- that's what makes these cases so very, very difficult, and that's why (AUDIO GAP) transparency are so very, very important. And -- so, look, we are a system of laws. We have grand juries. We have elections. The people that are responsible for investigating this case and seeing that justice is done is the state's attorney, who herself stands for election.
So, look, we will -- I know that the leaders of Baltimore City are committed to doing justice in this case, and want to do it with all deliberate speed.
TAPPER: You talk about race as being part of this. The mayor is African-American. The police commissioner is African-American. The state's attorney is African-American. In part because of your efforts as mayor, much of the police force is African-American, Caucasians are a minority on the police force?
O'MALLEY: Right. We're a much more diverse and representative force now.
TAPPER: And yet, there's still mistrust of the police and mistrust of power structure of people especially in West Baltimore.
O'MALLEY: Well, there's something else is going on here, Jake. I mean, we must constantly improve policing and also how we police the police and train the police. A network needs to be constant, ongoing. We're not going to solve this legacy in just a few years. I mean, you have to constantly be working on this.
But there's something deeper going on here in our country and that is the anger, the seething anger that people feel when they're working harder, falling further behind, when they're marginalized by a brutal economy, when they see no hope for themselves, no hope for their kids, and this is not the way our country is supposed to work.
Yes, the touchstone, the flashpoint here is the tragic death of Freddie Gray, and law enforcement and race, but it's deeper than that. And that's what we need to face up to as a nation and have a larger conversation even as we do these individual case, the justice that Freddie Gray's life deserves.
TAPPER: When you ran for mayor and city councilman and then you were mayor, you were tough on crime. You instituted some assertive police practices, and criticized for being too aggressive, alienating the population from the police force. When you were walking through Baltimore, somebody said, "I know a lot of people were nice, some were not", and somebody said, "F that. He's to blame."
Do you shoulder any of the blame here? Are you responsible at all?
O'MALLEY: Well, we're all responsible. I was responsible when I decided to run for mayor in 1999 and I told people all across our city, vote for me and together, we will not only improve policing of our streets, we'll improve the policing of our police, we'll expand drug treatment and we'll save a lot of young lives by intervening earlier.
And these were the things that we did every day and went on to achieve a record reduction in violent crime and there are probably now 1,000 mostly young, poor African-American men who did not die violent deaths in our city who would have if we'd have continued at the trajectory and level of violent crime we had before. But --
TAPPER: Was that a trade-off worth it? Because there are people, as you know, African-Americans who say that policing, whether it's the NAACP and ACLU, which sued you for arresting individuals, your administration, for arresting individuals without probable cause, or Al Sharpton who said that the police practices alienated the population from the police. Are we now seeing the flip side of the success you had in reducing crime?
O'MALLEY: Well, he's -- I mean, look, let's acknowledge this. I don't think that there is a trade-off. In fact, we never used the term aggressive policing. We were very clear with police officers. We wanted them to be assertive when necessary, proactive in restoring -- you know, to the good people in every neighborhood their streets from open-air drug dealing.
But we also worked every single day on policing our police. We encourage people, Jake, to call about excessive force and discourtesy. We, for the first time, gave our civilian review board their own detectives to investigate these cases and the people in Baltimore on more than one occasion -- actually, I was elected, won every district in the city after having this conversation and you talk about someone heckling you, I don't think there's a day when a mayor goes out and does his or her business in a major American city when that doesn't happen.
O'MALLEY: But when people had the opportunity to go to the polls, I won every single district of the city, was elected in the general election with 91 percent of the vote. Four years later, the people of our city re-elected me with 88 percent of the vote. And I would not have become governor if people across the city had not voted for me twice for governor.
But the real issue here is about policing, it is about policing the police, and about the state of justice and injustice in the United States of America.
TAPPER: When your police were assertive, there was one year, 2005, when there was something like 100,000 arrests in a city of 600,000 people. That seems like a lot of arrests.
O'MALLEY: Yes, and a lot were of the same people again and again and again.
We also put mechanisms in place so that we would -- so that we could spare at many people as we could from having a blemish on their record if it, indeed, were just a one-time event.
We also reduced violent crime -- the three cities in America that reduced violent crime by the greatest amount were three you wouldn't have guessed 20 years ago. They were New York, Los Angeles and the city of Baltimore. Greatest reductions of violent crime over a ten- year period of time.
Look, every mayor I think tries to get the balance right. I never once in my years as mayor ever had a single leader of a community, black or white, ever say to me, Mr. Mayor, I want less police presence in my neighborhood. In fact, we had a waiting list of neighbors who said we want you to close down the open-air drug markets in our neighborhood and we wanted you to do it last month.
So, that was the reality in 1999. I think even if you talk to some of those that were critical and concerned at the time, and they're legitimate concerns, they were legitimate concerns we had as a people, and they were concerns that I had to answer every single day in order to maintain the public trust necessary to actually effectively police, because the greatest protection for any police officer is not their gun or their badge. It's the trust. It's the respect that they have from the community.
So, look, we're never done with this, though. I mean, now, everybody has a cell phone, cell phone cameras that brings a degree of openness and transparency --
TAPPER: You think that's a good thing?
O'MALLEY: I think it's a very good thing. In fact, we should go to body cameras, we should require all police departments to report in a timely and accurate fashion police-involved shootings, by the way during our seven years were the lowest seven years on record for police-involved shootings, we should require the reporting of discourtesy, excessive force, body cameras -- all of those things, because the cell phone cameras have proliferated, that's raised the bar for what we expect of a public institution, like law enforcement, especially with its intertwined history with race in the United States.
TAPPER: Stay right there if you would, Governor. We're going to take a very quick break.
When we come back, I'm going to ask the governor about his potential presidential campaign and perhaps some of his possible opponents, including a certain former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Stay right there. We'll be right back.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. We are with former or two-term mayor and two-term governor, Martin O'Malley.
Thanks again for joining us again.
MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), FORMER MARYLAND GOVERNOR: Thank you, Jake.
TAPPER: It's no secret you're contemplating a run for president, for the Democratic presidential nomination -- and Baltimore, and the changes to Baltimore, the positive ones are a big part of your pitch. You recently told Democrats, quote, "Baltimore went on to achieve the biggest reduction in crime of any major city in America, in this battle between our violent past and our better, safer future, the future won, the dream lives on."
The dream lives on. What do you say to voters in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina who are looking at Baltimore in these last couple of weeks and they're saying, "That's not a dream, that's a nightmare"?
O'MALLEY: Well, it's been a huge setback. What I say and I've been saying to my neighbors all around the city is, look, we're going to -- we're going to come back.
This is a setback. It's one of our darkest days. The last time that I think our entire city was gripped by this sort of grief and sadness would have been probably about ten years ago when an entire family, mom and dad, five kids, were fire-bombed in their sleep, just for believing that we could make our city safer for calling 911 about drug dealers.
Progress rarely moves in a straight line, and sometimes we have setbacks. And very few of them have been as heartbreaking to all of us who have done so much over these years to make Baltimore a safer and better place than the scenes that we saw, that are now, you know, indelibly, they're seared into our memories. They've been broadcast all around the world, and we have to do better -- not only as a city, we have to do better as a country.
TAPPER: Your record as mayor and then governor includes millions more for public school, programs, mentoring programs, intervention with at- risk youth, drug treatment. What do you say to conservatives who say, this shows that liberal policies are failing urban America? Everything -- this is a Democratic city in a Democratic state, everything that they want to do they do here and look at West Baltimore. It's still horrible.
O'MALLEY: Well, what I would say to them is, beyond the -- beyond the tangible progress of nation-leading crime reductions, beyond the fact that we made our schools as a state the best in America for five years in a row, I think the real question, or the real conclusion we draw, from Baltimore, from Charleston, from Ferguson and other places is that America is failing America. We are failing to live up to the sort of people that we expect ourselves to be, that our grandparents expected us to be and that our kids need for us to be.
You cannot create an economy that treats people and labor and human beings as if they're worthless commodities. You cannot create pockets of unemployment and extreme poverty without creating extremely dangerous conditions. And that's what we've done in our country.
It doesn't have to be this way, but we have to change how we approach our economy. It's not money. The economy is not money. It is people.
And right now, we've told a lot of people in America that they're marginal, unheard and the results you see from that are incidents like this one, that boil up with young men who feel like their country doesn't care about them, their country doesn't want to look at them, their country wishes they would go away, their country wishes that they can't go away, that they would get instead locked up. And that's not the sort of country we should be building for our kids.
TAPPER: Hillary Clinton, who you will likely be running against sometime soon, gave a speech yesterday in which she talked about calming for body cameras for police and an end to the era of mass incarceration. You've been slightly critical of her for being a Johnny come lately on some issues, including drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, on same sex marriage being a human right, not a state by state issue.
On this issue, when you look at her comments yesterday, and you look at Clinton record, and she was a big part of pushing for the Clinton crime bill including three strikes you're out, which a lot of critics say led to mass incarceration, do you have a similar criticism for her? Is she finding Jesus on her way to Des Moines?
O'MALLEY: Well, I spoke to Al Sharpton's group, National Action Network, in New York and made many of the same points about openness, transparency, the body cameras, differently than Secretary Clinton. I've actually had experience on the ground making police departments more transparent, and more open.
And we also -- when I finished my term as governor, we had the lowest incarceration number in our state that we've had in 20 years. So I think over the years, we have to constantly be evolving and putting forth new iterations and figuring how to do policing in smarter ways, how to be smarter in criminal justice. Some of the things that were attempted in the '80s or '90s no longer serve us today.
However, there are things that we can improve upon, like protecting the public from repeat violent offenders. In other words, there are people who deserve to be behind bars, and they are the repeat violent offenders, but there are people who need drug treatment, who need job training. And we're told also, by the way, it's a lot more cost effective, as we've found here.
TAPPER: Last question. Rand Paul made a comment how he was happy his Amtrak train did not stop in Baltimore. First of all, it's not true. Every Amtrak train stops in Baltimore. But beyond that, did that offend you as a Baltimorean?
O'MALLEY: Look, the -- this is -- this is what pains me most deeply as Baltimorean. I feel a tremendous amount of sadness, as every one of my neighbors does, about the incidents that unfolded here. About the setback that this has caused to a proud city whose longer arc and longer and bigger story is about black and white people coming together to accomplish really difficult things. That's what I'm most concerned about, and as far as Republican candidates for president, you know what they say, and -- you know, that's their choice.
My choice is to be here with my neighbors and our choice as a city is to rise from this event and be stronger afterwards and that's what I'm focused on.
TAPPER: And our thanks to Governor O'Malley for that interview.