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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Six Officers Charged In Freddie Gray's Death; Police Union Calls For Independent Prosecutor; Protesters Face Off With Police In Seattle; Royal Family Welcomes A Baby Girl; Nepal in the Aftermath. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired May 2, 2015 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking curfew, this as the city prepares for more rallies in Baltimore and across the nation.
Plus, this morning, six officers arrested in the death of Freddie Gray, bond out of jail. A look at the charges and whether the prosecutor made the right call.
Also, after days of walking through rubble and devastation, a CNN crew makes to the epicenter of the earthquake that killed more than 7,000 people. This morning, we have a must-see moment as we take you there live.
And breaking news out of London, we could have a royal baby by the end of the show. The duchess of Cambridge is in labor, has been for almost 4-1/2 hours now. We, of course, will keep you posted to that.
I want to wish you a very good morning and thank you so much for sharing your time with us. I'm Christi Paul so much news to talk about. But we want to begin with Victor Blackwell, of course, who is live in Baltimore with us this morning. Good morning, Victor.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Christi, good morning. New this morning, go home or go to central booking. That was the message from Baltimore police for protesters overnight. Now police arrested more than 50 people including 15, who violated the city's curfew.
BLACKWELL: Look, you see here, this police officer, several police officers, tackling one of the demonstrators there to the ground. Overall, though, compared to other nights, this was relatively a peaceful night.
Now all of this happening after a landmark day here in this case, the state's attorney, Marilyn Mosby, here in Baltimore City, announcing that the six officers involved in Freddie Gray's death will face criminal charges.
And for the first time, you see them here, these are the mug shots, we're getting a look at the officers involved with that arrest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARILYN MOSBY, BALTIMORE STATE ATTORNEY: 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, have led us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: So this morning, I mean, those officers are out of jail. They posted bond. Freddie gray's family says they are satisfied with the charges. Today protesters, they remain determined to get justice here in Baltimore and not just here in Baltimore, but protesters across the country.
There are rallies planned in major cities, Los Angeles, Boston, and Pittsburgh and of course, a rally here in Baltimore as well. Let's bring in CNN correspondent, Rene Marsh.
Rene, we're still learning a lot about this investigation, what more do we know?
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDEN: Well, we know that this was unexpected for a lot of people here in Baltimore. They didn't expect that announcement that happened yesterday.
But this 35-year-old prosecutor, she was tough, she was confident, saying that she was charging the six officers because they caused Freddie Gray's death in two ways, one by failing to seat-belt him and, two, by not submitting to his requests multiple times for medical help.
MOSBY: We have probable cause to file criminal charges.
MARSH (voice-over): Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby made a bombshell announcement to the cheers of protesters saying even before police officers placed Freddie Gray inside the police van, he never should have been arrested.
MOSBY: No crime had been committed by Mr. Gray.
MARSH: Gray was found carrying a knife, but the prosecutor said it was legal.
MOSBY: 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.
MARSH: Mosby says not only did the officers fail to get Gray medical help. They made another grave mistake when they put him into this police van.
MOSBY: At no point was he secured by a seat belt while in the wagon contrary to a BPD general order.
MARSH: The van drove away from the scene and while the exact route is unknown made its first stop here, where officers took Gray out of the van to put shackles on his legs and flex cuffs on his wrists.
MOSBY: Officer Miller, Officer Nero and Lieutenant Rice then loaded Mr. Gray back in the wagon, placing him on his stomach, head first on the floor of the wagon. Once again, Mr. Gray was not secured by the seat belt in the wagon.
MARSH: The officer driving the van made another stop here.
MOSBY: 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.
[06:05:08] MARSH: Several blocks later, the driver stopped once again and three other officers arrived to check on Gray.
MOSBY: Mr. Gray at that time requested help and indicated that he could not breathe. Officer Porter asked Mr. Gray if he needed a medic. At which time, Mr. Gray indicated at least twice that he was in need of a medic.
MARSH: Mosby says the officers did not call a medic and once again failed to seat-belt Gray. The van's driver decided to move on. It was at the fourth stop here, the van picked up this man, Donte Allen, who was put on the other side of a metal partition.
Mosby says Gray was once again neglected, but it wasn't until 25 minutes later when the van reached the police station that a medic was called. At that point, she says, Gray was in cardiac arrest and not breathing.
The medical examiner and prosecutor concluded Gray's death was a homicide. No comment from any of the six officers, but fraternal order of police lawyers is calling for an independent prosecutor citing conflict of interest in saying there was a rush to judgment.
MICHAEL DAVEY, BALTIMORE POLICE UNION LAWYER: We believe the actions taken today by the state's attorney are an egregious rush to judgment and we have grave concerns about the fairness and integrity of the prosecution of our officers.
MARSH: Well, at this point, the family of Freddie Gray, they're saying that the decision that was made by the state prosecutor, it gives them great hope.
Meantime, there are calls for the state prosecutor to recruits herself from the case because her husband is a Baltimore city councilman. She says she's not going anywhere. She will prosecute the case.
BLACKWELL: You know, what we saw from protesters here and in other parts of the country, although, there were arrests yesterday, the environment was celebratory, jubilant. Is that what we're seeing generally as the reaction to what happened?
MARSH: Yes, for the most part, I mean, that intersection of Pennsylvania and West North Avenue, I think that that was the epicenter of many of the celebrations just moments after she made this announcement.
I saw cars going through that intersection, honking horns. People out their windows in the middle of the street chanting Freddie, Freddie, Freddie so there was this feeling of victory.
However, you talk to a few people in the crowd, and they say this is a small step towards victory because there still has to be a trial.
BLACKWELL: I spoke to a man who said he would have gone further than that saying that this is a bone that's being thrown to protesters to try to keep people quiet. We'll talk more about that later in the show. Rene Marsh, thank you so much.
So the police union is angry, upset also with the state attorney's decision. They're saying that Marilyn Mosby has conflicts of interest as Rene just discussed and should have waited until the police inquiry before bringing charges. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GENE RYAN, PRESIDENT, BALTIMORE FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE: We're disappointed in the apparent rush to judgment given the fact that the investigation into this matter has not been concluded. Our officers like every other American citizen are entitled to due process. We will continue to support them out there this due process which we believe will result in the finding of their innocence.
MOSBY: We've been investigating this case from the very beginning and what we needed was confirmation of our investigation, which was the medical examiner's report, and we received it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: All right. So we're going to bring in CNN law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes in just a moment because there are questions about -- yes, let's bring in Tom, if we can.
Let's get Tom mic'd up. But while we get Tom mic'd up, there are questions, obviously, about the charges specifically. Don Lemon as you might have heard in that interview or if you haven't, we're going to get it for you in just a moment.
Asked about bringing these charges and if there was enough evidence to prove these charges and the state's attorney said you shouldn't bring the charges unless you have evidence to do so.
We are going to bring Scott Bolton into this conversation in just a moment. If we can Scott mic'd up as well. But Tom, we've got you here now. Your reaction initially to the announcement of those charges, no one expected -- well, not many people expected they would be coming? TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: No, I certainly did not. I think we were all shocked that charges were announced that quickly. We learned from the beginning that there were 50 police detectives from Baltimore City Police, probably the same number from the sheriff's police.
Then the state's attorney's office has its own cadre of investigators so a few of a hundred investigators and dozens of attorney. You could see where they could turn this around pretty quickly. But I was also surprised that the degree of detail of what each person did and the basis of each charge.
BLACKWELL: Did you expect to hear that much detail on day one?
FUENTES: No, and some question that whether that may have painted her into a corner on what the prosecution will be for each person.
[06:10:07] And it also shows that it will probably require some for trials because the elements were so different for what occurred at different locations with each of the officers.
BLACKWELL: The police in their news conference, Michael Davey, who is the attorney representing the union said that this was a rush to judgment and that the state's attorney should have waited for a full investigation.
In the same statement, he said these officers have done nothing wrong, of course, innocent until proven guilty. But is that not also a rush to judgment? Isn't that a blanket statement?
FUENTES: Well, everybody is rushing to judgment with their own opinion, whether it was a good charge against each officer or not. That's going to be debated in court. Certainly, there's no judgment yet until the trials are over or juries rule on whether their guilty or not. So what we have is rush to accusations on the part of wrongdoing on the part of these officers. It's not a judgment yet.
BLACKWELL: What are you looking to hear that you haven't learned thus far?
FUENTES: I think we're all going to have learned a lot more detail particularly on the medical examiner's findings. And I think I'd like to also learn whether there's going to be additional autopsies or examinations.
You know, we had in the Michael Brown's case. Three autopsies, you have the state's attorney, the family did another. Then the FBI investigation used the department of defense medical examiner to do a third examination.
So, we don't know now if there's going to be more than the current one that's been done. I don't think we have all of the results and we haven't heard the toxicology, either, of what was in Freddie Gray's system either at the time of this.
Is there some other factor that may have caused his behavior in the van or add to the severity of his injuries. We don't know a lot about that either yet.
BLACKWELL: Yes, still a lot of questions to be answered. We'll get Scott Bolden in the conversation later in the show. Tom Fuentes, thank you so much. We'll talk more throughout the morning as well. Let's toss it back to Christi in Atlanta -- Christi.
PAUL: Victor, thank you so much, great job out there.
Cities across the country are showing real solidarity with Baltimore by holding their own protests and rallies. In fact, today, there is a plan across the country including places like Los Angeles, Boston, and Pittsburgh.
This is what it looked like in Seattle overnight. At least two police officers were seriously injured. Police say demonstrators threw rocks and explosive devices at officers. Not sure how many people were arrested.
All right, we're going to have much more from Baltimore, including the medical examiner's report. But listen, a major part in ruling Freddie Gray's death a homicide. That's what we'll talk about. We'll look at what factors could have played a role in that decision.
And we have breaking news for you from London. There say royal baby. It's a girl! We are just getting this information in. More with a live report for you from London in just a moment.
PAUL: Take a look at live pictures there from St. Mary's hospital in London. There is a new royal baby, and it is a girl. This is what so many people were waiting for, you see the throng of the folks. Not just Londoners who have been camped out, some for two weeks, outside the hospital, but all the cameras and the lights.
And, you know, the hubbub that's going on around St. Mary's there. As the princess of Cambridge, Katherine, of course, went into labor. CNN got the official word from Kensington Palace about 1:30 this morning that she was in labor.
And we are just learning she did have a baby girl. We do not know the name. We're going to take you to London in just a little bit. But, first, we do want to get back to one of the top stories. Let's listen to this. They're making the announcement.
You hear the bell and there is the official announcement of the new baby girl that was born to the duke and duchess of Cambridge, Katherine and William and Prince George is now a big brother, officially.
That, I believe, that is the door they'll come out of most likely in day or two. We'll take you live to London more on what's happening there. Hopefully, we'll learn a name very soon. We'll keep you posted on that. But we do want to get back to one of our other top stories today, of course, the development in Baltimore. Police made new arrests overnight taking protesters who are violating curfew to jail.
That, as we've learned, that the six officers charged in Freddie Gray's death that they've all bonded out of jail. Now the autopsy report on Freddie Gray has not been made public, but here's what Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby said when she announced that the six police officers were being charged.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOSBY: Manner of death deemed a homicide by the Maryland State medical examiner is believed to be the result of a fatal injury that occurred while Mr. Gray was unrestrained by a seat belt in the custody of the Baltimore Police Department wagon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Joseph Scott Morgan is a forensic analyst and a former investigator with Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office and also a distinguished professor of Allied Forensics at Jacksonville State University. We're so grateful to have you with us. Thank you.
JOSEPH SCOTT MORGAN, FORMER INVESTIGATOR, FULTON COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER'S OFFICE: Thank you, Christi.
PAUL: I want to go through some of what was said and try to break some things down. State Attorney Mosby said when officers first arrested gray, that they put him face down. That he said at that point that he down breathe and he asked for an inhaler.
There are reports that he had asthma. But had they not gotten him an inhaler and not gotten him medical assistance, which you know they didn't at that time, how might that in a case of asthma or not being able to breathe and needing an inhaler. How might that have contributed to what happened here at the end of the day with everything we know?
MORGAN: Well, let's look at it from this perspective, Christi, if an individual is face down and they are in fact asthmatic, and their hands are restrained behind them, this is going to compromise their ability to breathe.
Now one of the big things that we have to consider is the fact that they are laying -- this gentleman may have been laying on top of his diaphragm. That's what caused the compromise.
If you're struggling to breathe in the first place and you're lying face down, you can't insulate air and you can't get proper oxygenation, and you can't move.
[06:20:02] You know, we try to move to help our chest rise and fall normally and if you're in a stressed position like this, this is going to compromise your ability to breathe. PAUL: But looking here obviously at the video. He's cuffed. His legs are in shackles. I also want to show some video we have here of gray getting in the van.
CNN's Gary Tuchman, he got into a van similar to the police van that was transporting Gray, and what's really striking about this, if we can get this video up, there's Gary.
What's striking about this is how narrow this space is. You've got that metal divider in the middle. Let's listen --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Is there any way to get up?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's incredibly hard.
TUCHMAN: OK, have you ever seen anyone do that before?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's almost impossible.
TUCHMAN: So if there's a rough ride in this van, this is theoretically what could have happened. If this thing is bouncing up and down, your head hits the metal. Your head hits the metal. That doesn't hurt. I'm just trying to give you an idea. It there's a bolt lying down here, it's theoretically possible, that's where the bolt is. Regarding communication --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: OK, so that's where the bolt is, let's think about this, at the point that he might have -- that his head might have hit that bolt, if that is what happened --
PAUL: -- what would have been happening to him at that point?
MORGAN: Let's consider that he's already distressed possibly going into what we referred to as an excited delirium state where he's restrained. He can't breathe. We don't know what's going on with him toxicologically.
He's in a confined area. So he very well may have had a seizure. You never know, but then you throw this piece in where he sustained a head injury, he's constricted, he can't move. It's almost like positional asphyxia.
If he does impact a specific area of the brain, I'm thinking like the base of the skull, this could compromise even further his ability to breath per his autonomic nervous system. That's why he arrested pretty quickly.
PAUL: So as we understand it, about 10 minutes after the arrest, he's back in the van and State Attorney Mosby says one of the officers spoke to him and he didn't respond. There was no response at all. He had already at that point, we know, asked for medical assistance, at least, if not twice. At that point, would an officer, without hearing a response, would they not have known that there could have been a problem?
MORGAN: Well, I have to say, it would seem to be in the normal course -- officers are taught basic first aid. And officers are also aware of issues relative to restraint. Things like hog tying, all of these things we've talked about for years and year, relative to in-custody deaths.
This is something they should have been really on top. When you have an individual that is unresponsive and I understand that Mr. Gray had in fact requested a medic, there should have been a medic on the scene taking care of him at that point. By the time the medic arrived, it was too late.
PAUL: All right, Joseph, thank you so much.
MORGAN: Yes, ma'am. Great to be here.
PAUL: We have much more, obviously on Freddie Gray's death this morning and the case against the officers that are charged coming up.
But first, other news that we're following including a story that you're going to see only here on CNN, after days of walking through rubble and devastation, a CNN crew makes it to the epicenter of that earthquake that killed nearly 7,000 people. We're going to take you there live.
And, of course, the breaking news this morning, the royal baby has been born. Katherine has a little baby girl with her hubby. We're going live to London. Stay close.
PAUL: All right. We want to take you live to Kensington -- well, not Kensington, Palace, to London, rather, in front of St. Mary's Hospital. Max Foster is there.
Max, you have been in a hotel room for days near this hospital, just waiting to get out of the hotel room so you could announce this. It is a baby girl. Why were so many people pulling for a girl?
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: I think they just, you know, had a boy already, they wanted a girl. They really wanted the idea of a princess as well, a lot more to write about with a princess with fashion. I think people were excited about the idea and the complete set of a fairy tale which is the Cambridge, of course.
So the e-mail I got within the last few minutes was from the palace saying she's delivered a daughter, Her Royal Highness Duchess of Cambridge. The baby weighs 8 pounds, 3 ounces very healthy. They're doing well. So very positive news, fourth in line to the throne, Christi, this baby, so significant in the monarchy, but also to spin the camera around, Brad, the media, there's a town crier that came out to announce the birth as well, unofficially, but paid for by local businesses, I think.
There's a huge excitement and a rush of the public up to the doors of the hospital. They've just been pushed back, actually. So we have the announcement. We don't have a name yet. That name will be forthcoming, we're told by the palace.
But the name will fit into this title. She'll be her Royal Highness Princess of Cambridge. So we have a new princess today and we expect to see her possibly today, Christi, but it could be tomorrow.
Prince George when he was born came out the day after he was born. We'll wait to see. Historic announcement coming out on those steps in the next 24 hours or so.
PAUL: OK, obviously, you see when Prince George was born. Again, you just heard Max say, 8:34, 8 pounds, 3 ounces baby girl. Max, we are going to talk to you again in just a little bit. Thank you so much for being with us. And do stay close to us. We're ready to give you more news here on NEW DAY.
[06:30:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your hands up. Put your other hands up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your hands up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the ground.
BLACKWELL: Thanks for staying with us here on New Day, I'm Victor Blackwell, live in Baltimore. Last night's celebration turned into defiance. Police arrested more than 50 people here, including some who violated the citywide curfew.
Now, it was a similar scene in places like Seattle. Let's take a look. Let's go to Seattle now. This is what it looked like on Friday. At least two officers were seriously injured there after protests. And today, more demonstrations expected to take place across the country. All this, as the family is now praising the decision to charge the six officers involved in Gray death. Gray suffered a fatal spinal cord injury reportedly after police arrested him last month.
And for the first time, we are getting to see those officers, here are the mug shots, all the officers at the center of this case. All six were issued warrants on Friday, warrants issued for their arrest. They're now out of bail - out of jail rather, after bond was posted. Now, we're learning more details about these officers in the last several hours. CNN Senior Investigative Correspondent Drew Griffin is covering that angle for us. Drew. DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: We now know
three of the officers are white and three are black. Including the driver of the van who faces the most serious of charges. His name, Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 45 years old, he's been with the Baltimore police department since 1999. We've checked his record, only found a civil case against him by City Bank for about $5,000. Even his driving record is clean. Goodson, though, faces six charges including that most serious charge of second degree murder and manslaughter. He faces a possible 63 years in prison.
Also facing six is charges, the most senior officer involved with the arrest. He is Lieutenant Brian Rice, 41 years old, white. He's been with the Baltimore P.D. since '97. And in his recent past has been involved in a nasty domestic situation with another Baltimore police officer. That was in 2012. The couple were fighting over custody of their child. The mother of the child called police (peering) Rice might harm himself. Police responded, removed seven weapons from Lieutenant Rice's home including his service weapon. He was driven to a hospital. But the case seems to end there, Rice is facing charges that include involuntary manslaughter, second degree assault. Hi possible sentence is 30 years behind bars.
The two officers you see here in yellow vest and bike helmets, they are the bike cops. They are the original arresting officers of Freddie Gray, they're much younger. Edward Nero, 21 years old, listed as white, on the force just three years. He faces five charges, the most serious is assault in second degree, a possible sense of 20 years. Garrett Miller is 26 years old, he's also white. It was Miller and Nero you see frisking Freddie Gray. They claimed this is when they confiscated a switch blade that was probable cause for an arrest.
Well, the prosecutor now says that that knife was not a switch blade. It was a pocket knife, not illegal. And stating there was no reason Freddie Gray should have been arrested at all. For that reason, it is Miller, Nero and Lieutenant Rice charged with false imprisonment. Officer William Porter is 25 years old, also black, also hired in 2012, facing three charges including involuntary man slaughter, second degree assault.
Finally a woman, Sergeant Alicia White who is black. Charged with three counts, charges that could bring her 20 years in prison. As far as our record show, right now, none of these officers have been charged in any crime relating to their duties in the past, they're now obviously facing extremely serious charges. Back to you.
BLACKWELL: All right, Drew, thank you so much.
Now, the six officers are expected back in court on May 27th for a preliminary hearing. I want to bring in now Scott Baldwin, the defense attorney, to talk about some of the finer points of what we heard from the state's attorney yesterday. First, there have been some concerns expressed about the detail into which Marilyn Mosby went yesterday in discussing these charges. Are you concerned?
SCOTT BALDWIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I'm not concerned. Clearly, they've been working around the clock, they've 20 or 30 investigators, you can get an investigation done in two or three weeks. So she's locked into those details now and those facts, so she's got to live with them. But the fact of the matter is she must feel awfully strong - awfully strong about these charges that she's bringing the facts in her investigation.
[06:35:00] BLACKWELL: Yes. Especially one, and I think it's one that maybe people at home would not heard much about this that people have not, depraved-heart murder against the - the charge against the driver of this van specifically, what is that?
BALDWIN: It's extreme disregard. That is, the elements of depraved- heart with a second degree murder charge, you caused the death of an individual, you created the circumstance. And then when you observed and you were conscious of this circumstance, you had extreme disregard for that person's life. That's a very serious charge. I think you can get up to 20 or 30 years for it. And so only the driver who was really controlling the action is the only one that was charged with that. And that's a very serious charge.
BLACKWELL: What role do you think the public pressure, the environment here in Baltimore, the last couple weeks, the landscape, played into the timing of the announcement? I don't think many people expected that would be what she had to say when she came out yesterday.
BALDWIN: Well, she's got 20 or 30 investigators working around the clock, one. And this case is about accountability. The public wants to know, she's a public official. They're working around the clock. And I think a two-week investigation and the details that she gave was appropriate simply because the public deserved it.
You've got a dead person that died in the hands in the custody of the Baltimore police department. There needs to be transparency. It has nothing to do with the public or the protesters. It's got to do with the responsibility of - of - of her job and the city. And how the city moves forward. And whether someone is going to be prosecuted or not prosecuted.
BLACKWELL: We'll talk more throughout the show but one thing I want to talk about later this morning is if these officers can get a fair trial in Baltimore. Scott Baldwin, thank you so much for being part of the conversation this morning.
BALDWIN: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Now, the family of the Freddie Gray says that they're satisfied with the charges brought against the officers in the death of their son. And the attorney is calling for a change among local police. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We shall demand better hiring, better training, better oversight and a new culture of policing. Yes, a new culture of policing, where good policing is rewarded and bad policing is punished.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: And it's not just policing that is an issue in Gray's community. I want you to look at this. We've got a graphic here for you to show the area where Freddie Gray lived. That's an assortment of pretty disturbing statistics with unemployment at 20 percent, an average household income of $25,000 or less. And for Baltimore youth in this area, the life Freddie lived is not uncommon.
We have with us, Lance Lucas, he is certainly trying to make a difference in the lives of inner city Baltimore youth, by teaching them skills, specifically, computer skills, for jobs. First, I want to talk with you about a conversation I had with three young men who live in west Baltimore.
LANCE LUCAS, CEO, DIGIT ALL SYSTEMS: Yes.
BLACKWELL: They're at Carver Vocational Technical High School. They're learning trades, masonry, carpentry. But they've got a concern about now what do they do with this? I think we have part of that interview. Let's play it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You already have the bad image because of the color of your skin and your age. Trying to fit in with your peers so --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And going to college, you get certified in a certain trade, but once you get out of high school, you have no exposure. No experience. As in Freddie Gray, he didn't have a job as a carpenter. He went to college here. Carver alumni, certified in carpentry. Where was his job?
Someone comes to you with a resume and they have all these different job experiences from different places, and you come to them with your resume and you have your certification, who are they going to pick? Experience over everything, right? They're not going to waste their time and their money trying to teach you how to do things. So it's the lack of exposure. In west Baltimore, there's no exposure all you know is here.
BLACKWELL: A lack of exposure. These are the young men who are doing the right thing. They're in school. They're going to get the certification but they get no experience. What do you say to them?
LUCAS: Well, I've worked in Carver for many years, and where we have students that are currently working in network engineering, we do a training and trade. A lot of the students don't have the access to all of these trainings. I'll say that you always got to use connections, and they don't have a lot of connections to these industries. So if they did have connections and the training, they could be successful and could drop that unemployment number. Because that's pretty average in urban areas in Baltimore.
BLACKWELL: What they were saying was they want to leave west Baltimore because there's no exposure and there's no opportunity. They're looking for opportunities. Let's talk about policing now, what we see there and what we're hearing from the community, the concerns about the type of policing in west Baltimore. Is that a local community issue or do you think that's systemic as it relates to departments in urban areas?
[06:40:00] LUCAS: Well, when you look at the hill situation, you can look at it as a reflection of everything that's going on in the nation when it comes to underserved, socially economic disadvantaged populations. The abuse, the effects, it's all symptoms of poverty. And so when you have this great poverty, then you have this great explosion of unrest and - and - and violence on a regular basis. Johns Hopkins did a study two months ago that 97 percent of people in Baltimore born in poverty die in poverty. That's an effective system of poverty. So you have to change that paradigm to see if you can, you know, change the crime with education first.
BLACKWELL: You know, one other thing that these young men told me is that the way that they're viewed, at least from their perspective, is that because they're teenagers, because they're black males, they're seen as criminals first and they have to prove that they're not. How do you change something as innate as instinct for people who see them, from their perspective, that way? How do you begin even tackle something that large?
LUCAS: With all the Jackie Robinson Effect, you have to be excellent. Twice as good in your mind, and you have to pursue that as if there no competition. There's an internal feelings you have to build first. But there has to be mentors in place to help reinforce those positive decisions and to reinforce that self-esteem and self-awareness. So, it's very important they get a system of people to let them know how important it is.
BLACKWELL: So, I think part of this discussion that we'll have throughout the morning is not just the Jackie Robinson Effect, but you've got to change staying with this analogy, the rest of the league.
BLACKWELL: To change that perspective. Lance Lucas, thank you so much for speaking with us this morning.
LUCAS: Absolutely. Thank you for the opportunity. Certainly.
BLACKWELL: Coming up, we're going to show you around Baltimore. My Baltimore. I grew up in west Baltimore, just a few miles from the center of the Freddie Gray protests. I'll show you what's changed, what hasn't changed. That's coming up in just a moment.
[06:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLACKWELL: The eyes of the world have been turned to Baltimore. And, you know, for the first time, a lot of people are seeing what people who have lived here for years have known. The deeply rooted issues in the city. But for me, this is - this is home. I went back to the neighborhood I grew up in to show those of you at home parts of Baltimore that maybe you have not seen.
There it is. Forty-five eleven here on Fairfax road, where maybe three miles from the intersection of North and Pennsylvania. And this is where I grew up. This is where I spent my juvenile, my childhood years, and my early teens. Two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment with just me and my mom. Maybe 600 square feet. (Vernon), who I used to ride bikes with lived up there at 4508. (Matthew) lived over here. (J.B.) and (David) and (Reggie) all lived in that house with their family. And we used to ride our bikes through this community.
So when the guys and I would ride our bikes in the summer, we'd come down here to Walbrook junction. That's where we are now. And a couple of the places here were hit during the riots, the Rent-A- Center. That grocery store. That's Save-A-Lot now, it used to be a Stop Shop N Save. My mom would shop there because it was close when she didn't have a car.
You know, for me, there's a lot of sentimental value here. But for the people who live in this neighborhood, that's the only grocery store. The Rite Aid boarded up. That's where people get their prescriptions. This is it.
This is John Wesley United Methodist Church. I was a junior usher at this church. My family was a member of the church for four generations. We are now on North Avenue, Walbrook junction is just behind the church. The center of these protests North and Pennsylvania is just about a mile down this road. And I think there's something that maybe you at home haven't been able to see or haven't been shown yet about North Avenue, something that everybody who lives in this city or drives down North Avenue knows. And we're going to show that to you.
All right. So, look at the houses here. We're much closer to the intersection of Pennsylvania still on North Avenue. Some of these houses have occupants, but a lot of them, if not most of them are boarded up. They're vacant. Look on this side of the street. You've got two, maybe three houses here with occupants. The rest of them boarded up. What you're hearing from protesters are not just calls for justice to Freddie Gray, not just an end to police brutality but an end to the economic disparity and an end to the lack of opportunities in this community. And North Avenue has been like this for a very long time. You can't drive down this road and not see it. It's been this way since I was a young boy here.
And, Christi, you know, the question I've asked after, you know, reporting on the protests related to Trayvon Martin's death in Ferguson, now in Baltimore, after the protests, after the attention, will things change fundamentally in these cities and for these communities? We'll see if it if there's changes in Baltimore, but we're still looking for that change related to Florida. And we're seeing some change in Ferguson. Christi, I head it back to you in Atlanta.
PAUL: You know what, Victor? Thank you so much for sharing that with us. That was - that was pretty interesting stuff, to learn so much more about you and about that community, too. Really important. Thank you. Appreciate it.
I want to move on here and tell you about the story that you are only going to see on CNN this morning. We have a crew who has made it to the epicenter of the quake, as we get new word on the search for survivors in Nepal. Coming up. We have a live report that you do not want to miss. Stay close.
[06:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PAUL: I want to share with you some pictures that we're getting in here to CNN. What you're seeing here is in Nepal. But we have a really unique look for you at what's happening this morning. We know, and I want to update you on the numbers here, 6,621 people killed now, 14,000 injured in the 7.8 quake from last week. Nepal's government announcing that, you know, it's extremely slim they will find other survivors.
But listen to what CNN's Arwa Damon has for us here. She's going to be live with you. Arwa, I know that you and your crew have been walking for days. And you are finally, where we're seeing you, you are at the epicenter of this quake. Just so our viewers know. It's such an unique view of what's happening there. Tell me about what you've experienced thus far and what it's like where you are.
[06:55:00] ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, we're here in Barpak. And just where I'm standing, this used to be a pathway and it is now strewn with the rubble of homes, and this is what you see everywhere. If we pan over, you can see Barpak below us, 95 percent of the homes here have been damaged. Largely because of the way that they were built. Just with stones. They weren't held together solidly enough.
And when that first quake happened it brought down homes incredibly quickly on top of families. And on this one road that we're on, Christi, we've randomly stopped four or five people to ask them what they've been through. All of them have lost a loved one. In the house that you see right down there, an 11-year-old girl died. And that is her family that you're seeing rebuild. The younger man there, those are her brothers. Her father was also around earlier, trying to pull back some of the rubble.
This is a town, a nation, that is not just coping (who's) trying to physically rebuild, but also trying to emotionally recover from the trauma of all of this. And even here, in Barpak, that is really been the big focus because it is the epicenter. They're still having severe shortages when it comes to medical and humanitarian assistance.
We're being told it's something of a logistical nightmare. The food aid is coming into Nepal. It's just not reaching those who need it most. And you see the families, these little kid trying to make his way through the rubble, he's living down in that tent. People trying to live under these tents. The weather conditions here have been incredibly difficult. We're expecting and it looks like it might rain again.
But to add to everything, Christi, the tremors are still ongoing, and I can tell you from our own experience, while we're trying to get up here, it's terrifying not knowing where to go, where to run. I can barely imagine what it must have been like for these people when the first earthquake struck. They need so much more help. But they need for the help to actually get here.
And what it is - and just as bad of a situation, if not worse, are the villages that we came through when we were coming here. Because there is a helicopter landing zone here, the Indian army, the Nepalese army, they're bringing some food aid in here but they need so much more. Those other villages are in much, much worse situation.
PAUL: Arwa, real quickly when you're in these villages are you able to talk to them and understand what it was like when the earthquake struck? Because since you are at the epicenter, I'm wondering how different it might have felt there as opposed to what we're seeing in Nepal? Are you getting a sense of that at all?
DAMON: They described it as being the ground moving under their feet. Not just seesawing back and forth, but also spinning them around. And we felt a tremor when we were on the side of the mountain, trying to get up here earlier. Nowhere near as strong as what the original earthquake was like but being on that mountain side having no control over the land under your feet. And this just lasted for a few seconds, the one that we experienced.
What they have gone through is something that I cannot even begin to try to imagine or comprehend. And the fear of that, the fear that's brought on with every single tremor, every single aftershock, is reminding everybody of what that initial earthquake was like when you try to run out of your home but sometimes you can't. You're trapped because the ground underneath is you moving.
PAUL: All right. Arwa Damon, thank you so much. It is something to see that and that little boy and those kids that are walking around. In the next hour, I know we're going to have more. But Arwa, do take care. Thank you again. The next hour of New Day starts with you after this quick break, stay close.
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