Return to Transcripts main page
Baltimore City Leadership Under Fire; Supreme Court Considers Same-Sex Marriage. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired April 28, 2015 - 7:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:26] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching "NEW DAY." I'm Chris Cuomo in Baltimore. This is where anarchy took over some of the streets with protesters, or who were once supposed to be protesters turned into rioters angry over the death of Freddie Gray or maybe just angry for reasons of their own.
At least 27 arrests were made. More than a dozen police officers were injured in the mayhem when rioters were throwing bricks, bottles, explosive devices, whatever they could find at police.
A state of emergency was declared by the governor. Some say too late. The National Guard is on its way. Some say too late. Baltimore so low on resources they had to request 5,000 police reinforcements from nearby states.
To keep people out of harm's way schools are closed in Baltimore today and there's a curfew in effect 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. The question is will it be able to be enforced here or will we see a repeat of last night as the violence was escalating.
Don Lemon spoke with the city's embattled mayor and governor of Maryland. Things got tense and you take a look and judge for yourself.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: What took so long there to get resources into place?
MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE (D), BALTIMORE: I think that we have to respond to what was going on at the ground. We've seen what happened when jurisdictions have over reacted and brought in resources that escalated the violence on the street. I didn't want that to happen in Baltimore.
I was very measured because we wanted to make sure that we had the appropriate response to what was going on in the ground. When we saw the breakout violence into small groups, we realized that it was time to bring in additional resources. And I'm very grateful for the governor's cooperation.
LEMON: There are citizens who are out there, who my colleagues have spoken to, I've spoken to police officers who were here who were saying, listen, this was allowed to get out of control because the protesters, not the peaceful ones, obviously, but the ones who caused this chaos, they were given too much leeway. And that that is the reason that this happened.
GOVERNOR LARRY HOGAN (R), MARYLAND: Look, let me just say in defense of the mayor, now is not the time to question what happened in the past. We're here to try to fix what's happening now.
LEMON: I understand that, but I respectfully disagree with you, Governor.
HOGAN: We've got all the help we need and we're going to get this situation under control.
LEMON: Governor, I respectfully disagree with you, but I think now is the time to get some answers because it's happening now.
HOGAN: What's happening now is we've activated a state of emergency. I just came from the emergency operation center. We have up to 5,000 police officers coming from all over the mid-Atlantic region. We have 5,000 National Guard coming.
LEMON: Why didn't that happen on Saturday after there was so much chaos on Saturday? When the emergency order was had been signed, why didn't that happen on Saturday?
HOGAN: It wasn't signed until today when the mayor requested --
LEMON: Your office said it was signed.
HOGAN: No, it was just signed --
LEMON: So that's inaccurate.
HOGAN: We've been standing by in preparation just in case the violence escalated, which it did. When the mayor called, we activated.
LEMON: I have to ask again, why was this not in place Saturday or Sunday when the situation began?
HOGAN: I don't know how many times we can tell you, but we can't activate until we've been asked to come in. The mayor and the city are in charge. They believe they were taking the appropriate actions. When they asked us to come in, we came in.
RAWLINGS-BLAKE: We will bring order. We will do it collaboratively. I am determined that this darkest day will not define our city. We will have order. We will have control and those individuals who we've caught on camera destroying our city will be brought to justice.
HOGAN: We're now taking over the situation. This is not going to continue. People will feel the city's safe.
LEMON: How are you going to enforce a curfew tomorrow?
HOGAN: Thank you for your time.
LEMON: How are you going to enforce a curfew tomorrow when kids are out of school and they've said many of the young people are the people doing this? It's what? Say again, ma'am? I'm sorry.
CUOMO: They can walk away from the questions, but the questions aren't going to go away. Joining us now is Maryland House Delegate for Baltimore City, Jill Carter and Baltimore District Seven Councilman Nick Mosby. Thank you for being with us.
Help me understand a little bit of the situation. The governor, Republican, and the mayor is a Democrat, but they seem to be on the same page of not wanting to deal with how we got to this point. Isn't that a fair question, Jill, about how we got to what we had to deal with last night?
JILL CARTER, MARYLAND HOUSE DELEGATE, BALTIMORE CITY: I think they're fair questions, but I think that the first point of responsibility has to lie with the mayor, the leader of the city. There was information. There was intelligence yesterday because it was put out through media that they expected something to happen.
The question is do they act soon enough and do they do enough to prevent the problem of yesterday and what is likely to follow I think in coming days.
[07:35:05] CUOMO: What's the answer in what you saw yesterday? Do you think the mayor had a plan in place? Do you think that they were properly equipped and ready to go if something happened that was wrong? Do you think they were intentionally giving space? What do you think happened?
CARTER: I think it was a disaster because I think that as always the police presence was there to contain the problem within certain communities. Too much destruction was apparently allowed to happen.
I mean, if they knew in advance this was going to happen when school let out, then I'm not sure why there wasn't some effort to go into the schools to maybe do something to hold students longer to do something to prevent it rather than let it happen.
CUOMO: Nick, what's your take? You know that community very well. You understand what motivates the people's hearts and minds there. Was there a reason to know this was going to happen?
NICK MOSBY, BALTIMORE DISTRICT 7 COUNCILMAN: Definitely, I mean, we knew at the end of the day very early on that it was a lot of energy behind this purge movement that was going through --
CUOMO: Purge is a reference to this movie where all crime is OK.
MOSBY: Yes, yes.
CUOMO: It was a metaphor for let's go out and make trouble. MOSBY: Exactly and it was amongst Baltimore City public high school students, all over social media.
CUOMO: It became more than that.
MOSBY: The problem is Baltimore City police came out with this threat yesterday that some of the local gangs were banning together and going to attack police.
CUOMO: Had you heard that also?
MOSBY: No. I haven't heard that from anyone else but the police department. And I think maybe that's where their focus was because clearly tactically they weren't ready for these children.
I don't think they expected the children to be able to heighten the level of riot the way that they did starting at Mondawin Mall, pushing them into the communities, and they just really took over.
I got stuck in the street about 4:00 yesterday on North Avenue right in the middle. I saw a police car get busted out and everything.
CUOMO: Just so we're on the same page, purge was not a secret. It was online. People were talking about it. You heard it in official and unofficial capacities.
CUOMO: OK. The rules of engagement seem to be different than usual for police on the ground. They seem to be watching things going on. I know they had to be safe, but even when you had 30, 50, 100 officers in line, there seemed to be a high degree of tolerance. Do you think this was a plan by the office of the mayor or otherwise say hold back, we don't want a Ferguson? No.
MOSBY: I really don't think so. I think it just escalated --
CUOMO: I think you disagree?
CARTER: Absolutely. I think it was.
CUOMO: Why do you think it wasn't?
CARTER: Routinely go around super aggressive policing, zero tolerance for any kind activity going on from these young people. And yesterday they acted completely opposite to their normal behavior.
CUOMO: Well, you know that the theory of policing in those situations is ordinarily that. You take on those small agitators first because it discourages more.
CARTER: Absolutely. But that did not happen.
CUOMO: You don't think that that was intentional though? MOSBY: No. I think that they came ill prepared and it escalated quicker than they could respond. I mean, because at the end of the day showed up with 50 to 70 officers, plus tankers. But they weren't prepared for students deciding to congregate nor were they prepared to push south for communities for folks to start joining in. That's when it went out of hand and took over.
CUOMO: So now you have the communities hurt themselves, right? That's CVS, yes, it's a chain. I get it. They have a lot of money. But those are jobs and prescriptions. The mom and pop shop, the people's cars, their homes, sense of safety, that's all been damaged.
But something else has been damaged that may matter more, the search for answers for Freddie Gray. Right now the community seems to be more of an example of the problem on their side than a problem on the policing side. What do you do with that?
MOSBY: I think it's a combination. I think that Freddie Gray is an example, right? It's the culminating effect on what we see in the communities. But I think these young folks are just really frustrated, they're really angry.
And not to say or condone their actions, but I think they're speaking out and begging for help. Those kids out there thousands upon thousands they see themselves as Freddie Grays, right?
And their voices through their actions, which is violence and again it's not correct, it can't be condoned. However I think they're speaking to us loud and clear. And as a city, a state, a nation, we need to speak up to urban American kids.
CUOMO: I hear you and you've spent so much of your young life acting as a mentor to help kids who may not have the best guidance understand the best way forward.
Politically we know the problem you're going to face now is that you'll have people watching whether they're haters or don't get the reality of living on the -- they divide us at a time when we come together the most. We need your voices here and hopefully we're having a different conversation tomorrow than we're having today.
CARTER: We hope so.
CUOMO: That's all we can do is hope for right now. There's going to be a lot more coming from Baltimore. But there's a lot of news as well. Let me get you back to New York.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Chris, great conversation as you mentioned. We will have more from Baltimore. But also to come, the Supreme Court set to hear arguments in a case that could make gay marriage legal in all states. We're going to put it to debate with our experts ahead.
[07:43:59] PEREIRA: The city of Baltimore is hoping for a much calmer day following violent riots Monday. A state of emergency is now in effect after rioters looted stores, set fire to businesses and cars and throw bottles and bricks at police.
Twenty seven people arrested, 15 officers injured. The state of Maryland is calling in the National Guard and 5,000 police reinforcements from neighboring states. Schools are closed in Baltimore today. A 10:00 p.m., curfew will take effect tonight.
Helicopters have successfully evacuated dozens of stranded hikers back to base camp at Mt. Everest. Rescue teams still on the ground digging through tons of rubble looking for earthquake survivors. The death toll is now soaring to more than 4,400. Thousands of injured packing hospitals in Kathmandu. The U.N. estimates the earthquake affected 8 million people.
PEREIRA: Such a dire situation there on the ground.
A frightening close call to tell you about here captured on security cameras on a school bus in Washington State. Did you see that? The doors of the bus open and a speeding SUV comes within inches of running down three children getting set to board the bus. Their parents were watching on in horror.
[07:45:07] Witnesses on the ground say that the SUV driver had gotten frustrated, gone around several other vehicles that had properly stopped behind the school bus, thankfully those kids waited until the door opened, paused, looked both ways when they saw this coming.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: My gosh, it's terrifying.
All right, well, much more chaos in Baltimore. First, America's high court makes history today as justices debate same-sex marriage. Should gay couples in all 50 states be allowed to marry? That is the question they'll take up.
CAMEROTA: A landmark day at the Supreme Court. Justices will hear arguments on whether the constitution provides gay couples the right to marry. Joining us to dissect this is CNN's senior legal analyst and author of the "Oath," Jeffrey Toobin, and Michelangelo Signorile. He is our Sirius XM radio host and author of "It's Not Over."
Gentleman, great to see you there. Jeffrey, what is going to happen in those hallowed halls behind you today? Jeffrey, can you hear me?
Mike, let me start with you. What do you think is going to happen today? There are four cases condensed into one that the Supreme Court is going to hear. What do you think is going to happen?
MICHELANGELO SIGNORILE, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: Well, every indication we have seen is that the justices are going to rule in favor of marriage based on the fact they let the court rulings stand. I don't know. I mean, Jeffrey obviously knows more than me. I think he can hear us now so he can give you that answer.
[07:50:04] CAMEROTA: Jeffrey, obviously it's very active scene where you are and we can hear all of the ambient noise. Describe what you predict is going to happen?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: This issue has been aired a great deal at the Supreme Court so I don't think there will be any surprises in terms of the justices' questioning, but the point that I think hangs over this whole matter is that ever since the justices declared that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional two years ago.
Court after court has said that ruling means that marriage equality has to come to the state after state and the Supreme Court let all those rulings go into effect, and if the Supreme Court were to rule against same-sex marriage, half of those states would have to roll it back.
CAMEROTA: Why not leave it to the states?
TOOBIN: That's right. That's the argument they are going to hear, but the justices already allowed courts in about half of those 37 states to have impose same-sex marriage to allow same-sex to proceed. So it's just very hard to imagine that they would have let all these marriages and then takes it back a year later, and that's the point I am trying to make.
CAMEROTA: OK, Mike, we know that all eyes, when this will be decided, will be on Justice Kennedy, he is considered the swing vote. However, this weekend at the White House Correspondent's Dinner, you encountered Justice Scalia. I'm wondering if you can share what your exchange was like with him.
SIGNORILE: Well, I saw the justice and I thought it was an opportunity to say hi and introduce myself. He loves pronouncing my last name because we are both Italian, and I told him I would be inside the court and said it was an historic day, and he kind of shrugged and smiled, and I said I hope you will do the right thing and vote for the gays.
CAMEROTA: Jeffrey, is there a possibility that what they decide today will be a split decision, or what they decide going forward, they will allow the states who already legalized gay marriage to continue and those marriages to be valid, but not other places?
TOOBIN: Well, there are two questions before the quart today, and one is the straightforward court that must all 50 states allow same-sex marriage, and the other question is in states where there is not same- sex marriage, must they honor and give benefits to individuals that were married in states in which same-sex marriage was legal.
The possible split decision would be allow the states that don't have same-sex marriage to honor the marriages that take place elsewhere, but don't force them to allow marriages themselves. That is a compromise that is possible.
The court has given no indication, though, that they are moving in that direction. Every indication, and we will see, and predictions are difficult as I have learned painfully, but every indication that the court has given is they are heading in the direction of saying simply all 50 states you must allow all gay people to get married.
CAMEROTA: Mich, I'm assuming there are protests happening outside the Supreme Court. Who is yelling near you?
SIGNORILE: There are a lot of opponents of gay marriage to say the least, and lots of signs about the bible and lots of yelling about how homosexuals are sinners, and evil.
TOOBIN: If I could add one point about the protests at the Supreme Court, you hear one person yelling in the loud speaker, so I wouldn't draw many conclusions about the state of public opinion except one annoying guy that is yelling about how he hates homosexuality. These protests are organized by advocacy groups I don't think they mean much of anything about how the public feels about these issue, much less how the justices feel.
CAMEROTA: Good point. Look, we do know there is an active discourse happening about this very subject and debate in our country, but that guy with the loud speaker may not be the best representative. Jeffrey and Mike, thanks so much. Let's get over to Chris in Baltimore.
CUOMO: All right, you can see behind us, the result of the rioting last night and the National Guard is supposed to show up and here they are behind us at city hall, on the day that Freddie Gray was laid to rest, they have social media setting off the rioting. We'll break it down for you with the answers ahead.
CUOMO: The situation here right now. The fire --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unbelievable scenes of lawlessness.
ROMANS: The message that spread on social media about a purge.
CUOMO: There is a liquor store that was just lit on fire across the corner from us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Baltimore police department doesn't have the resources.
LEMON: I don't know anything in Baltimore believes anything is in control.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All this violence and destruction, I am appalled.
CUOMO: There's a baby coming out from the building next door is and they are evacuating. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We swore to protect you people, now get the hell out of our way and let us do our job.
CUOMO: We do have breaking news, we are live in Baltimore after a long and scary night. Alisyn and Michaela are in New York for you. There is a state emergency in effect right now after the rioting, looting and fires that marked the night here in Baltimore.
Right now, you are looking at live picture of the governor, and a lot of police presence around him. He is trying to be more visible here now. Leadership was needed yesterday, was noticeably absent, a much bigger police --