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tv   News  Al Jazeera  May 1, 2015 12:00pm-12:31pm EDT

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officers are being charged in the death of freddie gray in baltimore. more obstacles in nepal as the death toll rises. and rallies across the globe, marking may day, why workers are demanding better pay and conditions. ♪
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this is al jazeera america, live from new york city i'm randall pinkston. a stunning turn of events in baltimore, where the state's attorney just announced that criminal charges are being filed against six officers in the death of freddie gray. charges include murder. john terrett is live in baltimore. i'm sure it is fair too say that almost no one was expecting these charges this quickly. >> oh randall, it came as a complete shock to everybody here outside of city hall when the litany of what happened to freddy gray allegedly on that day in the back of that police wagon was read out by the state attorney marilyn mosbey and
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then she read the charges. there are many people here who have moist eyes this morning. history turned a page on friday the first of may 2015 and this day will go down in history. and there will be two names attached to it freddie gray and marilyn mosbey. she said that there were warrened issues early this morn for the arrest of all six police officers involved in the arrest of freddie gray. murder manslaughter assault, assault in the second degree negligence and misconduct. i thought it was very interesting after her news conference, she went ahead and
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praised the young people of baltimore for their mostly peaceful protests up until monday night, and said she is now seeking peaceful protests. peace sincerely, she said is needed now, while i look after the justice of freddie gray. the cry throughout has been justice for freddie gray. and they are saying justice has been achieved. this is what everybody wanted. a day in court for the police officers involved in the arrest of freddie gray on april 20th. of course they are innocent until proven guilty but the young people of baltimore who have been protesting mostly
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peacefully have had their day in court. >> we understand arrest issues have been issued for the police officers, have they been served? this >> reporter: my understanding is they are being served now. i think the arrests are probably taking place at this moment. we shall learn moring on as the day goes on. and now we're wondering what will happen with these protests. there are five protests slated to take part today. and tomorrow black lawyers for justice who were just giving a news conference at the other side of where i'm talking to you from they plan a very, very big march like last saturday's. and it's difficult now to know what they might be protesting about. but stop for a moment and think. and the answer is very clear. because now there can be an air of celebration if you will.
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and that this has all happened so much more quickly than anybody anticipated. of course there are multiple injustices that have taken place throughout this city and in cities across america. and multiple other problems for people who live in baltimore, lack of jobs housing, and hope. the protest will still go ahead. it's theme may well be a little more broad now. >> thank you, john terrett, live in baltimore. as you were talking john we could see the names of the officer, caesar goodison and the
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others all being charged with various offenses, including -- one of them including murder. now to an attorney and legal an cyst who is joining us via skype from los angeles. so first, your reaction to the announcement made by prosecutor mosby. >> like most of the country, i was shocked. yesterday we kept hearing about being patient and all of the officials from the city of baltimore, kept urging everyone to be patient and wait to allow justice to be played out, so there was no expectation that this morning, the state attorney would come out and make a pronouncement about how she would proceed with respect to the police report that had been turned over to her yesterday, and her own independent investigation that has been ongoing since freddie gray's death. so i was shocked although elated
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to see the courage of this prosecutor. for herself and her own officer to stand up and say there was enough evidence in this case to charge all of the officers involved with the freddie gray incident. >> that comment you just made obviously references us back to some other cases we have seen in the past year where prosecutors took a different tact. but before we compare what this prosecutor has done. let's listen to an excerpt. >> the findings of our thorough investigation, coupled with the medical examiners determination that mr. gray's death was a homicide, has lead us to believe that we have probable cause to file criminal charges. >> now, one of the issues that
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is certainly going to be raised is how did this prosecutor work so fast when normally in cases involving deaths in police custody, it's a lot more deliberate and you certainly don't get this signed of speed, like ferguson missouri or any other cases. >> i think that shows us that all of that time taken in some of those other cases, we have to question if i was necessary? how are aggressive are these investigatory agencies being with respect to getting to the facts. we know she said she was going to conduct her own independent investigation, and the information she received from the baltimore police department verified what her investigation already determined. so i think it tells us these investigations don't have to drag on for as long as we have seen in some of these other cases. so i think that will be an important lesson for this case.
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and i think prosecutors around this country now are going to have to explain to their constituents and communities when these investigations do drag on for days and months. >> and we must also note while she did move quickly so did authorities in south carolina. they made arrests immediately following the video that was released of -- showing the confrontation and the deaths of the individuals with whom -- that they had confronted. >> exactly. >> do you think we're seeing a change here on the part of law enforcement agencies with respect to deaths in police custody? or are we talking about outliers in the two cases in south carolina and baltimore? >> no i think we're seeing a huge shift that has been brought on in part by the months and months of protests. i think we have to give the protesters a lot of credit because they made this issue of police excessive force and how
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prosecutors around the country deal with those cases a priority for news media, so we have been watching these cases play themselves out for the last year or more. and prosecutors can't just stick their heads in the sand and run from these issues. they have to confront it. and when you have evidence like videotape that captured some of this bad conduct, these prosecutors who are elected officials are being forced to take action like we seen done today by marilyn mosbey. >> you are looking at live demonstrations now in baltimore, having something of a celebration in the streets of baltimore. but on this point, the local chapter of the fraternal order of police says it has sent a letter to the prosecutor asking her to appoint a special independent prosecutor saying she had too many conflicts of
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interest in the case. she say she is not going to do that. she will continue to handle it. then the fraternal order of police said that the officers had acted appropriately, and that the officers were not responsible for freddie gray's death that they checked on his condition several times. what do you make of the fraternal order of polices' reaction to the announcement made by the prosecutor. >> a couple of points there, randall, one, with respect to a special prosecutor. i have always been against special prosecutors -- >> i'm sorry. hold on a second. we have the congressman from maryland speaking now. [ applause ] >> but i said something else and i said this at freddie gray's funeral. i said you know, did you see
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him? did anybody see this man? did they see this man who was a mother's child? did they see this man who was just trying to get through life? did they see him as a human being? and i have come here today to thank god >> yes! >> -- that marilyn mosbey and her team saw him -- saw him. the process has started. >> yes. >> that's the main thing, the process has started. so many people in the neighborhoods that you have been filming over the last few days -- somebody said it a little bit earlier -- they have never seen a victory. they have never seen a victory. and they have begun to believe that the system could not work for them. so many of them have felt like
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the system had worked against them. and so again, we are beginning the process. and one other thing that i said this morning. i said that if we approach the evening of our lives, many of us we want to make sure that our children have a better morning. and so i want to thank everybody. i want to thank scott thomas all of the members of the clergy all of the community leaders and organizations, our elected officials, for coming together to stand with our children, but most important to hear them to hear them. and so from here on we'll, again, ms. mosbey you'll take
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the case from here. i'm sure this investigation will still be ongoing, and the fact is it is a new day in our city. but i don't want anybody to be confused. that the issues of police and community is one part of a broader set of issues. our children need to be properly educated. they need to be trained in certain areas so they can get dogs, so they can be functional and have equal chance for opportunity, and so as we -- as i close out. i just want to say this this is a great day. >> great day. >> this is a great day, and i think we need to realize that. thank you. >> reporter: is there a role for
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congress and the federal government to use baltimore as an example? did we witness history? >> i want to caution everybody that this is the beginning of a process. we did witness history in one respect, and that is so often these things happen and nothing happens. >> right. >> and i think it's sending -- and we witness history, and this is the thing, our children -- they went out there, and protest, for the most part peacefully but they had to protest in order to get here. and they -- and this creates a faith in them. i had a young man that said to me just last night, at 16 years old, he said congressman i love you, but i feel like i'm in a cassette crawling and clawing to get out. just trying to be somebody. and so we have still got work to do but yeah i think -- and let
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it be known that this is national. >> yes. >> i said it before. these things can happen anywhere. so with that i think the message has been sent by our state's attorney that she treasures every life that she values every person. >> yes. >> so let the wheels of justice begin to roll and it's good that they are rolling as opposed to standing still. >> amen. >> reporter: are the charges against the officers [ inaudible ] and now these charges against these officers do you see a shift in the tide where these officers are going to be held accountable for their actions? >> i said many times we need to establish a new normal. see a lot of times we think we're in a normal situation. but it's a thing of mutual respect. our policemen, and they are -- most of them are -- are great, and they know that -- they know themselves. i talk to policemen, i mean a
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lot, and they tell me themselves there are certain police that should not be on the force, and so they are going to have to help us weed out those folks so they can be the elite of the elite. one of the things that i'm determined to do is make baltimore a model for the nation. >> yes! [ applause ] >> a model for the nation. we don't have to follow anybody. we can set the model. i believe we set the model when we were at pennsylvania and north going out and talking to people and a lot -- a lot of the folks that we talked to they just simply wanted to know that you hear them and you see them. and you love them and you respect them. >> yes. >> and they want -- they want to live in dignity, and they want to see their futures. and they want somebody to see them. last but not least, and then i'm closing. when i thought about freddy i
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could not help but think about my own childhood, and i looked at him in that casket and i said to myself here was a young man just trying to exist, trying to exist. and so hopefully now with -- with this our city can begin to heal to come together. policemen will look and women will look at their jobs from a different standpoint and realize that -- that -- that they are here to protect and serve, and by the way -- and -- and -- that our community must respect them. >> yes. >> and it's got to be a mutual respect thing. because let me tell ya the police need us as a community, and we need them. >> absolutely. >> thank you very much. [ applause ] >> that's u.s. congressman
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elijah couplings from maryland. also on the bull horn when the curfew was declared after the riots happened urging people to obey the curfew and protest peacefully. let's go back to our attorney and legal analyst. before we went to congressman cummings we were talking about the fraternal order of police and their insistence that the officers did nothing wrong, that they had obeyed all of the practices. already we know that they did not according to the prosecutor and the police chief, they did not secure freddie gray in the back of the van, and said we heard more about that that they placed him face down in the van unrestrained as the van was moving around the streets of baltimore. >> yeah, i just wanted to make two comments about the fraternal
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order's comments and their letter to the state attorney about an independent prosecutor being appointed in this case and i think one of the issues -- and we hear that often in these cases. let's appoint an independent prosecutor, but one thing people have to recognize is a state's attorney like marilyn mosby, they are elected officials, so they are held accountable, because if they are not doing the job they were elected to do then voters can vote them out of office. when you start talking about special prosecutors, the state, the city has to decide who is that person going to be accountable to? and if that person makes a decision that the community doesn't like then you still have an issue, because if the person isn't elected, the level of accountability won't be there. so i'm glad she kept the case herself. this is her job. she shouldn't be giving her job
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to someone else because it is difficult. and as to their point about the police did nothing wrong. we have seen and we saw this in new york with eric gardner the union of police officers never ever steps up and admits when their officers are wrong, and i think that has to change just like prosecutors have to step up and start holding police officers accountable for when they broke the law. the same has to happen with these unions. you cannot continue to protect bad conduct, and in this case we no so many mistakes were made for not logging in a stop that was made that was critical in this case to arresting him and saying that he had a switchblade, which we now know he had a legal knife in his possession so you can't uphold conduct that is just blatantly wrong. you can't do that and have any kind of credibility.
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and if we're going to do that and bring police and these communities together that includes these orders that are stand to protect and protect these police officers. >> thank you for your contribution. let's just repeat something that congressman cummings said so often something happens and nothing happens, we need to establish a new normal. coming down to the word respect. let's go over right now the charges that are being faced by the six officers who were involved in the arrest and subsequent death of freddie gray. officer caesar goodison he's accused of second degree depraved heart murder manslaughter second degree assault, manslaughter by vehicle by means of gross negligence also misconduct. officer william porter accused of involunteer manslaughter and misconduct in office. officer porter was one of the
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six officers involved. lieutenant brian rice involunteer manslaughter assault in second degree, misconduct in office. false imprisonment. officer edward nero assault of second degree, intentional assault of second degree negligent conduct in office. rice and nero were the two who arrested gray after he was chased down. officer garret miller intentional assault and second degree assault in second degree negligent and misconduct in office and false imprisonment. and sergeant alicia white involunteer manslaughter assault in second degree sergeant white showing up at the end of the encounter. we'll have more of today's events in baltimore later in the hour. we'll be right back. k.
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governor chris -- chris christy has just pled guilty. whilesteen is a former top executive at the organization that runs the bridge. later today prosecutors are expected to indict those two aids bridget, kelly, and baroney. christie has insisted he played no role in the shutdown. survivors of the nepal earthquake are living in camps and the threat of disease is a major concern. >> reporter: this is a distribution point where medicines are being given out to residents and health centers. it is being run by a local
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business association. i'm here with the vice president of the local business association, sir, you have given some medicines to the government, but you are handling most of the distribution yourselves, why is that? >> because we have proper channel to distribute to nepal. we have more than thousand our working people our medical venntives and even [ inaudible ] they have a member there, so it is faster than the government channel. that is why we are distributing to them. >> reporter: the association has sought help from business groups in other countries but have turned down offers of money. we have breaking news now president obama speaking about the charges announced in baltimore, just a short time ago. let's listen to the president. >> -- runs the way it should. and the justice department and our new attorney general is in communications with baltimore
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officials to make sure that any assistance we can provide on the investigation is provided. but what i think the people of baltimore want more than anything else is the truth. that's what people around the country expect and to the extent that it's appropriate, this administration will help local officials get to the bottom of exactly what happened. in the meantime i'm gratified that we have seen the constructive thoughtful protests that have been taking place, peaceful but clear calls for accountability that those have been managed over the last couple of days in a way that's
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ultimately positive for baltimore and the country, and i hope that approach to non-violent protests and community engagement continues. and finally, as i have said for the last year we are going to continue to work with the task force that we put together post-ferguson. i'm actually going to be talking to mayors who are interested in figuring ways to rebuild trust between community and police and to focus on some of the issues that were raised by the task force right after this meeting. our efforts to make sure that we're providing greater opportunity for young people in these communities, all of those things are going to be continuing top priorities for the administration, and we'll probably have more announcements and news about that in the days
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and weeks to come. thank you very much everybody. have a great weekend. >> that's president obama reacting to the announcement made in baltimore of charges being brought, arrests warrants being issued against the six police officers who were in charge of and contacted to the apprehension and transport and ultimately the death of freddie gray the president saying those officers deserve due process, a reminder that they are innocent until proven guilty. let's get back to john terrett now who is live in baltimore. john? >> reporter: well you know, randall, the words stunning unbelievable well i certainly didn't see that coming. this is the kind of thing we're hearing here. particularly among members of the african american community. i think this has been an extraordinary day one way or another. people were not expecting