All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday, April 29th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: April 29, 2015
Guest: Nick Mosby, John Angelos, Kweisi Mfume, Barry Levinson, J.D.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening. From Baltimore City Hall, I`m
A heavy police presence on the streets of Baltimore today. You just
heard from Commissioner Anthony Batts, who described a fairly calm scene,
including peaceful protests, a march late this afternoon. Hundreds of
students protesting police violence chanting: "All night, all day, we will
fight for Freddie Gray."
City still felt unsettled today, few days after violence broke out
following the funeral of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who
suffered a severe spinal cord injury and died in Baltimore police custody
ten days ago and whose dealt the death has still yet to be explained.
This afternoon, in an unprecedented scene, the Baltimore Orioles
played the Chicago White Sox in a stadium kept empty for security reasons.
We`ll have much more on that in a bit.
We`ll also talk about what`s happening here has hit the presidential
campaign trail, with Hillary Clinton delivering an impassioned speech
today, calling for an overhaul of the criminal justice system.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yet again, the family of
a young black man is grieving a life cut short. Yet again, the streets of
an American city are marred by violence. What we have seen in Baltimore
should, indeed I think does, tear at our soul.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Meanwhile, protests tonight have spread to New York City where
a massive solidarity protest has been taking place, is still taking place
at this hour, with many people now being arrested by NYPD.
Here in Baltimore, for the second night in a row, the city will once
again be under curfew starting at 10:00 p.m.
Last night when curfew began or shortly after 10:00 p.m., there was a
briefly intense standoff between a small, small group of protesters and
police. Though, by midnight, the streets were calm. Police said that 16
adults and two juveniles were arrested today, 35 people were arrested last
night. And 101 people arrested on Monday night were released today without
charges because police could not quickly process them.
In discussing where things now stand in Baltimore, officials today
sounded a cautiously optimistic tone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R), MARYLAND: It`s been less than 48 hours since we
declared this state of emergency. And things are looking a lot different
than they did Monday night. We will continue to be here until the threat
of violence ends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Baltimore`s Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake today called under
criticism for the young people who engaged in rock throwing and looting and
fires on Monday, quote, "thugs," a term also used by Barack Obama. Quote,
"I wanted to clarify my comments on thug", she tweeted. "When you speak
out of frustration and anger, one can say things in a way that you don`t
Joining me now, MSNBC national reporter Trymaine Lee.
And, Trymaine, you spent all day with the protesters. There was a
huge protest that came from Penn Station right down to City Hall. What did
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: That`s right. There were
several hundred marchers, a more diverse crowd than we`ve seen in days
march from Penn Station down to City Hall.
One thing interesting not just the diversity but there was no police
presence there. I mean, hundreds, several hundred, 400, 500 or maybe 600
students marching peacefully, chanting that they`re here for -- in support
of Freddie Gray`s family. Then they gathered at city hall, more chanting,
speakers on the microphone, turned back around and marched all the way back
to Penn Station.
Now, one thing for certain, things can always begin peacefully. So,
even the sense is that everything has been peaceful and quiet, what happens
tonight when the curfew is enforced? How will police respond to any crowd
that gathers? And when it`s time to enforce the curfew, what does it
actually look like?
Now, organizers and folks are saying, you know, go home, party`s over
basically. But there are a number of people out here still hunker down
from different groups again, still carrying signs, young and old, black and
white, very diverse. What had been a jubilant and vibrant crowd of several
HAYES: All right. Trymaine Lee, thank you very much for that.
If you were watching us in the previous hour you saw a news conference
with Anthony Batts, he, of course, is commissioner of Baltimore police,
talking a bit about the situation that the Baltimore police have faced
today and arrests but several questions about Friday, the day that the
internal investigation conducted by the Baltimore police is set to be
presented to the state`s attorney. Lots of anticipation about what that
means, what information the public are will get, what it means for possible
criminal prosecution against the six officers who have been identified or
had contact with Freddie Gray in custody.
With me now, MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid today, was talking
to the mayor and others doing a little bit of reporting about what exactly
is going to happen.
We don`t know at this hour what exactly Friday means. Originally,
what had happened is the police indicated they were going to truncate a
process that usually takes much longer than three weeks into three weeks.
There was some anticipation that on Friday, May 1st, a public report would
be issued, but today officials walking that back.
Joy Reid has been reporting on this today.
Joy, I`m a little bit confused about what we should be expecting on
Friday and what we`re going to get.
JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Chris. And
you are not alone. There has been widespread anticipation in this city on
Friday, there was going to be public release of a report, summarizing at
least as much of what happened to Freddie Gray as police were willing to
disclose publicly ahead of an investigation.
Now, today, we had as you mention the police chief say that`s not the
case, there`s not going to be a public report. They`re simply going to
turn over their findings in the internal investigation over to the state
prosecutor. That was news to a lot of people. Apparently, according to a
local pastor I spoke with, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake attended a
meeting with about 15 ministers and a couple of business leaders in which
they said she tried to explain to them that essentially it was always just
going to be a turning over of information that May 1st really had no
significance at all and that this was something that she wanted those
ministers to then go and communicate to the members of the community.
According to the pastor I spoke with, that is also the understanding
of the attorney for Freddie Gray`s family, and they said, at least this one
minister said, he was satisfied that the major had been transparent about
Now, I have not been able to find anything in the reporting that
either has been done on this network or some of the local newspapers that
said that it was just going to be a turning over of information to the
prosecutor. So, call it a miscommunication, maybe it was just us hearing
what the police department has been saying and just assuming that they
I really can`t get to the bottom of what that`s about, but you now do
have an active effort by the mayor`s office to convince the public to stand
down on the notion of May 1st as a significant date. We`ll see how it goes
People we`ve been talking to and I`m sure you`ve been talking to were
anticipating information and they`re not going to get it.
HAYES: Joy, let me ask you this. I`m a little unclear about what the
legal status of this investigation is. It is investigation that is being
conducted by the Baltimore Police Department. There are some legal
guidelines having to do with a law enforcement officials bill of rights
which is passed in Maryland in 1974. There are some constitutional issues
about what kind of testimony they can and can`t use if they instruct
officers in their employ to speak to them.
But the actual document produced there, that is not a criminal
investigation in an official sense. Am I right about that?
REID: Yes. I mean, it is a little bit confusing, Chris, but first of
all, there`s also -- putting aside whatever the federal agencies want to do
as well. But, yes, things like the autopsy, any reports about what the
incident -- what started the incident. The question we`ve all been asking,
what was Freddie Gray being detained for in the first place? Any
information about his injuries.
All of that documentation has been the subject of an internal
investigation inside the Baltimore Police Department.
Now, what they`re saying is they`re going to now turn all of that over
because of what you mentioned, the law enforcement officers bill of rights.
There are some public disclosures that are not allowed. Police officers
get a great amount of leeway in terms of their privacy in terms of the
investigation of them in this state because of state law.
But our experience, at least experience I`ve seen in cases like this,
I`ve been referencing the Walter Scott case in South Carolina, once these
cases go to the state law enforcement agency, the state`s attorney`s
office, there`s almost never a public disclosure of information. But in a
sense insulates the local police department because when people like us
come to them and ask for information, they can say this is in the hands of
the state and they refer us to them. So, I anticipate that`s what we`re
going to see.
Is that going to disappoint people greatly? We`ll find out. There
are going to be a couple marches and big rallies this weekend. We`ll see
how it goes over.
HAYES: All right. Joy Reid, thank you for that.
If you`ve been watching our network today, you saw at the top, there
have been solidarity protests in New York City. A lot of arrests I`ve been
seeing on social media reported.
Joining me on the phone from Union Square in New York City is MSNBC
reporter Amanda Sakuma.
Amanda, what is the scene like there?
AMANDA SAKUMA, MSNBC REPORTER (via telephone): Hi, Chris. There`s a
very tense right now. What we begun as a peaceful protest inside Union
Square quickly turned into a (INAUDIBLE) between demonstrator and the
People tried marching in the streets as they`ve done in the past, and
they made it only half a block before they ran into a strong line of police
here and barricaded the street. We`ve seen a dozen arrests so far and
there have been multiple people who have been taken into custody. We saw
one woman who was hauled into an ambulance, as we were trying to film it, a
police officer pulled us aside and yelled at us, please do not shoot that.
It`s quiet now. As you can see, things are starting to slow down.
There are people still gathering on the streets. They`re wanting to
Now, remember, these are the same groups that were able to shut down
the Brooklyn bridge in the past. They`ve been able to block traffic all
the way to Lower Manhattan. We`ve seen them in the middle of streets
marching, and this is the first time we`ve seen them been stymied by police
so early on in the protest.
HAYES: Amanda Sakuma live in New York, in Union Square, thank you for
that, Amanda. Really appreciate that.
SAKUMA: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. Joining me now, Baltimore City Councilman Nick
Mosby. He represents district seven, which includes the West Baltimore
neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested.
Councilman, thank you for joining me.
NICK MOSBY, BALTIMORE CITY COUNCILMAN: Thanks for having me, Chris.
HAYES: Can you -- what is your expectation for the report being
produced by the police department and what do you feel you need to see for
accountability for an individual who was a constituent of yours, that you
MOSBY: From your report, it appears the police have said something
different or changed the communications and there actually will not be a
report on Friday, that they are just going to hand over, you know, the
contents of their investigation to the state`s attorney`s office.
I think that, you know, what folks -- what the catalyst behind a lot
of the protests and the issue was that, you know, the basic level of
information, why was he a suspect, why was he pursued, why was he detained,
ultimately, why was he arrested? You know, this is the type of things that
I mean, when you get arrested you`re supposed to know what you`re
charged with. Unfortunately, the Baltimore City Police Department did not
come out with that information right away, and they got folks really upset.
I think that`s the catalyst that started all of this.
HAYES: The Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was on with Reverend
Sharpton yesterday and talked about essentially balancing a kind of -- the
need for transparency and also essentially a public safety concern. I
mean, do you think -- it seems to me, and I`ve now covered over the past
year a number of these cases in which people have died in police custody or
been shot by police, this is the least amount of information that I have
experienced, and that includes Ferguson, Missouri.
Do you think that balance has been struck properly?
MOSBY: No. You know, again, you know, basic information is why was
the person originally charged? That`s something that should come out
HAYES: What was the suspicion, why were they apprehended, why were
MOSBY: I mean, that`s basic information. If you get arrested, Chris,
you`re supposed to know why you`re arrested. So, Freddie Gray should have
known why he was arrested. His friends, his family, his community, they
should have known what he was charged with, why he was arrested. And the
police should have come out with that right away.
Another thing is they had a video camera right there. They didn`t
release the footage until a couple of days. I think seven, or eight days
later and it had nothing on it. That was something you could have released
Folks want to be part of the process. Folks want to feel like you`re
being transparent, without hurting the criminal investigation.
HAYES: When the investigation is finished or when it`s turned over,
right, the next point in a process would be the state`s attorney`s office,
and we have seen in other incidents a lot of focal point on the state`s
attorney, accusations of the state`s attorney essentially for case. Your
wife is the state`s attorney.
HAYES: Marilyn Mosby, she`s not been state`s attorney for very long
time, fairly recent.
MOSBY: First term.
HAYES: First term. Is that -- I mean, is that going to be a conflict
MOSBY: No. I represent --
HAYES: Are your constituent -- are your constituents going to say we
want to see prosecutions and your wife might have to come back and say we
don`t have enough to prosecute with?
MOSBY: At the end of the day, if that`s the dialogue, if that`s the
way the situation turns, whether, you know, it`s my wife or a friend or I
don`t know her, that`s still that conflict that`s there. What I need to do
is represent the voice of my constituents, and that`s what I do. You know,
we have a clear demarcation her office is versus my office.
HAYES: I mean, obviously, I would imagine you have confidence in this
state`s attorney`s office to make a criminal case if there`s a criminal
case to be made.
MOSBY: Yes. I think we just need to be very settled with a thorough
investigation to ensure that they get to the bottom of this. You know,
since day one, the state`s attorney`s office has come out and communicated
that they`ve been doing their own independent investigation. So I think
that we just need to see it through and allow them to -- the process to
HAYES: I was in west Baltimore yesterday talking to people. And I
had, you know, over the course of eight hours, 18 people, two dozen people
talk to me about the police.
HAYES: And tell me stories.
HAYES: Broke my ribs, nabbed me for no reason, pushed me out of a
van. Is there something systemic that Freddie Gray aside has to be
addressed more robustly than it is being addressed now?
MOSBY: Extremely systemic. I mean, when we show the violence, a lot
of times we`re pointing back to Freddie Gray. Freddie Gray was a
culmination of decades-old of systemic issues that had plagued this
community. And, you know, I`m not excusing the violence at all because
it`s unacceptable. We have to go after folks who create it and we have to
settle our city, and calm our communities.
However, it`s critically important not to just talk about the what but
also talk about the why. And when you have decades old of poverty,
decades-old undereducated generations, they don`t unfortunately know how to
communicate their frustrations. That`s what they did through violence, the
HAYES: Commissioner Anthony Batts was brought here from Oakland to
change this department.
HAYES: Is the change happening fast enough? Do you have confidence
MOSBY: I think many people are not seeing the change. They`re really
upset with the current situation. You know, at the end of the day, we
haven`t seen a major American city go up like this in quite some time. I
think this is a very tough time. I think this is a time of collaborative
effort. I think they did an excellent job yesterday of calming the
streets. But, you know, folks are disgruntled and angry in the
HAYES: All right. District 7 Councilman Nick Mosby represents
Sandtown-Winchester on West Baltimore where Freddie Gray was.
MOSBY: Thanks a lot, Chris.
HAYES: All right. Nice to see you.
All right. First was made in Major League Baseball today. For the
first time since the game has been played since about 1882, a game played
in front of zero people. We`re going to show you some pictures of that and
talk to the Baltimore Orioles exec who had some very surprising thoughts on
the roots of the Baltimore riots -- after this.
HAYES: Just before the show started, a life-long resident of
Baltimore resident came up to me to tell me what we were getting wrong
about Baltimore, and we talked for a while about the representations people
have of Baltimore, the way it`s been portrayed in the media, the way we`re
portraying it now with our cameras. And at some point, I asked him about
"The Wire", possibly the most iconic representation of the Charm City, and
he said, "I love it, it was a great show, and I`m sick of hearing about
Bodie from "The Wire" will join me later on to talk about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: The team is doing well, but the big draw is the city`s new
$106 million stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s pretty good. It`s beautiful.
REPORTER: For the Orioles and the city of Baltimore, this new field
of dreams is turning into a field of cash. Fans are buying more than just
hotdog, the downtown harbor area, the city`s picture postcard, is booming.
MAYOR KURT SCHMOKE: The most important thing is that it really has
attracted people into the area, they stay around, they see the city is an
inviting place and not just massive shelters for poor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In 1992, when Camden Yards was built here in Baltimore, it was
a crowned jewel of a revitalization effort to turn around a city many
perceived as being caught in inexorable decline. And in some ways, it
achieved that. The cornerstone of a revitalized downtown, Inner Harbor,
it`s a baseball park people have modeled their own stadiums after across
But it also stands as a representation of one Baltimore in a city that
very much as we`re seeing has two Baltimores. This weekend, those two
Baltimores clashed at the stadium and in the wake of that, the Orioles
decided to postpone two games and today facing a third postponement they
made a different decision.
Kasie Hunt was there to record history being made at Camden Yards
ANNOUNCER: Beautiful look at Baltimore downtown on a glorious spring
day. Both 74 degrees, sun shining, it is so pretty outside.
KASIE HUNT, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They usually chant
"let`s go O`s" and shouted during the national anthem.
But today at Camden Yards, "O" meant zero. What should have been a
routine afternoon game against the White Sox made history.
(on camera): It`s unprecedented in the history of baseball.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s unprecedented. And, you know, it`s not
ideal. You know, we acknowledge that.
The comfort of our fans and public safety are paramount concerns for
HUNT (voice-over): Fans watched and cheered through the gates. Shut
out of the stadium, as a police helicopter circled. Team with Major League
Baseball made the call after days of civil unrest in Baltimore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that, you know, the people that rioted --
it wasn`t the right thing to do, but they made it very clear and we need
change here and hopefully that will happen.
HUNT: Tensions ran high this weekend after a west Baltimore man,
Freddie Gray, died in police custody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re going to take North Avenue and we ain`t
giving it back.
HUNT: Outside the ballpark on Saturday, protesters clashing with
PROTESTERS: Don`t shoot!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The chant is "hands up, don`t shoot," which we
heard starting in Ferguson, Missouri.
HUNT: That night, fans held in the stadium. Officials concerned
about public safety. The next two games were canceled as riots raged in
the city. Some wondered if today`s game should be played at all.
Other Major League games have been moved because of public unrest.
In 1992 in Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict and in 1967 in
Detroit because of rioting, but there never has been a game quite like
(on camera): When the ball players took the field at Camden Yards
this afternoon, they came out to this unprecedented sight -- no one in the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every day it`s normal to hear the national anthem
or people screaming "O" during the national anthem. There`s nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not easy, you know. This whole process is
not easy, man. As we said, we need this game to be played but we need the
city to be healed first.
HUNT (voice-over): The O`s were supposed to play the Tampa Bay Rays
here this weekend. Instead, they`ll play as the home team down in Florida.
It means die hard fans will have to wait a little longer to come to a home
game. And so will the vendors, concession stand workers, and everyone else
around Baltimore who depend on the Orioles to make a living.
HAYES: On Saturday night, in the footage that Kasie presented there,
and you saw those sort of clashes between some of the protesters, some of
the fans at the game, fans held in the stadium afterwards, the chief
operating officer of the Baltimore Orioles took to Twitter. John Angelos
was exchanging opinions with people on Twitter and he had a really
He said this, "The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose
lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance,
and other abuses of the bill of rights by government pay the true price and
ultimate price and one that far exceeds the importance of any kids` game
played tonight or ever at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind, people
are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one
was injured at Camden Yards, there`s a far bigger picture for poor
Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don`t have jobs and are losing
economic, civil, and legal rights. And this makes inconvenience at a ball
game irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting
upon ordinary Americans."
Well, that got a lot of attention considering he`s the man in charge
of the Baltimore Orioles on a day-to-day level.
John Angelos today talked to me about what he meant in the Inner
JOHN ANGELOS, ORIOLES: We`re playing a game. I think it`s the lowest
attendance in the history of baseball was in the 1880s.
HAYES: 1882. I think there`s a game with six people.
ANGELOS: So you know it. So, there you go. That`s right. And we`re
going to beat that record I think. So, you know --
HAYES: And it`s sort of the best you can make of a strange situation.
ANGELOS: Yes. I think the city officials and the state of Maryland
and Major League Baseball and along with the Orioles attempted to come up
with a good solution, and there really wasn`t any ideal solution so we`re
doing the best we can in light of the larger circumstances out in the
HAYES: So, Saturday, you know, they had this peaceful march, 4,000 or
5,000 people, you know, largely without incident until the very end. There
were some sort of conflict around folks when they came down to Camden Yard
for the baseball game.
Some concern about that. There`s that picture on the cover of the
paper, the young guy beating up the car, smashing windows. You read this
saying, yes, I`m upset about the car but really I`m upset about the
conditions that have produced the kind of unrest we`re seeing.
Why did you write that?
ANGELOS: I think I wrote it because perspectives on this issue are
multiple and I was concerned that the perspective was going to shift too
far too quickly to what was going on at an entertainment venue.
Camden Yards is a great asset to the community. It`s done wonderful
things. Baseball has a lot of benefits for Baltimore and the community.
But at the end of the day, it`s entertainment, discretionary.
What`s more important is the community itself. I just wanted to move
the discussion back to the real lives of everyday people living throughout
HAYES: And living in a city as you said, you know, once had a very
big kind of blue-collar base. It had an industrial core. People were able
to get jobs fairly easily, sustain middle-class life, a lot of that is
left. We`ve got -- there`s Under Armour there across the harbor, there`s
still a fairly active harbor, folks working the shipyards. But a lot of
that base has been hollowed out.
And you`ve now got a city where we`re in fells appointment, right, a
city that looks like a lot of cities in the 21st century America where
there`s a lot of poor folks, there`s some service jobs, then there`s some
people with money.
ANGELOS: That`s right. I think the word "hollowed out" is a good
term to use. I don`t think it a Baltimore phenomenon. It`s a national
phenomenon. Baltimore is reflecting the nation`s problem in that regard.
Fifty years ago, the percentage of manufacturing jobs in this country
was in the 30 percent to 40 percent, and the impact of it was much, much
greater because today you have 12 million manufacturing jobs. You have
another 17 million jobs let`s say that are supported by that.
Of course, manufacturing jobs have a much higher wage premium attached
to them. And they also benefit the nation as a whole because you can`t
trade services globally. You can trade goods.
So, manufacturing has always been key for this country, for cities
like Baltimore and cities around the country. And it`s always going to be
The question is, why is the system failed to keep that in mind and how
do we get that back on track so that we can bring high-paying, long-term
lasting jobs to people in Baltimore and around the country?
HAYES: I mean, but that`s -- I mean, if you look at the plan for
urban renewal here in Baltimore and we`ll use Baltimore because we`re
walking through it, lovely neighborhood in Fell`s Point, right, we`ve got
bars, we`ve got hotels, you know, ice cream shops.
This looks like if you go to the kind of revitalized downtown across
America, it looks like this, right?
ANGELOS: That`s right.
HAYES: That`s the plan. The plan is like get some high-tech
entrepreneurs, get some yoga going, get your Whole Foods, you know, bring
in this sort of class of people that are educated and hope that brings
enough investment to a place to revitalize it. But if you drive through
West Baltimore where we were yesterday, it doesn`t look like it`s reaching
ANGELOS: That`s right. It`s sort of a derivation of trickle-down
economics of the `80s perhaps. If you look at Baltimore in the `80s and
early `90s, it was going through the rejuvenation, dollar house program in
Federal Hill, project known as Harbor Place, Camden Yards, all of which by
the way were controversial at the time.
ANGELOS: Public referendums that were fairly close, state legislature
votes that were close.
And because of the bravery of certain politicians, those projects were
pushed through. And if you look at, as you say, the periphery of the
Baltimore Inner Harbor, it`s wonderful. And if people come here as
tourists, they`re completely safe. There`s no crime problem here in those
areas if you`re a tourist.
But if you live in poor neighborhoods in Baltimore, because I think
every criminologist study you look at, the overwhelming majority of crime
is perpetrated by poor people on other poor people, not poor people on
middle class and wealthy and the elite. So, the problem is not on the
The problem is the same time that tourism rejuvenation was going on,
on a national level, the manufacturing base of the country was being gutted
by notions of globalization and offshoring, and it takes a village and all
the rest of that.
Now, that was the philosophy that became policy. And I think if you
look back on that 25 to 50 years, now with hindsight, you can say, and a
lot of people thought that then, but we`ve all had the benefit now of the
experience. Has it worked? I don`t think it`s worked at all.
You know, my grandmother worked at a factory on Broening Highway
called Western Electric. That was one of many factories, Bethlehem Steel,
Bethlehem Shipyard, Unilever, Western Electric, automotive plants, none of
that exists anymore.
So it`s easy to look across the aisle and say -- or across the city
and say, well, you know, look at these poor neighborhoods. Why don`t people
Well, people, depending on your educational level, only have certain
And, the educational system is failing in part because why? Because the
manufacturing base has gone away, producing tax incomes and so forth.
So, the opportunity my grandmother had, I don`t see that here today.
And I don`t think the people in these neighborhoods are working-class
people and some of the neighborhoods that have been featured on television
local people are working hard every day, community organizer, etcetera.
You`ve seen them on television. It`s not any failing of theirs. Eventually
HAYES: Final question. Folks that sell concessions at Camden, they
just out of luck today?
ANGELOS: No. I think that that would be an unfair result. I think
that we need to do something that will make people whole.
ANGELOS: This is an extraordinary situation that happens, you know,
hopefully never happens, but when it does happen, you got to solve the
larger problem but you don`t want individuals to pay the price.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Baltimore Orioles chief operating officer, John
Angelos, son of Peter Angelos, who owns the team, with me in the inner
We`ve got a lot more coming up. We`ve got Baltimore`s own son Barry ,
two actors from The Wire to talk about the way that that representation of
Baltimore has become a kind of phenomenon. And also, we will be talking to
congressman who voted for the crime bill about what he thinks of what`s
happened to the politics of crime.
All that that coming up.
HAYES: In New York tonight a solidarity protest convened to honor
Freddie Gray. Expressed solidarity with protesters in Baltimore has led to
a bunch of arrests. They`ve now walked over to the West Side Highway there.
In the street earlier tonight, New York City police circulating flyers
warning protesters not to go in the street, that they would be arrested.
Early on, lots of arrests made. It seems now the police have essentially
allowed them onto the street on West Side Highway blocking off traffic.
We will, of course, continue to monitor that.
It appears that the police have sort of backed off a bit after
initially doing quite a bit of arrests, although it now seems they are
darting into the crowd to grab people and arrest them.
You can see that right there.
New York City police has had a kind of oscillating attitude towards
these kind of protests. Early in the days after Eric Garner -- it was
announced that Eric Garner`s -- the police officers who were involved in
Eric Garner`s death would not
be facing any prosecution, there were many protests in New York. Those
protests tended to be in the street.
New York City police officers essentially receiving orders to fall
back and keep a limited presence, allow protesters to take the streets.
Today, at least at the outset of this protest, a very different
We see now police sort of lining up next to protesters in the street
They have been doing snatch-and-grabs. We will keep monitoring this
We will also bring you Barry Levinson, producer of Homicide and a
native son of Baltimore. Two actors from The Wire to talk about that show
and Baltimore. All that is ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yet again, the streets of an
American city are marred by violence, by shattered glass and shouts of
shows of force.
Yet again, a community is reeling, its fault lines laid bare, and its
bonds of trust and respect frayed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, was widely
expected at her speech at Columbia University to at least mention recent
She did much more than that, laying out a vision of criminal justice
reform that would mark a decisive break with criminal justice policies of
both her husband as president, and the Democratic party as a whole in the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: It`s time to end the era of mass incarceration.
We need a true national debate about how to reduce our prison
population, while keeping our communities safe.
Today, there seems to be a growing bipartisan movement for commonsense
reforms in our criminal justice system. Senators as disparate on the
political spectrum as Cory Booker and Rand Paul and Dick Durbin and Mike
Lee are reaching
across the aisle to find ways to work together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul did not quite
return the compliment.
Instead, here`s what he said in a statement. "Earlier today, Hillary
Clinton proposed various criminal justice reform ideas in an attempt to
undo some of Bill
Clinton`s work -- the same work she cheerily supported a first lady."
The very fact that the two of them are competing over who will reform
the criminal justice system the most is a testament to how much the
politics on this issue have changed.
Joining me now, former U.S. congressman from Maryland, former chair of
congressional black caucus, Kweisi Mfume. Nice to have you here.
You represented Baltimore in the 1990s when the Crime Bill came before
you and when crime was very high compared to what it is now?
KWEISI MFUME, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: Mm-hmm.
HAYES: And when the national political discussion was more cops, more
punishment, more jail. What`s changed?
MFUME: Well, we`ve got more crime, we`ve got more despair, we`ve got
more poverty and we`ve got more distrust.
I mean, trying to do this in a bill that was flawed -- they put some
stuff in it to sweeten it up -- was really not the answer.
The core of all that you are seeing and that the nation is seeing is
the fact that poverty, despair, homelessness, hunger, deprivation,
degradation continues in these communities.
You can`t box it in with a piece of legislation.
HAYES: But here`s the thing that`s so strange about the last 20
years, is that, in New York City where I`m from, in the Bronx where I`m
from, in Baltimore, the murder rate has gone down sharply, still very high
in certain neighborhoods, it`s gone down sharply. Crime has gone down
sharply. Poverty hasn`t gotten any
HAYES: And so it allows the political system to say, well, we don`t
have to worry about it anymore.
MFUME: Well, the political system likes washing its hands.
The fact of the matter, though, poverty is increasing. Unemployment in
communities in West Baltimore where Freddie was killed and most of the
pockets around the city for black men, for Latinos and for poor whites is
astronomical. Two, sometimes three times the national average.
So I don`t understand what`s going on.
I see where Harry Reid today said he directed his staff to come back
with some ideas about what to do with this issue.
I`m trying to figure out, where was that kind of thinking back seven
years ago when my party, the Democratic party, controlled the White House,
Senate, controlled the House of Representatives and you could have gotten
anything through because you controlled the votes.
So, Harry Reid, please, give me a break. Give me a break.
HAYES: Do you think the Democratic party has basically done wrong by
the folks of Sandtown, Winchester?
MFUME: I don`t know if the party has done wrong. I think all of
looked the other way and hoped that what we know and see day in and day out
would either fix itself or go away, neither of which was going to happen.
So, it`s a matter of talking the talk but not walking the walk.
I mean, these communities -- people are not stealing because they want
to be criminals. They`re not walking away and setting cars on fire -- what
they`re saying is look at me, I exist, I`m not invisible.
Is it right? No, it`s wrong. It`s absolutely wrong. And it will be
dealt with. That`s why men have been all over the streets, and I`ve been
with a bunch of them for the last few days, trying to talk this thing
through. The community needs a conversation.
But what they`re saying is look at me, I exist. Don`t look away from
HAYES: Did you vote the wrong way on the Crime Bill in `94?
MFUME: Here`s the thing about the Crime Bill in 1994, there was no
vote. It was a voice vote. So you didn`t even have to be there. It was all
in favor, aye, all opposed no, and that`s how it passed.
HAYES: And that`s how uncontroversial the idea was. More cops, three
MFUME: 41 new categories for the death penalty. Increase in the
amount of money for prisons, decrease in the amount of money for
HAYES: And that was unanimous. That was just a unanimously held
opinion across both parties.
MFUME: Well, you know, when you have a vote and say all in favor,
aye, and all opposed, no, and there is no roll call, you sort of sweep it
under the rug and
assume that everybody`s going to support it.
HAYES: The law and order politics that have given us mass
incarceration, many people will point to Nixon, particularly the Watts
riots, the riots after King that happened near Baltimore in 1968, in
Detroit and other places, as the starting
point of that, right?
HAYES: Are we going to see a different trajectory come out of the
kind of black lives matter movement we`ve seen over the last nine, ten
MFUME: Well, let`s go back over the last 47 years, because when this
city erupted in 1968 and all of us were out in the streets and being
arrested just for being on your doorstep and they arrested 6,000 people,
what has changed in 47 years?
You walk the streets of East Baltimore, West Baltimore, some of those
areas still look like they looked in `68. You know, so the Crime Bill had
its detractors, it had those who supported it. Did anything come out of it?
Well, it took the Violence Against Women`s Act and rolled it in because
they knew everybody would vote for that, and they took several other pieces
But, you know, the fact of the matter is that when you control the
Senate, and the White House for two years and you can`t find a way to use
the votes to do what you have to do, I got issue with that. And, I have an
issue with my party and that respect.
I want a party that is progressive and that takes the opportunity to
do what it can.
HAYES: Mr. Mfume, thank you very much. That was well said.
MFUME: Thank you.
HAYES: Former congressman, Kweisi Mfume.
We will be back with Barry Levinson, right after this break.
HAYES: Joining me now, Baltimore native, Barry Levinson, who has made
many movies about Baltimore and also the great TV show, Homicide, Life on
the Street, which chronicled the Baltimore police department.
Barry, I was talking to someone who came up to me who wanted to talk
to me about what I was getting wrong about Baltimore, and one of the things
he said was, you know, people focus on race and there`s a lot here that has
to do with race, but there`s also the insiders and the outsiders, there are
people who are from here, who are really from here, and people who aren`t
I`m curious what you make of that distinction.
BARRY LEVINSON, FILMMAKER: You know, first of all, I just want to
say, I`ve been listening to the entire show. You`ve had some incredibly
articulate people who are making some wonderful points this evening, which
I wonder what I`m doing here because they have just been sensational.
The question you ask, look, I come from Baltimore, I grew up -- it`s
in my DNA and I`ve tried to show different aspects of Baltimore in the
films and in the homicide TV series.
HAYES: What is it about the city that`s kind of lent itself to
dramatic representation so well?
LEVINSON: Well, I mean, it`s a city of characters, really colorful
characters. And, you know, I hear those -- I hear those sounds and how they
and how they talk and I`ve tried to, you know, bring that to television and
to film over the years. And that`s my background.
You know, a lot of times when I`m, you know, going out to promote a
film they`ll say, you know, why Baltimore? And I say, well, that`s where I
I mean, those are the people that I know and I hear and I try to depict
different times in the films I`ve dealt with in the `40s, the `50s, and the
`60s, and of
course Homicide, which was shot in real time during the `90s.
But I just try to portray that I know something about.
HAYES: Do you ever find yourself -- and I know I`m from the Bronx and
I`m -- I grew up in the Bronx in the 1980s, which kind of became this sort
icon for urban decay and burned-out buildings, graffiti on subways, empty
lots. It was the sort of stand-in in people`s imagination. People in the
Bronx still have a
chip on their shoulder about that. They`re very touchy about
representations in the Bronx.
Do you feel like you have that or do you think about that when you`re
thinking about how you`re representing the city?
LEVINSON: No. I`m first and foremost trying to think of characters
that stood out, that were strong in my mind, that I hope other people can
relate to in some way.
And I just use that as the building blocks to try to tell various type
HAYES: Do you think that we are going to see more art made about
Baltimore -- obviously you and David Simon have played really instrumental
roles in bringing
these things to the stream.
Do you think we`re going to keep seeing representations of Baltimore?
LEVINSON: I think, look, an entire new generation comes up that grew
up in Baltimore and they will have their own viewpoints, and hopefully
they`ll be able to get their stories, you know, into film or on to
television, and they`ll be telling it in their own way and in their own
So, I think there`s a bit of a tradition of it, you know, and I think
should continue, hopefully.
You know, for instance like John Waters, who grew up in another
section, he was looking at it from his point of view, from the side of the
city that he came from.
I was trying to portray it from another side.
And there are a lot of young filmmakers that are coming up that have
stories to tell and hopefully they`ll get that opportunity.
HAYES: All right. Baltimore`s own Barry Levinson, thank you very
much. I really appreciate your time.
LEVINSON: Thank you, Chris. Thanks.
HAYES: All right. Bodie and Chris from The Wire ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not the first one to do this PR campaign
against Baltimore. HBO is our flagship with The Wire and The Coroner, who
is already painted a broad sweeping stroke of poverty and crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right. Joining me now are two actors from The Wire, a show
many people outside of Baltimore defines the City of Baltimore, Gbenga
Akinnagbe and J.D. Williams. Akinnagbe was raised in Maryland, is reporting
from Baltimore for Vice and J.D., who played Bodie, of course.
J.D., you`re from Newark, right?
J.D. when you came down -- first of all, I want you to respond to what
Reverent Bryant was saying. I`ve heard that from a number of people.
They`re feeling that ultimately, whatever feeling they had The Wire, that
it`s become so synonymous in everybody`s minds outside Baltimore, with
actually like, I know Baltimore because I saw The Wire, they actually have
a little bit of, kind of a resentment of it.
J.D. WILLIAMS, THE WIRE: Well, I actually feel like people who take
that view haven`t taken time to actually watch the series. I think that the
Mr. Fontana -- I mean, I`m sorry -- Mr. Simon did -- I just saw Barry
Levinson, so I`m thinking about Tom Fontana -- but that David Simon did,
and all the other writers, the work that they did, they took the time to
try not to paint that broad
stroke he accused them of. He made sure that he covered many different
facets of people. There was not necessarily one good guy, not necessarily
one bad guy.
You know, I think they try to make it as human as possible. So, I
can`t personally agree with that even just coming from a critical
HAYES: I`m curious, Gbenga, in your career, like, how much people--
the show was, when it was on, was relatively popular but not this huge
After it went off the air it became a sensation, and then it became a
cultural trove, like people do really feel like they know Baltimore because
-- is that how -- when they come up to you like --
GBENGA AKINNAGBE, THE WIRE: Every day, every day I`m associated with
The Wire, but I still consider it an honor.
The Wire never ended for any of us who were on the show because it`s
still such a part of the social consciousness, but not just in the United
States and not just in Baltimore but around the world. And, it`s a great
thing to still be a part of.
So, yeah, people feel that they know Baltimore, and I think unless you
have been here and lived here for some time, and are affected by the city,
you don`t know Baltimore, but The Wire is a good way to start to have that
And, like J.D. said, they went out of their way to make sure no one
was painted all good or all bad. If you take that from The Wire, even
people on the
streets who loved some of the street life aspects of it, if that`s all they
saw, then I think they missed the point of the show.
HAYES: What are you doing down here? You`re down here as a reporter,
AKINNAGBE: I am. I`m here reporting for Vice HBO on what`s going on
I`m from Maryland and we got in the car and we just came down about 40
hours ago. It`s been like almost no sleep. It`s been crazy.
I got tear gassed last night just trying to just show and depict
what`s been going on. It`s wild. Rubber bullets going everywhere. They were
shooting at us and
other press. It was wild.
HAYES: J.D., you`re from Newark, which is a city that has its own
very intense experience of some of the same trends of the
industrialization, police, high crime.
You came down and you lived here in Baltimore for a few years while
you were taping, right?
WILLIAMS: Correct. The first year actually I was really excited to
come down. I hadn`t been there since I had done Homicide, but I was all
into just being away from home and working on a television show, so I
actually rented an apartment down there the first year.
That first year was just something that I tweeted about earlier today,
the year I actually did get detained. I can`t call it arrested. But, I was
detained for eight hours. That`s a whole other story.
But, that first year I kind of went through the whole process of
get to know Baltimore.
And, it reminds me of home in that it`s really historic, it`s mostly
black, it has its own language, it`s own culture, just a lot -- there`s a
lot to it.
The first year I decided okay, the next year I`ll stay home because it
was so much to try to learn and learn and squeeze into. The second year I
stayed home. By the third year I was used to Baltimore and I felt like it
was a second home to me or a third home to me and I was able to go down
there and actually find somewhere to stay that was a reasonable place. I
actually stayed at Fells Point, where you were earlier.
By the third year, I was used to Baltimore, I knew the spots. It felt
like home, it just reminded me of Newark. Fourth year, also stayed down. It
takes a while to grow on you. You have to indefinably grow into the city.
HAYES: All right. Gbenga Akinnagbe and J.D. Williams, who are telling
you, go rewatch The Wire, study it this time. Don`t think you know
Baltimore. Bodie and Chris, in The Wire I should say.
All right, that is All In for this evening. Thank you both.
The Rachel Maddow show starts now. Good evening, Rachel.
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