Baltimore Community Organizer: "Broken Windows Are Not Broken Spines"; "We're Looking For Justice"


WOLF BLITZER, CNN: At least 15 police officers have been hurt, 200 arrests, 144 vehicle fires, these are statistics, local police have put out 15 structure fires. No excuse for that kind of violence, right?

DERAY McKESSON, BALTIMORE COMMUNITY ORGANIZER: There's no excuse for the seven people that the Baltimore City Police Department has killed in the last year either, right?

BLITZER: We're not making comparisons, obviously, we don't want anybody hurt. But I just want to hear you say that there should be peaceful protests not violent protests in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King [Jr.]?

McKESSON: Yeah, there should be peaceful protests. I don't have to condone it to understand it, right, but the pain that people feel is real and you are making a comparison. You are suggesting this idea that broken windows are worse than broken spines, and what we know to be true is the police are killing people everywhere, they're killing people here, six police officers were involved in the killing of Freddie Gray and we're looking for justice there. And that's real, right. Like the violence that the police have been inflicting on communities of color has been sustained and deep.

BLITZER: But you agree I assume with President Obama who said a few moments ago, there's no excuse for the violence that erupted yesterday, there's no excuse for the stealing, no excuse for the arson, you agree with the president?

McKESSON: What I agree with is that I advocate people to peacefully protest. I also know that pain manifests in different ways and, again, I don't have to condone it to understand it. People are grieving and people are mourning. And I would advocate personally for people to do it in ways that you are calling peacefully. But again, I also know that Freddie Gray will never be back and those windows will be.

BLITZER: The -- and the president also said, President Obama, he said the violence, he said distracted from the peaceful protests and distracted from the mourning that the family of Freddie Gray was seeking yesterday. Your reaction to that?

McKESSON: You know, distracted from progress is when city officials get on TV and call black people in pain thugs, that's a distraction. So, I think that the unrest, the uprising, whatever you call it, is again a cry for justice here and a cry for justice across the country because the police continue to terrorize people. And again, the terrorizing is deadly. Broken windows are not broken spines. People are in pain.

So I think that the president, I hope that he understands the conditions that created the unrest and continue the unrest not only here in Baltimore but across the country because Freddie Gray will never see another day, neither will Tamir Rice or Mike Brown.

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