When MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts approached a woman to interview on the streets of Baltimore on Tuesday, he got more than he bargained for.
Roberts asked protester Danielle Williams why she was there, to which she replied, “I just want to represent my city and let everyone know Baltimore isn’t this mad place; we really do come together when we need to. We need to show support for our city, for the family of Freddy Gray, and to let America know that we do want justice.”
The reporter replied, “What type of message to you think it sends to the world, while we’re waiting for that justice, when we see residents looting and rioting in the city? Does that represent the population of this city?”
But Williams did not back down, and coolly countered with some pointed arguments of her own.
My question to you is, when we were out here protesting all last week for six days straight peacefully, there were no news cameras, there were no helicopters, there was no riot gear, and nobody heard us. So now that we’ve burned down buildings and set businesses on fire and looted buildings, now all of the sudden everybody wants to hear us. Why does it take a catastrophe like this in order for America to hear our cry? We’ve had too many lives lost at the hands of police officers. Enough is enough.”
Roberts ignored the question and instead inquired as to the woman’s opinion of how authorities have handled the case so far.
I think they could have done a much better job of handling it. They’ve had plenty of cities around America who have served as examples of what not to do. I think Baltimore is a lot better than that…After all this, we still don’t have the answers that we need. What more is it going to take?”
At that point Roberts cut away to a press conference with the mayor and police commissioner.
Freddy Gray was arrested April 12 in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of West Baltimore. It is unknown why he was stopped but the suspect fled and was later taken into custody. Bystanders captured on video an injured Gray being arrested and loaded in a van. Allegedly, he was not buckled into a seat belt, a police department policy violation.
A short time after that, Gray was rushed to the Shock Trauma Center where it was discovered his spine was almost completely severed. He remained in a coma for one week before dying on April 19.
Protests began one day before the man’s death and continued peacefully for five days. Then some protesters started to have run-ins with police, although at first, they were mostly nonviolent.
Police have yet to reveal why Gray was arrested or what caused his fatal injuries and the officers involved have all now been charged with murder.