President Barack Obama says there's no excuse for the violent protests in Baltimore and that the U.S. needs to do some soul searching. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Obama expressed his concern for the violent protests in Baltimore saying, "there's no excuse for the kind of violence that we saw yesterday." "The violence that happened yesterday distracted from the fact that you had seen multiple days of peaceful protests that were focused on entirely legitimate concerns," Obama said during a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Baltimore residents on Tuesday began to clear the wreckage of rioting and fires that erupted after the funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died in police custody, while the city's mayor defended local law enforcement's light initial response. Acrid smoke hung over streets where violence broke out just blocks from Freddie Gray's funeral and spread through much of the poor West Baltimore neighborhood. Nineteen buildings and 144 vehicles were set on fire, and 202 people were arrested, according to the mayor's office. Police said 15 officers were injured, six seriously, in Monday's unrest, which spread throughout the city as police initially looked on but did not interfere as rioters torched vehicles and later businesses. Looters had ransacked stores, pharmacies and a shopping mall and clashed with police in riot gear in the most violent unrest in the United States since Ferguson, Missouri, was torn by gunshots and arson in late 2014. Gray's death gave new energy to the public outcry that flared last year after police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, New York City and elsewhere.