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Tense Calm Settles Over Ferguson; Rescue Mission Failed to Find Americans; ISIS Beheaded American Captive; Captors Demanded Millions for Foley; Six New Airstrikes Target ISIS Vehicles; Holder Meets with Brown's Family; Ride-Along with Captain Johnson; Patrick on Violence; Rapper Takes to Ferguson Streets
Aired August 21, 2014 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, I'm Don Lemon. We want to welcome our viewers right near in the United States and around the world.
I'm reporting live from Ferguson, Missouri. We're going to bring you all the latest developments from here in Ferguson. In the meantime, I want to tell you that a tense calm has settled over the city, but there is no letup in the demand for answers about the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Attorney General Eric Holder said today his department's investigation into the shooting will be fair, thorough and independent. His comments come on a day after he visited here, meeting with Brown's family as well as members of the community. He says the tensions gripping Ferguson stems from a mistrust between police and the people.
ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: I wanted the people of Ferguson to know that I personally understood that mistrust. I wanted them to know that while so much else may be uncertain, this attorney general and this Department of Justice stands with the people of Ferguson.
LEMON: Holder also expressed support for law enforcement officers who put their lives at risk. We're going to have a lot more on those comments and the latest on those protests.
And new questions about another fatal police shooting less than four miles away from here.
Our other top story today is the murder of American James Foley at the hands of ISIS militants and the U.S. air strikes against those militants in Iraq.
Today, U.S. warplanes hit ISIS hardware around the Mosul dam. And also today, we're learning more about a failed rescue mission by the U.S. military trying to free James Foley. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chief's Chairman, General Martin Dempsey, are expected to speak in two hours and can reveal more details about that operation.
Meanwhile, the friends of James Foley are speaking out about his courage and including a French journalist who was held captive with Foley for several months.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLES HENIN: He was always extremely understandable and -- well, he was a -- he was a great friend. It was -- it could sound strange for me to say that he managed to make these seven months of captivity for me easier, but, well, somehow he did because it was just great to have him with me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: There was some contact between the people who held James Foley and his family. Philip Balboni is the president and CEO of "GlobalPost." It's the online news agency that James Foley worked for. So, tell us about your role in those negotiations.
PHILIP BALBONI, PRESIDENT AND CEO, "GLOBALPOST": Well, we began the search for Jim two days after his abduction on November 22, 2012. And over time, we amassed a tremendous amount of knowledge about where Jim was being held and who was holding him. You know, negotiations were a very, very small part of this, Don. The first e-mail from the captors didn't arrive until November 26th. There were only a few subsequent to that. Perhaps the most important of those was their opportunity to let us ask what's called proof of life questions.
And so, the family composed three questions that were incredibly difficult and obscure for anyone but Jim to answer. And they all came back correctly answered. And it was a milestone moment that we knew we were dealing with the people who had him. There were a few additional communications in December. One of which stated the demand, a monetary demand. And then, the captors stopped communicating with us. And the next time we heard from them was last Wednesday night when they made -- proved not to be a threat, a statement that they would execute Jim because of the U.S. bombing in Iraq.
LEMON: Yes. How many times did you hear from his captors?
BALBONI: It was less than half a dozen.
LEMON: Less than half a dozen times. And when did they first ask for ransom, and did they repeat those demands over months? Because as I understand, it was 100 million euros, which is $132.5 million.
BALBONI: Yes. I want to stress, Don, that their -- the kidnappers never really negotiated their demands. They stated the demand, and it was 100 million euros or the release of Muslim prisoners, not named by them. And they stopped communicating with the Foley family. And we, of course, were attempting to engage them in communication. There was never a time when the captors said that if you paid this amount of money other than that 100 million euros, that Jim would be freed. We never took the 100 million figure seriously.
And we learned from the -- as you know, there were a number of western journalists, European journalists, who were subsequently released by them starting in April of this year. And the amount of money paid in those ransoms was dramatically less. And our focus was on attempting to raise a sum of money that would be in the range of what they had taken for the other western hostages.
LEMON: Yes. Can you tell us, Mr. Balboni, what role the government played in those communications? Did they monitor them? Or did you -- or the family just pass on that information?
BALBONI: Yes. Everything that we learned throughout this entire investigation was provided to the government, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to the State Department. So, there was nothing that we knew that they didn't know, almost contemporaneously, with the time that we knew it.
LEMON: All right. Philip Balboni, thank you very much. We appreciate you joining us here on CNN.
We want to get back to the new air strikes against ISIS, and American planes hit military positions around the Mosul dam in northern Iraq. Our Anna Coren is on the ground in Erbil, Iraq. Anna, do we know specifically what is being targeted in those air strikes?
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Look, it's the ISIS enemy position. It's Humvees. It's artillery. It's actually U.S. equipment that they seized from the Iraqis when they took over Mosul back in June. Iraq's second largest city. So this is what the U.S. is specifically going after. That weaponry, that heavy weaponry that they are using against the Kurdish forces, the Peshmerga, as well as the Iraqis who are -- who are part of this fight.
But those air strikes, Don, as we know, are really changing the situation on the ground. There were six today. There were 14 yesterday. And we're really seeing a ramped-up effort from the U.S. because this is, as I say, changing the situation, allowing those ground forces to get in, retake Mosul dam.
We spent a lot of time at Mosul dam in the last couple of days, watched the Peshmerga make those critical advances to actually push these ISIS fighters, you know, out of this very strategically important piece of infrastructure. Without those U.S. air strikes, Don, none of this would have been possible.
LEMON: Anna, what is the reaction there to the beheading of James Foley?
COREN: People are sickened. It doesn't matter who you speak to, they are horrified that is could do this to an American citizen. And there's a real feeling as well, Don, that this has changed the situation. Before, many people felt that this was just a war here in Iraq, that the U.S. was supporting to help out obviously U.S. personnel on the ground as well as to stop genocide of the Iraqi religious minorities. But now that ISIS has killed a U.S. civilian -- I beg your pardon, a U.S. civilian in Syria, you have to remember ISIS doesn't consider Syria and Iraq to be separate countries. As far as they're concerned, they've set up this new state, the Islamic state, the caliphate. So, for what has taken place, there's a real feeling that now the United States, yes, they need to increase air strikes.
We've heard that from Iraq's foreign minister, but there needs to be more involvement to defeat ISIS. Because at the moment, Don, they are just pushing them back and holding them at bay. If they're going to eliminate the cancer of ISIS, which is what President Obama said after the death of James Foley yesterday, well, then, they need to be far more involved.
LEMON: All right, Anna Coren, thank you very much.
We want to turn now back to the story here in Ferguson. Eyewitnesses, of course, key to determining what happened between Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson. But who can we believe when the stories are so different?
Plus, the nation's only black governor reacts to the shooting and the violence. Governor Deval Patrick's emotional response. That's straight ahead.
LEMON: A grand jury has begun hearing testimony in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. This comes as Attorney General Eric Holder says agents have made significant progress in a separate federal investigation. Now, here's the very latest from the ground here in Ferguson, Missouri. For the first time since the shooting, the streets emptied out overnight. The crowds of protesters thinned as evening fell. Rain and thunderstorms may have kept some people away. Two supporters of the police officer who shot Michael Brown took to the streets. They were confronted by supporters of the Brown family.
And meanwhile, a defense fund set up for Officer Darren Wilson has collected more than $123,000. Michael Brown's mother viewed his body at the morgue for the first time yesterday. And later, the family met with Attorney General Eric Holder. The meeting really struck a personal chord with him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOLDER: On a personal note, I've seen a lot in my time as attorney general, but few things have affected me as greatly as my visit to Ferguson. I had the chance to meet with the family of Michael Brown. I spoke with them, not just as attorney general but as a father of a teenage son myself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, Holder also met with Captain Ron Johnson of the State Highway Patrol, the man in charge of security here in Ferguson. And I had the chance to go on a ride-along with Captain Johnson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(on camera): Not that many people out. It seems to be under control. What did you do right since two days ago?
RON JOHNSON, CAPTAIN, STATE HIGHWAY PATROL: I think that, first, the community did some things right. The clergy and the elders and the activists came out and didn't allow agitators and criminals to mass themselves within a group. And so, -- and they were actually pointing them out to us. They were helping us. They were moving away from them and not having the same activity. So, really, the community did it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the nation's only African-American governor weighs in on the shooting and violence in Ferguson. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick says these deadly encounters have to stop.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I'm sick of it. I'm sick of -- I'm sick of unarmed black men being shot by police. I'm sick of the lawlessness on the streets. I think everybody's just tired of it. When are we going to get through with this kind of -- this kind of thing?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I want to bring in CNN "Crossfire" host Van Jones. A very emotional reaction from the governor. Are you surprised at how this is resonating with the governor, with black leaders, really with the black community, and even beyond the black community?
VAN JONES, HOST, CNN'S "CROSSFIRE": Yes, I'm not -- I'm not surprised because this wasn't the first this summer. It was the fourth this summer of an unarmed African-American young person who was either choked to death or shot to death. And so I think it is striking a chord.
I think here in Ferguson, people are kind of taking an inhale. But Monday is the funeral.
JONES: And I think you're going to see once again people coming.
JONES: We know that you have leaders coming from all across the country to be with the family. And so this is an inhale moment. But I don't think this is over by a long shot.
LEMON: Yes. And, you know, there was another fatal shooting. We were here when it happened. I'm talking about a fatal shooting not far from here in St. Louis City. Raising questions, the cell phone video of the shooting is graphic and it is disturbing. We have chosen, we need to tell you, to freeze the footage right before the man is shot, but the audio does continue. And you can also hear the man who filmed the shooting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The policemen pull up. You see -- y'all call the police?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). We called them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your hands out of your pockets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got his gun out. Oh (EXPLETIVE DELETED)! Oh (EXPLETIVE DELETED)! Oh (EXPLETIVE DELETED)! Oh (EXPLETIVE DELETED)! They've got their guns out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop it, bro.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Damn!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Wow. Well, we know the man was yelling "shoot me! Shoot me!" --
JONES: "Shoot me, shoot me," right.
LEMON: As they approached the authorities say that he was brandishing a knife.
You know, but on the heels of the Michael Brown shooting, how much does this, you think, play into the concerns about the interactions between police and black men?
JONES: You know, one of the chants that was out there on the street was "black lives matter, black lives matter." And when you hear that you think, well, that should be obvious. I think, you know, in a situation like this, you begin to understand why people here may feel that black lives may not matter.
Here's what I would say. Obviously, look, my dad was a cop in the military. My uncle just retired from the Memphis Police force.
JONES: I understand that law enforcement is under tremendous pressure. But here's what I also know. People have to deal with folks with mental instability all the time. Nurses do. Store owners do.
LEMON: And they don't have weapons.
JONES: Bus drivers do. And what they learn how to do is talk people down, not shoot them down. And that's something to -
LEMON: Yes, but he had a knife though.
JONES: Oh, well, listen, if you have a knife then you are posing a dangerous threat and a lethal threat. But it's a matter of training. There are departments now that realize you have so much widespread mental illness, you have to train people to - identify, is this guy crazy, and let me go through my talk him down protocol and don't go right to my shoot him down protocol.
LEMON: All right.
JONES: These cops seemed to be trained to go right to shoot him down.
LEMON: Let's continue our conversation after we listen to the St. Louis police chief because we talked to him about the use of deadly force. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Why use bullets? Why not use a stun gun?
CHIEF SAM DOTSON, ST. LOUIS POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, certainly a Taser is an option that's available to the officers. But Tasers aren't 100 percent. So you've got an individual armed with a knife who's moving towards you, not listening to any verbal commands, continues, says "shoot me now, kill me now." Tasers aren't 100 percent. If that Taser misses, that subject continues on and hurts an officer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So speaking to officers here, they say, when you -- if someone is far enough away and you have a chance to holster a Taser and a gun, sure, that's fine. But when someone is that close to you, you don't have the time necessarily to react that way.
JONES: Right. And one of the things that was so brilliant about your coverage last night was you were talking to the officers and the young men together. And the young men said, the way you approach me is how I approach you.
JONES: And so the most important weapon an officer has often is his words or her words. And so if you come out with a gun saying "freeze, freeze, freeze," that might be escalating. If somebody is known in the community, as this man was known, to have a mental illness, a community-oriented officer might have been able to come out, crack a joke, might be able to de-escalate -
JONES: Not try to match the escalation and take it higher. So it's a training issue though.
LEMON: What you just mentioned though, speaking to those young men, that's really the key to this story and we have not heard a lot from them exception for, you know, "hands up" and people screaming as protesters.
LEMON: I think we need to hear a lot more from them.
JONES: I think that's right. And, unfortunately, here in Ferguson, some of the -- it seems to me that police officers never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
JONES: The young people are over there at the church right now. They're trying to make plans going forward. The police could go by and talk with them, have an honest conversation.
JONES: Instead, there's this standoff almost. Even between young people who live in this community and the police.
LEMON: And the police. Yes, and we'll get to -- we're going to do more of that (ph). Thank you, Van Jones.
JONES: Very good.
LEMON: Appreciate you - appreciate you joining us here.
JONES: Thank you.
LEMON: Back here in Ferguson, Missouri, as tensions move - as tensions have mounted, I should say, over the last week and a half, we have seen a wide range of people, protesters, leaders, famous and not, come to be a part of what's happening. Next, why one hip-hop star decided to bring his fight for racial equality to Ferguson.
LEMON: Here in Ferguson, pictures have really told the story. The protests that we have seen on the streets, the law enforcement reaction, all driving this story both in the national media and the discussion that we are seeing online. Activists here in Ferguson are using Twitter to get their message out, including some major hip-hop artists like my next guest Talib Kweli who is a rapper activist. Can we call you -- I guess we can call him a raptivist. You have been tweeting a lot about what's going on here to your more than 900,000 followers on Twitter. You have long really been a passionate voice of issues of racial equality. You came to Ferguson days ago.
TALIB KWELI, RAPPER, ACTIVIST: Yes.
KWELI: I mean, why not? You know, I'm on Twitter often. I love Twitter. But the retweeting and everything, it doesn't have an effect without bodies on the ground. Without flesh and people actually showing up, Twitter movements, even the movement in Egypt, even the Arab Spring, even Occupy Wall Street, without the people on the ground, actually here there is no story.
KWELI: So as an artist, I wanted to put my money where my mouth is. I'm supported by the community that -- the community that's been brutalized. I have a son that's Mike Brown's age. Mike Brown was into hip-hop. It could have happened to me. It could have happened to you. you know, I felt like it was important for me to be here and control the narrative because the media has been doing a horrible job of making sure that the stories get out in the right way.
LEMON: Well, I know -- I disagree with that, especially with our coverage. I think that we have been -- we've done really great coverage here. And people in the community are actually coming up commending us on our coverage, saying that it's balanced. We've been telling the stories of young black men and their interactions with police officers. I don't think the entire media has been bad.
KWELI: No, I don't think - I think what you're speaking about is intentions. And I don't think -- you know, especially an organization like CNN, I don't think the intention is to not be fair or balanced. But we live in a world that's run by white supremacy, and that's the narrative of the -- the narrative and language of the oppressors taking over. On cnn.com right now you have a story up that says, "Ferguson calm until bottles fly." Well, that's inaccurate because I was there that night, you know what I'm saying, and that's not what happened. And first -- the first thing in the story it says is, police chased down men.
LEMON: Well, hang on.
KWELI: Let me finish. Let me finish my point. Let me finish my point. Let me finish my point.
LEMON: But that was - that's not what happened where you were but -
KWELI: I was there right there in -- with the article, that the situation they were talking about, I was right there. That's what happened.
LEMON: Yes, but that's not - that's not what happened where you were.
KWELI: Let me finish my point. Let me finish my - that's what - that's exactly what happened.
LEMON: I'm going to - I'm going to let you finish your point -
KWELI: That's exactly what happened. No, you're not because you're talking -
LEMON: Yes, I am. I'm going to let you finish your point -
KWELI: You're talking. No, let me finish my point before you talk. LEMON: OK, but let me - I want to address -
KWELI: Let me finish my point before you talk.
LEMON: I want to address something you said, then you -
KWELI: Can I finish my point - then we don't have to have an interview if I can't talk.
LEMON: OK. OK.
KWELI: If I can't talk, we don't have to have an interview. (INAUDIBLE) can I finish my point though?
LEMON: OK. I'm going to let you talk -
KWELI: Well, you're interrupting me and telling me you're going to let me talk.
LEMON: I'm saying that's what happened where you were and police say you're not seeing everything that happens that goes on. You can't see everything that happens.
KWELI: I'm only telling you my perspective. Can I finish telling you my perspective and then you can respond?
LEMON: Now, continue - yes, you can continue your point. Now, go ahead.
KWELI: Because that's how you have a conversation, all right?
LEMON: I understand that.
LEMON: But in order to have a conversation, you have to listen to me as well.
KWELI: OK. Well, let me just explain something. I would listen to you if you had the decency -- let me finish -- if you had the decency to greet me and to greet me - to greet me.
LEMON: I do have decency. I invited you to come on CNN.
KWELI: All right, let me tell you what happened. You didn't invite me. Nicole (ph) invited me, first of all.
KWELI: You came up to - you came up -- you didn't even say nothing to me. You were on your phone the whole time. You asked how to pronounce my name and then you - you have no respect for who I am -
LEMON: No, I want to make sure -
KWELI: Let me finish saying what I have to say or else I'm going to leave.
KWELI: Either I can finish saying what (INAUDIBLE) --
LEMON: OK, you say what you have to say and then I'll finish. Go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead.
KWELI: You asking me (ph). I was down here for my - for my perspective.
All right, from what I saw, with my own eyes -
LEMON: That's what I'm saying to you.
KWELI: OK. And I was there on the ground, all right? That's not what happened. The CNN reports on your website says it chased men down. It -- no. It chased men, women and children down. The CNN report, the headline says, "calm until bottles fly." They don't mention the bottles in the article. In the article you read five pages and there's no mention of the bottles flying. I saw the bottle fly. You know when the bottles flew? After the cops told me they were going to blow my f'ing head off.
KWELI: After the cops - I'm not done. After the cops put on riot gear, put up their shield and too their batons out and lined up on the streets. And then when they got into position, a bottle comes out of a peaceful protest. That don't make no sense.
KWELI: So what I'm saying is the headline should say, it's calm until the cops agitated the people.
LEMON: OK. Can I talk?
KWELI: And that's what the headline should have read.
LEMON: Can I speak now? OK. So we have addressed everything that you're saying.
LEMON: OK. That's what you saw from your position.
KWELI: That's why I'm here.
LEMON: You're not seeing everything that's going on.
KWELI: Of course not.
LEMON: So from your position -
KWELI: Only my perspective. LEMON: The article that you're looking at one CNN is one of hundreds
if not thousands that are written.
KWELI: That's true.
LEMON: And also, it's a small part of 24 hours of news coverage that we have here on CNN.
KWELI: Which is why I said it wasn't intentional.
LEMON: And I understand your anger -
KWELI: Which is why I said it wasn't intentional.
LEMON: And as far -- as you saying me coming up, I have a job to do. What I'm doing on television is in this phone. I am reading -- hang on - I am reading --
KWELI: I would have enough respect to greet you if I've never met you before, brother.
LEMON: I am reading - hang on. I am reading - I am reading -
KWELI: To greet you. to say, how you doing. It's nice to meet you.
LEMON: I said, how you doing.
KWELI: No, you did not.
LEMON: I did.
KWELI: No, you didn't. That's a lie.
LEMON: Did I not walk up to you and say hello?
KWELI: No, you didn't. We have it on tape. No, you didn't.
LEMON: Yes, I did. I walked -
KWELI: You skated by here. And I said hello to you. And you said, hey, what's up? You didn't say my - you didn't do none of that.
LEMON: I'm trying to get on the air. I'm working. I said hello to you.
KWELI: I'm working too.
LEMON: I'm trying to be respectful to you to make sure that I say your name properly. People call me Don Lemon. If someone came on I would say my name is Don Lemon. So I just want to make sure I'm respectful to you so that I say your name properly. I said hello to you. I'm very busy here. I'm not trying to disrespect you. I invited and CNN invited you to be on CNN so that we could have this conversation. And I don't mind having this conversation and having this argument because this what we should do.
KWELI: I don't either. LEMON: But we have to listen to each other.
KWELI: Right. But the first thing you did that stopped this conversation to communicate is you --
LEMON: Hang on, producers. I think this is very important. Go ahead.
KWELI: While I was telling my perspective, you've been on TV all day. I'm in the streets and you're out here and I commend you. I see you going through the same struggles as a black man that we all go through.
KWELI: And I commend you for being out here because a lot of people who talk are not out here. And I can tell from your passion you're not just out here as a journalist.
KWELI: However, the first thing you did when I'm telling my perspective is cut me off and I'm telling you from my --
LEMON: I'm not trying to cut you off.
KWELI: Like you correctly said, it's only my perspective. That's all I can be responsible for.
LEMON: Will you just listen to me? I'm not trying to cut you off. I'm trying to address each point that you're giving so that nothing is lost in this all. So when you say something, I want to address one point. And then I'm going to stop and let you say something else and then I'm going to address that point. I'm not trying to disrespect you.
KWELI: I don't (INAUDIBLE) -
LEMON: What I'm trying to do is get on television so that I can get you on and have a conversation with you.
KWELI: My job is -- my job is to represent what I saw. And I have 90 seconds at least to speak when you ask me a question.
KWELI: I know how this goes. For me to answer. I've got 20 seconds out. Let me say my piece at first and then we can have a conversation.
LEMON: OK, so let me tell you this. So for the past two minutes, the producers have been saying, "Wrap this up, let's go." If I tell you I'm going to let you speak, I mean that I'm going to let you speak. But I want us to have a conversation where we're listening to each other.
KWELI: Again, I have a mission, a statement that I have to get out.
LEMON: And I'm letting you do that.
KWELI: You weren't, but now you are, and I appreciate it. I can't trust that, brother. I can't trust that, brother.
LEMON: So what am I going to do with that? I'm letting you have this.
KWELI: Yes, you are, and I commend you.
LEMON: Thank you again.
I want to say for people, keep the focus on mike Brown. I want to say --
KWELI: -- people out here, say because they don't see protest movement, I know protest about black on black crime. Just because you don't see it, just because you choose to ignore it don't mean it don't exist. Organization for Black Struggle, they're out here. Dream Defenders is out here. Advancement Project is out here. Black Youth Project is out here. Look them up, support them. Peace.
LEMON: We've got to go to commercial break. Are we good?
KWELI: Yeah, we're good. Emotions flare high, but we're good.
LEMON: This is what we need to do.
KWELI: No doubt.
LEMON: And this is how we talk around the kitchen table.
LEMON: Thank you. Appreciate it.
KWELI: All right.
LEMON: We'll be right back.