Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Charlotte Mayor to View Shooting Video; Bombing Suspect Unconscious; Trump Stop and Frisk Policing. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired September 22, 2016 - 09:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[09:30:00] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Growing cries for justice for Scott. Officers in riot gear firing flash grenades, tear gas filling the air. Police say one man was shot by someone in the crowd. He remains in the hospital this morning clinging to life. Businesses in the heart of Charlotte sustained damage. Some workers told to stay home this morning. North Carolina's governor declaring a state of emergency.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R), NORTH CAROLINA (voice-over): Their goal is not to contribute to a discussion. Their goal is destruction and anarchy. And that is something our nation cannot accept.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Four officers were hurt in the chaos last night. The question now, how to prevent another night of violence.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is at police headquarters in Charlotte.

The mayor is expected to view the tape very soon what -- you know, what went down when Keith Scott was shot. When might she view that tape, Polo?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's still unclear, Carol, but I can tell you in about an hour or so we will -- you will hear from the city's mayor, the city's police chief, and also several community members. And that is one of the key questions, has she actually seen that footage that we understand at least just one angle that we know of so far, which is the dash cam angle of the actual shooting there of Mr. Scott here. And when you get to speak to several individuals here in the community, including at least one individual who happens to be a member of a police unit, he will tell you that the video there does at least go along with the claims from the police department, what they claim actually took place, that Mr. Scott was not complying, had a weapon.

But the members of the community say here that that is not enough. They want to see that footage for themselves because you still have two competing versions of the story of what took place earlier this week. And so until that happens, many members of the community say that you will continue to see that call for justice and, of course, that call to have that video. So as we wait to hear from city officials, we'll be waiting to see --

really to confirm whether or not that footage has actually been seen. Will it be seen by any member of the pubic, possibly a member of Scott's family?

And also, what will be in place tonight ahead of what could be another night of protests. You hear from members of the community who will tell you they want any demonstrations to remain peaceful, as they started yesterday before things took a very rapid and very terrible turn resulting in some injuries, including at least those four officers, which were treated on scene. As for that civilian who was reportedly shot by a fellow civilians, Carol we're told that his condition is still listed as critical. A relative peace back on the streets of Charlotte here and people want it to stay that way ahead of tonight as we wait to hear from the city very soon.

Carol.

COSTELLO: All right, we'll check back with you. Polo Sandoval reporting live from Charlotte this morning.

Violence erupting despite calls from Scott's family and the NAACP for demonstrators to remain peaceful. Charlotte's mayor speaking out on ABC this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR JENNIFER ROBERTS (D), CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA: We are hoping for a peaceful day. We are preparing for this evening, and we know that a peaceful protest, and many folks who do want to express their views peacefully turned into something else last night. We have great folks in our community who really want this to be peaceful and want us to have constructive dialogue to move our city forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: All right, joining me now is Minister Corine Mack, the president of the NAACP in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg branch.

Good morning and thanks for being here.

MINISTER CORINE MACK, PRESIDENT, NAACP CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG BRANCH: Good morning. Thank you.

COSTELLO: Should police release that video?

MACK: Absolutely. Absolutely. We're calling for transparency. And at the end of the day, if we want to really begin to build better relationship, then be transparent. It starts there.

COSTELLO: Have police, to your knowledge, thought about inviting a member of the Scott family to view that tape and maybe NAACP officials as well?

MACK: The NAACP has not been asked to come and view the video. My understanding is that the Scott family is going to be given the opportunity to do so. If it's done, I'm not sure when, but I'm hoping that it's done very soon.

COSTELLO: Have you talked to any members of the Scott family?

MACK: I haven't. As of Tuesday, I have not spoken to anyone, no.

COSTELLO: So what did they tell you on Tuesday?

MACK: They were still in the throes of pain. Many of them still crying, some hysterically crying and some were just in a daze. And they had just lost their dad. And in mourning. But we did discuss who their father was to them, the kind of person he was in terms of his character, how loving he was, not only to them but to other members and children in the community. He was well loved. We heard that from these children, as well as neighbors and friends.

[09:35:02] COSTELLO: Even if police release video of the incident involving Mr. Scott, I suspect that some members in the community still won't believe what went down, you know, as they watch that -- won't believe that that videotape tells the whole story. How do you get past that?

MACK: At the end of the day, you know, a video may show a different perspective depending on the angle. And so if we don't have many different angles, you may not get the full picture. I think the most important part is the contrast in him having a book versus a gun. But in my mind and in most of the community's mind, it really doesn't matter if he had a gun. At the end of the day, we have the right, under the Second Amendment, to carry here in North Carolina. And their responsibility was to engage him in a more de-escalated way, to find out if he had a permit for his gun and allow him to go on his merry way and he would still be living today. That's not what happened. And so I don't want anyone to walk away from this conversation today thinking that a video showing he had a gun in any way says that he's guilty of anything.

COSTELLO: So, so how can -- how can police convince the community -- because it seems like the police chief thinks, at least at this point, that the shooting was justified. How do police convince citizens in Charlotte that maybe police were justified in shooting Mr. Scott?

MACK: I don't think he's going to be able to do that. We've had so many African-American men and women killed at the hands of police. And every one of those cases are deemed -- or at least 99 percent of those cases are deemed justifiable. In most cases, all a cop has to say is that I was in fear of my life. It was an imminent threat. He was on drugs or, you know, he had a weapon. But as I stated earlier, when we have a white sister or brother who has a gun or even points a gun at someone -- we had a case just recently where the gun -- the gunman actually shot cops. He was brought down, it was disengaged -- deengaged (ph), de-escalated. He was allowed to live. And all we're asking for is the same treatment, to use de-escalation, to treat us with humanity, with dignity and respect and allow us to live.

COSTELLO: Minister Corine Mack, thank you so much for being with me this morning. Still to come in the NEWSROOM, the wife of the suspected New York

bomber back in the United States, but will she give the feds the answers they're looking for?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:41:52] COSTELLO: The wife of suspected New York City bomber Ahmad Rahami is back on American soil this morning. She's already met with U.S. officials in the United Arab Emirates and we're told she is coopering. In the meantime, Rahami himself is unconscious and intubated following surgery. Investigators still haven't been able to question him about Saturday's bombing in Manhattan that left 29 people injured.

Jessica Schneider is following this for us this morning. She has more.

Good morning.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol.

FBI agents are guarding Rahami around the clock. And while the federal public defender's office wants an appearance before a judge immediately, the FBI says Rahami will not be moved any time soon. His wife is back in the United States and cooperating with law enforcement. She arrived back from the United Arab Emirates last night and she's already been questioned by authorities there. They passed that information on to the U.S.

Meanwhile, images of a handwritten notebook found on Rahami after that shoot-out with police show it bloodied and damaged, and the words on the page are chilling. Authorities say Rahami praised Osama bin Laden and wrote ominously on those pages, the sounds of bombs will be heard on the streets.

Now, these details as a neighbor now tells CNN she started seeing fires in Rahamis backyard this summer, prompting here to call the fire department. You can see some of the scorched earth in his backyard right there. She talked to us, and we blurred her face over concerns for her safety.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By the time they would actually get there, they would be off. Took a few pictures. It started, you know, since like probably around June of this year. And it got more frequent towards now, just a few days before the bombing, there was a -- I think they did a -- maybe like the Thursday before it, or that same week, they had another one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: And the federal complaint does allege that Rahami did, in fact, test his bombs in his own backyard on Thursday, just two days before the attacks.

Now on the investigative front. The FBI now wants to talk with these two men. They say they're witnesses who removed the pressure cooker from a piece of luggage at 27th Street on Saturday night and then walked away. Now police are stressing that they're not suspects, but they could provide some vital clues in this ongoing investigation.

Carol.

COSTELLO: Yes, because before they thought, oh, these guys just wanted the suitcase and they removed the pressure cooker and -- but now they want to talk to them?

SCHNEIDER: Yes. Now they think they might know something. You know at this point in the investigation, they want to talk to every single person who might have any clue as to how this all transpired.

COSTELLO: Jessica Schneider, thanks so much.

[09:44:32] Still to come in the NEWSROOM, police shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte take center stage in the race for the White House. How Clinton and Trump say they would deal with strained relations between police and their community.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: The police shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte have prompted swift and very different responses from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Clinton, who admitted not a lot is known yet about what happened in these incidents, called for communities and police to respect one another while working together on reform. For his part, Donald Trump raised eyebrows by calling for what many believe was a broader use of stop and frisk. That policy used by the New York City Police Department and other police forces to reduce crime was declared unconstitutional by a New York federal judge three years ago who said it violated the rights of minorities. This morning, Trump seemed to qualify his comments.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I was really referring to Chicago with stop and frisk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

TRUMP: They asked me about Chicago, and I was talking about stop and frisk for Chicago and -- where you had 3,000 shootings so far this year. Three thousand from January 1st. And, obviously, you can't let the system go the way it's going, but I suggested stop and frisk. And some people think that's a great idea and some people probably don't like it. But when you have 3,000 people shot and so many people dying, I mean it's worse than some of the places we're hearing about, like Afghanistan, you know, the war-torn nations.

[09:50:19] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

TRUMP: And I mean this -- it's more dangerous.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COSTELLO: OK, that part about Afghanistan is not true, but let's discuss stop and frisk, shall we? Lynn Sweet is the Washington bureau chief for "The Chicago Sun Times, and Jason Johnson is the politics editor for theroot.com.

Lynn, you are from Chicago. Well-versed in Chicago. Mr. Trump said he has suggested -- he didn't say to who -- but he suggested that stop and frisk would work in the city of Chicago. Would it?

LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": He doesn't know what he's talking about in that he has never visited any of the neighborhoods in Chicago. He has no relationships with law enforcement community in Chicago. As it happens, by coincidence, tonight, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has been trying to solve this horrible crime situation in Chicago, is giving a major address on it with some more ideas that he has.

So there's no possible way that donned Trump is putting out a solution. Stop and frisk is three words. Carol, it takes more than that to try and figure out why Chicago is having the trouble it's having with these -- this very serious problem of shootings. And that's my point I'd like to make.

COSTELLO: Right, well let's -- let's --

SWEET: Donald Trump can come to Chicago, as Hillary Clinton has, and go into neighborhoods and try and figure out that there might not just be one answer to this problem.

COSTELLO: Well, Donald Trump went on and he expounded on "Fox and Friends" this morning. He said stop and frisk is, police can walk down the streets, Jason, and they can stop people who look suspicious, who they suspect have a gun, frisk them. If they have the gun, they can take away the gun. And, you know, there's a problem with gun violence in the city of Chicago. So why wouldn't that work, Jason?

JASON JOHNSON, POLITICS EDITOR, THEROOT.COM: Well, it's unconstitutional, Carol. I mean if it's unconstitutional at one place, it's unconstitutional somewhere else. And also this idea that your -- the problems with stop and frisk aren't just that it ends up being abusive to minorities, but it actually -- I've always thought it's somewhat dangerous for the police as well. You're asking police to basically consistently confront people, men and women on a regular basis, under the suspicion that they may have committed a crime or may have a weapon. It's provocative. It's incendiary. I think it's counter to basic police work.

And think about what we just saw happening right now. In Charlotte, in North Carolina, that was a situation where people saw somebody with a gun. He had a right to have that gun. And that man was still shot in an open carry state. So it's a bad idea, but I'm not surprised because the use of Chicago at this point has become sort of a dog whistle for racial problems in the black community and that's why you hear a lot of candidates referring to it. He didn't really care about policy, he just wanted to mention Chicago.

COSTELLO: On the other hand, Hillary --

SWEET: Well, we have invited. Yes, please go on. I'm sorry.

COSTELLO: Yes. No, no, I know you have invited Donald Trump to Chicago. So has the very famous rapper that I talked with. And so far Donald Trump hasn't taken him up on his invitation.

I wanted to talk a little bit about Hillary Clinton because she admitted that she doesn't have all the answers, right, but she said she fell back on, you know, we have to come up with some national policy for how police handle these situations and she said there needs to be better community policing. But we've all heard those solutions before, Lynn.

SWEET: This is a hard one because you can't criticize openly President Barack Obama in saying that this is happening on your watch. After the Ferguson shootings, Carol, as you know, Barack Obama's Justice Department started a lot of study of nationally of what to do. They had a police commission that they formed. Hillary Clinton said back in July that the problem was that the local police departments are not practicing what the best recommendations are to prevent this.

So I think this is a harder needle for Hillary Clinton to thread because she doesn't want to say that the Obama Justice Department has been studying this. They do police studies ever since Ferguson and you still have this problem. She doesn't want to go against the president in saying that they haven't solved the problem.

COSTELLO: Right.

SWEET: By the way, Obama says it's our job to start the work even if we can't finish it.

COSTELLO: And yet these problems persist.

I want to go -- I want to talk about the birther controversy just one more time because Donald Trump sat down with a local reporter in Columbus, Ohio, and that reporter asked Donald Trump what me him change his mind about the birther thing, what made him say that President Obama was born in the United States. And Donald Trump answered that question. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, I just want to get on with, you know, we want to get on with the campaign. A lot of people were asking me questions and, you know, we want to talk about jobs, we want to talk about the military, we want to talk about ISIS and how you get rid of ISIS. We wanted to really talk about bringing jobs back to this area because you've been decimated. So we really want to get just back on to the subject of jobs, military, taking care of our vets, et cetera.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[09:55:15] COSTELLO: So, Jason, he says he just wants to move on, you know, and it sounds as if it was all about political expediency and is Donald Trump sounding more and more like a politician as time winds down to Election Day?

JOHNSON: Yes. And as time winds down to the debate next week, Carol.

Here's the thing. As somebody who had his time wasted at this ridiculous bait and switch press conference that Donald Trump had as an advertisement for his hotel last week when he was supposedly going to end birtherism, all I can say is this, he probably still believes that President Obama wasn't born in the United States. It's a ridiculous question. It's this insane Scooby Doo logic that somehow people figured out that Barack Obama fooled everybody, was born in another country, but the mainstream media hasn't figured it out yet.

The fact of the matter is, Donald Trump, this is one of many different things that he says references to Chicago, birtherism, that he uses to appeal to a certain segment of the population that's always been hostile to having an African-American president, and he's not going to deny it. And even if he does publicly deny it somewhat, like he did at the press conference, it's like Marshawn Lynch, he's just saying it so he doesn't get fined. He doesn't really change his mind on the issue. So birtherism's still going to be there.

COSTELLO: All right, I have to leave it there. Jason Johnson, Lynn Sweet, thanks to both of you.

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM after a break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)