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STATE OF THE UNION WITH CANDY CROWLEY
Earthquake in California; Interview With Missouri Governor Jay Nixon; Interview With Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed; Interview With South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham; Interview With British Ambassador to the United States Peter Westmacott
Aired August 24, 2014 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Grisly video of a terrorist cutting off the head of an American journalist, and global alarm bells ring at Defcon levels.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No just God would stand for what they did.
CHUCK HAGEL, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: We must prepare for everything and get ready.
GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF CHAIRMAN: This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days, strategic vision which will eventually have to be defeated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Senators Lindsey Graham and Jack Reed on where, when and what next in the battle against Islamic terrorists.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any attempt by you, Obama.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: The murderer had a British accent. Have passport, may travel. With an alarming number of Westerners joining the terrorist cause, we talk with Britain's ambassador to the U.S., Sir Peter Westmacott.
Then, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon joins us with the latest on the investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown.
And walking the beat and taking the heat -- from Dallas to Detroit to the D.C. burbs, a conversation with three police chiefs on what went down in Ferguson and what goes on behind the blue line.
This is STATE OF THE UNION.
Good morning from Washington. I'm Candy Crowley.
First this morning, a powerful 6.1-magnitude earthquake strikes Northern California. It's the strongest to hit the Bay Area since 1989. These are the images we're getting from residents in the area.
I want to bring -- bring in one of those residents, CNN producer Augie Martin. He's on the phone from San Francisco.
I know, Augie, it's just beginning to be daybreak, and it will take a while to figure out damages or any injuries, but what can you tell us from the reporting of our California crew?
AUGIE MARTIN, CNN PRODUCER: Yes, good morning, Candy.
We're still about 30 minutes away from sunrise out here, so it will be a lot easier to survey the damage once there's light, but, so far, we're hearing that there are some minor entrapments up near the epicenter in Napa, that some chimneys have fallen, appliances have been dislocated, lots of damage to store shelves and kitchens, that sort of thing.
There have been a couple of fires, as well as -- but, so far, it sounds like there haven't been any widespread reports of injuries as a result of this quake.
CROWLEY: Augie Martin, we will be back with you when daylight shines over California to get a better picture what have has gone on there.
We want to go now to Jennifer Gray. She's in the CNN Weather Center.
Jennifer, tell us a little bit about the epicenter. Where did this hit?
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Well, this happened about six miles south of Napa.
And ever since this happened, the wee hours of this morning, we have been feeling aftershocks, and we just felt the most powerful aftershock just in the past five minutes. And so that's what we're going to be dealing with over the next 24 hours, these small aftershocks.
We will zoom in just a little bit. You can see, there's the main earthquake, 6.1-magnitude, just to the south of Napa. And then we just had that largest aftershock right at around 3.5 magnitude or so. And that's very close to that epicenter, and so that's what we're going to be feeling, Candy, over the next several hours, the next 24 hours, the most crucial time.
And then, over time, over the next couple of days, those should start to get fewer and fewer, but, like I mentioned, over the next 24 hours, that's going to be the crucial time. Over 100,000 people felt very violent shaking, and so scary moments during the wee hours of this morning.
CROWLEY: Jennifer Gray and Augie Martin, just two on CNN's team following this 6.1 earthquake in Northern California. CNN will keep you up to date.
Now, following the group's murder of American journalist James Foley, President Obama is considering expanding U.S. military strikes against ISIS into Syria.
With me now, two members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Jack Reed is a Democrat from Rhode Island, and Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina.
Senator Graham, let me begin with you.
If the president should decide that something is needed, a drone, armed drones or U.S. airstrikes, in Syria, wouldn't that necessarily require some kind of communication with a man that he would like to see not in office, President Assad?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: No, I don't think so.
I think the purpose of going in to Syria is to deal with the threat to the homeland. I don't think we need to coordinate with Assad at all. The goal is to hit ISIL in Syria, their command-and- control and logistic centers.
And, as Senator Dempsey -- excuse me -- as Chairman Dempsey said, you cannot deal with the ISIL threat in Iraq without hitting them in Syria. But here's my question. What is the purpose of airpower now? Has the mission changed from humanitarian relief, protecting U.S. personnel in Iraq?
They have characterized this as a terrorist attack, so I hope the new mission is to defeat and destroy ISIL as a threat to our homeland.
CROWLEY: Senator Reed, we have heard some amazing rhetoric out of Washington, out of Britain, out of a number of places, calling this an apocalyptic group, the worst threat, you know, that the secretary of defense, the Pentagon chief, has ever seen, Chuck Hagel.
You know, we have heard this kind of rhetoric before, frankly, in 2002, when we were told that the direct threat to the United States was Saddam Hussein. Tell me why ISIS is a direct threat to the homeland, to U.S. territory here in the United States.
SEN. JACK REED (D), RHODE ISLAND: Well, we have to begin with the presumption that they could be such a threat. And then we have to carefully evaluate what their capabilities are, what their intentions are.
I don't think we can simply dismiss them. But to jump from what they have done, which is horrific, particularly the murder of Mr. Foley, to the assumption that they're going to be an immediate and within days a threat to us here in our homeland, I think you don't jump to that assumption, but you don't dismiss it.
You carefully look at what they're doing, what they want to do. And, frankly, it's in our interests with our regional partners to disrupt and ultimately destroy ISIS because of the threat it poses to interests in the region, as well as in the United States.
CROWLEY: In the Middle East.
And, Senator Graham, I am trying to kind of -- kind of home in on, what is the immediate threat to the homeland? Because there are a number of people saying, it's not -- really not an immediate threat, has to be dealt with. It's a threat to the region, but it's not an immediate threat to the U.S.
GRAHAM: Well, I would argue that the intel that we have been provided in Congress is that there are hundreds of American citizens holding U.S. passports. There are European citizens going to the fight that can penetrate America by having European-U.S. passports.
A lot of jihadists have flocked to area. They have expressed the will to hit the homeland. That's part of their agenda is to drive us out of the Mideast. Do they have the capability to hit the homeland -- homeland? I would say yes.
It's about time now to assume the worst about these guys, rather than to underestimating them. They're not the J.V. team anymore. They're the most prominent terrorist organization in the world, but they're not the only one. They're in competition with the other jihadist groups.
And the gold medal will be awarded to the group that can hit America. They're fighting for status with al Qaeda, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Nusra. All of these guys are bidding for future recruits and status, and the gold medal goes to the one that can hit us here at home. To those who underestimate this threat, you do so at America's peril.
CROWLEY: I want to read you both something that the FBI put out. And, again, it was a pretty scary rhetorical week from leaders from a lot of different countries.
And, on Friday, I believe, this was part of the bulletin released by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, state and federal law enforcement, in which it said: "FBI and DHS are unaware of any specific credible threats against the homeland from homegrown violent extremists, ISIL, or other violent extremist groups overseas in response to U.S. military action in Iraq."
It just seems to me, Senator Reed, that we're hearing different messages here.
REED: Well, I -- we have to be concerned about this group.
CROWLEY: Well, concern is different from, this is a threat and we have to do something now, or be prepared, as Senator...
REED: Well, we have to do something. And it is to start looking very carefully at all of our intelligence to see if there are intelligence gaps.
And, as Senator Graham indicated, one of the issues is hundreds of individuals with European or American passports. So, this is a law enforcement, intelligence operation initially. And we have to be very serious about this, but, again, I think what we have to do is in a way that we don't dismiss the worst possibility, but don't assume it's going to happen automatically.
We have to be careful in our analysis. And that's something that that message from the FBI and Homeland Security is saying.
CROWLEY: Senator Graham, the president came out and spoke after it became news about the grisly beheading of journalist James Foley.
And what he said was, "When people harm Americans anywhere, we do what's necessary to see that justice is done."
What's the consequence of killing an American civilian by beheading them as part of a jihad?
GRAHAM: Well, Mr. Rhodes, the -- one of the deputy national security advisers, characterized this as a terrorist attack against America. The president has said there would be consequences.
Here is the question. Can America be safe if ISIL is not defeated? I don't think we can. Can the region be safe if ISIL is not defeated? And to be defeated, they have to be hit in Syria, and you have to rally the Kurds, arm the Kurds to attack ISIL in the north, political reconciliation in Baghdad, rally what's left of the Iraqi army, pull the Sunni tribes away from ISIL inside of Iraq, arm what's left of the Free Syrian Army.
We should, in my view, look at ISIL as a direct threat to the United States, a threat to the region that cannot be accommodated. The strategy has to meet the threat. It is no longer a humanitarian endeavor we're dealing with, protect the Yazidis or the Christians. It's no longer U.S. personnel in Iraq.
We're now directly threatened by ISIL. And the strategy and response should meet that threat. What is the purpose of airpower? I want the president to explain to us what we will be doing in Syria if we go there and why.
CROWLEY: What do you want the president to do? It's clear Senator Graham wants him to do more, to use airpower to begin to defeat ISIL. Is that the proper strategy, as far as you're concerned? Is it something Congress would go along with?
REED: Well, the proper strategy is a comprehensive strategy, and its foundation is political, not just military.
And that's why there is some hope now, with the new leadership in Baghdad, that there will be some reconciliation and that there will not be...
CROWLEY: But not with ISIL. I mean, ISIL...
REED: No, no, no, I'm talking about reconciliation...
CROWLEY: Between the Sunnis and the Shias.
REED: ... with the Sunnis and the Shias and...
CROWLEY: Right. Right.
REED: ... the Kurds and other Iraqi citizens.
But ISIL is taking advantage of the alienation of the Sunni community in Iraq to move through them to get support, to get assistance. We have to separate that. And that can only be done through the leadership in Baghdad, through the Iraqis themselves. Once we start separating these jihadist extremist terrorists from their support from the Sunni community, then I think we have much more traction against them.
On the ground, it's going to have to be Iraqi forces and Kurdish forces, supplemented very carefully by American air support. The other issue, too, is developing the intelligence and the targeting, so that, if we're going to take a line of communication out or we're going to take out an individual, it's very carefully established, the intelligence, so we're not just, you know, dropping bombs blindly.
In fact, had we gone in initially, as some had suggested, and just started dropping bombs when Maliki was there, we would have ended up as his air force, and he still might be there.
CROWLEY: Senator Graham, I want to turn you to one last thing that came up this week, and that was the White House putting out the story of the failed attempt to rescue James Foley and other Americans thought to be in the hands of Islamic terrorists.
It happened more than a month ago. There was some question as to whether, A, it was wise to put it out, and, B, why it was put out, with critics saying this looked like the president wanted to say, I did try to help James Foley.
Do you think anything was harmed by the White House saying, here's what happened?
GRAHAM: I don't really know.
And my beef is not with the president being on vacation with his family. My beef is not with the disclosing of the operation to try to save these folks. My concern is that the president's strategy of leading from behind and light footprint has failed. He has to realize, as President Bush did, that his strategy is not working.
President Bush adjusted his strategy when it was failing, and he brought about a surge that worked. President Obama has to admit to himself, if no one else, that what he's doing is not working. We have talked about Iraq, but there's no way you can solve the problem in Iraq without hitting them in Syria.
Would the Iraqis accept a follow-on force if we can put the country back together, something we didn't do in the beginning? I think it would be a huge mistake to leave Iraq if it comes back together without a follow-on force as an insurance policy to protect us. We need to take everything, put everything on the table. We need to hit them in Syria. We need to help the Free Syrian Army mobilize so they can fight them on the ground.
When it comes to ground troops, if our military commanders tell us that we need ground forces to defeat ISIL, which is a threat to the United States, so be it. We have got to win and stop these guys.
CROWLEY: Senator Reed, last word here.
Obviously, Senator Graham wants a much more muscular approach by President Obama. If President Obama said to you, we have got to go in and take care of ISIL, we have to use our airpower in conjunction with the Iraqi forces on the ground or the Kurdish forces, we have to go into Syria, OK by you?
REED: If it is directly related to a threat to the United States or our interests there.
CROWLEY: Specific threat...
REED: Specific threat to the United States.
CROWLEY: ... or just general threat we're talking about now?
REED: Specific threat to the United States in the region or worldwide even, then I think we have the obligation to go in and take out that threat.
And he's already shown that the most effective use of our force is not putting troops on the ground, but using capable troops like the Kurds with airstrikes. That has rolled them back a bit. What we have to do is begin to sort of have the Iraqis reorganize their military, so it's no longer politicized, it's an effective military force.
Then, with that kind of leadership, and also, we hope, with some type of engagement with all the sectarian groups, we can use Iraqi security forces and, very rarely, but, at times, American airpower to make the difference.
CROWLEY: Senator Jack Reed, Democrat from Rhode Island, Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina, Republican, thank you both.
REED: Thank you.
Next up: Are Scotland Yard and British intelligence convinced the man who killed James Foley is British? Great Britain's ambassador to the U.S. joins me next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CROWLEY: Officials have been warning for months about hundreds, possibly thousands of Westerners in Iraq and Syria fighting for groups like ISIS.
But the threat took on stark reality when a militant with a British accent beheaded American James Foley.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any attempt by you, Obama, to deny the Muslims their rights of living in safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Joining me now is Sir Peter Westmacott, the British ambassador to the United States.
Mr. Ambassador, thank you for coming off vacation, for many reasons, a busy world at this point and a sad one.
What do you know about this terrorist who took the life of James Foley?
PETER WESTMACOTT, BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: I see that the British media this morning are speculating that we are very close to identifying who this guy is.
And you may have seen that my secretary, Philip Hammond, said yesterday that we're putting out a great deal of resource into identifying this person. I think we're not far away from that. We're putting a lot into it.
And there are some very sophisticated technologies, voice identification and so on, which people can use to check who these people are. But, of course, the problem goes beyond one horrendous criminal, if you like.
We have got more people than we would like. People think that maybe as many as 500 British subjects have gone to Syria and Iraq for this cause of jihad. And it's not a problem exclusive to the United Kingdom. We have got people from lots and lots of Western democracies who, unfortunately, are misguided enough to go to that part of the region and take up a cause which is a betrayal of all our values.
CROWLEY: Let me see if I can just understand, just back to the suspect at this point.
We also read in the British newspapers several names. Are those names on target as far as Scotland Yard is concerned? And when you say close, are -- do you have a name and you think that's who it is and they're doing the final check? Where are you in this?
WESTMACOTT: I can't say more than this, Candy, at the moment, but I do know from my colleagues at home that we are close.
But forgive me if I can't go much further than that at this point.
Let me ask you about the huge number or what is too many numbers of Westerners. We learn that, you know, proportionately, there are a large number of British Muslims -- I think "USA Today" first wrote that there are more British Muslims with ISIS than there are in the British military.
Why is that?
WESTMACOTT: I think, in each case, every country where we have got Muslims who take up jihad and go off to that part of the world, you have got to look a little bit at the origins of the communities that we have got in our own country.
Perhaps one of the reasons why we have got hundreds from the United Kingdom is that we have got lots of historic links, of which we're very proud, with South Asia, and we have got many families who have come from there and have remained linked to what's been going on in that part of the world.
But, of course, we had -- initially, the whole jihad thing began with the mujahideen in Afghanistan. We have had issues of al Qaeda and Taliban in Pakistan. We have now got people in Iraq and Syria. They have moved around from many different countries.
But I think that all different Western countries which have got these significant communities of immigrants who have come from that part of the world unfortunately have a very small number who have been misguided enough or radicalized or brainwashed enough to start taking up this cause, which is not what the rest of our Muslim colleagues in our own countries believe in, far from it.
For example, the Muslim Council of Britain has come out very firmly against this activity.
CROWLEY: It seemed to me, looking at the numbers and looking at the geography, that the threat to Britain is every bit as big as it is to the United States. And we're now hearing about it in apocalyptic terms from both your government and our government.
Where are the British airplanes? Where are the British air assaults on ISIS? What is -- where is Britain's help in this effort at this point?
WESTMACOTT: You're quite right. It is a threat to us.
It's a threat to us both because of what these people are doing in a part of a world which is very important to all of our interests and it's a threat to us because of the returning radicalized foreign fighters, as they have become known in the shorthand, who get trained, who get radicalized in that part of the world and come back with terrorist attempt.
And we have picked up 60 or 70 of these people over the last year at our borders coming back from Iraq and Syria, intending to do terrible damage to our own countries and our own societies.
Where is Britain? Well, we're actually very active. And we are very present. We have done a lot of humanitarian drops. We are shipping arms and equipment to the Kurdish regional government. We have done a lot of support in terms of refueling aircraft. We are doing some intelligence and surveillance which has helped us to target the humanitarian drops, which British aircraft, as well as American aircraft have been providing.
We were involved in trying to help the Yazidis, you remember, who were under threat. We have made an offer to do a number of other things for the KRG. At the moment, the Iraqi government and the KRG are not asking us to do more than what we are doing. But we have responded very positively in a number of ways, with aircraft, with intelligence, with training, with nonlethal equipment.
And so I think it's right to say that we are present alongside the United States, playing an active role.
CROWLEY: And if it should come to you from the United States, we really think the only way to get rid of ISIS, which is something that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said last week, that the only way really to get rid of ISIS is that there would have to be some sort of assault on ISIS in Syria, is Britain in on that kind of -- should it come to that, and the U.S. asks for British help in terms of air assaults, would Britain be there?
WESTMACOTT: Well, my prime minister and my foreign secretary have been very clear that we're not getting involved in another Iraq war.
We're also not supplying lethal equipment at this point, but, of course, should the Iraqi government or even the KRG ask us to do so, we would be prepared to look at that. We're not contemplating a direct military action at this point. Of course...
WESTMACOTT: ... we are closely engaged with the Iraqi government, which we're giving a lot of political support.
WESTMACOTT: And, like the United States, we're keen to see Iraq governed by a new and inclusive and less sectarian administration.
And once that is in place, if the Iraqi government comes to us and asks us to see whether there's more that we could do, we would be prepared to think about that.
CROWLEY: Your foreign secretary said -- quote -- this morning in a piece, "At home and abroad, we must choke these barbarians on every front."
What does that mean if it does not mean, at some point, taking on ISIS militarily with the United States, perhaps with others, in Syria or in Iraq?
WESTMACOTT: We have provided a lot of support, both behind the scenes and in terms of helping to supply military equipment to people in Iraq and Syria, who -- and particularly in Northern Iraq, in the KRG, who are taking on, who are pushing back against ISIS.
At the moment, neither the Kurdish regional government nor the Iraqi government is asking us to provide lethal equipment. We have looked at providing assistance to the moderate opposition in Syria, because part of this is also about Bashar al-Assad's regime, which have been behind, if you like, the situation, which has created so much of this.
We are not at this point providing lethal equipment to the opposition. And, to be honest, what has happened in Iraq and the way in which ISIS has scooped up weapons and money and other support which has been provided initially for the purpose of getting rid of Bashar al-Assad is an indication that that caution shown by my government and the United States government was perhaps well-founded.
But we're keeping, of course, everything under review and what my prime minister, my foreign secretary this morning has said, which is that, in essence, we are in this together, and we need a joint operation to really push back against this barbaric behavior. We mean what we say on that.
CROWLEY: So that could include, at some point, but is not now included, the use of British force, along with the use of American force in the skies?
WESTMACOTT: It is not now contemplated.
As I say, we're not providing lethal equipment. We are not putting British boots on the ground, nor are you putting United States boots on the ground. But we are looking very actively at what we can do that is helpful and which is in line with what the governments on the ground and our allies on the ground would like us to do.
But when I say allies on the ground, remember, this is not just something for the United States and the United Kingdom. There are many other regional governments which are threatened by ISIS which are pleased to see that there is now, fingers crossed, a new government coming into power in Iraq...
CROWLEY: In Iraq.
WESTMACOTT: ... and who themselves, we like to think, will want to become involved in trying to push back against this horrific, barbaric organization which threatens their way of life, as well as ours.
CROWLEY: Sir Peter Westmacott, the British ambassador to the United States, thank you for coming by this morning.
WESTMACOTT: Thank you for having me.
CROWLEY: Next: an update on that powerful earthquake in the San Francisco Bay area.
Plus, a grand jury meets in the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is next.
CROWLEY: An update on the breaking news in California, a powerful 6.1 magnitude earthquake strikes Northern California, and we're hearing there are more aftershocks. We want to go to CNN's Jennifer Gray.
And no telling when aftershocks stop.
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, they can be felt for days after the main earthquake. And this happened during the wee hours of the morning, as we know. We had an aftershock of about 2.5, a couple of hours ago. Just in the past hour, we had a 3.6 aftershock that was felt just a couple of miles from the epicenter.
And so these could be felt, like I said, for a couple of days. The first 24 hours crucial, and so as we go forward in time, though, they will become less frequent, but I know a lot of people, as the sun is coming up over on the West Coast, they are trying to get up, get out and about, looking at the damage, things like that.
But just be aware, these aftershocks are known to happen right after this earthquake, first 24 hours, just be careful out there. It is definitely a dangerous situation.
Of course, a lot of these structures not intact. We've seen some of the buildings in the downtown areas have collapsed, a lot of these structures a total loss in downtown Napa. And so it is dangerous out there, Candy, and folks need to be aware that some of these aftershocks can be felt 24 hours, even days after the main earthquake.
CROWLEY: Jennifer Gray, thank you. We will stay in touch.
We want to now bring in Janet Upton, she is the press information officer for Cal Fire. But bringing her in now because, Janet, you also were in the midst of this earthquake. From your perspective, tell me what happened.
JANET UPTON, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, CAL FIRE: Yes, it was a pretty significant. I've been through a couple of them living in California in my lifetime. This was very significant shaking, I would categorize it as violent shaking, followed by the undulating, rolling sensation that seemed to last quite a long time.
CROWLEY: Wow, and I know it's just beginning to be daylight here. We're now on our screen beginning to see pictures of fires which we know sometimes come after earthquakes with gas lines, et cetera.
What can you tell me about the damage to your house or the damage that you're hearing about from neighbors, et cetera?
UPTON: Well, I do live in Napa proper, in a 1950s-type neighborhood. We have chimneys down up and down the street. I would probably describe the inside of my house as trashed. Anything that was standing is not. And everything is off the wall.
A lot of heavy furniture down, all the cupboards in the kitchen, dishes out, lots of broken glass, that sort of thing.
But everyone inside and in our neighborhood is fine, which I'm thankful for. There's a lot of -- strong smell of natural gas. We aided the neighbors in turning off the gas at their homes, because, as you are probably aware, that's one of the main concerns of firefighters in the aftermath of an earthquake, the gas rupture, a water main rupture, which I understand has happened in downtown Napa.
I was just off the phone with the chief of the Napa City Fire Department, Mike Randolph, and he indicated there was a water main break. They have a handful of structure fires in the aftermath of the earthquake that they've been mitigating and responding to.
We've heard sirens solid since just after the earthquake. And it's just now kind of beginning to have a little bit of a lull. But there will be a lot of work today as the sun comes up this morning.
CROWLEY: Wow, yes. We'll all have a better idea. I am glad to hear that you are safe, although facing quite a mess. So we will -- obviously CNN will be covering this all through the day. Janet Upton, I have a feeling we'll be talking to you as well. Thanks so much for your time this morning.
Moving on now back to Ferguson, Missouri, calm has returned to the streets there, but the issue that set off two weeks of unrest in the city is far from being resolved. We want to bring in Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.
Governor, good to talk to you again. The funeral for the victim, Mike Brown, will be held tomorrow. Do you have any security concerns or any concerns at all about the funeral or the services?
GOV. JAY NIXON (D), MISSOURI: From the very beginning one of our focuses -- quite frankly, our focus is on making sure that folks are safe, and that they have the right to speak, and that justice is served.
And in that context, clearly the morning that we'll go through for all of the family and, quite frankly, many people tomorrow, we feel that it will be done in a context in which there is good respect and safety.
CROWLEY: And you have -- I want to move on to the officer. We've heard obviously very little about what he has had to say. Some of his side of the story has come out from some friends. You have called for a vigorous prosecution. Congressman Lacy
Clay, who represents the district Ferguson is in, has already called the shooting a murder. Looking forward now, have you considered the possibility this might have been a clean shoot or that the officer might not be charged by a grand jury?
NIXON: Well, I think all of those things could happen, but the bottom line is our focus here is on making sure that the dual investigations, one by the local prosecutor, and by the U.S. attorney general and the Justice Department, move forward, and that they're thorough.
And, quite frankly, we're spending a great deal of time, energy and effort to do that. In order to get justice you have to have thorough investigations with great transparency. And I think that both of those teams are working very hard to try to do just that.
CROWLEY: What does that mean, "great transparency," because grand jury proceedings are secret and we know very little about what the officer's point of view is? So what does transparency mean to you?
NIXON: I think transparency here for the ultimate justice means continued focus on this by the public and everyone else as it goes through the challenging processes of our justice system. And so that transparency is from individuals.
It's just like the challenges that we faced coming in from the public safety and from the right to speak have ultimately -- we're in the process of solving those by working with the people of Ferguson and the region to allow them to speak in a peaceful manner, like yesterday's marches, which were, quite frankly, uplifting, as you saw, law enforcement leaders marching with folks yet again.
The same thing is true as the investigations move forward. I hope that folks work hard, as this community has, to learn and understand through this entire process.
CROWLEY: Governor, the prosecutor in this case, Robert McCulloch, has members of the police force -- members of his family work in the police force. His father, when he was 12, was shot as a policeman in the course of a crime.
There have been complaints about him, particularly from the African-American community in Ferguson, that he cannot fairly prosecute this case. Are you 1,000 percent confident that Robert McCulloch is the guy to do this job?
NIXON: Well he's democratically elected by overwhelming numbers and reelected and reelected.
CROWLEY: But are you confident in him?
NIXON: I am confident that with the dual investigations that ultimately justice will be served here. And I do believe that everybody has a duty to do here. I think all the folks around this appreciate fully the pressure and the watch that's going on here.
And I am hopeful that everyone is going to live up to those duties and do a good job moving forward.
CROWLEY: But I can't get to you say that you're absolutely confident Robert McCulloch can do that?
NIXON: Well, I think that clearly he has the experience. He has the office that people here have elected him. And, you know, you don't want to pre-judge any of this. I do know that everybody is working hard.
I think the Justice Department being involved, the local prosecutor being involved, the investigators being involved, there is a lot of folks working on the street out there to make sure they get this one right. And I think that -- with that attention, I think that they will move this case forward.
CROWLEY: Governor Jay Nixon, thanks for your time.
Up next, three police chiefs on the challenges officers face when cops and communities clash.
CROWLEY: Please welcome three veteran cops from around the country.
Chief Thomas Manger of Montgomery County, Maryland; Detroit Police Chief James Craig; and Malik Aziz, deputy chief of police in Dallas.
Officers, welcome to the show.
And I will tell our viewers, more than 100 years of police experience sitting at this table.
And -- and I bring none, so you -- you are the experts here.
I want you to tell me what you've been thinking as you have watched this shooting play out in Ferguson?
What's gone through your mind?
CHIEF JAMES CRAIG, DETROIT POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, you know, I -- I started my policing career in 1977 in the city of Detroit. And I remember vividly the stresses in the community after the 1967 unrest. And certainly the then mayor did a phenomenal job at, you know, community healing, certainly a police deport -- the police department was integrated to reflect the community of -- the city of Detroit.
That was a key piece. And so as I left Detroit, I saw that change. And then moving on to Los Angeles and going into the Rodney King affair, again, the same kind of situation.
So, really, the core is the relationship between the police and the community.
Cincinnati, 2001, the same issue.
CHIEF THOMAS MANGER, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT: This -- this is heartbreaking for -- for a lot of cops, for most cops. You watch what's going on in Ferguson and -- and you -- you -- we're -- we're seeing such a backlash against police all over the country as a result of of this. And there are people who -- who wear this uniform, who go to work every day with one purpose, and that is to serve the community, to help the community -- to -- to make the community safer.
And for -- for those cops that are just -- that are out there literally putting their lives on the line to -- to make people safe, this is heartbreaking for them, to see the reaction, you know, and -- and to have -- for some, not all, but for some to -- to paint all police with this broad brush of, you know, you guys aren't part of the community and, you know, we don't trust you and -- and -- and -- so this is -- this is very heartbreaking for -- for a lot of cops.
CROWLEY: Have you felt that kind of backlash?
DEPUTY CHIEF MALIK AZIZ, DALLAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: What I was thinking, you know -- the backlash, for me, is the same over the country, that 99 percent of the police officers who do it really well, the 99 percent of the police departments who advocate for doing it well. And then there's the small percentage that is done wrong.
And I was thinking wow, what a colossal failure of community- police relationships that had taken place in Ferguson. It was a -- just the whole response took us back -- I was at a convention, a conference in Los Angeles with the National Black Police Association, and that -- the dialogue, the conversation that took place among officers from around the -- the United States, it -- what it did was it told us that community policing is real, that relationships -- police are part of the fabric of the community. It must not be in words, but it must be in action.
And I -- I didn't see that action. So it took us back, with a chance to rebuild, to do -- to move the conversation forward and do something different.
CRAIG: You know, I'm -- I'm going to kind of take another route because, you know, I'm not going to be critical of Ferguson. I mean we look at with history -- we talked about Detroit, we talked about Cincinnati. And while changes made in Ferguson is going to have to go through a period of healing, it's not going to happen overnight. It just can't happen overnight.
But as one of my colleagues in Los Angeles so aptly put it in a recent shooting they had there, the bank of trust. When you have a relationship with the community and the officer-involved shootings are going to happen. It's the ability to stay out in front, communicate with your colleagues in a timely and transparent way.
And that's when there's opportunity. LA has had two high profile shooting incidents. Detroit shooting incidents. In fact, I've been on the scene of a couple of shootings, officer-involved shootings where the public came out in supporting the police officers. And one that comes to mind is involving a 13-year-old young man who tried to rob a -- a white, off-duty police sergeant. And a 13-year-old boy was shot. And when I arrived at the scene, the community was more about the business of embracing the police department.
CROWLEY: Can I tell you what I think -- what -- what I hear a lot from people when they talk about this, is that they can't -- a lot of people can't wrap their minds around an unarmed 18-year-old who -- who's sort of called out for jaywalking, how that ends in his death.
Can you talk to me about those pressures?
It's a scenario under which -- because most people think, wait, one of them has a gun and one of them doesn't and one of them ends up dead and it does not -- and it seems like, well, the only thing it could be, that it was an overuse of force.
How is it not?
Explain the pressures to me.
AZIZ: I would say right away that, I mean, there's a gun at every -- every situation and -- and that at least one gun. And that belongs to the police officer. So things like this will -- will happen.
I think the problems with what Chief was saying about how do we actually engage inside this community and respond to it, the openness and the transparency of it is the -- or the lack of -- created a situation where the community did not feel like they had equity in the system, or value, or to be heard.
So the unrest or uprising is their voice to be heard.
So a young black male who's walking without a chance, in the street, and being approached by a police officer, we don't have the opportunity to -- to know the story before it gets out. So we don't actually know what occurred. We only have the speculation. We only have the rumor, because, at this particular time, then the people who know haven't given us the answers.
So a death of a young black male at the hands of a white police officer is actually about the response at this time. And the response being inadequate in Ferguson. And that's what has -- that is -- is what has caused the problem.
MANGER: From the -- from the time that a young police officer goes through the academy, they are put in training scenarios that have to do with use of force and their judgment and -- and how much force to use and when to use it. Throughout their career, they go through this scenario training to help them make the right decisions around the use of force.
The bottom line is now that the -- I think the community, the public, in this day and age, believes what they see. And so I think that this really speaks to the necessity for cameras. You know, many of us fought the battles to get cameras in the cars. Now, you know, the technology has gotten to the point where it needs to be cameras on lapels or -- or, you know, somewhere, so that just about every encounter that a police officer has is -- you can watch.
And I think that this, you know, because there are scenarios -- there can -- there have been scenarios where you have an individual who is unarmed who ends up being a victim of deadly force that if you watched what occurred, you might come to the judgment that, yes, it was justified.
But we don't know in this case. And because we -- we don't have the video to go back to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And...
CROWLEY: I'm not going to ask my three chiefs just to hold, it, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
CROWLEY: And we'll come back and -- and have you come in.
But I've got to squeeze in a break.
After that, I also want to get your take on the high arrest rates of African-American men.
CROWLEY: We are back with Police Chief Thomas Manger, Malik Aziz and James Craig with more than 100 years of experience on the street. So I want to ask you, the street has changed. We did a segment last week called "Officer Friendly versus G.I. Joe" because what folks saw on that screen was much more militaristic where you think, oh, attack as opposed to protect, which is how you think of police.
What do you all think of these, all this equipment that seems so militaristic.
CRAIG: I've got to tell you -- and I look at my time in Detroit, at a community that's been underserved prior to my arrival, and we have conducted large scale operations, I'm talking 200 to 300 police officers converging in a specific neighborhood, in some instances deploying our armored vehicle, our squad officers going to specific locations. And again the issue is specific, not just randomly driving an armored vehicle through the streets of Detroit, the people applaud because they know we are there to keep them safe and keeping our officers safe.
CROWLEY: They've got to have that knowledge, the knowledge that you are going to keep them safe.
Do you have some equipment from the DOD? MANGER: We have had armored vehicles for over 20 years. And
one of the reasons that the public has never complained about it or mentioned it is because they are used appropriately.
They are used in hostage barricade situations and to rescue hostages, to get officers into a hot zone to recover a victim. They are used in bomb cases. They are used with active shooters.
Those are appropriate uses for these vehicles. They get people safely to an area where it is not safe to be.
They are not used with -- for crowd control, they're not used in protest situations. That image was certainly disturbing to everybody, including police chiefs, including other cops.
Appropriate use is the key here.
AZIZ: And I'll agree, the misapplication or the misuse of that equipment is the problem.
The other problem is there is no checks and balances in the system. I think the president is calling for some types of checks and balances.
CROWLEY: The president actually has called for a review, because it was so startling.
AZIZ: High priced equipment that is much need. So the misapplication or misuse, but it also speaks into how does a young black male loses his life walking on the street on one day, it speaks into the need for Cameras, it speaks into the need for tasers, or less than lethal
force. It speaks to the need of in car video.
But checks and balances in major equipment being deployed as a first response is inadequate and misapplied in its use.
CROWLEY: So, you defend the equipment just not the use of it.
CRAIG: You have to use it appropriately.
But here is another issue when you talk about protests, and I have seen this in Cincinnati when we were going through Occupy America where you deploy jail buses or helmets. We don't use it.
We parked a jail bus -- we know we're going to make arrests, but we have it out of sight. We are not wearing helmets, because we want to dialogue with those who have a lawful right to protest. It's the image, Officer Friendly versus, as you point, G.I. Joe.
AZIZ: What the chief is saying that overt threat of force, when you put out the threat of force, then it is seen that it will be used. So there is no chance to open up a new dialogue.
So, when you need it, you put it somewhere just in case. You have to be ready. And so ready for the right and appropriate response, and that's not what you have seen it. You're seeing it as the first response, let's roll in, let's do this. It looked like 1964. It looks like something out of a movie that you would see.
So that's not how we would do it. Responsible police chiefs, they lead from the top and their people know when to deploy.
CROWLEY: I want to ask you a question that can't be properly answered in the minute we have left, but I have to ask it, and that is when you look at the statistics for the arrests nationwide of black males, for the incarceration times for black males, for the number of deaths of black males at the hands of police, they are way higher percentagewise than they are for whites.
Is the system, is there systemic prejudice in the justice system?
CRAIG: It certainly hasn't been fair. And the statistics would play it out, that some believe it would be a war on black males. I would just have to believe that there are many avenues to take place as far as diversification into police forces. And that is hiring more African-American, or black police force to reflect their community, and also in the command ranks. You can't just talk about hiring, they need to promote within the command ranks.
CROWLEY: Malik Aziz, Thomas Manger, James Craig, I can't thank you enough for coming this weekend. I appreciate all of you.
CRAIG: Thank you so much for having me.
CROWLEY: California Governor Jerry Brown just released a statement on a powerful overnight earthquake in California. You stay with us.