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New Video in South Carolina Police Shooting; Flying Got Worse In 2014; Police Pick Up Kids For Walking Alone

Aired April 13, 2015 - 16:30   ET


[16:30:10] JAKE TAPPER, CNN: And now, of course, there are calls to arrest a second officer at the scene.

CNN's Nick Valencia joins us from North Charleston City Hall.

Nick, a protest is going to start there in just a few minutes?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, throughout the day, we have seen a handful of protesters. But the main demonstration is expected for about 5:00 p.m. Eastern right here behind me, all this while newly surfaced audio of officer Slager in the immediate moments after the shooting death of Walter Scott.


VALENCIA (voice-over): Newly uncovered audio. Officer Michael Slager heard on police dash cam video talks to someone on the phone right after the shooting death of Walter Scott.

MICHAEL SLAGER, DEFENDANT: It's OK. OK? I just shot somebody.

VALENCIA: The recording is difficult to hear, but also captures the moment when Slager and a senior officer talk about what happens to him next.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The last one we had, they waited a couple days to interview, an official interview, like say what happened. Probably when you get home, it would probably be a good idea to kind of jot down your thoughts or what happened.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once the adrenaline quits pumping.

SLAGER: It's pumping. Oh, yes.


VALENCIA: The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, in charge of the investigation, characterized the audio as -- quote -- "information that was discussed at the scene."

They tell CNN their investigation is ongoing. Everyone at the scene is being interviewed.





VALENCIA: Meanwhile, the actions of the second police officer seen responding to the shooting are being scrutinized. The National Bar Association, a group of predominantly African-American lawyers and judges, say officer Clarence Habersham should be prosecuted.

Critics say he left out key details of the incident in the police report, including that Slager dropped an object, possibly his Taser gun. They also question whether he did enough to help with Scott's injuries. So far, no charges have been leveled against anyone other than officer Slager. Attempts by CNN to reach officer Habersham have been unsuccessful.

At the site of the shooting, on Sunday, community residents gathered for a conversation about healing. Also on hand, North Charleston's mayor, who had some choice words for the officer who is still in jail.

(on camera): If you could speak with officer Slager, what you would ask him?


VALENCIA: Why's that? What do you mean?

SUMMEY: As a father, whenever my children did something that was way, way out of line, sometimes, I was a little rough on them.


VALENCIA: Nearly a week after his arrest, officer Michael Slager remains in jail. He's being held without bond -- Jake.

TAPPER: Nick Valencia, thank you.

And we have some breaking news in another officer-involved shooting, this time in Tulsa County, Oklahoma. A 73-year-old deputy who volunteered with the force has now been charged in a man's death after he says he accidentally pulled his gun when he meant to reach for his Taser.

The district attorney there just announced that it charged Reserve Deputy Robert Bates with second-degree manslaughter. Take a look at this. A body camera from another deputy captured the deadly incident earlier this month. Eric Harris was running from deputies and had been wrestled to the ground. Later, it was determined that Harris was not armed. Now, the officer claims he meant to try his Taser, but grabbed his gun by accident.

Bates is heard on camera apologizing. The sheriff's office says Harris illegally sold a pistol to an undercover deputy in a sting operation. The Harris family attorney plans to address the deadly shooting at a news conference in roughly 30 minutes.

In our world lead today, John Kerry fighting back after John McCain called him delusional when it comes to a deal with Iran. Now the secretary of state is on Capitol Hill now trying to convince Democrats to get on board. Could a deal with Iran crumble before it's even signed? That's next.



TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

Topping our world lead today, a showdown in Washington over Iran's nuclear deal getting ugly, Senator John McCain calling Secretary of State John Kerry delusional about the agreement, and accusing his former Senate colleague of being less trustworthy than the supreme leader of Iran.

Kerry visited Capitol Hill today to try to stanch the bleeding with Democrats threatening to vote for a bill that would require congressional approval of any deal. President Obama has vowed to veto any legislation that could jeopardize a permanent accord.

And joining us live from Capitol Hill right now is Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, who co-wrote the bill with Democratic Senator Bob Menendez.

Senator, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: Good to be with you.

TAPPER: In order to override a presidential veto, you would need 67 votes. Do you have them?

CORKER: Well, we will see.

I spent the weekend, the entire weekend, talking with Ben Cardin and obviously checking back in with Menendez and others. But I think we're getting to a good place. We have got a committee markup that is scheduled tomorrow at 2:00. The first step obviously is get out of that committee with a strong vote. But we will see. I think things are moving our way.

TAPPER: You recently spoke with President Obama about this bill. Was it any sort of negotiation or did he just try to order you to drop the bill? What happened?


So, look, I have had no negotiations whatsoever with the White House or the State Department. I did get a call Wednesday from the president about the bill, and obviously he strongly opposes it, and he expressed that. I got a call Thursday from John Kerry, who strongly opposes the bill. He expressed that.

But I have not been involved in any negotiations whatsoever with the White House. I have been talking with my counterpart, Ben Cardin, and other Democrats and Republicans on the committee.

TAPPER: Did they tell to you withdraw the bill? What did they say, other than expressing disapproval?



Well, obviously, you know, as you have noticed, I mean, this administration would prefer not to have involvement by Congress, but this is one of those cases where Congress is the entity that brought Iran to the table. It's widely acknowledged by everyone.

And so, Jake, appropriately so, Congress, as I think Tim Kaine has articulated better than anybody in our committee, at some point, Congress is going to have to lift these sanctions. Let's look at this on the front end before that's done. Let's let Congress weigh in on that, and, if Congress doesn't believe this is an acceptable transaction, have the opportunity for a resolution of disapproval, which would stop those sanctions from being lifted.

So, you know, look, I want a negotiated agreement. I want it to be a good agreement. And I think this is something, Jake, very beneficial to the administration, in other words, having Congress over here as a backstop as they're sitting in Switzerland trying to negotiate the fine details, which are very important.

TAPPER: There's a White House version of talking points about what's in this deal and, of course, the Iranian version, which when you translate it from Farsi seems quite different from the White House version.


TAPPER: Do you, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have a firm grasp of what has been definitively agreed to?

CORKER: I don't think anybody else.

Look, I have read the talking points the administration brought back. And I have had three conversations with the energy secretary about additional conversations. But, at the end of the day, Jake, the American people, because of this very reason, I think the American people want somebody on their behalf to sit down and go through these details when they are written down, and when we do understand.

And, by the way, Jake, you know this because you have been around so long, but that includes all the classified annexes that come with a deal like this. So that's what our bill is about, so that the American people, we don't have this Iran saying this, Russia saying that, the U.S. saying this. We have a situation where Congress, on behalf of our people in this nation, has the ability to go through this in detail and then determine whether we think this is something that will stand the test of time and keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

TAPPER: Senator, it was just announced that "The Washington Post"'s Iran bureau chief, Jason Rezaian, who was interviewed by CNN's Anthony Bourdain prior to being thrown in prison nine months ago, is now set to be tried on espionage charges, which "The Washington Post" calls, of course, ludicrous.

Should his safe return and the safe return of other American hostages be a condition of any nuclear deal with Iran, especially when it comes to lifting sanctions?

CORKER: So, this -- we have stayed in our lane on this and it's relative to this agreement.

I would hope -- and so I would hope that the administration, as they're negotiating with Iran, would include things like that. I mean, it's ridiculous that this "Post" reporter -- and we also have other Americans, as you know, that are being held there -- that that would continue to be the case as we're negotiating something as substantial as this.

Again, that's for the administration to negotiate, but I would think any two countries or six countries plus one negotiating in good faith about something would also try to resolve these issues that create such a bad will. And, by the way, Jake, they are the biggest exporter of terrorism in the region.

None of the sanctions that the administration is looking at relative to this nuclear deal, at least as they share with us, has anything to do with other sanctions on terrorism, on ballistic missiles, on human rights. And so there's a whole lot of other files that appropriately need to be dealt with relative to Iran.

TAPPER: Senator Bob Corker, live on Capitol Hill, thank you so much. Appreciate it, sir.

CORKER: Thank you, Jake. Yes, sir.

Coming up next, overbooked flights, delayed arrivals, baggage fees. A new study says airline customer complaints have skyrocketed, but not every airline got a bad mark. Which ones should you be flying?

Plus, a 10- and 6-year-old taken into police custody for walking home from a park alone. Their parents say the kids are free-range kids, but others call it neglect. That's ahead.



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Trapper. The Money Lead now, we all complain especially about air travel, but here's a headline for you, when you complain about air travel, you're probably right. Air travel is getting worse, late flights, overbooked planes, and lost bags. A new report released today shows flying literally got worse for passengers last year and in terms of the worst offenders, this report names names.

Aviation correspondent, Rene Marsh, is live at Reagan National Airport just outside D.C. Rene, who is the worst?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, Frontier Airlines rated the least on time and envoy American Eagle rated the worst when it comes to baggage handling. Jake, the researchers behind the study say there are more fliers. The system is taxed and overall, airline performance is on the decline.


MARSH (voice-over): This morning, a United Airlines flight skidded off the runway in Houston getting stuck in the mud.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've had a lot of hard landings. This one I would describe as captain kangaroo.

MARSH: In March, it was a Delta plane nearly crashing into an icy bay in New York. From rough landings to unruly passengers -- it's not always friendly skies for fliers. According to a new study, passenger complaints soared 22 percent in 2014.

PROFESSOR DEAN HEADLEY, WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY: Consumers have a perception that flying is not pleasant. It's not fun and it may be costs a little more that it should and the airlines aren't doing a darn thing to change that.

[16:50:09] MARSH: Researchers say the airline industry's performance declined in mishandled luggage, customer complaints, and on-time performance, but there were standouts. Virgin America, Hawaiian Airlines, Delta, and JetBlue, ranked the best overall performers.

When it came to baggage handling, Virgin America is in the top spot again. Envoy and American Eagle, are the worst because of lost or delayed luggage.

HEADLEY: They get about $3.5 billion a year just from baggage fees in this country and they only cut the rate by half of mishandled bags. Is that enough or should it be zero?

MARSH: Now frustrated fliers have hard data to back up some of their gripes with airlines.


MARSH: Some blame decrease in competition as a result of multimple airline mergers for this decrease in passenger satisfaction. Jake, I can tell you that American Airlines, which operates American Eagle did reach out to me a short time ago.

They say they are on the path to restoring American as the greatest airline and they acknowledge that on time performance is crucial -- Jake.

TAPPER: Rene Marsh, live at Reagan National Airport. Thank you so much.

Wolf Blitzer is here with a preview of "THE SITUATION ROOM." Got a big moment coming up live during your show, Republican Senator Marco Rubio?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": At 6:03 p.m. Eastern Time, that's when he's scheduled to speak maybe for 15 minutes or so. A lot different speech than what we heard from Hillary Clinton yesterday, very brief, little video that she released.

He's going to have a formal speech with a big crowd in Miami, his hometown, announcing he's running for the president of the United States. We'll have live coverage of that, full analysis. It's going to be an important moment.

TAPPER: An extravaganza. I look forward to watching -- the political analysis. Wolf Blitzer, thank you so much. That's coming up in 8 minutes.

Coming up, a mother and a father desperately searching for their two children when they didn't return home as planned, what they didn't know the kids were picked up by police for walking home alone two blocks from their home. It's a story that sparked a fierce debate over parenting. That's next.



TAPPER: Welcome back. I'm Jake Trapper. Now we have the Buried Lead, how young is too young when it comes to leaving your children to be on their own? Well, a Maryland couple is once again sparking the debate over what some call free-range parenting, allowing young children a measure of independence and autonomy.

Danielle and Alexander Maytiff trusted their 6 and 10-year-old children to walk home from a park last night and became worried when the kids did not arrive home on time. That was because concerned police had picked the children up.

Again, in fact, last year Child Protective Services investigated these same parents for child neglect when their children were found walking down the street. So when is a child old enough for that kind of independence?

CNN Suzanne Malveaux is live in Silver Spring, Maryland, where this case is getting so much attention. I have to say, Suzanne, I'm excited to see your piece because I don't fully understand the problem.

When I was growing up in the '70s in Philadelphia, me and all of my friends were allowed to walk around the city at a very young age. This would now be considered a crime? SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, Jake, it is confusing, right? Because we kind of grew up in the same era, out there, playing with friends. It's really no big deal here. I know you have kids. I'm a new mom.

So this is totally fascinating when you think about it and we retraced these kids' steps. Went to a park in a quiet, safe, residential area and really is just 2 1/2 blocks from their house.

Montgomery County Police say the problem was they were taking in our route. This route here on Fenton Street, a commercial area and this is where some people got concerned.


MALVEAUX (voice-over): Danielle Maytiff has her children back today after they were held for hours last night by Child Protective Services for the second time in recent months.

DANIELLE MERTIV, CHILDREN HELD BY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES: The CPS has finally succeeded in making me terrified, letting my kids out unsupervised because I'm afraid they are going to take them away.

MALVEAUX: Her children ages 10 and 6 were playing in the park 2 1/2 blocks way from where they live. When they started walking home on this busy commercial street in the evening, a concerned resident called police.

MERTIV: They put the kids in the police car and they kept them there for 2 1/2 hours.

MALVEAUX: Police took the kids to Child Protective Services or CPS, which was already investigating the family over a similar incident in December. At the time, Mertiv explained to "The Washington Post," she and her husband were raising free range kids.

MERTIV: That means we are giving our children the childhood that we had. The idea that kids can be trusted to go to the park, walk home from school.

MALVEAUX: Last month CPS found them guilty of unsubstantiated child neglect. The couple were in the process of appealing the decision when their children were picked up again on Sunday.

DR. SUSAN BARTELL, CHILD AND PARENT PSYCHOLOGIST: It's really neglectful. Kids that age shouldn't be left wandering around.

MALVEAUX: Child psychologist, Dr. Susan Bartell, says giving kids more freedom doesn't mean there are no limits.

BARTELL: If they're old enough to walk next door to the neighbor's house, 10, 11 or 12, that's fine. But they shouldn't be wandering around in a park by themselves unsupervised until they are much older.

MALVEAUX: These children getting caught in the middle of a national debate over the boundaries between free range parenting and neglect. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think it's wrong, per se.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Free range raising? No. I don't agree with that.

MALVEAUX: For Mertiv, the scariest thing about her children walking alone maybe the government agency hovering nearby.

MERTIV: I never was scared of strangers and the people who say the world is different and dangerous who frankly been watching too much TV.


[17:00:07] MALVEAUX: And, Jake, new details from the police say that it took CPS nearly 2 1/2 hours for a decision what to do with these kids while the officer waited for that information. CPS is saying that the child protection is important. They're going to talk to all the parties involved, Jake.

TAPPER: Suzanne Malveaux, thanks.

That's it for "THE LEAD." I'm Jake Tapper, turning you over to Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.