Return to Transcripts main page


Suspects in Killing Police Officers in Mississippi Are in Custody; Powerful Storms in Central U.S.; Saudi Arabia Bombing Houthis in Yemen. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired May 10, 2015 - 06:30   ET


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Two breaking news story this morning. Severe storms scraping across the plain states, snatching off roofs and tearing down trees. As many as 50 reports of tornadoes. The twisters causing at least one death and several injuries in Texas. We've got the latest in the live report.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: But we begin in Mississippi where police say they have caught the two men suspected of killing two police officers during a traffic stop.

BLACKWELL: Here is what we know about the situation in Mississippi. Authorities have identified the suspects as Curtis and Marvin Banks. The city's mayor says the men are brothers. They reportedly tried to make get-away in a stolen cop car. Now, the vehicle was later found abandoned. This photo shows the moment that one of the suspects was taken into custody and he was heard saying, "I didn't do it." We are also learning new details about the victims. Officials identified them as 34-year-old Benjamin Dean who was named the city's officer of the year in 2012. And 25-year-old Liquori Tate, a recent police academy graduate.

Earlier this morning, I spoke with the mayor of Hattiesburg, Johnny DuPree. Take a listen.


JOHNNY DUPREE, MAYOR OF HATTIESBURG: The MBI is still investigating it. They have interviews ongoing. They are sending evidence to the crime lab. We are having both officers being autopsied. This is a horrific time for people around the nation when you have police officers that are sworn to serve and protect and this ruthless kind of action happens to them. This didn't happen in Hattiesburg, if you see how quickly the suspects were apprehended, that's kind of a mantra for us. If you commit a crime in Hattiesburg we take care of you, we want to ensure other people of Hattiesburg and surrounded areas that they are still safe in Hattiesburg, and if you perpetrate a crime in Hattiesburg, and you will be dealt with. And this will be too.


BLACKWELL: Of course, we will push forward to get more details on this breaking story and bring you the very latest throughout the morning. KOSIK: Now, turning to powerful storms heating the central part of

the country. People there, they are seeing it all: tornadoes, large hail, violent wind gusts, and guess what? It's not over yet. What you're looking at is just one of the tornadoes that hit. A deadly one that ripped through rural Texas. It actually cut a path right through the town of Cisco and destroyed at least one home and it left one person dead. It sent another to the hospital in critical condition.

CNN's Alina Machado is live in Dallas, Texas, where the city continues to be under a severe thunderstorm watch. Alina, how hard did the plain states get hit?

ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pretty hard, Alison. That tornado that you mentioned that swept through the town of Cisco, Texas, was one of three confirmed tornadoes yesterday. Just in the state of Texas, it was short-lived, but it was very, very destructive as you mentioned. It left one person dead and critically injured another and it also left at least one home destroyed. That same cell toppled some power lines and caused street flooding in Eastland County, Texas.

Now, we also know that at least two confirmed tornadoes in Colorado. Another tornado in Kansas. Now, while this part of the country was dealing with that kind of severe weather, in Wyoming, even though it's May, they were dealing with snow, and we have video of a soccer game that was interrupted because of blizzard-like conditions. Today, here in Texas, in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, we are still expecting the possibility of more severe weather so there still could be additional storms to roll through this area, Alison.

MACHADO: All right, we are wishing you much safety as you continue to do your work out there. Alina Machado, thanks.

BLACKWELL: More breaking news now. Let's go to the Philippines, where super typhoon Noul is battering parts of that island nation. It made landfall about 90 minutes ago.

MACHADO: And to give you an idea of just how dangerous this storm is, it's as strong as a category five hurricane. Now, right before it made landfall, and - was packing maximum sustained winds of 160 miles an hour and had gusts reaching 190 miles an hour. Let's go to meteorologist Ivan Cabrera tracking this super typhoon. How long do you expect this storm to continue to pummel this area?

IVAN CABRERA, METEOROLOGIST: Oh, it's going to continue for at least another 12 hours here. But this is a super typhoon and it is May. It's a bit unusual. We have already had a super typhoon that hit them a couple of months ago, so this is just incredible here now. The good thing is, talk about a super typhoon that is not much good, I know, but it is not going straight and barreling through the capital here.


CABRERA: That would be a disaster for Manila. This area of the Philippines is called Luzon and it is not as populated here. So, what are the worst of the winds are, those 160-mile-an-hour category 5 winds, those are hitting a very sparsely populated area and I must imagine that they have evacuated the few people that do live there. So, the storm continues to hit around to the north and west. It will stay offshore as we head into the next 12 hours here, so they are going to be done, I think in about six hours, conditions begin to improve. On the back side of the storm, yes, Manila has been getting some heavy rain and some gusty winds. But the brunt of the storm, if you have to pick a spot in the Philippines to hit with a category 5 storm, that is the least - that is the best spot to affect as many as - few people as possible, right?

So, here is the track. Category Five and 3 and we are not quite done with this storm yet. Because these storms as they hook back out, there is Okinawa. So, we are talking about the potential for a category 2 equivalent hurricane to hit Okinawa in about 36 hours or so. And then it heads up towards mainland Japan as a category one storm. So, the worst of it, again now, ending for the Philippines and then the storm hooks out towards Okinawa in the next few days with winds in excess of a hundred miles an hour.

So, I don't think the damage is going to be devastating and I don't think there's going to be a lot of casualties here. So, that is certainly excellent use. High energy, remember, a few years back, that hit area that just could not handle the kind of winds that came on shore with the kinds of winds that you expect of the super typhoon.

BLACKWELL: Ivan, thank you so much. We will continue to watch that.

KOSIK: Jameis Winston not letting a sexual assault law suit against him pass. Instead, the top NFL draft pick is suing the woman who accused him of rape. Details coming up ahead.

BLACKWELL: Plus, Saudi Arabia airstrikes pounds Yemen this weekend. Now the U.N. is calling it a breach of international law. We will talk about this in a moment.

KOSIK: But first this week, the ones to watch look at photography and one man who mixes photography and choreography to produce some eye catching results.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This set is the shadow of the long shot. The hedge - of the world wildlife found in France. It's the story of the battle between conservation and consumer access.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Always looking at the light. The time, at which time, it will be the night. At which time, we have this good direction. First, when they chose a place, there is a - it's going to be a beautiful tree. It can be a nice house, I don't know, if there's a set. But for me the inside the light of the sky, that is very important.

When you are used to create a frame, there's all this point is how will be the light at this time of the day, on how I can have a perspective that will open on give - inside the eyes of the spectator as you mention a ward to subject. You can control the frame, the light, the color, and everything, but that time you have these human parts that will come in in one moment and here you have a magical moment.


KOSIK: And you can check out the full show at


BLACKWELL: Jameis Winston is fighting back. He is suing the woman who accused him of rape. The former Florida State University quarterback, turned top NFL draft pick, is demanding $7 million from former FSU coed Erica Kinsman. He alleges that she "mounted a false and vicious media campaign against him." To talk more about this, let's bring in HLN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson joining us now. Good morning, Joey.

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Good morning, Alison. Good to be with you.

KOSIK: Thank you. Good to see you. So, how common of a move is this? How expected was it?

JACKSON: It's a power play in this particular instance, I think you have to foresee it. Now, there are one or two routes that could have been taken here, Alison. The first of which is just, listen. Settle this quietly and move on. You're beginning your professional career. You certainly don't want it to impair your endorsements. But I think what they are doing, that is Jameis Winston and his attorneys are doubling down saying listen, we did not do this, I did not do this and I'm so confident about it that we are going to move forward and we are going to be on the offensive about it and in doing so, they are making clear that he was cleared at every step of the process.

The prosecutor looked into it, no charges. Prior to that, the police investigated it and didn't recommend any charges. Following that, the university, of course, had a two-day hearing this past December. He was cleared there. And so, what they are doing, Alison, is saying, listen. This person, Miss Kinsman has been consistent about being inconsistent and you know what? You want to fight and let's do it and that is the basis of the counterclaim here.

KOSIK: So, how can Winston's lawyers actually go about proving this in court? I mean do you think he has got a shot at winning this?

JACKSON: You know, it's interesting at this point whether or not this is just something to show he's at a turning point in his career. He just signed a contract worth $24 million over four years. And so, there is a lot that is forthcoming in terms of the NFL, in terms of endorsements, in terms of moving forward, so the conventional wisdom is this something that is just done for effect to establish that you know what? I'm clear and I'm so confident that I'm clear that I'm going to file this lawsuit? Or is it not going to move forward? Will there never be a trial and will it eventually settle anyway? To this point, though, it seems that they are, Winston and his attorneys are pretty set about saying you know what, my name should be cleared. I vehemently deny this. You have been inconsistent, Ms. Kinsman, you have told various stories and if you want to fight with me then let's see whose version is the truth.


JACKSON: And so, whether it will see the light of day in terms of the trial that yet to be determined.

KOSIK: Come on now, do you really think he is going to get - if he wins, of course, $7 million from her?

JACKSON: Not at all. And, you know, the bottom line is that, it's not about the money in terms of whether or not he is going to get any recovery from her, even a dollar. I think it's more about the reputation, about clearing his name, about being clear in terms of what happened, about exposing what he believes to be multiple lies that she told, about witnesses tampering that he is alleging he engaged in, about, you know, other issues concerning him having teammates who were there who say he didn't do this. So, I don't think at the end of the day, Alison, it's a monetary issue. It's more of an issue to make him appear to be more wholesome and to establish you know what? This really did not happen in any way that she suggests. It was consensual. And so that is what the fight really is all about at the end of the day. I don't know that we will see a trial moving forward. Maybe she thinks twice about it and says let me withdraw my matter. I don't know that she will do that either. A lot of money at stake here. Not for him so much, as for her.

KOSIK: All right. HLN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson, thank you so much.

JACKSON: A pleasure and a privilege. Have a great day, Alison.

KOSIK: You too.

BLACKWELL: Let's take you oversees for a moment. Saudi Arabia's bombing of Yemen this weekend has the U.N. outraged. We will tell you why one U.N. official is calling it a breach of international law.

And we are getting new details on the breaking news story that we are following. Two police officers killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop in Mississippi. Two men are in custody. We will have the latest in a live report at the top of the hour.



BLACKWELL: In Yemen, Saudi Arabia pounded Yemen with missiles this weekend, conducting 130 airstrikes in just 24 hours. This happened just after Houthi forces agreed to a Saudi-proposed ceasefire to start on Tuesday. Now the U.N. is calling the airstrikes a breach of international law, considering the targets included schools and hospitals. Saudi officials say they were being used as weapon-stored sites. Let's bring in CNN military analyst retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling.

General, good to have you this morning.


BLACKWELL: So, there is no disagreement that this happened. The Saudis admit that these airstrikes took place. Is there any justification considering the Saudi say that they were "targeting headquarters of the Houthi leaders."

HERTLING: Victor, again, this is - this is the use of potential areas where, you know, the enemy of forces can use human shields. It's a continual problem when an asymmetric warfare when you're talking about irregular forces going against a government and, in this particular case, you have to understand the Saudi Arabian targeting of Saada, which is the Houthi stronghold in the north. It's the center of their power. It's where they have been launching attacks against Sana'a, against Aden, it's where they have their weapons stores, and it's where their leaders live, which is an important point, too. So the bombing of this area by the Saudi Arabian coalition has been intense and it's been geared toward getting the Houthis back to the political table. I think where it all shifted last week where was when the Houthi forces in that area began launching attacks into Saudi Arabia with rockets and missiles.

And at that point, I think the Saudi Arabian ministry said, hey, all bets are off the table, we are now going after with intense resolve this area, but we are also going to start looking at bombing some of the Houthi leaders' houses. Again, the churches -- I'm sorry, the mosques, the schools, these are all places where the Saudis have said there are targeted individuals that are launching strikes against Saudi Arabia, or they have weapon stores in those areas so they are using human shields again or these kind of facilities to guard against strikes.

BLACKWELL: So is it typical to conduct these strikes without warning civilians? I understand that we have seen in other arenas that the bombings happen or they are targeted to places where typically civilians would be, but there is some warning for those civilians.

HERTLING: Well, that's a great point, Victor. And what the United Nations has brought up too, and observers on the ground have said that not only have there been leaflets dropped and helicopters dropped sending information to the residents of these areas to get out, to quit aligning themselves with the rebel leaders, to stay away from the facilities which were known military facilities, so that, in fact, has happened. What is challenging, though, is there is a fuel shortage throughout the country. So, you tell the residents to leave, but there is no way to get them out. It's somewhat akin to what we saw in the Israeli strikes against Gaza last year. Civilians are surrounding the area where military activities are taking place. And the diplomats or the political leaders of these organizations won't let the civilians get out. So it's very challenging on both sides.

BLACKWELL: Very challenging, indeed. General Mark Hertling, thank you so much. HERTLING: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Also, a programming note. Watch Fareed Zakaria special on ISIS. It's blind-sided. It airs Monday night at 9 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

KOSIK: And at the top of the hour, we are going to bring you the latest on several stories that we continue to follow this morning.

Two police officers gunned down during a traffic stop in Mississippi. Two men are in custody. We are going to have a live report coming up at the top of the hour.

Plus, some crazy weather happening across the country. Tornadoes, huge hail, violent wind gusts. 50 twisters reported causing damage in several states and even a death and injuries in Texas.

And the pope meeting with Raul Castro. Details on this historic meeting and more coming up at the top of the hour.



BLACKWELL: Coming up on the top of the hour.

Now, let's take a look at other stories developing this morning. Arguably, one of the best soccer players of all time, Pele is out of the Sao Paolo, Brazil hospital after prostate surgery. Doctors say the three-time world cup winner has an enlarged prostate but does not have any cancer or tumors.

KOSIK: Ethnic tensions between ethnic Albanians and Macedonia authorities erupting in several gun battles these past two days. Five police officers were killed and at least 30 others were wounded when police conducted a raid on the group it calls terrorists. The interior minister didn't not say the number of casualties among the group police targeted.

BLACKWELL: First lady Michelle Obama's commencement speech at Tuskegee University is one that the class of 2015 will certainly remember. She shared her experiences of being the first African- American first lady, and she says among other things, that she was held to a different standard than other candidates' wives during the 2008 campaign. Mrs. Obama also said that she was knocked down a bit when "The New Yorker" published that now infamous cartoon of her with an Afro and a machine gun strapped to her back.

KOSIK: Thanks for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: There's so much going on this morning. The next hour of your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLACKWELL: And first up this hour, the breaking news out of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. A traffic stop turns deadly for two police officers. The suspects are now in custody after an overnight manhunt.

KOSIK: Plus, deadly storms, dozens of reported tornadoes. Severe weather from Colorado to Texas, with more storms on the way. 32 million people could be hit with more severe weather today.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Alison Kosik in for Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to have you with us this Sunday. And we are starting with new information on the breaking news that we have been following out of Mississippi this morning. A routine traffic stop turns tragic. Two suspects accused of shooting and killing a pair of officers in the city of Hattiesburg are now in police custody.

KOSIK: Authorities have identified the pair as Marvin and Curtis Banks. And according to the mayor, the men are brothers and both have had a past criminal record.


KOSIK: The incident happened around 8:30 last night in the city's downtown area.

We are also learning new details about the victims, the victims meaning the police officers out just doing their job.