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President Obama in Germany for the G-7 Summit; Extensive Search for Two Escaped Prisoners; Investigating Death of a College Student in Georgia; Arrested Bikers Will Sue for Civil Rights Violation; Refugees Escaping from Libya. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired June 7, 2015 - 06:30   ET




VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Bottom of the hour. Here's what's developing this morning. We have President Obama in Germany for the G-7 summit. It officially kicks off in just about 30 minutes. Mr. Obama met this morning with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: The violence in Ukraine, ISIS are overshadowing the gathering of these world leaders though, these two subjects are. President Obama urging them to stand up to Russian aggression in Ukraine. We're going to have a live report for you at the top of the hour.

BLACKWELL: Also, the death toll from the horrific Chinese cruise ship disaster is now at 431 coming from China's official news agency this morning, and as of now 11 people are still unaccounted for.

BLACKWELL: We're following the search for two inmates after their daring escape from a maximum security prison in New York. Richard Matt and David Sweat are on the run this morning after using power tools, think about that. They are in prison. They have got access to these tools somehow and also got through a series of tunnels in order to get out. They were able to escape the Clinton correctional facility in upstate New York just 25 miles from the Canadian border. More than 200 police officers, we're talking local officers, we're talking U.S. Marshals, state authorities are now assisting in this manhunt for these two men. Authorities describe them as dangerous and they are urging nearby residents to lock their doors.

We've got CNN's Polo Sandoval on the story with us with more on these inmates, because we don't want to just stand in awe of the escape. Although that is an amazing element of this story. These are dangerous criminals.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Victor that truly is incredible. It's just - this story just has all the makings of a Hollywood movie, but as you mentioned there, the threat that's posed by these two guys is very real.

Officials right now, as you mentioned there, for the local state and federal level trying to track down two men at this hour. 34-year old David Sweat and 48-year old Richard Matt. We look closer at their wrap sheets. A few more details here on Richard Matt. He's currently serving 25 years to life convicted on three counts of murder. He kidnapped a man and beat him to death in 1997 and then we're also taking a closer look at his accomplice here, at least in this prison break. David Sweat, the 34-year-old man convicted cop killer serving a life sentence. The "New York Times" reporting he and several accomplices shot a sheriff's deputy 22 times and then left his body in a parking lot overnight. This reportedly happening after a Fourth of July robbery at a fireworks store. So, again, the past of these two individuals clearly an indication of how at least what they are at least willing to do. We did hear yesterday from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who essentially retraced some of their steps within the prison walls here. He really does fear that these two individuals have very little to lose and would be willing to do basically anything to try to get away.


GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D) NEW YORK: These are two dangerous individuals. One was incarcerated for killing a sheriff. So these are dangerous people, and they are nothing to be trifled with and we want to make sure that they don't inflate any more pain or any more harm on any New Yorkers.


SANDOVAL: And at this hour, some truly exceptional scenes that are playing out just about 20 miles south of the New York-Canadian border. As you mentioned there're hundreds of state, local, federal police right now trying to track these two guys down, Victor, there. On the ground with bloodhounds. They are in the air in helicopters trying to find these two guys again, just an aerial view of this area. Here to show. It's fairly remote. So officials here having to search through the woods. As you mentioned, they are even going door to door trying to make sure that people keep their doors locked as tracking these guys will be key and especially finding them and arresting them alive also going to be key here because really, they could be the only ones who can answer exactly how they were able to pull this off, how that they acquired those power tools. Were they already familiar with the prison schematics and, of course, how were they able to pull off this first prison break since it was -- since that facility was established well over 150 years ago. Victor?

BLACKWELL: And one has to wonder if they were able to pull off this really detailed escape how intricately have they planned staying outside of this facility. We'll follow this, of course, more next hour. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.

SANDOVAL: You bet.

BLACKWELL: We're learning that a grand jury will hear an indictment later this month in the case of Matthew Ajibade.


BLACKWELL: He's the 21-year-old Savannah Georgia college student who died on New Year's Day while in police custody.

PAUL: The coroner ruled his death a homicide earlier this week and Nick Valencia has been looking into the case.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More than five months after his death, a death certificate that Chatham County coroner says blunt force trauma killed 21-year-old Matthew Ajibade. The manner of death homicide.


CROWD: Thank you.


VALENCIA: At a vigil in Savannah, friends and family frustrated by the county sheriff and what they call his lack of transparency about Ajibade's death. The college student died while in police custody.

CHRIS OLADAPO, MATTHEW AJIBADE'S COUSIN: This guy still - to keep his job and I think that's dishonorable for Matthew's life and just for everyone to support his right now.

VALENCIA: What happened to Matthew Ajibade on New Year's Day is not entirely day clear. Seen here on surveillance tape, Ajibade and his girlfriend struggle during what his family says was a medical episode. Ajibade is bipolar. A police report says his girlfriend's face was bruised and her nose was bleeding. Police say he fought them, too. He becomes, quote, "combative" during the booking process. According to a police report, and injures three deputies, including a female sergeant who, quote, suffered a concussion and broken nose.

MARK O'MARA, AJIBADE'S FAMILY ATTORNEY: Matthew had documented bipolar disorder and he was on medications for it, but sometimes those medications don't work fully and also acknowledged that some people don't always take their medications when they should.

VALENCIA: Mark O'Mara is a CNN legal analyst. He's also been hired by the Ajibade family to help them find justice.

O'MARA: I want the people in Savannah to know that if they don't get transparency, this is going to continue to happen. I want the family of Matthew to know what happened. We just ask for transparency. We just ask for openness.


VALENCIA: Nine deputies with the Chatham County sheriff's office have been fired in connection with Ajibade's death. So far none of them had been formally charged, but the case will reportedly go before a grand jury later this month. Victor, Christi.

PAUL: All right. Let bring in Joey Jackson as he's an HLN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney. So, the coroner ruled this a homicide, but I understand that's not tantamount to murder and it doesn't mean that charges are forthcoming. A lot of people are looking at this saying why?

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: It does not, Christi, and good morning to you, and that will be dependent upon the facts of the case. Now, obviously something went wrong and something went wrong drastically, as Nick talked about. There were nine deputies disciplined in as much as they were discharged. And so the issue becomes how does someone end up sitting in a chair for two hours when protocols provide for there to be 15-minute rounds being done to check on someone's well-being whether they are in a state, you know, really of medical distress or not, just to see how they are and so apparently, the autopsy says that there's blunt force trauma that's there and apparently there was bleeding to the skull, which is an indication that, you know, he was roughed up in some manner. I think it's also an indication that some protocols were not followed, Christi, and as much as there was discipline to these officers.

So, we don't know whether a grand jury will ultimately indict and we don't know if the grand jury does indict whether there'll be convictions. So, right now, a homicide, that's the death at the hands of another, that's the clinical term to be used. We may be using another term when this is all said and done, and that term you're familiar with, you know, some type of manslaughter, et cetera, we don't know. Don't want to pre-judge, but a grand jury will make the decision as to criminal responsibility and then, of course, a jury will determine if it goes that far whether someone should be held accountable or many people should be held accountable for his death.

PAUL: Hey, guys, can we pull that video back up that we were just showing? Because Joey, we have this video of part of what happened, obviously, once they had him in custody and he's on the ground and some guys are going to be on top of him here in a minute. How does surveillance video like this or just video in general since it's in their facilities, how does that play into what could happen? What could be forthcoming in a legal case? How might it benefit the family or not?

JACKSON: It's a huge tool, and the reality is, is that, you know, a picture is worth 1,000 words, et cetera. A videotape tells a story. Obviously it doesn't tell all the story in as much as there's not every angle that you could particularly see.

PAUL: And there's no sound.

JACKSON: Exactly.

PAUL: I mean sound is important, is it not?

JACKSON: It certainly is. The audio, it gives you some indication, more of the flavor of what's going on, you know, whether there's belligerence or whether there's not, but certainly the videotape in and of itself you could see the body strikes there, the issue is going to be whether they were justified, whether the tackle holds, control holds, and other types of force there are something that they are trained on, that they are consistent with policy in that particular facility and whether they were warranted under these circumstances or whether they were excessive.


JACKSON: So make no mistake about it. This videotape in the grand jury and when it goes further will be very critical to determining whether or not things happened here that were excessive or whether they were justified.

PAUL: All right. Joey Jackson, always grateful for your opinion. Thank you so much.

JACKSON: Thank you, Christi.

BLACKWELL: A major problem that maybe you haven't heard about or have been paying attention to, the number of migrants, many from Libya, trying to cross the Mediterranean, and many of them are headed to Italy. This number is high and it's rising. We're talking about hundreds of thousands. Hear what naval ships are doing about the problem. Plus ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It irritates me. It upsets me.


BLACKWELL: A biker files a civil rights lawsuit three weeks after that deadly shootout in Texas. Remember that one, when so many people were arrested? Well, he says his civil rights were violated. You'll hear why and why he says he's become a target.


PAUL: More than ten migrant rescue operations are under way in the Mediterranean. We're talking about multiple ships responding to rescue thousands of migrants trying to reach Europe. This is according to the International Organization for Migration. Just yesterday, British and German naval ships, look at these pictures, they began what's an ongoing rescue operation of roughly 2,000 migrants off the coast of Libya. People just jam packed in these small boats. Isa Soares is joining us now from Greece with more.


PAUL: What have you learned this morning, Isa?

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi. And you're quite right. Ten operations under way this very moment. We've heard from the IOM as well as the UNHCR, both reporting they are still ongoing. They are expecting to rescue some 2,000 migrants. Like you clearly stated a lot of these dinghies (ph), of these boats carry up to 30 people, if not more people, squashed in there. That is in addition, Christi, to the more than dozen operations, dozen vessels, navy vessels that really rescued some -- I'm going to give you the number, 3,850 migrant, so in 48 hours here we're looking at more than 6,000 migrants being rescued. And why? Well, the sea is much calmer and so they are making it warm, it's summer here. So, they are making that crossing. And just to give you an example. If you look behind me over the sea, that piece of land behind me that is Turkey. We are in (INAUDIBLE) island, where there's 30,000 inhabitants and some 8,000 people have made that crossing this year alone compared to last year, 33 migrants. You can really see the number of migrants desperate to get into Europe, Christi.

PAUL: Yeah, the pictures are something else. Isa Soares, so appreciate it. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So, imagine this. Being zip tied for 24 hours and not being allowed to even make a phone call. Well, that's the claim from bikers who were arrested after that deadly rival gang shootout in Waco. Remember that one? Well, were their rights actually violated and will this hold up in court? But first, let's take a look at this week's one to watch series. It examines the art of classical music, and how superstar pianist Lang Lang is passing now his craft on to future generations.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Chinese pianist Lang Lang has become a global superstar through a combination of his breathtaking talent and flamboyant personality. He's one of the few artists today who can frequently pack out concert halls around the world. He's performed for presidents, prime ministers and princes and entertained a global audience at the Beijing Olympics.

LANG LANG: An artist today must bring diversity or what you'd call it, different dimensions to our planet. If you're just sitting there, you know, for two hours of just, you know, different pieces, I think, you know, it can be very challenging.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's become known as the Lang-Lang effect has inspired millions of Chinese children to take up the piano? He harbors a passion to pass on his enthusiasm for the instrument and its music to a younger generation through his work as a UNICEF ambassador and his own music foundation.

LANG LANG: When I see those kids playing on stage or in the class, I get really emotional, because it really brings me back, and I just got very personal attached to those kids that I really want to help them to achieve their dreams because I know we had the same dream before.


BLACKWELL: Watch the full show at


BLACKWELL: In just a couple of hours, hundreds of bikers are expected to rally in Waco, Texas. They claimed their rights were violated. You remember this, it was a couple of weeks ago? More than 170 bikers were arrested at Twin Peaks restaurant. On May 17th it was after police say rival gangs stabbed, beat, shot at one another. Non-bikers died. Well, today some of those bikers who went to jail still are not free. They say they are innocent and their rights are being violated. And here's what one man said when he was released after spending 17 days in jail.


MATT CLENDENNEN, ARRESTED AFTER BIKER SHOOTOUT: That's absolutely wonderful to be able to walk out of there finally after so many days. Somebody who believes strongly against judging a book by a cover, and even though that's exactly what law enforcement did here, was judge us all purely by the fact that we were riding a motorcycle.


BLACKWELL: And he's now filing a lawsuit. Let's bring back HLN legal analyst Joey Jackson. Joey, OK, so he claims his constitutional rights were violated. He says that the judge set bail at $1 million just to send a message and that he claims that the district attorney created these fill in the blank arrest warrants and claims that bikers were not cooperating. How do you determine, and I wonder if you think that they really have a strong case here.

JACKSON: Good morning, Victor. They may very well have, and let's start with the premise of the lawsuit, and that is that each individual person in the event that they were engaged in a crime, those facts should be articulated and made specific to what misconduct, if any, they engaged in as opposed to a cookie cutter approach. Now, there're two sides to this, of course, Victor. On the one hand we expect and we anticipate that police officers, a, detect crime and that they, b, are in a position to deter any criminal activity. And so you have to give them some leeway to detect crime and go after crime and root it out and ensure that this is not going to happen in our town so to speak. At the same time you have to do that in a way that's just -- that's fair and that ascribes criminal facts to those parties who actually engage in them. Just don't arrest people that's predicated upon association and so if that's the case then there will be problems. If the police have just cause that's another story, Victor.

BLACKWELL: So, they also claim, some of them that they were in the zip ties, these white bands that people see around the wrists of people in custody for 24 hours, and they were not immediately allowed to make a phone call. I mean I think people who have never been arrested, they think, boy, you get that arbitrary phone call and as soon as you get in. If they did not get that, is that a violation of their rights?

JACKSON: Not necessarily and let me explain why. When you have these types of mass arrests you have to allow some leeway for law enforcement to be able to do their job.


JACKSON: And so, you're not talking about zip-tying people just for, you know, the benefit of just zip tying them because there's nothing better to do. You don't know what happened if you're a law enforcement official and you have an obligation, the community expects, your superior officers expect, that you would find out, what happened, who did what, when, how and why. And so, that's your obligation and so to the extent that there's so many parties involved it's important for you to get things under control and so there's a certain latitude that's afforded for that. The issue is whether it becomes too much and whether it becomes arbitrary and whether it becomes unnecessary to doing what you're going to do, so that in and of itself I don't think is a violation. Certainly keeping them too long and setting bail just because, hey, you were there and you're a biker that becomes another problem.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, lots of questions still here. Thanks for offering some answers. Joey Jackson.

JACKSON: Thank you, Victor. Have a great day.

BLACKWELL: You, too.

PAUL: Well, Russia escalating violence in Ukraine. The growing threat from ISIS. These are the issues that President Obama and leaders of the world's wealthiest nations are tackling at the G-7 summit. Which is about to get under way. Senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta is there, and we'll have a live report for you at the top of the hour.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Standing up to Russian aggression in Ukraine, combating threats from violent extremism to climate change.


PAUL: Right now, President Obama joining world leaders in Germany talking tough issues threatening our global security.

BLACKWELL: Plus, get a look at these two men. Convicted killers who broke out of a prison.