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Shooting Suspect Charged with Capital Murder; Fan Dies from Fall at Braves Game; Presidential Race Tightens in Iowa; Europe Struggles to Deal with Flood of Refugees. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired August 30, 2015 - 07:30   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: That's among several stories that are developing right now.

[07:30:04] Let's talk about suspect Shannon J. Miles. He was taken into custody yesterday. Deputy Darren Goforth was shot in the back of the head as he was pumping gas Friday night for his patrol, while he was walking back to his car. Authorities say he may have been targeted simply because he was in uniform.

Also, a fan attending an Atlanta Braves game has died after falling head first from an upper deck. He fell onto a concrete walkway there. Witnesses say 50-year-old Gregory Murray was at the top rail yelling at Yankees player Alex Rodriguez. That's when Murray fell over. No one on the lower deck, we should point out, was hurt.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: All right. New poll numbers out in Iowa.

Let's talk about the GOP. Look at this. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson closer to Trump. Trump at 23 percent, and then Ben Carson at 18 percent, right there at second place. You got Cruz, Walker and Rubio and the rest of the field in single digits following.

Joining us now, Democratic strategist, Liz Chadderdon, and conservative radio host, Lenny McAllister.

Good to have both of you with us this morning.



BLACKWELL: Hey, Lenny. I want to start with you, and let's talk about Ben Carson -- 18 percent, highest favorability among the Republicans, beating Trump with two important groups in Iowa, conservative Christians and women. Why is he resonating?

MCALLISTER: Neither one of these are a surprise. You have to remember that Dr. Ben Carson's rise to fame within the conservative base was at that several years ago, versus Donald Trump who's made a name for himself as a reality show host from New York. Ben Carson comes across as more down to earth, more grass roots, somebody who's had to work from the bottom up to make himself successful in this world.

For him to have those types of origins, when it comes to coming to the public forum as a political entity, it makes all the sense in the world that he would go out there with that style, be on the ground in Iowa and be successful in a way that mike Huckabee was in 2008 and a guy named Barack Obama was in that same year as well.

BLACKWELL: Liz, I'm going to play you something that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said yesterday as part of his immigration plan or his approach to immigration. Let's look at this.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We let people come into this country with visas and the minute they come in, we lose track of them. We can't -- so here's what I'm going to do as president. I'm going to ask Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, come work for the government for three months.


BLACKWELL: Now, we should say that Samantha Smith is Fred Smith's daughter. And Samantha Smith is a spokeswoman for Christie's campaign. So maybe a nod to dad.

But your reaction to the idea of tracking immigrants who come into this country like FedEx packages.

CHADDERDON: Well, I think it's an interesting sound bite. Definitely got him on the news. First time we've seen Chris Christie on the news in a long time.

But at the end of the day, of course, it's a ludicrous idea, but how does FedEx track packages? They use bar codes. So, are we talking about stamping bar codes on people when they come into the U.S.?

That sounds an awful lot like what was happening in Germany 60 years ago. We're not going to do that. It's not a great idea. But it's a fun sound byte for him and it got him on the news. And it resonates with his base, which is exactly what all 17 candidates on the Republican side are trying to do, which is cater to a very small part of the Republican Party, many of whom want much, much, much stricter laws on immigration. So, it accomplished his goal.

BLACKWELL: Liz, you call it a fun sound bite.

Lenny, I'm coming to you -- does this help with the population just to continue electoral viability that the Republicans need? Latinos in this country, we've talked about this state before. George Bush got a larger percentage than John McCain, who got a larger percentage than Mitt Romney.

How does this help or hurt?

MCALLISTER: Well, it depends on how this comes out. I've said this previously. The optics of are bad. The premise of it is good.

We have to reform our immigration system, so that when people come in with visas, we can understand how long they've been here, and we'll make a move forward in regard to keeping a better idea of who's in our country, especially considering the war against ISIS, and considering that people from al Qaeda are trying to come to the West and --

BLACKWELL: How does this happen logistically, tracking someone like a FedEx package? What does that mean?

MCALLISTER: I guess I'm talking about, Victor, the optics of what he said are bad. The premise of saying in our visa system, we need to have an understanding of, if somebody comes in on a two-year visa, we understand the length of the time they're here. We know that here to go for example to go to Carnegie Mellon University. As long as we know that they're at Carnegie University, doing what they said they were going to do, we're OK.

[07:35:02] But once it gets to the end of that period of time when it's time to either renew the visa or perhaps go towards the path to citizenship, that we have a symbiotic relationship where we understand who's in our country, what they're moving towards in their careers, so we can keep safe and help them accomplish their goals, and maybe even come into the American port as naturalized citizens.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's go deeper into these numbers. Donald Trump performs best with first time caucus-goers, Lenny. Does he have an operation on the ground to train these people who have never been through this process? Because it's much more involving than waiting in line, going into a booth and pressing a button.

MCALLISTER: I think each trying to build that out right now. And, again, we've seen people come from nowhere. Again, I go back to 2008, Mike Huckabee was not necessarily on the national radar but he won in Iowa.

Barack Obama was not on the radar. He was behind John Edwards and Hillary Clinton 2007, going into 2008. He was a guy with a great speech that ended up winning Iowa. This is the point in time when you see people trying to build that out. If he's successful in putting the operation in place and continuing to get the crowd he's getting, he could do some damage when it comes time for January.

BLACKWELL: Liz, finally to you what we see here -- is that there seems to be more, I don't want to call it passion but Republicans who were polled here seem to be unsatisfied or as they called it mad as hell to a greater degree than the Democrats. Are you concerned that that enthusiasm will cause a problem for the eventual Democratic nominee?

CHADDERDON: I'm really not. It is august of 2015. We have way over a year to go before November 8th, 2016. So, I think a lot can happen. But what I am finding interesting about both party's nomination processes at the moment is the amount of energy for something new, for change, particularly on the Republican side. The fact that the two leading contenders for Republicans have never

held office before is really fascinating, because of the 17 official candidates, 15 of them have long records of accomplishment both for the country and for the state if they're governor, and yet no one cares. And yet somehow there is this repudiation of, oh, you've been elected before. I'm not interested in talking to you.

That is fascinating and that is going to be interesting to watch play out.

BLACKWELL: Yes, we've seen some three term governors and sitting senators who are in low single digits.


BLACKWELL: Liz Chadderdon and Lenny McAllister, thanks both.

MCALLISTER: Thank you. God bless.


PAUL: OK. These stories are something to see. Look at this -- migrants escaping war torn Syria getting stuck now in parts of Europe. We're going to take you live to Hungary where dozens of these are being blocked from moving on.


[07:41:21] PAUL: New this morning, the U.S. the will be opening its doors to between 5,000 to 8,000 Syrian refugees next year. That, however, is just a fraction of four million Syrians that have been become homeless, according to the U.N. Every day, thousands of refugees are streaming illegally into Europe and they're undertaking this dangerous journey just to get away from the conflict in their own country.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and European nations are struggling to deal with this crisis.

Let's go to CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon. She's at the Budapest railway station here where Syrian refugees are waiting for help.

Arwa, how many people by your estimate are there waiting?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, right here, right now they fluctuate between a few hundred to upwards of a thousand. But this is just one of the areas they're waiting in.

And those who are here, they can't take it anymore. We've seen a number of women with small children just completely having nervous break downs in utter tears because they're running out of money. There's no water here and they simply can't take it anymore.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DAMON (voice-over): Each person here has a story of misery. Most refugees from the wars ravaging Syria and Iraq left to languish in the heart of Europe. This is Budapest train station turned refugee way station.

Some try to wash off the filth and grime as best they can to restore a bit of their dignity after a journey here that has stripped them of it. They exist in limbo, waiting away the hours, hoping their road ahead to Western Europe will open.

This 19-year-old asks that we not disclose her identity. She doesn't want her parents to see her like this. She has a nursing degree, two small children. But Iraq is not a country she can call home anymore. Her husband worked at the family's hair salon. But tragedy struck way too often.

(on camera): What made them decide that they couldn't go back to Iraq was another attack on the hair salon. His uncle who taught him everything he knew was killed and his younger brother was wounded.

(voice-over): They tried to board a train here, bought the tickets but were told, no, not without a visa the cars with drivers that can get them through priced at $500 plus per person. The scams leave them vulnerable to criminal gangs. And all have heard of the fate of the 71 who perished in the cooler truck on the highway.

She also doesn't want to appear on camera, wiping away tearing as she tells us of her four and six-year-old in Damascus. She, 27 and with a law degree is hoping her family can join her without having to go through this. People are saying the Syrians smell. The way we're being treated without a place to shower turned us into this, she says.

At the camp near the border she says treatment was inhumane. "They throw the water at us and you have to scramble for it like an animal." She escaped under the barbed wire but went back, unable to keep going alone. Even in Budapest she says, the response whenever you want to buying this, the response is this.

Germany, however, says it will take hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers. So no one can comprehend why Hungary won't let them go.


[07:45:05] DAMON: People have increasingly been demonstrating here, pleading with Germany with the United States, with anyone to do something to help them. But as of now, Christie, that much-needed assistance and respite from this misery has yet to come.

PAUL: OK. So, Arwa, I have to ask you -- Hungary doesn't want them, Germany does. Is there any indication that these countries are having any sort of conversation to make that happen?

DAMON: Well, Christi, there was that big meeting in Vienna of all European Union partners to try to resolve this ongoing crisis. But nothing really concrete has come out of it. And as a number of activists we've talked to here have been saying, the German and Hungarian governments need to start having a conversation because this is unsustainable. People can't take it anymore and they're increasingly turning those criminal gangs and those smugglers who do not have the people, the children's best interest at heart to try to make their way into Western Germany, because in many instances, they are running out of money.

As we were saying earlier, they can't keep going like this. But as we have seeing also, over the last few days, these smugglers, their methods of transportation, you have that incident, that horrific incident with a cooler truck, that was found in a highway from Budapest to Vienna was 71 people who suffocated inside it. But when you talk to people here, they're saying they're going to have to take their chances on that, because if they keep staying here like this, they believe they're going to end up dead anyway.

There is no time here for debate. People need to be told what's going on and there has to be a solution for their sake and for the sake of the other individuals who are streaming across in record numbers, numbers which Europe has not seen since World War II.

PAUL: Arwa Damon, we so appreciate you bringing life to this important story. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: New legislation sponsored by a lawmaker in North Dakota is not being used as he'd planned or expected. Not only can police now use drones to seek evidence in criminal cases. They can arm them with nonlethal weapons, tasers trapped to drones, drones shooting rubber bullets. I'll talk to the state rep behind the original measure. That's next.


[07:50:57] BLACKWELL: All right. This just in to CNN. Before the break, we heard from Arwa about the tragedy of 71 migrants who were found in a truck who were all dead at the time. Hungarian police have now arrested a fifth man over the deaths of those migrants -- 71 migrants, again, found an abandoned truck in Austria last week. The suspect is a Bulgarian national was taken into custody late last evening in Budapest. Again, a fifth man now taken into custody in connection with those deaths.

PAUL: All right. Believe it or not, there's a new law that is now allowing police to arm drones to fly over North Dakota, specifically. The bill allows officers to mount tasers, pepper spray, sound cannons, anything considered, quote, "less than lethal".

This is an amendment of an original bill which barred weaponized drones. A member of the North Dakota Peace Officers Association was authorized by the state house committee to amend it.

Now, the original author not happy, telling "The Daily Beast", "This is one I'm not in full agreement with. In my opinion, there should be a nice red line, drones should not be weaponized. Period."

Well, the man behind that original bill, Representative Rick Becker with us now. Representative, thank you so much for being with us.

I was reading that Grand Forks County Sheriff Bob Ross says he opposed your version of the bill because it required a warrant. He argues that he needs to use the drones for surveillance to obtain that warrant.

Do you accept or recognize that need?

RICK BECKER, NORTH DAKOTA REPRESENTATIVE: No, I don't, actually, at all. North Dakota is on the forefront of drone technology education, research, and with this bill, this law now, my intent was that we'd also be on the forefront with protecting civil liberties. The idea that the technology can do so much more than an officer on the ground could makes a new gray area and we have to close that gray area down, make it very, very clear that we need to respect the Fourth Amendment.

PAUL: There are a lot of concerns about drones anyway. When you talk about drones actually being able to taser somebody, or shoot rubber bullets, there I think are two concerns primarily that come up with the public. One is, drone snooping. And two is the accuracy of using a weaponized drone.

Do you know if this sheriff's department is going to have any sort of operational training in terms of trying to use one -- utilize one of those drones and do you know if the two drones they have are weaponized yet?

BECKER: I believe that they're not weaponized yet. And I don't know if there's anything in the plans for the training.

But one clarification that should be made, and it's probably very important for your viewers, is that North Dakota isn't one of the first states, isn't the first state to legalize weaponization. This bill had intended to prohibit weapons, both lethal and nonlethal. The prohibition on nonlethal was removed. So, it didn't legalize it because it was technically already legal because there was nothing in the statute.

And presumably, the other states in the nation also have nothing on statute, and therefore the weaponization of drones would be legal in other states. Our attempt was to be the first state to make it completely illegal.

PAUL: Illegal, right. We know the FAA has a ban on weaponized drones but only on civilian operations. Police departments fall under governmental operations. Have you had any conversations with anyone from the FAA about this?

BECKER: No. No conversations with the FAA representatives. I've had conversations with people from University of North Dakota aerospace sciences, and some sheriff's departments, but I think everything's been a healthy discussion so far. There are no immediate plans for weaponization, and I plan to, and hopefully will be, successful in introducing and passing a bill that would prohibit the nonlethal weapons, too, in the next session that we have. PAUL: The next session is in two years. A lot can happen in two


BECKER: That's true.

PAUL: All right. Well, we appreciate you so much, Representative Rick Becker.

[07:55:01] Thank you for being with us.


BLACKWELL: All right at the top of the hour, investigators make an arrest in the execution-style killing of a Texas sheriff's deputy. Why investigators maintain the shooting was unprovoked.


PAUL: Hedging toward the 8:00 hour on a Sunday morning. So glad to be with you for it. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: Good morning to you. I'm Victor Blackwell.

And first up this morning, investigators in Texas are trying to determine why a man shot and killed a sheriff's deputy as that deputy was filling up his patrol car at a gas station. Here's a picture of the suspect. Police are calling this an execution-style killing. This man's name is Shannon J. Miles. He's in custody charged with capital murder in the death of Deputy Darren Goforth.

Now, people there say the man stood over Goforth and just kept firing as he's there on the ground dying. The 47-year-old deputy leaves behind a wife, two children, 5 and 12 years old. Hundreds of people attended this vigil last night at the gas station where Goforth was killed. Another deputy, watch this, just listen to it and the emotion here.