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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Anti-Police Brutality Protests: Thousands March Across the Country; Bomb-Making Materials Founds in Gunman's Home; Trump and Clinton Cancel Campaign Stops; Chief: Suspect was Killed by Robot With Bomb; Protesters Denounce Rash of Killings by Police; Obama: Police Shootings "Should Trouble All of Us". Aired 7-8a ET
Aired July 9, 2016 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[07:00:43] OFFICER: We got a guy with a long rifle. We don't know where the hell he's at.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's four cops down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At that point, I thought to myself, this is real.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tthere's no possible justification for these kinds of attacks.
CHIEF DAVID BROWN, DALLAS POLICE: We're hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since day one since he was born, he was hero.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's come together as a country.
DEMONSTRATOR: Black lives matter!
DIAMOND REYNOLDS, VICTIM'S GIRLFRIEND: Oh, my God, please don't tell me he's dead.
I want my justice, I want people to know who did this to us.
QUINYETTA MCMILLON, ALTON STERLING'S SON'S MOTHER: I for one will not rest until the adequate punishment is served to all parties involved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: It has been a jolting, heart-wrenching several days hasn't it and we're so grateful to have your company as always as we walk through this together. I'm Christi Paul. My colleague and partner Victor Blackwell live for us in Dallas, in front of what seems to be an enormous memorial there, Victor, from what we can see. VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Just in front of the Dallas
police department headquarters, Christi, good morning to you.
And I want to step out of the way and give you a look at some of the families that are showing up here. It's 6:00 a.m. local time here in Dallas, and there are families that have come here, have written notes, left them on the cars, taken just a moment of reflection here, talking with some law enforcement officers, reading the notes.
There's one on this cruiser that says, "back the blue because I call, someone I call dad is on force." I mean, there are cards and flowers. One from the Texas House of Representatives, a wreath here as well. So, this is what we've seen grow over the last 24 to 36 hours here in front of the police department and very likely, there will be more people coming here throughout the day.
But again, it's just 6:00 a.m. and the families are here already. This community is, is mourning today and has been for two days now after five officers were murdered by that lone gunman, targeting white officers who were working a peaceful protest. That march was in response to two other tragic events in our country, two black men died in encounters with police, separate incident, one in Minnesota, one in Louisiana.
Now, overnight, thousands across the country responded the only way they knew how in numbers heard.
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BLACKWELL: In San Francisco here, men and women descended on city hall, protesting what they called a racist police system.
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BLACKWELL: Rochester, New York, you see here, 74 people arrested in this city for disorderly conduct, hundreds, though, protested the shootings there.
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BLACKWELL: And now to Baton Rouge where one the shootings happened earlier this week. Tensions flared in this city this week. The tensions flared in this city this week.
Ralliers clashed with police. You see them in riot gear. A few placed under arrest but largely peaceful.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (DEMONSTRATORS CHANTING)
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BLACKWELL: This is Phoenix. Police used pepper spray, shot bean bags at the crowd there pushing back protesters. We're told they were trying to overrun a freeway. Three people were arrested. We're told that happened after rocks were thrown at police.
Meanwhile, authorities are trying to get inside the head of the gunman behind the deadly attack here on police officers, the deadliest attack since 9/11 on law enforcement. Investigators say 25-year-old Micah Johnson had an arsenal of weapons when he unloaded to that crowd. They found bomb making materials at his home as well.
Sara Sidner is following the details of what was found in this investigation now. And authorities also found this journal of combat tactics.
How key is that in this investigation?
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Extremely key because what it speaks to is a planning process. This wasn't a person that suddenly decided to do something and went out to do it. He was planning.
[07:05:00] And that's how he was able to, number one, kill so many people.
So he clearly had an intention there long before this happened. How long before, we won't know. But I'm sure they are looking through all the details, looking for dates, looking to see just what it was that got him to this point.
We also should talk about some things that were pulled out of his home --
SIDNER: -- because that also speaks to his planning process. A rifle was in his home. There were ballistic vests that they found in his home, as well as bomb-making materials.
So, of course, when you consider all of that, this could have been, even though it was extremely terrible, this could have been worse. If he was able to, for example, take those bombs and he did tell police during the negotiations that he had booby-trapped the place and he had bombs all over the place and they were extremely careful in trying to get to him as well.
BLACKWELL: What is next in this investigation? Because I understand there are, of course, questions still that need to be answered.
SIDNER: There have been in interviews with 200 police officers. Apparently, 12 officers fired back. And anytime a police officer fires his weapon or her weapon, they are interviewed and there's an investigation.
Plus, considering that there was 45 minutes of a gun battle and there's got to be bullets and casings all over the place, they are going to be looking for forensic evidence as well. Just because we now know the shooter is dead doesn't mean that there doesn't have to be a full investigation and a on at some point. That's going to take some time.
BLACKWELL: Yes, we heard from Chief Brown. We heard from Mayor Rawlings that much of downtown is a crime scene and still looking for a lot of that evidence.
What are they doing to increase security around the city because I know that's an important question that many who are in law enforcement and not in law enforcement have.
SIDNER: I think at this point, the threat, the immediate threat is obviously over.
SIDNER: And they use this incredibly different -- none of us ever heard of this device that they ended up killing the suspect with, this robot that had a bomb on it and they were able to explode. A lot of people are talking about that and how useful it was in this particular situation to save lives after five people had already been killed, five officers killed, seven wounded.
But as far as making sure the city is safe, the police are doing what they always do, right? I mean, they are investigating. They are going out and make being sure they have patrol officers on the street.
BLACKWELL: And have been successful.
SIDNER: And have been successful.
This department has worked very hard to try to be more of a community police force. And you saw that during the Black Lives Matter and the other protests going on all together and they were protesting against police brutality. Police were here and having conversations with one another. It wasn't a situation where there was violence at all between either group.
SIDNER: There was really conversations going on. That speaks to how the police force has tried to change over the past 20 or so years.
BLACKWELL: Yes, and under Chief Brown's leadership has been very successful and we'll talk more about that throughout the morning. Sara Sidner, thanks so much.
Police here in Dallas, as Sara just talked about, used tactic that we had never heard of, seen before and many who study this seen or heard of. They sent that robot carrying a bomb into detonate to kill that gunman. A look at that decision that many are calling unprecedented. That's coming up.
Plus, the presidential candidates are now addressing the ambush here in Dallas and the death of two black men in Minnesota and Louisiana after encounters with police. We'll discuss how the candidates are responding.
[07:11:55] PAUL: Well, you can see Victor Blackwell is in Dallas.
And, Victor, I can imagine there's a lot of healing that's trying to be done today.
BLACKWELL: Yes, there is. We see that there are families who are coming here to try to stand in solidarity with the police department, and teach their children. We've seen some conversations between parents and children here at this memorial that's growing.
Yes, the healing is beginning. But we're seeing on front page of the "Dallas Morning News", "We're Hurting" is the headline this morning.
PAUL: Yes, those are hard conversations to have with kids no doubt about it.
We're going to get you back to Dallas and Victor in just a moment here.
But after visiting Spain today, we know President Obama is cutting his European trip short and returning to Washington tomorrow, so he can travel there to Dallas. That's at the request of the city's mayor.
After the ambush there, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton cancelled campaign stops and responded to those shootings as well.
How this is affecting the political world?
Here's CNN's Jeff Zeleny.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A gut wrenching week of violence. Shaking America and shaping a divisive political summer. The gruesome police ambush in Dallas on the heels of police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota, creating a new test of political leadership.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: There is too much violence, too much hate, too much senseless killing, too many people dead who shouldn't be.
ZELENY: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump cancelling campaign stops in the wake of the massacre. She did appear Friday night before black church leaders in Philadelphia, calling for national guidelines on use of force by police.
CLINTON: We will make it clear for everyone to see, when deadly force is warranted and when it is not.
ZELENY: Trump released a video late Friday, saying the slaying of five Dallas police officers has shaken the soul of the nation.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: A brutal attack on our police force san attack on our country and an attack on our families.
ZELENY: An overheated presidential campaign suddenly confronted by a burning crisis over the police, violence and race.
All this now front and center in the escalating fight between Clinton and Trump.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Why do you believe you would be better suited in handling the racial divide in America than Donald Trump?
CLINTON: I have been involved in working to try to close the racial divide my entire adult life. I will call for white people like myself to put ourselves in the shoes of those African-American families who fear every time their children go somewhere.
ZELENY: Trump is framing the divide in starker terms.
TRUMP: Racial divisions have gotten worse not better. Too many headlines flash across our screens every day about the rising crime and rising tolls in our cities.
[07:15:00] ZELENY: Both candidates said Americans must respect the police regardless of rising incidents of wrongful shootings.
CLINTON: We cannot, we must not vilify police officers. Remember what those officers were doing when they died. They were protecting a peaceful march.
ZELENY: The protests are erupting across the country but voters also demanding answers from congressional leaders mired in gridlock.
On Capitol Hill, Democrats pointed fingers at Republicans.
REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (D), LOUISIANA: If this Congress does not have the guts to lead, then, we are responsible for all the bloodshed on the streets of America. Whether it'd be at the hands of people wearing a uniform, or whether it's at the hands of criminals.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There will be a temptation to let our anger harden our divisions. Let's not let that happen.
ZELENY: Four months before Election Day, shootings, gun violence and race in America suddenly a very serious conversation to an already overheated presidential campaign.
Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Philadelphia.
(END VIDEOTAPE) BLACKWELL: Our thanks to Jeff Zeleny for that.
This is really a remarkable detail. Dallas police said they had no other option than to use this bomb at the end of a robot to end the standoff with this gunman. That was the only option. No other option to keep the officers safe. We'll take a look at that decision in a moment.
[07:20:00] BLACKWELL: Welcome back. I'm Victor Blackwell outside the Dallas Police Department headquarters.
And the standoff between police here and that lone gunman who killed five officers ended in what really may be a first for law enforcement, the use of a robot carrying a bomb.
CNN's George Howell has a look at how those robots are being used to keep men and women in uniform safe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's DOD's robot going towards the IED --
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Remote controlled robots have been used by the U.S. military in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to diffuse explosive devices.
Here's a scene from the movie "The Hurt Locker."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, look at that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice 155, huh.
HOWELL: And in recent years, some local departments have invested in the technology to investigate suspicious package.
But in Dallas, the potential first in the United States, the delivery of an explosive device by a robot that was used to killed the police shooting suspect holed up in a garage.
Negotiations to end the standoff had gone on for hours.
BROWN: We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on the -- its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was. Other options would have exposed our officers to great danger.
HOWELL: Police have not released the details of their tactic, what type of robot was used, information about the bomb and how it was detonated or if the robot was even present at the time of the explosion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could be picking up evidence. He could be picking up potential explosive devices.
HOWELL: Endeavor Robotic says it has sold robots to several police departments in the Dallas area, but wasn't sure if their device was used Thursday night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our whole purpose is to keep people at a safe distance from hazardous conditions. We've seen in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with the IED threat.
HOWELL: Robots are expensive with some costing more than $100,000. But local police departments say the technology is well worth the cost.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before bomb technician had to climb into a suit, go down and take care of business. Now, we can use the robotic system. It's made the job so much better.
HOWELL: George Howell, CNN, Dallas, Texas.
BLACKWELL: Christi, as I toss it back to you Christi, I think a lot of people were surprised by that. I certainly was. I never heard anything like that, using this robot to carry in a bomb to kill this attacker.
But as the chief said, there was really no other option.
PAUL: Yes. Thank you, Victor, so much.
We're going to talk about this with CNN law enforcement analyst Cedric Alexander, and author of "The New Guardians."
So, Cedric, this maybe the first time anything like this has been done, this kind of tactic with this robot. Was this the value, first of all, to police departments with this kind of machinery, this kind of weaponry?
CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it certainly has a great deal of value in terms of protecting their officers that are utilizing that equipment where there may be some type of explosive device. You're able to use that robot to go in and investigate. It's your eyes on at close range.
PAUL: But being used --
ALEXANDER: -- to reduce any likelihood of injury to officers or to citizens.
PAUL: But being used it in this regard where the target is the suspect as opposed to another explosive device or for the use of surveillance.
ALEXANDER: So, let's put this whole thing into context and this is what important -- very important. And even though this is the first time of us hearing this being used out by an American police department --
PAUL: As opposed to the military.
ALEXANDER: -- outside of a war theater.
But here's what very important. They felt and it was clear in the other night there in Dallas, we had a subject with a high powered rifle, a subject who had shot and killed five police officers and injured many others, that was holding a community at bay, that had barricaded himself inside a parking garage, and as SWAT entered, they had to make a decision based on negotiation, based on their tactics in which they were trained in, what do we need to do in order to eliminate or minimize this threat.
Now, how they do get -- how they -- what threshold they used in order to get there, I can't tell you that. But they felt they needed to do what they needed to do at that time. That's what we heard Chief Brown say.
PAUL: I don't know if anybody would question necessarily what they did in Dallas, but "The L.A. Times" has an article bringing up the fact that there are some ethical questions that are popping up regarding possibly future use of something like this. How do you find that symmetry between the threat and the use of weaponry like this in a civilian set?
ALEXANDER: Well, that's going to become the $100,000, because this is the first time we've ever heard of this in this country again outside of a war zone. Being that's the case, "The L.A. Times" article which I had an opportunity to read began to ask those questions. And I think there are going to be other questions as it relates to the ethics of it being utilized in an American society.
But, however, I think it's important to understand in the context of the threat that the officers have to face out there today, whether it's in Dallas, Orlando, certainly in San Bernardino which is a very clear case of IEDs being utilized by those who had field training in the Middle East and that's the threat which our officers are up against.
So, sometimes, they're going to have to make decisions and then we're going to have to do things that are different but that doesn't mean it won't raise questions. We have to ask those questions and come to some resolve. But we live in a very, very different threat matrix than we ever had before and we've got to be prepared to meet that threat.
PAUL: And trained on it. You talk about how important the training is.
ALEXANDER: That's right.
PAUL: Thank you so much.
ALEXANDER: Thank you.
PAUL: Cedric Alexander, always appreciate you being here.
Listen, still ahead, the deadly ambush of police in Dallas was bad enough. It wasn't the only attack against officers around the country though. This is one reason ordinary Americans are going out of their way to let police know that they are appreciated. Hopefully this is part of the healing that's starting to take place now.
First, though, as we talk a little bit money, mortgage rates ticked up this week. Here's your look.
[07:30:22] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. I'm Victor Blackwell in Dallas.
We understand that being a cop is not an easy job. We also know that there's this backlash to African-Americans dying at the hands of police and it's a difficult job because men and women in uniform and becoming more difficult. Watch this.
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BLACKWELL: Two recent police killings of black men one in Minnesota, the other in Louisiana have sparked large protests in cities across the country, all of them rallying around Black Lives Matter. While the demonstrations are largely peaceful, the deadly ambush of a police officer in Dallas shows that anger is boiling over again.
Again, let's be clear here. Separate from the protests what this man did.
There have been numerous recent attacks on police across the country. One of the most provocative in Georgia where an officer was lured to an apartment building by a bogus 911 call. He was shot and wounded, but he was able to wound the gunman.
Now, to understand how we got here we need to look back at a devastating week for this country that began with two black men in two different parts of the country who were shot by police officers.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): Three consecutive days of violence sending shockwaves through nation. Tuesday morning, police are called to the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for report of a man with a gun. Officers Howie Lake II and Blane Salamoni tackled 37-year-old Alton Sterling to the ground and after a brief scuffle, Sterling is shot several times.
Graphic video of the incident caught on by standers cell phones.
BLACKWELL: The video is shared widely across social media sparking local protests and drawing national attention.
Sterling's 15-year-old son openly weeping during a press conference the next day. Sterling's family demanding justice.
QUINYETTA MCMILLAN, MOTHER OF ALTON STERLING'S OLDEST SON: I say again, I for one will not rest and will not allow y'all to sweep him into the dirt. Until adequate punishment is served to all parties involved.
BLACKWELL: The investigation now in the hands of the Department of Justice.
Wednesday night, 32-year-old Philando Castile is shot and killed during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. His girlfriend Diamond Reynolds live streams the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook.
DIAMOND REYNOLDS, VICTIM'S GIRLFRIEND: Stay with me. We got pulled over for a busted taillight in the back. And the police (AUDIO DELETED). He's covered, he killed my (AUDIO DELETED) my boyfriend. He's licensed to carry. He was trying to get out his I.D. in his wallet, out of his pocket and he let the officer know that he was, he had a firearm and reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot we're waiting for backup.
OFFICER: Ma'am, just keep your hands where they are.
REYNOLDS: I will, sir, no worries. I will.
He just shot his arm off. We got pulled over on Larpenteur.
OFFICER: I told him not reach for it. I told him to get his hand open.
REYNOLDS: You told him to get his ID, sir, his driver's license.
Oh, my God, please don't tell me he's dead. Please don't tell me my boyfriend went just like that.
BLACKWELL: His family saying he was targeted because he was black.
VALERIE CASTILE, MOTHER OF PHILANDO CASTILE: I think he was just black in the wrong place.
REYNOLDS: We didn't do anything. We put our hands in the air. We knew our rights and followed procedure.
CASTILE: He's not a gangbanger. He's not a thug. He's very respectable and I know he didn't antagonize that officer in any way to make him feel like his life was in danger.
REYNOLDS: Not one shot, not two shots, not three, not four, but five shots.
BLACKWELL: Even the state's governor questioning whether this incident was racially motivated. GOVERNOR MARK DAYTON (D), MINNESOTA: Would this have happened if
those passengers, the driver was white, I don't think it would have.
BLACKWELL: President Obama addressing the shootings of both men as protests break out nationwide.
[07:35:00] BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When incidents like this occur, there's a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin, they're not being treated the same. And that hurts. And that should trouble all of us.
BLACKWELL: Thursday, as hundreds of people take to the streets to protest the violence, chaos erupts. A gunman begins firing into the crowd, targeting police officers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's four comes down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he shot five, seven times.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's dude?
BLACKWELL: The chaos captured on police scanners.
OFFICER: Assist officer. Shots fired. Code 3. Officer down.
OFFICER: We got a guy with a long rifle. We don't know where the hell he's at.
OFFICER: Parking garage!
OFFICER: Slow down. He's in the damn building right there! I don't know where he's at. He's in that building. We're hearing shots from that building!
OFFICER: We've got to get (INAUDIBLE) right now! Get them here!
OFFICER: We're on our way.
OFFICER: Rifle possibly in the El Centro college building.
OFFICER: It looks he's inside the El Centro building. Inside the El Centro Building.
BLACKWELL: In the end, 12 officers are shot. Five of them are killed. It is the single deadliest day for law enforcement since 9/11.
CHIEF DAVID BROWN, DALLAS POLICE: There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city. All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens. We don't feel much support most days. Let's make today most days. Please, we need your support.
BLACKWELL: Police identified the gunman as 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson. The Dallas police chief saying Johnson told them he was upset about the recent police shootings and that he wanted to kill white people especially white officers and that he acted alone. After several hours of negotiation, he's killed by a police bomb robot.
President Obama calling the shooting a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement and ordering flags at public buildings around the country flown at half-staff.
LORETTA LYNCH, ATTORNEY GENERAL: This has been a week prove found grief and heartbreaking loss.
BLACKWELL: Attorney General Loretta Lynch Speaking Friday, urging Americans to move forward together.
LYNCH: To all Americans, I ask you, I implore you, do not let this week precipitate a new normal in this country. I ask you to turn to each other, not against each other as we move forward. Let us support one another, let us help heal one another. And I urge you to remember today and every day, that we are one nation, we are one people and we stand together.
BLACKWELL: Twelve, twelve Dallas officers were shot during Thursday night's ambush attack and as we know five didn't make it. I want you to hear from the father of one of those five.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From day one since he was born, he was a hero. He was my little hero. And he's a big hero -- he would be a hero now.
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[07:42:12] BLACKWELL: Welcome back.
We are learning more about the victims of that deadly ambush here on Thursday night. 12 Dallas area officers were shot during a peaceful protest over the deaths of two black men at the hands of police in Minnesota and Louisiana.
Five of the officers were killed. Brent Thompson, a Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer. Dallas Police Officer Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens and Michael Smith as well, at DPD.
I want to bring in now a voice that helps these families because as you would expect the families of these officers are having a tough time dealing with the loss, the sudden loss of these officers. We have with us Ashlee Hardy. She is the president of the Metroplex area Concerns of Police Survivors.
And start with me this discussion you had with two of these families. I know you're going to respect their privacy.
ASHLEE HARDY, CONCERNS OF POLICE SURVIVORS: Absolutely.
BLACKWELL: But tell me about the conversations you had with them.
HARDY: On our arrival at the hospital it is our main focus and our main goal to make sure that they know we're there for them from the very moment that they find out that their officer has been killed in the line of duty and so going in and sitting down with those families, the spouse, the parents, the siblings, the children, very important to have conversations with them and to let them know they're not alone, that, unfortunately, there are others, so many of them that lost their lives in the line of duty.
And so, sitting down with them and talking about their initial thoughts of how to feel, being numb, angry, upset, not understanding why did this have to happen? Please tell me this is a dream.
BLACKWELL: And you know that feeling because coincidentally and some would say, ironically, nine years to the day of the ambush, you lost your husband.
HARDY: Yes, sir.
BLACKWELL: What were you feeling as you were watching what happened here in Dallas that night?
HARDY: I'm sick to my stomach. My heart hurt knowing that there were five more families, children, spouses, parents that were going to have to go through the same thing that myself and my twin daughters and my husband's family and his dad and his sister had to go through learning that Wes was killed in the line of duty.
You're in shock. You really don't know what to think. You don't know what to feel. But as time goes on and you have to make those arrangements and have to do all those things that go on with the line of duty death, it's so in the public eye, these families are not allowed to grieve privately. Unfortunately, it's just -- it's not possible because so many people want to show their support and so many people want to be there for them that it's so public that they are just not allowed to grieve.
And so, numb and just not truly understanding what's truly going on.
[07:45:01] BLACKWELL: The cameras, the national attention will leave at some point.
BLACKWELL: What then will the next couple of weeks, months, years even say head for these families from your organizations.
HARDY: With Concerns of Police Survivors, just to give you a little bit background, Concerns of Police Survivors has been around for more than 30 years. It was formed in 1984, with 110 individual members. And we now serve more than 37,000 families nationwide. We have over 50 chapters across the United States.
And so --
BLACKWELL: It really is a family of its own.
HARDY: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. National cops and Concerns of Police Survivors is funded by grants and by donations. And so, there's peer support for the families of the fallen whether you're a spouse or you're child or adult sibling, adult children and also as far as co-workers and co-workers with spouses. So, there's peer support for grief counseling.
BLACKWELL: All right. I want to you listen to what the father of Patrick Zamarripa told our Erin Burnett and he was very emotional, understandably. We'll play it for our viewers who haven't seen it and then we'll talk.
(BEGIN VIDOE CLIP)
PATRICK ZAMARRIPA, FATHER OF FALLEN OFFICER: He was very, very helpful young man. He was very giving. He would give his last dollar if he had it in his pocket if you need it. He would bend over backwards to help anybody out.
He was very patient. He would try to help anybody out the best he could. If you need help, Patrick would offer help even if he couldn't do nothing. He would offer to it you.
My son, he was -- since day one since he was born, he was a hero. And he was little hero. He's a hero now. He's a big hero now. Yes, he's going to be missed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Your heart breaks for that father who went to the hospital and heard there was a shooting once he got there and then got the news that his son had been killed.
Ashlee Hardy, Concerns of Police Survivors, thanks so much for being with us.
BLACKWELL: Thank you for what do you for these families.
HARDY: Thank you for having me. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: We'll continue, of course, our conversations about those who were killed here but also we need to have two simultaneous conversations. We're going to hear that a lot this morning. We'll have the conversation about the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police and highlighting the fears of many people across the country, many express their pride but what happens when a mass murderer hijacks some of that? We'll talk about that in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DIAMOND REYNOLDS, GIRLFRIEND OF PHILANDO CASTILE: Today is not only about justice and getting justice, but it's about all of the families that have lost people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: The numbers are alarming. President Obama even going as far to say that police shootings now show that the U.S. has a serious problem, adding police -- rather, people targeted of the colors of their skin, quote, "should trouble all of us".
Now, according to "The Washington Post", there had been 509 deadly police shooting so far this year, 123, nearly a quarter, are black. Of those twelve were unarmed. nine of them were black people with a toy weapon.
These numbers compiled by "The Post" are based on reports and public records and social media and other sources. Two of the most recent that happened just this week. They were separate incidents. Alton Sterling, that was in Louisiana, Philando Castile was in Minnesota.
The shootings highlighting fears of what some say it means to be black in America.
I want to bring in David Wilson, the founder and executive editor of "The Grio", a news agency that's catering to African-Americans.
David, thanks for being with me.
I want you first to just -- to talk about the ability to have these simultaneously conversations, what we are talking about here in Dallas and the deaths of Sterling and Castile. Did it make it easier or difficult to have the conversation about what many black people feel and what many police officers feel?
DAVID WILSON, FOUNDER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF "THE GRIO": Well, clearly, I think it makes it more difficult, but I think it's still two conversations that we have to have at the same time. I think that most Americans can walk and chew gum at the same time. I think we all mourn for the five officers who were assassinated and the twelve who were injured in Dallas.
But at the same time, the protests are for millions of black folks, who have been disfranchised, who feel that their lives don't matter. And not just the million of black folks who are living today, but so many unborn black folks not just here in America but around the globe. I mean, I think that this is not -- we tend to look at this just as an American problem but a lot of people around the globe is looking at what happened in America and taking that as an example.
And I can give you a very clear case of that. I was done in Brazil. I was stopped in a taxi in Brazil and after they went through my bags, with guns to my head, after they gave me my belonging bag, they said, oh, but you have it worst in America.
So, this is something that everything is looking of around the world and they use America -- the way America treats black people as the guy posts for how they treat the disfranchise and the lower class in their societies.
BLACKWELL: Let me ask you, David, we discussed just a couple of moments ago, to be candid during the break, your concerns about how what happened here in Dallas could potentially impact the protests we see across the country? What are those concerns?
WILSON: Well, my concern is that we are going of a heighten police protection during protests and I hope that does not create more tensions between officers and protesters. I mean, these protests over the last couple of years have by and large been very peaceful. I think there is going to be human nature for some of these police agencies across the country to tighten security.
But what I don't -- what I hope does not happen is that there is no conflict as a result of it.
[07:55:02] I think it is going to be in everybody's head going forward. It is going to be in the protester's head and it's going to be in a police officer's head. I hope it does not create tensions between protesters want to get their point across peacefully and police officers who want to do their jobs protecting the lives of innocent and property.
BLACKWELL: Yes. And we've seen from the officers here across the country anecdotally going out of their way. I mean, listen, it's a difficult job, right? And we knew that before what happened on Thursday night. But, still working to make sure they're protecting people and protecting themselves.
I want to ask you a question and it is an uncomfortable question. After seeing the image that's been on social media, the few pictures that we have of this shooter, of him wearing a dashiki, clenched fist in the air. Listen, I own a dashiki, I have friends who owned dashikis and wear them, and candidly, when lift every voice and sing is saying at my university, at Howard University, we throw a clenched fist in the air. It is solidarity. It is a symbol of strength. It's symbol of resistance.
Has this man changed that by doing what he did here in Dallas?
WILSON: No more than a bad police officer wearing a badge has changed the perception of most Americans about all police officers. I think this is a guy who was rogue. This is a guy who was clearly deranged, and he can wear anything. He can wear a CNN shirt, it wouldn't have meant anything about CNN.
And so, I think we have to look at this guy as an isolated incident, as isolated incident. Most African-Americans, 99.9 percent are in solidarity with the Dallas Police Department right now. We mourn for the lives loss.
But at same time, we also have to continue to fight for our people. And, you know, I have never seen a moment for my life where there is so much malaise around being black. You know, I look at the Philando Castile case, and if that was me, I don't know if I could have done anything differently and have a different outcome. I would have been in the morgue right now.
So, you know, I think we have to have two conversations at once.
BLACKWELL: Yes, it is difficult to walk, to have simultaneous conversations, both important and be careful about the overlap here.
David Wilson, thanks so much for being with us.
WILSON: Thanks for having me.
BLACKWELL: And we'll, of course, continue our coverage here from Dallas of the shooting of those twelve officers, the deaths of five.
Christi, I'll send it back to you.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All right. And, Victor, thank you so much.
We want to let you know, we are getting words of officers involved shootings in Houston over night. Police tell us the suspect was armed and has now died. We'll give the very latest.
The next hour of NEW DAY starts after a short break. Just stay close.