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Third Night of Protests Across the Country; Police Defend Bomb Use as Last Resort; Police on Edge After Recent Attacks; Bishop T.D. Jakes Speaks to CNN About Healing; Obama: America "Not As Divided" As Some Suggest. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired July 10, 2016 - 07:00   ET




[07:00:09] PROTESTERS: You can't stop the revolution!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Black Lives Matter movement has only called for a de-escalation of violence, not an escalation of it.


REPORTER: Everywhere in the United States police say they are on a heightened state alert. Some believe they are being targeted now more than ever.

REPORTER: His Facebook page was covered with black nationalist symbolism.

PROTESTERS: We want justice. We want peace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was an individual choice for whatever reason that shook our city, black and white, to its core. All of Dallas is traumatized.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: It was another night of a lot of protests, a lot of arrests. And we are here for you on all of it. Good morning to you and thank you for your company.

I'm Christi Paul.

My colleague and partner Victor Blackwell in Dallas this morning, where the conversations are still very raw.

Are they not, Victor?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Christi, good morning to you and good morning to you at home.

Not just here Dallas are these conversations raw, but across the country. We've seen this third night of protests against police brutality. I want to take you on a tour of what we've seen around the country.

I want to start in Minneapolis where police used force, smoke bombs, tear gas, we're told, after a peaceful demonstration turned quite dangerous. Five police officers were hurt there when people in the crowd threw bottles and rocks and fireworks.


PROTESTERS: You can't stop the revolution! You can't stop the revolution!


BLACKWELL: Now to Chicago, three people arrested in that city as activist s snarled traffic downtown. Some gathering along the city's fame Magnificent Mile.

Hundreds of protesters marched on New York streets, that was yesterday, waving signs, carrying messages of support of Black Lives Matter. And about 20 people were taken into custody in New York.

Now to Baton Rouge where Black Lives Matter activists DeRay McKesson was one of roughly 125 people arrested in that city.


DERAY MCKESSON, BLM ACTIVIST: I'm under arrest, y'all.


BLACKWELL: The moment was caught as he was live streaming a protest. So he recorded his own arrest. We'll have more on that arrest later in the hour.

We're going to begin our coverage in Minneapolis this morning where at least 50 people were arrested during the protest there.

Brynn Gingras is following that part of the story for us this morning.

Brynn, what have you learned in the last few hours?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, we've had four days of peaceful protests. But one that just ended a few hours ago, it was somewhat not peaceful. It sort of ended in all those arrests that you were just describing.

And it started here at the governor's mansion where we've seen protesters for several days now, and they marched we're told down the street, a few blocks and they sort of got cornered in by the police, we're told by those protesters. They said at that point they got arrested and put on a bus. We were there when we saw SWAT members lining up and those protesters being loaded onto two separate buses and being taken away to be processed.

We also talked to a mother who says she got woken up by her daughter who was part of that march.


VIVIAN MIMS, DAUGHTER ARRESTED IN ST. PAUL PROTESTS: My daughter was a protester up at the governor's mansion, I guess they decided to walk. She called me and said, "I'm on Grand and Dale. I'm surrounded by police. They got guns on me and I'm probably going to get detained for walking."

And I got out of bed and I came to Grand and Dale. And this is what I saw.

REPORTER: What do you think about what you're seeing right now?

MIMS: I want to know where my daughter is. It's ridiculous.


GINGRAS: Yes, a lot of frustrated parents and protesters even. And, Victor, you showed that video a little earlier. It did get violent at one point. Protesters shutting down a major interstate here in St. Paul. Five officers getting injured by it with fireworks and bricks and construction materials. So, certainly has not been a peaceful night here in St. Paul.

Back to you.

BLACKWELL: Certainly not.

Brynn Gingras for us there in St. Paul, thanks so much.

Let's bring in now, CNN law enforcement analyst Art Roderick.

I want to pick up where Brynn left off there, with the rocks and bricks, fireworks being thrown at officers. You heart that, you think what?

ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: This seems to be getting worse.

[07:05:00] But, again, I think we're back to these protests start off peaceful. There's certain people in the group that want to co-opt that type of agenda. And this is what you get. You get rock throwing, you get brick throwing.

Law enforcement, unfortunately, is used to this. Generally, they can handle these types of situations. And a lot of times they let themselves wear themselves out. I know there's been a lot of arrests that occurred last night. I heard somewhere in the area of 200 when you combine all these different cities.

BLACKWELL: Yes, across the country.

RODERICK: Yes, across the country.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the decision when to arrest and when not to arrest. We saw the video, and let's play a little more of that of DeRay McKesson, one of the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement, arrested, one of the 125 in Baton Rouge, charged with simple obstruction of a highway.

When we watch the protests in New York, those are protests without permits. They are walking in the middle of the streets and officers are walking alongside them.

So, when we go to Baton Rouge, why arrest there instead of keep peace?

RODERICK: Well, it's different jurisdictions. Everybody, every police department is going to handle these types of situations a little differently. New York is probably a lot more used to this type of protest. They know how to handle this particular situation. Baton Rouge, maybe not so much.

I mean, obviously, now since the incident occurred down in Baton Rouge, the shooting in Baton Rouge, they're going to learn through this process that, you know, even though they might not be permitted, let's let them protest. Let's them work it out.

BLACKWELL: Take us into the decision making process, because we see, as you say from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the protests -- although there were arrests in New York last night, what we've seen I guess over the last several years of these protests, is that often police in New York make sure that people are safe. They walk alongside them. They keep order.

When DeRay McKesson or other people step into the road, they're arrested for stepping in the road. How does the department get to that point of saying, we just need to clear this road and arrest them for breaking whatever law?

RODERICK: Well -- I mean, when you look at NYPD, you look at Baton Rouge PD, obviously there's a disparity of experience in these types of situations. But let me tell you -- I've been involved in mass arrest situations. They're an absolute nightmare for law enforcement. Not only are you physically making the arrest, but then you've got to process them, you've got to get them to the court system. It jams the whole court system up.

So, really, in these larger jurisdictions, they don't want to deal with these mass arrest scenarios. It just creates a nightmare not only for the police department, but the court system and the correction system. So, the whole judicial process gets jammed up when you make these mass arrests.

BLACKWELL: All right, all right. We'll continue these conversations throughout the morning.

Art Roderick, thanks so much.

RODERICK: Thanks, Victor.

BLACKWELL: An unprecedented takedown of a mass murderer. That's what happened here on Friday morning. Police used that bomb-carrying robot to blow up the sniper. Now, it saved lives but now officers are defending their decision to use it. We'll talk about that.

Plus, after this week of tragedies centering around controversial police shootings of black men and now, the assassinations of officers, a lot of people across the country are worried about how to move forward, asking how can this country move forward. Well, I spoke with prominent pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes. He will deliver a special message for his congregation this morning and we'll take ahead of that.


BISHOP T.D. JAKES, PASTOR: I hope to sit down with some of the victims from Baton Rouge and we're working to bring in the family from Milwaukee and to talk to them on stage and to talk to my congregation, because I realize that my congregation is traumatized. All of Dallas is traumatized, both black and white. And this is an opportunity bring healing individually and collectively so that we can go back to the business of being better.



[07:12:10] BLACKWELL: Welcome back. I'm Victor Blackwell here in front of Dallas police headquarters.

The police are defending their use of a bomb and this bomb-carrying robot to kill Micah Johnson after that standoff with officers. It really is a first of its kind takedown. Dallas police say they used a robot like the one you see here as a last resort. This was after negotiations failed and the gunman kept shooting at them.

Johnson ambushed and killed officers during an anti-police brutality protests on Thursday, spraying bullet into the crowd. He hit two civilians, hit 12 officers. Five of those officers were killed.

Now, Sara Sidner is here with me.

First, they're defending it against whom or what?

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's an interesting question, because it isn't as if there is a large groundswell of people asking, why did they use this? There's a lot of people who recognize that the situation was extraordinary and they used extraordinary means to deal with it. So, we should be clear about that.

But there's always the question of the slippery slope. When these should be used, since this has likely never been done before, exactly how they will use it and what are the decisions going into using something like this which is obviously going to create quite a bit of damage and kill whomever is anywhere in the vicinity of that blast radius.

Let's talk a little bit about the actual device that they use. It was a remote tech, model F5, with a claw and arm extension, and on that claw and arm extension, it had C4, a whole pound of that explosive substance. That can do quite a bit of damage. It obviously ended up killing the suspect in this case.

We should also mention exactly when all of this was going on. If you listen to what the police said, there were four officers who had already been shot and killed. And there was an officer who was likely killed during the negotiation which went on for hours. At some point the police decided, we have to do something or more officers are going to die.

Here is what the police chief said about why they used this device.


CHIEF DAVID BROWN, DALLAS POLICE: We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was. Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger.


SIDNER: So you heard there, it would expose our officers to grave danger. There will be questions going further about this. But I think in this particular situation, a lot of people are looking and saying this does appear to be their last resort.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Sara Sidner, thanks so much.

Let's expound this conversation now. I want to bring in Jeff Parks. He is homeland security and improvised explosives expert.

[07:15:03] He also served in the Army.

Thank you for that service and thanks for being with us this morning, Jeff.


BLACKWELL: So, first, when Sara said remote tech model F5 with a claw and arm, I have to admit I glazed over a bit. I need for you to as plainly as possible in just a few seconds if you can explain what this is, what it's typically used for, because this use is a first of its kind.

PARKS: Bottom line is it's a remote controlled vehicle that's driven by an operator through a camera feed. It has a manipulating arm which is able to pick things up, put things down, extend and carry a package as it did in this case.

BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you for that.

Jeff, we hear now that the chief is defending the department's use of this robot and the bomb to kill the shooter. What do you think of the chief's decision to send in that robot? PARKS: I think it was an excellent decision. I think the robot is

there for high risk situations. In this case, it was carrying the explosive. That's actually one of the things these are designed to do.

The difference was that you had the chief had made a decision that lethal force was authorized and they used it to carry the explosive to the shooter versus normally where it may be carrying it to another explosive device that you're going to disrupt.

BLACKWELL: So less than a pound or roughly a pound of C-4 used here that was detonated to kill this shooter, can you put that explosion into context for us? I mean, without being too graphic and indelicate because of the hour, but put the explosion into context.

PARKS: I would say that's a significant amount of explosive. It was more than enough to do the job to neutralize this individual.


Now the question is, this is a first. Does this lead potentially for this to happen more often? That this would be a more common use of this technology? What's your concern or do you have a concern about the possibility of this becoming more common?

PARKS: Victor, I think the key here was -- the unique part of this was you had a mass casualty situation. You had a police chief who had been forced to make the decision that this lethal force was authorized. And that's where police forces don't frequently go. So, that makes this more unique than the delivery method when was the robot.

Once that decision was made, they had to eliminate this guy. You could use the robot or have to send a SWAT team. You wouldn't know, the SWAT team could have encountered improvised explosive devices, other bobby traps, and this guy was clearly well positioned. So by using the robot and a large amount of explosive, it kept them from putting those officers at risk.

I don't think it's a slippery slope. Again, this robot is designed to investigate and carry a package or a bomb as it did here.

So, the difference was -- not what it was carrying, but where it was carrying it.

BLACKWELL: All right. Jeff Parks, part of the conversation this morning as the chief here proactively defending the use of the robot and the bomb here, as Sara Sidner just told us a couple of moments ago, not specifically questioned or challenged by any specific entity, but part of the explanation of what happened here.

Again, Jeff Parks, thanks so much.

PARKS: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, this week the country really was torn from within by violence, carried out by police and carried out against them, we should say. The police chief here in Dallas says his profession is hurting.


REPORTER: Standing at a podium just hours after five of his officers were killed and seven others wounded by sniper fire, Dallas Police Chief David Brown speaks for them all.

BROWN: All I know is that this -- this must stop.



[07:22:43] PAUL: Twenty-two minutes past the hour.

And this morning, Dallas police are investigating an incident outside the home of one of the officers killed in the sniper attacks. Two officers were stationed in a squad car outside that house when they were hit by another vehicle. This happened about 1:00 this morning, and that's all we know at the moment. But this, of course, is happening as police around the country are really feeling on edge.

CNN's Nick Valencia has more for us.


BROWN: We are heartbroken.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Standing at a podium just hours after five of his officers were killed and seven others wounded by sniper fire, Dallas Police Chief David Brown speaks for them all.

BROWN: All I know is that that this -- this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and citizens.

VALENCIA: This week. the country was torn from within by violence, both by police and those against them.

It started on Tuesday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man killed at the hands of two white police officers seemed to be the kindling for the chaos.


VALENCIA: Less than 48 hours later, in Minnesota, Philando Castile's shooting death by a Falcon Height's police officer fuelled the tension.

Then on Thursday night, this happened. The man who assassinated the officers made his reasoning clear to police.

BROWN: The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter. The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.


VALENCIA: The killings in Dallas resonated in Baton Rouge where this week's violence began. Friday night, protesters squared off with riot police. Across the country, it was more of the same -- from Phoenix to Chicago to Atlanta, everywhere in the United States, police say they are on a heightened state of alert. Some believe they're being targeted now more than ever.

It's a debate that played out on CNN between contributors Bakari Sellers and Ben Ferguson.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN COMMENTATOR: You have now a group of people like myself and many others who don't want cops to believe that I am the one who's persecuting them.

[07:25:01] That is not the goal.

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We have to I think be candid. There are people that have been out spoken, that are a part of the Black Lives Matter movement that are not advocating for peace, that are not advocating for peaceful protest, that are advocating for hurting police officers.

VALENCIA: But just how bad has it gotten for police? According to the officer down Memorial Page, gunfire deaths are up from last year but are still about average. And while fatal shootings of police officers are up from last year, it's the same average rate between 2005 to 2015. The stats might not reflect the sentiment currently held by many cops including the Dallas police chief.

BROWN: We're hurting. Our profession is hurting.

VALENCIA: Nick Valencia, CNN, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


PAUL: Meanwhile, dozens of arrests overnight, from New York, to Baton Rouge, and thousands protesting police brutality. We're going the get you caught out on the headlines.


BLACKWELL: And now, Christi, so many are turning to faith in order to heal. I'll talk with the leader of a mega church here in Dallas, 30,000 members. That's Bishop T.D. Jakes on how to move forward through love and prayer.


JAKES: It is not the police that we are afraid of. We need the police in our communities like anybody else. It is those particular officers who are either not well-trained or should have never been selected in the first place. It's not what happens in the mainstream. It's what happens on isolated back roads that makes me concerned. (END VIDEO CLIP)


[07:30:06] PAUL: We are following a third night of protests against police brutality across the country. First of all, in New York, 20 people were arrested overnight as hundreds marched on city streets carrying messages in support of Black Lives Matter.

BLACKWELL: Now, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 125 people were taken into custody for blocking a highway, including Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson who live streamed the moment that cops took him into custody.

PAUL: And in St. Paul, Minnesota, 50 people were taken into custody. At one point during that protest, a police officer was hit in the head by a piece of concrete.

BLACKWELL: Now, as we're holding this national conversation about interactions between police and the communities they serve and conversations really about race, CNN asked African-Americans about the talk that many have at home with their loved ones, especially after the recent spate of officer involved shootings.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm scared to sit my son down one day and say they might not like you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to have children one day, but I don't want to have a son because I don't want him to go through this police brutality.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a little boy. A little black boy that's one years old. And I fear for his future.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a black man in America, we have to figure out thousand survive. You know, and the best way to do that is have conversations about it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They might look at you negative before they look at your positive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't play no loud music. Don't draw attention to yourself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they say, turn around, turn around. Don't fight them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't reach for your pockets. Don't reach for anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do what you can to keep yourself safe.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to watch what you say and what you wear. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't wear your hoods.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just might be seen as a criminal. But you never done anything in your life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just yes, sir, no, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir, no, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give him honest feedback and look at him face to face, and just talk to them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to move my hand to the glove compartment, sir. I'm going to get what you asked me to get, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just put your hands up if they tell you to put your hands up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything I'm saying is measured, is calculated and it is thought out without question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're not us. We can't reason with them like they are us. We can't even reason with them like they are us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're already an African-American male. You already stand out. So, try your best to just fit in with everybody else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do we as black people stand together and say no more?


BLACKWELL: Well, after the tragedies of this week, shooting after shooting, there are many people across the country who are wondering how to move forward, how to heal?

Well, Bishop T.D. Jakes, a pastor here in Dallas, really known around the world, is trying to help with that journey, trying to answer those questions. He's the senior pastor of the Potter's House, a church with 30,000 members here in Dallas, and members, really, supporters around the world.

During a vigil for the fallen officers, he asked the community and the rest of the country to come together.


BISHOP T.D. JAKES, SENIOR PASTOR, THE POTTER'S HOUSE: We pray for the nation. We pray for every city around this country. We pray for cities that we watched on television and ate our dinners and went to bed and thought it was their trouble but not our own. But death has come into our windows. It has climbed up on our front porch. I don't know how you feel about it today, but I feel like enough is enough.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: I sat down with Bishop Jakes to talk about what it means to heal. How to heal and move forward and how he'll answer questions about how what happened here on Thursday night could have happened.


JAKES: God didn't pull that trigger. One of the great things about those of us who believe in God is that he gives us free will. Generally, it works in our favor, but occasionally it works against us when somebody's will decides to make a choice that is detrimental to humanity. And such was the case here in Dallas.

BLACKWELL: Young black men, the concern that they're being targeted by police, to those young men in your congregation, what do you tell them?

JAKES: I mean, first of all, I have three sons. I have two daughters. And you have the same talk with your parishioners that you have with your children, to be very, very careful and be very, very respectful, not to allow your temper to overwhelm you.

And yet, there is a certain degree of worry that goes along with it. It is not the police that we're afraid of. We need the police in our communities like anybody else. It is those particular officers who are either not well-trained or should have never been selected in the first place. It's not what happens in the mainstream. It's what happens on the isolated back roads that makes me concerned.

BLACKWELL: With so many thousands of members of the Potter's House, of this congregation, you, of course, have some members of law enforcement.

JAKES: Absolutely.

BLACKWELL: How do you counsel those police officers?

[07:35:00] JAKES: You know, I have had the privilege of speaking for the black association of police officers from time to time. It's a really tough job. And there are a lot of good police officers who really give of themselves unselfishly every day. It's a precision job without the encumberment of being targeted like this, now it becomes even more difficult for them to do their job.

I think that it is possible to have great respect for the police department and still be able to hold them accountable when designated individuals go awry. Because for some reason in our country we think that if you are concerned about sidewalk justice, which is what I call it, that then you are disloyal to the police officers. But the two notions are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to hold them accountable and still respect the ones that are heroic every day.

BLACKWELL: You're a man that's famous, recognizable. Famous, some say. But are you ever concerned if you're pulled over by an officer about your safety if they don't know they just pulled over Bishop T.D. Jakes?

JAKES: I've had experiences in my life.

BLACKWELL: Tell me about that.

JAKES: I've had experienced in my life where I was pulled over, badly handled or mistreated. I've had experiences where my sons were pulled over and calling me on the phone screaming and crying and I'm scared to death that something is going to happen, because I don't know which kind of police officer pulled him over, the good one or the good one. There are lots of good ones.

But suppose the odds are against us and we get a police officer who may not actually be a bad person but in a split second makes a bad decision. You don't have to be a bad person to make a bad decision. That happens. What we are concerned about is when that does happen, why does the criminal justice system look the other way?


BLACKWELL: And, Christi, Bishop Jakes said he would also try to bring in those families from Minnesota, bring in those families from Louisiana this Sunday to be part of a conversation at the Potter's House here in Dallas, bringing in some ways the victims of all three of these tragedies into one place to have a deeper, more substantive conversation.

PAUL: And hopefully specifically for them to find some healing and camaraderie amongst each other since they have the commonality of some of those experiences.

Victor Blackwell, thanks so much.

Victor, of course, is staying in Dallas for us.

And I want to introduce you to the face of the Dallas Police Department. Soon, Chief David Brown is going to be sitting down with CNN to talk about the personal tragedies that he's overcome and the next steps for his department.





[07:41:20] PAUL: Well, President Obama is in Spain this hour, speaking there about the difficult week that we've had here in America. He's actually cutting his European trip short, will be back in Washington tonight.

But earlier, he told his European audience not to believe what so many people are saying about divisions in America.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I firmly believe that America is not as divided as some have suggested.


PAUL: Back home, in the wake of the ambush that killed five officers in Dallas, the police chief there, David Brown, says he does feel a division.


CHIEF DAVID BROWN, DALLAS POLICE: We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred to our city. All I know is that this -- this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.


PAUL: Coming up on "STATE OF THE UNION", Chief Brown is joining Jake Tapper for his first sit-down interview since those shootings.

Jake is with us now.

So, Jake, I know that Chief Brown has dealt with both sides of police tensions within Dallas. And it was so interesting, you rarely hear a chief of police pleading with people for their support. Did that strike you?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR, "STATE OF THE UNION": It did. I think it's one of the things when President Obama talks about that, there aren't the divisions in the country as many portray it, I think that that's probably true to a lot of Americans. But there are also a lot of Americans, whether they are in communities that have nervousness when police approach or whether you are a policeman or policewoman or a member of a family affiliated with law enforcement, you do feel those very stark divisions.

And somebody like Dallas Police Chief Brown knows that firsthand. His personal story as I'm sure you know is very, very compelling. Not only has he lost a partner and a brother to this kind of violence that we see, but his son was involved in a shootout with police and lost his life after killing a policeman.

So, he knows these divisions firsthand in a very personal and tragic way.

PAUL: Yes. He's one of those people that as soon as he starts speaking, I think we stop and listen. We want to know what else he's going to say.

What else are you talking about on the show?

TAPPER: Well, we'll also sit down with the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton to talk about these divisions in law enforcement and the state of America. These divisions that we're talking about. We'll also talk to the governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, who is reported to be on the list of possible vice presidential nominees for Donald Trump. We have a great panel and we'll so have a special "state of the cartoonion" with Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau, who has a new book out. It's decades-worth of cartoons about one of his favorite subjects, Donald Trump.

PAUL: All righty. Jake Tapper, appreciate it so much. I'm looking forward to the show. Thank you.

TAPPER: Thank you.

PAUL: Sure.

And now, we want to take you back to Dallas with Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Christi, thanks.

As this city mourns the five officers killed, we're going to talk with one of the organizations and one of the leaders of that organization stepping in to support the families here.



[07:48:35] COREY PEGUES, FATHER OF NYPD OFFICER: As a parent of a cop, you're worrying about them all the time. It's a dangerous profession, one of the most dangerous jobs. There's not too many jobs where you know when bullets are being fired, you have to run into it.

I'm always thinking about my daughter and my nephew every day. Any time I hear of a New York City police officer crashing their vehicle or getting shot at, or getting shot, those are the first two calls that I make.

NENA RAMSEY, WIFE AND MOTHER OF LOS ANGELES POLICE OFFICERS: No one wants their child or their significant other to get hurt in the line of duty. But it's just something that, you know, you learn to appreciate every day with them.

SHERRY SUTTON, WIFE OF DALLAS POLICE OFFICER: My husband always tells me he became a police officer to protect the community. And if there ever was a time that he was killed in a line of duty, he did what he wanted to do, is to protect others.

STEVE STRIBLEY, DALLAS POLICE OFFICER: I tell my kids I have a dangerous job and some day I may not come home. I'm a realist. I'm not going to put pink clouds in the sky and tell them that everything is going to be all right.

ANGEL LEON, FATHER OF LOS ANGELES POLICE OFFICER: They've got to pray every single day for that boy. I just pray that everybody else will be thinking about our officers throughout the country.

DANIELLE BOLTON, WIFE OF ENNIS, TEXAS POLICE OFFICER: Most officers are good people and they choose every day to walk away from their families and put their lives on the line every day.

STRIBLEY: I'm here to protect everyone, my children as well as someone else's children.

RAMSEY: There are still good people. There are still good law enforcement officers out there, you know? But I'm proud of my husband and I'm proud of my daughter.


[07:50:03] BLACKWELL: You're hearing from the families there behind these officers who serve us around the country.

You know, as Dallas grieves for the five officers who were killed and the impact of the ambush spreads not just nationally but in some respects globally, a community is left to heal. Well, let's bring in the person who comes in to help that community heal.

Angie Trice, she's the program director for the National Alliance for Law Enforcement Support.

Angie, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: I'm doing well, thank you. And thank you for the work you do.

I want to ask -- once you get in contact with these families and learn more about who they are and what they need, what can your organization offer them? What does your organization offer?

TRICE: We offer them support and resources to help them get through the situations. We also help with care packages. We send things to their families, we send condolence cards, we send anything they really need. But really we're there for the support and give them resources that they need.

BLACKWELL: So, that's the support offered to families in this situation in Dallas. But let me ask you and look at it from a different perspective here. After the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, we heard from the attorney for one of the officers, Jeronimo Yanez, who said his client was saddened from what happened there. We know that in many respects, those officers are hurting here.

Here's the statement. It says, "This tragic incident had nothing to do with race." Instead, a person with a gun. "Regrettably, the use of force became necessary in reacting to the actions of the driver of a stopped vehicle."

He goes on to say that his client, Office Yanez, is deeply saddened for the families and loved ones of Philando Castile.

In those situations, I'm not asking you to comment personally or specifically on the cases and the facts, but does your organization support those officers as well? Do you reach out to them?

TRICE: Yes, we do. We reach out to every officer, no matter what situation they are going through. We'll help him in any situation.


OK. Can you flesh out a bit more, beyond the care packages, what those conversations are like as the members of NALES as the acronym goes, speaks with these families?

TRICE: We will send -- besides the care packages we have a chaplain on call at 24/7 that's willing to help. We have our forum that you can go online, and these officers and their families can talk to other law enforcement families that are going through same situations.

BLACKWELL: You know, when there's a terror attack on civilians in a city, people who are in other cities around the country and around the world stand in solidarity with them. They may donate to a fund to support them, but in most respects, their lives are pretty much the same. I would expect that it would be different for law enforcement families, especially after what we have seen around the country after what happened here in Dallas.

Would you talk to me about that?

TRICE: It is a little bit different. We -- as the wife of an officer, I have to think and we have to think as law enforcement families, are they going to come home to us every day, what are they dealing with on the streets. They not necessarily are going to tell us everything they go through. They might not necessarily want to tell us because it causes us stress even more if they go into depth of what they already go through, because we already know in our minds what they go through. We don't necessarily want to hear the in-depth details.

So it's a little stressful. We try to live a normal life, but in that aspect, it's kind of hard.

BLACKWELL: And it is definitely a difficult job for the officers, and I thank you for explaining. I know your organization used to be Wives Behind the Badge. We did a story with the group there in Durham about a year and a half, two years ago, explaining that the life of a law enforcement spouse is just as difficult.

Angie Trice, thanks so much for being with us this morning.

TRICE: Thank you very much.

BLACKWELL: All right. This tragic incident had everything to do with the presence of a gun and nothing to do with race. That's what some people are saying. Again, that nothing to do with race but the presence of a gun. Regrettably, the use of force became necessary in reacting to the actions of a driver that Philando Castile, again -- sorry -- the statement there from the attorney for the officer who shot and killed Philando Castile.

Christi, I'm going to send it back to you in Atlanta.

PAUL: All righty. Hey, Victor, thank you so much. We have learned so much from you being there in Dallas. And just so taken by the way the memorial behind you has grown and the way the people of Dallas have responded to this.

[07:55:02] And thank you so much for starting your morning with us. It means a lot to us.