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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Protests in Charlotte; News Converence woth Shotting Victim's Family Lawyer; Interview with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott; Trump: Bring Back "Stop & Frisk" Laws. Aired 4-4:30p ET
Aired September 22, 2016 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that the family will ultimately support its release.
But one thing we did learn in the Jonathan Ferrell case and other cases is, these videos don't always hold all the answers, and that everyone needs to reserve judgment until we know all of the facts.
QUESTION: Were arrangements made for the video to be watched by the family today? (OFF-MIKE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
QUESTION: In the moments after the shooting first happened, some members of Mr. Scott's family were adamant he was holding a book. Does the family still maintain that position?
JUSTIN BAMBERG, ATTORNEY FOR SCOTT FAMILY: Yes. Yes.
The individuals who saw this maintain that they saw him holding a book. There are other witnesses who say he didn't have anything. You have law enforcement who says he had a gun.
Part of the problem here is that, any time these things happen, everybody has different viewpoints. Our goal is to get down to the truth, to make sure all of the facts come out and, quite frankly, expand on this conversation in the sense of law enforcement.
Don't release some information. Don't play hide the ball. If you're going to release what happened, release everything. So, there's a lot of different factors to this.
QUESTION: Can I ask you a question?
BAMBERG: Mr. Scott, in speaking with his loved ones, I want you to understand that this man was loved by his family and he loved his family.
He has been married for 20 years. He has seven children. They have a very big family. And they are a close-knit family, OK? It's hard because, when these things happen, we end up in a situation where we're talking about another person that just got shot, but we have to remember that they are human.
And at the appropriate time, you will find out a lot more about who Mr. Scott was, what he meant to his family, what he meant to his community. And that is best to come from those that were closest to him.
BAMBERG: We can't speak on what is here and what is there because there's a lot of things floating around. I personally have seen different photos. I don't know the origins of the photos. And it would be irresponsible of me and, quite frankly, irresponsible of anybody to rush to judgment about what they see.
Pictures pop up online all the time. They come from different sources. We hope, and we will be working to get these answers and know exactly what happened as time goes on.
QUESTION: The police chief has said that a gun was found, plain and simple. What is the direct response to the assertion by the chief?
BAMBERG: Our direct response is this. That is what the chief says.
I haven't seen any evidence. None of you all have seen any evidence that a gun was there. That is what people are saying.
BAMBERG: OK, I can't speak on conversations that anyone has had with the police that I have not had with the police.
QUESTION: Did he have a legal right to possess a gun? Did he own a gun? And did he habitually carry a weapon in his normal course of activities?
BAMBERG: We're still looking into the facts.
My understanding, based on talking with his family, is that he did not own a gun, that he did not habitually carry a gun. And as far as we know, we still don't know if there was or was not a gun even there.
We have -- there are witnesses who are saying that no gun was there. There are witnesses who say that a gun was put there. There are witnesses who say that a gun may have been pulled out of the car or they saw something on the ground beside. There is too much talk.
We're here to get answers and we're not going to deal in skepticisms.
QUESTION: But you are unequivocally saying he did not own a gun?
BAMBERG: As far as we know at this point in time, no, he did not own a handgun.
QUESTION: Did he have a permit?
BAMBERG: I don't know whether he had a permit.
QUESTION: Well, you talk about openness and transparency. Will you commit to us, Mr. Bamberg, that you will address the media after you view the video?
BAMBERG: At this point in time, no, I would be lying if I said I am going to commit to addressing the media after reviewing the video. I can't answer hypotheticals when I have not and we have not had the opportunity to see what's there.
QUESTION: You just stood and stoked the situation by saying he was holding a book again. (OFF-MIKE) Can we not at least setting that issue? And wouldn't that be the greater good for the community?
BAMBERG: At the end of the day, my priority is the greater good of this family first. That has to be understood.
You also have to keep in mind that this concept of transparency, the police shot Mr. Scott. The police are the public servants. He is a citizen. So, this concept of transparency, you know, yes, we want transparency. Yes, we don't create the facts. We live with the facts. OK?
But you can't take the burden that is placed on law enforcement, as sworn officers and public servants, and put that on a deceased person or their family who is in mourning.
But I will say that, upon reviewing what is there, we don't know how many hours of footage there is. And one thing is, we like to speak and answer facts that we know and have seen and not hypothesize.
BAMBERG: Come again, sir?
QUESTION: Will you release a photo of Mr. Scott that we can use?
BAMBERG: Yes, sir, we can do that.
QUESTION: Justin, we have heard repeatedly that Mr. Scott had a disability. Could you describe his disability in detail?
BAMBERG: Mr. Scott was involved in a very bad accident approximately a year ago, suffered some pretty severe bodily injuries, as well as some head trauma in that.
I have not looked at his medical records. That is something that has to be looked at in further detail on our end. But at the end of the day, he was disabled. That is our understanding. And, again, we're still in the early processes of evaluating everything that's there.
And we will take one more question. QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)
BAMBERG: Did anyone in his family witness the shooting?
Yes. It's my understanding that his wife saw him get shot and killed. And that's something that she will never, ever forget.
QUESTION: Has she talked to the chief of police and city officials about this? Have you had conversations with them?
BAMBERG: The extent of the conversation with the public officials here in Charlotte has been our request that we be able to review this video that they have been referencing. They have been responsive.
And, as I say, when we leave here, we will be moving forward to review that video later this afternoon.
BAMBERG: Yes, my name is JUSTIN BAMBERG.
QUESTION: Can you spell that?
BAMBERG: J-U-S-T-I-N B-A-M-B-E-R-G.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
You have been listening to Justin Bamberg and other lawyers representing the family of Keith Lamont Scott. Mr. Scott was the African-American man killed by an African-American cop on Tuesday afternoon.
The attorneys, as you just heard, called for peaceful protests. They said they do not condone the rioting or violence in the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, which has, of course, been rocking that town. And the city is now under a state of emergency.
Let's get right to Ryan Young, who is in uptown Charlotte, where we saw the protests and riots last night.
Ryan, the family's lawyers said very specifically that they hope Mr. Scott's family can see whatever video the police have of this deadly incident later this afternoon.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's what they have been saying all day.
I can tell you, Jake, as we have been here, everyone has been asking us and saying, when are we going to see this video? Social media has been doing a lot of the work out here saying the video doesn't exist or that there was a gun was placed there.
You heard some of that. And the attorney was talking about there were witnesses who were putting out other stories, other narratives besides what the police department is saying. There are a lot of people who are saying now, prove it.
And that is what is adding to the fuel. Had another young man pull us aside and say, look, if they don't show us this video, we're going to come back tonight. You have people who are using that sort of language who are walking around the streets of Charlotte.
As we have stood here, so far, it's been calm. We actually have seen people helping others clean up, even at this business behind us. But I can tell you, as tonight focuses down, people want to know what's on that video.
YOUNG (voice-over): A city on edge after protesters erupted a second night.
KERR PUTNEY, CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG, NORTH CAROLINA, POLICE CHIEF: We're not going to tolerate the behavior.
YOUNG: Charlotte's police chief saying they're reviewing the footage.
PUTNEY: I do not believe we have all the criminal suspects to charge with various crimes at this point, and we will not rest until we bring all people to justice.
YOUNG: And the city is preparing for what could be another night of protests. The National Guard arrived this morning to provide support to the city's overtaxed police force.
GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Primarily, their responsibility is to help protect the buildings and other structures in and around the Charlotte area, so the police department here can do their job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are we standing with the Scott family?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
YOUNG: Wednesday night began with a peaceful protest in front of police headquarters.
Later that night, community emotions escalated to violence around 8:00 p.m. and continued through the night, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: I came out here to support, and they rushed me.
YOUNG: In all, 44 people were arrested, businesses looted, cars smashed, tear gas deployed by police, hitting our Boris Sanchez.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh. OK. They clearly want us out of here.
YOUNG: And our Ed Lavandera attacked by a protester during a live report.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Someone taking out their frustrations on me.
YOUNG: The protester later apologized. Today, police and residents gathered to start to clean up their city.
BRITTANY BOSWELL, CHARLOTTE RESIDENT: Tons of people were out here last night doing what they do. Now people are out here today doing what we do. I just want to do what I can for anybody. It's not just one side.
YOUNG: While the city has yet to announce if there will be a curfew tonight, they say they are monitoring the situation.
JENNIFER ROBERTS (D), MAYOR OF CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA: I want to reiterate the city is open for business today. Our transit system is running. Our businesses are open. Our Center City is here to welcome you.
YOUNG: Jake, we went around and counted the businesses affected. We believe we saw seven in total. So, it gives you an idea of the scope.
It looks like it was spread out, but it wasn't that big of an area. So, something to really stress right now is, people said they want to know more, especially as it gets closer to dark. We know the National Guard is going to be brought in to kind of protect some businesses. But people will be watching -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Ryan Young, thank you so much.
The violence in Charlotte and what the only black Republican in the U.S. Senate thinks about that and much more, we will have that interview next.
[16:15:44] JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
We're going to continue now with the national lead. We just heard live from attorneys speaking for the family of Keith Lamont Scott, he is the African-American man killed by an African-American police officer on Tuesday. Family attorneys say that Scott decidedly did not have a gun. That obviously conflicts with what police are saying. They say Scott did have a weapon.
The city of Charlotte meanwhile is bracing for more protests and riots this evening.
Joining me now, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott. He is the only African-American Republican in the Senate.
Senator, thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate it. SEN. TIM SCOTT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: It's good to be back on the show.
Thanks for having me.
TAPPER: So, in response to the Charlotte shooting, you reiterated your call for more police body cameras nationwide.
It's interesting. The shooting was Tuesday. Here we are two days later. The video, the dash-cam video, has still not been released and there are -- there is -- there are a lot of members of the community that are now wondering why it hasn't been released. I wonder if you think, shouldn't more body cameras be also paired requirement of transparency?
SCOTT: Well, the good news is, if we had a body camera on the officer, there's no question that we would have greater clarity going forward to what actually happened. As it relates to the timing of the release, the lavatories (ph) of democracies, 7,000-plus agencies throughout the country, will come up with better policies. The closer we get to having those body cameras on the officers, the more likely we are to have a better understanding and appreciation of the release.
I'm not a law enforcement officer, so I'm not going to (AUDIO GAP) their approach to releasing the video. We've seen different agencies do it in different timing. I will say, however, that the releasing of the video can defuse some of the tension if what we see on the video is helpful.
TAPPER: Yes, exactly. In fact, you can't help but compare what happened in Charlotte to what happened in Tulsa this week. In Tulsa, smaller, more peaceful crowds. That city has also tried to be as transparent as possible. They released two videos of the shooting of Terence Crutcher as soon as they could.
I know they're completely different situations, but it would seem to suggest, more transparency suggests to the community that they care and they take it more seriously.
SCOTT: Jake, I can't and won't speak on the intentions of each community's heart or the law enforcement officers' involved in the process. I will say, however, that it is clear that the Oklahoma situation is, on surface, significantly worse than the first reports coming out of Charlotte. But one of the things that helped the Oklahoma situation and helped in Charleston when we've had some challenging situations is once that video was out, there was an opportunity for the community to come together with law enforcement and create a path going forward.
Part of the pain and the suffering that happens without clarity is that people jump to conclusions, and sometimes it's the wrong conclusion. So, the faster the information gets to the surface, the more information that provides clarity, hopefully, the greater the calm will be.
But there is never a reason for violence in response to a situation. Violence for violence only begets more violence. This is the wrong direction and the wrong path. TAPPER: Let's talk about this opportunity coalition. You and a group
of fellow Republicans launching this effort to address prosperity in America. For your part, you proposed legislation specifically to give incentives to those who invest in areas of poverty such as pockets in Charlotte.
How would your legislation change what's going on in these communities, do you think?
SCOTT: One of the things I would hope that I could do is bring my own personal story and the personal impact that people that came in and provided assistance to me to the surface. A kid growing up in a single-parent household, not doing very well in school, disillusioned and hopeless.
Hope is a very important ingredient to defusing the situation. My legislation would provide significant resources, capital gains somewhere above $1 trillion, to be redirected into communities that are in distress, providing more jobs, more opportunities.
[16:20:04] And it would be a private sector-focused initiative that would not require a single additional employee in the government, but it would provide more employment opportunities in the community. When I sit down with community groups, Trey Gowdy and myself are going throughout South Carolina meeting with local law enforcement and local community leaders -- jobs, training, skills, education. These are the issues that community leaders continue to bring up beyond the issue of law enforcement.
We're going to improve the interactions with law enforcement and the community leaders in my state, but I understand that the foundation for success starts with the sense of significance, your ability to contribute to your community. So, we're going to try to deal with both paths. They're parallel paths. And I think we can do both at the same time.
TAPPER: And there's broader issues obviously, incredibly important. But in terms of law enforcement, there's -- you can't escape the fact that there is a community versus police climate in so many parts of the country right now.
TAPPER: In Charlotte, this city alone, the city's had six police- involved shootings, all ultimately ruled justified. You recently held a roundtable between police and black communities in South Carolina. Do you feel like both sides are listening to the other?
SCOTT: That is a challenge. The challenge is to stop talking and start listening and do not listen waiting for your turn to talk.
I have seen a remarkable thing occur in South Carolina. It is folks first establishing rapport and credibility. And then transparency is happening, trust is built, and then we get to the source of the problem. You cannot rush that conversation. We've tried to rush it over the
last 40 or 50 years. We have not made enough progress, but we have made significant progress. Both sides need to take a step back, sit down at the table, and figure out what the issues are.
TAPPER: The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, recently said he would like to bring back stop-and-frisk as a policy, as I am sure you know, a federal judge said that that policy was unconstitutional because it targeted minority young men in a way that was unfair and contrary to the Constitution.
What did you think of that, sir?
SCOTT: Well, I am glad he has started the process of walking back those comments. The reality of it is you don't have to violate the Constitution to keep communities safe. We're seeing an increasing and an improvement in public life, in quality of life in South Carolina because we've figured out how to work together.
We still have issues. We still have challenges, but we're working in the right direction. The reality is that you don't have to violate someone's rights to keep the community safe.
TAPPER: Senator Tim Scott, it's always a pleasure to have you on the show. Thank you so much for being here.
SCOTT: Yes, sir. Have a good day.
TAPPER: As Senator Scott and I just talked about, a federal judge has ruled that stop-and-frisk is unconstitutional, but that is not stopping Donald Trump from saying it's how he would try to prevent deadly cop shootings and violence and riots such as the ones in Tulsa and Charlotte. Or did he mean something else? That story next.
[16:27:25] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. More on our politics lead now.
The chaos in Charlotte and the tragedy in Tulsa have thrust race and policing back into the political spotlight. And Donald Trump has responded by saying bring back stop-and-frisk laws in which police can stop anyone at any time if officers consider them suspicious and check them for a weapon or any other illicit item. It's a policy New York City ended after it was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge since in practice it tended to focus on minorities.
CNN political reporter Sara Murray is in Pittsburgh where Trump delivered a speech just hours ago.
And, Sara, Trump's campaign is now trying to clarify saying that the Republican nominee was only talking about bringing back stop-and-frisk specifically for the city of Chicago.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: That's right. They're saying it was targeted to Chicago. Here in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump made no mention of his controversial call to bring back stop-and-frisk. But he did express concern about the unrest that we're seeing in North Carolina and says no one has a right to disrupt public safety.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We need a national anti-crime agenda to make our cities safe again.
MURRAY (voice-over): Amid turmoil in North Carolina, Donald Trump is declaring crime in America's cities a national crisis.
TRUMP: Our country looks bad to the world, especially when we are supposed to be the world's leader. How can we lead when we can't even control our own cities?
MURRAY: Today, the GOP nominee is vowing to bring together law enforcement officials to dismantle gangs and international cartels and blaming the violence in places like Charlotte on drugs flowing across the southern border.
TRUMP: If you're not aware, drugs are a very, very big factor in what you're watching on television at night.
MURRAY: Trump even arguing it's time to bring back the controversial stop-and-frisk strategy which a federal judge ruled was unconstitutional in 2013.
TRUMP: I see what's going on here, I see what's going on in Chicago. I think stop-and-frisk -- in New York City, it was so incredible the way it worked.
MURRAY: Today, Trump and his campaign are clarifying the program would be specifically targeted at Chicago.
TRUMP: I was really referring to Chicago with stop-and-frisk.
MURRAY: But while Trump touts the program's success in New York, statistics tell a different story. It predominantly targeted minorities. And a report from the New York attorney general shows just 3 percent of stop-and-frisk stop resulted in convictions from 2009 to 2012. And in more than 5 million stop-and-frisk stops, police recovered guns 0.02 percent of the time.
Trump's call for reviving the controversial practice coming just days after he spoke favorably about racial profiling.