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CNN NEWSROOM

Report: Chicago Police Speak on Torture Video, Hate Crime; Black Lawmakers Vow Fight on Trump Sessions Nomination. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired January 5, 2017 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[15:30:00] EDDIE JOHNSON, POLICE SUPERINTENDENT, CHICAGO: Deplorable acts committed on social media against an adult male with mental challenges. I made a point to have them fully responsible for their actions also very public that we would conduct a methodical investigation including whether or not this incident would be considered a hate crime. Let me be very clear, the actions in that video are reprehensible. That alone with racism have absolutely no place in the city of Chicago or anywhere else for that matter against anyone regardless of their race, gender state of mental health or any other identifying factor.

There was never a question whether or not this incident qualified to be investigated as a hate crime, but as I said yesterday, we needed to base the investigation based on facts and not emotion. I'm pleased to announce that the investigation has concluded and charges have been approved by the Cook County state's attorney by hate crimes, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated restraint and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Three of the offenders have been charged with residential burglary and one has also been charged with robbery and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. As police officers, we took an oath to be guardians of the peace. Here to protect every citizen. Because of it, the offenders in this case were apprehended due to the good police work by 11 officers standing behind me and thankfully the victim in this incident will recover from his injuries. I am going to ask Kevin Duffin to relay a timeline in this case.

KEVIN DUFFIN, POLICE COMMANDER, CHICAGO: Thank you. Our victim was dropped off on the 31st of December at the McDonald's at Streamwood. With one of the offenders, it was under the premise that he would be spending tonight and his parents didn't look for him until the next day, they subsequently reported him missing in stream wood. Jordan Hill goes and steals a van in Streamwood. He then picks up our victim who has no knowledge it is stolen, assumes it is Jordan's they drive to the west side of Chicago where they basically are driving around and visiting friends for the next two days. The victim sleeps in the van on the morning of the 3rd they go to the address on Lexington which is where two of the other three offenders reside, the two sisters, and then about several hours later, that's when they bind him and start the assault on him. He is able to escape when a downstairs neighbor calls the police complaining of all the noise upstairs. The police respond and the two female offenders now go downstairs, they're angry that the police were called, kick in the door of that apartment hence they are both charged with the burglary. That gives our victim an opportunity to get out and then he's observed walking down the street by our 11th district officers Michael Donnelly will explain how they happened upon him. Thank you.

MICHAEL DONNELLY, CHICAGO POLICE: We observed our victim, walking with Jordan Hill, which I noticed him walking with jeans, a t-shirt with sandals on, he was bloodied and battered and due to the cold weather conditions.

[15:35:00] I approached him to talk to him and at the time he didn't seem like -- he was discombobulated and confused at which time I called an ambulance. I left him with two other officers to continue my investigation. It was learned that he was missing from Streamwood Illinois at which time we put the pieces of the puzzle together for what we have right now.

JOHNSON: We'll take questions now if you have any questions.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What do you understand the reason for the motive? Why did they do this?

KEVIN DUFFIN: It appears the fight prior to him being bound, tied up and assaulted, the victim tells us he got into a play fight with Jordan and it escalated from there. The two female offenders then -- who are obviously, you can see on video that they're smoking cigars which we presume to be blunts. They then get aggravated at him and that's when they tie him up and when the racial slurs and you know the deference to his mental capacity starts coming out. That's primarily one of the reasons they were charged with the hate crime.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Any premeditation?

DUFFIN: I believe it escalated. There was certainly no premeditation between Jordan and him when the initial fight broke out.

UNIDENTIFIED reporter: Did that in any way influence him being targeted?

DUFFIN: No.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What is the relation between the women? Are they sisters?

DUFFIN: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What is the initial connection between Jordan Hill and the victim?

DUFFIN: They are acquaintances they attended school together in Aurora.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Had they gone out often or hung out before?

DUFFIN: They have hung out occasionally before, not frequently.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: When was the last time he had any contact with -- before today?

DUFFIN: I can't answer. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And there seemed to be confusion that the

victim's family is saying when the police came he was able to escape and that's when they found him, so there seems to be confusion when he was seen walking on the street, can you explain that for us?

DUFFIN: The police were called, the two female offenders know that the -- apparently, the downstairs neighbor came up and said if you don't knock off the noise I'm going to call the police, they go downstairs, mad at her and start kicking her door in. I believe your call was -- criminal damage to property was the assignment.

[15:40:00] That's when he has his opportunity to get out.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What time?

DONNELLY: About 5:15.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What day?

DUFFIN: Tuesday evening.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What's the relationship of the four people who are charged?

DUFFIN: Well, the two girls are sisters and they're just acquaintances of the other two.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Boyfriend connection with any of them?

DUFFIN: No.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The bar for a hate crime is really high, what specifically are you looking at that really raises it to that?

DUFFIN: Well, again, his diminished mental capacity. The fact that they tied him up. The obvious racial quotes on that they post live on Facebook, taken the totality of the circumstances the state's attorney agreed with us we sought hate crime charges and they agreed.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Just to be clear you had mentioned mental capacity. Was that the impetus or the strong point of the hate crime or was it the racial comments?

DUFFIN: A half dozen of one, six of the other.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have any insight into why they streamed this live on Facebook publicize this as they did?

DUFFIN: I can't understand why anybody puts anything on Facebook.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you confirm or describe the attempts the assailants made to extort money or ransom from the victim's family? How did they contact the parents or any details there?

DUFFIN: No.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But there was an extortion attempt?

DUFFIN: I'm not exactly positive on that. The two detectives that have worked this case solid since Tuesday night, they literally passed out this morning they were so tired. So, I didn't want to wake them up to ask that question before walking in here.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But there are reports of extortion?

DUFFIN: Yes. But I don't know the exact circumstances behind it.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are the suspects saying anything about I'm sorry for doing it?

DUFFIN: No.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The residential burglary charge a little bit more?

DUFFIN: I'm sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you explain the residential burglary a little bit more?

DUFFIN: When the downstairs neighbor told them I'm going to call the police if you don't knock off all that noise, the two came down and started breaking her door in, hence, it's forcible entry.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is he hospitalized?

DUFFIN: He's in his parents' custody presumably out at his residence.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Where is he from?

DUFFIN: Crystal Lake.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How long was he in that apartment?

DUFFIN: It appears he was in that physical position tied up in the corner for about four or five hours.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Of course, the video shows us a small window of time. Anything else that was happening to him? We see what's in the video, but what else has happened to him that perhaps we don't know about?

DUFFIN: We have no other video but the statements of the four of them that they admit they were beating him, kicking him, they were making him drink toilet water and then obviously, the video where they're cutting a piece of his scalp.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You say he might have been held hostage a solid 24 to 48 hours, can you give us a better timeline?

DUFFIN: He was with Jordan from last Friday, the actual -- but you have to realize the first two days he's with him voluntarily riding around in a van he thinks is Jordan's. It's not until they get to the apartment on Lexington and even then several hours later before the fight breaks down and they tie him up. So, he was at least with Jordan since Friday but the actual assault and kidnapping and crimes took place over a six-hour period on the 3rd.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Friday or Saturday?

DUFFIN: What was new-year's eve? I'm sorry Saturday I miss spoke, Saturday.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did any of the offenders sleep in that particular apartment?

DUFFIN: The two females were there, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What day did you say the assault actually happened?

DUFFIN: January 3rd.

[15:45:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: OK. Wow. Here is the deal, this young man, this victim was essentially dropped off at this McDonald's and his friend, nice friend, picks him up in a stolen van, drives him around town the next couple of days ends up with sisters in some apartment where they tie him up, scalp him, force him to drink toilet water. You heard the details of the news conference, and the hate crimes racially motivated and also because he's physically and mentally motivated by all of the above. Joey joins me live. So, so many thoughts then the fact that the sisters decided to commit a crime on the way out, burglarizing the woman downstairs.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: First, as a person, where has humanity gone?

BALDWIN: Thank you.

JACKSON: And are we doing with our young people? What could we do to set a better example so this doesn't occur, from the legal system, there's punishment, deterrent and rehabilitation. Certainly, I think the degree of punishment because what was inflicted on that victim is going to be forthcoming for the defendants, as things are happening with technology that we haven't seen before. People are putting crimes --

BALDWIN: I want to show everyone on Facebook.

JACKSON: And I think we'll see a legislative response to this.

BALDWIN: The law hasn't caught up.

JACKSON: It has not. How could this possibly be proper but I think if something comes out of this as good that I always like to look at, that something good could come, if we look at the deterrent value to say and suggest it isn't right and shouldn't happen that's a deterrent and perhaps there's some redeeming quality in these four youths in the 18-year-olds and 24-year-old will be take into consideration by the system. But it's such a disturbing story to talk about that a person can lack such humanity and that's why you have this significant charges they're facing right now.

BALDWIN: Unreal. Unreal.

JACKSON: To say the least.

BALDWIN: Next year just in African American lawmakers on Capitol Hill vowing to fight Donald Trump next week, hear why. We're back in 90 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: A futuristic car is getting a lot of buzz at the consumer electronics show in Vegas, it says it can go 380 miles on a single charge. It can go from zero to 60 in 2.39 seconds.

[15:50:00] Facial recognition unlocks the car, forget the key and a driverless valet feature will park the car for you, but executives did hit a snag trying to demonstrate one of its features on stage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICK SAMPSON, SVP OF R&D AND ENGINEERING, FARADAY FUTURE: OK, it seems like it's a little bit -- uh, lazy tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: OK. Not quite sure what they were trying to do, but "any hoo". Construction at a production facility in Nevada -- don't laugh -- has been put on pause but the company says the vehicle will ship by 2018.

Moving onto Washington here, just into here at CNN. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are speaking out against Senator Jeff Sessions ahead of his confirmation hearing next week. The Alabama lawmaker is Trump's pick for attorney general.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM CLYBURN, REPRESENTATIVE, SOUTH CAROLINA: He was turned down by the Senate to be a federal judge from the state of Alabama. Now he's being nominated to take over the vetting process of all federal judges. His record is still there and very clear. And we would be derelict in our duties and responsibilities to our constituents if we did not make it clear to all senators and to the public that his nomination to be the attorney general of the United States is very problematic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: This upcoming hearing for Senator Sessions has been a showdown 30 years in the making after these alleged racial comments he made decades ago. This goes back to 1986 where Jeff Sessions was a U.S. attorney, where Ronald Reagan nominated him to serve as attorney judge. Sessions had called someone boy on several occasions and cautioned him to "be careful what you say to white folks." that same attorney also testified about a time Sessions said he said aloud that he thought the KKK was "OK" until I found out they smoked pot.

Then and now Senator Sessions vehemently denies each and every one of those allegations and just yesterday outside of his Senate office, his office down in Mobile, Alabama, members of the local and national NAACP were taken into custody here after staging protests. So, two voices here on both sides of this. William Smith served as chief counsel when Sessions was a ranking member of the Senate judiciary committee. He is currently chief of staff for Congressman Gary Palmer.

Solomon Jones, author, radio host for the Philadelphia News Daily -- Daily News, I should say. Thank you for being with me. William, I want to go to you first because you know him. You've known him for decades. As we said, this is a man who did not become a federal judge because of these alleged comments. Tell me about the Jeff Sessions you know.

WILLIAM SMITH, SESSION'S FORMER CHIEF COUNSEL: The Jeff Sessions I know is a nice guy. He's a man who is honest. He has great character. He's a man who has never had any racial animus inside of his body. He is a man who carries himself well. He loves people. He's a man who has -- has fought for several rights throughout his career. All these innuendos that keep coming up are just false. You would think after 30 years they would come up with something new. They haven't found anything new after 30 years. They're going back to witnesses who have been discredited and it's a shame.

BALDWIN: Solomon, how do you feel?

SOLOMON JONES, RADIO HOST, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS: I feel like they don't need to come up with anything new because these allegations are still there. If everybody is wrong except for Mr. Smith then so be it, but I don't think so. I don't think that when you look at his record on voting rights, Mr. Sessions is somebody who is not good for the black community or for people of color at all. And I don't think that when you look at his record on race that he is good for people of color. Now, I know Mr. Smith likes him. I know that he like --

SMITH: You haven't studied his record on race.

JONES: Tribute to him on 2005. Let's go through his record on race.

SMITH: I'd be happy to do that. Can I have an opportunity to speak?

JONES: They have not been disproven yet. The only one saying --

BALDWIN: Go ahead, William. I want to you interject and talk to me about his --

SMITH: Can I talk to you about those allegations from 1986? So, if you look at the two witnesses who testified before the judiciary committee in 1986, what happened after they testified, they had to write letters to the judiciary committee apologizing saying I'm sorry we lied at our testimony. If you look at the Perry County case that Mr. Jones mentioned, if you look at the Perry County case, the witnesses -- defendants in the Perry County case, all of them offered to plead guilty to at least one crime.

BALDWIN: What about --

[15:55:00] SMITH: Witnesses testified, five witnesses testified that they had ballots that were changed, that they had not approved to be changed. These people were stuffing the ballot box. There was direct evidence of it. Jeff Sessions didn't bring this case. African Americans in Alabama came to Jeff Sessions and said, hey, we're being disenfranchised, can you do this for us, can you protect our vote? Jeff Sessions was trying protect the African-American vote. That's his record on civil rights.

BALDWIN: The last word, respond to that.

JONES: His record on voting rights is simply this. He is somebody who has said that the voting rights act is not necessary. He's somebody who has stood up against voting rights for African-Americans and for others. And I think he's right in line with what Donald Trump is saying. Donald Trump thanked African-Americans for not voting. So --

SMITH: He voted for the voting rights act. Where are your facts? He voted for the voting rights act.

JONES: Again, he spoke against the voting rights act.

SMITH: He voted for it.

JONES: That is something that is problematic for the black community and we will stand up against it.

SMITH: When Mr. Jones has some facts, you should invite him back.

BALDWIN: Facts matter. We'll hear it all. The confirmation hearings happen next week. I appreciate you both.

All on Senator Jeff Sessions, will he, won't he be confirmed. Back after a quick break after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: Dallas is known as the convention city. 4 million travel here for business every year including me. But on this business trip I am determined not to leave without a true Texas experience.

I'm Vanessa Yurkevich.

CHRIS MOODY, CNN DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Chris Moody. We travel a ton for work and so do you.

YURKEVICH: But you can still get in a bit of adventure before you have to hop back on that plane. Before check out, here's a quick tip. Hotel status means bigger perks and you can get there quicker by doing a hotel status challenge. Get to gold or platinum by staying a set amount of nights in just a couple of weeks or months instead of a year. Now with the little time I have left, this city slicker is going to be a Texas cow girl for the day.

I'm herding cattle, y'all. I found Beaumont Ranch just 30 minutes outside the city. Spencer Allen is taking me on a two-hour long horn cattle drive.

SPENCER ALLEN, COWBOY: I have taken out some different executives from companies that, be riding behind us on the phone the whole time.

YURKEVICH: Taking business calls on the phone while they're moving the cattle down the road. At least they're sort of getting out here.

ALLEN: Right, they're out in the country and getting to experience a bit of Texas.

YURKEVICH: What's the most important thing about cattle ranching when you're moving cattle?

ALLEN: What I watch out for is I don't let the cows get behind me. I don't want them to run by, scare the horse. And the other big thing like is you don't want to get between a ma and a baby.

YURKEVICH: They don't have this in New York.

ALLEN: Yes, any of the big cities, most of them don't have anything like this anywhere close by. It's a pretty unique thing to Texas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[16:00:00] BALDWIN: Vanessa, thank you for that. I'm Brooke Baldwin in New York. Thank you so much for being here with me on this Thursday. We're going to send it to Washington, D.C. now.