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Tribute to Pour in to Murdered Rapper Nipsey Hussle; Colorado Statehouse Passed Red Flag Bill Now on Way to Governor's Desk; Colorado Sheriff Says He Won't Enforce Red Flag Law; Sen. Ben Cardin (D) of Maryland Discusses Democrats' Request for Full Mueller Report, Trump's Threat to Close Border, Cutting Aid to Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired April 1, 2019 - 13:30   ET



[13:31:57] DANA BASH, CNN HOST: Tributes are pouring in for Grammy- nominated rapper, Nipsey Hussle. He was shot multiple times in broad daylight outside his clothing store in Los Angeles. He later died of his injuries. Two others were also shot but are recovering.

Nipsey Hussle tweeted this just moments before the shooting, "Having strong enemies is a blessing."

Nick Watt is in Los Angeles with more on this.

First, Nick, what do we know about the investigation and any leads on potential shooter or shooters?

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The latest that we're hearing, Dana, is LAPD is lacking for a black male in his early 20s, looking for one person. They are right now scouring through social media, looking at security camera footage from the area, interviewing witnesses to try and hone down that manhunt.

Now you mentioned that tweet that was sent just at 2:52 Pacific time. About half an hour after that is when the LAPD got reports of gunfire in the parking lot outside that store owned by Nipsey Hussle. And then Nipsey Hussle was pronounced dead one hour and three minutes after sending that tweet.

Now, he was supposed to be meeting today with the LAPD, with the chief and others, to discuss gang violence. He was, he said on Facebook, a devout member himself of the Rolling 60s Crips. But this was an intelligent man, an articulate man, and a man with a social conscience.

As Pharrell Williams tweeted, "You were about something positive and for your community and every chance you had to speak. And because of that, you inspired millions."

He was a Grammy-nominated artist, best album of 2018. And my colleague, Stephanie Elam, spoke to him back on the red carpet at the Grammy's back in February. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm having everyone look at the camera and say their names.

NIPSEY HUSSLE, RAP ARTIST: OK. Nipsey Hussle, the great. Make sure you add "the great." Yes. You know, it's my debut album so it's really like a dream honestly. As an artist and somebody growing up and loving music, you hope you can get acknowledgement at the highest level. Launching my debut album, 2018, was loaded with great rap releases. I'm just excited, you know, inspired to keep work being, humbled, all those things.


WATT: He was just 33 years old and leaves his partner of five years, actress and model, Laura London, and their young son -- Dana?

BASH: It's so sad. Beyond sad. And obviously, we'll be getting back to you as you learn more, as investigators learn more about who did this.

Nick, thanks so much for that report.

[13:34:37] And a new bill in one state would give authorities the power to take the guns away from people who may be a risk. And now a local sheriff disagrees so much with it he says he's willing to go to jail rather than enforce it. He'll tell us why, up next.


BASH: Moments ago, a controversial new Red Flag Bill was passed by the Colorado statehouse and it's on its way to the governor's desk. The bill aims to temporarily seize guns from people who are deemed to be a threat to themselves or to others.

Scott McLean explains how it works.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In December 2017, Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Zach Parrish responded to his final call.


ZACH PARRISH, FORMER SHERIFF'S DEPUTY: He's out. I'm going. Cover me!


PARRISH: Cover me.

MCLEAN: The 29-year-old was shot and killed by a man with an arsenal of weapons who authorities said had a history of bizarre behavior, including threats to the police. (GUNFIRE)

[13:40:11] MCLEAN: Since then, his former boss, Sheriff Tony Spurlock, has been a vocal advocate of a new bill in the Colorado legislature

that will allow a family member, roommate or law enforcement to petition a judge to seize the guns of a person deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. Fourteen other states have passed similar so-called Red Flag laws.

(on camera): Do you think that this bill had it had law would have saved Zach Parrish's life?


MCLEAN: Alec Garnett is the top House Democrat in Colorado where his party holds the governor's house and majorities in both chambers. Republicans don't have enough votes to stand in the way. But the bill Garnett has co-sponsored has prompted plenty of pushback from outside the capital. More than half of all Colorado counties officially oppose it. Many have declared themselves sanctuary counties, not for immigration, but for guns, promising not to devote resources to enforce the law.

And despite its sheriff's backing, even Douglas County passed a resolution opposing the bill.

TONY SPURLOCK, SHERIFF, DOUGLAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Why would you tell a law enforcement officer that you could not enforce a law because they didn't like it? That's craziness.

ROGER PARTRIDGE, (R), DOUGLAS COUNTY COMMISSIONER: We're putting a line in the sand for what we believe right now is supporting the constitutional law.


BASH: That was our Scott McLean reporting.

Now, Weld County, Colorado, Sheriff Steve Reams, who says he's so opposed to this bill that he's not going to enforce it.

And thank you, first of all, for joining me, Sheriff.

What about this bill bothers you so much that, if and when it becomes law, and it looks like it's going to be rather soon, you say you would rather go to jail than enforce it?

STEVE REAMS, SHERIFF, WELD COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, COLORADO: Well, this bill is unlike any other Red Flag Bill that's been enacted anywhere in the United States, in that it allows someone's firearms to be taken away in an ex-parte manner so the person who is having their firearms taken away doesn't get to appeal in court at that initial hearing. That takes due process and turns it upside down. And that's just one of many issues with this bill, but I think that's the most flagrant one. And that's why I'm saying I would rather -- I would rather risk violating a court order than I would violating someone's constitutional rights.

BASH: I want to get to the constitutional rights that you're talking about and the details of this in a second. But just broadly, is someone is so potentially dangerous to themselves or someone else, and they have a weapon, you think they should be left alone because they could be potentially dangerous if they get angry, that their weapon is taken away? That's what you said. Can you help me understand that?

REAMS: Well, that isn't what I said. What I've said all along is we need to figure out how to treat with the person. We deal with this daily in law enforcement. This is the criminalization of mentally ill persons. They are being pushed over into the law enforcement realms because there's not a treatment plan out there or a treatment program for many of these people to go to. So when they are deemed to have a mental illness or a mental health concern, oftentimes, law enforcement is the last ones to deal with them. And in my mind, going in and having a confrontation with someone to take their firearms but not deal with a person just creates an even bigger issue. I talked about many different ways that our mental-health-hold statue here in Colorado could be modified and corrected to help fix this issue or help better address this issue, but that didn't have any interest. Again, this is the bill that came from the legislature.

BASH: You talk about the due process issues that you say you have with this bill. If anyone raises a red flag about somebody, they still have to petition a judge before the guns can be taken away. Why isn't that good enough?

REAMS: That is correct. Well, a person does have to petition a judge, and that happens in many types of different hearings. The issue is the person who is having their guns potentially confiscated isn't aware of this hearing taking place. They -- they find out about the hearing after the fact, so they don't have a chance to -- to cross-examine their accusers or witnesses. They don't have a chance to plead their case. So the terminology that's been used is they are guilty until proven innocent. And while this isn't a criminal charge, people understand that -- that, fundamentally, that their right is taken away and then they have to come back and prove that they shouldn't have their rights stripped.

BASH: If that was changed, would you support this? Meaning, just broadly as a law enforcement officer, do you feel that if there's a law written that has the due process safeguards that you're talking about, wouldn't you want to have security and be assured that people who have red flags, mental health issues, should not have a gun? I mean, so many of these killings that we've seen across the country, mass shootings, afterwards, we've heard, oh, well, what about this red flag or that red flag, and there weren't the means or the laws on the books to address that.

[13:45:24] REAMS: So I think the proper way to deal with this would be to address the mental-health-hold law here in the state of Colorado. Do I think this Red Flag Bill could be modified in a way that would at least provide with some level of due process or give some level of due process? Yes. I think the bill that was introduced last year was much more in line with that. Again, I wasn't necessarily in favor of that bill either because it still didn't address the mental health issue. And that's truly where the focus needs to be. I understand this seems to be an easier mechanism. But we really need to address the true concern, and that's to what you stated, that's dealing with these people that have an obvious mental illness or they are exhibiting signs that they are going to do harm to others, especially in mass -- in these mass casualty events. Oftentimes, there are warning signs. But if you give us a tool where we can actually treat the person and not just take away a tool, I think that goes a lot farther to fixing the end problem than it does in kicking the can down the road.

BASH: All right. Well, this is, obviously -- as it heads to the governor's desk, this is probably going to be just the beginning of a national conversation based on what we're seeing where you are in Colorado.

Sheriff Steve Reams, thanks so much for joining me. I appreciate it.

REAMS: Thanks for having me on.

BASH: And more on the developing news from Washington. A whistleblower says security clearances were denied for more than two dozen officials, but the White House approved them anyway.

Plus, Democrats are gearing up to authorize a subpoena for the full unredacted Mueller report. What's next in the showdown, after this.


[13:51:30] BASH: A top Democrats is raising the stakes in the fight to see the full Mueller report. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Jerry Nadler, is preparing a subpoena for the full unredacted report. The move comes one day before the deadline set by Democrats for the attorney general to provide the report to Congress.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, of Maryland, is with me now.

And, Senator, what do you make of Chairman Nadler's threat?

SEN. BEN CARDIN, (D), MARYLAND: Dana, first, it's good to be with you.

It's important the report is released not just to Congress but the American people. We need to understand exactly how these conclusions were reached in regard to collusion and obstruction of justice. It's important also in defending our country against further attacks from Russia on our election system and other democratic institutions. It's incumbent upon Mr. Barr to get this report to Congress as quickly as possible.

BASH: But, Senator, the attorney general has said he expects to make a redacted version of the report public by mid-April. In a couple weeks, if not sooner. So are the Democrats pushing a little bit too hard here given the political situation or is it for political reasons?

CARDIN: Well, as you know, we have a summary of the report almost immediately upon it being presented to the attorney general. It's important that this report be released as quickly as possible. We certainly understand there may be certain sections, such as grand jury testimony or dealing with individuals that are not public officials that were not indicted, that type of information we understand being redacted.

BASH: Right.

CARDIN: But we are concerned that the principle information is made available to Congress.

BASH: But is preparing a subpoena and announcing it, when the attorney general says it's already going to come in a couple weeks, jumping the gun on the Democrat's part?

CARDIN: Well, you know, it takes time for a subpoena to be executed and issued, et cetera. If we wait a couple weeks and there's a couple more weeks and a couple more weeks and a couple more weeks -- it's important this report be released as quickly as possible. And I hope we can reach an agreement with the attorney general for the release of the report as soon as possible.

BASH: Maybe it's a negotiating tactic?

CARDIN: I think the bottom line is that it's important that the report be released.


CARDIN: We don't want to release a month from now. We don't want to release two months from now. It's important that the report get released.

BASH: OK. I want to quickly turn to what's happening at the southern border and the president's threat to close the southern border. Also his decision to cut aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The administration says those countries could do more to ease what is a humanitarian crisis at the border. What do you think about the approach and, more importantly, how should he handle it differently?

CARDIN: Cutting off aid to the countries of the northern triangle in Central America is against our national security interests. Our aid is helping that country develop stability to deal with their gang violence and drug trafficking. It's in our national security interests to improve the conditions in the countries so there will be less individuals who will be tempted to leave to come to our country. It's counterproductive for us to cut off the aid. And closing the border, that makes no sense at all. We need Mexico's cooperation to work with us and cutting off the border tells Mexico we're doing it alone.

[13:55:00] BASH: OK, but, I mean, we only have unfortunately thirty- seconds left, but can you, in a nutshell, say what he should do given the fact that he is pointing to a humanitarian crisis?

CARDIN: Work with Congress and let's enact comprehensive immigration reform. The Senate passed that several years ago. You now have a House that's prepared to take up comprehensive immigration reform. If the president wants to get the immigration system the way it should be, work with us for comprehensive immigration reform and stop doing these types of activities that just turns our neighbors against us.

BASH: I like the fact that you are still optimistic about the notion of bipartisanship on something as tough as immigration.

Senator Cardin, thank you so much for joining me. I appreciate it.

CARDIN: Thank you.

BASH: And much more on this as we go live to the border coming up.

Plus, new surveillance video includes from the night of the disappearance of a student who was killed after getting in a car she thought was her Uber.

Brooke Baldwin is next.