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President Trump Explains His Power Under The Constitution; Joe Biden Keeps Poking Trump; U.S. To Send 1,000 Troops To Middle East; Police Officers Draw Guns On Family After Child Takes Doll. Aired 11p- 12a ET
Aired June 17, 2019 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
We have some breaking news for you. The U.S. will send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran. That announcement comes just after a senior Iranian official tell CNN that the U.S. and Iran are headed towards a very serious confrontation. Is the U.S. readying for war?
And there's this. President Trump says when it comes to obstruction charges over the Mueller investigation, the Constitution allows him to do whatever he wants.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Look, article two, I would be allowed to fire Robert Mueller. There was not -- assuming -- assuming I did all of the things, I said I want to fire him, number one, I didn't. He wasn't fired. OK? Number one, very importantly. But more importantly, article two allows me to do whatever I want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, John Dean is here, we're going to ask him about that. And the race for 2020, the 2020 Democratic nomination is heating up. Vice President Biden's advisers tell CNN that his campaign is keeping an eye on Elizabeth Warren's and Pete Buttigieg's rise in the polls. But his main focus, still President Trump. Tonight, he is calling out the president for dividing the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And we got to stop letting these guys use the divisions that exist in the country as a means that Charlatans always do to divide the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, let's talk about this now. General James "Spider" Marks is here. Patrick Healy, Max Boot, the author of "The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left The Right." Gentlemen, so good to see all of you, to have all of you on here.
So, Max, let's start with you. The U.S. is sending 1,000 more troops to the Middle East in response to what's being called reliable and credible evidence that Iran is behind the tanker attacks. What do you think this is about, Max?
MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think this is another part of this self-inflicted crisis that Donald Trump has created by the fact that a year ago, he left the Iranian nuclear accord, even though our intelligence community said the Iranians are actually abiding by the terms of that accord.
Since then, Trump has imposed punishing sanctions, economic sanctions on Iran, which the Iranians call an act of economic war, and they are essentially retaliating. I do think that they are responsible, in all likelihood, for these attacks on tankers in the Persian Gulf, and today they announced that they are going to increase the amount of uranium that they are producing to conceal break out of the limits of the nuclear accord.
So, Donald Trump is really leading us into a position that a lot of people predicted we'd be in at this point, because a lot of people said when he left the nuclear accord, this was going to increase the risk of war with Iran and increase the chances that Iran would restart their nuclear program and those risks are the ones that we face right now, right here today. And who knows how Donald Trump plans to get out of this crisis that he has created.
LEMON: General Marks, let's put the video up. The photos, I should say, new photos today, more proof that Iran was behind these attacks. Do you have any doubt, general, that Iran is responsible? Max says he believes they are.
JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: None at all. This is clearly the act of the IRGC. They have capability to do that. They've got the intent to do that, as Max has indicated, these sanctions seem to be working.
Historically, economic sanctions don't work, because all participants often find that the sanction might be in contravention to their best national interests. And so, they find their way around it.
These sanctions seem to be taking effect. As a young officer, I was trained in the plan team kind of deliberation thing called action, reaction and counteraction.
So, what we see in the Mid-East right now, because, I think it lacks a clear strategy, we're being caught by surprise through what is, quite frankly, a very simple construct. We conduct operations, we're putting these punishing sanctions down, the reaction is, Iran clearly is going to do something to get around those and make it difficult for those in the region and elsewhere that are taking advantage of this, and so what is the counteraction?
And that gets to, I'm not sure what we're trying to achieve in the Mid-East, however, I know Tehran is feeling the pain right now of the sanctions and what the United States is doing.
LEMON: I have this quote, Patrick, I want to read it to you. Tonight the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement on the administration's move to send troops to the Middle East, saying in part, here it is.
"This deeply concerning decision may escalate the situation with Iran and risk serious miscalculations on either side. Diplomacy is needed to defuse tensions; therefore, America must continue to consult with our allies so we do not make the region less safe."
[23:05:03] Do you see the administration reaching out to allies to talk about this?
PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, diplomacy is a real challenge for Donald Trump. He's run an America-first foreign policy, national security policy now for two and a half years, and the reality is, there was a coalition in place behind the Iran deal, behind the sanctions, that coalition, based on the evidence we've seen, was united and the sanctions were furthering what had been stated as the American strategic interest.
Donald Trump is the one, with sort of this America-first message, who came in and took America out of it. So, now the notion that he is saying, well, the allies need to put pressure on Iran, the allies need to get involved in this is strange, because he is the one who essentially has led to the fraying or the breakup of this --
LEMON: Crisis of his own making.
HEALY: Well, he talks about sort of diplomacy, what is diplomacy for, you know, Donald Trump? It's America's way, chiefly, until he needs others. And the question is, if you're a traditional ally of America who had been onboard the coalition that President Obama put together and now you are hearing Donald Trump say, OK, we need you to come back in and help the situation, I guess, why would you, ultimately?
LEMON: That is -- that's a good question. General Marks, why would you?
MARKS: Well, we've got long historical ties to many of those that are part of the JCPOA. And I concur that if you wanted to change the deal with Iran, you have a better chance of doing that from the inside as opposed to the outside.
But what we're confronted with right now, again, should be of no surprise to any of us, that Tehran is going to get frisky, and I don't know that there is direct causality between what this administration is doing today and the fact that the IRGC is going to continue to act as it has acted in the past.
The concern I have is that we don't have a clear, at least I'm not aware of a clear strategy. If that could be laid out, if the strategy could be laid out and the intelligence could be shared, then you can move in the direction where the allies would raise a hand and say, yes, we are willing participants, but I haven't heard that.
BOOT: Well, I think the fundamental problem, Don, is, there is not a shared and common administration strategy, because you had Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laying out 12 demands that he wants Iran to meet, including cutting off all its regional proxies, ending its missiles program. Very ambitious.
You have John Bolton talking essentially about regime change, saying that the regime is not going to last much longer, then Donald Trump says, well, all I really care about is the nuclear weapons.
Well, if all he cares about, why didn't he stay in the nuclear deal, which was actually containing the Iranian nuclear program? It doesn't make a lot of sense. People can't make heads or tails out of it, and this is a very dangerous and confusing situation where even though I don't think either side wants a war, there is a real risk of conflict nevertheless.
LEMON: This is -- I want you guys to listen to what Republican Senator Tom Cotton had to say about these attacks. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): Unprovoked attacks on commercial shipping warrant a retaliatory military strike against the Islamic republic of Iran. The fastest way to get the fire and fury of the U.S. military unleashed on you is to interfere with the freedom of navigation in the open seas and in the air. This is exactly what Iran is doing. And one of the most important strategic show of points.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Is he getting into dangerous territory here, Patrick?
HEALY: Well, he's basically saying what a lot of people in the administration are saying, which is that they see and certainly John Bolton's view, they see Iran is -- is a real military threat.
Now, you're seeing this sort of point by point, you know, strategy of at least sending 1,000 troops today, what might it be by tomorrow or sort of by the end of the week, you know, at least in terms of, you know, show of force and show of statements like, you know, those adjectives that he was using.
MARKS: Hey, Don?
LEMON: Yes, go ahead, general.
MARKS: Can I very quickly, you know, the 1,000 troops going in might be -- I think they might be a very prudent move. These troops could be used and we certainly don't know what they're going to be used for, we haven't seen the troop list, probably intelligence collection but most importantly, you're probably going to have air defense capabilities, which is always what you try to do when you deploy folks is to ensure their protection. But also, the Iranians have done this with proxies before. We could be
seeing a plus up in terms of security at embassies in the region so that we wouldn't see some unplanned activities around those embassy compounds, Benghazi type of a thing.
So, I think the -- the 1,000 troops going to the region, we might want to let that play out before we get too critical of it.
LEMON: Max Boot writes about this. Make sure you look at that article, his news piece and it's entitled "In Iran, Crisis in Iran. Crisis Our Worse Fears About Trump are Realized."
[23:09:59] So, thank you very much gentlemen, I appreciate it. There it is right there on your screen.
MARKS: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: There it is right on your screen. Our worse -- our worse. All right. All right. There we go. Sorry. You get it. Read Max's article. We'll be right back.
LEMON: So, the president raising eyebrows by evoking Richard Nixon in an interview with ABC, where he says that he had the power to fire Robert Mueller whenever he wanted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Look, article two, I would be allowed to fire Robert Mueller. There was not -- assuming, assuming I did all the things, I said, I want to fire him, number one, I didn't. He wasn't fired. OK? Number one, very importantly. But more importantly, article two allows me to do whatever I want. Article two would have allowed me to fire him.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, CHIEF ANCHOR, ABC NEWS: So, it sounds like --
TRUMP: I wasn't going to fire him. You know why? Because I watched Richard Nixon go around firing everybody and that didn't work out too well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[23:14:57] LEMON: Well, who else to discuss this with is John Dean. He's a former Nixon White House counsel. John, I've been waiting to talk to you about this.
Good evening to you. The president says that he can legally fire anyone in this Justice Department, even if they are leading an investigation into him. Is he right?
JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: He's not right according to the special counsel, who wrote a whole section of his report on that subject, and the fact that the president could be indicted after he left office for those very activities. LEMON: OK. So, he doesn't seem to have a problem there with what
Nixon did, it's just how it turned out for Richard Nixon. Is that what it sounds like to you?
DEAN: Right. Exactly. And this is -- in other comments he's made about Nixon, where he admires him, but thinks he should have stuck it out and things like that, there was a little bit of that way back during his first campaign, during the primaries, even, so, I heard him mention Nixon. Very favorably. But he doesn't think Nixon was tough enough, and stuck in long enough.
LEMON: Before becoming the Donald Trump's attorney general, President Trump's attorney general, Bill Barr wrote in his 2018 memo this, he said, "There is no legal prohibition as opposed to a political constraint against the president acting on a matter in which he has a personal stake."
So, that sounds a lot like what Trump said. Does this administration believe that they are above, not only oversight, but the law, as well?
DEAN: Don, what this is, it's something that conservative academics, lawyers, law professors, call the unitary executive theory, that gives the president the same powers as an emperor, for all practical purposes.
Everything under article two, whether it be an independent regulatory agency or his own White House staff, are within his jurisdiction to do as he pleases with. Well, this is a theory and it has really never been tested by the courts, but Barr is one of the people who pushed this theory.
LEMON: He was asked again, meaning Trump, about obstruction. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, president can't obstruct justice?
TRUMP: A president can run the country and that's what happened, George, I run the country and I run it well.
STEPHANOPOULOS: When the president does it, it's not illegal?
TRUMP: I'm just saying a president under article two, it's very strong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, the question that he was asked there recalls this famous Nixon interview. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: By definition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I mean, is article two really a get out of jail free card for the president?
DEAN: No, it is not. And if it ever does become that, we don't have the democracy we think we have. Then we're moving into a -- an autocracy, if not a dictatorship, so, this is dangerous stuff. And why Barr pushes it, I don't know.
But it's clearly something that's been whispered in Trump's ear, that he has all kinds of authorities and he thinks he can use them. But I'm afraid it's not -- that's where the Congress may have to step in and tell him he's wrong.
LEMON: John Dean, thank you, I appreciate your time.
DEAN: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: Joe Biden attacking President Trump on the campaign trail, seemingly ignoring all the other Democrats running for president. Smart move or too soon?
[22:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Let's talk about the 2020 Democrats, shall we? The Democratic race is heating up. And the front-runner, the former vice president, Joe Biden, he has his eyes on other Dems who are rising in the polls. That as all of the candidates work to earn the support of black voters.
So, let's discuss now with Mr. Keith Boykin and Ms. Angela Rye. Hello to both of you. Good to see you.
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hello.
LEMON: Keith, so, today's poor people's campaign candidate forum was Biden's first campaign event with multiple Democratic candidates in attendance, but I want you to take a look at who he went after.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: And we got to stop letting these guys use the divisions that exist in the country as a means, like Charlatans always do, to divide the country. Well, the reason that black man doesn't have a job in your county is because of that white immigrant coming across the border here, or that Hispanic or that Muslim or whoever.
It's all by -- it's used by Charlatans all the time. And we have a guy in the White House who has turned it into an art form. It has to end. It has to end, the division has to end.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Yes, so, Biden's advisers tell CNN that he is going to keep his focus on Trump. Winning strategy, Keith Boykin?
KEITH BOYKIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean -- it's hard to say if it's - it's hard to say if it was a winning strategy or not.
LEMON: Wait, what was that, was that --
BOYKIN: I mean --
LEMON: Yes or --
BOYKIN: Well --
RYE: He's like, it's complicated.
BOYKIN: Yes, it's not a yes or no question. I mean, it's always good to be attacking Donald Trump, because he's the -- the elephant in the room. And nobody in the Democratic Party likes him, so, you get credit for that.
It's also good that you're not attacking your other opponents directly. But they will be coming after him, for sure, if not in the first debate, sometime soon after, because he is the front-runner, as long as he stays in, so, he will be the target.
So, he can't continue this Rose Garden strategy where he stays away from all the other candidates. That's got to end when he goes to Miami for the first presidential debate. But he doesn't have -- he doesn't really have much choice that he can't attack anybody else. He's got to attack Donald Trump.
[23:25:03] LEMON: Do you think that's going to -- why does that have to end?
BOYKIN: Well, because the Rose Garden strategy is, you're staying away from all the rest of the candidates. He just stays away and stays above the fray. You can't do that when you're on stage in Miami with nine other candidates, which he will be in a couple of weeks.
LEMON: But if he's saying, hold on, Barack, you know, and then everybody is like --
BOYKIN: If he does that, it's over. That's just too obvious.
LEMON: So, Angela, at the event, Biden said that he will -- he's going to win Georgia, he's going to win North Carolina, he's going to win South Carolina, Texas and Florida in the general election versus Trump. Is it way too soon for predictions like that? RYE: Of course, it is. But Joe Biden wouldn't be Joe Biden if he was
not doing just that, right? I think that what Joe Biden needs to be focusing on similar to some of the other candidates is how you start to really ensure that the big tip party is hearing from is embracing of and it's no longer treating as invisible key component of that big tip who had been loyal and faithful voters.
And who I'm I talking about? Of course, I'm talking about black voters. And so, I think that what we have seen is there's also a generational divide. Joe Biden has a ton of support with older black folks, particularly in the south. It was no mistake that he made Cedric Richmond, who is a former CBC chair and on the younger side, the chairman of his campaign. It was smart. They also --
LEMON: Wait until I tell Cedric you said on the younger side.
BOYKIN: On the younger side --
RYE: He is. Cedric you know that you are on the younger side.
LEMON: He's youngish.
RYE: -- but you're not young. You're not a millennial. I'm not a millennial. I'm not a millennial. I'd be 40 in October. So, it's just it's fact, you all, like it is what it is. We not as young as we used to be. We are no spring chickens. We got gray hair, Don, you know?
LEMON: You got that right. You got that. Let's switch candidates now, Keith. So, I'm not even going there about the youngish part. You don't want to know.
RYE: Listen here.
LEMON: So, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has essentially put his campaign on the back burner for the next few days, he's canceled fund-raisers and policy rollouts in order to handle the fallout from an officer involved shooting in South Bend that happened yesterday morning. This is him explaining why. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of the reasons we're communicating up front right now is because of lessons learned from members of the community. We've had prior cases of use of force incidents and officer involved shootings where I hesitated, frankly, to get in front of cameras because we didn't know very much and it was out of our hands.
But what I learned, what I was told, by people in the community, is that it is important to open channels of communication, to try to be clear on where the city is, even if we don't find ourselves in the position to be able to say or do much right away. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Mayor Buttigieg met privately with the victim of the shooting. Was that the right move, Keith?
BOYKIN: Again, this is a complicated issue. Of course, it's the right move to meet with the victim of the shooting and of course it is the right move to go to South Bend, to cancel your campaign activities, to deal with your duty as the mayor.
But he's got a lot of questions to answer, still, I think, and a lot of people in the African-American community will be looking at this particularly and people who are progressives who aren't African- American, as well, to see how he handles it.
There are already questions about his firing of the police chief or demotion of the police chief, Boykin, I only know that because his name being the same as mine. And now you have the question now, because we're discovering that the police officer in this case didn't have body cameras on, or if they were on, they were turned out.
And this is after Mayor Pete and the city had said it did make a big announcement about the fact that police did have body cameras in that city. So, I think there are going to be questions about the way that policing is done in our country and he's going to be -- he's going to have to sort of answer questions about that to become, it will be a sort of test case for him.
LEMON: Yes. Angela --
RYE: Can I just say --
RYE: So, just a couple things here, you know, Mayor Pete has also been one of the very few candidates to roll out a comprehensive agenda for black people. I have been surprisingly impressed by many of the things that he's done. I was like, OK, small town mayor, name I can't even pronounce, you know, like, I was so, like, whatever, and he has been consistently impressive.
He did not have to do this. He did not have to cancel events. He could have stayed in South Carolina and then North Carolina, talking with folks like Reverend Barber, rolling out his version of a marshal plan for black people, naming it the Douglas plan, when we have a president who refuses to put Harriet Tubman on the 20.
I would say, yes, every single candidate should have a black agenda, but the fact that he's rolled one out when Joe Biden is still, frankly, not trying responsive to his criminal justice reform record, I think speaks volumes.
LEMON: Yes. RYE: And so, we can say, like, well, it's because he's so low in the polls, he's got to do something. I think every single one of these candidates has to have a black agenda going into 2020. Every single one.
[23:30:00] LEMON: Got to be the last word. Thank you. Good to see both of you. See you next time.
RYE: Thank you.
LEMON: Phoenix police are apologizing after officers pulled guns on an African-American family because their four-year-old daughter took a doll from a store. That family isn't accepting the apology and they're speaking out. They're doing it right here. That's next.
LEMON: The mayor of Phoenix planning a town hall tomorrow. This after a video showing an African-American couple being threatened at gunpoint by police officers goes viral. Police were responding to a suspected shoplifting of a doll. The couple says they feared for their lives and says it started with police yelling and banging on the windows of their car before it truly turned ugly.
[23:35:04] I want to bring in now CNN's Sara Sidner.
Sara, good evening to you.
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Don.
LEMON: What is going on?
SIDNER: So, there are two videos taken from two different angles by bystanders. Once the car is stopped, after the police have gotten out of the car. The most disturbing parts of the videos begin with officers pointing their guns at this family of four and screaming incessantly curse words at them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your (bleep) hands up! Get your (bleep) hands up!
SIDNER: Then you see another officer moved in, his gun raised, using the F-word. That's -- of the video. We don't know how long this went on before the bystanders began recording, but the video goes on to show Ames on the ground and another officer --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you OK?
SIDNER: -- asking pregnant mother, Iesha Harper, if she's OK. Soon after, another officer runs up and curses at her for not putting her hands up. Harper argues and curses back saying she couldn't because she was holding a baby. The officer tries to grab the toddler. The children begin wailing.
Then an officer, you see him there, uses a leg sweep on her fiance, Ames, who is already cuffed against a patrol car. The family says they feared for their lives over an accusation of shoplifting underwear and a doll.
In the police report, the officers say Ames admitted to shoplifting the underwear and driving on a suspended license. Police also wrote that Harper said her daughter took the doll unbeknownst to her, but the family is disputing some of the details.
So, this has gotten condemnation across social media, but has also been condemned by both the police chief in Phoenix there and the mayor. Both apologized for this. They were disturbed by the language used and the actions of the officers. The police chief saying, this is not the way our officers are supposed to act in a case like this.
But I do want to bring something else up, Don. We have just gotten in some surveillance video that was released by the police of inside of the store and what it seems to show -- you see the lady there with the black dress on holding that cute toddler, you see her daughter up next to her and kind of walking behind her -- there is a woman standing there holding what appears to be tinfoil or aluminum foil.
And as you watch this video -- this is inside of the Family Dollar store, according to the police, when this incident happened on May 27th -- you see there the child holding that doll. Because they did accuse the family of stealing a doll, the mother said that she didn't realize that the child had the doll.
And so what it looks like there, she's speaking to the woman who is holding the tinfoil, and then you see her stop, the woman throws the tinfoil at the display, and then the mother, father and the child, who is four years old, end up leaving without paying.
This is more video. This is what police are saying. There is the husband -- sorry, the fiance there, Mr. Ames, in the underwear aisle. They have accused him of stealing underwear. Now, the family has, of course, said that some of this is untrue, some of the way that the police went through this information is untrue, but this is police now releasing video of inside of the store.
What their attorney has said repeatedly and has said today including their spokesperson is that no matter what happened inside that store, the reaction of officers was absolutely over the top and that the family did fear for their lives, especially when they heard the words, "I'm going to put a cap in your f-ing head." Don?
LEMON: Sara, thank you very much. Let's try to get some insight as to what's going on. Joining me now is the couple at the center of this harrowing experience, Dravon Ames and Iesha Harper, along with their attorney, Thomas Horne.
Good evening to both of you. Before I get to you, the police just released this video, Mr. Horne. What do you think of this?
THOMAS HORNE, PARTNER, HORNE SLATON PLLC: Well, as your reporter said, whether it was a little bit of shoplifting or a little bit less of shoplifting, it doesn't justify what happened. And you've pointed out that the police pointed their guns at them, but it was much worse than that. There was a lot of very brutal, physical brutality that went on.
Dravon was pulled at gunpoint out of the car, thrown to the ground, his head put on hot asphalt, his hands handcuffed too tight, dragged up. His head was used to close the car door by banging it against it. He was put up against the back of the car. The officer kicked his leg so that now he limps and he can't work at the warehouse where he did work that involved physical labor.
[23:40:02] He fell to the ground. They yanked him back up. They punched him hard in the back. They put him in the police car for an hour, for a half hour without loosening the handcuffs. And he wanted to protect his family, but he couldn't. He saw them brutalized then. Iesha, who they dragged out of the car in a headlock, her and her child, they wanted her to put the baby on the ground, which she wouldn't do because it was hot asphalt. They --
LEMON: Mr. Horne -- Mr. Horne, pardon my interruption, before we run out of time, because I want to speak to them as well. Have they been charged with anything?
LEMON: No. OK. So, let me -- so, after this video was released, Iesha, the Phoenix police released a report accusing your four-year- old daughter of taking a doll, Dravon of allegedly lifting a pair of underwear. They released this video from inside the store tonight. Give me your response to that, Iesha.
IESHA HARPER, CLAIMING PHOENIX POLICE VIOLATED CIVIL RIGHTS, ENGAGED IN BRUTALITY: I really can't comment on that right now.
LEMON: So you have no comment about the video and what was released or the treatment?
HARPER: I have no comment besides -- just besides that still doesn't justify the way the police -- Phoenix police officers acted.
DRAVON AMES, CLAIMING PHOENIX POLICE VIOLATED CIVIL RIGHTS, ENGAGED IN BRUTALITY: Same question?
LEMON: Yes, sir.
AMES: I feel like they're trying to make my family look bad on top of already terrorizing us and hurting us already physically, mentally. My daughters are traumatized. They will never look at police officers the same when they are supposed to help. And that's no way to treat no one. We've seen mass murderers get walked into a police car without a scratch on them.
And you are saying over a Barbie doll that a 4-year-old took and allegedly that -- this is all allegedly. Dollar Store didn't press any charge. We weren't charged with anything. It's all allegedly that this stuff happened. The video doesn't show anything but the 4-year-old walking --
LEMON: Did you take anything from the store?
HARPER: No, I didn't make any -- make anything out of that store. I didn't take anything out of the store.
LEMON: The Phoenix police --
HORNE: Don --
LEMON: Go on. Go on, sorry.
HORNE: Don, let me just say, one thing I was going to add was they pulled so hard on the baby that she got something called dead arm. And Iesha was so afraid of these police that she gave her baby to a stranger because she was so afraid of the police.
I think a lot of women that I know identify that when you are that scared that you would give your baby to a stranger. What a terrible thing that was done based on a doll being taken out of a store.
LEMON: So how is your daughter doing tonight?
HARPER: Not good. She's still -- both of my daughters have nightmares, you know, traumatized from the situation, you know. I really would like to keep them indoors because when I take them around, it's not the same anymore.
LEMON: Yeah. Let me ask you. There are a couple of responses, OK? The Phoenix police chief and the mayor apologized. The governor, Doug Ducey, calls the video disturbing and unacceptable, but says he's withholding judgment until the investigation is completed. The police officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, but are still working.
How do you feel about this investigation, Dravon, and the apologies from the mayor and the response from the governor and the police chief and so on?
AMES: I feel like they're going at the investigation the wrong way. Everybody sees that it's very clear that it's frightening to put a family's lives at stake over materials or whatever. A four-year-old has to look a barrel in the eyes. A one-year-old has to get her arm squeezed and pulled by an officer. A pregnant mother has to look a barrel in the eye. A father, a young father at that, has to look at barrel in the eyes.
And we're not treated with the same respect. They try to dehumanize us. We will never be the same. I keep on picturing guns, like, pointed at me. I keep having flashbacks and it's just -- it's terrible what happened. We were terrorized. It's clear to see, everything in that video. It's just nasty. It's very sickening.
LEMON: Iesha, I want to ask --
HORNE: Don, I'd like to --
LEMON: Can I get one question into Iesha, please? Iesha, how do you think this case may have played out if no one recorded what happened to your family?
HARPER: Honestly, I feel like we wouldn't be sitting here today if it wasn't for those people who recorded it, because the officers came at us so hard and didn't think twice about my children, didn't have sympathy about having a 4-year-old and 1-year-old in the car.
[23:45:06] Made it seem as if I had a gun and they knew the whole time it's about a Barbie doll. So, obviously there's kids in the car and the way they came to our vehicle, didn't even alert us that they was pulling us over or anything.
HARPER: I just feel like horrified for the whole situation.
LEMON: We're going to talk about the police response. Listen, once this plays out, will you guys please come back and let us know what happened? We wish your family the best. Go on.
HORNE: Don, I'd just like to point out, Dravon was compliant hundred percent of the time. He did that the civil rights groups say you should do as comply. Still, he was brutalized.
LEMON: Thank you, Thomas. Thank you, Iesha. Thank you, Dravon. I appreciate it. We'll be right back.
HARPER: Thank you.
AMES: No problem.
HORNE: Thank you, Don.
[23:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: So, the mayor of Phoenix promising to fast track the implementation of body cameras for police. This after an African- American couple was allegedly threatened at gunpoint by police over suspected shoplifting of a doll. We reached out to the Phoenix Police Department. We invited the police chief to appear on the show. They declined.
So let's discuss now. Areva Martin is here as well as Charles Ramsey. Areva is the author of "Make It Rain." So, thank you both for joining us. Charles, I have to ask you, you're a former commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department. What did you think when you saw this video, the response from the police officers?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It wasn't justified. I mean, you're talking about shoplifting. I mean, that hardly justifies the use of deadly force or even the threat of the use of deadly force. And all they did was escalate the situation.
I mean, a four-year-old child is hardly responsible for their actions and not only that. At the time they responded, they wouldn't have known any of that. What they responded to was a shoplifting. I think the mayor and the chief are absolutely right to apologize. They need to do a thorough investigation. Let the cards fall where they may. But this was over the top. In my opinion, shouldn't have happened.
LEMON: You heard, Areva, at the end of the interview, Mr. Horne said that his -- that Dravon complied. There doesn't appear to be at any point during the video that shows the couple resisting officers or ignoring commands during the entire situation. Why do you think the officers were so quick to use potentially deadly force here?
AREVA MARTIN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: You know, that's a good question --
RAMSEY: I can't justify --
LEMON: That's for Areva. For Areva.
MARTIN: It's not clear --
RAMSEY: I'm sorry.
MARTIN: It's not clear why they went from zero to a thousand so quickly, given that store didn't even make the complaint about shoplifting. Apparently, there was some anonymous call. We essentially watched a family on the verge of being executed because a four-year- old walked out of a store with a doll.
And I don't know why, Don, in all these cases, we have the same pattern. We have the officer assigned to desk duties or administrative duties and there is this long, drawn-out investigation. I think there needs to be a new protocol put in place. When you have evidence as shocking and as striking as this, these officers need to be held accountable.
And in a case like this, this police department was just involved in racist social media posts involving over 90 of their former and current officers. So, there's a systemic problem with the Phoenix Police Department that goes a lot deeper than what we saw on this videotape.
And having President Trump and the Department of Justice essentially eliminate the kinds of investigations that took place at the federal level, I think this is an example of what happens when police departments aren't policed independently by agencies like the Department of Justice.
LEMON: Charles Ramsey, is a retraining of the Phoenix Police Department needed when you look at this approach?
RAMSEY: Well, let me just say this. You can't paint everybody with the same brush. I mean, this was bad. No question about it in my mind. It doesn't mean the entire Phoenix Police Department is. Now, they've got issues and a lot of police departments have issues. You can never have enough training. It's always good to do, but I would not want to say that the entire Phoenix Police Department is somehow corrupt, bad, brutal or whatever. They got an excellent police chief in Jeri Williams there. She will certainly do the right thing.
But let's not take this too far. You've got two officers that acted inappropriately. Let's deal with that. There are other officers. If they need to be dealt with, then deal with them. But don't paint the entire department.
LEMON: Areva, I've got 15 seconds. The family has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city of Phoenix. Do they have a case?
MARTIN: Oh, they have an excellent case, Don, and I'm certain that we're going to see the police department and the city of Phoenix settle this out of court. This is not a case they want a jury to get its hands on. So, we should expect to see a pretty substantial settlement for this family. And even a monetary settlement isn't going to erase the trauma that the children and the family experienced in this situation.
LEMON: All right. Thank you both. I appreciate your time. And thank you for watching. Before you leave you though tonight, here's a look at the new CNN's film "Apollo 11." Go inside humanity's greatest feet (ph) with newly discovered incredible footage, Sunday night at 9:00, right here on CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): We choose to go to the moon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is Apollo mission control.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): We choose to go to the moon and do the other things. Not because they are easy --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Ready for launch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): -- but because they are hard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Ignition sequence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is Houston, loud and clear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): There she goes. That was a good one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): The enormity of this event is something that only history will be able to judge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Good luck and god speed.
[23:54:59] UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Apollo 11 has been given the mission of carrying men to the moon, landing them there, and bringing them safely back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Beautiful, just beautiful. Magnificent ride.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Apollo 11," Sunday night at 9:00 on CNN.