Return to Transcripts main page


Interview With Mayor of Oakland Libby Schaaf; Teen Accused of Rape Will Be Tried as Adult; Shark Spotted in Drone Photos at Florida Beach. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired July 3, 2019 - 10:30   ET


[10:30:00] MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He might get his final wish, which -- that was his final wish.

The majority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has agreed to a vote. Once of his colleagues at one point, met with McConnell, shook his hand. And when he took his hand away, Alvarez's badge was left in McConnell's hand as a sign, as a remembrance for the senator, that he wanted this to happen.

There will be a vote. Whether or not it will be refunded is yet to be seen. But with friends like Jon Stewart, who is in attendance here, the members of Congress and others, it seems that he is off to a very good start at seeing his final wish come true. Back to you.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Well, a moment to honor him there. Miguel Marquez, thanks very much.

And we'll be right back.


[10:35:35] SCIUTTO: As soon as two days from now, the president says that ICE raids and mass deportations will begin. This, as the government now seeks to fine some undocumented immigrants, potentially thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars for not complying with deportation orders.

With me now is Libby Schaaf. She's the Democratic mayor of Oakland, California. Oakland, we should note, is a sanctuary city.

Mayor, we appreciate you taking the time this morning.


SCIUTTO: So first, let's start with this threat now to begin these deportations. Of course, the president, a couple of weeks ago, in agreement with Nancy Pelosi, said he would push them back. But now he says they're going to go forward. What's your reaction?

SCHAAF: Well, it's incredibly disappointing that we have not been able to fix this broken immigration system. As Americans, we need to all be honest with ourselves. Most of our great-grandparents would be considered illegal immigrants under today's legal standards. This immigration system is not working for our economy. And more

importantly, it is not working for American values. The idea that hardworking people can come to this country to make a better life for their family and contribute and become an amazing part of that rich American fabric. The idea that people should be able to seek asylum from political persecution.

I'll tell you, as a young lawyer, I, pro bono, represented a political asylum-seeker. And it was shocking to me, what this young man had survived in his country of El Salvador.


SCHAAF: But I can tell you, he would never have won his case if he had not had a lawyer. We know that --

SCIUTTO: Do you --

SCHAAF: -- legal representation is necessary for a functional political asylum system.

SCIUTTO: There are certainly legitimate asylum-seekers. I've met them, spoken with them as well. But when I've spoken to border agents and others, they say that some -- maybe not most, but that some, many -- are primarily coming for economic reasons, that they're coming for jobs and using the asylum path as a way in.

Do you think that's a problem? And if you want to come in for economic reasons, shouldn't you just come through the regular immigration process itself?

SCHAAF: Again, the way that most of our great-grandparents got to this country would be considered illegal today. The law used to allow people that came to this country for economic reasons, and demonstrated that they had so much to contribute that there was a path to citizenship.

And this is, you know, not a partisan issue. Both parties have blame for the current system that we have here today. But I cannot tell you, you know, I don't need to go to the border to see what kind of terror this is striking in families. I've seen my high school students shaking with fear, in tears, worrying that they're going to come home to no parents.

In Oakland, as a community, we lost this beloved emergency room nurse from our public hospital, highly skilled nurse who specialized in cancer treatments and cardio patients. And her -- she and her husband were deported, taken away from four children. They had gotten them all through college, never had committed a crime, ever. This is the type of family that Trump is going after, after this patriotic holiday that we're about to celebrate.

SCIUTTO: What will Oakland do to prevent deportations by ICE, of people within the boundaries of Oakland?

SCHAAF: You know, this community cherishes our immigrant neighbors. And we as a city have made a decision to put city funds into legal defense, as well as a rapid response system that sends legal observers whenever a raid is detected. And we have done a huge information campaign to ensure that all residents know what their rights are, that employers know what their obligations are under California sanctuary laws.

[10:40:03] Oakland has always been a sanctuary city. As mayor, I have strengthened those laws and really tried to do my job, which is protect my community.

SCIUTTO: Final question, if I can. You're part of a coalition of mayors that is now calling for federal action to address homelessness. The president made a comment on the homelessness problem on "Fox News," airing yesterday. Have a listen. I want to get your reaction.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a phenomenon that started two years ago. It's disgraceful.

You can't do that. You can't have what's happening, where police officers are getting sick just by walking the beat. I mean, they're getting, actually, very sick. Where people are getting sick, where the people living there are living in hell too.

They can't do that. You -- we cannot ruin our cities.

You know, I had a situation when I first became president. We had certain areas of Washington, D.C. where that was starting to happen. And I ended it very quickly. I said, "You can't do that."


SCIUTTO: First of all, Oakland has a homelessness problem. Is that your experience, as the president described for us, that it started two years ago, that police officer getting sick, et cetera?

SCHAAF: Well, I'm not aware of any police officers getting sick. But I agree with the president, it's disgraceful. What is disgraceful is that he has continued to cut funding for HUD. He has continued to cut health services, mental health services that are causing homelessness.

I would love his assistance in actually passing legislation and funding the things that we know that prevent homelessness. And that is subsidized housing and health care.

SCIUTTO: Mayor Libby Schaaf, it's good to have you on the program this morning.

SCHAAF: All right. Well, thanks for having me, Jim. And keep up your good fight. I loved the way you grilled the border officer. It is so important that Americans understand this story and really think about its impact on our country.

SCIUTTO: Well, thank you. We do our best to ask the hard questions. Look forward to speaking to you again. SCHAAF: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: A judge says that a teenager accused of rape deserved leniency because pressing charges would ruin the young man's life. Outrage growing over details of that story. We'll have that next.


[10:47:15] SCIUTTO: There's outrage this morning after a New Jersey judge ruled that a teenager accused of raping a girl at a party deserved leniency because pressing criminal charges could ruin that teen's life.

Judge James Troiano said, quote, "This young man comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well... He is clearly a candidate for not just college, but probably for a good college. His scores for college entry were very high."

This all started in 2017 when a 16-year-old boy allegedly raped -- again, raped -- a 16-year-old girl at a party. The boy was also accused of filming the alleged assault.

Prosecutors say that he forwarded the clip to several friends. One of them said it showed the girl apparently incapacitated by intoxication, her head repeatedly hitting a wall.

Prosecutors also claimed that following the incident, the boy sent a text message to his friends, saying, quote, "When your first time having sex was rape." Goodness.

Prosecutors asked the judge to try the 16-year-old as an adult. However, the judge denied that request and he scolded prosecutors for not explaining to the girl and her mother, the devastating effect that filing charges in adult criminal court would have on the boy's life.

Last month, an appellate court reversed Judge James Troiano's decision. It is now up to prosecutors to seek an indictment in adult criminal court.

Criminal defense attorney and CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson joins me now to discuss.

So, remarkable circumstances in this case.


SCIUTTO: I mean, have you seen judges do this before? Talk about, "Well, he's a good kid," that's a mitigating circumstance?

JACKSON: Unfortunately, you do. Now, breaking it down further. So let's talk about what happened here. There's a 16-year-old who engaged in an alleged sexual assault, filmed that sexual assault with him penetrating the girl.

And what prosecutors did -- very aptly and justly, Jim -- was they said, "You know what, we're going to treat this as an adult offense." So what you do is you petition the court to try him -- the 16-year-old -- in adult court.

And in the context of doing that -- because you meet certain factors, one of those being if it were -- if you were an adult, it would be a felony rape case -- and so they do that. And the judge says, "Not only will we not do it, but we're going to re-victimize the victim by saying, 'You didn't adequately explain to the family the effect it could have on their life.'"

This is a problem in many ways. First of all -- and from a legal perspective, then we'll talk social -- from a legal perspective, the judge was wrong on the law. You don't evaluate someone's family, where they come from, who they are in the context --

SCIUTTO: Their college test scores.

JACKSON: -- at all. In the context of deciding whether something is appropriate for a higher court, as in this instance, you look and you determine, are the factors present. Would it have been a crime, a felony crime, if he were an adult? That's the issue. The issue is not what the judge did. That's the legal problem.

[10:50:02] The social problem, Jim, is that -- what we all know, right? This is another thing of privilege gone amok. If we're going to have a system, the system has to work for everyone. Otherwise, people lose faith in it.


JACKSON: And people ask the obvious question, "Would this have occurred if this was a person, you know, from a disadvantaged background, a disadvantaged community, a person of color?" And the answer is resoundingly no.


JACKSON: And that's problematic.

SCIUTTO: And that was in the panel --


SCIUTTO: -- when they were criticizing this decision. They said exactly that. They said, "That the juvenile came from a good family and had a good -- had good test scores, we assume would not condemn the juveniles who do not come from good families and do not have good test scores, from withstanding waiver application." I mean, it's right there in the way the appellate court handled this.

JACKSON: It is. And I think they did their job. And what that was, was to look at this judge and to rebuke him accordingly because that's not the standard. What does it say, number one, to the victim, that you treat this crime as you do? And just dismiss it and to (ph) minimize it. What does it say to people at large, that if you come from good

families -- whatever that is -- we're going to treat you differently? Because you have privileged backgrounds, we're going to treat you differently. If you don't though, we're going to.

Think about the implication. If the judge would have granted this -- and now, of course, it is granted, he's being treated in a higher court -- when you are a juvenile, it's about rehabilitation, not about jail. If the judge would have granted the prosecutor's application, now it gets tried in adult court, which it will now. And the implications are so serious, up to 20 years in jail.


JACKSON: So how many times does this happen -- I want to ask the question -- where we're not talking about it on the news. We're -- as a matter of standard parlance and practice, judges throughout this country -- not only in New Jersey -- are making decisions predicated upon someone's family, predicated --


JACKSON: -- upon their background, and not predicated of the merits of the offense and what they did, and what what they did deserves.


JACKSON: And that's a shame.

SCIUTTO: No, it's fair. So it's going to go to an adult court.

JACKSON: Yes, it will.

SCIUTTO: How does -- how is it likely to proceed there?

JACKSON: So what happens is, is that now you get it out of juvenile court. And as I mentioned, the whole essence of juvenile court, Jim, is about rehabilitation.


JACKSON: You want to determine whether someone could be rehabilitated. And the offense, obviously, what you do is the punishment is appropriate to rehabilitation.

When you're in adult court, it's a whole different ball game. Now you have a jury. Juvenile court, you don't. Now, you have a person who is evaluated as if he were an adult. You have a trial, in the event it goes that far. And there are serious consequences in terms of jail, again, up to 20 years based upon the --


JACKSON: -- aggravated nature of this alleged sexual assault. And that's big.

SCIUTTO: Well, it's quite a case to watch. Joey Jackson, thanks for breaking it down for us.

JACKSON: Thank you, Jim.

SCIUTTO: A Florida father got a big scare when he decided to use his drone to get a few photos of his kids at the beach. But what he saw had him yelling to his family to get out of the water. We'll have those amazing pictures, next.

Also, be sure to check out our brand-new CNN original series, "THE MOVIES," as it delves into the stories behind the movies that you love, from the first silent film to current blockbusters of today. The history of American cinema is sometimes beautiful, occasionally controversial but always inspiring. Here's a sneak peek.


RON HOWARD, DIRECTOR: There is still something about being told a story. A movie is something that's been really handcrafted. It's a mosaic that's been carefully pieced together. It just creates this opportunity to totally lose yourself.

MARTIN SCORSESE, DIRECTOR: These images live in our consciousness. Stays in our minds the way music is recalled in our heads, those images replay and we live our lives by them.

JULIA ROBERTS, ACTOR: It brings all the elements of all of our senses together. There's really nothing else like it.

JON FAVREAU, ACTOR: Even though you're doing something incredibly personal, and in many ways incredibly selfish because you're doing something you love so much. And then it gets out there in the world, and it could change people's trajectories.

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: When you can go somewhere that you can pretty much guarantee you're going to be able to set your worries aside for that period of time, it's like a drug. It's like a drug.

HOLLY HUNTER, ACTOR: It's just s direct conduit straight into your soul.

MORGAN FREEMAN, ACTOR: I grew up wanting to be the movies. It was all about the movies.

BAZ LUHRMANN, DIRECTOR: Since the dawn of man, we like to get around a fireplace and commune in story together. So we can feel, for a few hours, that we're human together.


[10:54:17] SCIUTTO: It's going to be a fun one. Be sure to tune in. "THE MOVIES" premieres this Sunday night, 9:00 p.m. Eastern time and Pacific time. We'll be right back.


SCIUTTO: Check out this video. A father's drone camera captured some terrifying moments during a visit to a Florida beach. This, as the drone was snapping pictures, the dad noticed a shadow swimming near his children and his wife. It was a shark. You could see it there. He started yelling at them to get to safety.


DAN WATSON, FATHER: I did shout, "Shark." And I screamed at my wife, who was a little bit closer to the kids, to get everybody out of the water.

SALLY WATSON, MOTHER: I was absolutely floored. I could not believe that the shark was that close. So, I mean, what was going through my mind was just sheer panic and terror.

GRACE WATSON, DAUGHTER: When Mom told us to run out of the water, I knew it was something bad in the water.

LANDON WATSON, SON: After we ran out of the water, then the shark was scared and then it swimmed away.


SCIUTTO: Goodness. I would have run away just as fast. This was off Florida's Atlantic coast. On Sunday, a shark bit a teen on the foot on the very same beach.

Well, thanks so much to you for joining us today. I'm Jim Sciutto. You could follow me on Twitter at Jim Sciutto. "AT THIS HOUR WITH KATE BOLDUAN" starts right now.