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Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D) Discusses Mass Shooting, Trump's Reference to Toledo Instead of Dayton; Suspect Charged With Capital Murder in Anti-Immigrant Massacre; Trump Condemns "Racist Hate" But Doesn't Acknowledge Own Rhetoric; Classmates Say Ohio Gunman Had "Hit List" in High School; Protocol for Families of Latin-American Immigrants, Mexicans Who Died in El Paso to Come to U.S. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired August 5, 2019 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: And if nothing is done, how do you tell him or her that it's going to be OK?
NAN WHALEY, (D), MAYOR OF DAYTON, OHIO: Well, I think our communities all come together. So there is the work of a mayor, which is about bringing your community together and grieving through this process. And Dayton will --
WHALEY: It shouldn't. But Dayton will be OK. Dayton will come through this tragedy because we are fearless, because we care about one another. So that's the work of mayors.
The sadness is that there has to be another community. And that's where it just seems so senseless and doesn't make any sense. It really is like, what are we doing in this country?
BALDWIN: This shouldn't have to be.
Lastly, when you heard the president mention Toledo when referring to Dayton, do you have any words for the president?
WHALEY: Yes, all these Ohio cities, they just look alike.
BALDWIN: Mayor Nan Whaley, thank you so much.
WHALEY: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Good to have you on. I'm so sorry about everything that's happened here in this beautiful community.
Chris, back to you in El Paso.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Listen, we see the best in ourselves during the worst of times. And unfortunately, now Dayton has become a member of a club that nobody wants to be in. They will be resilient. They will come together. That's what Americans do.
Look, somebody just tossed me a hat that says, "Make Racism Wrong Again." Right and wrong has been caught up with politics too often.
And here's the thing, that discussion about guns, it's got to be had. It's got to be a conversation, and it's hard. You can start here with something easy. These groups that inspire hate and motivate violence in the name of a political agenda are terrorists. Include them under all the laws and the resources and root them out. They are killing us from the inside. That is easy. Start there. Maybe the cooperation will become contagious.
We'll take a break. As part of our continue coverage, we'll get deeper into the investigation. We'll look at people looking at the legal side, the factual side, and, of course, the most important part, those who are gone and why.
Stay with CNN.
[13:36:38] CUOMO; It's not really an open question at this point, but the man who was identified currently as the suspect here in El Paso for what he did in this Walmart behind us, is now charged with capital murder. He could be facing the death penalty if convicted. Authorities say they are treating this as domestic terrorism.
Remember, the fact that they even have to make that choice shows one of the problems with the resourcing, the responsibility, and the law here.
So what do they need? Legally, they need confirmation, proof that the suspect wrote a racist anti-immigrant manifesto, in this case, that they believe he posted online just minutes before the shooting because that would show that this violence was motivated by the furtherance of a political agenda. And that is how our law embraces terrorism.
CNN's Sara Sidner is here with me in El Paso, has been looking into this.
I'm highlighting that because this is something we have wrestled with. You get these questions all the time.
Of course, it's terrorism, people say, when it's an Islamist extremist. If they kill anybody here, it's obviously terror, right? Well, no, you've got to check your boxes. Was it done because they believe in a specific set of politics?
That's where we are with this right now because these white nationalists and other hate groups are not covered.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They aren't covered directly, but they are covered if you look at the bigger picture, if their goal is to change policies --
SIDNER: -- is to impact politics. In this case, if this manifesto belongs to the suspected shooter who
has slaughtered now 22 people here in El Paso, this is terrorism. And we should call it out for what it is.
The manifesto makes very clear that he wants anti-immigration policy, that he is anti-Hispanic, and that he is targeting the government as well. So that all fits into the terrorism framework.
We should also talk about all of the things and where this is all going on, where this is all being posted, and what is fueling all of this. To be perfectly frank, some of the words that he used, like "invasion," the president of the United States has used over and over again.
CUOMO; One of the obvious flaws in the statement today for the president -- and, look, let's start with the positive. He addressed the country finally about it. He showed the poignance. He says that hate is wrong. He says more has to be done. All right, that's enough of the positive.
On the negative side, he did not own his familiarity with this dialogue of division. And some of the word echoed it. But a lot of the ideas go far beyond what we're dealing with in our politics.
SIDNER: The president didn't create racism. He didn't create hatred. But he has certainly emboldened them. If you look at what happened since he came in office, there is no doubt the number of murders are up. The number of hate crimes are up, 70 percent, according to the FBI.
CUOMO; Christopher Wray, head of the FBI, says this is the main terror threat in terms of what is killing us at home.
SIDNER: That is right. They are responsible, the far right, for the vast majority of murders when it comes to extremist-based murders in this country.
SIDNER: So that needs to be looked at.
CUOMO; Right. And we don't attack, from an investigative perspective, where they're talking, who's motivating them, how they plan, how they group, how they caucus, the way we do with what we have always described as the main threat, which is extreme Islamism, which is, of course, a threat, no question about it.
SIDNER: It is.
CUOMO; But this is, too.
SIDNER: But this is a threat and more of a threat if you look simply at the statistics since 9/11. Obviously, that event was the devastating threat from Islamic extremists. Since then, it has been the majority of people killed by extremists have been right-wingers who have done the killing. CUOMO; One-hundred percent.
[13:40:08] SIDNER: One of the things that they use is chatrooms, is forums. And 8chan has come up a lot. If you look at 8chan -- and I have been down rabbit holes on these sites because I cover hate as my beat. When you look at what is on there, Chris, there's violent language, there's extreme anti-Semitism, extreme racism.
And this is where three people who are accused in mass shootings have gone to post their manifestos, including, we believe, this person who is responsible for this.
CUOMO; Just minutes before.
SIDNER: Just minutes before.
CUOMO; Just change your context. If what Sara is telling us right now is that and it was all extreme Islamists, you'd be like you've got to monitor that site. They have a responsibility. They have to shut that down, it's not just thought anymore, it's planning. We're not there yet. Maybe this will happen.
But here's something they didn't counting on,, the hateful people that did these murders. Behind Sarah, did you see what just happened? Their hate galvanizes people who believe that America as a community that is based on positivity not negativity. The American flag flies over this memorial because the ideals that bring us together are stronger than what these people are trying to do to us to tear us apart.
Thanks for asking the hard questions. Let us know where they lead us. And let's keep pushing for action because we've got to be able to do better than this.
Now again, this is the reaction to horrible loss. Once again, in another American city where it just didn't need to happen. We have to connect with the people who suffer this because it could be any of us anywhere.
We're going to have a trauma surgeon who had to deal with many of these injuries and survivors in the moments right after the shooting, next.
[13:46:28] BALDWIN: We are back here live in Dayton, Ohio. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.
As we focus so much on the survivor stories and the lives lost here in Dayton, we want to focus on the investigation. And police are trying to establish the why. What could have motivated the gunman to murder nine people in this district full of folks just out having a good Saturday night.
So far, they say there are no indications that race plated any role and that the suspect doesn't have any history that would have put him on law enforcement's radar.
But four former classmates of this gunman say he did have a troubled past. Among other things, he had a hit list in high school of students that he wanted to hurt or kill. One of his classmates describing him as, quote, "kind of dark and depressive."
Polo Sandoval is with me in Dayton with more on his background and also the fact that he came here with his sister and a friend and he ended up killing his sister.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You heard that yesterday, right? It was the suspect, also his sister and somebody described as a companion, drove here on that night. At some point, there was a separation. There's a question, why they separated and for how long.
Police have not gone as far as to go into great detail regarding that but they feel it could potentially paint a clearer picture and maybe get them a little closer to establishing a motive, which is what everybody here is asking themselves. Why unleash this wave of terror on this street we're standing on right now and kill nine innocent people, including his 22-year-old sister? She was the youngest of the nine people who died right here.
So I think, once investigators can follow up on that, then they might have a clearer picture. We do understand, according to the police, that they possibly stayed in contact during the separation that night
BALDWIN: Both the sister and the gunman?
SANDOVAL: Both the sister and the gunman but they don't know what communications were happening. Ultimately, both of them are dead.
Now they have to look to the family, look to those who knew them, and that includes those four former high school classmates of theirs who, as you pointed out, describe him as depressive and dark. That's information that supposedly happened many years ago that now becomes quite relevant as they try to find out exactly what happened and as the community tries to heal.
BALDWIN: And we're hearing this is a hopping area in Dayton. There are a number of stores. We're surrounded by a lot of cameras. We're told 85 different businesses have surveillance cameras that we know law enforcement will be combing through in the coming hours and days.
Polo, as soon as you have anything new. Thank you very much for joining me.
Just into us at CNN, we have new reporting on what the Justice Department is doing behind the scenes on possible moves to fight mass shootings in this country.
[13:49:09] I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN.
CUOMO: You know, in these situations, we have to find a way to balance the political and the personal. Yes, Congress is going to have to come back if anything is going to get done. Yes, it's up to Congress to do these things.
Specifically, Senator Mitch McConnell has blocked the legislation on protecting the election. Has blocked the legislation on protecting our rights to access to weapons and what it should be.
Now they're going to have to have new legislation whether or not hateful groups, right-wing extremism in the main, get folded into terrorism with all the rights and resources and responsibilities that that carries and allowing us to defend ourselves from them.
This is on McConnell because he holds the key in the Senate. What will he do?
Now you have the personal side. So you have immigrants from Latin- America. Remember, this man came down here to target them. That's why he came to this Walmart. Look at the manifesto, all right?
So now what you have is eight, nine, 10 families affected by this, by the loss of Hispanics. A dozen more are injured. Now you have Mexican nationals who lost their lives. They have families. They have loved ones. They want to come and see them, claim the body, mourn, be part of this community. What happens with that? Well, there happens to be a protocol.
Well, I want to bring in Cynthia Lopez, an immigration lawyer in El Paso. Understands the law and personal dynamics of this.
I'm sorry to meet you under these circumstances. But it's important this get understood.
You've never dealt with anything like this, thank god. So if a Mexican national dies here, obviously, there's a right of repatriation, but what about the family of that lost loved one?
CYNTHIA LOPEZ, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: Correct, so that's one of the focuses right now is the concerns that the immigration community may have and that's one of them.
We want people to know, if they're in Mexico, they do need to come to the U.S., there is something that exists called humanitarian entry (ph). You can go to a port of entry and ask for it. We don't anticipate CBP would offering any sort of resistance to that as long as background checks can be conducted.
We do want people to know, if you need to come to the U.S. with your family members, there are option available.
CUOMO; What's your concern?
LOPEZ: My concern would be that CBP doesn't approve those cases. And there are also some situations where people do have prior deportations and won't be able to come into the country.
CUOMO; Sometimes we keep the politics out of it. I often do exactly the opposite. I believe these are the only moments where you have any kind of collective will to do anything, especially here. It's not just a shooting. This was a targeted white nationalist attack on brown people.
[13:55:08] LOPEZ: Correct.
CUOMO; How does the community deal with that?
LOPEZ: Well, I think it's been, a big part has been everybody coming together. You know, we initially reached out in case there was -- we heard rumors these things might be happening and immediately my thought was how horrible that some people have to go through that. So coming together, letting people know we're here for them if they need anything.
The immigration attorney community in El Paso is amazing. If anybody contacts them with any sort of concerns that they may have, I'm sure they're more than willing to help pro bono.
One issue, because we are a border city, we do have a lot of people who come over and shop through a border passport. That do allow people only to stay for 72 hours. One of my concerns as well is that people might be worried about overstaying their visa and so we don't want them having those concerns.
CUOMO; How are you handling this?
LOPEZ: It's been rough. One of the things that I think keeps us going, immigration attorneys, we have a lot of disheartening moments. This is far beyond that. The community has stepped up for each other. I've also said about El Paso, it has some of the biggest hearts and the most welcoming faces. That's one reason I think it was targeted. But we'll be there for each other and we'll get through this.
CUOMO; We saw the worst of us. Now we're seeing the best of us. There's a lot of non-Hispanics who are coming here to a largely Hispanic community. They're putting up memorials. They're praying. They're gathering under the flag. This is a test of what this country will be about and what it will reject.
Counselor, thank you. I appreciate it.
LOPEZ: Thank you for having me.
CUOMO; Again, I'm sorry to meet you this way. But it's an important discussion.
LOPEZ: Thank you.
CUOMO; You're welcome.
All right. We'll take a break now. When we come back, the investigative side of this is very important because we have to see something positive come out of this. There must be progress. We're hearing that, behind the scenes, there are a couple of recommendations that are being worked up within the DOJ. How will they handle weapons and access? How would they handle hate? We have new information, next.