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St. Louis Police Infuriated by String of Child Shooting Deaths; Trump Official: Statue of Liberty Poem is About Europeans; HBO's New Documentary Explores New Ways Americans Confront Death; Man Accused of Attacking Boy Pleads Not Guilty; Dow Falls Amid New Recession Warning, Trump Trade War. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired August 14, 2019 - 14:30   ET



[14:33:09] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: In St. Louis, at least seven children have been lost to gun violence just since June. The latest, 7-year-old Xavier Dasango (ph) was killed on Monday while he played in his backyard, the day before he was supposed to start the second grade. There's heart break, but there's plenty of anger. Listen to this member of the St. Louis police force.


MAJ. MARY WARNECKE, DEPUTY COMMANDER, ST. LOUIS POLICE DEPARTMENT: We're here today because a 7-year-old will not be starting school today. We have a 10-year-old murdered not that long ago and will not be starting school today. We have a 2-year-old murdered on Farris not so long ago. We have a 3-year-old who was murder on Michigan not so long ago.

I know people know who shot and murdered these children. I know for a fact people know who is responsible. We are not getting the calls we need. We are not getting people demanding that we arrested these people. We need people to step up. We need the community to call us. We need the community knocking on these other doors saying, hey, who did this. We should be having strong calls.

We have been getting some help. We have been getting some calls from some of you. It's not enough. When the first thing that leads the news last night is the weather report, I'm not happy.


BALDWIN: The president of the St. Louis board of aldermen is calling for passage of a congressional bill that will allow local municipalities to pass their own gun measures, even if they're more strict than state and federal laws.

A Trump administration official attempts to edit poet, Emma Lazarus, the one who wrote the, "Give me your tired, your poor," Statue of Liberty inscription we all know.

Here's how the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli, tried to reframe her iconic words. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[14:35:00] KEN CUCCINELLI, ACTING DIRECTOR, U.S. CITIZENSHIP & IMMIGRATION SERVICES: Well, of course, that poem was referring back to people coming from Europe, where they had class-based societies, where people were considered retched if they weren't in the right class.


BALDWIN: That argument is going over like a lead balloon. We have English professors and historians as well as public policy advocates and one opinion writer said it's a parody of Trumpian ignorance and bigotry.

Guess what? It already has been parodied on Comedy Central. They imagined how it would go if the members of the Trump administration actually met with Emma Lazarus's great granddaughter to update her classic poem.


ARTURO CASTRO, ACTOR, WRITER & PRODUCER: Refuse, we love that description of borders. It evokes human garbage, but in a nice way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not supposed to invoke --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do we really want all that garbage on our shores?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know if you've been up to the Bronx but it's pretty full up on teaming refuse already.

CASTRO: Really savaged. Maybe we should put that on the book.


CASTRO: I don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's keep moving.

Send these the homeless, "send these the homeless tempest toss to me, I lift my lamp aside the golden door."

CASTRO: Again, we love it.


CASTRO: But my gut tells me we want to say the opposite of that.


CASTRO: Does that make any sense.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. So question for you then, what are we keeping? Teaming?




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mother of exiles?

CASTRO: Oh, my goodness, no.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then what is left?



BALDWIN: Funny. It's like, sad funny.

With me now, Arturo Castro, actor, writer, producer.

Arturo --

CASTRO: How's it going?

BALDWIN: -- I'm so glad you reached out over this sketch you wrote. People are thinking, oh, my gosh, did he do this yesterday? No. When did you do this?

CASTRO: We wrote this a year ago. We shot it in December as well. We wrote it under the pretense that it was ludicrous to have ever happened.

Yesterday, when I saw Ken Cuccinelli's words, I had a moment of shock that life is stranger than the fiction we could create.


CASTRO: I also feel partially responsible, like if --


CASTRO: -- to see what to do --


BALDWIN: Maybe a big Arturo fan, you just never know.


CASTRO: -- health care, yes.

BALDWIN: I was reading, I was reading some of the comments on YouTube with the sketch, and somebody wrote -- somebody responded, "Literally happening right now." I mean, when you heard what Ken Cuccinelli had said, how did you react?

CASTRO: Well, you know, it's one of those things where you keep getting shocked until you're numb to it. I was like, of course, this is like my writing world and the real world is happening at once. I think it speaks to a larger xenophobia of this administration's view of certain immigrants. Those comments are the latest of who can be considered illegal immigrant.

The scary part is the president, because it comes for people who use public services now. What's to stop it from the next one being all legal immigrants that come from countries that don't look like they come from Norway. Do you know?

BALDWIN: Take me back a year ago when you actually wrote this. Where did this come from for you?

CASTRO: Our great writer was like, well, could you imagine if they actually had a way of, like, where can this administration go in complete bizarro world. We were like, cool.

And we wanted to parody sort of the two people you see there -- certain executives in Hollywood talk like. Whenever someone gives you notes from another place, you're like, so this is really quick for us. We were like -- you laugh and you don't laugh anymore because it's happened. You know?

BALDWIN: Yes, I do know. I do know.

When you heard Ken Cuccinelli refer to class-based people from Europe, what did you really hear him say something?

CASTRO: No Latinos allowed, please. Nobody from -- I mean, we've heard this before. The president's referred to countries like El Salvador and Haiti with an expletive and has been asking for people from cool places like Norway to come over.

When you hear a class-based thing, it's sort of undeniable that they're meeting a certain type of cynicism. I don't think those immigrants look like me. Do you understand?

BALDWIN: I do, actually, from talking to people like you, and folks who understand what's going on.

What are you writing right now, so I know what I'll be covering a year from now?

[14:40:04] CASTRO: Sketches about free Nutella for everyone, and excellent health care. We'll get there.

BALDWIN: There you go.

CASTRO: It goes to show you the power of satire. I think that's why it's important to have shows like this and other shows. It lets us see how ridiculous things can be. BALDWIN: It is. Comedy Central.

Arturo Castro, thank you, my friend, for coming back on.

CASTRO: Thank you very much.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

The man accused of fracturing a kid's skull because he didn't remove his hat for the national anthem appears in court. We'll tell you what happened there.

Plus, why Jay-z is teaming up with the NFL despite his past criticism of the league.


[14:45:40] BALDWIN: Debuting today, a new HBO documentary film, "Alternate Endings," that takes a look at Americans' unique ways of honoring life's final chapter and passage into death. The filmmakers traveling the nation discovering unusual end-of-life services, such as drive-through funerals or even hologrammed eulogies. Here's a look.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't tell me what I have to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to go out with a quality of life. I want it to be on my journey.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are so many options.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We provide alternative caskets for those alternatives for people who maybe don't want official burials.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Funny, you know, people ask, why are you taking off work, and going with my friend to pick out her burial plot. What?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He wanted a memorial space flight.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK to do something nontraditional to celebrate and to honor somebody's life.


BALDWIN: With me now, Perri Peltz and Matthew O'Neill, serving as producer and director of HBO's "Alternate Ending, Six New Ways to Die in America." Nice to meet you.

MATTHEW O'NEILL, PRODUCER & DIRECTOR: Thank you. Thanks for having us.

BALDWIN: I hear that clip where she says not exactly traditional. That's an understatement. But it's fascinating. They also get the death -- to you first -- why did you want to go there?

O'NEILL: HBO came to us. Put us in an arranged marriage to work on a film about death. When we were asked to do it, death is the most intimidating topic, even if you hear a film about death, who wants to watch that. We have an incredible journey where we went into all these different Americans lives and left inspired.

BALDWIN: How did you read about the Wreath Bowl? We saw the rocket going up, and the remains. You follow these six stories? Can you just tell us a little bit about some of them?

PERRI PELTZ, PRODUCER & DIRECTOR: There are six stories. They are alternate endings, options, things that are out there for people to do besides the traditional coffin and into the ground six feet under.

These are different things that people can do that are more consistent with the way they live their lives, whether it's something that's environmental, like being buried under the occasion --


BALDWIN: Let me stop you there. People are thinking, what does she mean by that? Without giving it all away --

PELTZ: With the way people live their lives.


PELTZ: Because let's say you're someone that cares about the environment and cared about that deeply during their life. Perhaps what you would think about is the way you celebrate the end of your life or the way you want to spend your after life is not in the ground in a big metal wood coffin, with lots of form formaldehyde that will leech into the environment.

Maybe you want to do something that's more environmentally friends. Like being buried at a natural cemetery, just shrouded and buried in a shallow grave.

BALDWIN: We're so bad at talking about this.


BALDWIN: I'm guilty. But a lot of people don't think about, plan. Even if you are the person who's planning, how do you get everyone on board around you, to go there?

O'NEILL: That's what distinguishes each of these stories, is that these deaths are intentional and conscious. They're focused on the how and why of dying.

Dying is something that unites every one of us. It's really what makes us human, our conscious about the fact that we will one day die.

We don't talk about death enough in our society. It's the last taboo. You can talk about sex, drugs on television. Everyone's afraid to talk about death. And the reality is that it can be a profound peaceful part of life.

And what you see in this film, is when people approach the end of life with intentionality and thoughtfulness, it can be less painful. That's what we hope people will take this film and be inspired by it, and talk to their parents, their children. Have a conversation about the end of life.

BALDWIN: I was asking you, are you comfortable talking about death? Both of you said no but this is a process. Maybe one more than the other.

PELTZ: When we started this, who wants to talk about death?


[14:50:08] PELTZ: It was something that, at least for me, that my family -- my mother wanted us to talk about the end of her life and what that's going to look like, I always said, no, I don't want to talk about that. Who wants to talk about it?

I think what both of us learned in this process, we have to talk about it. When you don't talk about it, what happens? You die, the family is emotional, it's a difficult moment and things can be left to an undertaker, to a funeral home. That can be the best way for a family.

BALDWIN: So what do you want people to take from this hour?

O'NEILL: I think if you watch these stories, you'll be surprised. You'll be surprised about how empowering and uplifting they are. Death is something we're all going to face. And these are six different ways that people are leaning into the end-of-life process.

I hope people watch that, reflect on what they want from their own end of life, what they want for their loved ones' end of life.

And something we're profoundly affected by was spending time with people who are dying.

BALDWIN: Absolutely.

O'NEILL: So often, people who are dying are left alone or are afraid of it or uncomfortable. It's a profound and important time, not only for the people who are leaving this earth, but also for those of us who are left behind.

BALDWIN: Who want to celebrate and honor the person while they're still living. Matthew and Perri, thank you very much. Something you've left me now

thinking about is called "Alternative Endings," on HBO starting this evening.

Thank you so much.

O'NEILL: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you very much.

O'NEILL: Appreciate it.

BALDWIN: More on our breaking news. The Dow still dropping as a key recession indicator is flashing red. We'll have more on that,

And in the wake of mass shootings, both in El Paso and Dayton, Kamala Harris, her campaign has released her plan to keep guns away from domestic terrorists.

We'll be right back.


[14:56:33] BALDWIN: The man accused of attacking a 13-year-old boy for not removing his hat during the national anthem pleaded not guilty in court today. Curt Brockway's attorney says his client, a veteran, has problems with impulse control after a traumatic brain injury.

An affidavit says Brockway grabbed the boy by the throat, lifted him in the air and then slammed him down. Court record shows the child had cursed the Rockway when he asked the teen to remove the hat.

The affidavit also details that the boy was bleeding from the ears and suffered a concussion and fractured skull.

CNN's Scott McLean was at the hearing today.

So, Scott, besides the guilty plea, what else happened?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Brooke. The hearing was quite brief. The defendant in this case, Curt Brockway, said two words, not guilty, to the assault on a minor against him.

His lawyer made clear he would have a nEuropsychiatric evaluation before the next hearing in october. And until then, he will also be on house arrest with some conditions.

Initially, Brockway told police that he body slammed this 13-year-old after the boy responded F.U. to his request to take his hat off. A witness told police that that account was largely accurate except she didn't hear him ask the boy to remove his hat before he attacked.

Because of national attention on anthem protests, and because Brockway's lawyer suggested that his client was influenced by President Trump's rhetoric on respect for the flag and for anthem, this incident has gotten political. In fact, Brockway's lawyer said he's gotten threats, first from the left, more recently from both sides of the political spectrum.

But context is so important here. Curt Brockway has a traumatic brain injury he got from a car accident back in 2001 while he was enlisted in the military. Because of that injury, his lawyer says that he has cognitive abilities of a third grader and he also struggles with impulse control. Something that is common among people that have this same type of brain injury.

This lawyer stresses none of that excuses his client's actions. But he says it makes it a tragic case, because we now have a 13-year-old boy who is recovering from a head injury of his own.

Brooke, I should mention, we reach out to that boy's mother, who declined to comment to CNN until the court case is wrapped up.

BALDWIN: Scott McLean, with the update from Montana. Scott, thank you very much.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BALDWIN: We roll on. Hour two. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.

The breaking news is this. A key recession indicator is flashing red. And with just an hour to go until the closing bell, the Dow is still dropping. Right now, it is down more than 728 points. The key indicator here, yields on 10-year treasury bonds, fell below yields on two-year bonds for the first time since 2007. Today's warning sign has preceded each of the past seven sessions.

The move, investors are shunning stocks and flocking to the safer havens of government bonds.

President Trump is weighing in on the stock market today. He's pointing the finger straight at Fed chief, Jerome Powell, who recently cut interest rates for the first time since the 2007 financial crisis.

[15:00:03] CNN's Julia Chatterley is here with me now.

And with the bond market signaling a recession this morning --