Return to Transcripts main page

At This Hour

Iran Protests Escalate As Crackdown Continues; Police: St. Louis Killer's Weapon Taken From Him Before Shooting; Uvalde Families Upset After Law Enforcement Update On Massacre. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired October 27, 2022 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Tens of thousands taking to the streets in Iran. Just look at these pictures we're going to show you, one of the biggest days of protests yet over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. 40 days ago, she died in the custody of Iran's so-called morality police. CNN's Nada Bashir joining me now for much more on this. Nada, these pictures coming out are extraordinary.

NADA BASHIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL REPORTER: Absolutely remarkable, Kate, to see just the sheer number of people who gathered at the burial site of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini yesterday, marking 40 days since her death, an important marker of both mourning and commemoration in Iran today. Similarly, we've seen crowds gathering at the burial sites of Nika Shakarami, another young woman believed and died at the hands of Iran security forces and authorities in that brutal and deadly crackdown that we've seen over the last six weeks over the course of this protest movement.

Those clashes have really begun to intensify between protesters and security forces who have been using tear gas and even live fire ammunition against protesters. Today, we've seen in the city of Mahabad in the West Azerbaijan province protests taking place following the funeral of a protester who was killed on Wednesday.


Those clashes have really picked up over the course of the day. We've seen once again tear gas being used against protesters, live fire as well. Amnesty International has been one of the human rights organizations raising the alarm bell. They've said in a statement, Iran security forces are unlawfully using firearms against thousands in Mahabad, Iran's authorities must immediately rein in the security forces. UN experts now calling for an independent international investigation into that brutal and deadly crackdown, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Nada, thank you very much.

So, the body of an American man killed while fighting alongside Ukraine's military will soon return to the United States. CNN was there when Russian forces transferred the remains of Joshua Jones back to Ukraine. Here's Clarissa Ward's exclusive report.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): On the frontlines in Ukraine, he was known to his fellow fighters as tactical Jesus, on account of his long hair and deep knowledge of the Bible. To his mom, he was simply Joshy. Tennessee native Joshua Jones was just 24 years old when he was killed fighting in eastern Ukraine back in August. His passport and Ukrainian military ID showed up on Russian social media channels soon after, but his body was never recovered. Since then, Ukrainian lawmakers Oleksander Trukhin and Alexander Kovalev (PH) have worked tirelessly to get his body back. And today, it is finally happening.

Why is it important to you to recover the body of Joshua Jones?

OLEKSANDR TRUKHIN, UKRAINIAN MP: He's the same one hero for me like our soldiers, so we should make everything possible to give his body back to his family.

WARD: We are driving to the front line in Zaporizhzhia. We stop along the way to link up with military intelligence. In another car, a Russian soldier sits slumped over. He is being released today as part of a larger swap in which 10 Ukrainians were already free. The lawmakers talk with the officers to go over the plan once more. A makeshift white flag is put together for the moment of transfer.

And we're off again, this time to no man's land. A rare two-hour ceasefire has been agreed by both sides and time is of the essence. So, we've just arrived at the meeting point. They're waiting now for the Russians to arrive with a body. A team of forensic investigators gets ready for the task ahead. This is as far as we are allowed to go. Actual handover will happen just beyond the hill. Waiting for their return, it is eerily quiet.

Only the bravest deer come out in these parts. One of the transfer team captures the moment Joshua Jones's body is brought back into Ukrainian territory as Russian forces look on. For Kovalev and through him, it's the moment they have been waiting for. Jones is now one step closer to being returned to his family. Back in the car, they show us his personal effects.

TRUKHIN: This is his personal body cross, which he was wearing. He was very religious guy.

WARD: What's your feeling in this moment? You've been working towards this for a long time to try to get Joshua Jones back to his family.

TRUKHIN: Oh, feeling we are proud of our country, of our team, we are proud of the president and we are proud that we are saving lives. Because you know when even somebody is dying, his family continued to live and they cannot live normally if they know that they don't have a place where they can put their son.

WARD: Thanks to their efforts, Joshua's mother, Misty Gossett in Tennessee will soon have the chance to say goodbye to her son. MISTY GOSSETT, MOTHER OF U.S. FIGHTER KILLED IN UKRAINE: Joshua was -- he was a soldier. He was a born soldier. He was named after the battle of Jericho and he proved people lived up to his name so valiantly. And I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off of me.

WARD: A name and a life that will be remembered even half a world away.


BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Clarissa, thank you so much for that report.

Police in St. Louis say the family of a school shooter knew he was potentially dangerous and tried to step in.



LT. COL. MICHAEL SACK, INTERIM ST. LOUIS POLICE COMMISSIONER: They've done everything that they could possibly have done, but sometimes that's not enough.


BOLDUAN: That is next.



BOLDUAN: New details today about the Missouri School shooting that left two people dead. Police in St. Louis say the shooter's mother had asked police to remove the gun used in the shooting from their home. And this is just days before the attack took place. Police gave -- police helped facilitate giving the gun to a third party, an adult that the family knew in order to hold on to that weapon. They're still investigating now how the killer got it back. According to police, Orlando Harris's family knew he was struggling with mental health issues and carefully monitors his behavior, and his actions and tried to get him help.


SACK: They would search his room on occasion because they were concerned. But like I said, they were constantly in touch with the medical providers who are providing medical care for him. Mental health is a difficult thing, you know. It's just -- it's -- and it's hard to tell when somebody is going to be violent or act out or if they're just struggling. They're depressed and they might self-harm.


BOLDUAN: Joining me right now is CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst John Miller for more on this. This is -- this does seem unusual, on what we're hearing from the interim police commissioner on this. I mean, he went on to say I got to give credit to the family. They made every effort that they felt that they reasonably could. And he says they've done everything they could have possibly done, but sometimes that's not enough. What would the police -- what would they have -- investigators have had to have seen for the commissioner to feel comfortable saying something like that?

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT & INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, they've talked to the family, they spend time with the family, they've had calls to the family's house, including the one nine days before the shooting that caused them to leave with that weapon and give it to a third party. But mental health is a real struggle for families.

And you know what you're looking at is what did they do, they got him treatment. Did they have him hospitalized? Yes, they did. Or was he released from that -- was he on medication that was prescribed? Yes, yes, and yes. So if you're a family, you're going to be resistant to putting a child away. And the system actually won't do that.

BOLDUAN: That's right.

MILLER: They'll treat you, they'll give you prescriptions, and they'll send you back. There isn't anyone who knows who is going to in a momentary thing strikes out like this. And what we know from school shooters is, it's never a momentary thing. It's weeks of planning. It's what they call leakage. 80 percent of them tell somebody. Usually appear not a parent or a teacher. Two-thirds of them tell more than one person. So this is -- this is a real struggle for families, for teachers, for guidance counselors to know what are the signs and then what can you do about them.

BOLDUAN: That's right. It really -- it's a perfect encapsulation example of the real struggle and where the limits are and what families and well, law enforcement can do ahead of something. There is this -- the aspect that's still not clear here is this third party. How the gun got back -- how he got the gun back from whoever, you know, the family had holding the gun for him when they thought, obviously, they wanted it out of his hands and out of the home? Could that person be in trouble?

MILLER: So, could depend on this start -- depends on the circumstances. And I mean, if you look at the law in most states, parents aren't held liable for the actions of their children unless they had reasonable knowledge beforehand that that was what was going to happen.


MILLER: If you look at Ethan Crumbley from the --

BOLDUAN: Admission.

MILLER: The Oxford school shooting, you know, his parents went to jail because they ignored so many signs. The school is the subject of lawsuits. In this case, the question is going to boil down to did that third party give the gun back to him and did that third party have the knowledge of why they took it away or did he -- did he have access to that location and go and get it without somebody knowing?

BOLDUAN: Yes. I mean, every school shooting is different, of course. Every day, unfortunately, we have example of one example to compare. This is an extraordinary one. In that, you see the -- how good -- how fast the response was from police and stopping it from making it -- from it being worse and how much the family did to try to prevent it from happening on the front end. It's just really still tragic, of course. It's good to see you, John. Thank you so much.

MILLER: You too, Kate.

BOLDUAN: So the sneaker company, Skechers removing Kanye West from their offices after he showed up on announced. What's going on with that? That's next.



BOLDUAN: Let's head back to Texas now because the top law enforcement official in the state was -- has just wrapped up what was supposed to be an update on his agency's review of the Uvalde's school massacre and the police response and the investigation into that. But not much of an update was offered. The families of the victims who expected answers left again with none. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz is live in Austin, Texas for us again. Shimon, what happened?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's frustration, you know. You have to -- you have to just feel for these families who traveled here from Uvalde, three hours away expecting to get some kind of update. some kind of briefing on the internal investigation. You know, we've been given indication from people at DPS that today was going to be more -- they were going to provide more information today, a timeline, more details about their internal investigation, more details on some of the reporting that CNN has been doing about the DPS officers who are on-scene and quite frankly, didn't do what they were supposed to do. Instead, what the families got were more excuses, more reasons why the DPS can't provide information, more sort of like I'm sorry, but you know I can't do more right now, I know how you feel, all of this from the director of the DPS.


But the answers for the families, the reasons that they were told to come here, the reasons why they came here to seek these answers, to get some of the questions that they have had as to what happened here and how it happened, none of that answered. And instead, you sort of got a deflection and a director of the DPS who stood by some of what he said, blaming a lot of this on the local police. He made one apology today and that's towards a teacher, oh, who was accused of leaving a rock in the door and leaving the door open, but other than that, not much here today, Kate, and certainly for the families, not what they were expecting and certainly not what they deserve.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And they have no desire to have to tell their story again and again. That's why they came for answers not to lay them out -- lay themselves bear one more time. Shimon, thank you for being there.

Thank you so much everyone for watching, I'm Kate Bolduan. "INSIDE POLITICS" is next.