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Police: 2 Killed, 8 Wounded In Shooting At Arkansas Grocery; Trump Outraises Biden For Second Straight Month; Judge To Decide On Removing Jack Smith From Trump Case; Supreme Court Upholds Ban On Domestic Abusers Owning Guns. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired June 21, 2024 - 16:00   ET



SUSAN EISENHOWER, NATIONAL SECURITY EXPERT: As a matter of fact, most people today who had anything to do with that part of the world would say it's just a miracle we got through the Cold War without some terrible incident taking place.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: The finale airs on Sunday night. Stay tuned for that.

And tune in for THE LEAD the lead with Jake Tapper, which starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Phil Mattingly, in for Jake Tapper.

And we start this hour with the breaking news. At least 10 people have been shot at in Arkansas grocery store. Two people were killed, and one of the injured is a police officer.

I want to get straight to CNN's Isabel Rosales.

Isabel, what do we know about where things stand, how this actually happened earlier today?

ISABEL ROSALES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Phil. We do know that the situation has been contained and we expect to get brand new details here in about half an hour, that is when Arkansas state police are holding a press conference to let the community know what has happened here.

But here's what we do know from a press release from Arkansas state police. This mass shooting which CNN defines as four or more people wounded or killed, happened at 12:30 Eastern. So just in the afternoon and Fordyce, Arkansas. That's in Dallas County. It's a small community, about 3,700 people.

And it happened inside of a grocery store, the Mad Butcher grocery store. You mentioned that eight people were wounded, two sadly, Phil, have been killed. We know that a law enforcement officer has been wounded, but non-life-threatening injuries.

And a shooter has been critically injured but taken into custody. We have also -- CNN has spoken to Matthew Gill, a witness, somebody who was inside of that grocery store. And in fact, he works there. He's the meat manager who saw a man come in he says with a shotgun, and ended up in a shootout with police before they were taken into custody.

Now, we also heard from a witness, David Rodriguez, who was outside just trying to fuel up his car at a gas station when he heard all this popping, he took a video. In fact, where you can hear popping in the background that he at first mistook for fireworks because there's a firework store nearby, then he saw people running. And shortly after that is when ambulance sirens came in, police came into control of the situation, told them to leave.

He did also notice that in the front windows of the grocery store, it appeared to him they hadn't shot open as though somebody was trying to get inside with gunfire.

Phil, the governor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has been informed of the situation. She's in contact with state police. She had this to say: I am thankful law enforcement and first responders for their quick and heroic action to save lives. My prayers are with the victims and all those impacted by this horrific incident.

So all this to say the situation is contained, but we are seeing from our affiliates who are still there on the scene, lots of police presence, obviously, as they're going to work here to gather evidence, talk to witnesses, potentially have any -- any surveillance footage, and see what the scene is, piece this together, figure out why this all happen -- Phil.

MATTINGLY: Yeah. And, Isabel, I know early stages still collecting a lot of information. You mentioned that the shooter was injured. We don't know -- I don't think at least if he's speaking or not. We do know that there will be a press conference. The state police announced that and just under 30 minutes.

Do we have any sense of how much information they're going to be willing to share about how this all happened?

ROSALES: We don't, Phil, and this is a tiny community, so we know that they've been overwhelmed. The hospital, nearby businesses with all these calls, of course, from press trying to figure out what is going on here. We'll just have to see here in the next half-hour what they are privy to sharing with us and how this all happened, but interesting that the shooter, while critically injured, is in custody. Again, don't know if their conscious or not. How much there'll be able to relate back to police as they work to figure this thing out.

MATTINGLY: All right. Isabel Rosales, I want you to get back to reporting with your team. Thanks so much for the information. We will keep you updated throughout the course of this hour. We're going to follow the breaking news updates. We'll obviously keep you posted on that press conference as well when it begins right now scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

Also this afternoon, we are turning to our 2024 lead because we are less than a week away from the most important event of the 2024 election so far, maybe the most important period of the 2024 election. Next Thursday night, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will face off in this cycle's first debate and it's all happening right here on CNN.

But before they hit the stage, we're getting a new look inside both campaign's bank accounts. Biden's May haul totaled $85 million that the campaign says is the second best grassroots fundraising month for the president this cycle.


However, Trump's team and the RNC reporting a massive fundraising haul for last month, $141 million, boosted by a surge on donations after his criminal convictions in New York.

Let's get straight to CNN's Jeff Zeleny.

Jeff, this is the second month in a row that Trump has outraised Biden. What else do we know about what's inside these totals?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Phil, the bottom line to all of this is former President Donald Trump has effectively erased the cash advantage that President Biden and his campaign have enjoyed for many, many months? Yes, overall, the Biden campaign has still raised more year to date, but in the last two months, there has been an upward tick from the Trump campaign.

And as you said, you can exactly track that to the conviction. His convictions in May certainly elevated his contributions. But if you look at this from February to March, April to May, Biden, there is in blue, Trump is in red. Biden enjoyed a cash advantage and that allowed the Biden campaign to really start advertising spending a more than $70 million so far in television and digital advertising, as well as building offices across battleground states.

In fact, this week alone, they hired the 1,000th campaign staffer. The Trump campaign is far behind on that score, but in raising money in terms of having a parity with the Biden campaign, no doubt the Trump campaign is coming on strong.

Phil, not a surprise. We did not expect the money to be a defining factor in this. The question, what does the Trump campaign do with this money? Do they actually spent on television or perhaps hold some of it for legal expenses?

MATTINGLY: Yeah. Legal expenses, whether or not they spent on ad buys, whether or not they build out their ground operations, well, still an open question. ZELENY: Good question.

MATTINGLY: I got to ask you, Jeff, there were at least a couple huge donors that came through in those FEC filings, like I'm not sure I've seen $50 million before, at least not in recent memory.

Who are they?

ZELENY: Neither one of us have seen it in recent memory, and they are two billionaires.

Tim Mellon is the one who is certainly the most interesting. He wrote a check for $50 million to be a super PAC supporting the election of a former President Donald Trump. He also is given considerable money to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

He, of course, is the grandson of the late former Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, as well, as just a member of the Mellon family. He is certainly a bit of a reclusive donor. In fact, in recent years, he's been giving more and more, most Republican candidates he gives to have never met him before.

Michael Bloomberg, on the other side of the aisle, has given almost $20 to the Biden campaign and Democratic efforts. Of course, he is much more well-known. He ran for president himself in 2020.

But, Phil, just a snapshot of some of the billionaires giving money here. But the Trump's super PAC is getting most of its money now from Tim Mellon at least recently. They are intending to spend money on television here.

So a central question to all of this, how much will the Trump campaign actually spend or will they outsource most of their ground game and campaign efforts? So the advertising efforts, so that's what they are signaling. We shall see.

Of course, the reason this matters is when both candidates are face- to-face and the debate stage next week. Essentially in fundraising, they're at parity -- Phil.

MATTINGLY: Yeah, it's even across the board just about every metric you can look at it at this point.

Jeff Zeleny, as always, thank you, my friend.

ZELENY: You bet.

MATTINGLY: My political panel is here to discuss.

Scott Jennings, you're just about to write that $50 million check as well, couldn't quite get yourself to do the name. Also, people know you.


MATTINGLY: You're not reclusive. No one accused you of that. I do -- let's pull the fundraising numbers again, though, because the Trump campaign raising 141 million, Biden campaign -- no. No, not shabby at $85 million.

They're -- the story of the -- I think the three or four months preceding the last two was just a dramatic advantage when it came to money for the Biden campaign. When you see where things stand right now, does that concern you if you're the Biden campaign, do you feel like this is kind of evening up? What do you see?

NAYYERA HAQ, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF CABINET AFFAIRS, OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: Well, it's fascinating to see that right after a conviction, federal conviction that Trumps fundraising numbers have gotten up as many people were predicting that his base will turn out for him and his friends will write $50 million checks for him.

The challenge for the Biden campaign is going to be when and how they spend the money. The ground game is going to be critical. That's typically where Democrats do have an advantage given that the moneyed interests have not traditionally been on the Democratic side of the aisle.

But the amount of money being spent in presidential campaigns is more than absurd. Democratic candidates in total in 2020 spent $3 trillion, $3 trillion is three times the national debt. So, there's clearly something wrong when this is the way we talk about money in a political system.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the Biden people have always believed that the Trump campaign had no ground game, and they were always -- they're always saying, you know, you have no ground game. We've been spending all this money on ground game.

Well, now they've got money they spend on it. I don't know if it's a little late but they can also be spending it on legal fees, right? But they do have the money now.

JENNINGS: It's a vital -- it's a vital thing because if you look at where Trump's support comes from mid and low propensity voters loved Donald Trump.



JENNINGS: You know, for my whole career, it's been that Democrats just turn out anybody and that's good for them. It's upside-down this time. For Trump, it's mid and low propensity.

It's expensive to go talk to those people. It's expensive to go knock on their doors and on top of that, unregistered voters strongly preferred for Trump.

So think about if you wanted to run a massive voter registration and then turnout effort. It's expensive, it's labor-intensive. And as Gloria just said, they now have the resources to enhance that. And if they can fundamentally alter the composition of the electorate,

it's got a great chance.

HAQ: Well, it's going to be data-driven at the end of the day, and knowing what your -- who you're going to try to turn out, the super PACs in the Democratic side have been criticized for not spending the money yet and helping turnout Black and Brown voters, as well as younger voters, making that contact with them early is going to help Biden with his narrative.

ERIN PERRINE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST, AXIOM STRATEGIES: One of your points about data, though, this is now Trumps third campaign cycle. In the 2020 cycle, we made it really concerted effort on the ground game, on data about knowing where voters were, how many times you needed to talk to them, what their propensity was, and then using rallies as well, any political event that Trump would go to as registration events, because those are low propensity voters as well generally at those rallies.

When you put all of that data together, even without a fully built out ground game at this point for the Trump team, they still have the infrastructure there to know who their voters are and when to turn them out.

MATTINGLY: Look, it's also a good -- if you want to understand why Donald Trump has done a 180 on vote by mail and backing that at the urging, I think probably banging down the door of your former boss, many, many at the Senate candidates as well, and really having operational chase (ph) program.

But to your point, identifying voters is critical. Having the finances to go out and help get to the polls, make sure that they're doing what they need to do by deadlines is also critical. When I talk to state officials in the Republican Party, they don't see a lot of it right now, or at least they haven't over the course of the last couple of months.

PERRINE: Very traditionally, the RNC would step in and start helping built out victory centers, the ground game, whatever the case may be. The RNC is clearly going through an evolution at this point in the cycle. So they're not doing the same thing.

But the money that is going into the super PAC right now to support Donald Trump, that dollar for dollar can act the same way as the money on the campaign side. One the campaign side, they get a better rate on TV.


PERRINE: So, that super PAC right now sitting on that $50 million check, that is money and resources that can easily act dollar to dollar the same way as the campaign dollar would and be able to help --

(CROSSTALK) BORGER: But that's the question about the legal cases, right? I mean, Donald Trump has millions and millions of dollars in legal bills and his daughter-in-law is not specific at all about how much of the money going to the RNC is going to be spent on the legal cases.

We don't know -- you know, we don't know the answer to that and --


PERRINE: And that's completely separate from the RNC in any money that would go into the Trump campaign.

HAQ: The assumption that the traditional ways in which you've reached voters will continue to work in this entirely different media engagement, online environment, that's also what's at play here and test the same way the Obama campaign in its primary really came out with a new way of bringing in new voters through using voter technology. That's what we're going to see. TV doesn't get to everybody anymore, right?


HAQ: It's aggregated environment so get a hold of people.

JENNINGS: I've wondered if both campaigns just didn't do any TV. Would it make a difference than if they just put all the money and it's not -- because honestly, Joe Biden and Donald Trump are the two most well-defined people to ever run against each other for president. Will a TV ad tell you something you don't know?

PERRINE: The question is after the debate.

JENNINGS: But -- it -- so things like debates, but also things like adding new people to the pool of possible voters, that's a measurable difference in a state that could be decided by 10,000 votes.


BORGER: That's door to door.

MATTINGLY: We should know before we go, Scott's got a lot of friends who are consultants right now, who are about to pick up the phone and be like dude, shut up.


MATTINGLY: But it's a really interesting question actually.

All right, guys. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Coming up, Judge Aileen Cannon is holding a very unusual day long hearing that could decide future of charges against the former president. The rare move the judge made in court today.

And the dramatic video capturing a Southwest flight flying dangerously low over and Oklahoma suburb. What exactly went wrong? We'll tell you, next.



MATTINGLY: In our law and justice lead, just moments ago, something very unusual happened in a federal court in Florida. Attorneys for former President Trump asking Judge Aileen Cannon to dismiss charges brought by special counsel Jack Smith in his classified documents case, arguing Smith was unlawfully appointed in the case.

CNN's Evan Perez is live outside the courthouse in Florida.

Evan, Judge Cannon pushed back on some of the arguments raised by Trump's legal team. She didn't rule on the case today.

What exactly did she ask them?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, she pushed Emil Bove who is one of Donald Trump's attorneys to explain some of the charge language that he was using in federal court today. One of the things he said was that Jack Smith and the fact that he was appointed by Merrick Garland, the attorney general, that essentially was acting as a shadow government, and she called that language very ominous, and pushed him to sort of explain exactly where he was going with this.

One of the things that the Trump attorney is trying to do is besides -- besides trying to push for the dismissal of the charges, short of that, she's also asking for the judge to hold additional hearings to examine exactly what the relationship is and the oversight is between Merrick Garland, the attorney general, and Jack Smith.

But the fact that we even had this hearing, Phil, is unusual. A lot of defendants, including Hunter Biden, have challenged the legality of the appointment coming of special counsels, in the case of Hunter Biden. He got shot down by judges -- by judges in Los Angeles and in Wilmington. Judges -- they usually don't even have hearings.

And so the fact that we were having a hearing today and actually, Judge Cannon had outside third party groups making arguments is highly unusual.

MATTINGLY: Yeah, it's -- even though this case is kind of frozen, the hearing process, in the fact, to your point, Evan, that they're happening at all and fascinating to watch, with still a relatively new judge on the bench.


Evan Perez, thank you, as always.

Let's discuss this with our legal panel. Joining me now, Carrie Cordero and Ankush Khardori.

Thank you, guys, both for being here. I want you to start by listening to something Ty Cobb, former White

House attorney under former President Trump, what he said about the judge, Aileen Cannon, overseeing this case to CNN last night.


TY COBB, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: We're way beyond the point of, you know, characterizing her merely as an experienced. The fact she doesn't deny most of these motions without a hearing is silly. But the worst thing that could happen to her is that she actually does rule for Trump on this because that would go to the 11th Circuit, and then I think this petty partisan primadonna would be putt in her place and they would remove her.


MATTINGLY: I assume you're going to take it maybe a less candid approach to your answer here. But Evan made this point, too. This isn't something you see all the time. This is something other people have brought. They haven't gotten hearings, it gets shot down pretty quick, precedent wise.

Do you think Ty Cobb has a point there?

ANKUSH KHARDORI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Look, I certainly see the argument that this was an issue that didn't require hearing. I would not subscribe to the language that he used in any way, shape, or form. I think it's inappropriate actually.

But I will say in her favor that this is the first of three days worth of hearings, right? She's going to have more hearings on Monday and Tuesday about a separate set of issues, a lot of the concerns people have been raising recently been about her inability to move through these issues more quickly. This is what moving through issues looks like in actual court system. It includes holding hearings and the like.

Ultimately, what will guide people's assessment of today's argument is how she resolves it, and that remains to be seen.

MATTINGLY: And to that point, Carrie, if Judge Cannon rules in favor of the Trump legal team, again, both Evan and Ty Cobb kind of laid out the history here on something like this, one of the questions you here raise is, is this grounds for were going to the 11th Circuit and trying to remove her from the case? People constantly talk about that. They've never really had a good reason to do so. Would this be one?

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think so is the short answer. So judges make decisions and sometimes at those decisions are then appealed and they go up to the appellate process and then either the judges decision is upheld or it's shot down and that happened before when she made a decision that pertain to the special master in the search warrant, went up to 11th Circuit. They change it, and then the case continues to move on.

I think it is. She didn't have to have this hearing today but she did. She is a Senate confirmed federal district court judge. And unless she has done something wildly inappropriate or some demonstration of a conflict, I think some of the criticism of her is of the nature of we don't like her decisions therefore, and we don't maybe like the timeline that she's handling the case on. And therefore, that is something wrong with her.

I think we can disagree with matters of law and we can even disagree with maybe the amount of breadth that she's giving the former president's team to argue, but I haven't seen anything yet that indicates she needs to be immediately taken off the case.

MATTINGLY: Yeah, confirmed on a bipartisan basis. I would note in the U.S. Senate.

The one thing that struck me and -- not a lawyer mercifully -- but the outside groups that have a role here, including groups like Citizens United, obviously conservative non-profit, is that unusual? Is that normal?

KHARDORI: Okay. I have a little bit of experience with this. It is unusual. However, when I was prosecuting a case, a criminal case in Chicago, at the trial level, I had a situation where a whole bunch of financial industry advocacy groups came in. The Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, whole bunch of these the other folks, I was similarly annoyed as the prosecutor to have all these third parties come in in a case where, you know, criminal prosecution is really just supposed to be the government and the defense, and amici don't usually show up until the appeals process, if ever.

So it is highly unusual. It happens as I can attest. So it's not totally unprecedented.

MATTINGLY: I want to look ahead a little bit because we've all been waiting around 10:00 a.m. every single morning when the Supreme Court is in session about whether or not were going to get a ruling on the immunity question.

Obviously, that's been hanging over everything.

What's your sense of where this goes right now? And can we read any tea leaves by timelines, which we're desperately trying to do every year?

CORDERO: Well, with respect to the immunity case in particular -- I mean, obviously, it's a critical case and it's a critical case both for how the cases against the former president proceed and we've got both the classified documents case and the January 6 case where that one is directly relevant, and it's relevant to presidencies overall, which is why it is not surprising at all that the Supreme Court is taking as much time as it wants with this issue because it's not just about Donald Trump, it's about the institution of the presidency.

But there is another case that we also are still waiting for the Supreme Court and that is the case that obstruction and it's not getting as much attention, but I think it is actually equally important as it relates to January 6 matters because the Supreme Courts decision, which we still are waiting for on a matter related to obstruction charges will potentially affect many of the January 6 related cases, including charges against the former president.

So, that one really is an important one to watch as well.

MATTINGLY: Similar sense of things?

KHARDORI: Yeah. No. I think that one is definitely worth watching. I mean, two of the charges in the Washington, D.C. prosecution of the 2020 election stem from that same statute. It wouldn't necessarily dispose of the case, even if that ruling came down in a very favorable form for Trump, there were two other charging strategies, but for sure it would be an unwelcome development of the prosecutors in that case.

MATTINGLY: All right. Guys, stick around. We've got some breaking news we want to get to.

The U.S. Supreme Court weighing in on guns, what limits to the justices uphold, how could they -- how could the decision saved lives and why only one justice disagreed?

Stay with us.



MATTINGLY: And we are back with breaking news. A judge in Nevada has dismissed the charges against six Republicans who were accused in the state's fake electors case. That's according to "The Associated Press," which says the judge said prosecutors chose the wrong venue to file the case.

Now, Carrie, just to give people some perspective here, I think this is one of four states where charges have been brought again slates of fake electors. I think there were seven back in 2020.

This seems like a technical issue. It's a state issue, not a federal one which we were talking about last block.


MATTINGLY: What do you see here?

CORDERO: Well, so, first of all, I think it's not totally over yet because the state is going to appeal to the appellate level. So we still will see whether there's another opportunity 30 for this decision to be put on hold and for the case eventually to be brought. Again, this is an issue where the states, just like the federal government is trying to find ways under the law to hold things related to the 2020 election, bring accountability to it. The way that the states have generally approached that is by bringing these state elector cases where individuals filed false certifications of election.

And so, we'll see whether or not it goes up on appeal. But this particular decision seems to be made on the venue. So, simply that the product the case was brought in the wrong jurisdiction in the state of Nevada.

MATTINGLY: I'm going to ask you what I asked you during the break. My natural assumption here, Carrie makes a great point, it's not over. There's another step. There's an appeal. It can happen.

Why not just refile in the proper venue? I think this is a Las Vegas versus Carson City type issue.

ANKUSH KHARDORI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes. So usually, when a criminal case is dismissed for improper venue, it can't be re-filed in the proper venue. In this case, the lawyers, the defendants are claiming that the statute of limitations has run on any ability to now refile on another jurisdiction.

So if that is correct, I don't know for sure. I'm sure that very well could be the subject of litigation going forward. But if that is correct, it would potentially kill off their ability to refile. But again, this is subject, as Carrie said, to an appellate process that could go on for some time.

MATTINGLY: And we'll keep an eye on that as well.

Very important Republicans in the state were charged in this case, including the state GOP chairman. We will keep an eye on it.

Guys, thank you very much for sticking around.

The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld a federal law that bars domestic abusers from owning guns. The decision was nearly unanimous with Justice Clarence Thomas as a lone dissenter.

The opinion referenced multiple statistics on gun violence, including a study that says a woman who lives in a house with the domestic abuser is five times more likely to be murdered if the abuser has access to a gun.

CNN security correspondent Josh Campbell is here now.

Josh, you've reported on this case for the past two years. Walk us through how it came about, and what today's ruling means.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Phil. So, you know, this down from the case involving a man named Zackey Rahimi who was objectively a menace.

You just look at his history back in 2020. He was accused of abusing his girlfriend. She sought a protection order. He then went on to threaten another woman with a gun and was engaged in a spate of shootings, including road rage incidents. He was also accused of opening fire in a fast food joint over a decline credit card.

And so he was eventually is homeless, searched by law enforcement who found a gun which was a violation of this federal law for people with these kind of protection orders. He was in prosecuted. But it was after for that major 2022 decision, the New York case involving Bruen from the Supreme Courts, this landmark gun case that impacted him.

And, you know, this gets a bit wonky. But what the Supreme Court determined was that modern-day gun laws are only constitutional if there was some kind of equivalent law on the books at the founding of the nation when the Constitution was actually written. And so, he's -- he won in the lower courts. But today, this major decision from the Supreme Court in this 8-1 ruling, I'll read you part of what Chief Justice John Roberts said and writing the opinion, he says that our tradition of firearm regulation allows the government to disarm individuals who present a credible threat of physical safety of others.

Some courts have misunderstood the methodology of our recent Second Amendment cases. Again, writing in there in that opinion. Now, I've been talking with victims of domestic violence, as well as advocates. They're celebrating today's decision, you know, and talking with some of these abuse victims, they say that peoples often can understand that when you're in an abusive relationship, and then you factor in a gun, that ultimately often leads to sheer terror.

And some of these advocates that we were talking about had been perplexed by this whole notion that modern-day laws are only constitutional if there was some kind of historical analogue. Have a listen.


CARMEN MCDONALD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LA CENTER FOR LAW & JUSTICE: It's not even logical. Two hundred and thirty years ago, women didn't have the right to vote. Slavery was legal. Domestic violence laws weren't even on the book.

This is not someone saying, I'm going to come to your house and take away your right to own a firearm.


This us saying you are a violent person and because of that, you are unable to own a firearm.


CAMPBELL: Now, it's important to note Phil finally that this is one case or several other gun cases that are working their way through the lower courts. No indication this is some big shift that we will ultimately see in the Supreme Court moving forward. But certainly, a day that's a gun safety advocates are celebrating today with this win.

MATTINGLY: Yeah, the statistics are about as clear as it gets.

Josh Campbell, appreciate the reporting. Thank you.

Well, coming up, the latest we're learning about a grocery store shooting this afternoon in Arkansas.

Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


MATTINGLY: Our law and justice lead brings us to California where dozen of cases are under review after a recently discovered case file from the 1990s showed prosecutors private notes where they tracked whether potential jurors were Black or Jewish. Remember, by law prosecutors are not allowed to decide a jury based on race, ethnicity, or gender.

Nick Watt reveals how old hand scribbled notes may end up freeing convicts on death row.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lance Clark was 9 years old when he was shot dead in Oakland, California. Earnest Dykes convicted of his murder, sentenced to death, but Lance's family tells CNN that they've been told by the D.A.'s office that Dykes will be out of prison in nine months to a year, and they say Lance is missed every day. He was robbed of a future.

Why might Dykes get out?

Because an assistant D.A. found and disclosed handwritten notes about potential jurors from the trial back in 1995.

BRIAN POMERANTZ, ATTORNEY FOR ERNEST DYKES: This is a male Black juror someone has written here must go. Further down on this card, I liked him better than any other Jew, but no way. They just thought Jewish jurors were more liberal. As one prosecutor said, Black people don't like police. There were no Black jurors in this case.

WATT: No Jewish jurors?

POMERANTZ: No Jewish jurors.

WATT: The D.A. Pamela Price had no comment on the expected release, but earlier, she did tell us this.

PAMELA PRICE, ALAMEDA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Mr. Dykes has spent 31 years behind bars. And so he has paid a price for that crime.

WATT: She says, this guy, Morris Jacobson, was among the prosecuting attorneys on the case.

We know he was involved in jury selection.


WATT: Unclear if a prosecutor or someone else wrote these words.

He is now a judge here in Alameda County, works here in this court has behind me. We called a couple of times, ask for an interview. He said no. Court is over for the day. We've been waiting for a couple of hours to try and catch him on his way out. We haven't seen him.

A federal judge believes this issue is much wider than in prior decades, prosecutors from this office were engaged in a pattern of serious misconduct, automatically excluding Jewish and African- American jurors in death penalty cases.

PRICE: When you have serious prosecutorial misconduct. That means that the conviction is a wrongful conviction. And so, it's a question of whether or not were able to negotiate a resolution or whether we have to go back to trial.

WATT: That federal judge has now ordered the D.A.'s office to review 35 capital cases. Among them convicted serial killers, mass shooters, rapists, and murderers dating from the 1980s through 2007.

They're only other solution is that get out.

POMERANTZ: For some, that may be the solution and for some, that should be the solution, right? Like I said, I believe Mr. Smith did not do the crime.

WATT: Sentenced to die for killing Lauren Germane (ph) during an armed robbery in the mid '80s, the victim's daughter just spoke to CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was a fun day. He would always take us fishing and camping and my mom worked swing shift, so he was the guy home at night. He even was the tooth fairy.

WATT: She was too afraid to show her face.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And my biggest fears. What if he gets out of jail? Just that somebody out there hurt my dad and then he's going to be out there, and who's to say he's not going to hurt me?

WATT: Brian Pomerantz is looking through all those 35 case files.

POMERANTZ: In almost all the cases, we've seen lists like this. And as we have names and next to it, you'll see --


POMERANTZ: Right, male black.

WATT: Okay.

POMERANTZ: FB, female black. Or they were writing the race only of African-Americans. They weren't writing the race of anyone else.

WATT: In 2008.


WATT: Do you also contend that this issue was then covered up over the years?

POMERANTZ: Absolutely.

PRICE: I believe that's true. There was knowledge. There had to be knowledge.

WATT: Because during an appeal in 2003, a former Alameda deputy D.A. testified it was standard practice to exclude Jewish jurors in death cases as it was to exclude African American women.

PRICE: It is ironic. They didn't want me on the jury and now I'm the district attorney.

WATT: This is from the 1992 case file of Franklin Lynch, aka the day stalker, convicted of murdering three elderly women, but during jury selection.

POMERANTZ: Half B, they were so concerned about that person even being half black that they flagged it not once, twice.

WATT: I mean, Franklin Lynch was convicted and he's basically a serial killer. He is now somebody that should catch a break because of this?

POMERANTZ: This is a tragedy on all level, right? There are victims, families who are suffering because now these cases 30 years later are coming back. It is wrong.

It's also wrong when Franklin Lynch doesn't get a fair trial.



WATT (on camera): So that federal judge is now investigating. The district attorney is involved. The state attorney general is involved.

But, you know, for the prosecutors, for those prosecutors, even if it is proved that they did engage in this kind of jury tampering, there aren't really many consequences. They can be disbarred, but frankly, most of them are retired now, anyway.

And in terms of the bigger picture, we were talking about Alameda County, California, but we have found instances of similar jury tampering elsewhere in California, Washington, state, Connecticut, the South.

It's really unclear nationally quite how far, quite how deep this issue might be -- Phil.

MATTINGLY: An important reporting, much more to come on it, I'm sure.

Nick Watt, thank you.

Well, coming up, we are watching for the very latest on this frightening shooting in a grocery store in Arkansas, we expect officials there to brief us any moment out. We'll be right back with the details we have.

Stay with us.



MATTINGLY: We're back with an update now on the breaking news out of Arkansas where 10 people were shot at a grocery store.

CNN's Isabel Rosales joins me live.

We just heard from a city council member who knows some of the victims. What was said?

ISABEL ROSALES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's just a visceral seen, Phil. This is a city council member of Fordyce. His name is Roderick Rogers (ph). He says that he was actually on the phone with young people inside of this Mad Butcher Grocery Store in Dallas County, Arkansas, and he could hear on the background shots being fired, he says that several people ran into a cooler to hide from those rounds. And some people were not able to make it there in time.

He says he knows two -- he knows the victims, two of which we know from Arkansas state police have died and here's what else he had to say.


RODERICK ROGERS, CITY COUNCIL MEMBER: These are good people, just at a wrong place, at the wrong time. And they didn't deserve it. But I've learned something in life, man, bad things happen to good people, and I really hate it. Continue to pray for the city of Fordyce. This is a very devastating day for us, never in a million years where we think something like this would happen. There's a lot of families involved, that's affected. So, let's continue to pray for them.


ROSALES: He says those victims and survivors are traumatized by this that he immediately got on the phone with the sheriff, with the mayor and they sent in as many units as possible over there.

But here's what we do know from Arkansas state police happened at 12:30 Eastern, this mass shooting at Fordyce, Dallas County, Arkansas, again, a small community of 3,700 people at the Mad Butcher Grocery Store. We know that eight people have been wounded. Again, sadly, two people killed, one law enforcement officer was injured non-life- threatening injuries, and a suspect taken into custody with a critical injuries. We are totally again, by Arkansas state police.

We do also know, Phil, from somebody who was inside of that grocery store, the meat manager Matthew Gill. He says he saw a man come into the store with a shotgun and that ended with a shootout with police officers.

So we're waiting on a press conference right now set to happen at any moment and hopefully fill get more details.

MATTINGLY: Please keep us posted when you do. As you noted, several times, a very small community, now a very shattered community.

Isabel Rosales, thank you.

Is that a bird? No, it was actually a plane flying dangerously low, so low, it was caught on doorbell cameras. The latest, close call on the skies, buckle up. That's next.




CONTROLLER: Southwest 4069, low altitude alert. You good out there?


MATTINGLY: That is new video of yet another terrifying incident that took place on a Southwest Airlines flight. The plane flew so low, it triggered a warning for pilots in the cockpit.

CNN's aviation correspondent Pete Muntean joins me now.

Pete, what on Earth happened here?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, air traffic controllers really saved the day here, Phil. Even still though, it's very alarming, especially since this is the second incident and as many months involving a Southwest Airlines flight getting too low, this case happened after midnight on Wednesday morning, and this is the doorbell video just into CNN. It shows southwest flight 40, 69 on approach to land at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.

This is about nine miles away from the airport in the town of Yukon. The plane was lined up to land on the runway that points to the southeast and the data from Flight Radar 24 says the flight got down to 520 feet above ground level.

Let's put it into context. Only about four lengths of the 737 itself, about the height of the Washington Monument, half the size of the Empire State Building, about one-and-a-half football fields.

The point here is that is very low for that distance from the airport, the FAA says a minimum safe altitude warning or MSAW alert sounded in the control tower prompting the air traffic controller to issue Southwest 4069 a low altitude alert. The pilots then climbed backed up and maneuvered for a safe landing. Nobody hurt here.

The FAA is investigating. Southwest also doing its own internal investigation. But here's what the airline said in a statement: Southwest is following its robust safety management system, is in contact with the FAA to understand and address any irregularities with the aircraft's approach to the airport? Nothing more important to Southwest than the safety of our customers and employees.

The question here is how this could happen. Did the pilots improperly configure their instruments like in the crash of a Korean Air flight in Guam in 1997, or they just simply fatigue after a long day. Remember, this flight was coming in after midnight. Pilots, I've talked to, say they've been working especially hard lately.

Big questions here for investigators, but the good news is the layers of safety work, that low altitude alerting system use by air traffic control stop the accident chain that was headed toward disaster -- Phil.

MATTINGLY: Yeah, it's not great when the doorbell cam is catching the plane.

Real quick, Pete, one word answer. Do you get scared of flying?

MUNTEAN: I don't right now. I know --

MATTINGLY: It was more than one word, Pete. That was more than one word.

MUNTEAN: Sorry, Phil.

MATTINGLY: Pete Muntean, always appreciated you, my friend. Thank you very much.

Coming up on Sunday, "STATE OF THE UNION." North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum on the vice presidential shortlist. That's Sunday morning at 9:00 Eastern, and again at noon here on CNN.

And I don't think word is going to display really the stakes here. We are just six days away from the biggest event yet at the 2024 race, the first general election presidential debate. It will be right here on CNN.

Our own Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate. You can watch it live next Thursday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, here on CNN and streaming on Max.

The news continues on CNN with Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."