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Don Lemon Tonight
Honor Student Arrested, Bloodied; Martese Johnson's Roommate Speaks Out; Michael Brown's Hands Not Up. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired March 19, 2015 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
[22:00:17] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news. The FBI and the Justice Department hunting for clues in the death of an African- American man found hanging from a tree in Mississippi.
This is CNN TONIGHT, I'm Don Lemon.
We have the latest on that story, plus the outrage over the arrest that left UVA honor student Martese Johnson bloodied.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTESE JOHNSON, ARRESTED UVA STUDENT: You racist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Behind your back.
JOHNSON: You (EXPLETIVE DELETED) racist. What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED)? How did this happen? How did this happen, you racists? (EXPLETIVE DELETED). How did this happen?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I'm going to tell you what Martese told me today when I talked to him and I also will talk to his roommate tonight on this program.
You can draw a line from Martese Johnson to Eric Garner, to Mike Brown. Unarmed black men in violent confrontations with police, but how that -- how we know that "hands up, don't shoot" was not the truth. Now that we know that, where does all of this leave us right now?
Tonight rethinking Ferguson and its aftermath. We're going to take an in depth look at the hard questions about race, the police, and where do we go from here?
But we're going to begin our breaking news this hour with Evan Perez. He has latest on the Mississippi hanging case. Nick Valencia has new information on Martese Johnson.
Evan, I want to start with you.
A 54-year-old man found hanging from a tree brings up really horrible memories for many people in this country. What's the very latest? EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Don. This is
down in Mississippi, Claiborne County, which is on the border with Louisiana. This morning local authorities say they found the body of an African-American man hanging with bed sheets around his neck -- hanging from a tree. This is all was about 500 yards from the property of a man who has been missing for a couple of weeks now since early this month.
The body according to law enforcement officials that we've talked to is believed to be the body of Otis Byrd. He's 54 years old. And he has been missing since earlier this month. Now we do know -- we do not know what exactly happened. Authorities think that it could be a suicide, it could be foul play. He was reported missing in earlier this month.
And his family says, Don, that, you know, at the time, there was nothing wrong. That he didn't portray anything amiss at all. And they heard from him regularly until he disappeared, so now the Justice Department and the FBI are doing a civil rights investigation simply because of the circumstances in which his body was found.
LEMON: But we don't know, it could be a suicide, they just don't know at this point, correct?
PEREZ: That's right. At this point, they really don't know.
LEMON: OK. Thank you, Evan Perez, appreciate that.
Now I want to turn to the UVA student, Martese Johnson, knocked to the ground and bloodied when he was arrested early Wednesday. The shocking scene all caught on camera.
CNN's Nick Valencia has the very latest on the investigation.
Nic, when I spoke with Martese this morning -- this afternoon, he told me that he never presented a fake I.D., that he never resisted arrest. What are you hearing there on campus?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you heard the same thing from his attorney earlier this afternoon, saying that that was simply not the case, but it's stark contrast to what we're hearing from police, Don. They say that this is how it all happened. That Martese Johnson showed up to the bar right behind me, tried to get in, using the fake I.D. and that's when the incident all happened.
Police say that he was uncooperative during the arrest, but his attorney in this press conference earlier this afternoon saying that his client Martese Johnson was the victim of excessive force.
DANIEL WATKINS, ATTORNEY FOR MARTESE JOHNSON: At no time throughout the encounter did Martese present, as have been reported by some in the media, a fake I.D. Nevertheless, Virginia ABC officers who were president on the scene questioned my client about being in possession of false identification. The conversation resulted in my client being thrown to the ground, his head hitting the pavement, the officer's knees pressed into his back, his face and skull bleeding and needing surgery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: The special agents involved in the arrest have been put on administrative leave. Also we should note that the Virginia state police has launched their own criminal investigation looking into the conduct of these officers in the arrest. And when you talk to the students here on campus, Don, they say yes, they're shocked that it happened. But it happened to Martese Johnson, a man that has endless ties with the university before this incident was also one of the most prominent students here on the campus -- Don.
LEMON: We'll get more on that coming up right now.
Thank you very much, Nick Valencia. Appreciate that.
I want to bring in Joshua Kinlaw, he's Martese Johnson's roommate.
Joshua, thank you for joining us. How is -- how are you and how is Martese doing?
JOSHUA KINLAW, ROOMMATE OF MARTESE JOHNSON: I'm doing -- I'm doing well. Martese is holding up very well. I just saw him actually moments before I arrived here. He is still in high spirits, still positive, and still got that same smile on his face that I know him to have so well. So it seems like he's moving very positively through all this which is -- speaks levels to his character and his morality in my opinion.
[22:05:11] LEMON: He's getting huge support online from all kinds of people in places. Is he aware of that, and how are the students feeling on campus today?
KINLAW: Can you ask the question, one more time? I'm sorry.
LEMON: He is getting huge support online. Not only there on campus. We heard from his attorney that they're getting lots of pats on the back as they walked across campus saying -- showing support for him. But he's getting huge support online as well, on social media.
LEMON: I'm wondering if that makes a difference and how students there are feeling today.
KINLAW: It does indeed. I mean, we are very encouraged and uplifted by the fact that so many people around the nation have come to our support, and our seeking of justice for Martese in this tragic event that happened. I mean, police brutality is something that's been happening all around the nation, and it sucks that it has -- had to come this close to home for people around this community to finally start talking about it.
LEMON: What kind of guy is he? KINLAW: He's a very happy guy. That's the number one thing I would
say. He's such a very happy and positive, positive energetic person. Like I said, literally always has a smile on his face, and even as we were coming back home, or as we got back home after the rally last night and the events that transpired last night, himself and myself and the rest of our roommates, just five of us that live together, we were laughing and joking, and smiling like -- as if, almost as if the incident had never occurred.
And like I said, that speaks -- that's so powerful to me of his character, and also just his morality. The fact that he's willing to stay so positive throughout all of this.
LEMON: Yes. You didn't witness the incident. But what did you think when you saw the video?
KINLAW: I didn't -- like you said, I did not witness the incident. What I saw on the video was a clear case of excessive force from the police officers. They had their knees in his back. His head was bleeding profusely, there was blood on his shirt, there was blood -- a pool of blood on the ground. And there were people around that were witnessing it, and they're yelling to the officers, "yo, his face is bleeding, his face is bleeding," and the officers didn't even take the human effort to even stop and recognize or care about that fact that they had injured him, they had caused him bodily harm, which is not the job of a police officer to do.
The job of a police officer is to protect and serve the community, and members of the community, and Martese Johnson is a member of our UVA and Charlottesville community, and what they did to him is absolutely wrong.
LEMON: Do you think he was singled out?
KINLAW: I do. I believe that he was a target of racial profiling, yes.
LEMON: Why so?
KINLAW: I mean, some people just don't have anything better to do. And it sucks to put it that way.
LEMON: Was he the only -- was he the only person of color in the line or were -- did they only pick out the black people or just --
KINLAW: I'm not sure. I'm not sure about that. I do know this, there has never been a case before now where there has been especially -- there has never been a case where there has been a white student who has been thrown to the ground and handcuffed because of the fact that he presented a fake I.D. to a bar.
And one important part of the information that has circulated today after the conference that they had with Martese and his lawyers that the idea that they -- that he presented to both the bouncer and the ABC officers was not in fact even a fake I.D., it was his real I.D., so that makes the officers who committed this act even more reprehensible for that because of the fact that he committed no crime.
LEMON: All right. I want to thank you, Joshua Kinlaw, roommate of Martese Johnson, we appreciate it. And give us -- you know, tell him we're thinking about him.
KINLAW: Well, thank you.
LEMON: We will have him on the show. We appreciate it.
When we come right back, what we know and don't know about that August day in Ferguson and we're going to -- we're talking about "hands up, don't shoot," if it's true or not. So where do we go from here?
And we're also going to discuss Martese Johnson.
LEMON: Welcome back, everyone. "Hands up, don't shoot" never happened. We're going to discuss that with Monique Mandelli of Communities United for Police Reform, her organization works with Black Lives Matters, David Klinger, a former police officer in L.A. and Redmond, Washington, and the author of "Into the Kill Zone." And then there's Kevin Jackson. He's the executive director of the Black Sphere. And "New York Times" op-ed columnist, Mr. Charles Blow.
We're going to get to all of you in a moment. Thank you, by the way, for coming in. But first I want you to watch this from CNN's Sara Sidner.
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is the mantra of a movement started in Ferguson, Missouri, after the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson. "Hands up, don't shoot" spread across America like wildfire, from Ferguson to New York to Los Angeles.
To the halls of Congress, to the NFL football field, even the CNN contributors throwing up their hands. There is only one problem.
DAVID KLINGER: It's no good, it's not true, it is either based a lie or based on a misinterpretation of what happened.
SIDNER: Federal and local authorities say the evidence shows "hands up, don't shoot" didn't happen. The final Department of Justice report concludes Michael Brown's hands were not up in surrender when he was shot and killed by Officer Wilson.
So where did it come from? Brown's friend the day of the shooting.
DORIAN JOHNSON: His weapon was already drawn when he got out of the car. He shot again. And once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and he put his hands in the air, and he started to get down, but the officer still approached with his weapon drawn, and he fired several more shots.
[22:15:06] SIDNER: Federal and local authorities say he's wrong, but there are still plenty in the protest movement who were convinced Brown had his hands up. But few have read the nearly 100-page report. We did.
Here's what the witnesses closest to the incident who spoke to federal investigators and the grand jury say. Witness 102, a biracial male, for sure that Brown's hands were not above his head. Witness 103, a black male, reluctant to meet with FBI agent stating snitches get stitches eventually did talk. He had one of the best views of the shooting and says he did not see Brown's hands up and witnessed Brown moving fast towards Wilson.
Witness 104, a biracial female, with a clear view of the scene, said she heard the shots fired inside Wilson's car that hit Brown in the hand. She then saw Wilson hop out of the car and yell, stop, stop, stop, Brown ran, then turned around and for a second began to raise his hand as though he considered surrendering, but then quickly balled up his fists and charged at Wilson. In a stunning admission she told investigators Wilson waited a long time to fired his gun adding she would have fired sooner.
Witness 105, a 50-year-old black female says she noticed Brown put his hands for a brief moment, but then turned around, made a shuffling movement, and put his hands down in a running position, and ran towards Wilson.
Most of this not made public until long after the shooting, and that was too late to silence the slogan.
TEF POE, CAMEROTA, FOUNDER, HANDS UP UNIFIED: I deal with the fact that other witnesses also say his hands were up. But you know what? On some level that is still minutia, because we are debating whether or not his hands were up, but we're not debating whether or not he's dead or alive. We know for a fact that he's dead, whether his hands were up or not, he's not here, and he didn't have a weapon.
SIDNER (on camera): But the argument is that if he wasn't surrendering, then there is a justification.
POE: To me, that is a repetitive tactic that's been used against black males when dealing with the police for the longest. You can root back to the slavery with that tactic. Where you kind of -- you have to find a way to villainies the victim, and find a -- you know, the smallest means to justify why this officer have to use deadly force.
SIDNER: The report shows Officer Wilson was justified, but in this case at least the facts can't stop a slogan.
SIDNER: And the reason for that is that a lot of the folks who even do believe what the Department of Justice report said say that this is a bigger issue, and they will not stop saying these things because they do believe that there is a real problem in America that needs to be looked at -- Don.
LEMON: Sara Sidner, great reporting. Thank you very much.
I want to bring in now Jim Towey, an attorney for Officer Darren Wilson, Van Jones, CNN political reporter, and Jeff Roorda of the St. Louis Police Officers Association.
Good evening to all of you.
Van, I want to read part of the DOJ report on the Michael Brown shooting, and it is exactly what Darren Wilson told me when I met with him. He told prosecutors and investigators that he responded to Brown reaching into the SUV and punching him by withdrawing his gun, because he could not access less e lethal weapons while seated inside of the SUV. Brown then grabbed the weapon, struggled with Wilson to gain control of it, Wilson fired striking Brown in the hand.
The report goes on to say that Brown's DNA was inside of Wilson's SUV and on Wilson's shirt collar and Brown's own wounds established that his arm and torso were inside the SUV. What's your reaction this details.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all, I think it's very important for everybody to say, listen, we didn't have all the facts at the beginning of this. We have more facts now, but none of the facts that we have now, none of these witnesses were subject to any serious cross-examination. I think part of the reason that people are hesitant to embrace this particular set of finding is because they are based on a grand jury process that many people felt was suspect from the very beginning.
I think the other thing, if we're trying to figure out why it is that people, including reporters and everyone else was very suspicious of this police department, let's not forget the police department was acting in ways that shocked the whole world, not only did they leave the body in the street, they refused to name the officer, they released a packet smearing Brown -- a video smearing Brown without releasing information about the case. They also -- they stonewalled the media for so long. Meanwhile, they unleashed the unleashed this militarized police force. They arrested reporters --
LEMON: Van, I understand. I understand. When you're --
JONES: So all of that --
LEMON: In a way, you're re-litigating the thing. The evidence shows -- I'm asking you to respond to what the DOJ report says.
[22:20:01] LEMON: How do you respond to that?
LEMON: In regards to "hands up, don't shoot"?
JONES: Well, listen. My response is that I don't reject the DOJ report but I understand why other people don't take it seriously because nobody cross-examined those witnesses.
JONES: And everybody knows that the grand jury, there was no cross- examination. It was a very one-sided grand jury on that.
LEMON: OK. Let me say this. I was going to -- I wanted to say this earlier, I want to -- can we put this up? This is -- I want you to put up the information from "Newsweek" and also the information the Innocence Project. OK. Full screens here.
There have been are 318 wrongful convictions overturned by DNA evidence since 1989, and most of those cases the eyewitness who testified felt confident in their memories when under oath or on the stand. Yet eyewitness testimony contributed to 72 percent of those wrongful convictions. That's according to the Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal and public policy group.
Also, this is from the Innocence Project. While eyewitness testimony can be persuasive evidence before a judge or jury, years of strong social science research has proven that eyewitness identification is often unreliable. Eyewitness misidentification is the greatest contributing factor to wrongful convictions playing a role in about 75 percent of convictions overturned through testing nationwide.
Why are you shaking your head, Jeff Roorda?
JEFF ROORDA, ST. LOUIS POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION: Well, Don, you know, it's really frustrating that we can't come together and acknowledge the facts in this case. Because I don't think that we can move past this and turn the corner that we need to as a nation until we do. I mean, the Justice Department and the grand jury findings are clear.
And, you know, I understand Van's perspective, but to say there's no cross-examination, you know those civil rights attorneys at the Department of Justice were turning over every stone and doing everything they could to find some credible evidence to the contrary of what the grand jury's findings were.
JONES: Why would you say that?
ROORDA: But we know --
JONES: Are you -- I'm sorry. Go ahead.
ROORDA: Well, I mean, Eric Holder was part of this.
JONES: You can't back up. Were you there? Were you part of that? I just don't understand why you're saying that? ROORDA: Well, Eric Holder was part of this course early on that
wanted to join in rushing to judgment against Darren Wilson. And it's his Justice Department investigating it. In every police department when they've come in and done a civil rights investigation under General Holder, they have found a discriminatory practice.
ROORDA: So their inclination is not to defend cop, not to try to excuse police behavior, their inclination was to find guilt.
LEMON: I want to get the rest of the panel in here.
Sara, you wanted to weigh in on this.
SIDNER: I just -- yes, Van Jones, you talked about, you know, that these are witnesses. This isn't just witness testimony. There's physical evidence as well, and the Department of Justice, to be fair, went into Ferguson looking for problems, looking to see if there were civil rights violation. They did not go in trying not to find them. And I think that has been made very clear if you look at the amount of evidence.
I mean, they were thorough. I have read this report over and over and over again, maybe I'm slightly obsessed, but the bottom line is, there was physical evidence and witness testimony. And the other witness testimony, by the way, that talked about his hands being up, some of those witnesses recanted. That's in the report as well. And the feds --
SIDNER: -- did talk to these witnesses.
JONES: Look, I --
LEMON: They told initially --
SIDNER: It wasn't just the local people. It was the feds.
LEMON: Initially they told the media one story --
JONES: I'm not -- hold on a second, Sara.
LEMON: -- and then during their testimony they told another story.
LEMON: Hang on, everyone. Because I want to get Jim Towey in. Jim is -- Jim Towey is Officer Darren Wilson's attorney.
How is Darren Wilson doing now? Does he feel vindicated by this report?
JAMES P. TOWEY, DARREN WILSON'S ATTORNEY: Absolutely he does. This has been a long time coming, and you know, it's funny, I'm listening to everybody speak tonight about how they don't believe the Justice Department report. I mean, if you'd bothered to read it, it's a 86- pages long.
JONES: Who said that? Nobody said that. Nobody said that.
TOWEY: It is one of the more thorough documents --
LEMON: Let him finish, Van. Go ahead, Jim.
TOWEY: Well, I think you did. And --
JONES: No, I didn't.
TOWEY: It went through every witness, and not only what they testified to and how they testified, but it also made a judgment on whether or not they were credible or not, and this whole "hands up, don't shoot" starts with Dorian Johnson who couldn't keep his own story straight. And that was the first problem that I saw with the mantra being "hands up, don't shoot" was it starts with Dorian and Dorian is all over the map on it, and as the Justice Department report points out he's wholly not credible.
LEMON: Yes. And Darren Wilson told me, and I think it's in the report, that Dorian Johnson didn't even stick around. Dorian said he stayed there -- as soon as the altercation started to happen, Dorian actually ran away and didn't actually witness the entire altercation.
TOWEY: Right. He left the scene.
LEMON: He left the scene.
OK, everybody. I want you to stay with me, don't go anywhere.
TOWEY: That's correct.
LEMON: As we rethink the events of Ferguson tonight, how did "hands up, don't shoot" spread from the streets of a St. Louis Suburb across the country and around the world?
LEMON: All right, everyone, we are back. "Hands up, don't shoot" became a rallying cry in protests across the country before most people realized that it wasn't true.
CNN's senior media correspondent Brian Stelter has that part of the story.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four words. They've been repeated at rallies, painted on signs and brought thousands of protesters' hands into the air ever since the August killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown at the hands of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. When eyewitnesses initially said this --
TIFFANY MITCHELL, WITNESS: He puts his hands up like this, and the cop continued to fire.
PIAGET CRENSHAW, WITNESS: He put his hands into the air, being compliant, and he still got shot down like a dog.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Hands up, don't shoot.
STELTER: Those four words along with the Black Lives Matter Movement traveling across the country, not only via rallies but also through the news media and pop culture. The St. Louis Rams causing an uproar among police after several players take the field with their hands in the air, and it has had staying power. Even months after the grand jury decision Pharrell turns his "Happy" into a dark performance, incorporating the tag line at February's Grammys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hands up.
STELTER: The words echoed through Congress, too.
Some assuming it is true that Brown actually had his hands up. For others it is a symbol.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want you to know that our hearts are out there marching with them.
STELTER: Here at CNN a panel of commentators moved by the protests put their own hands up after the grand jury decision. Some people celebrated it. But others were outraged by the continued use of the phrase.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: The St. Louis rams think it is cool for them to suggest that St. Louis cops shoot young black men who had their hands up in the air when we know that that was a lie? It's a lie.
STELTER: "Washington Post" writer Jonathan Capehart concluding this week that "hands up, don't shoot" is, quote, "built on a lie." In fact, a Department of Justice report concluded that evidence contradicts eyewitness claims that Brown had his hands up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Black lives matter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, as protesters call for justice, some are phrasing it differently, black lives matter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN STELTER, CNN'S SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Journalists generally try to do their best everyday and do a great job in many cases. This case though is a reason for reflection, Don, it's a reason for some soul searching, because there are some lesions learned here. For example, the reliability of evidence from eyewitnesses as you brought up in the last segment.
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW ANCHOR: All that up. OK. Brian, I want you to standby because I'm going to bring in now Monifa Bandele, David Klinger, Kevin Jackson, Charles Blow. We introduced them early. You guys have been wearing (ph) to go - you've been listening to the entire show. Kevin, you are the most - so you are the most outraged of all of the panel? Can we say that?
KEVIN JACKSON, THE BLACK SPHERE: Yeah, I am.
JACKSON: I am. Because the fact that it was built on a lie, and the fact that people continue to want to promulgate the lie, the fact that they embarrassed the City of Ferguson, the great people there, the guy that wrote that article that since he started the lie, he did his mea culpa with a but. You know, at the end of it, and his -- his attitude is still is the bigger issue is around cop killings, all this -- the things leading into Ferguson, the statistics all lies.
Even the - a lot of the things that are continuing -- continue to be lies about this city, and the idea is if people 2,000 miles away know what black people in Ferguson who voted for their mayor, who voted for their chief of police, now have a cop who's been exonerated are now being looked at as fools, and that they were continuing to treat this as if all people are fools.
LEMON: Go ahead, Monifa. Don't you believe that the hands up - don't you believe it could be true?
MONIFA BANDELE, MALCOLM X GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT BMC BOARD: Absolutely. Hands up is the ultimate truth, and the reason why hands up has gone viral across the country is because it's a posture known to black people, whether they are in the halls of Congress, whether they are in NFL or whether they live in a very most marginalized communities - in our communities or whether they are in the campuses of Yale.
LEMON: SO, there's another (ph) with the - with the evidence in the Justice report.
BANDELE: The reason why people are yelling "hands up" is because it's a posture known to them into their communities...
LEMON: But you, again with the report...
BANDELE: ... and what happened to Mike Brown...
LEMON: ... let me ask you but there's a report...
BANDELE: ... why is that.
LEMON: ... matter that they - the evidence matter... BANDELE: The report...
LEMON: ... the forensics and the evidence from the...
BANDELE: ... the report absolutely matters. But the report is not a public criminal trial...
BANDELE: ... and that's what people are calling for.
LEMON: Charles Blow?
CHARLES BLOW, NEW TIMES' COLUMNIST: Well, I think you - we are - let's talk about the report and not remember merits (ph) of the reports...
BLOW: Right. And so we have to - if you can't take one and say, "I believe this one, and I discard the other one, because the other one provides context to the first. I think that's the first thing. The second things is, you -- if you are truly in - in pursuit of honesty, the truth will never hurt you, right?
You can look at this test - the statements, and say, OK, these do not match up with the original reports of what we heard the people talked -- said to the media, right? And you can acknowledge that, still does not hurt you as a person if you are truly in search of truth. Malcolm X said that I am for truth no matter who tells it, I am for justice.
BANDELE: Don, hang on...
BLOW: ... no matter who is - who would explore or who is against, and I think that that is really important and if two things that happened before what you just - which you just highlighted on from the report. Two things that happened that I think we still need to have some clarity on. Officer Wilson is said to have known about the theft at the store, but when he confronts Mike Wilson...
LEMON: Mike Brown.
BANDELE: Mike Brown.
BLOW: ... Mike Brown, he does not immediately ask him, OK, could...
DAVID KLINGER, FORMER LAPD OFFICER AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSOR: The issue I think that we're missing is physical evidence. The physical evidence clearly established if there is a shooting in the vehicle when Mr. Brown tried to take away Officer Wilson's gun, every police officer across the country knows if someone tries to take your gun away, you shoot them off and that's the training. The reason we have that training is police officers get murdered with their own weapons regularly.
The decade that just ended in terms of FBI figures, 33 police officers were murdered in the last decade with their own handguns. Then once the pursuit goes outside the vehicle, it is clear from the physical evidence, there's no doubt about it, it's incontrovertible that Mr. Brown was coming back at Officer Wilson.
BANDELE: It was like - it was like...
KLINGER: That is the key point.
LEMON: Not to do...
BANDELE: Witnesses weren't cross-examined and that evidence...
KLINGER (?): Physical evidence is a physical evidence.
BANDELE: Physical evidence does not scrutinize...
KLINGER: You don't trust...
BANDELE: ... in a public trial.
KLINGER: ... you do not trust General Holder? You do not trust General Holder?
BANDELE: I do...
LEMON: I don't think...
BANDELE: Evidence is supposed to be scrutinized...
LEMON: ... and did you hear the information about...
BANDELE: ... in a trial.
KLINGER: No, I do not.
LEMON: ... I do this - about how - and there's in the testimony...
KLINGER: There is not...
LEMON: ... is often unreliable, not just in this case...
LEMON: ... but in many cases, and I'm -- there were - there were many...
BANDELE: One way or the other...
STELTER: The eyewitness is...
LEMON: ... and 75% of the people were wrongly convicted.
STELTER: ... they didn't speak to the crowd (ph)...
LEMON: Go ahead.
STELTER: ... once they were intimated...
STELTER: ... according to DOJ, witnesses who didn't want to come forward, those are the voices we didn't hear in the news coverage, and that is a lesson for the journalists. So, we weren't hearing...
LEMON (?): No, the witness point of view.
[22:34:40] JACKSON: He is exactly right. First of all, many people were blatantly lying, that when you're talking about people making a mistake, there are many times that people are in the heat of a - of a situation, they make a mistake. There were people not making mistakes, they blatantly lied about Darren Wilson, and it's been now completely exonerated. He's been exonerated. But let's cover the second part.
The second part of the report condemns Ferguson, saying, "It is hard on black folks, there are nine municipalities in - in Missouri right now, being sued. They are black mayors, black city council that are predominantly black cities that doing far more egregious damage to blacks in doing exactly what they are saying in Ferguson two to the three times more egregious, and none of them are being sued by Eric Holder...
LEMON: So, what's your point?
JACKSON: My point is because they got black mayors with black city council people. He's - he's doing racially motivated justice.
JACKSON: If he's going to do this, and by the way, I don't care what the outcome is, and I want right and wrong, but he is going to do it, do it equally and fairly.
LEMON: OK. I want to - evidence matters and you were saying - you're saying also with the Johnson case at UVA, the student has roommate who came on and said we don't know of any white students who were target - you - you said...
KLINGER: We don't - we don't know. Someone comes on and makes a statement on national TV. We have no idea. We have no idea about how often this officers use force.
KLINGER: We have no idea what happened that led to that situation and someone said, that he didn't resist the arrest. He's clearly resisting arrest. He's on the ground. He won't let them put the handcuffs on.
LEMON: OK. I want everyone to standby - stay with me. After all the anger over Ferguson, what have we learned? Have we learned anything - anything positive to come out of all this? That's next.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The Department of Justice said it clearly, Officer Darren Wilson's actions, quote, "Did not constitute prosecutable violations." Back with me, Sara Sidner, Jim Towey, Ben Jones (ph), Jeff Roorda, Monifa Bandele, David Klinger, Kevin Jackson, Charles Blow and Brian Stelter. That is a whole lot of folks.
Jim Towey, I understand you want to get in on the last conversation we're having before the break?
JAMES TOWEY, PRESIDENT OF AVE MARIA UNIVERSITY: Here let's throw out all the eyewitness testimony completely. Let's look at physical evidence because that's what or breaks a case in most instances, and in this case, if we just listen to Darren Wilson's side of the story, every bit of the evidence backs up he said, the evidence in the car, the evidence outside the car, the evidence on Mike Brown himself.
We have a blood trail way away from the car, coming back to the car. We have injuries to Mike Brown that as Darren described when Michael Brown was charging at him, when he shot him, he went airborne and land on his face. The Justice Department went into great detail in describing that physical evidence and that's why when we were discussing the case with you Don earlier this summer, we were very confident what the findings would most likely be, because we were confident in what the physical evidence was going to show us irrespective of what and the eyewitnesses said. LEMON: Sara, you've been on the ground, and we were both there on the
ground. You were there - the - the - you were struck in the head with an object on the night when they announced that they would be no indictment. Why have people - it seems like it doesn't matter what the reports say, what the actual evidence says that officer Darren Wilson was cleared. People believe what they want to believe, and nothing will change their mind.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is true and it's untrue. There are people who have looked at this report, and said, "OK, we see that Officer Darren Wilson has generally - he's just been exonerated." OK, but we also see this other report, and there's a perceived situation there, where people feel that there is a real problem, and there is a real problem. If you don't think there is profiling going on Ferguson, then you're just ignoring the numbers.
I am sorry, I've looked at the report, but I've also talked to dozens of people, black, white, whoever lives in that town, business owners, the mayor, himself, even the mayor eventually came out and said, after first making a statement that he didn't think that there were - there was a problem of race in his town said later on, "You know what, maybe I was incorrect. Because I didn't realize some of the stuff that was going on in this city, I didn't realize how much it hurt people, how much it bothered people, these ticket, and going to jail for not being able to pay a traffic ticket." That is a problem.
LEMON: Why is it so hard - why is it so hard for you, Kevin, to believe that one thing can exist, and the other thing can exist, because it doesn't just - it's just in a vacuum (ph), can't you see, one, it's not that black and white...
LEMON: ... there can be an issue in Ferguson with police.
JACKSON: You're - you're exactly right. There is an issue in Ferguson and there's an issue in every city - in New York City, what's the cost of the ticket, what's the cost when to get your car impounded, look at all those fees, look at how those fees are disproportionately going to the poor, to blacks, to the minorities, et cetera.
LEMON: So, you said, it goes beyond Ferguson?
JACKSON: It goes to...
LEMON: It happens in every...
JACKSON: ... me Ferguson, the epicenter...
LEMON: ... in every city, yes.
JACKSON:... is a disservice to Ferguson. Nobody knew Ferguson three, four months ago.
LEMON: How hard was...
LEMON: Guys, guys?
STELTER: Well, it is going to be playing out.
BLOW: No, no.
LEMON: Go ahead, Charles?
BLOW: I'm sorry. I got - I just got to say this. These two facts have to be put into context from the first report to the second one, except the physical evidence. Nobody is going to argue with that, the -- the forensics are the forensics, but in the context of this, they stopped Mike Brown...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BLOW: ... they stopped Mike Brown...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-one (ph) time frame.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Black or...
BLOW: ... and his friend because they're walking in the street. He did not...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is kind...
BLOW: ... there is - there is no one - he doesn't say, "Oh, I think you are the suspect, I want to question you," none of that, right? And -- and - and what the second report says is this, the warnings for walking the street is almost exclusively given only to black people, so you - in the context of the idea.
Number two, this is really important, even accepting the physical evidence, he -- instead of - there's an opportunity to de-escalate this, but it doesn't happen that way. He pulls his truck in front of them, swing the door open, slammed it into Mike Brown and then the door bounces back, and then what's when - people -- people want to believe that the Mike Brown just...
KLINGER (?): Come on.
BLOW: ... raised (ph) into car.
(CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don, this isn't about racial profiling. In this instance, this is about a robbery at a convenience store.
BLOW: What didn't you question (ph) him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In an investigation...
BLOW: Why didn't question him - why did - why did - why is the first interaction that Wilson has with Mike Brown and it's different (ph)...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you read the report? It says he called out...
BLOW: I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... I'm on counsel (ph) with you...
BLOW: ... exactly, exactly. Now I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Send me more cars.
LEMON: He's trying answer the question.
BLOW: Why, why...
TOWEY: Can we have a bigger little bit of just bigger context here.
[22:44:58] BLOW: ... why didn't he say, you know, I need to question you, because you look like suspects in this robbery (ph). I got the question that...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let the man to have the answer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, quickly.
JEFF ROORDA, POLICE UNION SPOKESMAN: So, he's walking on the middle of the road after he does a robbery.
LEMON: All right. That's Jeff Roorda.
KLINGER: One thing you do have to understand is that there is room to look at what Darren Wilson did learn from it in terms of some tactical miscues, and that's what the conversation should be about so we can improve police training, but if people want to focus on race, and not look at the bigger picture of how we can improve policing writ large, we're going to miss the point.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: David, let me...
KLINGER: And that's why I get flushed (ph) away in here...
JONES: David, I think we got that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the issue of...
JONES: David, I want to say something about that, there's a reason that people...
LEMON: And Van, hold on - hold on a second, Van. What - we're going to do that after the break. I promise you, we'll get back. I got to take this break. Don't go anywhere, anyone. I will be right back.
LEMON: My enormous panel back with me now when we - before we went to break, Van Jones weigh-in. Go ahead, Van.
JONES: Well, I just wanted to just give some context here. You know, African-American teens are 21 times more likely than white teens to be killed by police. Now, that's just shocking number and I think...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you shaking...
LEMON (?): Someone is shaking your head. They don't believe your number.
KLINGER (?): It's not - it's not true. Van, that...
JONES: Well, hold on. I should - he said...
(CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hang on, Van...
JONES: I'm not going to be stopped (ph).
LEMON: Let's respond to that. He said that statistic has been debunked.
[22:49:39] JONES: Well, no, and in fact, it's a back and forth, you don't like that stat and other people do. But here's another one. You know, OK. We will go to another one, if you don't like that one, 13 percent of the population of African-American, 31 percent of the people killed by a police are African-American, and 39 percent killed were not attacking cops (inaudible).
These are the numbers that gives some context of the experience that people are having. So you try to understand why are people are reluctant to believe. I don't reject the DOJ report. I accept the DOJ report. But we're trying to understand each other and this...
JONES: ... background numbers and experiences are important as we have the conversation.
KLINGER: I think that Van is correct that we do have to have a conversation. One of the problem is this...
LEMON (?): Let's get more to the conversation. Well, it actually takes an enactment because we keep saying conversation, conversation, conversation.
KLINGER: But part of the problem is that the data that Van is talking about is dirty data. We don't have good data, and there are people like myself who are trying to get the good data so that we can really understand the scope of the problem. Whatever the case is, perception is out stripping the reality of -- of what we understand about what the numbers show.
LEMON: Jeff Roorda...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What recently we don't have the data...
LEMON: ... is that the reality on the street with police officers, Jeff Roorda?
ROORDA: Here's - here's the reality, Don. Here's something that everybody on the panel should agree with, tomorrow, the day after that and the day after that, some young kid is going to decide to use deadly force against the police officer...
TOWEY (?): Oh, my God.
ROORDA: ... and someone is going to get hurt. It might be the kid, it might be the cop.
TOWEY (?): Well -- and also a police officer...
TOWEY (?): Van, you suckle (ph) there down with - Van, let's - let's talk about getting past this instead of clinging to a fiction...
ROORDA: That's not a way to get past.
TOWEY (?): ... grasping its straws (ph).
SIDNER: Can I jump in here, Don?
LEMON: Hang on, hang on. Go ahead. Go ahead, Sara.
ROORDA (?): I don't believe there and they - they strike out against a cop.
JONES (?): And the cops strike out against young people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about many people are...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, come on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the cops don't have a motivation to do it, and he is there to do a job.
LEMON: OK, standby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't put an adult...
LEMON: Sara Sidner? SIDNER: Let me - let me just in here, because I think there's a couple
of things going on here. The fact that we can't have a conversation, and let everybody speak and listen to what they are saying is part of the problem.
LEMON: Thank you.
SIDNER: I'm sorry, but it is. And the same thing happens by the way on the street when you have two people with opposing views, they can't stop and listen and try to understand the other, but I want to say this, there is certainly a problem, we see it, everyone is talking about it, they've experienced it, when it comes to the African- American, and the police will also talk about some of the issues, but one thing we also need to think about is the fact that in this report, you heard someone actually say to the fed, snitches get stitch, and there's this whole idea, the reason why we didn't hear some of the truth from the witnesses who were the closest to the action...
SIDNER: ... is they were afraid to say the truth, because they were afraid of the reaction from the crowds...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
SIDNER: ... that gather and their community. That is a problem that we need to deal with.
LEMON: And Jeff, you, Jeff - Towey, you -- you saw that...
TOWEY: That's exactly right.
LEMON: ... with - with go ahead, Jeff.
ROORDA (?): You're talking to Jim or Jeff?
LEMON: Jim Towey, sorry.
TOWEY: Yeah, you know, that whole situation talking about the snitches get stitches, the police -- and we didn't make any statements from our camp at all, and the police that were handling the investigation said, "Let us develop the evidence. Let's gather all of the evidence and let's not rush to judgment." And that is what they do in these situations.
The problem that I see that we have in every one of these situations where a person loses their life is because it's a situation where a policeman is trying to effectuate an arrest, and believe it or not this people don't want to be arrested and problem start happening. If you submit to the lawful authority, you don't have these problems, when you resist, you do. When a policeman says, "You're under arrest." It's the scariest thing he ever says because he doesn't know what the response is going to be from the person he is saying it to, unless he is intimately acquainted with that person's history. (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: Hang on, standby everyone. Go ahead, Monifa.
BANDELE: You need to tell that to the mothers of people like Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell...
BANDELE: ... and Akai Gurley. Compliance has nothing to do with that. His full conversation is a distraction.
TOWEY (?): Well sure of that.
BANDELE: ... this is by arguing...
TOWEY (?): Don't be silly.
BANDELE: .. whether or not Amadou Diallo had a wallet or not. We're talking about widespread systemic police killings of people, and cases not being brought to trial.
TOWEY (?): Well, you know, they're not police...
BANDELE: And so, yeah.
TOWEY (?): ... people trying to kill...
BANDELE: ... Amadou Diallo is shot at...
TOWEY (?): ... and just because there's justification...
BANDELE: ... 41 times.
TOWEY (?): ... that's why they were (ph) brought to trial...
BANDELE: ... Sean Bell 50 times...
TOWEY (?): ... don't you understand that part?
BANDELE: ... by police officer.
LEMON: OK. Standby. Go ahead with the - make your point, again, Jim Towey. What?
TOWEY: You have defensive justification, you'd have policeman going to prison routinely if there weren't justified in the shootings...
TOWEY: ... that are happening. That's the problem.
BANDELE (?): No, because the system is broken. JACKSON: She's made -she's made a good point. There's no question about that. There are cops that do things wrong, right? There are surgeons that do things wrong. Cops are not perfect, but to say...
TOWEY (?): Well, of course.
JACKSON: ... but hold on a second. But to say it's systemic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody is saying they are.
JACKSON: Hold on a second, but to say that it's systemic, that -- you know, what we were not talking about, we're not talking about the black crime. And Van was able to the give us the statistics on how many blacks are get - getting on the other side, but he did not give me the statistics about...
JACKSON: ... how blacks are doing crimes. He didn't give any statistics about the 2,000 whites double the number of whites killed in "hands up" types of situations, we're not talking about that, because if white people talk about...
JONES (?): Well, we're talking about steps (ph) that were done (ph).
JACKSON: Hold on a second.
[22:55:00] LEMON: Hang on Van.
JACKSON: If we talk about thing like that...
JONES: Right to speak out, too.
JONES: Speak out too.
LEMON: Hold on, Van.
JACKSON: If we talk about things like that then suddenly, we oh, we're not addressing the black part of it, let's address that black part of it, but let's address all of it. Cops should not shoot anybody erroneously...
JACKSON: ... and to her point, I will do the - the other - those guys should not have been shot.
LEMON: Van, quickly, I have - I'm overtime. Go ahead.
JONES: Police are also afraid to speak out. Let's not forget that there's a blue wallet (ph) signs, my father was a police officer, in the military. My uncle just retired from Nepali (ph) police force. They are also afraid to speak out about the things in tasty (ph).
JONES: So, we have fear on both sides, the truth is hard to get to.
LEMON: I want ask this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you agree on that point?
LEMON: Can we get - can you do it quickly? I don't want to go to break right now, just keep going. What - what's the lesson here, and what have we learned from Ferguson? What is the lesson of "hands up, don't shoot?"
BLOW: Well, there a lot of lesions...
LEMON: If you can do it quickly.
BLOW: Yeah, one is a media issue, and - and the kind of the muddying of the media waters even so now you have activists who are also have television shows, you have people who come on to activists who produce a lot of information, they feel like reporters who had people who are opinion people, who the public can't separate from the actual - actual reporters. All of that is a - is a big muddy mess.
Second is you can't necessarily just believe the people who come - who are willing to come on the screen, because there are other people who are not willing to come on screen, and nobody has a obligation to come on screen to say anything, and you have attorneys who are paid to be advocates and they are on the screen all of the time, and what they say has a little bit more weight than other people.
So, all of those are real thing, but I don't want to skip over this point...
LEMON: I got to go, Blow, thank you.
BLOW: ...those protesters were effective in getting the DOJ to investigate it and that cannot be overlooked. (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: All right. Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And talking right here, too.
LEMON: Exactly. Thank you very much, thank you very much, everyone. I wish we had more time. We'll do it again. That is it. "AC360" starts in just moment. Thanks for watching.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)