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Don Lemon Tonight
Tulsa Mass Shooting Killed Four People; Tulsa Shooter Knew His Target; Texas District Police Dodge Questions; Governor Abbott Takes Action On Gun Violence; Johnny Depp And Amber Heard's Case Now Given A Verdict; No Shortage Of Crisis For President Biden. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired June 01, 2022 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: That's it for us tonight. I'll be back tomorrow night. DON LEMON TONIGHT starts right now. Hey, Don.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Hi, Laura. Thank you. We're going to get straight to the breaking news. Have a good evening. We'll see you tomorrow night.
COATES: You, too.
LEMON: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT.
It just keeps happening. This is our breaking news at this hour. There's a deadly mass shooting tonight near St. Francis hospital, that's in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You're looking at video of the scene. Police say four people were killed, the gunman also dead. Police believe of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. There may be up to 10 people wounded.
Another one, another mass shooting. So, look at this video. You can see police in the distance. They are running toward the scene with guns drawn. Emergency vehicles racing as other officers take long guns out of their trunks. Police say they were on the scene within three minutes of the first call, arriving while the shooting was still going on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC DALGLEISH, DEPUTY CHIEF, TULSA POLICE DEPARTMENT: The officers that did arrive wear hearing shots in the building, and that's what directed them to the second floor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, I need to tell you the President of the United States, Joe Biden, has been briefed on the shooting, and the fact is, though, America is living in fear of gun violence. No place is safe. In hospitals, schools, grocery stores, concerts, movie theaters, graduations, nightclubs, offices, places of worship, on and on and on and on. We have news tonight on the investigation of what police did and did
not do while the gunman was still inside that elementary school in Uvalde, where 19 children and two of their teachers died. The mayor of Uvalde, Don McLaughlin, telling the Washington Post what he called a negotiator was frantically trying to call the gunman on his cell phone, but nobody picked up.
The mayor saying that he doesn't believe the negotiator knew there were children in the classroom calling 911, and begging police to save them. The more we learn, the worse it seems to get.
What do you say to those parents, burying their children at what should have been the beginning of their lives? What do you say to the families, burying two teachers who died trying to save their students? What do you say to them when they demand to know why they weren't safe in their own school? They deserve to know the truth.
But the police chief, Pete Arredondo, who made the decision that officers should not immediately breach the classroom where the shooter was barricaded, ducking questions from CNN. Is he cooperating with the Department of Public Safety, or not?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETE ARREDONDO, POLICE CHIEF, UVALDE, TEXAS: And just so everybody knows, we've been in contact with DPS every day, just so you all know.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: They say you're not -- they say that you are not cooperating.
ARREDONDO: I've been on the phone with them every day.
PROKUPECZ: They say are not cooperating.
ARREDONDO: Just so you know, we've been talking to them every day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So we're just starting. We have a lot to get to on all of this this evening, but I want to get right to our breaking news right now.
CNN's Gary Tuchman is on the scene in Tulsa, Oklahoma for us. Gary, good evening to you. Four people dead, I understand, plus the gunman, is that correct?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's correct, Don. And here we are dealing with another frightening appalling mass shooting. And this is really important to point out. Most likely, as we speak, family members of these four innocent people who just went to a hospital billing today for a checkup, or to say hello to an employee, or who was an employee. We don't know if it was doctors, nurses, other members of the team who works in this medical building, or patients, we don't know who died. We do know their family members are being notified as we speak. And
that's one of the reasons why we don't know the name of this gunman yet. We do know he's 35 years old, he brought a rifle and a gun inside, he is dead. He killed himself.
This is the campus of St. Francis Hospital. This is the largest hospital in Tulsa. It's a Catholic hospital system, very prominent, well-known employer, well-known hospital, well-respected, 1,100 beds in the main hospital.
And right behind me is a building called the Natalie building. That's where this happened. And the Natalie building it's especially building where you go when you don't have to be an inpatient, when you go to see your doctor. It consists of orthopedics offices, also oncologist offices, there may be other specialties but those are the two main specialties inside.
We are told this gunman went to the second floor, there are reports he was looking for a particular person inside the building. That has not been verified yet, but he was limited to the second floor. He went inside one of the officers in the second floor, and started shooting, and he killed four innocent people.
At this point, we don't know the motive for it, police seem to know more. They say they have more information right now, so do members of the government here in Tulsa. But they're keeping it quiet right now while they conduct their investigation. But we do know the threat is over. Police are still out here right now.
The gunman is dead, but he's taken the lives of innocent people, just one state and eight days away from another high-profile shooting, as we were just talking about, Don, in Uvalde. And here's the strangest, and really unhappy coincidence.
I was in Oklahoma today to do a story about active shooting training in another part of the state. I was with some of the best trainers in the state, training new officers an active shooting, while we're in the middle of the shoot, we found out this happened here. We told the police in western Oklahoma what happened, they couldn't believe it. We couldn't believe it. It has happened again. Don?
LEMON: Yes. Gary, you're right. I mean, we would be covering the fallout from Buffalo, and the funerals there, and now we're covering the fallout from Uvalde and the funerals there, and then a new shooting tonight.
Our Gary Tuchman is joining us from Oklahoma, Tulsa, Oklahoma near St. Francis Hospital. Police say four people were killed, Gary confirming that for us the gunman also dead. Police believe of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. And maybe up to 10 people wounded.
We're going to let our Gary Tuchman go and do some reporting from the scene in Tulsa, and we're going to check back with him throughout the show. So, make sure you stay tuned for the new information coming in. Joining me now is Tulsa Police Captain Richard Meulenberg. Captain,
thank you very much for joining us. We understand that there are four people have been killed, shooter also killed. You heard Gary Tuchman's report I hope, what else can you tell us at this hour, Captain?
RICHARD MEULENBERG, TULSA POLICE CAPTAIN: You know, I can tell you we're just slowing things down. This happened late this afternoon, and we're just now to the point where we are relatively calm. I apologize I'm reporting from my car, but this is the first time I've actually sat in my car today.
So, earlier today we had officers responding to this location, because we had a call that somebody had a rifle over here at the facility. So, officers responded very quickly, and then it turned into an active shooter as officers were in the building. They heard these shots ringing out in the second floor.
So, they quickly ran up the stairs. As they were breaching that door to the second floor of this building, the shooting suddenly stopped. So, when they got into the area, they found the first victim, they found the next victim, and they also found the shooter, who had shot himself with a pistol.
One person was shot here at the location and transported, and died. So, we have a total of five people who have died, one of which being the shooter. Beyond that, it's a multi-floor facility, hundreds of rooms, hundreds of people. It was complete chaos as people ran out, and then we did a methodical floor by floor search, looking at every room. People were hiding. We were able to get them out safely.
We have a small number of people injured. We're still working that out. So, we have been identified the deceased publicly yet, we're working on notifying the family. And this is a larger story. We're not able to disclose everything at this time because we have to protect the investigative process.
You know, we're going to have more as the night goes on, we have investigators and other jurisdictions, we have multiple jurisdictions here, so we're hoping we get more answers that we can share with the public here in the very near future.
LEMON: OK, so you said it's a wider investigation, as you told my colleague, Laura, earlier. I know that there are some things that you cannot discuss. Our affiliate is reporting that Muskogee police are responding to a bomb threat there. Is that related in any way to the shooter?
MEULENBERG: It is related. I can't give too many details on how. We have our investigators, our homicide unit, going down there right now, and we have investigators on scene recovering evidence and talking to witnesses over there that are providing some details about how it's connected to the location here in the hospital. So, I can't go into too much of a detail because we are still piecing it together. And we don't want to give too much information out.
LEMON: OK, I understand that, captain. Do you -- do you have any more information about what the motives of the gunman might have been, and who he was after? I don't want to speculate, but there were earlier reports that there may have been a beef or something with a doctor. Can you tell us anything about that?
MEULENBERG: So, I can't go into specifics, but I can tell you that this is not a random event. It's not as if he went to a hospital and was indiscriminately shooting at people. He very purposefully went to this location went to a very specific floor, and shot with a very specific purpose.
Unfortunately, just -- and also just to pay some respect to those who've been shot, I think we will get into that later as the investigation continues. But this was not just a random shooting by this individual.
LEMON: You said that he had a rifle and a handgun.
LEMON: Can you provide us with more information about the weapons? The type of guns, you said it was a pistol and then the type of rifle?
MEULENBERG: One was a semiautomatic rifle, and the other was a semiautomatic pistol. So, there are some other details we're working out about those particular weapons, so I can't give you too many details on that. There's some question about when he acquired them, so we're looking into that as well.
LEMON: Was it an assault style rifle?
MEULENBERG: I can tell you that it's a semi-automatic. So, yes, I'm not going to get into the semantics of what an assault rifle is or is not.
LEMON: Assault style.
MEULENBERG: Semiautomatic rifle.
LEMON: Yes, OK. Is he known to police?
MEULENBERG: So, I don't know that for a fact. We do know his name, so I do not know anything about his criminal record at this time.
LEMON: Age? Range?
MEULENBERG: I have that but we're not able to release that, because we're still deep in the investigation.
LEMON: So, Captain, listen, obviously, this country is dealing with a rash of mass shootings right now. You know, dealing with Buffalo, Uvalde, over a dozen others over the holiday weekend. There was one then, you know, at a high school graduation at Xavier College in New Orleans. Had your department reviewed its active shooter protocols recently? MEULENBERG: We do. As a matter of fact, we just recently discussed
with the media that we are -- working class, our apprentice police officers, we did a segment where they were teaching and learning active shooter response.
Our department has had years of active shooter response training. It's one of those things that you train constantly on, and you hope you never have to use it, but I'm very proud of the men and women who run up the stairs and used it. While it's absolutely tragic that anybody lost their life, I feel strongly that the rapid response by our officers prevented the loss of further life.
LEMON: Captain Richard Meulenberg. Captain, thank you for joining us. We appreciate it. I know that you're very busy. You're joining us from your car. It matters not where you are as long as you give us the information and you stay safe. And thank you very much. We appreciate you joining us. Thanks.
MEULENBERG: Thank, you sir.
LEMON: So that was Captain Richard Meulenberg from the Tulsa Police Department, again saying that there's a total of five people dead, that's including the gunman. The gunman went to a hospital, he said, with a specific purpose and intent. It was intentional. He had certain people in mind.
He's not giving us the age of the gunman, he talked about the types of weapons, a semiautomatic rifle and a pistol, there is also a wider investigation. Part of that is a bomb threat in another community. So, we'll get detail -- as we get details, we'll report them to you here on CNN.
I want to bring in now CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem. Juliette, thank you. Here we go again. We're talking about another deadly shooting. Americans are living in fear of gun violence right now, from grocery stores, to hospitals, churches, graduations, hospitals. Where are we supposed to be safe?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So, we can get safer. I think safe is difficult now, and I think if we get this idea that we can get to safe -- we're going to miss the opportunities to become safer. And that's -- I think that needs to be the goal now, and we need to be honest about it. We don't need perfection at the stage.
We basically need to get the stage where each of these is viewed -- where each of this scene we can have an explanation that's individual for each of these, right? There is a loser, and the loner and the enigma, and the radical, and the guy with the grievance, and it's a blue state or a red state, or it's a hospital or a synagogue or a church or a movie theater -- whatever, right?
And it takes two minutes for the police to come, or 10 minutes, or an hour for the police to come, or we can look at these individually and not take a step back, and just take a look at the totality, which is we can get safer. Because the common connective tissue, we know, is guns that are killing quickly. This is what the interview just before told us.
And so, I don't think about safe, I study the history of disasters, I don't believe in safe in a country like ours, but I believe in safer. And I think if we begin to look at that as a focus, and not get distracted by all the different tails that each of these tells us, and to look at our capacity to assert agency, in terms of making us safer, then we can get close to some resolution.
I hate to say this to you and to everyone, you know, we -- I've been here so much lately, and your -- I heard that four people were dead, and I thought, honestly, Don, I thought, well that's good. Like how dare, I, right? In other words, and we've been so immune to these numbers now.
LEMON: That it wasn't more people now.
KAYYEM: Yes. Like, like these are four, the four lives, but then think of the concentric circles that are impacted by this for decades to come, children and parents, and everything.
And so, we need to just bear witness. I mean, I think that's what we need to do. Is not look away and bear witness. That it's not just four people in their, and that's a good, that's a good resolution. It's four people and hundreds and thousands impacted by one moment today.
LEMON: Yes. When I heard about it, you hear, it is, it's in Oklahoma. You think, how many people?
LEMON: That's the first thing you think, is how many people, right?
LEMON: And then when you hear the number, you say, well, is that going to go up, like it often does.
LEMON: Right. Right.
LEMON: So, the police --
KAYYEM: Will that even be -- will that even be your story?
LEMON: Right. KAYYEM: I mean, to be honest, when I first got the first hint, you know, if it's none dead, but just a bunch of injured, would that even make the news? Because you have -- we have two other mass shootings going on simultaneously.
LEMON: Yes. The police department made a point of laying out their quick response time to this incident.
LEMON: In the face of what we saw in Uvalde, should that give the public some -- some measure of reassurance?
LEMON: Because you just said, look, you don't believe in safe, but safer, but is that some measure of, --
LEMON: -- OK, well, you know, --
KAYYEM: It is.
LEMON: -- they can act quickly.
KAYYEM: Yes, and to hear the previous interview of the officer at -- not answering your questions because he didn't have the answer, or he wasn't prepared to, which is what he should be doing.
KAYYEM: And controlling the narrative not because he wants to keep the information, but because there is a reason why. We need to validate certain things, this story that we are hearing about whether there was motive or a particular target, you want to validate before you begin to surmise.
And what we saw in Texas was that not only a bad response, a delayed rapid -- not a rapid response, but delayed activation of a rapid response. But now, this sort of tragedy upon tragedy of a narrative that no one can seem to control because no one seems to getting control of the facts.
So, you -- now we can see that these systems of preparedness, training, exercises, nimbleness, communication, all of the things that we learn in crisis management can work to minimize the harm. So, we can, as I say, fail safer because this is not a good night, but it could've been worse.
And I think that's important, because then we can begin to both criticize places like Texas, where they failed to do that, but also investing the preparedness, not just police officers, but others in terms of minimizing the consequences. Failing safer, and you know, making things less bad. And that's, unfortunately, where we are, but that should give us some hope in an odd way. And we have agency to demand that things are less bad. That we can do.
LEMON: We have been covering these for years, but I'll just -- I'll just go back to Buffalo. You are here, and you said --
LEMON: -- everyone said, including you and myself, sadly we will be back here doing it again. Then Uvalde happened --
LEMON: -- and we said, sadly, we will be back here doing it again. Now Tulsa, sadly, we will be back here --
LEMON: -- doing it again. Thank you, Juliette. I appreciate it.
KAYYEM: Thank you.
LEMON: The deadly shooting in Tulsa coming just days after the school shooting in Texas, where there are a whole lot of questions about the police response. Here is what happened when CNN tried to get some answers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PROKUPECZ: I want to talk to you about the decision and what the department --
ARREDONDO: Sure. But we want to let you know and I just spoke with the --
PROKUPECZ: I know you did.
ARREDONDO: You're not bluffing me, are you?
PROKUPECZ: No, no, no. Turn this way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Tonight's deadly mass shooting in Tulsa coming just eight days after 19 children and two teachers were shot to death in their classroom in Uvalde, Texas, and there are more and more questions about the police response to the shooting.
Let's bring in now CNN's Shimon Prokupecz in Uvalde. Shimon, hello to you. Also, I want to bring in CNN law enforcement analyst Anthony Barksdale. Hello to both of you gentlemen. I appreciate you joining us. Shimon, I'm going to start with you with the reporting. I just want to play part of your exclusive interview with the school police chief Pete Arredondo. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PROKUPECZ: I want to talk to you about your decision --
ARREDONDO: Yes, sure.
PROKUPECZ: -- and what the department--
ARREDONDO: Just to let you know, I just spoke with --
PROKUPECZ: I know you did.
ARREDONDO: You're not bluffing me, are you?
PROKUPECZ: No, no, no. I'll turn this way.
ARREDONDO: Just you all know, because you all know I was the -- we're not going to release anything. We have people in our community being buried, so we are going to be respectful.
PROKUPECZ: Sir, I just want your reaction to --
ARREDONDO: We are going to be -- we are going to be --
PROKUPECZ: -- the direction (Inaudible) that you were you responsible for the decision --
ARREDONDO: Right. We're going to be --
PROKUPECZ: -- for going to that room, how do you explain yourself to the parents?
ARREDONDO: We're going to be respectful to the family.
PROKUPECZ: I understand that, but you have an opportunity to --
ARREDONDO: And we're pointing that -- sure. And we're going to be --
PROKUPECZ: -- explain yourself to the parents?
ARREDONDO: And just so you know we're going to do that eventually honestly.
ARREDONDO: And whenever this is done, and when we let the families quit grieving, then we'll do that obviously. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, I mean, what is he talking about?
PROKUPECZ: Yes, I don't really know, Don, quite honestly. Look, we were just there to try to get him to respond to the allegations from the state investigators here, that he was the man making the decision that wrong decision, to not send officers in, to take the gunman down, with kids inside that classroom calling 911, asking for the police to respond.
So, look, we spent days trying to find him, we couldn't find him, finally this morning, we saw him leaving his house, going to work, and we stopped him. We were able to get him going into his office, and asking those questions. Clearly, wanting to dodge the key issue in all of this, Don?
LEMON: Anthony, are you troubled by what you are hearing from Chief Arredondo when he says that he wants to be respectful of the families. Are they the ones that deserve these answers? I mean, is he -- this is dodging, right?
ANTHONY BARKSDALE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Don, it is absolute dodging. The questions that Shimon asked were fair, and they deserved a response. So, there's -- he has a different agenda than to give those parents, those children, those teachers, the information that they need, that they are owed, due to his tactical failure to make the right calls, as the incident commander in this tragedy.
LEMON: The mayor of Uvalde, Don McLaughlin told the Washington Post, that he witnessed the would-be negotiator trying to reach the gunman via cell phone, at the staging area that was near the school. Is that the right protocol for an active shooter situation, Anthony?
BARKSDALE: Why would he try to negotiate?
BARKSDALE: There is an active shooter in there, you've got kids in school, there is no negotiation, you are going in to take out the threat. Why a negotiator is trying to negotiate, is beyond me. It is the incident commander's fault, when you engage, you keep going until the threat is eliminated. It makes no sense.
LEMON: Anthony, I've been hearing from members of law enforcement, former members of law enforcement who are saying, why are you criticizing the police's actions in this particular situation. You don't know what's happened yet, the investigation has to play out, stop casting dispersions on the police, what do you say to that?
BARKSDALE: To hell with them, you've got 19 kids, children, slaughtered, two teachers, slaughtered. And to not look at the incident, and say, what happened? Why did this happen? What can we do better? That's part of the job, the after-action reports, the after- action review, excuse me, was created by the army in the 70s. To look at -- to look and review what happens after a bad incident or something goes wrong. This went wrong. To say that we should not look is foolish.
LEMON: Anthony Barksdale, Shimon Prokupez, thank you both very much. I appreciate it.
So, he is a Texas Republican who is demanding action to avoid the next mass shooting in his state, action his governor is so far taking. I should say governor. State Senator Kel Seliger speaks out here. There he is. He's next.
LEMON: So, Texas Governor Greg Abbott calling for special legislative committee to make what he calls legislative recommendations on school safety and mental health, social media, police training, firearms safety, and more. But my next guest says, that's not enough.
So, joining me now is Texas State Senator Kel Seliger. We're so happy that you're here, State Senator, I appreciate. It
KEL SELIGER, TEXAS STATE SENATOR: Thank you for having me.
LEMON: So, let's talk about Governor Abbott, what he wants these committees, but you say it doesn't go far enough. You're going to join Democrats demanding Governor Abbott to call a special session. Tell me why, what would you like to see happen?
SELIGER: What I would like to see happen is a special session, in which we can pass legislation pretty quickly. And otherwise, we wait until January of 2023, where we will address thousands of issues, and we -- I don't think that that -- what that says to families around the country, I don't think it conveys the sort of immediacy we must feel in a case like this, where these terrible tragedies taken place, now in Tulsa, and it's going to happen again.
LEMON: When there was a shooting, and you're right, it is going to happen again, sadly. When there is a shooting spree in Odessa, Texas, this is a few years ago, an area you represent, you said that Governor Abbott declared that this wasn't going to happen again. Right?
LEMON: It has happened again. And how did that impact you?
SELIGER: I haven't slept well for eight days. Because I sat there in the 87th legislature, and the attendant a couple special sessions, and we did nothing. And I've spent sleepless nights since then because we should've done something. We should, at least had a very incisive dialogue about what can be done.
And that's why in my call for a special session, said we should sit down with the FBI, the Department of Public Safety, I'll call to back on firearms and talk about what would work in Odessa, or El Paso, or Santa Fe, or Uvalde, and start coming up with solutions.
There are parents right now they are scared to death to send their kids to school tomorrow, in September 1st, and they need some assurances. I guarantee you the superintendents in public schools all over the state of Texas and the country are looking again at the steps that they have taken, but there is a role for the legislature to play. We make the law.
LEMON: But listen, you say you haven't done anything -- you have done something. Texas has loosened restrictions on guns over the last several years. Governor Abbott signed legislation that you voted for, which allows Texans, 21 and older, to carry handguns in public without a license or training. Do you think that's a mistake? Laws like that, are they mistakes?
SELIGER: As I look at it, they were largely unnecessary, more unnecessary than a mistake. There was nothing about the bill considered on permits to carry in 2021 that would've kept what happened in Uvalde from happening.
And so, we want real solutions. And things that are really going to, hopefully lessen the risk that this will happen again.
LEMON: How do you know what the solutions are if you don't consider, if you don't put everything on the table and at least consider, you've got to start somewhere. You know that, Senator.
SELIGER: We should consider everything. And that's why when you have authoritative sources, like DPS and FBI come in and say, in our experience, substantial, these are the things that will lessen this. The problem that you've got is, that what would have maybe kept Odessa from happening, or El Paso, are not the same things necessarily that would keep Uvalde from happening. And that's why all things ought to be on the table.
We can argue that if 18-year-olds could not buy assault rifles, this young man would not have gone into the Uvalde school so well armed.
LEMON: Senator Kel Seliger, I appreciate you joining us here on CNN. I hope that you would join us once again because we need to talk about solutions. So, thank you. We could have more time, but again, here we go with the breaking news. We need to cover more of it. Thank you so much.
SELIGER: Anytime, thank you.
LEMON: Thank you. So, there's also a verdict in the Johnny Depp, Amber Heard trial to talk about, but it's more complicated than you might think. That's next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: So, a jury mostly siding with Johnny Depp, but ruling that he
and Amber Heard both defamed each other in their lawsuits again -- lawsuit against each other, mostly in Depp's favor. He was awarded a total of $15 million in damages. A jury agreed with Depp's accusation that Heard defamed him in a Washington Post op-ed in 2018 where she alleged domestic abuse. He denies the allegations and claims it cost him lucrative movie roles.
Heard countersued, also for defamation, she was awarded just $2 million in damages and plans to file an appeal.
It's a bit confusing, so there's a lot to talk about with CNN legal analysts Areva Martin and Joey Jackson. Both join us now. Thank you and good evening to both of you.
Areva, break it down for -- this verdict for us. It was a long trial, shocking testimony, but this is really a victory in large part for Johnny Depp.
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it is in a sense, Don, that he got a jury award $10 million in compensatory damages, $5 million in punitive which was reduced by the judge to the statutory cap of 350,000, so it's important to note that. But I don't know if we should call it a victory for Johnny Depp when you think about the mountain of evidence that came out suggesting, in my opinion, proving that he abused Amber Heard.
We know there's evidence that he presented in his own case about drugs and alcohol use, text messages where he's calling his ex-wife the most horrific names you can think of, talking about wanting to have sex with her burned corpse.
So, I don't think this jury award, this monetary award, and Johnny Depp as you know, Don, said this was never about money, but I don't think he can consider this a victory. I don't think any of us can consider this a victory.
LEMON: Well, he does consider it victory. He said as much. I mean, he's, you know, --
MARTIN: Well, --
LEMON: -- I think he was having drinks when it came in, and was celebrating.
MARTIN: He's entitled to that.
MARTIN: But if you call it being a victory to have produce before the entire world, the millions of people that are watching this trial, and the kinds of comments and what conduct that you engaged in with respect your ex-wife, I don't see how that's a victory for someone who wants to be revered in the media. I don't think it's a victory at all. LEMON: Joey, you said that the jury rejected Amber Heard completely.
And that Depp had to overcome a First Amendment issue. Was Amber Heard's credibility on trial here -- and why do you say that? Do you think it's a victory as well?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. Her credibility was certainly at trial leaving into a dawn in a river. Listen, there's two different courts to talk about, and I think Areva is addressing the court of public opinion and with respect to the evidence and ho, in my view, also, I was shocked because there was compelling evidence as to misconduct of some type, not criminal of course but just with respect to how he treats women.
But in terms of court, this was a resounding victory for Johnny Depp. There's no question about that. When you look at defamation cases, what is defamation? It's a false statement, in this case, writing, relating to the 2018 op-ed, which is actually not only false, but injuries to a reputation which impairs -- you have to establish the causal connection to that reputation. And you're standing in the industry, which the jury found.
When you talk about compensatory damages, what those damages are, Don, is they are damages designed to compensate you, to make you whole, to put you in the position that you would be in absent the defamatory statement. So, the jury obviously bought his diminishing, his diminishing stardom as a result of that.
And then you add the other element they found, which is because he's a public figure you have to establish actual malice. What is that? It's you saying something or writing something with knowledge of falsity or, right, a reckless disregard to the truth.
And so, in this day and age, where we say we want, do what we want, right, we waxed poetic about what we want. For the jury to establish those conclusions, there's no question about it, that from a legal perspective, this was just a complete win for Johnny Depp. We can argue all night as to whether the jury got it right, as to whether what we heard about drug use and other issues, the language used, as it relates to Amber Heard and other women, whether that's improper, we can have that discussion, but from a legal perspective, wow.
It's just shocking to me --
JACKSON: -- that he carried the day in the seven-member jury was unanimous.
LEMON: I was shocked, especially with the public figure, because you know, the bar for defamation is really high, slander and defamation, but they are both public figures so maybe that played into it.
Amber released this statement. Amber Heard released this statement saying that she is heartbroken over the verdict, she said that, "I'm even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women, it is a setback, it sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated, it sets back the idea that violence against women should be taken seriously." What's your reaction to that, Areva?
MARTIN: I agree with it wholeheartedly. And let me just say this, Don. No doubt I agree with Joey that in terms of legally what happened, Johnny Depp is the big winner, he got a 15 minute -- $15 million civil judgment against Amber Heard. The jury accepted all of his claims, they found him credible, and basically found her not to be a credible witness.
They rejected the notion that she was abused, at all. So even though there is evidence of multiple occurrences with respect to physical abuse, the juries did not believe it, they rejected it. But I do think this is a huge loss for women, another rich and powerful man wins the day, women who have been afraid to come forward to talk about abuse from powerful men, I think will be further discouraging from doing that.
I think it would chill those, you know, the speech that women have a constitutional right to use, to talk about these kinds of allegations, the me too move, this is the biggest trial we've seen in this era. And in the biggest trials that we have seen in a time period when we say we are believing women, resoundingly, this jury did not believe the woman.
I was shocked by that, not just the social media, you know, attacks on Amber Heard, how she was vilified in the social media but even this jury. And it shouldn't be lost on us, Don, that there were five men on this seven-paneled jury, not to say that that per se, had anything to do with it, but I think that's going to be an interesting study as we learn more about who these five men are, how men are thinking in this moment about the me too movement.
We know there is some backlash to the movement, and men thinking -- some men thinking it went too far. And maybe some sociologists or someone study in this will say this was an effort to kind of right the ship, as it relates to these types of allegations.
But I'm saddened by it, as the right of lawyer that has represented women, because I know how hard it is for women to talk about being abused. And this is going to make --
LEMON: Well, there's -- yes, there is so much to talk about, we can go on and on, but unfortunately, I don't have the time in this moment. We'll get back to this conversation, this is not the end of course.
Thank you both, I appreciate it.
President Biden questioned on what he knew, and when he knew it about the formula shortage affecting families across the country, his surprising answer next.
Plus, another shooting tonight, at least four people dead in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we are going to have the latest at the top of the hour.
LEMON: This White House is dealing with one crisis after another, after another, the latest explosion of gun violence, historic inflation, even the critical shortage of baby formula,
I want to go now to our chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins. Kaitlan, good evening to you. Thanks for joining us. What is the White House saying tonight about the shooting in Tulsa?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, we know that President Biden has been briefed on it, they are keeping an eye on it, seeing what's happened. We know that at least four people have been killed so far, but it's really -- you know, when you talk about one crisis after another, it's also one shooting after another that the White House is having to deal with, because it seems like every other day almost, President Biden is being briefed on this, given tonight he was briefed on what happened in Tulsa, eight days ago it was what happened in Texas. And before that, 18 days before that, of course it was what happened in Buffalo, New York.
And so, this is something that has become this reoccurring issue for the White House in recent days. And Don, we should note that it came today, reporters asked President Biden if he felt confident that anything was going to happen in Congress when it came to guns, obviously that has been the big discussion here as you've seen what's been happening out in the nation.
He said he served in Congress. He is never confident that Congress is going to get something done. That we are waiting to see where those negotiations play out.
LEMON: You also had the opportunity to ask the president tonight about what he knew about -- what he knew or knows about the baby formula shortage, and why the government didn't react faster to this. What did you learn, Kaitlan?
COLLLINS: Yes. This has been a big question, and the president kind of gave this puzzling answer given you've heard from the White House officials who have said since February, when that plant closed, of course that was the one that caused so many of the shortage issues, issues that you are seeing play out in the nation right now.
They said they have been working on this since day one, which would've been mid-February, when the FDA had that plant shutter its doors, who try to work on its issues, the contamination issues, that they were having. But the president told us today that it was actually weeks into the crisis before he knew the depth of what was going on, just how bad this shortage truly was.
And, Don, we should note that what you are about to hear from President Biden came as he was having this conversation with baby formula manufacturers, he was talking to them and asking them if they knew when this plant closed in mid-February, that they were going to have the level of issues that they were.
That it was going to see the impact that it did, and he told us that he did not find out about until weeks later just how bad it was going to be.
COLLINS: Shouldn't the FDA have been more aware of that when they took months to conduct the inspection, to interview people at this plant after the complaints were made, and then only shuttered it in February?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, the real problem occurred when it started when it got shattered. So, you are saying they should have anticipated that it would be shattered? The answer is --
COLLINS: (Inaudible) it's only, Mr. President.
BIDEN: Well, here's the deal, I became aware of this problem sometime and after April -- in early April about how intense it was. And so, we did everything in our power from that point on, and that's all I can tell you right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: So, Don, of course, White House officials have not answered why the president was not informed until at least six weeks after this plant was shuttered, about just how severe these shortages were going to be when it came to baby formula.
And you heard executives talk today, this issue is so concentrated, there are so baby -- there are so few baby formula makers in the United States, that they knew it was going to have a really severe impact. And it also raises question, Don, -- questions, Don, about how quickly the FDA was acting, because lawmakers say they got complaints about this back in the fall, that the FDA was slow to interview people.
They were slow to conduct those investigations, and of course, slow to shatter that factory, which did not happen until February. So big questions for why the president himself was not informed, since the White House has said that this was a whole of government approach since February.
LEMON: Kaitlan Collins in Washington, Kaitlan, thank you very much for that.
At least four dead tonight after a gunman opened fire in a hospital campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We are live on the scene, next.