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Don Lemon Tonight
Bill Barr Says DOJ 'Getting Very Close' To Having Enough Evidence To Indict Trump; The Bidens Welcome The Obamas For Portrait Unveiling; Judge Rules Employers Not Required To Cover Some HIV Drugs; Unsafe Drinking Water Is Hurting Jackson, MS Residents; Mother Of Unarmed Black Man Shooting Victim Speaks Out. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired September 07, 2022 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The former attorney general, Bill Barr, weighing in on a potential indictment of Donald Trump. Here's what he said on Fox earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, FORMER UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think, you know, as I've said all along, there are two questions. Will the government be able to make out a technical case? Will they have evidence by which that they could indict somebody on, including him? And I -- that's the first question. And I think they're getting very close to that point, frankly.
But I think at the end of the day, there's another question. it's, do you indict a former president? What will that do to the country? What kind of precedent will that set? Will the people really understand that this is not, you know, failing to return a library book? That this was serious?
And so, you have to worry about those things, and I hope that those kinds of factors will inclined the administration not to indict him, because I don't want to see him indicted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, it comes as we're learning that the documents seized from Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort included one on a foreign government's nuclear capabilities. That's according to "The Washington Post."
So, I want to bring in now the former assistant special Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman, national security attorney Bradley Moss, and CNN senior political analyst Kirsten Powers. Good evening. Good to see all three of you.
Nick, I'm going to start with you. So, you have Bill Barr there saying that he thinks the government is close to having the enough evidence to indict Trump. Do you think he's right?
NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: Oh, absolutely. I mean, there is enough evidence just based on the fact that he has all these classified documents, and then when they tried to get them from him, he basically concealed them.
We don't really know the full extent of all this but just the possession and knowing the possession of these documents is a violation of the act. I mean, that's the problem. The Espionage Act covers a wide range of activity starting with knowing possession to right up to the point to providing the information to a foreign adversary.
AKERMAN: So, we don't really know where on the spectrum Donald Trump really fits on this, and that's going to make a big difference in terms of informing the decision by the Department of Justice, whether they indict, if they indict, on what they indict, and how serious the indictment becomes.
The more you get closer to one end of the spectrum, the more palatable it is to be able to bring an indictment against the former president. If it's simply that the guy was keeping souvenirs, that's one thing, but we don't know, and that's a big open question.
LEMON: But even as a souvenir, it's wrong.
AKERMAN: It's wrong. Absolutely.
LEMON: Bradley, Barr has really been on a tear, slamming Trump's handling of classified information, but says that he doesn't want to see him indicted. No one denies the former president is an unprecedented case here and that a lot of caution has to be taken, but isn't it also critical to see that equal treatment under the law is preserved?
BRADLEY MOSS, NATIONAL SECURITY ATTORNEY: Yes, absolutely, Don. And to be clear, I think this is kind of where Bill Barr was going before he got himself tripped up on the "I don't want to see him indictment," in the end, everyone, including a former president, including a current president, has to be held accountable to the law.
So, to the extent that the Justice Department can bring a case here, to the extent that there was not only the unauthorized and willful retention of these classified documents, but that he was obstructing and concealing the government -- these documents from the government investigation, it warrants the final decision from the Justice Department of, can we bring an indictment?
The political considerations -- that's why, in my view, this should be ultimately decision all the way up to Merrick Garland, who is politically accountable. If this type of choice is made, this would be an unprecedented move to indict a former president. But if it warrants it, if those facts truly are what we believe them to be under the law, the indictment is warranted. LEMON: Hmm. Kirsten, the former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, was on "The View" today. Here is the moment -- this is when Joy Behar asked her whether she thought Trump would be indicted. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I don't know, Joy, and I don't want to prejudge. I've been prejudged along wrongly enough. I'm not going to prejudge somebody else.
JOY BEHAR, ABC HOST (voice-over): Okay.
CLINTON: And so, I think the key is what the facts and the evidence are.
CLINTON: So, I think that we have to --
CLINTON: -- we have to wait and we have to -- we have to have, I think, two minds about this. No one is above the law.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Yeah.
CLINTON: And the rule of law in a democracy --
CLINTON: -- you know, has to be our standard. But we should not rush to judgment.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Right.
CLINTON: We should take it seriously, we should be concerned about it, and we should follow the facts and the evidence.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Right.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Yeah.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Okay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: What does that response say to you, especially she was talking about the guy who kept saying lock her up?
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I think she's being responsible, and she is saying the responsible thing. You know, I think that most people look at this and say, you know, pretty much, we've heard already tonight on this panel, which is yes, of course, it is a very politically sensitive thing to do to indict a former president. nobody questions that, but we can't really believe that there is no line, right, which is sort of the argument that Bill Barr was ultimately making when he says, I don't want to see him indicted.
It just means that there is no line the president can cross. And I would sort of loop back to what Bill Barr had said previously, which I think was more on point, which is what is also unprecedented is what the ex-president, Donald Trump, did, right?
So, he has done something that so far out of bounds of what any ex- president would ever do. So, I don't think we should be treating him the way other ex-presidents were treated because other ex-presidents didn't do this. This is unthinkable. This is yet another thing that nobody could even conceive of that someone would do.
And if he's not held accountable for it, what kind of message does that send? What kind of message does that send to future presidents? What does that send even to this president -- you know, former president, who may be a future president?
LEMON: Yeah. Nick, this "Washington Post" reporting that FBI agents recovered a document from Mar-a-Lago describing a foreign country's nuclear capabilities, does that strip away any potential innocent explanation from team Trump?
AKERMAN: Certainly, there is no innocent explanation for that. I would be interested to know where they found that. Was that in his office? Was it in a storage room? What were the other documents surrounding it? I mean, somebody has got to do an analysis, looking at what's in his office. Does it really differ from what is in the storage room? Is there some rhyme or reason as to why he put certain documents in his office?
LEMON: Let me ask you, why does that matter? When -- this is what I'm trying to wrap my head around, and I think most Americans, right? He had the documents, right?
AKERMAN: No question.
LEMON: I mean, you could say, you know, I didn't pack them, somebody else packed them or what have you, but if it's top secret, if it's nuclear information, if it's whatever it is, why does it matter where it was? It wasn't supposed to be there. It was supposed to be in a secure facility where no one could get their hands on it. Not the movers, not the box packers, not the people visiting, not even him after he's president of the United States. So, what does it matter?
AKERMAN: It matters because you want to find out if there's some rhyme or reason as to why he took those documents and why he concealed them and why he kept them. Was he keeping certain kinds of documents? Was it just the nuclear documents relating to a certain country that he was keeping in one spot in his office? Was it something else?
I mean, that's part of the analysis that the national intelligence office has to look at, it is something that only they can really opine on, and it's a real key element of any kind of criminal prosecution.
LEMON: Yeah. So, Bradley, this is how investigators are going to be able to figure out why Trump had this information, right, in his possession and who else may have had access to it.
MOSS: Yes, this is certainly what they were at least doing up until Monday when the judge down in Florida issued the injunction that has kind of thrown a bit of a wrench into it, appointing -- you know, authorizing the appointment of a special master and then joining the FBI from using the documents.
They can still investigate around it. They can try to figure out, one -- what we've all been trying to figure out is where exactly were each particular document, what involvement did Donald Trump himself have in terms of the ones that were removed from the storage room and put in his personal office and his desk. That at least speaks to his particular willful retention of these documents.
What involvement there was on Donald Trump or his other associates when it came to the misleading information they provided the FBI in June when they swore out the statement that said, oh, we have nothing more, and it turned out they did.
These are the steps that the FBI can still do right now to investigate around the details. They can't use the contents of the documents themselves yet. We have to wait and see what happens with that special master, which is a whole convoluted mess unto itself.
LEMON: Listen, Kirsten, I know I'm asking you to, you know, to look in a crystal ball here.
But I wonder what the impact is going to be, what do all of these developments about Trump's handling of classified information mean politically. Are voters following along with this?
POWERS: I mean, I feel like, you know, we have this conversation a lot and it tends to be that at this point, that the people who -- everything is sort of baked-in, I think is the answer.
I think most people who don't like Donald Trump or have problems with Donald Trump, even people who may like his politics but have problems with him as president, are going to look at scans of this and it will be yet another data point against him. But will it turn his hardcore supporters against him? No.
But I do think that this kind of, you know, thing has at least among people who are commentators and thinkers, we are seeing it across the political spectrum people actually recognizing how problematic this is, which is why it's so important that Bill Barr is saying what he's saying because he is someboy who has typically really stood by the president.
So, I do think that, you know, it will reach a certain number of people. Overall, he still has this sort of core constituency that will make excuses for pretty much everything that he does. And even though there really is no excuse for this, the most low-level employee in the government knows that what he has done is illegal. And if anybody else did it, with even one document, you know, they would be in a lot of trouble.
So, you know, I think it's pretty clear, whatever his motives were, it's only -- the only thing that we can find out -- by finding out his motives is it's probably worse than it seems. But at a minimum, it's horrific.
LEMON: Yeah. Thank you all. I appreciate it.
Barack and Michelle Obama's official White House portraits unveiled today. We're going to take a closer look at the paintings and how they represent the former first couple. We already know what the former president thinks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to thank Sharon Sprung for capturing everything I love about Michelle: Her grace, her intelligence, and the fact that she is fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: A long-held tradition finally returning to the White House after 10 years. Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama unveiling their official White House portraits today. It marks the couple's first joint return to the White House since they left in 2017. CNN's Kaitlan Collins has more now.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A return to tradition at the White House today.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Barack and Michelle, welcome home.
COLLINS (voice-over): Greeted by over a minute of sustained applause, former President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in the East Room for the unveiling of their official White House portraits.
BIDEN: Nothing could have prepared me better more to become president of the United States than to be at your side for eight years.
COLLINS (voice-over): President Biden inviting Mr. And Mrs. Obama to the stage where they lifted blue curtains to reveal their portraits by the artist Sharon Sprung. OBAMA: I want to thank Sharon Sprung for capturing everything I love about Michelle: Her grace, her intelligence, and the fact that she is fine.
COLLINS (voice-over): And his by Robert McCurdy.
OBAMA: Refused my request to make my ears smaller.
OBAMA: He also talked me out of wearing a pantsuit, by the way.
COLLINS (voice-over): The 44th president then growing serious.
OBAMA: Presidents so often get airbrushed, even take on a mythical status, especially after you have gone, and people forget all the stuff they did not like about you. Presidents and first ladies are human beings like everyone else. We have our gifts, we have our flaws.
COLLINS (voice-over): The last time a sitting president invited his predecessor for a portrait unveiling was a decade ago.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you are wandering these halls as you wrestle with tough decisions, you will now be able to gaze at this portrait and ask, what would George do?
COLLINS (voice-over): The longstanding tradition was put on hold one Donald Trump occupied the Oval Office and declined to host Obama, who had little interest in attending the ceremony organized by his successor.
MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: It means so much to come back to friends.
COLLINS (voice-over): With no direct mention of Trump today, Mrs. Obama emphasized an unmistakable message saying these traditions matters.
M. OBAMA: You see the people, they make their voices heard with their vote. We hold an inauguration to ensure a peaceful transition of power. And once our time is up, we move on.
COLLINS (voice-over): The former first lady also noting her own historic role. e
M. OBAMA: A girl like me, she was never supposed to be up there next to Jacqueline Kennedy and Dolley Madison. That is what this country is about. It's not about blood or pedigree or wealth.
COLLINS: Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House. (END VIDEOTAPE)
LEMON: Kaitlan, thank you so much. For more now, I want to bring in "Washington Post" senior critic-at-large Robin Givhan. Hi, Robin, haven't seen you in a while. Thanks for joining us. You're the perfect person to discuss this.
Let us talk about the style on display today starting with the paintings. Artist Robert McCurdy painted President Obama. Sharon Sprung is the artist who depicted Michelle Obama. What do you think of these paintings and how they represent the former first couple, remembering what they -- you know, they are going to hang in the company of presidents and first ladies who served before them?
ROBIN GIVHAN, SENIOR CRITIC-AT-LARGE, WASHINGTON POST: Yeah, you know, I think that each of them does something quite specific separately. And then together, you know, they do something different. I mean, I think what the portrait of the former president, the painting, as he mentioned, is really quite lifelike. It doesn't, you know, brush away any of the flaws. It's really quite realistic.
And I think when you look at a lot of the paintings that are there of former presidents, they do have this very heroic grand quality to them, and they don't really put them into context. You don't see their flaws. You see this sort of mythic idea of the presidency.
And with the former first lady, I was really struck by the way that the portrait really focuses on her softness. It really has a gentle, graceful tone to it, and that might not seem like it's particularly notable. But while she was in the White House, that was really something that a lot of critics attempted to deny her, she was the first Black woman in that role. And in many ways, she was -- she had to sort of fight for her womanhood, for her femininity, and I think this portrait really puts that up front.
And together, I think they put the first couple, the former first couple, into the context of history. You know, if they're different, they're quite contemporary portraits, but they also still sort of fit in with that continuity and with that sense of what all the other portraits project.
LEMON: You know, it's interesting that you mentioned that. people talked about her dress today. I just want to talk about the artist. Listen, these are quite different when you look at when you look at Kehinde Wiley and when you look at Amy Sherald, what they did before. These are quite different because they will be hanging in different spaces, correct? They sort of represent different things.
GIVHAN: Absolutely. I think that the portraits that were commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery really focus on the personalities of the individuals. They are really, I think, meant to be sort of stand- alone artistic representations of these characters, these important figures, these VIPs. Whereas these that we saw today unveiled were commissioned through the White House Historical Association. And they are not so much focused on the individual as much as they are on the office of the presidency and the role of the first lady. They're really meant to, I think, in many ways, reflect the ways in which we as a country perceive the presidency, the way that we think of the first lady.
And so, I think they were really meant to be of a peace with history, whereas the ones for the National Portrait Gallery were really meant to almost rise above history.
LEMON: Yeah. I can't wait to see what happens to these artists and their work. They're already great artists, but to see if it skyrockets like what happened with Kehinde and Amy. Thank you. Always a pleasure.
GIVHAN: Thank you so much. Always a pleasure, too.
LEMON: So, the groundbreaking drugs that prevent HIV and the judge's ruling employers don't have to pay for them because it violates their religious rights. Stay with us.
LEMON: A federal judge in Texas declaring unconstitutional part of the Affordable Care Act that requires insurers and employers to offer plans that cover HIV-prevention drugs for free, claiming it violates the religious freedom of a Christian-owned company.
That company, Braidwood Management, employs 70 people and argued that the mandate allows behavior it has religious objections, too. And right now, it is unclear if this ruling applies to one Texas company or if it impacts Americans nationwide.
So, joining me now to discuss, CNN legal analyst Areva Martin and Democratic strategist Keith Boykin. He is also the author of the upcoming book, "Race Against Time: The Politics of a Darkening America." Good evening to both of you. Good to see you.
So, Areva, this company argued that the mandate in question -- quote -- "forces religious employers to provide coverage for drugs that facilitate and encourage homesexual behavior, prostitution, sexual promiscuity, and intravenous drug use." Is that really compelling legal argument?
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, it's not compelling, I think, Don, to any other judge. But to the judge that this argument was made before, it was absolutely compelling, and his ruling was absolutely predictable. This is a judge who has a history of ruling that certain parts and including, at one point, ruling that the entire ACA was unconstitutional.
Look, let's be clear, this was not by chance. The lawyer in this case that filed the case on behalf of the plaintiff is the same lawyer that constructed the six-week abortion ban in Texas. This is a former solicitor general of Texas, and he is on a mission, like many conservatives, to undo the Affordable Care Act. So, this judge is no accident, this lawyer is no accident, and these arguments are very predictable.
LEMON: Keith Boykin, these HIV-prevention pills known as PrEP drugs help prevent the spread of a virus that has killed millions of people. If this becomes a broader decision, nationwide, this could impact a whole lot of people.
KEITH BOYKIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE AIDE, AUTHOR: It could impact a lot of people, Don. This is important, lifesaving drug. It's just sad to hear that a
federal judge decided that a private company's religious-based discrimination, alleged religious-based discrimination, is grounds for depriving people of a lifesaving medication.
I mean, what kind of religious values the people believe in any way that allow them to deprive somebody else to something that would actually help to save their life?
Plus, we have a separation of church and state in this country, which would make this a ridiculous, even comparison to bring this in to the conversation.
But it just underscores to me the importance of why federal judges are so critical to making the work of our country -- to doing the work of our country and why we need to put that as a priority and we go to the ballot to make our decisions for elections.
LEMON: Yeah. Areva, you know, we're just learning what the post-Roe era will look like, and Justice Clarence Thomas made it clear, other decisions tied to the right to privacy could be at risk, including same-sex marriage. It is case part of that trend, and do you expect more?
MARTIN: Absolutely, Don. Justice Clarence Thomas made it very clear in his opinion in Dobbs. He, in fact, invited conservative attorney generals, conservative lawyers, to file cases that could make their way to the Supreme Court so that he could rule -- so the 6-3 majority court could look at cases, like you said, same-sex marriages, interracial marriages, so that those decisions that we have -- decisions that we have held, rights the people have had for decades in this country, so that those rights could be overturned.
This is part of a larger conservative agenda, Don. This is not the end. This is just the beginning. The Dobbs opened the floodgates, the door has been slammed wide open, and conservatives are walking into it, and this case is proof of that (ph).
And Don, we should note that this judge asked the parties to brief him on the contraceptive mandate portion of ACA as well. So, they're not just stopping at the HIV medication. There's also issue, in this case, contraceptives as well.
MARTIN: So, we should expect more of these kinds of cases to be filed by conservative lawyers and conservative judges like this one.
BOYKIN: And other preventive care as well, too, Areva, so that's another dangerous precedent that he's setting with this case.
LEMON: All right. Thank you both. I appreciate it.
Jackson, Mississippi is still recovering after going without clean running water for days, and residents say it's a crisis that goes back more than a decade.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Can you drink out of the water fountain in school?
UNKNOWN: No, I will die!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The EPA administrator bowing the Biden administration will do everything it can to help people in Jackson, Mississippi after the city was left without reliable water service for days.
Water pressure has been restored, but residents are still under a water boil advisory. Access to clean drinking water is increasingly becoming a problem across the country, and it is America's poor and communities of color who are the most impacted. Here's CNN's Sara Sidner.
CHARLES WILSON III, JACKSON RESIDENT: E --
UNKNOWN: E --
WILSON: -- is for egg.
UNKNOWN: -- is for egg.
SIDNER (voice-over): Charles Wilson III is a single dad who wants nothing more than to protect his children. He helps with homework and takes part in playtime.
WILSON: I love him to death. SIDNER (voice-over): He never thought the biggest danger to his
little boy would be the tap water flowing through the pipes of his hometown, Jackson, Mississippi.
(On camera): Can you drink out of the water fountain in school?
UNKNOWN: No, I will die!
SIDNER (voice-over): A six-year-old worrying about death over the government's failure to ensure safe drinking water.
WILSON: I mean, do you have a heart? What God do you serve? It's an insult to the capital city of the state of Mississippi. And this is what we go through.
SIDNER (on camera): You don't have clean drinking water?
SIDNER (voice-over): Wilson uses bottled water for drinking and boils water every day multiple times a day for everything else.
This time, it was a flood that took out the water treatment plant, where pumps had already been failing, leaving 150,000 plus residents without safe drinking water.
(On camera): Do you remember when the water seemed to go bad here in Jackson?
WILSON: Ten, 12 years maybe in that area.
SIDNER (on camera): More than a decade?
WILSON: Yes. It really got worse.
SIDNER (voice-over): But families in Jackson say the water crisis in the capital city of Mississippi started long before the emergency that got the country's attention. Even the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency knows that.
MICHAEL REGAN, ADMINISTRATOR, EPA: Just this year alone, we're going to make over $10 billion available for investments in clean water.
SIDNER (on camera): It sounds like an emergency, like the National Guard should be in here, like the Army Corps of Engineers should be in here, that everyone should be trying to make sure that the kids of this community have drinking water. Where is everybody?
REGAN: You know, we're here now. I think you've seen a federal state and local presence here.
You know, the last time I visited Jackson, the community members said, we don't want any more finger pointing, we just want our government to work.
SIDNER (on camera): People are waiting for the tap water to be clean and safe. How long do they have to wait to have clean drinking water?
REGAN: You know, the honest answer is we didn't get into this situation overnight. We're not going to get out overnight. But we're working around the clock, as quickly as possible, to provide some stability to the system. That, again, is why this administration fought so hard for the bipartisan infrastructure law. And that $50 billion, historic investment, it will go a long way in rebuilding the infrastructure and rebuilding the trust in this country.
SIDNER (voice-over): The EPA administrator knows that trust is going to be hard to come by, because even when Jackson said the water was safe over the years, it wasn't.
WILSON: My son has ADHD. He has emotional and developmental disorders. He's not caught up with his class.
COREY STERN, ENVIRONMENTAL ATTORNEY: Jackson had a number of violations from the Environmental Protection Agency over decades.
SIDNER (voice-over): So, 10 months ago, Attorney Corey Stern sued on behalf of hundreds of Jackson residents who, he says, are suffering the effects of lead in their tap water.
UNKNOWN: Your heart goes out to them because we've experienced that.
SIDNER (voice-over): No one understands the suffering of people in Jackson better than these folks, residents of Flint, Michigan. In 2014, their city changed water sources to save money but failed to treat or test it properly. The result, deadly bacterial contamination and lead poisoning of its residents.
UNKNOWN: The problem for kids especially is they are developing and they are growing, so you don't know the effects that the lead poison that they experience today is going to have on them in five years, 10 years, 20 years.
SIDNER (voice-over): The Bell family says high lead levels in their seven-year-old grandson resulted in developmental issues.
LEE-ANNE WALTERS, FLINT RESIDENT: We're not the only family that still suffers from rashes.
SIDNER (voice-over): Adults aren't immune either. Their next-door neighbor testified before Congress about Flint's negligence and lies.
WALTERS: We started experiencing hair loss, we started experiencing rashes and blood pressure issues. So, we're being told everything is fine.
SIDNER (voice-over): Eight years on, Flint is using a different water source and replaced many pipes. But she and her neighbors still cook with and drink bottled water, using upwards of 10 cases a week.
(On camera): Do you drink out of your tap water?
UNKNOWN: No. I'll never drink the water again.
SIDNER (voice-over): Flint, like Jackson, it's predominantly Black with a low tax base, which experts say plays a significant role in their water woes.
(On camera): What does justice look like to you?
WILSON: We know they're not going to tell the truth. We know that they're not going to admit. So, the only thing I can think of is a legal action.
SIDNER (voice-over): The children of flint won $626 million settlement over their poisoned water. But the people of Jackson are still waiting just for a clean drinking water. Never mind justice.
(On camera): What kind of justice can they get?
STERN: There is no justice for the people of Flint or the people of Mississippi when it comes to fixing what is happening to their children's brains.
WILSON: And I'm so happy that the spotlight is on what's going on in Jackson because I'm not the only parent who has a child that has suffered because of this water.
LEMON: And there she is, the person who brought the story to us, Sara Sidner joins us now live. Sara, good evening to you. Listen, I'm sure a lot of people are watching this and they're wondering about their own water. My question for you is, what do you know about just how many people across this country are living with unsafe water?
SIDNER: You know, Don, that is the thing that really set a lot of people off. We learned these numbers. There is a professor at UC- Irvine. She is an assistant professor. Her name is Mora Aler (ph). She looked at safety of the water across the United States and found that about 78% of the population is living with unsafe drinking water. That's about 20 million Americans.
We thought that number was outrageous so we asked the EPA administrator about that number today, and he said, nope, that sounds about right, and we need to fix it as fast as we can. Don?
LEMON: Sara Sidner in Jackson, Mississippi. Sara, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
A 20-year-old Black man fatally shot by police. He was unarmed, in bed. Donovan Lewis's mother is here speaking out for the first time since his death. We are going to talk about that after this.
LEMON: Tonight, the mother of Donovan Lewis is speaking out for the first time since her son was shot and killed in his bed by an officer from the Columbus Police Department. I have to warn you this video is disturbing.
It happened when officers were preparing to serve a felony warrant for domestic violence, an assault, and improper handling of a firearm. Body camera video appears to show Lewis with something in his hands. But it wasn't a weapon. It was apparently a vape pen.
So, joining me now is Rebecca Duran, Donovan Lewis's mother, and Rex Elliott, their family attorney. Thank you both so much for joining us. I really appreciate it.
REX ELLIOTT, ATTORNEY FOR FAMILY OF DONOVAN LEWIS: Thank you.
REBECCA DURAN, MOTHER OF DONOVAN LEWIS: Thank you. It's hard to hear, sorry.
LEMON: Ahh. Rebecca, listen, I know it's hard to hear and I know it's hard to see, but I know that you have seen this video before.
LEMON: I'm so sorry for your loss. How is your family doing?
DURAN: We're struggling. There's no other way to put it. We are struggling.
LEMON: Yeah. I see you're wearing a shirt that was made by a family friend, correct?
LEMON: Donovan was killed during the third police-involved shooting in Columbus in less than a week span, but his shooting was the only fatal one. Why do you think this keeps happening?
DURAN: Because they're not making real changes. They're talking a lot, but they're not actually doing anything.
LEMON: What do you want to see done?
DURAN: Actual change. Actual, independent investigations that don't involve other officers. No matter what organization there with, there are still officers at the fundamental level. I want the officer that shot him to be charged, indicted, and in jail ultimately.
I don't want him in any capacity of police -- any police capacity ever again in his life. I think that there needs to be major changes in how many aspects of that night took place, late night warrants, a lot of things. I'm so sorry, I'm working on very little sleep still.
LEMON: Not at all. Listen, I'm always surprised by the strength of family members when they're able to come on a program like this when something like what happened to your son happens. And I just wonder if it's, you know, trying to get justice or attention, if that's what keeps you going, because I imagine you're just going on adrenaline now.
DURAN: It's pure adrenaline, but it's for Donovan. I don't care about attention. I'm not good with attention. It is absolutely 100% for him. Justice for my son. He deserves that at the very least.
LEMON: Rex, that's why you're here, as an attorney, to try to get justice for the family. And speaking of, there is a motion that was passed directing a Columbus inspector general to investigate these three shootings. What do you hope comes out of this?
ELLIOTT: And we are also conducting our own independent investigation. Don, the reality is that investigation is very important here. But we do have body cam video, and the body cam video tells us pretty clearly what happened here.
As Rebecca said a few minutes ago, there were so many things wrong with what happened the night of August 30th, starting with a middle of the night arrest warrant. There was no reason for this to be served in the middle of the night. There was no danger, no emergency.
Served in the middle of the night, creating a chaotic atmosphere with a canine dog. They didn't need to have a canine dog there. They had multiple police officers. As soon as the door was opened, he fired his gun within a split second. He didn't even have an opportunity really to observe anything in that room.
And all Donovan was doing was trying to get out of bed in accordance with the police commands. It went on from there. They cuffed him. They accused him of resisting arrest when he couldn't even move. They dragged him out of the bed, on to the floor, took him down the stairs, dropped him on the floor.
I mean, this whole scenario that night is just absolutely sickening. And what justice looks like for us is to make sure that we find the flaw on the system so that no family like this good family has to go through something like this again.
LEMON: Are you okay to answer another question for me, Rebecca?
DURAN: Oh, I'll do whatever we have to do.
LEMON: Do you think justice is achievable?
DURAN: I believe it is achievable. It's going to take a lot of work to make it happen. There are still people fighting for justice long before Donovan and have not received it. So, we really -- we got to get something. I mean, I don't know what that something is, but something major has to change.
LEMON: Attorneys for the Officer Ricky Anderson, who police say shot Donovan, they released a statement sympathizing with your family and gave this explanation.
This is what they said. When we analyze police involved shootings, we must look to the totality of the circumstances and we are expressly forbidden from using 20/20 hindsight, because unlike all of us, officers are not afforded the luxury of armchair reflection when they are faced with rapidly evolving, volatile encounters in dangerous situations. Because of this, the law allows a reasonable officer to be mistaken just as the law allows us as non-police officers to be mistaken.
What's your response to them, ma'am, because, of course, your son was holding a vape pen and not a weapon, but was shot anyway.
DURAN: Correction, he wasn't holding of a vape pen. And if you look at the -- I'm sorry, I don't mean to argue with you or anything.
LEMON: No, not at all. Go on, please.
DURAN: There is video, we slowed it down, there's nothing in his hands. He was literally pushing himself up to sit up. The vape pen wasn't seen until they were flipping his body around in the bed instead of providing aid. So, yes, there was a vape pen in the room, it was not in his hands at the moment.
ELLIOTT: Yes. And Don, the reality is that the lawyers' statement about what the legal standard is, is correct, but we are not judging this in hindsight. We are judging this based on what a clear video shows. There was another police officer with a clear view into that room who did not fire his weapon. And it's crystal clear this was a reckless shoot. And so, nobody is judging the officer -- Officer Anderson's conduct based on hindsight.
DURAN: Might I add that they are trained for that, we are not, and it's obvious that he couldn't see. He couldn't even see -- he couldn't have possibly identified who he even shot.
LEMON: Well, we appreciate you joining us, and we want you to keep us informed as to what happened. Again, just you being able to come on is admirable. I don't know how you do it. Rex, thank you for joining us, and Rebecca as well. Be well. Thanks.
ELLIOTT: Thank you.
DURAN: Thank you as well.
LEMON: Thank you. And thank you for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.