Return to Transcripts main page
Interview with Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) about the Monterey Park Mass Shooting; FBI Found Six More Items with Classified Markings at Biden's Wilmington Home; Biden Orders White House Flag at Half-Staff to Honor California Shooting Victims; Remembering Lisa Marie Presley; Tight-Knit Community in California Reeling After Dance Hall Shooting; Bills Fall to Bengals in First Match Up Since Damar Hamlin's Injury; Prices High, But Inflation Easing. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired January 22, 2023 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Over time this community is going to start learning who has been lost and who is still trying to recover in the hospital.
I want to bring in Congressmember Judy Chu who is a former mayor of Monterey Park, and this is your home community, and you represent this district. Tell me a little bit. I heard you during the press conference trying to reassure people during what is supposed to be the happiest time of the year to tell them it's OK, the threat is over. Tell me about that desire to try to reassure people.
REP. JUDY CHU (D-CA): All day long, I heard people who were anxious, who asked whether they should go to the events that are around the community and there are so many Lunar New Year events going on, who wonder whether they should send their kids to school even, and even as much as I said that they should continue doing that, I could feel the fear in their voices. So it is with great relief that we can tell them this shooter is no longer a threat and that they can feel safe and that they can do the things that they would normally do during this Lunar New Year period which is supposed to be the highlight of the year.
CHEN: Yes. And, you know, we talked earlier about the fact the last time you and I saw each other in person was likely when you came to visit Atlanta after the spa shootings there.
Now, we're talking about two very different scenarios because the motives can be very, very different here, but can you speak to the impact of the Asian-American Pacific Islander community across this country when we first hear about a shooting in a predominantly Asian neighborhood, everyone's mind this morning went to the same place.
CHU: Yes. The sensitivities in the Asian-American community are very high right now. It's because we're coming off of three years of anti- Asian hate crimes and incidents due to COVID-19 and there have been 11,500 anti-Asian attacks, hate crimes and incidents and so forth. And so they were so frequent at one time that any AAPI would go out to walk on the sidewalk would ask themselves first, will I be next?
And so the first thing that so many of us thought when we heard about the shooting this morning was that it could have been a hate crime. Now it seems as though it is not, and it seems that it could be a domestic issue but still, this act of utter violence comes on top of all this violence that has occurred this past three years so it has been very difficult.
CHEN: And you yourself, you were at the festival here in the streets just yesterday, hours before this happened. You mentioned to me that you would also in the past been to this dance hall. Tell me what you remember from that visit what type of business it was, and if you can describe what it looked like on the inside.
CHU: Well, the immigrant Chinese especially love ballroom dancing so if you went in there, you would see usually older Americans, Asian- Americans dancing really, enjoying themselves and, you know, some are such excellent dancers. They're really into it and love to go every day. So they would get their exercise. They would hone their craft and it was widely used and popular, so yes, that's what I saw when I went there and this was one of the prominent ones, and the Lai Lai Studios in Alhambra was the other prominent one.
CHEN: Have you spoken to leaders in Alhambra what happened in that second incident, especially those people who were able to wrestle the guy and get his weapon away from him?
CHU: We haven't spoken to the persons themselves who did that, but Sheriff Luna talked a lot about it and I have to say they are heroes for doing what they did. They saved a massive amount of lives by taking that kind of action. They are true role models and they should be honored.
CHEN: And Sheriff Luna also mentioned during tonight's press conference that some of the people who rushed into the building right down the street there were some of the force's youngest officers who had only been -- who had only joined in the last several months. What was your reaction when you heard that?
CHU: I felt so bad for them because I'm sure it must have been traumatic to see these 10 bodies, to see all the blood everywhere, to see the wounded, and I can only imagine what they felt.
I hope that they can get counseling to deal with that but I also have to really thank our first responders because regardless of their personal feelings, they have to go ahead and make sure that people are safe and that the situation is taken care of and that people are taken care of.
CHEN: There is one more thing from that press conference I want to get to, which is the sheriff, using quite strong language when it comes to gun violence. He was talking about -- saying that the status quo is not working so we need to re-examine what we're doing and what may work better, saying that California already has pretty strict gun laws. What are your feelings about what can work better given that clearly this happened in a place where we're already pretty strict?
CHU: There is a clear path forward. I have been a member of the Congressional Gun Safety Caucus since Sandy Hook. So we're talking about a long time. And there is commonsense gun safety legislation that should have been passed by Congress a long time ago.
See, the universal background checks are the best way to make sure that guns don't get into the hands of dangerous and violent people, but there are loopholes and people can buy guns without those checks, without the background checks by buying online or at gun shows or through personal purchases. Those loopholes have to be closed.
I want to tell you that the majority of Americans support these commonsense laws, which would make us all much safer.
CHEN: There is definitely still a lot of work ahead in the long term for that issue given that, you know, some of the residents here who talked to us today even commented, you know, that America's gun issue is out of control, maybe it's best not to go out in public spaces right now. What would you say to those people who came up to us with that sentiment today?
CHU: I understand the fear. I understand the anxiety. But what we have to do is change our gun laws and we need their voices to be included in that. But we also need to come together as a community. We need to participate in everything that is going on and we must continue to live our lives.
Now one thing I can say about Monterey Park after having lived here for such a long time is that it is resilient. The people are strong, and I think we can get through this. There's so much healing that still has to be done but we can get through this together.
CHEN: And finally, do you have remaining questions tonight? I know you mentioned there is a lot outstanding. But what is the most pressing issue for you to be solved regarding this investigation?
CHU: Of course I want to know what the motive is behind this.
CHU: Who did he know that was in the dance studio? I mean, the rumors are there that he's a husband whose wife was in there, but I don't know. And I want to know whether the guns that he had were legal. Of course, we already know that one is illegal. I want to know if he has a criminal history especially of domestic violence and I want to know whether he has a mental illness or any record of that.
CHEN: Congressmember Judy Chu, thank you so much for speaking with us. All day really you've been here since 8:00 a.m. alongside me, so I appreciate your time and all of those questions she asked hopefully we're going to start to try to get more answers as the days go on -- Pamela.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: We certainly hope so. Really powerful interview there, Natasha Chen. Please thank Congresswoman Judy Chu for us as well.
I want to bring in CNN law enforcement contributor Steve Moore and CNN senior law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey.
So, Chief Ramsey, this is such an unusual case. I mean, mass shooting perpetrators are usually much younger men. The Las Vegas Strip massacre was a notable exception but the gunman here was -- the gunman there, I should say, was 64. His motive was never understood. This man was 72. What do you want to know about him?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, first of all, that is very unusual. Normally, they are much younger than that, but it can happen at anytime, anyplace and by anyone. And it's just unfortunate that this did happen.
We'll find more about this individual as time goes on. This is starting to look to me anyway as if there is some personal motive involved in this, but they certainly have not reached a point yet where they're actually able to say specifically about a motive but they are right now getting a lot of information.
I mean, this case isn't over even though the suspect is deceased. They're still going through a lot of material that they got out of that van, probably executing search warrants in a couple locations. If he was on a social media platform, they'll be going through that. They'll be talking to friends. They'll talk to relatives. They'll be doing a lot of things now to try to find out exactly why this individual did what he did. But it is unusual to have someone his age commit a crime like this but, you know, you just never know.
BROWN: You never know. It happens, and Steve, we have learned that the suspected shooter had once been a regular at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio where he opened fire and even met his wife there, his ex-wife we should say. What could this bit of evidence help? How could it help in piecing together a motive?
STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I'm going to agree with Chief Ramsey on this. Excuse me. This seems to be trending towards a personal issue but at the same time, the fact that he went to yet another dance club maybe he had other scores to settle but that seems to follow in line with a lot of the shootings that I've seen where you go to one place, you execute your attack and then you go to the next place.
But the -- so there would almost have to be a personal issue. People he was mad about or maybe even people who worked there at both places, so it -- you know, they're just going to have to basically learn his life better than his mother. Learn exactly what made him tick, and that will get them their answers.
BROWN: Yes, and it's interesting because, I mean, if he had gone hours earlier there would have been a lot more people there celebrating the Lunar New Year. Instead he chose to go at a time where there were fewer people, there was a private event in Monterey Park, to open fire and then went to the second place. So there are still a lot of looming questions but it's really incredible how law enforcement were able to work together so quickly to find the suspect that ultimately killed himself.
And Chief Ramsey, I want to play for our viewers what the sheriff of Los Angeles County said about the actions of bystanders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF ROBERT G. LUNA, LOS ANGELES CITY: I can tell you that the suspect walked in there probably with the intent to kill more people and two brave community members decided they were going to jump into action and disarm him. They did so. Took possession of the weapon and the suspect ran away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So how critical is what they did in preventing an even worse tragedy from playing out, Chief Ramsey?
RAMSEY: Listen, if they hadn't done what they did, who knows what would have happened? But obviously, with what he had already done in Monterey Park I think is reasonable to think that he would have tried to do the same thing at this other location. So fortunately, you had two people that were alert enough to be able to see the gun before he had a chance to fire and they were brave enough to then take action and actually wrestle the gun away from him.
So that's something that, again, I mean, people need to understand, if something like that occurs, you have to take action. I mean, you really do. If you're in a position to take action, take action.
RAMSEY: Because, I mean, seconds count, and it doesn't take very long before you wind up with multiple people shot, wounded killed, what have you in these situations.
BROWN: I also want to ask you, Chief Ramsey, you obviously used to be head of police department, several, and we heard from the police chief in Monterey Park about his concern for the well-being of the responding officers who had to go to the scene to process it to see the bodies, to see the carnage. Some of them are new to the job. How do you console law enforcement officers who have to witness that, in some cases time and time again, given how many mass shootings there are in this country?
RAMSEY: Well, first of all, I commend the sheriff and others who are talking about the mental health of their police officers because in my day it didn't matter what happened, suck it up and keep moving. That was the attitude that people had. And these things are very difficult to deal with, whether you're a rookie or whether you're a veteran. I mean, it just doesn't happen every day.
In fact, people need to understand what police officers see on a regular basis is just not normal and over time it takes its toll. I mean, I worked homicide, I've worked in narcotics, all these kinds of things. It leaves these scars. And oftentimes, in fact most of the time it goes untreated. At least now we're talking about it. At least now we're openly saying that we need to make sure that we take care of the mental health of our police officers.
So I applaud them because I know what it was like before and nobody would have had that conversation publicly about mental health and police officers.
BROWN: And you just have to wonder how many people suffered in silence because they weren't having those conversations. I remember going to lunch with a former NPD officer who was really struggling with their mental health and just said everywhere I look, I see blood because that is what I see all the time in this job, this person had done it for years and years, and, you know, once this person sought helped it really -- their whole world changed and they were able to look around and not see that anymore. But I just think it's an important conversation to have.
So thank you, Charles Ramsey, for engaging in that, and Steve Moore, as well. We appreciate your insights.
Still ahead tonight in the NEWSROOM, President Biden getting new criticism from his own party as the fallout grows over the FBI's discovery of more classified documents at his Delaware home. Plus Priscilla Presley remembers her daughter at a touching memorial service right outside Graceland.
BROWN: More documents, more questions, and now the White House is starting the week with even more headaches. According to Biden's attorney, a nearly 13-hour FBI search of the president's Wilmington home on Friday uncovered six items consisting of documents marked classified. Democrats today were pressed to weigh in on the growing scandal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): I do think this was inadvertent.
The whole point of having a special counsel is to ensure that and to give the American people confidence in that.
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): Let's be honest about it. When that information is found, it diminishes the stature of any person who is in possession of it.
SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): That's why there needs to be this independent investigation and independent prosecutor. How many documents are we talking about? Dozens? A hand full or hundreds? How serious are they? Why were they taken? Did anyone have access to them? And then is the president being corporative? And I think by all accounts it suggests that, yes, of course he's being corporative.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: All right. With me now to discuss, former federal prosecutor Shan Wu, and CNN national security analyst Beth Sanner.
Beth, starting with you, help us put this all into context. Now six additional documents have been found. It's the fifth batch of classified documents being found at a property connected to Joe Biden. How concerning is this to you?
BETH SANNER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think it's very concerning. I'm really glad that the Biden White House did open up his home and said let's get this over with. Let's -- you know, let somebody else come in here and ferret it out, and let's end this. So I don't expect any more drip, drip, drip. But I think it reminds us that, you know, we are all human and we live in glass houses, and these kinds of things happen. I am kind of in the camp of inadvertent in the case of President Biden but I think I would have handled this a little differently.
BROWN: When you say handled this a little differently, what do you mean?
SANNER: What I mean by that, Pamela, is that I don't think the American people really want as much -- maybe some of the base want to, you know, have people hanged for this. They want to finger point but mainly the American people want to hear from the president of the United States, what am I going to do to ensure that never happens again? And I would put together people and I'd get that figured out.
BROWN: Yes. Right. And what we've heard from the president just on Thursday in response to a question about whether he should have disclosed the information sooner, he said, I don't have regrets and that there is no there-there. Of course, there are limitations on what you can say when there's an ongoing investigation but there are a lot of questions including why he didn't have his property searched right away, right after the Trump Mar-a-Lago search, and why it took, you know, so long after the first batch was found to do other searches.
Lots of questions. How important is it, Shan, the proof of intentionality in determining possible charges in these cases? Because it is clear that Biden's lawyers are trying to portray that they are being fully corporative, they are offering the FBI in. They're the ones that notify the Archives contrary to what happened with Trump.
SHAN WU, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, it's absolutely critical that proof of any intentionality, if it exists, as well as things like the quantity of the documents, was there any obstruction, was there any hint of foreign influence? None of which we see at the moment from the public reporting but the intent is really important. Whether there is intentional mishandling.
Now it's important to distinguish how far back the case is going to go in terms of looking at perhaps documents he had in the Senate or in the vice presidency. There have been other instances of people moving offices like Alberto Gonzalez when he moved from the White House Counsel Office to DOJ had taken documents as well, and that was taken a look at there. In fact, his included handwritten documents much like the Biden situation.
But that intent is really important and I do want to question a little bit this idea of what else could the White House have done at this point. Very difficult situation. With an active criminal investigation as you pointed out, they need to be very careful of, quote, "trying to get ahead of this" on the communications front because you could end up influencing witnesses. You could end up giving information that later comes back as inconsistent with what the FBI finds when they do the searches.
And also the idea that you can just kind of let the FBI go in and take care of all this. Not that easy for the FBI. They don't know where to search. They have to ask some questions to figure out where else if anywhere else they should search.
BROWN: Yes. No, that's absolutely true. They were there for nearly 13 hours, the president's lawyer were there. It sounds like they did a pretty thorough job because, Beth, it would be the FBI who will be the ones to go in there and collect evidence.
What I noticed in reading the president's attorneys letter was that they were very careful with the wording as one would expect, saying six items with classification markings, rather than saying six classified documents or six pages of classified documents, and I imagine some of that could be because maybe some classified material was found for when Joe Biden was senator that has classification markings but is no longer classified, right? Tell us a little bit about how that works and how that might factor in here.
SANNER: Yes. There are a lot of things here that we don't know, and I completely agree that we should let the investigation play out. That doesn't mean you can't say when the investigation is over, we need to figure out how this doesn't happen again and I pledge to do that. I didn't hear that when I heard no regrets. So I'm trying to be, you know, a non-partisan person approaching this. And, you know, in terms of the actual documents themselves, you know, senators are going to go in to meetings. They're going to take notes. It could be about something that is very, very old and is no longer classified. I mean, think about how long Joe Biden was in the Senate.
I don't know how the papers would have made it from one place to another and that I think is something that has to be figured out. They're not supposed to keep highly classified information of course in their personal office.
BROWN: Right. And it was found in different locations. Does this new search give you any indication, Shan, about how the special prosecutor's investigation is proceeding and what to expect next?
WU: I think it's pretty early to tell what they're doing. I'm not even sure if the special prosecutor is fully on board yet but I think one thing we absolutely can see here is that it's going to proceed with a lot of cooperation and at this point, I think the DOJ preliminary look at it and ultimately when the special counsel fully takes over, it is very much guided by what they've already learned from the Biden camp because those are the witnesses.
They would figure out who originally were handling the documents, who historically to go back to to ask and where to look. So it's being very much guided from the information they've been given by the Biden camp and that will continue to be the instance. They will start to now perhaps develop independent leads, other people who they can talk to without the assistance of the Biden camp but this point is very much Biden's disclosures that have given them the leads to follow.
BROWN: All right. Shan Wu, Beth Sanner, thank you both for coming on late on this Sunday night to share your insights and perspective. We appreciate your time.
Still ahead, remembering Lisa Marie Presley. The lengths some fans went in order to be at Graceland for her memorial today.
BROWN: Recapping our breaking news tonight. Police are confirming that the man who killed himself during a traffic stop is the same man suspected of opening fire at a dance hall in Monterey Park, California. Ten people were killed and another 10 wounded at the Lunar New Year celebration. And President Biden has ordered flags at the White House lowered to half-staff in honor of the victims.
CNN's Arlette Saenz has more -- Arlette.
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Biden offered condolences to those impacted by the mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, and also acknowledged the impact that the shooting has had on the Asian-American and Pacific Islander Community.
The president this evening ordered flags at the White House and other federal government buildings be flown at half-staff and he has also pledged full federal support for the local community. Now the president said in a statement, quote, "Jill and I are thinking of those killed and injured in last night's deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park. While there is still much we don't know about the motive in the senseless attack, we do know that many families are grieving tonight or praying that their loved one will recover from their wounds.
"Even as we continue searching for answers about this attack, we know how deeply this attack has impacted the AAPI community. Monterey Park is home to one of the largest AAPI communities in America, many of whom were celebrating the Lunar New Year along with loved ones and friends this weekend."
Now Congresswoman Judy Chu who represents Monterey Park said that she had received calls from the White House as well as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. President Biden is spending the weekend here at his Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, home and he received updates throughout the day including from his Homeland Security adviser Liz Sherwood Randall.
The president says he directed her to ensure that the full federal support is offered to the local community. Now one important thing from President Biden's statement is that he notes that there has still not been motive identified in this shooting. That is something law enforcement officials have been working throughout the day to try to determine. But the president in his statements trying to make clear that the federal government is ready to offer support to this community, which is grieving these very deep losses -- Pamela.
BROWN: Arlette Saenz, thank you.
And the White House says President Biden will host a preplanned Lunar New Year reception in the East Room on Thursday.
A memorial service for Lisa Marie Presley drew family, friends and thousands of fans to Memphis today. People lined up for hours outside the Graceland estate for a public remembrance for the only child of rock icon Elvis Presley. Lisa Marie died suddenly earlier this month. Her service today included tribute performances from musicians like Axl Rose and Alanis Morissette.
BROWN: CNN's Nadia Romero was in Memphis with more.
NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pamela, people inside the public memorial told me that it was just a beautiful ceremony. A way for them all to come from all across the country to pay their final respects for Lisa Marie Presley. They were able to get these funeral agendas. One woman told me this is history. She's going to hold on to this forever. On the outside a portrait of her, inside some facts about Lisa Marie, and then the order of events for the public memorial.
Take a look behind me, this is the famed stonewall outside of Graceland. And you can see people came over the past couple of days and weeks to put down these flowers here. You can also see that people wrote their names, messages, and then on the ground here, take a look at this. It's RIP Lisa Marie from a family that came from California and Texas. I mean, that just goes to show the impact of Lisa Marie Presley and the Presley family.
So if you look on the other side of this stone wall, you can still see people who are making their way leaving the public memorial.
People have come in and out all throughout the morning and the afternoon just to be here. Just to be a part of this moment. And I want you to hear from two women, one from Washington state, one from Colorado. They say they've been friends for so long because Elvis brought them together and they would not have missed this for the world. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRY SANDAHL, CAME FROM DENVER TO ATTEND MEMORIAL: Elvis fans are the best people in the world. They really are. And his daughter has been through so much in her lifetime.
CAROL NORMAN, CAME FROM WASHINGTON TO ATTEND MEMORIAL: The ending of something and she told us to be happy so I was happy the whole time I was there. Now it's just kind of catching up with me, what this really is. It's the end of an era. It's very touching.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMERO: One woman we spoke with says she came some 60 times to Graceland because Elvis just touched her heart from the time she was a little girl up until now. We spoke with people who drove in from Tampa, 13-hour drive. Another couple who said they came in from Cleveland, Ohio. I mean, all around the country just to be a part of this moment.
Now, we still know, Pamela, that we are waiting for the results of the autopsy. We know that she went to the hospital under cardiac arrest but that autopsy had been deferred and people say they want to know exactly what happened to Lisa Marie Presley but at this moment, they want to celebrate her life -- Pamela.
BROWN: Nadia Romero, thank you. And we're going to have more from the funeral and from Priscilla Presley this hour, a mother's poem from her beloved daughter.
Well, you are in the CNN NEWSROOM on Sunday night. Monterey Park, California, is in mourning tonight after that terrible mass shooting. A longtime resident of the city joins us, next.
BROWN: Well, as we watched events unfold today in Monterey Park, California, we couldn't help but notice a Twitter thread from Bianca Mabute-Louie. "Monterey Park is my home from my diasporic family. It is where you find the best damn Chinese food in the U.S. It is the first Asian Ethnoburb. An ethnic enclave in the burbs that thrives because it refuses to assimilate. Instead unapologetically catering to its own immigrant community." Bianca joins us now.
So, Bianca, I imagine you just have so many just strong feelings given your connection to Monterey Park. Tell us what it was like for you to hear about this story. For you, this wasn't just another mass shooting in America. It happened in a place you hold deeply in your heart.
BIANCA MABUTE-LOUIE, DAUGHTER OF CHINESE IMMIGRANTS, ASIAN-AMERICAN ADVOCATE: It was a lot to hear about it this morning. I mean, the ballroom where it happened, my dad and I were trying to figure out, is that where my mom goes for dance lessons on weekends? You know, it's incredibly close to -- I mean, it is my home.
Monterey Park was the first home and city that my parents relocated to when they first immigrated from Hong Kong and there's a lot there in terms of just my own family history as well as my work as a researcher and sociologist looking at the implications of how we understand race by looking at sites like Monterey Park as an ethnoburb.
BROWN: Tell us a little bit about -- more about how it is an ethnoburb and what makes it so special? What you want people to know about it.
MABUTE-LOUIE: So I think the best way to understand Monterey Park is actually to share a story about my late grandmother. So she immigrated to California from Hong Kong in her 70s. She at the time was -- didn't have a partner. She didn't speak any English. She didn't really know many people. She didn't have a car. So if you know Southern California, it's very difficult to get around without a car, and yet, she had this thriving social life and she never learned English.
She did have a driver's license but we never trusted her to actually drive. But she had this thriving social life where she had neighbors and friends to play mahjong with on weekends. She had a church community that spoke Cantonese, her native language. She was able to walk to grocery stores to get her native foods. And her story and her thriving later in life was possible because Monterey Park and its surrounding areas, San Gabriel Valley, was an ethnoburb where, again, like I said in the tweet, Asian immigrants are able to build this ecosystem to take care of and protect each other.
Where our thriving and our survival comes not from assimilating or integrating necessarily into white institutions but from again building our own social networks, our own businesses, community centers, places of worship, places for recreational activities like ballroom studios, and if you drive around today, a lot of signage in Monterey Park in San Gabriel Valley is Chinese and Vietnamese, which was actually fought for because, as that area was developing as an ethnoburb, long-time white residents who had been there pushed for an English only ordinance banning all these signs they were seeing popping up in Asian languages but ultimately, they lost and it continues to be this place where, you know, again my grandparents never spoke English and yet have this thriving life in the States because of ethnoburb.
BROWN: That story really says it all. And as you said in your tweet, look, this isn't viewed as a staging ground for Asian-Americans, this is the ultimate. This is the end goal to end up there, to live there, and I'm curious, you had mentioned that your mom would go to a dance hall and you were wondering if this is the same one and I was listening to Judy Chu, the congresswoman, who was talking about, you know, that the -- how great these dancers are, some of these dancers that go to these dance halls.
I wonder if you can add any color or understanding about how these dance halls are such a big part of the culture there. And because of course, as we know, this is where the mass shooting took place at a dance hall there in Monterey Park and the shooter went to another one not far away. MABUTE-LOUIE: I mean, dancing is a part of life. It's a part of
thriving as a community, right, beyond just surviving. And my parents weren't very involved.
My mom took a class with her friends there that were -- I mean, the whole class was Cantonese speaking, women her age. It was her community. I do know and I've gone to parties or weddings in San Gabriel Valley where suddenly these Asian elders will -- as if synchronized and waiting for the perfect time will come out and whip out these very impressive ballroom dance moves. And so I know that it's kind of this thriving subculture in San Gabriel Valley that again is so beautiful and speaks to how when you have this ecosystem and these strong ethnic networks and social structures that support each other, that were able to not just struggle to try to make it and survive but were able to have these places where we can create art together.
BROWN: Yes. I mean, that is just what makes it -- it's sad on so many levels but to think of it through that lens, as well, right? That these are elderly people from the most part, from what we know, coming together to have a fun evening, to connect, to create art together, to have a beautiful evening celebrating the Lunar New Year, and then this happened. It's just so sad.
But, Bianca Mabute-Louie, thank you for helping us better understand Monterey Park, the area where you grew up. We appreciate your time.
And you are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Tonight Damar Hamlin returned to the Buffalo Bills' locker room today as his team prepared to face the Cincinnati Bengals nearly three weeks after he collapsed on the field. We have an update for you up next.
BROWN: Nearly three weeks after his frightening collapse on the field Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was at Highmark Stadium today to cheer on his teammates as they took on the team that they were playing when he suffered cardiac arrest.
CNN's Coy Wire is right outside the Bills stadium in Buffalo -- Coy.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Pamela, this was supposed to be the penultimate game before a rematch against the Kansas City Chiefs from last season's playoffs and a continuation of this Hollywood script of a story.
Damar Hamlin making his first appearance in front of fans since suffering cardiac arrest on the field when these two teams played each other 20 days ago. Hamlin in the box with his family during the game, showing heart hands on the jumbotron, which had become a symbol of spreading love. But when it came to the game the Bills looked emotionally exhausted, spiritually spent. The psychological roller coaster of the last three weeks seemingly siphoning their internal tank and that manifested in the physical defense, missing tackles, leaving receivers wide open.
The Bengals and quarterback Joe Burrow plowing through the snow. And the Bills offense couldn't get clicking. Josh Allen trying to throw their way into a comeback in the snow, just was not happening. Hats off to Cincinnati, playing an incredible game-winning 27-10. Here's Bills star quarterback Josh Allen after their inspiring season came to an end.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH ALLEN, BILLS QUARTERBACK: I'm proud of our guys, how we handled situations throughout the year. You know, we could have made a lot of excuses throughout the year, what was going on. But guys continued to fight. You know, we wanted to win this one. We won't win them all. Those guys played better today.
ZAC TAYLOR, BENGALS HEAD COACH: We're built for this. You know, it doesn't matter what anybody thinks about us, we don't care who's favored, who's not. We're built for this and we're excited to go on the road to Kansas City.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: I saw one young fan crying his eyes out at the end of the game and he said that I just love this team so much. And it's no wonder why. Even though the Bengals advance to face the Chiefs in the AFC title game and the Bills' season is over, they've impacted so many lives this season. Mourning with then, rallying for Buffalo after a senseless racist mass shooting took the lives of 10 people over the summer. Mourning with, then instilling hope p in this community after a tragic winter storm took the lives of dozens around Christmastime. And then nearly losing their teammate and friend on the field.
It's really unfathomable that they had finished the regular season with a 13-3 record, and it's inspirational beyond measure. The Bills and their fans have so much of which they can be proud.
Pamela, back to you.
BROWN: They sure do. Thanks, Coy.
Prices, by the way, they are still high, as I'm sure you've noticed, but inflation is easing. Christine Romans has more.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Pamela. More signs we have turned the corner in the fight against decades-high inflation. Inflation, while still hot, is starting to show signs of cooling. The producer price index, the key inflation metric that measures prices paid for goods and services by businesses, it rose 6.2 percent December compared to a year earlier.
On a monthly basis those wholesale prices actually fell, the biggest one-month drop since April 2020. It's a sign the Fed's aggressive rate hikes may finally be bringing price pressures under control for now. The job market is also showing signs of resilience. First-time claims
for unemployment insurance fell unexpectedly to just 190,000. The lowest figure in 15 weeks. Where there are layoffs, in tech. Google's parent company, Alphabet, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Amazon are among the tech giants who have recently announced job cuts.
Up next this week fourth quarter GDP numbers, jobless claims, fresh housing data and the PCE price index. That's the Fed's preferred gauge of inflation -- Pamela.
BROWN: All right. Thanks, Christine.
Well, Priscilla Presley's emotional good-bye to her daughter, up next.
BROWN: Well, we want to close tonight with one more touching moment from the funeral of Lisa Marie Presley. The only child of Elvis was laid to rest earlier today at Graceland. She was honored there by fans, famous musicians and of course her family.
Here's Lisa Marie's mother, Priscilla, sharing a very special poem written by her granddaughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRISCILLA PRESLEY, LISA MARIE PRESLEY'S MOTHER: I'm going to read something that my granddaughter wrote for all of you. And this says it all.
The old soul. I have no idea how to put my mother into words. Truth is there are too many. Lisa Marie Presley was an icon, a role model, a superhero to many people all over the world. But mama was my icon, my role model, my superhero in much more ways than one. Even now I can't get across everything there is to be understood or known about her. But as she always said, I'll do my best.
The old soul. This is a poem. "The old soul. In 1968 she entered our world. Born tired, fragile, yet strong. She was delicate but was filled with life. She always knew she wouldn't be here too long. Childhood passes by with a glimpse of her green eye. She then grew a family of her own. Then came her second child, leaving her with suspicion. Could this be the angel that takes me home?
Time of course flew by. It was time for a tragedy. She knew it was close to the end. Survivor's guilt some would say but a broken heart was the doing of her death. Now she is home where she always belonged, but my heart is missing her love. She knew that I loved her. I fear I'll never touch her but also is always with me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Lisa Marie was 54 years old.
Thank you for joining us this evening. I'm Pamela Brown. See you again next weekend.