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CNN This Morning
Video Of Deadly Police Beating Of Tyre Nichols Released; Biden Speaks To Family Of Tyre Nichols; Memphis Releases Video of Deadly Police Beating of Tyre Nichols; Court Releases Audio, Video, Bodycam of Assault on Paul Pelosi; Day 2 of Testimony Wraps in Trial of Alex Murdaugh. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired January 28, 2023 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everyone. Welcome to CNN This Morning. I'm Amara Walker in Atlanta.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Amara. I'm Boris Sanchez, coming to you live from Memphis, Tennessee, a city still reeling from the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five now former Memphis police officers. The full video of that beating was released to the public just a few hours ago, Amara.
WALKER: Yes, that's right, Boris. As many would say, it was very difficult to watch. That video shows the deadly encounter between Tyre Nichols and Memphis police officers earlier this month. Nichols was pulled over on January 7, allegedly for reckless driving, but the police chief said the department has been unable to find anything that substantiates those claims.
SANCHEZ: In all, the videos cover 38 excruciating minutes from the moment that officers pull him over to the moments after an ambulance arrives at the scene. The videos show officers hitting the 29-year- old, repeatedly kicking him in the face even as he's on the ground and in restraints. They're using their batons and pepper spray, all as the unarmed Nichols cries out for his mother.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROWVAUGHN WELLS, TYRE NICHOLS' MOTHER: I was telling someone that I had this really bad pain in my son earlier, not knowing what had happened. But once I found out what happened, that was my son's name and I didn't even know. But for me to find out that my son was calling my name and I was only feet away, did not hear for him, you had no what I feel right there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Five of the officers at the scene were fired and on Thursday indicted on numerous charges, including second degree murder and kidnapping. And the fallout continues this morning following the release of the video. Two deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office are now on leave pending an investigation related to their involvement in the incident.
WALKER: In cities across the U.S. New York to Atlanta, San Francisco and Dallas, demonstrators voiced frustration with police killings. Officials in some cities prepared for the worst, worried the protests could spiral out of control. But things have remained largely calm and peaceful, with most people apparently heating calls directly from Tyre Nichols' family to march peacefully.
SANCHEZ: Now, the city released four clips, each taken from a different perspective, but all of them showing one thing the killing of an unarmed man. Now, these images are graphic, and they are disturbing, but they are critical to understanding the gravity of what happened and how this police department failed this community.
SANCHEZ (voiceover): Tyre Nichols screamed for his mother as Memphis police officers struck him multiple times, including in the face, while his hands were restrained. The city on Friday night released body camera and surveillance video of the January 7th traffic stop and beating that led to the 29-year-old's death in the hospital three days later.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're going to see a disregard for life.
SANCHEZ: After officers pulled Nichols over and pulled him out of his car, a struggle ensued, and he ran away. Minutes later, officers would catch up with him and hit him numerous times video shows. During the initial encounter after the stop, body cam video from an officer arriving at the scene shows that Nichols sounded calm. As the officer approaches the scene, an officer is yelling at Tyre Nichols.
Officers then pull him out of the car. Nichols responds.
TYRE NICHOLS, 29-YEAR-OLD BLACK MAN: All right. I'm on the ground.
SANCHEZ: Officers yell at him to lie down and threaten to tase him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bitch, put your hands behind back.
NICHOLS: You guys are really doing a lot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bro, lay down.
NICHOLS: I was trying to go home.
SANCHEZ: A struggle ensues. Nichols gets up and runs and the officers chase him.
A different body cam video shows some of what happens when officers catch Nichols on a neighborhood street just minutes later. Nichols screaming for his mother as the video shows an officer
arriving at the scene. Officers tell Nichols to give them his hand as a struggle ensues on the ground.
Two officers hit and kick Nickels as he's on the ground.
SANCHEZ: Nichols continues calling for his mom. An officer is eventually heard yelling at Nichols. A remotely operated pole mounted police surveillance video in the neighborhood gives the clearest view of the blows. This shows officers hitting Nichols at least nine times without visible provocation.
When the camera first turns toward the scene, an officer shoves Nichols hard to the pavement with a knee or leg. Nichols is pulled up by his shoulders and then kicked in the face twice. After being pulled up into a sitting position, Nichols is hit in the back with what appears to be a nightstick after being pulled to his knees, Nichols is hit again.
Once pulled his feet, the video shows officers hitting Nichols in the face multiple times while his hands are restrained behind his body, after which he falls to his knees.
Less than a minute later, an officer appears to kick Nichols again. More than three minutes after the encounter is first seen on this camera, officers let go of Tyre Nichols, and he rolls on his back. One minute later, Nichols is dragged along the pavement and propped up in a sitting position against the side of a car, where he's largely ignored by officers for the next three and a half minutes.
Some 10 minutes into the video, a person who appears to be a paramedic finally engages with Nichols.
The U.S. Department of Justice has said it is conducting a federal civil rights investigation of Tyre Nichols death.
SANCHEZ: We want to get some perspective now from Chief Charles Ramsay. He's a CNN senior law enforcement analyst and a partner with 21CP Solutions. He advises police departments around the country as a consultant.
Chief, we're grateful to have you this morning. Now that you've had time to examine this video closely and to process it, what stands out most to you?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, there was no justification for the use of force in this case. In fact, from the very beginning, the officers were acting in a manner that was inconsistent with any training that I am aware of. They began yelling at the individual, pulling him out of the car. If anything, Mr. Nichols was the person trying to deescalate the situation. It was not the police officers. And after they pepper sprayed and tased him and he took off running, then it became very personal because, you know, they were upset and angry because he had the nerve to run away, although he was running because he was in fear of his life.
And, of course, the pole cam is the most damning evidence of all. I mean, when you look at the pole cam video and the constant strikes, blows, kicks, the use of the ASP (ph), all those things justify the charges that the state's attorney placed against those officers.
I mean, this is tragic in every way. Imaginable, totally uncalled for, and doesn't reflect the profession at all. The shame of it. Part of the shame, aside from the tragedy of a man losing his life, is the fact that, you know, most police officers feel just as disgusted about what they're seeing as anybody else. I mean, it's bad. In my opinion, this is just as devastating for the profession of policing as the Derek Chauvin video.
SANCHEZ: And, sir, you mentioned, obviously, that the video is excruciating to watch, but some of the audio is really telling as well. There are portions where officers are heard explicitly saying, quote, I hope they stomp his ass as they are chasing him. Then you hear them sort of comparing stories. They say, quote, he must be on drugs. He was going for your gun. All of this as Tyre Nichols is slumped over on the side of a vehicle dying. Don't they have a responsibility at that point to render aid?
RAMSEY: Absolutely have a responsibility to render aid. You know, I said from the very beginning, their actions were inconsistent with police training. We don't train people that way. If you, unfortunately, have to use deadly force and shoot an individual, your responsibility is then to render aid to that individual.
I mean, so there's just no excuse for that. I mean he's sitting there, laying there for extended periods of time.
Police officers just milling around. Paramedics arrive. They don't take immediate action. I mean, whether or not that contributed to his death beyond the beating. I mean, I don't know. I'm not a physician, but it certainly didn't help matters.
You know, that individual, Mr. Nichols, needed to be provided with aid as soon as possible. But he never should have been beaten the way he was. I mean, it's just no excuse for it. And it's totally understandable why they were charged with murder, in my opinion.
SANCHEZ: We also got word overnight, Chief, that two deputies have been put on leave after their sheriff spotted them on the video at the scene. Are you anticipating that more officers might face charges or disciplinary action based on what you've seen?
RAMSEY: I don't know about criminal charges, but certainly disciplinary action. When you watch the video, you see more and more officers arrive. No one intervenes, no one tries to aid Mr. Nichols at all, again, in violation of department policy.
So, I would think that there will be some administrative action. By that I mean disciplinary action taken against some additional officers. Those that actually had a physical confrontation with Mr. Nichols, those are the ones being charged criminally. And, of course, it's up to a state's attorney to determine whether or not it rises to that level beyond those five. But certainly, there will be some administrative action. No question in my mind.
SANCHEZ: Right. Chief, I want to get your perspective on this Scorpion Team. It's a specialized unit that's involved in so called hot spot policing. All the officers that have been charged in his death were members of this unit. Do you think that played a role in the intensity and the brutality of the attack?
Well, there's a couple of things that I'd like to mention about that. First of all, the name of the unit, I mean that's not unusual to have a unit that is named in a way that you would kind of wonder why, you know, Scorpion. Scorpion, I mean, is a, you know, predator with a deadly sting. I mean, why would you want to name your unit Scorpion to begin with?
But aside from that, the officers that are chosen for some of these special units that really work in high crime, high intensity areas like that are some of the officers who make a lot of stops, make a lot of arrests, things of that nature. But you have to carefully screen the individuals that are going into a unit like that.
Looking at their history, do they have complaints of excessive force, whether they're sustained or not sustained? You have to look at that, and you have to pay particular attention to the supervisors, particularly first line supervisors that you bring into that unit, because you want to make sure that they're being properly supervised.
And I didn't see a supervisor at the scene there. There could have been one, but I did not see one. But you have to have tight supervision in a unit like that. Do you need to have units exist like that? We do have a legitimate crime problem in this country, and it is concentrated in some areas, unfortunately.
So you need to be able to take some action, have some flexibility, but you can reduce crime and police constitutionally at the same time. You don't have to do one at the expense of the other. And so their actions were totally inappropriate. I'm sure that particular unit is going to be disbanded, but that won't get rid of the problem. OK.
You have to look at the people that are in a unit like that and make sure that they're closely monitored, that you do thorough investigations, that there are complaints to make sure that you don't have something like this occur.
And I would recommend that every chief across the country, especially large departments that have these specialized units, take a close look at the supervision, at the personnel that are there and make whatever changes they have to make, because this could very well happen again and it would be just one more tragedy that we're talking about. SANCHEZ: That is one of the things that Tyre Nichols family is calling
for, not only for this unit here in Memphis to be disbanded, but for departments everywhere to study these kinds of specialized units and make sure that no abuses are taking place so that this doesn't happen again. Chief Charles Ramsey, thank you so much, as always, for your expertise.
RAMSEY: Thank you.
WALKER: Yes, you're right. Tyre Nichols' mother put it this way, that she believed her son, sadly, was on assignment from God. And, you know, hopefully they are hoping that this will affect some positive change. Wel
CNN's Don Lemon spoke to Tyre's parents in their first interview since those charges were announced. Tyre's mother said she couldn't understandably bring herself to watch the video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WELLS: And I know I didn't see it, but from what I hear, it's horrific. And the humanity of it all, where was the humanity? They beat my son like a pinata. My son weighed a buck 50. He was six, three and he weighed a buck 50. And those men, if you combine their weights, it was over 1000 pounds, beating and beating 150-pound person to death, because that's what they did. They beat my son to death.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: He cried out for his mom.
WELLS: Yes. Yes, he cried out for me because I'm his mother. And that's what he was trying to get home to safety.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Now, Tyre's stepfather did watch the video and described to Don what he saw this way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RODNEY WELLS, TYRE NICHOLS' STEPFATHER: I saw officers hitting on him. I saw officers kicking him. One officer kicked him like he was kicking a football a couple of times and -- but the most telling thing about the video to me was the fact that there was maybe 10 officers on the scene and nobody tried to stop it. Or even after they beat him and they popped him up against a car, no one rendered aid to him whatsoever. They walked around smoking cigarettes like it was all calm and like, bragging about what happened and --
LEMON: For an hour of video.
LEMON: You saw him just sitting there. WELLS: He was sitting there and he slumped over and officer walked over to him and said, sit back up, mother MF. And while he's handcuffed. So they pop him back up and he slumped over again and they popping back up again, but no one was rendering aid. I saw some fire department people come out there and they just walked around. Nobody showed him aid. They supposed to be trained the first day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: I'm struck Amara by their composure in this situation and the hope that they hold out that Tyre's death will lead to some change. I think, aside from the speed at which the police department here in Memphis responded to this incident, in not only firing, but charging these officers and then releasing this video and showing transparency, but also the message from Tyre's family putting out the idea that there should be peace in the streets and not violence and that folks should respond with dignity to this kind of event that led to what we saw last night across the country. No violence, but instead a peaceful reaction to the injustice that we saw unfold here in the streets of Memphis.
WALKER: Yes, and I'm sure a lot of it had to do with the composure and the calmness that the family projected, even in face of the grief that they're still grappling with, Boris.
Well, the White House is also reacting to the release of the video, what President Biden is saying about it all, and you're going to hear some of that call between the President and the Nichols family.
Plus, we're also getting our first look at the violent attack on Paul Pelosi. Newly released police body cam video shows what happened before and when officers arrived at the Pelosi home. That's coming up.
SANCHEZ: What is happening here in Memphis is having reverberations around the country, and President Biden says he was outraged and deeply pained to see the video of the horrific beating that resulted in the death of Tyre Nichols.
WALKER: The president went on to call recall yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma that black and brown people experience every day here in America. Let's go now to CNN's Jasmine Wright in Washington. Good morning, Jasmine. What else did we hear from the president?
JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Amara, Boris. Well, President Biden reacted really emotionally after the video was released. He put out a lengthy statement about 30 minutes after it went live. And I want to read you a line of it because it is really quite strong language. The President said, like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols death. It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain and the exhaustion that black and brown Americans experience every single day.
Now that last line about the exhaustion, that's a profound line from President Biden really acknowledging in some way the over policing that a lot of the black and brown people in Memphis consistently faced, really sometimes on a daily basis.
Now, the White House had said to reporters throughout the day that the President or no one in the White House had seen the video ahead of time, obviously by 7:00 p.m. that had changed.
But what they were doing were trying to do meaningful things to show that this issue was on the top of President Biden's mind. And now that it also included a call that he made to the family of Tyree Nichols during the day, we got of ability to see into that because a Washington Post reporter was actually in the room and shared some of it online.
But I think what's really interesting about this video we're going to play in just a second is the fact that oftentimes the President Biden is consoling families. We hear them say that he brought up his own trauma of his first wife and baby daughter dying all those years ago, but here we actually get to see it. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- on your comments today were moving. I don't know how you do that. Rodney, I know as Trye's dad this is devastating.
WELLS: Yes, sir.
BIDEN: I know people say -- will say that to you, but I do know. I lost my son in a war, a consequence of the war in Iraq being there a year. And I lost my daughter when a tractor-trailer broadsided and killed my wife and daughter. And I don't know how you stood there. I didn't have the courage to do what you did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WRIGHT: There we saw that video, a call that the White House later said was deeply personal for the President. Now, when he was leading for Camp David some hours later, he told reporters that what's at stake right now is really the image of America that whether or not we can live up to our democratic ideals and whether or not we can peacefully protest.
Now, on that call and afterwards, the President joined in with the Nichols family and calling for peaceful protests to happen across the country. I think Boris and Amara, that is what we largely saw.
WALKERL We sure did. Jasmine Wright, appreciate you this morning. Thank you.
And still ahead, more stunning body cam footage, this time showing what police saw when they arrived at Paul Pelosi's home as the man was carrying out a violent attack. We're going to show you that video and tell you more details, next.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back to CNN THIS MORNING WEEKEND. We are coming to you live from Memphis, Tennessee, where we are waking up after a night of peaceful protests not only here in Memphis, but across the country just hours after police released the video of the traffic stop that led to the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old man who was unarmed, a skater and a photographer whose mother said was the light of her life.
That video is excruciating to watch. He's beaten even as he is on the ground and restrained. And this morning here in Memphis, there are still many questions left unanswered. We're going to keep tracking details for you, and of course, speak to experts to get their perspective including the former Atlanta police chief who dealt with protests in her city after the fatal police shooting of Rayshard Brooks, so stay tuned for that. For now, I'll send it back to my colleague, Amara Walker in Atlanta. Amara.
WALKER: Thank you so much, Boris. Well, the San Francisco superior court has released the video and audio of the October attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of then, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A stunning footage includes police body-cam video showing the moment the suspect allegedly hit the 82-year-old with a hammer.
And what he says he planned to do to the speaker -- this is the video as police are knocking on the door, responding to the 911 call about Paul Pelosi was able to make. We do want to warn you, this video is disturbing, and CNN's Veronica Miracle has more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the hammer.
DAVID DEPAPE, ATTACKED PAUL PELOSI WITH A HAMMER: Nope.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, what is going on?
VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Body camera video shows police struggling with Paul Pelosi's assailant after witnessing the assault.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give me -- give me --
MIRACLE: Police responding to the Pelosi home around 2:30 a.m. on October 28th after Paul Pelosi called 911 reporting an attacker had broken into their San Francisco home.
PAUL PELOSI, HUSBAND OF NANCY PELOSI: There's a gentleman here just waiting for my wife to come back, Nancy Pelosi. He's just waiting for her to come back. She's not going to be here for days, so I guess we'll have to wait. MIRACLE: The 82-year-old husband of then, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
appears to try to signal the 911 dispatcher that he needs help without upsetting the intruder.
P. PELOSI: Is the Capitol police around? They're usually -- they're usually here -- they're usually here at the house protecting my wife. He is telling me to put the phone down and just do what he says.
MIRACLE: Then before he hangs up the phone, the intruder interrupts.
DEPAPE: I'm a friend of theirs.
MIRACLE: The intruder David DePape has been charged with assault and attempted homicide among other charges, and has pleaded not guilty on all counts. After his arrest, DePape told police he was out to get then house speaker Nancy Pelosi and quote, "other targets" and repeated baseless conspiracy theories about Pelosi and Democrats spying on the Trump campaign.
DEPAPE: It's just like an endless -- crime spree. It's like a whole four years when they were finally able to steal the election.
MIRACLE: He said he woke Paul Pelosi and was looking for his wife.
DEPAPE: Well, I was going to basically hold her hostage and I was going to talk to her and basically tell her what I would do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if she told the truth?
DEPAPE: I would let her go scot-free.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right --
DEPAPE: If she -- lied, I was going to break her kneecaps.
MIRACLE: DePape had previously posted conspiracy theories about the January 6th attack at the U.S. Capitol on his Facebook account. He told police --
DEPAPE: When I left my house, I left to go fight tyranny. I did not leave to go surrender.
MIRACLE: Nancy Pelosi spoke with CNN's Chris Wallace about the attack one week ago.
CHRIS WALLACE, CNN: How is your husband, Paul, doing?
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): He's doing OK. It's going to take a little while for him to be back to normal. I feel very sad about it because the person was searching for me, and my dear husband who is not even that political actually, paid the price.
MIRACLE: Paul Pelosi underwent surgery after the attack for a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands, and he has been seen wearing a hat at events with his wife in recent months.
She said she would not watch the video showing the attack.
N. PELOSI: And I have absolutely no intention of seeing the deadly assault on my husband's life.
MIRACLE (on camera): The audio and video was made public because a group of news organizations, including CNN pushed for its release, citing transparency reasons. DePape's lawyers did not want that to happen, in fact, they argued against it, saying it would irreparably damage his right to a fair trial, the court cited with the news organizations allowing for its release. Veronica Miracle, CNN, San Francisco.
WALKER: Yes, very difficult to watch that one as well. Veronica Miracle, thank you. And coming up, day two of testimony in the books as disbarred South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh goes on trial in the double murder of his wife and son. We're going to examine the key takeaways from a critical day in court.
WALKER: Well, day two of testimony wrapped up on Friday in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh; the disbarred and disgraced South Carolina attorney charged with killing his wife and son.
Murdaugh has not -- has pleaded not guilty. Here's CNN's correspondent Randi Kaye with more on what we heard from Murdaugh on the night of the killings.
ALEX MURDAUGH, ACCUSED OF KILLING WIFE & SON: We had a wonderful marriage, a wonderful relationship.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And yours and Paul's relationship?
MURDAUGH: As good as it could be.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Alex Murdaugh being interviewed in the investigators car hours after his wife and son were murdered.
MURDAUGH: I mean, I pulled up and I could see him. I could see it was --
And I could see his brain and arms. And I ran over to Maggie, and actually, I think I tried to turn Paul over first. I tried to take their -- Paul's own -- both of them, and, you know, I called 9-1-1 pretty much right away.
KAYE: That conversation took place at nearly 1:00 a.m. on June 8th, 2021. For the first time, we hear him explain how he says he tried to reach his wife and son with no luck.
MURDAUGH: I got up, I called Maggie, didn't get an answer, and I think I texted her. And she's very good about answering the phone, so that was -- or calling me back. So, that was odd, but it wasn't that big a deal. I texted her at 9:08, going to check on and be right back. And then I texted her at 9:47. That must be when I started to come back. I think I called her before that, but let me make sure -- I'm pretty sure that I called her 9:45. And then I tried Paul.
KAYE: Alex Murdaugh told investigators that he tried to check the pulse on both his wife, Maggie and son, Paul, yet, Alex didn't appear to have any blood on him, this investigator told the court.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see anything that appeared to be blood on his shoe?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see what appeared to be blood on Alex Murdaugh's hands?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did not.
KAYE: And when the defense lawyer asked her why she thought his clothes were freshly washed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's sweating and they are dry, so I would say yes.
KAYE: Still on cross examination, the defense tried to poke holes in the idea that Alex Murdaugh may have washed his clothes after allegedly killing his wife and son.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, let me ask you, in your mind, that night on June 7th, did he look like someone had just blown his son's head off, spattered going everywhere.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Again, I can't say that for sure.
KAYE: Also in court, a crime scene investigator at one point pulled out Paul Murdaugh's bloody sneakers that he was wearing the night he was killed. That was certainly a dramatic moment, and that same witness who was testifying for the state said that investigators didn't search Alex Murdaugh's home until September 13th, 2021.
That would have been more than three months after the double murder. No doubt, the defense, when it does cross-examination on Monday will use that to continue its theme of an alleged sloppy investigation. Amara? WALKER: Wow, so many fascinating details there. Randi Kaye, thank you
for your reporting. Joey Jackson is a criminal defense attorney and CNN legal analyst. Joey, I know you've been quite busy, so thank you so much for joining us this morning. First off, Joey, I mean, it seems like there's a lot of smoke there.
What did you make first of all what we heard from that officer who was first respond at the murder scene, and how he said the -- that Alex Murdaugh didn't cry when he saw him, and that he immediately offered up a possible motive.
JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, Amara, good morning to you. You know, this is a tough case in general, I think, for the prosecution in as much as we are in a really DNA-era, right? We're in an era where people need to see, jurors need to see, know and observe in the event someone's guilty.
In this particular case, just broadly-speaking, before the specifics of your question, you look and you say, well, is there any surveillance which would indicate that he did it? Well, no.
Are there any eyewitnesses that would indicate that he did it? Well, no. Is there anything else that you could suggest where other than circumstantial evidence to say that he actually is the one who is responsible? Answer, no. And so, then you go to the specifics. And you ask me the question with respect to, as we look there, that he's charged with the murder of his son and his wife, right?
The victims found shot to death on family property on June 2021. And of course, he's pleaded not guilty. But people have different ways of which they respond, Amara, in the event, for example of the death, right? You cross-examine someone, you indicate that he wasn't crying. But you did say that he seemed upset.
Is there a standard way in which someone should react in a situation like this? Would you believe the two people might respond the same or may they respond differently? So it's always tough to make judgments with respect to the demeanor, the comportment and the attitude of someone in a horrific situation to the extent, Amara, that everyone is different. So that in and of itself, my answer is not outcome- determinative as to his guilt.
WALKER: What about this question about why he didn't have any blood on his clothes or his hands, even though, Alex Murdaugh said that he checked the pulse of his wife and son? How do you explain that?
JACKSON: Yes, so, you know, that could be problematic in as much as you could say one of two things, right? You could say that he didn't have it in as much as he wiped it off, right? That's what the prosecution is alluding to. The fact that he tried to clean himself up. But then on the other hand, right, you're the police, you've conducted an investigation.
Did you attempt to make any efforts to determine whether there was blood you didn't see? Did you do any other investigation to see whether or not there was blood on any other parts of his body? Did you get a warrant to make an assessment as to his home or anything else? Did you look at other areas for which you might suggest that he could have wiped the blood off?
Did you find the cloth? Did you do anything else? And so, I think that there's always two narratives just like your other question, was he setting up an alibi? Or maybe instead of setting up an alibi, he was simply trying to determine what was going on and giving you information so that you officers could get to the bottom of it.
Maybe, instead of wiping off blood, right? He actually just based upon where the spatter was, there was not the blood and that particular location, right? Of the wrist of where he was trying to do it. So there's innocent explanations and then there are nefarious explanations. Trials, Amara, are about prosecution pointing to the nefarious and the defense pointing to the innocent, and the jury making a determination as to which of those two narratives make sense.
WALKER: OK, so, it sounds like this is going to be an uphill battle in terms of proving with evidence for prosecutors. What do you expect the defense to do or what -- their strategy will be?
JACKSON: Yes, I think they'll continue to pound on what they have. I mean, the fact is that what type of investigation did you do? Where's the specific proof and the evidence? Where is the connection to him, that is, Alex Murdaugh? What is the motivation as to why he would do this? How are you suggesting without evidence with respect to eyewitnesses that he did, without surveillance that he did, without blood on his -- all about his body parts.
Now, look, here's the point. When you heard the cross-examination that we did of his defense attorney, Amara, he was pointing out that. In the event that there's splatter and some, you know, I mean it's pretty graphic that I won't get into, but if people -- you're shooting him in the head area, you would expect blood to splatter?
So, was it on his shirt? Was it on his face? Was it on his pants? Did you make any analysis? Did you make any assessment? So what do we have? Circumstantial evidence because you think he's guilty? That's not enough, ladies and gentlemen. And I think that's where the defense would go and continue to hammer away in the case.
WALKER: Fascinating, Joey Jackson, really appreciate you joining us this morning. Thank you very much, good to see you.
JACKSON: Of course, thank you, Amara --
WALKER: All right, still ahead this hour, a terror attack in Jerusalem, at least, seven dead after a gunman opened fire near a synagogue as the world marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
[06:50:00] WALKER: Jerusalem remains on high alert this morning after a gunman
opened fire near a synagogue Friday, killing at least, seven people and injuring three more. We warn you that some of this footage may be disturbing. The attack follows days of deadly violence between Palestinians and Israelis on the West Bank.
Israeli officials are calling it, quote, "one of the worst terror attacks in the last few years." Let's go now to Elliott Gotkine, he is live in Jerusalem for CNN THIS MORNING. Elliott, tell us more of what you're learning.
ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Amara, this attack happened at around 8:15 p.m. local time last night. So just after evening prayers for the Jewish Sabbath had been finished. The gunman identified as a 21-year- old resident of east Jerusalem pulled up in a car, got out, started shooting, then went back in the car, some people approached the car, then he shot some more people and then drove another 300 meters or so, was intercepted by police.
And then there were some more shots exchanged. He ran off on foot, was pursued, and then was killed. So that was last night, seven Israelis killed, and also three injured, who are still in hospital receiving treatment. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the situation on assessment was held.
He also implored Israelis not to take the law into their own hands. And said that Israel has got an army and the police and security forces in order the carry out the instructions of the cabinet, which is due to meet just after the end of the Jewish Sabbath today around about 6:00 p.m. local time.
Netanyahu, who also held a call with President Joe Biden. The readout from that call saying the president made clear that this was an attack against the civilized world. The president stressed the ironclad U.S. commitment to Israel's security, and agreed his team would remain in constant touch with their Israeli counterparts.
And of course, Amara, this comes just a couple of days before U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due in Israel as part of a regional visit.
WALKER: Yes, in a separate incident, Elliott, Israeli police are saying that a 13-year-old gunman also shot and wounded two Israeli men in Jerusalem today. What have you learned about that? .
GOTKINE: Yes, that's right. This is a father and son were shot when this report with this 13-year-old boy, a video shown by local TV, showing this 13-year-old boy jumping up from behind a car and then shooting at group of about five adults and two children. Two of those adults were shot and hit.
They are in hospital in serious, but stable conditions, and the 13- year-old boy was also taken to hospital as well. So, he was injured, but not killed. And obviously, this is just merely adding to the tensions that are prevalent right now between Israel and the Palestinians, the Israeli police talking about boosting security.
And, of course, we'll get perhaps more of a steer on the Israeli reaction to these attacks when the cabinet meets after the end of the Jewish Sabbath. Amara?
WALKER: Quite a tense time right now, Elliott Gotkine, appreciate your reporting, thank you. And the next hour of CNN THIS MORNING begins after a quick break.