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CNN This Morning

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is Interviewed about Gun Control; Phoenix Starts Clearing out Homeless Encampment; Sunday Playoff Games Go Down to Wire; Don Bozzuffi is Interviewed about NJ Little League Imposing New Rules on Unruly Parents. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 08, 2023 - 08:30   ET



POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Do you want to see more done on this in your state?

SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R-LA): Absolutely. In the Uvalde Response Bill we actually created funds for the states, such as mine, to have more resources to enforce restraining orders, for example. The husband, who's estranged, who walks in and kills his family. Now, he's already got a restraining order. He's not a (INAUDIBLE). So, there's resources within that bill to address that.

There's also resources for hardening schools. By the way, I'll point out, the administration was slow to put those out. My superintendent of education said, listen, they're not letting us harden schools. I called Secretary Cardona. He goes, we'll connect that, but they've only corrected it for three states.

So, the clear message of the bill allows states to harden schools. The administration is slow walking. We've got to enforce -- we've got to enact that bill.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: We have to let you go, but, real quick, the control room doesn't fight me, you're known as a dealmaker in Congress in the sense that you're pragmatic. You will sit down with people from the other party. How do we -- do you think we get out of the debt ceiling this year?

CASSIDY: I do. I do.

MATTINGLY: Before June 1st?

CASSIDY: Well, I'll put it this way, tell me, does the president show up? If the president shows up, history shows that we get out of it, but the president has got to show up, not just kind of rope-a-dope, saying, let's have a show - let's have a photo op. He has to actually show up and go into the nitty-gritty of how do you make a deal.

MATTINGLY: Tuesday's going to be a big day.


MATTINGLY: Senator, thanks so much for being here. We appreciate it.

CASSIDY: Thank you.

HARLOW: It' really nice to have you here. Come back. Thank you.

CASSIDY: Thank y'all.

HARLOW: New information this morning about what we were just discussing, the tragic shooting at a Texas outlet mall on Saturday. Eight people dead. What we've just heard from the governor. We just heard Greg Abbott speak. So, we'll bring you that ahead.



MATTINGLY: This just into CNN, Texas Governor Greg Abbott just addressing the shooting that left eight people dead and several others injured at a mall in Allen, Texas. Governor Abbott focused on motive rather than legislative action.


GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): So, first, obviously, we're extraordinarily concerned about the devastation. This happened to the families affected by what happened in Allen. One thing I know that the people in Allen, but especially the families, they want to know right now, why this happened, how it happened.


MATTINGLY: Those remarks come as we learn of the name of a second victim killed in Allen, Texas, is identified as Aishwarya Thatikonda. Our CNN affiliate WFAA reports Thatikonda was an engineer. She was at the mall with a friend when the shooting started. Her family says they plan to have her body sent to India. Her friend remains hospitalized.

HARLOW: Well, this week, city officials in Phoenix are set to start clearing out a major homeless encampment, but many of the people living there say they don't nowhere to go. Our Gabe Cohen has this report.


NETTE REED, OUTREACH SPECIALIST, HUMAN SERVICES CAMPUS INC.: Do you want to get into a shelter, sweetheart?

GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): At sunrise, Nette Reed's outreach team enters this massive homeless encampment in downtown Phoenix, what some call the zone, one of the largest camps in the U.S.

REED: The goal is to get them off our - off the streets.

COHEN: As of April, roughly 900 people lived in this sprawl.

RAYANN DENNY, EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS: And I just couldn't pay the bills, so I ended up homeless.

COHEN (on camera): This is where you've been staying?

COHEN (voice over): Rayann Denny says she landed here after her husband died.

COHEN (on camera): What kind of stuff are you dealing with?

DENNY: Substance abuse, of course, because I just try to keep myself, you know, high so I don't have to deal with the pain.

COHEN (voice over): And the urgency is growing.

REED: I've got two words for you, let's go.



REED: Let's go.

COHEN: Soon, these people have to leave.

REED: We have to move fast. We have to gas up. We have to come up with a plan.

COHEN: A judge has ordered the city to permanently clear this camp, calling it an illegal public nuisance, after a lawsuit brought by residents and business owners.

DEBBY FALACHI (ph), BUSINESS OWNER: This is our restaurant and right across the street are the homeless encampments.

COHEN: Like Debby (ph) and Joe Falachi (ph), who have run this nearby sandwich shop for more than 30 years.

FALACHI: It's just complete lawlessness and it's getting worse.

COHEN: The lawsuit is one more piece of an increasingly polarized approach to homelessness across the U.S., as more states pass controversial laws to ban public camping.

REED: Spell your last name.

COHEN: Some think similar public nuisance lawsuits will soon be used to try to force other cities to clear encampments. But then what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just scared. Really scared.


COHEN: Stefanie Powell doesn't know where she'll go when cleanup starts this week.

POWELL: I don't want to wind up having to walk the streets again. It's hard because nobody wants to see the problem. COHEN: The Phoenix area has roughly half as many shelter beds as

people experiencing homelessness. A population that's grown 46 percent since 2019 amid an affordable housing crisis. And the zone's location is key. It sits right outside the Human Services Campus, a secure center that offers assistance like food, water, and health care, critical during Arizona's scorching summer.

COHEN (on camera): What could that mean for people?

AMY SCHWABENLENDER, CEO, HUMAN SERVICES CAMPUS INC.: People will be more likely to die, or be sick and go to the emergency room.

COHEN (voice over): So, the city of Phoenix, scrambling to create safe options, is planning to lease hotel rooms and vacant buildings as temporary shelters and build a sanction campground with security and sanitation somewhere in the city. But it's a band-aid. And what happens if campers like Rayann Denny say no.

COHEN (on camera): Where will you go?

DENNY: Probably just find some other place to set up, I guess.

COHEN: Somewhere less visible?

DENNY: Yes, of course.


COHEN: And so some expect that a lot of the people in this encampment are just going to move down the road to other neighborhoods, like we've seen in other cities.

But, Poppy, big picture. Advocates will tell you there is a housing crisis right now, and solutions like a sanction campground do nothing to fix that bigger crisis. But with Phoenix's brutal summer heat approaching, a solution like affordable housing, Poppy, is just not going to come in time.

HARLOW: That's not immediate, that's for sure.


Gabe Cohen, fascinating, important reporting. Thank you.

MATTINGLY: Now, there were two NBA playoff games that came down to the wire on Sunday, but the two games on Saturday, absolute blowouts. So, what's the deal with those big wins? Harry Enten in his new segment, what's the deal with those big wins, will have this morning's number, coming up next.


MATTINGLY: Kevin Durant of the Phoenix Suns holding off the Denver Nuggets in a 129-124 victory. Two-time MVP Nikolai Djokovic scored a franchise record 53 points for the Nuggets, but that actually wasn't enough. The Suns even up the series at two games apiece. Now, the tight game coming after two big blowouts on Saturday. The

Heat beating the Knicks by 19 points. The Lakers crushing the Warriors by 30. So, what's the deal with the blowouts?

CNN's senior data reporter Henry Enten dug into this.

What's the morning number?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yes, all right. So, this morning's number is nine! I've got Phil smiling. That's what I like to see here early in the morning, smiling.

MATTINGLY: It's a low bar.

ENTEN: So, NBA, 20 plus point final margins, nine so far out of the 57 playoff games, through, of course, the conference semi-finals.


And I will note, this is part of a trend, or a 20-point plus NBA playoff margins, 20 percent of them over the last decade were blowouts. That is up from the decade before when it was just 15 percent. And the decade before that, 13 percent. So, blowouts are definitely on the rise in the NBA playoffs.

HARLOW: Any idea why?

ENTEN: Any idea why? I will give you a reason why. Three-point attempts are way up per game, right? Sixty per game in the NBA playoffs in the last decade. That's well up from 36 the prior decade, 31 the decade before that. And, of course, if you're having more three-pointers, attempts being up means it's easier to widen the score quickly, especially if one team gets hot and the other one gets cold, right? So you get these blowouts much easier. You know, if one team gets hot and they're shooting two-pointers, it's much harder to widen it out. And I want to bring this back to another sport, baseball, because I know Phil loves his baseball.

HARLOW: Just because Phil's here?

ENTEN: That's right.

HARLOW: Not figure skating for me?

ENTEN: Not figure skating for you. I want to treat our guest with respect. The NBA isn't alone in feast or famine. MLB strikeouts in a homer were higher - higher in the past decade than any other since the 1870s. So, feast or famine is something that's becoming more and more across professional sports.

MATTINGLY: Can I just say, to one slide back, Poppy and I, when we were talking about that three minute spirt that the Lakers had in the second quarter that really took the game over, which is exactly what you're saying, they're hitting from the outside but also hitting in the paint (ph). And that just put the game away in the second -

HARLOW: What's it called when you do it outside the thing?

MATTINGLY: Yes, it's that thing. Yes.

HARLOW: What's it called? Outside the - is that the field?

MATTINGLY: That's a three-point line.

HARLOW: Yes, but what's it -

MATTINGLY: And that's -

HARLOW: When you shoot it from outside that.

MATTINGLY: We're actually drawing this out. That's called a three- pointer.

HARLOW: No, I know, but it's called -

ENTEN: The arc?


MATTINGLY: Oh, outside the arc?

HARLOW: It's Jokic, by the way, I'm married to Serb, not Jokic.


ENTEN: Wow, she's bringing her a-game, Phil, you better up yours.

MATTINGLY: I'm - oh, she's like -

ENTEN: You're, bye-bye.

MATTINGLY: She's trying to destroy (ph) me.

ENTEN: Eliminated. Falls through the floor.

MATTINGLY: This was fun, the one day I got to spend with you, since you just canceled the next four. Wow, that's tough.

HARLOW: Thanks, Harry.

MATTINGLY: Harry, it's a pleasure, my friend.

ENTEN: A pleasure.

MATTINGLY: It's good to see you. Thank you so much.

ENTEN: Good-bye, Phil.


ENTEN: Bye, Poppy.

HARLOW: No, he'll be making - he's going to come back, I hope. After a couple of little league umpires quit over how they were

treated by some parents - I hope you're nice to the umps at your kids' games, by the way.

MATTINGLY: Always. I'm terrified of the umps.

HARLOW: One league in New Jersey is making those parents try out for the job themselves. We'll speak to the commissioner of the league with that brilliant idea, next.

HARLOW: It's not called a three-pointer. It's called, like, a field or something.


Do you know what I'm talking about, when he throws -



HARLOW: Well, after two well-respected little league umpires called it quits over unruly parents, a baseball program in New Jersey implemented a new rule to brush back angry moms, dads and other fans. A little league president is throwing a changeup, announcing -- is that a baseball term?

MATTINGLY: So is brush back. I'm very impressed by the writing here. This is - it's really good writing.

HARLOW: I don't know. I'm just reading - I'm just reading what they wrote. We have good writers on this show.

Announcing that unruly fans will be barred from attending games in the future unless they agree to call three games for themselves in order to see how challenging it is.

Joining us now is Don Bozzuffi, the president of the - of Deptford Little League.

I think this was -- was this your idea?


HARLOW: Love it.

BOZZUFFI: Thank you. I hope it works. I hope it's a deterrent, so.

HARLOW: But this is about a serious thing, like how awful parents can be to refs.

BOZZUFFI: It can be, yes. And when we lost dedicated umpires over this, I knew something had to be done. So, that's why we implemented this.

MATTINGLY: Have you seen that it's gotten worse over time? I remember parents yelling at umpires when I was a kid. It was never my dad. It wasn't me or else my dad would have beaten me. That's a joke. But I do feel like kind of across every organization, job, people are treating people worse.

BOZZUFFI: Yes. Absolutely. I've been in this league 40 years and it used to be just yelling at the umpire and some expletives. And just a couple years ago, two, three years ago, we had a parent who came up from - from one of the fields irate. He didn't like one of the calls so he came up to discuss it and we had one of our board members in the concession stand and tried to deescalate it and the guy just punched him in the face, grabbed his cellphone, smashed it. We pressed charges and he is now banned for life.


BOZZUFFI: So, yes, it's -- it's gotten bad. It's gotten physical. So, that's why we're trying to make sure we - we want to -- you want to curtail it before it happens again.

HARLOW: You also have to remember like what -- this is what we're showing our kids.


BOZZUFFI: Exactly.

HARLOW: Kids don't do what you say, they do what you do.


HARLOW: And we're modeling this for our kids. So, you're also -- this is an effort to help those kids too, right?

BOZZUFFI: Exactly. This - these are - these are life lessons. We're teaching more than baseball here. And I'm sure that these parents, when they're home, they demand respect. And then they come to the fields and it's only -- it's only a handful. Most of the people, they were great. But when they come to the fields, they start abusing the umpire, expletives and the kids are out there watching. And I'm sure they're confused. And, you know, so we're losing more than just good volunteers, we're confusing these kids and we're trying to teach them the right way.

MATTINGLY: And it's also embarrassing for the kids.


MATTINGLY: Like, to watch your parent act up --

BOZZUFFI: Humiliating. Yes, sure.

MATTINGLY: The entire time.

Can I ask you, you haven't had to actually implement it yet, is that correct?

BOZZUFFI: Not yet. Not yet.

MATTINGLY: How would this work because, as a player, I don't want some parent who has no idea how to ump a game umping a game.

BOZZUFFI: Exactly.

MATTINGLY: So, how do you actually kind of thread the needle here?

BOZZUFFI: Sure. Sure. We don't - we don't want them umpiring. So --

MATTINGLY: You just want to scare them?

BOZZUFFI: Well, I don't want to scare them. We want - we want to educate them. So, what we're going to do, we're going to have a certified umpire that's going to teach them field mechanics quickly.


BOZZUFFI: Let them know -- have an idea and then teach them some of the rules. And we're not going to put them behind the plate, we're going to put them out in the field.


BOZZUFFI: We want them to get three games because I wanted to get them bang-bang play. It might not happen in one day, but it will happen within three games.


BOZZUFFI: And, you know, they'll see then that this is not that easy. And, what do I call this?


I'm going to lose some friends in the stands now. So, you know, it's kind of like, we want to open their eyes that it's not easy. It's for the kids. And these calls, you know, they really don't matter. These kids are out there having fun. They're not complaining about them.

MATTINGLY: What a novel idea, let the kids have fun.

BOZZUFFI: That's it.

MATTINGLY: Let the kids have fun.

Don Bozzuffi, this is such a cool idea.


MATTINGLY: And I just like the conversation. Thanks so much for coming in.

BOZZUFFI: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

HARLOW: Thank you. BOZZUFFI: I hope it makes a difference.

MATTINGLY: Absolutely.


MATTINGLY: Well, the Prince and Princess of Wales volunteering alongside thousands of people across the U.K. in The Big Help Out. New pictures ahead.

HARLOW: That was great. Thank you so much.

MATTINGLY: Awesome. That was really great.


HARLOW: It is your -- time for your "Morning Moment."

This morning the Prince and Princess of Wales volunteering alongside thousands of people across the United Kingdom in The Big Help Out. That's what today is deemed. The nationwide initiative to help more than 1,500 charities is part of the final day of coronation festivities in honor of newly crowned King Charles III and his decades of public service.

MATTINGLY: Now, William and Kate, along with their three children, are helping to renovate scout hut outside London. Five-year-old Prince Louis, everybody's spirt animal to some degree, was happy to roll up his sleeves in his first royal engagement.


Adorable new images show him pushing a wheelbarrow, driving a digger with dad, hopefully making faces and hand motions like he's done so famously, which I love.

HARLOW: He's your favorite, huh?

MATTINGLY: He is. Yes.

HARLOW: And your spirit animal.

MATTINGLY: He's my spirit animal or spirit child. I don't know what it is.

HARLOW: Spirit animal.

MATTINGLY: Spirit animal. We'll go with that. That's good.

HARLOW: We've got this.

Are you going to come tomorrow?

MATTINGLY: I don't know, am I allowed to after you just dimed me out on my mispronunciation of a two-time NBA MVP.

HARLOW: Yes. I mean it's the only athletes name that I can -

MATTINGLY: Like, it's not even this that I'm worried about. Like, my buddies from home are going to kill me.

HARLOW: Trust me, I can't pronounce most things.

We'll see you tomorrow right here, Phil promises. Stay with us.

"CNN NEWS CENTRAL" starts now.