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Jury Decides Alex Jones Should Pay Nearly $1B In Damages To Sandy Hook Families; Two Black Comedians Sue Clayton County, GA Police Over Racial Profiling; L.A. City Council Member Resigns After Racist Comments. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired October 12, 2022 - 23:00   ET



LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It wasn't like he took it seriously. Listen to this.


ALEX JONES, CONSPIRACY THEORIST, RADIO SHOW HOST: Fifty-seven million, 20 million, 50 million, 80 million, 100 million. No, no. You get a million. You get 100 million. You get 50 million. Do these people actually think they're getting any money? I can keep them in court for years. I can appeal the stuff. We can stand up against this travesty, against the billions of dollars they want.


COATES: So, who is the they? It sounds like he was on trial, but he's trying to appeal to the it's us against the families? You're shaking your head.

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, the guy is mendacious, despicable. I mean, think of a bad adjective to describe a human being. These are five and six-year-old kids that got murdered in cold blood that this guy is mocking.

One of the parents goes on television and weeps and gives an interview. Alex Jones goes on and says he's an actor. He makes fun of the guy. I mean, there's no low (INAUDIBLE) than somebody that goes out and does this.

And then he turns and says, oh, they're trying to come for your guns. This is all, you know, false flag put on by the U.S. government. It's despicable. There's no other word. This guy should be put out of business, full stop.

COATES: But why is he still in business? I mean, one thing I think about with Alex Jones is the fact that someone can go after him for that awarding of damages means that there was deep pocket to go into, number one. But is this a deterrent? Is this going to stop this idea of trafficking and really capitalizing on the lives that have been told? What do you think?

MARA S. CAMPO, TV ONE HOST: Laura, he is raising money off of this right now. As we sit here, he is doing an emergency live broadcast to save Infowars. That's what he has been doing since the beginning. He has been using this to continue to stoke these flames. He is not taking this process seriously in any way.

The families have begged him and begged him and he doubled down and doubled down and doubled down. He refused to cooperate, release documents. He was held in contempt of court.

So, when you think about what these families have been through because of him, the fact that they weren't able to grieve in peace, that some of them had to move multiple times to escape death threats and harassment they were shot at, one father committed suicide because he could not bear what he was going through, and this man continues to this very moment to double down on this. This is a disgusting human being.

COATES: Listen to one of the parents who is very emotional about this very issue. Just -- it's just emotional to hear. Here it is.


UNKNOWN: The payout for me was being able to take Emily story back, being able to throughout all of this mess remind people about who she was and what she meant to me and her mom and her sisters. And for me, personally, getting my own story back.

For me, the payoff was Alex Jones used the statement I gave years ago as a way to torture me and to profit from it. And he was forced to sit in a courtroom and listen to every word that I had to say that night. And I hadn't done that since that night, and I almost forgot what it was that I shared.


COATES: Kirsten? When you hear that, what goes through your mind?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I just can't understand what makes Alex Jones be Alex Jones, right? You just look at him and think what kind of person would inflict this kind of pain. You would not inflict this pain on somebody that you hated, right? You wouldn't even do this to your worst enemy. And here he does it to these people who have had one of the worst things that can ever happen to you in your life happened.

And then just, you know, pours gasoline on the fire and just lets it keep growing and growing and getting worse and worse and worse for them. This is just a person that I just can't begin to understand. And then to act like an aggrieved party when you're held accountable and to say they're never going to get the money and --

COATES: Taunting.

POWERS: Yeah, taunting people who -- it's sadistic, right? He just loves to make them suffer even more than they've suffered. And it helps him make money. That's the thing, that he actually has enriched himself off of pushing this. So, there's a benefit to him, but he does seem to enjoy it.

COATES: Here's the principal's daughter on the point that you're raising, both of you were talking about. Listen to this.


Money is all that Alex Jones cares about. And the only way to even begin to start to explain -- I don't know. How he has made us feel is to hit him in the pocket. It's the only thing that's going to prevent him from doing this to other families. It's the only shot that we ever have of him stopping the hate and the lies in the conspiracy that he has thrown down on us for the last decade. Money is all that matters to him and this was the only way to get a message across to him, in my opinion.



COATES: David, take a step back for a second. We're talking about Alex Jones. But it's also what Alex Jones symbolizes. And we're talking about the idea of being able to capitalize and profit off of exploitation and lies that you know to be false. That's the essence of a defamation suit.

The idea here that we have seen this in politics, too, though. We've seen the idea of people being able to capitalize, whether it means it is currency to get in office, currency to raise money in some respect, or somehow rubbing at the elbows. Is this going to be a signal to others more broadly who traffic in misinformation?

URBAN: I don't know. This is so bad. This is --

COATES: So different.

URBAN: -- so different because right, left, liberal conservative, if you've got a kid, if you grew up with people, right, this hits differently, right? This hits differently. This isn't about Republicans or Democrats. This is about right and wrong. What he did is wrong. What these people are looking for is peace. They want to take this guy out because he shouldn't be able to do this to anybody else again.

And the Sandy Hook families right now, Alex Jones said they are coming for your guns. The Sandy Hook Promise, the organization these people put together, it really -- when they start up, they had a principle, principle for guns. We're not going to take a position whether you should have guns or not. But if you have a gun, keep it locked up, keep it secure, you know, keep it out of the hands of people that should not have guns. They were not a right-wing or a left-wing organization coming to take your gun.

COATES: But it was profitable to make it seem like they were. That's exactly the point.

URBAN: Well, that's exactly correct. And so, again, the entire theme here is mendacious. That is the word that you got to look up at the dictionary, but it really is like a very special word for a very special kind of evil here.

POWERS: But you do also have to say -- I mean, it's true that most Republicans are saying what he is saying, but you know Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is not a marginal person in the Republican Party, unfortunately, you know, who was acting like Alex Jones has been victimized, right?

So, there is something bigger here, I think, than just Alex Jones. I think it does speak to something bigger. And the only way to keep people from doing this is to take all his money, to run him out of business. I don't understand the legalities of how he has like brought his businesses into bankruptcy to avoid it. He has a home, he has a car, he has whatever. Can't they just take away everything he has until he has paid a billion dollars?

COATES: Can you take away the simple?

CAMPO: Well, but that's the problem, it's that it speaks to the enduring power of these conspiracy theories. This may be an extreme case, I agree with you on that, but remember, he was forced to admit in court on the record that this shooting didn't place.

It was 100% real these parents were not crisis actors, those children existed, they lost their lives. And even after that mission, he then went right back to doing what he was been doing and he has people who continue to send him money so he can fly around in private jets. So, that, I think, is the enduring legacy of Infowars.

URBAN: I wish Alex Jones could sit down with these families across the table and listen to them, one-on-one, explain their stories, they get to see him, and he can feel their pain.

COATES: The sick thing about it, I think he knows it, but the money was more enticing. That is the moral compass that we are talking about. Everyone, stick around. There is a lot more to talk about here tonight.

And I want to hear from you to, what do you think about Alex Jones? Here is what Reggie is telling us. What Alex Jones did with spreading lies was so devastating, that I do not think the jury could give an adequate dollar amount to repair the damage he's caused. Remember Mr. Jones, words matter!

Anything else you want to say? Tweet me @thelauracoates. We will be right back in just a moment because they say they were racially- profiled by police. I will tell you who and what it is about in a moment.



COATES: Two Black comedians are alleging racial profiling at Atlanta's airport. They said that they were randomly stopped on different occasions by police on the jet bridge and also questioned about drugs. This all happened not in privacy of some area, but in front of other passengers as if it made it better.

Eric Andre and Clayton English are now suing Clayton County, Georgia Police. And the police, they're claiming, of course, against the officer that their constitutional rights were violated.


ERIC ANDRE, COMEDIAN AND ACTOR: Police officers came out of nowhere in like -- almost like an ambush-style and started -- singled me out. I was the only person of color on the jet bridge at the time, all white people in front of me and behind me. They singled me out. They asked me if I was selling drugs, transporting drugs, what kind of drugs I have on me, and it was clearly racial profiling.

CLAYTON ENGLISH, ACTOR: I feel violated. I feel cornered. I felt like I couldn't, you know, continue to get on the plane. I felt like I had to comply if I wanted everything to go smoothly.


COATES: Eric Andre calls the experience humiliating and dehumanizing. He joins me here tonight along with his attorney, Barry Friedman, who is a law professor at NYU and founding director of the NYU Policing Project.

I'm glad to see you here. We know you from the very different world and to see this happen in the intersection of what I think so many people experienced -- I mean, I joke around, you know, my father and my husband, I haven't been to the airport yet when they haven't been randomly selected for something.

ANDRE: Right.

COATES: It's a joke people can tell, but it really happened. Tell me about why that was such an experience.


ANDRE: It happened to me a whole bunch, being racially profiled at the airport throughout my life, but this was kind of the most egregious instance that I've lived through.

I was coming home from a work trip. I was filling in on HBO show in Charleston, South Carolina, connecting in the Atlanta Airport to fly home to Los Angeles. I went to the jet bridge. I went to the gate, gave my ticket, went to the jet bridge, and these two Clayton County cops just came out of nowhere and started questioning me about, am I selling drugs, am I buying drugs, am I transporting drugs? I was the only person of color. In front of me and behind me on this narrow --

COATES: Were they in uniform? Did you even know what they were --

ANDRE: No, they wear plain clothes. I can't remember if they had badges on them, but they wear plain clothes. So, extra confusing. I had already been through TSA. So, I was like, is this another TSA screening? What is this? What do they want?

And then I was like, oh, this is stop-and-frisk. This is like they're just singling out Black and brown people and asking them if they have drugs and hope that they do have drugs so that they can, I don't know, arrest them or -- but the whole experience was humiliating and embarrassing, dehumanizing.

COATES: Everyone around you is watching. What were their expressions like?

ANDRE: Everyone is gawking at you like you're a perpetrator or like you're, you know, the bad guy. Literally, just flying home from a work trip.

COATES: Is that why you felt you had to answer the questions or stop? Was there part of you that said, I want to get on my flight?

ANDRE: You're scared of those moments. It doesn't feel consensual at all. It feels like, okay, cops are stopping me. There must be something wrong. They think I'm doing something wrong. I have to prove. You feel guilty until proven innocent. So, yeah, it was traumatizing.

As I was getting out of the situation, I told a couple friends who are lawyers and they were like, you shouldn't put up with that. That's messed up. Even when I landed in L.A. and got off the plane, there was a lawyer who is sitting near me in business class and watched the whole thing go down. And she came up to me afterward and she was like, you should report that. That was not right, what they did to you.

So, I started tweeting about it. And my friend, comedian, Clayton English, reached out to me and said the same exact thing.

COATES: At the same airport?

ANDRE: At the same airport, same police department, same thing happened to him except he unloaded his whole bag, they looked through all of his stuff up and down. And now, more people are coming forward. More Black people and people of color are coming forward saying that they've singled them out. And the statistics, Barry can talk about --

COATES: I want to go there.

ANDRE: These random checks are not so random.

COATES: I want to go there, but also want to point out that the Clayton County Police Department has responded in some way to the statement. They said that Mr. Andre, you, of course, chose to speak with investigators during the initial encounter. During the encounter, Mr. Andre voluntarily provided the investigators information as to his travel plans. Mr. Andre also voluntarily consented to a search of his luggage, but the investigators chose not to do so.

ANDRE: That's not true. So, when two cops popped out of nowhere on a jet bridge that's like, what, five feet across, not even, you don't really feel like you have a choice to just go, no, I don't need to talk to you. The two cops, kind of pin you in this awkward, claustrophobic corner. You talk to them. And then when they asked me specifically if they could search my bag, I asked the -- it was clear like a veteran cop training a rookie cop, and so I asked a veteran, I was like, do I have to say yes to the search?

COATES: What did he say?

ANDRE: He went, no. I was like, okay, well then no. And they're like, all right.

COATES: The way you say it, almost as if they were -- you had foiled some plan.

ANDRE: Yeah.

COATES: That's how you read that moment. You mentioned the statistics. I want to get you in here, Barry, because the numbers, I think, people need to hear about. I mean, you're talking about -- I think it was -- the lawsuit cites that of the 378 stops, right, that we're in this, 56% of the people who were stopped were Black, 68% were people of color.

And a 2016 survey by IPSOS and Airlines for America shows that only eight percent of air passengers are Black. That is disproportionate to say the least. Is that the nature of why there's more evidence in your mind to bring this sort of case?

BARRY FRIEDMAN, ATTORNEY FOR ERIC ANDRE: Well, when we first -- when I heard about this from Eric, tweeting that the discrimination -- we really do need to know about that. What we realized was that the reason they say it was voluntary or he consented was because otherwise, it's an unreasonable seizure, it violates the Fourth Amendment. You just can't pick people out who haven't anything wrong.

COATES: Profile.

FRIEDMAN: Exactly. Interrupt their lives, who just want to get on the plane. But then we filed public records request. We asked for the data. We got the data, and we couldn't believe it. So, you know, eight percent of 378 should give you something like 30 Black votes. Instead, we get 211.

So, we check this with statisticians because I still have a hard time believing it, but it is far less than one in 100 trillion is the chance of this happening randomly.


So, they clearly were picking people of color, Black people out of the line.

COATES: When you hear those numbers and think about that, does that add to it for you?

ANDRE: Yeah, but I'm also not surprised because this is unfortunately the world we live in, you know what I mean, where we live in a white supremacy power structure. And these people, the Clinton County Police department are, I don't know, preying on Black people to -- for money. It's a shake down.

COATES: The money element you're talking about, not just the search, but being able to seize certain assets they find on people. You talk about the idea of you didn't feel like you can walk away, the idea of being able to say, no, whatever assets or money I have on me, you can't keep that either. You felt like there wasn't more you can do?

ANDRE: Yeah. I don't know. I was so nervous and so confused. I had already been through TSA, so I was like, is this a second round of TSA? I've never experienced this, that I was just like in like fight or flight mode and wanted to get out there. It was like a cloud, it was disassociating.

COATES: What do you -- what is the reaction people have had this happening to you?

ANDRE: A lot of people are coming forward and saying, the same, exact thing happened to me, I am Black, I was on the jet bridge. And not just in Atlanta, at the Atlanta Airport, but people are coming out of airports all over the country saying the exact, exact same thing, I was the only Black person in line and these cops came out of nowhere on the jet bridge, pulled me out of the line and asked me about if I had drugs on me and all this stuff.

So, it's their horrible stories, but it's a good thing that you see how now these people have a voice and a platform and they're coming forward. Hopefully, this will stop.

COATES: Hopefully. Why is this Clayton County versus TSA -- I mean, what is the authority that law enforcement would have at a county level to come into the airport and do that?

FRIEDMAN: That's a great question. It just so happens that Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson is in Clayton County, and so the Clayton County police have some jurisdiction there. And as Eric pointed out, what is really remarkable if you think about it is, why would the police be doing enforcement on people who are leaving? Drug interdiction of people who are leaving the jurisdiction. It seems backwards.

But as we learned, what they're doing is they're actually seizing money from a lot of folks. They seized in the eight-month period that we look at over a million dollars even though they really only found two people who had drugs.

So, this is a scheme to get money. And the reason that the Policing Project, that we're so concerned with this is that when you've got police who don't have rules or policies or anything to govern what they do, they have a lot of discretion and when they have discretion, you get discrimination.

COATES: I want to hear from someone in the Clayton County Police Department. How we can get someone on to talk about this as well and get the answers as to why? What is the process here? What is the reason this is happening, especially if the numbers and figures we are talking about, if that is the success rate, so to speak, I don't know why the program continues? It's not productive and, of course, what you're citing right now, really important. Thank you for coming on and telling your story --

ANDRE: Thanks for having us.

COATES: -- and what's going on. It is really unfortunate to hear. Thank you so much.

Look, up next, the panel is back. I'm talking with the January 6th panel. No, I'm talking about the panel in our actual segment here, everyone. They're going to come back and talk about this case of alleged racial profiling and the greater issue of race in policing in this country.




COATES: So, you just heard about two Black comedians filing a lawsuit over alleged racial profiling at the Atlanta Airport. It's the latest salvo in the evolving conversation over race in policing more broadly in this country.

Here with me, Mara Campo, Joey Jackson, and David Urban. Joey, I got to go to the defense council to my left here, and I want to know what is -- tell me your defense chops here. What is your reaction? Overriding what you heard?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Listen, my reaction is it is hard to defend. Yes, defense council, of course, I do what I do proudly, but you want to defend humanity, you want to defend what's proper, what's right, what's appropriate, and I think what's appropriate is understanding police have a job.

Important part of that job is interdicting drugs and doing what they have to do. When you do it in a way that's discriminatory, that's targeted, that does not have a basis in fact, right, we deal in facts in our business, right, as the fabulous prosecutor that you are, right, it's about the evidence, it's about the proof.

And when you're stopping people just because you happen to be African- American, and by the way, I think, because of that, you have some background in drugs, it is wrong, it shouldn't happen, and I thank goodness that they're using their great platform in righting this wrong.

COATES: What do you think, David?

URBAN: Look, I mean, it is hard to argument with what Joey just said, right?

COATES: That's because (INAUDIBLE). URBAN: Listen, he's a great lawyer. He's a great lawyer. But let me just point out something here. When is this going to trial? When this kind of get flushed out? A part of this, of the folks stopped, about a million bucks was seized. About a million dollars was seized from 25 individuals. So, if you break it down, it is about 40,000 bucks a person, right? People carrying $40,000.

Now, of those 25 people, only eight petitioned the court to get their money back. So, what does that tell you about the other 17 people who left 40,000-plus cash on the table?

JACKSON: I have the answer. I think the answer is, people are tired of red tape. They're tired of the bureaucracy, and they're not going to fight. Look, the reality Is that --

COATES: I might fight for 40,000.


JACKSON: Here is the reality --

CAMPO: That your money is not tied to any criminal enterprise.

JACKSON: Exactly.

CAMPO: So, your money is basically guilty until proven innocent, and that's not how the system is supposed to work.

JACKSON: Correct.


And the standard of proof is far different. You know, in criminal cases, you have a reasonable doubt beyond the reasonable doubt. When you're talking about issues of asset forfeiture, it's a probability, a preponderance. Is it likely that it was involved? People don't want to be bothered. People want to live their lives. People want to live in peace. People don't want police intrusion.


COATES: The money actually goes someplace here.

JACKSON: Of course.

URBAN: This goes back to policing.

JACKSON: And I think police need to be resourced because they're doing a lot of good, and I won't dispute that. But what I don't believe is they should be resourced on the backs of people who are not engaged in any wrongdoing.

URBAN: All I'm saying is if you have 40,000 bucks, I don't know where you come from, where I come from, if you have 40,000 bucks, you're going to fight for it. CAMPO: But that is if you know that you're entitled to get it back,

and I think the part of the problem that we have here, people understanding what their rights are, specifically when you're talking about an airport, because even if you're someone who says, well, I know my rights, the police can't stop and search me for XYZ, when we are at airports, we are trained to expect to be searched, we are trained to expect for TSA to take things away from us that we can't get back.

And so, it's a really unique environment where people have their guard down, and they're probably more willing to subject themselves to these unreasonable searches.

URBAN: I've only been present one time when someboy had cash seized. I was on the law enforcement side of it. And they explained in great detail how this individual can get their money back. Gave receipts, gave paperwork, and said, here's what you got to do to get your money back if you like to get it back.

COATES: How do you explain the statistics here? I know you cited the idea, the notion, what you're saying in my mind is, look, all is well that ends well. You captured the money, so it must have been for nefarious purposes. How do you explain the stats here? Look at this. I mean, 56% of the people stopped were Black, 68% people of color. Only 8% of the population is flying on that numbers? How do you screen that?

URBAN: Let's take a backward step. Eight percent at the Atlanta Airport might be underrepresented. I'm not saying, I don't know where they're taking that snapshot, if it is in Chicago, whatever. I don't know what the statistics are because we can (INAUDIBLE) make it work.

I'm not saying that the money seized was any evidence other than it's a successful program. That's why they continue doing it, right? They're seizing a million bucks. Twenty-five people they took it from, only eight ask for it back? They're going to keep doing it, right, until they don't do it anymore, until they get force not to do it. That's what I was saying. I'm not saying it is evidence of anything other than what it is.

COATES: But the problem with that, if it's successful and the allegation that they value the Constitution to get that money, then --

URBAN: They shouldn't do it, yeah.

COATES: -- that shouldn't be allowed to happen. It's incentivizing the chance of profiling to get that money.

JACKSON: I think it incentivizes bad behavior. Look, there is a role, again, for police and what they do. I'm not going to target the police department. What I'm going to do is to speak out against the practice that has no place. In the event, Laura, someone is doing something which is inappropriate, unlawful, you have indicia of criminality, as lawyers like to talk about, that is one thing.

But to target Eric Andre, oh, he's African-American, he must be up to something nefarious, right, Clayton English, oh, what about him, I just think it's not proper. Let's use the law in a way it's intended and designed to be used to catch the bad guys, not to single and target out people who are not engaged in crime.

COATES: You made a great point, too, on this, Mara, and the idea of conditioning. The idea -- I invite anyone from the Clayton County Police Department to come on the show and talk about the issue. I think it is important to hear what they have to say, what justification they may provide.

But the conditioning is more than just the airport. The idea of it being consensual, involuntary, that's the part that gives you pause how genuine that would be.

CAMPO: And taking place on the jet bridge as you're trying to board your flight. And I consider myself to be someone who really knows a lot about my rights. I think in that circumstance, I would've stopped, I would've consented to that search. If something was taken away for me, I probably would've allowed it, thinking that this was an extension of TSA. In fact, that's what we just heard here. He said, his first thought was, is this more TSA screening?

So, it's just a very confusing circumstance. And when you talk about the percentages that we're seeing, you have to remember, you mentioned Atlanta, you don't know where these percentages are coming from, this did not take place in Atlanta proper, it took place in the airport. So, the population here is of people who are in transit. So, I think that 8% is probably pretty accurate.

COATES: And what's informing the conversation more broadly, outside the airport, is the interaction of what it means when you don't consent to police officers and don't consent in some way, and feel as though even if you do, it's not going to end well. Just a whole lot.

JACKSON: If someone comes with a badge and a gun, right, and they are police officers and they say, hey, stop, what are you going to say, never mind, I'm going to keep going, it is unduly coercive and you feel that you have no choice. That's a problem.

COATES: Well, we'll talk more of that --

URBAN: By the way, the movie "Bad Trip," Eric Andre's best work.


URBAN: I highly -- I highly --

COATES: You've been waiting all this time to mention it.

URBAN: I highly suggest that everybody watch it. It is great. Go look at it at Netflix.


COATES: There you go. A plug and a conversation, everyone. Joey, thanks. Mara and David stick around. We got to talk about some racist comments that happened by an L.A. Council member and some new fallout tonight. That's next.


COATES: Well, L.A. City Council member Nury Martinez resigned from her set today.


This is two days after stepping down from her post as president after the leaked audio revealed that she had made racist comments. According to "The L.A. Times," those comments coming in a conversation with council member Gil Cedillo and Kevin De Leon, as well as Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, who resigned from his post on Monday.

Let me play for you a portion of that leaked audio. As I said, you're not going to like it.


NURY MARTINEZ, L.A. COUNCIL PRESIDENT (voice-over): And there's this white guy with this little Black kid who's misbehaved. They're raising him like a little White kid. I was like, this kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner and then I'll bring him back.


COATES: Hmm. There's a lot more of that conversation. And in the wake of that frankly shocking video, that's only a portion of it, the White House said President Biden believes that all the L.A. City Council members who took part in that conversation should step down.

Back with me, Mara S. Campo, Kirsten Powers, and David Urban. You know, what is your reaction to this? We know the initial reaction that the comments highly problematic. But I do wonder what you make of the decision of the White House to weigh in on this issue in particular? What do you make of it?

CAMPO: Well, you know, I think of it when we're talking about here in terms of the other members who were on the call, who were silent, who didn't object to this, who didn't say anything. I think what the White House is speaking to is the fact that they still have not taken any action. They've apologized, but beyond that, there hasn't been any meaningful action.

I think there is the question about whether these people deserve to hold elected office. I mean, you have to think about what was said on that call where this woman not only refers to this Black child with a terrible slur, calling him a monkey, but then says that she wants to take him around the corner and beat him, and the other people on the call don't say anything to object to this.

So, there is a question about whether these people should hold elected office. In my view, no, they should not.

COATES: There are protests happening about this very issue, trying to make sure that they did not hold office. Not all have resigned. I want to play for you what Karine Jean-Pierre had to say on the remarks that were made and what President Biden thought about it.


KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president is glad to see that one of the participants in that conversation has resigned. But they all should. He believes that they all should resign. The language that was used and tolerated during that conversation was unacceptable and it was appalling. They should all step down.


COATES: That was Tuesday, right, commenting on that. And then Nury Martinez said, to my constituents -- after resigning -- to my constituents, serving you has been a privilege and one that I don't give up lightly. You are my neighbors, my friends, and the reason for this service. While I take the time to look inwards and reflect, I ask that you give me space and privacy on these issues. What do you make of this?

POWEES: I don't understand why they all didn't just resign immediately. So, the fact that it took any time, you know, the stepping down and then the resigning and all of that, sometimes, you screw up massively, and when you screw up this massively, you should just resign and you should take some time, get some therapy, talk to different people to get advice to figure out how you got to this point that you would speak about other people this way or that you would sit there and say nothing when other people were speaking this way, and go deal with your issues, basically.

It's just bizarre to me that people think that they can do stuff like this and then just go on like nothing had happened. I mean, if I was recorded saying stuff like this, I would ask you to take me to the hospital and get a brain scan, because something is wrong with me.

It's just so inconceivable to talk this way. It is just bizarre that she was talking this way and these other two people were sitting there acting like it was normal.

COATES: What's interesting about it, as you know, you think about some of the reactions that come out, I mean, just collectively over time, has been these two arguments. On the one hand, it's -- resign. You don't deserve to have a chance to leave. You ask to leave, you foreclose an opportunity. That is, you believe in redemption and I want to learn from something --

POWERS: I actually believe in redemption, yes.

COATES: I can grow from this and I want to maintain my position. Then you've got the argument of, this is a cancel culture yet again. You can't do anything wrong. Where do you stand?

URBAN: It's not a cancel culture, this is she screwed up. She forfeited the right to be a leader in the government, right? She should've stepped down. The whole city council should've stepped down just like I think Governor Northam should step down in Virginia, right? But we saw the wagons get circled around him, right?

COATES: Because of the blackface.

URBAN: Because of the blackface. Either it was the blackface or he was in a hood, one of the two, I don't know which one he was. Everyone circled the wagons there and said, oh -- they love the guy, stayed as governor. He stayed as governor.


URBAN: But he still stayed as governor, Kirsten.

POWERS: But he chose to. And that's the point. I think that -- look --

URBAN: (INAUDIBLE) White House then?

POWERS: I believe in redemption.


But I think it's a really important thing to say, that that doesn't mean that there's no accountability. So, there can be accountability where people then go -- like I said, they deal with their issues and they try to make things right.

Part of that redemptive process is them repenting and repairing and making things better, fixing where they've caused brokenness. So, that's what should be happening. Holding people accountable, not canceling them (ph).

COATES: Is there a room for that, redemption in politics still?

CAMPO: There is room for, but there is a process that needs to take place and we're far too early in this for that process to be complete. And I think there's also a bigger context here that is explaining part of the reason why people are so upset about this. You know, a lot of people are saying that the whole reason they were having this call was to talk about diluting black political power in Los Angeles.

And so, when you pair that with what was said on this call about this Black child, you see why a lot of people are very, very upset about what took place and why they really feel that these three members, at least, have no place in leadership in Los Angeles.

URBAN: They have little bit more real politic view of politics, right? I don't think -- there may be room for grace, but not on the current political environment, right? You get scorched. You get burned. Maybe 10, 15 years later, you can come back.

By the way, I'm all for grace. I'm all for asking for forgiveness. I believe in second acts. But part of the thing is admitting you're wrong and saying I did something wrong. And in the governor's case, he didn't step forward and say, look, I screwed up, I was a 20-year-old, I was an idiot, I did bad things, they were really offensive, I hurt a lot of people, I'm sorry, I shouldn't be the governor of a state that is so diverse like Virginia.

Just own it and then come back. You can't have redemption if you don't do that. And in this case, it didn't happen in this case. I'm glad to see Democrats stepping up and owning it.

COATES: It's fastening that we were able to narrow down in the stakes of politicians in just two instances. I mean, I could give you a whole list of things. We could take up the entire studio here. But it is time for all of you to sound off here. Your tweets are coming up next, everyone.




COATES: All right, time to hear your thoughts on tonight's hot topics. Here's what we have across social. One, racial profiling is bad for a host of reasons, but from a law enforcement perspective, it is bad practice because it creates a blind spot. If you are only looking at people of color than a white guy with a suitcase of cocaine can walk right past you.

Another person mentions, I consider (INAUDIBLE). I can turn myself in middle of the road, common sense voter. John Fetterman having to use a closed caption for a debate is not a big deal to me. Watching him was alarming, which I can't say about other candidates in the last few years. You're laughing. What are you thinking about that?

POWEES: I'm just thinking of various people in the public sphere who speak in word salad constantly and --

URBAN: The current president?

POWERS: And the same people like Donald Trump who, if you ever interviewed him as I have and you try to like read the transcript and there are no sentences, just run on all over the place. So, does he have a cognitive problem? I mean, I never ran around saying he had cognitive problems.

You know, so, suddenly because this person who actually has a diagnosed reason for this, auditory processing issues, and we've been told that that's what it is, why is everybody acting like he is not capable of doing this job? It's ableism. I am sorry, it is straight up ableism.

URBAN: I think a lot of the Fetterman stuff has been around the dishonesty with his health. He has not been honest for three days in Pennsylvania. He didn't tell the voters. He is an elected official. Didn't tell anybody he had a stroke. He wasn't completely honest with the democrats, the governor. POWERS: Not telling people something for three days is not being


URBAN: It's completely being dishonest.

POWES: It is like getting all the information until you're able to tell people what is going on.

URBAN: They dripped and dripped and dripped. It hasn't been forthcoming. I worked for a member who had cancer, heart attacks, many, many bad things.

POWERS: (INAUDIBLE) they got the diagnosis, they run outside --

URBAN: We did.

POWERS: I'm sure they just want --

URBAN: We were very transparent.

POWERS: I mean, this is ridiculous.

URBAN: You call me a liar, it happened.

COATES: Mara, can you come into this for a minute? The lawyer comment --

CAMPO: We were just talking about grace, I would like to remind everyone.


CAMPO: And as it applies to Fetterman, I think as it ties into what we're talking about, grace, I mean, here's someone who has just been through a very serious medical issue, and I don't think that it's unreasonable to extend a little bit of grace and accommodate what he says his deeds are.

COATES: I wonder if voters will do it at the ballot box. That is the question at the end of the day. We have another tweet out. The fact that we are even debating, questioning the legitimacy and partisanship of the Supreme Court is yet another indication of how great the threat to democracy is in our nation.

You guys don't have a chance to weigh in on the issue of the Supreme Court and what is happening. What do you make of it?

URBAN: Listen, people have been saying the Supreme Court is divisive since Marbury versus Madison, right? This isn't like brand-new, right? I mean, there have been court packings on and on and on. Same story, different day.

COATES: It's a little bit new. Go ahead.

POWERS: I do think it's different. I think in our -- at least in our lifetimes, right, the Supreme Court was that one institution I felt like when I was growing up or even in my 20s and my 30s, you know, that you would look at it -- my 40s -- and think like this is an institution that we can basically count on in a way that I wouldn't necessarily look at the other branches of government. It does feel like this is something very different where it's starting to feel very partisan.

COATES: We're going to leave it here. It doesn't seem to be as partisan. It seems to have connective tissue about Alex Jones and it ends here. I hope it sends a message that lives are hurtful and you will pay the price for spreading lies. Using the #CNNSoundOff. Let's end it there, everyone.


You know where to find all of us. You know where to find me, here @thelauracoates. I want to thank all of you for watching and giving us your take. It is important for you to be a part of the conversation. We want to talk around you. We want to talk with you. Thank you to our panelists for being a part of it today. Thank you for watching. Our coverage continues.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. I want to start tonight by taking a moment to share with you a picture of Emilie Parker. She was six years old when a gunman murdered her and 25 other children and staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly 10 years ago.


Conspiracy peddler and profiteer Alex Jones slandered this little girl's memory with his online rantings and tormented her father, Robbie, who we all will hear from tonight.

Take a look at Dylan Hockley. He was also murdered in the worst elementary school mass shooting.