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Tower Guard On-Duty When Cavalcante Escaped Gets Fired; Laura Coates Discusses Fulton County Grand Jury Recommendations Of Indictments; New Body Cam Footage Irizarry Being Shot Six Times. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired September 08, 2023 - 23:00   ET




ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR: And thank you for watching "CNN PRIMETIME". I'm Abby Phillip. Laura Coates picks it up with CNN TONIGHT, right now.

LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR: Hey Abby, so good to see you. Have a great weekend, my friend.

PHILLIP: You, too, Laura. Good night.

COATES: Good evening, everyone. I'm Laura Coates, and welcome to CNN TONIGHT. Look, there was a huge legal decision in the Fulton County election subversion case involving the person right there with the name denied on top of his photo. It's what the question is, it's the defendants, of course, who wanted to move their cases from Georgia to federal court, and the judge said, no. No, to Mark Meadows.

Then, of course, he was Trump's right-hand man, and his move to his criminal case to federal court is obviously not going to happen. So, what's going to happen now is, well, he's already appealed. This is not just about him, though. He is the first of five defendants who filed motions to move the election subversion case to federal court, not to mention, of course, Donald Trump, who had been eyeing the very same move. We'll tell you what all this could mean for the case.

Plus, am I the only person asking? I know I'm not. But where is this Danelo Cavalcante? How are we on the ninth day that he has managed to evade police? How? He crab-walked up a wall and out of prison right under the nose of prison officials. Remember this?


ROBERT CLARK, SUPERVISORY DEPUTY, U.S. MARSHALS: Our guys are literally in the woods, going through bushes, checking sheds, checking uncleared houses. We are in line with the SERT and the tactical teams.


COATES: Well, we now know that Tower Guard, who was on duty when Cavalcante escaped, he has now been fired. But let's remember, this is a fugitive who's got absolutely nothing to lose. By the way, there was a warrant out for his arrest in his native Brazil, as well. He's already been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for the brutal murder of his ex-girlfriend. She was stabbed to death over 30 times in front of her two young children.

And we've got breaking news tonight on the deadly earthquake in Morocco that s killed nearly 300 people and the toll seems to be rising. But I want to begin with the biggest development since the indictments. Mark Meadows bid to move his Georgia criminal case to federal court and it was rejected tonight. So, what exactly does this mean for the case? Is the ball now squarely to remain in, of course, Fani Willis' home turf and her court?

Joining me now, former Trump attorney Tim Parlatore. Glad that you're with us tonight. Thanks for joining us, Tim. You know, you and I have had these conversations for a long time now about what might happen in this case and beyond. The judge said no, you didn't meet the, well, probably a lower bar than people thought it would be to get to federal court. And you know that Trump already said that he was thinking about this. And if anyone had a good chance, I think it was Mark Meadows. Does this mean that Trump, you think, might as well just assume that it will be in the Fulton County State Court?

TIM PARLATORE, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: Well, I don't think that he's going to forego making the -- making the attempt. You know, what I was really surprised at is that Mark Meadows decided to go ahead and do this on his own so early before everybody else. You know, when you have these RICO cases, oftentimes the defendants will get together, their attorneys will coordinate, and they'll all make the motions at the same time.

So, instead of just dealing with one person, you can instead hit the federal judge with basically all of the defendants at the same time. And you know, when you do that, you end up with a much stronger showing. But when you have one person that goes kind of on their own and then gets knocked down, it certainly does have a negative effect on everybody else. Even though the judge says it doesn't affect the others, it does.

COATES: Well, you know, there was a moment when even in Fulton County, the judge, Scott McAfee, was talking about this process and the idea of should they wait essentially to have all the rulings when it comes to what's going on in the Fulton County. Everyone had been waiting to figure out, was the federal court going to take this very case? What would it mean for the remaining 18 defendants? If one went up, was it that everyone would go up? And the judge, Scott McAfee, actually grilled prosecutors on the potential repercussions of what all the appellate cycle would look like. Listen to this.


SCOTT MCAFEE, JUDGE, SUPERIOR COURT OF FULTON COUNTY: No matter how he rules, let's say he says that some aspects of the case stay behind with us here in Fulton County, and the 11th Circuit changes their mind and reverses that entirely, and says no, the entire case has to get removed to federal court. [23:05:00]

Where does that leave us in the middle of a jury trial? Is double jeopardy attached? I mean, have you now risked your entire prosecution because this case has now been removed to federal court and we've sworn in a jury and it's been presenting against all these other co- defendants?

UNKNOWN: Judge, I think for those very complex, kind of fine-tuned details, we may need the opportunity to brief those issues.

MCAFEE: It's not easy.


COATES: No, I mean, it's not easy, and they will have to brief it because there's a little bit of novelty of all that's going on here. You don't have, as a state court, have to wait for the federal process to go forward. You could be in trial and hear all this. Had you considered that notion of a kind of double jeopardy attaching, or what would happen if the appellate court sees this differently?

PARLATORE: You know, that is an interesting issue. You know, if you push forward and the appellate court disagrees, you do run that risk. Now, if the case runs forward, you know, really at its normal pace, and here we're talking about, you know, a court where jury selection in other RICO cases is taking months, just jury selection, so, you know, that risk does mitigate a bit if you go through that normal lengthy process.

But if you start a trial in October, as they were asking for, yeah, you do run that risk. And so, I think that the judge, you know, correctly noted, this is the kind of thing where there's going to be a lot of litigation over this. It's better to just sit and wait and see how that all plays out first instead of running forward and having something get reversed.

COATES: Well, then again, though, I mean, obviously there are elections coming up. You can run the risk, of course, of the talking point that this is an interference-based agenda by Fani Willis. It's already been spoken about by Donald Trump and company. So, pushing it out does run that particular risk.

And also, two defendants have said, I will take that risk. I want it to be in October. I want this speedy trial right. It's theirs. By the way, for everyone to realize if this appellate process goes, it'll go to the 11th Circuit of the district court, right? And you know, then the Supreme court will likely be asked to weigh in. Fun fact, everyone, the Supreme Court Justice who oversees those initial appeals requests from the 11th Circuit is a man named Clarence Thomas. The plot might just thicken in all of this.

Tim, also, the grand jury in Fulton County recommended 39 indictments, 21 of those people were not charged. There's been a lot of conversation about who's on that list, including senators, former and current. Lindsey Graham is one of them, of course. What does this say to you then about her discretion?

PARLATORE: Well, you know, the special grand jury, it didn't have, you know, the power to indict. All it does is give recommendations. And then based on that, the district attorney can then go to a criminal grand jury and present the case that they want to bring. So, it is interesting to me looking at the list of people that the grand jury had recommended for indictment.

And of course, that's what everybody's looking at is who was recommended that she declined. But also, what I found interesting is there's one name on the indictment that wasn't mentioned at all by the special grand jury -- Mike Roman. And that was something that was very telling to me because you look and you see the grand jury voted 20 to one to indict Boris Epstein. And then they go over to the criminal grand jury, which decides, instead of indicting him, to indict Mike Roman, the guy who reported to him. So, that's a very telling thing to me.

COATES: You know, it could be, and I want to just bring up, I think we have a little bit of a slider, something to show people about the grand jury votes, because that's a really important point when you're thinking about all these things.


COATES: A prosecutor has to think about not only, obviously, probable cause at this juncture, but also what will ultimately be the case for their reasonable, beyond reasonable doubt, requirement in a court of law. And so, if you don't have unanimity among those grand jurors or virtual unanimity among those grand jurors, well, you have an even more of an uphill battle. That's by design, of course. Tim Parlatore, thank you for joining us this evening.

PARLATORE: All right, thank you.

COATES: I want to bring in former Georgia Prosecutor Chris Timmons, everyone. Chris, I'm so glad that you are here. You know, I have been thinking a lot about this case, as many people have. And I know that you have been a prosecutor in DeKalb County, also Cobb County. You also teach a class, by the way, on jury selection.

And that's exactly where my mind has gone with all of this, because when it was asked to be removed from Meadows, at the very least, to the federal district court, when you go to federal court, you don't just have the Fulton County to draw from a jury pool. You've got about 10 counties to draw from.

And then you have different strategies about how you want to pick your jury, what the Y-deer process is going to be like, all that comes into play, but it's all about the jury. And so, with Meadows, now that the motion has been blocked, this could be a historic trial, up close and personal, captured on live television, but you got to actually go through the jury process first.


What strikes you as a hurdle in picking this jury?

CHRIS TIMMONS, FORMER GEORGIA PROSECUTOR: Well, I think, as you know, Laura, from having been a prosecutor, it's not whether they know about the case. It's whether their mind is so fixed and definite that they can't make a decision on the case. In other words, they have already made up their mind before they have heard any evidence.

And in a case like this, just about everyone in the country has already got an opinion about the way this case should proceed. I mean, we haven't seen any evidence at all. And there's a lot of people who are talking about how great this case is or how terrible this case is. So that's one piece.

The second piece is, we're talking about the hardships that jurors would undergo if they were selected to be on the jury. People who are self-employed, people who bill by the hour, lawyers, salespeople, doctors. There are a lot of different people that would have a very difficult time being on a jury, even if it was just the four months that the D.A.'s office suggested that the case would be. It'll probably be longer than that, though, Laura, as you know, from handling complex cases in your own career.

COATES: I mean, for people who have not, you can look at things like other trials that have played out in front of the cameras, right? People think about O.J., a very different fact pattern, of course, but the number of months that it took that case, the idea of the jury selection, even, by the way, in places like Fulton County, there is a way to compare and contrast because there is another Rico case that's still playing out.

It's often been referenced. It's the one against rap star Young Thug, and that indictment came in May of last year. It's still in jury selection, and this is not a former president. This is not when the microscope is, you know, in the magnifying glass, huge for that reason. I mean, just look at the comparisons there.

You've got an indictment back in May. They initially, a number of defendants, I think 28, it's whittled down to now eight. They had jury selection that began in January. It's September and they've got 2000 plus potential jurors already in that case who'd have to be looked at. Is this going to be any less than that in your estimation?

TIMMONS: I don't know. I mean, certainly it's going to be a -- you would think that this is going to be a harder case to find a jury and that it would be in the YSL or Young Thug case. Even though Young Thug is a star, even though YSL is a big rap group, they're still not nearly as prominent as Donald Trump. So, you know, you've got an extra layer of complexity.

I'm not sure why the Young Thug case is taking so long to get a jury. I don't know what's going on there. You would have thought that they'd be done in two or three months like they were in other complex RICO cases. But yeah, I mean, I think it's something to look at. Probably a better guide would be the Atlanta Public Schools RICO trial that happened back in 2013. That's going to be an excellent guide as to how long jury selection is going to take. Similar dynamic in that you have a superintendent of the school.

COATES: Wait, how long did it take on? How long did that take?

TIMMONS: I think that was three or four months of jury selection. I remember the trial itself was around nine months to a year, somewhere in that range. So, you know, I think the total of this trial will probably go about a year. And it'll be interesting if we have two, Laura, if we start out with, you know, just Chesborough and, you know, Sidney Powell. They go off on their own and then we've got another one to follow.

This courtroom could be tied up for two years, which a lot of people don't think about but I mean, you know, as a former prosecutor, courtrooms are active u courtrooms and so, there are all kinds of cases going on -- murders, divorces.

You've got people who are sitting in jail that won't be able to get a trial because this case is taking up the courtroom for the entire year you have couples that want to get a divorce that have to stay married because this courtroom is tied up for two years and that's probably why the judge really wants to get everybody together, but he may be forced to separate them into two different trials.

COATES: Well, he was already very skeptical, right, about the prospect of being able to do that in that amount of time. In fact, if you remember, in the hearing earlier in the week, he said, we got to push our next moment together, our next motion hearing, until next Thursday, because I've got a murder trial that's starting next week. So, you're talking about the limited calendar, another reason people want to go to federal court. It's a smaller docket, usually more efficient for that reason. Chris Timmons, thank you so much.

TIMMONS: Thank you, Laura. I appreciate the opportunity.

COATES: Well, here with me now in studio is a former January 6th Committee Investigative Council, Marcus Childress. Marcus, I'm glad you're here tonight. First of all, I have to ask, when people hear this and they say it could take two, three months for jury selection alone, people have a law and order philosophy. I don't mean like the political statement. I mean the television show, the series, where you have a crime that's committed, the person is found.

There's an indictment, a trial, and they're walking down the courthouse steps in about 48 minutes with commercial breaks. The fact that there's going to be jury selection for months on end is shocking to people, and there's an election in about 424 days from now. You are on the January 6th investigative committee as counsel for that. Looking at this right now, when you heard about Mark Meadows, who didn't go in front of your committee at all, right? Not being able to go to federal court. Are you surprised?

MARCUS CHILDRESS, FORMER JANUARY 6 COMMITTEE, INVESTIGATIVE COUNSEL: I'm not surprised. I mean, we were all expecting pre-trial motions of this nature. We were expecting his defense to put forth creative arguments such as removal.


And the reason why I say it's creative is because they were arguing overt acts, and the court made it very clear to the heart of the allegations is the conspiracy itself to overturn the election. So, The Meadows team is going to continue to put forth these creative arguments that are going to force the court to make rulings. I would expect some of the other defendants, including former President Trump, to be putting forth the same arguments, even if the court strikes it down. They're going to exhaust, I think, all their options leading up to trial.

COATES: I'm focused also on that Fulton County grand jury report, which is interesting because first of all, the fact that we even know about this report. Normally, grand juries are supposed to be shrouded in secrecy with good reason. You got to file a motion with the court to get any of the testimony in, even if you're talking about a trial.

And in Georgia, you have the identities of some of the people. You've got a former minority went on television last year for the special grand jury. We know a lot more about this report, including three senators who they wanted to indict. And they're not a part of this indictment. One is Lindsey Graham, I would mention. They did not have unanimous voting in terms of deciding whether to do so. Did you encounter the same discussion point about who you wanted to question and their willingness to testify?

CHILDRESS: So, as prosecutors, and even on the committee, we follow the same philosophy of a lot of prosecutors. We follow the facts. And these facts played out in the open, all right? This isn't like even secret facts. The world watched how political, elected officials either got involved in the election or got involved in calling the state of Georgia about these votes. I think what you saw here is the Fulton County D.A. just following the facts and wanting to inquire about what their role was and what their motives were in either reaching out to elected officials in Georgia or even getting involved in the first place.

And so, that's what I see with this grand jury report. We talked about winners and losers earlier. I actually think the grand jury process won today because you saw how the grand jurors were able to apply the law and the facts to individuals in a way that wasn't just in a blanket uniform, everyone should be recommended. And I found it to be a pretty positive affirmation of the grand jury process that we only could see through the transparency.

COATES: Well, we ll see. And of course, now -- now, the work really begins, right? The indictment is one thing. Now, the work begins to actually prove what you've got now that it's out there. And you've got these names there. People who were not indicted. Does that mean that she's more reasonable to people that she did not pursue? Or was reason they did not do so? I got a lot of questions. Thank you for being here.

CHILDRESS: No problem.

COATES: Everyone, coming up. We've got some newly released and it is very disturbing body cam video. It contradicts the initial police story that we were all told around a deadly shooting in Philadelphia. And now the officer who fatally shot Eddie Irizarry during the traffic stop just last month is charged with murder. We have the video next.




COATES: Tonight, there is chilling new body cam footage showing 27- year-old Eddie Irizarry being shot six times, only about five seconds after an officer exited a police car during a traffic stop just last month. The officer Mark Dial seemed surrendering to authorities today.

Dial turned himself in hours before the Philadelphia DA released video showing the crucial moments leading up to and after the shots that were fired. And the video -- it directly contradicts what the police had been saying about the case, at least initially. And I have to warn you, these images, they are disturbing. But the family wants this video to be seen.


UNKNOWN: Show me your hand. Out. Shoot you. Four thirteen four shots five shots 100 West. Move the car, come on, move the car. All right, all right. All right.


COATES: It's horrible. I want to dig deeper now with retired Captain Ron Johnson from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Also, CNN Legal Analyst and Criminal Defense Attorney Joey Jackson. Gentlemen, I can't tell you the number of times that we have had conversations about officer-involved shootings and the number of times that we have sat here and dissected the behavior.

And the question that we always ask is the why, why this happened and the fact that it did. But also now, the initial statements about what happened totally contradicts what we actually have just now seen in this video.

I want to begin with you, Joey, because this body cam footage refute what the Philadelphia Police Department initially said about that. He is actually inside the vehicle. They said that apparently he was not. Not outside as originally told by reporters. That's a huge red flag.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah, Laura, good evening. It is. And Ron, as well. The bottom line is that it goes to the issue of consciousness of guilt. And what do I mean in plain English? To the extent that you believe, if you were an officer, that your actions were justified, that you were in immediate fear of death or serious physical injury, that your actions in shooting six times were proportioned to the threat that was posed, that you acted reasonably, you would simply give that narrative with respect to exactly what happened. To the extent that you change the narrative, that is an indication to

me that it's problematic and you're aware that it's problematic. And so yes, when you look at this, there are many questions to ask, and I'll end on the question that you ask, Laura, is why.


And did it have to be that way? And it'll be up to a jury to make the determination as to whether it should have. And if they conclude that it was an intentional killing without justification, that's murder. If they conclude that the actions were unreasonable of the officer under the circumstances, that's voluntary manslaughter. And on and on. And so, it simply is very troubling and disturbing to see.

COATES: He has been charged with first degree murder, Captain Johnson. And I want to say that his attorney released a statement saying that quote, the facts will unmistakably show that officer Mark Dial was legally justified in discharging his weapon while fearing for his life. You obviously see this statement. We see the body cam footage. What's your take?

RON JOHNSON, RETIRED CAPTAIN, MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL: Well, initially my take was when I heard that the story changed is that immediately after shooting like this, administrators look at the video and so how the stories change. But when I look at that video, the young man is in his car. There's only five seconds. There's just not enough time to react to anything within the amount of five seconds.

And so, reports say that he had some knives and I think he still sit in his car. He never got out of his car. And so, I really didn't see the threat. Of course, I wasn t there. There's been some reports that someone yelled gun, but an officer reacts on what he sees or she sees and observes and not what someone else tells them they see.

COATES: Well, when you look at this, Joey, of course, you mentioned the idea of what needs to be proven obviously and how a jury can examine these aspects of it. The jury is becoming an increasingly more sophisticated one with officer-involved shooting cases.

We are not obviously, completely changed as a society but in recent times we ve seen cases where officers have not only been charged, but they have been convicted as well, based on their behavior, which we hadn't seen for a very long time. When you look at this and think about how jurors might view this and that decision to charge him quickly, are you seeing an evolution of some kind here?

JACKSON: So, I really am, Laura. I think part of that evolution is that there's evidence, right, that is crystal clear. Are we not going to believe our lying eyes will be the argument that prosecutors say? And so, when the jury evaluates what's happening, they're really brought to the scene by virtue of the video that you see. Why was it that it just took you five seconds?

If you were in fear, perhaps you could have tactically took cover and time is on your side to see and assess whether it was appropriate to shoot. What was the immediacy of the danger? Were you absorbing that immediacy? Did you see a gun or not? What specifically was the threat? Was it appropriate to fire once, twice, three, four, five, six times, and is that disproportional?

So, yes, there's a whole new world of accountability, but I think that's based on the world of technology that brings the jury to the actual scene of the events to evaluate the reasonableness or lack thereof of the conduct, Laura.

COATES: And Captain Johnson, one thing we saw was another officer on the scene. So, normally you judge an officer's conduct through the lens of another officer in a similar situation. We do have another officer on the scene and we're waiting to find out more information about what they chose or chose not to do and their own version of the why.

Let me ask you though, what does this do at a time when officers are, there's a morale issue, oftentimes officers I hear after these sort of arrests, they start to feel attacked, they can pull back from their otherwise enforcement duties and beyond, and there's always a call to figure out how to change things from here on out. What's the next step here?

JOHNSON: Well, I think we've made some gains in law enforcement. I don't think they've been major, but I think those that are trying to do their job correctly, I think this challenges them. And so, I think we do ask why, and I think this, the reason we're asking why and we're beginning to challenge the why. And so, I think it does affect morale. It does affect what our society looks at us and how they believe in law enforcement. And so, we have to continue to be transparent and do a better job than what we saw this happen since August here in Philadelphia.

COATES: Ron Johnson, Joey Jackson, thank you.

JACKSON: Thanks Laura.

COATES: Up next, we're following breaking news. The deadly earthquake in Morocco that's killed nearly 300 people. We have the latest developments coming up. L




COATES: Let's turn to this manhunt for the escape killer, Danelo Cavalcante. We've been following on the story from the beginning. Remember that he broke out of a Pennsylvania prison last Thursday. Look at the video here. He was crab-walking up a wall after his conviction last month for the brutal 2021 killing of his ex-girlfriend in front of her two young children. He was sentenced recently to life without parole.

Now, as the search intensifies tonight, we have news about a guard who was on duty during that escape. I want to bring in CNN s Brian Todd in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Brian, the prison tower guard who was on duty during that escape, he was fired today. What more can you tell us?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Laura. He was fired. We expected this. He had been on administrative leave. The acting warden of the Chester County Prison, Howard Holland, called this a failure of the human element.

Now, you can see why when we put up an aerial rendering, an aerial photograph of the prison area, Chester County Prison, not far from where we're standing, you can see on the right, we've kind of tagged it there, you can see on the right, that's where the guard tower is, where the guard was supposed to be watching that area. That guard tower overlooks directly almost, overlooks that walkway where Danelo Cavalcante scaled up, crab-walked up those two walls.


The guard was not watching it. He didn't see it. They didn't say why he didn't see it, but he didn't see it. He also then, of course, did not report it. So Cavalcante, when he scales up those two walls, he makes his way through the razor wire. He jumps up another fence on the top of the roof, makes his way through more razor wire, and then gets out. Because of the fact that this guard did not see it and did not report it, Cavalcante gets an hours-head start.

So, he's able to get a long way away in an hour, especially this guy. He's five-foot tall, weighs 120 pounds. He gets through this razor wire. And what's interesting is there was another inmate who escaped the very same way back in May. And they pledged to institute more security measures, you know, in that area of the prison. The only thing that they did that was different between the May escape and the Cavalcante escape was that they put in the razor wire.

Well, prison experts have said they either didn t put it in right or they didn't put enough of it in. But again, Cavalcante is five feet tall, he weighs 120 pounds, he probably figured he could bake his way through that razor wire and he did. What we don't know, what we haven't been told, is how he actually got off the roof. But he got off and he got an hours-head start, Laura.

COATES: I mean he got off the roof and then I would assume he had to get away sight unseen around the surrounding area of a prison. Most prisons are not like next to a 7-11. You can't just walk up to him. I don't know what happened to not have him be able to have any cover at that point, as well.

But also, there's been at least eight now credible sightings of him since his escape nine days ago. I mean eight sightings, but they haven't actually caught him. It's always, you know, in the rearview mirror essentially. So, what are they doing now to focus to try to get him?

TODD: Well, Laura, they're using just a ton of different tactics and means and equipment and personnel. You ve got -- now operates around four hundred law enforcement personnel on the ground, in the air, on horses, handling dogs, sweeping this area, trying to find this man. They re using, of course, a lot of technology that they don't want to tell us about.

Again, aerial surveillance, canine surveillance, and they're just -- they're sweeping these areas and they have shifted the perimeter. We reported today they've shifted the perimeter since yesterday to the west and to the north and they keep shifting it. But they are still in this area of this massive nature preserve called Longwood Gardens because there have been two surveillance images that have captured Danelo Cavalcante. They've both been in the area of Longwood Gardens.

But the problem with those images is this. Those cameras are trail cameras that were placed there by private citizens months or maybe even years ago. Those cameras do not transmit images in real time. By the time law enforcement authorities got these images, it was about a day after they had been captured. That's another issue. Some of these images that are getting to law enforcement -- are getting to them almost too late.

COATES: Wow. Brian Todd, so important to keep up on this story. Thank you so much. We'll be right back, everyone.

TODD: Thanks.




COATES: Turning now to our breaking news. A powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake striking Morocco tonight, killing nearly 300 people and forcing many residents to spend the night in the streets, in what the U.S. Geological Survey says was the strongest tremor to that part of the African nation in more than a century.

I want to bring CNN's Larry Madowo, who was on the phone for us this evening. Larry, the death toll is already in the hundreds. What do we know about the extent of the damage?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The death toll is already behind the bar, and it likely will increase when dawn hits in Morocco. This earthquake, 6.8 on the rest of the scale, hit after 11 P.M. local time, and we've seen buildings that have been damaged, cars, people getting out on the street, so much so that the Morocco interior minister is told not to panic before panic as we're trying to figure out exactly what happened here.

This earthquake hit the southwest of the country, near Marrakesh, a popular tourist destination. It's got a small population, it's under a million, but a lot of people go there for tourism. And the aftershocks themselves, not just in Marrakesh and around there, but in cities as far as Rabat. So that is why officials fear that the actual death toll could increase if a few hours until dawn, and one day such as naked full account of what happened and how far it spread, those fears could very well come true, that the numbers could increase. Both of the casualties and the number of the wounded we've counted

about 153 right now. The U.S. Geological Survey saying this is the strongest earthquake to reach the nation since 1900. So, even at the scale and the extent of this is something that's unprecedented. Certainly nothing that anybody who's living in Morocco or around this part of the world has seen in their lifetime.

COATES: And also happening overnight so people may have been in their sleep, may have been unprepared obviously to be able to respond. Larry Madowo, thank you so much. We will be covering this on CNN. We have much more coverage on the breaking news of all of this tonight. So, please stay tuned.

I also now want to turn to a story that's gone viral. The TikToker who posted about the perks of being a single, childless woman in her late twenties, and now has faced a barrage of criticism. Twenty-nine-year- old Julia Mazur posted this video on TikTok laying out, well, a day in her life.


JULIA MAZUR, TIKTOKER: It's 10:45 A.M. on a Saturday. I'm 29 and single and I don't have kids yet.


Here's what your Saturday morning looks like when you're single at 29 and you don't have a kid running around the house. I didn't rise from my bed until 10:15. Every time I thought, I should probably get up and do something, I thought, why? Nobody's making me and I'm not missing out on anything.

I went to Beyonce last night and I didn't get home until 1 A.M. And I danced and drank my little heart out and I didn't pay a babysitter to watch my kids as I did that. And I woke up at 10, hungover this morning, which is probably why I was in bed for so long.


COATES: Now, Mazur's Saturday routine was reposted on X, formerly known as Twitter, by conservative pundit Matt Walsh and others who denounced her life and called her names. I mean, it was a viral moment. Here with me now, comedian and great friend Pete Dominick. He's also the host of Stand Up with Pete Dominick , the podcast. Also joining us, former editor-in-chief of Ebony , Kierna Mayo. I'm glad that you're here, as well. She's executive editor of One World and Rock Lit .

I'm glad to see both of you on this Friday evening. Kierna, let me begin with you, please. Because look, it's a short video about making eggs. She's watching TV. She's a single girl in her 20s. Now, it's a culture war over women and what she should be doing at this age. What was your reaction to all of this?


MAYO: It's insanity. First of all, I had to think back. When I was 29, I was unmarried and childless. And like, kudos to any young woman who like wants to own her life, her body, her night after the Beyonce concert. Like, it's just the idea that we even have to have this moment where we have, because the vitriol, the levels that people direct hatred toward, particularly women, young women who are asserting themselves in very, quite frankly, positive ways.

I don't think that she was begrudging anyone who wants to have children or who wants to be married. But the idea that like her, like information that she put out in the world about herself feeling good gets transported to this other platform and this whole new audience of just straight up haters. Let's just call them what they are. And also, dangerous, like lonely men on a task.

COATES: Oh. Okay.

MAYO: And we're all kind of over it. It's a tired, tired story.

COATES: Well, Pete, let me ask, I want to get Pete in this, as well. Kierna, Pete, you know, fun fact, Pete Dominic was the very first person to put me on air on his SiriusXM show, so I know this man very well. And let me just say, you've got great taste, kiddo.

But more than 34 million views on Twitter now, X of course alone, as Kierna was talking about, she's basically facing a whole lot of backlash, even death threats from outraged conservatives. She was not a public figure until this happened, and now she is, I guess the straw man, the boogey man, for all the things wrong with culture?

PETE DOMINICK, COMEDIAN: Well, I mean, it's great to see you guys. I'm excited to be talking about this because I think it's really important because it's so dangerous. And you're allowed to have these odious, reprehensible, backwards, archaic, sexist, misogynistic views. You can have those, but the point is, you're calling him a conservative pundit. He's a bully.

There's a lot of people like this that are professional bullies. I would love his compassion and love and non-judgment was going to make my show and my brand more popular. But it's almost never as successful as what these guys are doing. So, they just troll all-day for targets. This same guy came after me, Laura. You might remember, I probably texted you about it at the time because I was defending a four-year- old little girl dancing then he was saying that it was reprehensible because she was moving in ways that were sexual.

Of course, she's four, she's no gender sexual orientation. For two weeks, Laura, I got called a pedophile by this guy's followers. It destroyed me and my family. They were telling me to kill myself. And it's way worse for women than it was even for me. And that's why you're allowed to have these opinions.

COATES: I mean, that s the big -- the million dollar question, is essentially, what makes people want to lean in, right? The idea of being a provocateur or the idea of deciding hold on, here's a cause. I want to actually pursue and promote. I need someone who can fit that Oh that'll do, right? That'll do at times. Pete Dominick, Kierna Mayo, I can't wait to have you both on again. I think this espresso at 11 at night was wonderful. Thank you so much. We ll be right back.

DOMINICK: -- my reading.

COATES: Oh. We ll be right back, everyone. Love you both.




COATES: Well, as millions of students head back to school and are off to college, many of them are struggling with the challenges that come with having a parent in prison. In the U.S., nearly 1.5 million kids have an incarcerated parent. This week's CNN hero knows firsthand what they're going through, and she has dedicated to making college more accessible for students like her by providing scholarships and a network of support. Meet Yasmine Arrington.


YASMINE ARRINGTON, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SCHOLACHIPS: What we're ultimately doing is ensuring that young people who have incarcerated parents are overcoming systemic barriers and also changing the trajectory of not only their lives, but their families' lives and breaking the stereotypes and the stigma around having an incarcerated parent.


Getting ready for graduation?


ARRINGTON: I'm now, congratulating --

UNKNOWN: I'm so excited.

ARRINGTON: What keeps me going, it's that proud mama effect. To see our scholars just achieve and accomplish and over time gain a sense of healthy confidence. Just a little bit of support can go a very, very long way. It really is a snowball effect.


COATES: To find out how Yasmine has supported more than 80 scholars working toward their college degrees, go to Everyone, thank you so much for watching. CNN's live coverage continues with Michael Holmes right after this.