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Jane Velez-Mitchell

Mother Missing after TV Court Battle

Aired November 21, 2011 - 19:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight a mother of three vanishes after battling it out with her ex-boyfriend on an episode of "The People`s Court." Cops say the couple has a history of violence. Did a dispute turn deadly? I`ll talk to the missing woman`s distraught mother, live.

Plus, escalating outrage as cops douse peaceful protesters with excruciating pepper spray, and it`s all caught on video. Now blowback as two cops and a police chief are put on leave. What happened to our right to freedom of speech? We`re taking your calls. And I`ll talk to one of the students who was in the middle of it all and got hit with the spray.

Plus, inside the Demi Moore-Ashton Kutcher divorce. Did he pull out all the stops to keep his cougar off the prowl? And could there be a "Two and a Half Men" curse?

ISSUES starts now.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michelle Parker didn`t show up at her house to meet her son when he got out of school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This isn`t a wallet. This isn`t just a purse. This is my baby girl. We need to find her, and we need help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators still believe Michelle is alive.

BRAD PARKER, MICHELLE`S HUSBAND: Let`s hope we find her and bring her home.

YVONNE STEWART, MICHELLE`S MOTHER: My dad is telling me to stay focused and stay strong for my family and my mother. This is her daughter. These are her grandkids. They need their mother.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A beautiful young mom vanishes after appearing on television in a court battle against her ex. Cops trace her iPhone to one part of the city. Her car is found on the other end of town. What`s going on here?

Good evening, everyone. Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live from New York City.

But in Orlando at this very minute, a massive search is under way for 33-year-old mother of three, Michelle Lee Parker, last seen Thursday. Her mother, frantically, desperately trying to hold it together while cops and volunteers scour the area.


STEWART: This isn`t a wallet. This isn`t just a purse. This is my baby girl. We need to find her, and we need help. We need help from everybody in the community. She`s beautiful. Somebody`s sick. Let her go. Bring her home.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we do want to help find her. Tonight, Michelle disappeared just hours after she went on national TV on "The People`s Court." She was on the show being sued by Dale Smith, her ex-fiance and the father of two of her children, twins.

On the show, Dale claimed Michelle threw away his diamond engagement ring. But as the story unfolded, it became clear the two of them were in a toxic relationship. Watch this, this episode of "The People`s Court" from YouTube.


MICHELLE LEE PARKER, MISSING WOMAN: He gets pretty malicious and vindictive. And he`s a mean person, especially when he`s been drinking. Any of the problems that we`ve ever had, it`s always been alcohol-related.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And (UNINTELLIGIBLE) while this was going on?

M. PARKER: I`m sorry? He was drinking (UNINTELLIGIBLE).


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police took items from Dale Smith`s home. And they also searched the woods near Dale Smith`s home, but they have not named Smith a suspect in this case.

We reached out to him; we have not heard back. But he or his lawyer or a relative, they`re all invited on the show any time.

"The People`s Court" has also not commented on this case.

So what do you think happened to Michelle? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney, we do not want to point the finger at anyone. This ex is not being considered a suspect by law enforcement. However, they fight on television, and then she drops the kids off with him. That`s the last time she is seen. And now, she`s gone. What should this guy do to clear his name?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: At this point, they haven`t even named him a personal of interest, which tells me that there`s nothing leading the police to believe he`s involved.

So what he needs to do, Jane, is cooperate fully, give any statements. If they want to come in and search his home, let them search his home, his vehicle, whatever they need to do to eliminate him quickly so that they can move on and find the real suspect.

Because right now, typically we say in the beginning, they`ll say, well, they`re a person of interest. The police have said he`s not even that. So he needs to cooperate fully so that we can bring this beautiful girl home safely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Levi Page, crime blogger, Internet radio host, you`re right. He has not been named a suspect or a person of interest. But, since cops do begin where the person who`s last seen before they disappeared and since they had a feud, going on television, and they have a history of domestic violence, should he take a polygraph to clear his name?

LEVI PAGE, CRIME BLOGGER: I think that that would be an excellent idea for him to get out of the way of the investigation so the police don`t focus on him. Clear himself.

What we do know about him is that he had a very tumultuous relationship with her. They appeared on "The People`s Court," and the judge, Judge Marilyn Milian, said that they were like drugs to each other, that they were addicted to each other.

It was all over a fight they had over a $5,000 engagement ring that Michelle had lost, that he was blaming her for that. He took her to court. She was the defendant. And we also know the police did go to his home. They took items out of his home. They searched his home, and they`re not saying he`s a suspect; they`re not saying he`s a person of interest. And Michelle`s own family has stated that he`s been very cooperative and the police have told them that there`s no indication that he was involved in any sort of foul play.


PAGE: At this point the family speculated that they think that this is a random act that someone has her.


PAGE: Go ahead.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You made a reference to "The People`s Court." And we`re going to play a clip of that you referenced. Judge Marilyn Milian on this clip from YouTube saying Michelle and Dale were in a toxic relationship.


JUDGE MARILYN MILIAN, "PEOPLE`S COURT": This is not for the sake of the kids. This is because you are like drugs to each other. You`re addicted to each other. But this is a very, very bad idea, because it is not good for children to grow up in this kind of home.

M. PARKER: Absolutely not.

MILIAN: It is very, very bad for them.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But here`s the bottom line. Judge Milian ruled in favor of Dale Smith, the ex-fiance, saying that she, the woman who is now missing, has to pay him half the cost of the engagement ring, i.e. $2500. So he won. Is that another mark in his favor, Steve Moore, former FBI?

STEVE MOORE, FORMER FBI: Yes, I`d say it`s a mark in his favor. But you can`t just say right now that he`s not a person of interest. You have to clear him completely or you`re not even doing your due diligence.

I think once he`s completely cleared, they can go on and, you know, she was a bartender, which means that you have so many possible suspects. But you have to eliminate the ones that are the -- the closest to her immediately.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, here`s another disturbing moment from that episode of "The People`s Court," Michelle describing a confrontation she had with her ex in a club, as seen as YouTube.


M. PARKER: I simply walked way. Went down the stairs. Got ten, 15 feet away from the front door, and I felt somebody grab me and yank me around. As he grabbed and turned around, he was holding onto me, screaming at me, pointing back into the stage, saying, "Get back up to the stage, you" -- you know? And I`m like sitting here, looking at him, going, "Really? You`re really doing this in front of all these people?"


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. She seems a little embarrassed that all this is happening in front of a crowd. But I`ve got to say that they`ve got a history here. She filed a domestic violence injunction in 2009. In it, she claims that her ex broke the window of her vehicle, threw car seats that were inside, and threatened her, as well.

So Holly Hughes, I`m just wondering how the cops are able to discount that so quickly. Maybe he has an alibi?

HUGHES: Well, it could very well be. And of course, they`re playing it close to the vest, Jane. They`re not going to disclose everything they know, because in the event that there is a suspect later down the line, who gives some type of confession, they want to know that it`s untainted material.

But let me just put this out there. If, in fact, this man was involved, on the very day the episode aired, he`s got to be the stupidest criminal walking around. I mean, you know what I`m thinking is because if the exposure she had as a bartender, she came across a lot of people. There may have been somebody who was interested in her, and she was not reciprocating. And at this point in time, they figure, well, now is the perfect time to do it, because the episode aired and it`ll get blamed on the ex-boyfriend.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. You mentioned the stupid factor. Unfortunately, passion is not very intelligent. I mean, this is a very stunning coincidence, if it is a coincidence, that they`re battling it out on national television, which of course, can leave both sides feeling -- they even have something called after care on some of these TV shows because people are so traumatized that they need to talk to a psychologist.

HUGHES: They need it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because they`re essentially airing their laundry, their very personal laundry on national television. And that can create emotions that don`t necessarily listen to reason.

HUGHES: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s also possible that maybe she got upset because she was on national TV and lost. And maybe she`s taken off and is just at a hotel somewhere or with a friend, saying, "I`ll show them." Who knows? I pray that that`s the case.

Here`s what happened last Thursday, when this beautiful woman disappeared. OK, first, "The People`s Court" airs at 2 p.m. in the afternoon in Orlando. Two hours later, she drops the kids off with the very ex she`d been fighting with on the TV show.

Then at 4:26, a text from her cell phone claims that she`s in the Waterford Lakes area. Police, according to family members, have later said that her cell-phone records show she was never in Waterford Lakes that day.

And then at 8 p.m. at night her phone powers down near Bell Isle, which is 17 miles away from Waterford Lakes.

The next day, Friday, this last Friday her Hummer is found on the side of the road.

So to me, Holly Hughes, if they can determine that the message that was sent from her phone is a lie, to me that is very ominous indeed. Why, Holly?

HUGHES: Well, obviously, if someone else is sending messages out on her phone, pretending to be her, they `e trying to buy themselves some time to dispose of a body, to hold her captive and physically abuse her. If they are pretending that she is still safe, it is because they need time to carry out some type of nefarious act either on her or to her body, unfortunately, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And the family is saying getting her cell phone, which is now missing, is absolutely key. Where is Michelle Parker, and who`s taking care of the kids tonight?

We`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

We are all over this story. A mother of three vanishes after battling it out on "The People`s Court" with her ex-boyfriend. We want to help find her. We need your help. Call.


STEWART: This isn`t a wallet. This isn`t a just a purse. This is my baby girl. We need to find her, and we need help. We need help from everybody in this community.




STEWART: She doesn`t deserve this. Let her go. I am begging you to let her go. We want her home. OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An Orlando mom disappeared the same day as a "People`s Court" episode about her and her ex-boyfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still, no sign of 33-year-old Michelle Parker.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This poor family, they`re going through hell tonight. Right now, as we speak in Orlando, everyone is searching for 33-year-old Michelle Parker, mother of three. She battled it out with her ex-fiance, the father of her twins, on "The People`s Court" last Thursday and vanished. Here`s more of their really ugly relationship on YouTube.


M. PARKER: We rented a U-Haul. Packed most of my belongings, most of the kids belongs in the U-Haul and dropped me off with an 11-year-old dryer (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

MILIAN: Where to?

M. PARKER: To my mother`s.

DALE SMITH, EX-BOYFRIEND OF PARKER: The reason I got the U-Haul is because I came home on two different occasions because she took the kids and left and took my property as well. So I wasn`t going to have her move out and (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

MILIAN: Wow, it just doesn`t end with you two.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And just two hours after that aired in Orlando, she drops the kids off at his house, and she is never seen again. Her cell- phone pings far, far away in various parts of the Orlando area.

Let`s go straight out to the phone lines. Ceci, Texas, your question or thought, Ceci? Hi, Ceci.

CALLER: Hi. Personally, I think it was the ex-fiance.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, he`s not called a suspect. He`s not even called a person of interest. So we have to give him, certainly, the presumption of innocence.

And by the way, he or his family members, or his lawyers or his reps or anybody invited on the show.

You know, it`s very possible, Ceci, he has an alibi. I mean, the cops are not calling him a suspect.

It`s interesting, because family members believe the key to finding Michelle may be finding her iPhone. Listen to them describe the importance of the iPhone.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s mainly black with a little bit of pink and white girly writing.

STEWART: We need the iPhone. Don`t touch it; just call us. If you want to go out and look anywhere in this five-mile radius.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, we are joined by the sister of the missing woman, Lauren Erickson.

Lauren, thank you so much for joining us tonight. We know that you are desperate to find your beloved Michelle. We want to help.

I want to go over the time line. And we have a graphic of that time line. And try to get your explanation of her movements on the Thursday that she disappeared. What do you know, especially about this text that your brother got, that apparently cops are saying, well, it was a false -- it was a decoy, because she wasn`t in the area where she texted she was at.

LAUREN ERICKSON, SISTER OF MELISSA PARKER (via phone): That text message, it came in at 4:26. It is the last -- or it went out at 4:26. It is the last one to have left from her cell phone to my brother. And it was a one-worded message saying Waterford. And if it just -- it`s very suspicious, because this is not -- it`s not the kind of thing that she would say.

She uses icons, you know. She has an iPhone. She uses smiley faces and explanation points. And that`s just -- that`s just her. She`s a bubbly person. So just a one-worded answer to her brother -- I mean to my brother like that is just odd. She would normally have been, "Oh, Waterford, shopping," you know. "You going to come to work and see me tonight?" You know, something kind of like that. So it was -- it was odd.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now I understand that she is a bartender. Does she have any enemies? I mean, she`s a very attractive woman. Sometimes men become obsessed. Did she ever talk to you about any problems in that regard?

ERICKSON: No. I mean, you know -- I mean, I myself, am a bartender, you know. And we -- and she has been bartending for a long, long time. And she`s never -- she`s never had anybody that`s ever been, like, a stalker of sorts or anything like that at any job bartending that she`s ever had. So I mean, no, nothing that I know of. But I mean -- I mean, she is beautiful. Thank you for that, though.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, of course, she`s very beautiful. Now, there was a history. I`m just stating the facts. I`m not stating them to embarrass anybody. I know there`s children here. But the facts are that there was a domestic violence history between your sister and the ex with whom she was battling on "The People`s Court" and accusations of a very bitter custody battle.

What -- have you been in contact with her ex, who apparently, I guess, has the kids tonight? Has he told you what she said when she dropped the kids off, since that was the last person who actually saw her physically?

ERICKSON: I have personally -- I have not -- I haven`t seen them or talked to them, but I know that he has talked to my mother. You know, talking along the lines of what`s going on with the children and how are they. And I believe that they were sitting on the couch watching cartoons. You know, I mean, he is taking care of his kids right now. Their mother is missing so he`s doing what he`s got to do. So...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I understand that the family really doesn`t think he`s involved whatsoever. They think this could be a random carjacking?

ERICKSON: You know, we -- we aren`t -- we, as of right now, are looking at anybody and everybody in any possible aspect. We are not -- we don`t have tunnel vision. We`re not trying to focus on one point. Because to do that within this investigation that Orlando police is conducting, you know, that would only hurt our case, to look in one place. So we`re not -- we`re not ruling anything out at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What would you like people to do?

ERICKSON: Everything that everybody has already been doing. God bless you. Thank you. Oh, my God, it`s amazing. I mean, the amounts of food that people are donating. The amounts of flyers that people are donating. Their time they`re donating. Taking off work to come be here for her and our family is absolutely amazing. But that...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Laurel, can you hang on? We`re going to talk to you more on either side of the break, in a second.



B. PARKER: My wife is out there. Everybody`s searching, and let`s hope find her and bring her home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s tough for you.

B. PARKER: It`s tough. The longer we wait -- we`re running out of time.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The family of 33-year-old mother of three, Michelle Parker, in agony tonight. They`re desperate to find their Michelle, who appeared on "The People`s Court." On the very day that she disappeared, the show aired, showing her fighting with her ex-fiance.

Let`s watch a clip from "The People`s Court" episode from YouTube.


M. PARKER: By now, everybody`s crying. He`s crying. I`m crying. He`s sorry. I`m sorry. He`s sitting on the floor. I`m sitting on the floor. That was really what it was. We brushed it under the rug, and I stayed with him for a few more months after that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lauren Erickson, you are the sister of the missing woman. We want to help find her. I know that you`re very sensitive about talking about this issue, so I want to tread carefully. But a lot of people say that it`s very, very odd that they would appear on television fighting, and then she goes straight to drop the kids off, and then she disappears.

Did she talk to you at all about any qualms about going there after the show aired? Did she mention any kind of reaction to the show? Or was she worried, given their history?

ERICKSON: You know, I kind of want to put something to rest. And a lot of people are kind of focusing on the whole, the fact that the show aired that day, and that`s the day -- same day she went missing.

What people need to understand, that show was aired in June. This just happened on Thursday. Since June, they have spoken. They have talked and what not. And you know, what you saw on that show was the fight that they had a long time ago. And it was over. It was done with.

And to focus on one thing right now, it`s going to help. We`ve got to focus on all and any possible things. But I mean, is it a coincidence? Yes. I mean, it definitely could be. Is it odd? By all means, yes. But to say that it actually had something to do with it, I`m not focusing on that right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. And you said it aired -- it actually was shot in June and aired on Thursday.

ERICKSON: Yes. She was in New York in June.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, exactly. Exactly.

Well, what do you make of where the car was found? Her Hummer was found on one side of town. The cell phone pings are on another side of town. Are you hearing anything from cops about that? Have they taken this vehicle in for fingerprint testing?

ERICKSON: The police -- the Orlando Police Department is doing everything that they need to do. They are being -- they are working overtime. I mean, you know, we`re not sleeping, and they`re not sleeping. And they`re doing everything that they need to do.

So I mean, with their job, I would assume that, yes, you know, they`re taking that vehicle, and they`re doing what they need to do with it to figure out, you know, possibly what happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, well, Lauren, is there anything you would like to say that might be helpful?

ERICKSON: I would -- as far as helpful, I just want everybody to remember that everyday that we, you know, as hard as this is today to say, every day we don`t find my sister dead, there is still hope. There is still hope.

So you know, there is still hope she is out there and I -- I believe in my heart that my sister is still out there and I`m going to get to hug her and see her again and watch her raise her three children that need her, that need her in this world.

And if anybody out there knows anything or if the person who did this is watching, let her go. Just let her go.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Let her go.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At UC Davis, the chancellor is under fire and two police officers are on leave after police pepper-spray the group of city protesters; the police officer pepper-spraying a group of sitting protesters at point blank range.

CROWD: We are not violent. The world is watching. We are not violent. The world is watching.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Resignation Chancellor Katehi.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because she ordered the police to come and mace us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Peaceful student protesters got attacked yesterday, that`s not ok.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don`t shoot students. Don`t shoot students. Don`t shoot students.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Escalating outrage tonight as video of police officers in what appears to me to be an astonishing abuse of power, used pepper spray, lots of it, on a bunch of peaceful protesters. I`m not talking about a little spritz. I`m talking about dousing them.

We`re going to show you the video. Do you know how painful that is? That is a lot of pepper spray. Look at that. You can see it. It`s orange.

That happened on Friday at the UC Davis campus in California, which is near Sacramento. About 50 cops wearing full riot gear approached a bunch of students who were sitting there on the floor, not doing much of anything. The students were part of the Occupy Wall Street protest. They had been ordered to take down their tents and leave. They refused. Two police officers then sprayed the protesters who were unarmed and seated peacefully as you saw. And they sprayed them with lots of pepper spray. That`s so painful.

The two officers and the chief the police have now been put on leave and people are calling now for the chancellor to step down. I think it`s, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, UC Davis chancellor, got to go."

Call me. 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. I want to hear what you think about this.

I want to begin with Sophia Kamran; she was one of the students who was hit with pepper spray. There she is. Right there as they are pouring water in her eyes and she clearly seems in distress.

Sophia, what did it feel like? Did it feel torturous? Describe it for those who have never been hit with that kind of pepper spray?

SOPHIA KAMRAN, PEPPER-SPRAYED UC DAVIS STUDENT (via telephone): It feels like your face is burning off. It goes into your eyes, into your nostrils and into you mucus membranes so you start to choke. Your instinct is to rub your eyes and then you realize it is soaking into your hands and your hands start burning. It felt like acid was poured on me and like everything that was touched by it, which considering the amount they poured was most of my upper body, was on fire.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, tell us what led up to this. I understand that there were tents that were supposed to be removed and there was a little debate about whether to remove them. And then the cops show up in riot gear and the students decide to sit down. There`s the scene.

What happened after that?

KAMRAN: So we decided to protect our tents and to participate in civil disobedience, peacefully. The riot police broke through our chain and broke down the tent, which is supposed to be the aim of their mission, why they were there. They continued to make arrests arbitrarily because we were all participating with the same action.

And that`s when students like myself sat down on the walk way. Asking for our fellow students to be set free before the police left the quad. If they came for tents, why did they have to leave with ten arrests?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what was your -- as this spray and this is a lot of spray, -- I accidentally got hit with a little pepper spray once and it was a tiny little spritz and it was so painful. I literally collapsed on the ground and was rolling around. That`s a lot of pepper spray.

What was your -- I mean, were you in disbelief? Were you in shock when that started happening?

KAMRAN: I couldn`t understand how someone could, pretend like they feel threatened with their visors` up and then sprayed people sitting peacefully on the ground like that; especially when we are young kids, in our 20s, we`re non-threatening.

To do that is just unbelievable and it`s so painful that a few of my friends blacked out. One vomited blood for the next couple of hours. Another had an asthma attack and had to go to the hospital. Somebody else was treated for burns. And after it happened you could see us all writhing on the ground in pain as the police kick used or arrested us off of the sidewalk.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this. I`m so happy we have videotape. Because in an era before videotapes something like this might not have even be believed. It is unbelievable to me. You have to remember -- by the way, the chief of police for UC Davis Annette Spicuzza on administrative leave tonight along with the two cops who were caught on video using the pepper spray on the student.

And I also believe that the responsibility has to go all the way to the top to the UC Davis chancellor. Again, I have already made a chant, Eric Lee, you are one of the students there, "Hey, hey ho, UC Davis chancellor got to go." That`s my opinion.

And I`ll tell you a couple of reasons why. One, you guys were peaceful; you`re not doing anything, you`re not attacking anybody. Two, the UC Davis campus is a taxpayer-funded institution. You were not sitting on private property. It is not like you`re inside some mega store. You are on a pavement that was funded by taxpayers. In other words, probably your parents and certainly I, being bicoastal, and also a California taxpayer and have been for 18 years. I used to live there full-time. This is not how I would like my tax dollars spent. I would like my tax dollar spent on books, on computer equipment so people can learn and get jobs.

Eric Lee how upset are you about what happened?

ERIC LEE, UC DAVIS STUDENT: I`m not just upset, I`m, you know, terrified by the events that happened on Friday. First of all, I want to say my friend, Sophia and all the other brave students who got pepper- sprayed in the face, on video on Friday, these are some of the most intelligent, hardworking, caring, thoughtful human beings I`ve ever met. And to see the police treat them like this is shameful.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. No, I have to say, that Holly Hughes, you`re a criminal defense attorney but you`re a former prosecutor. And we always try to get both sides of the story. Frankly, we were calling around today and we couldn`t get anybody to come on camera to say, we think this is a great idea.

You, Holly Hughes, normally are a huge defender of law enforcement, as am I. I love cops. I want to be safe at night. I have the utmost respect for police officers. They do an outstanding job, 99 percent of the time. This, however, I am almost speechless. Holly Hughes.

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. Jane, normally I do side with law enforcement. But really, guys? These are kids sitting down on the ground. There is no threat to you. No one is even speaking threats to you. There is no mention that any of these students had weapons. And you know, it doesn`t surprise me you can`t find any prosecutor to sign off on this.

I would be surprised if you could actually find many policemen who would come on this program on national TV and say, it`s ok to essentially mace -- I know it`s not mace, but pepper spray is just as bad -- a bunch of sitting kids for doing nothing. They are out in the public. There is no threat. There is no weapon. The police were there to remove the tents. Remove the tents.

What are these young people doing to you that causes you to use this kind of excessive force against them? I`m horrified, Jane. And I`m like you, big fan of cops. I prosecuted for ten years, the worst of the worst. Police officers were my best witnesses. I put away killers and serial rapists and normally, I`m all about the men in blue. But tonight, this is shameful, Jane, I got to tell you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The Occupy protesters have certainly been targets before. And there is one person speak who`s speaking out in favor of getting rid of protesters, possibly any which way. I don`t know.

You listen to what Newt Gingrich has to say, he is a presidential candidate. And we`ll discuss it.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: All of the Occupy Movement starts with the premise that we all owe them everything. They take over a public park they didn`t pay for. To go nearby to use bathrooms they didn`t pay for. To beg for food from places they don`t want to pay for. To obstruct those who are going to work to pay their taxes to sustain the bathrooms and to sustain the park so they can self-righteously explain that they are the paragons of virtue to which we owe everything.

Now, that is a pretty good symptom of how much the left collapsed as a moral system in this country and why you need to reassert something as simple to saying to them, go get a job right after you take a bath.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So I defend Newt Gingrich`s right to say what he wants because we have freedom of speech in our country. But, I also think that freedom of speech applies to those demonstrators who are out there. You might like who they are or not. You might like what they are saying or not. But for all of our sakes, we have to protect their right to say it.

This is a first amendment issue. And I think there`s nothing more patriotic than to fight for the right of Americans to speak their minds or to engage in this. Remember the Boston Tea Party, ok, that led to the American Revolution? That was direct action by colonists who were upset about taxation.

This is part of our proud history and I just find it very upsetting that somehow this is happening in America, Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist.

We have seen in Tiananmen Square a very brave person stand up to the tanks and we say that`s terrible. In China, if you speak your mind, you are liable to get arrested. We see what is happening with the Arab Spring and we see people risking their lives and dying. And we celebrate and call them heroes speaking up.

Why are we then silencing and pepper-spraying people who are engaged in a freedom of speech and freedom of gathering here in United States? As a psychiatrist, what do you make of it Dr. Dale?

DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I tell you, Jane, it reminds me of an event that took place back in 1969 and that would Kent State. And that was the galvanizing moment for the Vietnam War protest. And it ended up coalescing the entire protest movement, and all of a sudden, everyone said we don`t trust the powers that be because they shot and killed kids. Now thank goodness this was not nearly as bad as that. But I predict this will be a galvanizing moment for the Occupy Wall Street group. And they`re going to --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, kids weren`t killed here, thank God. Kids weren`t killed.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is an unbelievable piece of video out of UC Davis outside Sacramento. Two campus cops pepper-sprayed seated, peaceful students. They`re in a peaceful protest, they`re just sitting there. I have had a little bit, a tinny little bit, like here is hair spray, like that much sprayed on me and I was doubled over from pepper spray. You can imagine the pain that these students experienced.

Sandra Endo, CNN reporter, what happens next? Are we going to see lawsuits? Could we see criminal charges filed against these cops?

SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, here is what happened today, Jane, the chancellor, Linda Katehi, was called to resign over the weekend. Of course, the tension and the outrage is mounting. Well, she accepted and showed up to a student rally on campus today and offered an apology to the student saying she doesn`t want to be the chancellor of the school she saw Friday. So clearly, she is trying to get a hold of the situation; obviously, of course, putting the police chief of the school on administrative leave as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Eric Lee, do you want to see the chancellor of UC Davis go? Do you think that would send a message that this is not, not acceptable?

LEE: Absolutely, Jane. I think the bigger issue, not just getting rid of Chancellor Katehi and Chief Spicuzza. But really what this goes down to -- it does go all the way to the top. It goes right to Barack Obama and the two big business parties that are backing the financial class and their violent assault on peaceful protesters across the country.

I think an important point to make is when governments in Syria and Libya, countries like this, crack down on their peaceful protesters we call for intervention. The hypocrisy of the ruling class in this country has been made so clear over the last month. What we really need is a political alternative to the two big business parties. That`s why I`m a member of the International Students for Social Equality.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. All right. You know what; I hear you. You are getting into politics. And we`re trying to look at this from a perspective that is not necessarily left or right because to me, this is a human issue. I have to say, that in my book, "Addict Nation", I wrote about some of the issues that are being discussed as part of -- not just the Occupy L.A. Movement but on the other side of the coin, the Tea Partiers.

The fact is that over the last 30 years, most taxpayers have seen their income stay flat or even go down. The top 0.01 percent have seen their income rise by a thousand percent and a lot of people say that`s because huge, huge, huge, huge corporate interests control the government through lobbying and through positions that they get on all the agencies.

So I think that there`s great things to talk about but whether you agree with that or not is irrelevant. The fact is, that these are Americans expressing themselves. Freedom of speech is one of the most fundamental tenets of our society. And it is something that we need to protect. It is the most patriotic thing we can do, is to protect our First Amendment rights.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Tina, Pennsylvania; your question or thought, Tina.

TINA, PENNSYLVANIA (via telephone): Oh, hi, Jane. I love your show but I was kind of outraged with those officers. I know they`re there to serve and protect but there was no violence or anything going on. I think they should be reprimanded and I think our president and our government needs to take a look at, you know, how our protesting laws are ran and stuff like that. Because those kids were -- they are going to be, you know -- that`s like abuse on their behalf. I mean who can we trust now if we can`t trust our own?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Honestly, Holly Hughes, I think this goes way beyond the politics of left and right. I am tired of that old conversation. I don`t participate in it because I don`t think it really gets to the heart. It is a game; it`s a game that a lot of people are tired of playing.

And I do think, however, we need to look at this as a question of our rights as Americans, having the right to express ourselves, on a university campus that is funded by taxpayers. They`re not setting up tents in a private company.

HUGHES: Well and Jane, think about this. What is it? It is the First Amendment. How important did our founding fathers think it was that freedom of speech is in the very First Amendment they wrote to the Constitution? This goes all the way back.

You said it best. This isn`t -- this isn`t political. This is a human dignity and decency issue and this is excessive force against our own citizens.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you, fantastic panel.

Up next, Demi Moore-Ashton.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Behind the breakup. Demi and Ashton are no more.

DEMI MOORE, ACTRESS: It was written that it was purely for a publicity stunt.

PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: it was a pretty long-winded episode of "Punk`d".

ASHTON KUTCHER, ACTOR: Anyone who is sort of engaging themselves in tabloid press as fact, you`ll always have the last laugh.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I personally have said they were just so darned good looking together. Head-spinning developments tonight after a Hollywood power couple calls it quits. Demi Moore divorcing Ashton Kutcher after rampant rumors of his alleged infidelity with a very sexy 23-year-old co- ed; not the first time he is accused of cheating on Demi but she is making sure it`s the last. Demi released a statement saying, "As a woman, a mother, and a wife there are certain values and vows that I hold sacred. And it is in this spirit that I have chosen to move forward with my life."

Read between the lines. Straight out to Dylan Howard, senior executive editor RadarOnline and "Star" magazine. There are conflicting reports Dylan that Ashton pulled out all the stops to save the marriage and that he wanted it over. What do you know?

DYLAND HOWARD, SENIOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR, RADARONLINE: Well, make no mistake about it, Jane. The reason that their six-year marriage ended was quite simply he couldn`t keep his pecker in his pants. The situation that confronted Demi Moore was that Ashton Kutcher`s infidelity has been going on for some time. You may laugh about my analogy there if you like, Jane.


HOWARD: But the infidelity first surfaced some 12 months ago when he had an affair with a young girl by the name of Brittany Jones. And then just seven weeks ago he was alleged to have had an affair with 23-year-old woman Sara Leal, a woman who went on to sell her story about her night of passion with the "Two-and-a-Half Men" star in San Diego.

So Demi Moore felt scorned after that. Her friends were telling her, as I understand it, that he has humiliated you, he`s embarrassed you and the longer that you stay in the relationship the more damage it is doing to your reputation. In the end she finally made what many are saying is a courageous decision.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And Ashton of course recently took over Charlie Sheen`s role on "Two-and-a-half Men", which is a whole other interesting aspect of this story. Check this out from CBS.


KUTCHER: My wife dumped me and I want to die. I don`t know if I can ever love anyone the way that I loved her.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes., by the way, has a fascinating look at the Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, the couple in happier times.

Dylan is Ashton acting out a la Charlie? Is there some kind of "Two- and-a-Half Men curse that makes these leading men go crazy in that department if you know what I mean?

HOWARD: You know, I don`t think so and I say that because, you know, his infidelity predated his time on "Two-and-a-Half Men". You know one thing that we have established is that this couple had a very dysfunctional relationship and their marriage has been on life support for some time. In fact, they had what`s called an open marriage. That`s not my thought. That is the thought of Brittany Jones the woman who was linked to him 12 months ago. He supposedly told her that he and Demi shared an open marriage.

My sources also tell me that she struggled with that concept of him being able to have relationships outside of wedlock and not involving her, of course, in that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I have to say that`s what somebody says. I have no independent confirmation of that, obviously. I don`t know what`s going on with them. And I`d love to have either or both of them on any time to give their side of that story.

But we`re going to have more on the other side, namely the money issue.



MORGAN: When you got married there were still a lot of cynics out there who said it`ll never last.

MOORE: Not only that, it was written that it was a -- purely for a publicity stunt.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She is 15 years older than he is -- a sad day for cougars everywhere. They`re getting divorced. Their net worth together, Dylan, about $290 million -- what happens to the money?

HOWARD: Well don`t expect this to be a prolonged battle. She hasn`t filed for divorce yet. There`s $290 million of collective worth at stake. She has the lion`s share of that. I don`t think she`s going to go to Ashton for any money. Expect this to be sorted out behind the scenes but she leaves this marriage a very scorned woman.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I say, Demi, go out there and get an even younger man. Go get somebody who`s 20 or 25 years younger --

HOWARD: Is that possible?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- and have a good time. We`re on your side, girl.

"NANCY GRACE" is up next.