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CNN Live Event/Special

Father of Sean Taylor Speaks Out; Death on the Streets

Aired November 29, 2007 - 20:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: This is a jampacked show. It's an important show.
Tonight, we're getting some new information on the death of football superstar -- with a capital S -- Sean Taylor.

We're going to be originating our show from here in Moore Park. And it's important to say, look, this is not just about Sean Taylor. It's about many of the young men that you see behind me living right here in this area, in this inner city of South Florida.

This is my hometown, by the way. It's also the place where much of the nation's attention is being focused right now, on the death of this NFL superstar football player.

That's a couple of key points I want to share you right now, as we get started. First of all, tonight, police are saying that more than one person may have been breaking into Taylor's home that night. Also, the NFL is going have special ceremonies throughout the weekend, this Sunday, here and around the country.

So, I have an exclusive interview with Sean's father. His name is Pedro. He's a police chief. He's got something important that he wants to say to all of us.

And I have also spoken with Sean's fiancee, Jackie Garcia, who was there the night that he died. She's not been heard from, by the way, since all of this began. I had a conversation with her last night.

Before we get to all of this, though, here's CNN Miami bureau correspondent, John Zarrella. He's been faithfully following the story now for the last three days. Here is the report he filed just moments ago.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Metro-Dade County Police Director Robert Parker says everything points to a random crime.

ROBERT PARKER, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY POLICE DIRECTOR: We have no reason to think that this was anything other than a burglary or a robbery involving an intruder.

ZARRELLA: Parker is asking the public for help. If anyone knows anything, call in, perhaps a sign they have few leads. What they do know, or at least suspect, is this. The phone lines were not cut, as widely reported. There's a possibility they are looking for more than one person. But there's no description, so there's no sketch or mug shot.

Police say his girlfriend, the only eyewitness, saw nothing. They do not believe Taylor had any enemies.

But Antrel Rolle, Taylor's longtime friend, disagrees. Rolle, now with Arizona Cardinals, told the Associated Press -- quote -- "There were many people targeting Sean. This was absolutely not a burglary."

The 911 emergency tapes have not been released, but here's the sequence of events early Monday morning. Some time before 1:45 a.m., there's a break-in. Taylor goes to the bedroom door. The door is either kicked in or shots are fired through it. It's unclear.

Taylor is hit once. His girlfriend, Jackie Garcia, calls 911. That's at 1:47 a.m. -- 1:56, paramedics arrive at the scene. At 2:15, he's transported to a nearby church. There's not enough room by the house to land the helicopter; 2:25, the chopper leaves Our Lady of the Holy Rosary; 2:34 a.m., 47 minutes after the 911 call, Taylor is at the Ryder Trauma Center. Sean Taylor is dead less than 24 hours later.


SANCHEZ: It's interesting, John, that you take us through that. Because you have covered a lot these and so have I. I have seen guys get stabbed in the chest and walk away. I have seen guys shot in the back several times. He was shot in the leg, and he died. How did he die?


ZARRELLA: Once. Two shots, one femoral artery.

SANCHEZ: How do you explain that?

ZARRELLA: Femoral artery. Everybody who arrived at that scene said the bleeding was absolutely incredible, just bleeding out everywhere very fast.

So, it took, what, 47 minutes for them to get there to get him to the hospital. But they say, look, even if it had been five, 10 minutes sooner, it may not have made any difference.

SANCHEZ: I understand they couldn't put a helicopter anywhere near his house. So, it ended -- the L.Z., the landing zone, was two miles away.

ZARRELLA: Two miles away at a church, because, if you're down that street, Old Cuter, and you know it well, there are power lines just lining the street. There are big trees like these lining the other side. Nowhere to -- it was just... (CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: That is so unfortunate.


ZARRELLA: ... unfortunate domino effect. They just could not get him out of there fast enough.

SANCHEZ: Yes, almost an hour before he finally there. Thanks a lot. Good report. Stay on it. We appreciate it.


SANCHEZ: Now an exclusive.

Sean Taylor's father is a police chief in Florida City. Now, what that means is that he understands crime, and he understands murder, and he also understands the toll that this is taking on black young men all over this country and in particular in this community.

What he never could have imagined though is his own superstar son would be the next victim. Pedro Taylor is a spiritual man. He's hurting. It's pretty obvious when you look into his eyes. But he was nice enough to grant us this interview.


SANCHEZ: Tell me about Sean.

PEDRO TAYLOR, FATHER OF SEAN TAYLOR: Sean? Sean is a young man that took a passion to football at a very young age. And not only that, he took a passion to a scholar -- to be a scholar athlete.

It's been a dream of his to accomplish so much. And he had a goal to reach. And that was to get to the top of the pyramid, which he did.

SANCHEZ: I want you to clear something up for us, because I heard coach Gibbs and I heard others allude to the fact that your son was changing. And some people I think have misinterpreted that to mean that he was troubled in some way prior to the change or in trouble.

What really do they mean by that, or what did they try to say?

TAYLOR: Well, I don't think that coach Gibbs meant it that way. Coach Gibbs is not here to say what he said or defend himself or so anything.

But I think what Coach Gibbs meant was that he had seen a change from a young man climbing the ladder, meaning we all make mistakes in life, but we prosper from those mistakes and we improve.

SANCHEZ: A lot of people are putting a lot of focus on Sean's death because they're looking at young African-American men, not just your son, but other young African-American men in this country, in Florida City, who end up dying young and violently. Are you as troubled by that as most of us are?

TAYLOR: The kids today are looking for people to look up to. They idolized Sean.

But, at the same token, they think that it's the bling-bling and the money. It's not the money. At the end of the day, we're just people, ordinary people, trying to make a living. And we forget that they are ordinary people. They are ordinary people who have tried to do their best and work their butts off and their tails off to make it in life.

SANCHEZ: There's no doubt in your mind that your son was, at the time of his death, living an honorable and, as a Christian man that I know you are, a godly life?

TAYLOR: Sean was doing what he does best. Sean was, again, misunderstood, because every -- when you're not doing the norm, partying and hanging out and drinking and doing those things, you're not normal. That's what they say.

But he was not drinking. He was home. He was with his wife -- his girlfriend, rather. He was with his kid. He was staying home. He was taking care. He was coming to be a family man.

The baby made him realize what I have been saying all along. Family is everything. And that is what he was trying to do. He realized and understood day by day. When he went home and saw that baby, he realized, I missed that. I missed something. I missed something. You only have so many years.

Look at this right now. I mean, 24 years. I'm not going to see Sean again...


TAYLOR: ... until I get there. So, nothing is promised. And he understood that. Take -- cherish the time he had with his kid.


SANCHEZ: Tough man. It's amazing how he can keep it in perspective the way he does.

By the way, the one person that we have all been hoping to see or hear from is Jackie Garcia. Jackie Garcia was Sean's fiancee. She's also the niece, incidentally, of Andy Garcia, the actor.

I met with her last night. It was interesting. She is not ready yet to go on camera. She said it's just too difficult right now. It's still too painful. She said, Rick, maybe at point, we will be able to do that.

And we hope that she will. And she needs to be given her time. As you know, she was with him and their baby daughter when this shooting happened. She told me only that the experience in and of itself was just horrible. She wouldn't go into details.

But she also said this. And this is important, because she's bothered by what has been reported in many ways. She says, he was a homebody. All he wanted to do was be with me and our child. She says, he spent a lot of time in our backyard or fishing. She said that fishing was his passion. He was a simple man, a private man. And when people say that he was troubled, it's just not true. People who are criticizing him just don't know what they're talking about.

This is Jackie last night in a conversation that she and I had late at night.

By the way, there's somebody who is saying something a little different. The Arizona Cardinals' Antrel Rolle, who played college football, by the way, with Taylor at the University of Miami, is saying that Taylor was afraid of being targeted when he went back to Miami.

And he said that he had a large group of friends that he no longer hung out with, that there seemed to be some intimidation about that, according to him. It's an important story to tell you about. It's also an important to talk about.

So, I have got two people who are going to be talking to us, Omar Kelly, Miami Dolphins beat writer, "South Florida Sun-Sentinel," Jemele Hill, columnist, ESPN.

Thanks to both of you for being here.

Let's try and get a sense of this, because people are going crazy trying to understand which Sean we're talking about, the troubled kid or the kid who was becoming a great father and a great husband.

Let's start with you, Omar.

OMAR KELLY, "SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL": See, and that is what is interesting, because there was no difference in terms of how he changed.

Sean was a good kid. Now, he found himself in trouble in a bad circumstance when he was involved with trying to recover his ATVs.


SANCHEZ: Right. But that was one incident, one incident.


KELLY: One incident.

But, also, what painted him in this light is the image that he portrayed on the NFL field, in terms of he -- the NFL likes to put people in these boxes, a bad guy, a good guy. Sean was a bad guy in the NFL because he played with an intimidating nature.

SANCHEZ: Yes, but that is not fair. To criticize -- I believe -- and pardon me for being so outspoken.

It's one thing to say he had a criminal past, he was a thug, he had problems in the streets. It's quite another to say he hit hard in the NFL and he once spit on somebody and he was late to a practice. You can't castigate a guy from a community standpoint for what he did in his job.

JEMELE HILL, COLUMNIST, ESPN.COM: Well, that's why I was sort of bothered by some of the tenor of the initial reporting, because it seemed to suggest that this was the type of character individual who had something like this coming. And I think that just lacks a sense of compassion and professionalism by the media.

SANCHEZ: But he did have the one incident. Shots were fired at his SUV. He apparently brandished a pistol, according to police, although it looks like most of those charges were wiped out, right?

KELLY: And here is what is interesting. When the initial story of him getting shot -- and he was in the hospital -- the AP ran maybe four or five inches of the incident, but then the rest of the 20 inches of the story was about how he didn't show up to the NFL rookie symposium, how he changed agents three times.


SANCHEZ: Yes, but that's where they pile on, and that's not fair.

KELLY: Exactly.

SANCHEZ: And the three of us are journalists. And we know that you can take something this big and blow it up to be something else. And it looks like that may have happened in this case.

HILL: Yes. Well, it's like people -- I thought we would have learned something from Duke lacrosse that we can't make this fit some neat little script because we want it to. In that case it was white privileged athletes. Of course they did something wrong. They go to Duke.

In this case, let's make this boys in the hood, even though he wasn't from the hood. He went to one of the more exclusive prep schools in Miami. His father is a police chief. So, no, this doesn't fit that script.


SANCHEZ: Let's talk about the University of Miami, if we can, real quick, because this obviously is adding to the problems they have had in the past, some of them fairly criticized, some of them not so fairly criticized.

What is the situation with the University of Miami right now? I know they hate the term, but a lot of people use it. They say Thug U. Is that fair?

KELLY: It's not fair, because they have bad boy reputation from the '80s. And people just won't let it go.

It goes along to that bad boy image. People want to hold on. Either you're a villain or you're a good guy. Now, the University of Miami has done a number of things to change around their image. Nobody knows that they led the ACC in all academic...

SANCHEZ: They did. They did. And there's been a lot of changes.

By the way, before we let you go, do you expect, when this is all said and done, it will be just be some burglar who tried to break into his home?

HILL: I don't know. And I'm not comfortable speculating.

Right now, everything the police tells us is that it appears to be random. And people have to understand, he could be a random target. Just because he was an athlete and rich, that makes him a target.


SANCHEZ: Exactly. No, point well taken.

Omar Kelly, Jemele Hill, my thanks to both of you for being with us.

HILL: Thank you.

KELLY: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: It's not just Sean Taylor and it's not just Miami, by the way. Next, the murder crisis all across America. We're going to tell you how it's affecting inner cities from Philadelphia to New York.

This little boy's grandfather that you're about to see right here says he's seen so much killing, he's immune to death, even the death of another grandson. We will have it for you. Stay with us.



SANCHEZ (voice-over): It is a frightening truth. If you're a black man in America, you have a higher chance of dying young and dying violently.

Half of the murder victims in America last year were black, even though blacks make up only 13 percent of the population. Also troubling, the number of blacks killing blacks. Nine out of 10 black murder victims have a black killer, according to the FBI.

And if you're black and under 25, you're looking at odds that say you're 15 times more likely to be murdered than a white guy your age.

And America's cities can be at times be America's killing field. Philadelphia is in the grips of a full-fledged murder catastrophe, with the highest rate in the country, 406 murders last year, counting all races, at least 368 so far this year.

Desperate to stop the violence, thousands of black volunteers are starting to patrol the streets. There have been even more murders in other urban areas, 596 killed in New York last year, 480 in L.A., 468 in Chicago, 418 in Detroit.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back to Miami. I'm Rick Sanchez, OUT IN THE OPEN hitting the streets today.

We're expecting more developments on the Sean Taylor case.

Meanwhile, the Miami area, you should know, is huge, very spread out geographically. It's taking in cities and neighborhoods across the southeastern tip of South Florida. More than 250 murders happened in the Miami-Dade area last year. That's a 40 percent jump in the murder rate. And, in many cases, it was in the inner city and young black males.

I'm in Miami's Liberty City area now. This is Moore Park as you look at it right there. The University of Miami's football team, at one time, many years ago, by the way, used to play here. And it's home to a lot of nighttime basketball as you can see behind me going on right now. Some 200 to 300 people show up here at night to play either football or basketball throughout the night. It's a very good program for kids, but is it enough?

We're also in Miami, by the way, because this is where Washington Redskins star player Sean Taylor was shot and killed.

It all brings up something that we need to bring out in the open. In America, a young black man, no matter where he lives, has an increased risk of dying young and dying violently. The numbers are astounding, more people in this country dying, young black men, than the people that we have lost in Iraq, by a lot, by a couple thousand.

I want you to understand now that this is part of a story that we have followed for quite some time. But many people say there's another war that is going on in this country more important than the wars that maybe we have fought in the past and one that maybe we don't pay so much attention to. It's the war in the streets.

We're going to joined now by somebody who has a little bit to talk about when it comes to this. Her name is Queen Brown. She's a Miami activist. She's a radio host. And she's good enough to join us.

Come on over here and sit down. I want to have a conversation with you about this, because you're affected by this in a very personal way. QUEEN BROWN, ANTI-VIOLENCE ACTIVIST: Yes, I was.

SANCHEZ: You lost -- tell us your story.

BROWN: My son, Eviton Brown, he was 24 years old. He was murdered October 26 in 2006.

It was a random crime. He was in a car with my nephew. My nephew picked him up. And within getting in that car, about 10 minutes, the car was shot up, and my son was murdered.

SANCHEZ: How does it happen that you can live in a place where you don't feel like your kids can walk out safely? It's got to be just terribly disturbing for you.

BROWN: It is. It's very disturbing. And I'm very concerned about it. And that is the reason I do what I do as an activist in this community.


SANCHEZ: What are you doing? Tell us what the plan is. How do we stop this?


How do we stop it? A lot of this crime that we're seeing has a lot to do with economics. It has a lot to do with deprivation. It has a lot to do with poverty. It has a lot to do with raising a generation with no hope. It has a lot to do with education. It has a lot to do with isolation. It has a lot to do...

SANCHEZ: Let me ask you a question. This is important.

BROWN: Sure.

SANCHEZ: And I think this is something a lot of people -- are we, as a society, putting enough import, putting enough money, putting enough resources into helping these children who are living in these areas, aside from policing?


I think we can do more as a community. I think we can do more as far as preparing our children for the future and giving our children a future.

SANCHEZ: Well, now you're bringing up something that is interesting. And I think our viewers will relate to this, because there's two parts to this.

There's the internal part that we, as minorities, or as members of any community, have to do for ourselves. And then there's what the -- quote -- "establishment" or our society has to do for us.

Which do you think is more important? As an African-American woman, are you, as part of the African-American community, doing enough? Or do you expect the people and the society and the mayor and all those people on the other side to do more for you?

BROWN: I think it's a combination of both.

But I feel personal responsibility is number one. I feel that we have to do more, we as parents, we as neighbors in a community. I think, as a community, we have to start within ourselves. We start within ourselves. Then we can go out into the streets and do more.

SANCHEZ: I'm wondering, when I think about this, whether there's a possibility that you can talk to these city officials to get them to do some of the things that seem so necessary.

BROWN: I'm trying very hard.

I have a radio talk program that I do every week. And I started it as a result of my son being murdered, because the numbers -- we don't hear the numbers. We don't really know how many children are dying.

In this community alone, since January 2007, we have lost 36 children under the age of 18 right here in Miami. I'm not talking about Broward, just Miami, 36 children under the age of 18 years old. We're the protectors of our children. What's happening?

SANCHEZ: It's amazing and it's scary and it needs to change.

BROWN: Yes, it does.

SANCHEZ: And you're absolutely right.

BROWN: Yes, it does.

SANCHEZ: And we thank you for being here and sharing your story with us. It's an important one.

BROWN: And thank you for coming.

SANCHEZ: Let's bring you something else now, because sometimes when you tell these stories, you think, well, maybe we have to get an activist or maybe we have to get somebody who is a mayor or a police chief.

But the best stories that you find about cities like this and the problems that are going on with the inner cities and many of the black young men in this country are found by just the people that you meet, like the gentleman I met yesterday at Athalie Range Park here in South Florida.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): I ran into Stanford Patton at a park. He's by far the youngest 70-year-old I have ever met, young enough to kick my butt in basketball, old enough to know how to enjoy it, and proud enough to show me the old black and whites of his playing days with the likes of Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson.

He's almost boyish on the basketball court. But watch his transformation when I ask about what's happening to black boys on the streets of Miami.

STANFORD PATTON, GRANDSON WAS MURDERED: Look around you. Just look around. Look around America. Everything is stacked against them when they're born black boys.

SANCHEZ (on camera): Born black.



(voice-over): He seems angry. And this may be why. This is his grandson, who wears an image on his chest of Stanford's other grandson, the murdered at the age of 17 not far from here just a month ago, because of a street rivalry.

(on camera): Your grandson just showed me a shirt of his brother who was murdered.


SANCHEZ: What does that tell you?

PATTON: I'm immune to it, man, I will tell you, 70 years.

SANCHEZ: Immune to death, to murder?

PATTON: Look...

SANCHEZ: That was your grandson who died? That was your grandson who was murdered?

PATTON: Right. He's not the only one that has been murdered. You understand? You just can't get tied up with one. It happens so much. I can see it coming more.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): It's hard to understand immunity to murder. Stanford says he just has to keep on going while he keeps on playing a young man's game.


SANCHEZ: Interestingly enough, he says he has no hope. But we had a conversation afterward. And he says: I have never voted in 70 years, but I'm going vote this time, because I'm going vote for Barack Obama, because he seems to me to be a proud, black man -- his words.

Is America's police strategy racist, if in nothing else, just in tone? This is a hot topic. And it's coming up in just a little bit. Also, they have been called Thug U. Well, it's a horrible and undeserved moniker they're trying to live down -- a look at the University of Miami's football star tragedies.


SANCHEZ: Those numbers you were just looking at there is why this is such an important story. But somehow stories don't cut through when they're just about numbers. Real stories are about people. People trying to make a difference. Welcome back, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez. We're here in Miami, my hometown.

Police are saying they do what they can to try and stop what's going on in these communities but then we see the case of Sean Taylor.

And what we're being told now, it appears, this is the very latest we're getting from police officers here in South Florida, that it was a botched burglary attempt. That is what they're saying is the case. As more details come out, we're going to be sharing them with you.

This is not just about Sean, though. This is about black men living in America at this time, young black men who are 15 times, think about this, 15 times more likely to be murdered than white men of the same age. How do you tackle something like this? Well, here's something we did. We visited a park, in fact it's a park where I used to play when I was a young man growing up in South Florida. A park called Atlee Range.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): These tough streets have known violence for decades. Riots through the 80s and 90s. Crime, shootings and drugs are a part of daily life.

(on camera): You're looking at the projects right there in what is one of the most dangerous parts of South Florida, this Liberty City. Known for riots and for high crime.

And we come to Atlee Range Park because I want to show you something. I grew up in a park like this. But look at this one, empty ball fields, there is nobody out there. Nobody playing in any of those parks and it's frustrating because you can't help but think this could be a starting point, an oasis, as it were, a place where you could make a dent in the crime wave, a place where you can perhaps get to the kids before the kids get to the crime.

There's places where you go and there's a park and they will have a lock on it. You can't get in.


SANCHEZ: Your taxes are paying for it but you can't get in. It makes me mad. Because the most important thing we can do as a society is prepare our kids.

(voice-over): Vince Hall is a recreation aide. He is paid peanuts.

HALL: I think I do a pretty good job here and I make a couple dollars but I know this is what I need to do and this is what I have to do.

SANCHEZ: For every rec aide like Vincent there are so many more police officers and still crime remains high.

(on camera): Eight to ten police officers before he encounters one guy who is really here to help him.

HALL: Yes.

SANCHEZ: Because the other guys, they're good guys, but they're not necessarily to work with the kids. They're there to arrest the bad guys.

HALL: Right. Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: What message does that send to the kids if five of the police officers are white?

HALL: It don't send a good message. It really don't. It's like you're walking, you turn your back. And you turn this corner you see a cop here, that corner and see another cop.

SANCHEZ: You grow up thinking? The establishment is not really for me, maybe not really on my side?

HALL: Well, in a way.


SANCHEZ: Promising athlete dies a violent and mysterious death. We're going to be all over for you but this murder happened more than a year ago. Coming up, why can't police solve it?

Also, they could be the superstars of tomorrow. Who is helping them grow up right when they are off the field? Stay with us.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back, I'm Rick Sanchez, OUT IN THE OPEN out of South Florida today. Something else caught my eye as I was preparing this special. One university and so many tragedy. What is the deal, a lot of people ask, right? Is it fear? Is it not fear?

Here are the facts. Take a look at our wall that we're going to put up for you and you're going to see some of the incidents in this. All of these guys were football players at the University of Miami at one time. Most of them have gone on to the NFL. All of them died young and died violently.

Defensive lineman Jerome Brown died in 1982, car wreck, he lost control of his Corvette. A linebacker Marlin Barnes and his girlfriend were beaten to death in their apartment in 1996. Linebacker Chris Campbell died in a 2002 car wreck. Defensive tackle Bryan Pata, he was murdered in his apartment in 2006, still unsolved, by the way, and now of course Sean Taylor is shot while he's in his own home.

We considered Sean Taylor's case extremely close already. But what about the unsolved murders this far. We asked Dan Lothian to do some checking on this because it really is an amazing story. I know it's hard for the folks at the University of Miami to deal with this.


SANCHEZ: But it's what people around the country are seeing.

LOTHIAN: It is. But I was talking to a sports writer at the "Miami Herald" and he told me it really is just a tragic coincidence that we've had these murders and these accidents. But we decided to take a look at one particular case, of a young man who by all accounts is well liked on campus. His mother says he's a very good kid who called her just about every day. But he too became a victim.


LOTHIAN (voice-over): Twenty-two year old University of Miami defense lineman Bryan Pata had big NFL dreams. But he was gunned down more than a year ago and his murder is a mystery.

JEANETTE PATA, BRYAN PATA'S MOTHER: Somebody took his life for (inaudible). It's unfair. I want to know why they do that. Why?

LOTHIAN: Jeanette Pata, a Haitian immigrant, mother of nine children, struggles every day as she asks herself that question over and over.

J. PATA: I'm always thinking about him 24 hours. I can't even sleep.

LOTHIAN: Pata was shot last November in the parking lot of the Miami apartment complex where he lived with a girlfriend. He had just returned from football practice and was getting out of his SUV. The crime shocked his family. Was somebody out to get him as Bryan's brother said he feared or was the killing connected to a fight at a nightclub. Still no answers despite an ongoing investigation and a $21,000 award.

J. PATA: I miss him. I miss him so much.

LOTHIAN: Bryan's older brother who points out number 95 once played alongside Sean Taylor feels guilt every day because he lived in Tallahassee not Miami.

EDWIN PIERRE PATA, BRYAN PATA'S BROTHER: I felt as if I should have been there as an older brother to be protective of him.

LOTHIAN: Bryan's MySpace page remains active, friends writing how his memory lives on, how they think of him every day. And "Miami Herald" sports reporter Manny Navarro says some of his teammates still feel an emotional connection.

MANNY NAVARRO, "MIAMI HERALD": The players still say that Bryan is very much a part of their lives. They think about him every day.

LOTHIAN: Even as the family waits for that phone call from police that they have a suspect.

E. PATA: We're waiting for that good news. So we can actually put a face to who did this to our brother.


SANCHEZ: So, Dan, why is it taking so long to crack this case?

LOTHIAN (on camera): That's a really good question. We tried to talk to Miami-Dade police on camera. They did not want the talk about it.

But what they tell us is that they're aggressively going after this case. They are following up on some leads although they would not talk specifically about what leads they have and they've also been reaching out to the public. They hope the public will give them some information that will help them crack this case.

SANCHEZ: It's got be really frustrating for the family, though, right.

LOTHIAN: It is frustrating. And I asked them if they were upset, they were angry, more than a year now and this case has not been solved.

And they said well, yes, and no. There's that frustration. They are impatient sometimes. But they also understand that this is a very serious investigation and they want police to get it right and so if they have to take a lot of time to arrest the right person, then that's OK with them.

SANCHEZ: Amazing story. Thanks so much, appreciate it.


SANCHEZ: Well, a lot more news coming your way here. As a matter of fact, they dream or athletic glory. They have the skills to make the big time. Next, who is helping them become men when they are off the field? That story. Stay with us.


SANCHEZ: That's Moore Park you're looking at. And these are some of the people affected by what some are considering a crisis in our nation.

Before we do anything else, though, let's go now to my friend and colleague who once used to roam these very streets of Miami working at a place called WIOD, the Wonderful Isle of Dreams. Folks, here's Larry King. What have you got, Larry? LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Those were the days.

And WTVJ in Downtown Miami.

SANCHEZ: That's right.

KING: Those were - There's no town like Miami. No town.

SANCHEZ: You've got that right.

KING: Our special guest tonight, Rick, is Wayne Newton. The legendary Las Vegas entertainer. He was a contestant earlier this year on "Dancing with the Stars" but more important, this is his first interview since canceling his eight week run at Harrah's in Las Vegas. He has a viral infection of the heart. We'll find out how serious that is.

Wayne Newton will join us. The legendary icon in American show business. We'll take phone calls, too. Rick? Wayne is ahead.

SANCHEZ: All right. Thanks a lot, Larry. Some of the friends here say, Hi, Larry. We'll let you know.

Also, they may be the college and pro stars of tomorrow. Next, who is helping them grow up. That story when we come back.


SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back. I'm Rick Sanchez, OUT IN THE OPEN here in South Florida. We're in Moore Park.

When some of the candidates last night of the YouTube debate were asked what they would do to try and clean up the problems in the inner city. At least one candidate said more policing.

To many people more policing sounds like a reasonable response, but to many people in the inner city, they're bothered by that. They think what that means more people in the inner city simply need to be locked up. The real problem, they say, can only solved if you get to some of these people before they get to the crime. Things like what you are seeing right now behind me.

Football players, coaches, kids, being looked at by some of the folks who are members out here, recreation divisions, by adults who decide they are going to work with the kids to become role models.

Most people in this inner city will tell you there's not enough of that. While there are many police officers to go around.

So tonight we're going introduce you to somebody who has grown up in these conditions, had some good role models and seems to be making a name for himself already at a very early age. Here's John Zarrella.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's dark when Brandon Harris and his dad, Tim, drive home. The streets they go through in Miami's Liberty City are some of the toughest. Murders happen here way too often.


ZARRELLA: It is this environment that Brandon, high school senior, wants to leave behind. A college football scholarship will give him that chance.

B. HARRIS: We see athletics as our ticket out. As well as academics. We take academics as important as well, but athletics and football is the ultimate goal to earn a scholarship to a major university.

ZARRELLA: Brandon, one of the top rated cornerbacks in the nation, has that locked up, he is coveted and knows it.

B. HARRIS: I try to think of it as a positive momentum for me and just think of they want something from me and I want something from them. They want my athletic ability. So I want to use them for their college degree.

ZARRELLA: Brandon has 50 scholarship offers. Yes, he is that good. Maybe as good, many say, as Sean Taylor. Football has helped insulate Harris and his Booker T. Washington teammates from the violence that permeates their neighborhoods. Brandon's dad is the head coach. Tim Harris constantly pounds the message, don't fall into the wrong crowd. Stay focused. Education and football are the ticket.

TIM HARRIS, HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACH: Practice late to keep them involved. Parents really appreciate it because they go home, eat and they are ready to go to sleep.

ZARRELLA: Sometimes the violence finds them. A drive-by shooting last month wounded the junior varsity quarterback. And in June ...

B. HARRIS: We were kicking and dancing and that's when shots rang out in the building.

ZARRELLA: Brandon and his girlfriend and teammates were at a friend's graduation party, two people were killed, four others, including Brandon's girlfriend wounded. A 15 year-old with a nine millimeter is charged.

Everyday Brandon and his friends live with the brutal, unfair reality that their world is not safe.

B. HARRIS: I talk to my teammates all the time. Each time we go home at night. We talk to each other about staying off the streets. Staying off the street corners, go in the house, just relax for the night, man. Let's make it back tomorrow and play football again.

ZARRELLA: For them the game is both a sanctuary from the violence and a ticket out. John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.


SANCHEZ: As we continue tonight from South Florida, who are the people who probably have the toughest, maybe the most dangerous jobs in a town like this? We're going to bring it to you. We'll let you know. Stay with us. We'll be right back from Miami.


SANCHZ: If you're out in a park like this, usually things are usually OK. If you're out in the daytime usually things are OK as well. But go out at night as a taxi driver in a town like this and you'll see a lot of bad stuff. Deb Feyerick tonight with one of the most dangerous jobs in Miami.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Clyde Bain has been driving a taxi for nearly 30 years. Working the night shift in some of Miami's most dangerous neighborhoods. Places like Overtown, Liberty City and the projects people here call Pork and Beans.

CLYDE BAIN, CAB DRIVER: It is right after Thanksgiving so they're broke so everything is quiet.

FEYERICK: Small groups of men cluster on street corners or dart in and out of apartment buildings hiding out in the dark. Bain says selling drugs.

BAIN: This is a big drug area over in there.

FEYERICK: Oh yeah. Why don't they think we're like cops or something?

BAIN: They think you want to buy drugs.

FEYERICK: Society Cab is the only taxi company that still serves this black community on a regular basis. Others refuse to even cross into these neighborhoods. With good reason.

BAIN: I've been robbed at gun point three times in the 27 years I've been working. I've had a few other attempted robberies.

FEYERICK: Bain was never beaten, or shot and killed for that matter like four other drivers he knows. He was never locked in the trunk of his car, like driver Floyd King who was ambushed at gunpoint by an 18-year-old passenger and her male accomplice waiting at the corner.

THOMAS: FLOYD KING, CAB DRIVER: When I came out I kept my hands like this. I came back here to the trunk. I got into the trunk.

FEYERICK: And what did they do?

KING: They said get in. FEYERICK: So they actually made you climb into this trunk?

KING: I got into the trunk and I was fortunate enough I had my cell phone inside my shirt. They didn't find that. And I called the dispatch officer and told them where I was at.

FEYERICK: Clyde Bain heard the dispatch and raced to help King. The drivers here like a brotherhood watching each other's backs. Witnesses of the street.

BAIN: See this area. This is not an area where ...

FEYERICK: Maybe we should put the camera down. What do you think?

Bain did consider carrying a gun then thought better of it.

BAIN: The problem with carrying a gun is everybody is a customer until they pull out their gun, then it's too late for you to get your gun.

FEYERICK: The drug dealers usually hide their weapons under baggy clothes. The buyers, well, he's had a few of those, too.

BAIN: I've had the police stop me and in a sting operation and pull people out of the car who went into a place and bought drugs. And they've taken them to jail right out of the cab.

FEYERICK: The strangest thing that ever happened?

BAIN: A guy called plane in from New York, came in and murdered two people in a house not far from our office, walked down from the office and called for a cab.

FEYERICK: Bain says as long as you keep moving you're OK. That's why the traffic lights here blink, so drivers don't have to come to a complete stop.

When you're driving along these streets, you have no idea what to expect.

BAIN: Well, a lot of times you ride through an area and you pass a group of kids standing on a corner and all of the sudden they'll throw a rock at your car and run. This, to them, this is fun. Breaking your windshield.

FEYERICK: So why not give it up? Because in these really dangerous neighborhoods, there are also a lot of good, hardworking people like Clyde Bain who are just trying to make a living and get home safely.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, Miami.


SANCHEZ: Sean Taylor's death is a mystery and it's a tragedy and in many ways we're here because of his fame but in many ways it's his tragedy that might shed the spotlight on a very serious problem, not only in Miami, but all over the country.

We'll stay on it. Good night. Here's Larry King.