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CNN TONIGHT: At Least Four Dead In Tulsa Hospital Campus Shooting, Shooter Also Dead; Jury Finds Both Heard And Depp Liable For Defamation; "Star Wars" Actress Targeted By Racist Online Attacks. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired June 01, 2022 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TEXT: BREAKING NEWS.
LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR, CNN TONIGHT: I'm Laura Coates. And this is CNN TONIGHT.
And frankly, our breaking news, this hour, is awful. We're still trying to find answers, to what happened, in Buffalo, and get answers, to questions, in Uvalde.
And now, we've got another mass shooting, in America, tonight. This time, in a medical building, on the campus of the Saint Francis Hospital, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We learned that at least four victims are dead. The shooter is also dead.
Here is video, from the early moments, of the police response, officers pulling out their long guns. And a woman watching the chaos said that when she saw emergency vehicles, racing to the scene, and the rifles being pulled out, she couldn't help but get emotional.
Frankly, it's hard not to imagine, or hard to even not be emotional, from yet another mass shooting, in this country. I'm going to talk to a City Council member, who says the shooter may have been looking for a specific doctor, at that campus.
And as we get you up to date, on what happened, in Tulsa, this evening, we're not going to forget, for one moment, what's going on in Uvalde, Texas. How can we? And we're going to look at all the important questions that we're asking there, tonight, later in this hour.
But we cannot turn away from the reality that this is happening, all across this country. Gun violence, as an epidemic, only seems to be growing. And tonight, it is throwing yet another American city, into mourning.
And, right now, I want to bring in Captain Richard Meulenberg, of the Tulsa Police Department.
Captain, thank you for joining me, this evening.
I have to tell you, it's really stunning that here we are again. And perhaps for many people, not stunning, of the state of affairs, we live in, today, because no one believes it will happen in their town. And here it is, in Tulsa.
What is the latest? What do you know, about what's happened here, tonight?
ON THE PHONE: VOICE OF CAPTAIN RICHARD MEULENBERG, TULSA POLICE DEPARTMENT: So, I appreciate the time you're taking with me, tonight.
I can tell you, things are slowing down, here, for us now. It's been just controlled chaos, for a few hours, for us. I can tell you, we have five deceased. One of those deceased is going to be our shooter.
We're still unpacking a lot of this information. It's absolutely tragic. But we responded to the scene, and we found the shooter, relatively quickly. I don't have a good count, on the wounded, right now. But we don't have anybody else that have a life-threatening injury.
I can tell you, this was an incredibly complex scene. And it took place in a medical facility, basically, a clinic, if you will, that's five storeys, multiple floors. It's the kind of place you would go, to just visit, with your doctor, for a follow-up appointment. So, it was just madness inside, with hundreds of rooms, and hundreds of people, trying to get out the building.
COATES: Captain, are you saying that there may have been other people, aside from the ones, we know, who have died that have been shot this evening? Are there other wounded from this gunman?
MEULENBERG: So, we have some other wounded, less than 10. We're just trying to figure - so, right now, no one else have any life- threatening injuries. Some were wounded, in just the chaos of trying to escape. And we are looking at some who are wounded by potential gunfire.
But we're still figuring it out, as people scattered, and were carted off, very quickly, to this hospital, and other hospitals, with injuries. So, we're digging into that. And we're going to have a more definitive number, here, later, this evening.
COATES: In terms of where this took place, within this campus, do we know anything about the floor, this happened on? Was it on multiple floors? Was this shooter going from room to room? Do you know anything about the path that this person took?
MEULENBERG: So, it was all contained, to the second floor of this medical facility that has five floors.
COATES: What's on that second floor?
MEULENBERG: New and--
COATES: What's on that floor, Captain? Is there a certain type of--
MEULENBERG: I don't know precisely what's there on. COATES: --medical treatment?
MEULENBERG: There were medical staff there. I don't know what their specialty was. But it was an outpatient-style facility, for medical care.
COATES: And in terms of what we know, or do we know anything, about the shooter, you say that the shooter may have died, from a self- inflicted wound? Do you know anything about the shooter, the relative age of the person, anything about the motivation? Is this person known to authorities?
MEULENBERG: So, we do have some preliminary information, which I'm not ready to release, at this time, because there are other circumstances, involved with it that are outside the hospital that we can't talk about, right now. So, we're still working with other agencies, and other jurisdictions, as this is related to a much bigger issue, with this shooter.
MEULENBERG: I know it sounds kind of - I can't really get in there too much. We don't believe that anybody else is in grave danger, at this point. But this is more than isolated, to this one facility.
COATES: So, of course, my ears are perking up, at the notion of jurisdictions, and a coordinated effort, to try to understand. And I certainly appreciate, and don't want to compromise the investigation, or the safety of people, who were in the area.
But suffice to say, you've gotten multiple people, who are wounded, either in the chaos of leaving. This person, there's part of a larger orchestrated event, to understand the investigation.
In terms of what we know about the motive, or the person, was there one person targeted, or was this, at this point in time, as far as you know, something that was - that was unintended, and just intended to cause mass casualties, but yet, there was not one particular target.
MEULENBERG: So, we've got some preliminary information, at this time. But not enough to where we're currently (ph) releasing it. We don't believe, at this time, that he was just targeting, the entire hospital per se. But it's entirely possible that he was targeting, at least this floor. He went to this floor, with purpose.
COATES: And who responded? I mean, how did you know that there was an active shooter, on the premises? Was it a 911 call? Was it somebody from a - with inside the building, who was security, for the hospital, or the campus?
How were, you first alerted? I understand the entire thing took about four minutes to five minutes. Walk me through how you were alerted to this happening.
MEULENBERG: Yes, very short, we received a phone call that there was a gentleman, on campus, with a rifle. Officers showed up.
The call came in for us at 4:52, this afternoon. The call was dispatched to officers at 4:53. And our first officer, arrived on scene, at 4:56. So, within three minutes, we arrived on scene.
Looking for the suspect, we had heard shots being fired, on the second floor. Officers ran up to the second floor. And as they were breaching the door, in the stairway, which was at 5:01, so about five minutes, into the situation, they're breaching that doorway, and they heard the shooting stop.
So, and that type of situation, is no longer was considered an active shooter, where someone is actively just continuing to fire rounds, at it stops. So, in an active shooter situation, for us, we will continue to run, and aggress, where those shots are coming from.
So, it stopped. And as soon as it stopped, we got through that door, and we found our first victim. So, as we continued on, we found another victim, and the suspect, who had apparently shot himself.
COATES: Have the victims yet been identified?
MEULENBERG: We know who they are. But we're still making notification, to the family, at this time.
COATES: You know what the weapon that was used was?
MEULENBERG: He had a long gun, a rifle, and a pistol.
COATES: And, by the time, you arrived - how were you aware that this was the shooter that was - that was deceased? Was there some indication--
MEULENBERG: When we--
COATES: --that that's the person?
MEULENBERG: When we found that shooter, he still had the rifle, and the pistol, on his person.
COATES: He was then dead though, at that point in time?
MEULENBERG: Correct. Correct.
COATES: We're hearing news, and some reports, about a potential incident, happening, in Muskogee. What can tell us about that, an area not too far from Tulsa?
MEULENBERG: I can't confirm that, right now. We are looking into that. That may be part of this investigation. But it's too - there's too much going on, with that, to give you a comprehensive idea, of how it's related.
We do have investigators, heading in that direction now, to make contact with that department, and with some individuals that are involved, in this situation. COATES: Captain, thank you so much for your time. Were any officers wounded in this?
MEULENBERG: No officers are wounded in this. We have lots of officers on scene. And it's a horribly tragic event. Any life lost is horribly tragic. I'm very, very proud of the officers, for getting there, as quickly as they did, very well potentially stopping, more people, from losing their life, today.
COATES: Captain Richard Meulenberg, thank you for your time, and keeping us posted. I know there's a lot more to talk about. And thank you for giving us the transparency, you have, today.
Right now, I want to bring in Jayme Fowler, from the Tulsa City Council.
Councilor, thank you for joining me, tonight.
You've just heard from the Captain. What more can you tell us, about what you might know, about what happened, on the scene? Do you have any idea as to--
JAYME FOWLER, TULSA CITY COUNCILOR: You know--
COATES: --who this shooter was, or what caused this tragedy?
FOWLER: You know what, from the accounts that I've been given, it's, I can kind of reconcile, from Captain Meulenberg, is that I was with an off-duty sergeant, there, in the division that responded to this. And we were getting - the sergeant was getting real-live phone calls and texts, from officers, on the way, to the scene.
And the first one - the first call--
COATES: What did you hear?
FOWLER: Yes. The first call we got was that there was an active shooter, there at that Natalie Warren building, there, adjacent to the Saint Francis Hospital. And then, as we were sitting there, the events unfolded.
And, I think, our first confirmation is that we heard that there were three victims, and the shooter also took his own personal life, one person critically wounded. And from, what we're finding out here that that particular person that was critically wounded, has also passed away, for a total of five people.
COATES: There's an additional casualty now. So, it's now, you believe it might be six people, including now, the shooter?
COATES: Is that what you're saying?
FOWLER: A total of five, that's--
FOWLER: That's what I'm--
COATES: Total of five. I mean?
FOWLER: That's what I've heard thus far.
COATES: Any life lost, obviously, is one too many.
Councilman, when you think about this, I mean, it's hard to look at this, and view it in a vacuum. I mean, the nation has been talking, about active shooters, in the successive mass shootings, we've seen, just in recent weeks, in this country. You never think it's going to happen in your community?
What went through your mind, as you're sitting, in that car, with that, Sergeant, in real-time? Are you thinking about what was going on, in places, and thinking, "How can this be happening here?"
FOWLER: We literally, our nation saw what happened, in Buffalo. And then, also in Uvalde.
And, if you're just here, in the community, you would never think something like this would happen. And, our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and the families. And Tulsa is just one of the most normal nicest cities, in America. And you would never really think that something like this would happen.
With that said, is that the Sergeant, I was with, the Police Department, just yesterday, practiced, a hostage situation, that now today just actually transpired.
And I would imagine that police departments, across the country, are doing the same thing that they are having the dialogs, and discussions, and practice situations, for just this incident. And it's just tragic. And the words just can't begin to describe that.
COATES: You know, Councilman?
FOWLER: The disappointment, and the hurt.
COATES: Yes. The disappointment, and the hurt, I think, is so well- put.
And, as you articulated it, the real sad reality, here, is that every city, every town, impacted, is nice. And no one believes it will happen here. And that's part of the scariest part, for every person, living across this country that it could - this tragedy could knock on all of our doors.
And the idea that there was this training, yesterday? I mean, I've got kids, who have active shooter training, in their elementary school. Do you know, if this training, that took place, yesterday, was in reaction to the fact that there have been so many questions, about what officers have done, or failed to do, in places, like Uvalde? Was that in reaction, or was it a pre-schedule? Do you know?
FOWLER: You would hate to ever second-guess what happened, in Uvalde.
But I would think that every police department, of any size, or scale, has dialogs, and discussions, with everyone, in their departments, and that police departments, across the country, have a dialog, and discussion, and get prepared for just this situation.
I think, from what I'm hearing, from reports, coming in, is that our police department handled this situation, really, really well.
COATES: Thank you. Tulsa City Councilor, Jayme Fowler.
And it's something that's just, it's stomach-turning, frankly, to think about the idea of having to be continuously perpetually prepared, for a tragedy, such as this. There's something to say about the state of our country.
We're going to keep an eye on any developments, from Tulsa, rest assured. Another night, another mass shooting, in America, even as so many questions remain, unanswered, about last week's massacre.
Coming up, we'll bring you CNN's exclusive interview, with the embattled Police Chief, who led the Uvalde shooting response. He's talking to our own Shimon Prokupecz. That's next.
COATES: As we keep a close eye, on the new developments, coming out of Tulsa, we cannot forget the pain that's happening in Uvalde. Frankly, across this country.
Today, a 10-year-old child, Jose Manuel Flores Jr., had to be buried, in a closed casket, today. This just after eight days, after families had to provide DNA, to even identify some of their loved ones. A loving couple was buried, today, as their four children are left with unanswered questions.
And the man that might be able to answer those questions, Chief Pete Arredondo? Either, he can't answer the questions, or he won't. In fact, when CNN tracked down, the School Police Chief, after a week of silence, on his part, one of the few answers that we got was, at best, we'll call it, inconsistent.
Now remember that Chief Arredondo was the Incident Commander, who kept officers out in the hallway. This, as a young girl, called 911, repeatedly, from the classroom, pleading for help. There's been no word, from him, since the day of the shooting. Not for lack of effort, on our part.
This was all he had to say, today, after eight days, of changing stories, and nationwide outrage. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: I just want your reaction to--
POLICE CHIEF PEDRO ARREDONDO, UVALDE CONSOLIDATED INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT: We're going to - we're going to - we're going to be--
PROKUPECZ: --the Director McCraw saying that you were--
ARREDONDO: --we're going to - we're going to--
PROKUPECZ: --responsible for the decision--
ARREDONDO: Right. We're going to be--
PROKUPECZ: --to go into that room.
ARREDONDO: We're going to be--
PROKUPECZ: How do you explain yourself, to the parents?
ARREDONDO: We're going to be respectful to the family.
PROKUPECZ: I understand that. But you have an opportunity--
ARREDONDO: And we're going - oh and sure and--
PROKUPECZ: --to explain yourself--
ARREDONDO: --and we're going to--
PROKUPECZ: --to the parents.
ARREDONDO: And just so you know, we're going to - we're going to do that eventually, obviously.
ARREDONDO: And whenever this is done, we'll let - the families quit grieving, then we'll do that, obviously.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: I'm sorry, did he just say that he'll give answers, when the families quit grieving?
Can you play that back? I want to hear that again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARREDONDO: Whenever this is done, we'll let - the families quit grieving, then we'll do that, obviously.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COATES: So, just out of curiosity, or to use his phrase, just so you know, when exactly does he think, they'll be done, grieving? And why, if respect, for the families, is the goal, why not have the respect to give them the answers, right now? Some answers.
I mean, both the District and the Chief, they have a lot to account for. But don't let the Chief say that he wasn't prepared, for what may have happened, last week, at least, in training. I mean, we know that Arredondo took active shooter training, not once, not twice, but three times, most recently, in December of 2021. That's 32 hours of courses. And they didn't go in, for over an hour?
Now, look, we are right, to question what went wrong, in Uvalde. But that's the only focus. I want to be clear that evaluating the police response does not mean that we shouldn't question our officials, our elected officials, on what else needs to be done?
I mean, after all, while we've been questioning, there was another mass shooting, today. And, after all, it was an 18-year-old, who went in with an AR-15 that he bought legally, and used that weapon, to murder human beings.
Now, on Capitol Hill, bipartisan gun talks, are in the early phases, we're being told. In fact, here's President Biden, on the process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you confident Congress will take action on gun legislation, sir?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I served in Conference for - Congress for 36 years. I'm never confident, totally. It depends. And I don't know. I've not been in - on the negotiations that are going on right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: Well, that doesn't make me feel very confident, at all.
But what I am confident about, is this. Lives are at risk. Right now, these lives have been lost. And the unpredictability, of the date, of these tragic events, when the next one may occur? It means that time is of the essence. And the collateral damage is immeasurable.
And here to explore that collateral impact, tonight, is Chief Chris Vanghele, one of the first officers, on the scene, of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in Connecticut.
Also with us, is Samantha Haviland, a survivor of the Columbine High School shooting, with nearly a decade of experience, as a school counselor.
I'm so glad that you're both here, with us, today. Because I really want to focus, and hone in, on what people may not be thinking about. The idea of, we know about the impact of - on what it's happened to the families. We think we know. We'll never be able to truly understand.
But Chief, when you think about this, I mean, walk me through a little bit, about what your reaction has been, now, when you're thinking about the reaction by the officers, the statement that was made, by that Police Chief, to say, "Let's just wait, to give information, until the families quit grieving," I mean, what's going on, in the meantime, from your experience, while families are waiting for answers?
CHRISTOPHER VANGHELE, OFFICER WHO LED INITIAL ENTRY TEAM AT SANDY HOOK SHOOTING, CHIEF OF POLICE, PLAINVILLE, CT POLICE DEPARTMENT: Right. Once again, good evening, and thank you, for having me, on again.
Before anything, I just want to say, heartfelt prayers, and thoughts, go to the families, victims, teachers, and the whole community, at Uvalde. And now, of course, in Tulsa, as we see another one, right on the heels, of the shooting, down in Uvalde.
The parents go through a lot. They want answers, right away. And sometimes, it's very difficult to get those answers, because investigations can take a long time. The Sandy Hook report, the investigation, took over a year, to get done with.
However, one of the great successes of Sandy Hook, is that each family was offered, and given a police officer, as a liaison. It was their own personal police officer.
That officer's job alone, day in and day out, from the start, until everything wrapped up, was to be with that family, to make sure that any information came across, the families had it first, to assist the families, in navigating the investigation, and the media, even to go get milk, if the family needed somebody to go out, shopping.
So, yes, there are ways, to really mitigate the families, and what they're going through.
COATES: And I don't want to discount, the experience, of police officers, who were responding to these scenes. I mean, the horror, of what is being seen, the emotional reaction, it is haunting for, really, the rest of people's lives, and thinking about what they've come across, and trying to grapple with it.
And Samantha, I want to turn to you, because you were a student, at Columbine High School, when the mass shooting occurred.
And I understand that, for years, you didn't even seek out therapy, or counseling, because you thought, "Hey, because I wasn't somebody who was actually injured, I had no right to do it."
But the truth is, as you well know, that the collateral damage of the impact of these shootings is very wide-reaching.
SAMANTHA HAVILAND, COLUMBINE SHOOTING SURVIVOR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DENVER PUBLIC SCHOOLS, FORMER DIRECTOR OF COUNSELING SUPPORT SERVICES, DENVER PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Yes, absolutely.
Yes, I ignored my PTSD symptoms, for more than a decade. And knowing that other people had had it worse than I did, and I downplayed it, and I was a counselor, when I finally sought, help for my PTSD.
So, denying the symptoms, and thinking other people had it worse, it's very common for survivors. But I also I want to call out like, this stuff is hard for those present, those not present, for teachers, everywhere, for parents, everywhere, and it's in every community. And the more that we watch it, and the more we see it, the worse it's going to get.
COATES: It's terrifying, for so many. I mean, it's terrifying, for everyone, myself included, to think about the feeling of helplessness, and not knowing the predictability, although there is something eerily inevitable. And it's just something that's haunting.
But I wonder, what do you make, and what is the advice, or the counsel that you believe is necessary? I mean, both of you, with the experiences you have? You've been on the ground. You've seen what happened. You understand the complexity, and really, the simplicity, of the responses, what they should be.
But walk me through a little bit, Samantha, in terms of what you see, as missing, in this conversation. What do you think people ought to be considering, when they're thinking about a reaction to these mass shootings?
HAVILAND: If I'm totally honest, I'm frustrated that we're always talking about the reaction, and not the prevention. We react to these things. And, I think, a lot of schools and districts have a lot of practice. And we can lean heavily on each other, on how to recover from these things.
But why, as a society, are we waiting, for it to happen, in every single community, before we decide to make some sort of response, to prevent it?
COATES: I mean, the idea of this being something that we react to, as opposed to being proactive.
Chief, I want to end with you. Because, you and I were speaking about this, offline, and thinking about the notion of it. And I asked you a question, and I would love to hear your response. And that is, we've been talking a lot about the police reaction, of what happened, in Uvalde, or didn't happen, in Uvalde.
You were one of the first people, to respond, on the scene, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. And even having gone in, you grappled with, and other officers, about not even going in soon enough.
Tell me about this idea of what happens, and what's going through these officers' mind, as they are under this magnifying glass? Is this something that is going to have an impact on not only morale, but the idea of how they are processing even their own roles? VANGHELE: Yes. So, at the same time that you're dealing with having witnessed the deaths of multiple people, in a horrific event that, most of us will never see in our career, and then dealing with the acute stress disorder, which can turn into PTSD? On top of that you have depression, and you have guilt.
And there's survivor's guilt. There's guilt for the people that were in the school that day, who survived. There's guilt, from the officers that were working that day that wanted to be there, with their fellow officers. And there's guilt from all the officers, I think, that responded.
You're always going to sit there, and want to question, or say, "Maybe there's something I could have done differently. Maybe if I got here sooner? Maybe if I went down this hallway versus that hallway? Maybe if I got to the ambulance quicker, or the ambulance came up to meet us quicker?"
In the end, in our particular case, we realized that there was really nothing that we could do. We got there fast enough. We did our jobs. We got people that we thought we could save out of the building. But you still live with that. And you really have to get counseling. I did several years of counseling, I still go back every now and again.
And it's important, for each department, they have a very, very good Employee Assistance Program, an EAP. So, when these events happen, trained professionals can come out, to the police department, and the other first responders, and actually sit with them, and deal with it, right at the beginning, when it's the most critical part.
COATES: And Samantha, to the work that you do as well, the idea of having that available, and recognizing the importance, of these services, this is part of the conversation. And I'm a stone's throw away from the Capitol, here, in Washington, D.C. I bet they may be able to be proactive, even where we cannot.
Chief Vanghele, Samantha Haviland, thank you both, so much, tonight.
VANGHELE: Thank you.
HAVILAND: Thank you.
COATES: Now, a significant victory, for Johnny Depp, after a graphic six-week trial that captured the nation's attention. But jurors also found reason to side with his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
We'll break down what the jury said, about Depp's defamation case, against Amber Heard, and vice versa, next.
COATES: The Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation battle has finally come to an end. Today, jurists found that both stars, were liable, in some way, for defaming the other. But they primarily sided with Johnny Depp, awarding him a total of $15 million, in compensatory and punitive damages, while there might be some caps, in terms of what they're actually able to extend.
Now, while Heard was awarded $2 million, none of that was actually punitive. The jury sided with her, on one of the three counts, finding that one of Depp's lawyers actually defamed her.
The verdict caps a seven-week trial that was full of lurid details and drama that all started, of course, after Depp sued his ex-wife, over a 2018 Op-Ed that identified her, as a domestic abuse survivor.
So, how did jurors sort through the weeks of, really, dirty laundry, and get to the heart of each case, to reach this verdict? Joining me now is Ken Turkel, an attorney, who specializes in these celebrity defamation cases.
Well, Ken, here we are. We've been waiting, for this moment, to find out, what the jury might actually find. First of all, were you surprised, by the verdict, in favor of Johnny Depp, and also a liability for - a statement by the attorney, of Johnny Depp, for Amber Heard?
KEN TURKEL, TRIAL LAWYER SPECIALIZING IN REPUTATION PRIVACY CASES, ATTORNEY FOR HULK HOGAN IN GAWKER LAWSUIT, ATTORNEY FOR SARAH PALIN IN NY TIMES LAWSUIT: I'm not sure anything could really have surprised me, in this case. It was just not conventional, in so many ways.
Was I surprised? I never read much into the social media, into the buzz, around these trials. Because, I've done them, and I know it ultimately means nothing. All that means anything is what the jury thinks.
What - I guess what surprised me, these are very much zero-sum games, Laura. You don't really see compromised verdicts. You don't see a liability verdict with 50,000, or 100,000. So, the idea that there's an eight-figure verdict there doesn't surprise me, given the way the evidence came in, and what it seemed like the vibe was in the courtroom. That part doesn't.
COATES: Well, on that, Ken?
TURKEL: What surprises me a little bit--
COATES: I do--
COATES: I do want to walk - I want to hear your answer to that.
But I also want to walk through, because we got the word, "Defamation," on the screen, right now. And you and I have talked about the fact that most of this trial did not follow the sort of flowchart one would go through, when you're talking about a defamation trial. The idea of here are - here's what you got to prove.
So, I want to walk through, a little bit, the elements of what you had to prove, in this case, because as you heard, the jury's verdict being read, they marched through these questions, and had to answer, "Yes."
And so, walk me through, in terms of what the take is, the idea of what the question was, was it made or - a statement, was it made or published by Heard? Was it about Johnny Depp? Was it false? Was there a defamatory implication, about Johnny Depp? Was there a defamatory implication, to someone, who saw it, who was not Johnny Depp? And did they prove these things about actual malice?
Walk me through in terms of how this was really the crux of what the jury had to look for.
TURKEL: So, some of these elements - as we talked about, in one of the earlier appearances I had, this sounded more like a he-said, she-said, almost domestic violence, counter accusations. But it boils down to the statements made in this Op-Ed.
And the statements were set forth in each part of the verdict form, with the elements you just read. Now, when you look at the statements, one of the elements, is was the statement false, right? Laura, one of the things you have to prove is that it's capable of being proven false. It's a provably false statement.
Now, when you look at some of these statements, and things like, "I incurred the wrath of a nation, for standing up to a powerful man," et cetera, I am still questioning how that's provably false. And you really parse these statements out, divide them up, and you can literally split a sentence, to figure out which part is true, and provably false, et cetera.
So, as you go through these, obviously, all the evidence, of all the incidences that came in, the jury wasn't convinced that he ever acted, with any sort of physical violence, towards her. And therefore, these statements that were implicitly directed at him, were therefore false.
The publishing, the writer, is considered a publisher, under the law, as is the platform, on which they publish. And so, the things that jump out of my mind, when you talk about defamation by implication? We're not saying "True, false." We're saying, in the totality, they've read this, and this is what it's implying.
So, the jury instructions that led to these are going to be a lot more complex, these elements sound. And then, you have all the First Amendment defenses.
COATES: Where does actual malice stand in?
TURKEL: But the takeaway is that they believed him.
COATES: Oh, go ahead. Excuse me.
COATES: What's takeaway to you?
TURKEL: Yes. Takeaway, they believed him, not her. The actual malice is even at a higher standard of proof, not preponderance of the evidence, but clear and convincing evidence.
That is she did it with knowing falsely - she knew it was false, or recklessly disregarded truth and falsity. That could follow from the story. They very much believed him. But then, you have the counterclaim verdicts.
COATES: You're right.
COATES: And, on that counterclaim, they did find that the attorney, who was speaking, on behalf of Johnny Depp, they found, did in fact defame, Amber Heard, on one of the statements that was made. And he was - she was obviously awarded some damages, there.
But this is a - it was a really complex trial, in the sense that they strayed so far away, from sort of the meat and potatoes, of how you prove these cases of defamation. And so, I'll be curious, as you are, I know, about what happens, now, and the impact.
She certainly believes that the impact, going forward, will be a devastating one, on women victims, going forward, and any victim of domestic violence. We'll talk more about the fallout, and the repercussions, from there.
Ken Turkel, thank you so much.
TURKEL: Thank you, Laura.
COATES: We're turning back to Tulsa, and tonight's breaking news.
Four victims, dead, in a mass shooting, at a hospital, on a hospital campus! And by one estimate, the 20th mass shooting, in America, since Uvalde. Not this year. The 20th, since Uvalde! That was eight days ago, America!
What we know about the attack, and the shooter, who is now dead, is next.
TEXT: BREAKING NEWS.
COATES: Our breaking news, this hour. At least four people dead, in a mass shooting, at a hospital campus, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The shooter is also dead. And police told me, just moments ago that there are up to 10 people that are wounded.
Joe Johns, is also tracking the breaking news.
Joe, what are you learning, about what's going on, in Tulsa?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Laura, there is still a lot of mystery surrounding all of this.
First of all, as to those 10 people? It's not clear, at all, from speaking with the authorities, as you did, just a little while ago, whether those people were shot, or whether they were otherwise injured, as a result of the chaos, in trying to get out of that five- storeyed building, when all of the shooting started, this afternoon, heading into the evening.
The shooter is dead. Four other people are also dead. The shooter apparently took his own life. He walked in with a rifle, and a handgun, ended up on the second floor of that building, where there's an orthopedic center, apparently shot himself, as authorities were breaching their way, into the room, where the shooter was located.
So, there are some questions, of course, tonight, about a corollary investigation, extending to another location. But it's not clear at all what the connection is. And authorities have been very careful not to disclose any more, than they know, at this time.
Back to you, Laura.
COATES: So much unfolding. Thank you so much, Joe Johns. We'll keep you posted, everyone, as we get the information here, in the newsroom.
Everyone, not even the escape of the "Star Wars" movie, and TV franchise, can let us completely escape the worst of humanity.
But there is a swell of support, tonight, for an actress, who's being targeted, by racists. Where is the hate coming from? And why now, after 45 years of science fiction loved around the world? I'll tell you why, next.
COATES: So, The Force, is coming together, to defend one of its own. The official "Star Wars" page, is posting messages, in support of one of the actors, who has been harassed, by racist, well can we call them, fans?
Moses Ingram just made her debut, as Reva, in the Disney+ series, "Obi-Wan Kenobi." But she says she's received hundreds of racist messages, on social media, calling her the N-word, even threatening her life. Fans, so to speak, of the Franchise, are so angry that Disney had the audacity, to hire a Black actress, for a Fantasy franchise.
Executive producer, and star, Ewan McGregor, is defending his young co-star.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EWAN MCGREGOR, ACTOR: We love Moses. And if you're sending her bullying messages, you're no "Star Wars" fan, in my mind.
MOSES INGRAM, ACTOR: I also see those of you out there who put on a cape for me, and that really does mean the world to me. Because, you know, there's nothing anybody can do about this. There's nothing anybody can do to stop this hate.
And so, I question what my purpose is, in even being here, in front of you, saying that this is happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: "Entertainment Tonight" host, and CNN Contributor, Nischelle Turner, joins me now.
I got to tell you, Nischelle, first of all, hearing her talk about, the idea of, "Nothing you can do about this," I mean, it's just shocking to me.
NISCHELLE TURNER, "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT" HOST, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes.
COATES: You're talking about "Star Wars." We can believe in R2-D2, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and a Baby Yoda--
COATES: --and all of these different characters. But a Black woman, in "Star Wars," that's the part, where we can't suspend disbelief?
What's your reaction?
TURNER: Well, a lot of it is - I mean, you said shocking. I'm not sure that I'm shocked by it, because it's also not the first time, in this Franchise that we've seen its fans show the worst side of themselves.
But I do think it's just really sad, and disheartening, and it breaks my heart, to hear Moses, talk about the fact that she questions her purpose.
And without hearing the entire bit of that, but because she is such a brilliant young actress, and she is definitely a rising star, in Hollywood, it really hurts me, as a woman of color too, to hear another woman, saying, "I question my purpose, and question what I'm doing, because there's nothing that we can do about this."
I do agree with her on one side. I mean, it's hard to police people's prejudices, right? It's hard to fix, what is broken, in the deepest part of people, and makes the ugliest part come out.
I do think, though, that I do commend Ewan McGregor, for stepping up, and speaking out. I think that it is also, on all of us, to be anti- racist, and to take an active part into combating this type of hate. But we've seen it before, Laura. I mean, Kelly Marie Tran, also was in the "Star Wars" franchise. And when they cast her, an Asian woman, she came, up against a lot of hate, herself. It drove her off social media.
She wrote an Op-Ed about it. And she was saying, it wasn't just the words, of these people. It was that she started to believe them. And it tapped into all those things, she felt about herself, as a little Vietnamese girl, who felt like she belonged in the margins, and not in the center.
And so, that, I think, is the toughest part of all of this, when you do hear how it really genuinely viscerally affects, these actresses and actors.
COATES: And John Boyega, another actor, who dealt with this, as well, when he was a part of the Franchise. I mean, and, I mean, I remember when Billy Dee Williams, was a part of the Franchise.
COATES: I mean, the idea that that is not the first time, you've had, a person of color, in these roles? But again, it's on the backdrop, not only Nischelle, of the absurdity that we're talking about "Star Wars," we're talking about aliens, the idea that a human being--
TURNER: We're talking about fantasy actually.
COATES: --would be controversial, right?
COATES: Talking about it - but, we're just on the heels--
TURNER: We're used to this.
COATES: It's on the heels, Nischelle, of escapism.
COATES: I mean, people are looking to return to the movies. We were just talking, yesterday, about "Top Gun," and the box office smash. And here is an area, where people can't escape the, really, the predicate, in some ways, with the fundamental connective tissue, of so much of America and race.
COATES: That's what is so disheartening.
TURNER: Absolutely. I mean, you said it a few moments ago. We can believe in R2-D2, and C-3PO, and Chewbacca, the Wookiee, and the Ewoks, and the - and Yoda, and Baby Yoda, and all of those things. We can buy into all of this. We can buy into the fact that these people have these superpowers, these superhuman powers.
But we can't buy into the fact that a woman of color can also be a part of this universe, or that a person of color, can exist, and star, and thrive in this universe. That's really, really saddening to me.
Now, I will say, on the other side of it, Laura, we definitely have seen, some of these studios say, to their fans, "Listen, get on the train, or you're going to get left, because we're not going to kowtow to this. We are going to continue to be more inclusive, and more diverse."
And they do have work to do, believe me, these studios and these franchises have work to do.
TURNER: But what they are saying, "We're not going to do this with you all. We're not going to play these games."
TURNER: "Either you're going to love us, for who we are, or you're not going to watch us at all."
COATES: As Yoda would say, "Racists, we will not have."
TURNER: There you go!
COATES: Nischelle Turner, thank you so much.
We'll be right back.
TURNER: Good to see you, Laura.
COATES: That's it for us, tonight. I'll be back, tomorrow night.
"DON LEMON TONIGHT" starts right now.