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NFL Star Killed; Mideast Summit Begins; Republicans Prepare For YouTube Debate

Aired November 27, 2007 - 20:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, an interview with a self- admitted coyote. He's part of a ring or chain, as he tells me, that sneaks people into the United States for a hefty price. In fact, here's a peak.

SANCHEZ: How do they avoid being detected or arrested? You pay the Mexican police?


SANCHEZ: It's an amazing interview. You can only see it here.

By the way, tonight, we're expected developments out of the Middle East talks. But one guest is going to join us to say, look, this is too little and it's too late. We're going to break it down for you.

But, first, let's go to this, developments on a story that we have been working for you since early this morning, an NFL football player dead at the age of 24. Was he targeted? Were his phone lines cut in the middle of the night? Was this a random crime? Or was there a connection somehow to his past?

This is part of what makes Sean Taylor's death so mysterious and so talked about. It is one the most followed stories right now on today.

Few people knew him better than fellow football player Clinton Portis, a superstar in his own right. We're going to talk to him in just a minute.

But, first, let's go to CNN's John Zarrella. He's at Taylor's home outside Palmetto Bay, Florida, to catch us up.

OK. What's the very latest on this investigation, John?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Rick, police are clearly saying this is in fact a homicide and there are clear signs that there was a forced entry.

But, the big question, was this simply a burglary gone bad or was there something far more to it that lurks in Sean Taylor's past?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ZARRELLA (voice-over): Sean Taylor, high school all-star, All- American in college, Pro Bowl player with the Washington Redskins.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Intercepted by Sean Taylor.

ZARRELLA: Never struggled on the football field, but did off it.

In 2006, he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault and battery. The year before, with a gun, he had confronted two men over an ATV Taylor believed they had stolen. Then, while visiting a friend's home, shots were fired at the house and Taylor's car. The bullet holes are still there today in the wall.

Taylor hardly ever talked with the media, not trusting us. Two years ago, he gave a rare interview to the Comcast Sports Network, saying he was moving on with his life and trying to steer clear of trouble.


SEAN TAYLOR, NFL PLAYER: We have seen a couple of players in the last couple of weeks be subjects to shootings. And it's just a life- changing thing with one shot of a bullet or whatever the case is. It changes lives. So, it's just -- basically just staying away from those type of things and stays out of harm's danger -- harm's way.


ZARRELLA: But harm's way found Taylor early Monday morning. An intruder police believe broke into his house. Two shots were fired. One hit Taylor in the femoral artery. There was massive blood loss, leading to his death.

But was this more than a random act of violence? There are reports still unconfirmed that the phone lines may have been cut. Eight days earlier, no one was home when the house was broken into through a front window. Drawers were pulled out, a kitchen knife left on the bed.

Police are investigating any possible connection. Whatever may have gone wrong or changed in Taylor's life, it appears to be have happening after he went to the NFL.

(on camera): Sean Taylor went to high school here at Gulliver Preparatory School in South Miami. During his senior year, 2000, he scored 44 touchdowns, broke a local record and led the team to its only state championship.

(voice-over): Coach John McClosky knew Taylor well, the kind of kid who out of his way for others, even editing highlight reels for his teammates.

JOHN MCCLOSKY, HIGH SCHOOL COACH OF TAYLOR: Outgoing, friendly, with a big smile on his face, that's the Sean Taylor that the Gulliver community knows and the community at large knows. ZARRELLA: Coaches and former players at the University of Miami say he was a leader there, too. At his father's home in Perrine, where Taylor grew up, friends and relatives came to grieve together.

It's a well kept middle-class neighbor. Taylor's dad is the police chief in Florida City. Yolanda Young knew Sean Taylor all his life and says she knew he would make something of his life.

YOLANDA YOUNG, FRIEND OF SEAN TAYLOR: He had that drive, that inner drive in him growing up. The potential was there. The achievement that he made, we expected him to be that. And he did it.

ZARRELLA: Everyone who knows him says since the birth of his now 18-month-old daughter, Taylor had been turning his life around, putting whatever darkness lurked in his life behind him.


SANCHEZ: John Zarrella joins us now live once again.

John, you have spent many years covering the streets of Miami. I spent many years covering the streets of Miami.

And I'm looking at this story and I'm just thinking, using my experience following these cops down there for so many years and looking at burglaries, there are some things that stand out here that don't look right, something about wires being clipped, about this is a house that was on a main road, not usually the ones that burglars would pick, by the way.

And we're also getting information that this guy came into the house and then ended up obviously murdering him. Don't most burglars avoid this kind of trouble? Once they find out -- or confront someone, they go away?

ZARRELLA: Yes, this is a well-lit neighborhood. You mentioned it yourself. This is Old Cutler Road to my left. There's nonstop traffic up at down on this road constantly, at all hours of the day and night.

There is a five-foot fence, concrete fence around here. He even had a burglar alarm system, a very sophisticated system with sensors, with cameras installed here. But, Rick, it wasn't on, on Monday morning. Nobody knows why it wasn't on.

There are so many unanswered questions that we posed in the piece as well as some of these other things that we're learning piecemeal. It doesn't make sense that it's a burglary. You don't break in. You don't shuffle around, make a lot of noise. You know this is an NFL football player here in this house. You know he may be home. Is this the kind of person you want to confront? That doesn't make sense.

If you're out to murder him, does it make sense that you're making noise as well? None of it seems to add up real well right now -- Rick. SANCHEZ: Well, a lot of good questions. Good reporting either way. We are going to be getting back to you. Let us know if anything changes on this.

John Zarrella in South Florida.

Meanwhile, Sean Taylor is said to have a very small circle of friends. Not quite sure what that means. But a couple of hours ago, legendary Redskins coach Joe Gibbs suggested that Taylor had somehow changed over the last couple of years. Matured is one of the words he uses.

Here it is.


JOE GIBBS, REDSKINS HEAD COACH: He had completely changed. He had made up his mind, I think, that he was a vegetarian, he was going lose weight. And it scared me a little bit. He was getting so thin and everything.

And I'm going, hey, wait. And he says, hey, I think this is the best thing for me.

He would go out to practice and run six laps around both those fields out there before we ever started. To me, I feel like he was -- the sky was the limit for him.


SANCHEZ: We talked about a tight inner circle just a little while ago. One of the people inside that inner circle is the gentleman you're looking at right now, Redskins running back Clinton Portis, who was also Taylor's teammate, we should mention, at the University of Miami.

My condolences to you for losing your friend.


SANCHEZ: Hey, I understand that you have spoken to the fiancee. Jackie Garcia is her name. And she was there when this incident happened. How is she responding? What's her reaction? What's she saying to you?

PORTIS: I think she's holding up pretty well, considering the conditions.

She really didn't say a lot, just that they were in bed when Sean heard a noise. And he told her and the baby to stay still, and stay in the room. And he went out and check. And I don't think he ever came back in. I think she was trying to be strong for her child (AUDIO GAP) family. And that's her story. She was sleeping. I don't think she had the opportunity to see anyone.

SANCHEZ: Well, how about his family? How are they reacting? PORTIS: His family is taking it rough. I didn't get the chance to see his mom. But I talked to his father. And again his father is the chief of police down there. And I think he's on the go, just -- there's so much going on, that I really don't think it's had an opportunity to hit him.


PORTIS: But just the people around him, the people that know Sean, I am sure everybody is taking it rough.

SANCHEZ: Hey, Clinton, let me ask you a question. You have known this fellow for an awful long time. Why do I keep hearing that he had this troubled past that he was overcoming? And you heard Gibbs allude to the fact that he was changing. What was that troubled past?

PORTIS: I don't think he had a troubled past. I think he got into that one incident that was blown out. I think it started from the rookie symposium and skipping the rookie symposium. And then I think that incident was his first trouble, run-in with the law, and it was blown out of proportion. And him never talking to the media and smoothing it out, everybody just assumed that was him. And the way he played on the field...


SANCHEZ: That's a good question, though. Let me just interrupt you for a moment. Why wouldn't he talk to the media? Part of being a football player is, the media comes and ask you questions about the game.

PORTIS: Sometimes, I don't feel like talking to the media, because no matter what you tell the media, they are going to make their own story. They are going to add the twists and turns and take out the key word that would have cleared things up for you.

For myself, the Michael Vick case, if you listen and see the whole interview that I did, you would have known I wasn't condoning that. But I think the media has its own...


SANCHEZ: Let me ask you, Clinton. The reason I ask that question is, had he left his life behind, these homeys, these guys who hang around with you who don't necessarily have your best interests at heart, but they know you make a lot of money? You know what I'm talking about. Had he separated himself from...


PORTIS: I really don't think he had a big entourage to begin with.

But he had separated himself. He really didn't leave out of the house. He was a workaholic. He watched film all night, weight room. Like coach said, he was eating right. And he stayed inside. After the case, and along came his daughter. It was all about her. And that's all he talked about in the locker room. He didn't drink. He didn't do anything. He didn't get into trouble. He didn't go out and party. He just was a guy that stayed to himself and with his family.

SANCHEZ: That's a consistent statement that we have heard throughout, by the way, that his daughter, the birth of his daughter had changed him in so many ways.

Clinton Portis, you're a straight-up guy. Thanks for coming and talking to us. And you're an amazing running back, by the way. Keep it up. We will be watching you on Sundays.

By the way, there's something that really caught my eye as I was preparing this story. One university -- think about this, the University of Miami, one university, so many tragedies. And you ask, what's the deal, right? How could that be?

Here we go. All of these guys that I'm about to tell you about were star football players there at the University of Miami. All died young. All died violently.

Let me take you over to the wall. I'm going to break this down for you.

Let's start with Jerome Brown. You may have heard of him, defensive lineman. Died in a 1992 car wreck. He lost control of his Corvette. Now let's go down the line. There you see Marlin Barnes, linebacker. He and his girlfriend were beaten to death in their apartment in 1996, University of Miami. University of Miami. Here we go again. University of Miami linebacker Chris Campbell, died, 2002 car wreck.

Now let's move down one more. Defensive tackle Bryan Pata murdered in his apartment in 2006. This one is still unsolved, by the way. And now we have Sean Taylor who was shot while at his home. And by the way there may be a couple of others who may not have had such a tragic death, but have died in accidents just the same.

Is it just a tragic coincidence? Coming up, we're going to have a professor and an NFL consultant who says no. His name is Harry Edwards. He's probably as well known as anybody on this. He has a warning we all need to hear. He says we're losing -- or we're in danger of losing not only athletes but an entire generation of young black men to violence. This is a breakout segment from a really smart and committed professor.

And this: the Mideast summit. Question, what if the $600 billion spent on Iraq had been spent on the Israeli-Palestinian problem? Would we be further along? We pose that question.

Also, who is winning in Florida? We know. And you're about to know. And will tomorrow's CNN/YouTube debate shake things up?


SANCHEZ: Welcome back to OUT IN THE OPEN. I'm Rick Sanchez. Potential history in the making today in Maryland. A short while ago, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced that Israeli and Palestinian leaders will launch formal peace negotiations at the White House Wednesday.

And earlier today, with President Bush in the middle and Arab leaders from Syria and Saudi Arabia standing by, the leaders of Israel and Palestine shook hands and agreed to work toward a comprehensive peace treaty by the end of next year.

But as you are no doubt thinking to yourself, because I know you are, yes, let me repeat your thoughts here. Yes, I have heard this before. Right? We have rode this pony in the past.

James Zogby of the Arab American Institute says Arab leaders are here to make up for the U.S. administration's seven years of neglect is how he writes.

He's joining us.

Thanks so much, James, for being with us.


SANCHEZ: So basically you're not giving this much of a chance, right? You're not impressed, right?

JAMES ZOGBY, PRESIDENT, ARAB AMERICAN INSTITUTE: Oh, I would love to give it a chance, but I'm not impressed with the performance of the administration to date.

And frankly, the work that now has to be done is the work that should have been done leading up to the summit. They had many months to prepare for this and what we got out of it was a commitment to negotiate. The negotiations should have happened before a summit. That's the rule of Middle East peace. You don't have a summit until you're ready to sign a deal.

SANCHEZ: That's interesting what you're saying.

Let's bring in Ed Henry. He's our correspondent there in Washington. And he's following this as well. He's following the conference in Annapolis, obviously.

Hey, Ed, I'm just wondering, the best that they came up with is, and I will quote it, make every effort to conclude an agreement before 2008. That doesn't sound like a breakthrough, does it?


It's basically an agreement to agree, not an actual peace deal, just a pathway to peace as they like to say. And as James Zogby says, obviously mistakes have been made. The administration is under great pressure for not paying enough attention in the estimation of many for the first seven years of the administration. And I think the way the White House obviously wants to play it is that they're looking forward, not backward and that while there may have been missed opportunities, they want to try to make the best of the situation. But as you note, there's a lot of work yet to be done. This is really just a first step.

SANCHEZ: So, the viewer is sitting at home and he is probably wondering the same question I am. Why are they there? Is this -- as an old football coach of mine used to say, it this all show and no go?


HENRY: Well, I mean, what's the other option, to just pack in it and not go at all? They're trying to make the best of a difficult situation. They're trying to be optimistic.

And let's face it. If you look at a little perspective, just a week ago, most experts were predicting this conference would never even happen.


HENRY: It now has happened. As late as this morning, experts were also saying and people actually in the room with President Bush were saying that they would not get anything on paper. They did at the last minute at least get some principles on paper. Admittedly, they didn't deal with the tough issues. They have got do that in the days ahead, Rick.

SANCHEZ: I said, all show, no go. I saw James Zogby tried to jump in, so we will give him an opportunity to jump in.

Ed, stay there. We might get back to you in just a little bit.

James, your reaction to that?

ZOGBY: Why they're there, Arabs are there because they want to support President Mahmoud Abbas. And he deserves support.

He deserves support because he's been abandoned by the administration for too many years. We have talked a good game, but we have not helped him in any real way.


SANCHEZ: Hold on. There's more than talking.

Maybe it's a matter of misplaced priorities. And this is important.

ZOGBY: Right.

SANCHEZ: The United States has put its eggs into the Iraq basket. And that's an interesting point when you consider that every single time we hear al Qaeda statements from Zawahiri or from bin Laden, what they say is, and this is their big recruiting tool, look what's happening to the Palestinians on the West Bank, look what's happening to them in the Gaza. And it's Israel that is the enemy.

This is their recruiting tool, is it not?

ZOGBY: Look, there's no question from our polling that we have done in the Middle East now for many years that Palestine is a deep emotional wound in the heart of the Arab world.

It's an existential, defining issue for Arabs in their history. And it has to be recognized. And this administration ignored it and it ignored it for seven years and now is paying attention, thank God, but is not doing enough to actually make this session, this conference work.


ZOGBY: And I think that that is the problem here.


SANCHEZ: I'm going to stop you for a minute, James, because I tend to agree with where you're going with this.

ZOGBY: Sure.

SANCHEZ: And I think a lot of Americans are processing this. I was the other day. I was thinking about these numbers. Come with me. I want to show you something.

Do you have a monitor there? Can you see this?

ZOGBY: I do.

SANCHEZ: OK. Look at this.

This is the money that we have spent in Iraq, $602 billion, right? How many people are living in Gaza and in the West Bank? Well, 3.5 million people live there. If you had taken the $602 billion and given it to the 3.5 million, I don't care. Fight the madrasas. Come up with a way of showing capitalism. Each Palestinian, James, would have had $172,000 in his pocket.

What do you make of that?

ZOGBY: Let me tell you, it's not just the money that we spent, but it's the political capital that we wasted. It's the credibility that we lost. It's the damage we did to our interests and the fact that we roiled the whole region with this war that has only resulted in empowering Iran, making Iran the head of extremist movements in the whole Middle East.


SANCHEZ: But Wolfowitz told me that this was going to democratize the Middle East. You start with Iraq and it spreads to everywhere else, including the Palestinian region.


ZOGBY: At the time, I called it an infantile fantasy, and I don't take any words back on that. It was an infantile fantasy.

And frankly, it should have taught us that that idea is wrong. But look at what President Bush said today. When Palestine becomes a democracy, it will become a model throughout the whole Middle East.

What Palestinians need is the yoke of occupation lifted off their backs. What President Bush wants is to create a democracy and then allow them to be a state. You can't create a democracy and a self- governing democracy and then make them a state. They have to have a state first. And we never got the cart right before the horse.


ZOGBY: ... backwards from the beginning.

SANCHEZ: We're out of time, whether the cart is going backwards or forwards.

ZOGBY: Right.

SANCHEZ: James Zogby, thanks so much.

ZOGBY: Thanks.

SANCHEZ: We appreciate you taking time to talk to us.

Ed Henry, as usual, thank you as well.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): In Florida, guess which one of these guys is winning right now? This may be a surprise.

Also if you want to sneak across the border, find him and bring money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 15 years ago, the going rate was $200.

SANCHEZ (on camera): Well, how much do they charge now?

(voice-over): I take you to Mexico and bring human smuggling OUT IN THE OPEN.



SANCHEZ: Welcome back -- I'm Rick Sanchez -- to OUT IN THE OPEN.

Tomorrow night at this time, the Republican candidates for president are going be taking your questions during the second ever CNN/YouTube debate. And we're looking forward to some serious fireworks, with front-runners Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani taking shots at each other over the last couple of days. Boy, have they ever.

But according to a new CNN poll, Giuliani seems to have a sizable lead heading into the debate in the all-important state of Florida.

All right, let's see what senior political analyst Gloria Borger -- who is good us to join us now to kind of fill us in. She's in Saint Pete, by the way, where the debate preps are in full swing.

Over the last couple of days, it's been amazing to watch these two go after each other tooth and nail. What's going on? Why this development all of a sudden? Why the animosity, Gloria?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, because I think that nobody is the clear winner here in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

I think Mitt Romney thought that maybe he was going to have an easy win in Iowa, then in New Hampshire, and then move on. And Rudy Giuliani is gaining some steam. And also I think Giuliani has decided his strategy of winning all those big states on Super Tuesday, including this one, might not work unless he does win an early state, like Iowa, like New Hampshire. So, they're going after each other, Rick.

SANCHEZ: I have been reading that Giuliani has not spent as much money as Mitt Romney has. And yet we have got a poll in Florida that shows that Giuliani is way ahead. See if we can put that up. We have got Giuliani at 38 percent, Romney at 17, McCain at 11, Thompson at 11.


SANCHEZ: And then we got Huckabee and Paul.

But that's a pretty big spread for a guy who, as I have been reading, has not been spending all that much cash, right?

BORGER: Well, what you have been reading is right. He hasn't been spending as much money.

But he's also better known. Everybody knows Rudy Giuliani from 9/11, for example.

Mitt Romney said, look, if I'm going to try and really get known in this race, I've got to spend money early on so I can take some of those early primaries and caucuses. So he's been spending more money on television radio. He's also written himself a $17 million check. He's got the money, so why not spend it early because that's really his only shot.

SANCHEZ: Who better to spend it on than yourself then, I guess, right? Gloria Borger, thanks so much. We appreciate that.


SANCHEZ: Also, more than 5,000 of you posted YouTube videos for the Republican candidates. Here are a few of the questions that could end up in tomorrow night's debate for your viewing pleasure.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, we all know what the Democrats' plan is for illegal immigration. Free health care, free health care. Come on over. My question for you is, what's your plan?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After living abroad personally, in the Middle East, for a year, I realize just how much damage the Iraq war and the perception of invasion has done to the image of America. What would you do as president to repair the image of America in the eyes of the Muslim world?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do any of you wear toupees? That's fake hair.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: George Bush made a lot of mistakes during his eight years in the White House. What did you learn from his mistakes?


SANCHEZ: You may like some of those. You may not like some of those, but you're guaranteed to like the two guys I'm about to introduce you to because they're so friendly. Conservative bloggers, Jackie Broyles and Dunlap of Red State Update, whose YouTube video question, by the way, was played during the Democratic debate last July. Guys, how're you doing?


DUNLAP, RED STATE UPDATE: It feels good to be back on main stream media, Rick.

BROYLES: I know.

SANCHEZ: You like that?

DUNLAP: Not really. Yes, it's good. I have to take a shower when I get out of here.


DUNLAP: Fillet some skin off me.

SANCHEZ: What do you think of those messages that you just heard there?

BROYLES: Oh, heck.

DUNLAP: I like the one girl with her window. I have a nice window.


DUNLAP: And she can just get that new window treatment? You wanted to show that off. I didn't hear anything. I just saw curtains. BROYLES: Yes.

DUNLAP: We'll add this work.

SANCHEZ: Do you think she makes an important point that we've got to be a little more careful in the Muslim world because we're losing our reputation as some people have said in the past?

DUNLAP: Oh, the Muslim girl. Yes, you know, we -- I'm not -- did we have a good reputation there before?

BROYLES: Beforehand, yes. When did it go bad? Yes.

DUNLAP: I may like -- you know, I, in high school, I had a bad reputation and it sure followed me into adulthood. I mean, I'm bad and also --


BROYLES: Fixing that somewhere.

DUNLAP: Yes. So I'm like America.

SANCHEZ: Hey, let me ask you. Let me ask you a question speaking of the problems that United States has in the Arab world. The problems that Mr. Giuliani has with Mr. Romney lately, these guys have been really going after each other. You heard my conversation with Gloria moments ago.


SANCHEZ: How bad do you think this is going to get? Is it fun to watch?

BROYLES: Oh, I'll tell you what. If two Republicans with long liberal records and they're pointing a finger at each other, you're more liberal, you're more liberal. It's like a since you tell us. I probably will be watching it.

SANCHEZ: You're a liberalist?



DUNLAP: It's sinking in. Is this the best we've got? It's no wonder people are looking at (INAUDIBLE) like these two fellows. I want to go with the guy who looks like Jim Nabors and play some base (ph).

BROYLES: Oh, no more pal. Yes.

SANCHEZ: That's interesting. You guys are southern, you know, kind of good old boys, and you don't like either one of these guys. Huh? Because I thought Giuliani was going to be doing strong in the south. At least, that's what we've been told that he was going to do really strong in the south. You say, no?

DUNLAP: Look, we're from the south.


DUNLAP: I mean, we watch movies like "Goodfellas," but we turn it off every time the helicopter starts chasing Ray Liotta because the voices just start to grain on us.

BROYLES: Oh, the nerve. I can't listen to that. It's too loud.

DUNLAP: No. He can't do well down there. I mean, come on. It's like --

BROYLES: I tell you. It's Mitt Romney called old Giuliani a Clinton. Yes.


BROYLES: That's bad. That like a low blow. Yes.

SANCHEZ: You think so?


SANCHEZ: Well, hold on a minute. Clinton is from the south. He's from Arkansas. At least, that's what he was always -- he always had a little bit of that southern accent. Remember, you used to talk about, and he's campaigning for his wife now. Do you think he will have a big impact?

BROYLES: Well, he ain't got much else to do. I don't know what else he is going to be doing.

DUNLAP: He can always find something to do.

BROYLES: I'll ask her. Yes. You could do that.

DUNLAP: For someone.


DUNLAP: You don't want Clinton walking around bored. That's for sure.

BROYLES: Oh, sure.

SANCHEZ: And you got Oprah for Obama now.

BROYLES: Oh, good Lord.

SANCHEZ: Oprah for Obama and Clinton bored. I think we probably should leave it there before we get ourselves in trouble.


SANCHEZ: Gentlemen, thanks so much.


SANCHEZ: Always appreciate it. Looking forward to our little fishing experience.

BROYLES: Well, we don't fish with you if Senator Obama have to go deer hunting with Candy Crowley.


BROYLES: Shoot the deer with her.

DUNLAP: Rick, you can't taser a fish.

SANCHEZ: I live in Atlanta. It won't be long to drive, but I'll bring my taser gun for both of you.

BROYLES: All right.

SANCHEZ: Appreciate it, guys.

DUNLAP: All right.

SANCHEZ: We'll talk to you.

BROYLES: Yes, sir.

SANCHEZ: All right. Don't forget. You're going to see the CNN YouTube debate right here, Republican debate, on CNN tomorrow night starting at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Why am I talking with a southern accent every time I talk to these guys? Just natural, I guess.

And this. NFL star Sean Taylor shot to death. My next guest says he won't be the last. Coming up. I'm going to ask Harry Edwards why he thinks we're in danger of losing an entire generation of young black men to violence?


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. The sudden and violent death of football star Sean Taylor is bringing OUT IN THE OPEN tonight the role of black athletes and the role that they play in our society.

Dr. Harry Edwards is a professor emeritus at the University of California in Berkeley. He is a sports sociologist and a consultant for the San Francisco 49ers.

Let me just put it this way. I don't think there's a person in this country who's more qualified to have this discussion about this than Dr. Harry Edwards, and that's why we have him on tonight. Let me start with this, Doctor, if we may, and this is not about Sean Taylor. This is about African-American athletes in general and how they seem to get through their college years, seemingly unprepared by the time they get out. Is that your perception as well? And why does that happen? HARRY EDWARDS, SPORTS SOCIOLOGIST: Well, we're looking at a situation where we're really asking the colleges and universities and in pointing the fact that professional leagues to do something in 3 years, 3.6 years. An NFL, for example, average a tenure of the player in that league.


EDWARDS: By asking the colleges to do in four years what the communities and the schools and the families that these in the background of these young men have not done in 18 years and in some as 20 years.

SANCHEZ: Yes. But these universities are the ones that are making -- it's not their communities that are making money off of them. But you know what, these universities, these big-time colleges that have these athletes playing there, make millions and millions of dollars off of these guys. Couldn't they at least sit down with them and help them become men? Help them learn how to balance a check book, etcetera?

EDWARDS: Well, most of them -- most of them do have programs. I know the NFL has programs. The NBA, David Stern has programs. Colleges and universities have programs, but again, we really underestimate the intractability of the problem. For example, if we look at the number of young African-Americans murdered in this country over the last five years of the Iraq war, there've been over 27,000. There've been fewer than 1,500 African-Americans murdered, killed in Iraq.

So when we look at that situation, you get some idea of the scale of the problem. The people who make it to college to play football or basketball oftentimes are the survivors of what are essentially urban war zones in this country. The colleges and universities in many instances are not prepared really to deal with that kind of trauma.

SANCHEZ: So let me ask you a question then. These fellows that we were just talking about before, like the fellows who went to the University of Miami. It's amazing to look at. Some like seven or eight people, all of them superstar athletes at the University of Miami and they're all dead. You're saying that just happens because of the area that they come from? Is it because of (INAUDIBLE) there?


EDWARDS: I'm saying that they do not leave their culture and their background and their associations at the locker room door. Oftentimes, that follows them to the university. The university, in many instances, is unprepared to deal with that. I consult with a lot of universities. I know that they're wrestling with these problems, trying to deal with these problems. But look at this.

SANCHEZ: But why not -- I'm just thinking. Why not teach them to cut the ties -- why can't they cut the ties? As you say that is what they should do?


EDWARDS: They grew up with these people having their back. They grew up with these people guarding their lives, literally in many instances.


EDWARDS: Again, we're looking at 27,000 young men dead in this country over the five years of the Iraq war, 10,000 of those between ages of 18 and 25. You can't come in and say, OK. Forget about those people who've had your back all of these years. Put your trust in your head coach. Put your trust in this white athletic director and so forth who doesn't know your background, who doesn't know your situation.


EDWARDS: Oftentimes, your in a situation with these young men of, you know, Lawrence Welk and Pat Boone talking to Snoop Dogg and Ludacris, and it doesn't -- it just doesn't -- the community couldn't stop it. It's unfair.

SANCHEZ: I don't think I've ever seen it compared quite that well. But you know what? You make a lot of sense, and I understand now why you're the foremost authority on this. We're going to get you back. We're going to continue to discuss this, an important discussion for America, and we'll continue to have it.

Dr. Harry Edwards, thank you, sir for taking time to join us.

EDWARDS: Thank you very much for having me.

SANCHEZ: Our next stop is south of the border where a man who wants to keep his identity secret is helping illegal immigrants sneak into the United States. He's a coyote, a human smuggler, and what he does is illegal and just plain wrong. He tells it to me, though. You're going to see it right here. Stay with us.


SANCHEZ: This is one that we've been telling you about that's totally different. It's a look at the big money operation of human smuggling along our border with Mexico.

I recently crossed the border and secretly met with a man. They call him money. That's his nickname -- money. He's a so-called coyote or a smuggler of human beings, and he tells me how tens of thousands of people try to get into the United States by sneaking across the U.S. border.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): Far from America's big cities, in the heart of border towns like Tijuana, Mexico, there are tens of thousands of people wanting and trying to get into the U.S. People like Ramon, who prefers we don't use his last name. SANCHEZ (on camera): How often do you go in? Three times you've tried to get in?

SANCHEZ (voice-over): All three attempts have resulted with his being caught and sent back across the border.

SANCHEZ (on camera): You're going go in again? Why?

SANCHEZ (voice-over): He answers that if he doesn't keep crossing, he wouldn't be able to take care of his family.

SANCHEZ (on camera): What do you say to Americans who are -- who criticize people like you, who say you're breaking the law?

SANCHEZ (voice-over): The gringos, as he says, are not willing to do the work. And yet, that as long as there is work, there will be reason for him and others to cross over. The resistance, meanwhile, at the other side of the border, has been stepped up. So also up is the money smugglers are charging "to guide people across."

SANCHEZ (on camera): About 15 years ago, the going-rate was $200. And $250 if you want to go above Los Angeles. Well, how much do they charge now? $1,500.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): The man in the silhouette who doesn't want you to see what he looks like helps people across the border. He compares the people smuggling business to the narcotics trade.

SANCHEZ (on camera): So it's like a drug deal? A chain?

SANCHEZ (voice-over): A chain he explains because the smugglers or coyotes, as they're often called, pass off the immigrants at different steps along the way.

SANCHEZ (on camera): How do they avoid being detected arrested?

SANCHEZ (voice-over): The answer, he explains, has to do with corruption.

SANCHEZ (on camera): You pay the Mexican police?

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Paid monthly, he says, to look the other way. If Mexican authorities are profiting, so are smugglers who know there will always be plenty of people like Ramon who want to reach the other side.


SANCHEZ: By the way, we did contact some of the folks, the Mexican police down there. It's a whole series of deputy municipalities, and they all denied this or simply would not comment about the story.

"LARRY KING LIVE" is coming up in just a couple of minutes. Larry, I hear you're going to be talking to another one of these pastors who's been mentioned with a high-falluting lifestyle. Is that -- is that a good way to explain it?

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Good way to put it. In fact, he's been summoned. He's gotten one of the letters. I think six pastors have gotten them from Senator Grassley of Iowa, who is investigating and looking into the prospect of removing their tax exemptions. He'll be one of our guests tonight.

We've got lots to cover, by the way, Rick. First, the sensational shooting death of NFL star safety, Sean Taylor. Who killed him and why? We'll try to find out the latest. And then, Pastor Creflo Dollar, an appropriate name, joins us to address allegations that he has been and the leveled against him by folks on Capitol Hill about ministers living large. I like that term.

Then the beautiful and the generous and a good friend, Sharon stone is here. Not too hard to take. So we're jam-packed, Rick, and I'll see you at the top of the hour.

SANCHEZ: All right, Larry. It sounds good. It sounds like a great show. Appreciate it.

We're going take our own look at the ministers, money, and power in just a little bit. Next, you saw her last night on "LARRY KING LIVE". Remember, Paula White? Huge audience, by the way, watching that. She preaches the word of Jesus, drives a Mercedes, and oh, did we mention a private jet?


SANCHEZ: I did promise you that I was going speak truth to power on this show, and that's what we've been doing. And tonight again, we've been doing a series of reports on six big name, big money televangelists who are now being investigated for Congress for possible financial misconduct. And these are the people who preach the word of Jesus, but really, they live more like Roman emperors. Think about that.

Tonight, Paula White. She leads the 26,000 member Without Walls International Church in Tampa, Florida. Her TV ministry broadcast to 1 million homes every day, and it makes money. White reportedly drives a Mercedes-Benz, flies around the country in a private jet. She lives in a $2 million mansion in Tampa, and she owns a Fifth Avenue condo in New York City, preaching the word of God. She gave away a Bentley to another minister for his birthday, gave away a Bentley.

Baird Helgeson is a reporter with the "Tampa Tribune." He's been -- he's been investigating the story and reporting extensively, as a matter of fact, on Paula White, and he's good enough to join us now.

I guess the very first question to you is, why would a minister need a private jet?

BAIRD HELGESON, TAMPA TRIBUNE REPORTER: Well, you know, I know that the, you know, Paula White and Randy White do a lot of ministering and you know, what they have told us is that they've needed the private jet to enhance their ministry all around the country.

SANCHEZ: But I need to get from Atlanta to New York every week because I'm basically commuting and living in New York, and I fly delta. Why can't they?

HELGESON: Well, you know, I don't know. That's something, you know, that they would have to answer themselves, and that's something that Senator Grassley is certainly been curious about. I mean, one of the things that we've been investigating is exactly where the private jet that Paula White has used, for Paula White's ministry goes day in and day out.

SANCHEZ: You know, she addressed this last night. Larry asked her on "LARRY KING LIVE" last night about this jet thing, and it's interesting the way she responds. I want you to listen to it. All right. Here it is.



KING: Former staffer of Without Walls International Church criticized it, the part that you're part of it, saying that it had become all about mansions, planes, money, and fame. Another detractor says, everything she does is a total act and it's all about money. How do you respond? Do you have a plane?

PASTOR PAULA WHITE, WITHOUT WALLS INTERNATIONAL: Yes. Well, not personally, but absolutely, the ministry does.


SANCHEZ: Yes, oops. Wait, no. Not personally, the ministry does. I guess, what's the difference?

HELGESON: Well, she's arguing that the private jet is used solely for the ministry, and one of the things that we've been trying to figure out, and other people have been trying to figure out including the senator, is exactly what are that -- you know, what travel on that jet is used for ministry and what of the travel on the jet might be used for personal use?

SANCHEZ: Do they have to be accountable to you or to Grassley or to anybody else?

HELGESON: Well, I mean, technically, they don't have to tell us or Senator Grassley or, you know, really, only the IRS if they ask what that jet is being used.

SANCHEZ: That's amazing. And what about the people who go to church there? I mean, do they know that they're money is being used like this?

HELGESON: Well, I mean, you know the Whites have never been shy. You know, when you attend their services, they've never been shy about talking about what they used the money for. SANCHEZ: It's just -- it's just seems amazing. I mean, you'd think if somebody -- if my minister shows up in a Bentley, I'm going ask questions about why I'm putting money in the till then, right?

HELGESON: Well, I mean, that's -- you know, I mean, they've never been shy about their wealth, and one of the things -- you know, I've attended several services at the church.


HELGESON: And one of the things that they always say is, you know, don't judge us for our wealth, and that is just truly a reflection of the success of what we've been preaching and what we've been doing all these years.

SANCHEZ: Just the opposite. This whole gospel of prosperity thing is about if you give donations to us, somehow you'll become wealthy as well. It's an unbelievable thing. We'll keep following it. Thanks so much. We appreciate it. Baird Helgeson, good enough to join us.

HELGESON: Thank you. Thank you very much for having me.

SANCHEZ: By the way, coming up at the top of the hour, "LARRY KING LIVE." And Larry's guests do include another clergyman. As a matter of fact, part of the Senate investigation, Pastor Creflo Dollar, tonight. Stay with us.


SANCHEZ: Thanks so much for being with us. Here's Larry.