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Was It Self Defense?; Whitney Houston's Death; Sandusky in Court; New Manson Photos Released; JetBlue Pilot Insanity Defense?; Palin Beats Couric in AM TV Showdown; Pulling the Plug; #Trending

Aired April 5, 2012 - 05:00   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.


We are bringing you the news from A to Z. It's 5:00 a.m. here in the East.

So, let's get started.

BANFIELD: Trayvon Martin's parents were lighting candles at a new march demanding justice for their son. All of this as George Zimmerman's father was speaking out on the very same day, saying that Trayvon was not an innocent victim in all of this. It is all new details and they're coming up in just a moment.

SAMBOLIN: And she drowned in just a foot of water. A spoon and white powder were also found at the scene. Brand new details from the autopsy painting a very sad picture of the night Whitney Houston died.

BANFIELD: Snipers, SWAT teams, the FBI, weapons locked in on an armed bank robber with a female hostage. We're going to show you how this one ended.


SAMBOLIN: Wait until you see the full video on this. These folks were sent home crying. College students pepper sprayed at a school board meeting, some of them hospitalized. They say they did not get a warning that the pepper spray was coming. The school says they were an angry mob.

Did police overreact? We'll talk to a student who was there.

BANFIELD: It is one minute now past 5:00.

There are conflicting stories that are emerging about the night Trayvon Martin died in Florida and the racially charged shooting continues to spark harsh words and protests. Martin's parents were among the many people who gathered in Miami to mark the 44th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination, as well as to remember the death of the unarmed Florida teenager.

SAMBOLIN: Zimmerman's father is defending his son's actions in a primetime television interview. And Zimmerman's attorneys also spoke with CNN's Piers Morgan where things get a little tense.

Alina Cho is here with all of the new developments for us.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot has changed in the past 24 hours and a lot of people have spoken out.

Good morning.

You know, as you mention, the father of George Zimmerman and his lawyers are speaking out. Very few people, of course, know for sure what happened when Trayvon Martin was killed on the night of February 26th inside that gated community in Sanford, Florida.

Of course, the two people who know for sure are George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. One of them is not alive anymore.

George Zimmerman, of course, called 911 after seeing someone that he thought was suspicious. The operator told Zimmerman he did not need to follow the unarmed teen, meaning Trayvon Martin.

So in an interview with FOX's Sean Hannity, Zimmerman's father said that's when his son started walking back to his car.


ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S FATHER: Trayvon came from his left side, asking him, did he have a -- did he have a problem. George said no.

At that point Trayvon said, well, you do now. He punched him in the nose, knocked him to the concrete and started beating him.

George was there yelling for help for at least 40 seconds. It's clearly him on the tape. There's absolutely no doubt about who it is.


CHO: Of course, George Zimmerman's father in silhouette there because he said the family has received numerous death threats. That's been widely reported.

Meanwhile, the tape that Robert Zimmerman is referring to is a 911 call made by a neighbor. And on it, you can hear someone yelling. The big question is who?

No one has been able to determine for certain whether the person yelling was Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman.

Meanwhile, the Martin family attorney Benjamin Crumb told our Piers Morgan last night he had a different take on what happened. Watch.


PIERS MORGAN, HOST, CNN'S PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT: Could it be that he did attack and jump on George Zimmerman?

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN'S FAMILY: Well, I don't think we can say attack. We could say he defended himself because Trayvon Martin had every right to defend himself against George Zimmerman who approached him. And think about it. George Zimmerman didn't have a badge or anything official. He had on a sweatshirt and some jeans. We've all seen the video now.

So, we believe Trayvon Martin went to his death not knowing who this strange man was that was approaching him.


BANFIELD: So now we're hearing from George Zimmerman's attorneys as well who are taking to the television airwaves to get their side out.

CHO: That's right. As I mentioned, no shortage of people speaking out about this case. Obviously, emotions are running very high.

Still, Zimmerman's lawyer accused civil rights leaders Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton of race-baiting, saying that once they came to town, they turned the shooting death of Trayvon Martin into a racial event. Watch.


HAL UHRIG, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S ATTORNEY: On morning of February 26th, we had a peaceful town where people went to town and sat together in multiracial congregations. They stood in line at the grocery store. And we didn't have a seething town of civil unrest because of race relations. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton brought that to town. They turned this into a racial event when it never was one. Once all the evidence is out, and you understand how the law works and what the facts are, this is a pretty clear case.


CHO: A pretty clear case of self-defense is what Zimmerman's lawyers are saying.

And listen to this detail. The "Miami Herald" is reporting that a white separatist group, the National Socialist Movement, has announced plans to conduct patrols in Sanford, Florida, that ensure that, quote, white citizens will be safe from any potential racial violence. The group says the move is meant to counter threats from the New Black Panther Party which, remember, made plans and announced that it would put a $10,000 bounty on George Zimmerman's head.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my gosh.

CHO: It's extraordinary.


SAMBOLIN: -- out of hand this is getting.

And we also have this new enhanced video, right, that --

CHO: The 911 call. You'll remember that we had two audio -- two experts really analyze that video yesterday. Well, we had our own audio team take another closer look at that. Enhance the video, using a plug-in that really cleans up the ambient noise, because what you heard a lot in the background was that the wind.

So, listen to the video -- audio, rather, of this 911 call. Watch.


CHO: Frankly it's difficult to hear. Our CNN audio says that plug-in he used to enhance the audio will not change a word, only making it clearer.

But again, it is so difficult. You can listen to that. Soledad said she listened to it 500 times. You were saying you could listen to it 1,000 times.

SAMBOLIN: You close your eyes. You try to listen so carefully and yet --

CHO: And if somebody tells you what you should be listening to, then obviously you're more inclined to hear that.

BANFIELD: If someone doesn't tell you what to listen to, you have no idea why CNN is playing a bunch of static on the air. It's a problem. And listen, it's a problem for juries as well when they get this kind of thing, if they ever get that kind of thing.

CHO: And, you know, one thing to keep in mind, too, is that Zimmerman's lawyers made it very clear yesterday, our Piers Morgan said to him, listen, there's been so much reporting on whether George Zimmerman had a broken nose. Why not release an x-ray? Why not give us some sort of proof?

And he said, listen, this man has been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion. I'm not going to try this case on your show. I'm going to do it if it gets to court.

And so, you know, he does make an important point. A lot of people on that side of the case are saying there's been a rush to judgment. Let's take a step back and let's really look at the case first.

SAMBOLIN: Although he did say he does indeed have a broken nose.

CHO: He did.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, he does.

Alina Cho, thank you very much for that. We appreciate it.

CHO: You bet.

SAMBOLIN: It is 5:07.

The final word on the death of Whitney Houston now. The L.A. coroner's office releasing the full autopsy report. Preliminary findings said the singer died from an accidental drowning due to the effects of cocaine and heart disease. The final report says Houston was face down in a tub of water about 12 inches deep, a white powdery substance and a spoon were found near her body in a hotel bathroom.

On "A.C. 360," CNN's Dr. Drew Pinsky said her death may have been related to drug and alcohol withdrawal.


DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST OF HLN'S "DR. DREW" (via telephone): The fact is, this autopsy report shows that she had nominal, nominal heart disease, almost none. Not sufficient to explain what happened to her. You also mention she was found face down in water. How do you have a heart attack or take too much medication and slip into the water and drown and end up face down? The way that happens is seizure. And I add the entire score up and I get seizure here.


SAMBOLIN: Dr. Drew also says the autopsy suggests Houston was using cocaine in the hours or perhaps even minutes before her death.

BANFIELD: Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is due in court in just a couple of hours. He's facing 52 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. He's pleaded not guilty and he is currently on house arrest while out on bail. His attorney, Joe Amendola, is asking the court to dismiss many, if not all, of the charges related to this story.

And CNN's Jason Carroll is live in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, where the hearing is scheduled to take place today.

There are some very serious concerns that Sandusky's lawyer has in this story, aren't there, Jason?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Many concerns. Basically what he's trying to do is, if you look at what's happening, all of the charges thrown out.

Now, in all likelihood, that is not going to happen. But basically, what he's going to argue on later on today is that when it comes to seven of the accusers, it is his belief that not enough information and evidence has been provided to date about seven of those accusers, not where the allegations of abuse happened, when it happened so he says. Those charges related to those seven accusers should be thrown out.

But, again, there are 10. He says with the other three, he says the information that has been provided is not specific enough, so he says that's why the charges related to those three should be thrown out. Prosecution is basically saying here that this is an ongoing investigation, they are still in the process of gathering information and when that information and evidence comes to them, they will in turn turn it over.

What is likely to happen here is the judge is going to look at both sides, look at what both sides are arguing here and rule on it at a later point. But in terms of whether or not these charges are all going to be thrown out, the likelihood of that happening -- highly, highly unlikely.

BANFIELD: No, but fascinating nonetheless because there are some serious legal arguments that can be bandied about in court. We were all fairly surprised, I think, it either was last time that he was at court, Jerry Sandusky emerged and spoke to reporters. Is anyone expecting that he's going to be showing up and talking again today?

CARROLL: Oh, yes. I know you remember that. It was shocking to a lot of us. You know, Joe Amendola, Jerry Sandusky's attorney, not unusual for him to face the camera as you know that. But when Jerry Sandusky came out here in front of the courthouse proclaiming his innocence, you know, all the cameras were rolling when that happened.

Jerry Sandusky is expected to be in court today, his wife Dottie also expected to be at his side, and at least one of his sons. But it's unclear at this point if Jerry Sandusky will come outside the courthouse later on today and speak again.

BANFIELD: Well, keep those cameras rolling, Jason Carroll. Thanks very much for that.

SAMBOLIN: It is 11 minutes past the hour here. An investigation is under way this morning into a very chaotic scene at a College Board meeting in California.

A campus police officer at Santa Monica College used pepper spray on the students. That's a community college. Three students were taken to the hospital, 30 others were treated at the scene for burning eyes and throat irritation. About 100 students were demonstrating against a pilot program to create a two-tiered tuition plan.

The college said police acted with restraint against an unruly mob that crashed the meeting room. Students say the police overreacted. So, later this hour, we'll speak with Caylee Wade (ph). She's one of the students who was pepper sprayed.

BANFIELD: And this just in, gas prices raising 0.8 cent in the last 24 hours. We also have a little measurement. Today is a bit bigger than usual. New national average for a gallon of gas is $3.94 a gallon. AAA is just posting this on their Web site, by the way.

Reminder: gas prices affect everything, not just your tank. They affect air travel. So, you should probably expect to see higher ticket prices to are your summer travel unfortunately.

Sorry. Bearer of bad news again today.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Twelve minutes past the hour.

Still ahead: it looked like a movie scene. A man with a gun takes a hostage at a bank in Texas. SWAT teams and snipers fix their sights on him. We are going to show you how it all ended.

BANFIELD: And also, twisters that hurled tractor-trailers across yards, tore apart houses -- we're now starting to get some official numbers. Look at the mess those twisters left behind. The damage done mostly outside of Dallas, but oh, my, what a mess.

You're watching EARLY START.


BANFIELD: It is now 16 minutes past 5:00 on the East Coast. Time to check top stories making news this morning. Christine Romans hard at work gathering that for us.

Hi, Christine.


New arguments are erupting in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. A lawyer for the Florida teen family says there's proof that the former prosecutor in this case met with the now former police chief to make sure no charges were filed. And the father of George Zimmerman, the shooter, says the evidence will show his son was acting in self-defense.

The L.A. coroner's office releasing that final autopsy report in Whitney Houston's death. It says the singer drowned, lying face down in a bathtub with a foot of hot water in it. There was cocaine in her system. Investigators found a white powdery substance and drug paraphernalia, not far from her body in the hotel room -- hotel bathroom.

A tense hostage situation in Texas, in a Texas holdup, ends peacefully. Police in Lubbock says a man armed with a handgun took a woman hostage in an office at a Citibank. Police, FBI, SWAT teams immediately surrounded the bank. The gun man surrendered after an hour of negotiations.

And a rainmaker at the White House, thanks to a construction mishap. Look at that. A geyser of water shot up after equipment mistakenly struck a water main at the White House. The leak was quickly plugged.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, funny guy, later joked that the workers were drilling for oil as part of the president's energy initiative.

For an expanded look at all these stories, head to our blog, -- ladies.

SAMBOLIN: That's very clever.

BANFIELD: I think that's smart. Good for Jay Carney for making a clever quip.

SAMBOLIN: Put on your bathing suits, go play. Was it warm out there?

Thank you, Christine.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

SAMBOLIN: Eighteen minutes past the hour.

So, the tough cleanup continues after over a dozen tornadoes tore through the Dallas-Ft. Worth suburbs. Survey teams have now gone through the neighborhood and are telling us how sever this really was.

We're going to go to Alexandra Steele. She is live in Atlanta with the very latest for us.

Nice to see you.


Well, you know, they have gone out, 11 now confirmed tornadoes but they say the number could be as high as 15.

So, here's a look at what we know so far, the Kennedale/Arlington tornado, EF-2 intensity, maximum sustained winds, 135, path length on the ground for 4.6 miles.

Also, the Lancaster/Dallas, that's about 15 miles of Dallas, EF- 2 intensity, maximum sustained winds 130, on the ground for 7.1 miles.

And the biggest of the three, this EF-3 intensity in Forney, Texas, which is 20 miles of Dallas, maximum sustained winds, 150 miles, and on the ground for 8 miles.

So, again, 11 confirmed, could be as high as 15.

Problem is we're not out of the woods yet. We do have tornado watches today, including Jackson, Mississippi, New Orleans, Birmingham, Atlanta, also could be under the gun. Right now, though, these are in effect for 9:00 and 11:00 -- until 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. Tornado watching mean be the atmosphere poised for some severe weather today.

And here's that quadrant of concern, guys. Hail, isolated tornadoes and gusty winds as high as 50 to 70 miles per hour. So, it's actually the same atmospheric set, I've shifted further eastward this morning.

BANFIELD: All right. Alexandra, thanks for that.

Nineteen minutes now past 5:00.

And I know when you wake up, you probably look at your big stack of newspapers like we do and "The Wall Street Journal" would be one of your first reads.

SAMBOLIN: "New York Times," yes. Oh, you have "The Wall Street Journal" today.

BANFIELD: You have to dig deep in "The Wall Street Journal" for the story we're going to tell you about in the early read. It's about high heels.

It's a high heel story. It's big business, $38 billion.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, yes.

BANFIELD: We spend $38.5 billion in America last year, ladies.

SAMBOLIN: For your feet to hurt.

BANFIELD: And you know something? It isn't just about heels anymore. It's about uber, uber high heels, because designers are thinking of any way they can to make them higher and higher without really hurting us. Because apparently the rule is, according to one of the luxury shoe designers, that you can't bend your foot past about 4 inches, otherwise --

SAMBOLIN: Sure you can.

BANFIELD: I think so, too.

Maybe for a quick cocktail party and then straight home. What the deal is, I know you know this, they've been adding the platform to the shoes. Guess how much higher than can go? Are you ready?


BANFIELD: If you thrown on a 1.5 inch platform, you can get your heels up to 5 1/2 inches.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my God.

BANFIELD: Dean is our steady cam operator. He's got the camera --

SAMBOLIN: Do you know what they really say the bigger the hair?

BANFIELD: Yes, the closer --

SAMBOLIN: Yes, yes, the taller the heel, the closer to God.

BANFIELD: My little partner her, Zoraida Sambolin, has the most heels every day.

SAMBOLIN: Well, but these don't really have a platform. That platform is essential in order to make you feel comfortable.


SAMBOLIN: And somebody this morning is definitely wearing the platform.

BANFIELD: Alina Cho.

SAMBOLIN: We got to bring her in. You got have to see this, right?

BANFIELD: You will not believe what Alina Cho is wearing.

CHO: But in my defense, I always --

BANFIELD: Those are Louboutins, right?


CHO: You know, they have what's called a hidden platform, right?

SAMBOLIN: Yes, yes.

CHO: That's what you were just talking about. When you're vertically challenged as I am, you need all the help you can get.

SAMBOLIN: I agree with that.

BANFIELD: Get another camera shot. Those are remarkable.

CHO: They're very high.

SAMBOLIN: By the way, these make great gifts for the ladies in your life.


BANFIELD: I'm so glad you're here today.

SAMBOLIN: Thanks, Alina. Thanks for playing.

BANFIELD: I'm giving you the story.

CHO: I'm glad I could be of help.

SAMBOLIN: We appreciate it.

BANFIELD: You're awesome.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

All right. Twenty-one minutes past the hour here.

Coming up, the first few months of 2012 were good for your 401(k). The last few days, well, not so much. Is it time to worry? Don't you always worry?

Christine Romans is back to talk about that right after the break.


BANFIELD: One of the things we like to do --

SAMBOLIN: Is talk to Christine off camera.


BANFIELD: And mind your business -- we like to mind your business at 5:25 in the East Coast.

ROMANS: Wouldn't you like to know what we were talking about off camera.

BANFIELD: High heels.

ROMANS: You're talking about high heels, I'm talking about the Federal Reserve. That's the truth.


BANFIELD: I'm sorry, we have been wrapped by the high heels story because of the business -- $38 billion spent last year by women in the U.S.

ROMANS: I can believe it. Listen, if you want to be tall, it's cheaper than plastic surgery to buy a pair shoes, right? Make yourself tall and right there.

SAMBOLIN: That's true.

ROMANS: There you go.

BANFIELD: It should be your next business segment. I'm just saying. It's in "The Wall Street Journal."

ROMANS: All right. I'll look at it. I'll look at it.

BANFIELD: The markets --

ROMANS: A look (ph) at the markets like -- futures are up a little bit today but it's been a bad couple of days. The Dow, NASDAQ, S&P all lost more than a percent or more yesterday. And they're still kind of feeling the sting from this idea that the Fed might be moving away from stimulus.

In case you don't know this, central banks around the world have been supporting the economy for some time now, right? They've been doing things -- you heard about Q.E.2, you heard about Operation Twist, right? These are things the Federal Reserve Bank has been doing to basically keep money pumping through the system, a lot of money, so that it can support the economy.

The European Central Bank suggested yesterday maybe they would be getting closer to stepping back from some of their stimulus measures. The Fed minutes -- minutes of a Fed meeting suggested there are a couple of Fed governors here in the U.S. who think that if -- you know, if the economy remains this strong, maybe we don't need to be doing more kind of stimulative measures.

All of this really worried some investors. Why did it worry investors? Because stocks are up big so far this year. I've been telling you, the Dow is up 7 percent so far this year, the NASDAQ is up 17 percent.


ROMANS: Everyone's looking for a reason to take some money off the table, take some profits. So, they've been watching all of these comments from Federal Reserve officials and about central banks for a very long time.

So, we talk about what presidents can do and companies can do. But the Fed, central banks have been really critical to keeping the oxygen flowing in the global financial system and the economy. And that's why so many people are watching.

BANFIELD: Is there any government in the developed world -- is there anybody not propping up their banks in the last three years?

ROMANS: I don't know. I don't think so.

BANFIELD: That's a tough one, right?


ROMANS: You have sort of herculean efforts. Do you say herculean or herculean?

BANFIELD: Herculean.

ROMANS: Yes, Herculean but --

BANFIELD: How high are your heels today?

ROMANS: I don't know.


BANFIELD: Fixated.

ROMANS: Futures are up, I'll keep watching it and let you know.

SAMBOLIN: You'll tell us about the jobs report coming up.

ROMANS: Yes, tomorrow, tomorrow.

SAMBOLIN: Coming up, Mary J. Blige gets her way at Burger King. This was all over Twitter yesterday.

BANFIELD: Or does she?

SAMBOLIN: The fast food giant pulls the plug on a new ad that upset many of the singer's fans.

BANFIELD: But apparently not her.

SAMBOLIN: No. This was all the talk. It's trending really high on Twitter. You'll probably know about it, but we're going to give you the update, coming up.

You're watching EARLY START.


SAMBOLIN: It is 31 minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BANFIELD: Hi, I'm Ashleigh Banfield. Time to check the stories making news this morning. And we begin with thousands of student protesters pepper-sprayed at Santa Monica college. The students say campus police overreacted. The college claims they were breaking up an unruly mob. We'll talk to one of those students in just a few moments.

That JetBlue pilot who alleged a mental breakdown, caused a scare in the air last week, may never stand trial. A key move by Clayton Osbon's lawyer. We'll explain.

And for men only? Find out what the president of the Augusta National Golf Club had to say about letting a woman wear the coveted green jacket.

The machines are winning. Google giving us a preview of what the world would be like to see through the Google glasses. It's about as close as you can get to becoming your own smartphone. We'll show you the demo just ahead.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Looking forward to that. Thank you, Ashleigh.

Chaos at a student protest in California when a campus police officer used pepper spray on the students.


SAMBOLIN: This is Santa Monica Community College. About 100 people gathered outside a board of trustees meeting to protest an increase in tuition on about 50 summer classes. So, according to one student, as the doors opened to allow a select number of students to attend, the entire group moved forward. Campus police also wielding batons we understand, 30 people need treatment, including this young girl we're about to show you here, right there.

Another person who need treatment is Kayleigh Wade. She's a freshman at Santa Monica College. And she joins us now from L.A. this morning.

First of all, Kayleigh, thank you for getting up so early. I know you're three hours earlier than we are. So, we appreciate it. Can you tell us where you were and what you witnessed?

KAYLEIGH WADE, PEPPER SPRAY VICTIM: Yes. I was in the very front of the crowd. And in the beginning, the police officer that was shown in that picture, actually, was being really orderly and organized, actually. And he was trying to like kind of foster, like, a trusting relationship with us. You know, he was trying to get us to hear him out and everything.

And I don't know, like once they opened the door to let the select number of students in he like, had my friend -- he got her in a choke hole. I was in the very front. I tried to get her out of that choke hold. Another officer ended up pinning my arms back when I tried to help her. And then, like, several other students tried helping her and then they just pepper sprayed us.

SAMBOLIN: I was reading some of the details about what happened, and according to the president of the university, they knew that the students were going to be there for a protest. They actually had a room set up for the students and they also had an overflow room. They said it was a surprise to them that a hundred of you lined up right outside of the doors. Do you dispute that?

WADE: OK, from what I understand is that they -- I don't think they expected that number of people and that they didn't prepare for such a huge crowd because we have rooms that could accommodate that number of people and they just -- they tried to only let a select number of students come in. And we didn't want that. We just wanted everyone to be able to be equally represented and heard. And the way they handled it was just, like, not okay. And I would say they're incorrect.

SAMBOLIN: So, the college president, his name is Chui Tsang. And he said that the students overran the door. So, really, what were the police officers going to do? So, he goes on to say, "Although a number of participants at the meeting engaged in lawful conduct, Santa Monica College Police personnel exercised restrain. They made no arrests. Unlawful conduct included setting off fire alarms and attempting to disrupt the board of trustee's meeting."

What was your purpose for being there, and did you try to overrun the door when they opened it to allow some students in?

WADE: Our purpose was just to attend the meeting. We just wanted to be in there and be able to talk to them and be able to just be open about how we feel about contract education. And I wouldn't necessarily say we tried to overrun the door. That's an exaggeration, honestly. They opened it, and we tried to get in there in an orderly conduct because we just want to - you know, we just want be heard.

And - yes. And then two cops blocked of the door eventually, and that's when they had people in choke holds and all that. SAMBOLIN: And what is it exactly that you're protesting? Is this a pilot program they're trying out in order to increase tuition ultimately?

WADE: Yes. We're protesting contract education, and now after this, we're also going to go out and protest police presence on the campus.

SAMBOLIN: And what would have been your expectation? How do you think the campus police should have handled a situation like this?

WADE: They shouldn't have pepper sprayed us. I mean, I feel like that's pretty obvious, you know? Like, the way they handled it, they were offensive. We were trying to be peaceful. We don't have anything to protect ourselves. We weren't violent at all. And just the way they handled it, it criminalized us, you know? It portrayed us incorrectly, badly in the media. I don't know -- it should have been much more peaceful than it was. And orderly, like the guy was trying to handle in the beginning.

SAMBOLIN: We were taking a look at some of the pictures, and there was a little girl we saw that perhaps was also pepper sprayed. Did you see that happen?

WADE: I didn't see that happen but I saw her afterwards. And I went up to her and her mother and asked if they were doing okay. She was fine at that point. I couldn't see. I was pepper sprayed.

SAMBOLIN: You were pepper sprayed as well. How are you feeling this morning?

WADE: Yes. I'm okay. Yesterday my throat was still scratchy and everything, but I'm okay.

SAMBOLIN: Okay. And do you plan to continue your protests?

WADE: Yes, absolutely.

SAMBOLIN: Well, Kayleigh, thank you so much. Kayleigh Wade, freshman at Santa Monica College. We appreciate your time this morning.

WADE: Thank you for having me.

BANFIELD: Thirty-seven minutes now past 5:00. The suspect in a killing spree at a California Christian college has been formally charged with the crime. One L. Goh was charged with seven counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder after the shooting rampage at Oikos University in Oakland earlier this week. He could face the death penalty because of these crimes.

Prosecutors say the 43-year-old dropped out of the college. He was not expelled from the college, but he was allegedly targeting a school administrator who would not refund his tuition money. He's currently being held without bail. Five former police officers in New Orleans are going to spend between six and 65 years behind bars. A judge yesterday handed down the sentences after their conviction in a deadly series of shootings in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina. The officers shot at a family on the Danziger Bridge, a family that was simply trying to flee the flooding. One man died.

And then just moments later, they also shot a killed a man as described by the Justice Department as severely mentally disabled. Those shootings came amid widespread looting in the city as well as suicides and desertion within the police force.

And we'll have much more on the sentencing throughout the morning. Coming up on "STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN," At 8:30, soledad will ask the brother of one of the victims whether he thinks the punishment actually fits the crimes.

SAMBOLIN: Thirty-eight minutes past the hour. It's golf's holy grail, Augusta National. Home of the Masters' golf tournament, which tees off today. Once again, the spotlight is on Augusta's men-only membership policy. IBM is one of the tournament's chief sponsors. Traditionally, sponsor CEOs have been given membership to Augusta National, and the green jacket that goes with it. So, now IBM's CEO is this woman, Ginny Rometty.

Will the club's gender barrier finally be broken? The chairman isn't saying if Rometty will be the first woman.


BILL PAYNE, CHAIRMAN, AUGUSTA NATIONAL GOLF CLUB: Well, as has been the case of whenever that question is asked, all issues of membership are now and have been historically subject to the private deliberations of the members. And that statement remains accurate. It remains my statement.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, SPORTS COLUMNIST, "USA TODAY": Why wouldn't if you're Augusta National, all those guys -- why wouldn't you want to have the CEO of IBM be a member of your club? That's the dilemma for them. And more and more women in the next 10, 20 years will become CEOs. And these guys want to keep these antiquated views and ways? It's going to lessen the value of membership of their club if they keep this going.


SAMBOLIN: It's a great debate, isn't it? Augusta National's men's-only policy has been in effect since it opened. That was in 1933. I wonder if IBM will have any leverage on that one now?

BANFIELD: You know what I find so interesting is that so many people think they may find out if things are going to change if they see Ginny walking around the club in a green jacket. That's how they feel like they might find out finally. That there will be no announcement.

SAMBOLIN: Because there will be no dialogue about it, right?


BANFIELD: If they remain true to their word about never commenting on membership policy, it will just happen, and you'll see Ginny walking in a green jacket.

SAMBOLIN: We'll have pictures of it if it happens.

BANFIELD: Everybody is rolling the cameras 24/7 right now to see if there's a possibility of catching that glimpse.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. You know, I hope so.

BANFIELD: I do, too.

SAMBOLIN: It's time for change. Forty minutes past the hour. Coming up at 8:10 Eastern on "STARTING POINT," soledad talks with former LPGA great Stacey Hollis.

BANFIELD: OK, so here's one that we just sort of had our heads shaking. A woman in San Antonio, Texas, is fighting a law that is forcing her to quarantine her cat after her cat scratched her.

Kitty cat in question is Rainy Day. Hello, Rainy Day. Rainy day apparently is now being forced to be confined to a room. Her owner, Katherine, is only allowed to feed her and change her litter box. The law is meant to protect against rabies. And it says if you're scratched or bitten by your pet and it pierces the skin, you have to quarantine that pet for ten days. But Rainy Day's owner says my cat didn't mean to hurt me.

SAMBOLIN: Cute. Look at her eyes.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She went to jump down and her back claws caught my finger as she was jumping down. It wasn't like she was trying to hurt me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to treat every bite or scratch as if it could have transmitted rabies until we can exclude that.


BANFIELD: OK, there's two sides to every story. Rainy Day's owner says authorities learned of her injury after she went to the doctor to treat the scratch.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my gosh.

BANFIELD: And owners, by the way, who do not abide by that law face fines. At least you don't get jailed. So either the cat gets jail or you face the fine.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. Which would you do? BANFIELD: I don't think I would have gone to a doctor for my scratch. I think I'd use the Neosporin and a Band-Aid.

SAMBOLIN: The moral of the story.

BANFIELD: And by the way, I have one. I won't show you the finger. But I've been treating this one for five days. I didn't go to the doctor.

SAMBOLIN: Cat or dog? Oh, okay.

BANFIELD: Lawn furniture.


SAMBOLIN: Oh! Forty-two minutes past the hour.

Ahead on EARLY, "Helter Skelter" revisited. Charles Manson has a new look as he seeks parole for his infamous crimes. You're watching EARLY START.



SAMBOLIN: It is 45 minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START.

BANFIELD: Christine Romans is taking a look at the news headlines. What have you got?

ROMANS: Good morning again, ladies. Well, we've got a lawyer for Trayvon Martin who says there's proof the former prosecutor in this case met with the now former police chief to make sure no charges were filed. Meantime, the father of shooter George Zimmerman says the evidence will show his son was acting in self-defense.

A week before his next parole hearing, California prison officials have released new pictures of -- can you guess who this is -- that's Charles Manson. Manson is now 77 years old. He looks awfully different from the last photos just three years ago when his head was shaved. The tattooed swastika on his forehead is still there. He's been denied parole 11 times.

The JetBlue pilot who suffered an apparent mental breakdown during a flight may not be fit to stand trial. Captain Clayton Osbon will undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine if he's competent enough to understand these charges against him. A detention hearing that was set for today has been postponed until after doctors have a chance to examine him.

In the morning TV showdown featuring Sarah Palin and Katie Couric, Palin has prevailed. NBC's "Today Show" with guest host Sarah Palin beat ABC's "Good Morning America" in total viewership on Tuesday. Couric's sitting in as "GMA" co-host all this week. Zoraida, Ashleigh? BANFIELD: It wasn't without some criticism, though, right? I saw these writeups that said, and she called Tori Spelling her inspiration. They were saying: co-host, really?

ROMANS: At one point I looked up on that day and there was Candice -- I'm trying to think.

BANFIELD: Bushnell?

ROMANS: Yes. Every single -- there were amazing powerful women on every single channel.

SAMBOLIN: And no one was talking about Oprah.

ROMANS: We love to see that.

BANFIELD: How crazy, Oprah makes a morning show appearance and everybody is on two other channels talking about Katie and Sarah. It was incredible.

SAMBOLIN: Thanks, Christine. Forty-seven minutes past the hour.

Burger King and singer Mary J. Blige responding to backlash over a new ad. Have you seen it? The spot was released on YouTube this week and Burger King has since pulled it. Some critics say the ad promotes racial stereotypes. Take a look.




SAMBOLIN: A lot of you were all atwitter yesterday about this. Blige released a statement to TMZ saying, quote, "I understand my fans being upset by what they saw but if you're a Mary fan you have to know I would never allow an unfinished spot like the one you saw go out." Burger King released their own statement saying "We would like to apologize to Mary J. and all of her fans for airing an ad that was not final." It pulled the spot because of licensing issues. But the company will release a final version.

BANFIELD: Now I'm completely confused. What was the problem? What was unfinished about it?

ZAMBOLIN: I think that's the way they're solving this problem because there's so much buzz about it.

BANFIELD: That's not the final version. We still have to release that. Are they going to edit out crispy chicken?

ZAMBOLIN: I don't know.

BANFIELD: That's bizarre. This story has legs, doesn't it? 5:48 on the east coast. Still ahead, he gives his best touchdown dance ever. Take a look at your screen. Those are some moves, folks. It's a burglar busting a move.

ZAMBOLIN: I want a dumb criminals file so we can put these in there and you can view them whenever you like.

BANFIELD: It's called The Smoking Gun. They will probably have this on their front page. This is right in front of a security camera. Dude, you're being watched.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. Take a look at what is trending on the inter-web. Google moving one step closer to turning people into their smartphone.

BANFIELD: This is crazy.

SAMBOLIN: It really is insane. The company that brought us the driveless car is now giving us a sneak peek of what life would be like wearing Google glasses.

BANFIELD: They're nice looking.

SAMBOLIN: You can literally look up anything, talk to anyone, post all of it on the web in the blink of an eye. Here's what a video conference would look like through the shades.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to se something cool?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, sure. Is that a ukulele?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Here it goes.



BANFIELD: That is beautiful.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my gosh.

BANFIELD: That's kind of cool, right? Dangerous if you're walking around.

SAMBOLIN: Or driving a car. Soon we'll all be cyberborgs walking around like Arnold in "Terminator 2," in worse shape.


ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, THE TERMINATOR: I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You forgot to say please.



SAMBOLIN: All right, we'll get out at that moment there. Is our world going to turn into that?

BANFIELD: I want to watch the rest of the scene.

SAMBOLIN: You want to watch Arnold.

BANFIELD: I have to move on to this one. If you're a sports fan, talk about a really embarrassing loss or a really awesome win, depending on which way your cup is filled. The Baltimore Orioles lost a spring training game. Guess who they were playing?

The state college of Florida, the Manatees.

SAMBOLIN: What a great -- well --

BANFIELD: Exactly. Great story. Bummer for them, though. The community college beat the Orioles 2-1. It was an exhibition game. It happened in Florida. We should say this was not your typical game. It was a little bit rigged because the Orioles provided the pitchers.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, there's the full story.

BANFIELD: Pitchers and a catcher. But most of the --

SAMBOLIN: It was rigged.

BANFIELD: And also by the fifth inning, the Baltimore Orioles pulled their starting lineup, too. But there is another caveat. It just keeps going. The same team beat the Pittsburgh Pirates back in 2009.

SAMBOLIN: Under the same circumstances perhaps?

BANFIELD: Go Manatees.

SAMBOLIN: Police are hoping you can help identify an alleged burglar by his dance moves.

BANFIELD: This is good.

SAMBOLIN: The city of Galveston, Texas released this video. It's a man busting a move in full view of the camera.

BANFIELD: Go, baby.

SAMBOLIN: A man and two accomplices broke into one of those duck tour vehicles used to give guided tours of the city.

BANFIELD: He's good.

SAMBOLIN: Yes but --

BANFIELD: Dude, you've got talent. What are you going breaking in for a living?

SAMBOLIN: Look at the pants. I think they're shorts, actually.

BANFIELD: It is shorts? I think it might be.

SAMBOLIN: It is. You're right. I thought it was MC Hammer pants.

BANFIELD: Still wondering what he thinks he's going to accomplish by this, except national fame, the kind you don't want.

SAMBOLIN: Fifty-five minutes past the hour. Coming up on EARLY START, George Zimmerman's father goes on the offensive to defend his son. Not showing his face but his loyalties are clearly spelled out in his latest television interview. By the way, he's worried about his safety, the reason behind not showing his face. More on that in a moment. Plus, new and disturbing details on the death of Whitney Houston. We'll get all that for you. You're watching EARLY START.