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Outrage Over Teen Shot by Police; Samsung Unveils Its New Galaxy S4; Latinos Drive U.S. Catholic Growth

Aired March 15, 2013 - 10:30   ET



MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): By day, a calm scene at this makeshift memorial marking the spot where 16-year-old Kimani Gray was shot and killed by police Saturday night. By night, this scene turns violent.

Wednesday, protesters lashed out at police. The NYPD says 46 people were arrested and one officer was injured. It was the second night things turned ugly. On Monday, teens vandalized two local stores. Community leaders blame outsiders for inciting violence.

JUMAANE D. WILLIAMS, NYC COUNCIL MEMBER: There are people, well- intentioned as they may be, that are coming into the community and capitalizing on a terrible situation and making it worse.

SNOW: There are calls in this community for an independent investigation into Gray's death.

CAROL GRAY, MOTHER OF KIMANI GRAY: I'm still waiting for Kimani to come home. And today, I'm asking for justice. And I'm asking why, why was Kimani being murdered and slaughtered?

SNOW: The NYPD says the teen who they believe was a gang member pointed a gun at two plain clothes officers. They fired and Gray was killed. The medical examiner determined Gray was shot seven times including two shots to the back of his body. It's unclear the order of the shots.

Police provided a photo of a gun they retrieved at the scene. Many in this community of West Indian immigrants are distrustful of police. Leaders say they feel ignored and one religious leader says the shooting taps to anger of young kids who feel police are too aggressive.

REV. TERRY LEE, BY WAYS & HODGES, YOUTH MINISTRY: I appreciate the job that the police are doing, but, you know, take care of us. And I'm saying to the community, take care of our police.

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK: As a parent, I can tell you that the thought of losing a child is just every parent's worst nightmare. And so our hearts all have to go out to the family of this young man. So far, all indications are that the young man had a gun. And I can promise you that we will conduct a full and a fair investigation. SNOW (on camera): In an effort to ease tensions here, some leaders in this neighborhood are calling on both the police and members of the community to stop commenting on this investigation until they know exactly what happened.

Mary Snow, CNN, New York.


COSTELLO: Coming up, our "Talk Back" question, "Should the TSA rescind its new policy on knives?" Your responses next.


COSTELLO: Time -- time now to "Talk Back". Republican Senator Rob Portman reversing his position on same-sex marriage saying he's now in favor of the issue. In the past, the Ohio conservative has voted for the defense of Marriage Act and similar legislation.

But in a CNN exclusive, Portman revealed the personal reason that inspired his new kind of thinking.


SEN. ROT PORTMAN (R), OHIO: My son came to Jane, my wife and I, told us that he was gay. And that it was not a choice. And that, you know, he -- that's just part of who he is. And he'd been that way ever since he could remember.

And that launched an interesting process for me which was rethinking my position. I've come to the conclusion that for me, personally, I think this is something that we should allow people to do, to get married and to have the joy and the stability of marriage that I've had for over 26 years. I want all three of my kids to have it, including our son who is gay.


COSTELLO: He's talking about his 21-year-old son Will. That change of heart may put Portman at odds, though, with some members of his own party and of course, his own district. That's according to a recent Quinnipiac poll, shows only 23 percent of Republicans support same-sex marriage compared to half of Independents and more than two-thirds of Democrats.

Speaking earlier on CNN Newt Gingrich reacted to Portman's change of heart this way.


NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I'm not going to second guess Rob Portman. He's an old personal friend. I think when you have somebody in your immediate family who comes in you have three choices, you can say I believe in my principles so much, I'm kicking you out. You can say I still believe in my principle but I love you. Or you can say gee, I love you so much, I'm changes my principles. Rob picked the third path. That's his prerogative. I'm not going to second guess him but I also would just say that I think historically in the long run, marriage will be between a man and woman. That's been its definition for thousands of years and I don't think politicians will change that.


COSTELLO: Joining me now CNN contributor and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona; and CNN contributor and Republican strategist Ana Navarro. Welcome to you both.


COSTELLO: Good morning. Ok so Ana, is Newt Gingrich right no politician will ever change the traditional definition of marriage?

ANNA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No, I think he's not right. I -- I disagree with you on this. And I know Rob Portman. He's a friend of mine. I'm very supportive of what he's done. I respect him tremendously for putting his son above all. And I think he has not compromised his principles. I think he has not changed his principles.

Rob Portman also stands for principles of being a father, of being a loving husband, of being a family man. And as Republicans, we stand for that. We stand for family values and family unity. We stand for smaller government. We stand for not telling people who they should marry, what they should do, having government dictate private lives.

So I don't see Rob changing principles or compromising them at all. I think what he's doing is the right thing.


COSTELLO: Yes and Ana -- Ana only 23 percent of Republicans believe in same-sex marriage. And you're at CPAC right now, this conservative gathering of influential politicians. Is there talk of legalizing same-sex marriage there today?

NAVARRO: No, I'm not going to -- I'm not going to tell you it's one of the hot topics going on at CPAC. There was a panel yesterday on this. And it was packed. But it's not been one of the priority topics talked about and discussed here.

Well, listen, Carol, it doesn't matter that there's 23 percent. The country is shifting. The attitudes are shifting and we've got to let that shift happen naturally. Some people are going to shift faster than others.

It was only ten days ago that President Bill Clinton shifted publicly on this after having been the man, the President who signed DOMA and came out with an op-ed saying I've shifted and I'm now asking the Supreme Court to overturn this law.

So you know it's a natural process, it's a different process for different people. Some people are never going to shift but certainly, when it becomes so personal, when it's your child.

Look, Carol, for me, I have many gay friends. I can't look at them in the eye and tell them they are entitled to a less rights than I am. I can only imagine what it means to have your son come to you or your daughter come to you. You can't look at that child of yours and say you have less right than my other children. You have less right than I do. You are less entitled to happiness and joy and stability and love because you're gay. You can't say that.

So we must respect, I think and support Rob Portman as a father first. And it's very consistent with Republican values of family first.

COSTELLO: And Maria, Rob Portman comes from a very conservative district. He wrote an op-ed in the local newspaper explaining his change of heart. And do you think voters will understand?

CARDONA: Well, I think that it's going to take Rob Portman to continue to voice where he is on this. And I absolutely applaud that he has arrived at this position because it absolutely is where this country is going. So I think it's now going to depend on Rob and, frankly, people like Ana who is absolutely being a leader on this and in the right place and hopefully pushing their party to make sure that they do evolve to where this country is going.

Because the fact of the matter is, Carol -- again, I applaud Rot Portman for doing this -- but not everybody is going to have a daughter or a son that is going to come to them with this. Not everybody is going to have a brother or a sister. So it's going to take leaders like Rob and everybody else in the Republican Party who is understanding the shift and understanding that -- that it actually does go with Republican values to not tell people what to do and who they should love.

And it also goes with the Constitution. We all have the right to the pursuit of happiness under the law. The Berlin Wall that was facing marriage equality is now crumbling. And it's up to people like Rob Portman for this not to be the last word on this, but to continue to push people in his party. And, yes, voters in his district to make sure that they understand that this is where the country is going and this is where the Constitution is as well.

COSTELLO: Part of me -- part of me, though, thinks if Rot Portman hadn't a gay son, that he wouldn't have changed his mind and that empathy is lacking. And -- and like, how can you convince people to have empathy for someone they simply do not understand?

CARDONA: Well and that's where I think it's going to take leaders like Rob Portman for really things to change. And people like Ana Navarro, too and I'm really proud of her and everybody else in the Republican Party who has stood up. There's a whole slew of Republican leaders who understand that this is the way to go. And I think the more that they talk about this, Carol, the more that others will understand. Others who don't have a brother or a sister or a son or a daughter, because you're right, not everybody is going to be in that situation which is why it's going to take to explaining that this is about humanity. This is about understanding that our gay, lesbian brothers and sisters -- gay and lesbian brothers and sister have absolutely the same rights as men and women who can marry to enjoy those rights and to have committed relationships. And be able even to have children and to adopt children, so that is where society is going to take us and that is what it says under the Constitution.

COSTELLO: And Ana, I just want you to have -- have the last word because you were so emotional in expressing your opinion about this. And as a Republican, you are taking a controversial stand.

NAVARRO: I don't see that at all, Carol. And I also don't think it's anybody's job, not Rob Portman's, not anybody's, to convince voters of anything on this. I think it's a very personal journey for people. And I think we have to allow people to have that personal journey.

Look, because somebody is for traditional marriage and does not support gay marriage, that doesn't make them a bigot. That's what Marco Rubio said here yesterday and that's absolutely true. Now because I do support gay marriage and because Rob Portman does support gay rights that doesn't make him less of a person of faith, less of a Republican.

So if we are aspiring to build a big tent Republican Party, there has got to be room for everybody. And we have got to let this evolution happen at its own and natural pace for everybody. It took Barack Obama -- it took President Obama years to evolve on this as well.

So let's be patient. And let's give people their time to come up with their own decisions. Make their own plans. Make their own principles known. It's a personal decision, a personal choice.

COSTELLO: Ana Navarro and Maria Cardona thanks so much for the conversation this morning.

CARDONA: Thanks so much, Carol.

COSTELLO: Hands-free phones are not new but Samsung's new Galaxy S4 is no ordinary phone. You can control the thing with your eyes. So we find out, is this the next step in all mobile phones?


COSTELLO: Redbox is expanding its service to include video streaming. The movie rental service known for its red kiosk will join Netflix and Hulu by offering movies online. Redbox hopes to make itself stand out by offering plans that includes streaming along with its traditional kiosk rentals.

You might not need to use your hands all the much with Samsung's newest smart. In a show more Broadway than boardroom, Samsung debuted its Galaxy S4. The biggest feature, it follows your eye movement letting you control the thing without touching the screen. Wow.

Cristina Warren is Mashable senior tech analyst. I mean to me, this is incredible. What's it like for you? CRISTINA WARREN, MASHABLE SENIOR TECH ANALYST: It's very cool. I had a chance to play with the device a few times yesterday. And it uses facial recognition rather than eye movements. So it can pick up on where your finger is the phone. Where you're looking at it to scroll. And it's very cool stuff.

COSTELLO: And you can just wave your hand over the screen too without touching it to like scroll through stuff.

WARREN: Right, to scroll through stuff. And certain apps, you know, if you want to go to another web page, if you want to go to send a call or dictate a voice message. You can do all that just by waving your hand, kind of like an Xbox Kinect.

It's just really cool. It's just completely gesture based, over the phone. You don't have to actually press any buttons.

COSTELLO: That's just so incredible. So Apple is normally known for thinking out of the box. And some people say Samsung really thought out of the box. It gave people what they wanted before they knew they wanted it. So is this giving Apple a real run for its money? Is the iPhone going to quickly become a thing of the past.

WARREN: I don't know if I would say that the iPhone is a thing of the past. This is certainly competitive. And that's the best that we've had to date. So Apple certainly has some real competition now.

I would actually say that I think that who really needs to watch out are the other Android manufactures, HGC, LG -- some of those companies because. Samsung has come out of the box with a Galaxy S4 and it's the best Android phone. It's going to be the best Android phone on the market. So if you're making another Android phone, I'd be really, really worried.

COSTELLO: Well, what about iPhone, because Apple's stock has been plummeting as you know. So they're going to have to come up with this great new device that everyone instantly loves. What does Apple have to do with its iPhone to beat out Samsung?

WARREN: I think they just need to continue to iterate -- they need to continue to improve their software. They can't have another issue where the maps launch and people aren't able to get to where they want to be. Samsung has a lot of really flashy software features but the big important thing with all of this is how well is it executed? And how well can people actually -- how well can people use it.

And that's one of Apple's big strengths is that their products are easy to use and they usually work as advertised. I think whatever Apple does next, they just need to make sure that it works as advertised and it's potentially going to be as flashy as what Samsung showed off last night.

COSTELLO: I think that's great advice. Cristina Warren, senior tech analyst for Thank you so much for joining us this morning.

WARREN: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Are you ready for march madness? Selection Sunday just days away. You can test your bracket skills against mine or against your favorite CNN anchors in our official NCAA March Madness Bracket Challenge Game. Go to Join the CNN group to see if you can pick the NCAA bracket better than me. And I don't think so. We'll be right back.


C1: The election of Pope Francis has special meaning to a growing segment of Catholics in the United States. In this "American Journey" report, Tom Foreman looks at the rise of the church's Latino members.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The appearance of the Spanish- speaking pope from across the Atlantic electrified the crowd in Italy and lit up U.S. shores, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How does it feel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Full of joy. And happy, very happy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As we say in Latin America, Vivo il Papa.

FOREMAN: Over the past few decades, American Catholic churches like this one in D.C. have undergone a profound transformation. The number of Hispanic members has been soaring, pushed so fast by immigration and births that they now account for one out of every three Catholics here.

GREG SMITH, PEW RESEARCH CENTER: And it's a number that's likely to continue to rise because Latino Catholics tend to be younger than Catholics as a whole. Fully one half of all Catholics under the age of 40 today are Hispanics.

FOREMAN: Reporter: While many white Catholics have been slipping away from the church amid sexual abuse scandals, debates over abortion rights and the role of women Hispanic arrivals have more than made up for the losses. So much so that Catholics still comprise about a quarter of the country, just as they have for decades.

Mind you, that shift in demographics has dramatically changed the religious map once a largely northeastern and Midwestern faith, Catholicism is now growing fast in the south and the west.

The new pope has a ready audience coast to coast in this country.

ANJALAI SHAHANI, CATHOLIC: So the fact that he can speak our language is very significant. I think he can get the message to us more effectively.

FOREMAN: And what they share maybe more than Spanish is the language of change. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.



COSTELLO: Checking our top stories now.

Wayne LaPierre expected to speak at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference. He's the executive vice president of the NRA and, of course, a staunch gun rights supporter. CPAC features some of the biggest GOP stars. It's an opportunity for the party to refine its message.

An incredible rescue in Arizona caught on video. Search teams airlift a hiker to safety after he fell 50 -- or 60 feet rather into a canyon and suffered broken bones. The man's climbing partner called 911 Wednesday but the rescue was delayed overnight because it would have been too dangerous in the dark. The man is now recovering at a hospital.

Also looking flat -- wages for federal workers. The two-year pay freeze that expires at the end of the month will likely be extended until the end of the year. It's part of a bipartisan plan being debated in the Senate. Workers had been expecting to see a pay bump of about half a percentage point.

Facebook may start incorporating hash tags just like Twitter and Instagram. That's according to the "Wall Street Journal". Sources say the features won't be introduced anytime soon. The hash tag is used to connect posts or photos throughout a social network but right now, they're not searchable on Facebook.

I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining us today. And happy Friday. I hope you have a great weekend.

CNN continues right now with Ashleigh Banfield.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Carol. Hello, everyone. Nice to have you with us.

This is not what they wanted. This is not what they planned for, maybe saved for, looked forward to. But at least it is over. The passengers from a Carnival cruise that ended prematurely in St. Maarten are now flying back to Orlando today. And they're doing so at the cruise line's expense and with the cruise line's, quote, "sincere apologies".

Ten flights in all are scheduled to bring more than 2,000 passengers back home today from the Carnival cruise ship "Dream". A couple thousand more are going to fly out over the weekend.

This incidentally is the "Dream", not to be confused with the "Elation". That cruise ship had steering problems last weekend. Also not to be confused with the "Legend", that ship had issues with propulsion.