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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Detroit Files For Bankruptcy; Dow, S&P 500 Hit Record Highs; Witness In Bulger Trial Found Dead; Top Official: Flaws Led To Snowden Leak; Outrage Over Native American Mascots
Aired July 18, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, shocking news. Detroit becomes the largest city in the United States to file bankruptcy in history. Plus a shocking development today in the Whitey Bulger trial. A potential key witness turned up dead today.
And new photos of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to counter "Rolling Stone's" controversial cover but do the new images actually glamorize him even more? Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with the breaking news, the city of Detroit has officially filed for bankruptcy. It is the biggest city in this country ever to go under. Now, in the filing, which I have been reading through this afternoon, Detroit says its homicide rate is the highest in 40 years, 78,000 properties are abandoned.
Emergency vehicles regularly break down and aren't even able to help with fire or police problems, and nearly half of the streetlights in the city of Detroit do not work. The filing means $17 billion in pension promises and debt could go down the drain. That leaves tens of thousands of workers and American investors empty handed.
OUTFRONT tonight, Bill Gross, he's the manager of the world's biggest mutual fund and the founder of PIMCO. Bill, really good to see you. The White House just came out and reacted to the news from Detroit. Spokesperson for the president telling CNN, I'll quote him, "The president and members of the president's senior team continue to closely monitor the situation in Detroit." Why does this bankruptcy matter?
BILL GROSS, FOUNDER, PIMCO: Well, I think it matters for the country, Erin. I mean, no town, to use a phrase, tonight is no town. It's a city in bankruptcy because of mismanagement of local fishes, but I think in part, because of circumstances beyond their control, because of globalization and technological innovation and the vulnerability of our country, of the United States.
Not just Detroit or Michigan, to adapt to those changing circumstances. You know, the U.S. is not the industrial giant it once was. Detroit was the focal point of that industrialization. It's not the same giant as it once was. The inability of the country to adapt is really the problem going forward.
BURNETT: When people look at Detroit, they say, all right, to your point, look, there's a population plunge. The automakers aren't as strong as they once were, although Ford obviously seems to be trying to buck that trend at least. Is this going to spread? We keep hearing the stocks are hitting highs. Things are supposedly getting better. We hear that from Ben Bernanke today when he testifies from Capitol Hill about the overall economy. Yet you have a bankruptcy like this. Are there other places in this country where we have a real risk of disaster?
GROSS: Well, certainly, and it reflects, Erin, the transition from an industrial economy to a service economy. That's not a bad thing necessarily. I think every country ultimately has to produce things as opposed to just doing things for each other, but it reflects that transition, and the outsourcing basically of auto production and the outsourcing of industrial production to other countries.
To the extent that we don't take some of that back, to the extent that we don't advance from the standpoint of new technologies and new production techniques, for instance, with computers and Apple and the like, then, yes, other examples are perhaps in our future.
BURNETT: Bill, you know, I wanted to ask you about this. When we look at Wall Street, you had record highs today for the Dow, Dow Jones Industrial average, as you know, highest close for the Nasdaq since September of the year 2000, on the same day that we have the biggest city bankruptcy in American history. Those two things seem like they can't be happening in the same country, but they are.
Fed Chief Ben Bernanke was testifying to Congress saying he thinks things are getting better. But you know what? Less than a month ago, the Dow plunged more than 560 points in just two days. People are panicked. Are people right now dealing with nervousness, maybe in their own lives of worried about whether their city or company will make good on their tension, like Detroit will now not be able to do. Should they be getting into the stock market?
GROSS: Not those that are worried about their pensions, no and there are other cities -- Stockton, and San Jose, California -- that are at risk and other examples throughout other states in which pensions and health care benefits have put -- have been put in front of other liabilities. So bankruptcy is a possibility. I won't go that far. I'll only suggest, in terms of the stock market and in terms of its relationship to how the United States is doing, the United States is growing at a 2 percent rate.
It's better than most developed countries, but it's not growing as we once were. It's not a 3 percent to 4 percent growth rate, and so stock prices at historical levels that expect a return to those growth rates are bound to, in my opinion, to be disappointed if, in fact, investors continue to expect a perpetual advancement in the Dow or the S&P. At some point, growth will matter.
BURNETT: Right. If you're worried about stocks, a lot of people are also worried about bonds. A lot of people have been putting their money in bonds and pensions because they're worried about where things are going. Ben Bernanke says it will get better so interest rates are going up. Congressman Bill Huizenga of Michigan, ironically, posed this question to Ben Bernanke during his appearance before the House Financial Services Committee. This is the question so many of our viewers have right now, I wanted to play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE BILL HUIZENGA (R), MICHIGAN: I did pass along the question one of my friends had, should he refinance right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not a qualified financial adviser.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right, they laughed, but what's the answer?
GROSS: Well, I think there's not the necessity to refinance now. The refinancing should have been done two months ago when the interest rates were 100 basis points lower. Now I think we're basically stable. You know, the chairman, Erin, has been walking back his mistake of perhaps six to seven weeks ago in which he suggested the tightening and that higher interest rates were imminent.
He talked about the taper and the reduction of purchases by the Federal Reserve. This week in the testimony we just heard, he put in capital letters the words s-o-r-r-y. He basically said sorry. In other words, with the currently weak economy, we're going to require lower interest rates for a long period of time. So refinance, perhaps if you have a much higher mortgage rate, but not if you're anticipating higher interest rates. We think we've had that move.
BURNETT: And a final question, Washington is another gridlock, doing pretty much nothing to do with America's ongoing economic crisis. But we have the tax hikes and the cuts from "The Sequester." So the budget deficit is actually dropping. The Obama administration can brag they're going to have the lowest federal budget deficit in five years. Then you have this headline out of Detroit, the biggest city in American history, to go bankrupt. Should the government be cutting spending right now or spending more?
GROSS: Well, we don't think so. We think the fiscal austerity path is a path that really has to be measured, if at all. If at all is followed, that a cutback, when growth is so weak, basically is the wrong path to take. Although the chairman, Chairman Bernanke, won't say it out loud to Congress, basically, I think he's of the same persuasion.
BURNETT: Bill Gross, thank you very much. We appreciate your perspective tonight. On a night like tonight, we need it with that breaking headline out of Detroit.
Still to come, the shocking development in the Whitey Bulger case, a potential key witness found dead today.
Plus the latest from the school lunch poisoning. The school's principal now is on the run.
And Trayvon Martin's family speaking out today for the first time since the verdict, we're going to hear their reaction to what happened to George Zimmerman.
Later in the show, looking for an incentive to lose weight? How about gold bars? Not chocolate gold bars, gold bars.
BURNETT: Our second story, a potential key witness to the Whitey Bulger trial found dead today. The 59-year-old Steven Rakes, you're looking at him there, was found dead at the side of a Boston area road. He accused Bulger of stealing his liquor store at gunpoint and using it as his mob headquarters. Susan Candiotti is OUTFRONT with this developing story.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two days after he was dropped from the prosecution witness list, Stephen Rakes is dead, a jogger finding his body by the side of a road about 30 miles from his home. Rakes' death a shock at the height of the trial of Boston's notorious crime boss, James "Whitey" Bulger.
The 59-year-old Rakes, nicknamed Stippo, was a regular at Bulger's trial. For years he contended Bulger and his gang stole his South Boston liquor store and took it over as a mob headquarters. Rakes recently made that clear to reporters outside court.
STEPHEN RAKES, DECEASED WITNESS IN BULGER TRIAL: My liquor store was never for sale, never, never, never.
CANDIOTTI: Bulger crony Kevin Weeks testified Rakes offered them the store, and there was a dispute over price. On the stand, Weeks made it clear he didn't like Rakes, and Rakes responded.
RAKES: Dislike me if you will, but that's why we're here today, and we'll get to the bottom of this.
CANDIOTTI: Steve Davis is trying to understand why his friend is dead.
STEVE DAVIS, FRIEND OF DECEASED: Would Weeks ever do something like that, no. I couldn't see him going that far.
CANDIOTTI (on camera): What about Whitey Bulger?
DAVIS: Does he still have that kind of pull outside? I don't know.
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Davis' sister was allegedly murdered by Bulger. Davis last saw Rakes Tuesday after he was dropped from the government's witness list.
DAVIS: I've had a weird feeling since he hasn't talked to me Tuesday.
CANDIOTTI: And didn't know what to think when he went by Rakes' house and couldn't find him. DAVIS: This here seems like reflecting back to the late '70s, early '80s, when people were getting killed. A rat, someone's going to testify, and, bang, they wind up getting killed or disappeared or something.
CANDIOTTI: Investigators say they were no signs of trauma. Some media reports have suggested suicide. Davis isn't buying it.
(on camera): Is there any way this could be suicide?
DAVIS: A 110 percent no.
BURNETT: Obviously, he's got a strong opinion. Susan, found by the side of a road. This just raises questions about the power Bulger could possibly have from prison, but I know there isn't yet a toxicology report.
CANDIOTTI: That's right. It's a huge mystery. Investigators, of course, are all over this. Was it a hit? Was it a suicide? Did he die of natural causes? So they're waiting for toxicology results that could say -- tell them more since there are no obvious signs of trauma -- Erin.
BURNETT: Susan Candiotti, thank you very much. That case taking a whole new bizarre turn.
A major admission by the Obama administration today, the deputy secretary of defense, Ashton Carter, has admitted -- he admitted, there he is on the left there -- major mistakes by the government made it possible for Edward Snowden to access top secret information. Snowden, of course, has exposed some of the NSA's most classified programs. He shed light on a secret court that lets the government do some of its most controversial work. Joe Johns has this OUTFRONT investigation.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is one the most secretive places in America, a federal court of 11 judges with the power to allow government to conduct electronic surveillance on you. It's work unseen by the public for decades until this classified order revealed last month by self-confessed NSA leaker Edward Snowden. It shows the mission of the intelligence community has morphed, giving them more data collecting authority, all with the blessing of this court.
DAVID SOBEL, SENIOR COUNSEL ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FIRM: The laws have been secretly interpreted in a way that now allows the government to monitor the communications of all of us. There's a drag net of surveillance now in place that appears to be acting as a rubber stamp.
JOHNS: The judges rotate, serving one week at a time, appointed exclusively by this man, Chief Justice John Roberts, who at his confirmation hearing, expressed initial reservations to the idea. CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS, SUPREME COURT: It's not what we usually think of when we think of a court. We think of a place where we can go, we can watch, the lawyers argue, and it's subject to the glare of publicity.
JOHNS (on camera): But the federal intelligence surveillance court is far from public. It's here somewhere in this sprawling complex here in Washington, D.C. It's a court so secret. We don't even know exactly where it convenes inside the building.
(voice-over): And how does it work? It was designed to allow government surveillance on individuals who pose national security concerns before bad things happen.
MICHAEL SUSSMANN, FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT PROSECUTOR: And so the need for secrecy is to make sure that the spy isn't alerted to the fact that you are now watching whatever he or she is doing.
JOHNS: The question now is whether this court post-9/11 is protecting the privacy of Americans.
SUSSMANN: It's the fact that there's a secret law and a secret body of law that makes it the most vexing and the most unusual.
JOHNS: Only the Justice Department goes before the court for permission to conduct surveillance. Third parties don't get heard directly unless they go through, you guessed it, the Justice Department.
SOBEL: It's a very strange process where an individual or an organization that wants to interact with a court has to go through their adversary, who acts as a gate keeper to the court.
JOHNS: Even a judge who sat on the FISA court worries it may possess too much unchecked authority.
JUDGE JAMES ROBERTSON (RETIRED), FORMER FISA JUDGE: It's one- sided, and that's not a good thing.
JOHNS: Some in Congress say the process needs to change, but so far no one's come up with the right way to balance national secrecy and public scrutiny. For OUTFRONT Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
BURNETT: All right, still to come, outrage over school mascots. Is it about racism or is the dark truth that it's about money?
Plus disturbing photos of the Boston marathon suspect, we're going to talk to you or show you about what some say is the real face of terror.
And later a dramatic motorcycle crash. We have the full video on this one. It's tonight's shoutout.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: Our third story, OUTFRONT tonight, outrage over school mascots. Native American mascots were banned in Oregon, past tense, that was until state lawmakers overturned the ban on schools using them. But the question is, is money driving the decision to keep those mascots alive? Victor Blackwell is OUTFRONT.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Amity High School Warriors, the Banks High School Braves, the (inaudible) High School Indians, they're three of the estimated 900 sports teams in America that rally around native American mascots, but the days of the chieftains and the Mohawks may soon be over, at least at public schools in Oregon. Last year the state superintendent found the continued use of Native American mascots creates a hostile educational environment.
ARTEMIO PAZ JR., OREGON STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBER: It's an unhealthy, unregulated environment, and it leads to racist comments and a negative self-image for many of those people.
BLACKWELL: Fifteen schools were ordered to give up their feathers and war paint by 2017 or potentially lose state funding. Fast forward to this month, Oregon state lawmakers overwhelmingly passed Senator Jeff Kruse's bill to effectively reverse the ban.
JEFF KRUSE (R), OREGON STATE SENATOR: After all of these years, it's kind of a matter of history and it's a legacy. Admittedly, I'm from Roseburg, Oregon, and we are the Roseburg Indians and have been for a long time.
BLACKWELL: Se-Ah-Dom Edmo is the vice president of the Oregon Indian Education Association.
SE-AH-DOM EDMO, OREGON INDIAN EDUCATION ASSOCIATION: Whether it's a name or an image or a symbol, you are still objectifying a whole race of people, and that is unacceptable.
BLACKWELL: Beyond tradition and the support of some tribal leaders, Kruse says the schools simply cannot afford to change.
KRUSE: The schools would have no choice but to close classrooms, fire teachers, or do something to make it happen because, quite simply, what's at jeopardy is the state school fund, which is about 80 percent of money needed to run the schools.
BLACKWELL: At Roseburg High School alone, the estimated cost to replace the feather logo on athletic facilities, books, t-shirts, uniforms, and more is between $340,000 and $600,000. Estimates vary for the other 14 schools.
EDMO: It really saddens me to think that we're weighing against here the civil rights and discrimination against some students, against the cost that it might be to change these -- to change these images. I don't think they're -- you know, if you ask me to put a price tag on civil rights, I don't think I could do it. BLACKWELL: To keep the mascots and names, Kruse's bill requires they be approved by the American Indian tribe closest to the school. The tribe would also establish behavioral guidelines for sporting events and offer diversity training for staff.
EDMO: What we're arguing here is acceptable levels of racism. So that means that we're only going to objectify you as a little bit as opposed to a whole bunch.
KRUSE: There's nothing negative associated with it. Now, having said that, there will be always be bad actors, but do we change the entire world for the small few? I would suggest no.
BLACKWELL: Senator Kruse's bill has been sent on to the Oregon governor, but the governor has said he will veto the bill because the exceptions are too broad. Kruse says, if the governor vetoes, he'll just reintroduce the bill next session -- Erin.
BURNETT: Thank you very much, Victor. Let us know what you think about that one, whether you think it's racist or not.
Still to come, the family of Trayvon Martin speaking out for the first time since the verdict, they say the president needs to get involved. Why?
Plus shocking photos of the Boston bombing suspect released late today by police. They say these images counter the "Rolling Stone" cover, but do they do more harm?
And Emmy nominations announced. Who's up for an award, and who got the snub?
Tonight's shoutout, the motorcycle crash, this motorcyclist said he was driving just above the speed limit. When he looked a little to his right side of it, and he said he failed to notice the car in front of him had slowed down without braking, which led to this horrific crash.
But the shoutout goes to the motorcyclist. Anyway, I could make that noise only because the guy is fine, and he says, even though his motorcycle is destroyed, he's going to buy a car next. Given his motorcycle driving skills, we think that's a good idea.
BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT, where we focus on our reporting from the front lines.
Moments ago, a Japan Airlines 787 Dreamliner just landed. It was forced to return to Boston's Logan airport after a maintenance light went on. Meanwhile, British authorities say an emergency beacon was likely the cause of a fire aboard a Dreamliner last week.
The British Air Accident Investigation Branch suggests that the plane's emergency locator transmitter be turned off or removed until they can prove that they're air worthy. That's a frightening thing. If the actual thing that's going to signal that there's distress is the thing that's caused the problem, including the problem tonight that we just reported out of Boston, we have counted at least nine incidents with the Boeing Dreamliner since the beginning of this year.
Panamanian prosecutors have brought charges against the captain and 35 crew members of that North Korean ship that was seized carrying military equipment and weapons. The Panamanian government says that they're being charged with illegal position of weapons and international arms trafficking. We understand that that could mean six years in a Panamanian jail.
So, why these charges? Well, Roger Baker of Stratfor tells us that Panama doesn't want to be embarrassed if the U.N. finds sanctions were not directly violated.
The primetime Emmy nominations were announced, and American horror story "Asylum" led the way with 17 nominations. But not a single program from the major broadcast networks was nominated for best drama. It shows how the world has changed. What was nominated for best drama was "House of Cards" from, drum roll please, Netflix.
Joseph Kapsch of TheWrap.com tells us this could be the catalyst for network and cable news to get even more creative, and innovating their programs to compete with the new kid on the TV viewing block.
Well, it's been 712 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back? Well, today, obviously, the biggest city that's ever declared bankruptcy in America, Detroit, declared bankruptcy right before this program. All in, though, ratings agency Moody's followed S&P in raising its outlook on the country's credit rating back to stable, citing that declining budget deficit we talked about.
Well, our fourth story OUTFRONT: pressuring the president to act. Today, the parents of Trayvon Martin spoke. It was the first time they've done so since Saturday's not guilty verdict. They said they're shocked that George Zimmerman was acquitted, and they pressed the president to personally get involved.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S MOTHER: At least investigate what happened. At least go through it with a fine toothed comb and just make sure all the T's were crossed and all the I's were dotted, because this is sending a terrible message -- it's sending out a terrible message to young teenagers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Five days after the verdict, the president has yet to make a public statement, even though he had the chance, of course, when he went before the cameras this morning.
So, why is the president reluctant to wade into what has become a national debate on race?
OUTFRONT tonight, Keli Goff, political correspondent from theroot.com, and Judge Glenda Hatchett.
Good to have both of you with us.
Keli, our Jessica Yellin was with the president today, asked about the White House about the comments made by Trayvon Martin's parents, and I want to play what spokesman Jay Carney's response to Jessica.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I don't know when he will next address these matters in some regard. It's up to the people who interview him, or -- but, you know, he is -- I mean, he hasn't shied away from these issues in past and I'm sure he won't in the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: It's interesting there, Keli. He said, in some regard, it's up to people who interviewed him. He's, of course, referring to interviews the president conducted this week with Hispanic networks on immigration, where none of the anchors actually asked him about this issue.
We know the president does not need to be getting an interview from a television network to step up and talk about an issue, right? When he -- this case first got national attention, he famously said, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," in a Rose Garden news conference.
So if he wanted to talk about it, he would. Is he shying away from it?
KELI GOFF, THEROOT.COM: Well, yes, that's why I found Jay Carney's comments would have been laughable if they weren't -- if it weren't such a serious topic. I mean, frankly, his response to me sort of reminded me of that moment when Dukakis famously lost a presidential debate because he was asked his opinion on the death penalty, and what if his wife were assaulted, and he gave this very clinical sort of -- well, I have a solid position on this issue. And that's kind of how Jay Carney has talked about this.
I mean, this is -- a young man has died. President Obama is certainly not the president of black America. He's the president of the United States of America.
And those of us in the African American community who feel he should comment more forcefully on the role of race in this issue get that. But, still, and however, black Americans are part of the United States of America, Erin, and I think what a lot of us are frustrated on as we've heard him weigh in on controversial issues having to do with the gay community, controversial issues having to do with the Latino community. He hasn't been uncomfortable waiting and too uncomfortable to weigh in with other minority groups, and yet, we have not seen that level of consistency with the black community. So, I'm not sure what Jay is talking about by saying he hasn't shied away. I can count on less than -- you know, one hand, how many times he's addressed race since he became president.
And it's been controversial when he's done so. But if he can't handle controversy, then he should have picked another line of work.
BURNETT: Right. Well, you know, Judge Hatchett, I mean, you know, Keli has a point, right? He was criticized by none other than Reverend Jesse Jackson, for example, when he waited a very long time to comment on the incredible surge of black on black violence in Chicago. It's just another example of a racial issue he did not want to get involved in, at least it seemed that way.
But he did, judge put out a statement, printed statement saying the jury has spoken. He seems to make it clear. He's saying, look, the jury has spoken, and I'm not getting involved with it.
But what about Keli's point? That he has stepped in on gay marriage. He has made so many social issues and other racial issues with Latinos central to his speeches.
JUDGE GLENDA HATCHETT, AUTHOR AND SPEAKER: Let's talk about this case in particular first, Erin and Keli.
HATCHETT: On this case, what he has said, I thought was appropriate in the statement that he issued, and he is the president, and it is appropriate for the Department of Justice to continue their investigation.
And so, for him to weigh in on that particular issue -- and I understand Trayvon's parents anguish. I mean, I don't know their anguish. I hope I never do understand their anguish.
But I am the mother of two black boys who are now young men who have been profiled, who have been harassed, I get that. And to lose a child, I can't even begin to understand what that pain must be like, and my heart bleeds for them.
But having said that, what is appropriate for this matter is for the Department of Justice to conduct an investigation, and the last thing -- I think, Keli and Erin, you would both agree, the last thing we would want to happen is for them to be undue political pressure for the department to file a federal case in this matter and it not be supported by the investigation. That would be horrendous. We want it to be filed if there's an active investigation, and the attorney general has seen this as appropriate.
BURNETT: Keli, I just to get one question here, because I want to ask you whether you think the president is being political. I mean, he's been criticized -- GOFF: Of course.
BURNETT: -- for being a guy who cares a lot about polls, right? People are angry at him. They say, well, he looks at the polls.
When you look at that famous incident, the arrest of the Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates Jr., you remember the whole beer garden, right? They had the beer.
The response to that was not good. His approval rating fell from 61 percent to 54 percent after that, and among white Americans, from 53 percent to 46 percent.
Is he looking at those polls and saying I don't want to go there on the black issue?
GOFF: In a word, yes, and that's what we're frustrated about, right? Which is -- I actually agree with Judge Hatchett more than I think we disagree, which is I recognize that it's not his job to weigh in on the legalities of this case.
What I think a lot of us are simply waiting for is for him to demonstrate the same compassion that Judge Hatchett just did, which was saying I as a black American relate to the fact that a lot of parents, who just like me as a black parent, are now fearful for their children's lives walking down the street carrying a pack of Skittles, because we do have an issue in this country that disproportionately affects our community, which is racial profiling.
That doesn't have to address the verdict. That doesn't have to address the investigation. That is simply relating on a human level, in the same way he said that part of what moved him on gay marriage is that he has -- his daughters have classmates who have gay parents. That level of compassion has not been demonstrated from the community, which is precisely the reason you gave, which is he looked at the poll numbers, and I have a problem with that.
And not just because, again, it's not that he's president of black America. It's because we are a part of America, and he has not demonstrated the same commitment to our community because of fear of political repercussions. And he's in the second term, Erin. When is that going to stop?
BURNETT: Does he just take black voters, black Americans for granted? After all, he was criticized for ignoring African-Americans in the last election, and guess what? He still got all the votes.
HATCHETT: I don't think it's fair. I think that we have to realize that he has a broad spectrum. He has said very clearly at the very beginning of this matter that, if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin. But, you know, his heart bleeds, as we saw it bleed in Sandy Hook when those children were dying.
But right now I think the most constructive thing for him to do is for the Department of Justice to complete the investigation, a thorough investigation, and perhaps he may comment later, but to say that he has turned his back on black Americans is not fair. It just isn't fair.
GOFF: I think --
BURNETT: Final word, Keli.
GOFF: I don't think he's not showing the measure of courage that a lot of us hoped he would in a second term. Representative Cleaver, former head of the Congressional Black Caucus, told me a lot of us have given him a pass because he's facing re-election, and we're hoping we're going to see more courage from him in the second term -- I'm paraphrasing. And we didn't see it in the reaction to this, and that's what I'm disappointed it and hoping that will change.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks very much to both of you. We appreciate it.
And, of course, we want your feedback.
Well, Zimmerman case has been getting all the national attention, but some are saying there are many other cases that should be getting the same attention. But do the comparisons add up?
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Phoenix, Arizona, Daniel Atkins (ph), who is mentally disabled, is walking his dog past a Taco Bell. Police say a car in the drive thru nearly runs into him. An argument begins with the driver, Kordell Jude (ph), who soon pulls a pistol and shoots Atkins dead, leaving his family stricken.
Jude says Atkins made a threatening move with some sort of bat. Police find no such weapon, and Jude is charged with second degree murder.
BILL MONTGOMERY, COUNTY ATTORNEY: Mere words alone cannot provide justification for the use of physical force.
FOREMAN: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, police say 76-year-old John Spooner accuses 13-year-old Darius Simmons of burglarizing his home two days earlier. The teen denies it, and the security camera records the explosive moment when Spooner accosts the boy and fires a shot, killing him as his mother watches.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The innocent killed and do not deserve to die.
FOREMAN: Spooner's lawyer claims mental illness!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't appreciate the wrongfulness of what he was doing.
FOREMAN: But this week, he was convicted of murder anyway.
PROTESTERS: What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now!
FOREMAN: In the wake of the Zimmerman case, debates are raging over just when people do and do not have the right to use deadly force defending their lives and property? Almost every state has Castle Laws, which generally say people in their own homes do not have to retreat from attackers before fighting back.
More than 20 states have "Stand Your Ground" laws, which extend that legal protection to situations outside the home. In almost every circumstance, however, the law requires reasonable judgment about the seriousness of the threat. That can make each case wildly different -- and that's the problem for CNN legal analyst Mark NeJame.
MARK NEJAME, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The standard is typically what a reasonable person would do under the circumstances, and do you reasonably fear for death or great bodily injury? That's a very subjective standard. It's not an objective standard. You know, everybody, we're all human beings. So, everybody is going to perceive something differently.
BURNETT: Now, Tom, you just heard Mark NeJame say, well, the key word in these verdicts is subjective. This just makes it all really tricky, right? It's all in the eye of the beholder is what it seems like.
FOREMAN: Yes, it is. And this type of crime, Erin, is different than other types of crime. That's what makes it complicated. If you and I go rob a bank or steal a car, they don't really care about how we feel about it. They just record our actions and prosecute for it.
When you start talking about self-defense, there's often no dispute about what happened. The question is why it happened. So, a jury or a judge is looking into the soul of the accused and saying, did this person have some really pressing fear? Did they have some reason to be in a panic over the notion that they might be killed? And does that affect the details of this case?
That's why this can be so unsatisfying to people. But I'll tell you, Erin, when you look at the details of the cases and you look at all of that, many of these cases that look similar to the Zimmerman case at first blush in the details are really very different.
BURNETT: Tom Foreman, thank you.
And still to come, for the first time since George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder, Trayvon Martin's family will speak out. They'll be live on CNN in just minutes.
Plus, graphic photos of the Boston bombing suspect released by police. So, you saw the "Rolling Stone" cover. Are these new pictures the real face of terror? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BURNETT: We are back with tonight's outer circle, where we reach out to our sources around the world. Tonight, we want to go to India, where officials are actually trying to figure out how children's lunches were poisoned by a sarin-like nerve gas, 23 students were killed. I asked our Sumnima Udas what authorities are saying tonight about the investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, authorities say they suspect the oil used to cook that meal was contaminated with pesticides, but the forensic reports aren't out yet, and the school principal and her husband are still on the run. So, the mystery surrounding whether that meal was accidentally or deliberately poisoned still continues.
Meanwhile, in the village where this mass poisoning took place, parents grieved their lost loved ones, many still in a complete state of shock. All 23 children who died have been buried around the one- room school. One child is buried right in front of the school entrance as a form of protest.
The two dozen children who fell ill are still in this hospital behind me, but all are now out of danger -- Erin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Thanks to you, Sumnima.
And now, our fifth story OUTFRONT: Boston responds.
So, a day after "Rolling Stone" released the cover, as you see there, which caused national outrage and boycotts, the Boston Police Department countered late today with new images of what "Boston Magazine" calls the real face of terror.
In this picture that was taken -- let me just hold this up for a second, on April 15th, you can see Tsarnaev barely alive, standing in that boat with the red dot of a sniper rifle on his forehead. That's right on that boat on Friday evening. Are these pictures a more accurate portrayal of the terror suspect?
OUTFRONT tonight, Stephanie Miller, Dean Obeidallah and Reihan Salam.
All right. Great to have all of you with us.
I was looking at these, Dean. The photographers with the Massachusetts state police took the pictures, told "Boston Magazine", what "Rolling Stone" did was wrong, this guy is evil. This is the real Boston bomber, not someone fluffed and buffed for the cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine.
Now, here's my question, though. Does showing a suspect, and I want to use the word suspect because we have a system in this country, justice system, with a dot of sniper rifle on his forehead, make the police look good?
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, COMEDIAN: I don't think it makes -- their goal to show the face of terror. They're showing it literally. That doesn't move people.
You know what moves people, showing the victims, over 300 injured, some with no legs, Jeff Bauman (ph). My sister was there with three little girls, showing the fear on their face from a bombing. That would move, show the evil face.
Not literally the face of a guy, police with the police red dot on his head. That doesn't do anything.
So, I understand they are upset and I would be upset God forbid my nieces were hurt or anything, but this doesn't do it.
BURNETT: Stephanie, what do you think? I want to put that picture up again of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, just so people kind of understand -- this is dark picture so you have to really look at it with the -- with the red dot on his forehead, with the sniper rifle that would show he was in the sights of the rifle.
What do you think of the picture?
STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO HOST: Well, I say hooray for "Boston Magazine" and boo for "Rolling Stone" because, you know, I agree. It looks like tiger beat, like they are glamorizing somebody that blew up an 8-year-old kid, you know?
I really is -- you know, it's interesting, we had this phenomenon now here with the Menendez trial. You know, we had like these teen girls, you know, that were like, oh, my God, they are so cute. And I think it's the kind of thing you want to help Erin or you want to like promote.
I just think you would expect it from "The New York Post", they ran that cover, you know, "Jihadi" with his picture and predictably all these Facebook teen girl sites sprang up, you know, to be a fan. And I think it's ridiculous.
BURNETT: It is amazing when these things happen, the side of people you see, the people who become fans and people who see conspiracy theories in these things.
But, Reihan, I want to show you a couple of other pictures. There is another picture that shows what kind of looks to be his blood body in the boat, hand and body slumped over the boat. So you can see that there. That's his body and the middle hand slumped over.
And then there's one of the SWAT team location. They released several also showing the law enforcement authorities who were there, the overwhelming number of them.
So, what do you think? Do these pictures counter the "Rolling Stone" cover?
REIHAN SALAM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I have to say, I think any of these photographs, the Rorschach tests. Different people are going to have different reactions to them.
And I think when I'm thinking about the cover of "Rolling Stone", the cover was reflecting a story by a lady called Janet Reichman (ph), a really accomplished investigative journalist, and the story is really about --
BURNETT: It's a great story.
SALAM: The story is about the folks this young man knew who were totally blindsided and puzzled by what happened, and who are still really struggling with what happened. So, I think both sets of images are useful for this season, because this was someone who went from this one place where people were totally shocked what happened to this other place.
BURNETT: You're right.
SALAM: And still there is this deep mystery so all of these images are part of our portrait of who this person is and they have to be part of it, because it's not the one or the other, it's not just him with the red dot in his head, it's also this guy two years ago seemed to be a decently well-adjusted American kid and people were shocked by the thought that he would do anything like that.
BURNETT: Which is true but I should emphasize the indictment from federal government said he was not brainwashed, not innocent and actually a mastermind of this. So, there he is, yet another version of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev we're going to find out about.
SALAM: And that version is where did this mystery come from and how was he so disciplined?
OBEIDALLAH: The article to me I was against the glorification showing this picture, but frankly, if it gets more people read this article, it's important for people to see how people get radicalized and there's really so little signs, almost no signs.
BURNETT: Stephanie, before we go, "Rolling Stone" using Tsarnaev to sell pictures, but so is "Boston Magazine", OK, they are publishing these. I mean, I'm not saying they are doing it for this reason but that is part of it, right? So a picture looking glamorous or a snipe rifle, it's doing the same thing. Aren't they doing the same thing?
MILLER: I don't think so. I honestly think, Erin, the "Rolling Stone" cover glamorizes it. And it's asking for copycats. It's asking for wannabes, who want to get their picture on the cover of "Rolling Stone." "The Boston" ones are a reality, they're not a glamour picture.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to all of you, as always.
And a reminder, Trayvon Martin's parents are gong to be live on CNN in just a few moments.
But, next, do you wonder if you had too much to drink? Maybe Reese Witherspoon and her husband did, you know? But if they had this app, they wouldn't had that incident. We'll show it to you.
BURNETT: Tonight, an "IDEA" that could provide people with a better understanding of how much is too much.
BEN BIRON, ALCOHOOT FOUNDER: I realize that there's a lot of people dying from drunk driving than it should be.
BURNETT (voice-over): While serving in the Israel army together, 24-year-old Ben Biron and Jonathan were stunned to learn more fellow soldiers died in drunk driving accidents than in combat.
BIRON: You ask yourself, why is it so big?
BURNETT: Biron left the military in 2011 and came to the States to attend college in North Carolina. It was then that the two friends decided to take the high number of alcohol-related deaths and turn that into a potentially life-saving idea.
BIRON: We want to attack the problem.
BURNETT: What they came up with was this. It's called Alcohoot. It's a device that when attached to a smartphone can process blood- alcohol levels or BAC and tell you if you've had too much to drink.
BIRON: Plug it into your smart phone and tap on the app, and then -- and within a couple seconds you should get an alcohol result.
BURNETT: After plugging wage, height, age and gender, the app takes about 10 seconds to calculate your BAC, before telling you if it's time to call a cab or if you're OK to drive.
Criminal defense attorney Darren Kavinoky says anything that gets people thinking about their alcohol levels is a good thing, but he has concerns about the technology.
DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It takes only between a millionth and a billionth of an ounce of alcohol to register on that machine. So, if somebody burped within 20 minutes or so preceding the test, that could throw off the results dramatically.
BURNETT: But Biron thinks it's the wave of the future, helping people make an informed judgment about whether they should get behind the wheel.
BIRON: People are becoming more like self-appointed (ph). They want to know what is happening. So, everything is becoming on your smart phone mobile. Breathalyzers have to be there, too.
BURNETT: Thanks for watching.
"A.C. 360" starts now.