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Juror Speaks Out About Loud Music Trial; Deadly Protests Around the World; Obama Weighs Syria Options

Aired February 19, 2014 - 08:00   ET




JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We are appalled by the violence that's already taking place.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: On the brink. Deadly protests are breaking out around the world. Thousands of demonstrators taken to the streets in Europe, South America and Asia. What's sparking this fiery chaos?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Speaking out. A juror in the loud music trial breaking her silence saying most of the jurors believed Michael Dunn was guilty of verdict. So why then didn't they convict him?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Under fire, TV star Mike Rowe taking heat for defending Walmart over its decision to put more money into American manufacturing. Is it a case of shooting the messenger or do his critics have a point? He'll join us night.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.

BOLDUAN: God morning and welcome once again to NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, February 19th -- just after 8:00 in the East.

Up first this morning, chaos erupting in every corner of the world, it seems, this morning, stretching from Kiev to Caracas. In the Ukraine the death toll has climbed to 25. In the capital city, you can see smoke is rising after fires raged through the night.

And in Venezuela violent clashes claimed four lives. Tensions are rising with the arrest of the country's opposition leader in Caracas.

CUOMO: In Thailand, we have similar political unrest and bloodshed. There, the flash point was the prime minister is being charged with corruption. At least five people were killed so far in clashes with police. All of this reminiscent of the Arab spring. And while the slaughter intensifies in Syria with pressure building on the White House to stop the carnage there.

We're going to tap into the resources of CNN, and bring you the latest on the unrest overseas, why it's happening, and what it means to you.

So, we'll turn now to the Ukraine, dozens are dead, hundreds more injured, the numbers just keep going up. The city of Kiev smoldering right now, fires raging throughout night.

There we have Nick Paton Walsh joining us from Kiev -- Nick.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Chris, worrying developments behind me, just to bring you up to date. We have seen in the last few minutes, large numbers of riot police moving down various angles towards that protest behind me. Now that just raises the tension after last night's extraordinary violence.

We went down in the crowd just shortly after dawn broke to look around and talk to some of the protesters.


WALSH (voice-over): It's been nearly a decade-long struggle here between Ukraine turning east to Russia or west to Europe. This is where it stood after its most violent day, a stalemate. The police closing in, but looking tired even with fewer protesters here the morning after, still more are moving in.

(on camera): After all those hours of violence and casualties, they have been pushed back to a small area on the square, but still, this violent standoff persists. The question being is there any kind of negotiation that can bring an end to these scenes?

(voice-over): The United States seemed to hold President Yanukovych more responsible.

CARNEY: Force will not resolve the crisis to restore peace and stability. We urge President Yanukovych to de-escalate immediately the situation and end the confrontation.

WALSH: But Yanukovych held brief talks with the opposition and afterwards, demanded they renounced radicals in their midst. The talks were pointless said opposition leader, boxer Vitali Klitschko.

VITALI KLITSCHKO, UKRANIAN OPPOSITION LEADER: I'm very unhappy because it was no discussion and the president don't want to listen to opposition.

WALSH: The fury continued into the morning fueled by police violence. Evidence of pellets and rubber bullets displayed. This man told me he was here for the future of the Ukraine. Molotov cocktails and stones, weapons against a modern police force, several of them died too.

Ten years ago, the Orange Revolution tried to turn this huge nation towards Europe but failed. Now the E.U. struggling to fend off Russian economic pressure, but many here says they want to be free of Russia's grip.

We are here for freedom. We are patriots and we are slaves now. These men tell me.

This outburst so unexpected, many will hope for calm while Ukraine comes to terms with it.


WALSH: Now as these protests show no signs of lowering their tension we are seeing increased global pressure, E.U., perhaps their member states getting together soon, saying they put through sanctions against those who they consider to be blamed for the violence, this portion of the violence, bound to include members of the Ukrainian government.

But let me zoom down behind you. We can point out the growing numbers of riot police. It's hard to tell if these are shift changes. But I'm seeing a lot more of the move now than there were before, and, of course, that will raise fears of, perhaps an escalation in police presence and maybe a change in their tactics. That's not far ahead from where we are now.

Back to you, Chris.

BOLDUAN: All right. Nick, I'll take it. Thanks so much.

Quite a vantage point you have there in your shot. Thanks so much.

Now to Thailand where the latest anti-government protest claimed five lives and injured almost 500 others. Violent demonstrators erupted -- demonstrations erupted in Bangkok as objections intensified against the prime minister who is facing corruption charges. A police officer was among those killed as protesters shot at officers after tear gas was used to disperse the crowd.

Hundreds have been wounded since fighting begun in November, when protesters camped out around the city demanding the government be replaced.

CUOMO: Now, to Venezuela a top opposition leader is due to appear in court this morning following his arrest last night. That arrest driving tens of thousands of protesters into the streets demanding that Venezuela's president resign.

The government which just expelled three American diplomats blames the U.S. for fueling the crisis.

CNN's Karl Penhaul is live from Caracas.

Karl, what's the situation?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that Harvard education opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez, he's now facing charges of murder, terrorism and arson and that is incensing his supporters who are anti-government protesters the ones who want an end to Venezuela's 16 year experiment in socialism.

Leopoldo Lopez due in just a matter of hours once again to appear in court and that's to galvanize tens of thousands of his supporters and that, of course, will set them on a confrontation course with government security forces.

Let's take a look at what's been happening so far.


PENHAUL: Within hours of his surrender, opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez appeared in this prerecorded video calling for Venezuelans to keeping pushing for change.

The message to his supporters emerged Tuesday night by Lopez's Twitter account.

Seated next to his wife he says, "If you're watching this video it's because the government has carried one more abuse."

Protesters in Caracas erupted in fury Tuesday.

Continuing to demonstrate into the night after their hero while professing his innocence turned himself into national guard troops.

The demonstrations began two weeks ago. Thousands of students demanded government action to end violent crime waves in the country, stem inflation which is an alarming 56 percent and bring an end to shortages and necessary advertise. The tensions boiled over with police using water cannons and tear gas.

Now, Venezuelan's youth want change. At the same time pro-government supporters staged their own protest dressed in red accusing the opposition of being violent fascists blaming them for the country's crime and scarcity.

It's taking place as the one year anniversary of Hugo Chavez' death approaches. His successor Nicolas Maduro now facing throngs of opposition protesters. Their leader, a Harvard-educated man, is now in police custody, charged with murder, terrorism and arson in connection with the violent protests that have left at least four people dead in the last week.


PENHAUL: We got a firsthand taste last night of the rising political tensions on the streets of Caracas. We were taking video of pro- government supporters and anti-government protesters. At one point then, a group of armed thugs on motorcycles rode to disperse the anti- government protesters. They stopped in front of us and the next minute I knew, I was looking down the barrel of a chrome plated .9 millimeter pistol.

Those motorcycles thugs then proceeded to steal our cameras and all our broadcasting gear, as members of the national guard stood and watched just 10 yards away.

We are back on air broadcasting now, but that just gives you a sense of how difficult things are becoming.

Back to you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: And getting a sense that no one is safe from this violence. Thank you so much, Karl.

All of this is happening as President Obama is attending a summit in Mexico today. His trip, through, overshadowed by all the violence as well as the escalating war in Syria. This morning reports the White House is revisiting military options in Syria after peace talks have stalled.

CNN's Jim Acosta is traveling with the president live in Mexico for us again this morning.

Good morning, Jim.


That's right. And we should note the president is due to depart from Washington this hour en route to Mexico for this North American leader summit. We'll meet with his North American counterparts Enrique Pena- Nieto for Mexico and Steven Harper in Canada. They'll be talking about a range of issues from trade, immigration, to the Keystone Oil pipeline that the Canadians would like to see approved by the U.S. government.

But as you mentioned these global crises, concerns of those crises will also be following the president's trip down here to Mexico.

We talked to a senior administration official earlier this morning, in discussing these options that the administration is looking at -- this administration official said they are constantly looking at openings on how to deal with the crisis in sir why. At this point, they are still very much finding a diplomatic solution. Part of that, they are leaning on the Russians to show some support for a diplomatic process that can lead to an end of violence in Syria.

As for Ukraine, you were talking about Ukraine as well, Vice President Joe Biden called the president of that country, Yanukovych, yesterday evening, calling for maximum restraint on the part of the Ukrainians in dealing with those protesters. And as for Venezuela, the events that Karl Penhaul just mentioned, we expect White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to be asked about those events an Air Force One as he talks to reporters en route to Mexico.

So, a lot on the president's plate. The official agenda has a lot on it but also, unofficially, there'd be lots to discuss -- Chris, Kate.

PEREIRA: And I'll take it here. Thanks so much. Certainly a lot on the president's plate. Thanks for that.

We're going to take a look at other stories making headlines. Overnight, several people were injured including crew members aboard a Cathay Pacific Airways flight that hit severe turbulence over Japan. You're seeing the result here on your screen.

The Cathay Pacific Airways flight was headed to Hong Kong from San Francisco when passengers on board say they were thrown from their seats, hitting overhead bins. This follows a similar incident on Monday when a flight from Denver encountered intense turbulence, violently throwing passengers on that flight to the ceiling.

A cruise ship worker is behind bars for allegedly attempting to throw a female passenger overboard after brutally beating and sexually assaulting her. The 31-year-old victim is a U.S. citizen. The police said the suspect, a room service attendant, with Holland America Cruises has confessed to attacking her. Police say he used his master key to enter the woman's room, said he wanted to teach her a lesson for insulting him. He's now charged with attempted murder and aggravated sexual assault.

A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office fueling more debate over raising the minimum wage. The reports saying raising it to $10.10 would boost earnings for more than 16 million low wage earners. But it could also put half a million other people out of work. Right now, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

Officials say extremely delicate talks are under way to finally bring Bowe Bergdahl home. The Army sergeant has been held by Taliban linked insurgents in Pakistan since 2009. Now, with new questions about his health and war in Afghanistan winding down, there is a new and urgent push for his release.

According to "The Washington Post", it could involve a controversial plan to swap five Taliban prisoners. The White House is denying actively negotiating with the Taliban.

And some breaking news out of the Olympics and, of course, your spoiler alert. Bode Miller has pulled out of Saturday's slalom run because of a swollen knee. Miller finished 20 in this morning's giant slalom and is now apparently finished for the Sochi Games.

OK. Here's the spoiler alert, ready? American Ted Ligety nabbed gold in that giant slalom, the first American man to win that event. Shall we look at the medal count? Why not?

Russia with a silver in cross country last hour pulling into the overall lead with 22 medals. The U.S., Netherlands, Norway and Canada rounding out the top five.

It literally, at this time of day, it's changing hour by hour.

BOLDUAN: Five medal events during the show.

PEREIRA: Yes, exactly.

CUOMO: It's weird. Having these events and the numbers keep changing. PEREIRA: It's weird, right?

CUOMO: I wonder if there's a connection or a conspiracy.

PEREIRA: Conspiracy, obviously.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY one of the jurors in the Michael Dunn loud music trial is speaking out. What went on inside that jury room? Find out why she believes Dunn got away with murder.

CUOMO: Plus, you know him, you love him. Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame. He's the voice of the controversial Walmart ad and suddenly finds himself defending the giant retailer. We'll talk to him about it.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. New this morning, a juror in the loud music murder trial is speaking out, now, giving new insight as to what went on inside the jury room during those 30 hours of deliberations. She reveals why she believes Michael Dunn got away with murder. We're also hearing more of those jailhouse phone calls made by Dunn just weeks after killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis. CNN's Alina Machado has all of it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think Michael Dunn got away with murder?

VALERIE, JUROR #4 IN DUNN MURDER TRIAL: At this point, I do. Myself personally, yes.

ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A juror from Michael Dunn's murder trial is speaking out about what was going on inside the jury's deliberation room.

VALERIE: We took a poll. There were two of us undecided, two for was justified, and the rest were not justified. We all believed that there was another way out, another option.

MACHADO: In an interview with ABC's "Nightline," juror number 4 named Valerie said the disagreements ultimately led to a mistrial for the most severe charge of first degree murder. She believes Dunn was guilty.

VALERIE: We had a lot of discussion on him getting out of the car, and the threat has now gone, and your intent is yet to still go ahead and pursue this vehicle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like I'm the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) victim here. I was the one who was victimized.

MACHADO: Just yesterday, the prosecution released nine recorded calls made in the weeks after Dunn shot and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis outside a Florida gas station. Dunn felt he was the victim.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know how else to put it like they attacked me. I'm the victim. I'm the victor, but I was the victim, too.

MACHADO: In another call with his fiancee, Dunn shared his negative perception about the teens he opened fired on following an argument over loud music.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the police said that these guys don't have a record, I was like, yes, I wondering if they're just flying under the radar, because they were bad.

MACHADO: In another, he rehearsed the argument he might make to convince a judge to release him on bond.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I acted within the law, though, with a tragic outcome. Please grant me this bond so that I may return home to my family and prepare to defend. I value second most, my freedom.

MACHADO: But Dunn will not be freed. He's facing a retrial and at least 60 years behind bars when he is sentenced next month. Juror number four believes Dunn had options that would have avoided all of this entirely.

VALERIE: Roll your window up. Ignore the taunting. Move the parking spot over. That's my feeling.

MACHADO: Alina Machado, CNN, Miami.


CUOMO: It makes sense what the juror is saying, but remember, it gets complicated because under Florida law, there is no need to retreat from a situation if you fear violent injury or death to yourself. That takes to the law. That takes to us the idea of the culture of violence and figure out what is the real force pushing this verdict.

So, you can tweet us about it and keep the conversation going after you hear two different takes. One, from Democratic Florida state representative, Alan Williams. Representative Williams has been calling for the repeal of stand-your-ground and we have Polk County sheriff, Grady Judd. He's president of the Florida's Sheriff's Association. He supports stand your ground. Thank you both, gentlemen, for being here.

Sheriff, let me begin with you, because the law is in place. Been there basically since 2005 in its current form. Why do you believe that the current self-defense laws in Florida are a good thing?

SHERIFF GRADY JUDD, POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA: Chris, the self-defense law hasn't changed at all and it's been with us for decades and decades and decades. The only thing they changed in 2005 was to say that you don't have to retreat. You don't have to turn your back on the aggressor. But here's what happened in the Dunn case. That was not a stand-your-ground case. That was not a self-defense case.

And quite frankly, that's why the police did what they did, and the prosecutors are in the process of prosecuting him. It was a hung jury and the prosecutors are going to prosecute again. So, there has been this misconception that stand-your-ground created that. Well, you can call an apple an orange, but it doesn't mean it's so and that's what happened in this case and many others.

For decades before stand your ground, people were telling us in investigations, oh, it was self-defense, it was self-defense when it was not self-defense at all. So, stand-your-ground only says that you can be where you're lawfully allowed to be, minding your own business, and somebody attacks you, you can defend yourself. Force with force. And obviously, if you make a mistake, you go to prison for the rest of your life.

CUOMO: Representative Williams, even though it wasn't argued as a stand-your-ground defense, the words "stand-your-ground" are currently in the self-defense statute in Florida and many argue it create as lower bar for people's responsibility in these situations. You're one of them. What do you want?

ALAN WILLIAMS, (D) FLORIDA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Well, we want a full out repeal. And you know, it's great to be on here with the Sheriff Judd. But I will tell you that the Florida Sheriff's Association, although, they've taken a position on keeping stand-your-ground, not all 67 sheriffs in the state of Florida support it. As a matter of fact, when they had the vote, not all of them were in the room and it was a voice vote.

It wasn't like we do in the legislature when we press the red or green button saying that we support or we object to a piece of legislation, not all the sheriffs supported it. Not all the sheriffs in the major, large counties supported it. And even some of the sheriffs who were there even said the law needs to be changed, and that's why we have a bill up now where it's going to hopefully look at the aggressor in these type of situations.

And when you look at castle doctrine, castle doctrine gives a lot of those protections that Sheriff Judd is talking about this morning.

CUOMO: Castle doctrine is just -- for all of you at home -- is where if you're a place where you belong and have no duty to have to retreat, then you can stay there and defend yourself. Castle being your home. That's the analogy there. Sheriff, when you hear the juror and she says we thought he had other options. He could have done other things, but under the law, you're kind of rewarding him for not doing those other things because he doesn't have to, he gets to stay there.

Doesn't that give you some pause for concern that you were rewarding people for not doing the most responsible thing?

JUDD: Excuse me. The stand-your-ground law does not reward you. What it simply says is you don't have a duty to retreat. I can tell you quite frankly that you should always retreat if that option is available. Do you know why? Because if you think you're exercising stand-your-ground and you're not legally exercising stand-your-ground, you're going to go to prison for the rest of your life just like Michael Dunn is. But, simply put, and the Florida sheriffs, I was at that meeting, and representative is a fine representative in Florida, but I was at that meeting. It was a complete voice vote, a unanimous voice vote. Yes, there's individual sheriffs that think the law can be tweaked, but the overwhelming majority agree with the Florida legislature. I was in Tallahassee just yesterday talking with the legislators.

There is no interest in changing the stand-your-ground law. But here's what we got to remember. That doesn't give you the right to shoot somebody. That doesn't give the right to start a confrontation. All it simply says is if you're attacked, that you can defend yourself without having to retreat first.

My sage advice is always try to retreat if it's safely possible, because if you make a mistake, then we're going to do just like the police did in Jacksonville and lock you up for what will be the rest of your life.

CUOMO: Right. But you have to remember that the current confusion with the Dunn case, sheriff, is that he got punished for missing when he shot, didn't get punished for hitting and killing somebody, and it raises the question of with Zimmerman and this case, you have two men who wound up killing unarmed kids because they didn't have the responsibility put on them to get away from the situation first because you could argue they both started it one way or the other.

Which leads the question, Representative Williams, if you believe that if the current law said you must retreat before you use deadly force, do you believe that George Zimmerman, do you believe certainly Michael Dunn is in prison?

WILLIAMS: Well, I tell you that when you look at the provision in the law that we're trying to change, we want to make it where if we can't get a full out repeal, we want to repair it and we want to repair it in a way that says if you're the aggressor, stand-your-ground cannot apply to you. When George Zimmerman confronted Trayvon Martin, he was the aggressor.

When Michael Dunn chose not to park in a different parking spot or do like we all do when we hear loud music, roll our window up and be quiet and wait on your fiancee to come out of the store, he was the aggressor. And as (INAUDIBLE) has said, this should be the don't miss law because in the case of Michael Dunn, when the individuals that he shot at, the ones that were not killed, he got 60 years for.

We want justice for Jordan Davis. Lucia McBath and Ron Davis, their son is no longer with them and they want justice. And so, that's what we want in the state of Florida. We want to make sure that when somebody commits these types of crimes, that they go to jail for it. We want to be able to send as you have on your show, at the end of every show, Chris, the good stuff. We want to be able to provide the good stuff to Trayvon and to Lucia McBath and to Jordan Davis' parents.

CUOMO: Well, I understand the points from both of you, gentlemen. It's a very important discussion. Thank you for coming on NEW DAY to make them, and just to be clear, Michael Dunn is going to be in prison, perhaps, the rest of his life if it doesn't get overturned for those attempt murder charges that he was convicted of.

Sheriff Judd, thank you very much. Representative Williams, it's a conversation we must continue. Thank you gentlemen.

WILLIAMS: I agree.

JUDD: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: Pleasure is mine.

Now, obviously, we're going to stay on this discussion because there are a lot of questions raised by the case and the law behind it. The decisions to retry, that goes with the state attorney. That goes with her rights as the state. But remember, the victim's family will be consulted. And tomorrow, we're going to talk to Jordan Davis' parents and they're going to be here discussing live with you what they want to see happen and what they want to you know about the case -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, Mike Rowe, host of the widely popular show, "Dirty Jobs" is now a new pitch man for Wal-Mart, something that had him facing some serious and probably unexpected criticism. He is here to talk about all of it.