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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Police, Protesters Confront Looters; Police Accuse Michael Brown Of Robbery; U.S. Warplanes Hit ISIS Near Dam; New Wave of Looting in Ferguson; Positive Role of Public Unrest in U.S. History; More U.S. Air Strikes in Iraq
Aired August 16, 2014 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: With a 70-mile-an-hour fastball, Davis struck out eight batters in six innings, led her team from Philadelphia to a dominant 4-zip over Nashville. Athletes are praising her on Twitter.
Listen to this, Dexter Fowler of the Houston Astros tweeted props to Mo'ne Davis for dealing today. Awesome performance, #LLWS. And NBA, MVP, Kevin Durant said, this youngster is striking everybody out and she is a girl. I love it, #itsanewday.
Congratulations to her and the team, thank you for starting your morning with us. Our NEW DAY special coverage continues right now.
Breaking news overnight, more violence erupting in Ferguson, Missouri. So glad to have you with us, I'm Christi Paul here in Atlanta.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell live in Ferguson. And we want to show you this video, off the top from just a few hours ago. SWAT team in riot gear with gas masks and armored trucks pointing those military-style weapons and marching slowly toward people gathered in the rain outside the liquor store.
The Ferguson market here in the town of Ferguson, Missouri. It's the same store where police are now saying that 18-year-old Michael Brown is suspected of stealing $50 worth of cigars just a short time before he was gunned down a week ago this afternoon by an officer with the Ferguson Police Department.
PAUL: What's interesting is you look at this, the store was looted. Our affiliate, KMOV reports, some 200 protesters took to the streets early this morning. They met about 100 officers.
Police reportedly, there was at least one shooting at a nearby intersection with a victim rushed to the hospital. One officer was hurt by a thrown brick or rock. But Victor, I think what's really interesting here is that there were some peaceful protesters too.
We have to be fair here and say really kind of came to the rescue in some regard, yes?
BLACKWELL: Yes, and for a lot of people, the looting and what we're seeing overnight is the secondary issue. They're primary issue is to demand answers about why Michael Brown was shot and killed. Our CNN producer, Steve Kastinbaum was behind the camera as this all went down. We've got Ana Cabrera with me here as well, who's been here in Ferguson all week monitoring what's going on.
And also we have with us, CNN law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes. I want to start with you, Steve, because you were there, you saw what happened. Give us an idea what was going on overnight at that Ferguson market.
And what's the scene like there now? Because we're hearing from another producer that there is still some sporadic looting happening throughout Ferguson.
STEVE KASTINBAUM, CNN PRODUCER: There is, victor, in fact, you can look over my shoulder here. That is the Ferguson market and liquor store all through the evening before this police standoff began. It was surrounded by police officers protecting the store property.
Protecting private property from people here who wanted to do damage. But once that standoff with police began, the police detail that was protecting that store withdrew. And that's when a few looters broke in.
Some local community members and protesters decided they didn't like what was going on. They rallied to the front of the store. They created sort of a blockade. They said no, this shouldn't be happening here. They got the looters out.
But here we are, this morning. Several hours later, after all of the police are out of here for a while now. No police presence here at all. A handful of protesters left. At will, we're watching people just come and go from that store now. Leaving with bags full of alcohol and other goods on the shelves.
There's no police presence here at all whatsoever which is really odd because they had been devoting a significant amount of manpower to protect this store because it had become a focal point here during the demonstration tonight.
BLACKWELL: And quite possibly, Steve, what we're going to find out is that their primary concern is the safety. And not so much the elements. The property that can be replaced. But let's talk to our law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes.
Tom, we have been requesting questions from our viewers. If you at home have a question, tweet it to us. Use the #fergusonqs. We've got one now. Here's the question, we know the police have militarized weaponry. What percentage of the force is former military?
I know you probably don't know the numbers specifically, but typically, I think the question maybe gets to what is the training that comes with these weapons, with this type of resources?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, depends on the weaponry, Victor. Some of these are not weapons, they're just vehicles. So if you have a driver's license and get a little bit of training on how to operate something like a truck or an armored personnel carrier, that's not really a weapon.
The other weaponry, police officers get that training anyway. Whether it's an M-16, pistols, shotguns, that type of thing. I think a problem in a case like this, though, is that you've had, people complain there was too much police presence, the first couple days, displaying too much military hardware.
And it was just such an ominous presence that it helped provoke unrest and violence. Now, you have the opposite. You have the police saying, OK, we're going to be much more gentle. We're not going to force the issue. We're not going to display the heavy equipment.
And then you start having looting. And the police are in a tough situation. It's their job to allow the protesters peaceful ability to protest and protect them while they protest in case somebody comes to harm them.
But they have an obligation to protect people and property of the businesses and the residents of Ferguson. And in the long run, to allow looting is to tell business owners you don't want to invest and operate a business in Ferguson because no one will protect you.
And in order to have peace in a neighborhood, the police are going to stand by and watch as people come in and destroy your business or possibly harm you physically.
So right now, these things are occurring at night. What happens in the daytime when the business owners are there and have to worry about whether the police will protect them?
BLACKWELL: You know, I spoke with the owner of that Ferguson market several hours before the looting began. And he would not even -- the first time he wouldn't confirm that that was the location of the alleged strong-arm robbery.
The second time he wouldn't confirm who was there in that video. And someone said, it will be OK, it will be OK. He told the person, you're saying too much. There's a credible fear that something is going to happen there. It's already happening overnight.
I want to bring in Ana Cabrera. You've been here throughout the week. I've heard it. You've heard it, that people say the looting and the standoff between police that is a secondary issue.
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a distraction.
BLACKWELL: Why did this officer, we now know his name to be Darrin Wilson, why did this officer kill Michael Brown?
CABRERA: That is the big story. Was it racially motivated? Was the killing justified? Those are the questions that people want to know the answers to and we just don't have those answers. It could be weeks. It could be even months.
We've got multiple investigations going on right now. We've got the federal, civil rights investigation, with the FBI and the Justice Department involved. We do know that they say they've completed their interviews or at least believe they've completed the interviews of possible witnesses who saw the actual incident and the aftermath of that.
We know they have completed an autopsy, an initial autopsy, those results have been handed over to the prosecutor's office as well as the St. Louis County Police Department. That's the local jurisdiction investigating this incident.
We know that they are still finishing to process all of the evidence. And what we've been told by all parties involved in the investigation, is that they want to be extra careful that they do this the right way. They don't want to release details, especially pre-emptively, in case there are more witnesses.
And we've talked to more witnesses who say they haven't been interviewed yet. So they don't want to give any accounts that could either tarnish or taint the investigation in some way or influence witnesses who are still coming forward. So that's one reason it's taken a while to learn more details about what's happened.
BLACKWELL: There are certainly people here in Ferguson who are speaking with us. There are people who sent us via Twitter and e-mail links to videos and information that they know and we are wondering how many of these conversations they're actually having with investigators.
Ana Cabrera, thank you so much. Thanks also to Steve Kastinbaum who is there at the Ferguson market and Tom Fuentes, CNN's law enforcement analyst.
I was walking around the community and really gripped with emotion. Some of it is anger, some of it is fear. Some of it is just raw pain. I had a conversation with the father who was walking with his 4-year- old son. He said, I fear for his future. I'm trying to teach him to live the right way.
Then I came across a group of young men, probably late teens to early 20s, all wearing red bandanas across their face and red St. Louis Cardinals caps. And I asked why are you wearing these and they said they're in solidarity with Michael Brown.
Then I asked for their names. Listen to what they told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Can I get your names?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm Mike Brown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Brown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Brown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Brown. BLACKWELL: You all say you're all Mike Brown, I understand that's out of solidarity. Tell me why are you here with the red bandanas and the hats?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We could be anybody. We could be your son. We could be your nephew. It could have been anybody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could have been him. It could have been him. It could have been him. It could have been her. It could have been her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: And what they told me after is that is that this is not knew from what they're seeing from the police here in Ferguson. Of course, the report is that, Michael Brown, and we know now is unarmed, but they say that the harassment that they saw, they believe that happened in this case is something that is not new that they have experienced themselves.
So right after our conversation, it went on for a few minutes and you'll see more of it throughout the morning, those young men walked over to Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson and they confronted him.
He's the man who was brought in by Missouri's governor to try to quell some of the tension. I want you to listen to their change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPTAIN RON JOHNSON, MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL: You want to assemble I'm going to tell you not. But we're going to make a difference, I'm going to tell you just like you and me are talking, you listening to me, just like you're saying today, everybody's not going to be like me.
Everybody's not going to try to understand and make a difference. Everybody is not going to be like you. I can tell you, we've got to start with me, start with you. Keep doing what you're doing. Expressing your views. Keep saying what you're saying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: So after the first night of the law enforcement presence here under the demand of Captain Johnson, there was peace, there was no violence. But know we last night, the Molotov cocktails. One person shot. Officer injured.
The looting at the Ferguson market, what we saw on Wednesday night with the police response in some ways, to a lesser degree, we saw again last night. So we'll see what we see as we go into this night. Remember, this is a weekend now.
For people who felt the passion and wanted to be here from other areas, possibly they had to work the next day and could not get to Ferguson to stand here in solidarity or to be involved in what we saw last night. Unfortunately, some looting and that standoff with police.
This is the weekend. We saw bigger crowds here overnight. And we'll wonder what happens as this goes into the day. I can tell you there is a vigil planned for noon today. Right behind me, just across from the Ferguson Police Department.
We'll see how large this crowd is. They're expected to come here and repeat what we've heard and seen over this week. That mantra, that chant of hands up, don't shoot. Christi, we'll pass it back to you. But that's the scene right now from Ferguson, as we're getting reports that there is still sporadic looting around the intersection of Ferguson and West Forest.
PAUL: Yes, that's so interesting because I have a lot of people on Twitter and Facebook asking what good does looting do to help the cause at the end of the day here? So Victor, thank you so much.
And just to make a great point, with a vigil today, hopefully, the peace will continue. We'll see what comes up with the sun there in an hour or so.
More on the death of Michael Brown, obviously, throughout the hour. We'll keep the conversation going including the legal stats. I mean, what can be done? What next steps are taken against the officer who shot Michael Brown, if any? We're talking to our legal expert who's going to weigh in.
Plus, the U.S. warplanes are striking more terror targets in Iraq this morning. The U.S. and Iraqi forces are trying to keep ISIS from blowing up Iraq's largest hydroelectric dam. Are the air strikes a sign of U.S. mission creep in Iraq?
PAUL: Returning to our coverage of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, right now. Now that we know the name of the officer who shot the unarmed teen. The question is, what's next? Is he going to be charged?
Let's bring in HLN legal analyst, Joey Jackson with us. Joey, good morning to you.
JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Good morning, Christi. Good to see you.
PAUL: You, too. Thank you, Joey. So right out of the gate here. How do the facts about the robbery relate to the shooting from a legal standpoint?
JACKSON: You know what happens is, is that many people are questioning, Christi, of course, the timing of the release of that and whether or not it's even relevant to it. Now, you can argue that it would be relevant, if the officer that is Darren Wilson when he approached Michael Brown at the time.
If he had any knowledge as to that robbery, was pursuing that robbery, was looking for suspects from that robbery, if that were the case and it appears to be from Tom Jackson, the police chief, it was not. But it goes to Darren Wilson's state of mind.
In terms of whether he thought that Michael Brown might be armed or whether he thought he might be dangerous. But there being no connection that apparently we could discern from what Darren Wilson was doing.
Tom Jackson said that he stopped him because he was jaywalking. In that sense you can argue that it's irrelevant and it has nothing at all to do with the ultimate incident, which was the taking of his life.
The final point, Christi, on that issue, would be this. There's one thing to have probable cause to stop someone which, of course, if you thought they were a robbery suspect you would have.
There's quite another thing to have justification to kill someone. In either case, no matter how you slice that incident. They're separate and distinct issues because they're separate in time, separate in place and relevance.
PAUL: Other thing that's a big flag for people watching this is -- I'm going to let Rick and Jen say it because they put this on my Twitter page. Why wait six days to release information on the alleged robbery? What would the point be to hanging on to that?
JACKSON: You know, Christi, I think part of the feeling in the community is the disconnect between the police and the level of trust. As a result of that, people just want to know, more so than people, more importantly, the parents of Michael Brown want to know.
So, therefore, it would certainly be incumbent upon the police as soon as they had any information to share it with the public. Even to let the public know we understand your concerns. We're getting to the facts. We're getting to the court issues.
So I think what you see is the peaceful release of information and not releasing information, and then when you do release information in terms of the officer, you release it in connection with the suspected robbery.
And so it leads further to the feeling of, just give us the information, let's get to the facts and let's pursue justice.
PAUL: Probably it seems discombobulated, people thinking if there's some sort of strategy that can't make a lot of sense. I want to show you another tweet. She says, what is the officer's story? When will we hear a statement from him? Why do you think Wilson is not coming forward and speaking up? What is your take on that?
JACKSON: Well, you know, what happened is from what we have understand right now, Christi, he's spoken to the authorities. Apparently what we hear, he's been interviewed twice by the police. Now that's significant because that would mean his story is on record. When someone goes on record, of course, and there's a conversation that, of course, is information that's kept there. So if there's any change in the facts by him at some later date if he is prosecuted and it does go to trial he could be impeached or discredited what he said the other day, as opposed to what you're saying now.
So in terms of a public statement, I would not look to see that. His lawyers will certainly advise him, don't make any public statements. But from what I understand, he has been interviewed by the authorities on two different occasions.
What he said in those interviews, I assume, Christi, at some point, we'll know, but at this point, we're not privy to.
PAUL: All right, Joey Jackson, always good to have your legal mind with us. Thank you so much.
JACKSON: A pleasure and a privilege, great day, Christi.
PAUL: Thank you. You too. If you have any questions that you want answered about Ferguson. The situation unfolding there, the tactics being used by both sides, we want to hear from you, tweet us using the #fergusonqs.
And we're going to get some of your questions to our panel of experts throughout the morning and thank you for chiming in.
A likely 2016 presidential candidate is facing felony charges this morning. We're going to tell you who it is, what he's accused of.
And we also want to talk about ISIS. You know, we told you that they took over this major dam in Iraq. Some experts say this was a big win for that terror group. But overnight, U.S. warplanes struck ISIS targets near the dam. We have an update on that mission next.
PAUL: It's 25 minutes past the hour right now, President Obama, as you know, warned U.S. air strikes in Iraq will continue to drive ISIS militants out of those strongholds. We're seeing that happen right now.
Overnight, U.S. warplanes have struck ISIS targets near Iraq's largest hydroelectric dam. That's Mosul Dam in Northern Iraq, obviously. Now, ISIS militants captured the dam earlier this month, following some fierce fighting in that area.
There are fears that ISIS fighters could blow the dam up, sparking catastrophic flooding and obviously blocking electricity from many regions there.
Let's bring in CNN military analyst, Lieutenant General Mark Hertling in Orlando and also joining us from London, Mr. Sajan Gohel, Asia- Pacific Foundation. Gentlemen, thank you so much for being with us.
So John, let me start with you, is the U.S. already deeply engaged enough in this, but it's something we can't get out of?
SAJAN GOHEL, ASIA PACIFIC FOUNDATION: Well, certainly, the words "mission creep" have re-entered our lexicon. By we have sleep-walked into this problem. The fact is ISIS has grown. It's taken on major towns. It's a direct concern to the United States to be involved in this conflict so many foreign fighters have linked up with ISIS, including people in the United States.
And if they become more radicalized it's a possibility they could plot attacks like has happened during the peak of al Qaeda between 2004 and 2007.
PAUL: General Hertling what do you think about that mission creep, and how threatening is ISIS to the U.S.?
LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING (RETIRED), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: First of all, I'll address mission creep. It is not a word I would use. We are still in the process of assessing the mission. The president sent a limited number of people over there to determine what we would need to do to help the Iraqi army, the Peshmerga, and those individuals are doing that now.
As the mission develops, we may need more and as the government of Iraq develops we may need more to assist them, but I think we're doing some of the best possible things right now to blunt ISIS and to re- establish the army of both Iraq and the Peshmerga as being the ones who will push these individuals back.
The Air Force is doing a mighty fine job, too, of supporting them with air strikes, and I think that's a critical piece in blunting the continued movement of ISIS in the key and contested areas.
PAUL: Sajan, we know that Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki resigned and they're in the process of getting a new prime minister. How much do you think that helps the situation or does a broken government at this point give more opportunity to ISIS?
GOHEL: Well, the Iraqi president has nominated Haider Al-Abadi to be a successor to Nuri Al-Maliki. Now, he is a somewhat popular choice in the sense that all the different ethnic groups, the Shia, Kurds, Sunnis, are willing to support him.
But he has an enormous difficult task to address because how can he bring back the Sunni Arabs who have been disenfranchised by the previous administration who felt discriminated and that has also helped the growth of ISIS and the other aspect is how Al-Abadi can work with the international coalition. The United States, the United Kingdom, of course, air strikes are very important.
But keep in mind that it's the ground troops that the Kurdish Peshmerga, the dregs of the Iraqi army that are going to have to do the majority of the work because you cannot defeat ISIS from the skies.
It's not like, say, confining al Qaeda in Pakistan to certain villages. You're trying to confine ISIS to major cities and towns and to do that it's going to require an enormous ground assault operation.
PAUL: OK, General Hertling, really quickly, if the Sunnis are willing to join with the Shias and the Kurdish armies, is it worthwhile to let the Shias and Kurdish armies go into this ISIS areas or is this something that the Sunnis want to tackle on their own?
HERTLING: No, this will be a rebirth of the Iraqi army. I agree with Sajan completely. The replacement of Mr. Maliki by Mr. Al-Abadi is a critical piece, but what happens next is also very critical.
If he reaches out to the four Arab provinces and the three Kurdish provinces in the north and rebuilds that patriotic and nationalistic fervor that existed at one time, I think certainly the Iraqi army could be rebuilt. And you're also going to see the Sunni tribesmen turn against ISIS --
PAUL: I apologize, I hate it when that happens. We've lost General Hertling. But General Hertling, if you can hear us, thank you so much for your time today. Sajjan Gohel, we thank you as well for your insight.
Sure. Look, obviously, we're going to have more conversations about ISIS and what's happening there as it's been a brutal night to them. We do know that they actually broke into a village and there's reports that they killed up to 80 men and kidnapped 100 women there. So we'll keep you posted on what's happening there. Keep the conversation going.
But we're also, of course, talking about what was breaking overnight. The looters that took to the streets again in Ferguson, Missouri. This time, they targeted the store at the center of the Michael Brown's controversy. You're going to hear from one of our producers who saw the whole thing unfold.
BLACKWELL: Welcome back to "NEW DAY Saturday, here in Ferguson, Missouri. Peaceful protests once again turned violent overnight. Looters targeted the Ferguson market. That's where Michael Brown allegedly stole a case -- packs, rather, of cigars in the minutes before he was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson. That officer's name released yesterday. I want to bring in CNN producer Shimon Prokupecz, who joins us by phone and he saw some of the looting that happened overnight. They are at the Ferguson Market and liquor store. Shimon, tell us what you saw.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN PRODUCER: Well, it was quite a remarkable scene, where dozens of looters were basically allowed to just run free along the strip here, which, you know, many people have gathered here every nihgt. They entered several stores. One of which they - a meat market. They went in, they took bottles of alcohol, meat, I mean literally I saw them carrying out boxes like up to their chin, like just stacked boxes of food. They went into a beauty supply store and broke through the window. Several of them ran in, took out tons of stuff. And then ran into cars and sped away. At one point, we even - two looters carrying what looked like a
tremendous size sort of industrial electric saw. Two of them were carrying it. And, you know, they put it in the car and they took off. What was going on with this - It was just a large group. They would come in in cars. They would break into stores. And then they would jump into cars and then take off. Some of them stayed and lingered and then they went into other stores. Eventually, they all left.
One of the most sort of, you know, fascinating thing in all of this is that the police kind of just stood by. They absolutely did nothing to stop it. Nothing to prevent it. And in fact, many of the store owners are now showing up. And I'm actually standing in front of the meat market. And the owners are standing outside with machine guns now protecting their stores. And they're sort of fed up. Because they say that they called the police and the police never came. Police did nothing to try and stop this. And, you know, they're not happy about that.
BLACKWELL: So, Shimon, you're saying that these owners are now standing out in front of their stores with guns, with weaponry protecting their property themselves?
PROKUPECZ: Yes, I mean, there are three of them outside of the Sam's Meat market. And they're standing there with large size weapons. And well, two of them even have handguns, in addition to the large size weapon. And he told us, the other truck, his SUVs, you know, filled with guns. And they're just fed up, he said because they're actually - that they've been hit. And they met with the police today. And they closed their store early today, because they were threatened by, you know, people who came into the store and threatened them and told them this was going to happen.
They closed the store. They boarded it up, and they left. And when the looting started, they saw it on television. They heard about it, they called the police. And they said the police told them there's nothing they can do. So, yeah, I mean this is sort of the scene now where these people are sort of taking, you know, it into their own hands.
BLACKWELL: All right, Shimon Prokupecz, CNN producer standing there watching what's happening now. Store owners as he's reporting with guns. They're protecting their stores. And he says that they have more. Disappointed with the response from police. Shimon, we'll get back to you. I want to start with this statement as we lead into our next segment about this. Take a look at this. "If American history has shown us one thing, it is only violence, protests and massive civil unrest that ever leads to any substantive change." That's a statement from our next guest. He'll join to us explain, after the break. Keep it here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At six feet ten inches tall, big serving John Isner, the America's best chance to winning the U.S. Open this month with a ranking of 14 in the world, 29-year old looking for more. JOHN ISNER: I know for, you know, for a fact, I've beaten this guys in the worlds before I know I can do it. I just have to do it, maybe at a little bit more consistent basis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Under the lights, the U.S. Open brings its own unique vibe and rough edge to a classic sport and that atmosphere just might be what's needs to take Isner all the way to his first Grand Slam title.
ISNER: This is pretty special. There's not a tennis court in the world that is like that, is, you know, 20,000 some seats, and this tricky conditions. The wind is usually swirling down below on the court. But at the same time, if you're playing on Arthur Ashe, and it's a packed house, and you're locked in a tense match, there's nothing better than it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Welcome back to our special live coverage from Ferguson, Missouri. The small city in the American heartland that's once again erupted into something more reminiscent of a war zone. Peaceful protests overnight erupted just hours ago. And look at this, you see the SWAT teams armed with the riot gear. The military-style rifles. You know, again what we saw Wednesday night, this time responding to more violence and looting in the town where Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager was shot and killed one week ago today. Protesters we understand threw bricks and rocks and Molotov cocktails. According to reports, one person was shot and rushed to a nearby hospital. At least one police officer was injured by a brick thrown. HLN contributor Dr. Jason Johnson joins me now from Atlanta. He's a professor of political science at Hiram College, also the politics editor at the "Source" magazine. Dr. Johnson, good to have you with us this morning.
DR. JASON JOHNSON, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, good to be here.
BLACKWELL: And, you know, that quote that I read just before the break, that's yours. You say, that while, of course, no one wants violence and property destruction, this is also true. If American history has shown us one thing, it is only violence, protests and massive civil unrest that ever leads to any substantive change. I'm going to give you a little time here, explain.
JOHNSON: Well, sure, I mean if you look at the beginning of this country, it started with looting, it's the Boston Tea Party. We started throwing tea over the side of boats because we weren't happy with how we were being taxed. If you look at most of the civil rights movement. If you look at the Indian rights movement. If you look at most movements in this country, or even at a macro-level. If you look at cities, integration of housing, integration of police forces, integration of fire departments didn't happen until the '60s, '70s and '80s. And usually after there was urban unrest and violence.
So, while it's disturbing and sad that peaceful marches don't seem to lead to the kinds of changes that we want as soon as we would like, this unfortunately is American history. And so, you know, the civil rights investigations that are going on right now in Ferguson, that didn't happen until the rioting. And clearly as we've seen from the police behavior, there should have been civil rights investigations into a lot of the behavior happening there long before what happened to Mike Brown.
PAUL: OK, but Jason, I just want to read you something from Facebook that somebody posted, they said nothing screams justice louder than rioting and looting, arson and straight up burglary (ph). Way to help the cause. Now, history might tell us one thing that when you have even reports of last night, where there was looting, and there were people, civilians in that community coming out, and standing in lines and saying, no, we're not doing this.
PAUL: Don't we -- of course, history has its place, but haven't we evolved since then that we can do this without the violence?
JOHNSON: You would think so.
PAUL: And doesn't - doesn't the line of -- the lines of people there, don't the lines of people there last night tell us, though?
JOHNSON: I don't think so. I don't think so. Because it's the anger that leads to fear which leads to change, unfortunately. If you think about it, most of the original protesters who were out there, they were completely peaceful. And what was the response from the police, shooting tear gas and getting highly militarized before the looting actually started. It wasn't until there were three or four nights of buildings getting burned by the people who weren't behaving properly that the governor decided, OK, I guess we should bring in state troopers that the president decided, OK, I guess we're going to bring in more aggressive DOJ investigation.
So, unfortunately, it doesn't seem like peaceful behavior is listened to the way that it should in this country. And that's a sad thing. Because you would think that the people who are having church vigils and the people who are walking through the streets peacefully, that should have been enough. That should have been enough to get the officers name release, but it didn't. It wasn't until violence occurred and there was a contrast between polite behavior and protesting and people acting like thugs to get change.
BLACKWELL: You know, Dr. Johnson, even as I was here speaking with people who were protesting, who are here with those signs, "Hands up, don't shoot." I asked all right, so when the cameras are gone and the protests, and what will be the actual change. And many of them say that they don't believe that anything is going to change. After watching all the protests after Trayvon, and all the protests after Renisha McBride. And in some ways the same characters out, Sharpton, Ben Crump, Jesse Jackson is now in town. You've got Martin Luther King III back. And what has changed, what will be the change even after all the unrest? JOHNSON: No, there's nothing that has changed right now. What is
probably going to change, is next April when there are elections in town, you're going to see a different city council. What is probably going to change, is the likelihood. I don't know what's going to happen with Darren Wilson. We don't know if that guy will be convicted of anything or if he even will be found guilty. But I can certainly guarantee that over the next couple of months, the number of civil rights cases that are going to be brought against Ferguson police officers will darn near bankrupt that office.
I suspect that once this investigation is over that the government will probably politely ask the chief of police to transfer to some other area because he's lost community trust. So, I do think there's going to be changes down the road, but are we going to see the kind of wholesale change that people want, a better, healthier non-racially driven relationship between the community and the occupying police force? Unfortunately not. Are we going to see the president step up and do something about the militarization of local police? When they used that equipment here responsibly. I don't know if we'll see that change, I would like to hope that we will.
PAUL: Well, all we can do is wait and see what those changes are going to be. HLN contributor Jason Johnson, thank you for being here. Victor, so good to see you this morning out there. As Victor, is you know, co-anchoring. So, we are going to go back to him several times. It's funny not to have him in the studio with me today. But thank you guys, so much. Now, make sure to keep sending us questions that you have about Ferguson, Missouri. We want to get those answered for you. Tweet questions using #FergusonQs to @newday, @victorcnn, @christi_paul. We are going to be answering your questions all morning and we are so grateful to hear from you and we want to get your perspective and get your questions answered. That's our job.
Meanwhile, U.S. warplanes are striking terror targets in northern Iraq this morning. U.S., Iraqi, Kurdish forces, all battling ISIS, for control of Iraq's largest dam, too. And the fate of millions of people could hang in the balance here. We're going live to Iraq next.
PAUL: Fifty-two minutes past the hour right now. And breaking overnight, U.S., Iraqi and Kurdish forces all trying to rest control at the country's largest hydro-electro dam from ISIS militants right now. U.S. war planes have struck ISIS targets we know in northern Iraq near the Mosul dam. Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are joining the fight on the ground. CNN senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh joins us now live from Erbil in northern Iraq. Nick, what do you know about the air strikes, are they still ongoing right now?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, according to witnesses, these were some of the heaviest strikes seen since the beginning of U.S. intervention here. That's according to people talking to a Kurdish news agency in that particular area. Over 32 kilometer expiring citing four main towns there and are crossing ahead towards the dam. Now, one of our colleagues has spoken to some actually near at the
dam, suggesting that in fact there are still engineers at work. The dam is still functional. But the air strikes have come in to hit to the west of the dam in particular. What is referred to as mobile ISIS positions there? So a fight clearly ongoing. On the ground it seems to be the Peshmerga and possibly some Iraqi units moving towards that particular part. As the vital infrastructure of Iraq, as I say, in the days past, ISIS have moved in. They've kept it intact. They've kept engineers at work. Kept - taking over, but clearly now there is a fight under way, backed up by U.S. air power to clear them away from there. The simple cases where they'll actually be fighting particularly at the dam. Because that's, of course, something nobody wants at this stage.
PAUL: All right. Nick Paton Walsh. Thank you so much for the update. Sir, we appreciate it. Stay safe there, of course.
New this morning, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate is indicted. We'll tell you who we're talking about and what he's accused of doing. Stay close.
PAUL: Good morning. Well, Governor Rick Perry is facing two felony charges this morning. Friday, yesterday, a grand jury indicted the Texas Republican finding that he abused his power by trying to pressure a district attorney to resign. That is the allegation. According to the special prosecutor, he threatened to veto funding for a state-wide public integrity unit run by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lindberg, unless she stepped down. Well, now, Perry is facing some serious jail time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MCCRUM, SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: The grand jury's spoken that at least there's probable cause to believe that he committed two crimes. Two felony crimes. For count one, it's five to 99 years in prison. And for count two, it's two to ten years in prison.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: His lawyer called the indictment, a quote, political abuse of the court system unquote. And insisted that Perry operated within the powers given to the state governor there.
Thank you so much for starting your morning with us. We are edging towards the 7:00 hour. Your next hour of "NEW DAY" starts right now.
Already. We are so grateful for your company as always. I'm Christi Paul here at CNN headquarters in Atlanta.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell in Ferguson, Missouri. It is 7:00 here on the East Coast, and 6:00 a.m. here in Ferguson. This is "NEW DAY Saturday."
PAUL: Victor's there, because breaking overnight, of course, looters hit more stores there in Ferguson. In fact, we've got some video that we want to show you from just a few hours ago, right, Victor?
BLACKWELL: Yeah, a SWAT team in riot gear with the gas masks and armored trucks, Christi, they pointed their military-style weapons, you'll see them here and marched slowly towards the people who gathered in the rain outside a market and liquor store in Ferguson. They never really approached them, but they got pretty close.