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Justice in Ferguson?; ISIS Kills American Journalist; Ways to Avoid Tragic Run-in with Police; Is President's Message for ISIS Enough?
Aired August 20, 2014 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
And we are live on the streets of Ferguson. We have some severe weather here tonight, and -- but protesters, they have been out 11 days after Michael Brown was shot to death by officer Darren Wilson. We're going to get through it all for you.
What will it take to get justice? That is word that you hear a lot around here. But it means something very different depending on whose side you're on. And it may not come soon enough for a lot of people in Ferguson. The grand jury could hear evidence for two months. That's what we're hearing.
And, meantime, Attorney General Eric Holder was here today getting an update on the investigation and talking with Michael Brown's family. And speaking of justice, President Barack Obama is vowing that justice for James Foley, the American journalist beheaded by ISIS amid news of a failed attempt to rescue him earlier this summer.
So what price will this country pay to punish these vicious terrorists and what message does the president send by going back to the golf course right after speaking to a nation?
We're going to get into all of that for you tonight here on CNN TONIGHT, but I want to begin with something that a lot of people here in Ferguson are talking about, something you haven't heard yet on television.
A handful of witnesses to this shooting of Michael Brown, they have come forward. But we are hearing that there may be many more, people who saw what happened, but are afraid to speak out now. I want you to listen to what young man, who wants to remain anonymous, told me today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe definitely, yes, sir, because people are scared. When the police were out there the first time, they were walking up to people with cameras, taking their cameras and things like that. Then the next day, the reason that people are scared while the protests are going on in Ferguson, detectives came around asking all of the women in our apartment complex for people's Facebook pages. And they were trying to get information on who had these videos and stuff. And so, yes, there is definitely more video of what happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So I have been talking to a lot of people here in Ferguson and I have been struck by just how many have told me that they think our coverage is fair and it helps them get their stories out. That's what we want to do.
We want to say to them, if you saw what happened when Michael Brown was shot and you want to tell us your story, we're here to help you tell that story. You can get in touch with us. You can get in touch with us here. Here's the account. It's CNNDon@turner.com, CNNDon@turner.com, if you want your story told or if you feel you have some information that needs to get out or you may be afraid to do it or you don't know how to do it.
Now let's get to the scene tonight in Ferguson.
My colleagues are out there. We're going to start with Jake Tapper.
Jake, what are you seeing tonight?
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Don, as you know, it was raining pretty hard and that cleared out much of the crowd here on West Florissant.
But the protest, as you see right now, is picking up. It's much smaller than even last night, largely due the rain but also, but also just to be frank, the crowds have been dwindling this week. As you can hear, they are yelling, hands up, don't shoot. Somebody holding a sign saying, go kill ISIS. Leave us alone.
Something that is different tonight, Don, it's interesting, is if you follow me over here, this is a clergy tent. As you know, local clergy have been very actively trying to keep the peace here. Among the protesters who are prone to disagree themselves, we saw some of that last night, but also between protesters and police. You can see them in the orange shirts, clergy united, the shirts say, I believe.
And they are here. They're wearing those shirts so they can be identified as clergy so if anybody has questions as to who they are, there isn't any confusion. And then, of course, you recognize this man over here, Captain Ron Johnson with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who is standing right there as well, Don.
LEMON: Listen, Jake, I want to talk to you about this because you and I have been out here for quite some time covering this story. I got a chance to speak to the family. We have been following their story and how they are dealing with it.
You know, his -- mother Michael Brown's mother got a chance to see his body for the first time today. Of course, she wanted to know, you heard in the press conference, Jake, was he -- how many times was he shot? Did he feel any pain? And is there enough evidence to get the officer arrested?
But as a parent, I'm sure you can't imagine, you know, what that family's going through. I'm not a parent, but it's just unbelievable, I'm sure, having to deal with that.
TAPPER: That's insane. I can't even imagine the pain. I was getting angry tonight because my wife was telling me about somebody picking on my 4-year-old son. I can't imagine losing a son. That would just be the most devastating thing in the world.
And I think one of the things that so many people in the community are reacting to is they see Michael Brown as a symbol of something far beyond just this case. They see him as a symbol of what is the worth of children in communities like Ferguson, like what is the value of the life of a young African-American man?
People in Ferguson and Saint Louis and throughout the country have been expressing concerns that society does not value young black man, as they do others in America. That's one of the things that we have heard time and time again as we have walked these streets. It's one of the themes of these protests.
I know that there are a lot of people who see this as a very specific case about a shooting and whether or not it was appropriate, and absolutely on one level, that is what this is and that's certainly what the legal case is going to be. But in a broader societal way, a broader societal context, it is about the worth of the life of people in communities like Ferguson, Don.
LEMON: All right. Jake Tapper, thank you. I appreciate your feedback on that.
I want to go now to CNN's Stephanie Elam. Stephanie is out covering the protests as well.
Stephanie, I have been watching you with the protesters and the stories that you have been doing. Talk to me about the -- the Saint Louis police suspended an officer indefinitely after he threatened and pointed a semiautomatic assault rifle at a protester last night. I want you to look and then we will talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My hands are up, bro. My hands are up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hands up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kill you. Get back. Get back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to kill him. What's your name, sir? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your name is go (EXPLETIVE DELETED) yourself? All right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Stephanie, what happened there?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was -- I was out here at the time that happened here. Things got tense very quickly out here after the marchers stopped marching.
A lot of them left. There was a group that was left here and you could see the tension between the police on the street and the people who were in the parking lot. And when that tension built up, this officer, as you can see in that video, I think he felt it a little too deeply and he was actually brandishing his weapon.
And you could hear people yelling to put it down. That officer has been relieved of duty. We do know that. We know that other officers came to the scene and told him to put his weapon down. And I can tell you, I saw another officer last night who actually had raised his weapon at one point and I saw other officers tell him to put it down after people in the community started yelling, put your weapon down, put your gun down.
That happened right back here where I was last night. And so what has been noteworthy is that I have seen police checking police and I have seen community leaders checking people in the community so that things didn't get out of control. And I think that may have been a big difference, but obviously that video making people feel like it proves the point about the relationship of the police with the community here.
But that officer, I should point out, is not from this town.
LEMON: Stephanie Elam, thank you. We appreciate your reporting. The protesters are going by Stephanie and going by me as well as we're speaking tonight.
And we have some really bad weather tonight. So just in case, a forewarning, if we get knocked off the air, you will know why. But there's a thunderstorm rolling through Ferguson, Missouri, right now.
You have heard a lot of people talking about what the police are doing wrong here in Ferguson. But that's not the entire story. The man in charge of keeping the peace here in Missouri, the state Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, I rode earlier with him today through the streets of this neighborhood. I want you to listen what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPT. RON JOHNSON, MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL: This is what we should have been doing all the time. You just take a look around. And this is what this community is saying. If we are going to have this, I'm sure communities around the country, just policemen coming out and speaking with us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to holler at you.
JOHNSON: OK. Well, I'm glad you did. All right. It feels good to walk out here, doesn't it? It feels good just to walk and be relaxed back in the neighborhood, doesn't it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, and be safe.
JOHNSON: And be safe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have been in the neighborhood forever, and it's the first time I ever felt this safe.
JOHNSON: All right. Well, a new day is a coming. All right. OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I get my picture taken with you?
JOHNSON: Yes. How you doing, man?
LEMON: How you doing? Nice to meet you.
JOHNSON: What's going on?
LEMON: What's up, man? Doing all right?
Do you think it would be better -- you don't think the police get out and mingle with you guys?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, they don't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Only time they got out is when they are trying to lock us up or something. That's the only time they get out. Other than that....
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or they get out and ask you your name.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man, I'm going to tell you like this. Me and him were standing in front of my house about a month ago, standing in front of my house.
I seen the police go past the street right past my house. I knew he was going to come back. He came back two minutes later and saying, was we part of some type of...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was we smoking marijuana in...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In some apartment complex. I'm like, no, I just stepped out of the house. And he just pulled us over. And I'm like, we were three blocks away from where he was talking about.
LEMON: So you don't feel they are part of the community? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
LEMON: You think their relationship would be better if they actually did what he's doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Only thing they want to do is take us in, get us off the streets, no matter what your purpose is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what, the thing is, I know you all probably heard it from mom and grandma or somebody how you approach somebody is how they approach you back.
JOHNSON: There you go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So how they come to us, that makes us like, hold on, man, why you grabbing over here and stuff like that? Can you explain to me what I did first, what was the reason for you even messing with me in the first place?
If I'm on the sidewalk, you could have said, why you walking on the sidewalk? Whatever the reason is, he could have got out and approached me like a man, instead of cursing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why we got to be this or that? Why we can't be like, young man, come here, let me talk to you for a second. OK. Maybe I might stop and listen to see what you got to say.
But if you're jumping out with me when I feel like animosity and stuff like that, well, I feel like, I'm going to make you do your job today then.
LEMON: So it's how somebody approaches you? If the officer approached you with respect, you would respond with respect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They ain't approaching us right.
They are approaching us like we already committed a violent crime or something. They are approaching us like you caught me selling dope to somebody or something like that. You ain't. You just pulled me over, OK? I pulled you over because your pants were sagging. Can you pull them up? OK. I can pull them up, officer. No problem.
I will pull them up. Pull your pants up. Get off. Get -- man, look, now what?
LEMON: I have to ask you, you got to meet with the attorney general today.
LEMON: What was that like?
JOHNSON: It was it was an honor, but it was touching.
LEMON: What did you talk about?
JOHNSON: I reached out my hand to shake his hand. That's the top law enforcement officer in this nation. And he put out both of his hands and he just hugged me.
JOHNSON: And he said, this is what policing is about. This is what policing has to be. And what a great statement.
LEMON: Did you talk about anything? Did he tell you about what he wants to have happen in this community? What can you share with us?
JOHNSON: He said, what we're seeing now, community policing, and being out and being a part of the community, to me, that's what he's saying is what is needed.
LEMON: So he talked to you about community policing, not about the case at all?
JOHNSON: No. He just said -- he hugged me and he said, this is what policing should be. He said, what you're doing and what you're showing the people is what policing should be.
And that's all we talked about. It probably lasted two or three minutes and then he was meeting some community leaders there and talking with them.
LEMON: The family wasn't there yet, were they?
JOHNSON: No. No.
LEMON: No. Do you think it will make a difference that he came here?
JOHNSON: I think so. I think so. I think it shows that the White House, you know, our government at the highest level has heard the voice of those people that are down here. And so it is kind of like the theory about the highest hill and the lowest valley.
JOHNSON: The White House, like , we consider that the highest hill. Our communities sometimes are the valleys. So when our voices can be heard there, and then I think those protesters are out here, those peaceful protesters are out here can understand that.
LEMON: OK. The other thing is, the Saint Ann officer pointing his gun, the semiautomatic weapon at a person and then using the foul language, the video is out there now. What do you want to say about that?
JOHNSON: That was inappropriate. It will not be tolerated. His department has been informed of that, and they have instructed he will not be assigned to this detail for any additional further days.
LEMON: What did you think when you heard about it and you saw the video?
JOHNSON: I was upset, disappointed, angered. And that is not -- I thought it was disrespectful to every officer that's been out here, who has been out here since Sunday.
LEMON: So he is the example of what people here in this community want. And here's what I noticed from my time here, that the young men said that they are automatically looked at by members of law enforcement as suspects.
You heard the young men there in that story. They are looked upon as suspects. They said they are not looked upon as men when officers approach them. And usually the officers, it's in between glass, in the car. They're on the street. If they would get out, these guys said, and talk to them and interact with them and treat them like human beings and the way that they approach them is the way that the guys are going to respond to them.
And I think officers -- any law enforcement agent will tell you that is the definition of community policing. The only relationship that these people have with the police is usually between a glass of a police car, or if they are coming over for something, being stopped by police. There is no relationship where they get to know each other. That could make all the difference here.
And that is the disconnect that is not being talked about around the country. And it is a disconnect that people don't really understand if you don't have that sort of interaction and relationship with police. I think the most profound thing I heard today was from a store owner who was opening his business back up, and he said, this should be a movement and not a moment.
We have got much more live here from Ferguson tonight. Plus, we're going to talk a little bit more about being caught on camera, new video of a knife-wielding man shot to death by Saint Louis police yesterday. But this time, law enforcement released details right away. Is this a lesson in how to keep the peace? We're going to talk to the chief of police.
Also, the failed rescue mission and the shocking execution of American journalist James Foley at the hands of ISIS . Who are these terrorists and what will President Barack Obama do to get justice?
LEMON: Back now out on the streets of Ferguson.
You can see that the protesters are back out now because of the rain has subsided, but we're still keeping an eye on the weather here. We will continue with our live coverage now, because tonight there is video of a dramatic confrontation and that video has gone viral.
It happened yesterday in Saint Louis, where two police officers opened fire on a man wielding a knife. He was killed. And then joining me now is my CNN colleague Chris Cuomo and also Saint Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson.
So, Chris, thank you for joining us tonight.
Tonight, you have obtained some of yesterday's -- the video of the deadly shooting. Take us through that.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's an unusual situation.
If we can put it up so people can watch it for themselves because you hear a lot of things about what happened and the big question becomes, why do officers do what they have to do in this moment? And for the chief to come on and address the issues of what they do is fundamental.
If you can see the video, there is a moment where it starts off as someone who's local is using a cell phone camera.
LEMON: Pause. Let's hold on a second. And so -- OK. Go ahead. So we see the video. And then my producer said they were about to shoot him. And they wanted us just to pause and take a look at it.
CUOMO: Right. Now, why do we stop it there? I think it's important to bring the chief in.
We stop because, after that point in the tape, nothing happens, except his being shot. There is no movement with his arm. There is no raising of the arm. There is no increase in acceleration. We have just seen enough bad things. We don't want people to watch the actual shots.
But, Chief, you have watched the video.
COL. SAM DOTSON, ST. LOUIS METROPOLITAN POLICE CHIEF: I have.
CUOMO: And what is your assessment? Because at first, there was a story that he had his hand up. You then said, well, he lunged at officers. I don't see that in the video.
LEMON: He was wielding a knife overhand at the officers.
CUOMO: He had his hand in his pocket. And he then takes his hand out and keeps it low. And we believe from the police that there is a knife in there. He then walks, doesn't listen to the officer, gets on top of the curb, moves towards the officers, and then gets shot.
LEMON: We have it now. Let's take a listen.
DOTSON: All right, good. Watch for yourself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got his gun out. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shoot me. Shoot me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Oh (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Oh (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Oh (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
They got their guns...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And, Chief, you hear the gunshots. He had his hands down at that point, did he? So, what happened?
DOTSON: He did.
The suspect came towards the officers and said, shoot me now, shoot me now, kill me now. The entire encounter lasted about 15 seconds. He approaches the first officer, heads towards the driver's side, backs up a little, then goes towards the passenger side.
He starts to move towards the police officer that was in the passenger seat who is out of the car. He has his gun out. He's giving verbal directions, stop, drop the knife, stop the knife.
And I didn't see where you ended the video here, but he continues to move towards the officer. The officer even takes a step, a step-and- a-half backwards to try and put some distance between him. An edge weapon, a knife within 21 feet is a lethal weapon. The officers did what I think you or I would do. They protected their life in that situation.
LEMON: There are people who would say, Chris, and you heard it, there were, what, 100, 150 people out immediately there, that this was a guy with a knife. Why such force with a gun?
CUOMO: Yes. I think the questions that are raised are pretty obvious. And again I think, Don, for you have to chief here is fundamental, because you will be able to say what decisions you make and why.
The first is, couldn't you have done something else in the situation other than kill him? There doesn't seem to be any discussion of trying to talk him down, which takes you to a second point. People in the community, including the guy who takes this video, says, we know this guy. The store owner knows this guy. He's known to have some problems.
LEMON: Apparently mentally challenged.
CUOMO: Emotional, mental, whatever they are, he has them. Why isn't that something that the police weren't told in the 911 call? And does it speak to community policing, knowing who you're around, not obviously knowing everything about everybody? But that's the second question.
LEMON: We have been talking a lot about community policing and also the use of force. Is it appropriate? He brings up a very good point.
What about -- why use bullets? Why not use a stun gun?
DOTSON: Well, certainly, a Taser is an option that is available to the officers. But Tasers are not 100 percent. You have an individual armed with a knife who is moving towards you, not listening to any verbal commands, continues, says shoot me now, kill me now. Tasers are not 100 percent. If that Taser misses, that subject continues on and hurts an officer.
LEMON: You think the use of force was appropriate in this case?
DOTSON: I think the officers used force that was -- in a lethal situation, they used lethal force.
LEMON: And not an outrage like here because you came out immediately and you were transparent, you believe?
DOTSON: Actually, as soon as it was over, I talked to the community and I said, I'm the police chief. And you talk about community policing. I'm the police chief for the community. I want you to hear the story from me.
I want you to be able to ask me questions. I went into a crowd of 100, 150 people, and just told them the story just as we have for the last day or so. And I think they were receptive. I think they respected that, because now they knew what happened and they didn't have to wait until it goes viral. We released the tape. We didn't have to do that. The police department did that today.
LEMON: We appreciate you coming on, Chief. Thank you very much.
DOTSON: Thank you.
LEMON: Get some sleep. You have about an hour of sleep ahead of you.
Thank you, Chris Cuomo. We will see you in the morning, "NEW DAY" starting 6:00 Eastern time, correct?
CUOMO: Yes, Don.
LEMON: We will see you then. Thank you very much. Appreciate that.
Up next, controversial bottom-line advice from a police officer who says, do what I tell you to do and no one will get hurt. I'm going to talk to that officer next and we're going to hear what our legal team has to say about that.
LEMON: All right, everyone. We're back now live in Ferguson, Missouri. And I want to tell you
about a veteran Los Angeles police officer has sparked a heated debate with a column that he wrote for "The Washington Post."
And under the headline, it says: "I am a cop. If you don't want to get hurt, don't challenge me."
So, we're joined now by Sunil Dutta, who is also a professor of homeland security at Colorado Tech University.
Sunil, thank you so much for joining us. You say there is a very easy way that people who are stopped by police can prevent tragedies like we've seen in New York City with Eric Garner and now Michael Brown in Ferguson. How is that?
SUNIL DUTTA, PROFESSOR OF HOMELAND SECURITY, COLORADO TECH UNIVERSITY: Well, as I listed in my article, the main issue is when detention is affected and an officer has made clear that a person is detained. The officer has the right to question them and carry on their investigation. At that time...
LEMON: OK, Sunil, I can't hear you, so we're going to take a -- I'm having technical difficulties out here. It's probably because of the rain. We're going to take a quick break here on CNN. We'll be back live with our coverage in just a moment. Don't go away.
LEMON: We're back now live in Ferguson, Missouri, where the protests continue. Nowhere near how big they were earlier in the week and last week.
I want to get back to my panel now. Sunil Dutta is a police officer. He's also professor of homeland security at Colorado Tech University. He joins me now.
So Sunil, you say that there's a very easy way that people who are stopped by police can prevent tragedies like the ones we have seen in New York City with Eric Garner and now Michael Brown here in Ferguson. How can they do that?
DUTTA: All right. As I mentioned in my article, the bottom line is, once detention is affected, it is made clear by the officer to the person being detained that, yes, they are being detained; they're not free to leave.
The person has to submit to the officer's investigation. So if the officer is asking you for information, you share it. You do not get into a fight with the officer.
Second is, if the officer is trying to make -- effect an arrest, is telling you to turn around, put your hands behind your back, you do it. Because if you refuse to submit to a lawful arrest, the officer has to, once again, effect the arrest and will be forced to take action.
So complying with the lawful demands of the officer prevents tragedies.
And I would like to clarify one thing. We have a really tragic situation of the two incidents you have mentioned, but the reality is, I'll just give you actual data, statistical numbers.
2008, city of Los Angeles, officers stopped more than 800,700 people. These were the citizen -- community member contacts. Out of that, actual use of force was 0.149 percent. It is showing you that 99.8 percent of the time officers contacted a community member, there was no use of force. That is what I was trying to distill in my article, that it is officer -- when the officer uses force, he or she is reacting to what the detainee is doing.
LEMON: Yes. But listen, if you are in that point, whatever it is that you said, if your loved one loses a life, then it doesn't matter if it's 100 percent or 0.00. It doesn't really -- .001.
So I want to play devil's advocate here, though, because isn't it a police officer who is armed with a gun who really has, by far, the advantage and the responsibility to use that weapon wisely and safely?
DUTTA: Well, absolutely. Use of force has to be judicious. It is bound by law. An officer cannot randomly use any force. It will always depend on level of resistance.
Now, if an individual is failing to put their hands behind their back, that's a different level of force. If a person gets in a fight with the officer, that's a different force. If a person pulls out a knife or pulls out a gun, that changes the dynamics. That raises the level of use of force.
So, yes, officers should always use force which is proportioned to the resistance. And I'm telling you an overwhelming majority of the cases, this is what happens.
And here are the facts. Everyone walks around with a cell phone camera. Everyone can record an officer. And the actual number of tragedies, if we were out -- in the field unnecessarily using deadly force, every day or every week, we will have a lot more tragedies coming to light, because we are not...
DUTTA: ... acting in a vacuum. People have these ways of putting videos on YouTube or contacting the media.
LEMON: OK. Sunil, thank you. Appreciate you joining us here on CNN.
I want to get our legal experts to weigh in on this now. Let's see what they have to say about that. We're joined now by Juliette Kayyem, CNN national security analyst. Mark O'Mara is a CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney. And then there is Sheriff Morris Young of Gadsden County, Florida, sheriff. Thank you all for joining us here.
I want to start with you, Sheriff. What do you make of what Officer Dutta just said? Who is ultimately responsible when an unarmed person gets killed?
SHERIFF MORRIS YOUNG, GADSDEN COUNTY, FLORIDA: Well, you've got to understand that that officer is responsible. He's in control of that situation, and he's got to make sure. And he needs to understand -- that officer understand that the use of force is -- you can't make that decision too quick. And you've got to make sure that -- that you have control of that situation.
LEMON: So Mark, I want to ask you about that. Let's take a look at the situation that happened in St. Louis yesterday with the guy wielding the knife. Who's ultimately responsible? Was it an appropriate use of force?
MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALSYT: Well, it's interesting, because the chief said something that we have to be aware of. There are a lot of rules that cops are trained by. What he said was that 21-foot rule. They said that, if it's an edged weapon, 21 feet is an area of danger, and you're allowed to use deadly force in response.
To me it looked like that, that less than eight or nine shots could have been fired, one or two or maybe a Taser from one officer and then a firearm from the other.
But there's so many rules that cops have to live by, and it tries to train them to react properly in a stressed situation.
Here's what I tell my clients. And when I talk to college kids that I teach about this, you will never, ever win a fight with a cop on the street. It's called contempt of cop. They have the authority; they have the power. And as you challenge them, they are then allowed to upgrade the response of force. So I teach, don't do it. The idea of never challenging a cop because it's called contempt of cop. You don't win that on the street, but you may win it in a courtroom.
What I have to deal with with my clients is then they get the charge they were arrested for and resisting with violence, resisting without violence and a whole panoply of additional information when you challenge a cop.
LEMON: Juliette, I want to get to you, considering what Sunil Dutta said. You know, there is even a chart of what he says: Here's what you should do. You should do this. You should do that.
The question that I have been getting from a lot of people is, are police officers too trigger happy and -- and shouldn't they -- should they be using less force in the sense of not necessarily deadly bullets but maybe stunning people rather than shooting to kill them?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think there's two different issues here. I mean, one is clearly the kind of weaponry that is in sort of a local police department's hands does seem a bit extreme at this stage. That's the militarization of the police departments. They don't have sufficient training. In my mind, there is no reason why a small police department should have the kind of gear that we saw. There are alternatives. The federal government should also be giving training and giving
support to small police departments but not the kind of weaponry we saw.
The other issue, which the guest mentioned, I have to be honest with you, I just don't get it. I mean, cops are trained. Anyone in public safety is trained to confront antagonism and we don't shoot people for it.
I mean, this is the United States. You know, if somebody throws something at a police officer, it's not right, but it's not just -- it doesn't justify a violent confrontation. So you can throw out as many statistics as you want.
Look at the 1 percent. This is why we have police training. This is why community policing works. And people can behave better. Certainly, we want that in our society. But to focus on behavior towards the police officer, as compared to how are we training police officers to deal with confrontations, which is the reason why we have police, right? I mean, so I guess I disagree wholeheartedly with the original guest.
LEMON: Well, that's the question, Sheriff. I mean, does someone have to -- is it incumbent upon someone who is a citizen of the United States -- listen, I have no idea what police officers -- I can only imagine what they go through. They have a very tough job.
But is it incumbent upon any citizen of the United States to make someone else comfortable in order for you not to be shot?
YOUNG: Excuse me, Don. Is that for me? Yes, I'm here.
Well, listen, you know, it goes back to training, and I think every situation is different. I can only talk from experience. You know, I was there when I actually had a white deputy to actually shoot an assailant, black assailant. And every situation is different.
And I think the public, we look at how the public respond to police. How do police respond to the public? We talk about community policing. Do our police officers understand our community and who they are?
You know, police today is different from yesterday. And, of course, community policing, we think about the Andy Griffin [SIC] days, and it's totally different now. We've got some violent people out there, and police understand that situation.
And I'll say this: not every police officer want to community police. You have some who want to get in the business for, you know, to shoot and kill. You have some want to get in the business to help. So it's how we approach it, how we approach training and how we approach putting our police officers out there in our community.
LEMON: Uh-huh. Sheriff, Juliette, Mark, stick with me here. We have a lot more coming up, live from Ferguson, Missouri, tonight. And when we come right back here on CNN, President Barack Obama gives
a eulogy of sorts for American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by ISIS, and vows to get justice.
LEMON: Welcome back, everyone. We're keeping an eye on Ferguson, Missouri, tonight on a rainy night here.
Meantime today, President Barack Obama called for justice after American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded after being kidnapped by ISIS. So joining me now is Josh Rogan. He's a CNN contributor and senior correspondent for national security and politics for "The Daily Beast." Also, Tara Setmayer -- Setmayer's here. She's a conservative commentator and co-host of "Real News" on The Blaze. And then Van Jones, then co-host of CNN's "CROSSFIRE."
First to you, Tara. Should the president have come here to Ferguson, do you believe?
TARA SETMAYER, CO-HOST, THE BLAZE'S "REAL NEWS": No, absolutely not. I don't think it's appropriate for the president of the United States to inject himself into a local matter that is still ongoing. There's an investigation still ongoing. He's made that mistake in the past, where he's spoken out of turn a little bit too quickly and had to walk those things back, starting all the way back to when, during his first term, when we ended up with the beer summit, because he said the police acted stupidly during the Cambridge, Massachusetts, incident. And he's done this more than one time.
And by personally involving himself, I think that that's not appropriate for the president who is the president of the United States of everyone until all of the facts are out, until the investigation is complete and we actually have a conclusion.
LEMON: Josh, I want to turn to you about the optics of all of this. Many people say the president should not be out playing golf after he gave a statement about ISIS and especially what's going on here. His attorney general is meeting with the family of a dead teenager. Talk to me about that.
JOSH ROGAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's clear that there's a difference between the reactions of other foreign leaders and the reaction of President Obama.
David Cameron, the prime minister of the U.K., for example, canceled his vacation after it was revealed that a British national was behind the murder of American journalist James Foley, as was released on video yesterday.
The White House maintains that President Obama can do his job from anywhere with modern technology. But the optics are not good. But President Obama has determined that he will stay on his trip, regardless of the events and manage the crisis from there. That's his decision.
SETMAYER: And I think that's actually a dangerous decision for him.
SETMAYER: Just -- just to piggyback on that, I mean, I think the juxtaposition of the president of the United States tieless on vacation in Martha's Vineyard, where a good time was had by all, to the grieving parents of an American journalist who was just savagely beheaded by terrorists, I don't think that bodes well for the president of the United States.
It makes him seem disengaged. It makes him seem leaderless. And we -- this is something that has been a complaint for a long time about the president's style with things. I mean, rushing off to a tee time after -- after such a thing like this is unseemly to me. And I think that that's -- that's consistent with the way he's been. He seems disengaged.
LEMON: OK. I want to get Van Jones in on this before we move on. Van, what do you think?
VAN JONES, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": I think it's ridiculous. First of all, the parents of the young man who was murdered by these terrorists had no criticism of the president and, in fact, had warm words to say about this president. So again, it's a right-wing talking point to pretend this president has gone on vacation more than other presidents. He's actually gone on vacation less. It's a right-wing talking point to say that he has gone golfing more than other presidents. He's gone golfing less than Bush or Clinton.
So this is the sort of stuff that, again, there's nothing bad that can happen to America that conservatives won't try to politicize. This president is on vacation right now, and he's on a working vacation, frankly, like a lot of Americans are; and he's doing the best that he can in tough circumstances.
SETMAYER: But Van, wait, let's be honest here.
LEMON: Van -- Van, I have to...
SETMAYER: President Bush did not play golf when...
LEMON: Let me get in here.
SETMAYER: I just want to make -- I want to correct the record here.
LEMON: Tara, James [SIC] Cameron -- James [SIC] Cameron -- Tara, James [SIC] Cameron came back from his vacation, is obviously aware of the optics of the situation. Do you think that -- do you think that -- David Cameron. Do you think that -- do you think that there is, you know, possibly that they're not understanding the optics here, that there is a disconnect from the White House? You don't agree with that?
JONES: I actually don't agree with it. First of all, certainly, David Cameron's decision, he can do that if he wants to. This president has done more press conferences on his vacation than you would expect if you were on vacation.
But the point is this: No matter what the president does, trying to manage the optics from the point of view of right-wing critics that attack him, no matter what he does, is not smart. Presidents are human beings. I worked in the White House. You have to rest. You have to sleep. You are a human being. You can make more mistakes when you're tired.
Bill Clinton said every mistake he made, he made because he was exhausted. I think this president is wise to be able to understand this is a marathon, and he cannot try to run his presidency according to these spin cycles. His is wise to get some rest. It is going to be a long two years for him and for our country and for the world.
SETMAYER: OK, can I just jump in here?
LEMON: Tara -- Tara, why are you laughing?
SETMAYER: Because I think that is an asinine excuse. OK? You are the president of the United States. No one...
SETMAYER: Yes. He's president of the United States. I'm sorry that world events are getting in the way of his tee times in Martha's Vineyard. Let's be honest here.
JONES: That's so sad.
SETMAYER: OK, it's a tough job.
JONES: That's pathetic.
SETMAYER: It's a tough job. And I'm sorry he's tired, but he needs to be president of the United States and show some leadership.
SETMAYER: David Cameron is a world leader. He was able to come back and do it. I mean, come on, Van.
LEMON: Van Jones, if he's -- Van Jones -- Van, if he is tired...
JONES: Yes, sir.
LEMON: ... the White House is a big place. There's a big place to rest. The president has to be aware of the optics when you have this sort of situation.
And by most people's account, Van, by anyone who is rational, the White House seems to be tone deaf. A journalist was beheaded. A young man is dead. President Bush got out and played golf and said, "Now watch this drive." And he was shredded by the media, by the press...
JONES: Two years -- he regretted it two years later. LEMON: Why should President Obama be any different?
ROGAN: I would say...
JONES: You want my answer to the question? You want me to answer the question, sir?
JONES: First of all, he was shredded two years later. Show you the difference of the news cycle. When Michael Moore put that in a documentary, two or three years later.
The difference now is, you have a news cycle that moves so quickly that you literally don't have a chance to breathe. If this president were...
LEMON: So you're blaming it on the news cycle? You're blaming it on the news cycle.
JONES: No. I'm not blaming it on anything. You're asking the question, why was it wrong with George W. Bush? Well, first of all, that didn't even come out until two years later.
Let me just say something about what this president is doing. This president is managing a crisis in the Middle East. He is managing the situation here in Ferguson and, by the way, quite well.
Holder being here, I think, is an important development. He doesn't have to be everywhere. He sent Holder here. Holder didn't just meet with the family. He also met with law enforcement. Holder is showing a balanced approach, but he's showing appropriate concern.
The presidency is more than one person, and it can be conducted from more than just one place.
LEMON: All right, guys. All right. Thank you, guys. Great conversation. We'll continue here right after a break. We'll be right back.
LEMON: It has been a very interesting day here in Ferguson, Missouri. A lot of new developments. You saw my colleague earlier, Anderson Cooper, had a new witness to the shooting of Michael Brown.
Here's what's interesting here. The crowd of protesters are -- they're becoming a little bit slimmer every single night. And the good thing about that is that the focus of what's going on gets back to where it should be. Instead of on protesting so much, it gets back to the investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown, the police officer, and Michael Brown's family as he is laid to rest next week.
The next hour of "CNN TONIGHT" starts right now.