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NEW DAY SUNDAY
Rain May Hamper Manhunt For David Sweat; Tourist Flee, Tunisians Rally After Attack; Kuwaiti Officials: Suspect Has "Deviant Ideology"; Escapees May Have Suffered from Lack of Water and Shelter; Fire Explosions at Taiwan Water Park; Possible Charges against Activists Who Removed Confederate Flag. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired June 28, 2015 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: New this morning, conditions are getting worse in the search area for killer, David Sweat, heavy rains even a flood watch until Monday could make hunting down the escape convict even harder this morning.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, what you're seeing there are people running through flames. The Taiwanese water park turns into an inferno, hundreds were hospitalized as that flammable powder explodes and you saw that party goers were forced to literally run through that blaze to save themselves.
BLACKWELL: And the debate over the confederate flag reaches new heights, support grows for an activist who snatched down that flag and new this morning, even NASCAR, the sport of many people across the country, it looks to rid itself of that familiar sight.
PAUL: We are always so grateful to have your company. Thanks for sharing your time with us. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Always good to be with you. We're starting in northern New York where weather will make the search for convicted killer, David Sweat, even more difficult today. You are looking at live pictures of that area there.
You can see the road is wet. It's starting to rain there. Police will be fighting heavy rains as the day goes on even a flood watch until Monday, which will make the terrain even more treacherous. We're getting a closer look at one of the cabins that became a temporary hide out for the escapees.
You can see just how remote the area is as we look through many of these pictures. We'll take a closer look at the video here in just a second.
PAUL: First though, we want to focus on today's search. This is an area about 22 square miles. It's where we find Polo Sandoval who is live within that search perimeter in Malone, New York. Polo, what's the weather like there and what are they saying about how it may either hinder or help them in some way? POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, you'll see those weather maps in just a few moments, but this is what it looks like on the ground here in Malone, New York, actually had a fairly rain free morning, but now what a difference really just a few hours.
We're getting to see these showers now move into the area. Search crews here very familiar with having to do their jobs in the rain. In fact, you'll recall that in and around the Dannemora region, which is not far from here, only about 25 miles or so, search crews immediately following the actual jailbreak itself had to deal with rain 85 percent of the time.
Today, search crews again continue to intensify their efforts. In fact, the numbers growing to about 1,200 law enforcement officers here on the ground as they continue to search for David Sweat nearly two days since his alleged accomplice was shot and killed, Richard Matt.
Investigators still don't have any solid evidence to indicate that Sweat is not in the area so as a result we've seen them truly focus on the region here.
Officials, particularly the local police officials here are renewing their call to the public. They know if they're going to track down this very dangerous individual, it's going to be with their help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF KEVIN MULVERHILL, FRANKLIN COUNTY, NEW YORK: He's been on the run for a few weeks. He's tired, he's fatigued. He's hungry. He's going to make a mistake. Those calls we get in from the public, that's what's going to tip this case. It was a number of calls yesterday that helped to lead us to where Matt was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL: They're going to be able to track this individual down with the eyes and ears of the people that really know their property and notice anything out of the ordinary. At this point the evidence they have that suggest he could be here is a set of tracks and bullet holes that was left behind on a camper, Christi, again, a lot of questions about how this individual is still on the run at this hour.
PAUL: All right, good to know. Polo, stay with us. Ivan Cabrera with us now with more on the weather conditions that you're experiencing and I think one of the biggest concerns is how long does this last, how heavy will it be because it could erase any trace of him if they try to track him down.
IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, question about that, but hopefully the weather is making it miserable for him out there.
[06:05:02] The temperature is 58 and a cold wet rain has been ongoing throughout the night. That will continue through today so hopefully he'll get hypothermic.
At 5:13 is the sunrise, that's when we'll get some good light out there, but let's focus in on the radar and we'll be able to take you as we check in on the conditions here. My magic wall is having a fit here, but we'll go ahead and pop it in here and show you.
The radar will continue to see some rainfall over the next few hours here. We're talking about not just a rainfall, but today we have the potential to get a half inch to as much as an inch of rainfall. Temperatures today are going to be stuck in the 50s.
I think we'll have wind gusts this afternoon, anywhere from 20 to 25 miles per hour. Visibility is not going to be good, down to a half a mile for the searchers out there. We're going to remain cold and continue with this rainfall out there.
It will hinder the search I think for the fugitive out there unless he's in shelter, very cold and very wet and that's going to continue throughout the day.
PAUL: Very good point, yes, exactly. Thank you so much, Ivan Cabrera and Polo Sandoval. We appreciate it.
BLACKWELL: All right, for more now, let's bring in CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director, Tom Fuentes and also with us, former New York City police commissioner, Bernard Kerik. Good to have both of you. Bernie, I want to start with you. How does the weather impact the search crews?
BERNARD KERIK, FORMER NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Well, it's going to impact the search crews today. They're going to have difficulties following any trails, any tracks. It's going to drive him into cover. He's going to be looking for other cabins. He's going to be looking for shelter.
He's going to be looking for somewhere to get out of the weather, get out of the cold especially now throughout the night. And that is going to lead to leads that can give the law enforcement agents something to track him by later. I think that's what you're going to see now.
BLACKWELL: All right, so you bring up cabins. Let's look at the new video of the exterior of the first cabin, the first respite for these escapees. We're seeing a remote area. And Tom, as we look inside at new pictures we have of the inside of the cabin, I wonder what can investigators deduce from the state of the escapees -- by what they used? If they used a blanket, may they were cold. What can you deduce from what they used or did not use?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, not just from what they find, Victor, but when they got the owner of the cabin up there, he is the person that told them what weapons were missing. It doesn't just include firearms. I believe there is three hunting knives also missing.
He would be able to say what clothing he left up there, fresh boots, socks, outer gear, that type of material. Also they might have running water, electricity, television. They might have some amenities. The problem is that the poor officers, over thousand police officers out there don't have that. They're out in the cold, out in the rain. The commanders have to figure out how to maintain the perimeter, continue the search in daylight.
But care for their people out there. They have to be fed and get rest and shelter and to move that many people in and out of a perimeter is no easy task either.
BLACKWELL: Yes, fatigue for the law enforcement officers there a concern as well. Bernie, considering that it was just Friday night after the death of Richard Matt and now the search, they said hot pursuit of Mr. Sweat, does it suggest to you that he's already escaped this perimeter considering he has not been captured in the last 36 hours.
KERIK: Well, I'm not sure what they meant by hot pursuit because as it stands right now, there are no real leads and there was no sighting of him to my understanding. Hot pursuit in my terms or what I think -- and I think Tom would agree -- it's, you know, you're right behind them.
You have a visual. You have some sighting. I don't think they really had that type of pursuit going, and if there's no indication that he was actually with him, you know, it's going to be interesting to see where it goes from here.
BLACKWELL: Yes, that suggestion of hot pursuit is that you actually saw them and you're following a person you've laid eyes on and investigators said that has not happened. All right, Bernard Kerik, Tom Fuentes, we'll continue the conversation throughout the morning. Thanks.
FUENTES: Thank you.
KERIK: Thank you.
PAUL: We're getting incredible pictures from a water park that turns into a fiery escape. Look at this. All right, and look at the people. They are literally running through the flames.
[06:10:07] And the big question at this point, besides the fact that hundreds of people are in the hospital, is why did this happen?
Fighting over the flag, rallies across the south, for and against the confederate flag, and the woman busted for cutting down the flag in South Carolina is now out of jail.
Also, we're going to hear from the survivors in Tunisia. They share with us how they got to safety when that gunman opened fire at that crowded seaside resort. You stay close.
BLACKWELL: New information overnight about the deadly terror attack in Kuwait. Officials there say a suicide bomber who blew himself up at a mosque was a Saudi citizen.
And police have arrested the man who they say drove him to the mosque. They say he was an illegal resident. The attack during Friday prayers killed at least 27 people and injured more than 200 others.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for that bombing. Kuwaiti police say several other people have been arrested in connection with that attack.
Now let's got to Tunisia now, where one minute people are relaxing on a beach, the next they're running for their lives. Survivors are talking about the terror attack at the sea side resort there in the North African nation of Tunisia.
At least 38 people were killed, nearly 40 wounded. The gunman was shot and killed. U.S. officials say ISIS might have inspired his attack, but that there's no evidence the terror group orchestrated it. That's important.
Tunisians are mourning the victims and demanding better security while thousands of tourists are leaving the town of Souse. CNN's Becky Anderson is there now and we understand most of the victims, Becky, were Europeans there on vacation?
[06:15:09] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Tunisians as you say denouncing the violence that led to the 38 tourists being shot to death, 15 of those at least were Brits, and from Britain the message is this is the most significant attack on Britain since the transit bombings of July 7th, 2005.
This is a Mediterranean coastal resort in shock still some 48 hours now after the attack. It's a quarter past 11:00 in the morning here on Sunday. Tunisia, as you point out, has vowed to beef up security, Victor, across the country.
And the prime minister plans to crack down on what he calls illegal mosques. We are seeing the evidence of the crackdown in security just on the road outside the hotel where horror was visited on Friday. Many people are saying that's too little too late.
Others saying let's not go back to the security days of the old regime pre-2005. Those who were caught up in the horror and the chaos, it seems they will never forget what happened. Have a listen to some of those we spoke to who survive this attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were those moments like?
CHRIS CALLAGHAN, TERROR ATTACK SURVIVOR: I couldn't believe it. She was bleeding so heavily. I was laying in her blood, trying to keep her awake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Meanwhile, the student who carried out the attack being described as a normal young man who loved soccer, dance and music until he was radicalized most likely online. The question is how many more of that sort of young men are there in communities like these and in countries like this and across this region and beyond -- Victor.
BLACKWELL: We know the Tunisians are fighting back in the way they can by holding this anti-terror rally. Becky Anderson for us in the town of Souse, thank you -- Christi.
PAUL: Let's talk more about the latest developments in Kuwait and Tunisia as well. Sajjan Gohel is the international security director of the Asia Pacific Foundation and an expert on terrorism joining us from London.
Sajjan, thank you for being with us. Let's talk about Kuwait, first of all. They're dealing with their worst terror attack in years. This morning we know that the bomber we've learned is a Saudi national who arrived by air Friday morning just hours before committing this act. The fact that he was able to get on a plane, does that indicate he was off their radar?
SAJJAN GOHEL, TERRORISM EXPERT: It seems very much that the aim was to bypass border security at the Kuwaiti Saudi transit points. The fact that they spent money on an airline ticket just shows how much the determination and level that they wanted to carry this attack out.
It was against Shia Muslims who are one of the primary enemies of ISIS. Unfortunately now a dangerous precedent has been set with this attack in one of the gulf Arab kingdoms and the worry is that this could stir communal tension in the region.
PAUL: OK, communal tension, could you kind of expand on that because a lot of people are looking at this and wondering what does ISIS have to gain by attacking Kuwait?
GOHEL: Keep in mind that ISIS' goal is to spread its tentacles. It's wanting to expand and conquest further territory and bring it under its fold. The ISIS movement is led by a Sunni Muslim faction that has a very warped ideology.
Some of the enemies as we know are principally the west, but other enemies include Shia Muslims, who they deemed to be (inaudible), and they've carried out horrific acts of violence against Shia Muslims in Syria and in Iraq, and now it seems it's spreading into neighboring Kuwait.
PAUL: So I want to get to Tunisia real quickly as we talk about this 24-year-old suspect they believe -- described as a normal young man. One of his neighbors went onto say, he couldn't have done it. It's like some radicals kidnapped his mind. Do you believe that's an accurate description of what's happening with these recruiters?
GOHEL: A lot of these people that are getting recruited whether it's in Tunisia, the United Kingdom, the United States, elsewhere in the world, they are all getting radicalized and indoctrinated through the internet by what they see, hear and read. The ISIS propaganda that's designed to brainwash them effectively control them like a cult. [06:20:05] ISIS is a death cult and the fact that these individuals would give up their way of life, their jobs, their family, and their security in order to carry out these attacks just illustrates how dangerous the brand of ISIS has become. It's superseding al Qaeda when it comes to the brands of terrorism.
PAUL: Sajjan Gohel, so appreciate your insight on this, thanks for being with us.
BLACKWELL: A big celebration quickly turns into chaos. Look and then people start to run. You see here shots ring out at a San Francisco gay pride event. We'll tell you what police say this was really all about.
And wet, muddy, maybe even flood conditions are really hampering the search conditions for this guy, David Sweat in New York, but it's not getting easier for him to hide either. What a survivalist has to say about the conditions, that's coming up.
PAUL: We want to give you a look at some stories that are making headlines now.
BLACKWELL: Yes, what you heard there were gunshots near a gay pride event in San Francisco. You see the crowd running. One of the bullets hit a 64-year-old man, but he's expected to be OK. Police say a group of guys near the event got into a heated argument and fired several shots. Police detained a few people and say they don't believe the shots were related to the gay pride celebration.
[06:25:05] PAUL: In Charleston, South Carolina, hundreds of people are expected to attend the funeral for Reverend Depayne Middleton- Doctor later today. The 49-year-old was among those nine victims of the Emanuel AME Church shooting. Myra Thompson's funeral is set for tomorrow eve evening. Funeral plans for the last victim, Reverend Daniel Simmons Sr., haven't been announced just yet.
BLACKWELL: Secretary of State John Kerry says he is hopeful the U.S. and Iran can finalize a comprehensive nuclear deal, but he admits more needs to be done. However, U.S. officials do not expect to Mr. Kerry and his counterpart, Iranian foreign minister to come to terms by Tuesday deadline set by the U.N. Security Council. Kerry and Sarif will sit down and negotiate again in Vienna today.
PAUL: We just got some breaking details about the killed escapee, Richard Matt. We're learning for about his physical condition and his mental state just moments before his death. We have that for you next.
Also a Taiwan water park, there it's just a show, now it's an inferno and you see people running literally through the flames trying to save their lives. We'll tell you what happened.
PAUL: 30 minutes past the hour. And we have new details about the condition of prison escapee Richard Matt when he was caught and killed. According to the "Buffalo News," sources say that Matt was ill and possibly drunk.
BLACKWELL: Our CNN's Polo Sandoval joins us now with some details on what we are learning from "The Buffalo News." And tell us, how they determined this.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, guys, those local reports now being cited by -- or at least they're citing at least one unnamed law enforcement source, which now providing some very crucial information that may tell us exactly what life was like for Richard Matt in the moments leading up to that deadly confrontation with federal agents Friday. We're now being told that at least these reports from "The Buffalo News" now suggesting that Richard Matt was not only intoxicated when he faced off with federal agents, but also likely sick.
Now, they don't go onto say exactly from what, but I can tell you, that this is now happening as we continue to dig for details on what - possible. Autopsy revealed on Richard Matt, it could tell us potentially what he was surviving on before he faced off with federal agents and maybe even where he was hiding out before that deadly confrontation on Friday.
Meanwhile, the search continues and in fact it's intensifying for his alleged accomplice David Sweat. You should might be able to tell condition out here in upstate New York are miserable. Just the last 24 hours alone, yesterday, for example, officials did have good weather ahead of them for a whole day. But today a very, very sharp contrast as we continue to see these showers. And they in fact, they're expected to intensify. Hampering search conditions, visibility will likely be very limited, especially for officers in the air searching the very tough terrain below. And for the officers on the ground while this will be very difficult, don't expect them to sort of pull back some of these efforts. In fact, they're very familiar with having to search in the rain. In fact, we are following the prison escape about three weeks ago. They had to do this job in similar weather conditions. So Christine, Victor, as we continue to see the search intensify for David Sweat, not only will law enforcement have to deal with the weather, but also the people here in upstate New York as well.
BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you so much. Let's talk about that. Dealing with this weather. We have got Shane Hobel, he is a survivalist and a tracking trainer. He knows what it's like to live off the land and how to track down escapees especially in really rough terrain. He shows CNN's Rosa Flores exactly what David Sweat trackers are looking for as they hunt for him. Watch.
SHANE HOBEL: Immediately things are already popping out to me.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Like what?
HOBEL: So, I already know that there's tracks. I know that there is a track right here. This has been pushed down. This group right here and this group has been pushed forward. Look at the color. And as the foot left it lifted this stick and it pushed this into its place, because this is clearly not natural behavior. This is not what - how this plant was showing.
FLORES: Shane says this would technically be called a run, a series of signs showing someone ran through the woods. But not every clue is left on the ground. Shane also looks for clues at shoulder level.
HOBEL: If I moved here swiftly, or a bit more with aggressive - aggressive behavior, I may have moved it in such a way that it did grab itself. And this is the type of thing that we'll look for. It's the thing that doesn't make sense out here.
BLACKWELL: There's a lot to talk with you about, Shane. So, it's good to have you with us live now. And we are grateful for that. Shane, let's talk first about the breaking details this morning reported by "The Buffalo News" citing an unnamed law enforcement source that Matt, when he was killed, was possibly ill maybe from consuming spoiled food or bad water. I'd imagine water and food the greatest concerns when you're out in these types of conditions.
HOBEL: Absolutely. You know, there's the cardinal four when it comes to survival or disaster type scenarios. And that is shelter, water, fire, food. And clearly water and fire share a symbiotic relationship. I have to boil my water, or render a charcoal dust or to make a primitive filter. So, coming across bodies of water, we have to assume that they are already bad, they are already tainted. And that's part of the rules of survival. We have to go through that process that you literally stake your life on your water source.
HOBEL: I'm sure that they've across probably dysentery and a few other ugly things. But hygiene as well. The last time these guys actually took a bath, they've been on the run in hypothermic conditions, especially today, rough terrain. And in terms of the survival or at least the mindset ...
HOBEL: You're not in a normal survival pattern. Most people want to be found and they are going to take your time making a shelter and getting food and cleaning out the water and that kind of thing, clearly that's not the case here. I'm sure he's suffered a lot.
BLACKWELL: Speaking of shelter, let's put up the pictures of this cabin that we have. We've got video from WPTZ in that area. In which I wonder, when you look at this now going to the fourth week of this escape for these two men. Most people look at it as four weeks on the run in the wilderness. But how much of a reset could this cabin have offered?
HOBEL: You know, a tremendous amount. We actually don't even know how many cabins they actually visited. There are a number of structures and linked to those in the out buildings scattered throughout the Adirondack region. It is a vast region for sure. So, knowing that these two were not survival experts -- and if they were they wouldn't be coming back to the cabins, they would be out in the - indefinitely and that police would have a much greater, a much harder time finding them. We know that they are not. We know that they've been skirting in and out of these cabins that are seasonal. They're shared hunting cabins. We're not quite sure that supplies, whether they'd have a little goody bag, if you would. So, in terms of their needs, they're clearly getting it from any of the manmade structures. He's just using the woods to either move through or hunker down for the night.
BLACKWELL: So then, we talked about the weather. The flood watch through Monday. We talked about how that would impact ...
HOBEL: Oh, yeah.
BLACKWELL: The search cruise and law enforcement. You're a survivalist. How does it impact being able to survive out there in these conditions?
HOBEL: You know, it's - without the skills, it makes it brutal. You know, just standing out there in the wind, you're creating hypothermic conditions for yourself. So, you're already depleting yourself just by standing out there. Let alone not having enough water and food, which we know that he probably has - And, of course, this high paced tempo of constantly on the move. The police - it makes it quiet for them to move through the woods. There is an ambient white noise that seems to be displayed throughout the forest, when it rains. It also makes it difficult for them to also hear movement from Sweat. So, in terms of tracking, the rain is a good thing and it's also a bad thing. The rain will hold certain tracks in those - field tracks that you see in a guide, which is a very rare occasion.
HOBEL: But the softer the soil, the easier it's going to be for them to see it. However, the rain is also detrimental for washing tracks away.
BLACKWELL: Yeah, I see that. I see that. Well, Shane Hobel, thank you so much. A survivalist and tracker. We really appreciate the insight.
HOBEL: Absolutely, my pleasure.
PAUL: Well, the protesters here waving Confederate Flags in Alabama and in South Carolina to support its presence at state capitals. In the meantime, remember these activists in South Carolina who climbed a flag pole to remove the Confederate Flag? Well, she and her accomplice are out on bail this morning and they've become social media celebrities of sorts. Could this inspire others to commit the same act? Despite the consequences? Our panel weighs in on that one.
And also ahead, an explosion at a water park in Taiwan. And look here at the people running through fire to try to save themselves.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: It's just horrifying to watch, isn't it? You can't imagine what these people went through running through that scene, an explosion at a water park. This was yesterday in New Taipei, Taiwan. Taiwan's mayor is calling it "the worst incident of mass injury ever in New Taipei." Our Kathy Novak is looking into what caused it.
KATHY NOVAK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was supposed to be a fun night out dancing with friends, partying at a water park, music, flashing lights. Then this -- a massive fire ball engulfing the stage, terrified people screaming, running for their lives through flames that seemed to come out of nowhere. The injured carried in the arms of others, some dragged out on inflatable rafts. Fellow party goers doing what they could to cool the skin of those who had been burned in the blaze. Hundreds rushed to nearby hospitals. Beds made available in military hospitals across the region to accommodate the casualties of what the local mayor says is the worst ever incident of mass injury in New Taipei. It's believed colored powder that was sprayed on the crowd as part of the theme of the color played Asia event ignited causing the midair explosion. These events have been held here before. Video on the organizers' Facebook page shows bags of the powder for sale, people throwing it in the air and on friends, a bit of fun. Similar to the Indian Festival of Holy (ph) or running events around the world.
Seemingly to blame for this terrifying disaster. For most of fun coast said in a statement, it is very regretful for this accident that caused injuries to many victims. It said a marketing company had leased out the space for the event. The mayor immediately shut down the water park and ordered an investigation. Kathy Novak, CNN, Taipei.
BLACKWELL: We've got an update to breaking news we covered here in the show yesterday. This woman we've got a picture here and her accomplice arrested for removing the Confederate Flag from the State House grounds in South Carolina. This morning they're out of jail or on bail after receiving a lot of notoriety overnight.
[06:45:00] BLACKWELL: But what's the real legal fall out here? We'll discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) you'd better take that to your - you might want to go back to where you came from ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no back to where you came from.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am where I came from.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Tempers flaring there in South Carolina. It's protesters against the Confederate Flag. They stopped with those who want to keep it at the State House. This tense moment came just hours after this. Two activists, Britney Bree Newsome, whom you see there and James Tyson, were arrested at the state capital tearing down the controversial flag there. And during her arrest, the 30-year-old said she did it because "it was the right thing to do and it was time for people to step up. Let's talk about this with CNN contributor Bakari Sellers, an HLN legal analyst Joey Jackson and thank you, both gentlemen, for coming with us.
Bakari, I want to go to your first - So, mentioning you're a former South Carolina House representative. You heard that argument there and that emotions are running high. Wondering if you are concerned at all about potential violence amongst people there. And what can authorities do to make sure that freedom of speech is heard without that?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, South Carolina is not a powder keg by any stretch. We've gone through a series of traumatic events whether or not we're talking about the killing of Walter Scott to the massacre last Wednesday that happened where nine people were murdered, including one of my good friends Clementa Pinckney. And we just laid in the rest. In fact, we're still in a state of mourning. We still have three more funerals left to go, but by no means is South Carolina a powder keg or about to explode. That flag breeds such great tension in this state. For many of us it reeks of hate. That young man he shrouded himself with the hatred in that flag. I mean so we are trying to move forward and bring it down. I look forward to that flag coming down forever in about two weeks. So, we do look forward to that day coming soon.
PAUL: And then, what makes you believe that that is exactly what will happen in two weeks?
SELLERS: Well, I'm cautiously optimistic, but I do have faith. I think that the momentum is there. I think that people on all sides, I mean I saw Dale Earnhardt Jr. come out and say that the flag should come down. I saw statements from NASCAR. I saw statements from Sunoco and Boeing, and all of these companies, and they are putting economic pressure on our legislators. We look forward to our end goal. My goal is not to have the flag down for a moment. My goal is to have the flag down for a lifetime. We've been working at this since 1962. There's this belief that South Carolina has just been sitting on its hands. But we've been marching. We've been marching from Charleston to Columbia. We've been filing bills, we've been very active in this process.
SELLERS: I mean right now our goal is within reach.
PAUL: Well, and look at Bree Newsome - I mean she's becoming online hero of sorts, Joey.
JOEY JACKSON, CNN COMMENTATOR: Yeah.
PAUL: People - she was trending on social media, the hashtag free Bree. People have been offering to - yes, to pay her bail. But let's look at what she's faced with. What is she charged with and how - I mean it's up to three years? Is it not?
JACKSON: Sure. It's a misdemeanor. You know, it's defacing a monument on state grounds. It's a misdemeanor. Not that you poopou that, of course, it's punishable by up to three years. There's fines associated with it of $5,000. But I think the prosecutor, Christi, will look at the end game here. Whenever someone commits any type of offense, you look at what their intentions were. You know, and was there any malice behind her intentions. Certainly, we are a society, a government of laws. You want to deter people from committing any acts.
But at the end of the day, you also have to look at what interest is going to be served by her prosecution. Certainly there is a deterrence factor, because you don't want other people to engage in unlawful activity, but at the same time civil disobedience has a long history in this country and has a long history of changing for the better. And so, do I see a prosecution? Potentially. They have a job to do, but I really don't see what the maximum is here of three years. Certainly she can get away with potentially a noncriminal offense. I think the legislature is going to address this issue in a couple of weeks. As Bakari spoke to. I think it's certainly possible with the two thirds majority that's needed in both houses. It will come down. And I think the public sentiment will factor in to what the prosecutor does here.
PAUL: I wondered if that would have anything to do. Because NAACP came out and supported her as well. That will factor in, you believe?
JACKSON: As a former prosecutor I'll tell you this, Christi, that prosecutors are elected officials. And I was an assistant district attorney, meaning the elected official, of course, is the prosecutor himself. But I think it plays a calculus in it. You obviously want to look at any public policy, any public interest served, you want to look at the law. But prosecutors are not immune from looking at what the public sentiments are around that, in terms of trying to do the right and just thing in any case that they handle.
PAUL: Bakari, do you think that Bree now has a real voice in this to inspire, to influence and did she do the right thing in the way she was making her believes known?
SELLERS: She definitely is a voice in this. Her courage and her strength both literally and physically to climb that pole and take that down is something that is resonating throughout the community. Joey talked about civil disobedience. And whether or not you are talking about Sarah May Fleming who sat down on the bus before Rosa Parks, whether or not you are talking about the three kids who sat down at that lunch counter February 1, 1960, this type of civil disobedience begets change. So, yes, she has courage and strength. And we hope and I hope that my colleagues in the general assembly when they come back in two weeks will be able to show similar courage and strength to that black woman who went on and scaled the top of that pole to take that flag down. And maybe we'll get it down for more than an hour this time. Maybe we'll get it down for a lifetime.
PAUL: We will be watching, certainly. Bakari Sellers, Joey Jackson, gentlemen, so good to have you with us. Thank you.
JACKSON: Thank you, Christi. Take care, Bakari.
SELLERS: Thank you for the opportunity. Thank you, Joey.
BLACKWELL: You know, Bakari just mentioned Dale Earnhardt Jr. because the fall-out over the Confederate Flag is extending now into sports. We have a live report next on the strong words at the head of NASCAR's using to car our attention. Also, it has social media buzz. And we'll talk more about that.
Plus, new details in the New York manhunt.
BLACKWELL: What we're learning about Richard Matt before he was shot and killed by police that may have led to his capture. And how long can his partner, David Sweat, last on the run alone, in these conditions? Live report straight ahead.
BLACKWELL: Two minutes to the top of the hour now. NASCAR could be the next battleground in the fight over the Confederate Flag.
PAUL: Yeah. Fans, are they going to get on board, which is the big question for a lot of people.
Coy Wire is here with more. Good morning.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: Good morning to you, guys. And flying that flag is not going to fly anymore. Now, NASCAR released a statement supporting the removal of the Confederate Flag from South Carolina Statehouse. And they're reaffirming their stance against the use of the flag at their event. Now, NASCAR chairman, Brian France. He called the flag quote an offensive and divisive symbol. I know you talked about Dale Earnhardt. He came out and said look, this is an offensive to an entire race. NASCAR has banned the use of the flag from their events for more than a decade. But it's still found its way into events. Now, NASCAR has taken strong stances against it in the past, like in 2012 when it banned pro-golfer Bubba Watson's plan to drive the "Duke of Hazard" car to track in Phoenix, because the car had the Confederate Flag on its roof.
And with recent events in South Carolina, they're going to ensure that that flag doesn't show up at any of their events. And that includes the campgrounds, the fields of tracks, et cetera. Now, NASCAR is a sport that started in the South. Some hard core fans were unhappy about this. We want to know what you guys think. Can you share your comments in the next hour? Should NASCAR put the hard brakes on the Confederate Flag? Tweet us at NewDay and use the hashtag "NewDay CNN," we want to use your comments, so love to hear from you.
BLACKWELL: All right, we'll do it. Coy, thanks.
PAUL: Thank you, Coy.
PAUL: And thank you so much for sharing your morning with us.
BLACKWELL: Yeah, we've got much more ahead at the next hour of your "NEW DAY". It starts right now.