Return to Transcripts main page
Police Shooting of a Black Teenager in Chicago. Aired 11-11:59p ET
Aired November 24, 2015 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: 11:00 p.m. here on the east coast. 10:00 p.m. in Chicago, where you're looking at live pictures, and anger is spreading over the police shooting of a black teenager caught on camera.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer. That graphic and disturbing video released tonight, as outrage spreads all across the city.
Officer Jason Van Dyke now charged with first degree murder. This on the day of our new exclusive CNN Kaiser Family Foundation Poll reveals that what Americans are thinking and saying about race and what we have learned -- well, it says a lot about where this country is headed.
Want you to take a look at this. Forty-five percent -- 45 percent of blacks say that they have felt that their lives were in danger because of their race.
A lot more to come on that. But first, I want to go right to CNN's Ryan Young in Chicago on the streets.
So Ryan, take us to where you are right now.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, you can see right behind me, this is the protesters who have stopped right here on Michigan Avenue. You see here this is Michigan and Roosevelt. They're all in the center of the street. They've blocked it off. In fact, you've been here so many times. Michigan Avenue, one of the busiest streets in Chicago. It's all shut down in this section, as police have blocked it off. They've all stood here in the center.
We're going to walk a little closer to show you what's going on here. They are all screaming and chanting. They're doing what they've done in several intersections. They're blocking it off. They're having a rally. They're having conversations. And what they do is all of the sudden they'll start walking, and they'll go down another block. And they'll block that off, and then they'll start walking once again.
The police officers who have been watching them all night, you can see them here, not in tactical gear -- just in their regular patrol uniforms with their hats. They've been watching them all night. A lot of them on bicycle patrol. Some of them in cars. The ones in cars get a little further ahead, and they block off the road. So that's what they've been doing throughout the evening to make sure people are staying safe.
LEMON: Hey, Brian, I want to ask you this. The fact that the officers...
UNKNOWN MALE 1: (inaudible)
YOUNG: Hello, brother.
LEMON: Go ahead.
UNKNOWN MALE 1: I'm out here, man. You know, we're out here all gathering together.
YOUNG: So wait. Today, why did you decide to come out and protest?
UNKNOWN MALE 1: Because honestly, I just came to get something to eat. Honestly, I didn't even know people were protesting out here. Honestly. I wanted to just come up here and say my piece, man. Honestly.
I want to say that I don't -- I commend these people for coming out here and doing something so peacefully -- that's really so infuriating. You understand what I'm saying? Like this shit's been going on too damn long.
YOUNG: I appreciate it -- see, you've got to keep your words kind of tight.
UNKNOWN MALE 1: OK. I'm sorry. But this is...
YOUNG: All right. So obviously, Don, you can hear people have passion when they're talking about how they feel about what's going on. A lot of times they're talking about the idea, 16 shots.
And now all of the sudden the group is splitting into two groups, and they're walking down the street. That's happened several times, and we've had to follow them. We've had to figure out which group is going where. But that's just what's happening throughout the evening.
LEMON: Thank you very much, Ryan. I was wondering how long it would take before that happened.
But I want to Bakari Sellers, Mark O'Mara and Harry Houck to talk about this videotape.
So once again, this videotape, Bakari, is at the center of what's happening now. A white officer, black victim. If there was no video, do you think that we'd be seeing a first degree murder charge?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely not. I mean, I think we all agree. I mean, the narrative of the officer is always taken over the narrative of the victim, who many time cannot be heard because they're dead. I truly believe that the story would have been that the -- that the young man either lunged at him or came at him or was walking into a crowd full of babies.
But what you saw here was the video, and we're starting to see that a lot more. These cases are being illuminated.
LEMON: Yes. Well, this is a video, and this is...
HARRY HOUCK: I can't agree with that, though.
LEMON: Go ahead. Go ahead.
HOUCK: Yes, I mean, the fact is, you know, the forensic evidence would have shown everything of what happened in this case here. I mean, we can't...
MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: But what -- that's not what started it.
HOUCK: ...just blanket say.
HOUCK: ... say the fact that if we didn't have this video, this officer never would have been prosecuted.
O'MARA: But we can look at the Scott case and know that he dropped -- he dropped a cartridge near him. We can look at the Tensing case with my client...
O'MARA: ...if it wasn't on videotape, that would have been Sam being the aggressor. And then we can look at this case and say if it wasn't on dash cam, he would have been the aggressor.
HOUCK: We have to look at each case individually.
SELLERS: I agree with that.
HOUCK: We can't just go back and look at the last 20 cases that occurred, which is something I understated. Compare those cases to this.
O'MARA: But the...
HOUCK: Each specific incident is different, and nobody can say -- unless you're omnipotent, all right -- that nothing would have happened to this police officer.
SELLERS: I'm definitely not omnipotent, but what I can tell you is that 20 times is too many, Harry. That's the problem. The fact that we're here...
HOUCK: Twenty times... SELLERS: The 20 times...
HOUCK: ...out of millions and millions...
HOUCK: ...and millions...
SELLERS: ...it shouldn't happen once.
HOUCK: ...(inaudible) talking about...
SELLERS: It shouldn't happen once.
HOUCK: ...rather than (inaudible)...
O'MARA: Guys, guys. Rather than lathering over what might have been, I think we can agree on this, now that we have video cameras on most people's hands...
O'MARA: ...and we really need to have them on every...
SELLERS: Body cameras.
SELLERS: With sound.
O'MARA: This will -- now we will have the video so that the concerns that we're talking about will not happen in the future.
HOUCK: Well, the whole thing is that police officers have been prosecuted in the past without video.
SELLERS: How much?
HOUCK: Oh, a lot. I spent seven years in Internal Affairs. I put a lot of cops in jail.
SELLERS: Let me -- let me...
LEMON: Let him make his point. Go ahead.
SELLERS: Two points. One, we can talk about police -- I think we have very low bar for justice in this country. I've said it one, and I will say it a thousand times. Because officers do get indicted. In South Carolina, we indict officers all the time, but you can't point any one time where officer's actually been found guilty where we've actually had that top level of justice. That's one.
HOUCK: In South Carolina?
SELLERS: ...you bring up -- or -- I mean -- name one time. Name one time in any one time -- not just in South Carolina. Name one time where an officer who has committed a murder -- where an officer who has been indicted on an assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature or murder in the first degree has actually been found guilty, and you can't.
HOUCK: Well, you know, wait for north Charleston.
SELLERS: I mean, now you have to wait. But I'm saying that you can't.
HOUCK: OK. But I'm...
SELLERS: And I don't even have faith in that.
HOUCK: ...I don't have statistics in front of me, but I could probably find them and come back and talk to you about that.
SELLERS: But my point is that you can't -- but even number two...
SELLERS: ...one thing that we can agree on...
SELLERS: ...is that we have to move towards solutions.
SELLERS: And one of the things that you talked about is -- and one of the things which is the failure in Rahm Emanuel's leadership -- and I hate to go back to this -- but he had an amazing moment today, and he squandered it. What is he going to do to make sure that this doesn't happen again? Two, where were the body cameras on these officers? Why did they not have them already? This has been a discussion for a long period of time, so we could have sound.
HOUCK: It's all about money.
SELLERS: And three -- and three, what about the transparency in the police department so we didn't have to wait 400 days for this to surface.
HOUCK: Yes, but that's not the police department's fault. I'm sure this investigation by the Chicago PD was done like in 25 (inaudible)...
LEMON: Hang on.
SELLERS: I'll give you that. I'll give you.
LEMON: You're looking at live pictures now. This is the -- these are the streets of Chicago, right, courtesy of our affiliate WLS. Live pictures now at 10:06 in Chicago Central Time. Of course, 11:06 here on the east coast. People are starting to gather, and what they're protesting -- first of all, they're protesting the death of a 17-year- old. But this video was released today, and it was so horrific that it caused people to go to the streets. People are outraged obviously.
Why do you think -- do you think with the -- after the release of this tape, do you think the officer can get a fair trial? Or they're going to try to, you know, move -- change venues or what have you?
O'MARA: You know, here's the thing, we are very good at giving our criminal defendants fair trials. We are very good at picking a jury that does not have unnecessary infection. I was able to pick a jury in a very high profile case, and we did in a week and a half. You can get a fair jury in this country.
So what I don't think we should say is, on the other side of the coin, we should hide the information from the public for fear that we can't get a fair trial. This defendant will get a fair trial at the right time.
LEMON: Look at this video. Everyone is filming what's happening. Whatever is happening there, everyone has a video camera out.
O'MARA: It is -- it is 2015. From now forward, we will always do this.
LEMON: Let's listen. Stand by. Let's listen. Let's listen.
UNKNOWN MALE: Let him go! Let him go! Let him go!
UNKNOWN FEMALE: Let him go! Let him go! Let him go!
LEMON: So they are -- they are screaming, "Let him go! Let him go!" Obviously, there's some altercation happening.
Ryan Young, who's our correspondent there, you near this? What's going on?
YOUNG: Yes, Don, we're right in the middle of this. We're on the back side. It looks like an officer is trying to arrest someone. The crowd has decided -- they are surrounding the officers. There are video cameras now. Everyone's using their iPhones to record the situation.
There is some pushing in the middle. It looks like they are trying to take somebody into custody, but the crowd does not want to let that happen. You are hearing him scream, "Let him go! Let him go!" They have stopped chanted right now, but there's a lot of yelling and
pushing. And we are pushed to the side on a city bus here. But it looks like the crowd does not want to let the police officers take whoever they're trying to take away.
LEMON: OK. That's Ryan Young.
SELLERS: So you can see how this peaceful thing so far as just changed in a couple of seconds.
We actually saw people running down Michigan Avenue to come back here, but then all of a sudden officers grabbed -- it looks like grabbed a young man, and they're, like, trying to pull him off the side of this bus at this point.
LEMON: Well, I mean, there's no violence. Right? This is just something -- this is an altercation in a crowd. This is...
HOUCK: This is where an officer gets scared.
YOUNG: We are not sure exactly what happened, but there is definitely some pushing going on.
LEMON: OK. Go ahead, Harry.
HOUCK: Yes, you've got a crowd here that looks like they want to stop the arrest of a suspect here, and that's when it gets really fun. Now this officer's going to have to call in a large backup. Right? Now they're going to have to move these people away where they're trying to stop -- now we might the beginning of some violence.
SELLERS: Aren't they -- aren't they trained to do that, though?
HOUCK: Right. No.
SELLERS: They're trained to do that...
HOUCK: Of course.
SELLERS: ...without inciting -- I mean, we're going to -- aren't officers taught to meet this with...
HOUCK: Do you -- do you want to be one officer or two officers, and 20 people are around you yelling and screaming that they're going to take (inaudible)...
SELLERS: I mean, I agree. I hear you.
HOUCK: It's a very scary incident.
LEMON: Right now you can see there's an altercation in the crowd. And, again, these pictures are courtesy of our affiliate WLS. We don't have control of them, or we would push in a little bit closer. You can see the spotlights from -- this is from news camera that are there on the scene. Of course, people there filming this with their -- with their cellphone cameras, again. All playing out live now on the streets of Chicago.
Bakari Sellers, go ahead.
SELLERS: One of the things I was going to go back to -- you talked about getting a fair jury for the defendant in this case, but what many people don't want to see is the persecution of the victim in this case either. Because one of the first things that we do in this country, is we go back and people start digging up the victims past and talking about this and tarnishing this young man as if he wasn't a 17-year-old child who was a victim.
LEMON: And I haven't heard anyone do that. I'm not saying that it has not been done, but I haven't heard anyone do that yet. And again, I want to tell our viewers you're looking at an altercation now on the streets of Chicago. We're talking about -- Harry Houck, who is a retired former NYPD detective -- was just saying this is when police officers get scared and this is when you tend to see things start to escalate.
HOUCK: Things start to escalate. Because those officers -- with that many people there -- I can't see how many police officers are actually at that -- you know, on that scene there, but they're going to have to call for a large back up to get those people out of the way. And hopefully, if those people don't start to get violent against the police officers. This could get ugly.
HOUCK: This could get ugly.
YOUNG: There are at least 40 officers here, by the way.
LEMON: Ryan is saying -- we hear Ryan Young there saying there are at least 40 police officers there, by the way.
So Ryan -- Ryan, you're down in the middle of the crowd. What is this car -- what's going on, and what is this car in the middle of the street? Is this car moving? Tell us what's happening.
YOUNG: Well, we've been all trying to figure -- we've been all trying to figure out exactly what kind of pushed these people into this point, because, you know, as we've been saying all night, it has remain peaceful. We're walking our way around right now trying to figure out what happened.
We believe somebody may have tried to drive through the crowd, and that made someone upset. But at this point, you can see how the officers have tried to create a line to stop what's going on.
One of the officers does have a video camera, and now the scene has moved again. We have actually had to scenes going on with officers and these protesters. If you see back this way, they are screaming at the officers on the side as well.
So there is two groups now kind of separating and yelling at officers. This crowd has completely changed in the last two minutes. We don't know exactly what happened, but this has all gone just kind of crazy in the last few seconds. And everybody's saying they're watching the officers. That's what they are screaming to them right now, "We are watching you. We are watching you."
LEMON: What are we hearing? What's the crowd saying there? We're also hearing what sounds like barking. It's people, right?
YOUNG: Well, that's somebody with a dog -- has brought a very large dog out here...
LEMON: That is a dog.
YOUNG: ...and their dog is barking, so -- yes, there is a dog. But it's not a police dog. It's someone's personal dog. She's screaming that she's a former Marine. A lot of people have come out here and joined the crowd, and they're deciding they want to voice their opinion.
So you have a collection of people. We see people now show up with gas masks as well, who are not police officers. A crowd of people that we haven't seen all night. So it does also look like the crowd is changing in terms of who is out here. This is not the original group of people who were protesting earlier in the evening.
LEMON: What do you mean by that? Explain that. The crowd is changing.
YOUNG: Don, you remember when we were in Baltimore, and we were looking at how sometimes you see a group of people in the crowd and then all the sudden the crowd will change and outsiders were kind of coming in. But we've seen some people with (inaudible) masks. We've seen people show up who are obviously kind of running around...
LEMON: Our Ryan Young is out in the crowd there explaining what's going on. We're having technical difficulties with him. But again, he said there -- as you can see on your screen, there has been some pushing going on in the crowd.
According to Ryan, the crowd has changed. It went from peaceful to other people who are coming out. It looks like they're, you know, obviously not as peaceful as the other folks who have been out in the crowd. But again, it doesn't look like it is out of control at this point.
Chicago police have prepared for this moment. They said as much today in a press conference with the Superintendent of Police Gary McCarthy and also with Mayor Rahm Emmanuel.
Again, breaking news out of Chicago. I'm here with my panel, Bakari Sellers, Mark O'Mara, Harry Houck, and we're watching the crowds in Chicago along with our correspondence and our team on the ground.
YOUNG: Got you. Can you hear me?
LEMON: We won't miss a moment of it. We will be right back with the breaking news right after a very quick break. Don't go anywhere. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We're back now with our breaking news, and you're looking at live pictures of Chicago now, where protesters have taken to the streets after the video was released of a 17-year-old being gunned down by a Chicago police officer. That Chicago police officer now charged with first-degree murder.
And as you been hearing from my panel of experts here, scenes like these that have happened all across the country. One of them as well -- as we continue to look at these pictures of Chicago, Minneapolis. That's where three white men are in custody tonight in Minneapolis after five people were shot at a demonstration protesting the fatal police shooting of Jamar Clark.
Again, as we continue to look at these live pictures of Chicago, I want to bring in Kyung Lah, who can talk to us about Minneapolis.
Kyung, in Minneapolis police have made some arrests in that shooting of the five black lives matters protesters. What's the latest there?
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What we can tell you is that you can see and feel here, Don, that it's very quiet. There's people behind me. They're breaking down the stage. They're calling it quits for the night. And the reason why -- and this is a very sudden mood change for about an hour ago --is that the people here -- the protesters here who were monitoring social media, they actually heard some chatter -- some threats being made by white supremacists to come back here tonight in about 30 minutes and repeat what happened last night.
What happened last night is that some man came here. There are Caucasian, and they started shooting on some of these protesters -- protesters who have been overwhelmingly peaceful. '
So you can see what's happening. They're breaking down the stage. People are packing things up, and they're calling it quits for the night. This is a very unfortunate thing. This was almost a festival party like atmosphere as they're trying to create change in the city, peaceful protesters.
One of the people who was shot last night is Cameron Clark. He's the cousin of Jamar Clark, and he returned here to the protest tonight seeking justice for his cousin. And he mentioned and discussed what happened to him last night. Here's what he says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMERON CLARK: It doesn't make sense. You know, we wasn't here to harm nobody. We was just asking questions, and a man just opened fire. And he didn't say, you know, he doesn't -- he didn't say stop or freeze. He just led us on up the street and opened fire on us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: And again, these are three man who police currently having custody, all of them white. All of them came here armed, according to some of these protesters, who say they were unarmed, unprovoked, suddenly were shot at by these men.
LEMON: Kyung Lah following the story for us from Minneapolis. Kyung, thank you very much.
And as you can see on the left of your screens, anger spreading in Chicago. Anger spreading in Minneapolis where Kyung is, all over these shootings. And those are certainly not the only places in America that is struggling with these particular situations.
I want to bring him Michael Higginbotham to join our panel here. Bakari Sellers is here. Mark O'Mara is here. Harry Houck is here as well.
So let's bring him Mr. Higginbotham. He's a professor of constitutional law at the University of Baltimore and also the author of Ghosts of Jim Crow: Ending Racism in Post-Racial America.
So Mr. Higginbotham, my first question to you, as we look at these two stories -- these two stories, what's happening in Minneapolis and what happened in Chicago, some have said, listen, the one in Chicago you can't quite say that it is race -- specifically race, but you also can't remove that it is race as well, because it's a white officer and a black suspect. What do you make of that?
Well, what I make of it is how you define racism. And certainly, the fact that you have a white officer and a black victim clearly indicates that we need to investigate whether race was a factor or not. And so we need to know more information. What was the -- what was the police officer's motivation? What was the place officer's previous practices? What was the police officer's background and training?
So we need to know more information to determine whether or not race was a factor. But clearly, the fact that the police officer was white, the victim was black, certainly requires an additional investigation.
LEMON: As we're looking, Professor Higginbotham, at this new Kaiser -- CNN Kaiser Family Foundation Poll that we just got in, it says that 49 percent of Americans say racism is a big problem in the U.S. today. That is up from 28 percent just four years ago and higher than it was a decade ago. Why do you think that is?
HIGGINBOTHAM: Well, I think this -- you know, this report is just so significant and so timely, given what's going on in Chicago and around the rest of the country. The reason why I think that racism is up, I think it's multiple factors.
Clearly, you have additional video things being seen in terms of police interaction and police practices, and I think that that has awakened many Americans who didn't believe this was going on. I think most minorities understood that there was very difficult police community relations, but I think many whites have been awakened by the videos that have been shown over the last year or so in terms of police practices that have been alarming, I think, to a lot of white Americans.
LEMON: You know, Mark O'Mara, you brought up a very good point earlier where you said that the number of, you know, people who have received rough treatment or have been abused by police officers or have even been killed by police officers, those numbers aren't increasing. It's the awareness of the situation that's happening.
So I'm wondering when it comes to race in America, is it a perception that racism is worse, or is -- has racism gotten worse? Because as I sat here in front of these cameras this morning on CNN's New Day, 40 years ago or even 30 years ago, I may not have been able to sit here. My mother, my grandmother could not -- nor my grandparents and my parents -- couldn't walk on the same sidewalk as a white person. So is it -- what's perception and what's reality?
HIGGINBOTHAM: Statutory racism is on the great decline. You can't look at a statute today and see a true racial biased to it, when you could in the 1960s.
HIGINBOTHAM: The problem with it is that this systemic racism, the way those non-race-based laws are interpreted and applied without question are still biased against the black community. There's no doubt. You can't look at any of the figures, from arrests to convictions to incarceration, and deny that there is a racial bias to the way the whole system is tilted.
Now, is it happening more? I don't believe that the number -- the raw numbers of blacks being killed by cops have gone up, but what we talked about earlier was -- as the professor just said, we're now talking about it a lot more. And whites who 20 years ago may have said, "I don't even know what racism really is, because I've never been affected by it," are now realizing because you're seeing it on the nightly news. And of course, the black community, I think, is finally saying -- and I'm not the one to be the spokesperson for it -- the black community is finally saying, "Look, we've been saying this for 30 years. Now you have to be able to see it."
LEMON: What's interesting -- the question that's on this poll says, "Which is a bigger problem in America to date? Institutional discrimination or individual prejudice?" Institutional discrimination, 34 percent said that. But also 59 percent said individual prejudice. I would think those numbers would be reversed, considering it's worse when it's baked into the sauce.
If there is an infraction where someone calls you the N-word or where you can see overt racism, then you can call it out, but if you can't see it, isn't that -- isn't it worse?
HIGGINBOTHAM: In a -- in a poll, that's a very difficult question to answer.
LEMON: But let me -- before you answer that -- but before you answer that, this is between blacks and whites, OK? Is it a bigger problem, individual prejudice or institutional discrimination? Whites said 29 percent, right, that it was. Blacks said 51 percent that it was institutional discrimination. At 51 percent (inaudible)...
HIGGINBOTHAM: Oh, and that's my point.
HIGGINBOTHAM: I mean, I think that...
LEMON: That's why I read it.
HIGGINBOTHAM: ...I think that -- I think that white Americans often times have a hard time just because they don't encounter the...
HIGGINBOTHAM: ...systems or institutional racism that many African Americans go through.
I mean, the fact of the matter is that whether or not you're looking at infant mortality or whether or not you're looking at the prison industrial complex or the access to quality healthcare or education, African Americans in this country, when the country gets a cold, African Americans get the flu, and that is because of the systems, and it's baked in the sauce.
LEMON: Up next, how America feels about relationships -- race relations I should say -- two-thirds of whites and blacks and the majority of Hispanic Americans feel that it is -- in the last 10 years racial and ethnic tensions in America have increased as we keep our eyes on this breaking news here that we're looking at in Chicago. We'll be right back.
LEMON: We're going to get back to Chicago now where CNN's Ryan Young out on the streets of protesters with this breaking news.
Ryan, take us there. What's going on?
YOUNG: Don, look, it's changed once again. You saw the protesters were pushed up against that bus. Now they have moved over to the side here. They have reoccupied this area of South Michigan Avenue right here at Roosevelt. This has continued for the last two hours, as we've been marching with this group for over three miles now as they've been sitting in different intersections and holding circles like this one.
I can honestly tell you it has changed in terms of crowd dynamics, because now we're also seeing an interracial mix that's a lot larger than what we've noticed before. We have people who are coming down and joining this group as they've been watching events on TV and seeing that this group was together. A lot of folks are interlocking their arms here, as people are talking about what is going on.
They've been saying the names of people they believe are victims of police brutality, as we hear them screaming now. So you can hear the idea. They have these coordinated chants that they've been doing now through the evening. In fact, we thought they were going to be going away, because we were walking down Michigan Avenue, then all of the sudden, something changed, and everybody pressed against the officers along that bus. We never did figure out what was going on, and it looks like no one was taken into custody.
Right now they have come back to Michigan Avenue. They decided to set up this large circle. They have blocked off the road, and it's gone back to a very peaceful. Gathering.
The officers who were standing on the side, who were obviously in a very tense situation, handled things very well, and now they are standing to the side allowing the protesters to go back to what they were doing. I think we should stress that, Don.
LEMON: All right.
YOUNG: The idea that at one point these protesters were face-to-face with these officers, and nothing happened. It's a great testament to what everyone's doing here in terms of being calm, both protesters and both police officers.
LEMON: Peaceful protest. Peaceful protest that we are showing here.
Thank you, Ryan Young. I appreciate that. We'll get back to you.
I want to bring back Mark O'Mara, Bakari Sellers, Harry Houck. And joining us now, Sunny Hostin.
Sunny, thank you. I want to propose this to you, Sunny. And this is from this new -- the reason that we were initially here tonight was to talk about this race study that we have.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes.
LEMON: CNN with the Kaiser Foundation. Almost half of black Americans, 45 percent, have feared for their life because of their race. It's significantly less for whites and Hispanics. Where do you think that fear stems from? Is it real life encounters, or is it watching the news? What is it?
HOSTIN: Well, I think it's a combination. I mean, I often say it's not whether or not a man of color will have this sort of uncomfortable police encounter. The stats show its when that person will have that encounter. And so the bottom line is this is a real life experience for African Americans and Latinos. It happens day in and day out. I mean, the statistics show that.
I think also we're in a time when we are actually covering these stories more and more and more because of, I think, the sort of proliferation of these videos. We all have these iPhones now, and so things that African Americans and Latinos have been complaining about for years, we now have evidence -- video evidence that these things are occurring. LEMON: Are you surprised that a large number of African Americans, or
black people, think that the criminal justice system favors whites, particularly in the context of what we're seeing in Chicago?
HOSTIN: Well, of course not. I mean, especially, I mean, I'm someone -- and I see Harry's sort of itching here -- I'm someone that was part of law enforcement, someone that prosecuted cases, and it is just a truism that African Americans, especially African American men, are disproportionately affected by the criminal justice system. That is -- that's just a fact. Are the stats all wrong? I guess the stats are all wrong.
HOUCK: (inaudible). You know what it takes to go to jail in New York City? How many times you've got to be locked up -- arrested and locked up and arrested?
We always go back and look at these cases. We see guys that are out on bail, who committed murder and now commit another murder. We see that all the time. And I don't see anybody white who I've locked up or anybody black who I've seen get locked up get treated any different in the courts in New York City or probably not even in Chicago or Los Angeles or any other city.
HOSTIN: I've got to tell you, Harry, you're living on an alternate planet.
HOUCK: I'm not living on an alternate planet.
HOSTIN: And in an alternate universe, because...
HOSTIN: Judge Shilen (ph) just here in New York City issued this incredible opinion of over 200 pages -- 200 pages...
HOUCK: What happened to her?
HOUCK: They took her off the case.
HOSTIN: ...New York City's stop and frisk...
HOUCK: They said she was biased.
HOSTIN: ...policies, and she clearly said...
HOUCK: And she was taken off the case.
HOSTIN: ...she clearly found that based on statistics...
LEMON: OK, Sunny...
HOSTIN: ...based on a study that African Americans...
SELLERS: Let me jump in here... HOSTIN: ...are disproportionality affected by criminal justice here in New York City.
LEMON: Harry, hold on. I've spoken to the Police Commissioner here in New York City. I've spoken to other officials here in New York City who will tell you if you think that Stop, Question and Frisk has stopped, you're a fool, because it has not stopped.
HOUCK: It hasn't.
LEMON: And the judge was taken off the case.
HOSTIN: Oh, my gosh.
HOUCK: (inaudible) Americans is where is the crime.
LEMON: (inaudible) whether it affects African Americans or not...
HOUCK: (inaudible) Hispanic neighborhoods.
LEMON: ...we should not be under the assumption that Stop, Question and Frisk has stopped. That's my point.
HOSTIN: It hasn't stopped, and again, Harry's sort on this alternate planet.
LEMON: OK. Here's another question. Majority of blacks and Hispanics believe that the race of the officer plays a major role in whether or not he or she is charged. Only one-third of white people feel the same way. Why is there such a disparaging, you think, between how minorities and how white people feel about this, Bakari Sellers?
SELLERS: I mean, personally, I don't even care if the officer's charged or not, because, again, I said that we have such a low bar for justice in this country.
SELLERS: I want to see follow through. I want to see guilt. I want to see these people who commit acts of murder, who disgrace their badge -- and again, it's not all, Harry. But like this officer today, I want to see the follow through where these people are convicted for the crimes they commit.
HOUCK: I agree.
SELLERS: So I mean, we get a -- I mean, I personally don't get excited over whether or not somebody gets indicted or not, but when we do have that guilty verdict come down, maybe I'll have a tear of joy.
LEMON: We're talking about race and justice in American, and we're keeping a close watch on Chicago, of course, where an officer was charged with first degree murder, a 17-year-old shot, gunned down by a police officer.
Up next, where we live in America and who our neighbors are. Sixty- nine percent of whites say they live in mostly white neighborhoods. Less than half of blacks say they live in black neighborhoods. Hispanics are divided by age. Only 24 percent of younger Hispanics live next to other Hispanics. But that number rises to 42 percent for older Hispanics.
We're back with our breaking news from Chicago and this race study, exclusively here on CNN.
LEMON: All right. Here we go. We're back with our breaking news. Live pictures of Chicago where you can see where protesters are out on the streets. It looks like, you know, it's a -- it's a fairly good number, not a large number for a city the size of Chicago.
There have been mostly peaceful protests tonight -- mostly peaceful protesting tonight. We have seen very little, if any, altercations that happens when there is a large crowd. This, I think, we can all consider a peaceful protest happening in Chicago.
Also let's discuss this now. And the race issue here.
Joining me now is Kierna Mayo. Kierna, the editor-in-chief of Ebony Magazine, welcome back.
Attorney Bakari Sellers is back with us. Sophia Nelson is with us. Thank you for joining us. She's the author of Black Woman Redefined.
And Democratic Strategist, Maria Cardona, a regular here on CNN.
So Kierna, here's what -- you say this. You say that we're seeing -- what we're seeing in Chicago and really what we're seeing in these poll numbers that we have been talking about speaks to a larger issue of two Americas. Explain that to us.
KIERNA MAYO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF EBONY MAGAZINE: You know, I was watching the earlier segment and cringing at some of what was being said by one of your guests, the so-called police expert or legal expert. The concern -- and here's why. Because we spend so much time as African Americans seeking external validation for things that we understand for fear we had this conversation earlier.
To be real, at a certain point we have to draw a line in the sand. We've got to say to ourselves we are going to authenticate, validate, appreciate our story, our perspective, our point-of-view as truth. So it's not up for debate. It's not for you to discern whether or not we are experiencing what we say we're experiencing. So when I say there are two Americas, I mean there's one America who
needs to see footage to believe that this is really what black lives in America is, and there's another America who lives is every day.
SOPHIA NELSON, AUTHOR: But to amplify her point, the most astounding thing in the poll to me is that white Americans still largely live unto themselves with people that look like themselves and socialize with people like themselves, where...
LEMON: You're shocked by that?
NELSON: Well, no, not at all. I'm not shocked by it, because I live a reality as a black woman of what I call -- I have a double life. I have to know how to be black but also deal with white people. I've got to be able to do it.
YOUNG: Welcome back to the reality of (inaudible)...
LEMON: I don't know if it's called code switching, or if it's just living life.
NELSON: You messed up what I was going to say. Let me finish.
LEMON: No, go ahead. I'm going to let you finish. Go ahead.
NELSON: I mean, this is really important. We're still living in the two Americas, because one big part of America is not yet caught up with the integration with the diversity, because they don't have to. We have to, because that's the reality we have to -- we have to go to work. We have to live in neighborhoods. We have to learn to speak both languages, right?
MAYO: That's exactly right.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And I also would like to point out some of the positive things that came out in this poll, and one of those is that -- I think that is changing. If you look at the younger generation, especially of African Americans and Latinos, the millennials are much more diverse and much more multi-cultural than the mainstream population.
LEMON: But not white Americans?
CARDONA: Well, but I think that's changing, too. But you're right. Because essentially whites in this country are still the dominant population, and they still live in the majority of the areas. And frankly, a lot of the times, they don't have the benefit of experiencing African Americans or Latinos, and that leads to misunderstanding.
CARDONA: So I think we have to have an open mind here.
SELLERS: One of the things that this poll talked about -- it was underlying when it talked about the segregation of the communities or how African Americans tend to work more with mixed company at there jobs. And white get to work with whites. And there was this huge thing that just wasn't -- it was absent. It's the socioeconomic context, and it's the African American control of the dollar.
And so yes, African Americans are more likely to work with whomever, because when you get a job, you're thankful. You don't have a choice.
SELLERS: ...it feeds to (inaudible) box and all these other things that we're talking about now in these discussions. Whereas if you control wealth, if you control the dollar, then you can pick and choose, because 9 times out of 10, you were writing the checks. This is your business. And that is not -- what it shows is that we have to be more creative in making sure persons of color get access to create an opportunity, because we don't want a handout. Don, I have to say this, we don't want a handout. We simply want a hand out.
LEMON: No, but that's interesting. But I want to add to that. And I'm wondering how much of it is race. That's a factor. How much of it is socioeconomics as well?
NELSON: It's class.
LEMON: And class.
NELSON: I think class is what you don't talk about.
SELLERS: Millennials -- I think the millennials...
LEMON: Listen to you. Go ahead.
NELSON: Well, I mean, it's the 800-pound elephant in the room. I mean, I live in northern Virginia, the wealthy suburbs of Louden County. Right? Mostly white, but all the African Americans, my sorority sisters, every one of us drives a BMW or Mercedes. We all have 5,000 square foot homes. We all make six-figure jobs. That's not reality for most people in this country, particularly not people of color.
So the class equation comes in, and it's the great equalizer, if you will. So my white neighbors are very comfortable with me. We barbecue together. We do -- the police ride their bikes. It's a different world out there. It's not reality.
LEMON: No, it is your reality. It's reality for a certain -- you can't say it's not reality. It's reality for a certain segment of our... (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: ...but not for most of America.
MAYO: But the reason for that -- and we talked about this, too, is that the bottom line is educational opportunity.
MAYO: And the other piece that I -- the other piece that I loved about this poll is that African Americans and Hispanics were also much more optimistic about the future for themselves and their children, because, I think, they see that they can get out of their situation, as bad as it might be, through educational opportunities.
LEMON: All right. Stand by, everyone. And then there is a poll -- is it easier for you to achieve the American dream than your parents? Blacks, 55 percent say yes, it's easier. Hispanics, 50. And whites say 35 percent. They're not so optimistic about it.
SELLERS: No, you know what that is? People try to blame Barack Obama for racism going up in this country when, in fact, that is untrue. But what you saw on that poll right there is Barack Obama. What you saw in that poll right there is yes, African Americans, we do believe -- I mean, the picture with the little boy who reached out and touched the president's hand, every black person in this country as seen it, because it's touched us in that fashion.
SELLERS: And yes, although we may have some institutional racism and obstacles, I mean, at least we still have that hope.
LEMON: All right. Stand by.
We're going to answer panel, because coming up, he is a successful Hollywood actor and producer who believes the problem is not racism. Isaiah Washington joins me next to explain.
LEMON: Back now talking about race in America and also keeping a close eye on the situation in Chicago. Men and women, blacks and whites, are thinking and talking a lot about race in America. And a lot of what we have to say is surprising.
So joining me now, a man who believes America's problem is not racism, and that's actor, author and producer Isaiah Washington. He is with me now.
First, before I ask you why you think it's not racism, let's talk about Chicago. What do you think of the release of that video in Chicago tonight?
ISAIAH WASHINGTON, ACTOR, AUTHOR AND PRODUCER: Obviously, it's a time for purging. There's been a lot of issues, and a lot of things have been going on in Chicago for a long, long time. And at the irony of it all is that we know that President Obama is from Chicago. The level of disrespect by many other partisan groups over the last eight years or more -- this is a horrible combination of the lack of disrespect for not only human life but for black lives and black bodies.
LEMON: So you say -- and I don't want to get you wrong. You said that you don't believe that racism exists anymore, but that envy proves that the recession is real. Explain that to me. You did say that you don't believe racism exists anymore? That it's envy?
WASHINGTON: No, no, racism obviously does exist in that context. But what I was saying is that we have a lot of platform envy that has happening. I shared that with you off the record.
WASHINGTON: And also what I'm seeing is that white supremacy, again, is still showing its ugly head. Even in that video, you had several other officers -- I can't say whether they were people of color -- officers of color or Caucasian or not, but within 30 second, you have someone that all they needed was a black body showing a weapon, and that is all they needed to enforce their power. And that abuse of power is something that we have to really look at deeply. That is what I'm saying.
However, in that, the recession is very, very real. We all -- we have a history in America that says that whenever a group of people, particularly white supremacists or white people that are doing, they're going to be angry.
Now what's really interesting is what one of your panelists said about the millennials, they are not a 52-year-old African American male like I am, that would have the same traumas since the '70s and the '80s and the '90s. So you've, in fact, got...
LEMON: So you have explained -- you said -- you talked about white supremacy and all you need is a black person to have a weapon, but what do you mean by envy? What do you mean by platform envy? Because I'm sure some of our viewers may be interested in what you're saying about that.
WASHINGTON: Platform envy, I really think is my theory, but it needs to be explored more. It's because of social media. Because of you, because of myself -- individuals out there, be they Caucasian or people of color, whomever. If they felt so close to you on Twitter, but don't really get a chance to grab that golden ring, it's going to drive a lot of envy, A lot of anger, and a lot of personal rage.
Now, how that turns out, personally, off of social media, I don't have any data that will prove that. But what I see on social media, and in particular on Twitter, when a person feels they have a platform, and they're not being heard, it gets extremely toxic. And I think it also mirrors what is happening in the streets today -- not just in America but around the world.
LEMON: Yes. Are you a supporter of the "black lives matter" movement?
Absolutely, DeRay Mckesson and I, we started off bumpy. I was actually trying to defend -- well, I'll just say it -- Raven-Symone at the time. And we got into our differences of opinions, but he and I have been keeping up privately off the record, and I fully support want DeRay Mckesson is doing, and I fully support what "black lives matter" is about. And I don't support "all lives matter", because if you weren't killing black bodies in the 21st century, and there's this feeling that we're not getting justice behind it, it's not a question of whether all lives matter. We know all lives matter, but right now, even today, we've got black white in the streets angry and hurt and humiliated after watching a horrible video that was released by the Chicago Police Department today.
LEMON: Isaiah, thank you. Thanks for being so candid. I appreciate it. Happy Thanksgiving.
WASHINGTON: You got it, man.
LEMON: All right.
WASHINGTON: Thank you.
LEMON: That is it for us tonight. I want to thank you so much for watching. I'm Don Lemon. Make sure you have a great Thanksgiving and a safe one as well.
The CNN special report, Targeting Terror: Inside the Intelligence War, starts in just a minute.