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Trump and Clinton Exchange Attacks; Attorney General Decares Clinton E-mail Case Closed; Protests Over Alton Sterling Shooting; Closer Look At Alton Sterling Shooting. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired July 6, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: That does it for us. Thanks for watching. CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Donald Trump has one word for Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: These are all lies. We say lie, lie, lie, lie. Lie. Dirty rotten liar.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: All right. That was the same word a lot, different times. But it's still one word.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
Clinton trying to turn the page, blasting Trump today in Atlantic City.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Remember what he promised. I'm going to do for the country what I did for my business.
Well, we should believe him and make sure he never has the chance to bankrupt America the way he bankrupted his businesses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: But not a word about her e-mail scandal on the eve of FBI director James Comey's testimony on Capitol Hill. And on the day Attorney General Loretta Lynch declares the case closed.
Meanwhile, protests spreading tonight after confrontation with police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana turns deadly. The whole thing caught on camera. Now a black man Alton Sterling is dead. Shot multiple times in the chest and back by a white police officer.
What really happened? We're going to discuss that. But we want to get right to it and a big day on the campaign trail.
CNN's Sunlen Serfaty is here with more. Good evening to you, Sunlen. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says Hillary Clinton will not face charges, so what's the latest there?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Don. Well, this is really the official word in the wake of that impromptu meeting with Bill Clinton that Loretta Lynch had on her airplane, she had said that she intended last week to take the recommendation of what James Comey, the FBI director says should be done, whether there are charges or there are not.
So, this is in essence her making good on that promise of following the recommendation of James Comey, which was given yesterday. She released a statement this afternoon saying in part, quote, "Late this afternoon, I met with FBI director James Comey and career prosecutors and agents who conducted the investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton's use of a personal e-mail system during her time as Secretary of State."
"I received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that the thorough year-long investigation be closed and that no charges be brought against any individuals within the scope of this investigation."
Now this decision, this ultimate ruling by Loretta Lynch really brings to a close the legal concerns and problems for Hillary Clinton but by far does not end the political ramifications, those are very real and still a very big problem for her.
LEMON: Oh, yes, It doesn't end that part of it, Sunlen. So, Donald Trump held a rally tonight. Speaking of, and he covered a whole lot of ground, how is he reacting to all of this?
SERFATY: Yes. All this is really just giving him fresh political fodder. He, of course, at numerous times during his rally tonight referenced this, again doubling down and tripling down on his nickname for her crooked Hillary and bringing up at many times the meeting that Bill Clinton had with Loretta Lynch.
And he also picked up on some reports, some suggestions that Hillary Clinton could potentially keep Loretta Lynch in as Attorney General if she work to work to win the presidency.
Here is what Trump said about that tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The attorney general comes out and the attorney general says no charges! That's bribery, wouldn't you say? That's bribery. You're not supposed -- she said she's going to reappoint the attorney general and the attorney general is waiting to make a determination as to whether or not she's guilty. And, boy, was that a fast determination. Wow. Should have waited at
least waited a little bit longer. Don't just come out with one or two sentences. Talk about it a little bit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: So, Trump there using a big and loaded word, bribery. But I should note that Trump also seemed a little to try to course correct tonight. He received a lot of criticism after yesterday. He held a big rally in Raleigh, in North Carolina and he really didn't seem to hone right in on Hillary Clinton, the problems over the e-mails, the slap on the hand in essence by James Comey that was given yesterday.
Today, he seemed to try to course correct it a little bit, tried to not step on his message so much, John, and in times really tried to read off of his notes that were on his podium.
LEMON: Sunlen, Hillary Clinton, is she reacting yet to the announcement that she won't face charges?
SERFATY: No, she has not yet. In fact, she is really deflecting questions thrown at her by reporters today when she was out in New Jersey. Many reporters tried to get a question. She has remarkably remained silent on this issue.
[22:05:01] Her press secretary tonight tweeting out the A.G. accepting director Comey's recommendation, this case is resolved. Then that's pretty much in essence their message coming.
They want to make sure that they -- this signifies an end, they really want to close the book and turn a page and move forward in all of this, but that necessarily won't necessarily happen.
James Comey of course is up on Capitol Hill tomorrow. He'll be testifying in front of the House Oversight Committee, so there are still a lot of questions that remain for them.
And I think there is an awareness within the Clinton campaign that at some point she is going to have to come out and address this and answer questions about this going forward.
LEMON: That's hanging over her head. Also, she's not facing charges but the political part and the trustworthy part. But another thing is Bernie Sanders. And we're getting details about a potential Sanders endorsement of Hillary Clinton. What do you know?
SERFATY: Yes, it seems like there might be some steps taken towards that but there are certainly a lot of ifs and buts to be had.
Our colleague, Jeff Zeleny reports that they are inching closer towards that. They potentially could be setting up a meeting next Tuesday in North Carolina. But a lot of that hangs on the results of a meeting in Orlando this weekend of the democratic platform that's meeting there.
LEMON: All right. Thank you, Sunlen. I appreciate it. Now I want to bring in republican strategist, Kevin Madden, CNN political contributor, Hilary Rosen who supports Hillary Clinton, and Jason Osborne, former senior communications strategist for Ben Carson who now supports Donald Trump.
Good evening. Pleasure to have all of you. Jason, first. So, let's get right to it. Your reaction to the attorney general saying Hillary Clinton won't face charges.
JASON OSBORNE, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: I can't say that I'm not shocked. I mean, I think Donald Trump did have a good point when he said that why did it take the time period between when the press conference was yesterday and her deciding today that she's not going to continue the charges was not shocking at all, but she could have taken a little bit more time to at least make it appear fair.
HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know...
LEMON: OK. Why are you laughing, Hilary?
ROSEN: Well, because last week, after Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch met to exchange niceties about their grandchildren, the republicans went crazy saying, oh, my God, the attorney general has to, you know, stay out of this and can't make a decision, and so she promised that she would take the recommendation of the prosecutors and the FBI in this case and not independent decision about prosecution.
OSBORNE: No, that excuse that she would move more than likely.
ROSEN: And now that they've done what she asked -- I'm talking, I'm talking. And now that she has done...
OSBORNE: But I had to clear the record.
ROSEN: Now that she's done what they asked her to do last week, they're saying oh, well how could she do this so fast? She should have done more, she should have rethought this.
ROSEN: So, you know, really it's they're turning this decision into a political decision. I think they're going to overplay this, you know, holding hearings, prosecuting James Comey on the Hill.
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.
ROSEN: It just seems like they're just going to take this farther and farther and farther and farther until...
LEMON: OK. So, same question for Kevin Madden. Kevin, why are you smiling now? MADDEN: Well, look, any time you have someone decrying the politics,
that means they're worried about the politics. Hillary Clinton right now may have gotten now to some legal clearance but she is still very much on trial on the court of public opinion.
And what James Comey did before he decided not to made the announcement that he wasn't going to pursue charges or wasn't going to recommend a charges or an indictment to the Department of Justice, he laid out a mountain of evidence that demolished to the main talking points that Hillary Clinton has had for the last six months to the main talking points that she's been offering to the public about her e-mails.
The first that it was allowed and the second was that there was -- that national security was never put in jeopardy. James Comey, the FBI director, in his presentation to the facts actually demolished those.
So, the public, which already has a worry -- or which is already worried about Hillary Clinton, her level of honesty and trustworthiness, is going to continue to have those doubts if Donald Trump can adequately prosecute her in the court of public opinion on the campaign trail.
LEMON: Hey, Kevin, let me ask you this.
ROSEN: But he's not prosecuting James Comy.
LEMON: Is that -- is that not the soap box then from which the republicans should be standing on, you know, the lack of being trustworthy, what James Comey said about her in his estimation, it appears not telling the truth. Because she saying yes, some of it wasn't marked classified, she's saying no classification, it wasn't marked classified, instead of seemingly overplaying their hands?
MADDEN: Well, I agree with the first part, which is, yes, that Donald Trump should be making this case every single day in every single way, that Hillary Clinton is not trustworthy, that she lacks the judgment on some of the big issues that the American people care about. The problem is...
LEMON: What I'm asking you is does it seem like sour grapes when you say, oh, well, she should be -- she should be charged, she should have been charged, she should have been charged when two people have said, who are in charge, no, she's not going to be charged, that part is over?
[22:09:57] MADDEN: I think what you do is appeal to the American public's sense of the facts which is that Hillary Clinton over and over said that she didn't do anything wrong and that she never mishandled classified information, when in fact the evidence points out that she did. LEMON: Yes, that was my question.
MADDEN: That's where they should be.
LEMON: Yes, yes. OK. So, Hilary, go ahead.
ROSEN: Well, as a practical matter, what Donald Trump is saying is that the attorney general of the United States and the director of the FBI, who is a republican by the way, has been bribed by Hillary Clinton.
That so, he is so far outside of what most moderate people think in this country that it's just he can't prosecute that case. And I think that the reason he can't prosecute it is because ultimately, what Comey said about Hillary Clinton was we did not find any mal intent in her actions.
And when she was asked to come forward with this, there was no attempt at hiding anything, that they were completely open and above board and transparent in doing so.
So, ultimately, you know, there is something for everyone in this FBI report.
LEMON: My question tonight...
ROSEN: So, it's going to be very difficult for people to just focus on that entirely.
LEMON: My question tonight, it looks like it's going to be with this entire panel, is why are you laughing now? So, Jason, why are you laughing? But let me say this and then can you tell me why you're laughing.
Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings put out a statement, and he was reacting to House republicans the decision to bring in director Comey to testify tomorrow. And here's what he said.
He said, "Republican after republican praised director Comey's impeccable record of independence right up until the moment his conclusion. Since republicans disagree with his recommendation, they are doing what they always do, using taxpayer funds to continue investigating their baseless claims in an effort to bring down Secretary Clinton's poll numbers. The only emergency here is yet, another republican conspiracy theory is slipping away."
So, Jason, is he calling out, you know, calling this out as a political motive? What do you -- what do you -- what's your take on this?
OSBORNE: Well, I think it will be interesting to see what, how the questions proceed during the hearings. Because I think there is a legitimate congressional interest in this in the sense that Comey actually came out and interpreted the law farther than what Congress had done when they wrote the law, and the gross negligence aspect of it.
And so, and the reason why I'm laughing is the transparency argument that Hilary just made is completely ridiculous. Because if you look at the tale of two press conferences that the RNC put out today, they list five lies that Hillary has told over the last year.
And one of those was that she said repeatedly that she turned over all work related e-mails. Well, Comey came and said, no, that's not true. She also came out and said that she only used this one device for convenience sake. When he came out and he said, no, she actually used several devices.
LEMON: So, Jason, let me ask you this. Jason -- Jason, what's your argument? Your argument is that she should have been prosecuted or your argument is that she's not trustworthy?
OSBORNE: No, my argument is and I think Trump there is a danger here that Trump could overplay his hand if all he continues to stick on is that the charges need to be brought.
The argument, to Kevin's point is an honesty argument. And that what we need to continue to reinforce is that this is a woman who the FBI director said repeatedly lied, five lies, at least five lies throughout the course of this 16 months.
ROSEN: He didn't say that.
OSBORNE: Yes, he did. If you read the report and listen to the press conference, is that he did say that she lied and she did several times. So, I think what we -- the point is, is that Hillary Clinton has an honesty problem.
OSBORNE: And for her to continue to go after Donald Trump on honesty issues is like, you know, living in a glass house.
LEMON: Hilary, we'll speak on the other side. I don't think he flat out in the press conference said she lied...
ROSE: Of course, he didn't.
LEMON: ... but through his words saying, you know, there were some things marked classified that he is making the assumption...
ROSEN: No, he said that he should have known that they were classified.
LEMON: Yes. And that, but she said...
ROSEN: That's different.
LEMON: ... I sent nothing that was classified.
ROSEN: She said I don't know.
MADDEN: Extreme negligence in mishandling classified information.
OSBORNE: If you're the Secretary of State and every e-mail that you have is going through this one server...
LEMON: He said an extreme -- he said extreme carelessness. But I have to go back, I mean, he said carelessness. I got to take a break. We'll be right back.
OSBORNE: All right.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Back with me now, Kevin Madden, Hilary Rosen, and Jason Osborne. Now we're having a pretty tame conversation. No, I'm just kidding.
Hilary, Donald Trump also brought up the six pointed star tweet which many people viewed as ant-Semitic. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It could have been stuff or anything. To me, it was just a star. But when I really look, it looked like a sheriff's star. But CNN started this dialogue on 'it's the star of David.' And because it's the star of David, Donald Trump has racist tendency -- these people are sick, folks. I'm telling you, they're sick.
So, we have unbelievably dishonest media. So, think of that, you have a star, which is fine. I should -- we should not have taken it down. You know, they took the star down. I said, too bad. You have left it up.
I would rather defended it, just leave it up and say, no, that's not a star of David, that's just a star. I saw about corrupt Hillary, corrupt Hillary. But she sent it out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: There's so much here first of all, CNN didn't -- we reported on the controversy around it.
LEMON: It's just like, come on, Mr. Trump. Speaking of honesty, be honest to yourself. So, he's not apologizing. He also tweeted out tonight, "Where is the outrage for this Disney book, right? Is this a star of David also? Dishonest media." Hash tag frozen, question mark to Hillary.
So, excuse me, Hilary, what are you say about this? Because he's saying where is the outrage on this "frozen" thing? There is no controversy behind it, there is no money, there is no mean, so where is the controversy?
ROSEN: So, you know, look, I don't think Donald Trump is an anti- Semitic, I do believe that, you know, he loves his son-in-law and his daughter is a Jew now.
But he has run a divisive campaign of us versus them.
ROSEN: He has exhibited significant racist insensitivities against Muslims and African-Americans; he's against LGBT people like he has been a divisive figure. And so, the reason this tweet became an issue is because people believe that he's capable of inciting that kind of hate and division.
[22:20:03] LEMON: But it's also -- it's also where it came from.
ROSEN: And so, here I think is the problem.
LEMON: But it's also where the original paint in the star came from.
ROSEN: Where it came from.
LEMON: That was a controversy.
ROSEN: And those are people that if he doesn't directly associate with that he encourages their behavior by this kind of activity.
ROSEN: But here I think is part of the bigger long-term problem. This man wants to be president of the United States. The insensitivity to people's real emotions around this is kind of appalling. What is the harm in him saying, you know, that wasn't our intention? I'm really sorry if people felt badly about that. Anti-Semitism actually is a problem in this country.
LEMON: OK, Hilary.
ROSEN: We got none of that from.
ROSEN: All we got was sort of defy -- obnoxious defiance.
LEMON: Jason, that's a great point. What is wrong with saying, you know, the person who tweeted this out, you know, made a mistake, I'm sorry, I don't believe in anything that's anti-Semitic in that way and we will correct it. What's wrong with saying that?
OSBORNE: Well, I think the campaign did a couple of different things. I mean, one they had... (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: No, I mean, Mr. Trump.
OSBORNE: ... did tweeted out. You know, I can't speak for why Donald Trump didn't do that or hasn't done that yet, but I think it's clear...
LEMON: Jason, come on, you're on the show speaking for Donald Trump and the campaign right now...
OSBORNE: I'm not speaking for him, as a supporter of his.
LEMON: OK. You're a supporter of his, but why wouldn't he do that then? Let's be honest.
OSBORNE: You have to ask him on that. I don't know.
LEMON: Why do you think he wouldn't do it? What is the harm in doing that in your estimation?
OSBORNE: Well, I think there is a double-edge sword here in the sense that, one, it's absolutely ridiculous to think that one -- this, any campaign would put out something so blatantly anti-Semitic or you know, or racist. That is not what the intent of the picture was or...
LEMON: How do you know that?
OSBORNE: Because I know these people. I mean, I've worked with these people and none of them are like this. I've been in the office and there's all walks of life in the campaign headquarters and around the country, so.
LEMON: So then, what do you think of sending it out? How would you have responded? If this -- if you were running for president and someone sent that out, what would you say?
OSBORNE: Well, if the Carson campaign had done something like this, I would have done exactly what Dan did when he immediately took it down and put a circle over it just for the sake of...
LEMON: How would you have -- how would you have -- what would you have told your candidate to do, what would you have advised Ben Carson to do in that situation?
OSBORNE: Well, I think Ben Carson would have come out and said absolutely this is not who I am.
LEMON: What would you have advised him to do?
OSBORNE: Exactly that. I would have advised him to go out and say this is not who I am, and it's clear I do not have these tendencies and I'm quite frankly, tired of people...
LEMON: But should someone be advising Donald Trump to do that?
OSBORNE: You know, Donald Trump is his own adviser.
MADDEN: Yes, yes. Just say yes, it's very easy.
LEMON: OK. Thank you. Jason, I mean, come on. Why are you doing this whole pretzel thing and going...
MADDEN: It's easy to say yes, he should apologize.
LEMON: Think, Kevin, please, go.
MADDEN: Yes, he should have apologized. Look, Donald Trump never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Hillary Clinton could have had probably what would have been the worse four days of her campaign. If Donald Trump was just focused on elevating the fact that her trustworthiness and honesty was in question because of what the FBI director had presented during her press conference.
But instead, he's offering one distraction after the next, if it's not the tweet that is lifted from a white supremacist sites or anti- Semitic sites, it's defending or praising Saddam Hussein's action when he was a murderous dictator.
This distraction cannot continue if Donald Trump is going to unite the Republican Party and win in November. It's as simple as that. Those are easy answers.
LEMON: Kevin Madden, you are so awesome.
ROSEN: Always have reason.
LEMON: Thank you so much. It's just that easy to be honest. Just be honest and say what is right. Kevin, thank you. Thank you, Hilary. Thank you, Jason. I appreciate all of you coming on.
ROSEN: Bye, guys.
LEMON: We have some breaking news tonight. We're going to talk about the outrage spreading over the deadly police shooting of a black man in baton Rouge. Protesters demanding answers in the wake of a cell phone videos of the shooting.
And I want to warn you, what you're about to see is very graphic. The video shows Alton Sterling being held on the ground by two white police officers outside of Louisiana convenience store, shots ring out. Sterling is hit in the chest. And the back. And then he dies.
The Justice Department is investigating. We're going to have much more on this breaking news when we come right back.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The Justice Department is investigating the death of Alton Sterling, the black man shot to death by a white police officer outside the convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, my hometown.
The incident caught on camera. That video sparking outrage tonight.
And CNN's Martin Savidge is live in Baton Rouge for us tonight. So, Martin, the Justice Department is already taking over the investigation of this controversial shooting. What's the reaction there?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's still a mixed reaction. I mean, the fact that the Justice Department is involved is of course encouraging, but it is not the final answer for many people in this community.
In fact, it just the beginning. And they are going to be watching very closely and very carefully.
We're in the midst of a huge throng of people, cameras all over us making sure and following as we even report.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
SAVIDGE: So, this is a tense situation but it's been a peaceful evening. The crowd is much larger, though, than the one that was seen here last night. So, to answer your question, the federal investigation is seen as a small step maybe in the right direction but there's a long way to go.
Let me just bring in another person here while I have the opportunity, Abdullah Muflahi is the owner of the convenience store. He witnessed the shooting. He took one of the videos that is out. And I want to ask you, how are you coping with all of this?
ABDULLAH MUFLAHI, TRIPLE S FOOD MART OWNER: It's really hard to deal with. It's really too much -- it's a lot to take in.
[22:30:00] SAVIDGE: Do you fear for your own safety?
MUFLAHI: Not -- I feel for this -- I feel -- I feel like I'm OK as long as the truth is out. I think I'm going to be all right.
SAVIDGE: Let me take you back to the moments before the videos rolled. What was happening here? What was taking place?
MUFLAHI: Well, before I came on to the video I came out the store they were throwing him on top of the car, tasering him, tackling him on to another vehicle, then throwing him on the ground. That's when both cops got on top of him. One of the cops screamed "gun" and that's when they started shooting.
SAVIDGE: Did he say anything? Did Alton speak out in any way?
MUFLAHI: No, I didn't hear him say anything. I don't recall he was saying anything at all.
SAVIDGE: Did he understand what was happening?
MUFLAHI: No, he was really confused. He didn't know what was going on or why they were there. He asked them before when they started trying to push him against the car, what did I do wrong? What's going on?
SAVIDGE: After the shots were fired once you realized the tragedy that had happened, what happened next?
MUFLAHI: I was shocked. I thought it was like a nightmare. I turned off the camera, threw it in my pocket -- threw the phone in my pocket so they don't take it away from me.
SAVIDGE: You were worried that the police might confiscate it?
SAVIDGE: They did take video from your store.
MUFLAHI: They took the DVR, yes.
SAVIDGE: Do you know what was on there?
MUFLAHI: I didn't see it. They -- after the shooting - after the shooting, they pulled me in the police car and I couldn't get inside my store until they had taken the DVR and after the investigation.
SAVIDGE: Two quick points and then I'll get to Joel Porter. Number one, you're the only one that has spoken about a tasering. Did you witness tasering?
MUFLAHI: Yes, I witnessed it. Yes.
SAVIDGE: You saw the police do it?
MUFLAHI: Yes, I saw it.
SAVIDGE: And then you also say you did see a gun, not in the hands of the suspect of the man here who was shot?
MUFLAHI: The gun was never anywhere in his hand, nor his hand wasn't near inside his pocket.
SAVIDGE: But you did see a gun it's on point?
MUFLAHI: The gun came out after the cops went inside his pocket and pulled it out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow.
SAVIDGE: Joel Porter, I know that you are familiar with this police department and its history. What is the atmosphere now?
JOEL PORTER, ABDULLAH MUFLAHI ATTORNEY: It's a very tense atmosphere. The African-American community is tired of being treated like second class citizens. They violate our constitutional rights, they violate our civil rights, they come with this no warrants, they come in to our homes, they disrespect us, they treat us in the most disrespectful manner and we're tired of being treated like this.
SAVIDGE: Do you think this federal investigation is going to quell the concerns?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hell no, he don't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let him answer.
PORTER: What I hope happens is that the Justice Department will come in and will do a thorough investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A song and dance where they make up their story, the just system. Yes.
PORTER: I would hope that the Justice Department would come in and do a thorough investigation of the Baton Rouge Police Department.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's bullshit. We did that in New Orleans and it don't work.
PORTER: The Baton Rouge Police Department, there is an atmosphere of corruption. The Baton Rouge Police Department had been on...
SAVIDGE: Let me just stop you only because this gentleman just won't let us finish our conversation. Thank you. Thank you, both.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just because you're asking bullshit questions, man! You're asking bullshit questions.
LEMON: Martin, yes, it's always in issue when you are out there. People are heated sometimes. And, you know -- and I apologize to our viewers if you heard some of the language out there, but you can understand why some people are upset and emotions are always running high and sometimes we don't get the chance to finish our questioning, and so people are there and they're dealing with what they're dealing with.
And sometimes you just can't imagine unless you're in that particular situation. So, we appreciate the interview from Martin Savidge and from the store owner and also from attorney as well.
Up next, we're going to continue this conversation. We're going to have the latest on the investigation. We're going to ask the superintendent of the Louisiana State Police what he knows about this case right after this. [22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We're back and we're talking about the shooting in Baton Rouge. Many residents of Baton Rouge not only grieving for Alton Sterling. They're angry about his shooting death at the hands of a police officer. Louisiana's governor calling for a calm in the community.
So, I want to bring in now Colonel Mike Edmonson, he's the superintendent of the Louisiana State Police. Colonel, thank you. You saw just moments ago, Martin Savidge speaking to some people. The emotions are high there. And I think right now you want to call for calm and for peace, not to stop protesting but peaceful, correct?
MIKE EDMONSON, LOUISIANA STATE POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: Well, I think it's a perfect opportunity for the City of Baton Rouge to just pause. We have the ability to do that. As law enforcement officers, we can't always pause in a situation but as a community, we can pause.
Look, I admire and I'm so pleased with what our governor has done. Governor John Bel Edwards last night got me on the phone, we talked about, he want to hear about the case, he want to listen to our investigators.
Two of my investigators actually sat in on the interview at the request of Hillar Moore, our District Attorney, asked if they could be a part of listening in on that. So, we were part of that.
EDMONSON: This morning we met back in the governor's office and within an hour we had a press conference where he's talked with the Justice Department, he's talked to Justice (Inaudible) Walt Green with the U.S. Attorney's Office, the U.S. attorney, I know these people well, I know what they're about, I know what they're going to do. They're going to follow the facts.
But then an hour later, our governor is meeting with about 50 faith- based community leaders, as well as legislators. And he's telling them, look, go back to the community, let's offer calm.
As a police agency, I'm going to work with the Baton Rouge Police Department and the Sheriff's Department to make sure those individuals that want to get out and they want to be do memorials, they want to do stand-ins, or whatever, we're going to make sure they can do so peacefully.
[22:40:10] LEMON: OK.
EDMONSON: We're going to protect then and give them the right...
LEMON: I got you, Colonel. I got you. And I have I limited time with you. So, let's talk about the shooting, OK? First, and I want you to walk us but first, I want to play the audio from the police dispatch and then we'll talk about it. Let's play that audio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy, suspicious code two at 2100 North Forster across from Fairfield.
So, CD's on the corner. Gun in his pocket. He pulled the gun on the complainant and told him, he couldn't be around there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. So, they get a call basically saying that he was bradishing a gun. That Sterling was brandishing a gun. And then what happens? Walk us through this video. Officers come up to the scene and then what happens?
EDMONSON: I got to be extremely careful, Don, because I'm going to be possibly part of that investigation along with the FBI. So, my knowledge, I've seen the tape, you've heard the comments from my governor there.
I want to make sure that I'm unbiased in this that I work through it. My guys have already been part of that investigation. We've offered that same assistants with the FBI. What you're seeing there is Baton Rouge's Police Department, very trained, professional group of individuals that our department is going to that scene to answer a call.
And what you see and what they're going to have to be able to quantify and justify is the actions that took place after that. That's what will be done after this investigation. The FBI, the Justice Department will take those actions, would take those facts, apply them to law and going to find out what was the justification based on the action?
LEMON: OK. So, when you look at this video, from what you've seen, there's video here, I hate to cut you off but again, we have a limited time and there's a pause. And I want to make sure I get this in.
EDMONSON: Yes, of course.
LEMON: So, as you look at this video and you see the officer's actions and you can you hear it because there's also audio and I know there's probably enhanced audio from the body cameras that fell off but the audio is still going, did these officers act too aggressively from what you see now?
EDMONSON: That's what they're going to have to justify. They're going to have to talk about their actions, Don. And we're going to be part of this investigation. So, I do need to be careful of what I'm saying.
EDMONSON: Because we're going to be a part of it.
EDMONSON: But I think it speaks for itself. I think the public is certainly seeing a part of what happened out of there. We've got to put the rest of that piece together and I have full faith that the FBI is going to be able to do that.
LEMON: OK. So, he did have a gun, correct?
EDMONSON: We're going to be a part of that. It was reported to us that he did have a gun and there was one found at the scene. That much is correct. But I really got to make sure that my comments don't go into talking out the facts of the case. Because I don't want to mess up that investigation.
LEMON: OK. So then, -- Louisiana is a license to carry state. This is my hometown. I -- you know, the police chief...
LEMON: ... went to the same high school, we went to this high school, we graduated a year apart, so I know him. I know the attorney, I know the councilman, I know the mayor, all of these people involved, one of them is a friend of the family, so I know. So, be honest with me here. License to carry. Was it a registered gun?
EDMONSON: That we do not know at this time whether that gun was registered or not...
LEMON: You do not know, OK.
EDMONSON: ... nor do we know that he had the ability to be able to carry that gun. It was concealed on his person.
EDMONSON: So, that much we do know. And I'm sure the facts will come out on this and we'll follow them.
LEMON: So, from what I'm told is that everyone in the community knows this man. My nieces know this man. One of my nieces does his aunt's hair. I mean, that's how -- it's a very small community, said he has never -- he has always been nicer, her interactions with him have always been nice interactions, he sells CDs, DVDs, mixed tapes, or whatever you want.
And he's out there all the time, everyone knows him. He's in an area where he may have felt unsafe and that's why he had the gun. But does he have -- in a history it doesn't appear that he has a history of a violent past. He's not a violent person.
EDMONSON: A lot of that stuff is speculation certainly, Don. We don't know his exact past and we'll apply to get his actual record to see what it is on there.
EDMONSON: All those things are things that we've got to work out and see where that follows. So, all that stuff will come out in this case, I can assure you of that.
LEMON: Why no medical assistance that we see in the videotape, Colonel?
EDMONSON: I heard the tape. They immediately called for 911. As far as the actions there at the scene, like I said, they're going to have to articulate what those actions were and why they happened as they are. And that I can assure you the Justice Department will get to the bottom of.
And again, we're going to be part that, Don, I've been in this community myself for 36 years. So, certainly I understand that. My wife went to the same high school you do. I know these people. I know that she well. I know the sheriff, the district attorney.
They want to get to the bottom of it. That's why I was so pleased when the governor came forward and said we're going to get to the bottom of it, we're going to be transparent, we're going to find what happened, and we're going to tell the public what happened because they deserve, they have a right to know.
[22:44:57] LEMON: And again, calling for calm and for peace. And it appears to be peaceful now. And let's hope it stays that way. Colonel Mike Edmonson, I appreciate you coming on.
LEMON: Please, come back as this case continues. And we're going to continue to report on this, OK? Thank you.
EDMONSON: Thank you, Don. I appreciate you.
LEMON: Thank you. When we come right back, I'm going to speak to Alton Sterling's family mourning their loss and demanding answers. We'll be right back.
LEMON: So far more questions than answers tonight about the deadly police shooting of a Louisiana man, Alton Sterling.
His aunt, Sandra Sterling, joins me now along with Edmond Jordan, the attorney for the family. Edmund also, just in full transparency is a friend of my aunts who is, you know, part of my family who is a councilman in West Baton Rouge.
So, thank you for coming on, and thank you for reaching out for the story. And, Sandra, I'm so sorry for your loss. I spoke with Quinyetta earlier and she said she wanted to come on but she hadn't eaten, she hadn't slept, and she didn't think that she could do it but you did.
And I would ask you how you're doing but I understand you passed out today because you hadn't eaten and you hadn't slept. So, tell us about the family.
[22:49:57] SANDRA STERLING, ALTON STERLING'S AUNT: We were at -- before today everybody was in a calm, but I don't know if you know a second video surfaced.
STERLING: And when I saw the second video, (Inaudible) I never would have imagine because in my mind I was thinking and I'm so -- I was think thinking I was hoping that he died peacefully and instantly. No, he didn't. He suffered. He was reaching out and talking. It killed me inside.
LEMON: He was known as the CD man, right?
LEMON: So, when you look at that video, and I know it's tough, because a video is tougher for someone who is not even involved, what did -- what did you think, did police actions, did they warrant what happened?
STERLING: The second video?
LEMON: Yes, ma'am.
STERLING: The second video, the majority that poured us all was that he was dying, they were down on their knees but their gun still pointing at him while he was dying and I've seen his hand reach up as if he was grabbing for somebody and he said something until his hand went down and that was it. Everybody walked away.
LEMON: I got to ask you about the gun. What do you think?
STERLING: I didn't see a gun. I saw a phone come out of his pocket. That's what I saw a phone. Where did that gun come from? Some friends have, I don't think he had a gun.
LEMON: You never seen him with a gun?
STERLING: No. He don't have a gun. He don't own a gun.
LEMON: And what about his demeanor as a person? Because we understand, I mean, I want to -- this is part of the reporting, we have to report that there is a criminal history. There's also, you know, people are asking about, you know, something in his past it has to do with someone who is underage but that underage person happens to be the mother of his son who spoke today, correct?
LEMON: Right. Edmond, you want to follow up on that?
EDMOND JORDAN, STERLING FAMILY ATTORNEY: Yes, I mean, look, Don, and you know it's a public record, but she was under age, they were a few years apart, but still under Louisiana law it was a statuary crime. LEMON: Right.
JORDAN: But they had a relationship which continued through the co- parenting of their son up until his death. So, to try to use that to try to make it out to be something more than what it was or to try to paint him in some negative light is certainly unfair. And I would tell you it's certainly not relevant to this matter.
LEMON: And you're absolutely right. It's not relevant. This has nothing to do with their case but people are asking about it and I thought it would -- it was best to clear that up to get it out of the way and to deal with it. So, here's my thing.
JORDAN: And I appreciate that.
LEMON: Yes. So, here's my thing. Do you know -- why the call to the convenience store about brandishing a gun? What happened?
JORDAN: Well, what I'll tell you is this, I am not sure what that is. But, I mean, I think I heard you speak to the colonel and talk about the area was being unsafe. And so, if that guy was not supposed to be around that area, you know, it almost seems like he was protecting the store and the store owner.
Now, whether he had a gun or he had a phone and he made the individual think he had a gun, I don't know. But I can tell you from all accounts that there were no violent encounters or even arguments or altercations that happened in the hours before the police officers arrived.
So, why that individual made that call, I mean, look, we don't know. I wish we knew who that anonymous caller was so we could get down to the bottom of it. But nevertheless, if the call was made and that's what he reported, I can tell you that there's nothing that I saw in that video that warranted Mr. Sterling being shot at least four times at point blank range like that.
LEMON: According to police, I spoke to a police source today and they say that -- they say it was a gun, he did have a gun, it was a handgun. Of course the investigation is not complete yet.
But I want to play this, OK, and I know it's disturbing for our viewers. I want to warn you. And this is the video, the second video, Sandra, that you mentioned. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[22:55:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. (muted)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gun!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, bro.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shots fired, shots fired. (muted)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Sorry you have to sit here and listen to this, but you said that there is -- the video shows that there is no justice for your nephew and that he did not even have a chance, Sandra, when you look at that.
STERLING: He didn't. In the first video and definitely in the second video. He's a big -- he was a big guy, and when they tased him in the first video, because I can hear him asking him what did I do?
Because he was still trying to figure out what did I do. You charged me with a gun, you came at me with a gun. What did I do? Nobody explained it to him. So, he was trying to figure out what did I do?
LEMON: His son broke down at the press conference today. How is he doing?
STERLING: He's good.
STERLING: He's good. He's coping.
LEMON: Sandra, thank you. Give our best to Quinyetta. And thank you, Edmond, I appreciate it.
JORDAN: Thank you again, Don. We appreciate it.
LEMON: Right. We'll be right back.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)