Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Fatal Shooting in Baton Rouge and Minnesota Involving Police Officers; Obama On Police Shootings: "We Are Better Than This"; Protests Growing After Deadly Police Shootings; Woman Livestreams Dying Fiance Shot By Cop; 2 Fatal Police Shootings In 2 Days Ignite Outage. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired July 7, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:11] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: John Berman in for Anderson tonight.
From President Obama to protesters out on the streets in Chicago, Minneapolis, New York and elsewhere, from an outraged governor to yet more grieving parents and growing reaction to a pair of police killings of African-American men.
Two dead in two days. The first fatal shooting of a man named Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that caught on video. The aftermath of the second in the suburb of the twin cities live streamed on Facebook narrated by a mother, her 4-year-old daughter by her side as the man she loved and was engaged to marry Philando Castile bled to death in front of her. Minnesota's governor this afternoon called the incident what we are told again is a traffic stop for a broken tail light, in his words, absolutely appalling at all levels.
And late tonight arriving in Poland, we heard from President Obama clearly shaken, his words almost arresting. He pleaded with America, we are better than this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just ask folks to step back and think, what if this topped somebody in your family? How would you feel? To be concerned about these issues is not political correctness. It's just being American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: President Obama just a short time ago. It w a very powerful moment. We are going to bring you the entire statement and talk about this among others with filmmaker Spike Lee.
First though, what you are looking at right now, there is this anger across the nation and protests tonight across the nation.
CNN's Sara Ganim on the streets here New York.
Sara, tell me where you are and what's going on where you are.
SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are in Times Square, John. And this is where this protest has ended after almost three hours, they have been out here marching through Manhattan. They started at Union Square just after 5:00 and then began marching uptown and you can see how many people are out here. I would estimate more than a thousand. It started as a slightly smaller group and grew as we began to march more than 30 blocks.
Something that's interesting that I want to note. There have been no arrests here despite the fact that they were blocking traffic during heavy rush hour here all along Fifth Avenue. Cars were at a standstill as protesters walked between them. Same thing here in Times Square in the middle of a busy intersection. Protesters sat down for more than 20 minutes before police came in and had them stand up and they haven't had them move at all.
You know, as we were marching, you saw police were marching -- not marching, but walking alongside of them. The NYPD telling us tonight that they do not plan to arrest anyone or stop this protest from continuing as long as they remain peaceful and orderly. To a lot of people here that feels sort of like a turning point. They are hoping that this is a turning point in their call for action, for change. It certainly, you saw the behavior of the protesters, incredibly good behavior, moving out of the street for things like ambulances.
A very different sight than we've seen in the past. Remember, this is almost two years to the day -- just a few days short, about ten days short of two years of the death of Eric Gardner when the deaths began, since then, several more black men have died in police-involved shootings and these protesters and many of their signs talk about that. The growing list and they say they are not going to stay silent. But the tone of this protest is really quite impressive, I have to say that people -- the police walking alongside them allowing them to say their piece and they are also behaving quite impressively, John.
BERMAN: Alright, Sara Ganim in Times Square. We can see pictures of the protests in New York, in Chicago. Earlier we saw Minneapolis. We are going to keep our eye on all of these protests as the night goes on and we are going to examine the larger issues driving all of them and hear from all sides in this national debate surrounding it.
First, we want to give you the latest on the incident that really touched off what you're seeing right now on the street, the killing of Philando Castile. Here's Ryan Young.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stay with me.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Those three words uttered by Diamond Reynolds, fiancee of Philando Castile as he sat in the driver's seat dying from wounds from bullets shot by a Minnesota police officer.
DIAMOND REYNOLDS, FIANCE: We got pulled over for a busted taillight in the back and the police -- he's -- he's covered. They killed my boyfriend. He's licensed -- he's licensed to carry. He was trying to get his I.D. and his wallet out of his pocket and he let the officer know that he was -- that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet. And the officer just shot him in his arm.
[20:05:24] YOUNG: Calmly, Reynolds narrates through the events in real time, live streaming the horrific aftermath on Facebook.
REYNOLDS: We are waiting for --
I will, sir. No worries. I will. (Bleep).
YOUNG: It was just after 9:00 p.m. Wednesday in falcon heights, a small, predominantly white neighborhood outside of St. Paul, Minnesota when Philando Castile and his fiance pulled over. The video around ten minutes in length shows Philando shot, slumped over and badly breeding.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told him not to reach for it! I told to keep his hand up!
REYNOLDS: You told him to get his I.D., sir, his driver's license. My God. Please don't tell me he is dead. Please don't tell me my boyfriend just went like that.
REYNOLDS: Yes. I will, sir. I will keep my hands where they are.
Please don't tell me this, Lord. Please, Jesus, don't tell me that he's gone! Please, officer, don't tell me that you just did this to him. You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.
YOUNG: And they are not alone in the car.
REYNOLDS: Where's my daughter? You got my daughter?
YOUNG: Reynolds' 4-year-old in the backseat of the car witnesses everything. She can be heard crying in the background.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Face away from me and walk backwards. Walk backwards towards me. Keep walking! Keep walking. Keep walking. Keep walking. Knees. Get on your knees.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma'am, you're just being detained right now until we get this all sorted out, OK?
YOUNG: Reynolds and her daughter are finally put into the backseat of a police vehicle.
REYNOLDS: Don't be scared. My daughter just witnessed this. The police just shot him for no apparent reason. No reason at all. They asked for license and registration. That's the police officer over there that did it with the black on. I can't really do (bleep) because they've got me handcuffed.
YOUNG: The child is heard trying to comfort her mother. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK, mommy.
REYNOLDS: I can't believe this. I'm (bleep)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK. I'm right here with you.
YOUNG: The deadly encounter between police and Philando Castile has ignited a tinderbox of outrage. People taking to the Minnesota's governor mansion late last night chanting wake up.
CROWD: Wake up! Wake up!
YOUNG: Governor Mark Dayton releasing a statement asking the U.S. department of justice to help with the investigation. Then late this afternoon, he makes his first remarks.
GOV. MARK DAYTON, MINNESOTA: Would this have happened if those passengers and the driver or the passenger were white? I don't think it would he.
YOUNG: The mother and uncle of Philando Castile appearing on CNN's "NEW Day," saying when it comes to police violence at the hands of innocent victims, it's not enough.
CLARENCE CASTILE, UNCLE OF PHILANDO CASTILE: We hear about thing like this happen all the time around the United States and the world, you know. People being harmed and abused by people that we are supposed to trust with our lives, people that are supposed to --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Protect and serve.
C. CASTILE: And protect us and they tend to be our executioners and judges, murders.
VALERIE CASTILE, MOTHER OF PHILANDO CASTILE: We're being hunted every day. It's a silent war against African-American people as a whole.
YOUNG: As for Reynolds, she appeared in front of the governor's mansion today with this to say.
REYNOLDS: I wanted everyone in the world to know that no matter how much the police tamper with evidence, how much they stick together, no matter how they manipulate our minds to believe what they want, I wanted to put it on Facebook and go viral so that the people could see. So that the people could see. I wanted the people to determine who was right and who was wrong.
BERMAN: All right, Ryan Young joins us now.
Ryan, what are you seeing there in Minnesota?
YOUNG: Just an amazing crowd of people. We are talking about several thousand. This has grown within the last 30 minutes or so. This crowd swelling and you have to look at this crowd because it's quite representative of the area. If you look behind me you see people who have come out here with their families, black, white, Asian, all nations are out here and they're chanting together. We have seen this people holding hands who do not know each other.
I actually had a conversation with two couples that were talking about this and they were trying to say they wanted their children to understand what was wrong with the situation. And just in the last 20 minutes the governor himself walked out of the gates and started talking to the protesters. And there was a dialogue right outside that fence line and it seemed to be all positive. And so far people have been planning to rally as long as possible to make their point known. That this is not what they want the state or city known for. It's quite amazing to take a look at the collection of people that are here, John.
BERMAN: You know, Ryan Young, that governor Mark Dayton said would this have happened if these were white people in the car? The governor Mark Dayton said, no. I don't think it would.
Ryan Young in St. Paul, this, what you're looking at right now, live pictures of New York City. That's where Sara Ganim was just a short time ago in Times Square. This march, this protest that you are looking at right now has been three hours in the making. They have walked around a great distance of New York to end up where they are right now. As you can see, there is a large police presence there, the NYPD is used to protests like this and they put a lot of officers on the streets and they communicate with the protesters during the entire event and in this case, during the entire march.
You can see right now there is a bit of a stare-off with people chanting, but not much more than that although the numbers here are certainly not dying down any time soon. Let's listen for one moment.
We will keep our eye on this over the next several minutes. As we said, looks peaceful right now. The police officers are there as they have been for some hours. We did see some pushing and shoving earlier, I am told, but certainly nothing right now. That can happen as march lines move up close to where law enforcement is standing, but everyone now appears to be doing their jobs. We will keep an eye on that as the night goes on.
Joining us now to talk about what's going on all across the country right now, St. Louis Police union chief, Jeff Roorda. "New York Times" op-ed columnist Charles Blow, former federal civil rights prosecutor Laura Coates and Cedric Alexander former president of the national organization of black law enforcement executives.
Charles, I want to start with you because we were sitting here last night not even 24 hours ago and not talking about Minnesota and talking about what happened to Baton Rouge, we are looking right now, again, Charles at protests here in New York City. There are people who are angry. There are people angry here. There people angry in Chicago. There are people angry in Baton Rouge. There are people angry all over the country. Talk to me about what you think the people we're looking at right now are feeling. Talk to me about what you're feeling. CHARLES BLOW, OP-ED COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I think, you
know, you can understand the mayor. I think that is an American anger. I don't think that we as Americans believe that this is the country that we love, that we want to have. And I think this is a real big moral question here that keep this hanging out which is a lot of these videos, too many of these videos and too many of these cases that I have in fact covered in the last two and a half years, all of those victims look alike. They look like me. And you have to keep asking yourself, how is it possible that so many people who look exactly a-like encounter the police in their life often as a result of routine traffic stops, other times as a result of a 911, all and they leave that interaction dead. And what we do is come on television and we argue about whether or not we can find a way to apologize for the police enough, find a way that we can rationalize their behavior enough that we can say whether or not they should be charged, should not be charged, should be convicted, should not be convicted and what that does in my opinion is it leaps over the moral question which is a very serious question. And that question is should those people still be alive?
Those officers will all have a chance to tell their story. They will have a chance to hire an attorney. They will have a chance to have their day in court. Those people who are dead will never have any of that, and what shocks people to their core about the horror and the terror of this is that with community violence it is often territorial, right?
You know the pockets of a city. You know the pockets of nation which are dangerous. The police are omnipresent. There is nowhere that you can go to escape the presence of law enforcement. That means that there is no place for me, there is no way for me to graduate out of this danger. There is no way for me to earn my way out of it. There is no way for me to earn enough money, get the gumption and move away from what is dangerous to me because it could be anywhere that I am. That is the terror.
And I believe that most people like the people on that street are saying I refuse to live as an American in terror in my own country.
[20:15:12] BERMAN: Jeff Roorda, I want to bring you to this conversation. Charles Blow there just asked a very simple question which is should Philando Castile still be alive? Your answer?
JEFF ROORDA, ST. LOUIS OFFICERS ASSOCIATION: Well, we don't know yet. We ought to be waiting for the packs, but instead you've got people like governor Dayton rushing to judgment and making very irresponsible conclusions about whether race was involved in this, whether the officers acted properly. I mean, this is remarkable to me to see a sitting U.S. governor react in this way. It's really quite shocking and it does no service to the police or to the people in the streets asking for answers.
BERMAN: But Jeff, what the governor said and what President Obama said and what Charles was just saying is these are not isolated incidents. Yes, we have to know the facts of what happened in St. Paul. We need to know more about what happened in Baton Rouge, but there's no denying the facts that African-Americans are pulled over by law enforcement at a much higher rate. There's no denying the fact that$, they're shot by law enforcement at a much higher rate than whites. Those are --
ROORDA: There's no denying that they commit crimes at a higher rate. That's a subject that we continue to glows over is that law enforcement is in these communities in greater numbers because there's more crime in communities of color. And by the way, disproportionately blacks are the victims of those crimes. We got to celebrate the fact that law enforcement is in these neighborhoods trying to help.
BERMAN: Cedric Alexander, should we be celebrating the law enforcement is in communities or should we be asking the governor of Minnesota and the president tonight about how we could be better?
CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: What we should be doing is trying to figure out how we are going to work through this very difficult issue between police and community. We can sit here and speculate all we want, what happened. There certainly has to be an investigation, but I'll tell you, that footage there in Minnesota is very, very disturbing for anyone.
I'm a 40-year police veteran. I've been an administrator for 20 years in this business, and I have seen police shootings over all of them create some form of disgust oftentimes with people in our communities. But what Mr. Blow is referring to, I have to agree to. We keep seeing this too often over and over and over again.
Nobody is more conservative when it comes to me about policing. But what we're seeing is a pattern here that we just cannot ignore and we can't blow off. Now, you last guest that just spoke and the union president, yes, there is a high rate of crime in many parts of our communities of color. That is statistically true. And we also have to put more police officers in those areas which means that we may engage that population, but just because we're there and we have to engage the population does not mean that it has to be negative. And this comes down to community relations. This comes down to building relationships.
You take that community right there in a small community such that you have there in Minnesota or Baton Rouge. Those are small communities, small precincts, small areas, and it's really a wonder how the officer nor any of the person who died in those events, it appeared that they don't even know each other and had no with each other. They had not even seen each other on the street.
So this is a real complex issue, but we must allow an investigative process to take place. We're seeing some horrible and very disturbing footage and video, but we still have to allow the process to do what it does, but in the interim, we cannot ignore that something is going on here that you have to pay real close attention to. And we have to find some answers to.
Laura Coates, I want to bring you in here. We are looking at protests in Chicago and we saw New York, and people moving in Atlanta and there are protesters, as well. And Laura, I want to ask you about a little bit about the specifics of the case in a moment. But first, just touching on what we have been hearing from everyone here tonight so far, you can't watch that ten-minute video and listen to the anguish of Diamond Reynolds there and know there was a 4-year-old in that car watching. It's hard to see that and say that we shouldn't be working to make sure this doesn't happen.
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No, you're right, John. It's absolutely gut wrenching. And I'm a hometown kid from St. Paul, Minnesota, with a nearly 4-year-old child. And I got to tell you personally, I had a visceral reaction. But while everyone's talking about conceptually and hypothetically how we should hold hands between the community and officers. I look at this as a prosecutor and I say (NO AUDIO).
[20:24:19] BERMAN: All right. Protesters out on the streets tonight in New York, Chicago, St. Paul, Atlanta and elsewhere expressing their outrage in a pair of police week, in the last two days.
In Baton Rouge, at least two cameras that we know of captured Alton Sterling's death and already, as you've been hearing, not everyone agrees on what that video shows or what it says about police conduct in the case. We have a new detail tonight, a source with knowledge of the investigation tells us that police were called in by a homeless man who had just had an altercation with Sterling. Sterling was selling CDs outside the convenient store according to the stores. The homeless man was panhandling him and Sterling showed him a gun to shoo him away. A few moments later Alton Sterling was on the pavement dying.
Late tonight President Obama talked about his killing and the death of Philando Castile in what he sees as a larger, inescapable pattern. We played a portion of his remarks earlier in the show. We'll play them now for you in full.
[20:25:16] OBAMA: Good evening, everybody. I know we've been on a long flight, but given the extraordinary interest in the shootings that took place in Louisiana and Minnesota, I thought it would be important for me to address all of you directly. And I want to begin by expressing my condolences for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
As I said in the statement that I posted on Facebook, we have seen tragedies like this too many times. The justice department, I know, has opened a civil rights investigation in Baton Rouge. The governor of Minnesota, I understand, is calling for an investigation there, as well as my practice given my role, I can't comment on the specific facts of these cases, and I have confidence that the department, but what I am saying is that all of us as Americans should be troubled -- and these are not -- incidents. They are a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system. And I just want to give people a few statistics to try to put in co context why emotions are so raw around these issues.
According to various studies, not just one but a wide range of studies that have been carried out a number of years, African-Americans are 30 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over. After being pulled over African-Americans and Hispanics are three times more likely to be searched. Last year, African-Americans were shot by police at more than twice the rate of whites. African-Americans are arrested twice the rate of whites and African-Americans are more likely to be charged with offenses carrying mandatory minimums. They receive sentences that are almost 10 percent longer than comparable whites arrested for the same crime so that if you add it all up, the African-American and Hispanic population who make up only 30 percent of the general population make up only half of the incarcerate population.
Now, these are facts. And when incidents like this occur there is a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their ski ty are not being treated the same. And that hurts. And that should trouble all of us. This is not just a black issue. It's not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we should all care about. All fair-minded people should be concerned.
Now let me just say we have extraordinary appreciation and respect for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us every single day. They've got a dangerous job. It is a tough job.
And as I've said before, they have a right to go home to their families just like anybody else on the job. And there are going to be circumstances in which they will have to make split-second decisions. We understand that. But when we see data that African-Americans and Latinos may be treated in various jurisdictions around the country.
[20:30:06] It's incumbent on all of us to say we can do better than this. We are better than this.
And to not have it degenerate into usual political scrum, we should be able to step back, reflect and ask ourselves what can we do better so that everybody feels as if they're equal under the law.
Now the good news is, is that there are practices we can institute that will make a difference. Last year, we put together a task force that was comprised of civil rights activists and community leaders, but also law enforcement officials. Police captains, sheriffs. And they sat around a table and they looked at the data and they looked at best practices. And they came up with specific recommendations and steps that could ensure that the trust between communities and police departments were rebuilt and incidents like this would be less likely to occur.
And there's some jurisdictions out there that have adopted these recommendations. But there are a whole bunch that have not.
And if anything good comes out of these tragedies, my hope is, is that communities around the country take a look and say, how can we implement these recommendations? And that the overwhelming majority of police officers, who are doing a great job every single day and are doing their job without regard to race, that they encourage their leadership and organizations that represent them to get behind these recommendations. Because ultimately, if you can rebuild trust between communities and the police departments that serve them, that helps us solve crime problems.
That will make life easier for police officers. They will have more cooperation. They will be safer. They will be more likely to come home.
So it would be good for crime fighting and it will avert tragedy. And I'm encouraged by the fact that the majority of leadership in police departments around the country recognize this, but change has been too slow. And we have to have a greater sense of urgency about this.
I'm also encouraged, by the way, that we have bipartisan support for criminal justice reform working its way through Congress. It has stalled, and lost some momentum over the last couple of months, in part, because Congress is having difficulty, generally, moving legislation forward and we're in a political season.
But there are people of goodwill on the Republican side and Democratic side who I've seen want to try to get something done here. That too, would help provide greater assurance across the country that those in power, those in authority are taking these issues seriously.
So, this should be a spur to action to get that done, to get that across the finish line. Because I know there are a lot of people who want to get it done.
And let me just make a couple of final comments. I mentioned in my Facebook a statement that I hope we don't fall into the typical patterns that occur after these kinds of incidents occur, where right away there's a lot of political rhetoric, and it starts dividing people instead of bringing folks together.
To be concerned about these issues is not to be against law enforcement. There are times when these incidents occur and you see protests and you see vigils.
[20:35:06] And I get letters, well meaning letters sometimes from law enforcement saying, how come we're under attack? How come not as much emphasis is made when police officers are shot?
And so to all of law enforcement, I want to be very clear. We know you have a tough job. We mourn those in uniform who are protecting us who lose their lives. On a regular basis, I have joined with families in front of Capitol Hill to commemorate the incredible heroism that they've displayed. I've hugged family members who've lost loved ones doing the right thing. I know how much it hurts.
On a regular basis, we bring in those who've done heroic work in law enforcement and have survived. Sometimes they've been injured, sometimes they've risked their lives in remarkable ways. And we applaud them and appreciate them because they're doing a really tough job really well.
There is no contradiction between us supporting law enforcement, making sure they've got the equipment they need, making sure that their collective bargaining rights are recognized, making sure that they're adequately staffed, making sure that they are respected, making sure that their families are supported. And also, saying that there are problems across our criminal justice system. There are biases, some conscious and unconscious that have to be rooted out. That's not an attack on law enforcement. That is reflective of the values that the vast majority of law enforcement bring to the job.
But I repeat, if communities are mistrustful of the police, that makes those law enforcement officers who are doing a great job, and are doing the right thing, it makes their lives harder. So, you know, when people say Black Lives Matter that doesn't mean Blue Lives don't matter, it just means all lives matter. But right now, the big concern is the fact that data shows black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents.
This isn't a matter of us comparing the value of lives, this is recognizing that there is a particular burden that is being placed on a group of our fellow citizens. And we should care about that. We can't dismiss it. We can't dismiss it.
So let me just end by saying I actually, genuinely, truly believe that the vast majority of the American people see this as a problem that we should all care about. And I would just ask those who question the sincerity or the legitimacy of protests and vigils and expressions of outrage who somehow label those expressions of outrage as quote unquote "political correctness", I just ask folks to step back and think, what if this happened to somebody in your family? How would you feel?
To be concerned about these issues is not political correctness, it's just being American and wanting to live up to our best and highest ideals.
[20:40:11] And it's to recognize the reality that we've got some tough history and we haven't gotten through all of that history yet, and we don't expect that in my lifetime, maybe not in my children's lifetime that all of the vestiges of that past will have been cured or will have been solved, but we can do better.
People of goodwill can do better. And doing better involves not just addressing potential bias in the criminal justice system, it's recognizing that too often we're asking police to man the barricades in communities that have been forgotten by all of us for way too long in terms of substandard schools and inadequate jobs and a lack of opportunity. We got to tackle those things. We can do better. And I believe we will do better.
Thanks very much, everybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: President Obama just a short time ago upon arriving in Warsaw in Poland. He's there for a two-day NATO meeting. But before doing anything with that, he felt the need to speak to the nation back here at home about what's happened over the last two days here. Two more police shootings of African-American men. You can see protests around the country right now in several cities around the country. We're going to keep our eye on those all night.
Director Spike Lee has appeared on this program many times. Unfortunately, it's often in the aftermath of tragic incidence like the one we're seeing right now. We're always grateful to hear his perspective. He joins us now along with CNN political commentator and former Obama administration official, Van Jones. We will continue to keep our eye on these protests, these crowds that are growing around the country. Pretty remarkable pictures from around the country.
Spike, I want to ask you first about what the President did there. He spoke for 16 minutes. He clearly wanted to get something off his chest there. There were a few things he said, number one, we can do better. He said that several times. Number two, he wanted to lay out the facts about law enforcement and African-Americans still -- African-Americans shot by police at a 2.5 times higher rate than African-Americans. And number three, I think he wanted to frame this discussion maybe in a different way. He sort of suggested -- he suggested outright that just by saying black lives matter, you're not saying that blue lives, the lives of police, don't matter.
SPIKE LEE, FILM DIRECTOR: Well, I applaud President Obama for his speech. I thought it was magnificent. In the past, he's been kind of like, you know, maybe has step out in front, maybe step when Trayvon, I'm going to say he got murdered, when Trayvon got murdered and very -- again, being redundant. I think the President nailed it. He talked about the stats that these things are just happening out of thin air. I would like to add, we talked about we've had some tough history and he said the vestiges that passed. I would use the word slavery, tough history, vestige that passed, let's use real words, slavery. That's the stuff we've not dealt with in this country and that's why we're still in the predicament that we're in.
BERMAN: The President did use some real words, though. He actually said this is real. This is a thing. Governor Mark Dayton ...
LEE: Well, I'm not ...
BERMAN: ... of Minnesota said, you know, "People asked me, would this have happened had they been white passengers in the car in Minnesota?" And the governor, the white governor of Minnesota said, "No, I don't think so."
LEE: Yes. Mark Dayton, I think.
BERMAN: Mark Dayton. Are those the real words you're looking for?
LEE: I want to applaud the Governor of Minnesota because I know already the police are, you know, killing his character. I don't mean to use the word killing. That's not the word to use, but I think he was being honest, and -- it's tough.
BERMAN: Diamond Reynolds.
LEE: I've never seen anything like that before in my life. And I think that what she did was very heroic, and I don't want -- I think people are missing, her daughter was in the backseat.
BERMAN: Diamond Reynolds is fiancee of Philando Castile.
[20:45:00] LEE: Right. Four years old and how she -- she'll be traumatized, I mean, for the rest of her life.
BERMAN: She streamed. She live streamed on Facebook what was happening in that car and narrated it while it was happening.
LEE: You know, these -- with the technology because I've always believed this stuff is happened all of the time, but with the technology we're seeing it, and we're in the 21st century of high-tech lynching, you know.
I saw the other day my man, Kaepernick, quarterback of the 49ers he said, 21st century lynching and you know, these videos, this is the real American horror show.
BERMAN: Van, I want to bring you into this discussion. Van Jones, President Obama said repeatedly we can do better. That was a refrain that he made during his speech tonight in Poland, but "The Washington Post" came out with new statistics tonight.
"The Washington Post" is doing a phenomenal job tracking police shootings, officer-involved shootings in the United States. There is no one federal database that reliably tracks all of these things and the post has taken upon itself to do as good of a job as you can do, I'm actually seeing the first six months of this year, they've gone up over the first six months of last year. They actually say there's no change in the rate of African-Americans being killed versus whites. So when the president says we can do better based on what we're seeing over the last few days, are we?
VAN JONES, FMR. OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, we're not seeing much better, and I've got to tell you, for every African-American parent what happened with that young man who was shot in the car is our nightmare because he did everything right.
This was a young man who had never -- the best we can tell had an overdue library book, a parking ticket, let alone an arrest record or criminal record. He literally, absolutely clean, working every day, working with children, beloved by everybody, has never been in any trouble at all and gets pulled over and does apparently, if you believe the woman help -- you don't have the video evidence of that, but she seems incredibly credible did exactly what he was told to do, which is what we tell our young people to do and he wound up dead.
So that is why you have despite this sort of almost numbness that people have for these videos now, this just shattered African-American community and all people of conscience around the world saying, "Oh, how can this be happening?"
And so, I applaud the president for stepping forward, and I think he was really trying to be constructive. He tried to speak to the pain and the fear and the sense of disrespect on both sides. He really spent as much time talking about and trying to point out his respect for law enforcement and has demonstrated respect for law enforcement, and also trying to say this is a real thing.
What we've got to do at this point is try to find some kind of solutions. The reality is, and you know, Spike Lee's movie "Chi-Raq" points out there is a lot of violence now in the black community. We have too many funerals, whether it's street violence or police violence, too many funerals and rather than pointing fingers, we need to come forward with constructive proposals.
Number one, we need to start screening police officers on the front end rather than just trying to get them fired or across, you know, on the back end. There's no screening. There's literally the psychological screening that should be happening, the by screening that should be happening. It's not happening, so you can't train.
Once you brought in the front door people who maybe psychologically inappropriate for the job and who may have deep bias, but you didn't figure that out, you can't train on top of that. You can't discipline on top of that. So that's something hopefully everyone can agree on.
LEE: That's right. I would say Mr. Castile's crime was his black skin. That was his crime. That's why he was killed.
BERMAN: The Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton said, "Had they been white people in the car they wouldn't be dead." All right, one of the things you talk about a lot is trust ...
BERMAN: ... and the lack of trust between ...
LEE: It's gone now.
BERMAN: Completely gone?
LEE: I think it is. Look, I'm not here to speak. I'm just saying what I think. I'm not speaking on behalf of anybody else, but I think -- hope you understand. When something happens in Ferguson, Baton Rouge, whatever, that affects the relationship between the community and the police departments in those areas. So this is a nationwide thing.
It's not, like, well, that just happened in Baton Rouge, that just in Ferguson, but just happened in Staten Island. Eric Garner, this affects on a nationwide front the relation between black, brown people and the police departments.
BERMAN: Let me read you what Diamond Reynolds said today. She said, "Police are not here to protect us, they're here to assassinate us."
LEE: Look, why would you -- I'm not going to stoop that. She was sitting right next to her fiancee.
[20:50:02] He got murdered for being black.
BERMAN: And the reality is ...
LEE: And thank God that the 4-year-old wasn't injured or killed in the back seat.
JONES: She's not and she wasn't physically hurt but she was emotionally hurt.
JONES: And let me just say one more thing. Had there not been a video? Had her cellphone battery died? Here's what would have happened. There would have been a police report filed saying that this guy, a black guy had a gun in the car, he reached for the gun, the wife was -- woman got hysterical, Child Protective Services would have come in, taken the kid away, she would have been arrested and nobody -- and she would have spent the rest of her life saying, "I swear to God, he wasn't doing anything." And everybody said, "Yeah, yeah, whatever."
BERMAN: It's called endogamy (ph) high jinx anywhere you want to use.
JONES: Yeah. And so I just can't stress this enough. African- Americans have been saying this stuff has been going on, not for the past two and a half years, not for the past two and a half decades, but for a century plus. You go back to Ida B. Wells and this has been going on.
Finally now that technology at least let some people come into our world and see this from a different point of view, and what I want to say is, I'm tired of people telling us, "Tell black children to act this way. Tell black children to act that way." If you cooperate with the police now ...
BERMAN: You're still get killed.
JONES: You still get killed. So, I want to now say something bold. It's time for white parents to start talking to their children, too. More white parents need to be talking to their children and saying, "As you grow up, be aware you may get subconsciously tricked into thinking that every black person is a threat." Guilty until proven innocent or innocent until proven black. And we want you, as young white children, to be very vigilant and we want you to tell your friends to be very vigilant. Both sides now have to come together because these parents did everything right and this young man did everything right and he's now dead. So we're in a new era.
BERMAN: I see the pain. You can hear the pain of Philando Castile's mother, Spike, this morning on "New Day".
LEE: I'll say this real quick, though. What I love on your screen, the diversity ...
LEE: ... of the demonstrators all across America, which represents diversity of this country.
So going back to Obama, it's not just a Black Lives Matter thing, all, if you look at the pictures, various cities, America ...
BERMAN: Africa is right there. I see aged and I see black, I see white.
LEE: Yes, it's diverse.
LEE: So, let's not go over -- I hope you don't mistake that there's only blacks out there protesting this.
BERMAN: So, Philando Castile's mother, Spike, this morning said that she thinks African-Americans are being hunted in the United States. Again, you couple that with what we just heard from Diamond Reynolds that the police are not here to protect us, they're here to assassinate us. Do you think African-Americans are being hunted?
LEE: Yes. Facts don't lie. And so what are cops going to say? Are they going to believe your eyes, you know, my lying eyes or the picture, I mean ...
BERMAN: But that's a big statement. I mean, it's a big state you can understand if you're an officer and there are thousands of officers across the country. You know some, Van knows some, many -- I know many. They're going to say people think we're hunting African- Americans?
LEE: Well, I don't think that I'm not going to make the blatant statement that all police officers, but too many black have been married, it's good too many -- I'm just lifting. Too many black people have been murdered, have been buried, the proof otherwise.
BERMAN: But you want trust. I know you want trust between the community and law enforcement.
LEE: We all want it. We all want it. But then we look at Diamond Reynolds in the car, I mean, I have never ever, ever seen anything like that in my life.
BERMAN: I don't think any of us have ever seen that in our life.
BERMAN: The presence of mind to sit there and stream and it's narrated.
JONES: Let me say something about her since we're talking about here. How credible? You can never find a more credible human being. I mean, for them to be able to sit there, she doesn't strike me the kind of person who would sit there and lie and make-up some stuff. She is as credible, a human being, as you will ever find. And so I think that she needs to be treated with a very, very high level of respect. Of course we have to go through the whole process to get everybody else's testimony and all the evidence.
But the reality is, very few human beings would have the presence of mind to do what she did. And to do it the way she did it. And I think, my hope is that she becomes somebody who America can actually embrace as a heroine because what happened was so unjustified. I would say it was -- if that was not a murder, if that was not a murder, I don't know what the word murder means.
LEE: But Van, Van, Van, we have seen this before and these cops walk.
BERMAN: But hang on one second.
LEE: They walk.
BERMAN: Just hang on one second. We don't know, we didn't see, I should say, what happened before that camera started rolling.
BERMAN: We didn't see what happened.
[20:54:59] We don't know exactly what the conversation was between the officer, whose name we still don't know, by the way, and Philando Castile. We just have her narration, which was in realtime. And as you say, it seemed like she was speaking from the heart there. But we don't know exactly what the facts were beforehand. And it is a question that many people are asking, Van, is how important are those facts.
JONES: I think they are incredibly important. And frankly -- and Charles Blow, I think, I hope his comments earlier tonight go viral and viral and viral again.
BERMAN: Yes, he's great.
JONES: I mean, what Charles Blow said today should be quoted by everybody, which is that -- what -- in fact, the officers will get their day in court. The officers will have an opportunity to have every single fact examined and reexamined. Unfortunately, this young man will not. And that the question is "Is that right? Should that young man be here?"
Charles Blow, I think, spoke for all of humanity tonight and what I would say to you is simply this. Do not let her credibility be attacked. There may be other facts, there may be other evidence, but I just want to say there's a playbook and the playbook is then to go and try to destroy every single person who speaks up, to try to turn whoever got killed. You know, this person was a thug. You can't do that this time. They may be right now trying to figure out some way to discredit Diamond. And what I'm trying to put out there to the CNN audience and to the whole world, this woman deserves respect for what she went through and for the presence of mind. And I don't care whatever they find in the background or what they don't find. That is an American hero to be willing to put her most gruesome pain out there for the world to judge and she should not be attacked by anybody.
BERMAN: Spike, I want to give you quick last word before I take a break.
JONE: That's fact-finding. Fact-finding does one thing. Character assassination, if that starts to happen, you're going to see a country rise up in defense of this young woman.
BERMAN: Spike, quick last words.
LEE: It's difficult times, United States of America. Difficult times.
BERMAN: What's the solution?
LEE: I don't know. I don't know if anybody knows.
BERMAN: You have any hope?
LEE: I got two children, you know, so -- and I have a son. So, you know, it's scary. It's scary.
BERMAN: All right. Spike Lee, Van Jones, don't go far, a lot more to talk about. We're going to be right back with another live hour of "360".
We got the latest on the protests that are going on right now, that are growing right now. We're looking at pictures right now from New York. We've also seen protests at St. Paul, Chicago, Washington, Atlanta, Philadelphia, it's Washington D.C. right there, and elsewhere. Stay with us.