Return to Transcripts main page


Protests Growing After Deadly Police Shootings; Woman Livestreams Dying Fiance Shot By Cop; Obama: Police Shootings Are "Symptomatic" Of Racial; Disparities; Obama On Police Shootings: "This Is Not Just A Black Issue"; FBI Chief Defends Clinton Email Investigation; Sources: Sanders Could Endorse Clinton Next Week. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired July 7, 2016 - 21:00   ET



[21:01:19] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again. At the top of the hour, people out in force out on the streets in cities across the country, including St. Paul, Minnesota, New York, Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia.

Thousands of people now protesting the police shootings that left two men dead. Each incident in one form or another caught on camera, both killings now raising serious questions about race and deadly force.

President Obama tonight spoke at length on the issue in these two cases, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile outside St. Paul, Minnesota. His dying moments livestreamed by his fiancee.


DIAMOND REYNOLDS, PHILANDO CASTILE'S FIANCEE: He just shot his arm off. We got pulled over on Larpenteur.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: I told you not to reach for him. I told him to get his hands up.

REYNOLDS: You told him to get his I.D., sir, his driver's license. Oh, my god, please don't tell me he's dead. Please don't tell me my boyfriend just went like that.


BERMAN: Now, all this happened -- all that happened you just saw with a 4-year-old girl, her daughter, in the back seat. More on those two cases shortly.

First though, it is a very busy active night across the country with thousands out on the streets. I want to go to CNN's Tom Foreman right now walking with protesters in Washington, D.C. Tom, we see the Capitol, I guess, in front of you right now. The protesters headed that way? TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. This started over at the White House where of course the president is not right now. He's over in Europe. And this crowd of several hundreds started walking this way rather spontaneously. You can see now, they're approaching the Capitol which is where some of them said they should come in the first place so they can put pressure on Congress specifically to address this recurrent problem in their minds.

Now they have reached the Capitol. It's been quite a long walk and frankly, I think the crowd has grown bigger along the way, with other people joining in. So it's a pretty substantial crowd now and certainly several hundred, I don't know how many, and they are here to make sure their message gets heard. But it's ...

BERMAN: And ...

FOREMAN: ... rather spontaneous. Gathered at the White House, quiet for awhile, then they got loud and started moving.

BERMAN: And Tom, people they see on their screens themselves here but this is a diverse crowd. Actually, the crowd I'm looking at right now is predominantly white.

FOREMAN: I think that is largely true. I've noticed that from the beginning. A huge number of people here who are white citizens, a good number of African-American citizens, some Native American citizens and Latinos and so on. So an awful lot of people here, but many, many different groups watching and we still see them coming and coming toward the Capitol here.

BERMAN: And Tom, did they give you a sense of how long they will be out? Do they plan to speak? Do they plan to confront or at least face down law enforcement or anyone specific, or is this just marching right now to march and to express outrage?

FOREMAN: I think it's more marching to march. They made a real point early on of saying that they were not looking for a confrontation here. They simply wanted to make themselves heard. Many people online in the organizing Facebook page said they wanted a peaceful protest but that said, they do want to be noticed. And they had no particular permit to come down the road. They just took over the road and marched. And the police seemed very content to clear the way, make sure no one gets hurt and let them have their say.

BERMAN: They want to be noticed. They want to be heard like a great many people across the country right now. Tom Foreman, thanks so much. We'll check back in with you in a few minutes. Keep our eye there on the streets.

People singing now in Washington, D.C.

I want to bring the focus back here in New York City.

I want to listen to this for a moment. Let's listen for a few minutes to Washington.

FOREMAN: Hear what?

[21:06:55] BERMAN: Washington, D.C., where this march has been going from the White House to the Capitol right there, you saw people stop to sing. There was a police car there. But as of now, the police just there to watch, to monitor, to keep people safe as the protesters move through the streets to be heard. And as Tom Foreman was saying before that is their goal, just to be heard tonight.

We seen protests cross the country tonight, not just Washington but St. Paul, Minnesota, Baton Rouge, Chicago, also here in New York City. Sara Ganim has been with protesters. She joins us now. Sara, give us a sense of where this march is going right now.

SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So we're going back up Fifth Avenue, John. When I last spoke to you about an hour ago, I told you that it remained a peaceful protest with no arrests. Well, that changed shortly after we spoke. Right after that last -- the top of the 8:00 hour, the NYPD came into Times Square where the protesters had stopped. They had sat down on the pavement, completely blocked a very busy intersection of 42nd Street in the middle of Times Square. No traffic was coming through and the police attempted to clear that out.

In the process, I counted at least 10 people who were arrested and taken away. That didn't sit very well with the protesters and there was some more volatile type of language, some were stronger language, some pushing and shoving and like I said some arrests.

Since then, they've begun to march again. It's hard to tell how many people are out here if the numbers dwindled at all. But now we're walking back up Fifth Avenue. This one is set here in New York City but there's still a lot of traffic out here and none of it again is moving. All at a stand-still because the protesters are completely in the streets blocking traffic and keeping it from moving.

The NYPD did in the 8:00 hour bring out their loudspeakers and began to play the standard protest announcement where they tell people that they need to stay on the sidewalk or they risk -- run the risk of getting arrested. Those loudspeakers did not deter these people from again taking to the streets and marching. We are now near 48th Street on Fifth Avenue, John. It doesn't seem to be the case that these people have any intent to stop any time soon.

BERMAN: You know, a small handful of arrests, a great deal of determination by the protesters who have been at it now, the marchers, for several hours, Sara. You know, I saw on Twitter, and I saw on e- mail here as well that some of the people being called to protest were actually going armed with the numbers, the phone numbers of lawyers, it's either told to program them into their cell phones before they -- one, or are you going to write them on their arms in case they need them. People went out tonight knowing that there could be an issue, they could be confronted by law enforcement and they could face in consequences.

All right. We seem to have lost Sara Ganim, and they're walking up Fifth Avenue. Let's check back in with her in a moment. [21:10:03] Again, that protest did have some confrontation with police. Sara said she counted at least 10 people taken into custody by police which does happen in these events. The police are out there by and large in New York, they tend to march alongside or near the protesters to keep their eye on them to try to keep traffic open. We'll check back in with them in a short bit.

More now on the protests in St. Paul. St. Paul is one of the sites for one of these men, Philando Castile was killed yesterday by police. CNN's Ryan Young is there right now. Ryan, give us a sense of what's happening on the ground there.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well I can tell you, this crowd continues to swell and people have conversations about exactly what happened. They're talking about Philando Castile. You can hear the crowd and it's swelled right now. In fact, there are several people who have decided to do their own speaking to the crowd to talk about exactly what's been going on in the community here. People have been struck by this video. We've heard several people talk about that young girl's voice in the background of that video crying out to help her mother. The fact that this man was pulled over for what was appeared to be a broken taillight and he should have been able to go home.

And in fact, that's what one woman has been screaming right now. What can she do with her 12-year-old son? Does she arm him? That's not going to work. So she ask -- she's asking the crowd, "Hey, how can we come together as a community to have some solutions and not just yell about this and then go home." That's been the constant conversation for the last 20 or 30 minutes, so as people have been asking for how we can join hands as a community.

If you look here, you can see the diversity of the crowd, black, white, Asian. They have all been here. You can see the signs they carry. This crowd has even swelled to the point when the governor came out maybe about 0.5 hour to 45 minutes ago and talked to the crowd personally here. And that was actually met with some cheers. But you can still hear people clapping as people have been talking and having their conversations, they kind of just doing their own thing. And everyone has been welcome. Some people have asked for some harder treatments of police officers and that's kind of been quashed by the crowd here, John.

BERMAN: You know, Ryan, up until a short time ago, my understanding was that the officer involved in this shooting, the officer who killed Philando Castile, was being questioned by authorities. At this point, what are authorities saying about that? What are authorities saying about exactly what happened?

YOUNG: So, John, you know, this is probably the biggest frustration point for the people here in this crowd. They want to have answers and they want them right now. Of course, there's investigations ongoing. The governor has called for the DOJ but this police department has mostly remained silent.

So people want to know how this traffic stop happened, what's the next step, give them a third day (ph) procedure. In fact, that's what one of the people who was on here was talking about. They wanted to make sure that in 60 days, they have some sort of concrete information about how this happened, why did it go down the way it did, and they wanted to hear the officer's explanation for what happened. Of course, people are asking for the officer to be named. We all know that takes time. But then again, you know the governor has been talking about how this would have been different if the person in the car would have been white instead of black.


MARK DAYTON, GOVERNOR OF MINNESOTA: Would this have happened if those passengers, the driver and passenger, were white? I don't think it would have.


YOUNG: So now, you have that conversation out here and people are having that conversation. Look here, there are people here with their families here. They have been talking about what will they do for the next generation in this city. They do not want this to be the stain on the city. So they're coming together. You see people with signs that say end racism coming together. They're talking about having other community members come together and having more protests over the weeks to come.

There's even been talk about marching to the police department once again and demanding answers in terms of what this officer's background is. So it should be more to come, John.

BERMAN: Ryan Young for us in St. Paul, Minnesota. Lot of our focus has been on St. Paul. Philando Castile, he was killed just outside St. Paul yesterday. The fact is, that is the newest, the latest killing of an African-American man by law enforcement, but there was one two days ago as well in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. That already has sparked controversy.

And tonight, we are getting new details on the investigation of Alton Sterling. CNN's Stephanie Elam joins us. Stephanie, you're getting new information on the 911 call that led police to the convenience store where they confronted Alton Sterling. What can you tell us?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, John. What we are learning from a source familiar with the investigation here is that it was a homeless man that made that 911 call into Baton Rouge Police, saying that there was a man brandishing a weapon. Now, according to the source, they're also saying that the man was going after Alton Sterling, asking him for money and that Alton Sterling had said something along the lines of, "Leave me alone. I told you leave me alone," and showed that he had a gun on him. That's when the homeless man then made that call that led to the police officers coming here.

We know that the police have obtained his phone and they have also listened to that 911 call, so a new development there. Also, what we have tonight that's new, John, are images of these two police officers. Their names are Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II. We can tell you that Salamoni has been on the force for four years, Lake on the force for three years.

[21:15:04] So learning a little bit more here but for the most part, the department has been very tight-lipped since they passed the investigation on to the Department of Justice, John.

BERMAN: And Stephanie, a short time ago, just to be clear, yeah, there it is again. We heard horns honking there. Are there protests on the streets there in Baton Rouge?

ELAM: It's more of a support for a call to action is a better way to put it, John. They're asking people standing here, there's been a lot of prayer, a lot of chanting, a lot of singing of gospel songs here, but they're asking people on the street as they drive by to honk as sort of a call to support for the efforts to make changes here in Baton Rouge. So that's why you hear the honking and the vigil continues to go on behind me here outside of the convenience store where Alton Sterling lost his life.

BERMAN: All right. Stephanie Elam for us in Baton Rouge. We'll keep our eye on that as we keep our eye on protests across the country.

On the screen right now is a march taking place in Washington, D.C. The people there started at the White House. They have moved their way to the capitol. We'll keep watching that throughout the evening. There's also been reports of arrests here. Sara Ganim reporting a short time ago of arrests on the streets of New York. Not a lot of arrests but 10, she counted so far. We will keep on monitoring that.

Joining us, two deeply-experienced CNN law enforcement analysts, Cedric Alexander and Harry Houck. Harry is a former NYPD detective, Cedric Alexander is the former President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, also a former Obama senior advisor, Van Jones, joins us as well. Van, I didn't know you are going to be with us. It's good to see you here.

Cedric, I want to start with you because there has been talk about this video. Van brought it up in the last hour, this remarkable 10- minute video taken by Diamond Reynolds live streaming on Facebook just after the moment when her fiance, Philando Castile, was shot by a police. You see him bleeding right there. You see his death live streamed on Facebook. As a law enforcement official, what do you see in this video?

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, what I see here is a very graphic scene of something that we don't know what led up to it but in terms of Diamond herself, I agree with Van. She is certainly a very courageous woman. She kept her wits even though her 4-year-old child was in the back. She watched her boyfriend there virtually bleed out to death and she was able to record post the shooting what occurred.

But the course of the investigation is going to reveal hopefully more of what happened from the time that the subject there that died at the scene, what happened, what was the exchange of words, what happened. But she's an incredible woman. And quite frankly, she is very credible. And I agree with Van, we should make sure, and this is coming from a law enforcement official, myself, we should make sure that her credibility stands and this is very concerning for all of us. This is really tough for this country right now, John, really, really tough. It is very painful for everyone.

BERMAN: Harry, your reaction.

HARRY HOUCK, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: Well, you know, I agree with Cedric. You know, we have to wait until the investigation is finished to find out exactly what happened. I mean, I'm not so sure if this woman is so credible or not, you know. As a detective, you know, a lot of people make statements to me but I've got to corroborate those statements.

BERMAN: Harry, do you have any reason ...

HOUCK: This is going to be corroborated.

BERMAN: Do you have any reason to doubt her credibility, Harry?

HOUCK: You have to. You have to as a detective. As a detective, you have to doubt the credibility unless you have evidence to back it up. So whenever somebody comes in and tells you something and gives you information, and you've got to be able back that up. Now, what we got to do is that we need to speak to that police officer and we got to find out what that police officer had to say, all right?

Then we got to conduct an investigation. Was there anybody out on the street that heard that police officer say something to that man, all right? And what was that statement? And here, we got to -- you know, hopefully, we can get a witness that's not connected to the case at all to tell us exactly what happened there.

BERMAN: But again, you know, other than wanting to dot all your I's and cross your T's there, you have no reason to doubt what she says contemporaneously narrating the death of her fiance on Facebook, do you?

HOUCK: You can't say that. You know, as a detective, you can't look into the emotions of an investigation. You got to sit there and you got to listen to her statement, all right. And then what you got to do is you got to talk to her. And I'm sure when they brought her into the station house, she was interviewed and see if her story is exactly the same.

BERMAN: Harry, let me just ask you ...

HOUCK: And this is what a detective does.

BERMAN: Let me just ask you a question that came up in the last hour based on what you're seeing, in that video, again, after the incident took place, the question that was asked last hour is should Philando Castile be dead? Harry?

HOUCK: You know, that's a hard -- you know, I don't know. I don't know what happened.

[21:20:02] You are going on the premise that this woman's statement in that video is completely true. As a detective, you cannot do that. You need to find out that that statement is true. You need to find out -- you know, the whole thing here is that automatically everyone's thinking that these police officers in both these incidents are guilty. And they are not guilty. We do not know yet. We have not completed the investigations.


VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you're right, Harry, we still have a lot more to learn. Let me tell you what my fear is about what happened. First of all, why was she arrested in the first place? If you are in a car and someone is shot in the car, it's not normal practice to then arrest the person who was not shot and wasn't shooting. Why was she arrested? Why was she taken to ...

HOUCK: I don't know.

JONES: Let me just finish ...

HOUCK: Want me to explain that?

JONES: You can certainly explain it after I finish my point. Then she quote unquote, "interviewed". Often depending on the law enforcement agency, it's not an investigation to figure out what's going on when there's an officer involved shooting. It is often investigate to exonerate.

In another word, she probably do not have counsel present. They probably did a whole bunch of stuff in that moment to make sure that she said a bunch of things that may or may not actually be useful because often there's not a rush to put the police officer in jail. If anybody is going to be arrested, it should have been the police officer. Then they rush to get evidence to exonerate the officer. So, we are going to see now as we go forward a series of things. Go ahead Harry.

HOUCK: You know, listen, Van, you know that in this case?

JONES: I know.

HOUCK: You know that in this specific case? We're not talking about cases from 30 years ago. We are talking about this specific case.


HOUCK: You have any proof of that?

JONES: Hey, listen. I said officer. Harry, don't talk to me that way. Don't talk to me that way.

HOUCK: We're talking about this case.

JONES: No, I said ... (CROSSTALK)

HOUCK: I'm talking to you that way. I'm talking to you like a detective.

JONES: Harry?

HOUCK: I'm talking like a detective, because you're saying, you're making statements ...


BERMAN: Guys, one at a time. One at a time. One at a time. One at a time. Stop. Van, go ahead.

JONES: I'm going to answer your question, Harry. I'm going to answer your question. Maybe check your hearing. I said my fear is, I didn't say ...

HOUCK: My hearing's fine.

JONES: I said my fear is that what often happens is that you get someone who is traumatized and you get them to make a bunch of statements not to find out what happened but to help exonerate the officer. That is my fear, sir.

BERMAN: Harry?

HOUCK: Well it's not true. You know, there's nothing to indicate that happened. That might be your fear, all right? But it's not that -- no reason for you to have that fear at all in this case.

JONES: I have to do in point to here.

HOUCK: We had no idea exactly what happened here, all right? And listen, and I had to do 25 investigating cases like this, OK? And the fact is, we might just heard the statement before, you and I agreed that we have to wait for the investigation, correct?

JONES: Yes, absolutely.

HOUCK: Then a little while ago when you were interviewed earlier you went right with (inaudible) right -- way for the kill for the police officer.


HOUCK: So come on. You talk about a playbook. You know, talk about the police playbook. What about your playbook? What about your playbook?


HOUCK: The police are always guilty. Nobody needs to stand up for police officers. This war on police has been going on for too damn long. BERMAN: Hang on.

JONES: The war on police?

HOUCK: Too damn long.

BERMAN: Cedric, you are a police officer. Is there a war on police?

ALEXANDER: Well, there certainly is an indication and feeling by many police officers across the country that they are in this position where they are darned if they do, darned if they don't. But that is part of the problem here. And part of the problem quite frankly, John, is that even if you look at this case we're talking about right now, they are in Minnesota. It is the optics of what it looked like, same thing in Baton Rouge. Yes, there still has to be an investigation. But both of these gentlemen are right. Van is right and Harry is right as well.

And they are both arguing the same point but at the end of it we have to have a full thorough investigation to determine from the time that vehicle was pulled over up until the time the video started that diamond had and I will say this again. She was very calm, very collected, with a gun being pointed towards her and her injured boyfriend and her child in the back seat of that car.

So at the end of the day, all the evidence is going to have to be collected and a lot of people are going to have to be interviewed and Harry is right about that, but what we are doing at this point is speculating. But here's the real issue in this country right now at this very moment, is that when we see that footage it is very disturbing to all of us. It just very disturbing.

BERMAN: I don't want to cut you off but I'm going go to the steps of the Capitol right now. Congressman John Lewis from Georgia is speaking to the people who have marched to the capitol. Let's listen in.

[21:25:01] JOHN LEWIS, GEORGIA, CONGRESSMAN: All the away from the White House. Many ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are trying to do their job. Give them respect. Let them talk. They are trying to do their job. They're out here for a reason. They care. These people care. So let them talk. Let them talk. This is what we wanted.

LEWIS: We stand with you. What happened in Minnesota and Louisiana, and Baton Rouge in particular is a shame and a disgrace and it must never, ever happen again.

BERMAN: Congressman John Lewis from Georgia. Civil rights icon John Lewis of Georgia, who spoke at the march on Washington, the original march on Washington. Let's listen to more of John Lewis.

LEWIS: Many of us years ago marched, we were beaten.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly. LEWIS: We were jailed.


LEWIS: I went to jail 40 times during the '60s, beaten, left bloody and unconscious but I never gave up. I never gave in. You never give in, never give up. But we have to have order. Be peaceful.



LEWIS: Listen to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let him talk. Listen Hey, listen, it's a reason why he has the bullhorn.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This man has led the civil rights movement. He knows -- listen to him. Listen to him.

LEWIS: We all are trying. We all are trying. I want to see each one of you come back here on Thursday evening and march against gun violence. Be here, OK? We will walk together. One reason and I had ...


LEWIS: Hold on, hold on, because I'm going to represent ...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yo, put some respect for John Lewis man ...

LEWIS: Let me present to you -- let me ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have some respect.

LEWIS: Let me present to you a young brother from Baton Rouge, Ed Richmond (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm from Baton Rouge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a member of (inaudible) Baton Rouge too.

LEWIS: But he represents Baton Rouge.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you going to do ...

BERMAN: All right, that was Congressman John Lewis, civil rights icon John Lewis who marched in Selma who gave a speech at the original march on Washington there in the steps of the Lincoln Memorial trying to speak to people who had marched from the White House to the Capitol tonight. You saw him there with a bullhorn. Unclear to us exactly who was shouting in the back not letting him speak, but you did say he was standing in solidarity with the people of Baton Rouge, the people of St. Paul, Minnesota.

The people across the country tonight asking questions and voicing their concerns about the treatment of African-Americans by law enforcement across the country. There are protests across the country. There are marches across the country much more when we comeback.


[21:31:43] BERMAN: As we continue to watch protests unfold in St. Paul, Minnesota, New York, Chicago, Washington, Dallas and elsewhere, it is worth looking at the larger picture. A deeply disturbing picture to many, including the president of the United States. He stepped off air force one tonight in Warsaw in Poland and gave a searing and at times deeply personal take on this question.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I want to begin by expressing my condolences for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. When incidents like this occur, there's a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin, they 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 going to be circumstances in which they have to make split second decisions. We understand that.

But, when we see data that indicates disparities in how African- Americans and Latinos maybe treated in various jurisdictions around the country, and its incumbent on all of us to say we can do better than this. We are better than this.

I actually genuinely truly believe that the vast majority of 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, "political correctness."

I just ask folks to step back and think what if this happened to somebody in your family? How would you feel?

[21:35:08] 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, 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, but all the vestiges of that past will have been cured, will have been solved. But we can do better. People of good will 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. I believe we will do better.


BERMAN: President Obama tonight made reference to figures that many, including the "Washington Post" have been trying to pin down on police killings. The "Washington Post" isn't building a database. It shows that 509 people have been shot and killed by police so far this year and African-Americans are being killed at a 2.5 times rate of whites which -- you will see impression among some is Philando Castile's mother told CNN today, "We are being hunted."

Strong words, start with numbers and this is 360's Randi Kaye reports a new Syrian chapter in a long running tragedy.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: April 2015 in North Charleston, South Carolina. Walter Scott, a father of four, is shot and killed after being stopped for a broken taillight. Scott takes off running only to be shot eight times in the back by Officer Michael Slager. Officer Slager was indicted on federal charges for deprivation of rights. He pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

August 2014, Michael Brown is shot dead by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson. A grand jury decided not to indict Wilson and the U.S. Department of Justice cleared him of civil rights violations, concluding Brown was advancing toward him and that force was defensible.

Eric Gardner, a father of six in a chokehold on the New York Street, July 2014 accused of illegally selling cigarettes, Gardner is gasping for air. Gardner is pronounced dead at the hospital.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo, with his arm around Gardner's neck, was not indicted by a grand jury though he still facing a justice department probe.

A month earlier, Shirley Harrison calls Dallas police about her bipolar schizophrenic son. When they arrive he's holding a small screwdriver.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop that for me. Drop it! Drop it!


KAYE: Within 10 seconds of the front door being opened, Jason Harrison lay dying, shot at least five times, twice in the back. The family says he never lunged but a grand jury still did not indict the officers.

September 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina, 24-year-old Jonathan Farrell is shot and killed by police. Farell had just survived a car crash. He knocks on the door of a nearby home for help but the woman panics and calls 911.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a guy breaking in your front door.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's trying to kick it down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said it's a black male?

KAYE: Farrell a star football player from Texas, A&M is unarmed but when police arrived, Officer Randall Kerrick fires 12 times striking Jonathan Farrell 10 times. He died at the scene. The officer is put on trial for voluntary manslaughter but the jury couldn't agree, so the judge declared a mistrial.

[21:39:55] DeLand, Florida, May 2013, a police car is chasing Marlon Brown, who is now on foot. He had been stopped earlier for not wearing his seat belt. One final glance toward the oncoming police car and Brown disappeared beneath the ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he's underneath the (inaudible) car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, we gotta back this car up now.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: We'll take it up.

KAYE: But the 38-year-old father of two is already dead. The officer driving was fired but a grand jury did not indict him.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


BERMAN: All right back with us now this hour, "New York Times" op-ed columnist Charles Blow, joining us is Jeff Leduff, Baton Rouge former Chief of police, also former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

Charles, let me start with you, this is a powerful piece from many because you see a lot of the history.


BERMAN: You know, laid out here and we know the history this week with two more African-American men killed by police officers right now. There's always a discussion about having a discussion, would be, we should be having the discussion, always people say. Is talking enough?

BLOW: I don't think it's enough and I think, you know, that Randi laid out her piece was great. The president laid out the statistics here, but I think what end up happening is that even the debate around it divests these men of their humanity.

I think I always want to circle back and make people realize this. These are not just sort of abstractions that they don't blur together. These are in discrete individuals who are not just hashtags. I want people to put themselves into Philando's body, the last moment he has on this earth, if you believe his girlfriend she did all the right things and that officer fills him with four pieces of hot lead.

And here he is in that car, the person who had shot him makes no attempt to help him at all, he's the woman that he loves is sitting three feet away from him. He can no longer talk at this point.

And the officer's making her, according to what I can hear in the video, keep her hands on the dash and away from him. She can't even comfort him in his last moments. His daughter, his baby is in the back seat and he can't even say -- but all the human things that we expect at the end of life that we would want to be able to do, to say I love you, to have -- to be comforted by our relatives, all of that is taken away.

I mean, you are robbed of all of that in these instances and I think that we kind of skip past that because we want to have these discussions day, you know these debates. No, this is a human being. They don't blur together. This kind of morbid pornography of running all these ...

BERMAN: Philando Castile's that's in this.

BLOW: ... all of these tapes back to back to back, that it kind of numbs us to the fact these are discrete human beings. And if we could put ourselves and we can empathize enough to put ourselves in that body of that person and say what would I think when I know that the life is leaving my body?

BERMAN: Philando Castile, 32 years old, a nutrition officer at local Minneapolis school and I was looking at pictures before of the demonstrations at the school with students and the teachers coming together to mourn the loss of a guy that they liked a lot. And they saw every day and they miss now that he's gone.

Jeff, I want to talk to you, as a former chief of police and someone who now works in the community you once served, you sort have seen both sides of this. And we hear a lot of anger today, and a lot of frustration that Harry Houck a long time cop said there's a war on police ten minutes ago on this show.

Diamond Reynolds, the fiancee of Philando Castile, Reynolds said police are not here to protect us, they are here to assassinate us. How do you reconcile that level of mistrust?

JEFF LEDUFF, BATON ROUGE CHIEF OF POLICE: Well, you know, I think in Baton Rouge, the communication has been dwell, it has gone very well. We have strong faith-based community. We have strong city leaders. And we have been peaceful for three nights. The demonstrations are large. The people are carrying out their constitutional right to gather in protest. But it's been peaceful.

So for us, here in Baton Rouge, we are grateful for that. And we just urge that everyone continues to do that. That's the message that we are trying to carry.

BERMAN: And look, we looked at protests around the country tonight. There are a lot of people on the street, thousands of people on the street by and large what we have seen so far is peaceful demonstrations, people who want to be heard. A handful of arrests in New York but nothing major right now.

Mayor Nutter, former mayor of Philadelphia, and now you know look, you play politics at the national level as well. Answer the question I just asked to the former chief there. How do you reconcile the unbelievable level of mistrust right now, when you have a cop, Harry Houck, a former cop, telling me there's a war on police and you have Spike Lee earlier on this show agreeing that he thinks African Americans are being hunted?

MICHAEL NUTTER, FMR PHILADELPHIA MAYOR: Well, to the gentleman in New York, the police officer, I think that was the wrong message for today, in the last two days. He should save that message for another day and the disrespects both the Castile and the Sterling families and certainly Diamond Reynolds.

[21:45:13] At the moment, we have no indication that either any of the officers were in imminent danger which really is the standard for using excessive force, that any weapons were presented in either case. Whether they have them or not, we have no indication that they were actually presented or that the officers were in danger. So, I think that message is completely off base for tonight and for this particular moment.

As Charles Blow said earlier, these are real people and real human beings, and it appears in some instances that they are being robbed of their humanity, their dignity, and it is reminiscent of quite honestly of some of the activities that we know that literally took place in slavery days, where African-Americans, especially African-American men were considered less than human, almost animals.

And so, we need to, as President Obama indicated, we need to step back for a moment and really take a deep breath. And America, let's be honest with ourselves and each other about what is going on in the United States of America from a law enforcement standpoint.

I lost officers killed in the line of duty during my eight years as mayor of the City of Philadelphia, so I'm very, very sensitive to the dangers that they face. And again, President Obama addressed those issues.

But these two in particular, and then you can go back to Michael Brown and Laquan McDonald and Tamir Rice and Eric Garner and the piece that was on earlier, something is going on.

And so, I think that the Justice Department quite frankly should call together the 18,000 police chiefs or those who are in charge of law enforcement to have a conversation about what is going on in your communities and then what are you doing about your use of force policies, how are the officers being trained, what about de-escalation and you cannot escape a discussion about race.

Black men and women are being killed over the past few years and only because of technology and video, do we have much more information about what's really going on, on the streets of America.

I praise the folks who are out protesting peacefully. Please do not detract from the message that you are trying to get across. You can get across a message that you want to be heard, but not being violent or destructive and let the message be heard loud and clear all across the United States of America.

This is a problem, it needs to be addressed, actions have to be taken, but we have to admit, black, white, brown, purple, whatever color, race, religion you are, we have to admit that this is a problem and is not acceptable in the United States of America.

BERMAN: Charles Blow, Chief LeDuff, Mayor Michael Nutter, thank you so much. Continue to watch these protests, these largely peaceful protests unfolding around the country right now.

We're going to bring you late developments throughout the night on CNN. We're also going to bring you some late political developments when we come back.

The head of the FBI got grilled by a house committee after his recommendation that no charges be filed against Hillary Clinton related to her use of a private e-mail server, servers, while she was secretary of state.

How James Comey defended his decision, that's next.


[21:52:17] BERMAN: It has been nine months since Bernie Sanders said the American people were sick and tired of hearing about Hillary Clinton's -- his words here -- "Damn e-mails."

Those people apparently do not include Republicans that are hearing on Capitol Hill today.

Republicans who grilled FBI Director James Comey over his recommendation that Clinton not be charge for using private e-mail servers while she was secretary of state.

Attorney General's Loretta Lynch announced yesterday that she was taking that recommendation and closing the case, the legal case. The political one, it's on. CNN Senior Washington Correspondent, Jeff Zeleny reports.



JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: In connection with her use of the e-mail server, my judgment is that she did not.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: The judgment of Hillary Clinton under whether in scrutiny today on Capitol Hill.

CHAFFETZ: Did Hillary Clinton lie?

COMEY: To the FBI? We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI.

CHAFFETZ: Did she lie to the public?

COMEY: That's a question I'm not qualified to answer. I can speak to ...

ZELENY: FBI Director James Comey on the hot sit for four and a half hours explaining why he called Clinton extremely careless in handling classified information, but still recommended no criminal charges.

COMEY: I don't see the evidence there to make a case that she was acting with criminal intent.

ZELENY: House Republicans called Comey on the carpet in an extra- ordinary congressional hearing all about Clinton and whether she has been truthful.

REP. TREY GOWDY, (R) COUTH CAROLINA: Secretary Clinton said she used just one device. Was that true?

COMEY: She used multiple devices during the four years of her term as secretary of state.

GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said all work-related e-mails were returned to the State Department. Was that true?

COMEY: No, we found work related e-mails, thousands that were not returned to this.

ZELENY: Republicans said they intended to open a new inquiry about whether Clinton lied to Congress. Democrats called it a partisan witch hunt.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D) RANKING MEMBER, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: In their eyes you had one job and one job only, to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

But you refused to do so. So now, you are being summoned here to answer for your alleged transgressions, and in a sense, Mr. Director, you're on trial.

ZELENY: And for a time, it seemed like he was. REP. JOHN MICA, (R) FLORIDA: My folks think that there is something fishy about this. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but there are a lot of questions on how this came down.

COMEY: Look me in the eye and listen to what I'm about to say. I did not coordinate that with anyone. The White House, the Department of Justice, nobody outside the FBI family had any idea what I was about to say. I say that under oath, I stand by that.

[21:54:59] ZELENY: Four months before Election Day, Republicans are seizing on questions of Clinton's credibility.

Speaker Paul Ryan sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, asking Clinton to be blocked from receiving classified briefings afforded to presidential nominees.

REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: If we have someone who was so recklessly mishandled sensitive classified information, the kind of stuff I get as speaker of the House was joining (ph) the -- in transition in kind of the of government. I think that we should think to this through.

ZELENY: The FBI director did not fully absolve Clinton saying if she worked with the FBI, she would face punishment.

COMEY: There would be a security review and an adjudication of their suitability and a range of discipline could be imposed from termination to reprimand and in between suspensions, lost of clearance so you could be walked out or you could depending upon the nature of the facts, you could be reprimanded.


BERMAN: Right, Jeff Zeleny joins me now. Jeff, that was the FBI investigation. The State Department announced late today that they are reopening their own investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mails. What's going on here?

ZELENY: They did it, John. This is to actually the reopening of an investigation at the State Department which has been suspended while the FBI completed its probe.

Now, this will focus on whether current employees at the State Department should receive disciplinary actions or if former employees should have some type of a letter placed in their file that could have consequences in the future jobs with security clearances.

Now, it's unaware -- it's unclear when any of this will conclude, but it's another sign this issue was going to go all the way until November and potentially, beyond.

BERMAN: They're still investigating. All right. Other subject of the campaigns sort of Jeff Zeleny be part of unification. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, what is the latest on the possible endorsement event in New Hampshire? ZELENY: The latest is Tuesday, New Hampshire, be there, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton if they get everything worked out this weekend in Orlando at the party platform. That's one of the things that's going on here.

But I'm told by people on both sides, Bernie Sanders wants this to happen. Hillary Clinton definitely wants to move on so that's happening on Tuesday. But John, interestingly today, as all this was going on in Capitol Hill, Hillary Clinton was spending nine hours inside her home in Washington with her team of lawyers picking a vice president.

She's down to just a few choices, we'll know in about two weeks time who that choice is.

BERMAN: Jeff Zeleny slipping into some beefsteaks news, thank you so much. We'll be right back.

ZELENY: Thanks John.


[22:00:12] BERMAN: That does it for us, thanks for watching, CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, starts now.