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Police Officers Targeted in Three States; Police Officers Shot in Georgia, Missouri and Tennessee; More Details about Suspected Dallas Shooter; Live Pictures of Atlanta Protests; Fmr. Congressman Joe Walsh Threatens "War" on Obama. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired July 8, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: I want to help people, sir. I want to serve my community. I want to make a difference.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It has made a difference. That does it for us tonight from Dallas. Time now for CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Police under fire.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
Officers targeted across three states within hours of the deadliest incident for law enforcement since 9/11. In Georgia this morning, a police officer is shot by a man who lured him to the scene for the 911 call about a break in. He is expected to survive.
A few hours later, in Missouri, an officer is shot in the neck by a suspect stopped for speeding. That officer is in critical but stable condition. And in Tennessee, a police officer and two others are wounded and one woman is killed by a suspect who may have had been angered of shootings of black men.
Meanwhile, we have new details tonight about the active domestic terror in Dallas that killed five officers and wounded seven. Homeland security believes the gunman, 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson, acted alone.
Official say he was armed with at least two weapons, a rifle and a hand gun. Detectives searching his home today found bomb-making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition, and a personal journal of combat tactic.
This, as Black Lives Matter protests spread across the country tonight.
We're going to get straight to CNN's Ed Lavandera in Dallas, and Polo Sandoval in Atlanta where thousands of people are protesting tonight.
Ed, I'm going to get to you in just a minute. But Polo, I want to start with you. Tell us about these protests that you're seeing tonight.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What we're looking at right now, Don, is basically Atlanta police shoulder to shoulder with Georgia State troopers, they have created a barrier here, a human barrier, that's keeping what are now a few hundred protesters from making their way on to the interstate.
This initially started at about 6 p.m. local time, when there was a peaceful protest and a march through the street of downtown Atlanta. But once they reach this point that's when shooters move in. So, they've been creating that barrier so as to keep back the crowd that these protesters, these demonstrators from making their way on to the interstate.
It's important to add a little bit of context here. If you look back 24 hours ago, there was a small protest that made its way to the streets of Atlanta and then eventually still onto it the i-75, i-85 corridor that runs through Atlanta.
So this morning, authorities say (Inaudible) to plea to the protesters that if they plan to head up today, they should do so in an orderly and peaceful fashion and also state in the city itself. However, as we now see from both these securities and crowd and also in the air, these protesters are trying to make their way on to the interstate.
And that's where were are now, Don, just probably tense but at the same time we haven't seen anybody actually being arrested here, simply protesters standing their ground and of course, police now about to step back. So what you're looking at is a fairly (Inaudible) here already going about an hour and a half been.
LEMON: OK. So, exactly tell us where you are, where the protesters are, and, Polo, how are police handling the situation, because they appear to be calm, even as some protesters are standing in front of them, talking to them. How are they handling the situation?
SANDOVAL: We are basically this new up -- what would be downtown and midtown Atlanta. And this is where you were able to drive on to the interstate. So, that's why we have to address, we're be able to also to see those pictures from high above, where actually just behind the police trying to see the protesters, on the other side where a tractor trailer has also been parked.
In fact, moments ago we talked to those demonstrators some (Inaudible) with tractor trailer (Inaudible) Authorities are handling this a very restrained -- well, this is something that we also saw yesterday where no arrest were made. On the protesters side, you know, those that are calm, those that are stoic and sometimes scaring down these officers.
And then there are those who are actually yelling at these officers with those times in hand, and obviously it's just an indication to us how passions are high, and emotions are high. But again, authorities here, troopers police officers they're dealing tremendous restraint, not seeing anybody actually get arrested.
LEMON: All right, Polo, stand by. We're going to get back to you again. We were monitoring the situation that's happening in Atlanta, Georgia, you can see protests are growing there in that city and it's getting bigger by the moment as we are going on the air tonight at 10 o'clock Eastern Time.
And you can see police have formed a line in front of those protesters. Polo Sandoval is our correspondent, he's on the scene. I ask him to stand by. I want to get to Ed Lavandera now. Because, Ed, you're in Dallas, where at this time last night the city was under siege with a sniper shooting at police.
And we are learning that this shooter, Micah, Xavier Johnson, was a lone gunman. An Afghanistan veteran. What more can you tell us about him.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that is what we're hearing from federal law enforcement sources and our local law enforcement as well, is that there is a belief now that they are very sure that Micah Johnson was acting alone during this violent shoot-out last night.
[22:05:05] Which is hard to imagine considering the magnitude of the wounded and the dead that we have seen in this attack on Dallas police officers.
So, here tonight, in Dallas, a vigil just outside of Dallas Police headquarters. Meanwhile, there's detective chief their investigators into Micah Johnson, we know that investigators arrived even just hours, a couple of hours after the shooting erupted, even while officers were engaged in that standoff with Micah Johnson last night.
The officers were already descending on the neighborhood where Micah Johnson were neighborhood lived with his mother, and going through his belongings there. According to law enforcement sources here in Dallas, they say that what was recovered inside the home was weaponry, ammunition, also a journal of combat tactics.
And that is what investigators are taking a much closer look at reading all of those pages to try to understand the mindset of this individual.
LEMON: All right. CNN's Ed Lavandera, joining us from Dallas this evening. Again, we're keeping eye on pictures in Dallas, you can see a memorial growing there behind Ed Lavandera, and then also a protests growing on in Atlanta, Georgia as well. We'll watch. Those are live pictures now, and you can see those protesters are still on the interstate there.
The mayor releasing a statement not long ago in Atlanta talking about the First Amendment. The Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is in the middle of this march taking place through the streets of Atlanta, which is being blocked from continuing on to the interstate.
Our affiliate, WSB providing these pictures for us. The mayor is telling our affiliate that he wants to make sure that the protesters are safe that they practice their First Amendment right and he is respecting their right. He says he's also out there to make sure no one gets killed on the
highways, these protests are peaceful, he's going to let them continue. Again, protests in several cities tonight. But the one that we have the live pictures on are from Atlanta.
Let's move on now, because I want to bring in Brendan Hester, an eyewitness to the ambush who caught the horrifying scene in never before seen video. Brendan, thank you so much for joining us. I know it has been a tough day for you, how are you doing?
BRENDAN HESTER, DALLAS SHOOTING EYEWITNESS: Well, I'm OK, I guess.
HESTER: It's awful, it's crazy, like, I mean I guess I'm OK, now.
LEMON: Yes. It's certainly understandable, how do you really answer that question after such an horrific, horrific event. You were with your friends last night. Why were you at the protests?
HESTER: Well, I mean, besides supporting the movement, we were there for this of the protests for like a short film we were making kind about like all the events that's been happening with the police and all the stuff. We were just really kind of there to document the protest.
LEMON: Yes. I want to see some of -- some of your footage. Let's play some of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay down! Stay down!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down! Get down! Anderson, get down! Police, get down!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Again, we apologize for the language there, but, I mean, that was in real time. That's what was happening, and again, it was very disturbing to see. So, explain to us what was going on in this video, everything is well, everything is peaceful, and then all of a sudden, what?
HESTER: Well, I mean, really just all of a sudden you hear gunshots, you hear people screaming. What I've seen -- what I've seen is can never really just be taken out of my mind, I'll never forget that for the rest of my life.
When the shots first like start coming, I've seen like, literally an officer to fall. Like, I guess, I don't know if he was the first officer to fall. But he fell like right there and that's when I ran and tried to take cover. But I guess I ran the wrong way, because nobody really knew where the shots were coming from, when they first started coming.
So, I mean, I just ran, like anybody else was, and that's when like my friends ran at all ran every which way, it's like everybody just kind of scattered. And I ended up I guess running to the wrong place.
[22:10:06] LEMON: Yes. Because you saw the first police officer get shot, as you just said, go down, as you said, and then you ran to a parking garage, I understand, with some other folks, where you had to lie on top of each other.
HESTER: I had to lie, yes, they -- when I went over there. They started ringing out more shots, and we were on the side of the parking garage, not actually underneath it. So, we were right where the man was aiming at, which was the big group of cops on Lamar Street.
And we were right on the side of them. And I kind of -- a reporter, he had this big video camera with him so I figured he was just a reporter. He put his arm around my neck, and he just -- he told me to keep my head down because we were like right there in the cross fire. He just told me to keep my head down.
And this cop, he -- I guess he seen us over there, he ran in front of us and he just told us to stay down. And I guess when the guy start -- when he stopped shooting, just for like a little bit, the cop told us to just run, like hurry up and go, like get out of there, so we did.
LEMON: So, you saw the first officer, right, get shot? Did you see the second officer as well?
HESTER: The second officer happened while we were, like, while I was on the side, like while we were all ducked down on the side of the parking garage, while I was laying on top of the other reporter, he had his -- he had his arm around me, while he had his arm around me, in the video, I have on there, you can hear them when they say, the second officer is down, the second officer has been shot.
Like you can hear him and you can hear the screams and you can hear like literally everything. So, I was right there by, I guess you can say, when the second officer got shot, I was like right there by it.
But I was ducked down, you know, trying to -- I was ducked down in fear for my life, so I didn't want to look up and see really what was going on or who got shot, I just heard them say the second officer had been shot.
LEMON: Di you realize -- did you, I guess in that moment, you weren't sure who was being targeted, did you -- did you at all realize that officers are being targeted and not the protesters?
HESTER: No, not really. I mean, when it first started happening, and I see, when I've seen the officer fall, I just -- I still didn't even think, like, OK, this guy's just specifically aiming for the police, no, I mean, bullets don't have names on them, so nobody really knew who he was aiming for. Like just because I've seen police officer go down doesn't mean I'm
just going to assume he's aiming for the police. I'm just going to assume somebody's shooting, so, I'm going to take cover.
LEMON: How did you get or escape the garage, Brendan, how did you get out?
HESTER: Well, when the officer came over there by us -- when -- because literally, we were the only four right there, like literally, right there when they were all firing, like when he -- when the man was firing from the parking garage, it was only me and three other guys that were in that specific area. Like, in basically the crossfire.
And so, I guess when the officer seen us right there, because there was no -- like every other, like, protester was kind of safe in a way, they had all ran to cover and safety and stuff like that. But the officer seen us right there, and he got in front of us, and he told us to stay behind him and keep our heads down behind him.
And so, he kind of had his gun like positioned like kind of looking up, like aimed at the shooter, I guess. And I don't know if the shooter stop and then reload that he was, I don't know if taking a break from shooting, I guess, I don't know. But when he did, they gave us like a good 15 seconds to run. And when the officer told us to get out of there that's when I did.
LEMON: You did what the officers told you to do. Brendan Hester, we're glad you're OK, you've been through a very traumatic event, so make sure you take care of yourself. Thank you.
HESTER: All right. You, too. Thank you.
LEMON: When we come right back, an innocent man is mistaken for the shooter who ambushed Dallas police. He's here tonight along with his brother, a protest organizer.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: So, we have been telling you about protests across the country, we showed you Atlanta before. This is San Francisco, live pictures of protests there. And you can see a group has gathered and they are marching down the street.
We're keeping our eye on all of the protests prompting up in cities across America tonight. That's after five police officers were killed and seven wounded when a sniper attacked a protest in Dallas last night.
Amid the chaos, the Dallas Police Department tweeted out a photo of a man that they called a suspect or a person of interest. It turned out to be wrong. And that man Mark Hughes joins me now along with his brother, protest organizer, Cory Hughes. Thank you, gentlemen for coming on this evening. Are you doing OK?
CORY HUGHES, BROTHER OF MARK HUGHES: Absolutely, thank you for having us.
MARK HUGHES, PROTEST ORGANIZER: Thank you for having us.
LEMON: Mark, you were out last night, you were exercising your Second Amendment right to carry arms. You had I believe it was an AR-15 with you. Why did you bring a gun out to the protest and was it loaded?
M. HUGHES: It was not chambered. It was loaded but it was not chambered. And I would say the fact that you're asking me that question, why I chose to voice my Second Amendment right is part of the reason why we were having a march in the first place.
For the simple fact that they will sue of individuals and Americans that chose to do the same thing and were assassinated by officers. So, that's why I was out there.
LEMON: But when you went to the protest, you didn't know that the officers were going to be killed, I was just wondering why you carried a gun to a public event, that's it.
M. HUGHES: I chose to utilize my Second Amendment right, and that's why I went us there, it's my constitutional right to go to bear arms in the State of Texas. And that's why I chose to do it.
LEMON: OK. I don't really understand that answer, but we'll go on.
C. HUGHES: So, Don, let me chime in, Don. I have had the fortunate opportunity to meet you unfortunately at some of the protests like in Ferguson, in Baltimore and of course you know, generally whenever you find protests like that.
[22:20:05] There's a group of white guys that have their guns, that have their bullet-proof vests and they're basically exercising their Second Amendment right.
And the reality is, part of the challenge with being a black man in this country, is that when they carry their guns, it's just them exercising their right, but when a black man does it, we get questions like this and people don't quite understand why we do it. And I understand...
LEMON: Listen, I don't mean to be adversarial, it's a very simple question, if I ask you -- if you asked me why I chose to carry a gun to something, I would say of course it's my right to, it's because I felt unsafe, because I felt something might break out, because I felt I may need to protect myself in a certain way.
I mean, it's my right to wear a belt, but I don't always have to, but there's a reason. I want to wear a belt because to keep my pants up.
So, this is a very simple question, I was just wondering if you felt unsafe, or if there was a reason behind it other than your right to carry a gun?
M. HUGHES: No, there was no reason for it at all. It was just me exercising my rights, period.
C. HUGHES: Yes, it wasn't -- and, Don, just to kind of explain upon it, Don. It was, you must understand, we're going to a protest, where part of the reason for our protest is we're trying to give a voice to the African-American community in this country, and we're trying to, you know, let America and the world know that the same treatment that, you know, white America gets when they're pulled over by cops, we want black America to get that same treatment.
And again, usually there's no questions when a white man has his gun, and so that's really what it was. It was -- it was, you know, a show of, listen, the Constitution and the amendment should work for us, just like the police department, just like the legal system, just like the government, they should all work for us.
But unfortunately, we know that the history in this country that it usually doesn't. And to me, my brother was a consequence of it not working last night.
LEMON: OK. So, I remember last night when Dallas police, they tweeted out this picture of you, Mark, asking for help in identifying a man. Let's put the picture up. They said, and other networks aired it. We aired it as well.
And when did you found out that this was happening, that they were looking for you?
M. HUGHES: It was hours after the shooting, I received a telephone call that my photo was on the media, as well as social media, and I assume that it was just because I was in the background of one of my brothers interviews, but when they told me that I was a suspect, it was mind blowing, I was scared, fearful of my life, I had different types of emotions running through me at that point in time.
LEMON: After you knew, Cory, that there were shots fired, you told your brother to give the gun to a police officer, why did you do that?
C. HUGHES: You know, again, Don, the reason I did that, is again, going back to the reason why we were protesting in the first place. We were protesting because just in 48 hours two black men that had gone just unlawfully were executed.
And I knew that with the sensitivity of the situation, with shots being fired, with cops being shot at that I had to do something fast to make sure that I secure my brother's safety. And so we found the first peace officer that we could find and I instructed my brother to turn over his firearm, because cops were running towards us.
You know, we were running one direction, cops running towards us. And I just wanted to make sure that there was no mistaken identity. And so, that's why I did it. I went into preservation for my family. LEMON: And you also voluntarily went to the police station to clear
your brother's name. I mean, and, Mark, you turned yourself in when you saw that you were a suspect? What happened at the police station?
M. HUGHES: Well, you know, what happened at the police station. We went from being good Samaritans, to being suspects. And we were treated that way. You know, we were interrogated, phones were taken away from us. And it almost seemed like instead of us coming to vindicate ourselves and to show them that he had nothing to do with it, they separated us and they treated us like, as a matter of fact, we know you guys did it.
And so, it was quite alarming. I told people before there's a series that comes on called "The First 48" and I felt like I was in a taping of the "First 48". And we, I think both of us share the same emotion, Don, that we couldn't understand how we went from protesting and trying to give to people that don't have a voice to being suspects for domestic terrorism.
C. HUGHES: Not only that, two individuals that were assisting with the police, helping individuals get to safety, directing traffic, being model citizens, and later on, to be victimized or criminalized and almost indicted and charged at the same time.
[22:25:05] LEMON: Yes, because you were the most wanted man in America for a time last night.
C. HUGHES: Yes. And, Don, part of the narrative that we don't want America to miss is though, although we were protesting with Black Lives Matters and next generation action network, you know, when we found out cops were being shot at, we went from protesters to participators, with helping the cops control the crowd and get people out of the way and control traffic.
And so, there were many cops out there, men that we were connected with and we were helping and we were giving them our condolences even while we were directing traffic. Because we went out there to protest, you know, for equal rights, but we never wanted any cops to be hurt.
And so, that was very hurtful for us I think as individuals to know that our hearts were with the police officers. And soon as like when we got to the police station, some of them turned on us.
LEMON: yes. Well, that's understood. But, I mean, if you're carrying a rifle around open care, you're going to, you know, in a crowded people, you might scare some people, you have to admit that, people are going to wonder why.
You're scaring -- so, like I said I don't want to be adversarial, I just thought maybe you felt unsafe, or I don't know if you were trying to protect someone. That's why I was asking about it, but my question now is, did you get your gun back? M. HUGHES: They still have my gun confiscated and my shirt.
C. HUGHES: Yes. So, we asked them when we left if we could have the gun, and just to be quite honest, Don, I'm kind of glad they kept it, because, you know, his picture was still all over the world as a suspect.
As a matter of fact, I think they just recently took it down.
C. HUGHES: Maybe like two hours ago, and so it was still being re- tweeted, it was still floating out in cyberspace that he was, you know, a possible suspect. And so, although I felt like they should have returned his property, I didn't want to walk out of the police station with an AR-15 with his, you know, photo all over the place.
LEMON: Well, consider the circumstance I think you can understand and I think you guys are being very patient and understanding considering what's going on. Thank you, Mark. Thank you, Cory. We appreciate you for joining us here on CNN.
M. HUGHES: Thanks, Don.
C. HUGHES: Thank you, Don. Thanks for having us.
LEMON: We're going to be right back with much more on Dallas reeling tonight after the deadly ambush on the city's police. But, as residents struggle to come to terms of what happened in the heart of their city just 12 hours ago, they are literally reaching out to police, sharing hugs at a prayer vigil today.
[22:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We're back now with live pictures of Atlanta, where you can see there is a big protest going on, on the streets of Atlanta and police protesters are out in force.
The mayor has said he's going to allow people to protest as long as they are peaceful there in Atlanta, and we'll keep an eye on it for you.
The mayor of Dallas saying a lone gunman is responsible for the murders of five police officers in the line of duty. The single deadliest incident for U.S. law enforcement since 9/11. But this has been a dangerous week for police across the country.
From Missouri, to Georgia, to Tennessee. CNN's Paul Vercammen has more.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Following Missouri, Friday morning, authorities say an officer walking away from a the vehicle he stopped for speeding he was shot in the neck by the driver.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON BELMAR, ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE CHIEF: Make no mistake we believe that during this investigation that that fallen officer was ambushed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN: Police later arrest without incident, 31-year-old Antonio Taylor, who has a criminal past including weapons violations, official they do not have a motive yet. The wounded officer is in critical but stable condition.
Hours earlier at Valdosta, Georgia, a 10-year veteran of Valdosta P.D., is shot multiple times while responding to a report of damage to a vehicle and a possible theft. Authorities say Officer Randall Hancock is in stable condition.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY HANSON, VALDOSTA CITY MANAGER: In incidents like these that we're in realization to the dangers that our police professionals face each and every day in carrying out their duty to serve and protect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN: The Georgia Bureau of Investigations report that Valdosta lawman return fire, hit the suspect, 22-year-old Steven Paul Beck, and Beck is in serious condition.
And early Thursday morning, before Dallas was transformed into a war zone, Bristol, Tennessee, a gunman blasted drivers in a motel, officers raced to the scene, engaged in a gun battle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH DEVINE, TENNESSEE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION PIO: During that exchange, the subject fired shots at three responding officers after which the officers returned fire striking the subject.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN: Female newspaper carrier is shot and killed, two other civilians and a police officer struck and wounded. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says suspect 37-year-old Lakeem Keon Scott may have been troubled by recent incidents involving law enforcement officers in other parts of the country.
According to a police report, a witness heard the gunman yelling "police sacked Black Lives Matter" as he fired. And police are being threatened after the deadly shooting by police of this man in Baton Rouge on Tuesday, the New Orleans FBI notified local police departments of social media postings with threats to officers in Louisiana.
While Louisiana police say there is no threat at this time. The posts are alarming, including one that reads, "Must kill every police."
Paul Vercammen, CNN, Los Angeles.
LEMON: I want to bring in now John Matthews, a former Dallas police officer, who's the author of "Mass Shootings Six Steps to Survival," CNN law enforcement analyst, Cedric Alexander, author of "The New Guardian Policing in Americas for the 21st Century," and Bernard Kerik, former New York City police commissioner.
Thank you all for joining us this evening. Listen, I just had the two brothers on and I want to ask you, Commissioner, it was an interesting conversation, again, I wasn't trying to be adversarial with him, I just don't understand why someone would carry a rifle to a big public event like that.
BERNARD KERIK, FORMER NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Because ou wouldn't. I mean, it's an extreme lack of common sense, you're going to an event like that, there's no purpose for it, everybody understands you have a right to the Second Amendment, I get it, I endorse it, great.
But you don't go do a public event like that.
KERIK: Especially in a circumstance these events turned deadly, we've seen these events turn wildly.
LEMON: But again, it's their right. They're absolutely 100 percent right.
KERIK: I get it. I get it.
LEMON: Yes, they're absolutely right. OK, So, John, you know, when we spoke last night. I wanted to ask you what you were hearing from your colleagues within the Dallas police force tonight. How are they holding up?
JOHN MATTHEWS, FORMER DALLAS CITY POLICE OFFICER: Well, let me tell you, everybody is deeply saddened, our thoughts and prayers go out to those fallen officers and their families and to the injured officers.
[22:35:08] And as I told you, we have a large department but a small community of officers. And when have five officers fall in the line of duty, when we become the victims, I mean, we're hurting as a unit.
I talked to officers throughout the day today that we're out there. And, Don, they were out there doing their job again, despite everything that they had been through in the last 24 hours, they were still out there, doing their job, protecting the citizens, but they were doing it with a heavy heart.
And I heard from officers from across the country that expressed their condolences for the fallen officers here in Dallas.
LEMON: It was hard for the officers to go to work today?
MATTHEWS: Yes, it was. It was hard to see your friends fall, to see people that you work with, shot, injured, killed. And yet, you know what? They took an oath to go out there and protect the public and to serve the public.
And, you know, the image that burns in my mind is, I was doing an interview early this morning and there was an officer that was working one of the traffic assignments, and you could tell, he was beat down.
But you know what? He was still out there and still doing his job. And I think that's the core message that I want to send is the officers, and the heart they have, to stay right here and to stay with it even through all this adversity is absolutely amazing.
LEMON: Yes. Cedric, as we just heard the attacks against police officers continue today in Georgia, in Missouri, in Tennessee, how does these headlines impact police officers who are working their daily beat every day?
CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, certainly it's very concerning for them. It's concerning for all of us, because we want our officers to be safe and we want to be them -- want them to be in a frame of mind and not be overly worried about their own welfare.
But, look, this is a dangerous profession, and as you just heard Matthews there say, they stay focused, they know they got to do a job, they go out and do it.
And even though, even here in DeKalb County I got a 1,000 officers here, my command staff went out and met with each of them, roll call just to get a feel for them and see how they were responding to what happened in Dallas, and to ensure them and encouraged them that we're there to support them.
Myself, command staff, elected officials, and the community at large and that's critically important particularly in a time like this. But these threats that are coming about, what you're seeing is officers across this country, yes, they have heavy hearts, but they're staying focused on the job.
LEMON: Commissioner, we spoke about this when it happened back in 2014, the two New York City police officers, they were killed days after Eric Gardner's death. Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were killed in a targeted attack. How does a force recover from a tragedy like that to keep going and doing their jobs and going on, you know, when this is all going at the same time?
KERIK: You know what, Don, I had 23 cops I lost on September 11th. They were missing, they were buried. We had 41,000 cops at the time in the New York City Police Department, and every one of them wanted to be in that hole. Every o of them wanted to be digging. And they did.
They did it with heavy hearts. My heart goes out to Dallas, to Chief David Brown. Unbelievable over the last 24 hours, the guy has probably not slept, he's done a tremendous job, these cops, you know, this is going to stay with them for a long time.
But they'll get through it. And they'll go out and do a job that nobody else -- a lot of people just wouldn't have the courage to do.
LEMON: All right, stay with me, everyone, I want to tell them that we're following the pictures in Atlanta, following the protest there and also other protests happening across the country. One we showed you earlier in San Francisco, but this one in Atlanta still going on as we head into the late hours here.
We'll continue right after this, don't go anywhere.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Live pictures now of Atlanta, Georgia where a robust protest is going on. It appears it's a bit dark. Again, you can see police officers lined up there. And it actually appears that it may be winding down a little bit.
Again, this all started earlier this evening and protesters are out after this deadly Dallas ambush. Originally they were protesting the death of two men, one in Minnesota and one in Louisiana and now they're out just a night after the deadly Dallas attack on police officers.
So, back with me now, former Dallas Police Officer John Matthews, law enforcement analyst, Cedric Alexander, and Bernard Kerik, the former New York City Police Commissioner.
John, to you first, you said that officers have gone from being the protectors to the target. Won't that impact how they're able to function and do their job?
MATTHEWS: That's a huge mental change to go from protecting the public to all of a sudden having a target on your back. That's a mental leap that these officers have to make. And I think what we need to do is to reach out to our police officers not just in Dallas, but across the country, and tell them they've got to practice their situational awareness, that they have got to be on guarded all the times.
Even the most innate domestic calls that they receive or disturbance calls they receive, they've got to be on their toes. And as we saw in those clips from some of the shootings just over the last couple of days, the officers are out there just doing their job, but all of a sudden they're targets for these offenders.
LEMON: Cedric, we have been on the air talking about as you and I together since about the protests in, remember, August 2014, Ferguson, do you think anything has changed?
ALEXANDER: Right. Well, I think a lot has changed then even though in many ways, we may not think that it have. But, you know, going back to Michael Brown there in Ferguson, out of that came the 21st century task force report where over 89 recommendations were made, a lot of those recommendations have been adopted by my police departments across this country, including Dallas.
And a lot has been -- a lot has been advanced as a result of that document. However, that does not mean that there's not still more work to do. Because when you have an incident like that that occurred what we just saw in Minnesota and also in Baton Rouge, and the optics of it looks horribly disturbing to anybody who looked at it.
[22:45:05] In some ways you feel that it thrown us back. But we have to continue to advance this profession, and we have to continue hopefully, other departments pick up that document and utilize it and find some things in it that are going to be truly advantageous in terms of progressing their department.
And Dallas is one of those departments, they have done such great things and have been recognized by the U.S. Attorney, Loretta Lynch as being one of those department that have embraced the 21st century task force report and utilize it and advanced on it and have done some wonderful things in that community.
LEMON: Exactly. So then -- go ahead. Go ahead, John.
MATTHEWS: Cedric, I was just going to interject, I saw that in action today, over at city hall, where you had officers and citizens, community members lying on gurneys together donating blood for the victims.
MATTHEWS: You talk about a powerful image of the officers and the citizens coming together. And as Cedric said, I think we've done a great job here in Dallas in reaching out in building those partnerships.
ALEXANDER: That's right.
LEMON: Go ahead, Commissioner. I mean, if it can happen in this city this is a model police department by all accounts. If it happens there...
KERIK: Well, listen, David Brown has done a tremendous job, tremendous job by all accounts. He's well-known around the country and this is the demonstration I think the aftermath of the shooting, the resilience of the community, the unity in the community right now is a demonstration of what he's done and what other cities can do.
But I want to go back to something Cedric said, the optics of some of these have caused questions, have caused anxiety, have caused problems. Let's get through the investigations.
ALEXANDER: That's right.
KERIK: This will be investigate, let's make sure they're investigated and then see what the outcome really was.
LEMON: Thank you, everyone. Up next, harsh words for President Obama in the wake of the Dallas police ambush.
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LEMON: Lieutenant Governor of Texas initially pointing the finger of blame at some in the Black Lives Matter movement who have chanted anti-police slogans in the past.
And then later, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick clarifying that people have a right to protest, but police officers deserve the public's support.
Others expressing their anger at President Obama, including former Illinois republican Congressman, Joe Walsh. And Joe Walsh joins me now.
Congressman, thank you for joining me. Last night, you sent out a tweet and let's take a look at it. It says three "Three Dallas cops killed, seven wounded. This is now war. Watch out, Obama. Watch out Black Lives Matter punks. Real America is coming after you." It has since been deleted. Why did you do that?
JOE WALSH, FORMER ILLINOIS CONGRESSMAN: Because, hey, Don -- and thanks for having me. Because I'm pissed off a lot of Americans are pissed off and a lot of police officers are around the country are upset because there really is a war on our cops.
And a lot of police officers, Don, just like I think a lot of Americans believe that it started with Barack Obama. You go all the way back to Ferguson, Missouri. From that point forward, the last couple years, Barack Obama has done nothing but hate on cops. Accusing cops of being bad and racist. He did it again, Don, a couple days ago, Minnesota...
LEMON: When -- OK, hang on, Congressman.
WALSH: Go ahead.
LEMON: When did he accuse cops of being bad and racist, a specific example?
WALSH: The moment after -- his first and second and third statement after Ferguson said, there is systemic racism, police departments in this country need to be reformed. I mean, think about that, Don, a black man...
LEMON: OK. But wait a minute...
WALSH: No, no, no of black men...
LEMON: But that's not accusing -- but that's not accusing cops of being racist. He's actually pointing out a fact there is systemic racism in this country and there are police departments that need to be reformed. What is racist about that?
WALSH: He said cops were racist. Think about this. He said cops were racist after he found out that a young black man in Ferguson, Missouri, attacked a cop. Instead of going after the young black man who attacked the cop, he criticized the cop.
And, Don, ever since then, ever since we've had one of these incidents, his impulse, his reflex is always to go after the cop, always.
LEMON: But listen, if we're speaking on facts here and not emotion.
WALSH: These are facts.
LEMON: So, you're saying specifically that the president -- but the president has never said cops are racist. You're saying that the president is saying cops are racist. Those words never came out of his mouth. Do you have proof that he said that?
WALSH: hey, Don. Yes, he said it again two days ago when he says that there is systemic racism in the police department after the Minneapolis shooting. He's telling people on the streets that police officers are racist.
Now, maybe you and I can make that distinction, but when people on the street hear the President of the United States time after time say that there is racism in police departments all over the country, man, that kind of hating leads to what you got in Dallas.
LEMON: OK. Do you think that there is racism in police departments across the country?
WALSH: I think, Don, there's racism all over America, heck, yes.
LEMON: So, then how is that statement wrong?
WALSH: But I don't believe -- but I don't believe police departments are racist. I do not believe there's systemic racism. To say there's systemic racism, Don, means that most cops around the country are racist or most police departments are racist. There are bad cops, there are bad republicans and bad news anchors. But you don't condemn the entire department.
LEMON: OK. Well, let me -- I'll give you this. There are right. There are bad republicans, there are bad democrats and there are bad news anchors. Sometimes I am not a great news anchor. Sometimes I am so exhausted like now I've been on the air for 24 hours...
WALSH: Right now, yes.
LEMON: ... I may not be a great news anchor. So, if I will admit to that, then why can't you admit that there is racism in some police departments around the country?
[22:55:01] WALSH: I said there was. I said there was.
WALSH: But I guess, Don, what I'm saying is, his reaction to every police shooting is the same. And you know, think about this, Don. Before we know the facts, he's accused the Minnesota shooting that being act of racism just like the governor of Minnesota did before any investigation, before any trial or any due process. They scream racism.
And two days later, you got a black man that wants to kill five white cops. There's a connection. And he can't deny it.
LEMON: OK. I think you are drawing a conclusion that is not necessarily there. So, I mean, I have to ask you then, what is -- what is your thing with Barack Obama? You have never liked Barack Obama in everything -- every situation that's happened that you're involved with, but you take personally and you attack the President of the United States. What is that?
WALSH: Well, Don, I don't take it personally. I mean, I'm a former congressman. I'm a radio guy. I try to be as objective as I can. I don't like him because I don't think he likes America. I don't think he likes our service members. I don't think he likes our men and women in blue.
And I know you think maybe, Don, it's just me saying that. Man, if you talk to most ranking file cops, they don't believe this president likes them. They don't believe this president stands by them. If we have a guy in the White House who doesn't like our cops, I find that our president.
LEMON: OK. If you know -- if you think that's right, then why did you -- why did you delete the tweet? First of all, I don't believe that.
WALSH: And, Don...
LEMON: I actually don't believe anything that you just said about the President of the United States. I don't...
WALSH: We disagree then.
LEMON: I think it is -- listen, I think it has probably something to do with ideology or something to do with political parties, I don't know.
LEMON: And I don't want to assume anything else about you. But that is a broad statement and actually an insulting statement about the commander-in-chief. He is the commander-in-chief of the...
WALSH: Don, you asked for my opinion. I gave it. OK? You asked for my opinion, I gave it. And by the way, I didn't delete the tweet. Twitter shut me down. And Twitter said the only way you'll open your account is if we get rid of that tweet.
WALSH: I didn't delete that.
LEMON: Thank you for explaining that. So, you stand by your words then?
WALSH: Oh, absolutely. Because I stand by what I meant, Don. I didn't -- I didn't intend to say everybody go threaten Barack Obama or incite violence against Barack Obama. I don't know of a sane person that would do that. That's not what I meant, Don.
LEMON: So, what does that mean, "Watch out Black Lives Matter punks, real -- or watch out Barack Obama or Obama, real America is coming after you." What is real America? Are you saying that Barack Obama he's not a real American?
WALSH: No. Real Americans are Americans, white, black and brown that respect police officers, period. Real Americans are white, black and brown Americans who don't go after cops. When I said...
LEMON: What if someone said to you real Americans respect the Office of the Presidency and the person who is holding the office? How would you go about that?
WALSH: Oh, I do -- I do respect the office. I don't respect this man, Dn. If Hillary Clinton wins, I'll respect her. I don't respect this man.
LEMON: But don't you think that's hypocritical if you say real Americans...
LEMON: ... respect but then you don't respect him?
WALSH: I respect the office, not him. And Don, again, I stand by my words. Watch out President Obama. I didn't mean that to be incitement to violence. What I meant was, Americans are finally going to stand up and stand with our police officers and stand against him.
LEMON: Congressman Joe Walsh, thank you. I appreciate you coming on.
WALSH: Thank you, Don. Thank you.
LEMON: All right. We'll be right back. [23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)