Return to Transcripts main page


Vigil for Fallen Officers; New Protests on the Streets After Week of Violence; Rudy Giuliani Takes Aim at Black Lives Matter; Dallas Doctors Speaking Out About Treatment of Ambushed Officers; Presidents Obama and George W. Bush to Speak at Dallas Memorial; Trump Calls Himself 'Law and Order' Candidate'. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired July 11, 2016 - 22:00   ET



[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: That's it for us. Thanks for watching. Time now for CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Breaking news. New protests and a vigil for fallen officers. That on the eve of President Barack Obama's trip to Dallas.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Demonstrators are taking to the streets tonight after a week of shocking violence. You could see live pictures of Atlanta right now.

And meanwhile, in Dallas, a vigil for officers killed in last week's attack as a family of gunman Micah Xavier Johnson struggles to understand the unthinkable.


JAMES JOHNSON, MICAH XAVIER JOHNSON'S FATHER: I don't know what to say to anybody to make anything better.


LEMON: The surgeon who fought to save the city's fallen police officers saying this.


BRIAN WILLIAMS, TRAUMA SURGEON: And the Dallas police officers also to see me, a black man, and understand that I support you. I will defend you. And I will care for you. That doesn't mean that I do not fear you.


LEMON: And meanwhile, the former mayor of New York takes aim at Black Lives Matter. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: When you say "Black Lives Matter," that's inherently racist.


LEMON: Plus, with the republican convention just one week away, Donald Trump says this.

We'll have that for you just a little bit later on. But I want to begin with CNN's Ed Lavandera and Martin Savidge, they are live for us in Dallas, and Polo Sandoval, live for us in Atlanta this evening. Ed, I want to start with you. What are police finding in Micah Johnson's home?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, that's one of the mysteries here. And they're really looking through a lot of the items that they removed from the house in the hours just after the shooting.

And some of the things they've found, and we've kind of know just some extent, this bomb-making explosives. But we've heard from a federal law enforcement tonight, saying that about 3.5 pounds of bomb-making material, which included by the pound of smokeless powder, a pound of black powder and 1.5 pounds of Tannerite, and that's a material that needs to be mixed with some other materials to become explosive. But it's about 3.5 pounds.

Another law enforcement source here in Dallas tells me that this material was found throughout the house in various parts. All of this significant because what investigators are trying to do is figure out what was the intention of all of this?

Was this part of some sort of bigger grandiose attack that he might have had planned as well that just didn't come to fruition? They don't know the intention of what this material was for since it wasn't used in the attack on Thursday night.

LEMON: So, there's a bit of a mystery, Ed. Is there any more insight into those initials he wrote in blood, R.B.?

LAVANDERA: No, in fact, investigators talked about that again today. They continued to try to figure out what that means. According to the police chief here in Dallas in his own blood, Micah Johnson wrote those initials, R.B., in two different locations inside the community college building where he was shot -- where he was killed on Friday morning, essentially. So, they're still trying to figure out what that could mean.

LEMON: Ed Lavendera. Ed, thank you very much. I appreciate that. I want to bring in now Martin Savidge at Dallas City Hall. So, Martin, to you now, you are at the candlelight vigil in Dallas. President Barack Obama arriving tomorrow and the funerals are being set. What is the city like this evening?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's really hard to put it into words, Don. I think if you tried to find one, it would be heartbreak certainly for this evening. It had a very large crowd that showed up for this candlelight vigil.

But it was more than that. It was the opportunities for the representatives of each of the fallen officers, mainly police partners that spoke about their loss, spoke about the partner that they lost.

Some of them talking about the events of that evening, others talking about the events how these people had inspired them throughout their lives. They broke up, many in the crowd listening to them also broke down.

It is a very painful time for the city. The shock now beginning to wear off, but now we face a week of funerals and it is going to be incredibly difficult. The weight of loss on this city is extremely heavy.

But the other message tonight it was unity. The city has to come together. This nation has to come together. And a frank conversation about race must begin. There has to be a legacy to Dallas. There cannot just be a continuation of the same. Don?

LEMON: Well said, Martin. The shock is wearing off. The heartbreak setting in Dallas. Martin, thank you very much. I want to go to CNN's Polo Sandoval, he is live for us in Atlanta where there are rallies happening right now. What are you seeing there, Polo?

[22:04:59] POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, we're just outside the Georgia Governor's mansion. And I want you to see what the situation looks like here as we walk just down the street. You have basically what seems to be an endless row of demonstrators, young, old, black, white, Hispanic, gay, straight.

A diverse crowd that is gathered outside of the governor's mansion. Of course, we're not sure if Governor Nathan Deal is actually here. But if you look over to my right you basically see officers standing shoulder to shoulder here, both local and state police keeping a watchful eye on the crowd.

And I have to tell you, Don, it's almost unfair to show these pictures without adding some context. It is peaceful. Yes, we have seen sort of violence in at times controversial -- obviously investigators are -- officers are hoping that everybody stays on this side of the road.

But at the same time, there is this dialogue. People are having this conversation, but at times very passionate and intense conversations which is what's happening here. And of course, everybody under that united -- that united banner, that hash tag Black Lives Matter, Don.

People have been here already for about 30 minutes or so. But this march started early on in the (Inaudible) region, which is of course, this upscale retail and dining area just north of downtown Atlanta. People marching all the way here.

And I've talked to folks here asking them how long they're willing to stick around, Don. And they're telling me as long as it takes. Tonight is the fifth night of demonstrations, the protests that we've seen. Today we did see a couple dozen arrests during the route, during the march that's actually taken place.

But overall, we've seen according to officials at least 15,000 people take to the street the last five days and the number of arrests well under 50. That is a good sign that there is, that these demonstrations are peaceful but passionate, Don.

LEMON: Polo Sandoval live for us in Atlanta. We'll keep an eye on that. Thank you, Polo.

We're just hours ahead of the president, President Barack Obama's visit to Dallas tomorrow, the family of the shooter who gunned down five police officers is speaking out.

The parents and stepmother of Micah Johnson sat down with The Blaze's" Lawrence Jones. And Lawrence joins me now. Lawrence, I'm happy that you could join us. Thank you so much. I understand that Micah Johnson's family they reached to you.


LEMON: Why did they reach out to you? What did they say? Why did they want to do an interview?

JONES: I was actually on you guys as on the program with you on Friday, and I was talking about a balance between police brutality as well as the relationship issue with the black community and the police, as well as loving and coming together and healing.

And his mom said that she just felt like I was a Christian man and I was fair. And she was sitting there in her house and said, you know what, I would allow that man to interview me because you got to imagine the press is surrounding her house.

From there, the person that she talked to knew my mom on Facebook and contacted my mom and then, of course, it went from there.

LEMON: And she wanted to do an interview. And then many times, it's often personal. You know, you get to do these interviews, personal, but because you're fair and I think that's great.

What do they -- was there anything that they said to you that stood out when you -- what was it like going into, you know, the room with them to sit down with them?

JONES: Right. So, Don, I'm a commentator. I'm not a journalist like you. It's not my job to graph the stories in a way that a journalist would do. And so, what I wanted them to do is get an opportunity to tell their story and to answer some of the allegations that were put out.

So, there were some tough questions there, but there was most of the healing -- one thing that was very perplexing to me was them explaining the change of Micah from when he went into the military and he was a patriot and valued the Constitution and then when he left the military and how hurt he was, and even used the word that they are liars.

LEMON: We have that, Lawrence. Let's listen to it then you can discuss it. Let's listen real quick.


J. JOHNSON: I don't know what to say to anybody to make anything better. I didn't see it coming.

DELPHINE JOHNSON, MICAH XAVIER JOHNSON'S MOTHER: Micah was a good son. He's a good son.

J. JOHNSON: I love my son with all my heart. I hate what he did.

JONES: Did he ever talk about any of his experiences in the military that maybe made you question, did something happen, was it the war?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't remember anything.

D. JOHNSON: I don't remember anything about it. He just -- the military was not what Micah thought it would be.

J. JOHNSON: They disappointed him.

D. JOHNSON: He was very disappointed.


LEMON: So, a lot to ask you, Lawrence.


LEMON: The dad, I mean, you can -- he is just distraught there.

JONES: Very.

LEMON: What did they say about his time in the military? Why did -- why did they think that changed him?

[22:10:04] JONES: Because he was an outgoing person before he went into the military. Very full of life. And, but when he got back from the military, he just wanted to stay in the house, in his room. He was against people. He used a quote, his family said, "he did not like people. He did not trust people."

LEMON: After the military.

JONES: He wouldn't let people in after the military.

LEMON: But before -- but not before the military. Right?

JONES: Not before the military.

LEMON: Do you know when the time they had spoken to him?

JONES: So, they told me... (CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Or seen him?

JONES: ... his dad particularly told me that he spoke to him Monday. And they had barbecued together. He was a vegan. He didn't eat anything that wasn't organic. And so, that was the first time his dad had seen him, you know, in a while eat beans and barbecue, and whatever.

The mom saw him the day of the shooting and she said that, you know, he said he was coming back home. He was just going to go to the protest, that he loved her and he would be back home. She didn't expect anything like this.

LEMON: So, let me ask you this. So, there were -- that was a dad and a mom in the video. Was the step mom in there, right?

JONES: His stepmother, and you may recognize, she is white.

LEMON: The stepmother -- her stepmom is white.

JONES: She's white.

LEMON: So, I know the family told you that he didn't hate based on race, he hated injustice. But he was on these sites that were -- that seemed to be sort of race-based sites. So, explain that to us.

JONES: So, one of the questions, and it was a tough question, was I wanted to know if he was a member of the nation of Islam. And was he a member of Black Panthers and the new Black Panther Party. And they said, without a doubt, that he wasn't a part of it.

They said they were believers, and his mom is a strong believer, you know, she's a speaker, she talks about her faith. They were, it was a loving home. And so, it was hard to make the connection of him being a part of the movement because you see all these pictures of him and, by the way, they were very upset about those pictures being taken off his Facebook page and things like that and exploited because they said it didn't tell the full picture.

LEMON: OK. So, then -- so let's talk about it. So, then what happened? How did he -- so, what happened to him? Do they think he was radicalized in some way by certain groups, like, so what was the explanation?

JONES: Yes. So, when he came back from the military, he started to study African-American studies and his heritage and he wanted to know where he came from. And his dad said it was a method of them bonding because they started getting into where their ancestors just came from.

And it was a project for them together to bond with. And he really got involved and he started eating healthy and it was -- it was the difference. And so, that's when he started getting in the movement of there is this injustice against black people as a whole and he was really irritated about it.

LEMON: Who -- he was really irritated. All right.

JONES: He was really irritated even with the Jesse Williams, the BET Awards. His dad told me that he came to him and that was one of their last conversations. He said, "son, you know, there's just some things that I agree with him and some things I disagree with him." And we have to move forward. We can't hate, we have to show love and even though some may hate us.

LEMON: It was awful. It's a great interview, Lawrence Jones. Thank you so much for coming in tonight. I appreciate it.

JONES: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: When we come right back, I'm going to talk to the African- American surgeon who fought to save the lives of Dallas police officers. Why he says the experience changed him.


LEMON: Please, whatever you're doing, just sit down and watch this next segment. Doctors at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas speaking out today about treating the police officers who were ambushed last Thursday.

One of them is Dr. Brian Williams. He was a trauma surgeon on duty. He said the experience is personal for him and he thinks about it every day.


WILLIAMS: I understand the anger and the frustration and distrust of law enforcement, but they're not the problem. The problem is the lack of open discussions about the impact of race relations in this country.

And I think about it every day. That I wasn't able to save those cops when they came here that night. It weighs on my mind constantly. This killing, it has to stop.


LEMON: Dr. Brian Williams joins me now. Thank you, doctor. How are you?

WILLIAMS: Thank you for having me. I'm getting by.

LEMON: Yes. And that was just a, you know, a courtesy how are you, but really, I was watching you today. How are you doing? How are you doing?

WILLIAMS: How am I doing? That is somewhat difficult to answer. I'm -- I go hour to hour. This incident has been playing in my mind constantly. It's -- it's like this bad movie on an endless loop. But going to work has forced me to kind of push it aside temporarily

but it continues to break through. And I discuss it a lot with my wife. We talk about it at work. But I have not fully had a chance to just sit back and process really what actually happened.

LEMON: Yes. I thought it was really profound when you said, because it was very simple, you said, I don't know what I'm going to do with all of this. You don't know from moment to moment what you're going to do, right?

WILLIAMS: That's true. I know, for me, I have to do something. I don't know what that it's going to be or when. I'm savvy enough to recognize there is an issue, just haven't taken that next step.

[22:20:03] LEMON: Yes.

WILLIAMS: I still think about the -- I'm still thinking about the officers and the families and the men that were killed in Baton Rouge, in Minnesota last week. And I compare my situation to theirs. It's hard for me to focus on myself right now.

LEMON: It's a real -- if we can just for a moment, though, if you'll indulge me -- it's a real tug-of-war for you because you're a successful surgeon. Obviously you go in to do your job, you have tremendous respect for law enforcement, but you said while you are a successful surgeon and you do have a respect for law enforcement that you fear them at the same time.

That's not something that one of your friends sitting there, a fellow surgeon and friend sitting there as a white person does not have to deal with. Help our -- help America understand the conflict that you have as a black man.

WILLIAMS: Well, clearly when I'm at work dressed in my white coat, the reactions I get from individuals and the officers I deal with on a daily basis is much different than what I would get outside the hospital in regular clothes.

And my fear and some mild inherent distrust that law enforcement that goes back to my own personal experiences that I've had over my entire life, as well as hearing the stories from friends and family that look like me, that have had similar experiences. Put that all together, and that will explain why I feel the way I do.

LEMON: Yes. Your friend is Dr. Kent -- Dr. Kent, I forget his last name. Who was there with you today? You know what I'm talking about?


LEMON: Yes, the doctor, the surgeon who's also a police officer. And who's also your...


WILLIAMS: Dr. Eastman.

LEMON: Dr. Eastman.

WILLIAMS: Dr. Eastman, yes.

LEMON: Dr. Eastman was sitting there today and you guys talked -- he talked about your friendship and how your families know each other and your wives know each other and your children and you have these difficult -- you're starting these difficult conversations with each other and you have very different views on all of this.

What are you talking about? How are those conversations -- how are you facilitating these conversations? What are you guys discussing?

WILLIAMS: Well, clearly Dr. Eastman and I have very different views on law enforcement. He is a police officer. I am not. He probably has never had the same experiences dealing with law enforcement that I have had over my lifetime.

And now that this incident has happened, it has allowed these conversations to begin, but there's certainly been little progress at this point because it's only been a few days and there's a long, long way to go from here.

LEMON: Are you on the -- at every moment, I hear you in your voice, are you on the verge of tears at every moment?

WILLIAMS: Not at every moment, but there are have been times where people have mentioned the officers and then that sets off a chain reaction of thoughts in my head about -- what happened that evening. I'm good most of the day, but there are times where it just takes over.

LEMON: You said every day you think about how you couldn't save those police officers coming in. Is that a guilt -- what is that feeling?

WILLIAMS: Well, I did mention myself, this is a team that worked on all these office. I certainly was directing that team and in the end, I did much of the physical work on the individuals.

In the end -- certainly out of respect for the family, I don't want to discuss all the details of what we did, but I just wish maybe I could have gotten to them a few minutes sooner.

[22:24:58] LEMON: You're OK, doc. The country's with you. The world is with you. And we understand your pain. I mean, as much as we can.

WILLIAMS: I don't understand why people think it's OK to kill police officers. I don't understand why black men die in custody and they're forgotten the next day. I don't know why this has to be us against them. This is all really -- it has to stop.

LEMON: The world -- you have -- you have everybody's attention, doctor, quite honestly. What did you want to say? What would you like to say to America right now?

WILLIAMS: We are in this together, we are all connected. All this violence, all this hatred, all these disagreements, it impacts us all. Whether you realize it or not. This is not the kind of world we want to leave for our children. Something has to be done.

LEMON: Can we talk about your daughter, because you say that you're often out with your daughter and you want her to see you having positive experiences with law enforcement and there are certain things that you do in her presence in the presence of law enforcement to reinforce that.

WILLIAMS: Well, I -- when I'm out, if I'm at a restaurant and I see police officers in uniform eating, I make it a point to pick up their tab. For me, I want them to see a black man who acknowledges them as individuals, acknowledges the sacrifices they make and show that I appreciate what they do.

And I also want my daughter to see me doing this so that when she grows up, she can recognize that the police officers are not the enemy. That they're people she can trust. Because the burden I carry with me is not something I want her to have as an adult.

LEMON: How old is she?

WILLIAMS: She's five.

LEMON: Five years old. Did you -- you saw the video of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile being shot.


WILLIAMS: yes, I saw it.

LEMON: You had no idea at that time that this would somehow and some ways fell over into your emergency room. It must just be surreal for the moment.

WILLIAMS: Yes, it is. That is correct. I did not expect there to be a path from -- to other states to my city. But I certainly felt the impact of those incidents on me personally.

So, for me the tragedy that began in Dallas on Thursday night, it started for me well before that. And that was the culmination, not the beginning.

LEMON: You described these events as a turning point for your life and that's why you decided to speak out. This changed you.

WILLIAMS: It absolutely has changed me. I'm certainly not the only African-American male in this country that feels the way I do toward law enforcement. But I work with them on a daily basis. They're my colleagues. They're my friends. And as I said, I'll respect what they do.

But I also understand how men like me can fear and distrust officers in uniform. I get it. But that does not justify inciting violence against police officers. Does not justify trying to kill police officers.

[22:30:03] This incident didn't fix anything. It's making it worse. We're no longer talking about the dead black men. We're no longer discussing race relations in this country.

And I certainly do not want to take away from the Dallas police officers and their families, but we should be discussing the impact this tragedy has had on everyone involved. Not just the heroes in blue, but the American citizens that have paid the price as well.

LEMON: So, to that end, you said that there needs to be more open discussion and dialogue about race. Some people say that there's a lot of talk, there just aren't people listening right now. Many people.

And others see the problem very differently. We're going to have a town hall here on Wednesday night on CNN. How do we start to understand each other better? Doctor, help us begin that conversation. How do we do that?

WILLIAMS: There are a lot of people talking at each other, talking over each other, trying to shout each other out, but I don't see people truly listening to the other side, truly putting themselves in their shoes and seeing the world through their eyes. And until we're ready to do that, there probably will not be any truly substantive change.

LEMON: Dr. Brian Williams. You're one hell of a man. You're a brave man. Thank you so much. Thank you.

WILLIAMS: Thank you for having me.

LEMON: Thank you. And we appreciate the service because you truly are doing the work of the Lord, the Lord's work.

We'll be right back, everyone.


LEMON: And certain members of the police department. What do you say to that?

DERAY MCKESSON, CAMPAIGN ZERO CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Yes. And when I think about protests, protest at its root is the notion of telling the truth in public. And what we've done is use our bodies, these are the truth in streets, we've started board meetings and commissions to tell the truth that they should be using their power and the service of black lives and so many other people.

And that truth telling is actually really important that we are actually bringing these conversations to the forefront and there's a national conversation about race, policing, injustice in a way that there hasn't been before. I think that we've been...


LEMON: Do you think there's a conversation or do you think that both sides are just stating their sides at not really listening? I don't mean just Black Lives Matter. Don't get me wrong.

MCKESSON: Yes. LEMON: I mean, even the police side.

MCKESSON: Yes. I think that there -- I think that the movement has been really docile by saying, OK, you know, let's listen to this argument, let's respond to it. I've been worried about the police in the sense that like police unions, for instance, have not offered a real reflection on the culture of policing, right?

I think we should be able to all admit at this point that there's a culture that really needs to change. And I've not heard any police unit official in this country say that publicly. And I think that that actually is really damaging and you need progress...


LEMON: OK, I think that's a fair point. I think -- I think you're, you know, oftentimes police unions because they represent the police officers, right, or they're hard pressed to say that there is a problem within police departments.

So, then, DeRay, to that end, we're having this town hall on Wednesday for, you know, to talk about policing, to talk about, you know, about the issues with the black community. So, then where do we start? Are you -- are you willing, meaning Black Lives Matter, willing to sit down with police officers, black, white, and all ethnicities to figure out how you can come to some consensus about how to solve this problem?

MCKESSON: I think that people all across country have been willing to have these conversations. We think about Brittany Packnett who is in the president's task force, for 20 persons that you're policing that has police commissioners on it. You know, I've talked to police commissioners as well.

So, open to having a conversation, but it requires the police to actually come reflective and not just defensive about their work. You know, the police have killed nearly three people every day this year. And we can live in a world where the police don't kill people. That has to be a core belief.

LEMON: DeRay, thank you. Our time is a little bit short because we went a long time with that other interview. I think you don't mind that. And we always have you on. So, we appreciate you coming. Thank you very much.

[22:40:00] MCKESSON: Well, thanks, Don.

LEMON: Thank you.

Up next, what Vice President Joe Biden says today in response to Rudy Giuliani's criticism of Black Lives Matter. We'll be right back.


LEMON: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani blasting Black Lives Matter saying the movement is, quote, "inherently racist." Here to discuss, retired Lieutenant General Russell Honore, the author

of "Leadership in the New Normal," Charles Blow, op-ed columnist for the New York Times, and Bernard Kerik, former commissioner of the New York City Police Department. It's good to have all of you on.

So, I want you all to listen to this. Here's the former mayor.


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: It's inherently racist, number one, it divides us, all lives matter. And when the presidential candidate, Governor of Maryland made the statement that all lives matter. They intimidated him into changing it to black lives matter.

All lives matter. White lives, black lives, all lives. Number two, the Black Lives Matter protests when every 14 hours somebody is killed in Chicago, probably 70, 80 percent of the time a black person. Where are they then? Where are they when the young black child is killed?


[22:45:02] LEMON: OK. Agree with him or not, there are a lot of -- there's a big portion of America who agrees with him, Charles Blow. So, is this movement dividing people rather than bringing people together to solve a problem?

CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think one thing that is really important to understand, when people say all lives matter, I think that that is the goal of everyone involved in all sides of this debate. You want all lives to matter equally.

However, when people look at the landscape, and they see the criminal justice system and including the police system being part of that system, and the statistics do not seem to bear out the fact that people are being treated equally. They are focusing their attention on the lives that appear to matter less in the context of those numbers.

And so, I think that is very fair for them to do. I think actually not even just fair, but it is kind of morally right to take that position.

LEMON: All right. I'm going to ask all the panelists. Do you think that it's a movement that's dividing rather than bringing people together?

BERNARD KERIK, FORMER NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: I think it's the rhetoric. I think it's a lot of the rhetoric. You know, when you see these Black Lives Matter protests and, you know, people say they're peaceful protests, but they get out there and they call for the murder of cops, or they use this racially divisive rhetoric, then that's what -- that's what people are looking and then that's why they think, you know, they think is negative.

LEMON: General Honore, do you -- how do you feel about that? Is it bringing people together or dividing people?

RUSSELL, HONORE, "LEADERSHIP IN THE NEW NORMAL" AUTHOR: I think it's talking about something that make people very uncomfortable. And that is to speak about the unspeakable. And that is to speak about the unspeakable. And when we do that, people immediately take sides based on the cultural values.

In this case, Don, we're talking about the case going back to Michael Brown, now talking about Mr. Sterling here in Baton Rouge. That makes people very uncomfortable to speak. And to see what unfold on the camera and to have a group of citizens who are willing to take the risk to bring this to the forefront.

Because of their work, the president formed the police task force to look at how we are policing and how we need to do 21st century policing. And we've got a long ways to go. There are a system of accountability to deal with the very issues that are centered around Mr. Sterling losing his life right here in Baton Rouge.

LEMON: Yes. So, listen, Charles, what about the argument that Rudy Giuliani makes, that Black Lives Matter folks they don't concentrate on black people when they're killed, for example, in Chicago. We've heard that before. But that is not what the goal of Black Lives Matter is, right?

BLOW: Right.

LEMON: I explain it this way, people who work in cancer research don't say, well, why aren't people in the AIDS research doing things with cancer research? They're two different groups. It's not the focus of the group.

BLOW: Absolutely. I think that every time, I mean, anybody dies the gun violence or any sort of violence, that that is a travesty, right.

LEMON: Right.

BLOW: However, you kind of expect criminals to do criminal things. You do not expect people who you have entrusted with your safety who are -- who you are supposed to turn to when you feel threatened to do something that you find questionable or that borders on criminal, itself.

And so, I think that that part of it, and then also the idea that a lot of kind of community violence is territorial, it is either gun, drug-related, gang-related. There are pockets that have tremendous amounts of violence and there are other parts that have almost none, even within communities.

And so, you know that you have the wherewithal if you have the money and the gumption that you can move away from that. The omnipresence of authority as manifest by police is everywhere. And I think it shakes everyone in a way that is different from what community violence does.

LEMON: So, this group -- you guys will be back in the next hour. We'll continue our conversation. I have many more questions for you, so stick around, everyone.

But coming up, Donald Trump calling himself the law and order candidate, but are voters buying it? We'll be right back.


LEMON: President Obama and George W. Bush will speak at the memorial for fallen police officers in Dallas tomorrow. It is a rare public appearance for the last republican to hold the White House.

I want to talk about it now with the son of another president, Michael Reagan, author of "Lessons My Father Taught Me: The Strength, Integrity and Faith of Ronald Reagan." Michael, it's so good to have you on. I wish you were on under better circumstances.

But before we get to all of that, let's talk about that doctor in Dallas and his message about -- messages not bouncing off each other but actually sitting down and listening to each other. Powerful.

MICHAEL REAGAN, "LESSONS MY FATHER TAUGHT ME" AUTHOR: It was so powerful. I was sitting here watching it in studio. I was glad I was here at CNN in Los Angeles being able to watch that interview that you did with him because you had a conversion with him.

There was no attack, there's my side, what's your side? And that seems to be so much of what we do in the media today. We go to our corners, we choose our sides and it's basically done for ratings.

And, unfortunately, what happened in Dallas isn't about ratings. And I think the message that he puts out there about finding a way to speak with each other, understand each other is a great message and I was so glad I was able to sit here and watch you and him speak about Dallas.

LEMON: Thank you for that, but it's also -- it's not just about ratings but it seems to be about politics as well. We get so caught up in left versus right, and Black Lives Matter versus police.

But at the end of the day, quite frankly, the only thing -- the only one thing that we have in common whether we're black, white, is that we're American. We're black Americans, white Americans, Asian- Americans. We're all Americans. We have to live in this country together because what's the alternative?

REAGAN: Oh, you're absolutely right. I think about -- you know, and I write about this in my book, "Lessons My Father Taught Me." I mean, Ronald Reagan in order to get things accomplished, give us the largest tax break in American history had to get together with the democrats, had to get together with Tip O'Neill in the White House to get things done.

[22:55:06] We don't seem to be doing that much anymore where we're finding the areas of commonality that we can sit down and find those areas where we have the common good in mind, what can we do to make it better good for all people?

And think that's also the message of Dr. Williams. Listen, we are all Americans, but let's find that common ground where we can sit and talk to each other and discuss things with each other so you know my heart. If you watch that interview you just did with him or today at the

press conference and you didn't understand the heart of Brian Williams, you don't have a heart. And he showed me where my heart was and things that I needed to learn. And I learned so much from the press conference he did today and the interview you just had with him a few moments ago.

LEMON: Let me ask you something, Michael, because conventions are coming up and this is sort of struck me.

REAGAN: I heard.

LEMON: If you consider what's happening in the country now. This probably should be addressed at the conventions. And that may be a good -- and we're going to have, you know, the town hall here on Wednesday. But another good place to start is at the conventions to have the candidates and politicians actually deal with this and actually talk to each other and come to some consensus.

REAGAN: But not take it from a political standpoint.

LEMON: Right.

REAGAN: Which is that they have a tendency to do. But take it from a real standpoint, what can we do? There's a problem in America, let's understand that and let's not just always point fingers in it and attach blame to that group or that group and find the areas in that group that we may agree with.

I disagree with Black Lives Matter, but the other side of it is there's something in there that we can agree on. So, let's find that areas that we agree and begin at that point and move out instead of looking where we don't agree and never going anywhere.

LEMON: Always a pleasure, Michael Reagan. Thank you.

REAGAN: Thank you.

LEMON: All right. When we come right back, inside the mind of the Dallas shooter. What the gunman scrawled on the wall and in his own blood.