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LAPD Officers Bullet Killed Trader Joe's Employee; Backlash Against Lawmaker Duped by Sasha Baron Cohen; Trump Pushes to Drill in Alaska Wildlife Refuge. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired July 24, 2018 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: A heart breaking twist to a deadly shooting in California. Los Angeles police now say it was an officer's bullet that killed an employee during a stand off. We're just now getting this dramatic dash cam video which shows Los Angeles police coming after this suspect accused of shooting his grandmother and kidnapping a teen girl. The video shows that the suspect you see there crashed his car. Police opened fire. This guy runs into Trader Joe's. Here are the moments leading up to that shootout.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shots fired, shots fired.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do not, do not shoot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Black and whites at Hyperion hold on, northbound, he's coming in front of you guys right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right partner, we're good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hyperion, hang on, southbound now, Hyperion from Rowena.




BALDWIN: Police now say the woman who died in the stand off was killed by an officer's bullet during the barrage of shots. Melody Corado was an assistant manager at the store, she was leaving the building as the suspect rushed in and two officers arrived and started shooting.

The Los Angeles police chief issued this apology to the victim's family today.


CHIEF MICHEL MOORE, LOS ANGELES POLICE: As chief of police, I am sorry for the loss. This tragic loss, not just to the family, for the father, brother, friends, to work colleagues at Trader Joe's. This has been a devastating ordeal. On behalf of myself and the men and women of this department, I want to express my deepest condolences and sympathy to her family. And to everyone who knew her. I know that it is every officer's worst nightmare to harm an innocent bystander during a violent engagement. I spoke to both the officers this morning. They are devastated. They are devastated in the immediate aftermath of this event that a person died in their efforts to stop the suspect.


BALDWIN: Even though the fatal bullet came from police, the district attorney's office is charging the suspect with her murder after he allegedly engaged the officers in that gun battle.

To Florida now where another dramatic shooting was caught on video which has sparked debate over Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law. It started with a dispute over a parking space. The surveillance video shows Michael Drejka confronting this woman who parked in a handicapped spot.

[15:35:00] The woman's boyfriend, Markeis McGlockton, confronts him and you see him as he pushes him to the ground. McGlockton begins to walk away, Drejka fires a gun hitting McGlockton in the chest and killing him.

The gunman was not arrested. Investigators say the shooting was justified under Florida state law.


SHERIFF BOB GUALTIERI, PINCILLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA: So, under these circumstances, where you have somebody that is unprovoked slammed to the ground like that, and his statement that he believed that the man was going to come back at him, and he fired in a very short amount of time, a few seconds, four seconds probably, somewhere in that range, that is within the bookends of stand your ground. And within the bookends of force being justified.


BALDWIN: Mark O'Mara is with me. He's familiar with Florida stand your ground law. A jury found his client not guilty of shooting Trayvon Martin years ago. This has elicited an emotional reaction to people saying you should not be able to shoot someone and walk away like this.

MARK O'MARA, DEFENDANT GEORGE ZIMMERMAN AND TRAYVON MARTIN CASE: First, my sympathies to the family. Particularly his children who witnessed his death. Florida has one of the strongest stand your ground statutes with self-defense enhancement statutes known. We've actually made it even more strong. A couple years ago we put an additional burden on the state's attorney office. You look at this, here's what happens, whether it is stand your ground or not, you have a right to self-defense, but it has to be reasonable action of imminent great bodily injury.

Now granted when he threw him to the ground, it was a violent act. But if someone punches me in the face, I can't shoot them because they punched me in the face. I can only shoot them if it's justified at all if I perceive that imminent great bodily injury will be visited on me again. The problem with that video --

BALDWIN: Let me jump in. You see McGlockton, you see him shove him. To make a point, and then he you watch him back up. It's not like they were in this full out brawl and the only way for Drejka to defend himself was to shoot him.

O'MARA: Again, if I acted solely as Drejka 's defense attorney, I would say the moment he was thrown to the ground, the adrenaline rush, the tunnel vision, it's what he perceives at that moment. But as you said, Brooke, when you look at this not even light of day. Look at the video. He had three or four seconds as the sheriff said, you have a responsibility if you're going to use a gun to use it responsibly and to use it as the absolute last resort. He wasn't close enough. There wasn't an ongoing attack, and I think the sheriff decided not to arrest because under Florida law the sheriff could be held liable with an arrest if it's not justified. I think he's kicking it over to the state attorney office for more of a review.

BALDWIN: Got it. We'll stay with it. Thank you so much. Coming up next, we'll go to Georgia. This Georgia state lawmaker refusing to resign despite being duped by the actor, Sacha Baron Cohen, into using racial slurs, pulling his pants down all on video. We'll have his explanation ahead.


BALDWIN: All right. So, there are new calls for a Georgia state law clerk to resign after he appeared on TV shouting racial slurs, mimicking cultural stereo types and at one point dropping his pants. Yes, this all happened. A Republican lawmaker, Jason Spencer was pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen for the for the comics new and controversial TV series "Who Is America". Spencer says he was duped into thinking he was attending a self-defense class taught by an Israeli anti-terrorism agent. Here's just a clip.


SACHA BARON COHEN: In America there is one forbidden word. It is the n-word. Now, I am going to be the terrorist. You have three seconds to attract attention. Go.

STATE REP. JASON SPENCER, (R), GEORGIA: [bleep] [bleep] [bleep].

COHEN: Are you crazy? The n-word is "noony" -- not this word. This word is disgusting. If you want to win, you show some skin.


COHEN: Show it to me. Now, try to touch me.

SPENCER: I'll touch you. I'll touch me with my buttocks. I'll touch you with my buttocks. Drop the gun or I'll touch you. USA. [15:45:00] COHEN: We pretend to be a Chinese tourist because the Chinese are always taking selfie. OK? Convince him or her that you are Chinese. Go.

SPENCER: Red dragon? Beijing? Hong Kong? Sushi?

COHEN: ISIS are scared.


BALDWIN: The backlash from that has included Georgia's governor who tweeted" "The actions and language used by Jason Spencer are appalling and offensive. There is no excuse for this type of behavior ever, and I am saddened and disgusted by it."

Spencer's term is up in five months. He's refusing to resign. With me now Stephen Zeitchik. He is an entertainment business reporter with "The Washington Post" who has been back and forth with the state rep over texting. You have a window into his mind. Nice to have you on, Steve. First things first, how has he -- what does he have to say for himself?

STEVE ZEITCHIK, ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": He has a lot to say for himself. That was surprising. After the episode aired I reached out to him. I didn't expect to get anything or maybe a very terse sort of one-sentence sort of apology. He gave six or seven paragraph novelistic sized explanation for what he did starting with the fact that he was feeling vulnerable before this all happened, that the shooting at the House softball game had just occurred in DC on a little bit before.

You can see a little bit before, he thought he was doing some kind of commando training. He knew it was being filmed. He did explain it away and take it for what it's worth. Which may not be much. But he did explain it as he was feeling vulnerable and was getting this training and that led him to follow orders in a way he wouldn't have otherwise done.

BALDWIN: That's the ruse the "Show Time" team. They said essentially, I just want to get this right, they say to him come in in the wake of the Congressional softball practice shooting, come in and we'll make sure, we'll show you how to stay safe. He says, yes. But the thing is in the course of this training, he's yelling the n-word, mocking Asian people, and mooning the camera.

ZEITCHIK: It really is remarkable. A lot of people have responded to the stories we've written and to stories others have written and said, you know what, no matter how vulnerable you're feel, we all have trauma in your lives. If that's not in you somewhere, if that's not latent if you, you would never say it. No matter the circumstance. And I think they are right.

BALDWIN: I realize he has a couple months left in his seat. I was reading in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution" this morning they're reporting the Speaker of the Georgia House Of Representatives is saying resign now. Has he responded to you about those calls for him to leave?

ZEITCHIK: He hasn't. In his statement he said he did get primaried. He's out in five months. The question was should he resign sooner? A lot of people in the Georgia politics have called for him to resign. He's saying no. He hasn't said anything further.

BALDWIN: How about big picture? This whole show. I saw a clip with current and former legislators all in on the notion of arming kindergartners, teaching them how to shoot. But it's not just Republicans. I mean, correct me, it's Bernie Sanders. What are other examples and what's the goal of the show?

ZEITCHIK: Well, that's a good question. I think that depends on which side you land. I think four Democrats, four liberals, they very much think this is about exposing the right. Even when Sanders is on or Ted Koppel was on this past week, he's the butt of the joke. The interviewer who is this kind of right wing blogger when conservative politicians are on he's there to expose them. Depending on where you land, Joe Walsh has been on other shows saying I know the goal is to make fun of Republicans and that's fine. That's what he's going to do. He's saying he's exposing the hypocrisy of the right. The right says he's unfairly duping us into furthering his agenda.

BALDWIN: From everything you know about the show. And again, I think you're totally right. It depends on which perspective you are looking at. In the Sarah Palin clip I've read about, she's approached by Sacha Baron Cohen who pretends to be a wounded veteran.


BALDWIN: There's a fuzzy line here. I'm not sure if that's the right thing for him to be doing.

ZEITCHIK: He has since walked out back and said he never said he was a veteran. He said he was wounded and said he was never in action. He's saying things off camera and sometimes things on camera people feel is misleading. If you don't like that or his politics or don't like that idea, you're going to object so it.

BALDWIN: Steve, thank you so much with "The Washington Post." And Jason Spencer, if you want to come on CNN, call us up.

The United States attorney general laughing and repeating "lock her up" chants talking about Hillary Clinton. We'll show you what happened there. And in just moments CNN will air newly obtained tape of migrant mothers begging to get their kids back after being separated at the border this as the Trump administration faces an urgent deadline to reunite hundreds of families.


[15:55:00] BALDWIN: The Alaskan wilderness. 1.5 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is facing off with the Trump administration. Laws opening the door for oil businesses. First time in decades. CNN's Bill Weir takes us there.


BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is magnificent. Wow. Way up at the tip of Alaska an airplane can feel like a time machine.

PILOT: You see it there, there are a bunch of little babies running around.

WEIR: Because the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge known as ANWR is a kind of pure wilderness most of America paved over long ago.

PILOT: This is it. We're in the heart of the arctic refuge.

WEIR: Welcome to one of the last truly wild places on earth. The coastal plain brims with life from musk oxen to bear, grizzly and polar. Birds that will migrate to the back yards after all 50 states but as is captured over the years, the most common creature is the caribou. And not just a few. But hundreds of thousands. The kind of herd unseen since the plains buffalo were wiped away. And when he's here with his family, he can't help but wonder how long it will last.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to keep some of the places untouched. We are changing the world everywhere so fast but why not leave a few places unspoiled?

WEIR: For almost 60 years that was the rationale that protected ANWR from this. These are the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay that fill the famous pipeline and power countless lives. But since there are billions of barrels elsewhere, nature lovers have long argued there is no need to drill here and for decades that argument held. Until --


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One day a friend of mine in the oil business called. Is it true that you have ANWR in the bill? I said, I don't know. Who cares? What is that? He said, Reagan tried. Every single president tried. I said, you got to be kidding? I love it now and after that we fought like hell to get ANWR. He talked me into it.


WEIR: The December tax cut bill also opened ANWR to drilling thanks to Alaska Senator Murkowski who slipped in the provision knowing it only needed 51 instead of 60 votes to pass.


SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI, (R), Alaska: It is wrong for those from the outside looking in who have taken a nice trip into an area and said, this must be protected.


WEIR: Conservationists point out there's already a huge glut of American oil.

Oil companies are laying people off up here because prices are so low?

NICOLE WHITTINGTON EVANS, THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY: They have been laying people off and for the first time in the last five years I was seeing more oil company workers leaving the state of Alaska and going to places like North Dakota than coming into the state.

WEIR: But much like Trump's efforts to revive dying coal mines, the rush to drill here seems driven more by politics than economics. Former Speaker of The House Tom Delay once said if we could drill in ANWR it breaks the back of the environmental lobby.

DAN RITZMAN, SIERRA CLUB: They haven't drilled in ANWR yet. The Arctic regions are heating twice as fast as any other part of the world and it just makes zero sense to come here and look for more oil that's going to exacerbate that problem.

WEIR: Among those opposed is the Neets'aii Gwich'in Nation, the northern most tribe of Native Americans. How many people live here?


WEIR: Wow. I think about 150 people live on my floor of my apartment building.

Their numbers may be tiny but they're not outsiders.

GEMMIL: Archaeological evidence shows we have been here over 25,000 years.

WEIR: And the only reason they survived is caribou. Back in the day, they would trap the animals in these hand made corrals. These days they use guns and snowmobiles but still need the animals to survive in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in America.

Groceries at the Midnight Sun can cost twice as much as Whole Foods in Manhattan. Gasoline up here runs $10 a gallon. Given the choice between oil money and caribou, there's no debate. These folks will stick with the one animal that's kept them alive for thousands of years and cannot imagine drills and trucks and pipelines across what they call the sacred place where life begins.

GEMMIL: Look what happened to the Plains Indians and the buffalo. That's not going to happen to my people. We're not going to allow that to happen again.

[16:00:00] WEIR: To the Gwich'in people, they're a Native American David against a goliath of oil companies, Republican lawmakers and the Inupiat, a coastal tribe of Native Alaskans eager to drill and cash in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All that, the U.S. is saved, and we can do this. Now we have the other side. The environmentalists saying, we can't do this. What's wrong with this picture?

WEIR: As the government rushes toward development, community meetings lay bare the fight. Tribe versus tribe. Neighbor against neighbor.

ADRIENNE TITUS, UNALAKLEET, Alaska: We have thousands of gallons discovered in places that have seen destruction and restraint is what we lack. When did we all become owners of the land? It has always owned us.


BALDWIN: Bill Weir there in Alaska and Bill will be talking to us for the next couple of days here as he travels and talks more about, you know, this administration and the environment, endangered species, oil and water. So, we'll look forward to hearing from Bill through this week.

I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me here in New York. Let's go to Washington. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.