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Child Trained for Shooting; Children Killed in Yemen; Family in Tennessee Demands Justice; Florida's Coast Turns Deadly. Aired 9:30- 10a ET

Aired August 9, 2018 - 09:30   ET



[09:30:35] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: New details in that New Mexico compound case where, according to prosecutors, at least one of the 11 children -- 11 children that were found there dirty and starving, at least one of them was being trained to carry out school shootings. Two men, three women arrested at the compound were arraigned in court yesterday on 11 counts of child abuse.

Our correspondent Scott McLean has been following this story. He is in New Mexico and has much more.

And there are some text messages as well that you've obtained?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Poppy.

First off, though, I just want to tell you, this complaint or this accusation about the school shooting, it actually stems from the criminal complaint that was filed in district court yesterday. And so I'll read you part of it. It was actually -- it's actually against all five of the defendants who were on this compound.

It says a foster parent of one of the 11 children stated the defendant had trained the child in the use of an assault rifle in preparation for future school shootings.

It's important to point out, though, this accusation has not been proven in court. The defense attorney says take this with a grain of salt. There may not be proof that this is actually true.

The local sheriff here, though, he called the folks who live on this compound extremists of the Muslim belief. When pressed on it, he didn't elaborate. But he did tell a local newspaper in Santa Fe that he got that detail from the FBI.

I also just want to give you a sense, Poppy, of where exactly we are. So we're just at the back part of the compound right now. I think we have that overhead shot to show you. And there are guns found on this property. There were a couple of handguns. There were -- an AR-15 was found by the property owner as well. And there's also a shooting range. And we're actually on it right now. You can see there's, you know, bullet holes in these propane tanks. That had this sort of tire retaining wall as well, a lot of other bullet holes. And then over here you can see that there's actually these makeshift targets for target practice.

It's odd because it looks like the outline of a human that was drawn by a child perhaps, Poppy. Though I can tell you, it's not uncommon for people to own guns. As you can see, we're out in pretty well the middle of nowhere.

HARLOW: That is just stunning to see. And to think that 11 children were essentially being held there, dirty and starving, and now allegedly being trained for this.

Scott, thank you for being there and for continuing your reporting.

Let's talk about this more with Art Roderick. He's our law enforcement analyst and the former assistant director of the U.S. Marshal's Office.


HARLOW: How can it be, Art, that 11 children are held on this compound? And I get that it's in a rural part of New Mexico, but 11 children? And, you know, for a long time, and the authorities didn't know.

RODERICK: Yes, this -- you're right, this is -- this is a very strange case and it's troubling to say the least. We've got 11 counts of child abuse already. There's going to be more charges coming out at some of these other accusations that have been made proved to be true.

Not only do we have 11 children that have been neglected and abused, but now we're hearing that one of them was trained to be a school shooter. This whole connection to an extremist of the Muslim belief and this connection to this imam in New York, it's good to hear that the FBI is involved and that they've done some background checks on this particular group and these individuals. I'm sure the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York is coordinating a lot of this information with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New Mexico to figure out exactly what this group was doing and if they had any connections to any of the radical terrorism groups that we know about, you know, overseas.

HARLOW: Right.

RODERICK: So there's a lot of questions to be asked here. A lot of questions to be answered here and a lot of questions that I've got just looking at the information that we have right now.

HARLOW: Let me just read you something from the court documents here and get your take because some of these court filings said, quote, there is a substantial likelihood that the defendant may commit -- and there's multiple defendants here -- but a -- one of the defendants may commit new crimes due to his planning and preparation for future school shootings.

Obviously you're not privy to all of the material gathered here by the prosecution, but what would they have had to find that would indicate to them there's substantial, you know, future planning? RODERICK: Well, I mean, they very well could have looked at past

school shootings and found information on the compound concerning those types of shootings. We've actually seen that in some of the past school shootings that we've had, particularly in the Parkland High School shooting where that individual had studied past school shootings to figure out tactics and what to do and what would work and what would give them the greatest body count. So this could have very well been the type of information that they did found on this particular -- that they did find on this particular compound.

[09:35:21] HARLOW: Yes.

Art Roderick, thank you for the expertise. Of course we'll keep everyone posted on this and hoping for the best for those 11 children.

RODERICK: Thanks, Poppy.

HARLOW: Dozens more killed this morning when air strikes hit a bus taking children to summer camp. This happened in northern Yemen. These are Saudi coalition strikes. We'll have a live report on that, next.


HARLOW: Dozens of people were killed, including many, many children, after a bus carrying school children was hit by a Saudi-led coalition air strike. This happened in northern Yemen. The bus was driving through a busy market in a rebel-held province there. A pro-Houthi rebel TV network released video that appears to show the moments right after this strike.

[09:40:01] I should note, CNN cannot independently verify the video's authenticity. And I want to warn you, it is very graphic.

But here's what you can see. You see children's faces covered in blood -- children on a school bus -- as they are carried into the hospital. Look at that kid with his blue backpack on.

This has been going on for a long time in Yemen. Yemen has been in the midst of a civil war for years that has killed thousands and thousands of innocent people. Ten thousand people, mostly civilians, have been killed since the Houthi rebels took other northern Yemen. But keep in mind, that figure has not been updated in two years. So the death toll likely much higher than that.

The fight between the Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran and the Yemeni government, has brought on a humanitarian crisis where innocent children and families are caught in the line of fire every day.

Our senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir has been there, has reportedly extensively through Yemen and is with me this morning.

For so many Americans, this is not an everyday headline for them, but it's when children, innocent children like this, are murdered that it needs to be drawn attention to. What can you tell us?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, firstly, Poppy, I have to tell you, that that isn't even the worst of the footage. What you saw, what we are airing, is only what we are able to air. I have seen the entirety of that video and it is appalling. You see a truck carrying the remains of some of the dead children. The U.N. doesn't have a figure for how many children have died, but they say most of them are under ten and that number is in the scores, they describe it, over a dozen children. And you also see other children whose features have been rendered completely undistinguishable by the burns that they received in that strike.

The Saudi-led coalition has now acknowledged that it carried out the strike that hit that school bus, but they say that this was a legitimate strike, that they were hitting at terrorists. You know, we -- we report on so many horrible things, but that video, the portion that we are unable to air, Poppy, is probably one of the most appalling things that I have seen in a very long time. And that isn't even the worst of it.

This comes after weeks of protracted strikes on the only port currently functioning in Yemen that is the only lifeline to bring in supplies to Yemen. So there is a potential that what we are seeing in those pictures, Poppy, will only get worse. And we should say that this conflict is backed by both the U.S. and the U.K. They are in full support of the Saudi-led coalition's activities in Yemen today.

HARLOW: And, as you note, and I would be remiss not to ask you more on that, you have a major $110 billion arms agreement, an arms deal, between the U.K., the U.S., and Saudi Arabia. So when you talk about how the U.S. could respond, sanctioning Saudi Arabia, for example, will that happen? Does the arms deal complicate that? Does the fact that they're a major alleys in the Middle East certainly complicate that?

ELBAGIR: And the fact that under the Trump administration, the U.S. has kicked up its air strikes in Yemen. They're targeting heavily the al Qaeda franchise there, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and they need the U.S. -- the Saudi-led coalition's presence on the ground to try and suppress further al Qaeda's activities there. Absolutely, this all complicates this.

But the reality is that back in June, even the mere attempt on the part of the Security Council to call just for a cease-fire to allow supplies to come into (INAUDIBLE), to relieve some of that pressure, to bring food in to severely malnourished children, that statement for a cease-fire was blocked by the U.S. and the U.K.


ELBAGIR: So, no, we're not expecting to hear any sanctions coming out of either the White House or Number 10 Downing Street in spite of the fact that there has been a really, major global outcry over this last incident, Poppy.

HARLOW: And in the midst of all of this, children die and will continue to die until something changes.

Nima, thank you for all the reporting. We appreciate it. ELBAGIR: Thank you.

HARLOW: We'll be right back.


[09:48:27] HARLOW: This morning, the family of a Tennessee man shot and killed by police officers in Nashville in July are demanding justice. Take a look at this. This is newly released video. It's from July 26th. This is moments before 25-year-old Daniel Hambrick was shot. It shows him appearing to run from an officer. Then he was shot, it appears, in the back. The police union, those officials argue the video does not tell the whole story.

So let's go to our Kaylee Hartung, our correspondent, who joins us with more details.

What are you learning?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Poppy, we've received a statement from the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police. Despite what you see there on video, James Smallwood (ph), the president of this police order, is saying, it is our firm belief that Officer Delke acted reasonably under the totality of the circumstances within the confines of the law and department policies. We are confident that an independent investigation conducted by the TBI, that's the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, will reflect that and totally exonerate him.

Now, Officer Delke has been put on administrative leave by the city as this investigation takes place. But this newly released video by the state's attorney general is putting a spotlight back on this officer- involved shooting from the end of July. There you see Daniel Hambrick appearing to run from the officer. It is then that the officer fires his weapon. TBI saying he fired that weapon multiple times, though we're not sure how many of those shots struck the victim. It only took one to kill him on the scene.

[09:50:02] Now, this video, again, raising so many questions, you can see with your eyes there. But now to hear the fraternal order of police saying that once this investigation is completed, they feel he will be exonerated, it's very interesting.

We do know that a handgun was found at the scene. In one portion of the video, it looks like a dark object is in Mr. Hambrick's hand. But it's -- you can see the quality of the video, it's just too difficult to tell what that may be, though. Authorities do say a handgun found at the scene, there, Poppy.

Now Hambrick's family is calling for justice. This investigation ongoing, and these videos important to it.

HARLOW: Very. And the question is, is that the only vantage point? Are there other videos showing other things? A lot of questions do remain, and the family is calling for justice.

Thank you for the reporting, Kaylee. Ahead for us, something you may not have heard about but really

serious happening in Florida. It's a toxic algae. It's called red tide. And it is killing all of this sea life. What's causing it? Our Bill Weir is there.


[09:55:29] HARLOW: Deadly red tide. That is what scientists are now calling the worst toxic algae outbreak in recent memory. This is happening along Florida's Gulf Coast. A beautiful part of this country, of course, and home to dolphins and sea turtles and other marine life that are being wiped out by the thousands. The big fear now is, are we to blame?

Bill Weir explains.


BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Normally a voyage like this is filled with relaxed anticipation, but these days a trip off of Florida's Gulf Coast brings only boatfuls of dread. Toxic algae is blooming like mad here and you can see and smell the result everywhere -- on shore and off. A dolphin sighting that would normally inspire wonder --

WEIR (on camera): There's two right there.

WEIR (voice over): Now only makes you worry.

WEIR (on camera): Well, there he is. He's right here. Look at this. Wow, you can really feel it in your -- in your nostrils, in your sinuses, in the back of your throat. It's like a mild pepper spray when this algae gets up in the air. And so if we can feel that discomfort, you've got to wonder what it's like to be a dolphin in a red tide like this.

Oh, there he is.

Their blow hole is just inches beneath the surface.

WEIR (voice over): Ninety miles up the coast, they just found two dolphins that could not survive this epic red tide. But more shocking are the beaches with drift piles of rotting dead fish stretching to the horizon. A visit to the marine biologist at Florida Gulf Coast University is like a visit to the morgue, and these are just two of more than 400 sea turtles found in this area alone.

BOB WASNO, FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY: This one is able to bread (ph). This one here was just a little juvenile.

WEIR (on camera): Makes your heart hurt, doesn't it?

WASNO: It -- you go through stages. It hurts, and then you're angry.

WEIR: This is the villain right here?


WEIR: This is the red tide?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And this one down here on the bottom.

WEIR: Yes.

WEIR (voice over): The algae that causes red tide occurs naturally in salt water, but human activity on land can make the situation much, much worse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they love nitrogen and phosphorous.

WEIR (on camera): Which are fertilizers? Yes.


WEIR: That's burning sugar or is that --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're processing sugar.

WEIR: They're processing sugar.

WEIR (voice over): Generations of sugar cane farming has altered the chemistry of Lake Okeechobee and the health of the Everglades. In wet season, Florida dumps a massive amount of water into the most delicate ecosystems, while in dry season that water is diverted to farms and cities, great for the economy, horrible for the environment.

DR. WILLIAM MITSCH, FRESHWATER EXPERT, FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY: You have a natural phenomenon called red tide, as Mike said, but you have the nitrogen then coming in and giving it a booster shot.

WEIR: And now these scientists from Florida Gulf Coast University are testing water up to 20 miles offshore looking for the definitive proof that America's sugar habit is also making red tides worse.

WEIR (on camera): You're looking for the smoking gun?

MITSCH: I'm looking for the smoking gun.

DR. MIKE PARSONS, RED TIDE EXPERT, FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY: I think -- I think we also have to realize that, you know, collectively, we got to this point. It took 70 years, 80 years to get to where we are now and it's going to take a while to work our way out of it.

WEIR (voice over): Back on a beach that should be full of tourists, I find only cleanup crews, many of them unpaid volunteers.

WEIR (on camera): You live in Tennessee.


WEIR: Did you come out here just to do this?

CANADA: Absolutely, I did. WEIR: Are you kidding? Really?

CANADA: I did. I did, yes.

WEIR: Have you seen red tides that have been this bad before?


WEIR: And who's to blame, do you think?

FORD: I think we all are to blame, to be honest. You know, I think we all play a role in this one way or the other. I think it goes all the way up the chain and all the way down.

WEIR: Yes.

FORD: And I just think we just need to come together, figure it out and, you know, let the scientists do what they can do and, you know what, just try to get to the bottom of it.


WEIR: U.S. Sugar is pushing back at all the criticism. They refused an interview, but put out a statement that says, we share in the frustration over the Lake Okeechobee discharges. We want to collaborate in finding solutions, but that radicals are blaming a single company, U.S. Sugar, for systemic regional problems brought over 100 years of change is utterly ridiculous.

That company has enormous political sway down here, Poppy. The Republican-led legislature is very pro-growth, pro-farming. So who knows if their practices will change, and who knows how long the red tide will last. It's been going for nine months. The hurricanes may be stirring this sort of thing up. And many here are worried that this is the new normal.

[10:00:08] HARLOW: You know, Bill, if it weren't for you being there telling these stories, I wouldn't -- I mean, you know, the first time I even read about this, heard about this was this morning because