tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN August 14, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
that is for sure this week. michele phillips, it is an honor, a pleasure. make sure you catch the '60s tonight here on cnn 9:00 eastern and pacific. thank you for joining me, michele, and thank all of you for joining me. we'll see you tomorrow. in the meantime, jake tapper live from ferguson, missouri. live from ferguson, missouri. "the lead" starts now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >> these i thinks are not from gaza or iraq. they're from right here in ferguson, missouri, usa. i'm jake tapper, this is "the lead." the national lead, police throwing stun grenades, shooting rubber bullets, using tear gas, protesters hurling it mol lal tov cocktails. the city of ferguson, bracing for a fifth night of violence as police refuse still to release the name of the officer who are fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old. also -- >> stop videotaping.
grab our stuff and go. >> hurry up, let's go. >> alleged misuse of force. a pair of journalists in ferguson say policeman handled and arrested them. others were hit with tear gas while reporting making it clear in ferguson, a press pass is not a shield. and the pop culture lead. surprising news from the wife of robin williams this afternoon. pulling back the curtain even further on the troubles that plagued the comic genius revealing for the first time that will williams suffered from a crippling disease. good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper from ferguson, missouri where any moment now we are expecting a news conference from the democratic governor of missouri, jay dixon, as this city prepares for another potential night like this. [ gunfire ] >> police throwing stun grenades at demonstrate ares in the
streets, firing rubber bullets, forcing the crowd to scramble for safety. police claim they only responded with force after protesters threw malla tov cocktails and while there are images of malla tov cocktails in protesters hands, witnesses such as an alder man who was arrested last night say police instigated the violence. as the media descends upon the town of 21,000, there are now enough cameras and smartphones to capture every flinch made here. yet, so much about the incident that sparked it all remains a mystery, such as the name of the officer who fatally shot unarmed 18-year-old michael brown on saturday afternoon. police keeping that quiet, including a lot of other details in the case citing the officer's safety. the police version, police version is that brown walking to his grandmother's house in this neighborhood, got into an altercation with the officer in question and according to police reached for the officer's gun,
but a number of witnesses say that is not how it happened at all. and, of course, there is no video of it. while protesters and police clashed in the streets of ferguson last night, president obama was at a private party in martha's vineyard where the white house told us a good time was had by all. if the president waited still perhaps some optics that were trouble willing. today, president obama came to the cameras to call for peace. >> there is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting. there's also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their first amendment rights. and here in the united states of america, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists just trying to do
their jobs. >> of course not. going after journalists for exercising their first amendment rights is a job for the justice department. president obama alluding to the arrests of two journalists in a mcdonald's just down the street from here is, "washington post" reporter wesley lowery and ryan riley of the "huffington post." police told them they were trespassing in this mcdonald's. they say their only crime was conspiracy to commit journalist. we'll talk to riley in a moment. the where i am, the site canfield green where michael brown was shot, is just down the street and to the left. you take a left on the next street, canfield. it's in this rather well manicured government housing project down the street. right here, you have protesters who have been out there for hours. hands up, don't shoot, getting people to honk. behind me you can see this convenience store that was hurnt down by protesters on saturday
night. let's bring in cnn justice correspondent pamela brown with new information. of course, here with me is cnn national correspondent jason carroll. he's been covering the story right here in ferguson since monday. pam, i want to go to you. first. because there's been this big mystery about the investigation into what happened with michael brown. there's a witness who's been interviewed on cnn and elsewhere and yet, police had not talked to him before cnn and other channels got to him. is there any news on the investigation and the witnesses? >> there is some news, jake. we have learned that federal investigators have interviewed with dorian johnson, the man who was with michael brown hop says he was with michael brown when the shooting occurred on saturday. so we have learned that they've interviewed johnson. of course, this is after what he told cnn in an interview, that you alluded to. johnson had said initially that he was walking down the street with michael brown and that the
cop came up. he said a white male police officer came up to them and yelled at them to get off to the sidewalk and then he later said as we've heard so many times that michael brown put his hands up and surrendered and the police officer shot. as we know, police are giving a different account that there was an altercation and brown tried to go for his gun. dorian johnson is a key witness in this investigation, jake. of course, it is critical in any investigation to get to the witnesses early on so that they don't hear other accounts and change their story. of course, he isn't the only witness as we heard today in a statement that attorney general eric holder released that officials have been interviewing other eyewitnesss, as well. so that is key. that is the first step in this investigation. it's going to be a thorough, a slow, painstaking process, i can tell you that. >> pamela brown, stay with us. jason carroll has been here since monday. i want you to answer questions
i'm getting from viewers on twitter. as somebody who has been here since monday and seen several nights of violence. >> a lot. >> what's going on with how militarized the police are, how violent are the protests? is this all this really necessary. >> first of all, when we were out here on monday, about 100 meters from where we are now, it was the same situation we saw out here last night that you saw in the video. there was a heavy police presence. there were in riot gear using tear gas and asking everyone to leave. you've seen is the neighborhood. the people were saying this it is our neighborhood. where are we supposed to go? this is my yard. where am i supposed to go. as the police came down here, it was i think shocking for a lot of us here into the media to see such a heavy police presence so heavily armed. when you think about the history
here what's been happening here for years, people here really feel as though there's been a history of police using excessive force. imagine what happened when you have dom mon straighters coming out and they see the presence of excessive force. from many people on the ground, it made a bad situation even worse. >> we have seen pictures of protesters with mol lal tov cocktails. how many of the people protesting are using violence and how many are peaceful? >> you see both. overwhelming majority of the people out here are peaceful demonstrators whether it's out here in the day and those people honking in support as they go by or even at night. some people coming by wanting to express their political point of view. however, in that crowd, we also saw people who were clearly there to cause trouble. their face is covered. carrying rocks. things like that.
so from the police point of view, how do you thenen differentiate between someone like you who perhaps is standing out there to peacefully show your support for what happened versus someone who is next it out who's going to throw a rock. that's the challenge that police have here on ground. >> pamela, back in washington, what are your sources telling you about what's next in terms of law enforcement in this area? i've heard people say that st. louis county police are no longer going to be out here. shed some light on that for us. >> well, at this stage, as far as the two the parallel investigations, what i'm hearing from sources familiar with both investigations, things are still the same. both parallel investigations are continuing to move forward. both from the county level and also from the federal level with main justice doj as well as the u.s. attorney's office and the fbi and they're really focused right now on getting those
witness interviews as well as looking at autopsy results which, of course, is also a key part of the investigation as well as ballistics. that's where things stand. also today, jake, we learned that doj is deploying more resources not only to help with the investigation but also to help police there in ferguson top control the crowd, in fact, we learned that a doj has sent some officials from the department of justice programs at doj to help with technical assistance to help with some less extreme ways to control the crowd as eric holder said in his statement today, he said that he's deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message. that's going to be the role of these additional officials there on the ground. we know that the town of ferguson has accepted this assistance. so hopefully, jake, we will see some changes as far as some of the violence with the protests that we've seen and also we learned that the robert moosy,
the head of the civil rights criminal division just arrived there on the ground this morning in ferguson as well as his team. they're going to be helping with the investigation so doj is really stepping up efforts really on both ends with the investigation, with helping police in ferguson. we also know eric holder had a meeting with president obama earlier today to brief him on everything going on. eric holder also spoke with the u.s. attorney in st. louis as well as the acting assistant attorney for civil rights. so he clearly is treating this as a top priority. jake? >> thanks, pamela. before we go, be i want to ask you, because you were stuck here last night on this residential street. people just to give them the lay of the land, this is a residential neighborhood. you see this gas station and what was once you know convenience store. but this is a residential neighborhood. we're told right now that the governor of missouri, jay nixon
is about to start his news conference. let's listen in. >> good afternoon. first of all, i want to thank all of the local elected and appointed officials with us today as well as the community leaders of this region. we deeply appreciate the activities you've been under and also want to thank our great friends at the university of missouri, st. louis. chancellor george, always deeply involved in the community and willing to assist us in whatever way, shape, or form. i tank him for the excellent leadership he provides in this region. i want to thank everybody for joining us on a very busy day for the community. first let me go through what we've done today. then you'll hear from a couple folks here and we'll be glad to take questions. this morning i was briefed by state public officials on the events of yesterday evening and morning. i spoke this morning with president obama who conveyed his
concerns about the situation and appreciation for our efforts to resolve it. here in st. louis, i've mate with faith and civic leaders and i took a moment to visit the scene this morning where earlier this week a young man not much younger than my own sons lost his life. finally i deeply appreciate the opportunity to speak with and hear from members of the neighborhood that is directly affected by the events of the last six days. they told me they want a community that is happy and healthy and safe, streets free from intimidation and fear. they want peace, they want truth and they want to be treated with respect. today my message to the people of ferguson is these voices have been heard. over the past several days, we've been deeply troubled by this crisis. as the pain of last weekend's tragedy has been compounded by nights of conflict and fear. what's gone on is not what missouri's about. it's not what the ferguson is about. this is a place where people work, go to school, raise their families and go to church. a missouri community.
lately it's looked more like a war zone. that's unacceptable. to change that course, we're going to need to join hands to rebuild the trust lost and mend what's broken and help the community regain confidence and stability, literally the eyes of the nation are on us. in order for that important process of healing and reconciliation to begin, we need to address immediate challenges. i'm announcing that the missouri m highway patrol under the supervision of captain ron johnson will be directing the team that provides security in ferguson. now what i'm announcing today does not affect the responsibilities of those involved in the investigation. i would once again like to thank general holder for agreeing to my request that the justice department conduct a parallel investigation. i want to thank all local law enforcement officials working so very hard on the investigation here at the local level. while that investigation continues, the immediate security responsibilities will now be directed by missouri state highway patrol who have proven themselves time and
again. i want to thank the hard working members of the local and regional police department who have and will continue to work with the highway patrol as the troopers take the lead. i want to specifically thank those officers working double shifts who have been out there on the cutting edge working putting themselves out there. i appreciate the work that they've done. today is a day though that our words and deeds will set a better cornerstone on which to build our shared future because i believe and i know that ferguson will not be defined as a community torn apart by violence but a community that pulled together to overcome it. today is a day we renew our commitment to the bring peace to the families of ferguson, and commit to our mutual responsibilities of ensuring the safety and security of our communities and making sure they're served with justice and respect by leaders. the day we embrace our shared obligation as citizens to express our grief in i an peaceful manner and voice our expectations for fairness and justice. friends, we must pledge again to build up this community and direct it and ourselves toward
the better angels of our nature. we'll now hear from a couple other folks. i'll be glad to take questions. the first of those i want to introduce for you to make a few comments, captain ron johnson of the missouri state highway patrol. captain johnson. >> i appreciate the significance of this responsibility and the fact that this community and state and the nation are looking for law enforcement leadership that protects and serves our citizens. i grew up here and this is currently my community and my home. and therefore, it means a lot to me personally that we break the cycle of violence, and build trust. showing the utmost respect for every interaction with every citizen. moving forward i'm confident that the patrol and police resources present here in ferguson been do just that. they understand as i do how important it is that ferguson has confidence in law
enforcement, would with us and understands that we are here to serve them. i understand that the anger and fear that the citizens of ferguson are feeling. and our police officers will respect both of those. thank you. >> chief executive of this region, and i appreciate their cooperation and support and the professionalism they and their teams bring to a myriad of opportunities each and every day. let me first ask the county executive of st. louis county, charlie dooley. if you would. >> good afternoon to all of you. i come to you this afternoon with a very heavy heart. what we have seen these past few days in st. louis county has been a tragedy. for the michael brown family, it has been a tragedy. they have lost a son.
in st. louis county, the world is looking at us and how do we treat our own. is this freedom of assembly? of course, there is. we support freedom of assembly. but what we do not support is disobedience for the law abiding people in st. louis county. i have been saddened by what i have even these past few days, individuals come to this community not for the right purpose. i'm for justice. i am not for revenge. i'm for doing what's right and making it right. we have a large job ahead of us. bringing this community together. it is not going to be a simple
thing. there are too many questions that has not been answered that need explanations. people need to know, have closure to what is going on around them. are they going to be protected in their homes or are they going to feel safe in their communities, but even more importantly, as we move forward, can the community and our law enforcement come together to work as a unit? neither one can get there by themselves. we need each of them to participate in this process. i want to thank governor nixon and his team stepping forward. recognizing we need all the resources that we can possibly garner to make this happen. to improve the process. i want to thank my good friend mayor slade for being with us and captain johnson. it's going to take all of our
agencies to make this of situation better. it's going to take all of us. but even more importantly it's going to take the people in the communities to calm down, stand down and let's be reasonable. let's have a conversation about what is happening in our community. how do we perceive ourselves? how will the world look at us as a community? this ought not to be a black and white thing. this ought not to be a disrespectful thing for citizens of our community. we can do better than this. i'm confident that as we go forward, we're going to make a difference. and one of the things that i pleng to you, i'm going to appoint a blue ribbon committee to report to me to look at what are we doing in how are we doing it, but even more importantly,
get people in the community involved in this process. they need to feel that they are part of it. they need to feel that they're a part of the solution. and the only way you can do that is involved those individuals. so i pledge in the next coming weeks we're going to get a blue ribbon committee from both sides and let's get together and talk about what are our expectations, what do we expect, and how are we doing. and give a regular update on what's going on in our community. we have nothing to hide. it's transparent and oh, by the way, we want the media to be involved in this process, as well. we want to make sure they're kept aware of what's going on, why are we doing certain things and what's the outcome we expect. i look forward to this communication, i look forward to this resources coming together. but even more importantly, i
believe that we can make a difference in people's lives. people expect us in st. louis county that make their life safe, their businesses safe, their families safe, they have a right to that. and that's our jobs. and we're going to do it. so in closing, i am committed to this process. i know our team is committed to this process. all of our agencies are committed to this process. i need the people of st. louis county and the region to be committeded to this process. it's not an us thing. it's ours. this is our community. the world is looking at us across this world. and how we represent ourselves it speaks volumes to our young people. they're our next leaders. we are the mentors. we're setting the bar. what type of bar are we setting for our young people?
they're looking at us. it is our responsibility to make it better. thank you. >> let me also thank these members of the legislature with us today that represent this area so well and have their finger on the pulse of this community and represent that so well in jefferson city. i appreciate these leaders being with us. we have been in contact with them. we'll continue to do that in thing weeks. now i'd like to hear from the mayor of the city of st. louis, our good friend, francis slade. >> thank you, governor. >> michael brown was fatally shot in ferguson this past saturday. his parents, his family, friends and this community are all in mourning. i mean, these are facts that are not in dispute. nor is the need for a full, fair and transparent investigation. nor is the need for justice to be served or people to be heard.
the governor asked me to stand with him and county executive dooley today to demonstrate our common agreement on this situation. justice must happen. the grieving must be comforted. the angry must be heard. and the innocent must it be protected. i agree on the direction that the governor set. i offered him the experience of two senior police commanders from the st. louis metropolitan police department, chief sam dodson and major ronnie robinson, both of whom are here this afternoon available to provide advice and support. sam and ronnie will bring a wealth of useful and practical knowledge to the effort. and certainly whatever support they can provide. they can help protect people and their right to assemble peaceably, protect the right write to talk about and report
it and keep people safe. i want to conclude by recognizing the officers of the st. louis county police department and ferguson police department and other law enforcement officials that have been involved on the streets of ferguson over the past several days. i want to thank you for your service, thank you for respecting your badge for honoring your oath and for again, the service to our community generally. i hope that the decision made by the governor will make your mission clearer, safer, and shorter. thank you. >> me first, they be we'll take other questions later. [ muted ] [ muted ]. >> you've been listening to a press conference of the governor of missouri, jay dixon. first of all, he said that watching ferguson has been a little bit like a war zone and
it's not acceptable. perhaps most pointedly he has now said that missouri state highway patrol officers are now in charge of security for this area, not st. louis county police. we're going to go back to the governor for one second now. >> that we use force only when necessary. that we step back a little bit and let some of the energy be felt in this region inappropriately but that's only possible to succeed tonight and tomorrow and the next day after that if you have as was indicated by executive dooley as well as others the support of the community. that's why these legislators and other local leaders are so important. i think you're going to see once again, i don't want to speak for operationally other than to say that i think while maintaining the peace but allowing more movement, trying to bring in
different shall we say a different tone of the amplitude of protective force. my sense is that that will have an effect. i know operational teams on the ground are working on those changes anyway. i appreciate that. >> reporter: can you answer, will there be armored cars on the streets? >> wait. go ahead, kevin. >> how would you characterize account previous -- >> please use the microphone. >> i mean, all of us have seen some level of escalation. we've seen some level of escalation of both the arms used to deter as well as some of the conduct. i think there's been at that level, we feel that we need to dim that acceleration, provide an avenue for folks to speak appropriately but that i think will allow us to have a better
chance at a better focus on guaranteeing more public safety. so clearly, i think you'll see a, as the afternoon and evening as far as the starts, a little different picture and our hope is that that will begin. we should also note that you know, there will be resources out there if things get difficult to make sure that people are kept safe. i think that clearly, the kind of the strong front on the force line, the strong force on the frontline, our hopes would be that we'd have the ability to get a little more peaceful interaction on the front with force for the back. >> governor, how would you explain the nature of the presence that we saw on the streets yesterday? i mean, there were armored personnel carriers about 100 police in military style uniform, high-powered rifles trained on the crowd. who is in charge of making those decisions? are they going to be held to
account for mistakes that you clearly think have been made? >> i think that was yesterday. tonight's tonight. tomorrow's tomorrow. we all have seen both an acceleration as to the intensity kind of on both sides of the equation. our hope is this operational shift will begin the process of lowering the intensity of those direct interactions and potential risks while at the same time expanding an opportunity for folks to speak out appropriately about both long and short-term issues that clearly have struck a nerve. >> definitely one-sided yesterday. it was definitely one-sided yesterday. it was a response to a peaceful protest. there had been no violence at all from the crowd. the nature of that response just trying to understand how that can happen. who was in charge that the point of making those decisions that brought -- >> i'm not looking backwards. i'm looking forward and forward when we saw the acceleration in
this situation and the thrusting forward. that's it's our sense that a -- shall we say a softer front might yield an avenue for appropriate energy absent direct confrontation. >> governor -- the incident report that will contain the name of the officer who shot mike brown. it seems pretty clear under state law that is an open record. should that be released? >> first of all, i don't know the name of the officer. i'm not conducting either of the investigations. i spent the better part of my career doing that stuff. >> missouri state law. >> i don't want to get into i an debate what the law is or is not other than to say that i would hope that the appropriate release of that name with the security around it if necessary to make sure that there's not additional acts of violence be done as expeditious will he as
possible. there's certainly in my view methods and abilities to do that. i'm not sureligation is the best of them. i'll let others choose that. i think it will be an important milestone here to get that out as expa deshsly as possible. yes, joe. >> fair or unfair -- [ inaudible question ] talk about what your thought processes were and what prompted you now to actually take control? >> i mean, we've been involved and captain johnson and the patrol has been part of this multidisciplinary team. we've been monitoring it very carefully. this is not my first time i've been on the phone with both local officials. it's not the first time i've had a chance to speak with these elected leaders. we're monitoring this closely. you clearly want solutions if at all possible to be done as locally as possible. you really want -- you want
folks to feel engaged so that you get not merely a short-term operational gain but much more importantly than that, a long-term you know trust build. so you want to be in a situation in which you want to at the state level support folks that are out there facing the tough calls, making the tough calls and doing this. we watched it very carefully. i just felt that at this particular point, that the attitudes weren't improving. and that the blocks towards expression appeared to be a flash point. and that if we put you know, some folks, some people first, that we'd be in a better situation. i've been monitoring closely and you know felt that this was the appropriate time to make this had operational shift.
>> governor. >> real quick, david. i'm here. don't worry. you'll get me. david? >> governor, will the ferguson police department and the st. louis county police department still be providing the feet on the ground as far as the police officers go, or will the highway patrol be stepping in with more of its officers? >> captain johnson will be the lead in the security position of this. we'll have significant resources and patrol. they will continue to be part of the multidisciplinary team with shifts from the local region to assist that. we expect we'll continue to rely on a joint force in this area to make sure with the various shifts involved. but operationally, the patrol will be the lead agency when it comes to security. >> i'm sorry. you know, is we'll have the -- we'll have whatever is out there. i think that the challenge we face to date is not whether you have enough officers or not. the challenge we face today is
not whether you had enough resources or not. the challenge is not whether you've shown enough strength on the police side or not. i think we've shown that. that's why i think a little shift here and a little operational shift with a little more flexibility at this point could provide breathing space to for both expression. i should warn we're certainly going to protect business owners and families and others from indiscriminate acts or illegal acts. there will be adequate force there. i just don't think the size of the force has been the key stress. back here, yeah. >> several people said that they were arrested for protesting peacefully yesterday. and that they spent the night in jail, some of them 16 hours and then just released, walked right out of jail. and so my question is, your thoughts on that. will you look into that. secondly as you've talked about the presence from last night, what you hear repeatedly from
the folks in ferguson, they're dumbfounded by the overwhelming and over the top response they saw last night. what i think you've tried to touch on it. i don't think you've quite answered that question. >> there's been gunfire. both sides. let's not kid ourselves. this has been a difficult zone. there has been -- there have been -- there's been a great deal of activity in that region. so i think that tonight you'll see and today you'll see without going through any of the operational stuff which was up to the team as they worked this morning and tonight to move forward, but i think what you're going to see is an attempt and successful attempt in my view to move forward people and to move back a little bit of equipment. that doesn't mean we're giving up on keeping rule of law or keeping control of any aberrant or criminal behavior. >> governor, what do you say to the underlying concern in the community here that there has been a long habit of police
harassment in the north st. louis county, traffic stops,ings multiple housing violations, particularly the revenue for municipalities that have limited resources as the economy here in this area has gone down. >> as i said the other night at the church, this feels a little like an old wound that has been hit again and so the pain you feel is not just from the individual action. it feels like a little bit of a long time simmering. and that i think is natural for all of us to see and to watch. he i think the changes we face go much more deep. that doesn't show a lack of respect for any of the victims that have suffered so far or the deaths we've had in any way, shape, or form. the key to this is to get control, let voices be heard, make sure we protect property, dual process of opening up and
being more free, showing less force on the front side. ultimately getting to some of the deeper problems. i mean, this is -- these are you know, deep and existing problems not only in missouri but in america and this has clearly touched a nerve. that nerve is not merely from this more risk incident that happened a few short days ago or any of the interim things. it touches a deeper nerve. that i think while we're focused today on a shorter term operational thing, i think ultimately we will be graded or gauged as to whether or not this was an opportunity used to begin to make some longer term understanding and healing. so i do believe that this touched a an old wound, a deeper nerve and incumbent upon all of us to respect those that have been lost to make sure that justice served, but to make sure
we keep order, to allow voices to be heard but long range, when we say voices to be heard, that means people listen to also. it doesn't just mean people talking. voices being heard is not just letting people say they're side. it's opening their mouths and your ears. this is in that sense a clear opportunity. >> governor, may i ask a question? >> sure. >> we had rioting on sunday night as the police zad back. this they moved in more aggressively. some people say we haven't had any looting or burning since then. is there a plan b if this new kinder, gentler approach yields more rye thing and looting? >> we will have adequate resources to deal with public safety issues that arise in this region. those of you that know miano the people involved as well as the fine professionals in had region, as i said before, i don't think there's any doubt whether we've got enough
resources to deal with this. we'll use those resources a little differently, calibrated in different orders about you rest assured we're going to do our best to re-establish the rule of law and then subsequently expand the trust. >> governor -- >> i think there's a lot of -- once again, i'm not involved in the investigative side. all that is going to operate on separate tracks. you'll see activities occur that have potential flash points in the community. that's why it's important now to i think make a little shift in this and operationally. there's a lot to be done but there are some checkpoints as we move forward that are going to be very emotional. that are going to be moments when you know, folks may disagree or agree what the outcomes are.
a lot of stuff between now and the finish. two significant investigations going on at the same time. our goal is to make sure operationally and systematically that we're getting peace and using this on that front to garner opportunities in the future. >> reporter: you've talked about trying to heal that wound that's been here for a long time. do you have any specs you could offer us on things you'd like to see done? >> we're focused right now on operational things. we'd like to see folks feel comfortable and hearing their voices and making sure other people's lives and property are protected. we'd like to see the danger level go down. we'd like to see the investigations out there get completed. we'd like to see those done in a fashion that's transparent and timely so that these important facts get out in the public. i think that it's real important for people to know what happened and how it happened and then we'll begin to process that. the sooner we can get to those,
that's extremely important here. and long-range, institutions like this and the schools, i do appreciate representative pearson and some of the others this morning had listening sessions with the students in schools here. that's an important step to engage with those, the young folks. i think some of these other representatives are doing just the same. and you know, that's an important part of this process, too. i hope to be involved appropriately once we get through the situation operational things we have to get accomplished in the next day or two. >> reporter: by holding st. louis police back, do you have a sense you're throwing them under the bus for doing their job? >> absolutely not. captain johnson has been in the operation center. what we're doing is putting a -- we're making a little organizational shift here that i think will reflect i think some other things that all those folks were doing. i respect the folks that wear
those uniforms and wear this badge. most of you know i have a lifetime of being involved in requirement. people that choose as a contemporary to run to trouble not away from it are here rows we have. they're stressed right now. it's been a difficult couple weeks here. getting this operational shift is i think something that will give everybody a breath of fresh air. we're not -- this isn't about looking in the rearview. >> mike r.:. we're trying to keep our eyes focused on what's in front of us. all the way back, please. >> reporter: there have been calls for a special prosecutor. what are your thoughts about that? >> we've got two already. we've got the justice department and we've got fine seasoned team at st. louis county. i think that -- let's let them do their work is my view. you got two the parallel tracks, fbi, justice department, you've got the fine folks at the st. louis here with a lot of experience. i think we let them do their
jobs. they're doing a lot of work out there. they're i know they're hustling their tails off. nobody's enjoying the time lines we've got. they want to get it right and they will. i don't think adding a third at this particular juncture till we get the transparency here and see the outcome of that is appropriate. there's already two folks looking over each other. that's unique anyway. i think that's going to work because general holder and his team from justice as well as prosecutor mccould you la and his team are seasoned professionals. i would not think that bringing a third lane in that particular thing is going to be helpful at this juncture. yes? >> governor, can you characterize a little bit your relationship with the black community, how it's evolved over the past week and shaped your response to all of this? >> i mean, the, are did, i appreciate the relationship i
have with so many of my friends from so many years in this community and the stress and pressures that they've helped me with over the years. not only these fine four leaders but many others, i tremendously appreciate that. i don't think this is a time to -- and i'm going to continue to not use this as a time to divide or to draw differences or see how loud i can talk or see how sharp i can say. other people have first anticipate rights. i've got executive challenges here. so i think that the relationship is good and professional. and in many ways very personal with a number of folks and i look forward to you know, natural process of the first amendment and democracy and ask people to agree and disagree in public. that's part of the life of living. if you're not -- if you're not up for dealing with the critiques of actions and
inactions in this job, you shouldn't seek it. >> governor over here, if you could. speaking of first amendment rights, could you respond to criticism of your handling of the situation that came in the form i've tweet from state senator maria chappelle nadil that included a four letter word? >> good. >> it's near the gs. >> are you familiar with it? >>? >> you know, i get the access. you guys subpoenaed a lot of stuff out. i can be see some of it. i don't -- i don't it's not how i communicate. and i don't -- i -- i try to put gasoline into the engine of fire engines when i see them, not on the fires that are existing. i find doing that is more
productive. >> governor, have you been able to talk to the brown family? >> we tried to. we'll get that opportunity soon. we've certainly been in contact with them. i wanted to -- i have been impressed by their comments calling for peace and justice. and i thank them for that. i think they have been resolute in their recommendation to the communities that violence is not the answer. and i know they're going through difficult times, very difficult times. i think that while we were we had a chance to get together that the schedules got got bumped. i'll sure we'll get a chance to sit with them. with the things in front of me right now, it was important for me to get this strategic alignment accomplished and then working tonight. i've been more focused today on some of the operational aspects. anybody else? yeah, dave. >> i'd still like to hear from captain johnson what he says he's going to do different
tonight. >> i'll let captain johnson make a few ments. i should say, just asking members of the law enforcement before what they're doing, what they're going to do is you know, they try to -- but captain johnson's -- >> yes. >> so captain, i was wondering, what are you going to do differently tonight? are you still going to roll in there with armored vehicles and police in full body gear or have a different appearance? can you give us an overview of that? >> we're going to go back in a sense today and we're going to start from today. we're not going to look back in the past. when we talk about boots on the ground, my boots will be on the ground. and actually, i plan on myself walking to the quick trip that has been called ground zero and meeting with the folks there myself tonight. and so we are going to have a different approach and have the approach that we're in this together. so that's going to be an
approach we'll have tonight. and look at our resources and make sure we're not taking resources out there that we don't need. but when we do need those resources, they still be here. we'll just reaassess and we plan on trying to keep it open today and let people speak and hear what they're talking about, like the governor said, not just let him speak but listening. so we will have a different approach today. i believe you'll see that. i believe that was in the plan before this meeting we talked last night with the police chief of st. louis county and those were the plans we had for today. we all went home last night and before we left, we talked about going home and thinking about what we were going to do for today. and i can tell that you when i got home last night, my wife was out of town and my son wasn't home. before i got into the bed like i do each and every night, i pray for a different morning today.
and i believe today is going to a different day for our community. this afternoon, i had a chance to go to river gardens high school, sit down and speak with 25 students. one young lady sat in the back with tears in her eyes and said i hate to cry. i almost had tears in my eyes. but i told her we're going to make a change and make a difference. i told each of those students if they have issues they should call us. but i also gave those students my address to my office. i told them to write me a letter about how they felt and how this has impacted them. when this is over, i am going to read that to the trooper shoz are assigned here at troop c. and i got an e-mail a text on my phone from the head of security at the school. i said those students went back to their class and told their friends that they believe we're going to make a change today. and we are. >> we've been listening to a press conference from a number of firms from the state of missouri, jay dixon, jay nixon,
the democratic governor, of course. i want to bring in anthony gray, one of the attorneys for the family of michael brown who was killed an unarmed 18-year-old on saturday. i want to get your reaction to some of this news. the governor announcing that the ferguson police and the st. louis county police are no longer going to be in charge of security for this area, instead, it's going to be the missouri state highway patrol. he was very nice about it, the governor, but that is a clear vote of no confidence. your reaction? >> i think you can it erpt it that way. i think what the governor is trying to do is find solutions and think out of the box. i agree with him a shift in approach and mentality is great. i think having captain ron johnson in control. >> from the highway patrol. >> from the highway patrol, i love what he said. i'm in total agreement with his sentiments. i do think this would allow us the space we need to perhaps make a change on the street. >> what is the difference between the highway patrol
providing security here and the local police? obviously we all saw captain ron johnson is african-american. i don't know if you feel like that would mean he would be more sensitive and attuned to the sensitivities of the community or what. what is the difference? >> hit on a good point. the fact he is an african northern commander with the highway patrol does send somewhat of a signal they're applying resources and utilizing people that may have that level of sensitivity needed on the ground right now. i believe that captain ron johnson will bring that to the forefront which is well needed at this point. >> let me ask you how the family is doing, michael brown's family, the grieving mother, the grieving father. have they been satisfied at all with anything they've heard from the police, any steps in the investigation? >> not from the local authorities. i need to make that very clear. they have spoken with the highest level of authorities at the federal level. >> the justice department. >> i think they have a sense of
comfort that came interest those discussions. >> you just came from a meeting with those justice department officials. what did they tell you? >> i can't get into that. it was a very private conversation. and but i can tell you i think we all left of the somewhat way more comfortable than we came into the meeting with. >> are we going to hear from the family? do they plan any sort of press conference or anything along those lines? >> we're discussing that right now. no definitive days and times for a press conference per se. the mom desires to participate in some of the vigils and some of the peaceful demonstrations going on. she likes to be a part of that on a national level to make sure that we make a call for peace and calm. and let me just add that this is not a black/whitish. i heard the reporter ask a question. there are lots of people that have contacted me from all races, all creeds and nationalities. i want everybody to know this is a unified effort to remain calm and find out what happened.
period. so i don't want there to be a sense that this is divided amongst stf any class of people because from the parents' standpoint and from my standpoint, it is not. >> the we appreciate it. coming up next on "the lead," president obama accuses cops independence missouri of bullying journalists as reporters are arrested. and one of here released from custody tells us his story. we'll be right back. you make a great team. it's been that way since the day you met. but your erectile dysfunction -
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>> welcome back to "the lead." we're live here at ground zero in ferguson, missouri. i'm here with one of the reporters who was arrested last night for daring to practice journalism. ryan riley with the "huffington post" joins me with more on what happened. we only have a little time. i care what happens to journalists. explain to viewers why they should care. >> we're sort of witnessing what's happening here. if we can't see what's happening, then the rest of the world doesn't see what's happening. the fact that you know, just the
circumstances under which we were treated. we were sitting both of us were sitting in mvdonald's working on our laptops and didn't pack up quickly enough. that was the justification. and for reporting the police. that was evidence, that was enough for them to sort of decide to lock us up. >> what bothered them, that you were videotaping them? >> it was a combination of things, both that we were videotaping and weren't packing up quickly enough. officer grabbed my things and threw it into my bag. it was an extraordinary moment i need to capture. here's a heavily armed police officer in a mcdonald's, a tranquil mcdonald's before they walked in. it was like any mcdonalds. everyone was hanging around. because we were spread out and preparing for the night, we had a lot of stuff to pack up into our bags. so it was going to take us a little bit longer to begin with. we weren't trying to antagonize the situation. that's not what i wanted to be doing. i wanted to be reporting. i came here to report. hopefully today get back to
that. >> one does wonder if an officer of the law has disdain for the first amendment, if he cares much about any of the other ones as well. are you surprised that the governor announced that highway patrol was taking over security for this area, a slap in the face to the local police? >> i mean based on last night, i this i one thing that lost a little bit was just what time this happened at. it was very early in the evening, broad daylight. very peaceful protest. there was a boom box. they were playing songs. wasn't anything violent at all. they decided to shut down the entire area and push people out of their own communities. a lot of people protesting live in the community and they were pushed this way. especially when have you out of town officers. people were stuck back in communities because they wanted them to go to the other side but there was no place for them to go. hopefully i'll not be stuck in a cell and be able to get a sense what's happening for myself. >> what do you say to critics
saying this is just loreporters trying to make themselves the story. >> i hate that. that's not what i came here for. i'd much rather be -- a got a lot of great material i'm hopefully going to still be able to use. >>. look forward to reading it. we go to wolf blitzer whos in in "the situation room." >> happening now, breaking news. a city on eng bracing for another night of possible unrest. the police chief calls ferguson, missouri, a powder keg. call for healing. president obama speaks out about the violence in missouri as the justice department steps in to try to diffuse the tension. stepping down. iraq's prime minister yields to growing pressure and agrees to leave office without a fight. but there are mo new concerns about advances by isis militants. i'm wolf blitzer. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com