tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN May 4, 2015 6:00am-7:01am PDT
morrow. so i will look forward to seeing you then. >> is that true? you've got better information than i do allison. as long as we stay on the stories that matter doesn't matter where we are. it's nice to have a little good stuff to end the show. >> so true. i think i will see you. >> a lot of news this morning. i'll see you soon. >> let's get you to the "newsroom" with carol costello. >> all right, thanks, chris. "newsroom" starts now. >> this is cnn breaking news. and good morning. i'm carol costello thank you so much for joining me. we are following breaking news. a law enforcement source just confirmed the name of one of the gunmen killed in a shooting outside a cartoon contest in texas. the name elton simon from phoenix. now it's believed simpson sent a tweet prior to the attack claiming responsibility reading in part may allah accept us as mujahadin. just a short time ago 1,000 miles away in phoenix, the fbi began searching his apartment he
shared with another suspect. here's what police say went down in the dallas suburb of garland last night. two men drove up to the curtis caldwell center jumped out of their car and began shooting. they hit an unarmed security guard before being shot and killed by police. inside the building hundreds were attending a mohammed art exhibit and cartoon contest being held by the american freedom defense initiative. now the keynote speaker a ditch politician on an al qaeda hit list and the executive director of an anti-islam group, our correspondent ed lavandera is following the latest for us from texas. tell us more, ed. >> good morning, carol. well you see the scene behind us just beyond these cars. you'll see fbi agents holding a blue tarp. that is where the bodies of the two suspected gunmen are lying on the street. what is interesting as you look at the scene here they didn't even make it inside the parking lot of the civic center. they had gotten out of the car and started shooting before they, themselves, were shot down.
>> become orderly. we're taking everybody a little furtherary way from the front of this building all right? >> reporter: a deadly scene in a dallas suburb. two gunmen shot dead after opening fire and wounding a security guard outside an event center where a cartoon drawing contest of the prophetmohammed was being held. law enforcement officials tell cnn the entire shooting lasted about 15 seconds. >> we prepared for something like this. >> reporter: the security officer, bruce joyner was treated at the hospital for an ankle gunshot wound and released. this video shows the moment gunfire erupted, an interview with the president of the organization sponsoring the event cut abruptly short as security rushed the scene. >> sorry, we've got to stop this right now. >> shots fired. >> shots fired. >> shots fired. >> reporter: witnesses describe the chaotic turn of events. >> there were military or policemen everywhere running. >> sounded like boom, boom.
then next thing they're telling us get inside. get inside. all the officers, of course, were drawing their weapons. >> reporter: attendees were escorted to another room in the conference center where the crowd sang god bless america. ♪ god bless america ♪ >> reporter: the event, which included a $10,000 top prize for the best caricature of the prophet mohammed was organized by the american freedom defense initiative, a controversial group which claims they are against islamic jihad, while others call them a hate group. any physical depictions of the prophet are considered blasphemous to many muslims and have sparked violence around the world. sponsors of the contest billed it as a free speech event. the event featured keynote speaker and right wing dutch politician girt wilders who is on an al qaeda hit list for wanting to ban the koran in the netherlands. and, carol, we had a cnn producer inside the civic center last night covering the event. when the shooting took place, he was able to speak with two
witnesses who described a long series of automatic gunfire before hearing two pop pop, and then the entire shooting scenario was over just outside of the building. they were on lockdown for some time. but there was a great deal of security here last night, carol. in fact we were told there was layers of security to get inside into the event. and then we were told by law enforcement officials that there was also a s.w.a.t. team waiting in the back of the building for a scenario just like this. carol? >> all right. ed lavandera reporting live from garland, texas, this morning. i want to bring in rosa flores now. she's been digging into what we know about the suspects. tell us more. >> carol, i want to start off with just the fact that the fbi is saying that they knew about this guy. that they had been tracing him, and this is information that my colleague susan candiotti has been able to dig up for us this morning. but the fbi had been monitoring this guy. they had been following him. and he is from phoenix. but i want to start off with that tweet that carol told you about just moments ago. because we've been trying to
dissect it carol, trying to understand exactly what this tweet says so let me start by reading it. it says the bro with me and myself have given bay' ah to amiru mumineen. we've been translating that to oath and allegiance. my bro and me and myself have given an oath of allegiance to a commander of the faithful is what that means. and again we're still digging into this as we're trying to make sense of what this is. and then he says may allah accept us as mujahadin. so the fbi believes that he sent this tweet, carol, prior to the attack. and starting the hashtag, #2attack. that account is now suspended but we were of course able to obtain this tweet. here's one of the other fascinating things. the fbi already at the department at this point in time sifting through evidence gathering evidence trying to piece this puzzle to the. trying to figure out exactly why
this man did this. as of now we don't have a motive we don't know his religion. we don't know a lot of things but we do know that the fbi is there. again, this is a phoenix -- >> well do we know if that if those tweets were why there was such a big police presence in garland? >> no we don't. we don't know if that's the case. but we do know that anything regarding cartoons of the prophet mohammed they police know authorities know we all know that that's going to rub an edge for a lot of people. and so police there apparently very well prepared. as you know as my colleague ed lavandera was just telling us right now. but again we're looking at those tweets. we know that the fbi is sifting through evidence gathering evidence and we should know more soon carol. >> okay rosa flores many thanks. now the keynote speaker at this event is a man named girt wilders. a dutch politician known for his anti-islamic language. this is a twit pic from after the event. wilders is described as officers he describes as hero s.w.a.t.
team members. listen to some of his speech before the violence broke out. >> it is no coincidence that we are in garland, texas, tonight. it is here that three months ago, shortly after the "charlie hebdo" massacre islamic activists convened to demand that free speech be curtailed. they want to prohibit cartoons. books. and films which they find insulting. and our answer is, don't mess with texas. >> but mr. wilders' message is not just about free speech. he has likened islam to fascism, the koran to and he says the
holy book should be banned. i was with wilders. >> i believe that we should be proud and stand up and say we don't want our children and grandchildren living in a world, in a country, that is dominated by an islamic culture that is only at the end of the day costing us all our freedoms. >> is the al qaeda of the netherlands. that's what some muslims think of you. >> yes. well of course this is total nonsense. i have nothing against muslims. but i'm very much afraid of the islamization of our continent. >> still the united states is a free country. you should be able to express your views without violence. so let's talk about that. ben ferguson is with me as well as tom fuentes, thanks to both of you for being with me. ben, you're from texas. did the community expect there could be violence? >> i think they were very concerned about it. when this first conference that happened in earlier this year three months ago, came about, they were very concerned that
this was nothing more than a conference to basically find the next lone wolf. many people thought they're trying to recruit the next boston-time terrorist bombing. home groan terrorists because the speakers at that event were on the record as saying they were in support of different tactics that al qaeda had used in the past. and so you now fast forward three months later and this group said hey, we are going to have an event in the same venue, in the same place, and we're going to show that in america, we're not going to be silenced. we're not going to allow you to recruit people and extremists in our own communities. we are going to have an event that's about free speech because you may want to silence it around the world. you may attack cartoonists and drawers at "charlie hebdo" but you're not going to do this in america. they had a ton of security for this event last night. and they talked about it long beforehand. you and i could not have just randomly walked in to this event last night. you had to purchase a ticket. they spent more than $10,000 on security. and they knew everyone in that venue. so they were prepared for the
possibility. but they said we will not cower to these terrorists and those sympathizers and we are going to show that freedom of speech and expression is still alive and well in texas. >> and tom the two men who were shot by police there, at least one of them we know is from phoenix, arizona. it is clear police in texas were ready for violence in light of what ben just said. but very to ask you this question should this event have taken place? >> well carol, i think that you know, it goes right to the question of freedom of speech. you don't have freedom of speech if you're afraid to exercise it. because there might be violence. and you know this situation has been mentioned, $10,000 in security. they're trying to protect the people that are there. and you know, that's america. back in the '70s when i was a police officer i had to stand in front of the american nazi party, who won their supreme court case. they wanted to march in skokie which had something like a 70% jewish population, including many holocaust survivors at that
time and the nazis said we're going to march, you know down the street in skokie. skokie said no you're not. went to the supreme court. ironically the aclu took their case to the supreme court. and the supreme court said no matter if it's offensive, the village, the cities the states the police must protect the first amendment right. they can set up parameters of where and when they can speak and what type of security measures but they cannot deny it altogether. and that's america. and i stood out there, and the people in the crowd that were throwing things at the nazis, you know not being major league baseball pitchers most of that stuff fell short and landed on us the police that had to protect the nazis. and i think i had to do that three or four times that summer in the mid '70s. >> i totally get what you're saying tom. but ben i want to pose this question for you, and again i understand about free speech. i passionately support it. but very to ask you this question. the organizer of this group, pamela geller is the anti-muslim movement's most flamboyant
member. she's called president obama a secret muslim. who wants to destroy the united states. she's compared muslims to savages. geller just told alisyn camerota on new day the shootings in texas proves she's right. is she, ben? >> yeah. i think most of the people there last night would say that she is absolutely -- this is the proof that what she's been saying which is this is the intolerant part of the -- of islam and the muslim religion. the fact that you have to spend $10,000 on top of all the other security that was there just to have cartoons depicting the prophet mohammed in a way that you want to which she says is free speech, is proof that this is an intolerant group of people around a religion. she said to me earlier about this issue, she said name another religion out there that would ever come and attack people if they mocked their religion. you have plays on broadway that have mocked religions, and they never had to worry about extra security or attacks on that theater. and it's been a show that's gone
all over the country. and so she said this is exactly what i've been warning you about. which is if you go and do anything that extremists or people that are with extremists disagree with in this country, they will try to bankrupt you just to try to spend money on security to have freedom of speech. so they're not going to apologizes for this event. and one of the attendees said to me it's amazing today, in america, that i have to defend my position when i was the one they were trying to kill just for drawing a cartoon. that is a scary day. he said the person that was at this event, in america, when i'm now the bad guy having to defend my event. >> so tom, a final question for you. pamela geller also said that this proves isis is at work in america. is that right? >> well you know we know that isis is at work all over the world in terms of trying to recruit, trying to inspire people to follow their teaching commit jihad on their own, run people over shoot them if you have a gun, stab them. you know we've seen attacks
already. the new york police officers with the hatchet attack a couple of months ago. so but to say that this was, you know, an isis trained group that was deployed to go do this i mean this is one of the most feeble terror attacks we've seen in a long time. all they managed was to shoot a security guard in the ankle and end up dead themselves. in terms of this is not a world-class special forces operation on the part of these two guys. but, you know when the fbi gets into the apartment, and goes through the computers, their e-mails, their phone calls, all of the records of who they've been talking to, what they've been saying they'll get a pretty clear picture of the level of involvement or inspiration for their activities. >> all right. tom fuentes, ben ferguson my thanks to both of you. i appreciate it. i'll be right back. g a whole new way to enhance your eyes. it's 1-day acuvue® define™ brand contact lenses. the eye enhancement lenses that comfortably accentuate your eyes' natural beauty. ask your doctor today about 1-day acuvue® define™ brand.
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with just one mode? experience life well lit®. upgrade your lenses to transitions® signature®. get up to ninety dollars back when you combine crizal, varilux and transitions... and buy a second pair with xperio uv polarized sun lenses. visit transitions.com to learn more. the police union in baltimore is calling for an independent prosecutor. it says the state's attorney marilyn mosby rushed to judgment in announcing charges against six baltimore police officers in the death of freddie gray. the union goes on to say, quote, as tragic as this situation is none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of mr. gray. of course mosby disagrees. cnn's sara sidner spoke to her as she sat alongside her husband, city councilman nick mosby. >> absolutely. >> totally. >> i mean as i said before he makes the laws. i enforce them. there is no conflict of
interest. i mean i'm going to prosecute. i'm the baltimore city state's attorney. my jurisdiction covers every district in baltimore city. i have -- there's a number of crimes that take place in baltimore city and unfortunately, in the district that we live. where is the conflict? what i have to -- to -- to make myself away from every case or crime that takes place in west baltimore? that makes absolutely no sense. >> with me now, cnn legal analyst and criminal defense attorney danny selfal owes and former new york city police detective tom verneny. welcome to both of you. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> so danny i'll pose that question for you. should there be a special prosecutor called in? >> well in cases like this you already have a -- the bottom line is police law enforcement, they work together all the time. especially when you get into smaller towns, smaller communities. those people know each other, often it's a job passed down from parent to child. so in law enforcement, any
defense attorney any prosecutor will tell you that in a way it is a family business. everybody knows each other. and even in a town this size there's going to be some relationships in city government. if you look at it from that perspective, these kinds of conflicts are nothing new. the real question is whether or not based on that conflict she can fairly and and independently prosecute these officers. on the other hand if you're the police union you think that this is just too close a relationship and that this prosecution has become politicized. >> tom, what do you think? >> i agree with the second half of what danny just said. yeah this is definitely a little too close to home. danny's correct. he's correct on both counts but i definitely believe in this case it's such a highly charged incident and clearly based on what we saw last week you know,
there's a number of conflicts. she's totally qualified. i'm not saying she's not qualified to prosecute a case. in this particular case because it is so emotionally charged and because of her husband's connection and you know it happened in his district, and also her connections to the attorneys of freddie gray. i just don't, you know this is too many red flags here. >> you think there should be a special prosecutor and this is specifically what he's talking about what tom is talking about billy murphy danny he represents the gray family he noted $5,000 to mosby's campaign. is that a conflict of interest? >> well when it comes to donizations -- >> yes. >> tom says yes. >> one could argue every donation is potentially conflict of interest. just to take the devil's advocate side when the people elect a prosecutor they should be electing a prosecutor knowing that that prosecutor might have to prosecute not only citizens but police officers. and that would be the job of any prosecutor. i mean in theory you could elect somebody that has zero ties to law enforcement.
zero experience. zero knowledge of anybody in the law enforcement business. but then you have to ask the question how palatable a candidate for a law enforcement position would that be? you know it's a hobson's choice. you want to elect somebody who has substantial experience in city government law enforcement, and the business in general. but at the -- on the other hand you don't want to necessarily elect somebody who is so firmly entrenched that they can't be impartial. it's always going to be a difficult choice. whether you're in baltimore or north muskegon michigan population 2,000 it's always going to be an issue in law enforcement. >> okay. so also in mosby's background and i'll pose this to you, tom, she has police officers and they were close family members who were police officers. so it's not like she doesn't get that point of view. >> right. and that's great. and i'm glad that you brought that out. i think but also if i'm not mistaken freddie gray's attorney had also mentioned a conversation that he had had with her, where she had stated along the lines of she doesn't trust cops or she doesn't like
cops. so there's just too many things that raise too many questions as to whether or not she, and you know look this is a great case to catapult her career into other parts of whatever she may want to do in the afterlife of prosecution in the city of baltimore. so she wants this case. but i just think that -- >> well we can't -- >> because of the particulars of this case i just don't think she's the right person for it. for this case. any other case in baltimore, yeah. in this one, i think there's too many red flags. >> danny, what do you think is she like she wants this case because it will catapult her to some sort of fame? >> well, let's distinguish. there are reasons that create a legitimate conflict. but the possibility that a high profile case might yield some benefits in the future now i think we're getting a little bit into the speculative. you could argue that any prosecutor who is unfortunate to have a high profile case descend upon them could parlay that at a later date into some kind of private practice benefit.
but that could be the truth for virtually any prosecutor. there are different kinds -- there are hard conflicts that create a real clear and present danger of a problem during a prosecution. but let's separate those from the ones that really start to get in to the speculative. each is a case by case basis. and this is no different. >> all right. danny cevallos and tom verni thank you so much for being with me. i want to take you to phoenix for just a second. these are live pictures over phoenix. that is the apartment building in which one of the texas gunmen lived as you know authorities are searching that apartment now. we believe that's suspect's name is elton simpson. as you know he's part of a shoot-out at this event in garland, texas. it was a cartoon contest featuring the prophet mohammed. elton simpson was shot dead by police on the scene after he and another man allegedly opened fire on a security guard. we'll be back with much more in the "newsroom." lilly baker is preparing for college.
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the fbi's investigation into a shooting in texas has now spread to arizona. officials in phoenix are hunting for clues at an apartment complex believed to be the home of elton simpson, and another gunman who opened fire outside a controversial event in garland, texas. it was a draw mohammed cartoon contest. now these two suspects were shot and killed by police at the scene within seconds. the religion and motive of these men is not clear. but the keynote speaker was a right-wing dutch politician named girt wilders, who was on an al qaeda hit list. the event's organizer pamela geller spoke with cnn's new day this morning.
>> reporter: intentionally incendiary and provocative by drawing a cartoon. this is the low state of freedom of speech in this country. i disagree. and i disagree most vehemently. the first amend, not the eighth not the tenth but the first, protects all speech. not just ideas that we like. but even core political speech, ideas that we don't like, because who would decide what's good and what's forbidden? the islamic state? the government? inoffensive speech, alisyn, needs no protection. but in a pluristic society you have offensive speech. you have ideas. you have an exchange of ideas. you don't shut down a discussion because i'm offended. if something offends me, should i go out and slaughter people? >> sure, of course. >> when jesus christ was put in a jar of urine it was called art. did christians like it? of course not. did they slaughter people? did they burn embassies? did they kill whole communities? of course not. this cannot be sanctioned. this cannot be sanctioned.
the west must stand up for freedom of speech. it's the core, fundamental element of this constitutional republic. >> i mean what your critics say about this is that you weren't just going after say al qaeda, or isis or extremism, but even just islam. i mean let me read to you a portion and excerpt from your keynote speaker, who said this to the crowd before the attack broke out, he said, our judeo christian culture is far superior to the islamic one. i can give you a million reasons. but here is an important one. we've got humor and they don't. islam does not allow free speech. because free speech shows how evil and wrong islam is. and islam does not allow humor, because humor shows how foolish and ridiculous it is. now, of course, that's not about extremism. he's talking about a religion of which there are 3 million muslims even here in the united states. >> first of all, he's entitled to his opinion. end of story. so what? so he said that.
and frankly, what he said was true. there is no humor. khomeini when he took over in 1979 said there is no humor. the fact is that we need to have this discussion. alisyn, there's a problem in islam. and the problem is, we can't talk about the problem. we are seeing the wholesale slaughter of christians, in iraq, and in syria. in nigeria, in the congo, central african republic, the jihad is raging. and all we can talk about is backlash of phobia. it's nonsense. we have to be able to discuss and when you say i'm anti-muslim. excuse me, i'm anti-jihad. >> okay. so let's talk about this. harris safar joins me now the national spokesman for the amadea muslim community. welcome. >> thank you for having me. appreciate it. >> first of all, your reaction to geller's remarks?
>> well this is just another peg in a decades-long of ridiculous comments from pamela geller. we stand with her and with everyone who wants to defend freedom of speech. the track record of the muslim community is that as muslims who believe in the mess say yeah we believe everyone has a right to speak their words. our faith backs that up and champions free speech. but the problem is she isn't calling out free speech. she isn't calling out jihadists. she isn't calling out radicals. she and girt wilders are anti-islamic. they are castigating the entire religion of islam. not just muslims. actually the philosophy followed by 1.6 billion people. so that's free speech. but it's hate spreech. and it's -- >> but harris but harris, she says so what? so what? he has a right to his opinion. big deal. >> i was just simply answering your question. the greater point here is that a violent reaction is never sanctioned. and that's why i dedicate an entire chapter to this in my book.
to give a detailed analysis that islam does champion free speech. it's not just a talking point. that there's no evidence in the koran or in the life of mohammed that says you're allowed to intimidate others by silencing them. so such acts like this or "charlie hebdo" or what others have faced is a gross violation of islam and we condemn it wholeheartedly. so what we're asking for is partner with us. work with peaceful muslims who want to eradicate this. who want more dialogue because the koran says to respond to speech with speech. so work with us, don't cast us aside. >> you would get together with girt wilders and pamela geller to work on this problem? >> absolutely. because what they're saying is that there's a problem in islam. i welcome an open public forum debate so where we can rationally with words, with our speech they can advance their arguments of why islam is radical and evil and i can advance our arguments with the ahmadiyya muslim community which
is proving that islam does not sanction that. let the best idea win. that's how we get to the bottom of this peacefully. not this tasteless, i'm going to poke you in the eye and if you respond you must be an animal but what about the low moral state of those who think that insulting others with defamatory speech is okay. we need to call both the sides out. >> yeah and you talk about poking in the eye there are many in the muslim community they might say pamela geller is certainly guilty of that in new york city for example she put up ads in the subway saying, quote, in any war between the civilized man and the savage support the civilized man. support israel. defeat jihad. many jewish rabbis in the city were not so happy about these ads so they ran counter ads. the rabbis' ad said quote in the choice between love and hate choose love. help stop bigotry against our muslim neighbors. talk about that a bit. >> absolutely. this is the beauty of any faith teachings, which is to see the humanity in others.
not to devalue their lives. not to seek ways of division. seek ways of union. so those rabbis the pastors, the members of all of the faiths that we work with we value that relationship. and it proves that this is a political thing. it's not a religious thing. so pam geller is a political figure who seeks to divide people. girt wilders is literally a political figure who seeks to divide and castigate one group aside as being different from the rest. and that's not what we do in a civilized society with moral integrity. so i work with any of these rabbis and pastors who are willing to actually fix society and advance peace. >> harris zafar thank you so much for being with me this morning. i appreciate it. >> thank you, carol. really appreciate it. you're welcome. all right. we're going to take you to phoenix, next. we're going to talk to a reporter there and of course the fbi searching the apartment of one of the suspects who shoot i security guard outside of this texas event we were just talking about. much more in the "newsroom" next.
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all right. we want to take you back out live to phoenix right now where the fbi is searching the apartment located in phoenix, arizona, of one of the alleged gunmen in that texas shooting in garland, texas. there was a shooting that happened outside of an event featuring a cartoon contest. you were challenged to -- to draw a cartoon of the prophet mohammed. these two men showed up. they opened fire. police fired back. and two men were shot.
and again, the fbi is searching one of the apartment -- searching the apartment where these two men lived. we know one of their names, elton simpson. so let's head back out to phoenix right now and check in with javier soto. he works at one of our affiliates there ktvk. javier, what more can you tell us? >> yeah good morning to you, carol. we just got out from talking with some of the neighbors of simpson. and they described two gentlemen who lived there and they did describe them as gentlemen, saying they were very nice and when i referenced one of them as elton simpson, as you just mentioned, they said that they went by a different name. but currently the fbi is in and out of that apartment complex unit here at the autumn ridge, right north of phoenix. and they served the search warrant late last night into early this morning. we are told that several units surrounding the one unit where they were serving a search
warrant were evacuated. at about 10:00 last night. they weren't allowed back into their units until about 4:00 this morning. the fbi with the assistance of phoenix police served a search warrant. we were told there were some loud flash-bangs as the fbi and phoenix police made entry. once they determined nobody was inside they sent a robot in to to conduct surveillance throughout that apartment unit to make sure there were no bombs inside and then the fbi started their investigation. now neighbors tell us that they're actually centered around a van in the back parking lot searching through that as well. and according to fbi officials, they got information from yesterday's shooting once they were able to get inside that vehicle and gather information and that's what brought them to this apartment complex here in north phoenix, connecting simpson, as well as the second suspect to this unit. so they're far from done conducting their investigation.
there's no telling at this point what kind of evidence they were able to pull away from here. but again those other surrounding units were allowed back in to their homes. just a few hours ago. and they described the two men who lived here as being very nice. carol? >> all right. i want if you could, scottie, to put up that tweet supposedly sent out by one of the suspects elton simpson. and i want the audience to look at that while i ask you this next question javier. is there a problem in phoenix with radicalized young men? >> i'm sorry, can you repeat that? >> is there a wider problem of rad -- in phoenix with radicalized young men? >> you know there's no telling at this point. you know this is something widespread across the nation. there are pockets and cell ss of stuff we really don't know. i don't think any state or any city is immune to that at this
point. as you know isis when they announced this event was going to take place where they were awarding an artist $10,000 for the best drawing of the prophet mohammed isis online started calling for attacks like the one we saw yesterday. so i think when you say there are radicalized individuals, i think no place, no city no state is immune to that at this point. >> javier soto thanks for the incite. i appreciate it. many wrinkle creams come with high hopes, but hope... doesn't work on wrinkles. clinically proven neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair with the fastest retinol formula available, it works on fine lines and even deep wrinkles. you'll see younger looking skin in just one week. stop hoping for results, and start seeing them. rapid wrinkle repair... ...and for dark spots rapid tone repair. from neutrogena®.
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as unrest in baltimore continues to focus the country's attention on race relations, president obama will head to new york where he'll spin off his already existing "my brother's keeper" program into a new, nonprofit foundation backed by celebrities, athletes ceos and former government officials. now president obama created the multimillion dollar program back in 2014 in the wake of trayvon martin's killing to address the lack of opportunity that young minority boys face across the often poor neighborhoods across the country. baltimore native kevin schurr joins me again. he's the author of lessons of redemption. kevin, thanks for being with me again. i appreciate it. >> good morning. thank you.
>> good morning. president obama will announce his new initiative in new york city. should he have gone to baltimore to do that? >> yes. yes. and i have a message for our president that please don't let the people of baltimore feel abandon ed abandoned like the people in new orleans felt abandoned during hurricane katrina. we need president obama in baltimore to lift the spirits up of the people to lift the morale up of the people. the young people need to see our president. >> i think that in some people's mind if the president goes to baltimore it would appear that he's taking sides. how would you answer those people? >> yeah taking the side of the people. and the young people in baltimore, to see president obama come to west baltimore, young drug dealers, young gang members, and see, you know the president of the united states come to their neighborhood it could -- it has the potential to
change their whole lives. and let me just tell you this one story real quick. in 2008 during the presidential election this was my first time involved in a -- in any election in my entire life. and to see a black man elected i mean i had tears in my eyes. but it also changed my perception of the world and what's possible. and so these young people in west baltimore, they need that same experience. 50% unemployment rate in that area. 50% of the individuals in that community on some type of public assistance. 200 businesses have been destroyed in baltimore during the riots. older senior citizens struggling to get medication because we know the cvs was burnt but other pharmacies in that area have been burned down as well. so we need president obama in baltimore. we don't want to feel like -- and perception is everything. so let me just make that clear. perception is everything. we don't want to feel like the
people in new orleans during hurricane katrina. and we know our president cares. but we have to see it. we have to feel it. and those people this is this is a history making moment. to see a black man rise to the top as president of the united states to see him come through your neighborhood and tell you you're going to be okay. i got your back. they need to hear that. they need to feel it. >> we'll see if president obama heeds your call. kevin shird, thank you for your insight. i appreciate it. i'll be right back.! but i...don't. excedrin® is fast. in fact for some, relief starts in just 15 minutes. excedrin®. wow, that was fast. the pursuit of healthier. it begins from the second we're born. after all, healthier doesn't happen all by itself. it needs to be earned... every day... using wellness to keep away illness... and believing that a single life can
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all eyes are on marilyn mosby mosby. >> reporter: he's a baltimore councilman and she's the youngest state's attorney in america and suddenly one of the most advisable figures in the most highly publicized homicide case in recent baltimore history. her choice to charge six officers so far seeing more praise than protest. >> there's no conflict of interest. my jurisdiction covers every district in baltimore city. there's a number of crimes that take place in baltimore city and unfortunately in the district that we live. where is the conflict? >> reporter: their relationship
established over a decade ago. >> he was very popular. what attracted me to him is there was substance. it wasn't just a physical attraction. he wanted to be a public servant and make a difference. >> she knew what she wanted to do and how to get there. first time i ever met a woman or a young lady at the time like that. >> reporter: they discovered they had so much more in common than ambition. both are the first in their families to go to college. both grew up in rough neighborhoods. and both were impacted by crime, especially marilyn. her cousin mistaken for a drug dealer shot and killed at 14. >> he was now going to a grave. the individual responsible for his death was also 17 years old and it struck me.
i said how could we have gotten to that 17 year old before he decided to take a life? >> reporter: it was a defining moment for a girl that came from four generations of police officers. both she and nick believe the community and police can work together despite the difficult relationship. >> it is about bridging everybody together. it is about realizing that at the end of the day it's a very small number of individuals that are dividing the perception of our city. >> reporter: as a black man in america, what is your contact and relationship with the police? >> it's been tough. i've been physically assaulted by the police. >> reporter: doesn't that make you angry? >> you learn how to handle your differences. you learn how to handle your anger through education and who you are and what you are and force change in a positive way versus negativity or violence. >> reporter: marilyn mosby sees someone with or without a badge when it comes to justice. >> at the end of the day my job
is to seek justice and apply justice fairly and equally to everybody no matter their color, their creed, their ethnicity. >> reporter: do you think you can do that beyond a reasonable doubt in the biggest case of your life? >> absolutely. >> reporter: in talking to both of them there's one more criticism that's out there. people questioning whether she has the chops, the experience to do a case that is this big and especially including the attention of a nation on this case. the pressure she's going to face. her reaction to that while she wouldn't speak to details of the case because it's under investigation, which is normal for a prosecutor to do she said look people doubted that i could become the state's attorney. youngest in america. people didn't think i would do that but i'm here. carol? >> all right. thank you. the next hour of "cnn newsroom" after a break.
good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. we're awaiting a news conference to begin in less than an hour from garland, texas. that's where police and the fbi are expected to release new information on that shooting outside a muhammad cartoon contest. law enforcement sources confirming to cnn one of the names of the gunman. he's elton simpson from phoenix. it's believed simpson sent a tweet prior to the attack claiming responsibility reading in part may allah accept us as mujahideen. simpson was found guilty of