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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  August 29, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm PDT

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happening right now in the newsroom, a texas sheriff's deputy is shot and killed while gassing up his patrol car. now one man is being questioned by police, considered a person of interest, and it's his mother that actually called police about him. plus -- >> who is uma married to? one of the great sleaze bags of our time. >> gop presidential frontrunner donald trump now suggesting one of hillary clinton's aides shared classified information with her husband. and florida bracing for
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floods as remnants of tropical storm erika take aim at the sunshine state. you're live in the cnn newsroom. hello again, everyone. thanks so much for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. we're waiting for a news conference out of texas where investigators are questioning a man who they believe may be connected to the execution style killing ining of a sheriff's d overnight. the sheriff's deputy was shot multiple times from behind. we'll bring you the news conference live as it happens. meantime, for more information on all that took place, nick valencia with me now. you've been following this story since it broke. what's going on? >> well, we're waiting for this 2:00 p.m. news conference that you were talking about. harris county sheriff's deputies expected to update the public. the latest in their investigation. we know earlier this morning, they did take a man and they are currently questioning that man, according to the texas department of public safety. the harris county sheriff's
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deputies in mourning. clearly a very emotional day as they're mourning the loss of one of their own. captured at his mother's house. the man believed to be the gunman who fatally shot a sheriff's deputy at a houston area gas station has been taken into custody. the texas department of public safety tells cnn the man's mother called the harris county sheriff's department after learning her son may have been involved in the shooting. police say it appears to be an unprovoked execution-style killing. >> a witness called 911, let us know that one of our deputies had been shot, multiple units arrived, ems arrived on scene. unfortunately, the deputy passed. >> reporter: the deputy is identified as 47-year-old darren goforth, a 10-year veteran who was married with two children. >> i have been in law enforcement 45 years. i don't recall another incident this cold-blooded and cowardly. >> reporter: authorities say the uniformed deputy was refueling his patrol car friday evening
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when this man, caught on surveillance camera, came up behind him and opened fire. >> the deputy then fell to the ground. the suspect then continued over to him and shot the deputy again multiple times as he laid on the ground. >> reporter: the suspect then fled the scene in a red or maroon colored ford ranger pickup truck, also captured on camera. >> it's a very bizarre incident. people understand it's tough enough being a deputy and being law enforcement in this country right now. but for people, the way that they are right now, i have no words for what this type of person did. >> reporter: there's no apparent motive in the case. the deputy had investigated an accident about a half an hour before the attack. police are looking into whether there's any connection. >> i think it's important to ask for the prayers of our community, for this deputy, his family, and our department
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family. >> according to photos just tweeted out, about a dozen people have gathered at that gas station to pay their respects to the fallen deputy. condolences coming from all across the country, including new york police commissioner bill bratton saying the nypd's thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends, and fellow officers of the harris county sheriff's office. we will never forget. >> this is heartbreaking. and so at 2:00, at any moment now, we understand that news conference could take place. the hope is we might hear more about this person of interest and what will come of the questioning. because again, no arrest, no charges imposed. and i think we're -- are we looking at live images? yeah, i think things are getting under way in terms of everyone is assembling. no one has started speaking. more people just walking into
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that space. we understand the sheriff's department is very well represented there. you would think presumably city leadership is among the people standing here as well. simply shocked that a routine procedure of gassing up a vehicle for this sheriff's deputy would turn into his tragic death here, that someone would take advantage of that moment while he's gassing up, and we understand according to police thus far, that this gunman approached him from behind, right? and unloaded and killed him, nick. >> part of the line of the investigation was that this sheriff's deputy darren goforth had just investigated an accident 30 minutes before. it sounds like the sheriff is about to address the public. >> we are live streaming this. sheriff ron hickman. >> good afternoon. today, the harris county
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sheriff's office mourns the loss of one of our own, deputy darren goforth was senselessly struck down while pumping gas at a chevron station in northwest harris county yesterday evening. we are reaching out to the community for assistance in capturing the violent individual responsible for the senseless death of deputy goforth. from video retrieved from the location, we know that other individuals drove up to the service station while this incident was going on. we ask them to come forth with information that will assist us in this investigation. i plead today for the public's assistance in our efforts to bring the suspect to justice he so rightfully deserves. persons with information about the suspect are asked to come forward and assist investigators in our efforts. we respectfully ask the media to respect the privacy of the family during this time of tragic loss. the harris county sheriff's
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office and the houston law enforcement community, so many gathered around me here today, collectively grieve the loss of our brother, deputy goforth, a loving father, husband, son, and committed law enforcement officer. we've heard that a number of media outlets are reaching out directly to the family at home. we'd ask that they respect their privacy and give them their opportunity to grieve. the community's outpouring of love, thoughts and prayers are still needed as we come to grips with the gravity of this tragedy. we've been overwhelmed by support from the community. people that we've never met, don't know, may never see again, to offer sustenance, food, water, and support for the deputies who continue to protect our community. i'll ask our district attorney devon anderson for comments. >> thank you, sheriff. the harris county district attorney's office extends its condolences to the goforth
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family. we have worked all night assisting in this investigation and we will continue to do that until the person is brought to justice. i echo the sheriff's request to please come forward if you have any information. it is time for the silent majority in this country to support law enforcement. there are a few bad apples in every profession. that does not mean that there should be open warfare declared on law enforcement. the vast majority of officers are there to do the right thing, are there because they care about their community and want to make it a safer place. what happened last night is an assault on the very fabric of society. it is not anything that we can tolerate. it is time to come forward and support law enforcement and condemn this atrocious act. so please come forward if you
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have any information. we need to bring this killer to justice. at this time, rick hartley with the hundred club would like to say a few words. >> thank you, devon. on behalf of the 30,000 members of the 100 club, we'd like the community to know that we are reaching out to help the goforth family. as soon as it is logistically feasible, we will be bringing a $20,000 check to the family to help with immediate needs, and when the time is right, we will be there to do a needs assessment to determine all of the financial needs of that family. all too often, when we have tragedies like this, we see youngsters, and this case is no different. we have 5 and 12-year-old children that are left behind. those 30,000 members of the 100 club will make sure that those youngsters have an opportunity to go to the college of their choice when the time is
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appropriate. i'd like to also just add, if the sheriff so needs it, that crime stoppers and the 100 club have partnered together to double the reward that will bring about the needed information to solve this case. we're prepared to step forward when that information from the sheriff is brought to our attention, to double the reward to $10,000 if needed. sheriff? >> thank you, rick. thank you, d.a. as you can see, we're surrounded by the local law enforcement community, also supported by state and federal agencies as well. this is an issue that strikes at the heart of law enforcement in the criminal justice community. i doubt there are any resources that will be left unapplied. no stone unturned. i will tell you that we have recovered some evidence. we do have video from the scene. so this is an ongoing investigation, but one we absolutely want to do right.
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we are supported by the entire justice community in our efforts to make sure this individual is brought to the justice they so richly deserve. we are talking to people. we do have some information, but as this investigation proceeds, we will provide information as available. but we ask that you please respect the family's opportunity for grief and to give them time. i will echo also what the d.a. mentioned. some of the very dangerous national rhetoric that's out there today. our system of justice absolutely requires law enforcement be present to protect our community. so at any point when the rhetoric ramps up to the point where calculated, cold-blooded assassination of police officers happen, this rhetoric has gotten out of control. we've heard black lives matter. all lives matter. well, cops' lives matter, too. so why don't we just drop the qualifier and say lives matter. and take that to the bank. thank you for your attendance.
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[ inaudible question ] the working motive for this at this point is absolute madness. we've not found any provocation, any motivation we can put our finger on. it's all speculation at this point. >> the theory is that he was shot because he was wearing a badge. >> absolutely. at this point, his only target is because he's wearing a uniform. it's unfortunate. there's not many occupations where you can be shot for the clothes you wear. >> sheriff, have you taken anybody into custody in regards to this? >> no, we have people we're talking to, trying to follow through methodically. we don't want to be jumping to conclusions. we want to make sure we take the steps in the proper order and follow the evidence to a logical, legal, and proper conclusion. >> and can you tell us whether the deputy was by himself? we've heard about a woman who was with him at the time. do you have any information on that? >> as far as i know, the deputy
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was by himself. simply walking back to his car. the video demonstrates that. >> any new descriptions, of a vehicle or the suspect? >> we had a description of a red pickup, and other than what's been shown already, nothing new on that. >> that still holds? >> yes. >> any connection to the incident -- the comment you mentioned, the comment that was made in terms of that motivating that attack, or questioning any people from those groups about that? >> not at this point. we always follow that rhetoric. we always make sure that we kind of check the temperature or climate and make sure that there aren't specific motivations. but as i mentioned earlier, we won't leave any stone unturned, and until we know with absolute certainty what the motivation is, it's all speculation. >> are you taking any steps with your deputies to ensure their safety? >> i think the logical sense is that all law enforcement will take extra precaution in being
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alert and aware of your surroundings. we'll tell our folks to make sure that especially at night that they're aware and make sure they back each other up. make sure they run in teams. i think law enforcement will be doing that across the country. any time you have a clearly unprovoked attack, then you have to make sure you protect yourself. >> prior to the shooting, he had investigated a minor accident. the folks involved in that, have they been excluded? >> i can't say that. all i know is there was a pretty good separation in time, from the time he finished the accident until he was getting gas. so it doesn't look at the outset that they're involved. >> the home that is being searched near the crime scene, what connection does that have? >> just through the vehicle. >> have you confirmed that that's actually the truck? >> no, we have not. >> is there any indication that there is anyone other than the lone gunman? >> not at this point.
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>> what have the last 12 to 16 hours been like for your sheriff's deputies trying to investigate this thing? >> well, you can imagine the impact. this is the kind of thing that drives you right down to your soul. it strikes at the heart of who we are as peace officers. our job is to carry the badge and gun and protect everybody else and now we've got to fall back, regroup, and take care of one of our own. this hits us right where the heart -- it's not an incident where an individual was provoked by confrontation with an officer. this is just a cold-blooded execution. so how do you protect against that? it causes you to doubt humanity at large. >> are you still talking to mr. mileston is? >> i don't know who mr. mileston is. we'll put out more information later. >> any other updates will be
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brought out, you will be informed. thank you. >> all right, strong sentiments from the harris county sheriff ron hickman there saying that no one right now is in custody after the shooting death of one of their own. he says the police department is mourning the loss of one of their own and he says he describes it as a cold-blooded execution. how do you protect against that? sheriff's deputy at the gas station gassing up, being shot from the back, while the sheriff there says they have some people that they have interviewed, and there is surveillance video. still no one has been taken into custody. let's talk more about this. nick valencia, you're alongside with me listening to this press conference. our legal analyst danny cevalos also joining us from new york. nick, it sounds like they're asking the public for a lot more involvement. he says there were people driving up as this was happening
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and the sheriff is imploring people to step forward and to reveal, share something of what they know. >> that's right. and you heard from the 100 man club saying they are teaming up with crime stoppers to offer a $10,000 reward if it is needed. up until this point, we had heard from texas dps that they had brought somebody in for questioning. they were very reluctant to call that person that had been arrested or call that person a suspect in the killing. but we heard earlier on from that spokesman saying they believed they had their gunman. now we're hearing from harris county sheriff's office that a suspect has not been captured. also heard an impassioned plea there from the district attorney who called this an assault on the fabric of society. and also the sheriff saying let's drop the qualifier. we hear that black lives matter. all lives matter, especially the lives of police officers, so clearly very emotional time for the sheriff's office there locally. >> yeah, he said drop the qualifier. just lives matter. that's right. danny cevallos, are you with us? >> i am with you, yes. >> okay, so danny, you heard from the police chief who said
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this really strikes at the heart of who we are as police officers. and now, hearing this sheriff, he says they feel defenseless when, in his view, there is a sentiment out there. a pervasive sentiment that helps foster an incident like this. talk to us about what you interpreted from the sheriff when he says, you know, police officers are feeling particularly vulnerable, especially right now. >> the last week has shown us, that whether it be police officers or field reporters, there are certain jobs that no matter how much body armor you put on, you are out in the public serving the public and doing so puts you at a very exposed, very vulnerable situation. and that's exactly the essence of law enforcement. every day, you go out there and you can wear a helmet, you could wear a jacket, you could drive in your car, but eventually at some point to be able to serve the citizenry, you must expose yourself to them, and no matter
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what, at some point, you are vulnerable to some senseless violent attack like this. and i think the officer's sentiment is that police are exposed to random acts of violence, just as other members of the populous are as well. >> all right, danny cevallos, nick valencia, thank you so much. we're going to continue to update as you as we get information. you heard from the harris county sheriffs that there have been no arrests. no one in custody as it relates to the tragic shooting death of a sheriff's deputy last night. of course, we're going to continue to watch this story. we'll have much more after this.
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hiking brought us togetherdom hikers. but that's not the only thing that keeps us coming back. here's to friends who reach for better. fewer carbs, fewer calories, superior taste. michelob ultra. the superior light beer. donald trump is talking about getting prepared for the next presidential debate, speaking in new hampshire today to the national federation actually in nashville, tennessee, actually. the national federation of republican assemblies. here's what he told cnn.
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>> well, you know, it's very hard to prepare for a debate when you're talking about 30, 40, 50 years worth of material. you have to know what you're talking about. but it's going to be largely based on national security and things, and i think i know -- i think the biggest surprise about me will be national security. if i win, i think i'll be a great jobs producer. i think i'll be a great deal maker in terms of trade. we're going to make our country rich again. but i think i'm going to be great on matters of the military. >> cnn politics reporter m.j. lee is live in nashville, where donald trump was speaking today. so tell us more about the event and your conversation with him. >> reporter: hey, fred. before i go to that, i do want to let you know that we've just gotten word that at the straw poll at the nfra event, trump was the winner. he apparently received some 52% of the votes. probably not a surprise because he was the only candidate that spoke at this event and came to the event, but nevertheless, another data point that the
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trump campaign you know will be touting in the weeks to come. the conversation that i had with trump about how he's preparing for the cnn presidential debate that is coming up, he basically said -- and you didn't hear this in the sound -- will you be doing anything differently in the second debate? and he answered no. he feels like he won the first debate, that it went very well. obviously his performance was quite explosive. so it's interesting that he is, one, focusing on national security issues. and two, that he thinks that it went very well and that he plans to sort of give the same performance that he did in the first debate, which was hosted by fox news. and clearly made a lot of headlines. >> yeah. and you also talked to him about the whole notion of a third party, whether he would leave the republican party, do something else. did he offer any new clarity? >> reporter: look, the third party run question has been really bothering the republican party, i guess is one word for
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it, because they want to know the answer. they want to know will donald trump run as an independent because that would be bad news for some of the establishment candidates. he hasn't really, you know, said that he will not make that run or make that decision because he wants to have the room and the space to make that decision if he wants to, or at least wants the party to think that that is a possibility. >> all right. m.j. lee, thank you so much, there in nashville. and we will be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ but first, we have a very special guest. come on out, flo! [house band playing] you have anything to say to flo? nah, i'll just let the results do the talking. [crowd booing] well, he can do that. we show our progressive direct rate and the rates of our competitors even if progressive isn't the lowest. it looks like progressive is not the lowest! ohhhh! when we return, we'll find out whether doug is the father. wait, what?
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a graduate of a procedures new hampshire boarding school was headed off to harvard. but he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old student when he was 18, but he was acquitted of the more serious rape charges against him. >> guilty or not guilty? >> not guilty. >> after two weeks of deliberations, a mixed decision. owen lebree, the new hampshire prep school student accused of raping a then 15-year-old schoolmate, acquitted of the most serious felony sexual assault charges against him. though the 19-year-old broke down in tears. >> you say, madam foreperson,
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that the defendant owen lebree is guilty? >> yes. >> reporter: as the jury convicted him on five other charges. three counts of misdemeanor sexual assault, a misdemeanor for endangering a child, and luring a minor through an online service, a felony. the verdict follows two weeks of intense testimony from numerous witnesses, including the accuser who says she was raped. the defense aimed to discredit her story by presenting friendly facebook messages she sent to lebree in the days after the incident. >> please read those e-mails and chats. and decide, is this someone who was unwilling? >>. >> reporter: labrie maintained he did not have sex with the accuser, saying he had a moment of divine inspiration as the two were together, alone in the attic of a building on campus. >> he had to use tactics to get
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what he wanted. he had to confuse and manipulate a 15-year-old girl. >> reporter: labrie was grilled by prosecutors claiming he hatched a plan to seduce the victim months earlier, sharing with a friend a list of female students he wanted as senior salutes, a so-called tradition at the prestigious st. paul school where older students tallied the number of younger females they had sexual encounters with. the victim's name was on that list in all caps with a note, still at large. after the verdict was read, the victim's family put out a statement partly blaming the school, writing "this conviction requires him to take ownership for his actions and gives him the opportunity to reflect upon the harm he has caused. we still feel betrayed that st. paul school allowed and fostered a toxic culture that left our daughter and other students at risk to sexual violence. we trusted the school to protect
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her and it failed us." as for labrie, who planned to attend harvard after graduation, his attorney jay carney says he is devastated. >> owen's future is forever changed. a conviction like this will be like a brand, or a tattoo on him that will be impossible to remove. he will spend the rest of his life, i'm sure, showing people that this conviction should not have occurred. >> let's bring in our guest, hln legal analyst and criminal defense attorney joey jackson in new york. and danny cevallos, criminal defense attorney. good to see both of you. how do you interpret this kind of mixed verdict? the jurors were convinced that there was sex, but the ages are too conflicting. you were talking about an 18-year-old and a 15-year-old.
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>> you certainly are. good afternoon, fredricka. good afternoon, danny. you know, it's a split verdict. i think the jury concluded that there was intercourse between the two, but that it was indeed consensual. and that makes the difference in terms of why they decided to acquit him on the very serious charges that carry ten to 20 years in jail, the aggravated sexual assault, which would suggest that they engaged in sexual intercourse and he did so without her consent. and so the jury at the end of the day believed they were together, but based upon the age of the two, it's still statutory rape, him being 18, and she being under 16, that is 15 at the time, fredricka. >> and then danny, labrie faces up to 11 years in prison for the five counts that he was convicted on. how likely is it that he would get that kind of time? >> it should be unlikely, under any sentencing scheme, because he should be an ideal defendant for sentencing purposes.
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and by that i mean he will have no prior convictions, no prior contacts with the law. he will be able to demonstrate to a judge that for sentencing purposes, he should get on the low end of the guidelines because most states in the federal system has a sentencing guideline framework, a high and a low, and the judge, of course there's a statutory max and a statutory minimum depend on the charges, and the judge will be able to decide between those after each side puts on their demonstration, and owen labrie should be a very solid defendant for getting a sentence in the lowest range of the guidelines. >> just briefly, on the issue, i think you're going to see the defense appeal the issue of the felony enticement by computer. and the reason why, fredricka, is they're beginning to make the argument that that's a statute not designed for teenagers who know each other in the same environment who communicate and intend to get together, but it's really designed for adult
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predators who don't know their victims, who are minors, and so i think they're going to be certainly looking to a judge to interpret the law their way to overturn the felony and certainly be looking for some legislative intervention as they move forward. but right now, i do agree with danny's assessment as to sentencing. >> and then the young girl's family likely to pursue the civil case against the school, danny. do they have the makings of a pretty good case against the school? a boarding school, which in the view of the parents, are to act as a parent and to protect their kids while they are there. >> this issue has come up a lot, but more even in the university context. does a boarding school or a school where the student lives -- does it act as what we call parents -- does it have parental authority over the child such that we can impose a legal civil responsibility on a boarding school for all the activities that happen under its roof?
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so it's an interesting question. it certainly is a theory of liability that the family is likely to pursue. but they will have to demonstrate that the school created this environment negligently or even recklessly and that that environment caused these events. >> we'll leave it right there. thank you so much, danny cevallos, joey jackson. thank you. we'll be right back. you tuck there. if you're a toe tucker... because of toenail fungus, ask your doctor now about prescription kerydin. used daily, kerydin drops may kill the fungus at the site of infection and get to the root of your toe tucking. kerydin may cause irritation at the treated site. most common side effects include skin peeling... ...ingrown toenail, redness, itching, and swelling. tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. stop toe tucking... and get the drop on toenail fungus. ask your doctor today about kerydin.
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this is cnn breaking news. >> we're following a breaking news. police in texas are asking for the public's help in finding the man who shot and killed a deputy, execution style at a houston area gas station. sheriff's deputy darren goforth was gassing up his patrol car when she was shot multiple times from behind. moments ago, the district attorney devon anderson and the sheriff ron hickman said the deputy was targeted because of his uniform.
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>> it is time for the silent majority in this country to support law enforcement. there are a few bad apples in every profession. that does not mean that there should be open warfare declared on law enforcement. the vast majority of officers are there to do the right thing, are there because they care about their community and want to make it a safer place. what happened last night is an assault on the very fabric of society. it is not anything that we can tolerate. it is time to come forward and support law enforcement and condemn this atrocious act. so please come forward if you have any information. we need to bring this killer to justice. >> i will echo also what the d.a. mentioned, some of the very dangerous national rhetoric that's out there today. our system of justice absolutely
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requires law enforcement be present to protect our community. so at any point where the rhetoric ramps up to the point where calculated, cold-blooded assassination of police officers happened, this rhetoric has gotten out of control. we've heard black lives matter. all lives matter. well, cops' lives matter, too. so why don't we just drop the qualifier and just say lives matter and take that to the bank. >> all right, i want to bring in cnn law enforcement analyst cedric alexander, also the public safety director in dekalb county, georgia. your thoughts on hearing the police -- the county sheriff there as well as the d.a.? >> well, first of all, let me say this, fredricka. our hearts and prayers go out to the loss of life of that young deputy sheriff there in that community. and our prayers are with him and his family. you know, to echo what you just heard the d.a. and the sheriff in that community say is
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absolutely correct. all lives in this country matter. you're talking about a deputy sheriff who is out there protecting that community, doing his job, keeping all of us safe day and night, and such a horrific attack upon him is an attack upon that entire community. and that's what the community at large needs to understand. to attack him where he can't defend himself, coming up behind him, that was just an assassination, period. and that community -- i would hope that entire community is just as outraged as all of us in the law enforcement community. it is not acceptable, and we've all got to stand together and we've all got to do what we need to do to support officers throughout this country and throughout this nation. >> and then, cedric, you heard from the d.a. there who said -- she described this as an assault on the very fabric of society. and the sheriff then underscored that message saying that these officers are in a difficult situation, where especially in a
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case like this, they are absolutely defenseless. he said it is difficult for officers to be able to protect themselves against this kind of behavior. so what is the conversation taking place in police departments across the country, sheriff's offices across the country right now about how officers are going about protecting and serving, and then protecting, of course, their own lives, being conscientious of this kind of act that could potentially happen anywhere? >> you know, fredricka, in light of everything that's going on in the country today, and a lot of the anger that some communities, not all, but some communities have towards police, these officers across this country continue to go out, the men and women continue to go out every day and do their jobs. and they're going to continue to go out and do their jobs. but we're going to do that because that's what they were sworn to do. but it also takes a community, an entire community, regardless of where you live in this country. it takes all of us in order to
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face the crime that's out there and those that's out to do harm. there's someone out there in that community who knows who's involved. and i would just ask, as you hear their leadership in their community asking, come forward. but to your question, police officers, deputy sheriffs, law enforcement officials across this country are going to continue to do what they do every day in order to keep communities safe. and i tell you, that is priceless. but this community also need to be able to stand with law enforcement, and we've got to stand together regardless of what community we live in. >> we all heard sheriff ron hickman challenging the public there, saying if you saw anything, know anything, you need to step forward. >> absolutely. >> the sheriff said there were people in that vicinity who were in that gas station at the time of this crime taking place and he's imploring everyone to step forward and i'm quoting him now, when he talked about, you know, officers feeling like it's difficult to protect themselves.
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he said, "this is a cold-blooded execution," and then he said rhetorically, how do you protect against that? cedric alexander, thank you so much for your time. i appreciate it. we'll continue to cover this story out of harris county, texas, and we'll be right back. plaque psoriasis... ...isn't it time to let the... ...real you shine... ...through? introducing otezla, apremilast. otezla is not an injection, or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. some people who took otezla saw 75% clearer skin after 4 months. and otezla's prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't take otezla if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. otezla may increase... ...the risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression... ...or suicidal thoughts, or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. side effects may include diarrhea, nausea,
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checking our top stories, a special task force is looking
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into possible sniper attacks on michigan highways. several drivers reported their vehicles were struck by projectiles. deputies say damage in some cases was consistent with firearms. the attacks have been between battle creek, michigan, and the indiana border. so far, no injuries reported. and erika has weakened and is no longer a named tropical storm. but it was powerful when it dumped 12 inches of rain over parts of the caribbean on friday, killing at least 20 people. remnants of erica could still bring heavy rains and spark flooding in florida, and officials are warning residents to be ready. right now, much of florida is under storm watches, as that heavy rain moves in. president barack obama heads to alaska monday for a three-day trip aimed at highlighting the need to fight climate change. but he's had to defend his decision to let let's an oil company drill in the arctic ocean. environmental groups say the two
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messages contradict each other. the president will hike on a glacier and also address an international arctic conference. and michael vick has a new team today. the pittsburgh steelers signed vick to a one-year deal. he'll be the backup for star quarterback ben roethlisberger. some fans are not so happy. 25,000 have signed a petition on change.org to stop vick from joining the team. vick was convicted and served two years in prison for dogfighting back in 2007. we'll be right back.
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it was a very emotional moment at a local high school football game in virginia last night. a crew from wdbj did the station's first live shot since alison parker and adam ward were gunned down on live tv wednesday
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morning. you can see their relief there. one of the women shot earlier this week is vicki gardner. she was the only adviser. we're told she is in good condition today. cnn national correspondent paolo sandoval is in roanoke and has more on gardner's recovery. >> reporter: vicki gardner, the lone survivor in wednesday's shooting, she continues to recover according to her family. they have been posting several updates on a facebook page that's dedicated to her recovery and her progress, and they're fully aware that there's still plenty of interest in the community. if you look behind me, you'll see proof of that just outside the studios of wdbj. you can see the memorial that continues to grow. just a few minutes ago, i witnessed as a small group of people came out, leaving flowers, balloons, well wishes for the families of alison parker, adam ward, the whole staff at the station, and of course, vicki gardner. her condition continues to
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improve. she's gone through at least two surgeries so far. she did lose her right kidney and a portion of her colon, but nonetheless, she is in high spirits and is expected to recover. it's really the emotional scars, those emotional injuries that will take some time to heal. she won't be back at work any time soon due to her recovery, but her co-workers will. we are told that the smith mountain lake regional chamber of common sense reopened today. it's where the shooting happened. visitors expected to see some changes. they will see a memorial that's been put up there in honor of alison parker and adam ward. and perhaps yet another change here is the replacing of some of the wooding decking that was at the very spot where this shooting happened on wednesday, a very haunting reminder, fred. >> thank you so much. thanks so much for spending your day with me. i'm fredricka whitfield. the next hour of the cnn newsroom starts right after this.
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