tv Happening Now FOX News December 15, 2015 10:00am-11:01am PST
and we certainly do want to encourage everyone to be vigila vigilant. that the includes the citizens of our country, we encourage them if they see something they should say something. that advice continues to be operative. we encourage local law enforcement and state officials to be vigilant as they go about their basic business of protecting the american people.
receiving a threatening e-mail. sources say they deem the threat not to be credible >> decision making is a balancing act. the superintendant made this decision because of a credible threat. they evacuated the public and charter schools, calling it a credible threat of violence. a school board member received an e-mail from frankfurt, germany. the author claimed to be a muslim that teamed up with local jihadiist. we don't know if it is true. but the decision making is about to come under scrutiny. the new york city schools got the same one and said it was not
real. and jihadiist using the name allah used a lower case a. they were contacted and said it was not credible. the congressman released the statement. we don't know if the e-mail is from a muslim or nonmuslim with an agenda. it is wide ranging specifics eñ it does not demonstrate that the author studied islam or understanding islam. that will be skrutinized in the news conference shortly. we are told that he thought. >> we are going to the press conference. >> i made the decision to close the school. that was after talking to the chief deputy superintendant, the chief of police of the school police, and after they reviewed
with me the information that had been shared with them based on past circumstances, i could not take the chance as it relates to one student or our staff that serve our students. it is important that in the last four hours the city, this community has come together and on behalf of our students, our students that are in the regular schools, our students that are in the charter schools, that are authorized by the school board, we are taking all sorts of precautions. our plant managers are walking the campus with law enforcement people. our plant managers and principal with law enforcement, are
looking at all of our schools, both small, large scale et cetera. we have made sure that our parents are notified through connect- ed messages and we have repeated that time and time again. those students that walked to school, especially young children, neighborhood children, we have had the principals meet and administrators meet them at the gate of the school and they were not dismissed until parents came to pick them up, a guardian et cetera. we are doing everything possible to make sure that children are safe, but that also students and parents understand that the precautions we are taking are done in a calming way, are done
in a way that are in the best interest of everybody in this particular city. not only is it the city of l.a. as you know the school district represents many independent cities, and we have reached out to them also. there are unincorporated areas in the school district that we have reached out to. i have roached out to the board of super visors. i have reached out to the city council. i have notified the state superintendant of schools. i have notified the secretary of education mainly because there are no secrets. somebody has sent information that leads us to pause and make sure that we are safe, that our children and our staff are safe.
nobody could be more interested in this city than our mayor. our mayor and his staff, his staff has joined us early this morning and our mayor is here now and i would like to turn it over to him. >> thank you very much, mr. superintendant. the decision to close schools is not mine to make but support. since san bernardino, our colleagues there who asked for the help from the los angeles police department when the shooting was reported. this morning, we are here because our first job is to insure that the people are safe in the city. it is easy for people to jump to conclusion and i have been around long enough usually what people think in the first few hours is not what it plays out. we see investigations unfold for
series of days. but decisions have to be made. i was immediately on the phone with phil washington cto of mta to make sure buses can travel free on buseses and rail lines to make sure they can get home safely and get through the city without worrying. a lot of parents have to get to work and can't afford to miss one day. we are here with with the chief and law enforcement with training and leadership that connected the dots nationally on this. we reached out immediately to our federal law enforcement officials who are taxed in the recent weeks since san bernardino but to bring them in this investigation. in talking to new york and learning of other places, we realize this was not the only city to face this threat. we continue to hope this is
nothing and that our children will be back at school tomorrow. but as a parent, as a mayor, i will insure that we look at the campuses and make sure they are safe for all of our children. and caution is something that all of us who have children appreciate. we'll be here and continue to be here. we have activated the city's emergency operation center at level one to make sure we follow this and share in the intelligence and work with the federal law enforcement officials. my number one priority is keeping the city safe. no matter who reaches out to us, we have a incredibly trained police force. whether it is something that could have happen and we may never conclude that, i do not want people to say because
sometimes they don't result in a foiled flotor shooting to not speak up or speak out. we need to have people if you see something, say something. visit i watch l.a.com. and we continue to live our city of los angeles and our values and freedom and liberty. we want to make sure we are safe. [speaking spanish] >> as los angeles mayor makes his remarks in spanish, you heard the summation of what he had to say. it was not his decision to close the schools, but he supports it, although the warning that caused the los angeles school district to closed were also received in
new york, new york authorities determined those threats are not credible. and apparently so did the fbi. but the schools are closed in los angeles. >> remember the los angeles school district has the largest private security team ofvu anywhere in the country. >> we reviewed the threat and contacted the fbi. and we worked jointly with the joint terrorism task force to vet that threat and to be able to give the school board and the superintendant our best advice on moving forward. now, we're able to do that. the superintendant made the decision and we support the decision as does the mayor. i would say this to people who are critical. it is very easy in hindsight to criticize a decision ways withed on results that the decider
could not have known. it is easy to criticize a decision when you have no responsibility for the outcome of that decision. the school district safe guards three- quarters of a million lives every day. when they make a decision, they have to take into the account of safety of the children of los angeles. it is irresponsible based on facts that are yet to be determined to criticize that decision at this point. all of us make tough choices and same goal in mind. and we want to keep our kids safe. these are tough times. these communities, in southern california has been be through a lot in the recent weeks. should we risk putting our children through the same? i am also joined by my partner in law enforcement here, the
other half of what keeps the region safe. sheriff, would you say a few words. >> just to be able to add a note of reassurance that we are working closely together once we became aware of the issue we are in contact. we have co-located our representatives in the emergency operation's center and start vetting the information that is available to us and working with all of our partners in the federal, state and local level. we are blessed to have great relationships and when we have the need we come together in a way that you would be proud of although we don't and can't talk about it. a lot of the work is done to run this to ground, and we are working to get it to insure that the 700000 young people who go to l.a. unified are safe and we move forward with that common
goechlt i thank you for understanding and working with us as we deal with the difficult issue. >> thank you. i want you to meet the chief of school police, mr. zipperman and i will turn it over to the board president to introduce the board. >> good afternoon. i just want to say again, to all of my law enforcement colleagues and sheriff mcdonald and chief beck and honorable mayor. as indicated before we have to make tough decisions that is been stated. i assure you that our number one priority is the safety and security of not only our students but staff as well. we felt based on the information that we have, and we collaborate with the law enforcement partners and l.a.pd took the lead on this as a result of the threat and normal protocol, i
assure you as chief of police of the school district that while our campuses are having the walk through as we speak, that none of our schools will be reopened until not only i feel that we have been begin the information through those folks that are out there in the field right now, checking each location, and that the information i received based on l.a. pd's continued investigation and based on the collaboration and communication with sheriff mcdonald, chief beck and our federal partners and the briefing that occurs with with the superintendant and the board of education, at that time we'll make the decision to open up the schools and we'll not do that until we are satisfied we have taken every measure possible.
>> i want to thank the mayor, chief and the sheriff, our chief of police and especially our superintendant of schools. on behalf of the entire board and the entire board has gathered here in solidarity with this decision and in support of everyone who is working and has been working through the night to keep our children, our schools, safe, and see they can return to be the anchors of our community. i want you to know also on behalf of the board, that i have never been prouder to be n an angelino than i have been in the last few hours. the entire city has come together aroundchildren, around their families.
this is not an easy situation. this is a difficult day for families in los angeles. this is a difficult day for teachers who want nothing more than to teach our kids and to give hope for the future. but i want you to know that the only thing that is more important to this board of education, to our superintendant, to all of the civic leaderses that are gathered here today. the only thing that is more important than the education of our children is the safety of our children. and we will make sure that that safety is assured, working together as all of us have and want to say to the leadership of our community and labor partners that stepped up in every way and business community, we will need
your patience, we will need your understanding, not only for our schools and our teachers, but most especially for our families, more than being employees today, more than any other role, our parents and guardians need to be parents and can guardians. and see as we move forward throughout the day, and we will work with and continue to work with the superintendant and his team and our law enforcement partners and make sure we do everything we can to help you do your job and we thank you for keeping our communities informed and engaged and make sure we continue with the business of education. >> superintendant? >> i want the media to know that i instructed mrs. habber to
issue briefs for the rest of th& day. there may be something that say we don't have anything new. i want everyone to know as much as possible. we'll not take questions. this is an investigation. the investigation is not complete. and when the city police who have charge of the investigation decide that information is available, we will make it. >> so you heard the top leadership of city of los angeles defending their decision to close schools for the day even though the threat received by e-mail to one of the school board members was deemed to be noncredible by the fbi and other law enforcement officials, despite that l.a. officials closed schools and they are taking some heat from that and you heard their justification
there. new york city received the same threat and decided that it was not credible and schools are open today in new york city. we'll be back with more "happening now" in just a moment. take the zantac it challenge! pill works fast? zantac works in as little as 30 minutes. nexium can take 24 hours. when heartburn strikes, take zantac for faster relief than nexium or your money back. take the zantac it challenge.
>> a fox news alert. we just wrapped a press conference from the los angeles school district. many city officials came out defending the decision to shut down the second largest school district in the nation because of a threat. the enter theed said they took it seriously. despite the fact that the fbi did not deem the threat to be credible. part of the twists to this story, after l.a. closed down
the schools, the former police commissioner from los angeles who is now the commissioner of new york city saying we received the same threat as l.a. and our schools are open. the threats are promoting fear and we will not allow it to raise fear and he was concerned with people overreacting to it. that is criticism coming from the police commissioner in our city. there is a bit of back and forth. regardless the school district is shut town. mark, fox news contributor, you worked in l.a. 20 years plus. what is your reaction as we know it? >> i think it is interesting the way new york handled the threat in the way. this is the decision of the
school district. i hear people that will react the same way in the fut and you are the thing that alarms me and that i look at. it could be a probe to find out how the city reacts and what they do, and the command posts they form and where they form them and how they literally drain the city of law enforcement for a short period of time and when the threat is not there, or they concede the threat not to be a threat, then it goes back to normal. they can do this any can time. >> that is scary. but we don't know anything about it at this point. reports are saying it came from an e-mail address in germany. but beyond that we don't know that much. mark, does it concern you that a school superintendant can make the decision and take it a step
forward should the fbi have to approve because it becomes a national story if the entire school district shuts down? it is complicated. what is the best? >> it is i would say not a federal issue but a state issue. so they don't have jurisdiction until something occurs. even with l.a. pd i doubt the policy changed much. if it was a bomb threat whether it is private or school. the decision is made to evacuate and close down and search. so they assess the credibility. and so in this scenario, the l.a. pd gave the school district of the threat and they did not take their advice and the
superintendant did not want to be responsible if anything happen and he closed it down. in the future, and now terrorist or whether it is it a prank call or terrorist group, they know l.a. will shut down their schools. and when you shut down the schools, you have to get them out of the school will and puts those children on the street at an exact moment when you do that and how the police react to it. >> it is scary and a lot of parents, wondering what is the best call and how do i want my kids protected by the city while trying to get educated. what do you make of the new york city commissioner coming out and speaking publicly during this time and figuring out what the the threat is in l.a. nbratton is a tough guy and
a professional guy. he assesses the threat in a vacum of what he knows and what he doesn't know. other past threats, he knows much more than we ever well and even about this incident. he did say the exact same incident threat. he assessed that and they assessed threat. and past threats that we probably will never know they got, it could be be the same location or actually the same computer address that past threats come in and they could be rattling the sabre or isis sympathizer to create economic terror and that's what it did in los angeles. >> again, very interesting, the l.a. mayor made reference. we know from l.a. and from new york, we are not sure how many
school districts may have received similar threats. where else did the e-mail go if it is the same e-mail? this is a big news item and the superintendant said there is a continuing investigation going on, on the school grounds. even though the fbi may say it is not credible, they are acting on it out of an abundance of caution. for families sending their children to school, what would you say to them? >> this is the age we live in and the longer that we have politicians, whether state or county or federal think that the privacy concerns of people supercede the safety of a nation, this will continue. the intelligence gathering should be extreme for the people trying to do something like this
and it will completely ignore innocent and law-abiding citizens. and if we do this blanket, we'll eliminate intelligence and ability to know if a threat is credible. and stop the threat before they take action. and what you tell a parent, i am not sure what to say. i did not find a lot of confidence in the press conference to be be honest, because somebody had a knee jerk reaction to a threat that they didn't listen to law enforcement professionals and they did what is safe for them and the children of course. but it is about them. they didn't want going to happen on their watch. to me and bratton, that is the wrong way to handle this. you are playing in the hands of terrorist and they never need to shoot around to create terrorism.
they can put complete economic terrorism without firing a shot. >> who do we trust when it comes to information on terrorism and other threats? we'll be right back with more breaking nows on "happening now". did you say 97? yes. you know, that reminds me of geico's 97% customer satisfaction rating. 97%? helped by geico's fast and friendly claims service. huh... oh yeah, baby. geico's as fast and friendly as it gets. woo! geico. expect great savings and a whole lot more. whether your car is a new car an old car a big car a small car a car that looks kind of plain a car that looks kind of like a plane a red car a white car a blue car a red white and blue car a green car
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were saying was a credible threat to the school system. we don't know if it was terrorism- related. we are reports that was related to terrorism. the fbi is saying, we saw the threat and did not deem it credible. there was a difference between the fbi assessment and the local authorities in l.a. this is bringing up questions of security going forward? it is it a story we watch and still questions that we have today. >> the question was, was the threat in the los angeles school district credible? the authorities thought it was. and authorities elsewhere who saw the same threat went on with business as usual. communities in california are on edge after the terrorist attack in san bernardino when
a radicalized couple went on a rampage and kill would 14 people. we have more from johnathon there. >> reporter: jon, it is obvious businessly a jittery nation and given what happen in san bernardino this area of southern california is more nervous. and the superintendant of l.a.usda schools said that played in to his decision- making. listen to the superintendant cortenasa here. >> i think it is important that i take the precaution based on what has happen recently and happen in the past. >> reporter: now we know that new york city officials received a similar if not exactly the same threat and the police
commissioner there, bill bratton who remember is a former police chief in l.a., said he believed there was a danger of overreacting and the clear implication that l.a. did just that. listen here. >> we have an investigation underway, it is a investigation unto a hoax. we strongly believe that the e-mail received in new york city which is similar and almost exactly the same in any locales and specifically los angeles, we do not see that has a credible terrorist threat. >> reporter: now, it is obviously interesting to note from the new's conference we just heard that neither mayor of l.a. nor the police chief beck would criticize the superintendant's decision. they squarely said it was his decision and his alone, and they
both also supported. obviously a lot of parents are concerned. as a parent of three kids in beverly school system, you share those concerns. it is difficult to criticize a superintendant who is doing what he can and best for the children in the wake of a terrible attack that we saw in san bernardino, jon. >> obviously parents and kids are inconvenienced but you have to be cautious and it is it a tough decision to make. johnathon hunt, thank you. rodriguez is a former deputy attorney for los angeles. as they look for the perpetrator of the threat and so far it appears to be be a hoax what penalties are we looking here? >> penalties can be probation
and prison. it is not a crime to be taken lightly at all. and this will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law given the disaster that is happening in los angeles today. i live here and i see what happened this morning and i have children that are school age, and it is awful here right now. we are a community since san bernardino, we haven't been the same, we are scared. >> everybody wants to treat this thing with an abundance of caution, but if this was an overreaction by authorities there will be blow back. they so many to be taking heat. >> yeah, and i think they should. the question is, in any kind of decision making on things like terrorism, you have to rely on the experts and i don't understand how the l.a. school district has an expertise that trumps that of the fbi. >> right. >> that is what it comes down to. >> the fbi, sorry to interrupt.
the fbi deemed that the threat was not credible and you know, the chancellor of the school district decided to close schools anyway. >> reporter: this morning when the news came out, it seemed like the right decision. but now the fbi saying error clearly to the l.a. usd board it is it a hoax. and new york city, let's be be honest has more experience dealing with a terrorist attack be than los angeles does, deemed it a hoax and didn't think it was credible. you know, that is something that makes me think or makes me pause as to whether or not it was the right decision. part of terrorism is having us live in fear. it is not just the attacks and carnage with it.
it is the changing of the very nature of what it means to be in america and live in america. >> right when we hide or cower that is what the terrorist want to do. >> they can't turn us in a country of chick ep littles. >> right. the former district attorney in los angeles. thank you. >> they are bringing up a point on social media. the fbi said no credible threats and san bernardino happen. can you blame him for saying it is not serious but just in case we are going to close the school. it is it a question of trust and something we will be hearing about in the debates. >> no warnings ahead of the san bernardino attacks and there were postings. and it is one that we will
continue to watch as far as the developments are in los angeles. there is a lot of concerns about threats to other soft targets. the federal government spent billions in the security in the wake of 9/11. what about other modes of transportation? hear from two experts about the dangerous and what can be done to make travel safer. who wants to try? before earning enough cash back from bank of america to stir up the holidays, before earning 1% cash back everywhere, every time and 2% back at the grocery store,
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transportation system mostly airports. rail facilities remain vulnerability to terrorist attacks these experts say. with me is the former ceo of the safety administration. and tom will join us as we get his shot of. it in the meantime, how would you characterize the threat against the rail systems? >> we have done a lot since 2001. we learned from attacks in other cities and countries, japan, madrid and london and spent time and energy. our presence in the infrainstruct sites are invisible and not necessarily that the public sees but it doesn't mean that the government is not there. >> you have expertise in hazardous materials. and the oil boons and moving oil and that is a potential security threat for many reasons and we
are talking also about commuter rails. you can't invest in security at hubs at airports and do the same thing for rail systems. you should spent monneintelligence gathering? >> we need to spend money in a couple of different places. we present a multiple layers of defense. starting with with intelligence. and interaction between the federal government and states is much better over the last couple of years to identify the threats before they go from a planning stage to operational stage. second is the deterrence. you will see uniformed officers throughout different terminals and not always at the same place. there will be nonunformed personnel there and human and different from human resources.
you will see animals deployed and sensors that are remotely monitored. and so it is multiple level. and public awareness. if you see something out of the ordinary they need to speak up because it might be be an important part of an over all important picture. >> tom i am bringing him in the conversation. there he is, tom. sorry about the technical difficulties. what can we put on the top of our priority list to make sure rail systems are safer than they are now. >> well, we can't take the risk to 0. i was involved in writing the security regulations for railroads and you can't write them that they are see strict so that the systems shut down. that is a win for the bad guys,
and you have to take steps that reduce risk which would be things like additional training for a mass transit personnel will like additional training for a mass transit personnel. things that will give you a much heightened awareness so you know what to expect. you have to coordinate and integrate with the joint terrorism task forces and understand what vectors might present themselves and what steps you need to take to push that down through observance, through information gathering, but at the end of the day, let's remember flight 93. the last line of defense is the passengers. they're the ones that are going to prevent this. so, see something, say something, becomes ever more important in this mass transit passenger rail context. >> something we're taking a closer look at, how can we be proactive against the bad guys rather than reactive.
little short on time because of the breaking new, thank you very much. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> so, they are talking about making changes to the visa program as terrorism threats in this country are top of mind. the former head of the senate homeland security committee and former vice presidential candidate joe lieberman, joins us next. at planters we know how to throw a remarkable holiday party.
the closing of the l.a. school district because of a threat, we are continuing to watch the coverage of where we go from here. former u.s. senator joe lieberman with the homeland security committee and the big question today, we're drawing upon your experience in homeland security and intelligence words as well. is who can we trust? the fbi saying this is not a credible threat, but the school district is taking it seriously.
who can we trust today? >> yeah, well, i would trust the fbi. i understand that the superintendent was worried about what if the fbi was wrong. but i think you've got to listen to the fbi when they say it's not a credible threat. don't close the cools. maybe call the local police and have them establish security perimeters around the school, maybe bring in the bomb skauds to sniff out any danger, but it's a big decision to close schools in the middle of a day in a big system like los angeles. >> it is and it is making national news as we are covering every second. one of the things we want to talk about today is the visa labor program. while we were digesting this threat for the l.a. school district, the president was at a nationalization ceremony where people were becoming citizens. tlas question about what our policies should be. what do you think? >> well, i think all the visa programs are right for review by
congress, but the administration, maybe by independent authorities they haven't had. among the illegal immigrants in america, something like 40% of them came in on illegal visa and just overstayed it. that's outrageous and unaccept b b. it gives a special privilege to people from about 40 countries to come in here for 90 days and i don't believe we really screen them adequately for terrorist. >> should we pause it? do you think we should take a pause? >> frankly, it's not a bad idea, particularly from countries we're worried whereabout there's an increasing reason to believe there's a terror cells that it's not bad to pause it. or at least by administrative action from the secretary of homeland security, demand that some changes be made right away to toughen up the visa waiver program including doing a search of the terrorism watch list at a minimum. >> sounds like at a minimum is a
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well, hang in there, los angeles, the investigation is still ongoing. thanks for joining us. >> the real story with gretchen starts now. >> the breaking news coverage on the real story is the nation's second largest school district completely shut down with more than half a million students in l.a. told to stay home over what officials called a credible terrorist threat. welcome to the real story today. so, we're now learning it was a bomb threat. it was sent online apparently if germany. as a result, every single one of the over 900 schools around the l.a. area being searched, but fbi sources telling fox the threat came in yesterday and was determined to not be credible and that schools were closed out of quote out of an abundance of caution. the mayor in new york city said they received the same threat