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Police Shootings of Black Men Examined; Shootings Reported in Dallas. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired July 7, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: That does is for us. Thanks for watching. CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: You don't have to be a black man in America to know we have a serious problem with police killing black men. But when you're the President of the United States or a CNN anchor you have to say something.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
We're going to get to the president in just a moment.
But for the last two nights I have come on the air to report the deaths of black men at the hands of the police. This is a problem that goes beyond party politics, way beyond that.
This is a race problem. It is America's problem. Here's the proof. Americans of all races protesting all across the country tonight. Outraged by the death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Minnesota.
Both shootings caught on camera. I want you to listen to President Barack Obama tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PRESIDENT: When incidents like this occur, there's a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if, because of the color their skin they are not being treated the same. And that hurts. And that should trouble all of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And as we look at these live pictures of protests in Washington, D.C., I want you to see one of the videos that President Barack Obama finds so troubling, the fatal police shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota. The whole horrible aftermath caught on camera.
His fiancee Diamond Reynolds beside him in the front seat of the car, live streaming the whole thing as Philando Castile lay dying, her 4- year-old daughter in the back seat.
This video is very graphic, it is indeed heartbreaking but without it we might never know what's happening to black men in America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIAMOND REYNOLDS, PHILANDO CASTILE'S GIRLFRIEND: Stay with me. We got pulled over for a busted taillight in the back and the police (muted). He's covered. He just killed my boyfriend. He's licensed, he's carry -- so he's licensed to carry.
He was trying to get out his I.D. in his wallet out of his pocket and he let the officer know that he was -- he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet. And the officer just shot him in his arm.
We're waiting for a backup -- I will, sir, no worries. (muted) I will. He just shot his arm off. We got pulled over on Larpenteur.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand off it.
REYNOLDS: He had -- you told him to get his I.D., sir, his driver's license. Oh, my God. Please don't tell me he's dead. (muted) Please don't tell me my boyfriend just went like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just keep your hands where they are, please.
REYNOLDS: Yes, I will, sir. I'll keep my hands where they are. Please don't tell me this, lord. Please dear Jesus, don't tell me that he's gone. Please, don't tell me that he's gone.
Please, officer, don't tell me that you just did this to him. You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get the female passenger out!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma'am, I'll just call you right now with your hands off. Let me see your hands. Exit now.
REYNOLDS: Don't be scared. My daughter just witnessed this. The police just shot him for no apparent reason. No reason at all. They asked for license and registration.
That's the police officer over there that did it. With the black on. I can't really do (muted) because they got me handcuffed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK, mommy.
REYNOLDS: I can't believe they just did that, I'm (muted).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK, I'm right here with you.
REYNOLDS: You all please pray for us, Jesus, you all. I ask everybody on Facebook, everybody that's watching, everybody that's on there, please, pray for us.
[22:05:03] Sister, I know I just dropped you off but I need to be picked up. I need Alazade to call my phone. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, in the wake of this, there are protests all across the country tonight here in New York City and also in Washington, D.C. That's the one in New York City right there. And then one in Washington, D.C. as well. And then in St. Paul, Minnesota.
In St. Paul, Minnesota is where we're going to found CNN's Ryan Young for us tonight. And he is reporting, has been reporting on all of this. So, Ryan, you're outside the governor's mansion. We have seen a lot of emotion and anger from protestors out there. What's the scene like tonight?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A lot of emotion, Don. Look, we've been together in South Carolina, we've been together during Ferguson. A lot of these cases. So, you see a different crowd here. I mean, it's really a multi-cultural crowd.
You talked about being in front of the governor's mansion, that's it right here. This is the governor's mansion. You can see the gates, you can see people standing on it, you can see people standing in front of it.
In fact, the governor walked out about an hour ago and talked to some of the people. This is the protest that's going on as we speak. If you come back this direction, you can see all the people who are in the crowd who were having a conversation together.
Once again, like I said, you see people from different cultures coming together talking about having a conversation about how the change was going on. They want to make sure that whatever conversation is being had something happens. Because they don't want this to happen in the community again.
LEMON: Yes. How big is that crowd out there?
YOUNG: So, we've seen the crowd to be as big as 2,000 people and at times it's gone down to about 500. I can say at this point if you look back this way, we have about a thousand people. It goes all the way down the street.
We've had people coming out here with food, feeding people as well. They want to have a conversation. In fact, one of the things they were stressing is the idea that they don't want this to end without some changes.
They really want to hear from the police department about how they're going to have some systematic change within their organization before they let go of this demonstration. So, you hear a lot of people chatting and you hear that now. That's what you've been hearing mostly is the fact that they want change and justice.
LEMON: Yes. So, let's talk about the victim's fiancee because we saw that video. The victim's fiancee her name is Diamond Reynolds, live streaming on Facebook as he appeared to bleed to death at her side. What more have you learned about her, Ryan? YOUNG: Well, wow, that's really been the conversation here, Don.
People have been struck by that video. In fact, a lot of people who have been streaming the protest here because they've been struck by the idea that this woman could be so calm during that first interaction with the officer, and then the idea that her 4-year-old daughter was in the back seat.
People talking about the screams that they heard from the background. And the fact they heard the man moaning after being shot. This has really touched a lot of people.
And you had discussions among families. Because people have come out here as family units about the idea of how much Facebook played a part in this. Because they feel the crowds here wouldn't be here without social media, without that outlet.
In fact, she talked to a crowd just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REYNOLDS: They took his life for no reason. They did this to my daughter and they did it to me and I want justice, and that one thing. He should not be home with his family. He should be somewhere in jail handcuffed.
They took me to jail! They didn't feed us. They didn't give us water. They took everything from me! They put me in a room and separated me from my child.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: People really feel her anger and pain. You see signs like this one, "Am I next" out here? You heard chants. People kind of coordinate and gather of what they want to do. And in terms of what we heard there will be another march tomorrow as well, because like I said no one wants to let this go just yet.
YOUNG: They feel like they want to hear more not only from the police department but from the Department of Justice. And there's real anger here, Don. But again, like I said we've done this before, we stood in these crowds, I've never seen a crowd quite mixed like this in terms of not only voicing their anger, but saying what can we do as a nation to move forward to get away from these ugly scenes.
LEMON: That was the president's word today, in his words today, and this one somehow feels different.
Ryan Young joining us from St. Paul, Minnesota where there's a protest. On the left side of your screen you also see a protest in New York City, that is Times Square and there is also one in D.C.
This is sadly, we're getting information, this is breaking news into CNN, this is Dallas, Texas. We're getting reports of shots fired at a rally in Dallas, Texas. That's the minimal information, actually the most that we know right now. And we're working to get more information but you see the emergency vehicles on the street -- on the scene and law enforcement.
Again, reports of shots fired at a Dallas protest, protests again going on all over the country in at least four cities that we know of, that we have images of them. We'll continue to follow that.
As we follow these pictures and all the breaking information coming in, I want to turn now to Philando Castile's family. Beverly Castile is his aunt, and Leketta Troupe is his cousin. And we thank them for us this evening.
[22:10:01] Beverly and Leketta, I am so sorry for your loss. Again, thank you for joining us. How is your family doing tonight?
LEKETTA TROUPE, PHILANDO CASTILE'S COUSIN: They're surviving.
LEMON: And it's tough.
LEMON: Go ahead, I'm sorry.
TROUPE: Absolutely. I said we are surviving and trying to hold strong the best that we can.
LEMON: Yes. You are very...
TROUPE: Trying to be as peaceful as we can.
LEMON: Beverly, you were very close to Philando. Tell us about your nephew.
BEVERLY CASTILE, PHILANDO CASTILE'S AUNT: He's my baby nephew, the youngest, the youngest one that I have. I brought Philando up here with me from St. Louis, Missouri. We came from St. Louis, Missouri.
I brought him up here when he was about I think maybe about three, until his mom came and then she took him back to St. Louis, then they came back up again and he's been here ever since.
And Philando is one of the most humble young man that I know. Very respectable. And I, for the life of me, I'm just puzzled. I'm puzzled with this whole thing. I don't know what provoked the police to even draw his weapon or how this whole thing came about. I'm just -- I'm just stunned. I'm still stunned.
LEMON: Leketta, what do you want us to know about your cousin?
TROUPE: My cousin was a wonderful -- a wonderful man. I grew up with him his whole entire life. His mom, Valerie Castile, that's my auntie. I love her so much. She did a wonderful job raising Philando, making him be the man that he is. I have a 15-year-old that looks up to Philando that wants to be just like Philando as far as working. Being positive.
Philando was a great man when it came to kids and just interacting and being there for them as far as encouraging them to go to school.
TROUPE: Do a good job, encouraging them how to play the video games, you know, things like that. He was a great man and he did not deserve this whatsoever, at all. And we need justice and we need it today. Today. He did not deserve it. Like my mom said, very humble, very humble.
LEMON: Yes. You know, it's hard to watch this video of Diamond, but without this video, we may never know exactly what happened. So, pardon me for a moment but I would like to play it of her inside of the car and I want to warn our viewers that it's very difficult to watch and then we'll discuss it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REYNOLDS: He just shot his arm off. We got pulled over on Larpenteur.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand off it.
REYNOLDS: He had -- you told him to get his I.D., sir, his driver's license. Oh, my God. Please don't tell me he's dead. (muted) Please don't tell me my boyfriend just went like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: She is calmer than the police officer in that video.
TROUPE: Yes, she is.
LEMON: How did she -- how do you think she muster the courage, Beverly, to have her wits about her to record this video?
CASTILE: I think Diamond is just a strong woman herself, and just from the whole reaction of being, I think she was just trying to hold her composure, being in the state of mind that the police was in, she don't know what he could have did.
I mean, the police was -- to me it looked like he was just shooting, just shooting, just shooting. You know, and she didn't want anything to happen to her. One of them bullets could have hit the baby girl.
LEMON: Yes, the baby.
CASTILE: I think it's ridiculous.
LEMON: The baby's right there in the car.
CASTILE: Yes, the baby.
LEMON: So, Leketta, you said I understand that you said that you're not surprised by what you see. Why do you say that?
TROUPE: Because I used to live in Falcon Heights. I lived there for about four or five years and I lived at 1550 West Larpenteur. And it's a big multi-culture development that sits on the corner of Somalians and Larpenteur.
The most African-American and Somalians live in that building. And while I lived at that building, friends and family and folks that have license and insurance that never wanted to even come and visit me because of the profiling out there.
They always were in the parking lot, driving around, harassing folks, always, always harassing folks at 1550 West Larpenteur.
[22:15:05] And I don't always want to think that it's a racist thing. I think with them cops, but also they stereotype on what type of vehicle that you drive. If it's not a newer vehicle, they just rest assured to think that maybe this person don't have insurance.
They don't have to be and no reason to pull folks out over out there. They just do because they don't have nothing to do out there. You guys all say that Falcon Heights is a suburb. That is a little city inside of a another city.
There's about -- the population there is around 6,000 people. Out of those 6,000 people, only about 500 African-American folks live around in that community. So, all they do is ride up and down at Larpenteur Avenue and that little area and just prey on people to pull them over.
I've watched them numerous times. I've been a victim of them of being pulled over and getting a no proof of insurance ticket without even being pulled over. They also...
LEMON: I have to ask you.
LEMON: I have to ask you as we're doing this interview; we're showing video of protests that are happening all over the country. What do you think of that?
TROUPE: I think that it is so awesome and I just thank the whole world for everything that they are doing, taking the time out, having the courage, just being able to be bold to do that for my family and my cousin, they don't even know him.
CASTILE: And being supportive.
TROUPE: And every -- and being very, very supportive that we have never expected for -- we as to have this outcome. You know, over there where the crime happened at the scene, you have folks all the way over there that are supporting him, coming out and doing things. I mean, I think this is awesome, this is the best divine favor all
over the country. I want to thank everybody for all of the support that they are giving my family, especially my auntie and my sister Alazade.
LEMON: Yes. Speaking of -- speaking of your auntie, Philando's mother is your auntie, right? Philando's mother.
LEMON: She spoke this morning earlier on CNN. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VALERIE CASTILE, PHILANDO CASTILE'S MOTHER: The key thing in order to treat us that bad being stabbed by the police is to comply, whatever they ask you to do, do it, don't say nothing. Just do whatever they want you to do. So, what's the difference in complying and you get killed anyway? I think he was just black in the wrong place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: She said she taught him how to do everything right and to comply and he still died. Leketta, even the governor of Minnesota said he doesn't think that this death would happen if he was white. Do you agree with that?
TROUPE: I absolutely do agree. I do agree.
TROUPE: Because you...
CASTILE: I agree also because you have to really know Philando and the type of young man he is. I mean, Valerie did, she raised him very well and to respect the law. Now, if that police told Philando to put his hand on the dash, he would have did it.
If that police said let me see your I.D. and registration, he would have did that also. He don't want no trouble with the police so he tried to do what he thought was best.
LEMON: Yes. Leketta and Beverly, thank you. Our condolences.
CASTILE: Thank you.
TROUPE: I thank you also, sir.
LEMON: Thank you very much.
When we come right back, much more on our breaking news tonight, protests spreading all over for the fatal police shootings of two black men in the past two days. Is this finally a turning point in America as we look at these live pictures from protests in New York City?
[22:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: OK, we're getting reports from Dallas where there is a shooting, And again, our affiliate KTVT reporting that there is a shooting in Dallas. So, they're doing a live report now.
So, if the reporter walks in, you know, you'll understand why. But again, KTVT, this is in Dallas. There was a protest going on, protests happening all over the country, one in D.C., one in New York, one in St. Paul, but again one in Dallas. And that is our affiliate reporting n that.
People are outraged about the shooting deaths in one week of two public men caught on camera. Now as people across the country see with their own eyes what's happening to black men in America, are we finally at a turning point here?
I want to discuss this now with CNN political contributor Van Jones, attorney Areva Martin, New York Times columnist, Charles Blow, and Neil Franklin, retired Maryland State Police major.
Good to have all of you. I want to you first, Charles, because you said you were numb and seething, you watched Alton Sterling's 15-year- old son breaking down yesterday with your daughter. Tell me about that.
CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. I mean, we're kind of watching together and my daughter, she was on a break from school now. She said I can't watch this, and she says, look at him crying. And I said he just lost his dad, and can you imagine if you had just lost me.
And I kind of caught myself saying words. And I'm thinking how tragic is that that we even have to have this kind of conversation. And yet, we constantly have to have these kinds of conversations with our children in particular.
And I always think about what kind of psychic damage are we doing? It is a real balancing act. In a way you're clipping, you're being forced by society to clip your own children's wings, you are being forced by society to diminish their dreams to some degree, you are forced by society to impose on them constrictions that will keep them alive.
And the fact that we have to do that is an American cruelty that very few people can say that they share in America other than black and brown people.
LEMON: I always say that for some of us, and let's just be honest, for black folks that you steal their youth, you know, their innocence in a way, right? You want children to be as innocent as they can be for as long as possible and that doesn't happen for many black kids.
[22:24:58] BLOW: Absolutely. You have to tell a young boy, which I have had to tell my kids, if all your friends start running, you know you can't run if the cops are present. That's a hard thing to say. You hear the words coming out of your mouth and it's hurting you as
much as it is hurting them to hear it. And at the same time you're balancing constantly and saying I just want you to come home.
If you die in the street, I'm going to die here in this house. There is no way for me to survive you not surviving. And that is a horrible, horrible, horrible thing. It's a horrible injustice that we don't even see because those children -- all the children who don't die who have to have that conversation with their parents, they are being hurt, too. Those parents are being hurt by having to say that to those children.
LEMON: It is a horrible injustice, Areva, as well, because as the president said, this is an American problem, this is not just an African-American problem.
But many parents, white parents don't have to worry at least about that. Parents have to worry about a lot of things for their kids, but this is something that is foreign to white parents in this country.
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, Don. And I think what was so moving about the president's speech is he was almost admonishing the country to have empathy and unfortunately, when I look at my social media feed, I've been talking about this now for, you know, 24, going on 48 hours and there are people on my feed who still were saying things liked "But you just need to comply with the police," "But if you just did this," "If the victim just did that."
And people still want to point to the victims rather than look at the responsibility and place it where it should be, which is on these police officer who see African-American men as suspects and not citizens, who see these men as villains rather than super heroes, they see them for people to be feared rather than men to be respected.
And I think the president was trying to talk those people on my social media feed and probably on yours who just don't understand this isn't just a black problem, it's an American problem.
And as a mother, I have been grieving like I know these two families and I've never met either of them. But I have an African-American son, I have two daughters. So, I know -- I guess I know and I say this with all due respect, the pain that those families are feeling and I feel like it's my pain, my family's pain. And I think so many of us are experiencing that in this way.
LEMON: The president speaking tonight in Poland. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I actually genuinely truly believe that the vast majority of the American people see this as a problem that we should all care about.
And I would just ask those who question the sincerity or legitimacy of protests and vigils and expressions of outrage, who somehow label those expressions of outrage as, quote unquote, "political correctness," I'd just ask folks to step back and think what if this happened to somebody in your family? How would you feel?
To be concerned about these issues is not political correctness. It's just being American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Van, when we have these conversations, it's often very uncomfortable and people -- many people look at it or some people may look at it as some sort of contest or that you're admonishing someone when you say, well, you know, white parents don't necessarily have to deal with this.
This is not a contest. This is a quest and a call for empathy in this country, not just to guilt anyone but we're all Americans. And as the president said, we need to work on this problem together.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, and I think that we're going to have to. Listen, I don't know what's going on. They said that, you know, shots fired, they're putting that up there.
We're either going to come together as a country or we're going to come apart. This whole backdrop of this spring and this summer I think is being incredibly unsettling for me.
The political system seems to be spiraling into something I've never seen before. I know that you can go back and talk about 800 years ago or 200 years ago, but I, in my adult life, I haven't seen this level of vitriol and dysfunction.
[22:30:05] And there is now a growing empathy gap where my great fear is that people who are on the blue side of this can understand the black pain, the people on the black side of this can't understand the blue fear and we're just going to be talking past each other for what could be a long, hot summer.
And so, those who are looking at this panel and all these brown faces and what's their agenda? The agenda is we want to be able to raise our children. We just want our little guys and our little girls to be able to grow up and have graduations and not funerals. It's very simple.
And we don't imagine that anybody is innocent. Many of us have walked away from neighborhoods that where the street violence and police violence together are creating a whole wave of funerals. And we all have to do better.
But whatever happened in Dallas tonight, if there's any bloodshed or any loss of life, our hearts go out to whoever has been impacted, but this cannot continue.
JONES: And I got to honor Charles Blow tonight. Charles Blow deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, the Pulitzer Prize and every other prize; he's speaking to the humanity of a nation. And I hope that people are listening to him. There's no hatred in his heart. It's just he is trying to get us
together. And I appreciate you, Don, for letting us have this conversation and sit around this camp fire. We just want to be able to raise our children.
LEMON: I need everybody to stand by, because I have some breaking news to report. KTVT, our affiliate is reporting that two police officers were shot at this Dallas protest. Again, live pictures that you're looking at from Dallas, Texas. There's a protest being held there tonight as there are protests being held all across the country.
Our affiliate there KTVT reporting two officers shot. More of our breaking news on the other side. Neil Franklin, we'll hear from you as well, OK. We're going to continue going again.
Again, you're looking at live pictures on the scene. And you see police officers are running in to figure out exactly what's going on. There is an active shooter situation in Dallas, Texas. And again, the information is coming in and I'm getting it just as you are.
These are pictures, again, from Dallas, Texas. You see the police the officers, the flashing lights on the scene. Our affiliate there is KTVT. You see the reporter there on the scene getting ready for a report. And why don't we listen in as he begin to report.
KEN MOLESTINA, KTVT REPORTER: Hi, Don. So, we just notice right over here some officers getting shields and starting to move towards this building. And it seems like some officers are inside. We saw some of the officers pointing up at the building, as if somebody were possibly up there trying to gain some sort of vantage point.
The mood -- the mood definitely changed here in the last five minutes. It got a little bit more serious. The officers started to focus a little bit more on their personal safety than they were more concerned about keeping this perimeter contained.
We saw some shields pulled out and it looked like they just entered that building. It seems like there might be somebody in there or something in there they need to find or figure out or retrieve, and the officers now are getting a little bit even lower out here.
So, it seems like they might be getting close to something, but no other shots have happened out here since. So, we don't know if someone is injured or who they're trying to find.
LEMON: OK, that's the reporter on the scene, the KTVT reporter, our affiliate there in Dallas, Texas. Again, we don't know the circumstances of the shooting here. But we know that it came in just before we were going on air tonight, just before 10 p.m. Eastern Time.
Let's listen in to our reporter again from our affiliate KTVT Dallas.
MOLESTINA: And it looked like they were filling (Inaudible) glass door. I saw at least four or five officers walk in to the front doors with the shields that you see like there in the riot. They had one officer in front and three or four officers tailing. They're sort of like a commute (ph) trying to get in there and it's in their position.
And now off to my right you can see people in more -- officers here are sort of gearing up. You can see a few officers out here with helmets on now. There's one right in between here, looks like getting ready to go in there. It's hard to see now but he has a helmet on. They're putting more gear on. It doesn't seem like you said, Don, it seems like a parking garage out here.
LEMON: Live pictures now from our affiliate in Dallas, Texas, KTVT. You can see all of the police officers on the scene there. The indication, the reports that we have coming in to CNN now is that two officers have been shot. You heard from the reporter there on the scene that officers were getting in tactical position, it appears to enter a building.
[22:35:05] Now affiliate, this is pictures from affiliate KDAF in Dallas, a different angle. And you can see police have descended on this building that says Centro College. And again, we don't have control of these pictures. These pictures are being controlled by our affiliates there on the scene.
And now again, KTVT, a different angle that we have been watching for the better part of about little over five minutes now. And you can see officers crouched in the crouch position behind their cars and you saw officers close to the building, the building that read Centro College from our other angles that we have there.
There are a number of officers on the scene. And I need to tell you that earlier this was the site of a protest in Dallas, not exactly sure how many people were out there. And we don't see any signs of any protesters now.
And I do have to be fair and say we don't know the circumstances surrounding this, if this is something that this has to do with the protest or this is something that happened near the protest and it just happened to be nearby.
But again, we're following the pictures here and working to get more information from our affiliates. And this is KDAF again. A different angle. And you can see the SWAT team. The SWAT then, they are there as they are close to this building.
Witnesses are saying that there was a peaceful protest and then the shots came out of nowhere. And that's the information that we're getting. They also hear a report witnesses saying they're hearing -- they heard 20 gunshots in rapid succession during the protest, and obviously people scattered and here we are.
A peaceful protest now has turned into it appears to be a standoff situation with the Dallas Police Department and the SWAT team as we saw the SWAT vehicle on the scene here. And now you see police officers crouched behind their vehicles, behind the brick walls there at a building that says Centro College in Dallas, Texas.
And some of the protesters there are still on the scene. Let's listen in for a moment. So, earlier this evening, when they heard the 20 shots in succession,
people were running from the scene. Let's look at that.
So, those are the scenes from earlier this evening when apparently the shots rang out during this protest in Dallas, Texas. Again, witnesses report hearing a succession of 20 shots. You can you see there are people there trying to get a baby out of the way in a baby carriage. And there are Dallas police rushing in.
This all unfolded just moments ago. We got word of it just shortly before we went on the air at 10 p.m. Eastern this evening. The first reports we got were there were just there were reports of shots fired at a protest in Dallas, Texas.
And we're getting word that two police officers have been shot in this situation that happened now. And we're looking, as we saw just moments ago, we saw the SWAT team on the scene.
But again, this is all -- those are live pictures right there. Those were just moments ago. We apologize if there's any language that might offend you because this is live pictures and, again, this is all unfolding now. KTVT interviewing witnesses now, our affiliate on the scene. Let's watch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, and then they told us that there was -- you know, it still was an active shooter. So, we felt like we, you know, any moment could see bullets come off of the parking garage. So, everybody just kept running.
MOLESTINA: OK. All right. Raven, (ph) thank you very much for that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
MOLESTINA: There you go. You just heard it once again. That seems to be the word out here. We're working to confirm that with police. But according to witnesses, witnesses saw what they believe to have been two police officers that went down as a result of the shooting.
Let me step out of the way here and give you a way of what it looks like right now. This is off of Lamar and Jackson Street, just off the side of the Greyhound bus station, just about a block south now from we were at previously.
And you can see the presence here. This is an area where a lot of officers have congregated. Ed, let's pan out to the right here. We've got some SWAT officers arriving here on the scene. You can see them getting their shield out of the back of their cars right now.
They are in full armor right now, grabbing these shields out of the back of their car.
[22:40:02] So, this is what we've been seeing here police officers that are continuing to show up here on the scene. I mean, there were already plenty of officers when the march was taking place. But now responding officers are showing up here by the handfuls. Still a lot of witnesses, a lot of people out here on the streets. And
again, a very active scene over here. Here we go, Ed. Here we go. Three more SWAT officers looks like in tactical gear sort of running up towards the scene at this hour.
We don't know exactly what they're running to. We know the direction in which they're running but, again. Don, you were talking about this earlier today, I heard you talk about how many police officers are here. You know, maybe you have a better view from the helicopter.
But I can tell you from the ground, I mean, there are police are everywhere out here, probably why some of the reasons why some people are still out here and still (Inaudible) despite this still being a very scene. Don?
LEMON: So, that is a reporter Ken Molestina from our affiliate, KTVT. And again, the latest that we have all that we know from KTVT and you could see even the affiliates there on the ground in that area in that city don't have much information. All they know is that two officers were shot as well.
And they said that they heard 20 shots in rapid succession. And this is one of the witnesses on the scene, and I'm reading from one of the witnesses, they're saying that all the protests have gone peaceful.
As we -- this is another affiliate, KDAF. All the protests had gone peaceful. All was smooth, no issues, we didn't expect anything to happen at this time. Here with black, whites, Latino, everybody, in this mixed community here protesting. And it just came out of nowhere. Where reports at the end of the protest when shots started firing.
Being in front, it was almost like the shots were coming at us. It was complete pandemonium. I knew a couple of guys with rifles on them, I told them to put those guns up and give them to police. I heard about 20 gunshots in rapid succession. I heard police returning fire.
And that is according to one of the witnesses, one of our witnesses told our affiliate KTVT.
And again, you're looking at live pictures at what appears to be a standoff there in Dallas, Texas. And again, I'm getting information just as it is coming in, so I'm reading the information from my notes or actually from my iPhone.
But again, 20 shots in rapid succession is what we know. Another witness told our affiliate, KTVT, "I was walking next to the officer who was hoping with the protest; all of a sudden I saw six to eight shots. It looks like two officers went down. I didn't have time to take a look. I told it was an active shooter, we could see bullets coming off the parking garage."
And here's our affiliate again, KTVT. That's the information we're getting from them and there are officers they're crouched behind their vehicles and we're trying to get more information, again, all unfolding and we're saying -- all unfolding right now and they're telling us still an active shooting here.
And what appears to be, if you look at the name of the building, Centro College, at least the building is marked Centro College where we see officers standing at the door, some of them in full tactical gear and with their weapons drawn.
You can hear they're telling our affiliate that they need to move back into the alley. As you see officer approach the building there in Dallas, Texas. And again, this all started just a short time ago, I'm not exactly sure when the chaos started but we got word of it just around 10 p.m. Let's take a look at what happened where it started.
[22:45:03] So, you're looking at the video of what happened moments ago in Dallas, Texas.
I want to bring in Neill Franklin, if you're with me, a retired Maryland State Police major. Neill, tell me what's happening now as you look at this video? What are the police doing to secure the scene, what's going on?
NEILL FRANKLIN, FORMER MARYLAND STATE POLICE MAJOR: Well, one of the first things that they have to do with this active shooter situation is set up perimeter. And at a perimeter, in a perimeter to where they believe the person or persons may be.
And this is probably going to be an all-night operation. It looks like a large area that they have to search and they have to do is systematically, they have to do it cautiously and it's going to take a long to do it in an attempt to find the shooter or shooters. And that's another problem.
They don't know if it's one shooter or two at this point. And I think it's important that, you know, although it occurred in the immediate area of the protests, very close, I think it's important that at this time we not, you know, directly link it to the protest.
FRANKLIN: Until we find out more from the police as exactly what's occurring.
FRANKLIN: But it's going to be an all-night operation.
LEMON: All right. Neill, stand by. Again, I want to get back to those live pictures. Do we have the reporter from KTVT Is he still up? Jeff Paul is reporting for them. Let's listen in to Jeff Paul's report.
JEFF PAUL, KTVT REPORTER: It's not something we're accustomed to seeing in the country, let alone, in Dallas. Definitely a feeling as if there's sort (AUDIO GAP) is just a correction. One thing I want to stress to you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. PAUL: If you are in this area, stay away from this area. If you come up with your cell phone, I know that you want to do that but it is just making the job for officers out here very difficult. We are at a safe distance now.
We are doing our job to try to share this with the public. But please do not come out here with cameras and get in the way of what's going on. It's a very dangerous situation and we do not know what's going to happen next.
So, as we send it back to you in the studio, Doug, with any new updates, you can still see the officers out here in a very defensive position.
LEMON: So, that is reporter Jeff Paul from KTVT, we've been getting information from our affiliate KTVT and KDAF, as well.
And again, you can see the officers there trying to secure this situation. We're being told that it's still an active shooter situation.
Retired police detective Tom Verni joins me now. Tom, you've been in these situations. Explain to us what's going as you look at these live pictures.
TOM VERNI, FORMER NEW YORK POLICE DETECTIVE: You know, it seems as if they're trying to secure this location, they're trying to verify whether the shooter is still active in that location and then secure it. And then at some point they will probably send a team and to go after him, whether be him or more than one shooter, still unclear.
I was just reading a report; I believe they said two officers were shot.
VERNI: It's unknown as to the status of either officer. But this is something that after -- if you remember back at the end of 2014, when a lot of these protests started taking place in New York, after a corner there was all this chanting of, you know, what do we want, dead cops, when do we want them now, right?
And sure enough we had two officers assassinated in New York. So, the act of protesting is not issue, you know, protest are fine. People to do event, they need to have these conversations. But now when it escalates to the point where you -- now our officers are being shot, this is getting nowhere. This is going to continue to...
LEMON: But I think it's important to know because we don't know. We want to be very careful. Neill Franklin said this happened during the protest, but we don't know if it had anything to do with the people there. The circumstances surrounding the shooting. So, we want to be very careful because we have limited information and just to tell you what we do know right now. But I think it's important to report on the information that we are
sure of them. What we do know that our affiliate is reporting, is that there was peaceful protests going on, then all of a sudden they said they heard 20 shots in succession. Another witness saying I saw two officers and I think they went down.
These are live pictures that we're looking at, correct. These are still live pictures that we're looking and we see officers running into the -- in tactical gear. Running towards what appears to be building there.
And there are -- I think there are a lot of police officers on the scene here, so this is no small matter. If you're just tuning in, I want to tell you that we've been following this for, you know, most of the hour for I guess about 30 minutes now.
There is an active shooting situation going on in Dallas, Texas at the scene of a protest. We are being told that two officers are shot. Our affiliates on the scene, KDAF and KTVT are trying to get information as well. There's not much information to be given.
You can see there because they are struggling to try to get the news as well.
[22:50:00] Some of our affiliates are being pushed back for, too, away from the perimeter and this is an aerial shot from our affiliate KTVT.
And just from this you can see just how much apparatus, how many emergency vehicles and police officers and emergency workers are on the scene.
I'm being told Amanda Kleen is a witness and she's on the phone now. Amanda can you hear me?
AMANDA MARIE KLEEN, WITNESS: Yes, hi.
LEMON: Hi. Amanda, where are you? Yes. Where are you? You're live on CNN, by the way.
KLEEN: Hi, hi. I am home safe.
LEMON: What happened?
KLEEN: I'm a little -- I'll have to excuse my nerves because my heart is still beating very fast. But I live on Main Street, I live about four blocks from the Yellow Garden and the rally was supposed to be done around 9 and I usually take the puppies out at 8. And about 8.45 and they were just ready to go out.
So, I took them down and luckily they had to go to the bathroom a couple of times because I started walking towards the Belo Garden where we take them on a walk every once in a while and we got to about Wing Stock and there's still a little bit of people out there and where I live, I live on the top floor.
And I was watching the rally as it went and there had been thousands of people so it probably looked like it had died down to about a couple hundred maybe. But we got to about lose that, and then all of a sudden we started hearing pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.
And I wasn't really -- I didn't do all my research, I didn't understand everything about the rally, I mean, that this probably in conjunction with what has been going on in the news recently with the police -- but I didn't think gunshot like that -- that was not at first what I thought.
So, I just decided just came shots then. I think everybody thought the same way. I don't think people realize that they were gunshots. And then all of a sudden people just started screaming and running and, oh, my gosh, I don't think I've ever ran so fast in my life and I had these two little miniature sneezers with me, so it was a long way for them to sprint and be just sprint, they say it from Belo Garden which is where the gunshots were and sprinted the four blocks home on main street, and it seemed like a mile.
But there is (Inaudible) 30 cop cars that really pass us, like on cue like soldiers. And it was just one of those moments that you're watching ladies with like their strollers and just pure chaos. And that is something like I've never seen. But I'm sure you guys there kind of following it on Twitter...
KLEEN: ... and it sounds like the cops...
LEMON: So, Amanda, let me jump in and ask you a couple of questions. So, you said you were out walking the dogs and there were a couple thousand people out earlier and then it had died down to a couple hundred. So, as you're walking, you can hear the shots. How close were you?
KLEEN: I was on the corner of -- on the northeast corner of Belo Garden, so.
LEMON: But just in proximity because we don't know the streets. You're talking to a national audience. So, how were you feet away? How far away were you?
KLEEN: I would say a hundred, maybe 50 yards...
LEMON: And what happened? Did you hear the shots? Did you see anything?
KLEEN: I did not see the shots, I heard the shots. And they were really loud.
LEMON: Yes. And what did people start to do? KLEEN: People just started running. Like people stop, like, were
these really shots? Like could this really be happening in Dallas? I think that's what was on everyone's mind. Because there was a little bit of hesitation and then everybody started screaming, jumping over planets like running as if like the shots are not going to stop, and they didn't stop. They actually didn't stop until (Inaudible) and we heard were still going.
LEMON: The gun shots were still going?
KLEEN: The gun shots were still going after four blocks.
LEMON: How long did it take you to get four blocks?
[22:54:59] KLEEN: I would say a good five minutes but that's in panic mode so maybe three or four, just a couple minutes.
LEMON: And did you see police officers doing anything? What were the police doing?
KLEEN: There were police officers stationed everywhere along main street. I think they were ready just in case anything were to happen with a crowd this size.
KLEEN: But then as soon as I started hearing shots, it's really confirmed that there were shots and I started to see cops hopping in their cop cars, turning on their sirens and going around the block.
LEMON: OK. Amanda, thank you. We're glad you're safe. We appreciate you joining us here on CNN. Amanda Kleen who was down on the scene near. Hey, Amanda, are you still there? Is Amanda still there?
KLEEN: Yes, I'm still here.
LEMON: Is that -- Amanda, what is this, is this Centro College? Tell us about this area.
KLEEN: So, this is the central business district, that this is the main street (Inaudible) the hottest part of downtown Dallas. And this is where all the restaurants and the Chic hotels and Neiman Marcus, that's where I work and all these store front are on main street.
Belo Garden is right next to the Weston and right next to a luxury condominium high rise. And then it's right next to Bank of America tower. So, it's kind of a popular place in downtown.
LEMON: OK. So, we saw the writing on a building that they were saying that said Centro College.
KLEEN: Yes. It's like a community college but.
LEMON: OK. All right, Amanda, I want you to stand by real quickly. Charles Blow has some information. Charles, tell us what your daughter is... (CROSSTALK)
BLOW: No, this is...
LEMON: A friend's daughter?
BLOW: Yes, this is a friend that I grew up with from Louisiana. And I have no way to confirm this. She just sent me a message saying my daughter is in the Omni hotel, there is a shooter in there, cops moving them around spot to spot to hide them.
And I said, wait, right now? And she says, "Yes, six officers down." I don't know what that means. She is texting me. Her battery is low. They're in Omni hotel.
BLOW: I don't have any way to confirm that or not.
LEMON: So, listen, we don't have confirmation on six officers. What I will tell the producers that we're doing this is that I'm getting a text from Ben Ferguson who lives in Dallas and he's also saying six officers heard as well.
So, if we can get Ben Ferguson on the phone. Ben knows the area, he's from Dallas, he's there for a while, so we'll get Ben Ferguson and see if we can get information from Ben who is a frequent contributor here on CNN.
And again, one of Charles Blow's friend is saying that they're at the Omni hotel there, they are being moved around and being told there's an active shooter.
What CNN is reporting that confirmation that we have from our affiliate is that two Dallas police officers have been shot. Although there are report we're hearing that as many as six. Again, that is unconfirmed. What we have confirmed are two police officers again.
So, let's go back to our affiliate, our affiliate KTVT, is that correct? KTVT reporting, let's listen in to their report.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... from CBS-11 -- I'm sorry. Yes, I'm sorry. Pete, I thought you were on the phone. So, (Inaudible) with us live, appear on the show obviously in the news with us a whole bunch with a legal perspective.
First, just as a resident of the City of Dallas and realizing why these people were protesting tonight, your thoughts on what has now unfolded.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'll tell you what, I'm hearing now that the officer who has been shot in the arm he is going to be, hopefully going to be OK. He's a friend mine, which kind of hits home for me. But, you know, people have a right to protest but if they do it in a peaceful manner. But the fact that several officers have been shot tonight, at least
one that we know of that is actually a friend of mine. I'm very concerned that's why I'm here. I'm about to go into Parkland as soon as we get done here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Well, Pete, as he is a friend of yours, first things first. I do not want you to give us his or her name. The name has not been released yet, so I would ask you to refrain from that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clearly we want family to be notified of any situation like that first. My second question is how do you know that this person is OK? Have you spoken to them, have you spoken to somebody inside the hospital?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I have spoken to somebody who is from on scene who says that this individual was shot in the arm, and it's not life threatening at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I'm hoping to go into the hospital soon to make sure that that is actually correct. We don't want any officers to lose their lives in a peaceful protest, what it was supposed to be tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. So, Pete, kind of a global thought. This around the country we saw these protests up and down city street here New York, you know, Minnesota, Philadelphia. And honestly, I think a lot of people would maybe say this is one of the last places I would expect violence like this to break out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would agree with you, Doug. I mean, this is Dallas. I mean, we haven't had any incidents here. I mean, I think our law enforcement is every professional. They act with in accordance with the law. We haven't had any really, you know, controversial shootings in the area.
[23:00:06] And with just somebody I think you took the course...
LEMON: You have been looking at reports from our affiliate.