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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA

Charlotte Mayor, Police Chief Hold Press Conference; Scott Convicted of Felony Aggravated Assault; Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogie Talks Charlotte Violent Protests. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired September 22, 2016 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:00] JENNIFER ROBERTS, (D), CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA MAYOR: I think as our chief has stated, it is a fluid situation and absolutely, there are certain absolutely it walking on the street, people are conducting business as normal, as usual. We are monitoring the situation. We have eyes on the ground. We have great feedback and --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

ROBERTS: I think you heard from our chief, the resources that will be deployed, the change in strategy, and the continued collaboration with the community, that we are determined, the safety of our citizens is our highest priority. We can look at experience. We can't predict what will happen. There are many conversations going on in our community, there are many efforts and again, I applaud our community leaders, there are many efforts to reach out to some of the folks who are angry to get them to stand down, even today while we are speaking, I know of meetings that are ongoing right now where great leaders who have the trust and faith of their congregations and communities and neighborhoods are having tough conversations and saying violence is not the answer. We are a peaceful city. We will work together moving forward.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

KERR PUTNEY, CHIEF, CHARLOTTE POLICE DEPARTMENT: I am still incident commander. I'm still in charge and the structure flows from there.

Yes, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

PUTNEY: When can you expect it to be released? You shouldn't expect it to be released. As far as my reaction to it, I will be updating based on new facts that we have. You will get that update later on today. I'm not ready to give that yet because there's still a lot of questions that I have and a lot of information that needs to be vetted first.

Yes, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

PUTNEY: The big thing we're doing different is we have several hundred additional assets to protect the structures, the businesses, and our personnel, and we are going to be a lot more proactive. We made 44 arrests last night because we are not going to tolerate the behavior. Now we have resources to better protect the infrastructure so that we can be a lot more proactive in going after the criminal behavior.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

PUTNEY: Absolutely, ma'am. Several hundred more people, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will take two more questions.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You said several is the highest priority -- (INAUDIBLE). What do you say to people, how do you assure them the same thing isn't going to happen tonight?

ROBERTS: I think you heard the chief say very clearly we have additional resources on the ground that we are working on as new strategic response will ensure that safety, every situation is volatile and we will do as much as we can to ensure that safety. We can't guarantee, not knowing what incidents will happen, what groups will be gathered, but we have every confidence that we are going to put the resources in place that are required and needed. And it is my sincere hope, I reach out to the community, I ask for continued conversation, all those leaders who have reached out to me personally, you are amazing in the message you are carrying about non-violence. I have faith that we will continue to progress.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

ROBERTS: We have seen social media that has made those invitations. I don't have any way to evaluate how much that was a part of what went on. We will continue to get information on that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Final question.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I'm curious how you are planning to work with businesses that have suffered damage, losses, those kinds of things.

PUTNEY: They should be expecting us to have these conversations right now. We are aware of those businesses. They should also see that increased presence. As soon as we start seeing people misbehave, they will see an increased level of that presence and they will see us much more proactive to start locking criminal behavior up so that we don't experience the damages that we had last night.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

PUTNEY: I think I answered that question as clearly as I can right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you all very much. Thank you all very much. Thank you all very much for coming.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION) PUTNEY: We are investigating all of that, sir, all of that. Thank you.

[11:05:16] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: John Berman along with Kate Bolduan, watching a news conference from Charlotte, North Carolina. Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, along with Police Chief Kerr Putney, updating the situation in that city after a night of violence and protests. There will be an increased law enforcement presence on the street tonight. That was a big part of what they said.

But also a couple other major headlines. Number one, the family of Mr. Scott, the man who was killed by a police officer, has requested to see the video of this shooting and the police chief indicated that they are looking to accommodate that request.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Also, another big headline coming out from the police chief, he says the video that he has seen, in his words, does not give absolute definitive visual evidence that would confirm a person was pointing a gun. That may be a very big point of contention and a very big part of the conversation going forward.

He also said that at this point they do not see the need to shut down the city or put in place a curfew as they anticipate events.

BERMAN: Or release the video publicly. We should say that, too. They want to accommodate the family's request but no plans to make whatever video evidence there is available to the wider public.

BOLDUAN: And facing tough questions about that.

Let's discuss this, kind of what we just heard in this press conference, in this update, with the former mayor of Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter, who is joining us now.

Mayor, we wanted to get your take on how you think the city's handling this so far.

MICHAEL NUTTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR & FORMER PHILADELPHIA MAYOR: Well, Kate and John, thanks for having me.

Obviously, this is a tough and complicated situation. I do want to say I think that Mayor Roberts and Chief Putney, with regard to accommodating the video, absolute right decision, and you know, the chief described what he saw and you know, if the family sees the same thing, it may not provide them with any definitive closure to what has happened but at least they will have the opportunity to see the same thing that the chief has seen. These kinds of situations are the toughest. They are the kinds of things that mayors all across the country worry about every day. Any of us know that on any given day, in any given incident, things can quite honestly go sideways or haywire and you can end up in one of these tough situations. So, as the chief indicated, there may be an outside investigation, which in this kind of circumstance is the appropriate way to go. I don't know the rules in Charlotte or in North Carolina, or what the federal government may require, if the feds are the outside third party to investigate. On the one hand, you need to follow the rules and regulations. On the

other hand, obviously the public and the media want as much information as possible.

BERMAN: Mr. Mayor, heading into thursday night, after two nights of violence there, we learned that they have no plans as of now to institute a curfew, although the chief said it's something they may do later on. What goes into a decision like that, and do you think it's something that should be done?

NUTTER: There's too much advice on television but that is a tough call, and you know, they are going to have much more information on the ground certainly than any of us would have in our conversation. But I think after seeing what's happened the last couple nights, anticipating now with the state declaration, state of emergency, National Guardsmen, state troopers, I understand, or highway patrol, those officers, bringing in that level of additional law enforcement, engagement will unfortunately possibly inspire some to do even more things. I think, as the mayor indicated, she said a lot of conversations are taking place right now with many, many community leaders. I'm sure they will have more discussion about what they should really do for late this afternoon, early evening. And they may want to revisit a lot of that discussion and decision-making. Making sure that the public is safe, making sure that the officers are safe, and then, of course, property and property damage, et cetera, et cetera, are all the factors in trying to make that very, very tough call. I think public safety always has to be the number-one leading choice in terms of that decision.

BOLDUAN: Mayor, stand by.

Let's go to Brian Todd, our correspondent, who was in that press conference there in Charlotte.

Brian, you were there. And you heard more of the questions than we could hear because there was some, you know, you couldn't hear them off mic. But the mayor and the police chief faced some very tough questions about why release, why not release this video to the public.

[11:10:10] BRIAN TODD, CNN ANCHOR: Kate, they faced very tough questions about that. My colleague, Nick Valencia, and I pressed them on it repeatedly. They are not going to release the video, they have no plans to release it publicly. They say their policy is not to release the video. At one point, the chief hinted that he may have a third-party individual look at it and maybe try to disseminate that for the public but he was noncommittal. We pressed him on that as well and he basically said don't expect the video to be released. We pressed him, look, just tell us what's on it if you can. He wouldn't do that.

My colleague, Nick Valencia, said his team interviewed an official who looked at the video, who said there was a clearly threatening move made by Keith Lamont Scott that afternoon, and that he had an ankle holster. We asked the chief about that. He wouldn't comment about any of that.

The headline here, they are being very close-mouthed this morning about what's on the video and they do not plan to release it.

The chief also notably saying that he does not plan on using the curfew but he will leave that open later on, he may have to make that call later. We are wondering just how much later he would make it, because it seems like they were late in asking for assistance from other police agencies as well to come in to help quell the violence overnight.

BERMAN: Brian Todd, stand by from that briefing room.

I want to bring in Art Roderick, CNN law enforcement analyst, a former assistant director of the U.S. Marshal's Service.

Art, we heard from Brian right there, sources were telling CNN that Keith Lamont Scott made some kind of threatening move. That's not exactly what the police chief said just there. What he said is he looked at the video and there was no absolute evidence he saw that Mr. Scott pointed a gun. Is there an important difference between seeing him point a gun and having a gun?

ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, if he had the gun in his hand, and even though he didn't point it, to me it makes no difference. Unfortunately, we have heard some conflicting views of what is actually on this video. We have one official saying he made a threatening move initially. When we heard the chief come out a couple days ago, I believe there was reference to a gun in his hand. So I'm not quite sure if this video, the release of the video is going to answer any questions at all or raise more questions. I think really, I think the chief is and some of the speakers I have heard earlier are probably correct that even if they release the video at this point it's not going to make any difference to what happens in the city of Charlotte and to the community at this point in time. Would it have -- would the release of the video earlier on done something? I don't think we are going to know the answer to that question.

BOLDUAN: A lot more questions swirling right now than there are answers.

Art, if you can stand by as well.

We want to go to Polo Sandoval, who has been following this from the beginning. He has new information about Keith Lamont Scott, the man who was killed by police -- Polo.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. It can at least help us build a better picture here of Keith Scott. We can now confirm after taking a closer look at court records that Scott did in fact have a criminal history. He did serve time after being convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and also evading arrest. A closer look at the court records showing that Scott actually pleaded no contest to shooting a man in Texas back in 2002. A judge eventually sentenced Scott to seven years in prison for that assault charge and about a year in prison or so for that evading arrest charge.

We are discussing this for two reasons. Because it now tells us that Scott did, in fact, at least have a past as a violent or at least a violent conviction in his criminal history, and it also is important here because state law prevents or at least it calls it unlawful for a convicted felon to be in possession of a firearm.

We now have several versions now suggesting there was a gun at the scene, that Mr. Scott did have in his possession. Obviously that would be important. It does not, however, justify the death of this individual by any means. This is simply one of several pieces in what is a very puzzle here. The other piece, of course, that video that we may not necessarily ever see publicly.

So this again, it's important to keep in mind we now know Keith Scott did have at least a violent past going back to 2002 when he was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

BOLDUAN: But, as Polo points out, John, as you well point out, this is a very sensitive issue, when a record has come up in the past regarding someone' past record and what has happened to them in the present.

BERMAN: Let's put that question to CNN law enforcement analyst, the former chief of police for DeKalb County, Georgia, Cedric Alexander, who joins us right now.

Cedric, you heard that report from Polo but the fact of the matter is, we have no evidence that the police who pulled into that parking lot had any idea what h Scott's past was. We have no notion that they had any idea that he had been a felon and shouldn't have a weapon, if he did. They had a warrant for someone else. That's not why they were there. That does not speak to their state of mind when they pulled that trigger and shot him, does it?

[11:15:] CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: No, it does not. Let me say this. Being a chief of police administrator in this environment is very tough and certainly it's tough there for that chief in Charlotte and across the country. But when we start to receive information about someone's criminal past, we have to be very careful when we insert that information because it comes across as being defensive. We don't want to come across as being defensive. That's exactly what you guys are alluding to. That's what you oftentimes hear people in the community say. We have a case involving a subject and then somehow the criminal past is brought into play.

Now, in terms from an investigative point of view, that is -- could be certainly very relevant information. However, when we are trying, through the course of this investigation here it's being viewed out here in the public both in Charlotte and across the country and around the world, when you insert that type of information, you have to be very careful to separate it from what we know happened up to this point because the perception is going to be from a group of people who are very frustrated, very angry, very mad about what's going on across the country and, quite frankly, very frightened because inserting to say he was a criminal anyway. And he may have had a criminal past but we have to look at the relevancy of these cases and when we insert that information. So that everything maintains a sense of balance.

BERMAN: That he was or was not doing at that moment and what the police there were or were not doing at that moment.

Cedric Alexander, important context. Thanks so much.

ALEXANDER: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

Let's go to Ryan Young, on the ground in Charlotte.

Ryan, what are you seeing? We have heard from the governor that he was going to be mobilizing the National Guard. Where is the National Guard presence? Are you seeing it now?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We haven't seen them just yet. We are told they will protect infrastructure and they will show up en masse so some of the things that happened last night will not happen.

What we have seen is heavy police presence you can see at almost every corner. We have seen them grouped and gathered and people have been talking to them saying hello and you have seen discussions between the police officers.

One of the things that sticks out to us is you still see people walking down the streets with signs like this. They want to make sure their voices are heard. So this has not gone away in terms of the conversation that's being had in this community.

Then when you think about a building like this that was looted, you can see how this store was damaged and the people who were inside, who own this place, they have had this happen to them before. In fact, it happened to them while they were in L.A. Now they have had this happen again. People from the community have actually shown up and tried to help.

I talked to someone else who was trapped inside a bar last night. He said they thought they heard gun shots and had to lock the door. About 25 people got down on the ground and made sure they were safe for the night.

But, once again, the conversation is still happening in this city. People are kind of bracing themselves to see what will happen overnight.

BERMAN: Could be a long night again.

Ryan Young, in Charlotte, thanks so much.

Athletes around this country are front and center in the discussion about racial justice and policing. Next, one of the most popular sports figures in Charlotte on the tension tearing apart his city.

BOLDUAN: Also this, African-American leaders in Washington say they are fed up, getting ready to march to the Department of Justice to demand more be done to stop this violence, stop police shootings in their community. We speak with one of those leaders, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[11:22:56] UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: Things have escalated once again.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: They just simply wanted to cause chaos.

BOLDUAN: This was the second night of protests. It took a dangerous turn.

(GUNFIRE)

(SHOUTING)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: -- these other people tried to grab --

PUTNEY (voice-over): We cannot tolerate violence. We cannot tolerate the destruction of property and will not tolerate the attacks toward our police officers.

TOUSSAINT ROMAIN, PUBLIC DEFENDER: People are hurt, man. People are upset. People are frustrated. We can't lose any more lives, man.

DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would do Stop and Frisk. I think you have to.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are safer when communities respect the police and police respect communities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BOLDUAN: We are back following the breaking news out of Charlotte, North Carolina. Lot of moving parts today. The National Guard mobilizing on the ground there, wanting to restore peace after a second night of violence hit that city. Police in riot gear over night firing tear gas, rubber bullets to disperse crowds. Protesters were seen smashing windows, looting stores, setting fires on the street.

Charlotte's police chief just spoke moments ago and said that so far there have been 44 arrests. Nine civilians injured, at least five officers requiring medical care.

BERMAN: Joining us by phone is retired NBA legend, Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues, who played 10 seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, lives in Charlotte.

Thank you so much for being with us, Muggsy.

I just want to say this is your city. When you were watching these pictures last night, when you were getting word of these riots taking place, on your streets, just let us know what you were thinking. TYRONE "MUGGSY" BOGUES, RETIRED NBA BASKETBALL PLAYER & CHARLOTTE

RESIDENT (voice-over): I was really sad. This is not the city that I came to in 1988. This was a city that was really growing nowhere near to where we are today. It's a diverse city with all the economic growth that we have over the years with the Charlotte hornets coming here, the city has grown tremendously. I was really saddened to see the violence take place in the city. I have been affected twice now, my city in Baltimore with the Freddie Gray situation and now what's going on here in Charlotte.

[11:25:10]BOLDUAN: Muggsy, you tweeted this about what's going on in Charlotte. You wrote, "A lot going on in the world, we need to start with basic respect for one another and be kind."

With respect to Charlotte, what does that mean for both sides here?

BOGUES: Basically that, understanding what the means are at hand. People are angry, I understand that. People in our neighborhood, you want transparency. They're tired of our young men being gunned down as opposed to having the opportunity to be heard in trial. You have also got to look at the police how they do their job. I have a nephew. I have a cousin that's a detective. I have cousins, I have aunts, nephews, who are out in the street trying to live a day to day life. When you see this type of stuff that goes on, it just affects me and makes me sad because whatever happened to, you know, innocent until proven guilty. Too many things are happening. Too many lives are being lost without being any explanation. I know people have a job to do but people need transparency. People are tired of our men being gunned down without any, you know, people being reprimanded.

BERMAN: I know this has got to be hard for you. As you said, you have family members on both sides of this line. It really shouldn't be a line that's on the streets. And we do appreciate your time here.

What do you think you can do now to try to improve the situation there?

BOGUES: Only thing you can do is try to educate, inform and just try to get both voices to be heard. The community needs to be heard. There's nothing wrong with people, non-violent protesting to let folks know we need a change. And it needs to be done. The folks that's out here looting, out here causing the violence, that's a different type of protesting that's happening. These folks are angry because of |"her issues possibly and then they are creating situations that compound the situation. We all just got to sit down and hear one another. We are human beings first. There's no color. We are human beings. When are we going to get back to having human rights being heard, regardless of the color, regardless of industry, regardless of status, we are equal. No one is more superior than another. No matter what your title is or the job that you have, you still are an individual, you still are a human being, you still should have respect for whomever that's in any type of situation that needs help.

BOLDUAN: You speak such a strong message.

Some of the activists on the ground involved in this are calling now for an economic boycott. To have their voices be heard, they say they need to speak with their pocketbook. One activist said that since black lives do not matter for the city, then our black dollars should not matter. Do you agree with that?

BOGUES: Well, you can look at anybody can make a stand to try to -- what is that going to help? Not being able to go out there and feed your family, not being able to go buy food. If you want to take the dollars into whatever community, whatever you want to spend, that's your right. But we just need a solution, not being divided. We need people to sit down and say OK, I hear your point, I may not agree to disagree but we have an idea to get to a point to where we can make life better for everybody. Everybody. Why do we need to sit here and start dividing, we need to do this, we don't need to spend our money in this community, we don't need to go over here and no longer be part of this. We are still becoming divided again.

Why not we just can find a system that works for everybody? It's not that difficult. It's times where policies may not work in the past, we got to revisit them and just look and see what the data is showing. If the data is showing certain things in terms of where it's not working, then why not have a conversation and fix that?

BERMAN: Having a conversation is not difficult. Finding answers may not be terribly easy after everything we have seen go on in this country.

It's something, Muggsy, that athletes have begun speaking out about a lot. Colin Kaepernick really leading the charge in the NFL, not standing, now kneeling during the national anthem. Do you support that? What is the role of athletes in this going forward?

BOGUES: Well, again, you got --