tv Smerconish CNN June 20, 2015 6:00am-7:01am PDT
in his second round. somebody just chuckled. he left the course early but told reporters he'll keep working on his game. >> yeah i'll just keep working on it. that's it for us. see you at 10:00 eastern in the cnn newsroom. >> don't go anywhere. michael smerconish starts now. please stay tuned for a special hour dedicated to a deeper understanding of this past week's racially motivated massacre in south carolina. after that tragedy, president obama made an all too familiar speech. he's grown accustomed to offering reaction in the face of mass killings. in fact he's made similar speeches nine times since he became president. each time reflecting on the mass killing of innocent americans. take a look. >> i've had to make statements like this too many times. communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times.
we come together filled with sorrow for the 13 americans that we have lost. with gratitude for the lives that they led and with a determination to honor them through the work we carry on. i have come here tonight as an american like all americans to pray with you today and we'll stand with you tomorrow. and the federal government stands ready to do whatever is necessary to bring whoever is responsible for this heinous crime to justice. all of us are heartbroken by what's happened and i offered thoughts and prayers, not only of myself and michelle but of the country as a whole. and each time i learn the news i react not as a president, but as anybody else would as a parent. in our days to come that community needs us to be at our
best as americans, and i will do everything in my power as president to help. the lives that were taken from us were unique. the memories their loved ones carry are unique and they will carry them and endure them long after the news cameras are gone. well any shooting is troubling. obviously, this reopens the pain of what happened in fort hood five years ago. the country has to do soul searching because of this. this is becoming the norm. and we take it for granted in ways that as a parent are terrifying to me. the good news is the outpouring of community and unity and strength and fellowship and love across charleston today that indicates the degree to which those old vestiges of hatred can be overcome. >> now this is by no means a
representation of killings. we did the research the numbers are staggering. take a look at this. these are the faces of all 87 people who lost their lives in those nine mass shootings. 87 brothers sisters, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, people from incidents in eight different states. at first we thought we could use one graphic to show the number of people who lost their lives but couldn't fit them all on one screen. the sheers are astonishing. 87 people lost their lives and their futures and everything gone. today i want to explore how this kind of tragedy happened yet again and i have the right guest. marlon kimpson was a very close friend with one of the victims you just saw, pastor clementa
pinckney. i noted yesterday the president took issue with those who think he's resigned to being powerless over guns. your thoughts? >> well, i don't think he's powerless. his words are very impactful and powerful. and i think that this tragedy is redding nighting with the american people. what happened is unexplainable, unimaginable and there are still people in this world and including this state in a great disbelief. but the president makes some very good remarks. it is time for us to do something. we are a civilized nation. gun control, stricter gun control laws state by state need to be enacted. for example, in south carolina
we just passed a criminal domestic violence bill. you would think that most of the debate could be concerning the victims of who suffered abuse, but when the bill and legislation called for the removal of guns of people who have been convicted, spousal and significant abuse, the special rights are addressed in the second amendment. i understand their constitutional right to bear arms. that arises on states that have militias because states were more concerned about federal supremacy. this is 2015. we have to move forward and recognize that there's a direct correlation between the amount of guns on the street and the deaths the president speaks of.
>> senator, the rest of us did not have the privilege of knowing your good friend but he recently sat down with pbs for an interview. allow me to show this video. >> the gram of this prayer lord let me be free if not my children my children's children, the deferred gratification. so we have an obligation we have a legacy to uphold. that the people who die so that we have the right to vote. the people who sacrifice so that we could one day realize the dream of a black president. a black elected official you know after segregation. we have and opportunity. i think it does our -- it does the memories of our people a disservice when we do not vote if we do not vote and if we buy into this whole idea that other people have perpetuated saying our vote doesn't count. we don't have that choice.
we don't have that -- we don't have that privilege to say our rule doesn't count. because history tells us differently. >> senator, one of the more grotesque details to be released is that the shooter deliberately set out reverend pinckney because of his status in the world of religion. >> well, it's sad and a shame. we have lost a giant of a man who was the moral compass of the senate. quite frankly, i was listening to those comments by my colleague and good friend and he would want us to honor his death by ridding this nation of hate hate. we have a lot of symbols of hate right here in south carolina. and he in those comments are talking to his audience and the
listeners about mobilizing to make sure that the people who marched and our ancestors who fought so hard for our libertyies liberties, our right to vote and right to obtain and participate in public accommodations that those efforts were not in vain. i don't know much about this criminal this thug who committed this massacre. but i can tell you i rest assured that the full power of the nation the full power of law enforcement and the full extent of the law will be handed out. >> i was watching the forgiveness speech by family members. you lost a personal friend and colleague. do you share that sense of
forgiveness? and is it at odds of being desiring of a death sentence? >> well, here's the thing, the most important thing is the families felt the need. and they are all god-fearing, church-going people. and it is really up to them to express their forgiveness to this man. and i think that i'm pretty clear on the death penalty. we can forgive but not forget. we have to make sure that these people who lost their lives because of hate because of racism do not die in vain. and that's the matter i'm focused on. >> may i show you an image, i'll describe it for you if you are unable to see a monitor, but
it's of the south carolina capitol. let's put that up on the screen. the confederate flag is at full mast. the you would think the optics alone would cause even the ad have to cats to say, my god, take it down or at least reduce it to half-mast status. is this incident finally going to be the death of the confederate flag? >> well, i hope so. let me be clear, i think the confess rad confederate flag -- my understanding is there was a compromise and the compromise was to take it off the capitol, off the stop of the capitol and move it to the front.
the fact that it can't be lowered because the pulley system cannot pull down. it does not represent the state of carolina and should not be in front of the statehouse. it's a polarizing. i think there are people of good will on both sides of the aisle that are beginning to have those discussions. and there's a growing demand across the country. through social media and people who have shown up here in charleston. i would encourage pose people those people to weigh in on this issue. it will always be an issue and we'll bond together to bring the flag down. we don't have time in this state or division.
>> my understanding this would require majority status in your state to reduce it to half-mast status. is that something you will try to initiate? >> yes. in fact i have done a dialogue with some of the more conservative members. i'm optimistic they are mostly people of good will. just as we did in the aftermath of the walt er flag. two-thirds of both houses are
required, the senate and the house house. >> senator, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you for having me. next we'll go to charleston for new developments in the investigation into the shootings and we'll scrutinize the media coverage of this case. do white and black defendants get covered the same? and later in the program, i'll talk to martin luther king iii about what his father did when confronted with a crime as terrible as the one in charleston. your credit is in pretty good shape. >>chuck, i know i have a 798 fico score thanks to experian.com. kaboom... get your credit swagger on. become a member of
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24 hours. zero heartburn. welcome back. the confessed gunman made his first appearance in court by video link. now new details on what happened that fateful night. martin savage is on the ground digging deeper into the investigation. what are you finding, martin? >> reporter: a lot of the new information we're gleaming is coming back from the day in which dylann roof was arrested. remember he was captured up in shelby north carolina. and apparently when he was taken to the police station there according to our cnn affiliate
wbtv he was speaking quite openly about what happened. one of the first things he began to talk about was that he was planning this for some time. and the reason he chose emanuel ame was the historical significance of the church here in charleston that dates back to 1816. the hand begun he used we know this from the investigation it's a glock 41. each substance subsequent magazine could hold 31 rounds. we hear he could have had seven magazines. at one point he considered backing out. remember he was in there for an hour meeting with the parishioners of the bible study. he thought they were so nice he almost didn't go through with it but then something horribly clicked and he didn't do it no one else would. and lastly apparently he only thought he shot a few people.
when later he learned it was nine he seemed a little remorseful according to sources. and the reason he was headed where he was, he said he was going to nashville. never been there before. just some insight into a twisted mind. michael? >> martin savage thank you. yesterday was the first of what will be a lengthy judicial process in this tragedy. the shooter's first court appearance brought a number of surprises remarkable on so many levels. i want to dig deeper joining me is criminal defense attorney and cnn legal analyst mark too'meara. as a pennsylvania attorney i found this to be highly unusual. let's watch. >> i will never be able to hold her again. but i forgive you. and have mercy on your soul.
you've heart me you've hurt me. you've hurt a lot of people. and i forgive you. >> mark o'meara, we have seen this early in a lengthy judicial process. >> again, the victims have extraordinary rights. all states pass victim rights statutes and this allows them to have a part in the bond hearing. but normally we don't see this type of forgiveness and emotion towards the defendant. very unique very touching and very emotional, but a bit unusual because we don't see it this early. but victims have the rights no matter what their position would be. >> the civil rights attorney areeva larson is injoeing me.
i want to bring up something that the judge said yesterday that raised a lot of eyebrows. roll that. >> there are victims on this young man's side of the family. nobody would have ever thrown them into the whirlwind of events that they have been thrown into. we must find it in our heart to the some point in time not only to help those that are victims, but to also help his family as well. >> reporter: areeva presumably he's right in regards of the shooter's family being victimized but were they timely? >> i thought they were incredibly appropriate given that the victims' families were about to give statements on how they felt with respond to the bond issue. and i also thought they were insensitive. you know you have nine individuals who were shot brutally murdered. their families are there still grieving and to talk about the family of the defendant, particularly given that there's still lots of questions about
how this young man became involved. now we know it to be this hatred and this racist tirade that he went on and still issues about how he got the gun that was used in this murder. so too many unanswered questions. the defendant's family in this case may actually have some involvement or liability. so the statements were particularly troubling. then we learned that the same judge used the n-word from the bench to make this very unsettling. >> and used the n-word in what context? tell that story, if you can. >> what we are learning is that he was at a bond hearing with respect to an african-american defendant. and he repeated $there are four types of people in the world, black people white people rednecks and using the n-word to describe a group of people. the same judge was rep hi banded for showing favoritism to another judge. to make the statements we need
to be concerned about the defendant's family seem to be incredibly inappropriate. >> mark o'meara, what has the value of this hate crime given since there are nine cases of first degree murder? >> well, they are to make a certain level more serious as you focus on a group of people like grace. it doesn't matter honestly in the matter of where you already have premeditated murder because it does not get worse than that as a crime. so it won't enhance the crime but making it a second or first-degree charge. if he's found guilty of first-degree murder, that would be a serious reaction.
>> is it symbolically important then? >> i think it is very important. i think we minimalize this act if we don't call this a hate crime. you had a white man go into a historically known black church. and he was wanting to cleanse the world from african-americans. and we are hearing from his roommate how he made racially vile statements. so to not call this a hate crime is even under dresic terrorism. it is an injustice to the families and the victims. >> let's be clear, this is incredibly a hate crime. no question about that.
he came out and said i hate blacks. this without question is a hate crime. the question statutorily does it make under south carolina law. it is definitely a hate crime but is just bigger on sentencing. >> the nation just saw two high-profile attempts at theoutly theoutlytheout utilization of the insanity defense. what do you think about that? >> i do think he comes across quite rationally. he planned this out in advance and contemplated it he premeditated it he left the scene and then when he was caught he gave the reason why he
did it. so he made the remark to kill them basically because they were black, that's not a sane individual. this man with faith and hate in his heart decided to kill people because they were black. as we think of it socially criminally that did away with the legal insanity plea. >> legal insanity is determining whether your actions or right or wrong. i agree we mark with respect to the contemplation in all of these plannings that went into the murders.
even him saying while he sat in the church he had to think about going through with his plan despite that it is interesting so many in the immediate area will say this crime went undetected. many in this case want to talk about menial health issues that takes away from the seriousness of this case. >> i'm about to get into exactly that. how the media regards black versus white defendants? thank you, both. mark coming up the south carolina shooting dominated the news over the fast few days and
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welcome back. the media coverage this week sparked a lot of debate. many in the viewing audience were angry how this story was presented. should reporters call the gunman a terrorist? and do we treat white perpetrators more gently than african-americans? i know the man to ask, frank sesno is the director of affairs at george washington university and an expert on media ethics. frank, i just had a controversy with attorney areeva martin who said when the alleged perpetrator is a white guy, we start to talk about medications, mental illness and video games. and if it's an african-american
parenting seems to be the word choice. does the media cover different types of defendants differently? and how has the media acted in this case? >> well, there are always dangers of the way the media covers the candidates differently because it depends on who you are and what you're seeing. we have way too little diversity in my view in the media, and that's why some of these frames get projected the way they do. but, but, i have heard very little to know sympathetic coverage of this perpetrator. i have heard of this deranged racist control. i'm not using the word allegation in this case because i don't think there's allegations in this case. it seems there's a legal process we have to add mere to but the most important thing is how we look at perpetrators reflects on
where we come from and where we are programmed. what we have seen in baltimore and what we have seen with the police shootings and what we see here tends to reflect that. we have to be very careful about this. is he a terrorist? no. is he a racist? it certainly appears worse than that, a murderer. you can use whatever word you want but we need to be careful what we are projecting. >> god forbid an incident should take place in august or thereafter. the face of the breaking news at msnbc for this story, we have just learned this week will be brian williams moving to msnbc. >> i'm proud of how the network dealt with this. took issues of this here's what
chuck today said minneapolis needs a strong person who can sort of handle covering a live event as it's unfolding, which is -- this is something msnbc needs, this is something that brian is very good at. let's see if he can earn back the credibility, trust of the viewers to make the marriage work. >> has he suffered in terms of credibility to damage his ability to tell a story like this? >> yes, he has. and he's going to move back to the farm leagues. he started at msnbc in training to be an anchor on nbc. it's where he's being sent again. maybe he'll earn trust back but i think the story we're talking about here really drives why this is such an important thing. you have a huge public trust sitting in front of the camera and microphone as you do.
so do talk about lesting hold. i was saying how important it is to have a good track record. we need to get over the fame glory and egothat brian williams wants to talk about and get over the fact that this is a public trust. we are talking about words and people people. i think brian williams can earn his trust back but frankly i don't care. i wish him all the best. >> if i refuse to say the name of the shooter in this case which is the way i try to handle it on radio and television. >> that's your call and you're going to define your role in the public and people will love and
hate you respectively michael. i think it is all about your own integrity to you bring the -- we need to understand this. is this one deranged mind? does it play into a bigger culture? what are the stars and bars flying near the capitol saying about our society? >> i know you don't want to insight on this. i have the next best person to weigh in on this martin
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welcome back. right now this country could really use a king dr. martin luther king jr., that is. in his place carrying on his incredible legacy his son martin luther king iii. and i look forward to getting his insight on all of this. your father had to make speeches like those the president has made so often. react to the president's words. >> the president's words were certainly heartfelt but honest in relationship to where we are. we have to really examine deeply in our culture as to what is creating this climate of hatred and hostility and terrorism that is domestic terrorism. >> and you use the t-word. that itself became a flash point this week of some who said why aren't we using the word terrorism to describe this?
>> well, it is just my personal view that this is terrorism just as in 1963 when members of the clan went into the 16th street baptist church and bombed that church and four little girls lost their lives. and my father, of course was the person who eulogized them. so there have been many number of incidents of terrorism, but we choose not to frame it that way from time to time. but that is exactly what it is. >> i want to show the audience how your father reacted to the situation you just described. it was 1963 four klansman bombed the 16th street baptist church in birmingham. dynamite was the agent they used. here's what your dad had to say. >> what happened to these four girls, the play centurycomplacency
of those who sat down in protest to get rid of this evil system. what murdered these four young girls was a negro business and professional individual who is more concerned about his job than he's concerned about freedom and justice. >> that choice of the incident the four klansmen dynamite today, it's all about weapons, it's all about guns. mr. king when i watched the president speak in south carolina he resigned to the fact he doesn't have much time on the clock and has little to do with that issue, the gun issue. >> that did appear to be the way he framed it in relationship to going back and say, well, i don't think i have raised this issue several times and i don't
know that i can do anything about it. the question we need to be asking is why are we fascinated as a nation with guns? >> but you heard some say this week that the solution to this i was saying it was mind boggling for each of those who lost their lives because of a weapon of their up. that kind of thought process has no end. >> that's correct. an eye for an eye in my judgment would leave all of us without eyes and teeth. so obviously that can't be the solution. what we can do is create a different climate to suppress hatred. and when you have kids playing video games all day long when you have some of our cartoons being violence in them and you have movies that are violent. it's no wonder that our society is a culture of violence.
my father and others worked to help create a culture of nonviolence, along with my mother throughout her life. >> the nine incidents that the president specially reacted to involved different cases of motivation. each one of these incidents is different. this time it seems clear it was race and, my god, it happened in a church. you have family experience and history in that regard. >> i do. my grandmother in 1974 was gunned down in ebenezer church in atlanta while playing "the lord's prayer." that was just a few short years -- dad was gunned down in '68. just six years later his mother was gunned down. it was not necessarily a racial incident but more of a deranged man to come to kill my grandfather. but he killed my grandmother and two other members in our church. unfortunately, there's no safe place it seems. and people have to always be on
alert. and that he had need to show that people have the propensity to come together and ultimately will overcome the very tragic situations. >> finally, not that it makes it worth the price that was just paid and not that i'm insinuate insinuating there's a silver lining, but there was a sense and is a sense together of togetherness in south carolina that you wish you could bottle so as to prevent the next incident. how do we make that last? the member public education, in kindergarten we need to learn about diversity, human relations and sensitivity. and i think if children are taught those things from
kindergarten through 12th grade, by the time you get to college though you will recognize everyone makes a valid contribution. >> martin luther king iii, thank you so much for being graciouswith your time. >> thank you. coming up we remember each of these nine victims and how strong they were in faith and family. you'll see how each made a difference. leather seats? >>and this... get your credit swagger on. become a member of experian credit tracker and find out your fico score powered by experian. so this is what it's come to. human sardines packing into tiny frames. carrying around sticks like cavepeople. trying anything to fit in everything. you can keep struggling to get everyone in your shot. or, you can change the way you take selfies.
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gathered to remember each of the people that died at the hands of a 21-year-old gunman black and white, young and old. they held hands and in a shared moment of grief, they sang the anthem of a civil rights movement "we shall overcome." ♪ we shall overcome ♪ ♪ we shall overcome ♪ ♪ we shall overcome someday ♪ ♪ we shall overcome someday ♪ ♪ we shall overcome some day ♪
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thank you so much for joining us for this special hour. one final thought. it's terribly sad to think that of the nine we lost, clementa pinckney was the father of two daughters. daniel simmons, both a father and grandfather. his granddaughter spoke at yesterday's hearing. of course tomorrow is father's day. they will be in our prayer for that additional reason. thanks for being here. don't forget you can follow me on twitter if you can spell smerconish. i'll see you next week.
with more new details about the mass murderer who killed nine people in a south carolina church. what we are learning now and what he is telling investigators. >> we are just about an hour away from ame church's gathering in new york for a major rally and a show of unity in response to that massacre. breaking this morning, a possible sighting of the two cop vikted vikt convicted killers still on the run. witnesse