tv CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell CNN May 30, 2022 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
dispatch audio about a child trapped in the middle of the massacre in uvalde, texas. cnn has not been able to confirm this audio clip. it was first reported by abc news. >> it's unclear when the message was relayed, but according to the texas public safety director there were at least eight 911 calls from at least two callers inside robb elementary. >> we have a child on the line. >> he is in a room full of victims. >> at least 19 officers were just on the other side of the door of that classroom where the student was calling from. texas public safety officials reported the first call from a child came at 12:03 p.m. not until 12:50, 47 minutes later, would officers finally break in and kill the gunman. so the justice department will now investigate the local law enforcement response. >> one critic called it one of
the worst police failures in modern u.s. history. in the meantime, democrats are trying to seize whatever momentum there is on capitol hill for gun reform. here is president biden today. >> remember, the consequences were never absolute. you couldn't buy a cannon with the second amendment. you couldn't purchase a lot of weaponry. >> cnn's adrienne broaddus is in uvalde with the first funeral services are happening today. 21 funerals, it's going to be another gut-wrenching couple of weeks for that city. >> reporter: indeed, victor. this is a day of remembrance here, but it's also a reminder of the new reality for many of these families, life without their children. one mother described her daughter as her best friend and
her heartbeat, and it's the rhythm of the community here that keeps these parents going, pushing them forward as visitation is under way right now. let's tell you a little bit about two of the 19 children who were killed. first, i want to start with amarie garza. her father and family says she had a heart of gold and she always was trying to protect her younger brother and now her family knows she died trying to save her classmates by using a cell phone she got two weeks ago for her 10th birthday to call 911. her family says their sweet, loving, funny and sassy little diva hated wearing dresses, but she wore them in the photo that's paired with her obituary shows her wearing this beautiful violet dress. right now you're looking at images that were uploaded by the funeral home as these children are remembered.
amarie's family so said she loved eating at chick-fil-a and her favorite drink was the frappuccino with starbucks. it's almost like a milkshake. and she's not alone. her classmate also had a favorite drink from starbucks. her mom said before her daughter entered the first grade she already knew what she wanted to be when she became an adult, a marine biologist. she loves animals and studying wildlife, and she was ambitious. she was already thinking about college, she was an a and b honor roll student whose favorite color was green. whenever they would go to what a burger she wanted number 13. she loved jalapenos, too. and she was also not only ambitious, but there was a way about her from what we're
learning. she learned to sew on her own thanks to youtube university. >> every one of these kids' stories, every one sounds like an angel, sounds special. all of these pictures capture their spirit and they're gone. >> the details, the favorite food, favorite color, really reinforced what was stolen from them. other bios say this was their career, this was their children. >> they sound familiar on so many levels. let's go to evan perez for more on the justice department review. >> reporter: alison, this is going to be a thorough review of exactly what happened that day during the shooting that includes looking at the police tactics, looking at the 911 calls, listening to police transmissions. to get a fuller picture of exactly what happened, why were
there these delays that we have now heard from texas law enforcement that happened that day. the justice department does these things from time to time. the more recent one that we know of is looking into the pulse nightclub shooting after the 2016 shooting, and in that case they tried to reach out to some victims, some of the survivors. we don't know whether they'll be able to do that in this instance. i'll read you a part of what the justice department says their goal is. they say the goal of this review is to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses that day and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter incidents. we know that at least from some of the experts who have looked at this shooting, victor and alison, that it doesn't seem to go by what everyone says is the best practice, which is to go in
there as soon as possible. so the question is, why were those decisions made, and so we expect that these outside experts at the justice department will at least tell law enforcement going forward how to do these things better. >> evan perez for us there, thank you so much. let's bring in our former fbi assistant director and former boston police commissioner, ed davis. welcome back. chris, let me start with you, with the practical implications of this review. we've learned from evan what it will look like. what then will this offer to not just this department but other departments moving forward as we will likely see another active shooting situation? >> yeah, this is like the pulse nightclub after action review the justice department did. they have an office called the oriented policing office that provides this type of technical assistance. but let me point out, this is
one of, i think, four independent investigations that are under review right now. one is there may be a criminal investigation because this was a shooting, it involved border patrol. there may or may not have been assistance, maybe the gun shop that sold the guns and that sort of thing. i think there may be a criminal investigation. i think there is a border patrol shooting review that's going on because that's a federal agency and they had officers involved, so there's a shooting review there. and this doj independent review that's going on, and then the dps review, the department of public safety in texas. so i think there's four things going on at one time. the doj review is what i'll just call an after action report for future use and reference. it doesn't have a lot of impact on charging or civil actions and that sort of thing. >> commissioner, i'm glad that chris just brought up the gun
shop owner that sold the gun. so is there nothing better the gun shop owners can do in terms of screening out psychopaths? because there are, it turns out, in these school shootings always red flags we find out afterwards. we find out these troubled 18 year olds are shooting off signals to their friends or family. does the gun shop owner who sold this bear some responsibility? >> well, alison, from an ethical perspective, absolutely. if someone is selling 1,000 rounds of ammunition to an 18-year-old who has just become of age to purchase a gun, you would think that they would have questions. what are you doing with this, make some phone calls, reach out to the police to see if something can be checked into. this is not normal behavior. and if you're in the business of
selling this type of a substance, just as if you run -- you know, you're selling alcohol at a store and someone comes in intoxicated, you have a responsibility to do something about that to protect society. so i think you have to look closely at what they did. it's probably not a violation of law, but from an ethical perspective, how can you live with yourself after you do something like this? it's unimaginable. >> chris, we've not heard from the uvalde police department, from texas authorities any leave of absence, any termination for the person, the incident commander on scene who made the call not to go in. would you have expected that by now, or is that potentially on the other side of any one of these four investigations that you're talking about? >> i would have expected it by now, at least the independent school district chief, maybe a
suspension pending the shooting review and the investigation itself. i'm confused a little bit about why the uvalde police department didn't come in and take over. i understand this was a school under the jurisdiction of the isd, but the city police have jurisdiction throughout the city limits. so, you know, i don't know how it was decided that the isd police chief was holding the bag here when the city police chief had more resources and more response capability. but i guess that will all get sorted out. going back to chief davis' point about the gun seller, you don't have to sell guns to anyone. an 18-year-old that shows up, has no criminal record on their birthday, they have a juvenile record which nobody can see, so here inherently capable of buying guns at 18 because there's no way to have a criminal record. so to my way of thinking, i
think there's some responsibility on the person selling the guns from a gun store, selling it to an 18-year-old, to ask him questions, as the chief says. >> i'm so glad you brought that up, because i think that, yes, obviously grave mistakes were made by the commanding officer on the scene and there are investigations and we will figure that out. but none of that would have happened if at the point of purchase this had been stopped. there was a way to stop this before that gunman got to the scene. but, commissioner, back to what happened at the scene, so the commanding officer made a huge mistake. the police admit that. what about the other officers? what about the dozens of other officers? are you surprised that none of them broke with command, that none of them went in when this is established doctrine? >> i am surprised, and we're going to have to study this to find out what was in their mind, what kind of communication they had, who was stepping in and who
wasn't stepping in. as chris said, the importance of the local police department stepping up, the department of public safety stepping up. alison, you bring up a good point. the politicians have set up this raging wildfire of violence that's occurring and now everyone is trying to blame the firefighters that are going in to try and stop it. i think we just have to look at everything that's going on here. clearly the police made mistakes. it was the darkest day in my knowledge in the history of the policing profession, but it's also an untenable situation to say to people we want you to run into this live fire situation, yeah, you might get killed, but you have to do it to take care of the kids. we've all agreed to do that. i know 100 cops that would have raced in there despite the fact they would have been killed. but what about the political structure that has allowed this to happen with the cute little sayings about guns don't kill people. we've got to work on both sides
of this equation, the mental health side and the gun side, to save lives. >> gentlemen, we appreciate you. chris wecker and ed davis, thank you. $2.7 million have been raised for the children of one of the teachers killed in the uvalde school shootings. donations have been pouring in for the family of the beloved teacher, irma garcia. >> her husband of 23 years, joe, died of a heart attack two days later. the cousin organizing the fundraiser writes i truly believe joe died of a broken life and losing the love of his life of more than 25 years was too much to bear. the garcias were high school sweethearts and leave behind four children. for more on how you can help families of the victims, go to cnn.com/impact. so president biden cannot act on gun reform alone, he does need congress. is there any reason to think this time will be different?
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today americans pay tribute to the brave men and women who gave their lives in service to this nation. president biden, vice president kamala harris and defense secretary lloyd austin attending a ceremony at arlington national cemetery. >> the president laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. let's go to cnn's white house correspondent m.j. lee. i understand gold star families are with the president and first lady at the white house this afternoon.
>> reporter: that's right. you know, this day, memorial day, is such an important day for u.s. presidents. we see them in their role as commander in chief commemorate and celebrate the lives of those lost, those who served for the country, and also console and show gratitude to the family members of those service members. and you take a look at the president's schedule today, and it is really all about this commemoration. he began his day, president biden, with the memorial day breakfast, then we saw them travel over to arlington national cemetery where he delivered a speech. and just now at the white house he held a tree planting ceremony with gold star families, hosting them for a separate event as well. and when we heard the president speaking earlier today, it was both about consoling those families who have lost loved ones, who served in the u.s. military. but then he also talked about the meaning of democracy and freedom. here he is. >> as hard as it is for many to
believe, especially those whose loss is still raw, i promise you the day will come when the memory of your loved one, your patriot, will bring a smile to your lip before it brings a tear to your eye. that's when you know you're going to make it. freedom is worth the sacrifice. democracy is not perfect. it's never been good, perfect. but it's worth fighting for. if necessary, worth dying for. >> reporter: now, while this is a solemn day for the country, it's also just worth noting that it is an important and a challenging day for president biden and his family. today marks seven years since the death of his son, beau biden. of course, he served in the iraq war and then died of brain cancer. so when the president was talking earlier at arlington national cemetery, he said that
experience of grieving for his son, beau, that helps him sort of understand what these goold star families are going through and he hopes they can find some solace in knowing they lived a life of purpose and honor. we are showing images from just a few moments ago of the tree planting ceremony. again, gold star families are there for the event. >> at the same time this is happening, there are 21 families in uvalde who are grieving because of the massacre at robb elementary school. they're making funeral preparations. president biden said today that he's hopeful that there would be some movement forward on gun safety in congress. is this a reality? >> reporter: it's 21 families that are grieving, but also so many more in that community, and others across the country. and in the coming days we are going to see that community hold funerals and memorial services and continue to grieve. but here in washington, d.c. the conversation, of course, has turned to gun reform and whether
any kind of meaningful action is going to be possible. this kind of action, of course, has been so elusive on capitol hill, even after the shooting in sandy hook, which worth reminding everyone, took place some ten years ago. but we heard the president earlier today showing a hint of optimism about what he is seeing from some republicans on capitol hill. here is a little of what he had to say. >> i can do the things i've done and any executive action i can take, i'll continue to take. but i can't outlaw a weapon, i can't change the background checks. i can't do that. i think there's a realization on the part of rational republicans, i think there's a recognition that we can't continue like that. >> reporter: now, that hint of optimism we've also heard from some democratic lawmakers,
including senator chris murphy of connecticut. he said that he has had more conversations with republicans since the sandy hook shooting. they are talking about things like background checks and red flag laws, but, guys, in the coming months we are about to learn whether what happened in uvalde, whether that is about to go on as just another mass shooting that didn't result in any meaningful gun reform or whether this time we're going to see change. that's obviously something that the president is very much personally invested in. >> m.j. lee for us at the white house, thank you. our next guest has been covering school shootings ever since the columbine shooting in 1999. he's the author of "columbine" and "park land: birth of the movement". you and i have had too many of these conversations after school shootings, but i am happy to talk to you today because i do think that much of the conversation is focused on the wrong thing. yes, the police screwed up.
they admitted it. they screwed up horribly in this case. but so did the gun store seller who sold the two ar15s to this clearly troubled 18-year-old. why don't we focus in more on that and figure out how to stop it before the guy shows up at a school with an ar15. >> i totally agree. i was talking to some friends of mine yesterday and i went on actually another cnn show yesterday and i was frustrated after because we talked too much about that, including me. it's hard not to. but i agree, it's sort of changing the subject. one of the things that the parkland kids did that was so revolutionary, what really changed things, is because after these things we have all these conversations with mental health, about media coverage, about guns and all these different things, and those kids focused the conversation by saying, you guys can talk about
whatever you want. we picked one, we think the most important thing is guns, all we're going to talk about is guns. great, we should solve that, go ahead and do that, but i'm not talking about that. we're talking about guns. and they kept us on guns, because that is the right thing. yes, if the cops had gotten in there sooner, then maybe 15 people would have died. you know, the only way, i've said for years, once the shooting starts, it's way too late. we have failed. we have to solve this before that with real gun safety legislation. >> and i don't know if you were listening to our previous segment with two former high level law enforcement officials. there's no law that says that you have to sell a gun to an 18-year-old who comes into your store and there's no law that says you can't ask some questions. there are all sorts of screening
questions that police and doctors ask people all the time. are you feeling depressed? are you feeling isolated? are you considering harming anyone? why can't we just have gun store owners or sellers start asking some of those questions. >> well, that would be a great start. although, you know, they would prefer to sell a gun. i think we need to legislate some of these things. and, you know, an easy start is not 18-year-olds. actually, i had never heard about this. it makes sense, at 18 your slate is wiped clean, so any background check is not going to detect anything you've done. so another thing, raising the age to 21, aside from being the age to buy cigarettes or alcohol, at least we've got three years of history of you, of whether you should fail a background check. that seems like a starter thing to do.
one of the things we talk about in gun safety is, you know, your reporter was talking about whether this time will be different, and we know this time won't be different. congress is not going to pass a sweeping gun safety bill. that's not happening this time. >> how do you know? how can you say that so definitively? >> well, i hope to be wrong, but because we've got a 50/50 senate and two of the democratic members, joe manchin and kyrsten sinema, are unlikely to. they might come along on something, and all the republicans normally oppose. and you need 60 with the filibuster. so how is that going to happen? they may compromise and find something, like red flag laws or something, which would be great. but that's a small thing. what we can do is incremental things, including so many laws that are being passed at the state level. we need more states -- some of
them have, but we need more states to raise it to 21. will that solve the problem completely? no, we need a whole list of different things. the gun problem, two-thirds of the gun deaths, who dies from two-thirds of the gun deaths, suicides. people shooting other people is not even the majority of the problem. suicides are. so obviously we need something aimed at suicides, at inner city people, which is also the biggest part of the problem. 90% are inner city people of color. mass shootings, that's one of many, that's a tiny fraction of the total. so we need a laundry list of different things that address the different types of problems and start, one by one. that's the solution. it's not a single panacea. >> but you have to start somewhere. and so the idea when congress starts saying, well, we have enough laws, you're never going to stop a bad guy who wants to do something. that's just not true.
you have to start somewhere, as we know. dave, i only have a few seconds left. i know you talked to gabby giffords about it. what did she say? >> i had a question and answer with her in vanity fair. understand the difference between your adversary and potential negotiator. the adversary is the nra and do not represent most of their gun ownership. gun owners, most of them want to do something, they want sensible gun safety. those are the people we need to be collaborating with. one of the key things is gun control, never use that phrase again. it's gun safety. they're huge advocates of gun safety. that's something we can figure out with them. start talking about it that way. >> dave cullen, great to talk to you despite the circumstances. to you so much for the insights. daily covid cases in the u.s. are five times higher today
than they were last memorial day. we'll talk about what this means for you. >> and many parents remain desperate for baby formula so one mother is taking the crisis into her own hands. that's next. oh hi caesar. we were just talking about you. yeah, you should probably get t out of here. ♪ ringcentral ♪
nestle says tens of thousands of pounds of baby formula from overseas was sent to stores this weekend. >> cnn's senior medical correspondent, elizabeth cohen, is with us now. do we know where the formula is going specifically? >> so, victor, ultimately the formula will be going to hospitals, doctors' offices, wic programs. we don't know exactly which ones. we don't know how they chose where it will go, and also to stores. let's take a look at what's happening and hopefully what will happen in the future. tens of thousands of pounds of formula was sent to stores this weekend. we do not have any evidence that they arrived and are on shelves. also, the fda has allowed an australia company to export enough infant formula for 27,500,008 ounce bottles. that's a lot. that's more than the ram sstein
stuff so far. also, half a million cans of danan formula is expected to reach parents in the first half of july. you can see this is not happening right this very minute. parents should not expect to go to stores and find a difference today, tomorrow, the next day. this will take several weeks to really play itself out. >> elizabeth, how about the stories of moms who have sharing their own breast milk with other families? >> alison, these women are amazing. they heard about this crisis and they are literally giving of themselves to help others. so let's take a look at three moms that we talked to. so we spoke to marie millen, a nurse in oregon. she's breastfeeding her 6 month old and donating milk. in one day she donated more than a gallon of milk. that's a lot of milk in one day. hillary demen, a filmmaker and professor in pittsburgh. she's done nursing, but she is
going to pump for six more months so that she can give that breast milk to families having trouble finding formula. she's pumping just for others, not for other hen children. and corey callahan is doing something really interesting. she's got three daughters. the youngest daughter, she stopped nursing here a year and a half ago, so corey has not had milk for a year and a half. but she is trying to bring her milk supply back so that she can pump for other families near her in missouri. so she is pumping every couple of hours, waking up in the middle of the night to bring her milk back. this is an incredible thing to do. i remember when i was pumping, it is not fun. no one really enjoys it. and to be doing this for others is quite incredible. let's take a listen to corey on why she decided to do this. >> there's so many different ways that you can show love to people and what better way to help a mom feed her baby.
this is just kind of a way where i can give something to these babies and help moms out and show the love of christ. it's the whole thing for me. >> so what we've learned is that these ladies and many, many other ladies are really doing their best to try to improve the situation for others. alison, victor. >> amazing donation and certainly some very grateful families out there receiving them. let's talk about covid. there are obviously a lot of big public and private gatherings this memorial day weekend. where do the numbers stand? >> so the numbers are actually way higher than they were memorial day last year. you can take a look at those and see they're way higher now than they were a year ago. and i know that seems odd because we were talking about covid so much more a year ago, but actually the numbers are higher. now, the variant that's prevalent now is much less dangerous than the variant that was prevalent a year ago. it spreads quicker, but it
doesn't make people as sick. so that's definitely good news. but the numbers are increasing. there's definitely concerns about a summer surge. >> elizabeth cohen, thank you. now to ukraine. russian forces surrounding ukrainian troops in luhansk and donetsk. what this means for the war next. this is the sound of nature breathing. and this is the sound of better breathg. fasenra a different kind of asthma medication. it's not a steroid or inhaler. fasenra is an add-on treatment for asthma driven by eosinophils. it's one maintenance dose every 8 weeks. it helps prevent asthma attacks, improve breathing,
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in ukraine heavy shelling continues as russian forces try to surround ukrainian troops in the donbas region. >> russia's foreign minister says liberating the area is the kremlin's top priority and right now they're hitting ukrainian troops with strikes described as maximum intensity. cnn's nick paton walsh is in kyiv. tell us what's happening. >> reporter: yeah, we're seeing potentially a moment of focus and resolve from the russian president vladimir putin's forces here in ukraine, that may lead them to what they might try to package as a victory. there is such intense military pressure that we are now seeing ukrainian officials admitting, certainly it's surrounded, yes, it seems that russian troops are getting toward its center. we stood on the neighboring city's hills and looked over into that town yesterday, and
saw the intense devastation, wrecked by artillery by both sides as they scrap it out for this city. why is it so important? if russia does take it, which looks like it is quite possible at this stage, then across the river is also vulnerable. if those two population centers fall then potentially the kremlin can say they've achieved one goal, and that's taking luhansk, one of the regions in ukraine that's got a lot of separatist activity in it. so we're seeing for the first time, perhaps, russia concentrate forces, reduce its goals to something smaller and possible begin to achieve them. it's extremely important, because we've seen the narrative so far dominated, frankly, by stories of ukrainian resilience, resistance, weapons supplies from the west, and now we're seeing possibly russia able to claim a victory, just not on the battlefield, but possibly, also, in the important information war
as well, victor. >> so, nick, russia's foreign minister is dismissing claims that vladimir putin is sick. do we know anything about putin's health? >> reporter: in short, no. if i had to give you the simplest answer, we don't. so much happens inside the kremlin is a secret. we know that governments for decades have employed hundreds of people to read the tiniest signals and who is sitting where. we simply have no evidence that vladimir putin is experiencing a deterioration in health. but there has been a myriad of speculation in western media, citing anonymous sources, and it seems that russian foreign minister lavrov felt forced to say publicly that he's not experiencing any ailments or sicknesses, and he's able to do his duties every day. essentially dismissing this barrage of what is speculation. there is some possibility that a man of his age who has been isolated as long as he seems to
have been because of the pandemic may be experiencing health conditions and there's been a lot of speculation as to how his face has developed a puffier appearance than in the past. but no evidence at this point, but i should say now we're seeing the foreign minister commenting about this publicly. it certainly means the speculation has reached critical mass. >> nick paton walsh for us in ukraine's capital city. thank you. one of the most famous portraits in the world is the victim of a smear campaign. >> i see what you did there. >> up next, new details on a vandalism stunt against the mow na lisa. >> and here are some live pictures of the national memorial day parade in the nation's capital. it looks like a beautiful day for it. there's marching bands, floats, classic cars. they're all making their way down constitution avenue. this year's grand marshal is tuskegee airman james harvey
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with driving under the influence. >> authorities say it happened saturday. the speaker was not with him. cnn congressional correspondent lauren fox has the details. >> reporter: yeah, house speaker nancy pelosi's husband, paul pelosi who's 82 years old was arrested on saturday for driving under the influence of alcohol. this incident transpired in northern california. he was driving his porsche, and according to the police documents, crossed into state road 29 in napa county. now, he was struck, his vehicle was struck by a jeep who was traveling. no one was injured in that accident, but around 11:45 p.m., he's arrested and taken into custody for driving under the influence of alcohol. he's then released around 5:00 in the morning on sunday. now, i reached out to house speaker nancy pelosi's office to get a comment yesterday. they said that they will not be commenting on further as what they view as a private incident, but they did clarify that house
speaker nancy pelosi was not in the vehicle. she was actually on the east coast because she gave the commencement address yesterday at brown university. now, this incident is going to be further investigated by napa county officials, but again, house speaker nancy pelosi not in that vehicle because she was actually on the east coast. victor, and alisyn. >> lauren, thank you. a man smeared cake frosting across the world famous mona lisa. >> this happened in front of scores of visitors at the louvre in paris. the man posed as a disabled person in a wheelchair in order to get close to the painting. he then pulled a cake out of his bag and smashed it on to a glass shield that protects the painting. he was arrested and taken by police to a psychiatric ward. bystanders tweeted they heard him shouting in french, quote, think of planet earth. there are people destroying it, end quote.
this was as he was being escorted away. there was no damage to the painting. >> yes, but the cake was ruined, which is problematic. >> thank you for the headline. why didn't i see that headline. >> why do this to the cake. >> the mona lisa was vandalized in an asset attack in the 1950s, that's why it has the bullet proof glass shield that you saw today. top democrats say they are hopeful that congress can do something to stop mass shootings. one key lawmaker says he senses a different feeling now from his colleagues. we're live on capitol hill with an update.
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