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6-Year-Old Shot to Death in Passenger Seat of His Father's SUV, Louisiana Officers Responsible Charged with Murder; Video of Arrests for Jaywalking Viral on Social Media; Protesters Fighting Racism at University of Missouri. Aired 10-11p ET.
Aired November 10, 2015 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Law and order. Two shocking cases that raise a lot of questions about policing in America.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
A 6-year-old shot to death in the passenger seat of his father's SUV. Now, two Louisiana officers are charged with second degree murder. But the story behind it may be just as shocking.
And in Austin, Texas, this is what happens when a jaywalking arrest goes very wrong. Excessive force or is this business as usual.
Plus, protesters fighting racism at the University of Mississippi who try to chase away a student journalist from what they call there "safe space." Now campus police are urging students to report any hurtful speech that they hear.
Is free speech an endangered species at American universities? We're going to discuss all of that this evening. So, you make sure you stay with us. Lots of what's going on tonight.
But I want to begin with the shocking death of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis. And the officer is charge with the second degree in this case. This is not the first time that these officers have found themselves in trouble with the law. CNN's Martin Savidge has more now.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Marksville, Louisiana whereas the water tower says everybody is a somebody. And the somebody everybody here is talking about is 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis killed in a blaze of bullets fired by two deputy city marshals during the pursuit of a car, the boy's father, Chris Few is driving.
Few is neither armed nor where there warrant for his arrest. How could it happen? According to some, this small town has big problems.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a whole lot of things that is wrong. It's sad that it took a six years old boy for them to come and see what is really going on down here. And it's just not right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Fingers point to the deputy marshals now charge with Jeremy's death. Thirty-two-year-old Derek Stafford and 23-year-old Norris Greenhouse Jr. Stafford is also a Marksville police officer. Even the mayor says he's had conflicts with him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN LEMOINE, MARKSVILLE MAYOR: I've tried to talk to the previous chief about it. And you know, nothing was done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: So, has Patrick Johnson who says Officer Stafford had him arrested just for complaining about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He made a complaint to of all sheriffs' office and later on, again, they heard it over the radio and, you know, a police officer arrested me for disturbing the peace.
SAVIDGE: Johnson sued. It's one of five lawsuits that name Stafford as a defendant. A woman alleges Stafford used a stunned gun on her even though she was already handcuff and in the back seat of a police car.
In another suit, a mother accuses the officer of restrain her teenaged daughter so forcibly on a school bus that the girl had to be treated at a hospital for an injury to her arm. All of the suits are still pending.
We reached out to Stafford's civil attorney, Derrick Whittington, who tell this, quote, "I will not be making any comment regarding the litigation involving the City of Marksville or its employees," unquote. Then there are the criminal allegations against Stafford. Two counts of aggravated rape, stemming from 2004 and 2011. Those charges were later dropped.
Whatever the previous allegations, of course none of them explain what everyone wants to know why did a pursuit that night end with an unarmed man critically wounded and his 6-year-old son sitting beside him dead?
And, Don, that is the real question that so many people in this small town want to know and the problem for them now is, that a judge issued a gag order in the case. Meaning, that none of the participants can speak. So, until this gets to a trial, if we get to that point, many people are going to be wondering for some time to come without answers being provided.
LEMON: Yes. I'm wondering what exactly what's going on. What I want to know right now, though, Martin, what's the status of these two officers?
SAVIDGE: Well, they both have been charged with second degree murder and attempted second degree murder. They have been given a $1 million bond each and they've actually been transported to a facility outside of this particular parish.
But late this afternoon, we were told that one of the officers, the father actually of Norris Greenhouse was able to make bond arrangements for his son. And tomorrow being a holiday it is not likely he'll be released tomorrow, possibly it's going to happen on Thursday.
And by the way, his dad, he is the assistant D.A. in this parish. He normally would be pursuing major crimes. But now, as we know the D.A. in this parish had to recuse himself from the case because of the family connections in his office. So many lives affected by this tragedy in this small town.
LEMON: In a small, as you said. Thank you very much, Martin Savidge. I appreciate your reporting, great reporting there. I want to bring in now Steven McIntosh. He is suing Marksville law enforcement claiming they use excessive force on him.
[00:05:00] Also with him tonight, this is attorney Edmond Jordan. Gentlemen, I really appreciate your joining us tonight. So, let's get right to it.
Good evening to you, Steven McIntosh, I want you to take me back to 2013. You were leaving a citywide Fourth of July celebrations. Tell me what happened.
STEVEN MCINTOSH, SUING MARKSVILLE LAW ENFORCEMENT: As I was leaving the parade I stopped by another friend to talk with him for a while and then, all of sudden me and my friend heard a loud commotion. So, we walked over to where its commotion was. And as we were walking over, I've seen a young guy from a neighborhood that he had arrested and he had him down on the ground.
And then all of sudden out of nowhere, the cops gone by to nowhere shooting pepper spray and stop and telling people to leave. So, in the process I was leaving, I dropped my keys and I was going to pick up my keys and the officer told me to leave. And I said I dropped my keys and I'm trying to leave.
And all of sudden he just threw me down on the ground and handcuffed me and there is another cop came and he jumped on me, belong long there were three or four of them on me. They...
LEMON: Tell me about your injuries because we have photographs of -- these photographs, and you have an injury to your head. What do you -- what injuries do you say you sustained?
MCINTOSH: When Officer Stafford shot pepper spray on my face with like a gun and he shot a pepper spray when I was handcuffed and on the ground on my stomach.
LEMON: You were charged with resisting arrest. And Officer Derek Stafford and Norris Greenhouse, Jr. were two of the officers who were involved. Did you know why you were being arrested? Did they tell you?
MCINTOSH: No, I didn't.
LEMON: And they didn't say anything?
LEMON: Did you have...
MCINTOSH: Never told me I was under arrest and it is...
LEMON: Go ahead.
MCINTOSH: They never told me I was under arrest. They just handcuffed me and that was it.
LEMON: Mr. McIntosh, did you have a prior history with Officers Stafford or Greenhouse?
LEMON: So, when you heard the story of the shooting that Officer Stafford and greenhouse were involved with the 8-year-old Jeremy Mardis and his father, Chris Few, what did you think?
MCINTOSH: I was really shocked about the situation. But, you know, being that the guys they were, you know, you would expect something like that.
LEMON: What are people saying there about that shooting? How are people feel about it in the community?
MCINTOSH: A lot of people that's upset about it. Wondering why the 6- year-old got shot.
LEMON: Go on. They want changes? What?
EDMOND JORDAN, ATTORNEY TO STEVEN MCINTOSH: Do they want changes?
MCINTOSH: Who do they want to change?
LEMON: Do people there want things to change when it comes to the police department and when it comes to way policemen act with this kind of scenario?
MCINTOSH: Oh, yes. Yes, they do.
LEMON: Mr. Jordan, to you now, what did you think when you found out that this case -- this case the one that involves Jeremy Mardis and his father involved two of the same officers that you were already dealing with?
JORDAN: You know, first of all I want to give my condolences to the Mardis family and the Few family for their loss. You know, Don, I was, I mean, I was surprised in a sense because there is a -- there is a distinction between certainly between tasing somebody and pepper spraying them as egregious as that is for no reason at all and shooting a car 18 times.
But on one hand, I really wasn't that surprised. Because in our case we could see that there is a total lack of training in this department. So, from that standpoint, this is just a further example of the lack of training that this department has displayed.
LEMON: I will ask you then having answered to that way, with the allegations like the ones in your case, the cases that you have and some of the others that are surfacing now after this one, what things could the department have done differently?
JORDAN: Well, first of all, I mean, they could do better training with these officers, Don. And the case of Mr. McIntosh and that the kid he was talking about, that's another client of mine, is part of the Greenhouse family; they're related to this officer that has been arrested.
Even in that case, Don, you know, I think you've seen those pictures, they threw this young man down, they beat him up for no reason at all. This kid was 14 years old and didn't even search him for a weapon, which he had none, and he didn't even search him for a cell phone.
The photos that you saw that I sent to you showed the kid handcuffed with his photo -- with his camera phone taking a selfie of the injuries that he had. I mean, you know, it's just no excuse for the lack of training that this department has.
[22:10:03] LEMON: Well, Edmond Jordan, I appreciate. Edmond, I'm from Louisiana. Edmond reached out to my family and that's how we got in touch. And I thank you. And I also thank Mr. McIntosh as well. Please keep us updated. We appreciate you coming on and giving us context to the stories that are happening there.
JORDAN: Well, I...
LEMON: Go ahead.
JORDAN: I thank you, Don. Now I just want to make one comment, Don. In our case they did not have body cameras, in this case they did. And I just think it shows the need on the local, state, and federal level that we need body cameras. There are good officers out there. And they don't mind having body cameras. But just for instances like this, I think we definitely need.
LEMON: Yes. And this one, the body -- the dash cam video, the body camera video, I should say, is not being released at this point because -- and we can't do a Freedom of Information Act, a request for it because Louisiana is not a sunshine State. So, we won't know until this goes to trial until this video tape is released and that we don't know when that's going to happen.
So, again, thank you, gentlemen. And I also want to say that we reached out to the police and because of these ongoing investigations and lawsuits they are not commenting on this. But we will certainly continue to follow this story. No doubt about that.
When we come right back, a jaywalking arrest gone very, very wrong and caught on camera. But is there more to the story than meets the eye?
Plus, more turmoil at the University of Missouri. Is free speech under fire on our college campuses?
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The arrests for three people for jaywalking in Austin, Texas caught on video and the whole thing has gone viral on social media. And many are asking if the police officers used too much force for a minor infraction. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, (muted) Girl.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop! Record it. Just record it, Orlando.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm recording it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down! (Muted)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop. Stop resisting. Just be still. Be still.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the (muted). I'm not doing nothing, man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be still, be still.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the (Muted).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be still.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I'm down. I'm down, bro! I'm down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get me your hands.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm down, bro.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is he hurting them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the (Muted). What the (Muted) is going on right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're just doing their jobs.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're not doing anything. They just handcuffed him for no reason.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're doing their jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, in a statement, here is what Austin police say. They say that they are reviewing the case. So, let's discuss now with Matthew Wallace and Lourdes Glen. Two of the three people taken into custody that you see in that video.
Thank you, guys, how are you doing?
LOURDES GLEN, JAYWALKING ARREST CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Good evening. We're doing well. How are you?
LEMON: OK. Well, I'm doing great.
MATTHEW WALLACE, JAYWALKING ARREST ON VIDEO: I'm very good.
LEMON: Thank you for coming on. So, let's provide, let's give the viewers some context as to what happened here. So, Matthew, to you first. Tell me that night, what happened.
WALLACE: We were leaving the bars at closing. It was about 2.15 or so. I was walking my friends to our Uber that we had just ordered. When we get to Red River Street, that's when we see bike cops sitting on Sixth Street on their -- on their bicycles. And we noticed that there were -- the light was about to change and there were no cars coming, so we decided to all walk against the signal.
When -- and that's when officer yell at us to stop and no one stops because we are in the middle of the street. And when we step on the sidewalk they yell at us to come here and nobody comes there. So, that's when -- that's when the video starts.
LEMON: So, according, this is a report that I have. And I think this must be Lourdes that you said. You said, police flash their flashlights at us to show -- to show them our I.D.'s, Matt and Jeremy said "f-off" nothing that the street -- noting that the street was barricaded, so, you know, the crime of jaywalking was a moot point.
So, what was your interaction with them before -- did you have any sort of interaction with them before and is that accurate about saying, you know, "f-off" and?
WALLACE: No, that's not accurate at all. What happened was when they told us to come over here, me and Jeremy were having a private conversation and he looked over to me and said, you know, no, we're straight. We don't need to go over there, to me.
And you know, that's -- I guess that's what set them off, you know, kind of -- I think it was, you know, just like, us being defined of not wanting to come over there to them instead of them coming to us type of situation. And that's when they -- that's when they dropped their bikes and run over to us.
LEMON: OK. Let me bring Lulu in here. Lulu, before you -- before I ask you, I want you to play this. This is a bystander. I want to play this for you. Yelling at the officers. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you doing to him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take him to jail.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For what? What did he do? What crime did he...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For crossing against the light.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, why do you think that this happened? Do you think that it was just because of jaywalking? It seems like, you know, I don't know of what happened before what you guys said, but it seems like this was an overreaction for just jaywalking.
GLEN: Correct. Correct. It was more than an overreaction. It was incorrect.
LEMON: So, why do you think it happened, Lourdes?
GLEN: We have been contemplating that for a few days since the incident and we cannot come with an exact reasoning or, you know, what have you as to why we were treated that way.
[22:19:59] WALLACE; The only rationale I can think of for them acting this way is that they were -- they were upset that, you know, we were breaking the law, one, and that we knew that it wasn't a very serious situation.
And we were kind of defiant in the way of, you know, the group of people that we were walking with all decided to cross the street. And I think they just, you know, maybe they just need -- needed to make an example of a couple of people to show there, you know, power or authority.
LEMON: Yes. So, you admit that you were breaking the law. But you just think it was excessive force for the -- what you or the infraction that you were committing. I want you -- I want to read here, guys, what the Austin Police Department has issued.
They issued a statement and it says, "As is a standard protocol, the Chain of Command will review the response to resistance and the incident to determine what led up to the events captured in the video and whether the officer's actions were in compliance with APD policy."
So, what do you, guys, want to happen here?
GLEN: We're waiting. We have not got an answer. They have spoken on a different case. We're still pending. And I'm not sure why it's very easy for them to pull up the rule of conduct and say, hey, on chapter B, what have you, it says this and this. What is the holdup, what is there is to investigate what more do you need? WALLACE: We've already found the policy in the page four of the
policy handbook that's online. It took me about two minutes to find. You know, it's -- article eight, I want to say, about how their conduct is supposed to be in arresting violators of the law. And it is complete opposite of what our situation that happened on last Thursday or last Friday morning was.
LEMON: Well we -- we appreciate you guys coming on. And we'll follow this and make sure you update us if there is anything to know about it. I appreciate it, Matthew. I appreciate it, Lourdes. Thank you again. Now is this a case of...
GLEN: We appreciate it, Don.
LEMON: ... is this a case of excessive force by police? Up next, two people who couldn't disagree more. We're going to talk to them.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: All right. So, police are in the spotlight tonight amid questions about possible use of excessive force.
I'm joined now by our legal commentator Areva Martin, and Harry Houck, CNN law enforcement analyst who is a retired New York City police detectives -- detective.
So, we saw -- we talked about the two incidents, right? We'll talk about the jaywalking next. But let's talk about one that's more serious because we're talking about a young, a kid who died here.
The first one is this tragic case. A 6-year-old, Jeremy Mardis gunned down by two police officers in Louisiana. It's so exactly unclear what happened. However, both officers had been arrested and charged with second degree murder. So, what do you think went on here, Harry?
HARRY HOUCK, RETIRED NEW YORK POLICE DETECTIVE: Well, until we can see the videotape that the officers were wearing there, it looks like this is an unjustified shooting based on the information that are coming out today.
The head of the state police who came out and said it is one of the worst things he has ever seen and he was really disgusted by it. That you've got an incident here where you had a man that was not armed, all right? Police officers. We don't know why they were actually chasing him.
You do not shoot at a vehicle that you're chasing unless that person is shooting at you which was not occurring at this time.
HOUCK: All right. Now, did they know that boy was in the vehicle also? If they knew that boy was in the vehicle and they were firing at the car, it's even worse.
LEMON: So, you're saying that there is, I mean, there is no justification for any of it?
HOUCK: There is no justification for any of the shooting at all. None.
LEMON: Yes. OK. So, Areva, the body cam footage has been called very disturbing. It help build a -- the case against the two officers. The body camera were a new addition to this local police department. It is a horrible tragedy. But do you think without that evidence that this case would have moved this quickly?
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL COMMENTATOR: Not at all, Don. What we know about these cases is before body cams and before citizens with their video cameras and their cell phones, it was the word of the police officer against the person who was shot. In this case it would have been this father who was in critical condition and this deceased little boy.
So, we wouldn't have gotten the story, the way we got it, because of that body camera, and I think we have to thank the protesters that became so engaged after the Ferguson shooting and made the issue of body cams a national issue. And we see police departments around this country starting to use them and it's having a powerful impact on these shooting cases.
LEMON: Let's talk more about now this -- this little boy. All right. Again, more about this little boy. Because earlier I spoke with the folks involved and -- sorry not about that the new video that is up now the jaywalking.
About this video they were arrested for jaywalking in Austin. So, Harry, what do you make of this video? If you look at it you see where it begins, right? And the cops walk up to them.
HOUCK: Well, I wish I saw it more of this video but this is all we have. The fact is that the officers have told them not to cross the street. They said -- they stated they were in the middle of the street when the officers told them to stop.
So, they -- they -- your guests, the jaywalkers, even said that they...
LEMON: They admitted that they didn't follow the police officers' orders.
HOUCK: They admitted they didn't follow the police officer's orders. So, I guess that the cops said, they didn't said, I'm OK, then we're going to issue you a summons. Now the information I got also reported the fact that they asked them for identification. Now they're coming out of a bar, it's 2 o'clock in the morning. And say "f-you" to the police officer.
LEMON: They're saying they didn't said "f-you" to the police officer. (CROSSTALK)
HOUCK: Well, that they said.
LEMON: They said I was having a private conversation.
HOUCK: But it's been reported that they have said that.
LEMON: Yes. And this doesn't look excessive or aggressive to you?
HOUCK: No. Not at all to me. It does not...
LEMON: Roll the video again from Louisiana. We also get it.
HOUCK: It does not look excessive or aggressive. The fact is that they are resisting arrest. Watch. Watch him resistance going on here. All right. Watch him resistance that's going on. How many times do you hear the officer to tell them to comply, comply, comply. And this is another incident where somebody does not comply. Look at him fighting. That guy is fighting a police. He is keeping his arms here; he is stopping himself from trying to be handcuffed.
LEMON: Go ahead, Areva.
HOUCK: OK. Go defense attorney.
MARTIN: Yes. You know, it's amazing to me that we're watching that same video. And harry is saying he seeing resistance on the part of the individual.
[22:30:02] The cop is punching him in the arm. And the first shot that we see in this...
HOUCK: To get his arm to move around.
MARTIN: But wait a minute, Harry. The first thing that we see is the cop throwing the young man up against the wall.
MARTIN: There is no resistance in this video. We see these cops taking a very minor incident. Someone jaywalking ends up thrown up against the wall...
HOUCK: It is still against the law, Areva.
MARTIN: ... thrown to the ground and punched repeatedly by police officers.
HOUCK: In the arm.
MARTIN: That is such an excessive use of force for that in fraction.
LEMON: Why is it still -- why did you say it still against the law. Why do you mean?
HOUCK: It's against the law. Listen.
LEMON: OK. So, we'll watch this. So, here, so what should he do, go down on his knees right now and just -- what?
HOUCK: He should just totally comply with the officer. Put his hands behind the back and do what he's told. Now when you see when that officer is punching him in the arm when he comes down further, that's because he can't get the arm around. See, he's trying to bring that arm around. I've had that happen to me a million times.
LEMON: So, do you think that is -- that's -- that goes along with police protocol?
HOUCK: Oh, of course. Yes. It definitely it does, to try and get that arm to come around. It's because he is fighting -- he is fighting the officer there. You see that? He is fighting the officer. You look at that arm. Comply.
LEMON: Areva, do you want to respond to that?
MARTIN: You know, as a civil rights attorney, Don, we're seen so many of these cases. And I can tell you without doubt, your guest was just on there without attorneys, which is unusual on these cases. I can tell you any civil rights attorney in this country would happily take that case and would be successful in that case.
There is not going to incredible argument that that level of force was required for jaywalkers to be thrown to the ground, thrown up against the wall and punched repeatedly.
HOUCK: No, for jaywalkers for resisting arrest.
MARTIN: It is, you know, when I see this disturbed in that, Don...
HOUCK: You making it look like it's a jaywalking thing.
MARTIN: The police got angry.
LEMON: Hang on, hang on. Let her finish. Let her finish. OK.
MARTIN: Police can't use that level of force simply because someone doesn't comply immediately with the request that they make. Yes, individuals have to comply with lawful orders of the police. And when they don't do it instantaneously that doesn't give the police permission to use that level of force. And I don't think they... (CROSSTALK)
HOUCK: It was lawful. They say when the officers asked them for identification they said "f-you" to them. And then the officers took action. Because they needed identification either to write a summons. And if they had given them summons or give them their identification we wouldn't be talking about this right now, all right, and they wouldn't be under arrest.
LEMON: Two people looking at same video seeing two very different things. Thank you. I appreciate it.
Coming up, more turmoil on the University of Missouri Campuses. Freedom of the Press under fire?
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: University of Missouri football team returned to the field today tweeting "Mizzou football family back to practice this afternoon in preparation for BYU." That in the wake of the resignation of the University President, Tom Wolfe over accusations of racism on campus. But that hasn't ended the turmoil. Now there is a new war on campus and this one is with the media.
CNN'S national correspondent Ms. Kyung Lah and she has more now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Back off. Back off. Go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't push me.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A confrontation between students and a student photographer.
The First Amendment --
LAH: Until the photographer shooting the video walks up to this woman.
MELISSA CLICK, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI ASSISTANT PROFESSOR: You need to get out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I actually don't.
CLICK: All right. Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here?
LAH: That woman calling for muscle is assistant professor Melissa Click at the university's communications school. She pushes the student photographer, covers his lens, pushes the photographer and mocks him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is public property.
CLICK: Yes. You know, that's a really good one. I'm a communication faculty and you really get that argument but you need to go.
LAH: Directing students to form a human chain to block the journalists from doing their job.
CLICK: Don't let those reporters in. He's a good one. Good job.
LAH: We went to professor Click's office to ask why would a mass media communications instructor wants to stop the media. She wasn't there. But this flier expresses her opinion about traditional media. The communications school says it can't comment about personnel but says intimidation is never an acceptable form of communication.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: Now since the video went viral, Melissa Clicks says she has seen herself in the video. She has reflected on it. She's also been eviscerated in social media. She did release a statement through the communications school and here's what it says.
It says, quote, "I regret the language and strategies I used and I sincerely apologize to the MU Campus community and journalists at large for my behavior and also for the way my actions have sifted the attention away from the student's campaign for justice."
So, certainly having a bit of a change of heart after seeing what she did on that video, Don.
LEMON: Yes, I would say that. Thank you very much, Kyung Lah.
I want to bring in now Dean David Kurpius of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Dean, good evening to you. Here's what you tweeted tonight that the assistant professor, Melissa Clark -- Melissa Click, who we will -- who we saw in that video resigned her courtesy appoint with the J school. How did that come about, what happen?
DAVID KURPIUS, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM: So, we were meeting as a faculty and discussing this and while we were meeting, she was in contact with us, she actually came and talked to the faculty tonight so that we could all the facts, good journalism.
And so, while we were meeting we had not come to a vote yet, and she called and she told us that she was resigning her courtesy appointment with the school. And so, just to be clear, a courtesy appointment is a thin thread between the school of journalism and the Department of Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences which is where her facility home is.
LEMON: OK. So, has resigned. Did you force her in any way or was this voluntary?
[22:40:03] KURPIUS: This was voluntary. There was nothing to be done there. And the vote hadn't been taken. So, I don't know what the outcome with that would have been.
LEMON: What's your response to that? What is that -- I know what you tweeted but what's your response? What do you think of her action?
KURPIUS: What do I think of her actions? Which actions are you speaking about specifically?
LEMON: Well, what do you of what happened with pushing, I know it was a tense situation and saying, you know, get the media out of here and get me some muscle and that sort of thing. Because you know, journalism is about transparency. If it weren't for the journalists there, then story would not be broadcast to the larger community and even here on CNN or around the world.
KURPIUS: Absolutely. SO, let me be just clear. We stand for the First Amendment and the Freedom of the Press and their right to be there and to cover the story. But we also recognize that the Freed of the Press is only one part of the First Amendment. And so, the students had a right to be there to protest and to assemble. They had Freedom of Speech and they had the freedom to regress their grievances against the government, in this case the university.
And so, we understand that they had a voice there and that that's an important part of it. And so there's a tension point there that is important to understand and for journalists to understand. It's a big part of what we talk about in the J-school and how we train our students who are going to become some of the best journalists in the world. And so, it's that tension point that they need to be able to understand and to build trust with the communities they're covering.
LEMON: OK. So, listen, today, after this confrontation fliers were passed out encouraging people not to treat the media as an enemy, right? Why do you think that so many students were hostile to the reporters?
KURPIUS: Well, you know, there are lot of diverse communities that quite unrest journalists have not always come in and done fair and complete and deep and contextual coverage in.
And so, there is a lack of trust particularly with minority communities. And we need to, as journalism schools, train our students to understand these issues and the complexities of them so that they can go out and fairly and deeply and contextually cover these communities.
KURPIUS: And so, it's that tension point again.
LEMON: OK. So, I'm glad you understand that. So, listen, I want to play a little bit more from that confrontation. One of the students went to cover what happened yesterday. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a job to do. I'm documenting this for a national news organization. Yes, I can. This is a First Amendment. That protects your rights to stand here, it protects mine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. So, let's -- I know you generally don't like your journalism students to become part of the story. But what do you think when you saw that encounter. As they understand they may have been trying to shape the message. But, you know, as you know, that doesn't always work and it shouldn't always happen especially with the free and open media.
KURPIUS: Well, Tim Ty who is our student photographer who is out there, who you see in the video was standing his ground appropriately. He had every right to cover the event going on there and what was happening. And I thought he acted very professionally that he really stood up for the right of journalists to be there and covering it, and that he handled himself well.
But I talked to Tim in my office earlier today. And he doesn't want to be part of the story. He thinks that the story of what happened out there on the pod and what the protesters were doing is what should be covered and he should not be the story. And I'm very proud as his dean of what he did and how he handled himself.
LEMON: You know, Dean, I also want to get your take on this e-mail, it's from the Mizzou police. It's asking for student to report hurtful speech. I mean, are you concerned about the First Amendment implications that -- that could potentially -- this could potentially raise. I mean, hurtful speech?
KURPIUS: Well, so, I haven't seen what you are referring to. But I can say that I was on Yik Yak earlier today. Anonymous social media is maybe not the place to be right now. Because people are being very hurtful and we're hearing a lot of people from the fringe. That does not help the conversation go well.
There is an important conversation going on this campus about inclusivity and about how we provide opportunities for a broad range of people and that people can come here no matter what their background is to be successful. But a lot of what we're seeing on social media is hurtful.
[22:44:55] That does not mean that the media does not have a role in covering this. And I think that this is where we get to the focus on trained, professional journalists who have editors behind them, who are doing fact checks and are making sure that what we report is as fair, transparent and accurate as possible is an important point to make.
LEMON: OK. But as someone who is a, you know, as a dean on campus, this goes beyond journalism. I'm talking about just the First Amendment, the Freedom of Speech, the Freedom of Expression to report someone for hurtful speech. People's feelings are hurt all the time. How does one define that? Are you concerned about how this might be an infringe judgment on First Amendment rights and the can of worms that this could open up? KURPIUS: Well, certainly it's a complex issue. But I'm not sure that
it's really opening up as big of a can of worms because I don't think that the hurtful speech piece of this is necessarily affecting how journalists are covering the story. I do think that it might have an effect in terms of how social media is here.
And there is an important lesson here about inclusivity and how we treat each other. And in a democracy it's important to have civil conversations with each other rather than talking at each other. And so, I don't think that the social media comments and the way this is being handled necessarily helps the democratic conversation go well.
LEMON: OK. Dean, I appreciate you joining us. Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.
KURPIUS: Absolutely. Thanks.
LEMON: All right. When we come right back, we're going to talk about what is happening at Mizzou, it has some people asking is free speech under fire on America's college campuses and what should we do about it?
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: University of Missouri has become ground zero in the battle over free speech on campus.
So, let's discuss now with CNN political commentator Mr. Ben Ferguson and Marc Lamont Hill. OK. So, you guys heard the last segment. Ben, I want to start with you.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Let's get ready for some hurtful speech tonight. Are you ready? I'm going to call the police on you, Don.
LEMON: So, here's my think. So, what is -- OK. So, a lot of times what we say here on television is hurtful speech. People say hurtful things all the time. How does one legislate hurtful speech? There is a difference between threats and hurtful speech.
FERGUSON: Yes. I mean, I'd be calling the police on Marc Lamont Hill every time I'm on the show with him if hurtful speech is now a crime. In Mizzou at the -- I mean, let's be honest. It's one of the top journalism schools if not the top the top journalism school in the country.
How in the world do you even allow this idea to get out there? How in the world do you push away and tell these student journalists to go away and they don't have a right to be there? I don't know what's going on that campus but it go way beyond the racial issues that it's initially started out as of.
LEMON: So, Marc, I want to -- go ahead, get a response and then I'll talk about an issue. What do you make of this?
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I disagree with the way you and Ben have characterize this. You ask the question, Don, how do you legislate against hurtful speech. Ben talked about call it jokingly, calling to police on people. Neither is what they were talking about on the campus.
This wasn't a legislative question, this wasn't a legal question. This was a campus climate question. Remember, they very readily admitted that this was not illegal to say hurtful things.
They say, however, that it does violate the student code of conduct. It's a legal -- it's not illegal for me to say things that may hurt people or unsettle a community. But on the college campus, if a student or faculty member does something that makes it difficult for other people to access the community fully, other people to feel comfortable and safe, that is a violation and they can be disciplined which is what they actually said.
FERGUSON: But here is my question.
LEMON: Go ahead.
FERGUSON: Is the police's job on campus to sit down and say "kumbaya" on hurtful speech? If the -- if you look at the chancellor wants to say this I have no problem with that. If a teacher wants to say that, I have no problem with that.
But you are talking about the police doing it. And what that says to me is they don't understand the freedom of expression speech on that campus. And it's absurd to call the police on hurtful speech. This should be protected from all sides to be able to say what they're calling on.
HILL: But they're not calling the police.
FERGUSON: And right now. But let's be clear. If I see that its' the 18-year-old student...
LEMON: But Marc has says -- hang -- hang on, Ben. Ben, hang on. You said Marc is not calling the police. They say to...
HILL: No, no, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying they're not calling the police to affect an arrest. That didn't finish the sentence. They're calling police to report at the student conduct. The police are part of the campus community. It's not like calling the NYPD. They're calling campus police.
LEMON: All right. So, it says, they ask to call campus police in cases of hateful witness -- any incidents of hateful and/or hurtful speech. I understand that there had been threats on social media which should be taken seriously. But hurt on hurtful speech are two different things. Marc Lamont Hill, you don't agree?
HILL: Hateful and hurtful speech can be different things. And me saying Ben is wrong all the time. It might be hurtful to him. To say cowboy stuff might be hurtful to him. But it's not hateful speech.
FERGUSON: I'm calling the police.
HILL: Right. But however, I think in this -- in this conversation because there is a thin line between hateful and harmful speech in many people's mind it is better to err on the side of caution to simply let the police know and the police will let he proper channels. Now again, no one is getting arrested for this. This is not a legal question. This is a campus and the culture question.
FERGUSON: But, Don, the problem is this,
HILL: I think you make a good -- I think Ben makes a good point and ideally I would not want law enforcement involved in this. Remember, I'm the guy who doesn't want law enforcement involved in everyday form of interaction in community. I certainly don't want them chasing down people who say harmful things.
At this moment, though, that seems to be the best stop that the university has to address a climate that has become increasingly hostile and that's why it's done.
So I get that -- I agree with Ben on the police part of it. I don't want to, again, suggest that somehow that having people reported to student life for harmful and hateful speech is itself a violation of...
LEMON: I just wonder where you're going to draw the line on it because when I went to college, the only safe space on campus was this thing place called free speech alley.
[22:55:02] Nobody had a safe space whatever that means. That free speech was a safe space where you could pretty much say what you wanted without, you know, being insulted or harming people physically.
So, what is going on in college campuses now where people can't even be offended. Isn't that part of what being in colleges about learning about people who don't necessarily agree with you and about their ignorance as well?
HILL: I think so. I think colleges always been about at its best and as someone who's taught at universities and teaches at American universities. I don't buy the narrative that the police have invaded universities and suddenly they're no longer bastions of free speech and original thought.
If anything the corporatization and new liberal kind of impact on schools makes schools tougher to navigate but certainly not the free speech piece of it. I think the bigger issue, Don, right now is that people think that freedom of expression means they have the freedom to be hurtful and hateful, and you don't.
LEMON: Yes. I got to go. Sorry. We'll continue the conversation. I'm up against a break. We'll be right back. Thank you, guys.
[23:05:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: That it is for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see you back here tomorrow night. AC360, right now.