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Adam Toledo Shooting Again Raises Police Reform Questions; Live Coverage of Indianapolis Press Conference; Indianapolis Investigation Remains In Early Stages. Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired April 16, 2021 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, from the Chauvin trial to another murder, 10 minutes down the road, to now this and a mass shooting, I know all of America's exhausted. And I look at this through that same frame.
You know, in that alley, there were two people. One was 13 years old, he's now dead; and an experienced officer who was trained to handle those situations. I understand what the officer is saying, he made a split-second decision. But he made the wrong decision, and that wrong decision cost a life. He was trained to handle that situation better.
If you tell someone to comply and they do comply, you should not murder them or shoot them, especially when you're talking about a 13- year-old boy. And that's the tragedy of the moment, it's another life lost. That's the first lens, Jim.
And the second one is, you have to juxtapose this with Kyle Rittenhouse. Kyle Rittenhouse was a white boy with a long-arm assault rifle who murdered two people, walked by police, got water, was praised by law enforcement officers on various crowdfunding donation sites, mother was accepted into GOP fundraising events, and he's still alive to tell the story.
This 13-year-old boy was killed in an alley, and thank God we have body camera just to show us that he was unarmed.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: You tweeted yesterday -- and this specific to the Daunte Wright shooting in Minnesota -- that "this case should be the litmus" test "for eliminating qualified immunity. Maybe if officers had to take a second and think, because their own assets would be at stake, they wouldn't 'accidentally' shoot people."
TEXT: Bakari Sellers: This case should be the litmus for eliminating qualified immunity. Maybe if officers had to take a second and think, because their own assets would be at stake, they wouldn't 'accidentally' shoot people.
Or at very minimum eliminate QI and compel LE to carry their own insurance?
SCIUTTO: Qualified immunity has come up in many discussions, debates about legislation to respond, to handle police reform. Basically this applies to civil cases, for folks at home who don't know.
And I just wonder, tell us why that, in your view, would make a difference.
SELLERS: So first, I want to say -- I want to thank Karen Bass for the work that she's doing on criminal justice reform on the Democratic side, and I want to thank Tim Scott on the Republican side for at least trying to move things forward. That's important, that you have to -- you have to thank people who are working to move things forward.
But qualified immunity is something that's very important. Because if law enforcement officers, when they go out and commit a bad act, when they beat you up in the alley or when they shoot you down dead and it's unjustified, they don't carry that burden. The cities, the municipalities, the insurance reserve funds of particular states, those are the people who pay that tab.
But if police officers, if police departments had to carry their own insurance, where they know that if they commit too many bad acts, they will get dropped from insurance or premiums go up, maybe they will think and they won't confuse a taser with a gun. Maybe they'll take a breath, a minute, and actually be trained much more so they can handle a situation with a 13-year-old in a dark alley.
On the flip side to Karen Bass and Tim Scott doing great work, you have Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, who's a Democrat like I am, but who are sitting on their hands while more people die. And we have to call them out, because this inaction on what is a civil rights issue of our day is unacceptable.
And every single summer -- it seems like around spring -- more black and brown bodies fall in the streets and we have to look at it over and over and over again, while (ph) Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin just shrug their shoulders and move along with their day in the halls of the Senate, and that's wholly unacceptable.
SCIUTTO: Congress made a try at police reform legislation in the wake of the George Floyd killing, and you might say that if you can't get it done then, in light of the circumstances of his death, when can you get it done?
I just wonder, you mentioned a Republican and a Democrat there, Karen Bass and Senator Tim Scott. Is there bipartisan support for legislation here?
Actually, hold that thought, Bakari, we're going to go to Indiana for an update on the mass shooting there.
MAYOR JOE HOGSETT (D), INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA: Well, thank you for joining us this morning. Last night, Indianapolis was revisited by the scourge of gun violence that has killed far too many in our community and in our country. Although we will learn more about this case (INAUDIBLE) and in the coming weeks, no piece of information will restore the lives that were taken or the peace that was shattered.
Nothing we learn can heal the wounds of those who escaped with their lives, but who will now bear the scars and endure the memories of this horrific crime.
What we are left with this morning is grief. Grief for the families of those killed, grief for the employees who have lost their coworkers, and grief for the many Americans struggling to understand how tragedies like this continue to occur, again and again. They join the Indianapolis community in trying to understand this senseless violence.
And it seems to me that beyond the need of comfort for the grieving, we must guard against resignation or even despair. The assumption that this is simply how it must be and that we might as well get used to it? We need the courage that compels courageous acts that push past weariness.
I want to thank the first responders who arrived at the scene, the IEMS personnel who provided medical care to those injured, and the brave IMPD officers who responded and who are now investigating the events of last night. By all accounts, these women and these men acted heroically, caring for victims and families and bringing order to a chaotic environment.
I'll close by saying this. Indianapolis is a resilient community. Last night was a devastating blow, and its impact will be felt by our community for days and weeks to come. But in times of despair, I know that (INAUDIBLE) and help one another make it through.
The eyes of the nation are on Indianapolis today, in ways that we would never have hoped for. And for those who only know of this city, what they have learned when we are hosting major events on a global stage, they would be forgiven for simply believing that the people of Indianapolis are known for kindness shown to those who come to visit.
What they cannot see in those moments and what is difficult for us who live here to see, in these moments, is that this spirit of generosity and radical love is shared not just by our residents, but between our residents. It is what makes this a special place that we are proud to call home in times of triumph and in times of tragedy.
It is what gives us the strength to see through the darkness and find the light of love (INAUDIBLE). And no crime of passion or act of hate can take that away from us, not today, not ever.
I'll turn it over now to the chief of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Chief Randal Taylor.
RANDAL TAYLOR, INDIANAPOLIS METROPOLITAN POLICE: So this morning, for the third time since January, our community woke up to news of a senseless crime that will not soon leave our memory. This is unacceptable for Indianapolis.
Our IMPD officers went towards danger, as they typically do. And when they arrived on the scene, they found something that really no one should see.
We've all been shaken by this heinous act. I will tell you, the one thing that drew me to Indianapolis when I first came here in '93 was for such a big city to have such a small-town feel and heart. Our IMPD chaplains have been on the scene since early this morning, providing care and comfort and support to the families of the victims. My heart is broken over the lives that were lost.
FedEx is a major employer in this city. If you ask around, there's numerous people -- myself included -- that had family and friends that worked for this great company. And they have built bonds, whether they worked there for a short time or a long time. Can only imagine what the victims, the surviving victims and their coworkers are going through. We are truly with them.
The crime scene remains active. IMPD, along with public safety partners, will continue to work at the scene for as long as it takes to ensure a thorough investigation is complete. You'll soon hear from Deputy Chief Craig McCartt who will share what we know to this point, but that information will be limited.
I can share a few things with you, though. I know the first responders did an incredible job. You more than likely will hear stories of their bravery as this develops.
I know it's going to take time for us to learn more about what happened last night, and I don't honestly know that we'll ever really know all the ins and outs to why this occurred, but we'll certainly do our best.
But I do know our community stands together. That was evident through services that were rendered by companies here like IndyGo, Holiday Inn, and also with our law enforcement partners. I'd like to thank personally Superintendent Doug Carter and State Police for their help, and also our other federal partners who are always by our side.
Now I'll introduce one of those partners, FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan.
PAUL KEENAN, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: Thank (ph) you (ph), Chief.
As the chief said, my name is Paul Keenan, I'm the special agent in charge at the FBI Indianapolis Field Office.
First and foremost, I offer my sincere condolences on behalf of the FBI to the family and loved ones of the victims of the senseless violence that took place last night. While we mourn the devastating loss of their lives, we are dedicated to honoring their memory through a meticulous investigation.
FBI Indianapolis is part of this community, and we stand with our friends and our neighbors to condemn this violent act that has impacted so many.
I stand here today with my partners because whenever there is a tragedy such as this, the FBI surges resources to assist our law enforcement partners in addressing those immediate needs. FBI personnel are assisting the crime scene, conducting interviews, assisting on the search of the suspect's home, and will provide any technical expertise requested by the IMPD.
Many of you have already asked what the motive of this shooting was and with less than 12 hours since the shooting, it would be premature to speculate on that motivation.
I can tell you that there is no further threat, and updates will continue to be shared as there are more details. We're grateful for our strong partnership with the law enforcement in Indiana. As we have done in other cases, the FBI will dedicate all available resources to follow every lead and use all investigative capabilities to (INAUDIBLE) this and bring closure for the victims' families.
Next up, I'd like to introduce Deputy Chief Craig McCartt from the IMPD. Thank you.
CRAIG MCCARTT, DEPUTY CHIEF, INDIANAPOLIS METROPOLITAN POLICE: Good morning. First of all, I'd just like to reiterate some of what's already been said, recognize this (INAUDIBLE) horrible tragedy that our community's experienced this morning, and certainly our condolences go out to the victims, their families, their friends, their loved ones.
And our thoughts and prayers are certainly with all those who were affected by this violence. And we know that that's far-reaching, that this violence is far-reaching. And so we keep all of them in our thoughts as we (INAUDIBLE).
How this investigation has progressed and again, bear with me, there's going to be a lot that I am not able -- a lot of questions that you may have, after I'm done, that I may not be able to answer. We are still working on those answers, this investigation is very much still in its infancy. But I will answer what I can after we're done.
So late last (INAUDIBLE) received run (ph) of shots fired to the FedEx facility. When officers arrived, they found a very chaotic and active crime scene. They found several victims injured and several victims deceased, as well as the suspect who was deceased as well of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Detectives were summoned to the scene. We began interviews with the many witnesses that were on-scene. Crime lab responded and we began to process that crime scene, and that's continues now and we're still several hours from being able to complete that at this time, so there's still a lot of work to do out there.
Our Victim Assistance and Chaplain's Office also responded to the scene to assist with the witnesses, victim families, and IndyGo was at the scene to help us transport employees, witnesses and families to the family reunification site, which was a nearby hotel. And so we continued to work with those employees and families as we work through identification and speaking with those families. Before I open anything up for questions, I just want to recognize the
work that's being done out there as we speak, by our detectives and the help that we have received from other law enforcement agencies.
I'd like to also give a thank you to the state police. They were a huge help last night, as their detectives worked right alongside with ours. They allowed us to use this facility not only for this event, but for interviews last night.
IndyGo, as I've already said, our federal partners who have been right beside us throughout this investigation as well, we will now work (INAUDIBLE) coroner's office as we work through victim identification.
And so we -- again, just a big thank (ph) you (ph) (INAUDIBLE). You know, we couldn't have done this without the help that we have received (INAUDIBLE) crime (ph) lab (ph) (INAUDIBLE).
(INAUDIBLE) questions now, open it up for those questions. And again, I will try to answer (INAUDIBLE) I (ph) can (ph).
SCIUTTO: All right, the feed from that press conference there is breaking down a little bit, but we did get the headlines so far. One is that they have not established a motive yet. They're saying 12 hours later, it's too early, a motive in this killing. Is notable, they said, it appears that the shooter as well as the victims were already dead by the time police got there.
Let's go back, we have our feed back.
MCCARTT: -- identification of the suspect, so there's really not much that we can say about him until we have made positive identification.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- quick follow-up, were any of the eyewitnesses that (INAUDIBLE), did any (INAUDIBLE)?
MCCARTT: What we did find preliminarily from the interviews that were conducted was that, you know, this suspect came to the facility. And when he came there, he got out of his car and pretty quickly started some random shooting outside the facility.
There was no confrontation with anyone that was there, there was no disturbance, there was no argument. He just appeared to randomly start shooting and that began in the parking lot, and then he did go into the building, into the facility for a brief period of time before he took his own life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What connection, if any, at (ph) this point does the shooter have to the FedEx facility or any of its employees?
MCCARTT: We don't know that. Again, that's difficult to determine until we make positive identification. So we're certainly working with the FedEx organization in trying to establish all those connections, but we just can't do that yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Craig (ph), (INAUDIBLE), you're saying (ph) you don't have a firm identification of the suspect. But special agent says they're executing (ph) a search of his house.
MCCARTT: And that's -- that's accurate. I mean, we have -- we have an idea, we have some -- we have some other leads that led us to that location. But again, until we make positive identification, along with the coroner's office, we are not going to obviously identify anybody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But there is a search going on at (ph) somebody's house.
MCCARTT: There -- there's all kinds of things going on in the investigation, but yes, that is one of them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, a search of the individual who you think is the shooter in this case?
MCCARTT: Potentially, yes, potentially, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many weapons recovered, how many shots?
MCCARTT: I can't tell you that yet. We're, again, the crime lab is still out there collecting all that evidence, and we can't determine those things until they've completed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did your witnesses tell you that perhaps at FedEx or the security personnel or off-duty law enforcement personnel at the site yesterday had any indication that (ph) perhaps this trouble (ph) was going through a critical (ph) -- somebody was going to come back with his (ph) gun?
MCCARTT: No. You know, we're still working with FedEx security for anything that might indicate (INAUDIBLE) might have been an indicator that this was going to happen, but right now we don't have those ties. And again, it's -- the rest (ph) is still very early, still in the infancy so we're still doing those interviews, we're still working closely with FedEx to find those things, to find those things out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was the shooting done when police arrived?
MCCARTT: Yes. My understanding is that everything -- by the time that officers entered that -- that the situation was over, that the suspect took his life very shortly before officers actually entered the facility.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long do you think the incident lasted?
MCCARTT: You know, it's hard to say exactly but the estimates that we have heard are just a couple minutes, that it was -- did not last very long.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you can't confirm that the suspect was (ph) an (ph) employee?
MCCARTT: No, we cannot confirm that yet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many people were in the building at the time?
MCCARTT: You know what, I can't tell you that. That would be a question that the -- that someone from the FedEx organization would have to answer, I don't know the number. I don't know that number right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many were transported to the hospital (INAUDIBLE)?
MCCARTT: So what we have right now is that there were five that were transported from the scene. Four of those had suffered what appeared to be nonfatal gunshot wounds, and then there was another injury of some sort that was -- a person with some sort of injury that was transported as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Several employees have cited the FedEx policy that employees can't (ph) bring (ph) cell phones into the facility, and they fear (ph) that that (INAUDIBLE) delayed (ph) getting (ph) you guys there. Was there any kind of delay (INAUDIBLE)?
MCCARTT: No. I think that we were contacted very quickly once things started happening. Now, what I have heard is that, you know, part of the frustration in family notification has been due to, you know, a lot of these -- a lot of these employees did not have cell phones as they flee the building and get transported to other places, they're without their cell phones and so they had a hard time getting with family, so that was certainly frustrating for those employees as well as their families.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there surveillance video of the incident?
MCCARTT: We are checking for surveillance video, and certainly, you know, one would think in a large facility like that that, at some point, there's going to be some video that we're able to obtain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did any witnesses indicate to you that they thought maybe there was another employee who attempted to retrieve a firearm in (ph) an (ph) attempt to stop this incident (INAUDIBLE)?
MCCARTT: I heard that kind of anecdotally, but I have not heard that that was reported to law enforcement, to this point.
MCCARTT: That we -- we're doing lots of interviews still, so I'm not going to say that's not accurate. But I have not heard it from people within my own organization.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there a shift change going on, which is why there would have been folks (ph) in the parking lot? I'm trying to understand why that time (INAUDIBLE).
MCCARTT: We haven't determined that yet, but I know there are some places where I think a lot of the employees take breaks and lunches and things like that out in that area as well, so -- and it could have been a shift change as well, I just don't have -- I don't have that answer right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The scope of the investigation, is (INAUDIBLE) to (ph) be (ph) quite massive. I'm not asking for (INAUDIBLE) details, but you said it's going to take a couple of hours. Can you give us an inside look as to what that's going to -- what are you doing in that building, what are you collecting?
And then also, sir, a follow-up question, how many people have you interviewed (INAUDIBLE) as part of the investigation? Thank you.
MCCARTT: So first, it's not just inside the building where we can continue to work and process the crime scene. Because, as I indicated, it started outside the building. So crime lab personnel have painstaking process, a very organized process of documenting all the evidence that's there on the scene. And that will start with diagrams and pictures and videos, and then the actual physical collection of any evidence that's on the scene.
So that has to be done in a -- I mean, there's a big area. Like I said, we started outside and then we went into the facility, so all that's going to take a while.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
HOGSETT: Well, in response to the question, I would point to the fact that just last week, I signed onto a letter from over 150 mayors around the country, asking for the United States Senate to consider legislation that would expand background checks to be required when firearms are transferred between private citizens, and to close the Charleston loophole, which allows federally licensed firearm dealers to transfer guns to customers before an adequate background check is completed.
So the fact that I join with 150 other mayors in asking the federal legislature to do that, at least indicates what I would like to see done legislatively. My concern about the Indiana General Assembly is I believe they only have three or four days left (INAUDIBLE). We'll make it clear to our governor and to the legislative leadership where I stand on these issues.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, Mayor, (INAUDIBLE) White House contacted (INAUDIBLE), again not disclosing any (ph) privileged (ph) conversations. (INAUDIBLE) what was that conversation like? Has (ph) the White House promised to offer (ph) any services or resources to Indianapolis?
HOGSETT: Well, as most people know, the chief of staff to the president of the United States is a North Central High School grad from Indianapolis, Indiana. So it was not at all unusual that he would reach out to me. Basically the offer was, anything you need, mayor, we stand ready to assist.
It was not a direct communication, it was just text messaging. And I of course responded, thanking him, and told him that we would keep him made aware of the progress of the investigation, and if the White House was (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) Mayor (ph), cities are always looking (INAUDIBLE). What would you need, what resources could the men and women of Metro Police and the other agencies that are under your purview, what would you ask them (INAUDIBLE) time (ph)?
HOGSETT: Well, we're always deeply appreciative of federal support, whether that comes (ph) by way of dollars or otherwise. And frankly, the city of Indianapolis is grateful, for example, for the CARES Act, provided $168 million. Many of those dollars went to our first responders, last year.
According to the American Rescue Plan, I believe Indianapolis may very well be receiving over the course of the next two years (INAUDIBLE) $5 million, and I have no doubt, although we have not made any decisions about how to utilize that money, I have no doubt that that money will also be used for law enforcement and first responder support.
So any time Washington makes the offer, we're very grateful and certainly inclined to accept.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mayor, how does (ph) the community heal from this, the third time they're waking up this year alone (INAUDIBLE).
HOGSETT: Yes, I think that the community needs to engage in serious conversations, and not just our community but I think conversations need to be held around our country. And those conversations should be driven by the extraordinary proliferation of guns and cycles of violence that, in 147 instances already this year, have plagued communities around our country.
And unfortunately for the city of Indianapolis, this is the third mass killing that we have experienced. So the process of healing will take time, but I think healing does depend on meaningful conversations between people.