tv Yasmin Vossoughian Reports MSNBC December 4, 2021 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
begins. nbc's meagan fitzgerald is live in pontiac, michigan, and also joining me, msnbc legal analyst danny cevallos and law enforcement analyst. we also learned of an update from the school district. what can you tell us? >> reporter: that's right. the school superintendent saying that he is asking for a third party investigation to take a look at safety practices and procedures throughout the district, and you'll remember, this is coming because the superintendent really coming under fire here for making statements just the other day saying that this suspect did not need any disciplinary action. disciplinary action was not warranted. and that became a sense of contention and frustration and anger for a lot of people in this community, because then just yesterday, we heard from the prosecutor who said that, you know, the student was able to return back to class even after there were drawings that a teacher found of this suspect
allegedly drawing, you know, shooting someone with a semiautomatic gun, with blood coming out of it. warning signs, essentially. and so the prosecutor, very candid yesterday, saying that this student should not have been allowed to return back to campus, and if procedures were taken in a different way, it's likely that those four students would not have lost their lives. so, again, we have the superintendent here saying he's going to take some action, and he's going to review protocols and procedures here. and also, i think it's worth noting here that the prosecutor has said this is still a very active investigation. it's possible that school officials could face charges. now, within the next couple of seconds here, we are anticipating a press conference from the sheriff of oakland county here who's going to be giving details about that apprehension last night. a lot of questions that we don't know. we know that law enforcement officials have said that the crumbleys were found inside this warehouse in detroit. their attorney is saying they were going to turn themselves in, but they were found in
detroit in this warehouse where officials tell us that they were let in by someone. so the question here is, who that person is and will they face charges? we know the sheriff is going to be detailing the facts of what happened last night just in the next couple of minutes, lindsey. >> you laid it out there but there was also an arraignment today for the crumbleys where everybody appeared virtually after the crumbleys were apprehended, as you mentioned, after that manhunt. what did we learn from that arraignment as i hope i don't have to stop you, but we're waiting for that press conference. >> reporter: absolutely. so, what we know is that the prosecution was asking for $500,000 cash bond and you know, the events that just happened yesterday -- >> all right, meagan, i'm so sorry. i'm so sorry. this is the sheriff that we're waiting to hear from. let's go ahead and listen in. >> do you need that or do you need this? that's good.
okay. first, thank you for being here today to hear the update on where we are. obviously, this has moved forward at lightning speed on lots of levels, so as it relates to the two suspects that were charged, the parents that were charged by our prosecutor, karen mcdonald, as you know, we activated a manhunt when the charges were issued to locate them immediately. our partner from the united states marshal eastern district, owen, is here. they, along with a lot of partners, quite frankly, immediately went into action in addition to our fugitive apprehension team. their teams, detroit police was amazing, and we can get into that more.
obviously, we had the fbi involved, michigan state police. we even had helicopter assistance from the united states border patrol. so, everybody pitched in. we were confident we'd be able to find them in short order and because of that takework, we did, so we were notified by detroit they had received a tip that the vehicle had been seen. we were notified at 2305, which is 11:05 p.m., our fugitive folks arrived on scene with detroit at 2325, which is 11:25, just 20 minutes after the call. they arrived downtown detroit to be with detroit. detroit had seen a car, had secured the scene, had established a perimeter, done some great policework. ultimately, at approximately 1:30 in the morning, the two suspects were taken into custody at 11 bellvue in detroit in a commercial vehicle. they were in an art studio within that building that has
multiple kinds of partitions, if you will, in that building. they were taken into custody, as i said, at about 1:30 in the morning. our fugitive apprehension team took custody and possession of them, and they were formally lodged in our jail, where they remain, at about 0300, about 3:00 in the morning, so they are in our jail, all three of them, the son and both parents. they are segregated, each individually in isolation. we have advanced watch on them. there is no indicator that any of them -- we always have every person that comes into intake evaluated by counselors and classification to determine if there's any threats to themselves or anyone else. there was no indication that any of them were suicidal, but out of an abundance of caution, our amazing corrections team is doing suicide watches on all three of them. so, they are in custody and again in isolation.
that's a good step. the further on, as it goes to this, we believe, and i have had multiple communications with chief white of detroit, our great partner, and another, again, shoutout to his team for what they did, how they did it. and we have been in conversation and talking about some of the now follow-on information and evidence that we have. we believe they were assisted in that location to get there, to get in, and we're gathering that information, and we're going to have the totality of that done fairly soon and present that to our prosecutor for potential charges for either aiding and abetting or obstruction of justice, so that will be a determination by our prosecutor at some point in the near future, and that is a work in progress with all the other works in progress. again, you know, every time i get a chance, i want to throw out there to the public, if they
have any information on either of these two or the individual, the shooter, please either contact us at ocso, oakland county sheriff's office, firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 248-858-4911. any information, again, about either the actions in the school, preceding the actions in the school, or the follow-on as it relates to the two parents. and of course, you can be confidential or pass that on in any way that you see fit. i know mr. marshall from the united states eastern district, you want to mention something? >> yeah. thank you, sheriff. good afternoon. my name's owen. i'm the u.s. marshal for the eastern district of michigan. i would just like to say thank you on behalf of the united states marshall service to the sheriff's office here in oakland county. the sheriff and his team have always been phenomenal.
we've always had a terrific partnership with the detroit fugitive apprehension team and his staff. our officers responded the moment that we got the tip that the vehicle had been found in detroit, and we had units out working all day yesterday and last night they converged on the scene and were able to help the detroit police department take those subjects into custody. i would also like to thank chief white and his team down in detroit. they did a phenomenal job of identifying the vehicle, locating the subjects in a building that they believed they were in as soon as we had enough personnel on site to search that building. we did so. we executed the warrants, and thankfully, no one was hurt in the apprehension of these two individuals, and they are now safely in custody, so great thanks to chief white and to the sheriff and the oakland county sheriff's office, detroit and oakland county, they've always been great partners with the marshal service and we truly appreciate that. thank you, sheriff. >> thank you.
i think that's really most of what the questions have been about so far today. anybody else have any other questions? >> did either of the parents say anything either on that drive from detroit to the jail or once they arrived at the jail? have they said anything to you? >> probably at this point we're not going to talk about any -- either spontaneous utterances or discussions because that will now become part of any evidence that may be presented so that information will be turned over to the prosecutor and anything about that will be forthcoming as it relates to trial activities. >> the crumbleys' attorneys basically described this as an miscommunication and said they were planning to turn themselves in. is that a possibility? >> well, all i know is this. when we were informed we had an active warrant for them, there was some communication that came in to one of our detectives that said that they were going to arrange for their arrest, turn themselves in, and you know, that's fine. we don't wait for that.
when we have serious charges like felonies, you can turn yourself in. you can go to court. you can come to any one of our substations, but we're going to goo look for you immediately. so once the warrant was in hand, we triggered a full act vegas of looking for them because there's a lot more tools at our disposal once we have a warrant and we had been looking for them prior to that, but it was in a much more limited fashion and that's the most i mean going to say about our investigative techniques, but you know, then later in the morning, we had communication that the couple was not responding to texts or phone calls of their attorney, so again, to us, that's irrelevant. we're looking for them. if they show up, fine. but we're not going to sit at the front desk and tap our fingers until they come in. we were out actively looking for them, working with our partners, and they were taken into custody before that question was asked or answered, were they actually going to do it? i don't know. but given that they were hiding in a warehouse in detroit, it certainly raises my eyebrows.
>> why were they in detroit to begin with? >> that's part of the questions, obviously, why they were there. why they were in a commercial building in that form and fashion. we had located their other vehicle at a different location, you know, prior to the warrant even being issued. as i said, we began a process of doing what we could before any warrants were in hand to look for them, and we found one other family vehicle at a different location, but they weren't there, and there was no connectivity to them being there at that moment. >> sheriff, can you give some clarity as to how you know that they were hiding? couldn't they just say they were in the building? were they specifically ducked away or anything like that? >> well, when the tip came in, the person was apparently outside smoking, and they pretty much ran away, and obviously, the way -- i'm not going to get into specifics but i think where they were and how they were
seems to support the position they were hiding and they weren't looking for surrendering at that point. >> sheriff, what are the criminal ramifications of people that helped them in that art gallery and what are they looking at, crime-wise? have the people that helped them been taken into custody, and are they cooperating? >> we obviously don't have any charges at this point, but that's part of the investigation, and ultimately, if there are charges that are applicable, that will be the prosecutor's decision. so, we're trying to put together as much detailed information on that as it relates to that. suffice to say, we have enough early indications that clearly somebody helped them into that location and made it available to them. and it was after it was publicly announced that there were warrants for them. >> how much do you know about their whereabouts from friday morning when they made this atm withdrawal to the point where their cell phones shut off to when they're discovered?
i know they were in rochester hills and then they were found in detroit, but do you know what happened in between? where they were, where they tried to go? >> we don't, again, have a whole lot of their movements because the last time our detectives actually saw them physically in-person was when we executed search warrants on the home, when the child in question was the suspect. so, we were going to the house to seize anything of evidentiary value to the case at the school. the school shooting. and at that point, there was no indication that the parents may or may not have been involved. it was purely an execution of a search warrant for evidence related to the shooting. that was the last time our detectives saw them. as soon as the prosecutor gave some indication that there would be potentially charges, our detectives began to do what we call a packet to prepare for if there's charges, where they
might go and began to do what we could to look for them, short of what the expanded capabilities are when you have an actual warrant, either a search warrant or an arrest warrant. >> it's kind of an interesting situation with the whole family together in your jail. do they get to talk? >> no. >> to their son? >> no talking. no communication. they're all three in isolation. >> does that change over time? >> no. >> because he's a minor? >> no. on a variety of levels. first, we would segregate male and female prisoners, and secondly, we would segregate juveniles charged as adults from adults, so on all three levels, they will never be interacting. >> does the person who called 911 get the reward? >> so, my agency did offer a $10,000 reward for the capture of the fugitives, so if that person did come forward, give their name, and we had subsequent information to get back in contact with them, they may be entitled to that reward. that comes through our headquarters office out of washington, d.c., but ultimately, if the information
they provided led to the arrest, which by all indications, it did, that person would likely be entitled to a reward. >> how much can you speak about the conditions the child is in right now? i know you mentioned isolation before, but any further details, how often they're meeting with counselors, check-ups, what the actual cell conditions are like? anything like that? >> we're checking on them multiple times an hour. in terms of cell conditions, it's clearly a basic environment for one person to be housed and regular observational capabilities. regular discussions with our medical staff and our counseling staff to see if we need to do or change anything differently. but constant verification and checks on them on behalf of our deputies. >> can you describe his mental state at this point? >> again, we have nothing to lead us to believe that anybody has any mental health challenges. so far, based on records or
information we've uncovered. and again, as they came in through our intake process with our counselors and our classification process, they indicate no interest or desire to hurt themselves. yes? >> two questions. are they facing additional charges now because of what happened yesterday? and secondly, chief white during the press conference at 3:00 this morning said they were in a state of distress when officers reached them. can you talk about that? >> in terms of additional charges, again, the form and fashion of where we ended up finding them and how they got there, that totality will be a determination by our prosecutor if there is any applicable extra charges or not, but i think certainly it lends to the original charge that if there's no culpability, why would you go be in a warehouse in detroit? in terms of their distress, the
chief and i talked about that a bit but i don't want to get too into that. it could be distress because they're caught or distress at the totality of the situation. >> some members of your department have expressed frustration saying the prosecutor didn't let you know ahead of time these charges were coming. was your department caught off guard by these charges? >> well, we had some disconnect with the prosecutor's office and our chief investigators. we've communicated, and that's been handled, and we're moving forward to focus on how we, together, hand in glove, hold these individuals accountable. >> sheriff, did ethan know that his parents were charged, and what has his reaction or his demeanor been since they have been captured and while they were, i guess, being searched for? >> what we're -- what was his demeanor? >> yeah.
>> he hasn't said anything to us, obviously. none of them are really communicating to a great extent with us. so, you know, his demeanor really hasn't changed. he wouldn't have been made aware that we're searching for his parents since he's in isolation and it's not like we have a tv clicker in his hands. >> does he know that his parents are in custody now? >> i honestly couldn't tell you. my guess is no. it's not something we necessarily would go let him know. >> sheriff, he's under 16, is there some sort of mandatory education program that he'll be attending because of the compulsory education law? >> well, i mean, that's probably not the first thing on our priority list. our first thing is to make sure he doesn't hurt himself and that he gets timely court appearances and access to counsel. from that point, other things are secondary, and on top of all of that, we have covid procedures right now. so, you know, we have a lot more restrictions in terms of who comes in and out of our
facility, how our educational programs can and cannot be conducted. you know, to prevent mitigation and spread of the virus within a confined facility. it's not like we can widely social distance within a jail. >> obviously a lot of the focus has been on the parents because they were on the run. but will there also be an investigation into the school's actions? i mean, the prosecutor said that they sent ethan back to the classroom. he had the gun. could that become part of the criminal investigation? >> well, everything that happened from preceding to that point to after until we stand here today will be under investigation, and every tidbit that we learn will be handed over to our prosecutor for, again, follow-on charges if applicable. she has said that, you know, there may be other charges, and that will be, again, a charging determination by her as it relates to, if any of the additional information we present her with rises to that levelment.
>> are any of the school officials under investigation? >> well, i wouldn't say a school official is under any investigation, specifically. i would say the situation is, and if there's someone in that process, in that timeline, has done something that triggers that criminality, if you will, that's going to be up to the prosecutor. you know, anybody is going to be completely discussed, investigated, and determined what happened. and where it leads is where the facts take us. >> in regards to this person in detroit, is it known yet what their relationship is to the couple? or at least what their relationship is to that building? >> yes, we do have indication of both of those things, but we're not getting too awfully deep into it until we get it completed and give it to the prosecutor. >> sheriff, chief white said they were not armed. >> correct. >> this morning. but we heard during the arraignment that they had taken out $4,000 in cash.
out of the atm. was that money found on them? do you know anything about -- >> i don't have the inventory sheet on what was recovered at scene yet. so i can't answer that. >> thank you. >> yes? >> so, a lot of people still have questions about the school resource officer and the oxford superintendent issued a detailed statement within the last hour. so in it, he says the counselor made the decision to return ethan to the class. ethan explained that the drawing that he had was designing a video game. the question for you, sheriff, is, was the picture of the drawing taken by the teacher to the counselor so that the counselor would know? because apparently ethan had scratched over the most disturbing part. >> yeah, i'd have to, again, pull the actual investigative jacket to know what the counselor saw at the time and that's part of the investigation. but again, my reaction to the whole process is that if it was
concerning to the teacher and the classroom, enough ultimately to call in parents, at that point, we would have loved to have been looped in. >> thank you. >> sheriff, the attorneys for the parents said that what's been presented so far has been cherry picked and slanted. obviously, this investigation is still ongoing, there's a lot that we do not know, but does what has been released to the public now, does that paint a fairly complete and accurate representation of what happened here? >> well, i certainly think that that's, you know, a part of the picture, and we're still, you know, finishing the picture, if you will. we're filling in the details as we learn them and as we get additional facts, but i certainly also believe that it's accurate. >> sheriff, the superintendent in that video also said that he was going to ask you to release some video, but we don't know what video he was referring to. do you know what video? >> yes. and no, it's not going to
happen. we have extensive video within the school of exactly what played out and how it played out and that is evidence and will be given to the prosecutor for the prosecution and any -- a viewing of that will be dependent on the prosecution as to not obviously prejudice the case or any potential jury pool. >> any estimate on how long you will process the crime scene? >> we're mostly done with the actual crime scene. we were in there until, i think i was there at about 2:00 in the morning. i think they were done about 3:30? >> 5:30. >> i'm losing my time hours because no one's sleeping, about 5:30 in the morning the day after. most of our forensic examination, our crime scene team was done in there. >> and there right now at the oakland county jail facility? >> correct. right here on this campus. >> and there's no plan to move them to another location for any other reason? >> absolutely not. they're here. quite frankly, for the duration.
>> until they post bond or at least the parents? >> if they post bond, yeah, they would be released. anyone else? >> sheriff, for the deputies who responded, how are they doing? what kind of mental health help have they gotten? >> thank you. i was actually going to bring that up. you know, i ask our people to do some very dangerous and difficult things, and we talked about our response capabilities and how we have been training for years for active shooters and that i issue very clear instructions and orders if i get to an active shooter first, i'm going in. if you get there first, you're going in. if we get there together, we're both going in, but we're going in, and our job, once we go in, and their job was, and they did it, was not just to go in but to ignore everything else and go to the sound of the gunfire or the chaos because that's the active threat.
because if they stop anywhere to calm a teacher or student or to render aid, more people could be killed. that's an incredibly unnatural act, to walk past a child that's in panic and terror and may even be hurt, to ignore that because you hear chaos or gunshots. and that's what they did. and as a result, when he was taken into custody, there were some 18 unexpended rounds, and that's what i keep reminding them. 18. 18. could have been 18 more kids. that's difficult to take in, so they're struggling in a big way. and so, we have had a complete debrief for everybody that was at the scene. all day yesterday, and i went to every one of those sessions to talk to them, tell them how proud i am of them, and that it's not weakness to ask for
help and to get help. that it's important they do that. their number one job is to make themselves come out of this process in a healthy way. they'll never be the same. i mean, i was in the scene when there were still children there that were deceased, but those that were going in there when it was happening and they were having to go past them, devastating. and so we had a follow-on session today with some specialists that we had flown in, and we're going to do everything we can to help them to try to process this and to try to be able to move forward in a healthy way for themselves, for their families, and for the community because i told them that we need them. to heal for themselves, their family and communities. but we also need them back out on the front line. i mean, the next day, our folks investigated a threat against a school and made an arrest for
somebody that threatened another school. so, there's no lack of need for our folks to be able to function well and be able to deal with some of the future threats that we're going to face, and sadly, we're going to face more. i mean, we're inundated with threats right now. we have threats against the candlelight vigil last night. we have threats against memorials. we have threats against individual deputies or law enforcement. it's absolutely absurd that after a tragedy we see a huge spike in threats, but that's what we're seeing. >> you brought up the candlelight vigil and that was going to be my next question. you were there. can you talk about that? we interviewed someone on the scene who said there had been multiple threats. he was a retired police officer who was there. and then of course the person who fainted, collapsed, was there any loud noise that
prompted more and can you also talk about the threats? >> there was some specific but noncredible or nonverified threats that came in about that event in a different venue. so, obviously, you saw a very heavy presence from our office, from the village pd, from some of our partners that were there in force, our helicopter was above. we had react teams there. we felt confident we could and did keep it safe. but people are absolutely terrified. their kids are terrified. and so, what happened was somebody fell out, and we use that term because lots of times when our honor guard is at certain things, if you're standing in a certain way without shifting your weight, your blood tends not to move and you can pass out. you can faint. so, people in one corner, and i was on stage when it began, began to start screaming, and
that panicked part of the crowd because they didn't know what they were screaming about. and that's when i took the microphone and said, calm down, relax, more people are going to get hurt by running. nothing's going on. nothing's wrong. because that's how raw they are. and it's terrifying to so many people, and it's really hurtful that more people are making these threats, and i'll put a punctuation on this again. if you make a threat, we're going to investigate it, even if it's not credible and even if you don't plan to carry it out and we find you, and we will find you, we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law and one of the possible penalties is up to 20 years, so it's not funny. it's not a way to get out of school. it's a crime. and you're hurting an already struggling community. >> people were running towards the media area where we were all
staged, and in so much panic, and someone looked at me and i was in our live truck, and they said, someone's been shot. i think that really sums up the fear. >> right. >> of what happened last night. >> right. >> i saw people collapsing because they were so upset, and they were so raw and just on edge. >> right. no question. i mean, obviously, i was there as well, and i was giving out a lot of hugs before and after, and you know, without almost exception, everybody that came up just was looking for some reassurance and when we hugged, they were emotional. >> what do you have to say to the parents, oxford parents, or parents of the victims now that all three are in the county jail right now? >> that the intent is and the plan is and the anticipation is that the prosecutor and i are working hand in glove to hold them accountable.
>> now that yesterday we heard a lot of details come out about this relationship between the parents and ethan and in the same respect it's been days later since you executed the search warrant on the home. have you at this point noticed or found any other evidence in the home, anything that would have pointed or indicated to this event happening? any sort of -- any red flags? >> well, again, i'm not going to get too awfully specific because we're transitioning to the trial portion, but as we have said and as the prosecutor said, we have clear evidence that this was premeditated, and he was actually looking forward to it. >> sheriff, will you have any police presence when the kids go back to school? >> absolutely. and i don't know if you were here for the other press conference we had about these unrelated threats and every police chief pretty much in the county was here. we're all united in doing
everything we can to bring some calm, assure parents and students that we're going to be there, we're going to make the school safe, but we've got to get them back to some semblance of normalcy. it's going to be difficult. and the same thing goes for students, teachers and parents. you're struggling with this. find a path to get help, whether it's a chaplain or whether it's a priest or a rabbi or a counselor, whatever the case may be. find a path to deal with this in a healthy fashion. >> do you have any update on the health of the injured? >> the last update, we'll put it out, the last update, most were improving pretty well. but we'll -- i'll check to see if there's anything new today. >> can you go into more detail as to the moment when the officers encountered the shooter that day? >> sure. there were two of our deputies that were moving down that hall together, seeking out the threat. and as they came into that
hallway, they observed the subject, and he basically gave up. i'm not going to get too awfully specific, but he gave up. >> did he give up as soon as he saw them? >> as they were approaching, he put his hands up. and you know, i'll say this. when we see most of these around the country, my opinion is these people are evil and they're cowards. they either typically usually give up or commit suicide. >> so, as they're -- as the officers were walking in, and maybe you can speak a little bit about this to their training, did the shooter have the gun -- did he have the weapon in his hand? did they notice the weapon in his hand? >> as they were approaching them, the weapon was put to the ground and he put his hands up. i'm not going to get too awfully specific to the precursors and the postcursors on that, but -- >> so there was no opportunity
for the -- for them to even say, drop the weapon, and then engage if they needed to? >> he gave up. pretty much as soon as they -- one of the deputies, you know, called out, gun. and he gave up. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> all right, everybody, we have been listening to the oakland county sheriff, michael bouchard, give us an update on not only the shooting that took place earlier this week in michigan but also the subsequent manhunt for his parents who have been charged with involuntary manslaughter. few things we learned. overnight, his parents were hiding in a warehouse in downtown detroit that was an art studio. we'ring look at their booking photos right now of the crumbleys here, and we also know that somebody helped them into that building and that right now the sheriff's office is investigating and they expect
soon they will be referring charges to the prosecutor's office, could be aiding and abetting or obstruction of justice. you're looking at the new booking photos of james and jennifer crumbley on your screen. we also learned that all three of them, james, jennifer, and ethan crumbley, they were all in a stage of advanced watch, essentially suicide watch. they have not had any communication with one another. they also said in terms of the shooting itself that they found clear evidence at the home of the crumbleys that this shooting in which ethan is accused and being charged as an adult, they found clear evidence it was premeditated and in fact he was looking forward to it. very disturbing details continue to come out of this case. i want to bring in right now danny cevallos and cedric alexander, and danny, first i want to go to you and talk about this potential accomplice here. now, that sheriff said that when
deputies got there, it actually might have been detroit police who got there first and found the car outside that detroit warehouse, that somebody outside was smoking a cigarette and ran away. unclear who that person is, but in terms of this potential accomplice right now, what are prosecutors looking for here when they're considering charges? >> there's a crime under the michigan penal law for when somebody assists somebody who is the subject of an arrest warrant to avoid capture or avoid them being located. so, there are crimes available to the prosecutors and the police in investigating whether or not somebody who even used a key to open a warehouse or an office building to let these suspects in did so knowingly and with the knowledge that there was an arrest warrant or the intent to help them evade detection. so if that's the case, i expect we will see prosecutors referring charges. >> and cedric, one of the most compelling parts of the press conference was when a reporter
asked about this defense right now from the crumbleys' attorneys that there was some miscommunication and that is why they didn't immediately turn themselves in, that they weren't necessarily hiding from law enforcement or on the run. but the sheriff, sheriff bouchard, said, they're not going to wait around, tapping their fingers on the desk waiting for them to be there. as soon as that warrant is issued, we're going to go out and look for you. what did you make of those comments? >> well, i think the sheriff was right in his observation in terms of what occurred. certainly, it could have been some miscommunication, but the fact of the matter is, at some point, i think we can reasonably assume that the crumbleys knew that they were going to be arrested. and that's pretty evident. so, they can make an attempt to make that argument, but i think as this investigation continues to unfold and they put all the pieces together of this puzzle, i think at the end, we'll get a better idea of what took place and in what sequence that it took place. so, whether the warrants was
issued before they knowingly knew about it or afterwards, in this particular case, the fact that they were or determined to escape an arrest and there appeared to be evidence to suggest that, that will negate certainly any of that defense's story, probably. >> danny, building on that, we have heard a lot today, the term "consciousness of guilt." can you talk about what that means in relation to this, particularly because the sheriff did say it certainly raises eyebrows that they were in this detroit warehouse instead of turning themselves in. >> sure. prosecutors love consciousness of guilt evidence. it usually involves fleeing the scene or running away or trying to avoid capture or hiding. these are all pieces of evidence the prosecutors love to use at trial to show consciousness of guilt. in other words, the mere fact that these people fled or avoided capture is evidence that they were aware what they did was wrong. it's very damaging evidence.
as a defense attorney, you try to keep that evidence out, and i'm certain their defense attorney will just argue, hey, look, they were just somewhere that wasn't at home when they learned of the warrant, and they were just taking their time and they were going to make their way there, but they weren't trying to flee. they'll make that argument, but the prosecution will certainly make the argument to give that consciousness of guilt evidence in because it can be very helpful in securing a conviction. >> and we know that the sheriff also said at the time, going back to the actual school shooting itself, and culpability there, that they would have loved to be attuned to what was going on inside that counselor's office in which ethan crumbley was being questioned prior to the shooting taking place. he had exhibited alarming behavior, including some drawings, some internet searches, and right now, when we look at whether the district or anybody at the school could be held accountable, what are not only law enforcement but prosecutors office going to be looking for there?
>> they're going to be looking for what school administrators knew and when they knew it. but i'm going to give another side of this coin, just to think about. suppose you're dealing with a situation where a student is just drawing pictures of violence. the supreme court has said that speech about violence is not -- is itself protected speech. now, students have a lesser degree of that free speech right in school. they can't disrupt school activities. but it's an interesting thing that if an administrator was only aware of drawings about violence, had they suspended him, they might have had a first amendment argument. but if it's the case that school administrators had drawings about violence, searches for ammunition that were observed by the teachers, these are all facts that taken as a totality would have given teachers an idea or school administrators an idea that this was more than just the idle scribblings of a student like we all did in our notebooks, that these drawings, arguably, meant a lot more.
>> all right, danny cevallos and cedric alexander, we'll have to leave it there for right now. we do want to get to some other news right now, including lingering to do list for democratic senators on capitol hill as 2021 comes to a close. the first item was checked off the list this week as lawmakers avoided a government shutdown, passing a continuing resolution thursday that funds the government through mid-february. but even bigger hurdles face democrats before this year is over. we got raising the debt limit, passing president biden's build back better bill, approving the annual defense bill. so can it all get done before they all head home for the holidays? joining me right now is democratic senator ben cardin, chairman of the small business committee. we are grateful for your time, so thank you for being with us. we know the senate is scheduled to go on break after next week. do you foresee pushing that break off to get something done? >> i think we'll be in a little
bit later than next week. i wish on that agenda list was also gun safety issues. but i do think we will get done the debt limit. we have to get that done. the defense bill is very likely to move in the next week or two. and then the build back better budget which is so important to american families in regards to the affordability of child care, the pre-k for children, getting children out of poverty with the tax credits, affordable housing. we hope that we'll be able to get that done before christmas, but it may take longer than just next week. >> and senator, on build back better negotiations, do you know what the main sticking points still are in the senate and where your colleagues manchin and sinema stand? >> well, at this point, it's still a matter of doing the negotiations with the parliamentarian in regards to the senate rules. that takes a long time. we hope to get that done by the end of this coming week. and then, yes, we have to make sure we have 50 senators,
democratic senators, all on the same page and we have to reconcile any differences with the house. so, it's one step at a time, and right now, listening to the parliamentarian ask trying to resolve the last few issues that may be in disagreement. >> well, after that continuing resolution was passed to avert a shutdown, you tweeted some criticism of your friends across the aisle, republicans, over a long-term budget, and you said, in part, by refusing to engage in real negotiations on a long-term budget, republicans are prolonging the economic uncertainty that has accompanied the pandemic. so, how do you suggest democrats focus on that messaging during this time when the economy really seems to be the top issue among most americans? >> well, there's no question a continuing resolution is not a victory. it keeps government open. it keeps our programs funded, but it doesn't update our priorities by passing a few year appropriation, doesn't give the
predictability to our agencies, and to our contractors as to those who do business with the federal government. that will be a reliable partner for the entire year. and quite frankly, the appropriators were pretty close to a yearlong budget, but the republican leadership refused to come to an agreement on the top line numbers. as a result, we are unable to get that done before the holidays. that's very unfortunate and that's the reason why i expressed my frustration to the republicans for not negotiating a final year's budget. we should have done it by now. >> also, you introduced bipartisan legislation this week with republican senator pat toomey that would impose sanctions on iran over an alleged plot to kidnap a u.s. journalist. so, what would these sanctions do, and do you see a clear path here in this becoming law? >> i think everybody recognizes that iran's a very dangerous country, that they are now moving towards a nuclear capacity for nuclear weapons, but this is also a country that
has done outrageous things in regards to recognized human rights for its own citizens, and the brazen attempt to try to kidnap an american citizen on american soil just goes beyond anything we've seen in the past. senator toomey and i introduced legislation that would impose individual sanctions on those involved in this type of activity, denying them the right to use banking systems, to get visas to visit the united states, and to impose other sanctions against these individuals who have violated international human rights norms. it's just outrageous what iran does, and in addition to its nuclear programs, and we want to put a big spotlight on it in order to protect people and protect their rights. >> democratic senator ben cardin of maryland, we thank you so much for your time. thank you. and straight ahead, cecile richards joins me to talk about the abortion battle in the supreme court. k about the abortion battle in the supreme court.
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>> 15 weeks is a conscious decision to place it before viability so that we point to the humanity of the unborn child whether or not it can live outside the womb on the table right after it's born or not. >> every single one of us was born after 1973. us have had sio have been aborted. we could have been aborted for the price of a playstation. so, we very much see ourselves as a pro life generation. >> it doesn't matter if there are resources available. sometimes people just don't want to be pregnant. and that just needs to be it. if someone is saying that they don't have the mental capacity to parent, we should trust that. i've met patients who wanted more than anything to be -- than to be a mother or a parent and they couldn't. they had to prioritize their mental health and so they were doing what was best for them. should we force someone who is battling mental health crisis to become parents? >> so, switching out a couple of justices on the supreme court
should not upend the rule of law. that's why we have this idea of precedent. it shouldn't swing radically from one moment to the next. it's not good for democracy. >> joining me right now is cecile richards, co-chair of the american bridge and former president of planned parenthood federation of america. see seal, thank you for being with us this afternoon and i want to read one of your tweets in response to the reading. you wrote, there were many horrifying statements during the scotus hear, but the low point was justice kavanaugh's statement that this case is hard because we can't accommodate the interest of both the woman and the fetus. it was clear who he was prioritizing and it isn't women. what other parts of oral arguments stuck out to you? >> well, certainly justice barrett's comment that somehow we -- women didn't need access to safe and legal abortion because even if they had an unintended or unwanted pregnancy or even a dangerous pregnancy,
they could carry that pregnancy to term and drop that baby off and hope, i guess, that someone would adopt the baby or whatever. it was the most unbelievable statement about the agency of women and frankly, the incredible thing, i think, overall about the entire morning's hear, was how little women factored into any discussion by these new justices on the supreme court. i think the point that justice sotomayor made was so incredibly important. this is a right that women have had for now nearly 50 years and that is to make the most personal, private decision about your pregnancy. and instead, what the republican party wants to do is give that right over to the government. and justice sotomayor has said, what has changed in 50 years? abortion is still necessary, women's rights are still necessary, support in this country for women being able to make these decisions is still in
existence. the only thing that's changed is three political apoint teens by donald trump only the supreme court and that's very disheartening. >> let's listen to some sound from those conservative justices confirmation hearings and their prior comments on roe versus wade. >> i would tell you that roe versus wade decided in 1973 is a precedent in the united states supreme court. it has been reaffirmed. so, a good judge will consider it as precedent of the united states supreme court worthy as treatment of precedent like any other. >> as a judge, it is an important precedent of the supreme court. by it, i mean roe v. wade and planned parenthood versus casey. been reaffirmed many times. casey is precedent on precedent. >> roe is not a super precedent because calls for its overruling have never ceased but that doesn't mean that roe should be overruled. >> presumption is that the court will follow its prior precedents.
there needs to be a special justification for overruling a prior precedent. >> nose principles applied in the casey case explain when cases should be revisited and when they should not and it is -- it is settled as a precedent of the court, yes. >> their actions and their worlds are sort of out of line here. do you agree with one "washington post" columnist, we're going to put up a full screen of the article, who essentially says, they lied to us. >> i agree. yes, i'm sorry, i thought you were going to put it up. i see it there. i -- we'll see if they lied to us, because we'll see what comes out of this decision. of course, we won't get the decision until this spring, but all indications from the arguments the other day were that none of the new justices believed that, in fact, roe was the law of the land, they seem to have no problems with the
thought of overturning it. merely because they disagreed with it. i think the important thing to remember, too, is regardless of this mississippi case, the state of texas has effectively banned abortion right now. for more than three months, women have not been able to access safe and legal abortion and the supreme court of the united states has refused to take any action to stop this unconstitutional abortion ban. i think if there was any indication of where this court is, it's what's happening in texas every day, where millions of people literal little lost a right that they've had more than 50 years. >> how concerned are you that we could eventually be talking about the morning after pill or other birth control? >> i think that republicans have been committed to overturning roe versus wade and ending access to safe and legal abortion and many of the same politicians that are doing this have done everything they could to block access to birth control and other women's health
measures. i mean, that is the real rank hypocrisy of this. the 26 states that are poised to ban abortion if, in fact, the supreme court rules in favor of this mississippi law, these are states already wrr access to affordable health care for women, prenatal care, all the basic women's health care services are the worst. the state of texas where i say abortion is effectively not accessible anymore, it's not safe and legal, it is also one of the states that has refused to expand medicaid so that women with low incomes could actually be getting preventive care that they desperately need. >> cecile richards, thank you for your time. and that wraps it up for me this hour. i'm be back tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern and again at 3:00 p.m. eastern. reverend al sharpton and "politics nation" starts right
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