PoliticsNation, Friday, May 10th, 2013
Read the transcript from the Friday show
May 10, 2013
Guests: Khalid Samad; Wendy Murphy; Ron Allen, Derrica Wilson, Natalie
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris, and thanks to you
for tuning in.
Tonight`s lead, the mind of a monster. Ariel Castro is behind bars in
complete isolation and on suicide watch. Form relatives of Castro`s ex-
girlfriend, the mother of his children, paint a nightmarish portrait of
Castro in interviews with "the Associated Press," describing him as, quote
"a monster who abused his wife and locked his family inside their own
home." Castro`s mother is sick about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LILIAN RODRIGUEZ, ARIEL CASTRO`S MOTHER (through translator): I have
a very sick son who has done something very serious. I am suffering a lot.
I ask for forgiveness from the mothers, I ask that the girls forgive me for
the pain they suffered. I`m suffering for my son. My son is sick. And I
have nothing to do with what my son did. Leave me alone because I am a
mother and I`m suffering, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: And now we are learning more about Castro`s sick past from
one of the victim`s mothers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: You would see him and he would say, how
are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Like nothing was wrong?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: That`s chilling.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is. You know how many times I`ve been
through these streets? I`ve passed by that street. I have a sister who
lives two blocks and a half away from there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Today we learn the results of Castro`s DNA test. They
confirmed he is the father of Amanda Berry`s 6-year-old daughter, another
amazing day of developments.
Joining me from Cleveland is MSNBC`S Craig Melvin and also with us is
Clint Van Zandt, former FBI profiler.
Craig, his family is calling him a monster. What are you hearing from
the people in the community?
CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know what, Rev., a lot
of folks that we`re talking to are still in shock. You know, one of the
more interesting development also is this picture that`s emerging from the
note, from the suicide note and also from the interrogation. WKYC, our NBC
affiliate, spent a fair amount of time of reporting on the initial
interrogation with Castro (INAUDIBLE).
SHARPTON: Yes. I`m going to get to a lot of that.
MELVIN: And that picture that`s starting to emerge, based on folks
that you talk to here, it doesn`t really jive. Because, again, here`s a
guy that was in a band, played the bass in the band, he was an active
barbecue (ph) in the neighborhood, he spent time talking to folks in
neighbor. But meanwhile, according to police, he was leading this
(INAUDIBLE). He had these three women chained inside that home for close
to a decade.
Khalid is Samad with me Reverend.
Khalid Samad, I want to bring him in because as a community organizer
now, I work the city of Cleveland for some time, and early on, you were one
of the folks who organized one of the search parties for the three missing
KHALID SAMAD, COALITION FOR A BETTER LIFE: Correct. And good evening
to you, brother Al Sharpton.
SHARPTON: Hi. How are you doing?
SAMAD: As we know -- good. And I`m perplexed now because we are
dealing with the death of the (INAUDIBLE) to kill the element. But, this
is a personification of evil. Castro was with us the day one that Gina
came up missing. (INAUDIBLE), system public safety director. We put
together search teams that consisted of law enforcement, clergy, community
activists and organizers. He came with his own fellows from his family.
He said he wanted to get out here and search. We gave him a stack of
flyers and papers with streets that we want him to cover. He hugged Felix.
He came over to said we are going to bring this young lady home.
SHARPTON: Wait. Let me understand this, Khalid. When you and people
were going out to search for one of these young ladies, Castro came with
people, members of his family, and said he wanted to help you guys go
search for one of his victims?
SAMAD: Yes. I was I charge of putting together a collaborative
search effort and he was one of the first ones to come to us with some
young men in his family and friends, he took a stack of flyers, we gave him
streets to cover, he hugged Felix who is the father of Gina and the mother
and said, look, we are going to bring this young lady home. And he clearly
MELVIN: Had a relationship with the family? He had a relationship
SAMAD: His daughter was supposed to spend the night at Gina`s house
SAMAD: And she was told that she couldn`t spend the night. He circle
back around and picked Gina up right on the rang because he knew that she
would trust him because his daughter was going to spend the night at her
SHARPTON: Hold it right there because I want to ask Clint.
Clint, what type of personality is this that he`s kidnapped these
young ladies, one of which is -- this team is going out to search for her.
He brings family members and joins the team. I mean, what kind of person
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, you know, we hear of the
old proverbial Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, I mean, this guy with Mr. Hyde most
of the time. But, when you do something like this, Al, and we see a lot of
time where kidnappers were involve themselves in a search for a number of
Number one, they want to know what`s going on. They want to know if
police are getting close to them.
Number two, they want to put the shroud of innocence over them. Look,
I`m a number of the search party. Obviously I`m above suspicion.
And number three, Al, there`s this sadistic idea of being involved in
something like this where everyone is out there working and yet you`re the
only one that knows the real truth, the real secret. This guy is about as
low as they go.
SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you, Khalid, was there any follow up after
he initially came and took the flyers and promised the parents that were
going to help you all find the young lady? Did he consistently stay in
touch with the team, or do you know?
SAMAD: He consistently came out. He consistently worked with us. He
consistently came over to the school his daughter attended the middle
school. He was embedded, you know, in a way that now, looking back on
retrospect, he was a serious serial psychopath.
SHARPTON: You know, we`re learning -- we`re learning today, Craig,
that the women were kept in a basement like dogs. The rooms in the house
were tiny. Some not much bigger than closets and when people came over,
Castro played loud music and taped the women`s mouth shut. These are new
bits of information that we`re getting today.
MELVIN: And I`ll tell what you else, Rev., a lot of this information
also, -- some of it seems to be coming from Castro himself. Some of the
information that we are getting is coming from the interviews with the
interrogators where he describes himself, according to our affiliate,
describes himself as cold-blooded. He describes himself as a sex addict.
At one point he says that the three women who were taken captive were taken
captive because they got in the car with a stranger. He said it was
essentially their fault. All of those things coming from the accused
himself over the course of the past few days. We should also note here --
SHARPTON: Let me ask Khalid something else while I have him. I
understand you, Khalid, was with Gina`s home today at their home?
SAMAD: Yes, I just left at their home a few minutes ago. And they
were meeting with, you know, legal counsel about the next steps. We were
there with some members of guardian angel and some other community
activists that, you know, doing around the clock, you know. Just being
there with the family and supporting the effort as they celebrate and try
to, you know, begin the healing process. So it`s a total community
embracing the Dejesus family just like it was in the very beginning if his
SHARPTON: How is the family dealing with this recovery. And did you
see Gina at all while you were there?
SAMAD: Yes. We saw Gina. She`s waving and she is in good spirits.
We are told she is asking for some chicken fillet sandwiches to be brought
to the house. So, you know, that means, things are starting to be upbeat.
SHARPTON: And the family seems to be in full mode of helping her to
recover, I would assume?
SAMAD: Yes. To look in Felix and Nancy`s face, and the rest of the
family`s face, brother, you see total transformation.
SAMAD: And it`s a beautiful thing because we know how many years they
kept hope and kept their faith and, you know, God has delivered.
SHARPTON: Now Clint, I saw you nodding when you said -- when you
heard Khalid say that Gina was waving at them and saying she wanted to
chicken fillet. Why were you nodding? Is that a normal thing when someone
has gone through something like this, even though I don`t know anyone
that`s gone through anything like this.
VAN ZANDT: Yes. Well, Al, she is going to go through peaks and
valleys. You know, she is celebrating right now but realize she`s going to
have terrible nightmares that will wake her up in the middle of the night.
She has to learn to trust people all over again. She has to learn to make
her own decisions. And of the three women, of course, the oldest, this
woman who was 20 when she was taken, it appears that doesn`t have a whole
lot of family support. So that`s where your guest and other members of the
community really needs to step up and support this one woman who doesn`t
appear to have any other external support system.
SHARPTON: Yes, Michelle was released from the hospital and she`s the
one that you are talking about that does not have the support system.
But Clint, let me go back to Castro for a mute. We learned that the
mother of Castro`s children sought a restraining order against him. Castro
allegedly broke her nose, ribs, and shoulders, and caused a blood clot in
her brain. Today, we are learning that he threatened to kill her and their
daughters, he shoved her into cardboard box and close the flaps. I mean,
physical violence is one thing but threatening to kill her, shoving her
into a box, is this psychological abuse, Clint?
VAN ZANDT: Well, it`s not only psychological abuse, Al, but this is
the way he developed himself. This is a way that psychopath -- he
practiced. He honed all of these skills on his former wife, girlfriend,
mother of the children, did these horrible things to her.
And Al, the criminal justice system apparently didn`t deal with him
and then we simply fast forward five, six years later and he`s carrying
these same things out, but now is he a full-blown not only psychopath but a
terrorist in his own way. He is able to terrorize these women because
everything he practiced in his mind, number one, he`s good at it and,
number two, he feels he can get away with it when he was breaking this
woman`s nose, knocking her down the stairs, terrorizing her every day. He
took all of these horrible skills, brought them forward five to ten years
and used them on these three women.
SHARPTON: Khalid, let me go back to you before we leave this segment.
It is clear that there was no sign at all of this kind of person when he
would come out and volunteer to help you and others in the community find
people. It is also clear that it is wrong to say that there were not
people in the neighborhood that were actively trying to help families like
this that were in need and wanted people to really go out and try to help
with missing people in the neighborhood.
SAMAD: Well, again, this is a challenged neighborhood. A lot of
people keep to themselves. However, when it came to these missing young
ladies, people came out. They always asked whenever their birthdays came
around, the rallies would be huge. It could be snowing and raining, a
sleet, we would g out and we pass out flyers, at street lights especially
when the FBI gave us the updated flyers and what we thought Gina might look
like, or Amanda ten years later. Everybody was always enthusiastic about
However, I think he embedded himself on the street because, you know,
he boarded his windows up from the inside, which is, you know, somebody who
maybe works in law enforcement would take a look at that. And I saw this
clown about three months ago at McDonald`s on Dennison and he had three
bags of McDonald`s food. But never thought to ask him, why are you buying
all of this food if you`re living by yourself, you know? Are you feeding
the dogs? I didn`t really think about it. I didn`t know that he was
divorced or didn`t have his family anymore. But, you know, he was a smooth
operator but he`s been exposed.
SHARPTON: Well, we`re going to talk more about how he operated and
how we should all keep our eyes open. We`re going to talk about that later
in the program.
Thank you so much, Khalid Samad. Thank you, Craig Melvin and Clint
Van Zandt for all of your time this evening.
Coming up, we will go inside the interrogation room, exclusive new
details about Ariel Castro and what he`s telling police, acting cocky
Stay with our special coverage of the miracles in Cleveland.
SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
For days, many on our facebook page have been talking about Charles
Ramsey, the hero neighbor who helped Amanda Berry escape after a decade in
captivity and his past domestic violence stories became a story, too. But
when local Ohio station (INAUDIBLE), the backlash was so significant that
they removed the story and apologized for it, saying the timing was wrong.
Today, lots of agreement on facebook.
Chantelle says, glad they apologized. Without Mr. Ramsey, these
ladies could still be in their own personal hell.
Steven asks, why are they always looking to discredit people?
And Roosevelt says, we all make mistakes. You can just look at him
and tell he had a tough life but he did the right thing when it mattered
I certainly agree.
We want to hear what you think on this issue, too. Please head over
to facebook and search "Politics Nation" and "like" us to join the
conversation that goes long after the show ends.
SHARPTON: What is Ariel Castro saying from behind bars in Cleveland
county jail? He`s in complete isolation and on suicide watch. But sources
say he`s talking to interrogators saying he`s cold-blooded and addicted to
sex and that he couldn`t control impulses.
Joining me now is Cleveland investigative reporter Tom Meyer from
Thank you for joining us.
TOM MEYER, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, WKYC: It`s good to be here,
SHARPTON: Tom, tell us what`s going on inside that prison. What is
the suspect saying to authorities?
MEYER: Well, first, the suspect Castro is in isolation at county
jail. They say he is behaving himself but he is not allowed to leave the
cell. There is no meals. The meals are coming to his cell. So, he is
being treated much like the women he held captive, the only difference is
that he is not being physically or sexually assaulted.
Now as you said, he told police that he is a cold-blooded individual.
That he said he blames this whole thing on the women because he says they
made the mistake by getting into his car. Of course, they had a lot of
help from him, a lot of encouragement from him. He told Amanda that his
son worked at the same fast food restaurant that she did. His daughter
went to the same school as Gina did. And of course we know that Michelle
was a runaway and in need of help.
He also said that this was not a planned crime. This was a crime of
opportunity. He says he admits to chaining these women in the basement.
He said he only allow them out on occasion and forced them to wear
disguises when he did let them out.
This is interesting. He said he thought he would be caught but he
didn`t think he would be caught when he was caught, in ten years. And he
told police that`s why he didn`t have an exit plan. And he also took a
poke at police saying, you had a chance at busting me at one time but you
blew it. The only thing that we can think is there were a couple of
occasions when law enforcement authorities went to his home, some minor
incidents, some service calls by Cleveland police but sheriff deputies
tried to serve papers on him three times in that domestic violence case.
So, there was five opportunities. Maybe, that the only time that he was
SHARPTON: So, I mean, by him saying that you had an opportunity to
get me, I mean, he is almost being cocky to them, wouldn`t you say?
MEYER: Reverend, that`s exactly what police said, he was during the
interview. Said he was cocky, arrogant, he tried to control the interview.
They said he showed no signs of remorse. The only time he was remorseful
is when he talked about when he got caught. So, yes, very cocky and very
SHARPTON: And I also understand here, I understand, he remembers
everything, even down to what they were wearing?
MEYER: That`s one of the first things he told police. He remembers
the day that they were kidnapped and he remembers every article of clothing
they were wearing. He remembers exactly where he picked them up and where
he kidnapped them. He is admitting to the kidnappings.
SHARPTON: Prosecutors are going all out for the death penalty. We
will talk about that. But Tom from WKYC, thank you for your reporting
MEYER: You`re welcome.
Joining me now is Wendy Murphy, a former child abuse and sex crimes
Wendy, prosecutors are going all in and they might seek the death
penalty because of the alleged miscarriages in this case. Let`s listen and
talk on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM MCGINTY, CLEVELAND COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Based on the facts, I fully
intend to seek charges for each and every act of violent rape, each day of
kidnapping, every felonious assault, all of his attempted murders and each
act of aggravated murder he committed by terminating pregnancies that the
offender perpetuated against the hostages during this decade-long ordeal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So Wendy, you were a prosecutor. They are going for
aggravated murder because of the miscarriages. Is this a good strategy
from the prosecutor?
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER CHILD ABUSE AND SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR: Well,
yes. I mean, look, in some ways he`s saying I`m going to do everything I
can and throw the book at the guy. It sounds like he`s going to charge him
with thousands of crimes, which is great but I think what he is really
saying is there isn`t a tough enough crime on the book that he feels good
about as a single offense.
I`m wondering whether because it is true in some states that there`s
actually a crime called torture. Ohio doesn`t have one. I think the folks
in Ohio should consider whether they need one. Because if you can put it
on the books in the matter of state law, that in itself could be a death
I think he is trying to maximize the punishment. He believes this man
deserves death, as do all of us. But I`m not sure he`s going to get it
with a homicide charge involving a fetus. Not that you can`t prosecute for
the killing of an unborn fetus. You can. I don`t know that it will
passion constitutional muster to justify the death penalty. Because it`s
still an open constitutional question. Will the Supreme Court of the
United States say that`s cruel and unusual? I don`t know.
I do think this. The guy wants to sound tough. The prosecutors
should sound tough in a case like this. How come they didn`t mention that
this guy should be charge with civil rights violations, hate crimes, he
targeted women for a long time, bat women, kidnap them, raped them,
torture. Why is this not a civil rights crime?
SHARPTON: I think you are right about all of that. Although, I`m
against the death penalty and I don`t think the risk of innocent people
going to death should be even entertained because of some demonic guy like
this. But will debate that another time.
Let me go back to where this guy, Castro, and his suicide note. I
want to ask you this. You`re a long-time prosecutor in these kinds of
offenses. He wrote in the suicide note, I am a sexual predator. I need
help. They are here against their will because they made a mistake of
getting in a car with a total stranger. He said he was abused by his
parents and raped by an uncle.
Wendy, when we know that he`s admitting this to authorities, but does
having it on paper in 2004 have any impact legally at all?
MURPHY: Well, I suppose he will say that when he makes up his abuse
excuse defense at trial, he will say I didn`t really just make it up for
the trial because I wrote it all those years ago, but would it be a little
too harsh of me, Al, to say that suicidal urge he had way back then, I kind
of wish it was more than an urge, if you know what I`m saying?
The fact that this guy spoke like that because he hated himself so
much but couldn`t extricate himself from doing those inhuman acts to those
defenseless whom man beings? I don`t care. I mean, my feeling is if he
tries to this as a defense in trial, number one, a jury will say well, too
bad you weren`t successful and we don`t care. You`re a grown-up. If you
were abused as a child, that`s really terrible but it doesn`t give you any
right to touch anybody at all ever, end of discussion.
I`m sick of hearing this guy`s bad feelings about himself because he
was abused. A lot of people are abused as a child. And you know what?
They don`t hurt anybody.
SHARPTON: There`s no doubt about that. We can agree there.
Wendy Murphy, thanks for your time tonight.
MURPHY: You bet.
SHARPTON: Ahead, a call to action on America`s missing children.
It`s time to renew the search. No matter what they look like or what
neighborhood they come from.
SHARPTON: We`re learning more about some signature moments in this
case in Cleveland. Joining me now with one of them is NBC News
correspondent Ron Allen. Ron, good evening.
RON ALLEN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: How are you Reverend Al Sharpton?
Yes, this is a story that talks about and explain how small a community
this is, were all this happen. It`s very rare to be able to talk to the
people behind the scenes, the police officers and the civilian employees
there who were involved in that dramatic rescue that night. We spoke with
the woman names Jennifer Daunch who is one of the radio dispatchers, one of
the voices that you hear on the 911 calls that night.
She was on duty when the call came in from Amanda Berry, frantic,
hysterical, screaming for help, trying to get the police there. Daunch was
of the people on the call with her and she also a member of this community.
She`s lived here for most of her life. She lives near where the women were
abducted from that area, and she was of course -- with the case. And she
said to us as we were listening to the call with her, that she`ll never
forget hearing Amanda`s voice in the background when that call came in.
Here`s some of her interview that we just did a few minutes ago with her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER DAUNCH, CLEVELAND POLICE DISPATCHER: I couldn`t believe that
I was hearing her voice. I had only ever heard her mom`s voice, her
sister`s voice, you know, people talk about her on the news. To actually
hear her voice, even as hysterical as she was, to hear her voice, it was --
it was the most gratifying moment of my career.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Gratifying because she had been an employee there taking
dispatch calls for ten years or so. And as a matter of fact, a real odd
coincidence, she happens to be the dispatcher who took the call from Gina
DeJesus` family ten years ago or so when they call to say that their
daughter was missing. Talk about a small word and she --
SHARPTON: So she was the same dispatcher that took the call from the
family, the DeJesus family and she was there to hear Amanda`s voice ten
ALLEN: Exactly, Reverend. And there are over that ten year period,
literally hundreds of people who have had that job and be on those shifts,
where the odds that she would take both calls and be there both nights.
ALLEN: Just amazing. But again, it speaks to how small of a
community this is and how people are really, really emotionally moved by
what happened to your -- it`s a very small place, people know each other
and of course everybody has been so intimately involved, connected to the
story of this missing women for the past ten years. Her story, the
dispatcher, just another one of so many that you hear here on the streets
of Cleveland every day. Back to you.
SHARPTON: Ron Allen, thank you so much for your time tonight.
This case is horrific and shocking and yet over the years there have
been some similar cases that may hold lessons for today. One of the most
infamous is that of that is Joseph Fritzl, an Austrian man who held his
daughter Elizabeth captive in his basement for 24 years repeatedly abusing
and raping her. In 2008, Elizabeth re-emerged after bearing seven of her
An MSNBC documentary, "The Longest Night" brought us into the
elaborate dungeon that Joseph Fritzl built.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Using evidence from police photos, we have rendered
a computer animation of what that awful cellar compound might look like.
To access it, one needed to go down the cellar stairs and through a warns
of rooms. There were eight locked doors before reaching the living area.
The final door was concealed behind a shelving unit. There was no
natural light and little fresh air. Inside their tiny prison, there was a
kitchen, a bathroom, and a living area and beyond this, two bedrooms. The
ceilings were low because of all of the sound proofing required to muffle
the cries of the imprisoned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: A horrific story which echoes years later and thousands of
miles away. How could anyone do this to another human being? How can the
survivors recover and move on with their lives?
Joining me now is Brian Levin, a criminologist and professor of
Criminal Justice at California State University, San Bernardino. Brian,
whether it`s Joseph Fritzl or Ariel Castro, how can anyone do this to
another human being?
BRIAN LEVIN, CRIMINOLOGIST: These are sociopathic violent predators
who are incapable of getting fulfillment or engaging in a healthy intimate
relationship. So, they dominate and create a new alternative world where
they are completely in control.
SHARPTON: Now, Joseph Fritzl, he told his wife that their daughter
Elizabeth had run away and then he kept leaving -- his daughter he would
say kept leaving her newborn children on their doorsteps. Some wondered
how could his wife have been fooled by this. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And what about his wife, Rosemarie? How could she
not know or at least suspect?
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I don`t understand why she didn`t take the
opportunity at some point, maybe while he was on one of his holidays, to
take action and say, this is my child and I want to know where my child is.
Why did my child leave one baby or even three babies on my doorstep? She
didn`t take action as a mother. I don`t understand either the authorities
or the mother.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So the father brought these three of the seven children and
kept saying that the runaway daughter come back and left these children
there. The other of the seventh was in the dungeon in basement being
raised by her, all of them our fathers. And people are saying that the
mother should have known, just like people are saying today with Castro and
Cleveland, somebody should have known. Do we always, around these cases,
end up with people doubting whether some of the surrounding area of family
members knew anything?
LEVIN: Yes. And what`s so interesting with Fritzl is he actually had
his daughter through a threat write a letter saying, I`m in Brunel, don`t
bother me, don`t contact me, if you do, I`ll leave the country. So, he
went to great lengths to create a manipulation here and his wife was
manipulated by him as well. So, the authorities did not follow that up.
LEVIN: So, what we often see is thin ice where someone just knocked
out a little bit, we would have found something. These people often hide
in plain sight. Indeed, there was a tenant who heard some noise and Fritzl
said, oh, it could be just gas coming in, don`t worry about it. And on the
other hand, what he told his daughter Elizabeth that I`ll electrify the
metal on the door or I`ll put in gas and gas you if you try to get out.
Much the same way the Castro tried to test his captives by saying, you may
try to get out but it`s a test. So these people who are captive are being
SHARPTON: We`re told that Castro would sometimes purposely leave
doors unlocked and then use that to test the women. Amanda Berry stated on
the day she broke free, the big inside door was not locked before Ariel
left. She thought Ariel was testing her.
LEVIN: That`s right. And I`ll tell you something, because of the
outcry over this, Ohio, as you were discussing in your last segment, does
have a fetal homicide statute where he can get the death penalty and it`s
one that covers it from early on. So this guy might have thought he was
getting away with something. He`s a sociopath. He knew what he was doing
was wrong and when it ended, his world collapsed and now he is rightly on
SHARPTON: Brian Levin, thanks for your time tonight.
LEVIN: Thank you, Reverend Al.
SHARPTON: The miracle in Cleveland. What can we all do to make sure
some more missing children make it back to their families? How can we all
take action? That`s coming up.
SHARPTON: We`ll be back to Cleveland in a moment but there is another
new story today, including the Republicans effort to blame Democrats for
the death last fall, for Americans in Libya. Today, the White House is
pushing back. Press Secretary Jay Carney said Republicans are, quote,
"Politicizing the attack by still bringing up e-mails and talking points
about Benghazi." Carney called it a distraction and said the GOP is
ignoring basic facts.
This all comes after former Vice President Dick Cheney said, Clinton
should be subpoenaed to testify. I`ve got news for Mr. Cheney. She`s
already testified. Didn`t he notice? Today, we also saw a new ad from a
Karl Rove back group throwing more baseless attacks against Clinton.
Nothing more than a cheap stunt designed by Republicans to undermine the
president and hurt Miss Clinton. It`s time for the right to quit this
phony conspiracy theory and move on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY RUIZ, MOTHER OF GINA DEJESUS: I want to thank everybody that
believed even when I said she was alive and believed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Gina DeJesus` mother never gave up hope that her daughter
would come home alive. And the miracle in Cleveland has given renewed hope
to other families of missing children. Like Ashley Summers who went
missing in Cleveland back in July, 2007 when she was 14-years-old.
And Christina Adkins, another Cleveland teenager who was 18 years old
and five months pregnant when she disappeared, in January 1995. The
statistics of missing children are staggering. The FBI says that last year
almost 500,000 children were reported missing. Over 10,000 of those
children are thought to be in potential physical danger.
An astounding percentage of those missing children come from minority
communities and haven`t gotten the attention they`ve deserved. But tonight
we`re shining a spotlight on some of them. America needs to look for its
missing children. All of them.
Joining me now, Derrica and Natalie Wilson. They founded the Black
and Missing Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps minority
families find missing loved ones. One of the children featured on their
website was Gina DeJesus. Now they can happily list her as found. Thank
you both for being here tonight.
DERRICA WILSON, FOUNDER, BLACK AND MISSING FOUNDATION: Thank you for
NATALIE WILSON, FOUNDER, BLACK AND MISSING FOUNDATION: Thank you for
SHARPTON: Derrica, has the Cleveland miracle given new hope to
families you`re in contact with?
DERRICA WILSON: Absolutely. This has really, you know, restored
their spirits, that their loved ones will be found as well and they can
have a joyous reunion as these families in Cleveland, Ohio.
SHARPTON: Now, there are hundreds of profiles of missing people on
your website. One of them is Asha Jaquilla Degree, she has been missing
for 13 years, since she was nine-years-old. What can you tell us about her
NATALIE WILSON: Well, Asha is still missing and she went missing in
the middle of the night. Her father last saw her while she was asleep in
between 2:30 and 5:30 in the morning, she just disappeared. So, we`re
hoping that someone will come forward with information so that Asha can be
SHARPTON: Now, look at some of the big cases of people who`ve been
found. Jaycee Dugard was found after she was missing for 13 years, people
saw her kidnapper and two daughters on a college campus and reported them
to police saying the girls look pale and withdrawn. Her kidnapper was
convicted sex offender, was then called into a meeting with his parole
officer and brought Jaycee with him. That`s when she was identified.
Elizabeth Smart was found nine months after she went missing. When a
sharp-eyed motorist spotted her walking with her kidnapper just miles from
her home. So is this typical of how missing people are found, by people
taking notice of things that don`t look right in reporting them? Is that a
typical way we solve some of these cases?
DERRICA WILSON: Absolutely. We want the community to know that we as
law enforcement, we as the media rely heavily on the community. If know
something you see something, report it. You know, we just need our
community to be vigilant. I know even in the Cleveland, Ohio case, the
neighbors were calling the police when they noticed things out of the
ordinary. And we just need law enforcement to really put forth the energy
to help find these missing children.
You know, if there`s a kid that is missing and say that it`s a little
girl, you know, we need to think outside the box because nine times out of
ten, her identity could be altered. She may be dressed like a little boy
or her hair may have been cut. So, we really need to look in the eyes, the
faces of all of these children so we can bring some reunions and closure to
SHARPTON: Now Derrica, you know, Black and Missing Foundation that
you two have done in such admirable way has helped recover over 100 missing
people. How can people do more? And should people not be worried about
overstepping the bounds when they see something and want to ask questions?
NATALIE WILSON: Absolutely. We encourage the community to come
forward because we know that someone knows something. We know historically
there`s a sense of distrust with law enforcement. We have an anonymous tip
line. So if you have some information, please alert us. We will not
compromise your identity. And it takes all of us to get involved. It
takes the media, it takes law enforcement, and the community to find our
SHARPTON: Do you in your work at all, Natalie, feel that when you
have put this emphasis in minority communities, that in many cases that do
not receive the same attention. So you`ve got a struggle against all of
that. But here we find a case in Cleveland where one of those you had
listed and you have a man like Mr. Ramsey who was African-American that
actually helped rescue her. That certainly has to give you some delight
and encouragement in your work.
NATALIE WILSON: Absolutely, it does and it should encourage families
of the missing to hold on to hope that their loved ones will return home or
they`ll get the closure that they need and deserve.
SHARPTON: If someone is watching now that has had someone missing,
what do you say to them? Derrica or Natalie?
DERRICA WILSON: Never give up hope. And, you know, feel free to
reach out to us because we will not rest until all of these families have
reunions or closure. Natalie and I say so many times that we would never
see this in our lifetime but we would not stop the fight and we`re going to
bring in everybody that can help us with this movement. This is our call
And just to go a step further, May 25th is National Missing Children`s
day and on that day it is our call to action. We will host our first A,
we`ll hope without boundaries, 5-K in Fourth Washington, Maryland. We are
raising awareness to missing persons and, like I said, we are not going to
stop until they are reunited.
SHARPTON: Natalie, what got you all in this? Was it a personal
experience or just something that you felt compelled to do?
NATALIE WILSON: Well, there was a young lady who went missing from
Spartanburg, South Carolina where Derrica is from, and we read how her
family really struggled to get any type of media coverage and months later,
Natalie Holloway went missing and all I have to do is say her name and we
all know who she is.
NATALIE WILSON: So, we decided to do the research and at the time 30
percent of all people missing were of color. And that number has now
increased to 40 percent.
NATALIE WILSON: So, Derrica is a veteran law enforcement official, I
am in media. So, we decided to join forces and find our missing.
SHARPTON: Derrica and Natalie Wilson, thank you both for your time
tonight and God bless you in your work.
DERRICA WILSON: Thank you so much.
NATALIE WILSON: Thank you so much.
SHARPTON: And if you want more information on how to help, log on to
Black and Missing Foundation Website at bamfi.org. You can also find the
information on our Facebook page, that`s facebook.com/POLITICS NATION.
Amanda Berry`s mother never gave up hope. She looked for her little
girl until the day she died. And she passed on her courage to her
daughter. That`s next.
SHARPTON: This Sunday will be a very special Mother`s Day in
Cleveland, the first Mother`s Day since three young women were found after
being stolen away a decade ago. But this Mother`s Day will be bittersweet
for Amanda Berry. Her mother Louwana Miller died in 2006. Her friends say
she died of a broken heart. But until the day she died, Louwana never gave
up hope. She simply refused to believe her Amanda was dead. She kept
looking, passing out flyers, leading searches across the city, going on
national television where she spoke with a psychic who said her daughter
was dead. But Louwana kept believing, she kept fighting.
We saw that same toughness in her daughter on Monday when Amanda Berry
reached her small arm through that lock screen door and cried out for help.
After years of being in a horrific prison, Amanda found the courage to
escape. This week, Amanda`s grandmother talked about the hope that kept
the whole family going, even after Amanda`s mother died.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FERN GENTRY, GRANDMOTHER OF AMANDA BERRY: I kept the hope that we had
so many hopes and we got so many times that they had said they had found
her and they hadn`t found her. And every time you got your hopes up, it`s
like it fell again. Great Mother`s Day. Can`t ask for no better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: While in captivity, Amanda gave birth to a little girl.
This Mother`s Day will be their first day they can celebrate Mother`s Day
together in freedom. You know, real mothers reach beyond the risk, reach
beyond their fear to help and believe in their children. Amanda`s mother
did it for her. She`s now done it for her daughter. Happy Mother`s Day.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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