updated 7/12/2005 10:40:06 AM ET 2005-07-12T14:40:06

Guest: Anita Foster, Joseph McNamara, Melanie Lomax, Peter Demetriou, Paul

Reynolds

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  He is the only person being held in the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway.  But, tomorrow, Joran Van Der Sloot could be set free.  Tonight's top headline: a major court hearing in Aruba that could determine if Natalee's mystery will ever be solved. 

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required, only common sense allowed. 

Natalee Holloway's family nervously awaits Tuesday's hearing.  Could key suspect Joran Van Der Sloot actually be let out of jail?  Plus, an exclusive inside look at the desperate search for Natalee.  New video of what divers are finding so far.  Are they getting closer? 

Then, when the L.A. police SWAT team tried to arrest him, one man, one monster used his own baby as a human shield.  Now LAPD are trying to explain why they had to shoot a 17-month-old little girl, baby Susie Marie. 

Plus, Hurricane Dennis whipped through my hometown of Pensacola, Florida, and much of the Panhandle.  Tonight, neighbors dig out and say prayers of thanks for what might have been.  But are they ready for the next one?  And it's already out in the Gulf. 

Plus, four people Gored running from the bulls, but not fast enough. 

The question is, what were they thinking of? 

ANNOUNCER:  From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, welcome to the show.  Great to have you with us tonight. 

You know, Natalee Holloway disappeared six weeks ago tonight from a trip with her friends celebrating their high school graduation.  Now, tomorrow, the suspects in this case are going to be back in court.  And it's a day that, I have got to tell you, Natalee's parents are very worried about. 

Let's go live right now to Aruba and NBC's Michelle Kosinski. 

Michelle, this drama continue to build day by day by day.  Tomorrow, the courtroom drama reaches a climax.  Tell us all about it. 

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  All right. 

This is a big day in this case, as you've said.  And, you know, tonight we're also hearing of the possibility of the prosecution presenting some new evidence in court tomorrow.  What might the nature of that possible evidence be?  We don't know that for sure.  But we do know that prosecutors have been awaiting test results on certain evidence, the nature of which we don't know, that was taken in the initial stages of the investigation. 

You know, this is the biggest thing to happen in this case in days, if not weeks.  This is a hearing before the appeals court.  Three judges are flying in from Curacao.  That is where the Aruban appeals court is based.  And they're going to be hearing from both sides.  Prosecutors want the Kalpoe brothers, Satish and Deepak, back in jail.  They also have some issues with when Joran Van Der Sloot gets to have an attorney present. 

And on Joran Van Der Sloot's side, he, of course, wants to be let out of jail.  We know that prosecutors today met with the parents of Natalee Holloway, family members and their attorney.  We know that they sort of laid out the plan for court tomorrow.  But any evidence or anything that was discussed, we were not told about. 

We do know that they said that it was going a full day in court tomorrow.  Now, the judges will hear from both sides on this all of these matters.  But the ruling, the decision on these things, could take some time. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Michelle, a lot of people have been talking about favoritism in this case from day one.  My sources in Washington talking about a connection between the father and the chief of police.  The family also starting to talk about that.  Are they concerned, tonight, Natalee's family, are they concerned that favoritism may play a part in this hearing tomorrow, and that Joran Van Der Sloot may walk free? 

KOSINSKI:  That has not been an issue.  It's really sort of the bated breath, waiting to see what is going to be presented. 

We know that, in certain ways, there hasn't been favoritism.  And certain judges were brought in this case in the past for hearings and other matters before the court.  They haven't been talking about that.  That hasn't been top of their minds. 

But legal experts that we've talked have mentioned, hey, this is a thin case, in our opinion.  We don't know what evidence could be there.  Obviously, there is no body.  But, of course, if there is more evidence presented tomorrow—and that is an if—you know, prosecutors don't have to present more evidence, things could change.  And that's why tomorrow could be a turning point in this case. 

You know, people could be released from jail.  People could be rearrested, other people brought back in.  We really don't know.  And players in this case have been reluctant to talk about the possibilities.  Of course, the laws down here are different, too.  Certain things can't be discussed.  And there are no filings that are made public.  So, there are a lot of questions.  And tomorrow could be a major day of decisions for this family. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Michelle, thank you so much.  Stay with us. 

We'll be right back with you. 

Now, I spoke to Beth Holloway Twitty and Jug Twitty, Natalee's mom and stepfather, about the upcoming hearings, which you just heard about, which could put the Kalpoe brothers back in jail, while Joran Van Der Sloot, the prime suspect in the case, could walk.  This is what they had to tell me in my interview. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, MOTHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  Well, the prosecuting attorney has filed to appeal those decisions, and—of the Kalpoes' ruling.  And, of course, we're just going to be anxiously awaiting to hear that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And tell me, Jug, what—is there anything more that can be done from the United States' side?  I know Senator Shelby has been working aggressively.  But can the FBI get more involved?  Are they being allowed to do all the things they need to do to help out in this investigation? 

JUG TWITTY, STEPFATHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  Well, the FBI is doing everything they can.  But they are actually—they're back observing everything that is going on.  They are here to help, but they can't take the lead in the investigation, which is frustrating, of course. 

The one thing that I've pressed for that I think, you know, would really give us an answer is the so-called judge, Joran Van Der Sloot, the two boys, Deepak and Satish, I can't understand why—if they want us to bring this to close and they want us to leave the island and they want to get an answer and everybody go home, they should take these people, at least the judge to start with, and give him the voice overlay, the—similar to a polygraph test. 

But, if he has nothing to hide, why won't he take it?  Why won't they give it to him?  I know it's not admissible in court, but this would give us an answer. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, you know, Beth, the thing that bothers so many of us—obviously, it was shocking when the news first came out, that this father would actually talk to the two boys and his son and say no body, no crime.  This is not something that people who are not guilty say. 

So, why—any guesses as to why they won't apply this sort of technology that could answer so many questions? 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  Oh, I mean that is an absolute perfect question. 

And, you know, and another part of this that is so frustrating is how we waited 10 days.  I mean, their vehicle should have been impounded on the very next day or the day of the 31st.  So, that's just another twist to this that is so frustrating for Jug and I to accept. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, that is so frustrating, the most frustrating thing, too.  And it's so transparent.  I remember when they picked up those two poor black bodyguards, security guards. 

I mean, the second they picked them up, we were laughing on the show, saying, can you believe they're trying to set these guys up, while they're letting the three go?  And, again, it's so transparent. 

I want to ask you, though, how did you know that first night, when you saw Joran, when you saw his father, what told you that they weren't saying everything to you and to the authorities that they knew?  Was it just a mom's intuition? 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  You know, I think the biggest red flag for me and probably everyone else is, we have credible witnesses standing at Carlos 'n Charlie's, and they actually see Natalee leaving with these three individuals?

I mean, to me, you know, that—we need to go back to the beginning.  And, you know, these credible witnesses are the last ones to see Natalee alive, leaving with these three suspects. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And they let them—yes, they let them go for 10, 11 days. 

Final question and then I will throw it to either one of you.  Again, what can we do here in the United States to help you out, to put pressure on our politicians, to put pressure on Aruban politicians and Dutch politicians?  What would you like us to do? 

J. TWITTY:  Basically, just keep—I know they are writing letters to the Dutch Embassy.  And I know that everybody—I mean, there's so many politicians that are involved in this.  Beth gets calls every day from these guys, from everybody I mentioned before, a lot of senators. 

I guess just keep putting the pressure on, because we've basically—down here, I've done everything I can do, as far as putting pressure on the investigators here.  And I'm almost to a point now where, I put too much pressure on, they are just going to say, Well, we're just not going to—you know, you don't think we're doing our job. 

And I try to say, no, I'm not saying that.  I'm just saying, I'm a stepfather here that is trying to find my stepdaughter.  And I'm going to do everything possible to try to find her.  And I'm just pushing, pushing, pushing.  And now it's gotten to a point where everybody is kind of turning against us.  And we don't want that at all.  All we want to do is find Natalee and take her home. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  I'll tell you what, those parents, very, very strong, obviously going to be holding their breath tomorrow. 

I want to go back now to Michelle Kosinski.

Michelle, of course, what a lot of people have been talking about, what the family has been talking about, is that line, no body, no crime.  Well, there are actually a lot of authorities down there are searching high and low for a body in this case.  Talk about how that search has now taken them underwater. 

KOSINSKI:  All right.

Well, we've seen Dutch Marines out here.  We have seen F-16s fly over.  We've seen just about everything.  And that has not ended.  Over the last few days, specialized forensic divers in fact were brought in from Florida, and they've been using some high-tech tools.  They communicate underwater with cameras and radios.  They have robotic cameras, little devices that they can put under water and go into pipes and tight spaces where a diver could never go. 

And we got some exclusive video today of these divers off of a ship wreck, a World War II ship wreck, where they could go into small, tight spaces and really check out some areas.  These areas are places that have given people some concern, some question, places near a lighthouse, lagoons, quarries, caves, spots where they felt they might have searched before, but they really needed to go over again. 

And some of these places, we've seen absolutely treacherous conditions for diving.  But, still, they're going down in there with this new equipment and checking those places out.  And every time, we see them come out and say, hey, we're confident that this space is clear and we're confident that nothing has been found. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  

KOSINSKI:  And that has been a big frustration, of course, all of these days.  In fact, EquuSearch, the Texas volunteers, have said, if they don't find anything, they're going to leave on Wednesday.  But they're still reassessing that.  So, in a sense, the search is continuing.  And if they find something, it will continue some more. 

SCARBOROUGH:  NBC's Michelle Kosinski in Aruba, thank you so much for that report.  We really appreciate it. 

Now, coming up, we're going to be talking more about this case after the break with Natalee's uncle, who says he knows why this search has led nowhere.  More charges out there of possible cover-ups because of favoritism, I'm going to ask him about that. 

Then, the terror attacks in London, the question is, are they happening because of political correctness over there?  Is that causing deadly bombings in Britain?  Did it cause the deadly bombings in Spain?  Could it cause future bombings in the United States? 

Plus, a tragic story, the Los Angeles police, they had to explain a shooting that left a 19-month-old baby girl dead. 

That's when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up next, we'll be talking about the killer Hurricane Dennis and the wave of destruction it led in Northwest Florida, with exclusive video.  Plus, we'll be talking about what lies ahead in Hurricane Alley. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back.

Natalee's family is understandably upset about tomorrow.  Her uncle says one of the real problems in solving this case has to do with the Aruban police chief, Jan Van Der Straaten, who appears to have botched the investigation from day one.  He didn't say that.  I'm saying that.

Paul Reynolds is with me right now.

Paul, I've got to tell you, this investigation has stunk from the first day.  Do you think favoritism played a part in that? 

PAUL REYNOLDS, UNCLE OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  Well, there's certainly things that—that think that's a strong possibility. 

It's like Beth said.  When we get to a difficult part, what we have to do is go back to the beginning.  And the first day, the day that Natalee was first noticed missing, no one expected my sister and her husband to arrive on the island.  But they did.  They arrived there that night.  They were able to identify the boys that she left with and go to the Van Der Sloots' house. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  And they go over there, and she's suspicious from the very beginning.  She talks to the police officers.  They bring the boys in, but they let them go.  They hold two other people.  It was an absolute a joke.  It was transparent.

I want to ask you, though.  Washington officials are telling me, off the record, are telling me that this—Van Der Sloot's father and the police chief down there in Aruba are best of friends.  What are you hearing? 

REYNOLDS:  We've heard reports that at least they're good friends.  We have heard that one was the godfather of the son.  But, at a minimum, we know that there is a friendship there. 

And why the police didn't go in their house the very first night.  Instead, the father told them the son was at the casino.  They all ran over there.  No one watched the house.  No one guarded the house.  And they received a phone call from Joran that he's back at the house.  And when they all came back, Joran and one of the Kalpoe brothers was sitting there waiting on them. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, it's absolutely amazing, Paul. 

And then, I understand, just talking to family members, I understand that you all keep pressing.  And we heard Jug talking about pressing the police officers.  And they're basically—their response is, hey, if you keep pushing us, we may just drop the investigation altogether.  Have you been threatened that way? 

REYNOLDS:  Our family certainly has, that he has stated, if you don't like the way I'm doing it, then I'll just stop doing it. 

You know, what does that say about his attitude?  What does that say about his demeanor?  It makes us go back and look at events that happened earlier.  We had—you know, back on June 10, we had reports of a confession, reported by a senior government official and reported again on Saturday.  But, somehow, mysteriously, these things like disappear, like they never happened or it was a mistake.  How do you make a mistake like that? 

SCARBOROUGH:  I will tell you what.  Absolutely.  I mean, absolutely awful. 

Thank you so much for being with us, Paul. 

I want to put up the picture of this police chief again, because this is the real story here.  This guy has run a horrible investigation, absolute terrible investigation.  There are charges of favoritism.  He is doing absolutely nothing, absolutely nothing to convince the family that he's putting his best foot forward.  And if he is criticized, what does he say?  I'm going to drop the investigation altogether. 

Maybe that's why we still don't have the answers six weeks later. 

Now let's take a turn.  I want to move on now, obviously, to another story that's been in the news, authorities in London putting together pieces of Thursday's terror attack.  There's new worry that those behind the attack are planning another one coming up.  The manhunt so far has turned up empty.  But some have been named as possible suspects. 

This man leads that list of possible suspects.  He is believed to be the mastermind behind the Madrid train bombings.  Now the question is, have Islamic radicals found refuge in London and across Europe and possibly here on our own shores.

Let's talk now to MSNBC terror expert Steve Emerson. 

Steve, I want to start out by telling you, when I saw—when I saw these bombings in London, the first thing I thought about was an article I read in “The Wall Street Journal,” saying radicalism has swept through Europe.  And it seems Europeans are more concerned with being politically correct than fighting the war on terror.  Is that a fair charge? 

STEVE EMERSON, NBC TERRORISM ANALYST:  Well, they were concerned, at

least until the London bombings and until the Madrid bombings.  They were

much more concerned with protecting the rights of radicals and terrorists

than they were with protecting the rights of the citizenry to leave peace -

·         you know, in a secure environment. 

The fact of the matter is, as early as 1993, Joe, London started becoming a haven for radical Islamic group cells, for al Qaeda, for the Islamic Jihad.  Just last—two years ago, when the United States indicted a leader of the Islamic Jihad in London, in England, the British authorities refused to arrest him.  They refused to arrest Abu Hamza al-Masr until very recently. 

So, for many years, the Brits have turned a blind eye to the outrageous comments and incendiary nature of these inciting speeches made by clerics calling for jihad and whom we believe have been involved logistically in supporting terrorist cells. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Steve, and there's one cleric that came out last year that was talking about—in London, talking about making every day a September 11.  And yet, nothing is done about it. 

In Italy, of course, we've talked before, there's actually an intellectual who was indicted because she actually warned of a coming Islamic wave of terrorism.  Tell me about that. 

EMERSON:  That was Oriana Fallaci, who was actually, ironically, on the left throughout most of her intellectual career in the '60s, '70s, and '80s.  She wrote several books now—both of them have been best-sellers in Italy—talking about the whole scourge of radical Islam and the whole problem of this immigration, the unrestrained immigration that allowed radicals and a Muslim brotherhood to basically ensconce itself in Italy and in parts of Europe. 

She's been indicted, now, for—quote—“insulting Islam.”

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  OK, hold on.  I have got to stop you there, Steve, because a lot of Americans tonight need to hear this. 

This woman comes out.  She warns of Islamic radicalism.  And they are so concerned about political correctness in Italy, in England, across Europe, what does Italy do?  They indict her.  Indict her others like her. 

They are the ones—the people warning of this coming scourge are the ones

·         well, actually, it's here—they're the ones put on the defensive, not the radicals.  Is it too late to fix it? 

(CROSSTALK)

EMERSON:  I think it's almost too late at this point.  When the United Kingdom basically is going to put a new law on the books basically saying it's—that it's—it would be illegal to criticize the Koran, we know that the battle, then, is lost. 

Frankly, if you look at immigration patterns, the population growth of radical Muslim communities, or just the Muslim communities, in which the radicals are located, you see a 4 or 5 percent growth per year.  You see the population percentage of Muslims of the larger population at some have sometimes 5 and 6 percent of the total population. 

Look, at the end of the century, Bat Yeor, who is an intellectual, has called basically what will happen Eurabia.  There will be European Muslim states at the end of the... 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Steve, let's move—let's move—move into the United States quickly here.  Is it fair to say that Muslims in America have shown more restraint; they've avoided the radicalism that these preachers of hate, these clerics of hate have been spewing in Europe?  Or are we facing a lot of the same challenges? 

EMERSON:  No, I think we're facing a lot of the same challenges. 

I think that, unfortunately, there's a lot of deception.  It goes on behind closed doors.  The Lodi mosque, where there were just arrests of several clerics and a father and son, was a clear case of deception, where the cleric himself was involved in interfaith activity and yet he is believed to have been involved in espousing support for al Qaeda and actually recruiting for al Qaeda.

So, I think there's a much larger problem in the United States.  The Islamic groups that have condemned 9/11, have condemned the London attacks, never condemn the perpetrators.  It's situational ethics.  They condemn these attacks because they're—quote—“counterproductive,” not because they're immoral, Joe.  And I think there is a real problem here with the extent to which we have been deceived by this—quote—“moderation” and the veneer under which they operate.  They're not moderate at all. 

They're the Muslim Brotherhood.  They're the Hawan (ph).  And they are the Wahhabists.  And they have lobbies in the United States and they are growing stronger by the day.  This is a real problem. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Steve, I—I gave a commentary after the London bombing, saying we aren't a serious people, that we're more concerned about political niceties.  We're more concerned about political correctness than facing down Islamic terrorists.  We also talked about the G8. 

I got a lot of really nasty e-mails when I criticized the G8 leaders for talking about global warming, which, man, I don't want global warming any more than they do or Bono does, or taking care of AIDS in Africa.  And yet, they don't even put terrorism on the list.  And I was bombarded by hate mail because of that. 

Tell me, who is against, who could be against fighting terrorism in Europe and America? 

EMERSON:  Well, frankly, I mean, there are politicians and there are -

·         I think the governments are thoroughly disconnected from the law enforcement establishments.  They get it.  The British police get it.  The French police, the French intelligence agencies understand it.

But their governments don't.  They're trying to appease Muslim populations.  They're trying to appease Iran.  They're trying to buy access to oil in Saudi Arabia and so basically have turned a blind eye to all of the radical nature of what's going in their own borders. 

In the United States itself, we've done a little bit of this appeasement, which is really very detrimental to our national interests.  As you know, in the al-Arian trial down in Florida of the Islamic Jihad leader, one of his defenses is, he met with President Clinton and then candidate president—and candidate Bush.  In other words, he was meeting with people that were in high positions.  His claim is, how could I be a terrorism if I'm meeting with such high-valued candidates or leaders?

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

EMERSON:  The bottom line is, we are legitimizing radical groups in the United States today under the veneer of them being moderate.  And we're being deceived. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Steve Emerson, thanks so much for being with us.  I'll tell you what.  It is a warning shot.  Steve keeps talking about it. 

The question is whether he and people like him are going to be Cassandras or whether Americans, Europeans and others across the civilized world are going to wake up in time and save this civilization from the scourge of Islamic radicals.  And let me tell you what, friends.  That's what this is.  We're not fighting a generalized war on terror.  We're fighting a war against Muslim extremists. 

Coming up next, a beautiful little girl shot dead when her father used her as a human shield.  It's a horrible story, a story of loss, a story that we're going to be following when we go out to Los Angeles. 

And then, Hurricane Dennis, it destroyed property and it knocked out power.  But it could have been much worse.  We're going to be live in the path of that storm when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  A lot more SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY coming up straight ahead, including the revenge of the bulls, the brutal gorings at the famous Running of the Bulls in Spain.  I don't know if these people thought they were being Hemingway or what, but it cost them.  We're going to show you all that video, plus a lot more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 

But, first, here is the latest news you and your family need to know. 

(NEWS BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM BRATTON, LOS ANGELES POLICE CHIEF:  The officers last evening were confronted with an extraordinarily volatile situation, one that no officer ever hopes that they will have to face. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I'll tell you what.  Last night, in Los Angeles, the SWAT team was called in after this man, Jose Raul Pena, fired a gun repeatedly at neighbors and police and then used that beautiful 19-year-old (sic) girl, Susie, his daughter, as a human shield. 

Well, of course, tragedy all around. 

And with me now, field reporter from KFWB News 980, Peter Demetriou. 

Peter, tell me what happened out there? 

PETER DEMETRIOU, KFWB REPORTER:  Basically, Joe, you had a situation to where Mr. Pena had some issues.  And he went over to the apartment where this little girl was, grabbed her, and then it turned into a situation where he got out on the streets and began shooting. 

According to police, something more than 40 pounds were fired by the man over a period of approximately two hours.  He exchanged fire with police at least twice before they then called in the special weapons team.  Then they did what they were supposed to do.  They tried to slow the situation down.  Crisis negotiators tried to talk with the man to get him to surrender. 

They have done this successfully thousands of times before.  Unfortunately, this time, this man wasn't listening and he came out with the little girl, supposedly, according to police accounts, in his arms.  And there was a barrage of gunfire from officers, only after he opened fire on the SWAT officers who were confronting him. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, OK, let me stop you right there.  So he brings his 19 -- and let's get a picture of the little girl up there again.  He brings his 19-month-old daughter out of the front door.  Does he come out firing?  Or is he holding her for a while and then he starts shooting and then they fire shots after talking to him? 

DEMETRIOU:  This is what we still really don't know at this point. 

Again, the information is preliminary.  And the reason it's preliminary—and Chief Bratton was offering some qualifications on it—is that they haven't had a chance to get a real recitation and distill it down to a simple narrative. 

I'll tell you right now, Joe, when I was calling earlier this afternoon to LAPD Metropolitan Division and to some of the other places, talking with people about this incident, some of the officers who were involved in that thing from the word go, at about 4:30, 25, 26 hours ago, were only going home at 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon Pacific time, 24 hours later. 

So, they are still distilling this information and trying to get a sequential events of what actually happened.  But, as the last part of it, the indications we have now is, the man came out of the apartment in a back entrance to that apartment and opened fire on SWAT officers who were there. 

One officer was hit in the shoulder.  And then five other officers opened fire and hit the man.  And, apparently, during that exchange, we believe the little girl was hit.  Now, whose bullet hit her?  We don't know.  The police don't know.  They won't know until the coroner does an autopsy and determines whether it was a bullet from a police .223 rifle or if it was a .9-millimeter bullet, which means that the suspect may have shot her. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, what a tragedy, what an absolute tragedy.  We greatly appreciate you being with us, Peter, and getting us up to date with the very latest from Los Angeles.  It's a story obviously we're going to continue covering and I'm sure lot of others are.  Look forward to talking to you about it again, as the investigation progresses. 

And there is going to be an investigation, obviously.  Any time you have a beautiful 19-month-old girl like that shot down the way she was, obviously, there are going to be people on both sides claiming that it was the police's fault, it was the SWAT team's fault, or it was this beast of a father who is responsible for using her as a human shield.  What type of animal would do that?  I have absolutely no idea. 

With me now to talk about it, we've got Melanie Lomax.  She's the former president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, and also Joseph McNamara.  He's former chief of the San Jose Police Department. 

Melanie, let me start with you.  From what you know, was this avoidable. 

MELANIE LOMAX, FORMER PRESIDENT, LOS ANGELES POLICE COMMISSION:  You know, in some ways, I believe that it was.  And I think there was a lack of restraint. 

Any time a police officer is fired upon is not justification for indiscriminate firing.  And I think that the police had, in part, a responsibility for acting in a manner that didn't injure this child.  And I'm not sure that they made the right judgments at the right time.  And I think that they acted prematurely. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me ask you, Joseph, if somebody comes out of—a suspect who has been firing comes out of an apartment building, and he's holding a 19-month-old baby girl in his arms and he's firing indiscriminately out there, do police officers have the right, do they have the responsibility to go ahead and shoot?  Or do they wait and see if they can't save the 19-month-old girl? 

JOSEPH MCNAMARA, FORMER SAN JOSE POLICE CHIEF:  Well, I think they did wait.  And I think they negotiated.

And why they fired when they did, we'll find out when we see all of the statements that are given by the police.  But I think they behaved with great courage and patience, and they were a credit to law enforcement from all the reports that I've seen. 

It's quite possible that they were trying to shot for an exposed area, and certainly no police officer deliberately shot that little girl.  So, I think, when we call 911 and those people rush to protect us, we at least owe them the same privilege of innocence that we all expect until the facts show otherwise.  I think they did a heck of a job. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Melanie, let me ask you.  Let me ask you the same question.  What do you do if this guy is firing shots all around the neighborhood; he's firing at police officers?  We understand one police officer with five children shot, injured tonight.  Do police officers have responsibility to take him out, even if there is a possibility of killing the 19-month-old girl? 

LOMAX:  Well, that's the $50 -- or $50 million question here. 

You know, the thing is, is that, in this killing, you know, the police contend that they had no other choice, quote, unquote.  I think it really has to be proven that they had no other choice.  I've been a police commissioner.  I've seen hundreds of these shooting cases.  There are methods the police use to back off, to negotiate longer. 

What troubles me is the short period of time, relatively speaking, that this incident took place, two-and-a-half hours. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Talk about—talk about the short period of time.  Again, I want to show the picture of this little girl, who, obviously, again, used as a human shield. 

And if you are a police officer, Melanie, and you are looking at a picture—if you're looking at this young girl coming out of the apartment building, I—and this is a tough question.  Do you put a different standard on it?  Do you wait longer? 

(CROSSTALK)

LOMAX:  ... absolutely different standard. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you allow the guy to shoot up the neighborhood longer? 

LOMAX:  Well, wait a minute.  This is a toddler.  She certainly has no bearing or responsibility for the situation in which her father put her in. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Of course not. 

LOMAX:  So, I mean, the police have a responsibility for the innocent, not simply to protect themselves. 

                And the question is, did they have other options?  Could they have

pulled back?  Could they have negotiated further?  The mother says that the

police were well aware that the suspect had psychiatric problems, that she

wanted further negotiations.  She begged them to hold fire.  I mean, the

one thing that cannot happen here is that we blanketly say the police had

no responsibility for the welfare of the child and no responsibility for

withdrawing from the scene. 

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, thank you, Melanie.  Greatly appreciate you being with us.

Thank you, Joseph, also.  We appreciate your insights. 

And you know what?  Obviously, this investigation is going to go on for quite some time.  And Melanie is right.  I mean, you can't just come out and say the police did everything right.  But, at the same time, remember, if this guy has fired 40 rounds out there, if he is shooting indiscriminately, there are fathers out there on the police line.  There are mothers out there on the police line.  And there are also little children all across the neighborhood, too.  So, it is a tough, tough position these SWAT members, SWAT team members were in, a no-win situation.  Unfortunately, there were big losers in Los Angeles. 

Now, when we come back, I'm going to take you to my hometown of Pensacola for the storm report from Hurricane Dennis, talking about the fury of that storm, and also talking about a storm that is still to come.  It's out in the Gulf right now and may be keying in on the same area. 

Then, all the gory details of the Running of the Bulls.  We'll show you that explosive video and much, much more when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Residents of the Gulf Coast spent today assessing the damage delivered by Hurricane Dennis over the weekend. 

Here with the very latest is NBC's Martin Savidge. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Good evening, Joe. 

Hard to believe, but for the fifth time in less than a year, Floridians are heading home in the aftermath of a hurricane.  And surprisingly, tonight, many of them feel lucky. 

SAVIDGE (voice-over):  It could have been worse.  Just two hours before landfall, Hurricane Dennis, with wind speeds of 145 miles per hour, was poised to make history as the strongest storm ever to strike the Florida Panhandle.  But then, suddenly, the storm weakened as it sought its way ashore.  It packed punch, but was no knockout. 

SERGEANT TED ROY, ESCAMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT:  We really aren't out here looking for bodies, like we were last time.  We're out here just assessing damage.

SAVIDGE:  Not surprisingly, beachfront communities bore the brunt of the blow for the third time since 1995.  In Navarre Beach, the damage varied from minor to extreme.  To the west, in Pensacola Beach, scaffolding tore off a condominium under repair, boats ended up on shore. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  As bad as it is, we're actually relieved. 

SAVIDGE:  In the popular vacation spot of Destin, the beach tourists love to walk now clogs the streets. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Try to get it off, so people can get it.

SAVIDGE:  Florida Governor Jeb Bush toured the hardest-hit areas by air. 

GOV. JEB BUSH ®, FLORIDA:  I couldn't tell where the damage ended from Ivan and where it started from Dennis. 

SAVIDGE:  The biggest problems here are power outages.  Dennis cut electricity to well over half-a-million homes and businesses.  And it could be weeks until it's fully restored.  If it wasn't wind, it was rain that brought misery.  Dennis triggered flooding in suburban Atlanta and south Georgia, forcing the evacuation of 400 homes. 

GWEN MORRIS, RESIDENT:  We've had flooding in the back before we had built up the yard, but nothing compared to this. 

SAVIDGE:  Yes, Dennis could have been worse.  But, for some, it was bad enough. 

(on camera):  Also, today, oil and gas producers began sending work crews back out into the Gulf of Mexico to restart oil and gas rigs that had been silenced since prior to the storm—Joe.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thanks a lot, Martin.  Greatly appreciate it. 

And, of course, my hometown did get slammed by Hurricane Dennis.  My home is still in the dark, like so many other people, still haven't gotten the power back on.  But they're expecting to be turned on in the next couple days. 

But Hurricane Dennis came ashore in Pensacola 2:30 yesterday afternoon.  And while it wasn't as bad as Ivan, there still was enormous damage.  Obviously, a boat dock is ripped up, residential neighborhoods ripped up, backyards and streets turned into, I mean turned into rivers and lakes remarkable pictures.  Every time you look at these pictures, you get a hard—it's hard to grasp exactly where it is, because obviously you aren't used to a river running through your neighborhood.  Businesses were flattened. 

And there were also, of course, a lot of wires down.  That's why half-a-million people still in the dark, but not as bad as Hurricane Ivan.  I mean, if you look at the clips from Hurricane Ivan, downtown Pensacola looked like an absolute war zone.  That was in September.  And there's some shoots of it, September of 2004.  But, as Jeb Bush said, right now, when you go to Pensacola, when you go to the beaches, it's hard to see where the damage from Hurricane Ivan ended and the damage from hurricane Dennis began. 

And, of course, reports of the possibly of Hurricane Emily coming into the Gulf Coast and sweeping into the same area, we are going to be following that over the next week. 

But, right now, let's go live to Pensacola Beach.  We've got Red Cross spokesperson Anita Foster. 

Anita, talk about the devastation that ripped across the Gulf Coast once again. 

ANITA FOSTER, SPOKESPERSON, RED CROSS: It was incredible. 

When we were in our shelter, here in Pensacola, one of the first things that we noticed was just, of course, the really fierce wind, the rain.  We fully expected to walk out from the shelter and find a scene very similar to Hurricane Ivan.  When our residents did leave the shelter, though, noted numbers of trees down, utilities not working, but, by all accounts, the city of Pensacola fared pretty well. 

Today, though, the Red Cross moved into Santa Rosa County.  And that's where things began to look significantly worse.  So, there is damage all throughout the state of Florida, from minor trees and limbs to major, complete homes destroyed. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, unfortunately, Anita, we have another storm possibly brewing out there, Anita, may be coming in.  And, of course, this is just July.  I mean, the real heavy hurricanes usually don't start in September or October. 

How in the world is the Red Cross and government organizations like FEMA going to be able to handle all of these hurricanes? 

FOSTER:  Well, for us at the American Red Cross, because we're not a governmental agency, we rely on the people of our country to help us out when these storms occur. 

I don't have to tell anyone the devastating hurricane season that everyone went through last year with four major storms.  It's the second week of July and we've already had a major hurricane.  Emily is brewing.  And we don't know what that storm is going to do or the ones that are going to come after that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

FOSTER:  So, what we encourage people to do at the Red Cross is just to—you know, to think about the Red Cross, to keep us in mind.  And we definitely have been very busy.  We've been very taxed financially, very taxed with our volunteers. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I'll tell you what.  If you look at last year's storm season and how early the storm season is starting now, the Red Cross certainly has been taxed. 

Thanks for being with us.  We greatly appreciate it. 

When we come back, explosive video footage from Spain and the Running of the Bulls. 

That's when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Today, thrill-seekers from across the world went to Spain and got more than many of them bargained for.  Will give you the rest of the story when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  For some reason, they do it every year.  I'm talking about the running with the bulls in Spain. 

It happened today.  At today's run, six 1,300-pound bulls and six steers charged through the cobblestone streets of Pamplona.  While most of the runs average about two minutes, today's lasted for five-and-a-half minutes, as the bulls separated and ran astray.  Along the way, four people were gored and several more were trampled as they tried to keep up with the bulls.

Now, the event, which was of course immortalized by Ernest Hemingway in “The Sun Also Rises,” attracts tourists and thrill-seekers from around the world. 

Wow.  I'll tell you what.  As for me, I will just keep reading about it and enjoy my Ernest Hemingway here in the safety of the United States. 

That's all the time we have for tonight.  Great to have you with us.  Make sure you watch Imus tomorrow morning.  His guests are going to include our good friend Colonel Jack Jacobs and “New York Times” columnist Thomas Friedman. 

And if you have something to say, send me an e-mail at Joe@MSNBC.com.

“HARDBALL” is coming up next.  Have a great night.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

END   

Content and programming copyright 2005 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2005 Voxant, Inc. ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and Voxant, Inc.'s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

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