Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold says 10 people were killed, including Boulder police officer Eric Talley, in a shooting at a King Soopers grocery store. Miami Beach extends state of emergency to deal with "overwhelming" crowds of spring breakers.
GADI SCHWARTZ, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: And they`ve set up a line that they can call in, but again, a lot of families grieving tonight. Lawrence.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: NBC`s Gadi Schwartz, thank you very much for that report.
MSNBC`s breaking news coverage continues now on "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: And good evening once again, we indeed begin with this breaking news out of Boulder, Colorado tonight the nation`s second mass shooting in a week`s time.
Police said tonight 10 people have been killed including a Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley after a shooting at a king supermarket. Authorities say there is a person of interest in custody tonight who was wounded during the incident. Here`s some of what we just heard in an emotional appearance by Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIS HEROLD, BOULDER POLICE CHIEF: In 14:30 hours, the Boulder Police Department began receiving phone calls of shots fired in the area and a phone call about a possible person with a patrol rifle. Officer Talley responded to the scene, was the first on the scene, and he was fatally shot. I also want to commend the heroic actions of the officers responding not only from Boulder P.D., but from across the county and other parts of this region.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: That was the police chief from just a few minutes ago. For more on this, I am joined by telephone by Stephen Fenberg. He is the Senate Majority Leader in Colorado, a democratic state senator representing this district.
Senator, I don`t know how much your state is supposed to take. We already associate beautiful places like Columbine and Aurora with mass shootings. And now your district I heard you say tonight, this is your supermarket. And it`s a short distance from the middle school where your wife is a teacher?
STEPHEN FENBERG, (D) COLARDO STATE SENATOR (on the phone): That`s right. Thanks for having me, Brian. I mean, this is obviously shocking. Unfortunately, it feels like our world has been turned upside down in a million different ways over the last year, seems like we`re getting back to normal. And unfortunately that means we are continuing to see mass shootings in the news around the country and seems like it`s hit my community tonight. But it`s nothing new for this country, unfortunately.
WILLIAMS: How do you begin to deal with not only the sadness, but the stress we have not publicly identified? For good reason the names of the victims beyond the police officer, may he rest in peace because family members presumably are still being told that means at select homes in your district, there are going to be vigils and visitors coming over and comforting perhaps your neighbors.
FENBERG: It`s really sickening, isn`t it? I mean to think about that. This is a pretty small community. I mean people know Boulder, Colorado, but it`s only 100,000 people. This is a close knit community, tragedy like this when that happens, it touches all of us. And unfortunately for some it`s coming very close to home tonight. You know, these were people that were just going to do their groceries, were expecting a snowstorm. And people were probably going to do their groceries to stock up on a few things for the storm hit. And all of a sudden their life was either sick and mainly taken too early or changed forever. You know, I`ve heard stories of people that were in line to get their COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy. And then the shooter appeared and took one of their lives. So it`s incredibly infuriating. You know, the thing people say is thoughts and prayers, and they`ve got a heavy heart. I`ve got all of that. But really this country needs action. And we`ve done quite a bit in Colorado on gun violence reform. I think we`re absolutely going to do more. But we also need -- we need national action. We need federal action.
I urge the President and Congress and the Senate to think long and hard that this should not just be yet another shooting where we have thoughts and prayers and then move on. We all need to do something more. We need to pass policy. Some folks would say it`s too soon but I would say it`s obviously you look at the news tonight. It`s way too late. So we have to act, we have to put that anger into something constructive.
WILLIAMS: And Senator, of course it starting tomorrow this will be folded into the gun control debate across the country as well, Colorado status, I believe you`re an open carry state and how -- is there any gauge of support for that in the state where it is and opinion polls? It is a tough freedom once awarded to gun owners to rescind?
FENBERG: Well, it`s a good question. And it`s clear that people respect and appreciate the Second Amendment. It`s also very clear that people understand that it has to come with limits in a in a society. And you know, we actually, in Colorado for being a Western State, maybe a traditionally libertarian leaning type of state, we`ve got some pretty decent laws on the books, we have the extreme risk protection order that we passed two years ago, that really to be honest, it doesn`t infringe on people`s rights, it protects people who are in a mental health crisis, either from harming themselves or somebody close to them. So we have a magazine limit, you can`t have a magazine for your weapon. That`s more than 15 rounds in Colorado. So we have some good policies on the books. You know, the ironic thing in a way is, Boulder actually had a city level assault weapons ban in city limits. And that was passed a couple of years ago. And actually just, I think, five or six days ago, a court overturned it because of a state preemption. And so that`s something we`re going to be looking at the legislature. I go back to work tomorrow at 9 a.m. and those are the conversations we`re going to have to start having. What we can do on a state level that, yes, respects the Second Amendment, but also understands that in this world, we have a choice, we can decide to go on like normal and have these horrible incidences become more normal, and we can get numb, or we can change it, we really it`s one of those -- it`s really not a difficult policy conversation in some ways, it`s within our power to make some changes. And it`s something that I`m going to continue working on with my colleagues. But we also at the same time, also need the federal government to act having a patchwork of laws around the state is better than nothing, the states that will act should act. But we also need to have some more aggressive action taken nationally.
WILLIAMS: Final question, just speaks to how you possibly get your head around this. I go to the grocery store every weekend to always have, I am picturing you at home, watching these pictures, perhaps it is right where you walk your cart back up to the store, perhaps you were there Saturday, perhaps tonight, God forbid you`re going to learn that it`s someone, you know, has lost their life. And if not you they`re going to be friends of someone you know. It was briefly today an armed encampment where people walk up and return the carts and go in and come out was full of these armored vehicles and what looked like dismounted U.S. military infantry. They were, of course, multi-jurisdictional members of the police force, I don`t for all of us who have not had tragedy visit where we live, I don`t know how that trip to the food store is going to be the same.
FENBERG: Well, I don`t think it`s going to ever be the same for anybody in this community when they go to the grocery store, but it`s unfortunately not a unique circumstance. I mean, there are people all over this country that have to think about that. I mean, there are a lot of people that I can`t go to a movie theater anymore. A colleague of mine, Representative Tom Sullivan, his son was tragically taken from him in the Aurora Theater shooting. I can`t imagine if I were him, go into a movie. These are normal things that every American should have the right to just do casually and not even think twice about. Maybe you think about if you`re going to get the, you know, the whole milk or the organic milk but you should not be thinking when you go to the grocery store is something horrific is going to happen on that trip. So is nobody, nobody bounces back to exactly where they were after they go through something like this. Obviously, I wasn`t personally touched so far. As far as I know. I mean, to be totally honest, Brian, I am bracing for the news of who these 10 individuals were. We know one of them is a police officer. I have no word on who the other nine are. And that`s infuriating. And I don`t know if I`ll be able to sleep tonight, not knowing but this is something that`s all too common in America.
And like I was saying at the beginning, we`ve had a horrific year as a country, as a world. It has finally started to feel like things are getting back to "normal" and unfortunately I think that we are reminded that includes mass shootings, we`ve seen to this week and Colorado has seen several in the years past. But we -- as President Biden says, we can build back better. But I think this has to be part of that. We can`t just simply build back better in every other area and ignore gun violence that happens, frankly, each and every day across this country. We need to have that to be part of the future that we`re doing.
WILLIAMS: Senator on a terrible night for your community, thank you on behalf of our audience for spending a few minutes with us and taking our questions. My best wishes for a speedy recovery to your community, though, to your point, I`m sure it`s going to take a long time, we`ll be thinking of all of you. We`ve been talking to Colorado State Senator Stephen Fenberg tonight by telephone from his home.
We are now joined by Frank Figliuzzi, former FBI Assistant Director for Counter Intelligence also happens to be our National Security Analyst, and Ashley Parker, Pulitzer Prize-winning White House Bureau Chief for The Washington Post.
Frank, first to you on law enforcement and sadly, here we are a third location in the beautiful State of Colorado, right up there along Columbine and Aurora will now be Boulder, synonymous for whatever else they have to offer human life, synonymous with mass murders. Talk about procedure, oddly, perversely, it was Columbine and Aurora that helped lead to a rethinking in your line of work in law enforcement used to be responding officers would pause, set up a perimeter, try to establish communications, wait for SWAT and tactical to come in behind them. Now a lot of the burden is on patrol officers as I fear we`re going to learn when this story unfolds to go in and try to counteract the active shooter. Talk about this change in philosophy over the years and the good reasons for it?
FRANK FIGLIUZZI, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR COUNTERINTELLIGENCE: You`re right, Brian. Columbine indeed caused law enforcement nationwide to pivot on its tactical strategy in responding to active shooters. It used to be about containing the threat and waiting for the SWAT teams to arrive and then methodically going through and clearing room to room ensuring officer safety and trying to rescue folks as you make your way through the building. Now it is simply neutralize the threat as quickly as possible. And that means the first responders are there. And that means heroic officers like Eric Talley are first in and first to confront the threat. And indeed, it appears that Eric Talley did that today and gave his life for his community doing that.
It`s sad to say that we are now in a world where law enforcement is well rehearsed at combining resources. They do tabletops. They do real life exercises. County Sheriff, state authorities, federal seamlessly coming together to clear large buildings and now they do it for real in a supermarket. That`s the world that we live in. And as the state senator just told you, we live in a world where Boulder, one of the most peaceful communities I`ve ever traveled to during my FDI days, tried to pass a law that said no AR-15 type assault weapons here, please. And the State of Colorado judge overturned it and said you can`t have a law that preempts the state law. So here we are tonight.
WILLIAMS: You`re right. Indeed a beautiful place on the front range of the mountains there.
Ashley Parker, I want to read this from Chris Murphy who tweeted this tonight. Of course, Chris Murphy from Connecticut scene of Newtown, this is the moment to make our stand. Now. Today our movement is stronger than the gun lobby. They are weak. We are potent. Finally a President and a Congress that supports gun reform. No more Newtowns. No more Parklands. No more Boulders. Now we make our stand.
And Ashley, full disclosure you were going to be on with us to talk about politics and the challenges being faced right now by the Biden administration and sometimes life and tragedies have a way of presenting new, urgent, urgent issues to our president in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of this massive relief bill. The discussion just today started regarding the next effort on infrastructure, tell us where Joe Biden who has spoken openly and often about this issue, where he perhaps ranked this before we suffered two mass shootings in one week`s time?
ASHLEY PARKER, THE WASHINGTON POST, WHITE HOUSE BUREAU CHIEF: Well, this was an issue where people were actually not that optimistic on gun control for progress for a number of reasons. One is just generally when you would talk to a lawmakers and activists there was a sense that after Sandy Hook if, you know, elementary school kindergarteners, children getting murdered, did not prompt change, nothing would then there was a sense that under former President Trump, he might have actually been a decent hope for some movement because he had credibility with his base. And if there was anyone who could bring them along, that was him. And he did nothing. So of the issues that Joe Biden entered office facing, this was not one to begin with. It was on the front burner or that there was a lot of optimism about recall, Joe Biden said that he was facing four crises, that`s coronavirus, that`s the economy tied to the pandemic, that`s racial inequality. And that`s climate change. Then you had an administration and this is what I was coming up to talk about, of course, you did not want to label the crisis at the border, a crisis, that said this is just another incident on the heels of what we saw in Georgia, that forces this issue into the national discussion in a way that is simply unavoidable.
WILLIAMS: Since the beginning of the media age, White House`s have said things like the Biden White House has said tonight, President`s been briefed and will be kept current on the situation in Boulder.
But Ashley, in the short time we`ve all had to observe how this still new presidency operates. What`s your educated guess? Do you think we`ll hear remarks from the president specifically on this topic on this tragedy tomorrow?
PARKER: If history is any indication, and sort of who President Biden is at his core, his great gift is his empathy and understanding and absorbing the grief and pain of other people and another nation. And that is because he is born out of such grief, right? I don`t need to remind you of his personal story. He lost his first wife and his infant daughter in a car crash that injured his two sons. This son, Beau, later died of cancer. This is something Joe Biden understands to his core, and when he sees people suffering and in pain, he seems almost compelled to address it. So it is hard to imagine a world in which you will not play that very, at the very least that traditional role of consoler in chief.
WILLIAMS: Frank Figliuzzi, you`re in Arizona tonight. Think of a Senator like Mark Kelly. Think of what propelled him into politics, think of the fact that it was a supermarket parking lot where his wife, the Congresswoman Gabby Giffords came within an inch of her life.
FIGLIUZZI: You know, there are bills pending right now passed by the House headed to the Senate, Brian, where this is going to play a role. There are bills proposed that close the private sale loophole, the gun show loophole requiring background checks for any sale anywhere, of any weapon. The time may be now the NRA is weakened right now. And if you talk to most federal and state and local law enforcement officers, you`ll find amongst us that we all believe something more must be done to make the streets safer, and give the edge to the good guys. Not the bad guys. And I`m -- although I`m a cynic, I am eternally optimistic that maybe, maybe this one is the one with the timing being right and the environment being right. That`s something can be done to keep our streets safer.
WILLIAMS: To our audience, just a heads up we`re going to be going a full two hours tonight because of this breaking news we`re covering. To Ashley Parker, there will be other nights to talk about things like border policy, pandemic relief and such. Thank you very much for staying with us. To Frank Figliuzzi, we`ve asked that you stick around to talk about the law enforcement angle of this as we continue our live breaking news coverage of this mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, the second mass shooting in our country in one week`s time, all of it as THE 11TH HOUR is just getting underway on this Monday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HEROLD: My heart goes out to the victims of this incident. And I`m grateful for the police officers that responded and I am so sorry about the loss of officer Talley. And again, we will be here working night and day. We have one suspect in custody. I want to reassure the community that they are safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: It is hard to express what happens in a police department when they lose a member especially an 11 year veteran as the Boulder Police Department did tonight. That was the Chief Maris Herold a short time ago on a cold night in Boulder, Colorado. We do not expect to hear anything more from law enforcement tonight. They`ve told us updates will resume in the morning.
As you know if you`ve been watching, we have asked Frank Figliuzzi to stay with us. We`re going to be doing two whole hours for tonight`s broadcast and we`re happy to have joining our conversation, Jim Cavanaugh, Law Enforcement Analyst for us and importantly, retired ATF Special Agent-in- Charge.
Jim, let`s walk through the point I made with Frank earlier, the rethinking of how law enforcement responds to a call that goes out active shooter. So you`re a patrol officer in Boulder this afternoon. You may or may not depending on your apart -- your department and their wishes and their budget. You may or may not have a long gun in your vehicle, you may or may not have the kind of firepower that matches up with this gunman`s rumored AR-15 long gun. You take the call often what you`ve heard over the radio is simply shot fired at the king supermarket. You enter because policy calls for you to do everything you can, and in some cases not wait for backup?
JIM CAVANAUGH, RET. ATF SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: Well, that`s exactly right, Brian. You know, yeah, I heard you and Frank discussed that earlier and you`re both right. You know, Columbine was a sea change and how we responded to those. When I was a patrol officer, I was shot at responding to a man with a gun shooting call after he got shot five people in a bar before he started shooting at me and my partner. And that happens, you know, it literally in the blink of an eye. And most, a lot of American police have experienced this, or shootings in our cities every night and they`re responding to these calls all the time. And it used to be it was rare now, it`s not so rare. Most police officers, you know, have been in some kind of a gun battle or gun pointed at him or shots going over their head. It`s sad. It`s really sad. But yes, but the protocol post Columbine changed. And here`s the thing we always leave out of that discussion. It changed because criminal behavior changed. It wasn`t changing just because the police decided to change it. It changed because the assailants and criminals prior to that were operating on a greed motive, a hostage taking motive, or I want you to give me some money motive, I`m stuck in the bank, I want to get out of here. And then Columbine change, because these two killers in Columbine just wanted to kill everybody. That was the change.
And so we when we responded the old way in law enforcement to wait outside, for SWAT, as you and Frank discussed, which you`re totally correct, we had to have a sea change. And that was the response to active shooter. And the way that everybody was trained post Columbine was, you know, a few patrol officers get there, you try to team up, you know, in a squad of three, you get your vest, your long guns, you try to penetrate, we don`t know, if the Boulder officer was killed in the parking lot, Brian, he could have very well been killed, you know, just getting out of his vehicle or in his vehicle. We don`t know how he was. We know the shooter was in the parking lot. So he could have been killed early there. Or he could have went in to the supermarket tried to save some lives and indeed may have saved many lives going in just engaging the gunman and could have, you know, kept them occupied. While you know citizens were able to run the safety out the back. So I think we`re going to hear that, those things in the days ahead what a hero he was, and also SWAT, SWAT settled this, you know, SWAT sometimes takes a lot of criticism, oh, you know, they`re militarized, and this and that.
SWAT what America needs understand about SWAT is they`re so necessary in your community, in the city, county, state and federal, you`ve got to have SWAT, they got to be trained. And they got to be experts in what they do here. You had these SWAT operators are entering through the roof of the building, they safely got this guy into custody, maybe they negotiated with him some and they got him to, you know, stand down, take his tire off and got him out of there safely. And when we were doing all these tactical maneuvers, you know, I always remembered Churchill`s admonition. He said, battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. And the greater the general, the more he contributes to maneuver, and SWAT is all about maneuver, it`s all about here and there. So we don`t have to kill, move over here. You know, flank him there, isolate him here and negotiate here. Something a robot there, put the tear gas in really trying to avoid the death in the shooting, if you can make the maneuver and what Boulder SWAT did here was make the maneuver and, so that really goes to their credit.
WILLIAMS: Frank, Jim raises some terrific points there. And number one, the nature of armed criminal conduct. Number two, the nature of the change in the nature of the criminals we face in our society. And number three, this immutable, which often isn`t discussed in civilized society, waiting for SWAT can mean lives are being lost in the interim, you can have a great armored vehicle coming up behind you, you can have the best manager of perimeters in your department. And if you hear the report of a rifle inside a big box, retail store, it`s not doing anybody any good?
FIGLIUZZI: Yeah, let`s touch on a couple of these issues. When Jim talks about the change in mindset, barricaded subject shooters, sand off subjects, it has evolved and what that points to is a mental health component. So we would be remiss if we spent the night talking only about gun laws and gun control. It`s absolutely necessary, of course, but let`s also talk about the mindset of the shooter that now goes from a standoff that can be negotiated to a settlement. And now know, I`m going in with the intent of killing as many people as I can, that brings a mental health component to this and the availability of professional mental health counseling, how long it takes to get somebody in just to see a counselor or a psychologist, that needs to be part of this total package.
Then, secondly, moving on to the logical outflow of this is yes, those patrol officers have got to be equipped to deal with severe threat immediately. And so when people talk about defunding the police, please understand that while that may mean embedding mental health professionals giving other non-police tasks to other components, who can do it as well or better.
As Jim says, you absolutely have to have a way of countering the threat on the street. And if you`re going to get rid of anything you can, you should not be getting rid of those guys who come in like the cavalry armed to deal with what can`t be dealt with on the front line.
And so many times in my experience in the Bureau, I`ve seen police departments, the City Council line items right out the need for shotguns, the resources to give people semi-automatic rifles, patrol car rifles, they need those in order to survive and protect us.
So there`s this delicate discussion that has to go on between, you know, how much are we equipping the police? What is the threat? What do we move along to other resources? And what must the police have to deal with the threat and keep us safe?
WILLIAMS: Yes, we like to think of ourselves as a civilized society. We`re also a violent society. And the firepower in balance is the way people and especially people in law enforcement rushing to danger get killed in the line of duty.
To our viewers, both these gentlemen are going to stick around because we`re going to repeatedly discuss this still breaking news out of Boulder, Colorado. Our thanks for this segment to Frank Figliuzzi, Jim Cavanaugh up more of THE 11TH HOUR after this quick break.
WILLIAMS: As we cover this second mass shooting in our country in one week`s time, the shocking word tonight that 10 souls have been lost in Boulder, Colorado, including an 11-year veteran of the Boulder Police force. We are joined by a previous guest on this broadcast at gentlemen, we last saw as one of the impeachment managers in the House of Representatives, a gentleman who happens to represent this district and Congress and that is democratic congressman Joe Neguse of Colorado.
Congressman, my condolences for you as I mentioned to the state senator at the top of the broadcast, what an awful night This must be back home in your district where families who perhaps have not heard from a loved one are waiting for official next of kin notification. I just can`t imagine what your community is going through. What will you learn from this?
REP. JOE NEGUSE (D-CO): Good evening, Brian, it`s just a devastating night. It`s a devastating night for our community and for our state. And we`re heartbroken. I`m heartbroken for my community for the many victims that we lost. The loss of life just as hard to fathom. And you think about the 10 people who lost their lives today, including officer Talley, as you mentioned, whose heroism saved lives.
And so we`re, we`re lifting them up, we`re thinking of them and their families, we`re mourning with them. Of course, it`s going to be very difficult -- It`s going to be a difficult days, weeks, months ahead for our community and, and for our state. I`ve lived in Boulder County for many decades. My wife was born in Boulder. This is our community, it`s our home. And we know that our community is a strong one and the resilient one and we`ll get through this together. But it is it is a difficult night tonight. And we`re just praying for the victims.
WILLIAMS: How do you process the fact that as I mentioned to the Senate Majority Leader, you`re a great State of Colorado already synonymous with places like Columbine, an ordinary movie theater in Aurora, and now a perfectly ordinary shopping center big box food store in Boulder Colorado.
No one`s life there locally will ever be the same that structure and the way people view it and use it will never be the same. And I can`t imagine anyone ever thought this kind of triplicate tragedy would be visited on that great state.
NEGUSE: You know, I grew up 10 minutes from Columbine, our state you know we`ve wept for so many that we`ve lost in tragedy after tragedy. And tonight, I think I`m filled like many Americans are and certainly many Coloradans with a lot of frustration.
And it`s clear that enough is enough, and that the Congress has to do something, I think we have gone far too long without taking meaningful action on gun violence. And it does not have to be this way. As you said Americans should be able to feel safe in their grocery stores, in their movie theaters, in their schools.
And while Congress continues to deliver on meaningful gun violence prevention measures, Americans and Coloradans are dying, and the time for inaction in my view, and I think in the view of many is over. So it`s time for the Congress to act and I`m certainly going to be pushing for my colleagues to do the same.
WILLIAMS: Well, as one of the leading voices, certainly among the young Democrats in the House will be looking for that and hearing your voice when it happens when you reconvene. And when folks talk about this in the House of Representatives and the US Senate. Congressman Joe Neguse, I know I join our viewers in expressing the condolences of those watching helplessly at home for your congressional district and the staggering loss suffered today and tonight.
I want to continue our conversation with a big city mayor and talk about something that took place over this weekend. There`s a related angle here to this discussion we`re having.
Spring Break as you may have seen this weekend because indeed the whole world was watching these pictures proved to be a bit too much for the city of Miami Beach after a huge crowds flooded in and caused chaos on the streets. The city is now extending an 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew Thursday to Sunday in its central entertainment district for the next three weeks because of this scene you`re looking on -- you`re looking at on your screen.
They`ve made over 1000 arrests in Miami Beach since February and think about processing and booking and COVID protocols. Think about the strain on law enforcement. There`s worry the Florida crowds amount to of course, a potential, God forbid, super spreader event in a state where the pandemic is still an active problem no matter what we hear from the governor.
So for more on this tragic night, in Colorado, we want to welcome back to the broadcast. Dan Gelber, the democratic mayor of Miami Beach. Mr. Mayor, I know you join us in expressing your condolences to the tragedy the mayor of Boulder, Colorado is going through tonight.
Local policing is something that has now been focused, squarely on us squarely on the city of Miami Beach. As you know, there were people that thought your response was too robust. But there you were presiding over streets that had been overtaken with people in the midst of a pandemic.
MAYOR DAN GELBER (D) MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: Yes, and first of all, our hearts are heavy, Brian, and they are with all of our city is thinking about our friends in Boulder, what they`re going through, it`s, you know, our discussion is almost nothing compared to what they`re doing right now.
Our city is, it`s, you know, it`s very unusual for us where a destination city, typically, you know, seven and a half miles of beaches, iconic architecture, we embrace anybody who comes here, we love when people create special moments here. That`s what we`re all about.
And so right now it`s particularly difficult and it`s really been recently. And I think in great part, because I think we`re one of the only cities certainly one of the only major destination cities that are totally open, the governor has sort of demanded that everything be open and is inviting everybody. But what`s happened is an enormous number have come, which has created three major issues.
The first, there`s just too many people, it`s very hard to manage that. And secondly, there`s a number of them are coming with bad intentions and doing things they shouldn`t good in gunplay by the way. And the third thing is there`s a pandemic going on, which doesn`t seem like anybody in the crowd really even is contemplating notwithstanding our best efforts with the rules we`re allowed to abide by, to give masks out and try to urge healthy practices. So it`s very frustrating. But hopefully, it`ll be temporary.
WILLIAMS: You saw and heard the coverage, no doubt. No doubt you were heartsick over the fact that, indeed, these pictures were played. And I saw them around the globe this weekend. They`ve been repeated in print, the allegation was made that the police response was more robust than it should have been because the crowd was mostly black Americans. The allegation was that once they had come together, you had let it play out. You clearly reached a different conclusion and ordered those streets clear.
GELBER: Yes. You know, I mean, this is not spring break, as we all think about spring break, where there`s just sort of mischievous sophomores drinking more than they should this was, these are mostly college students. They`re older. And they`re the ones that are problematic are, I mean, we`ve had people discharge weapons in crowds of thousands of people and people`s running. We`ve had people hit by bullets.
So it`s not something we can tolerate at all in our city. And I appreciate that people are concerned about over policing. And I for I had this job, I was a federal prosecutor, right didn`t was predominantly civil rights prosecution. So I`m pretty attuned to questions of police force and excessive force.
But you can`t lose control of your streets and we`re not targeting any race. We embrace anyone who comes to our city. We`re targeting conduct and the conduct we`re targeting I don`t think anybody can disagree. It`s not something that a city can allow to go on, because it endangers not simply police than dangerous bystanders and dangerous guests that endangers residents and we just really have no choice.
WILLIAMS: Yes, I understand. I`m in a state where a governor is bragging on how open everything is. You`ve become something of a standing Republic inside a larger country where you have to protect your borders and God forbid you see a localized spike in coronavirus.
But the first point you made is correct. We should have the sense to limit any conversation off topic tonight because of this tragedy we`re focused on in the Rocky Mountains.
So with that, our thanks to you for keeping your commitment and talking to us tonight. Mayor Dan Gelber --
GELBER: Thank you.
WILLIAMS: -- of Miami Beach, Florida. Thank you very much mayor.
The Boulder Police Department we want to let you know has now released a photo of the police officer killed in today`s shooting Eric Talley. He is an 11 year veteran of that force. More of THE 11TH HOUR when we come right back.
WILLIAMS: With us tonight as we cover this tragic breaking news story out of Boulder, Colorado the shooting death of 10 individuals this evening. Sam Stein is with us veteran journalist who is now White House editor over at Politico and Tim Miller, a contributor to The Bulwark, former communications director for Jeb Bush.
Gentlemen, welcome back to the broadcast. Thank you for keeping your commitment to us on this night of breaking news and segments we have tossed up into the air because of the nature of the story we`re covering.
Tim, I`d like to begin with you by asking you to tell the good people watching tonight. Where is it you grew up and where your thoughts are this evening?
TIM MILLER, THE BULWARK CONTRIBUTOR: Hey, thanks, Brian. It`s good to be with you. Yes, look, this is tough. I grew up about a mile from Columbine. And you know that shooting was a formative part of my youth and all encompassing part of my youth.
I just look back on that and think if you would have told me then at over two decades later, these same types of mass shooting events would still be happening, would be happening, would be happening the next town over and then in the intervening time, literally nothing had happened. Nobody would come to the table to try to resolve it to try to meet in the middle to try and do anything. I just don`t think I would have believed that. So, my hearts and thoughts glad to tell the folks in Boulder and all my people back in Colorado tonight.
WILLIAMS: Sam Stein, I`d like to read you something from former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. She writes on Twitter tonight. Today it`s a tragedy in Boulder, Colorado. This past weekend it was a house party in Philadelphia. And last week, it was an armed attack on Asian American women in the Atlanta area. It doesn`t have to be this way. It`s beyond time for our leaders to take action. She goes on. My heart sinks for those waiting for news of their family and friends in Boulder.
As we receive more information, we must remember that every victim has a name. They had hopes, dreams and people who love them. They are no longer with us because of preventable tragedies. This is an especially personal tragedy for me. I survived a shooting at a grocery store that devastated my beloved Tucson. It`s been 10 years and countless communities have faced something similar. This is not normal.
Indeed, Sam, when this happened tonight, in of all places a grocery store, having arrived the night of the attack that almost took the life of Congresswoman Giffords in the parking lot of that safe way. It`s really unbelievable. And Sam, while we want to avoid hardened cynicism at this early hour, what happens tomorrow? And the next day? Do the parties go back to their corners?
SAM STEIN, POLITICO WHITE HOUSE EDITOR: Well, you know, yes, I do think so. But unfortunately, I do think this is normal in America. It`s normal. In any other country it`s abnormal. But here, this is normal. And one of the most profound, and I think disturbing pieces of journalism. I remember reading on this was the recollections of those who survived Columbine, who had grown up to send their kids to high school, who now lived in fear about what might confront them for a school shooting.
But look, to your point, Brian, you know, at various junctures all of us have wondered, well, is this the tipping point? And when a Congresswoman gets shot in the head, you of course, ask Is this the tipping point. And when 21st graders get gunned down in their school, you say this must be the tipping point. But this stuff goes on and on and on.
So I do expect that people will go back to their corners. I expect that this will spark a renewed debate over whether Democrats should consider changing the filibuster rules, because that is the clearest avenue for getting the necessary votes for some sort of legislation.
But ultimately, I think if you had money to bet, you would probably bet on inaction at this point, because nothing that`s happened in the past two decades, has moved Congress at all.
WILLIAMS: Tim, between us, we know, ton of journalists and I`m willing to bet that somewhere tonight at some keyboard, probably in Washington, DC, someone`s writing a column along the lines of well, I guess the pandemic is over. Because guess what we didn`t see during the height of the pandemic and that was mass shootings. There were no school shootings, of course, because it became more or less a virtual activity. We`re locked in this huge societal debate. Again, Red Hats versus blue on, quote, opening up society again. Here we are to mass shootings one week`s time.
MILLER: You know, it`s just that it`s hard not to think about them, isn`t it? Brian? I mean, it is -- it`s just this striking after it, you know, the last segment with what we saw happening in Miami Beach, and, you know, people coming back to, you know, at least a hint of normal fee, the weather`s getting better. People are going outside and gathering you have this kind of excitement and just to have this damper on it. So soon after, there was a little bit of hope, is frustrating employment (ph) thing.
Just really quick to Sam`s point on the filibuster. You know, I mean, the most serious effort towards any sort of action, bipartisan action reasonably was mentioned to me. Yes. And so with Joe Manchin is the 50th vote. Pat Toomey is now retiring Republican. Yes, I would hope that in addition to the journalists writing your observation about COVID tonight, Brian, that there`s some calls down to Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin his office as well.
WILLIAMS: And Sam, to that exact point to those two surnames and senators, we`ve come to know Well, do you think there is a chance we`ll see more outreach like that kind of grab a partner from the other side of the aisle, someone who has given you a wink and a nod that they may, may be willing to break party lines and see things the way you do.
STEIN: Yes, I mean, if you had to lay out an optimistic case for something happening legislatively, it would go something like this. There`s a number of seasoned Republican senators who are retiring one, Pat Toomey has already put his name on legislation that would expand background checks.
Democrats are basically all in line on this. They were not in line on this back when -- I when mentioned to me, first came up, but they are now and beyond that the NRA is in shambles. The organization is dealing with, you know, legal bills, legal dramas, they may be moving their location. They`re not the entity the force on the Hill that they once were.
So that is a sort of a landscape that is the optimistic version of it. And yet, you still come back to the fact that in the end of the day, you need 10 Republican senators, if you want to move legislation, and I just don`t see where you`re going to get those types of numbers in the current landscape.
And if there`s one last lesson that I will leave it here was after the shooting at Sandy Hook, Joe Biden led the task force, the Obama taskforce on gun control legislation, they put together sweeping executive actions and legislative proposals, they move fairly fast, but the CW at the end was that they didn`t move fast enough.
So if anything`s going to happen, it has to happen instantaneously, to sort of capitalize in a very perverse way of using that word on this tragedy that`s happening twice now in a week.
WILLIAMS: Thank you, gentlemen, both of you for raising terrific points in this terrible our once again for our country. Two friends of the broadcast, Sam Stein, Tim Miller, our thanks. Again, we`ll be going live over the next hour and indeed our live coverage continues at the top of the next hour after the short break.