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June 11th, 2009
09:15 AM ET

Morning Buzz: People who Hate, Shoot and Kill

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/11/museum.shooting/art.security.guard.museum.jpg caption="Stephen Tyrone Johns was shot and killed while working at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday."]

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

88 year old white supremacist James Von Brunn walked through the Holocaust museum doors with a rifle and began firing yesterday. Police hold a news conference today to discuss the official charges against him.

He is a known Holocaust denier who has repeatedly claimed “The Diary of Anne Frank” is a hoax. This shooting took place on a day the museum planned to stage a play based on Anne Frank and right ahead of what would have been her 80th birthday.

Other details: he served 6 years in prison for trying to kidnap Federal Reserve board members because of high interest rates in 1981. Drew Griffin will have more on him and hate groups he is affiliated with tonight. Who is this guy and how many others like him are out there?

Flags are lowered to half-staff at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in honor of the 39-year-old security guard named Stephen Tyrone Jones, who was killed in this shooting. Tom Foreman profiles this man tonight, he died saving other lives.

In Texas, we have learned the last few weeks about the forfeiture laws which mean that cops can pull over drivers, in this case mostly Latino and African-American ones, and take money. The DA is supposed to use this seized cash for ‘official purposes’ but that has not exactly been the case. Unless one considers trips to Hawaii for vacation ‘official’. Wait until you catch this report from Gary Tuchman!

Folks in Iran are hitting the polls tomorrow, the 2 leading candidates are the conservative incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (we know this guy well, he likes to make some ‘colorful’ statements against the West, as a severe understatement) and Hossein Mousavi, the leading reformist candidate. Christiane Amanpour is in Iran and she'll put it all into perspective.

See u tonight at 10pet!


Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. David

    I was recently at the Holocaust museum with my family and we had a short friendly conversation with a security guard asking him about the nearest metro location. We then started talking about where we are from, Detroit, and then he told us that he had a friend who died in 9/11. He was a very nice and friendly person. I remember him very well and remember that he was big and tall, similar to the description of Mr. Johns. I am 90% sure that this is the same person but I was wondering if anyone who knows him could confirm? What happened to Mr. Johns is extremely sad and I just wanted to know if the person I had the friendly conversation with was the same person? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

    June 11, 2009 at 9:44 pm |
  2. Monica Morton

    My heart is broken for Mr. Jones' family, and they will remain in my thoughts and prayers. May his soul rest in peace and in the love of our Lord. Hate is a very ugly and destructive emotion. My heart also breaks for James Von Brunn and all others whose minds are filled with intolerance and bigotry and hate. We have become such an uncivilized society; the hate that caused Mr. Von Brunn is a learned behavior and is perpetuated through generations. I don't know what the answer is but SOMETHING needs to be done to educate our children; we cannot afford to let the ingnorance, bigotry, and hate continue!

    June 11, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  3. Jim

    Isabel In America- , " The Right of the people to keep & bear arms shall not be infringed" For every nut job out there There are many Law abiding citizens that have, & know how to Properly use a weapon to protect themselves & their families. I live in an area far from police protection.
    If some one is out here & I call the Sherrif or 911 it can take anywhere from 15 minuets to 45 minutes for them to respond. in which time I or my family could easily be robbed or killed. Have a criminal stick a gun in your face once like I have had & you may better understand why I take my rights to keep & bear arms VERY seriously. It is not the gun that kills but the person behind the trigger. What I want to know CNN is how the 88 year old got a rifle anywhere near the building to begin with?

    June 11, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  4. Kristi

    I honestly don't understand how somebody can believe in white supremacy in a world where people of all races have made major contributions to society. In addition to this, everybody has a right to tell their story, especially those who have suffered (so mistakes of similiar proportions might be avoided int he future).

    Also, I'd like to add that what happened here has absolutely nothing to do with being Republican. Republicans don't believe in white supremecy nor do they deny the holocaust. They are a political group that is NOT made up entirely of white people and what this man did should not be blamed on anybody but that man. Why should this man's hatred be allowed to create more hate? The media coverage of this horrific event should cause awareness that there are people out there who don't value human life as most of us do. This should cause us to emphasize more to our children what hate can do to people. It should not cause us to lash out in hate towards each other as this will not help our children to understand that hating each other is not the answer.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  5. Isabel, Brazil

    And the carrying of weapons in the USA?

    June 11, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  6. GH

    Apologies, a correction to my previous post: "not to practice his preaching" should have read "to practice his preaching" (the word "not" should be deleted).

    June 11, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  7. GH

    There's a good reason von Brunn is getting all this publicity: to focus a warning spotlight on hate in this country. True, hate exists in all corners, and as a black man I am embarrassed and angered by the Rev. Wright's anti-Semitic comments. But in this case I agree that the GOP, with its racist campaign and anti-Obama rhetoric spewed mostly by Limbaugh and Cheney, has incited hate among its numbers. The white supremacists are trying to incite the very race war they themselves fear is allegedly coming. King preached tolerance, freedom and passive resistance and, as much of a challenge as it is in these times, I call upon all of us not to practice his preaching and not fall into the white supremacist right's traps.

    June 11, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  8. Tim Gibson

    Yes, hate is all around us. This man who shot the innocent guard yesterday is a troubled person to say the least, yet he is no more troubled than those who bash gays and lesbians and say we do not deserve equal respect and protections.

    As for police in Texas pulling over people and taking their money. Every year the federal government takes my money and my husbands money, yes we are part of the 18,000 who were married in California last year, they call it taxing on computed income of benefits that our heterosexual neighbors and friends do not pay. So how is this issue in Texas any different than what the government does every year to the gay and lesbian couples of this nation.

    June 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  9. Jen

    One thing I don't understand is why a Neo-Nazi or any other kind of hate monger doesn't celebrate the Holocaust instead of claiming it didn't happen? You would think they would have a special day set aside for Star of David-burning parties or something! The Holocaust killed millions of the very people they claim to hate and want to rid the world of and yet they claim it did not happen! If this doesn't give anyone insight into the minds of these radicals, what would? The hemispheres of their brains have mingled and mutated into making them incapable of rational thinking.

    June 11, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  10. Susan

    Lee – I cannot "profile" Mr. Stephen Tucker Jones. I do recall his face as I walked into the Holocaust Memorial Museum. At the time, I thought the security was excessive, but, unfortunately, I was wrong. He was quite friendly and we joked when we discovered that I'd forgotten an extra battery I had in my pocket. We did talk about the tight security for the museum.

    If there are people who believe that the Lunar Landings were faked, what can we do? These are ignorant people who denies history – whether it is the Lunar Landings or the Holocaust. What is worse is that they revel in their ignorance.

    (Personally, I'd like to see them live WITHOUT the technology developed for and since the Lunar missions. Just I would like to see them proclaim their views in a society that had not acknowledged the heinousness of Hitler and his distortions. - hmm, what would that world be like.... oh, Iran. or North Korea.)

    June 11, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  11. Mari

    Everyday the far-right rhetoric gets worse and meaner. Yesterday Limbaugh, again rants about how " the only thing God and Obama have in common is that neither of them have a birth certificate." That IS a LIE. A LIE that is being told daily by GOP's far-right, who make these incendiary statements daily on their "shows".

    What the GOP does not seem to understand is that their hateful rhetoric, make many people who are on the edge of insanity incensed! Millions who listen to haters like Hannity and Limbaugh get all amped up, angry and ready to do harm!

    No, the GOP does not have an exclusive corner on hate, however the GOP's far-right fringe groups add to the hate, the vile that is out in the media and on blogs everywhere. Inciting hate.

    All we have to do is remember the statements of Palin at her rallies this past summer. At each rally she insinuated that "Obama pals around with terrorists!" Palin repeated this line over and over and over, until one day, people at her rallies were shouting "KILL HIM!" The Secret Service has to step in, and ask that her rhetoric be toned down. IF this is not hate, what is?

    How about the internet rumor started by the conservatives, claiming that Obama is a Muslim?! Its a LIE, that they continue to tell over and over, until again, the fringe groups believe it, and put in danger a man who is not a Muslim! And adds to the hate that is already out there against Muslims!

    People on the far-right need to be aware that hate-speak breeds more hate. That words, rumors, lies only add to the division in our Nation, and can incite people to violence!

    Like the man who attacked the Holocaust Museum; the man in Pittsburgh that killed THREE policemen because he feared that Obama will ban guns! Where does he get this lie from?

    June 11, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  12. Cindy

    Wow hongli...you need to get back on your meds and lay off the caps!

    Hate is not a Republican thing only. There are haters on both sides. You need to actually look into this issue before trying to lay it all on one side. Next you'll be saying it's all southerners too huh?

    Cindy..Ga.

    June 11, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  13. Carol B. in MD

    The unstable, lone wolf theory seems to apply in this case and the clinic shooting last week. What better way can a copycat, fringe lunatic get attention?

    June 11, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  14. Timmay

    Did the Unabomber's victims get more coverage than the Unabomber (capitalized of course)? If Topp's did trading cards for these guys, I am sure they would be a big seller. But the story must be told just as the musuem of the Holocaust (capitalized) must also remain open.

    June 11, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  15. Carol

    I think it's a disgrace the publicity this idiot is getting. Can you just imagine what the white supremist are doing? Smiling and saying look they advertised his website! Why aren't you doing more coverage on the Guard that was killed? Why are you giving this other jerk all the coverage? It's a disgrace. I figure people with that much hate inside of them must really hate themselves and are very unhappy.

    June 11, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  16. James

    Oh Yeah! Hilma said it right how the heck does someone just walk in with A RIFLE, A RIFLE PEOPLE. That needs to be investigated as well.

    June 11, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  17. James

    It's amazing to see things that people will do. This guy never should have been out of prison anyways after trying to kidnap a federal reserve member. We have people in prison for 20 yrs for drug charges. I will pray for the families and everyone affected by this senseless tragedy.

    June 11, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  18. Hilma Johnsen

    HOW DID THIS MAN WALK IN WITH A RIFLE??????

    Were there no guards at the entrance questioning this? I find it incredible that a public place would not have safe guards in place to prevent this kind of act of violence.........

    June 11, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  19. David Lawson

    There's a problem in this land that's bigger than the economic woes. This problem is bigotry. This problem is sowed in the heart, and it's in the heart of many americans of all colors. Bigotry is a disease that attachs the heart of any person who will be so incline to accept it. The only cure for the bigot is a clean heart and the only way to a clean heart is true repentence to the Lord Jesus Christ for our sins. You see the truth of the matter is this, "before kingdoms change men hearts must change."

    June 11, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  20. Anthony Moat

    its not republicans! they are the same thing as the democrats. both parties are owned by corporations and banking interests. it's not left vs. right, it's the state vs. you.

    June 11, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  21. hongli

    THE REPUBLICANS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THESE HATE CRIMES. PEOPLE LIKE LIMBAUGH ,CHENEY,GINGRICH SHOULD BE BANNED FROM TALK SHOWS ON BOTH RADIO AND TELEVISION SHOWS. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE SHOW ONLY HATE SO FAR FOR THE OBAMA'S ADMINISTRATION AND THIS IS A GREAT CONCERN TO ALL. ALREADY A GREAT AMOUNT OF HATE IS SHOWN FOR THE PRESIDENT'S PICK FOR THE SUPREME COURTS. WHY?????? YOUR ANSWER--BECAUSE SHE IS NOT WHITE.

    June 11, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  22. Anthony Moat

    DONT BELIEVE THE LIES! they will try to make you believe that this psycho is somehow linked with the END THE FED movement or 911 truthers.. this guy does not represent liberty. the real patriots do not make violent actions. new age propaganda will have you believe otherwise

    RON PAUL'S BILL TO AUDIT THE FED HAS 209 CO-SPONSORS WE ONLY NEED 11 MORE!

    June 11, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  23. Fred Buhl

    Security Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns is a hero. Our American history is replete with examples of selfless sacrifice in the face of hatred and violence. Where our lives are at once dimmed and darkened by these senseless, wanton acts of violence, our greatest hopes in humanity are sustained by the many who, like Stephen, have given their lives protecting our freedom, peace, and most cherished American ideals.
    God Bless Stephen Tyrone Johns, and God Bless America!

    June 11, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  24. Darrell in Iowa

    People like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and Bill O'Rielly should be held accountable for the seeds of hate they sow in America.

    Add in the said deaths of the boys who took their lives after being taunted for being gay.

    Hateful speech brings about hateful actions. Limbaugh, Beck and O'Rielly are domestic terrorists.

    June 11, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  25. Terry, TX

    Heinous....crazy old man....should be tried to the full length of the law.
    Now we have Rev Wright....saying "them Jews" are keeping him from Barack Obama. What is with these crazy radical old black and white men and their hate for Jews. We are seeing this in our politicians... Muslims good....Christians and Jews bad....pretty much the White House motto.

    As for some counties in Texas...you can pay your ticket if your passing through on site.... or go to the courthouse....drivers choice. Notice that was left out of the story. Now misuse of money is another story....and should be investigated....we will be seeing a lot of this with all the pork money that has been distributed....Chicago politicians with their pay for play pork. Now there is where the stories are at.

    June 11, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  26. Lee

    I would love it if on tonight's show, this blog, anywhere really, an equal amount of time was spent profiling the young man who lost his life at the museum as is being spent on the murderer. We could all learn from him and celebrate his life, and carry that lesson forward. It might be the way to combat the hate in this country – one individual action at a time, as Stephen Johns did.

    June 11, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  27. Amy T

    My prayers to the Stephen's family. Many are talking bout security in museums. However this man came in shooting before the metal detectors. The metal detectors are not far from the entrance. All the security in the world is useless to a person who is willing to die or who hates.

    Now I wonder about the DHS report about domestic terriorism and how Napolitano was maligned for stating there will be an increase in right wing extremism.

    How is this even legal? smh:
    "In Texas, we have learned the last few weeks about the forfeiture laws which mean that cops can pull over drivers, in this case mostly Latino and African-American ones, and take money."

    June 11, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  28. Mike in NYC

    With all due regards to the deceased and his survivors, he didn't have a chance to do anything. The gunman opened fire immediately upon entry, and was then shot by other guards. Many will consider this comment disrespectful, but truth really does matter.

    Those who have been itching to crack down on speech they don't like are smacking their lips at the opportunity they've been handed.

    Speaking of ... let's all sit back now and watch the SPLC milk this one for all it's worth. Oh wait - they've already started.

    June 11, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  29. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Good Morning Penny

    The shooting was horrible yesterday I can't beleive this man is 89 yrs old i guess bigots come in all shapes sizes and ages . What kind of judical system do thery have in Texas taking money from Latino drivers and using it fro thier own games vaccations .We are in a reccesion have mercy please !

    Thanks for keeping them honest!
    Michelle D.

    June 11, 2009 at 9:24 am |