August 28th, 2014
11:50 AM ET

Black TV Producer is Mistaken for Bank Robber

Charles Belk was supposed to end last Friday night at an Emmys party but instead he was held by the Beverly Hills police for six hours, arrested as a suspect in a local bank robbery.

Belk, 51, is an acclaimed African-American TV producer who says he was detained because he was "misidentified as the wrong tall, bald head, black male fitting the description."

As he was rushing towards his almost expired parking meter, Belk was approached by a police officer on a motorcycle who told him he matched the description of a bank robbery suspect.

Belk gave the officer his identification and was told to sit on the curb, where he spent 45 minutes, before being taken to the police station.

"I sat there with my head down in handcuffs," he told CNN's Michaela Pereira on "New Day" Thursday.

Belk said the officers should have reviewed the ATM and bank's HD video footage to see that he was not the right person.

Instead, he said he called back to a friend he was with before the incident and instructed the man to call the NAACP.

During his booking, Belk said he told an officer – "this is a real nightmare."

But the officer convicted him on the spot, responding "This is a serious crime you committed."

Beverly Hills police say they've arrested a woman who's responsible for nine recent bank robberies and two attempted bank robberies in the area, but the man she was most likely working with is still on the run.

In a statement, the department said they "deeply regret the inconvenience to Mr. Belk."

"However, based on witness accounts, and his location close to the bank, officers properly detained and arrested him based on the totality of the circumstances known at the time of the field investigation."

For Belk, he just wants this message out there to police:  "I hope they can start making it about the face and not about the race."


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August 27th, 2014
09:57 AM ET

McCain: U.S. Should Conduct Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria

ISIS has taken more and more territory in Iraq and Syria, sometimes overrunning government forces while terrorizing civilians.

"They are beyond just a terrorist group," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said last week. "They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess.

"This is beyond anything we have seen, and we must prepare for everything."

But on "New Day" Wednesday, Senator John McCain said President Obama hasn't presented a clear strategy on how to fight against the group.

When Alisyn Camerota argued Obama stated his goal was to contain ISIS, McCain replied: "You can’t contain ISIS, you have to defeat it.”

McCain attacked Obama for not presenting a strategy in the region, saying  "this president doesn't want to lead."

But the lawmaker recommended that there should be airstrikes in Syria – both against ISIS and against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"The ultimate goal should be the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad," McCain said.


RELATED: ISIS: The first terror group to build an Islamic state?

RELATED: American killed fighting for ISIS

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August 26th, 2014
11:50 AM ET

Obama Authorizes Reconnaissance Flights Over Syria, U.S. Official Says

U.S. President Barack Obama has authorized reconnaissance flights over Syria as ISIS militants continue to gain ground in the war-ravaged nation, a U.S. official told CNN.

The flights - seen as a forerunner of possible U.S. airstrikes against ISIS in Syria - could begin at any point, the official said Monday.

"In general, when you're thinking about conducting operations like that, you certainly want to get as much of a view on the ground as you can," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said earlier Monday in a conversation with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"Satellites can provide you good visibility, but you always want closer eyes on target if you can," Kirby said, before Obama's decision was made public.

Concerns have been intensifying over the threat posed by ISIS after the extremist group posted a video last week showing the beheading of captive American journalist James Foley.

The United States has already been gathering intelligence on the locations of ISIS leadership and troops in Syria, two U.S. officials told CNN on Friday.


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August 25th, 2014
07:24 AM ET

The Moms of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and Sean Bell Speak Out

Sybrina Fulton. Lesley McSpadden. Valerie Bell.

Three mothers who know the grief of losing a son too early met for the first time Sunday.

Fulton, the mom of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin – who was killed in 2012, and Valerie Bell, the mom of 23 year-old Sean Bell – who was killed by a barrage of bullets in 2006, had words of comfort for Michael Brown's mom, Lesley McSpadden.

"You have to focus on the good times, you have to focus on when he was smiling, you have to focus on his first day of school and Christmas Day," Fulton told McSpadden.

"Put a picture up when he was happy and focus on those, just don’t focus on the death, because that’s going to eat away at you."

When CNN's Don Lemon asked the women if they communicate with their sons – they all said yes.

McSpadden said especially when it rains.

"There's something about the rain, something about it… I feel him."

Fulton told her: "He's there, hes watching over you."

Brown, the unarmed teenager who was fatally shot in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, will be laid to rest today.

Fulton said the service will be, for McSpadden, the "worst day of her life as a mother."

"There is no words that can bring comfort to her as a mother by seeing her son in a casket."


RELATED: Michael Brown's father calls for calm Monday - the day his son is laid to rest

RELATED: Trayvon Martin's mom to Michael Brown's: 'Neither of their lives shall be in vain'


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