tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow CNN April 11, 2015 12:00pm-12:31pm PDT
magnolias here. i'm rachel nichols, and thank you for joining us. enjoy the rest of your weekend and enjoy the tournament. ♪ ♪ 3:00 eastern here in the cnn newsroom i'm pop any harlow in new york. right now, there's been a shooting incident at the capitol. the capitol is on lockdown while police continue to investigate. we are joined from washington now. we've been monitoring this for 45 minutes. what do we know at this point? >> well poppy, the u.s. capitol police confirming it was suicide. spokeswoman saying in a statement it was self-inflicted gunshot by neutralized subject. this happened on the west front of the u.s. capitol building side of the capitol that faces
the mall but this situation is still ongoing because the entire capitol complex including the capitol billing itself and the capitol visitors' center is on lockdown. capitol police are continuing to investigate a suspicious package. they say this is related to that incident. members of congress they are still out on recess so likely not many members were inside at the time and they are not due back into washington until monday. it's a weekend. many staffers were not inside at the time, but congressional staff, poppy, they received a message from the capitol police that they -- if they were in the capitol building they should shelter in place. poppy? >> just so i understand correctly, the people that were inside the capitol and those outside wanting to get in still at this point cannot move inside or out? >> reporter: that's right. the capitol complex is on lockdown, even though this shooter, suspected shooter has been neutralized by self-inflict
self-inflicted gunshot wound because of suicide. it's on lockdown because there's a suspicious package, but important to note they are saying it is related to the other incident. the whole capitol complex including the capitol building and importantly the capitol visitors' center. you know poppy, this is a time of high tourism in washington, d.c. s cherry blossom festival brings a lot of people the city packed with people that's close to the capitol visitors center and people are coming to see the iconic view of the national mall. we're kept at bay once the incident unfolded hours ago. poppy? >> thank you so much. keep us posts as soon as you know more and as soon as they lift the lockdown at the capitol. appreciate it. also this hour cuban president raul castro apologizing to president obama today at the summit of americas taking place in panama. he used a form to rail against more than 50 years of official animosity from the united states and other nations and later apologized for his bluntness. he said he gets passionate when
speaking of the cuban revolution. he added, quote, president obama bears no responsibility for any of this. we are joined live from panama city now. this was fascinateing. i was not there to see it, but to read transcriptions of what the president said and what castro had to say, what do you think of this choice of words, calling out the united states specifically saying this is no fault of the president? >> reporter: it is fascinating, poppy poppy. there's a couple things we are seeing here. on the one hand, there's classic castro with biting wit, saying i'm not going to use just the eight allotted minutes everybody else gets because you excluded cuba from the past summits. i'm going to go on for a while. he did. he went into the classic anti-american sentiment, you've invaded latin america, propped up cruel dictators, but as you said he turned to president obama, looked him in the eye, and said but i apologize,
president, this is not your fault. i don't blame you. he said he thought that obama was an honest man, someone who should be supported. what i think we're also seeing here is a strategy. cuba has been at a war of words with the united states for over half a century, and so he's got to separate that country that they've been at war with for so many years from the man he's negotiating with. this is for his people as it is for the world to see. he has to justify what he's doing. we're seeing this play out on the world stage. yes, there's that united states tra that propped up dictators, but there's this man that does not represent that. >> the president saying among other things in the remarks today, that the united states will not be imprisoned by the past clearly indicating more of a shift in the relationship between the united states and cuba. we know president obama's going to hold this news conference in just a few hours. what is highly anticipated is whether or not he's going to announce that the u.s. is
officially removed cuba from the list of countries of sponsored terrorism. any word on that front? >> reporter: no word so far, poppy, but that's right. this is very important. it's in some ways the biggest stumbling block to advancing negotiations at this point. you know we saw the handshake. that of course, was the his tor moment we've all been waiting and watching for, but it was an informal encounter, and, really white house officials told cnn what we expect today is a pull aside. it's not a substantial as a bilateral meeting, but a moment for the two leaders to interact and talk about important issues. we heard from white house officials that coming soon will be an announcement that cuba's taken off the list of sponsored terrorism. that could be exactly what comes out of this. we'll have to wait and see, poppy. >> yes, we will but still, what a historic moment. the largest meeting between u.s. and cuban leaders since 1959
when then vice president nixon met with castro. the pictures will circulate for some time to come. we'll get back to you as we await the press conference. to south carolina now, walter scott, shot in the man by a police officer a week ago today is laid to rest. the flag draped casket was carried into the church this morning. the service the open to the public. family membered followed embracing, crying. after the service, south carolina representative said a few words about scott's life. >> the first time he was put in jail for failure to pay his child support, he was working on a $35,000 a year job. he lost that job when he was incarcerated and went over the deep end because he was not able. he said it was the best job he
had. >> meanwhile, south carolina state law enforcement division met with the unidentified passenger, the person who was sitting in the car with scott last week right before he was shot and killed you see him, that passenger in the video, the passenger has not yet been named, and also was released without any charges. let's go to the martin savage in summerville, south carolina. you were inside this morning, martin what was it like? >> reporter: first of all, there were more people that showed up for the funeral than could possibly get inside. the body of the church holds 300 people. there were well beyond that. people stood under an awning. it was raining here at the time. glimpsing through the front doors of the church they just wanted to be able to say that they were here. they felt their presence here was that important. it was a police escort that was given to the hearse as it made its way here. some find that ironic but it is part of the bridge building that the mayor promised in providing the family everything they need at this terrible terrible time.
one of those who spoke inside poignantly was scott's brother, anthony scott, and he said god selected his brother as a candidate for change for america. the other one who spoke was the pastor of the church and he was more direct. he said that walter's death was motivated by racial prejudice. it was he later said an act of overt racism but the theme of the service was talking about change and that change must be the final epitaph, if you will of the death of walter scott. now the burial begins and this will eventually be the end of the day of mourning for him. poppy? >> martin what's the sense you get being in the community? you know you hear the words from the pastor that you just told us about, how does this community come together after something like this? >> reporter: well the community is still watching. you know of course we have not seen violence. there's been protests but no violence here. despite the fact that, of
course you're witnessing on that video a shocking and horrific death. i think the reason that so far you have not seen problems is that immediately it was announced you got an officer under arrest charged with murder. that does not normally happen in the state of south carolina in the minds of many people in minority communities. what they're watching for is what comes next. there have been officers charged before. they have not been convicted before. >> right. >> reporter: this is just the beginning as many say. >> it is. before i let you go i wonder if we heard anything from the family of the officer, officer slagger? >> reporter: a number of things first of all, he's held in the county jail held in isolation for his own safety. his wife and his mother were able to visit with him. we are told yesterday, a vetation took place between glass. you can get a good idea most people have seen that sort of thing. it was an opportunity for them to see their husband, see their son, and clearly a difficult
time for them as well. that is been stated by the mayor. two families are suffering here as a result of one horrific event. >> martin is live in south carolina, thank you very much. coming up we'll talk more about it. also, who was the person in the car in the passenger seat with walter scott? also, how could his account of what happened affect the case? our panel discusses next. each day was fueled by thorough preparation for events to come. well somewhere along the way emily went right on living. but you see, with the help of her raymond james financial advisor, she had planned for every eventuality. ...which meant she continued to have the means to live on... ...even at the ripe old age of 187. life well planned. see what a raymond james advisor can do for you. [ laughing ] want to play hide and seek? yeah! 1... 2... 6... 10!
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what exactly happened during the officer's traffic stop. let's discuss what we know. we have the former new york city police commissioner author from jailer to jail. also with us criminal defense attorney remitwho remitted an offduty officer in another investigation. thank you for being here. let's take a look at some of the dash camera video that we have and let's pull up it as we discuss it. what does this tell you about officer slagger's mind set at the time. it was routine, pulling over for a buster taillight, asking for license, registration, et cetera. anything stand out to you? >> no. based on what i see on the camera no. nothing stands out. seemed like a normal stop. >> because a former police officer had said that when you see scott run away that the
officer should not have even chased him. he believes he should have just let him go and them your know go from there. do you agree with the assessment, he shouldn't have chased him when he ran? >> thing is you don't know -- i don't know what the circumstances was, and maybe the other -- maybe the detective did. i understand there was another person in the car. you want to keep the car secure. you want to keep the other person secure if there's another person in the car. you have a radio. you could radio to other units that are in the nearby area to look for the suspect. you know it appears based on that video that his life was not in danger. >> right. >> that you know there was no imminent threat of deadly force. based on what i've seen. i have not seep all the evidence but base on what i see, that's what i believe. >> mark to you. look one defense attorney on cn said yesterday that the defense
attorneys are going to use this by saying this happened in the heat of the moment. this was a moment of passion. and that is what they are going to bank on for their case to get manslaughter charges over murder charges. how strong a case do they have on that front given the fact what we don't have video of is the altercation, any sort of struggle between the two. >> i think that's the problem you have with this case for the defense perspective representing the officer is all you see is what happens after there's this sort of struggle when the gentleman who is videotaping comes up on scene, he gets the -- what appears to be the end of the struggle you see a gentleman running and the officer, seems to be in a cold calculated way, stop take aim, and take shots. he's not chasing him. the law here is clear, i think, you cannot shoot a fleeing felon. you cannot shoot a fleeing misdemeanor. what happened beforehand? what i think the defense has to do is focus this back to what we
don't see in the video. what was going on why he felt in danger. it's going to be tough. >> right. bernard, do you. this obviously brings front and center the issue of body cameras. you would know more if a body camera were on. again, the bystander that filmed part of it did not capture all of it. do you believe this goes to the argument that body cameras worn by police officers across the country should be mandatory? >> well i think this is probably one of the best arguments seen as of late because we would be able to tell a lot more. the other thing is as mark just mentioned, you know we don't know what happened in the early moments. that's not to say that there's not video off the dash cam. that's not to say that the authorities don't have something more. they may. they may not. at the end of the day, i think the, you know it's going to be interesting to hear what happened and if they have
video, to see what happened in those early minutes, but i have to tell you, as a cop that's -- i've been in this business 35 years. i've been involved in gun battles. i just don't see the justification for the shooting. >> mark in temples of the lawyer for the offer, this is the first attorney representing him, and then withdrew himself. this attorney has not received cooperation from law enforcement he says the media has. that he has not gotten documents that he's requested. what does that tell you about his defense? >> that does not tell you much about the defense, but tells you this is -- it's a saturday afternoon, we're talking about this case on national television. it's a highly charged case. the prosecutor thinks they have a slam dunk case based on a couple seconds of video we have. last thing they want to do is put themselves in position to lose the case. they will be very careful and deliberate and probably very slow in turns over evidence.
i think that's what the second defense attorney is talking about. an interesting situation how he had one counsel who came out and made statements and said i no longer represent the officer, and now we have a second officer -- second defense attorney not getting anything from the government. the government has to get ducks in a row, do nothing with the press or do anything to screw up the case turnover evidence not get caught in discovery much violations put it out there because this is a tough case for the defense, and they don't want to give any openings. >> gentlemen, stay with me. thank you for that. i want your case on another take incredibly shocking and disturbing video to talk about this brutal police beating caught on camera. that's a camera in a news held cometer taking place. the victim's attorney says this is worse than the rodney king beating. when it comes to good nutrition...i'm no expert. that would be my daughter -- hi dad. she's a dietitian. and
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well as we cover the fallout from the videotape shooting of walter scott in south carolina there is now another police video sparking outrage. this in california. the video shot by a news helicopter shows deputies repeatedly punching and kicking a suspect, many many times. that suspect now has a lawyer and he's calling his client's
beating worse than rodney king's. >> here's the pursuit. >> a police chase that looks like it's from the wild west. >> i have this guy on a stolen horse. >> this 30-year-old attempts to outrun law enforcement on the back of a stolen horse in the rural part of san bernardino county. a helicopter helicopter recorded as the horse bucked the suspect and deputies taze him, then he venders, lying face down on the ground before putting hands behind his back. that does not stop the officers from mobbing around him, kicking him in the groin and in the head before kneeing him and landing punch after punch on his body a beating that lasts two minutes with ten officers involved. all of whom are now on paid administrative leave. >> somebody should go to prison
over this. >> what i saw on the television was thugs beating up my client. that's what i saw. and these questions about what was he doing? what did they do? this is far worse than rodney king. >> san bernardino sheriff has ordered an immediate internal investigation. the specialized investigation detail is also conducting a criminal investigation as well. >> i am disturbed and troubled by the video. it does not appear to be in line if our policies and procedures at least a portion of it. i asked that you allow us to conduct that investigation, and i assure you, if there's criminal wrong doing on the part of any of our deputy sheriffs or any policy violations we will take action. >> deputies were attempting to serve him with a search warrant related to a theft investigation. when he first fled in a car, then abandoned it running in the desert to steal a horse and take off. a chase that lasted three hours.
>> i'm not going to say he's perfect because who is? >> his girlfriend of 13 years believes the officers went too far. >> they beat the crap out of him, and now they are trying to do everything they can to avoid them being in any trouble. >> in trouble in an era where police tactics are under intense public scrutiny. >> thank you for that. also, this video has now led the fbi to open a civil rights investigation into the case. let's discuss this as well with our panel, joining me the new york city former attorney and bernard, when you look at how many times this suspect was kicked 17 times, punched 37 times, hit with a baton four times, that's what knbc is reporting, is there any possible explanation for that kind of abuse of someone? >> not from what i saw. i mean i just -- this is the first time i've seen the video,
but it's clear that the suspect surrendered. the suspect put his hands behind his back to be handcuffed. the fight's over. should have been handcuffed picked up put in the carrings and taken off. anything that happened from what i've seen after he put hands behind his back to surrender, in my opinion, is not in compliance with policies rules, and the law when it comes to affecting an arrest like this. >> what does this tell us about training? you know when we talked about cases in the past it has brought up the issue of police training, right? we've seen a change for example, right here in new york city to police training. does this bernard tell you that something at the forefront has to happen? >> well there's a couple issues herement one ment here. one is training. two is supervision and accountability.
first line supervisors, were there first line supervisors on the scene? there's a lot of people there. i don't know who they were. this is something that i have to look at by the sheriff, and i think at the end of the day, let the investigation take its course. i'm sure there's a grand jury investigation, but, you know by all accounts from what i just saw, i don't think the use of force was justified. >> mark as a defense attorney here you look at the case you heard the attorney for the man who was beaten coming out, saying these were thugs beating up my client. what do you go after right now? do you go after the individual police officers? do you go after the department as a whole? what is in the best interest of his client? >> well it's an interesting question. you know and bernie knows this better than i do having been on the job for 30 years. being a police officer is a hard
job that's difficult and stressful. part of what they are paid to do and trained to do is to not lose their cool. when you have a three hour chase, you know the guys are upset, exhausted, frustrated, and i sort of agree with what he said. this is worse than rodney king. in this situation, forget the number of blows, none of blows that i saw in the video that you just showed are justified. there's not a single training manual i've seen in any police department in the state or the federal government any place across the country, that permits a police officer to kick somebody in the face period. they are not permitted -- police officers are not allowed to beat people up but restrain people, allowed to take control of the situation. they use force only when necessary to control somebody and they looked like they are out of control. >> mark this brings back up the issue of police body cameras. i'll ask you. we can see what we can from the chopper camera. we can't see what it was like on the ground. we can't hear, for example, what
was said. do you believe that this brings to the forefront necessity for body cameras on all officers required? >> i'm adamantly in support of body cameras. body cams will clear good police officers and good police officers and law enforcement personnel are out there doing their job properly. cams are exonerate them. this will weed out people not up to snuff that do not have what it takes to do the difficult job, and, you know i know you can't hear it but, frankly, unless he's saying i have a bomb or i'm about to shoot you with some invisible gun, they don't have a basis to do what they did. they are only allowed to use force when necessary, and the force has to be proportional and it has to be justified, and here he's spread eagle. he's been tazed. he's on his stomach in the desert. there's no weapons. i don't think there's anything to say or see in a body camera different from the video. will it help him, you know as