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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  April 23, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm PDT

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rve us and protect the capital. but i'm telling you, he was just a moment or were to away from actually being taken out. >> sure was. chairman thanks so much for covering all these topics with us. appreciate it. that is it for me. for our international views "amanpour" is next. for our viewers in north america, "newsroom" with brooke baldwin starts right now. i'm jim schuto live in washington for cnn's special coverage of breaking news. two hostages including an american accidently killed along with two american al qaeda operatives by u.s. drone strikes. >> we've got that covered. and good afternoon. i'm brooke baldwin live here in baltimore. city hall behind me. very shortly we're anticipating in the thousands, that's what we're hearing, thousands of protesters expected to rally over the death of 25-year-old freddie gray who died in police custody. you'll see it live. first, jim, back to you in
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washington. >> great to be alongside brooke in baltimore on that other breaking story we're following. we're getting a lot more into cnn about this deadly mistake that took the lives of two innocent men. president obama apologizing, taking full responsibility for this u.s. counterterrorism mission gone wrong that was meant to take out senior al qaeda figures but went horribly wrong and ended in the deaths of an american and an italian hostage. >> it is a cruel and bitter truth that in the fog of war generally and our fight against terrorists specifically - mistakes sometimes deadly mistakes, can occur. as president and as commander in chief, i take full responsibility for all our counterterrorism operations including the one that inadvertently took the lives of warren and giovanni. >> warren weinstein was a government contractor a grandfather, and a husband. al qaeda grabbed him in 2011.
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the last proof of life video we saw was more than a year ago. he was held with an italian national giovanni lo porto. both were dedicated to helping the people of pakistan. but president obama said little about the two others killed in those counterterrorism missions, other americans. but these u.s. citizens were part of al qaeda, sworn and loyal members of the terrorist group. one of them an influential mouthpiece for the militants. but incredibly their deaths were also an unintended consequence, killed in two separate terror strikes that were not targeting them. in a 39-minute video, american-born al qaeda spokesman adam gadan is calling for attacks on u.s. ambassadors around the world. when he was killed in this u.s. drone strike, the bounty on his head was $1 million. but how significant a role did he play in the al qaeda network? to tell us more about this american terrorist, i'm joined by nick robertson, cnn's senior international correspondent. great to have you on. i just want to ask you first
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about warren weinstein. kidnapped in 2011. somewhat out of the consciousness during that time in the u.s. was that intentional to some degree that you keep cases like this hostages like this out of the news to allow for the possibility of a negotiation to get them out? >> you do, and that's typical. we understand that was what was happening in this case. although his family -- i was in communication with them about just under a couple years ago. at that time they were frustrated. there had been a proof of life video some months earlier, but they really felt the administration wasn't doing enough. although they'd been having a lot of help before and they were worried that dr. weinstein was going to be forgotten. were all the talk at that stage about the possible release of bowe bergdahl there was a real
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concern in their family that warren was going to get lost in that picture. so it is typical that you do try to keep it out of the news while you do negotiate or talk at least, you know -- negotiate's the wrong word certainly in this context. no one negotiates with terrorists. but you do try to talk to make sure you can have proof of life communication. my understanding was the family had even been put in communication, direct communication with him at a number of points previous to when i had been talking to them. but that had been cut off. that had also been leading to their growing concern. so the trajectory of how his case and situation was being handled does seem typical. but the frustrations are felt by every family in this situation where they would go to the ends of the earth to did what they can. governments are somewhat more restricted jim. >> yeah we heard frustration from james foley's family after
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he was killed by isis in syria. let's talk about adam if we can. truly an incredible story. an american born in california to a jewish family brksecomes an extremely prominent and recognizable face for al qaeda. how did he make that transition? how did he end up this mouthpiece? >> he got in on the ground floor with al qaeda before really they'd struck the world's consciousness with the attack in 2001. he converted to islam in 1995 went off to pakistan in 1998, goes immediately to al qaeda camps inside afghanistan. so he already at that stage is sort of in the organization building a level of trust, and then as al qaeda sort of goes on the pr offensive, you know, following that after the 2001 attacks, he becomes a very important person for them because he speaks english. he can appeal to that part of the world that al qaeda's trying to send its message to. this was a message that went
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from his most recent video, august 2013 praising the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi the year before. he had a video in 2011. he had videos where he was telling americans to go out and buy weapons at gun fests to go and attack people. he praised the ft. hood shooter, major hasan nadal, for what he had done. praised him and said he should be a role model for other muslims in the united states. so this was a imagine who was agitating and trying to provoke as much as he could attacks. but because al qaeda leaders were also being killed and because he kind of got in on ground floor, he was rising up through their ranks. he had disappeared, perhaps, from some of the attention it had maybe five or six years ago. still an important figure for them. >> no question. on any other day, adam gadahn's death would come as a surprise.
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certainly a lot more to talk about. i want to bring in jason beardsly. also peter bergen cnn national security analyst. peter, if i could begin with you. we're hearing the family of warren weinstein expressing frustration today that the u.s. administration as well as the pakistani government did not do enough to win their husband's, their father's release. you've written a piece now for where you get into this and make the case that they're right, that no serious effort was made to negotiate for his release. what's behind that? >> i think for the u.s. government, you know the fact he was being held by al qaeda made it very problematic. the u.s. government position as you know is not to make concessions to terrorist groups al qaeda in particular. i've talked to multiple pakistani officials about the circumstances of all this. they said they did make an effort to go house to house in north waziristan where warren weinstein was believed to be held and where he was almost
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certainly killed in the drone strike in january. they said those came to no -- they didn't have any result. they put feelers out to the haqqani network. this is important because the haqqani network is now holding another american citizen. katelyn coleman has probably had a kid in captivity, whose name we don't know. i think we should draw some lessons from this which is we really need to work with the pakistani government with whom we have some leverage to get katelyn coleman released. that's going to -- you know we're going to have to get in the situation where concessions are going to have to be made by somebody. we've had the example of an american journalist released by an al qaeda affiliate in syria. peter theo curtis. that happened because the qatar government intervened. any negotiation, you're going to have to make some form of concession. the u.s. government should work with the pakistani government to authorize some kind of deal that
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will allow other americans and ka canadians still being held in the area. otherwise, you're condemning them to certain death. >> we've seen all the options. we've seen the danger with all of them. here you have the possibility of collateral damage. you strike somewhere, you have no idea they were there, you kill an american and an italian. we had a rescue effort in yemen that killed a south african hostage. well the assault happened. he was killed by his hostage takers while that happened. you had a failed attempt for james foley and other hostages in syria. it's difficult to get right. jason, today the president took full responsibility for this even though he didn't order this particular strike. he apologized for it. how much of an intelligence failure is this or are these circumstances -- is there an element here that these circumstances of hostage taking are so difficult that mistakes happen when you're attempting to get these people free?
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>> that's a great question. first of all, thank you for having me on. secondly we want -- our hearts go out to the grieving family of the weinsteins right now. we share in their grief. these are very difficult operations. every administration is faced with a complexity when we're facing hostage situations. peter mentioned this is in the tribal region of waziristan. these are difficult regions for the american intelligence community and military community to get fidelity on the targets. what we see is when we don't have a good confidence when we don't have a high amount of fidelity and what is happening on the ground this remote capability to monitor these things leads us into a place where our consequences are generally high. monitoring this compound and knowing the compound is an al qaeda compound is one thing. but having the confidence that this target that we're about to strike is going to result in -- we work very hard with our allies. we need to continue to emphasize what it means to have one human
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intelligence on the ground two, great relations with our partners like pakistan. so it requires a lot of work. >> well peter, the u.s. is about to pull out of afghanistan. that drawdown is slowing down. they will keep some assets there. but now you're looking at several countries where the u.s. if it doesn't have complete blind spots, it is blinder than it used to be. largely a blind spot in syria. until recently more so in iraq until u.s. forces back on the ground there. all these countries where you have severe terror threats. is the u.s. by pulling out of these places setting itself up for more intelligence failures like this going forward? >> i think the short answer is yes. i mean our plan to completely withdraw to accept a very small force at the end of december 2016 in afghanistan, you know, by definition is going to impact our ability to kind of contain al qaeda. and i think the administration
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to its credit is kind of stepping back from that policy a little bit, slowing down the pace of withdrawal. i'd like to see both democrat and republican candidates for the presidency say, hey, we're not going to turn off the lights in afghanistan at the end of 2016 and put that in their platforms. we've already run this videotape in iraq. it was a disaster. why would we do this again to ourselves when we can predict with some degree of fidelity what's actually going to happen if there's a total absence of american presence. we're not talking about sustaining a big troop presence, but some kind of presence that's not basically protecting our embassy in kabul is necessary. >> no question. these are easy issues to snipe from the outside, but they require decisions. big decisions coming forward. jason, peter, great to have you both on today. >> thank you. >> we want to take you now to capitol hill. that's where the senate has just voted on loretta lynch's
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nomination for attorney general. this is another story that's been in the news. delayed for longer than the sum total of delays with previous attorneys general as they were nominated earl ed nominated. earlier this week on sunday senator corker told us on the air it would be settled this week. that's turned out to be the case. our cnn's athena jones is live now on capitol hill. how did this compromise agreement come about after so long? >> well let me first tell you that loretta lynch was cleared 56 to have 43. she had more support than she needed. ten republicans voted to confirm loretta lynch after all this time. one of them was senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. he's someone who had been lobbied. i witnessed groups of black men, black women, clergy activists coming to his office his leadership office here in the capitol, trying to lobby him not only to schedule the vote but also to vote yes on loretta
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lynch. the compromise came about on tuesday. there was a long fight over human trafficking bill that's entirely unrelated to the lynch nomination. but there was a fight over abortion language. a compromise was reached on that language finally on tuesday. that allowed them to get the vote on the schedule and brought us to this day when loretta lynch becomes the first black woman to head the department of justice. her father a fourth generation baptist minister was in the gallery today to watch the vote as were several house members black women members of the house came over to watch the vote as well as a lot of other lynch supporters. so this is a day that a lot of people have been waiting for. finally loretta lynch got a vote and she was confirmed. jim? >> athena jones, thank you. brooke you'll remember just on friday when president obama made that very angry demand to get loretta lynch approved. he said this is embarrassing. he'd been waiting so long. just in a few days' time the
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senate in a rare moment of some bipartisanship here moving forward on that nomination >> made it happen and confirmed her. jim, thank you so much. huge huge stories we're following obviously out of washington. also not a slow day here in baltimore either. we're anticipating -- and i'm already starting to see some police amass. they've cordoned off city hall behind me. they want justice in the death of 25-year-old freddie gray here in baltimore. all of this as the president of the police union in a statement compared these protesters here to quote, a lynch mob. we'll speak live with one of the organizers here to respond to that. also ahead, we have seen the cell phone videos that happened that day on april 12th. what about those police surveillance cameras that are positioned throughout the city? were they not working? and if not, why? this is cnn's special live coverage.
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and we're back. you're watching cnn's special live coverage here. i'm brooke baldwin live in baltimore. we're here because we're watching for these potentially thousands to show up at baltimore city hall for multiple days in a row now. really six different days they've been rallying and the crowds have grown. i'm seeing just a couple single people with posters saying "justice for freddie gray." here on the street you have state troopers at the direction of the governor. they're now backing up local police. so far, demonstrations have been fairly peaceful as the chant of justice for freddie gray continues to echo through the the city. the 25-year-old's family just received his body this morning. their attorney says they will be conducting a private autopsy of
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the man who died sunday in police custody. i also want to share this with you. new amateur video shows gray in those leg restraints. we've been talking about it. you see the video. officials say he was put in irons after his initial arrest after he was placed in that prisoner transport van because he got quote/unquote irate. but listen now to a witness who says she saw these police officers place those leg re restraints on gray. he died a week after his arrest because of that spinal cord injury. take a listen. >> he wasn't responding. he was down. his feet was like this. and they picked him up and threw him up in the paddy wagon. >> he looked unconscious to you? >> yes. and i asked them could they get him a paramedic. they told me to mind my business. i said it is my business. >> gray's supporters soon to gather here right now. they're not only outraged over
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his death but also by a comment from the police union. officials say five of the six suspended officers have spoke within investigators about what happened to freddie gray and a representative said this in a statement. i'm quoting now. we are very concerned about the rhetoric of the protests. in fact the images seen on television look and sound much like a lynch mob. >> they've already tried and convicted the officers. that's just unfair. they still get their day in court. they did not give up their constitutional rights when they became a law enforcement officer. that's what i was getting at. some of the protesters and some of the stuff i've been watching on the news they want them put in prison. well, they haven't been charged. >> standing with me now, c.d. witherspoon, one of the organizers of a number of these protests. reverend, nice to see you in the flesh here in your hometown. i just wanted to begin with you. we're going to get to your news with your group in a second.
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but reacting to hearing the words lynch mob, react to that for me. let's all acknowledge, poor choice of words, but also the fact a lot of folks here are demanding charges for these police officers when we don't know all the facts just yet. >> right. i think citizens here have righteous indignation. and i think they have righteous indignation because this commissioner has had culpability in not firing officers in the past for similar types of actions. so people are passionate. three years ago anthony anderson was killed by the baltimore city police department. his case was determined to be a homicide by the maryland medical examiner's office but there were no charges brought before the officers. they were allowed to keep their jobs. we contend they had a paid vacation at the taxpayers' expense. two years ago tyrone west was killed by the same police department. he was drug out of his car, beaten and tased to death by the
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baltimore city police department. no charges, no indictments. they were allowed to keep their jobs. >> we talked earlier this week. you named these different cases. we talked to "the baltimore sun" about all this money paid out because of these lawsuits. in this case in the case of freddie gray you all want to conduct your own investigation into his death. so how will you do that without access to all these different police records and investigations? >> what we do is we do a community base, quite frarngnkly. we go door to door. we've talked to residents who indicate they have not talked to the baltimore city police department. people who indicate they were there when mr. gray was taken into custody. so we've contracted the services of a private investigator from the state of new jersey. he has experience in working on civil rights cases to do just that to go door to door to talk to people in the neighborhood who are outraged who witnessed what happened and who want to be heard. >> and part of this is the fact
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that those surveillance cameras, when i was reading "the baltimore sun" this morning, they were pointing out eight different surveillance cameras placed by the city in this neighborhood. not a single one of those captured the arrest. that's one of the questions people are asking about. that's one of the reasons you were saying you want to launch the investigation. >> that's absolutely correct. our contention is what happened to the footage. why aren't the cameras being accessed? we're also concerned about the fact that if the cameras were defective, why were they allowed to stay up? it's a public safety issue. so we are desperately concerned about those cameras. that's one of the things that we mentioned to our investigator and we asked for his help and he so graciously accepted the invitation to come. >> this happened in your neighborhood. you live right around the corner. help us understand those who have never been never lived, walked in the shoes you've walked. help us understand. from what i understand there's a lot of family members, a lot of community members. police frequent the area. when folks see police it seems to me that they run out and
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they're concerned about their loved ones and grab their cell phones. what's the instinct there? >> we call them jump-out boys in west baltimore. >> who's the they? >> the police officers are called jump-out boys. >> why do you call them that? >> they call them that because frequently police officers jump out of their cars without probable cause, as was the case we contend in this case and they do stop and frisk, racial profiling, driving while black happens in west baltimore every single day. oftentimes people are stopped by the police without a traffic stop receipt. so that means people don't know. they aren't giving a real reason. >> just to say that police have said this is high-crime area, and he ran in the opposite direction from police. that's how they maintain it's a constitutional stop. >> you know and that's true. let me say this. the judge issued a statement not long ago indicating that running from the police is not against
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the law. and when you live in a climate where michael brown was killed and no consequences were rendered eric garner in new york was killed, no consequences rendered and even in this city the three cases i continue to mention, where these officers are killing unarmed african-american men without consequence. actually i'm not surprised he ran. whether or not it was the best decision to make i think that's up for debate. but i'm not surprised that he was nervous by coming in contact with the police because oftentimes those encounters are deadly. >> reverend thank you so much. i appreciate it. he was also pointing out to me this is the first time the rally will take place here at city hall. it's been happening the last couple days in west baltimore. so this will be happening, as you can see city hall behind me on the steps of city hall. we're going to be here and wait for folks to arrive. jim? >> great to have you there. coming up next here as we get word that the u.s. accidently killed two hostage, we're going
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to talk about the obama administration's controversial drone program. how it works, who signs off, and the risks involved. plus senator john mccain will speak publicly for the first time since this news broke in just moments. that's right here on cnn. this is cnn's special live coverage. i've lived my whole life here in fairbanks, alaska. i love the outdoors, spending time with my family. i have a family history of prostate cancer. i had the test done and that was when i got the news. my wife and i looked at treatment options. cancer treatment centers of america kept coming up on the radar. so we flew to phoenix. greg progressed excellently. we proceeded to treat him with hormonal therapy, concurrent with intensity modulated radiation therapy to the prostate gland. go to to learn more about our integrative therapies and how they're specifically designed to keep you strong mentally, physically and spiritually throughout your treatment. i feel great today i'm healthy, i have never been in a happier place, i can't imagine being treated anyplace else.
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get a risk-free 90-day trial,backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. don't wait another minute call this toll-free number and start improving your hearing and your life today. welcome back. i'm jim schuto in washington. we're following breaking news out of washington where president obama has confirmed three americans, one hostage and two terrorists, have been killed all of them inadvertently. this the result of drone strikes near the pakistan-afghanistan border. the operation happened in january and targeted al qaeda associated hot spots along the border there. one of the americans killed was
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a hostage captured by al qaeda in 2011. u.s. contractor warren weinstein. another hostage, the italian national giovanni lo porto, was killed alongside him. the who other americans killed in these drone strikes were al qaeda operatives including adam gadahn a california native who became a key spokesman. the white house said intelligence officials did not know the hostages were in the buildings targeted by these drone strikes. president obama saying today he takes, quote, full responsibility as he apologized to the american people and the families of the victims. cnn has also learned that mr. obama did not specifically authorize these drone strikes but that they were executed according to the administration within proper guidelines. that's only fueling more debate about the overall use of drones. with me now, cnn's atika schubert. this has been a long-running controversy not just here in the
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states and in europe but certainly on the ground where these strikes take place. extreme sensitivity to the civilian casualties. it's a big source of anti-americanism. i know in my own experience in pakistan the drone strikes in particular. why so much? what's the state of that debate today? >> well it's been ongoing for a while, as you point out. actually the drone program had decreased significantly. at its height around 2010 there are more than 100 strikes. i think it was an estimated 120 or something drone strikes. that's a drone strike every two or three days. since then we have seen that drop dramatically. in fact last year the whole drone program in pakistan was put on pause as the pakistani government was pursuing peace talks with the taliban. but it ramped up again in june. this year there have already been an estimated seven strikes. we believe now that it was a strike on january 15th which may have killed the hostages. so clearly, this will spark the
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debate exactly on how do you get a target how is that decision made and why are we seeing so many of these drone strikes still being carried out? >> yeah it's -- in both these cases, you have two drone strikes. one that killed the two hostages plus the al qaeda leader. a separate strike that killed adam gadahn a few days later. when you look at these cases -- and i believe our pam brown is joining us now as well. pam, are you there? >> i'm here with you, jim. >> here's a real issue. you have the american and the italian hostage who were killed. this is a horrible mistake. you have two american members of al qaeda. but there's a very severe legal process that the u.s. government did not go through on them which would have been required if you're killing americans, summary execution, in effect. they say they didn't know they were in those buildings. how complicated is that process? and how much of a problem is it
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that these americans were killed but did not have the legal backing to do so? >> well from a legal standpoint jim, it is a problem because as you point out, the obama administration has set forth a number of steps that officials must go through in order to get approval to kill an american through a drone strike. we've learned, jim, through our sources we've been speaking with today, that that approval process did not take place. but the administration will tell you, well this wasn't an intentional targeted killing. we didn't know they were in that compound. all we knew was there were senior al qaeda members in there. we didn't know their identities which of course in and of itself could raise controversy too, or questions about whether or not we need to know more specifics. as we know jim, it's not a perfect science. even though they reach aer in-certain assessment intelligence can be imprecise. it's not a perfect science.
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i think that's part of what makes the drone program controversial, though the obama administration will tell you it was within its legal bounds with these drone strikes and that there have been several examples where it's taken out terrorists who are a great threat to the united states. >> well the intelligence wrong here on all counts really who the al qaeda targets were who were kill and certainly having those hostages present at that site. but intelligence is difficult. it's never perfect as you say, pam. pamela brown, atika schubert great to have you both. brooke back to you. the number of questions raised by this there's going to be a serious investigation that's going to take a long time to answer these questions, principally for the families involved. >> the family obviously has many many questions. we're going to talk about why these eight surveillance cameras in this one neighborhood why not a single one captured a lick of this arrest. again, just a reminder to all of you, we're here live in baltimore this afternoon. we're anticipating protesters
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will be gathering for this rally here at city hall as they are angry. they're expressing outrage of the death of 25-year-old freddie gray. that's the man who died after his spine was severed after this confrontation with baltimore police. we mentioned those surveillance cameras in the neighborhood. why weren't the moments leading up to freddie gray's death caught on camera? it's a question a lot of people here want answers to. you're watching cnn's special live coverage. wish your skin could bounce back like it used to? new neutrogena hydro boost water gel. with hyaluronic acid
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you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. we're live in baltimore. the mayor of this city has pledged, and i'm quoting her, transparency and accountability. several people who live near this arrest scene claim there are multiple street cameras that could have recorded what happened and they are skeptical that not one of those eight cameras caught any of the arrest back on april 12th.
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joining me now "baltimore sun" investigative reporter. nice to have you back on the show. we'll get to your piece and this investigation and money paid out, but my first question to you as i was reading "the sun" this morning, one of your colleagues had a piece just about speaking to one of the eyewitnesses of the arrest. it was his cell phone that was rolling. we've seen some of his video, describing the arrest describing freddie gray, like he was twisted like origami. what more did he see that we have not seen? >> he said when he ran outside, he was awoken that mr. gray was being arrested. he said he ran out there. freddie gray was face down in the ground. an officer had a knee on his back. another had him handcuffed. another officer was bending his legs back towards his back. he was being told to stop resisting. the friend of mr. gray said he wasn't resisting at all. >> the other thing brought up in
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that piece, those eight surveillance cameras. people in the neighborhood saying there are these eight surveillance cameras that the city has placed for precise tlily this reason. was person was quoted as saying if i were to commit a crime, they would have every angle. it doesn't make any sense these cameras work, but when police do something, they don't. what do you know about these cameras? >> i don't know anything about them. typically in law enforcement, they don't release videos right away. i assume that'll come out at some point. >> i'm hearing that they're like automatic, robotic cameras. >> they can be zoomed in if someone is watching. >> let's talk about the mayor here. stephanie rawlings-blake. she's been criticized for being too calm handling all this too calmly. she's actually responded to this criticism. let me quote her saying screaming and yelling is not going to get the gray family the answers they're looking for. are you hearing this sort of
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chorus of she needs to be banging her hands on desk a little louder? >> people are saying that but who am i to critique the mayor? when we did stories, she showed the same demeanor. she said what she had to say. >> she says progress is being made but your piece, these city lawsuits in the millions the last two weeks paying out $255,000. if the mayor is saying that's all going down what have you found? >> we found that lawsuits have dropped some in the past two years. they've dropped about 20%. but one key that people should know is there's a cap in maryland at $200,000. if someone gets that lawsuit they can't get 2 or 3 million. that cap could save the taxpayers of this city potentially millions of dollars. if there was another jurisdiction like texas where there's no cap, it could have been four or five times higher. >> so the settlements are happening, they're just capped. >> there were also two jury awards recently for 2.3 million and one for 600,000 that will be
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appealed. if they're unsuccessful it'll make it go up. >> mark thank you so much. as we continue our conversation with you all at the paper here in baltimore, let me go to my colleague joe johns, who's also here next to me in the city hall area. joe, you're getting some information on freddie gray's funeral. what are you learning? >> that's absolutely right, brooke. with me right now is reverend jamal bryant of empowerment tempo here in baltimore. you have some new information about where this funeral is going to be held and what time it's going to be held. could you share that with us? >> absolutely. the funeral is going to be monday morning at 11:00 a.m. at the new shiloh baptist church on monroe street, which is within walking distance from the community where it all took place. >> my understanding is there are some concerns about finances for this family and the ability to put together a funeral, a memorial service, but you have figured out a way to cover the
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costs. can you talk to me about that? >> absolutely. i think the conflict is the police are on paid vacation and really ought to be contributing to the family's financial issues. but because they have not stepped up empowerment temple is going to pay for the funeral and the burial. >> that's your church? >> yes. >> okay. so as far as i can tell freddie gray was not a member of new shiloh. i have talked to reverend harold carter over there. was he a member of your church? did he have any association with you? >> he was not a member of the church. he was a member of the community. i think that's the responsibility of all of our churches to really step in and meet the need. >> now -- but he did attend your church. is that right? from time to time? >> yes, on occasion but was never a member. >> his girlfriend attended the church. >> absolutely. >> the larger concern is here in the community. out at one of the protests last night, i did hear a lot of concerns about streets being barricaded and the restrictions that have been put on people who are trying to express their
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emotions about this case. you, too, have expressed some of those concerns. >> absolutely. it's provocation, really. they're forgetting we are freedom of speech. if you look around we're coming today peaceably. we've not had any record of any public disruption but it's hard for us to even assemble with everything. they've released all of the employees and sent a missive out to downtown workers to please leave at 2:00 because they weren't sure what's going to happen. police are coming in riot gear expecting the worst. the citizens of this community have shown the absolute best. >> reverend jamal bryant thank you so much for sharing that information. brooke what we do know is that funeral will be 11:00 here in town at new shiloh church. the expectations for protests continue, at least for now. >> that's right. we're watching in the next half hour or so, we're anticipating a number of people to show up. i'm seeing some folks carrying posters, justice for freddie gray. we're going to cover that when it happens. for now, joe johns, thank you.
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jim schuto to you in washington. >> thanks t brooke. the other story we're following, the accidental killing of an american hostage of al qaeda in pakistan by a u.s. drone strike. i'm going to speak shortly with a friend of warren weinstein, the american hostage killed in that strike in afghanistan along the pakistan border. what he says about trying many times and failing to secure his friend's release. that's right after this break. (son) oh no... can you fix it, dad? yeah, i can fix that. (dad) i wanted a car that could handle anything. i fixed it! (dad) that's why i got a subaru legacy. (vo) symmetrical all-wheel drive plus 36 mpg. i gotta break more toys. (vo) the twenty-fifteen subaru legacy. it's not just a sedan. it's a subaru. look! this is the new asian inspired broth bowl
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back now to our breaking news. a u.s. drone strike targeting an al qaeda compound in january this year accidently killed two innocent hostages one of them the american warren weinstein. weinstein was 73 focused on helping pakistani families. he was akbducted by al qaeda back in 2011. weinstein's family understandably devastated by the news. here's what his wife said in a statement. we do not yet fully understand the facts surrounding warren's death, but we do understand the u.s. government will be conducting an independent investigation of the circumstances. and we look forward to the results of that investigation, but those who took warren captive over three years ago bear ultimate responsibility. former ambassador dan simpson met warren weinstein in central africa back in 1968. they've been friends ever since. dan, great to have you on. i want to extend our thoughts here at cnn to you and warren's family on what must be just a
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very difficult and sad day. >> thank you very much for asking me to be on. i welcome the opportunity to pay tribute to warren. this was a man who basically dedicated his life to service, to people in general, but especially to people in countries where the standard of living was low and difficult. i met him first in africa but his most recent experience had been in pakistan. it's tragic that he was killed the way he was. >> no question. a man who dedicated i had life edd his life to helping other people in difficult and dangerous places. dan, you could hear in his wife elaine's statement a frustration with u.s. government efforts to get him freed. this is a frustration i've heard from other families who have had their loved ones taken, whether
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it be by terrorist groups or militant groups. i wonder if you and the family feels satisfied with the efforts that the u.s. made to win his release before the horrible events that we learned about today. >> well i don't know in particular what they did, but for me i revisited the question in 2014 last year when the united states exchanged some of its prisoners at guantanamo for sergeant bowe bergdahl. now, i'm not saying they shouldn't have done that but the question that entered my mind then was if they could do that for him, why couldn't they do something comparable for a man who dedicated his life to service, who was 73 years old, who was not in good health and so on. i guess i don't -- if you ask me do i think the united states did as much as it could to free him, i would say no.
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>> our own peter bergen terror analyst, who's been covering al qaeda for more than a decade met osama bin laden, has reported that there was an idea at least of somehow connecting the bergdahl transfer to the case of warren weinstein, although they were held by different groups that there was an effort led by a team in the pentagon that was trying that. i wonder you heard about any such efforts to connect those two so that the exchange might have involved more people. >> no i had not heard about that. although our congressman from pittsburgh mike doyle, was in contact with john kerry, the secretary of state, on the budget of weinstein. and i would have thought they would have told either one or the both of them if there had been such attempts. i don't know -- i mean obviously i don't know who held him. but i think the idea of trading
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some of these people at guantanamo whom we want to get rid of anyway for american hostages is not a bad or an original idea. >> dan, i wonder often in these stories, the truth of the person can be lost in the breaking news. you knew him well. you knew him for more than 40 years. just before we leave you, what's one of your fondest memories of warren weinstein? >> warren weinstein was very sympathetic to the people of berundi. it's a small, rather obscure african country. but warren made a supreme effort to get to know the people of this country, you know, and to be able to explain them to me who was a new arrival there. the other thing about warren was he was a very humble person. he drove a beat up old
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volkswagen beetle. he's just an inquiring mind and a gentle soul. i mean think about him working in pakistan as he's into his mid-70s. because he loved the work. i mean this is a special person. this is the kind of person that should be representing the united states overseas. >> well he dedicated his life to service in a dangerous place, and he lost his life. >> and we killed him, you know. it wasn't intentional, i don't suppose, but we killed him. >> no certainly not intentional, but a sad fact the u.s. killed its own here. dan simpson, thanks so much for being on. this is a story we're going to stay on. please stay with us. after this break, we will have an interview, his first since this news broke with senator john mccain. please stay with us.
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welcome. i'm jim schuto live in washington for cnn's special coverage of our breaking news. two hostages including an american killed accidently along with two american al qaeda operatives by u.s. drone strikes. >> and i'm brooke baldwin live here in baltimore where very soon protesters are expected to rally here in front of city hall over the death of 25-year-old freddie gray who died in police custody. you will see it all live here on cnn. but first, back to you, jim, in d.c. >> great to have brooke there. two major stories we're covering. he may not have ordered them but the president is taking full responsibility for the drone strikes that killed two hostages held captive by al qaeda, including an american warren weinstein. u.s. officials say they quote, had near certainty there were no hostages at the terror compound they struck on the afghanistan-pakistan border. as it