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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  April 24, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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of the union. we'll launch in june. we'll have much more on that as we get close tore the launch date. i want to take a moment to thank cnn for the honor and the opportunity and most importantly to thank you for watching "the lead" and hopefully our pending sunday efforts as well. that's it for "the lead." turning you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room"." have a great weekend. happening now, plot against the vatican? italian police break up a major al qaeda cell which they have is blotted to attack the home of the catholic church. ransom paid. the family of an american hostage turned over a large sum of money to gain his freedom but the demands only increased. were they dealing with the i don't think terrorists? rough ride. new details on what may have caused baltimore suspect freddie gray to break his neck. was he thrown around in the back of a police van
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? as anger grows over the death in custody, protest rs vow to shut the city down as officials urge demonstrator to keep the peace. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." and let's get to the breaking news. we have stunning new developments in the case of freddie gray the baltimore man whose death in police custody sparked outrage. he should have been in medical custody. all of the latest details coming up. a massive anti-terrorism sweep is underway as police round up suspects associated with al qaeda. the operation is taking place all over italy where officials say the suspects discussed a range of targets including the vatican, home of the pope and the catholic church.
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some of the alleged cell members are said to have tie to osama bin laden. the cell is liked to a massacre in pakistan and suspected human trafficking. i'll speak live with our correspondents analysts and guests with full coverage. let's get all of the very latest. pamela brown joins us with that. >> aitalian police say the 18 suspected al qaeda terrorists being arrested for plotting to possibly launch a devastating attack on the vatican during pope benedict's rain in 2010. thousands of people go to the vatican every day and more so on sunday. think f they had been successful it could have been catastrophic. national security experts say. italian prosecutors said today that the terror cell brought a suicide bomber into italy from afghanistan with the plans to detonate explosives in a crowded place five years ago but the suicide bomber left the country
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before carrying out the attack. it's unclear why the group pulled the plug. but the prosecutor say they may have been spooked, caught on the fact that police were tracking them. police began investigating this terror cell in 2005. the cell they said had an abundance of weapons and cash but by 2012 the group changed communication tactics and the investigation slowed down until today. two of the suspects arrested allegedly had direct ties to osama bin laden security detail and were involved in an attack in pakistan in 2009 that left more than 100 people dead. and the vatican secretary said today, quote, we're all exposed and fearful but the pope is very calm. wolf it is still unclear what is behind the timing of the i a rest today. >> do we know pamela if the italians have asked for direct assistance from the fbi, other
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agencies in the u.s. government in. >> well, as i said this is a first of its kind operation. they're going to pull in as much help as they can. we don't know specifically if the fbi is involved. but this is an operation that doesn't just have to do in italy. the men arrested were from pakistan. so you imagine other countries are involved in this raid as well. >> pamela brown reporting for us. thank you. there's also new information on one of the two hostages accidentally killed in a u.s. drone attack. the family of warren weinstein paid a sizable ramsome to gain his release but may have been dealing with the wrong terrorists. what else are you learning, jim? >> sources are saying that the family paid the money to the wrong group, this people who weren't actually holding warren weinstein. after his capture, the group
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reporting to be the captain tors wanted a prisoner exchange with a well known female jihadi held here in the u.s. sentenced to 86 years in prison. there were other signs as well. communication kept up until just this month. of course we know now that weinstein was dead for three months as you got into this month. so this is one of the reasons why the fbi and white house administration concerned with families dealing with captors directly. very good chance they could be scammed like this. >> the fact is that so many of the families of the american hostages held usually there's not good news but they usually express disappointment in the behavior of the u.s. government. >> they do. we've seen it with the weinstein family and the families of some of the americans held in iran right now. we saw it with the family of james foley, the american journalist beheaded by isis complaints about how they were treated, complaints about the lack of kmub occasion frankly from the white house. the white house clearly aware of this.
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today creating a special team joining the fbi, the state department white house officials communicating with one voice to the families of people who are held cap fif. and the president is aware of this today. perhaps some of the criticism as he spoke at the director of national intelligence about the mistakes made with this strike. >> we're going to review what happened. we're going to identify the lessons that can be learned and any improvements and changes that can be made. and i know those of you who are here share our determination to continue doing everything we can to prevent the loss of innocent lives. >> of course there are questions about how the amendmentdministration treated the families. but the c ix a is going to point their investigator general to investigate. >> thank for that. those u.s. strikes also killed two american terrorists one 0 them was a former california farm boy. he became the public face of al
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qaeda, had a million dollar bounty placed on his head by the u.s. government. what else do we know? >> well, wolf whenned a gam go done left the united states he went on to become a prominent member of al qaeda. he was 36 years old and a long way from his hometown. >> adam ga deen. >> he was the most prized recruit. the american born mouth pieces of the terrorist organization. >> we shall continue to target you at home and abroad. >> appear in video after video. >> i will now proceed to destroy my american passport. >> the first american since world war ii chashlged with treesen for giving treason. that picture a stark contrast from what appeared to be an
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idealic american upbringing raised in a farm in url children and living in his late teen years. at 17 years old he he started attending this mosque in orange country and converted to islam. >> he never espoused any kind of militancy when he was living with our family before he moved overseas. >> at 20 years old she boarded a plane to london and then on. >> al qaeda knew he was coming. they sent an operative to meet him at the airport and he was transported across the border to bin laden's camps in afghanistan where he swore allegiance to bin laden. and he was there at the time of 9/11. >> after 9/11 he rose through the ranks becoming a prominent
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mark of the hierarchy. >> did the white house want him dead or alive. >> our preference would be to capture, detain, debrief and prosecute them. >> u.s. officials say ga dan wasn't targeted. >> and the us what did not go through the official legal process needed to approve the killing of an american. the white house says that was because they did not know he was inside the al qaeda compound at the time of the strike. >> thank you so much. joining us now republican senators james rich of idaho, a member of the intelligence and foreign relations committee. have you been briefed on these american deaths and if you have how long ago did you hear about all of this in. >> the answer to the question wolf is question. how long ago is classified at
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this point. what we're about to talk about here is one of the most sensitive -- one of the most classified one of the most difficult issues that america is facing today as far as defending this country. it's deeply classified and you're going to have to cut me a little slack as we go forward. but in general terms we can certainly talk about it to some extent. look there are lots of people involved in this. this is not a cavalier thing that happens. i can't tell you obviously how it's done or what -- what we go through to get to this point. you saw the anguish on the face of the president. and i think that conveys a lot as far as what goes into this and what happens when things go wrang. >> yeah because an italian hostage was killed an american hostage was killed. i guess the bottom line questions without breaking classified information is do you
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have faith right now in the way that the intelligence community prepared this operation? >> you know wolf i really do. this is something that's been going on for quite some time. like i said this is not something that's taken on in a cavalier fashion. it's not something that one person just makes a decision based on a little bit of information. this is well-vetted with people who are very professional people who have been working at this for a long time. and no matter what happens, when you're involved in counter terrorism operations and there's lethal force being used sometimes things are going to happen that you don't want to happen. having said that these are things that nobody wants to do but are absolutely necessary for the security of the american people. look this isn't -- this is a -- this is not a partisan issue. the people who work on this are
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republicans, democrats, liberals and conservatives. everyone has input into how this is done. it is difficult, but it is in my judgment after watching this over the years, it is well-planned. it is well-executed. it is well-thought out. and there are excellent pros protocols in place before this is done. having said that when you're dealing with lethal force, things can go awry from time to time and it's a tragic situation again. that picture of the president of the united states when he had to talk about this tells it all. >> it certainly does. let's talk a little bit about adam ga dan. the american who converted to islam who became a mouthpiece as all of us know. we just saw the report of al qaeda. he now is gone. how do the u.s. officials, based on what you know confirm that
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he is in fact dead? >> wolf that's classified. i guess all i can do is get to the bottom line and say that with a high degree of confidence we can say that he is dead. >> is that the best you can do a high degree of confidence? you don't know for sure? >> well for sure unless you actually have the body it's about impossible. but a high degree of confidence in the intelligence community is about as good as you can do under those circumstances but it is very very good. >> what's your confidence level as far as the death of warren weinstein? >> well again, i think when the president of the united states stepped up and said what he said he expressed that there was a high degree of confidence that that also happened. >> but as i say, you don't have dna, you don't have the actual body is that right? >> you know wolf i really
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can't go into those things. this is deeply deeply classified as to how it's planned, how it's executed and the aftermath. and in all fairness to the american people we really can't go there. >> all right. i understand completely. senator, i want you to stand by. we've got a lot more to discuss, including these new reports coming out of italy and elsewhere that al qaeda is now directly targeting christian, including an attack on the vatican and the catholic church. stay with us. (woman) you want to eat... want to eat, who wants to eat... (dog) do i want to eat? yes, i want to eat. (woman) do you want to eat? (dog) do i want to eat, yes. that's like nine times you've asked...yes. i mean it's beneful. i can actually see the meaty chunks and carrots right there...look at it. it's beautiful. mmmmmmm, thank you so much... but you know tomorrow night... 'bout we just assume i do want to eat... know speed things up a little.
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take a look at the breaking news we're following right now. ominous pictures. these are live pictures just outside of oklahoma city where there is now a tornado warning. look at those clouds. we're going to monitor the situation for you, get an update as soon as we can. but those are pretty ominous pictures right now oklahoma city right now. but let's get back to the other news we're following. republican senator james rich of idaho, a member of the intelligence and foreign relations committee is still with us. senator, there's a lot of fear about this fanatic islamic terrorist war against christianity right now. christians in particular. first of all the news out of italy that there was an al qaeda plot to go after the va vatican. how serious do you think this is? >> wolf this is really serious. it shouldn't surprise anyone.
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this is coming out of europe. europe is much different than the u.s. in a lot of ways not the least of which it's a much softer target, easily penetrated and there are large groups of radical people that are moved into europe and can move in and out of there fairly easily. we're probably going to see more of this in the future. the intelligence agencies over there and the laurmt agencies move a lot more publicly than we do here in the u.s. and as a result of this you saul the rollout today that actually caught the attention of a lot of news agencies and they intended it to be that way. >> you hear about an al qaeda plot against the vatican and the plot. in the recent weeks we've seen them behead christians, and then christians beheaded and thrown over ships trying to escape.
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is there, based on the intelligence you're privy to some sort of direct war on christian right now by these terrorists? >> i don't think you need to rely on intelligence for that. they say so publicly. if you look at what they've put on the internet and everything else it's both christians and the jewish populations that they target. and there is good reason to believe that these radicals -- they are the radical islamic culture that have targeted and will continue to target christian people for the reasons that they state in these deep philosophical things that they publish on the internet about why they're doing this and that they're going to continue to do it. >> let's talk about yemen for a moment. isis just released some training video claiming to be shot in yemen showing militants in desert fatigues. the video was release as a
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threat to the shiite hugh thinks. cnn has not confirmed the authenticity of the video. what does this mean the presence potentially of isis in yemen. we know the hugh thinksouthis are there. is there an isis terrorist presence in yemen as well? >> isis has gotten such wolf that their tentacles go out and reach everywhere. i would say more than yemen, libya has been a target of theirs for establishing these training camps and for expansion. but they're going to expand all over the middle east because of the deteriorating conditions there, the loss of any ability of the yes, ma'am yes, ma'am knees government.
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this is going to permeate in the area. as of 9 slshthere's becoming more and more lawless areas in the middle east and they're able to move more freely and able to establish beach heads in these countries that are broken that have failed governments. >> these are failed states right now whether it's in libya or yemen or somalia. unfortunately there's a whole bunch of them right now. senator, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >> james risch. coming up massacres of christian by isis and news of a possible al qaeda plot to attack the vatican. our terror experts are standing by. as organizers vow new protests in baltimore, police now say freddie gray should have received medical aid at the scene of his arrest and should have been buckled into the van that took him away.
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and thousands of people are evacuate as a massive volcano erupts. we're going the take you close to the scene. so, what brings you to jersey? well, geico's the #1 auto insurer in new jersey, new york and connecticut. so i just came by to say "thanks." #1, huh? that's great. here you go. a little token of appreciation. oh, that's... that's... that's great... now i'd say you probably need a large. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. i have moderate to severe crohn's disease. it's tough, but i've managed. but managing my symptoms was all i was doing. so when i finally told my doctor, he said humira is for adults like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms
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let's get back to our story. a possible plot to attack the vatican. joining us now, national security analyst, tom bergman, and counter terrorism analyst, phil mudd and our cnn intelligence analyst bob baer. phil explain the kind of
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surveillance the work that goes into disrupting some sort of potentially very significant international terror cell like the cell the italians busted today supposed he destined to go after the vatican. >> this is a big one. i'm used to looking at a terror control with a handful of people. when you think about, for example, international communications. this is a huge investigation for any service. let me tell you why. your first question is what is the extent of the network. do i have time to figure out where the documents are coming from. where the money is coming from. whether they have access to training weapons explosives. how are they communicating overseas and are there networks that go elsewhere in europe, the united states. so it's going to take you months or in this case maybe years to understand the full extent of a net work that's that grod with this many people. there is one question, one risk you've got to deal with in the short term. and that is with as i'm mapping
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my knowledge of the network, i cannot afford to continue that mapping if it looks like overnight these guys are going to attack the vatican. there's also risk reward. do i have time to figure out the extent of the conspiracy or are these guys talking like they're moving tonight in which case i'm going to take them down right away. >> they had been watching these guys for several years and finally made the decision to go ahead and mo. tom fuentes, you worked and cooperated with the italian authorities. there was a plot to bomb to u.s. embassy. >> in 2002 there were nine moroccans who were tunnelling under a very famous street in rome that the u.s. embassy is on that street, they for tunnelling to get to the basement of the embassy, then they were going to blow up the embassy. when that plot was uncovered, they were up on wire taps within
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24 houshsr. it was an extensive investigation then they took the group of moroccans down. >> one of the terror experts today, they have him in a wiretap conversation saying he was directly sent over there to do this attack by bin laden himself before bin laden was killed. do you buy that? >> could be bravado. could be something else. the sequence is that bin laden wasn't communicating with a lot of people in the post-9/11 era. this has been mature fg a long time so it's not inconceivable. it may be the kind of thank you dell the fellow jihadis to increase your creed. >> that raises the question about the terror suspects now the custody. what kind of information do you think they could provide to italian intelligence police. how valuable in other words are they potentially? >> well it's enormous.
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once you knock down the door on the safe houses, you get inside and you get into address books, cell phones burner phones a couple of these guys i wouldn't be prized if they break under interrogation, start talking about the relations bigger networks across europe. but what disturbs me is the target the vatican. we're seeing a radicalization of islam that i haven't seen before. the vatican is not a participant in any of the wars in the middle east. there's no justification that we can understand why they're at war with the vatican. just like behead heading the koptic christians. and of course you've got europe so septemberable to the vast movements of peopling coming out of the middle east. we're going to add fuel to the fire. things seem to be getting worse rather than better. >> why are these terrorists
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going after christian, whether the egyptian christian, the ethiopian christians they're throwing these christians overboard. why the bar on christianity? >> well if you lock at them targeting the vatican, you have to look at the world from the perspective of the isis guys. they're trying to exing panned their roots across the islamic world. it's not big enough for them to say we're going after the italians or the french. they want to defend themselves of the islamic faith and the defender of the culture to a universe of people they want to recruit. the way to do that is saying we're defending islam against christianity ap and the they say that these folks are crusaders. it's not a big leap to say if we're defending islam against the crusaders were the center of the crusaders is the vatican.
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it sounds a bit absurd. they're stepping up their game to say we're fighting to defend the faith against crusader nations and that's lead by people like the pope. >> i want all of you to stand by. we're going to stay on top of the story. we have new details from baltimore police on what may have caused the death of freddie gray as angry protesters promise to shut the city down. and and enormous eruption forces thousands of people from their home. officials warning more volcanic activity is on the way. look at this picture. wow. sweet new subaru, huh mitch? yep. you're selling the mitchmobile!? man, we had a lot of good times in this baby. what's your dad want for it? a hundred and fifty grand, two hundred if they want that tape deck.
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new details are emerging about what may have severed the spine of freddie gray the african american man who died in the custody of the baltimore police. only moments ago the police commissioner anthony batts spoke out about what investigators know so far. >> we know he was not buckled in the transportation wagon as he should have been. no excuses for that period. we know our police employees failed to get him medical attention in a timely manner multiple times. >> the admission comes as demonstrators are promising in their words to shut this city down. brian todd is in baltimore. you were right in the middle of the protests we saw unfold in "the situation room" yesterday. what's the latest there today?
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>> reporter: we were right in the middle of those protests wolf. we're here at the western presings of the baltimore police preparing for another round of protests tonight. could be coming soon. this was the scene of intense protests overnight. it comes as there are new concerns about the upcoming protest and the dangerous influence of outside agitators. there have been sudden spontaneous confrontations. plenty of tense standoffs with police. but so far no major eruptions of violence in baltimore, a pattern city officials are worried that could break at any moment. >> to any and all that would seek to bring chaos to our city the people of baltimore will not tolerate you hurting our community. >> law enforcement veterans no full well who disrupt the
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peaceful cycle of demonstrations. >> people with no respect for the rule of law pose a great danger because they can cause a mob mentality that people otherwise acting alone would never do. >> lee maddox says outside agitators burn trash cans and throw bottles. it happened repeatedly in ferguson. in baltimore, local activists are upset about outsiders who they believe have already tried to start trouble, including more formal organizers. >> they're taking over the message and they've defecting from what the real message is. the real message is that as a community, the poor black community, we're tired of police violence. >> but the organizers of upcoming protests, some from outside baltimore, they share the same goal as locals justice for freddie gray. >> i'm going to go anywhere my people are being killed. i'm not going to turn around. >> they're all demanding answers
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as to why freddie gray went into a police van in what police say was a good condition but came wut with a severe spinal cord injury that killed. in in 2005 dandi johnson suffered spinal cord injuries that would be faith l. the baltimore police were found liable in a civil suit. >> it's like lightning striking twice. certainly after that case was over i was like, this will never happen again. this shouldn't happen again. but it did. >> reporter: now the baltimore police today did not address the fact that there have now been two deaths as a result of rides in their police vans over the past ten years. but a short time ago commissioner anthony batts said anyone who might have harmed freddie gray is going to be prosecuted. >> i want to bring in our experts, tom fuentes, the former
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assistant director of the fbi, also joining was jeffrey toobin and joey jackson. tom fuentes, when the police chief say freddie gray was not buckle in that there's no excuse he acknowledged he should have received medical attention as soon as there was a problem, how serious is this oversight in. >> those are serious allegations. i think it's very serious in terms of the civil liability and obviously in terms of a potential criminal prosecution which he mentioned as a distinction possibility and why they're being so meticulous and closed mouth about the investigation. they're anticipating a strong possibility of prosecution. >> that's the police dmigs near. the deputy police commissioner said this about freddie gray not being strapped in. listen to this. >> i i walked the entire route yesterday.
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it's a foot chase that's not a short one. it goes through several streets, several houses complexes and eventually end unalong the 1700 block of pressbury and that's where the apprehension of freddie gray occurred and quite frankly that's exactly where freddie gray should have received medical attention. and he did not. >> wasn't strapped in didn't receive medical attention when they thought she should receive medical attention. what's your legal analysis of what he just heard? >> it's very significant because it's the first clear acknowledgment by the baltimore police department that their officers did wrong. the question that's outstanding now is was this misconduct negligence was it a mistake? or was it intentional? was it an assault on freddie gray? that will determine what kind of criminal charges. but certainly today's disclosures suggest that some kind of criminal charges are likely at this point. >> these are police making accusations against other
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police. that's significant. >> indeed. >> joey, let's talk about what the police are saying. they've received what they call a me limb nair voeshl report from medical examiner but toxicology could take another 30 to 45 days. they're consulting spinal experts. how long could this whole process talk right now until we start getting some serious answers? >> that's an open question. and i think serious questions could be forthcoming now or soon pop you asked about toxicology. toxicology relates to what is in his system if anything. what might freddie gray have had in his is system. that might be significant to explain what he had, what his his state of mind et cetera but it certainly will not answer the question of how this occurred. moving on the is second aspect. certainly it should happen. oftentimes and i think jeffrey toobin will agree, you could have a battle of the experts. you could consult various
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experts with various opinions. therefore you want to consult more than one. i could see them consult up to three. in the event they con sult two if they have different interpretationings of how the injury occurred. that's what's critical for the following reason. it will answer what was the nature of the injury and how would this injury be sustained in a normal cause. what type of pressure would need to be applied, could it have been accident. . is it consistent with intentional. it would be dependent upon when the experts are available to evaluate the case and give their report and recommendation. >> we know the family wants their own independent autopsy now that they have the body. how often potentially could the results of that autopsy be from the police autopsy? >> well i think the first difference, to be clear, is that when the initial autopsy happens, that's when the body is fresh and that's when the body is initially examined. that's very important, gathering
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the notes from that autopsy and everything else from that autopsy certainly very important. and then you have to match them when the second autopsy occurs. and you now for all we know the federal government may also in terms of the justice department investigation want to do an autopsy. and so what they'll do is they'll look at the various autopsies, look at the notes associated with the autopsies and they'll look at how the body has been preserved and moved to see what if any effects have had on even subsequent autopsy. >> go ahead, jeffrey. >> that's true. all this evidence has to be integrated. we want to know what the cause of death is from the autopsy. but obviously we'll ask the officers. they will have an opinion about how this injury took place. we'll see if it's consistent. we'll see what outside experts say, see what the surveillance cameras say. so it all needs to be integrated. i can understand why people want this very quickly. we always do. but you know this stuff takes time. and it's appropriate. >> tom, the protesters they've
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been relatively peaceful so far but there's deep concern tonight over the weekend outside agitators could come in, starting throwing rocks, bottlings bottlingsbottles looting. how do you dpeel with that? they're deeply concerned about that. >> it's a problem. anytime you have this kind of potential action on the street of a large crowd, you have people show up that have no idea what the occasion is. they come to protest the monetary fund or world bank or a case like this and they may not have ever heard of freddie grabau they know there's a big thing going on in baltimore, show up an attack the police. it does hurt the protesters. >> i want all f you to stand by. we have more coming up. also we're following this massive volcano thaz has just erupted forcing thousands people from their home. officials warning more volcanic activity is on the way. we're about to go there live.
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light. liberty mutual insurance. take a look at this, a group of tourists capture the moment that chile's volcano starts to erupt violently, thousands have been evacuated and authorities are warning there will be more activity today. amazing. amazing video. cnn's shasta darlington is joining us now, close to that volcano. shasta where are you? how close are you to that volcano? >> hi wolf we're about ten miles from the volcano. we're in ensenada. this was one of the first towns evacuated after the violent
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erupgtse eruptions eruptions, blankets of ash came crashing down on this town. can you see over my shoulder calbuco is smoking again. it really has people on edge. some residents came back to try to sweep layers of ash off the roofs of their houses. only to find that after lying, quieting down for about a day, it's smoking again, and officials are also saying that they believe this has been unstable this has not calmed down. that possibly another crater is opening up inside the volcano. and that people should be prepared for a third eruption. in fact they've even ordered more evacuations today of another 2,000 people. here in ensenada. while people were cleaning up their houses they brought in some trucks to truck out all of the animals, they had to leave their horses their sheep, many of their dogs behind. even took the salmon out of the rivers this is a very important salmon region. they took the salmon out of the
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rivers wolf. >> what a story that is be careful over there, shasta darlington on the scene. only about 10 or 15 miles from the volcano and another eruption expected we'll stay in close touch with her. coming up a massive anti-terror sweep reveals a possible plot against the vatican by a major al qaeda cell now blamed for a bloody massacre in another country as well. a shocking dash cam video capturing the police shooting of an unarmed man. why is it just now seeing the light of day? and clearer skin. this is my body of proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis from the inside out... with humira. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain, stop further joint damage and clear skin in many adults. doctors have been prescribing humira for nearly 10 years. >>humira can lower your ability to fight infections,
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. happening now, vatican targeted
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a vast anti-terrorist sweep expose as potential plot to attack a huge tourist attraction and a symbol of christianity. tonight, the suspects the targets, and the direct link to osama bin laden. ransom paid new details about desperate attempts to free an american held hostage by al qaeda before he was killed in a u.s. drone strike. did his family pay the wrong terrorists? baltimore braces will there be scuffles on the streets again tonight after the police chief just acknowledged failures in the arrest of the suspect, freddie gray. and tonight the growing focus on gray's ride in a police van and whether it proved deadly. also dash cam drama, the lawyer for a suspect in a police shooting is speaking out about the confrontation that left his client paralyzed. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." >> this is cnn breaking news.
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>> the breaking news the baltimore police commissioner bluntly acknowledging serious failures in the arrest of freddie gray as the city reels from protests and widespread anger over gray's death. listen to this. >> we know he was not buckled in the transportation wagon as he should have been. no excuses for that period. we know our police employees failed to give him medical attention in a timely manner. multiple times. also breaking new details about a massive anti-terrorism operation and horrific attacks that were allegedly being discussed by members of an al qaeda cell including a possible strike against the home of the pope and the catholic church the vatican. the acting state department spokeswoman marie harf are standing by as well as our analysts all covering the news. let's get the latest from our justice correspondent, pamela brown. >> the pakistani man allegedly
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at one point had brought in a suicide bomber from afghanistan, to italy, to potentially launch an attack at the vatican. it lab police say some of the 18 suspects even had ties to osama bin laden. tonight italian police say the suspected al qaeda terrorists seen here being rounded up in a series of raids were part of a terror cell plotting devastating attacks, including suicide bombings possibly targeting the vatican. >> thousands upon thousands of people go there every day on sundays even more so to walk in there with a suicide bomb could cause catastrophe. >> the arrests are part of what authorities are calling an unprecedented terror takedown across italy. involving al qaeda operatives with ties to vatican security. prosecutors say the sleeper cell which included as many as 18 men had specific plans in place, but eventually scrapped them. >> they had a suicide attacker ready to strike and they pulled the plug. why?
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the italian prosecutor actually says that they got spooked because they knew that they were being monitored by the police. >> police say began investigating the group in 2005. but they never interrupted the plot. they say the suicide bomber eventually left the country, but the cell remained. tonight, investigators say the alleged terrorists had an abundance of weapons and plenty of cash. but by 2012 had changed communication tactics and the investigation had slowed until today. security at the vatican has been a major concern, since pope john paul ii was nearly assassinated in st. peter's square in 1981. after that poeps popes began traveling in a bulletproof vehicle and two months ago isis also threatened rome in this propaganda video, prompting the vatican to ramp up security. >> the vatican secretary of state said we're all exposed and
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we're all fearful, but the pope is very calm. that was a direct quote. mean tile the italian prosecutor did not explain what was behind the timing of the arrest. as i mentioned, wolf they had been monitoring the cell for ten years. >> suspicious stuff, but important, thanks very much. tonight a new promise by president obama to identify and fix what went wrong when a u.s. drone strike accidentally killed two al qaeda hostages including an american. we're learning more about the failed efforts to free the u.s. aid worker warren weinstein while he was being helded by the terrorists our chief national security correspondent, jim sciutto, is looking into the story. what are you learning? >> a source with detailed knowledge of the negotiations tells cnn that the weinstein family fears the money may have gone to the wrong people. and there were signs after the initial payment a new demand for a prisoner exchange and more recent contacts months after we now know that weinstein was killed. suggesting at that time that he was still alive.
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it was only a year after warren weinstein was abducted from his home in pakistan in 2011 a source tells cnn that his family took a risk paying a ransom to contacts claiming to represent his captors. >> it seems that i have been totally abandoned. and forgotten. >> but the money did not secure weinstein's freedom. instead, his captors made new demands for a prisoner exchange. >> the crayon very clear on this. >> suggesting trading weinstein for an alleged terrorist, a prompt nent female jihadi currently serving an 86-year sentence in the u.s. the weinstein family fears the money may have gone to the wrong people. >> unfortunately what happens is many families get sucked in to a farce. the family is very emotional because they want their loved one back and they get drawn into this. >> his purported captors referred to themselves as afghans, not al qaeda. and after isis beheaded american
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journalist james foley, they warned the iraqis an apparent reference to isis wanted weinstein. were preparing an orange suit for him. meaning the clothes worn by other isis hostages during their beheadings. when u.s. army sergeant bowe bergdahl was released by the taliban, one of weinstein's alleged captors bragged that he was also one of bergdahl's kidnappers. u.s. intelligence observed not four bodies being removed as expected but six. the additional two now believed to be weinstein and fellow hostage, the italian joe vanni loporo. but weinstein's captors kept reaching out. the final exact when the family asked for proof of life. proof of life they never received. the white house appears aware not only the intelligence
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failure here but also communications failure with the weinstein family who complained of poor treatment by u.s. officials. the white house now says it may create a team incorporating the fbi, state department intelligence community to coordinate recovery efforts and to better channel information to hostages' families. >> thanks jim sciutto joining us. the acting state department spokeswoman marie harf. thanks for coming in. i noticed in the statements released by the weinstein family they thank u.s. members of congress they thank the fbi for their efforts, they specifically called all other government assistance in their words, inconsistent and disappointing. i assume that refers to the state department the white house, other elements of the government. your reaction? i'm not actually sure who it refers to i leave it to the weinstein familiarly to speak to that. i know the state department secretary kerry feels strongly about the kind of assistance we give to these families of hostage who is are taken overseas we're in regular
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contact with them. other parts of the government are as well. including the fbi of course. but this is the reason we're doing this inter-agency review to see what we could do better. we've reached out to 82 families of either former hostages i think going back about 20 or so years. so they can play a role in the review to give input as to how things could be done differently. remember bowe bergdahl the u.s. sergeant. he was released as part of a trade, prisoners, taliban prisoners suspected terrorists at guantanamo bay freed in exchange for sergeant bowe bergdahl. there's some suggestion that warren weinstein should have been part of the deal. why wasn't he? >> these are sort of separate issues when we talked about bowe bergdahl he was an active duty member of the military. that these people that had been released from guantanamo went through this inter-agency process where everyone signed off. all members of the national security team signed off. they could be released and we could get bowe bergdahl home. but i would caution people that they weren't being held by the
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same groups. al qaeda is obviously very different than the taliban. when it comes to holding americans. and regardless though, wolf i would say that we use every tool we have whether it's intelligence tools, diplomatic tools, law enforcement tools to find these americans and bring them home. and i know at the state department secretary kerry has reached out to dozens of countries, asking anyone for any assistance they can give us. >> in the case of sergeant bowe bergdahl the u.s. military soldier, if you will the u.s. traded valuable assets for him, but warren weinstein, he was still a u.s. government aid contractor working for the u.s. government in pakistan when he was abducted. why not make a trade for him? >> i would disagree with terming the guantanamo detainees, these former detainees valuable assets. went through an inter-agency process that's very rigorous in terms of determining whether or not they can be released. they were released under incredibly strict control and this was a trade for a member of the united states military.
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were when this comes to getting people held by terrorist groups hostage, getting them home there are different ways of doing that. there are intelligence tools we can use to find them. >> these guantanamo bay suspected terrorists were held for years, many of them eventually do go back to the battlefield and at least one of them who was released in exchange for bowe bergdahl in doha catqatar, has supposedly reestablished contact with terrorists. >> i want to be very clear here think people have been a little fast and loose with the facts about reengagement. under this administration president obama put in place much stricter rules and regulations governing how we release people from guantanamo bay, because of that the recidivism numbers have dropped drastically under this administration they've fallen quite a bit. and we have ways of tracking people if they do return to the fight. >> i want to be precise, the
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main point i'm trying to ask questions about, is an active-duty member of the u.s. military more important to the united states government than an active u.s. government contractor who is doing important work for humanity, humanitarian work in pakistan? >> not at all. i could not be clearer than saying everyone at the state department wolf everyone in the intelligence community, everyone at the fbi used every tool we had to find dr. weinstein to find the other hostages. we've talked about on your show to locate them and to bring them home. they are being held by brutal terrorist organizations, i think the weinstein statement was also clear that the al qaeda terrorists who were holding him are response inl for this. >> did they pay the ransom money, the weinstein family to the wrong terrorists? >> i'm going to let them speak to any contact they may have had with folks over there. >> were they breaking the law in paying the ransom money? >> i'm going to let them speak to this. >> from the state department sperk sniv. >> i'm not going to speak to those reports, wolf. what we do when we interact with
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these families is provide any assistance we can give them as the fbi. we give them information, we the u.s. government contacted them several months ago when we first had indications that he may have been killed. we told them we couldn't confirm it as soon as we were able to it was very important for the president to not only tell the weinstein family but also to tell the country what had happened and to say we're going to look into it and see if we can do better. >> the italian hostage, giovanni low porto, was accidentally killed. we have more to discuss, including the american terrorist, adam gadahn he was also killed.
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. we're back with the acting state department spokeswoman, marie harf and talking about the u.s. drone strike that killed two western hostages and two al qaeda leaders, let's talk about the al qaeda guys who were killed. adam gadahn ahmed farouk. adam kadahn. were they intentionally targeted for killing by the united states? >> they weren't. we were not aware that they were at this location when these operations were undertaken. you're right, adam gadahn had been indicted in u.s. courts he was involved in attack planning. ahmed farouk was the deputy amir in the al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. we were not aware that either of them were there. >> since he's been charged with treason, adam gadahn would it have been legal to target an american citizen. somebody who ripped up his american passport. someone who pledged loyalty to
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al qaeda and bin laden. would it have been okay to target these two americans for death? >> well as you know the president and the attorney general have talked a lot about the legal process that goes into those kind of determinations and i really don't want to make a defense about hypothetical question about what would have come from such a review in that case. but the president has been clear that we have to have higher standards, that's why i think he's spoken very publicly about that think in a pretty extraordinary way. >> despite the accidental death of these two western hostages italian and american is the u.s. drone strike program going to continue? >> i think a lot of us have talked about counterterrorism operations in general over the past few days. the point is first this is an incredible tragedy. this is a horrible situation, obviously you heard the president speak in a very heartfelt way about it yesterday. but counterterrorism operations overall, have gone a long way in protecting american lives and protecting the homeland. the president said these are situations where capture isn't an option.
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if you recognize that there's a threat and you recognize that capture is not an option we have to look long and hard at counterterrorism operations and make sure we're applying the highest standards. >> there's another american being held hostage along the border between afghanistan and pakistan. together with her canadian husband. what can you tell us about efforts under way to try get them out? >> as we talked about with other hostages before the u.s. government is using every tool we can whether it's the intelligence community combing through every piece of information they have to try to find them, bring them home. law enforcement, diplomatically we reach out to anyone who may have information. these are tough cases, the terrorist organizations take great steps to conceal where they're holding hostages we saw it with dr. weinstein and the italian hostage as well. these are tough intelligence cases to crack. but we are very committed to seeing if we can find them. >> the drone strikes have been
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going after al qaeda terrorists are you also using drones with hellfire missiles to go after isis terrorists? >> let's separate these two things out there are counterterrorism operations that happen along the afghanistan/pakistan border. we've talked about those for long time. the president spoke in 2013 about counterterrorism operations against al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. >> counterterrorism operations is a euphemism about drone strikes? >> it can mean a series of things. the u.s. military is conducting kinetic action directly they're dropping a lot of ordinance on these guys where they operate in syria and iraq on isil. they're taking the fight to them directly there. they're working with the iraqis to do that the iraqis are playing a huge role. >> when you say kinetic action you mean missiles and bombs? >> yes. >> it sounds more peaceful than dropping bombs and launching missiles. >> i don't think it feels that way to the isis guys on the
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ground. >> let's talk about yemen. we understand iranian ships may be carrying weapons to the houthi rebels have made a u-turn and are going back to iran. the u.s. aircraft carrier, the teddy roosevelt is now leaving the region. twlas some sort of diplomatic negotiated deal between the u.s. and iran the carrier battle group will leave if the iranians make a youu-turn in. >> i haven't heard of one. we said throughout the whole yemen crisis that secretary kerry and other u.s. state department officials have ways of talking to the iranians. but i think the iranians can explain why they decided to turn around and head the on or about direction. we need to get back to a political dialogue. we need 0 get to a place on the ground where we can move away from extreme vie lebs we've seen towards a political dialogue there are a lot of of parties that can play a role here but we need to get on the same page and we're not there yet.
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>> thanks for joining us. just ahead, we hear more from baltimore police officials about the arrest and death of freddie gray and the medical attention that he did not receive. and we have the story behind another shocking dash cam video. why did a sheriffs deputy chase an unarmed man on a bicycle and then open fire? g a sailor, and my daddy. thank you mom, for protecting my future. thank you for being my hero and my dad. military families are thankful for many things. the legacy of usaa auto insurance could be one of them. our world-class service earned usaa the top spot in a study of the most recommended large companies in america. if you're current or former military or their family, see if you're eligible to get an auto insurance quote. we all enter this world with a shout and we see no reason to stop. so cvs health is creating
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[♪] there is an ancient rhythm... [♪] that flows through all things... [♪] through rocky spires... [♪] and ocean's swell... [♪] the endless...
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stillness of green... [♪] [♪] and in the restless depths of human hearts... [♪] the voice of the wild within. [♪] following the breaking news major developments in the baltimore police custody death. the city's commissioner the police commissioner now saying the victim 25-year-old freddie gray was inexcusably not buckled
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up in the police van as required and that officers failed to get him timely medical treatment multiple times and anyone who harmed gray will be prosecuted. gray died as a result of a spinal injury. we have our experts standing by at key locations in baltimore. including cnn's miguel marquez and brian todd. let's begin with miguel for the latest. miguel what's going on? >> we have the strongest language yet out of the baltimore police department saying that officers that treated mr. gray that day and arrested him could be charged in this case. >> we are people that are tired, frustrated. and we want answers now! >> tonight, baltimore police admit freddie gray got medical attention way too late. >> quite frankly, that's exactly where freddie gray should have received medical attention. and he did not.
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>> the baltimore police commissioner saying he himself walked the route that police chased 25-year-old freddie gray. >> it's a foot chase that's not a short one. it goes through several streets. several housing complexes. and eventually ends up along the 1700 block of press berry. >> the commissioner saying once arrested the van stopped three times after gray was arrested. once to shackle his legs. >> the transport wagon stops again for a second time. at druid hill and dofl ton deal with mr. gray. and the facts of that interaction are under investigation. >> at the third stop he says gray asks for medical attention. despite the policy saying every prison anywhere transport vans must be seat belted police say gray handcuffed legs shackled was not belted in. could freddie gray's injuries have been caused or aggravated bay rough ride? >> we know he was not buckled in
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the transportation wagon as he should have been. no excuses for that, period. >> the mayor and police department urging calm after scenes like this. at points tension high. protesters swarming police car. early insults and sometimes objects at police. hurling. only two arrest sod far as the maryland governor ordered state troopers into the city. tomorrow more protests expected. maybe the biggest yet and big concern these could turn violent. >> we've been with very few exceptions had very peaceable demonstration and we pray that those maintain. >> today baltimore's mayor under intense pressure to fix the city's police force. >> i pledge to take corrective actions, if there's policies that need to be corrected. any ways that we do business that need to change i will pledge to make that happen.
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>> the body of freddie gray at a funeral home where a second independent autopsy something performed. now a couple of things to add, i spoke to many people in this neighborhood who have been transported in those police transport vans a and they say they've never been buckled up. it's common practice to drive very fast take sharp turns and treat them roughly in the back of the vans. we've spoken directly to two of the witnesses that shot video. both of them say that freddie gray was in medical emergency at the time of his arrest. a third person we spoke to a witness says he seemed unconscious at the first stop where they shackled his legs. police giving a very difficult account. >> miguel, thank you very much. let's go to brian todd in baltimore, what are you seeing? >> wolf police ramping up their presence in baltimore. you've got police officers here at the western precinct manning
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the barricades additional officers up the street. gearing up for possible protests as miguel mentioned. what they're going to try to avoid are confrontations like the one we witnessed yesterday when police were swarmed by protesters as they tried to make arrests of two people on the street related to the protest that was an ugly scene, a flash point it lasted only a few minutes, but that's what they're trying to avoid. what they're trying to avoid are agitators from outsiders, this happened in ferguson they're gearing up for it they're warning people not to do it we heard from the police commissioner about it a short time ago. >> to any and all that would seek to bring chaos to our city the people of baltimore will not tolerate it. >> and we spoke to a former police officer from the state police and she talked to us about outside agitators, she has a lot of experience in dealing with them. she said a lot of people come in
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from outside, they light trash cans on fire. throw objects and infiltrate members of the crowd to get them riled up. the police are prepared it's an all hands on deck situation with police coming in in riot gear for the rally beginning at 3:00 it could last several hours. >> let's hope it stays quiet and peaceful. protesting is one thing, hopefully it won't get violent and there won't be outside agitator. thanks for that report. let's get more on what's going on. joining us former assistant fbi director tom fuentes, our justice reporter evan perez and the president of the national organization of black law enforcement executives cedric alexander. have you ever heard, i never did until this story developed, heard of the so-called rough wrids where they throw a suspect in a van, they don't use a seat belt. and they make that individual feel the pain of just driving?
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have you ever heard of that before? >> no i must admit i've never heard of it at all wolf over my number of years involved in law enforcement. that's entirely new to me. because typical policy is as it is here in dekalb county is once you put a prisoner inside of that van, you shackle them down and secure them. and you follow the laws on the road as anybody else would as well too. so no i've never heard of that. >> have you ever heard of that tom fuentes? you're a former assistant director of the fbi. apparently people in baltimore know about it. >> i haven't heard of that before. >> you've never heard of other cities where they -- evan have you heard of that? >> i have heard of it it is something that sometimes police officer does to knock people around a little bit. >> to shake them up to intimidate them to show them who's boss frankly. >> that's totally inappropriate, right? >> it is tote lynn appropriate. absolutely it is. and it's in violation of anybody i would say certainly there are human rights and in addition to
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that it's unprofessional and totally uncalled for. we have a responsibility that any time we take a person into custody. is that we manage them in a way that is safe and move them from one destination to the next in my experience i have not ever heard of it. but that does not suggest in any way that it has not and has never happened before. >> if he wasn't seat belted in the car and secure in that location and they're riding around fast and he's going back and forth -- is it possible i know we're speculating right now, cedric that he could have broken his spine that way? >> absolutely any time. you got to remember most of the compartment back there is mostly metal and steel. if someone is not secured adequately back there and you go up to 20 30 40 50 miles per hour and slam on brakes you can certainly do some severe injury to someone. but we're going to wait and see, wolf what the overall investigation revealed to us. and i don't want to be and
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nobody should be too speculative about what we suspect may have happened. it is good today that commissioner commissioner batts was able to get on and reveal the investigation and take responsibility for what has happened. for example, not securing that passenger or in this case mr. gray in that van. >> and tom fuentes, we know there was a case ten years ago in baltimore, where a suspect wasn't secure apparently flying around in the back of the van. and eventually died. >> right. that could be the case here wolf. if they don't have a person seat belted in and secured in some way. and they're handcuffed and can't break their fall if they fall to the floor, get tossed around. they have no way to cushion themselves or protect their head and neck from being snapped around. so yes, it's possible. >> what are you hearing from federal law enforcement and state and local about outside agitators potentially creeping into protests tomorrow?
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>> haven't seen much of that yet, wolf. this past week. it's been most lay local event. but certainly as we saw in ferguson because this is attracting a national attention, that you have the possibility of having outsiders coming in. that's why the state troopers are now going to be there to help back up the police there and i should add real quick on the conversation we were just having. the police commissioner there, mr. batts, i dressed this earlier in the week. he said the other prisoner in the transport van claimed he didn't see anything unusual during the drive. weren't speeding they weren't driving erratically. that's what the interview from the other prison anywhere the van, i'm not sure whether or not that holds, whether or not he said you know today's press conference that they were still looking at something that happened during that ride. so we don't know exactly if there's something else that's turned up that has gotten their attention. >> is it problematic that there are so many separate investigations now under way by the police by the city by the state and the federal
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government? >> well on the one hand, wolf it presents an extra opportunity to find more witnesses to get more information. but the reality is being involved in cases like this with multiple agencies doing a separate track, is it does create a possibility of divergent statements which will affect the prosecution if you're going to have one if you've got a witness giving three, four different statements and maybe another one to the grand jury they're going to be easily impeached by defense attorney who says wait a minute. on this day you said this. on that day you said that. and when the statements don't match in a large sense, it discredits the witness. so it could hurt the prosecution. >> it's a potential problem. >> the people who want this prosecuted are going to be hurt by multiple prosecutions. >> i want all three of you to stand by. we have more to discussion include breaking news we have dramatic dash cam video of a police officer shooting an unarmed man. leaving him paralyzed. what happens to the police officer, what happened here? stay with us. ♪ where do you get this kind of confidence?
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. we have dramatic video of a police shooting of app unarmed man in florida that happened in 2013. the video was obtained by our affiliate wptv in a joint investigation with the "palm beach post." our justice reporter evan perez is back with us for more details on the video.
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>> the "palm beach post" and wptv decided to do an investigation given everything that's been going on to look into police shootings and examples of excessive use of force over the last decade and this is one of the indents that they took a look at and they investigated and what we can see from the video, we see dontrelle stevens, 20 years old, riding his bicycle. he's in what is a rough neighborhood. the deputy's name is adams lynn he works for the palm beach county sheriff's. according to the deputy he seems him obstructing traffic and i decides to stop him. when he rides up there he stevens gets to the house where he is staying. police officer gets out of the car and within four seconds you hear shots fired and dontrelle stevens is down. he is now a paraplegic as a result of these shots fired. he was carrying a cell phone and that's what caused the
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misunderstanding and that the police officer decided to shoot him. >> initially the police correct me if i'm wrong, said that they saw him get something out of his waist, right? and they suspected it was a gun but the video shows that he apparently didn't go for anything he was holding his cell phone. >> was holding his cell phone. an old cell phone and apparently he was using it like this speaker phone fashion and that's one thing that drew the attention of the officer. we have a statement that the police gave in 2013 and according to them, their account of it is that the deputy attempted to make contact with the subject. the subject is riding a bicycle, threw down the bike and attempted to run away. the deputies gave verbal commands to stop let me see your hands, the subject pulled a dark object from his waist band & and was shot three times by the deputy. and the video doesn't match what the police said in 2013 at the time. we called them and we asked them what they're saying now. they say because there's a
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lawsuit now, they're not going to comment. >> you think tom, the federal government is now going to go back and look at the video and do some sort of investigation? >> they might. if there's a call for it they may do that. i think especially since as evan said, you have dash cam showing one thing that he already had the phone in his hand. the statements made that he was reaching for it. which you know it seems pretty ridiculous let's say for an officer to make a statement when there's a dash cam that shows exactly what happened. >> i want cedric stander to join us as well the president of the organization of black law enforcement executives. what's your analysis of what happened here? because the video that's now been released seems to show a different story from what the police initially said in the aftermath of this shooting and this young man was paralyzed as a result. >> i would agree with tom on this. i tell you, it's what's been stated and what we're able to see and the frame of footage
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that you have there, is really somewhat shocking. and hopefully at some point there would be a reopening of this case because i truly believe it needs to be looked into. in light of what's going on in the country right now and it's not to find fault but find actually what actually what occurred and the proper responsibility is taken. now west palm beach, palm beach county sheriffs office have an opportunity not to have to talk about this at all. because they're under litigation. however, i think it's going to become incumbent at some point that this is looked into. >> i want to you listen to the victim's attorney speaking out the victim adams, the police officer, adams lynn shot this young man. listen to what the victim's attorney said. >> i think it cannot be questioned. that when you dress for war,
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when you equip for war, and when you bring with you out onto the street and into the community an attitude of aggression. you are going to inevitably provoke violence. >> the police deputy the police sheriff deputy adams lynn. i'm reading what they said he was wearing military fatigues he had a riot shield, a grenade launcher a shotgun he used to shoot stevens, that he used to shoot dontrelle stevens four times. what do you make of that? >> well i don't know we don't know the rest of the story here. was that officer on his way to a training exercise somewhere where they would be wearing clothing appropriate for being in a wooded area? why he would have all that. most officers will not carry all that gear in their car, especially in a high crime area,
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because locals will steal it they don't want to lose their weaponry and their shields and so on. that sounds uncommon. and in terms of why they're wearing fatigues we don't know. is that the everyday uniform for police officers in that particular county to wear? we don't know that. >> this is the case of a young black man shot by a white police officer. now we have new video that shows, apparently gives us more information of what happened. you're seeing a pattern here aren't you? >> well i think the country is seeing a pattern of these shootings that it's create hearing again, a great deal of concern for americans all across this country. regardless of who you are and where you live. and these interactions which are very questionable to all communities across this country, we're going to have to continue to work at trying to to get to the root of what's going on and lou do we better select train, work bet anywhere our communities. i mean just a cadre of issues
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are going to have to be addressed here wolf, as we go forward. >> we as a country have a lot of work to do to fix these problems, you're on the president's policing commission. cedric alexander, thanks as usual for joining us evan perez, tom fuentes. angelina jolie is chiding the united nations for not doing more to help refugees in the war in syria. the actress and special envoy spoke to the u.s. security council about the thousands killed and the millions displaced. >> anyone of the syrians i have met would speak more eloquently about the conflict than i ever could. nearly four million syrian refugees are victims of a conflict they have no part in. yet, they are stigmatized, unwanted and regarded as a burden. >> for more on what you can do to help the refugees survive the crisis in syria, visit
3:50 pm and you'll be able to impact your world. just ahead, he works for the united states congress and he has a surprising secret. he's homeless. and he's living on the streets of the nation's capital.
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people ship all kinds of things.
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but what if that thing is a few hundred thousand doses of flu vaccine. that need to be kept at 41 degrees. while being shipped to a country where it's 90 degrees. in the shade. sound hard? yeah. does that mean people in laos shouldn't get their vaccine? we didn't think so. from figuring it out to getting it done, we're here to help.
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>> up on capital hill new moves in the battle over raising the federal minimum wage including a walk out by low wage congressional workers. one has a powerful story to tell us. he works at the capitol by day and spends his nights living on the streets of washington d.c. our chief congressional correspondent dana bash has the amazing story. tell us what you learned. >> reporter: covering politics there's often a very big disconnect between rhetoric and debate and real life but in this case the hard scrabble of real life is happening right under lawmakers' noses. for charldes this is home shoes by his side blankets to keep
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him warm. he wakes up before sunrise when he and the other homeless are kicked out. as he collects his worldly possessions which fit into a bag, gladden is actually getting ready for his own trek to work. charles gladden works at the u.s. capitol. >> i work for the most powerful people in the country and here i am sleeping near a subway stop. >> reporter: for eight years he has worked in senate cafeterias doing janitorial world. >> i sweep, mop, clean the bathroom and that type of stuff. >> reporter: how do you get clean for work every day? >> i use the bathroom. it's not a shower. basically a birdbath. >> reporter: he makes about $11 an hour and takes home $360 a week. he gives a lot of that to his family family. when your paycheck comes, what
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happens to that money? >> my grandkids and my kids need something, they you know i take care of them. >> reporter: there are lots of people who work in this building who make what you make who it's very tough to live but they don't live on the street. >> right. some of these people have second jobs. the majority of them. i was unable to get a second job. >> reporter: almost no one at the capitol had a clue he's homeless until he went public as part of a one-day strike demanding $15 an hour what they call a livable wage. you seem like a proud man. >> you god to look down sometimes and see what's around you and they are not doing that. everybody's focused on what's ahead and they using blinders. and they scrambling around for issues to talk about and all they i have to do is stop and ask a common person on the
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street. >> reporter: or in the building. >> or in the building. people bringing them their food and sweeping and cleaning the toilet. >> reporter: the 63-year-old said his deteriorating health has meant missing work without pay. how many toes have you had amputated? >> three. >> reporter: he has a message for senators he serves every day. >> they got a guy working in there that ain't got nowhere to live. you know. i'm an embarrassment. i don't want to be an embarrassment to this country, a country i was born and raised in. my children and grandkids have to come up in this country. >> dana this is so heartbreaking that this can happen. a guy works for the united states government on capitol hill in the u.s. congress and he's homeless he sleeps on the
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streets. this could happen in the united states of america. how does this happen? >> well in this particular case what they have done in the congress at least in the senate is that they have privatized the cafeterias and dining areas. by doing that they outsourced and really put at a bid to private companies to do this. and that company is has wages that are very low. so i'm told actually what senators are doing that actually seen this story are preparing to try to push this contractor to raise the wages. that might happen as soon as next week. >> i hope it does. it's a shocking shocking story. appreciate it. >> thanks. >> important story for allover us to remember. remember you can always follow us on twitter. tweet me @wolfblitzer. you can watch us live or dvr the
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show so you won't miss a moment. tune in for our special coverage of the white house correspondents association dinner. the coverage will begin 7:00 p.m. eastern. erin burnett out front starts nout. their focus now and what happened in the police van. why didn't freddie gray get help sooner as protesters threat on the shut the city down. and new information on the american hostage killed by a u.s. drone strike. and a massive volcano that could erupt again tonight. the town already under two feet of ash. you have to see the pictures to believe them. they're coming up. let's go "out front."