tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN May 4, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT
marquette place for pimps to peddle prostitution and exploit young women. that's the allegation being leveled against backpage.com's adult services classified ads. 51 attorneys general in the united states want it shut down. so do 19 u.s. senators, 600 religious leaders, nearly a quarter million people who have already signed a petition. they want it shut down for running ads like these, from the escort section of back page's new york site. one reads you will feel right at home at our place. stress relief by beautiful asian girls. stress relief. or this, seductive, ready to rock your world. call me the ad says to enjoy all you can handle. the advertiser claims to be 19 years old. now those are two of literally thousands of ads that you might find on backpage right now. that company, backpage defends the adult section saying that if pimps are going to advertise it's better to do it some place where authorities can track activity and help women in trouble. keeping them honest, are they? we spoke to backpage and some of the mothers of teen victims. we've changed their names to protect their children. deborah feyerick tonight
reports. >> reporter: how would you feel, for example, i mean, as a mother if you saw an ad like this? or an ad like this? or i mean this -- this girl, she says she's 19. if you saw your daughter in this, like this, what -- >> i would be horrified and i'm horrified for those mothers, and my heart goes out to those mothers. and to their daughters who are victims of exploitation. >> reporter: am i wrong? isn't prostitution simply illegal? >> prostitution is illegal. and we don't permit illegal activity. on the website. >> reporter: what are they selling? >> but we have -- there are legal adult entertainment services. >> reporter: you are playing a role in this problem. >> reporter: attorney liz mcdougal is doing at backpage.com which she tried and arguably failed to do as a lawyer for the website craigslist.com, specifically try to convince people what's advertised in the adult section is legal, not only the services for sale, but the ages of girls
selling it. it's not an easy job when prosecutors are demanding it be shut down. >> when we get a case involving the trafficking of prostitution, usually the story is going to start on backpage.com. >> the daughter i know is a kid that likes to color. >> reporter: for dawn, that's exactly where the story took her 15-year-old girl. a child who apparently ran away with a man who seduced her online. within days that man had posted pictures of the child on backpage.com. selling the girl into prostitution. allegations detailed in a criminal complaint. >> he officially took her and beat her into submission to raping her, and then held her into prostitution. it totally, totally crushed me to know that somebody actually did this to her. >> reporter: the accused pimp in that case has pleaded not guilty pending trial.
it's one of more than 50 cases in 22 states, of people charged with advertising underaged girls for sex on backpage.com. the classified ad website, similar to craigslist, lets people post all kinds of ads in different states. when you look at the escort section, there's little doubt what's for sale. some would say all you're doing is legitimizing prostitution. that you're in the prostitution business. >> we're not in the prostitution business when we're doing everything possible to impede prostitution, to impede the exploitation of women, children, boys, men, laborers, sex trafficking. we're -- the internet is, unfortunately, the vehicle for this. we are trying to be the sheriff. >> reporter: backpage is the leading website for adult service ads in the u.s. mcdougal argues it's better to have these ads on a website that works with law enforcement to stop child exploitation than it is to drive it underground or offshore where u.s. laws don't apply.
keeping them honest, we asked backpage if it considers itself part of the problem. >> if we had a silver bullet to eradicate it, we would. but in the meantime what we can do is to be the best allies possible with law enforcement. >> reporter: but isn't the silver bullet shutting it down? >> no. i wish that it were. you -- as you can see, when craigslist shut down, people had said that was the silver bullet and that made no difference. >> reporter: no difference because people simply moved their erotic ads over to backpage.com. and that's meant huge dollars, almost $27 million last year, according to aim, an internet research group. you benefited, you picked up the slack, you filled the void, you made -- >> you're right. a tremendous number of the ads came to us. >> reporter: adult service ad sales were $3 million in march, up more than 30% from a year ago. backpage says they monitor ad content, targeting some 25,000 terms and code words used by traffickers. it then checks ads manually before posting.
have this as a business model. no? >> to me it would be morally wrong to have the opportunity to rescue women, children, boys, out of exploitation, and to walk away from that opportunity. >> that was deb feyerick reporting. "new york times" columnist nicolas christophe has been on the front lines in the fight against human trafficking and california's attorney general signed that petition calling on backpage to shut down the ads. i spoke to them earlier this week. you've been tireless on shining a light on sex trafficking, and especially of children. it's one thing for it to be overseas somewhere, you know, brothels in cambodia that you follow. but it's another thing for it to be in the united states and to have large corporations profiting off it. >> yeah, i think that i was also struck by the fact that it's not just foreign women being smuggled into the u.s. the great majority of it seems to be local, domestic girls who are being trafficked in every city around the country, and on a website that is run by a substantial company that also
owns village voice. and that was, until recently, owned by some major financiers on wall street. >> and they make a lot of money off this thing. assuming -- >> we think that they make around $23 million a year on those online revenues. i must say that the company itself has been losing money like a lot of newspapers on the rest of the business. >> but for the company, it's a profit center that funds other things that they're losing money on. >> really the prostitution ads is what is keeping the rest of the company going to some degree. >> late last year i interviewed a guy named ed mcnally, i want to play a clip of what he said. you also said your company is committed on the website to quote preventing those who are intent on misusing the site for illegal purposes. isn't prostitution an illegal purpose? >> well, first of all, what we're really focused on more than anything is the protection of the people in our society who are most vulnerable. and most of our filters, most of our mitigation efforts, most of our law enforcement efforts are really focused on preventing human trafficking and especially
the most vulnerable, which is children. >> do you buy that? they're painting themselves here as kind of heroes, that they're the ones looking out for the best interests of children, of the most vulnerable in society, and they claim they have all these mitigation efforts and lots of letters from local law enforcement who said they're doing a great job. >> well, they're also in possession of a letter from all of the attorneys general of the united states expressing deep concern about what they have done in terms of facilitating human trafficking, exploitation of children. >> how is what they're doing legal? i mean, if prostitution is illegal, how is what they're doing legal? >> i've heard them make a first amendment argument. but here's the reality of it. this is not just an international issue. this is something that very much is an issue of the kid in kansas who's the runaway, who's trafficked to las vegas and then brought in to be prostituted on hollywood boulevard. it's a very real issue. backpage.com has been proven to be the marketplace with which these illegal transactions occur. and they need to be responsible,
they need to be responsible corporate citizens. we have a history of this issue with craigslist, and they did the right thing and i think backpage needs to do it, too. >> nick, backpage says that they're actually being responsible. they have mitigation efforts. they have review efforts. and that they're being responsible on this. >> it's true that backpage does respond very quickly to subpoenas, for example, and they do cooperate with law enforcement. >> they also, supporters of this will say, well, look, you eliminate it from backpage, you eliminate it from craigslist it's going to go elsewhere, some other site that doesn't have, you know -- that doesn't respond to subpoenas, that isn't as public as backpage.com. >> some of it will go elsewhere. i mean, if you arrest ten bank robbers there may well be five more to take their place. but they won't be fully replaced. and backpage right now, as far as we can tell, controls 80% of the prostitution ad market. that's a huge amount. they attract mainstream customers, some of the other websites are really more pornographic.
if backpage gets out of the escort ad business that will make a real dent in this trade. >> attorney general harris, you said earlier you, along with others attorneys general have written letters demanding backpage shut down the adult services section. is there anything legally can you do to actually force them to close down? >> we can issue subpoenas. we certainly are, and in fact, have requested a great deal of information from them about what they are seeing in terms of the complaints they've received. what knowledge they have about underage individuals being trafficked on their site. but it doesn't mean that because we are constantly in the pursuit of justice and we are constantly challenged with -- with criminal justice issues that we don't begin and we don't deal with any of them. the reality is backpage has proven to be a thriving marketplace. and the issue of human trafficking is a $32 billion industry in this country -- in the world. and let's be very clear about the underlying issue here. it's not necessarily a vice issue. it's the issue that -- that
there are individuals, and companies, and they can be cartels or they can be backpage, who are making a huge amount of money off the trafficking of human beings. many of them who are underage girls. and that should be an issue of concern and therefore priority for all of us. >> craigslist bowed ultimately to public pressure. has backpage so far, nick, has not done that. you say targeting advertisers in the village voice would be most effective. >> yeah. i think that public pressure is helpful on backpage and there is, indeed, a petition on change.org to put pressure on them. ultimately what matters to them is money. i think if they see that they're going to lose more money in advertising in village voice and the other regional newspapers they control, then it's not worth it to them. and then they will exit the -- this prostitution ad market. >> the village voice, nick, as you know, is questioning your reporting, particularly one article about a former prostitute named alisa, who says she was sold on backpage.com at a time when it didn't exist in cities that she was in. how do you respond? >> that's completely false.
i applied to them, they said that she had turned 16, and i -- in i think 2003. she turned 16 on december 30th, 2003. and indeed throughout 2004, she was 16 years old. and was being marketed on backpage, in one city after another, and i could show them that backpage was operating, and -- in the course of that throughout that time. and i mean there's no shortage of girls, underage girls, 12, 13, 14-year-old girls who are being marketed on backpage as we speak. i really encourage your viewers to go to backstage in their city and look at it. and i think they'll be horrified by what they see. appreciate it. do you believe that backpage.com when they say they're not running a site for legal prostitution and if they are do you believe shutting them down will make a difference? let me know. we're on facebook, google plus or twitter now @anderson cooper. and up next, not so hot numbers.
we'll talk about how they could affect the presidential race and and who's got the right answers for ending the slump. david gergen is with us. so is nobel lawyer yet paul krugman who says we have the knowledge and the tools to fix the economy, not the political will. how did i get here? dumb luck? or good decisions? ones i've made. ones we've all made. about marriage. children. money. about tomorrow. here's to good decisions. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. massmutual. we'll help you get there.
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new jobless numbers and how they might affect who would be president this time next year. the economy gained 115,000 jobs last month. far fewer than expected. however today's report also revised the march and february job gains upward and the nation's unemployment rate ticked down a tenth of a point to 8.1%, though that is not necessarily good news. >> our businesses have now created more than 4.2 million new jobs over the last 26 months. more than 1 million jobs in the last six months alone. so that's the good news. but, there's still a lot of folks out of work. which means that we've got to do more. >> a lot more, says challenger mitt romney. >> we seem to be slowing down, not speeding up. this is not progress. this is very, very disappointing. >> governor romney also points out that the jobless rate fell because a lot of americans simply stopped looking for work. he's right about that. though he doesn't mention that that's been a national trend for more than a decade.
the fact still is this is a weak recovery. there's no doubt about it. the question is will it be enough to let president obama keep his job? recent cnn/orc polling shows that 24% of americans now think the economy is starting to recover. 42% say it's stabilized but fully one-third believe it is still in a downturn. "new york times" columnist and nobel laureate paul krugman, his new book called "end this depression now" argues that this did not have to happen. he's with us along with political analyst david gergen. paul, if today's jobs numbers are any indication of what's to come it does not seem to be good news for president obama at this point. >> i guess not. we were hoping, he was hoping certainly for an economy that would be clearly making progress. what you've got instead is an economy that's moving sideways. it's not getting worse. the job market is more or less stable. >> and why do you think that is? >> biggest thing is that our policies are wrong. not so much the thing that are under the president's control
but the thing that are going on because he hasn't been able to provide enough aid. private sector employment is back above the level when he took office. so we've had a recovery of the private sector. but, keep on laying off people at the state and local level because there's budget shortages and because the aid that was provided to state and local governments during the first year and a half of this administration has been phasing out. so what we have is a recovery that is being dragged down by fiscal policies, by inadequate government spending, basically. and that's -- that's the reason we don't have a full recovery at this point. >> david, do you agree with that? and, i mean the president and his team are clearly trying to put a positive spin on this. but, it's certainly an uphill battle. >> this jobs report is unadulterated bad news for american workers, anderson. "the new york times" reported today that if you go back from the beginning of the recession until today, the economy is back to where it was before, but we have 5 million fewer jobs than we had when the recession started. but you look at that, the
unemployment numbers are down slightly. but that's because so many people are leaving the workforce. the male participation rate now in this will economy is down to the lowest level since 1948. that's over 60 years since we've had an economy where so few men of working age were actually in the workforce. the real issue to me now is, given these -- the fact that we're drifting, we have no policy and everybody's sort of waiting until after the elections to deal with anything, wonder if there's not a moral imperative for the politicians in washington to begin reaching agreement now -- >> but david, some sort of compromise, and paul compromise has become a dirty word. >> we have the problem. and this is obama's problem. it's the country's problem. which is that the other party is firmly committed to a view of economics, to a view of what we should do that is exactly wrong. i mean we basically had, to a large extent, we've had policies that the republicans wanted, not the policies that the president wanted. it's made the economy worse. if we couldn't reach a grand bargain on the budget deficit,
it's even worse to imagine that we could reach a grand bargain on job creation because the other side of the political divide is completely committed to a fantasy view about how the economy works. >> david, do you think that's something the american public would abide? >> well, with all due respect, president obama had a democratic congress when he arrived in washington. he passed a stimulus bill which is a bill he and nancy pelosi and the democrats agreed on. and they promised that unemployment would not go above 8%. >> they didn't, actually. that's not true. that is not true. they issued a forecast. >> it's what -- >> it's what christina roamer herself said. >> but it -- >> that's what they told us, that's what christina roamer -- >> i just think -- >> let david finish. don't talk over each other. we'll finish, then paul. >> a degree that the republicans have been very difficult to work with in the last two years. i think paul is right about that point. but to say that everything we're now facing is a result of
republican intransigence and to ignore the fact that the president had a democratic majority, he did get the stimulus bill he wanted, he got a lot of things he wanted, he's going around touting that for a long time, i think it's just -- you know, i think it's all very one-sided. but the larger point is not how we got here. the larger point is how we get out of here. >> just want to play what mitt romney said today and have you respond. >> just this morning there was some news that came across the wire that said that the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.1%. and normally that would be cause for celebration. but, in fact, anything over 8%, anything near 8%, anything over 4% is not cause for celebration. >> paul, david is saying you can't blame the republicans for everything here. >> look, here's romney complaining that this is obama's fault. what exactly is he proposing? i mean, take a look at the bush administration. which you know, romney is very clearly saying let's return to those policies. take the first seven years of the bush administration. so leave out the catastrophe at the end. you still have job creation of about 70,000 jobs a month. so he's saying let's get rid of this policy which is not
producing as many jobs as we like and go back to the policies that did even worse under the previous president. >> but paul, what you're arguing for is blaming the republicans, that the president should try to make that argument. you look at the latest polling numbers, cnn/orc poll shows the public basically split on whether the president or mitt romney is more likely to get the economy moving. so the public is split on this. is that really an argument that president obama can win? doesn't some sort of compromise have to be fashioned out to david's point? >> i think the compromise is more of a fantasy than making the case. this is what political campaigning is for. i think if my big criticism of president obama has been that rather than make difficult arguments, he's basically ceded the position to the other side. i think there's a certain amount of stand up for what you believe in. maybe it won't work. but maybe it will. >> i hope there might be agreement on this point. the congress, and the president, the president signed off on this, agreed that there would be serious big spending cuts on the social side, and the defense, starting january 1, unless
there's a compromise handed out. now, i think paul, i would agree on this, it would be a mistake to have those big, serious cuts go into effect in this economy. >> paul, would those cuts be devastating? >> i mean, this is not what i would do ideally. but the trouble is you've got basically a blackmail situation coming up. you've got a situation where the republican party is saying, give us what we want, or nice economy, shame if something was going to happen to it and at some point the president has to take a stand. >> appreciate you being here. thanks. the escort who unwittingly blew the whistle on the u.s. secret service agent prostitution scandal is speaking out, telling her story to a colombian radio station and filling in the blanks about what really went on in cartagena that night. man: okay, no problem. it's easy to get started; i can help you with the paperwork. um...this green line just appeared on my floor. yeah, that's fidelity helping you reach your financial goals. could you hold on a second? it's your money.
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the woman at the center of the u.s. secret service prostitution scandal is spilling the details of the night she met the agent who took her back to the hotel room in cartegena, colombia, where she says they had sex. in an in-depth interview with colombia's "w" radio the escort, dania suarez, described meeting the agents at a bar where she says alcohol was flowing like water. not a big surprise. here's what she said happened when she left the bar with two of the agents and another woman.
>> translator: my friends nor i, you know, we didn't know they were agents, you know, obama's agents, or, you know. and then we left, and we went to this place to buy condoms, and then we went to the hotel. who went? well, my friend -- well, she's not really a friend, acquaintance, and the agent who was with me and the other one. and the four of us. >> those agents were part of an advance security team, as you know, that arrived in colombia just days ahead of president obama's visit last month. they were supposed to be securing his safety. joining me now is rafael romo, cnn's senior latin american affairs editor. this was a long interview, lasted for more than an hour. what other details did she give about that night? >> well, she said that a friend of hers and she went to this particular bar in cartagena and the agents were already there. and the scene she describes, anderson, is just amazing. she talks about wild partying, about vodka flowing like water, about the fact that the agent that she eventually left for the
hotel with was lifting up his shirt to show off his six-pack, and it's just a number of things that happened that night. then they go to the hotel, they had already agreed on a price of $800. she speaks just a couple of words, but just enough to understand what he was after, and her understanding is that they had agreed to a price of $800. the following morning, when he got up, he was a totally different man, she says. he was not loving anymore, and she told her using an expletive to get away from him, and they -- and that he was not going to pay her anything, anderson. >> i also want to play just a little bit more of this interview. she talks about how the agent fell asleep back in the hotel room. let's listen. >> at that moment, if i had been a member of one of those terrorist gangs, it's obvious that i would have been able to get everything. just like the newspapers say, i
put them in checkmate. they're a bunch of fools. they're responsible for obama's security and they still let this happen. i told them, i'm going to call the police so that they would pay me my money. they didn't care. they didn't see the magnitude of the problem. even when being responsible for obama's security. i could have done a thousand other things. >> so she ends up in the hallway, basically, thrown out of this guy's room, and not going away, involving hotel security, and then other agents agree to kind of pay her off. right? >> that's right. ultimately she ended up getting $250. but, the bottom line here, anderson, is that she spent five hours with this agent, they were both presumably intoxicated based on what she said. he fell asleep in his room, and potentially she would have been able to get secret documents from that agent. now we don't know if that agent had any compromising documents. but the point that she was trying to make is that, had i been a member of a terrorist organization, i would have been able to do many, many things. >> yeah, again, we don't know what was in the room, if anything.
she's kind of there going off on a tangent whether or not she's accurate there. we don't know. i just find it fascinating that just how it all unfolded, where they ended up paying her off after kind of many hours of arguing in a -- the corridor of this hotel. rafael romo appreciate the reporting. thanks. following other stories tonight, susan hendricks has a 360 bulletin. >> anderson, the u.s. and china appear to be working on a resolution about the status of activist chen guangcheng. china says chen can apply for a visa to travel to the u.s. to study, which the united states calls a sign of progress. new york university says it has invited chen to become a visiting scholar. syrian security forces opened fire at opponents of the al assad regime today. opposition groups said at least 37 people were killed in today's -- in cities across syria. meanwhile the united nations said that by today nearly 50 military observers would be on the ground there in syria. junior seau's family has granted permission for researchers to study his brain for evidence of injury.
the former nfl linebacker committed suicide on wednesday at his california home. a family friend said seau suffered many concussions over the years playing professional football. ♪ a founding member of the influential band the beastie boys has died. adam "mca" yauch lost a battle with cancer. the beastie boys first found fame back in 1986. >> thanks very much. in the case of the white police officer who shot and killed chamberlain in his his home. a taser camera captured moments leading up to the fatal contronation. show you how it all played out. at aviva, we do things differently.
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breaking news tonight, federal prosecutors say they're going to launch a criminal investigation of the white police officer who shot and killed this man, kenneth chamberlain sr., an african-american retired marine inside his own home last november. the federal investigation comes on the heels of a grand jury's decision not to indict the officer. the grand jury's ruling yesterday left many people shaking their heads and many others, including chamberlain's family, demanding answers. what they want to know is why police officers in white plains, new york, who were dispatched in the early hours of a november morning to help mr. chamberlain ended up killing him. just after 5:00 a.m. vietnam vet kenneth chamberlain, a 68-year-old african-american man with a severe heart
condition, sets off his medical alert device. >> mr. chamberlain, this is your help center for lifeaid. do you need an ambulance, sir? >> the operator attempts to talk to him on a two-way speaker in his home. >> mr. chamberlain, i'm not getting a response. i'm going to notify someone to come by and help you now. >> reporter: emergency personnel are dispatched to his apartment to check on him. by 5:30 white plains police officers are the first to arrive. chamberlain is now alert, and sounds agitated. >> i have the white plains police department banging on my door and i did not call them, and i am not sick. >> everything's all right, sir? >> no, it's not all right. i need help. the white plains police department are banging on my door. >> reporter: over the next 40 minutes, officers repeatedly try to get him to open the door. >> i'm okay. >> i need to see that you're okay and then we'll go. >> no, you leave. >> can't leave.
>> you leave. >> you called us. i can't leave. >> reporter: others arrive, including medical personnel, and chamberlain's niece, who also lives in the building. >> i don't think they cared about me because they didn't even acknowledge me. >> reporter: at 6:13 police turn on a taser which records this video. >> mr. chamberlain? >> leave! >> we can't leave without checking you out. put the knives down. put the knife down. >> reporter: police say he had a butcher knife in his hand, that he stuck through a crack in the door. >> put the knife down and step away from the door. now i'm not asking you, i'm telling you. >> reporter: another officer is now standing outside a window in chamberlain's first floor apartment. the district attorney has confirmed that in a section of the tape not given to cnn, an officer calls mr. chamberlain the "n" word. meanwhile, police inside the building are using bolt cutters to get into chamberlain's apartment. they believe he's used a chair to block the door. at 6:41, more than an hour
after they arrive police finally get chamberlain's door open. they say he's waving a butcher's knife above his head and they tase him. seconds later, they tase him again. >> go [ bleep ] >> at this point, police turn off the taser camera. this is the last image we have of kenneth chamberlain alive. police say he continued to come at them with a knife, so they shot him with several bean bags from a shotgun. police say when that didn't stop him, one officer fired his pistol twice. one bullet hit chamberlain in the lung, killing him. at 7:09 a.m., just about two hours after a medical alert dispatcher calls to see if a former marine is okay, kenneth chamberlain is pronounced dead. now joining me is criminal defense attorney mark geragos, also marcia clark former los angeles deputy district attorney
and the author of "guilt by degrees" also former police officer lou palumbo joins us as well. mark, are you surprised that the grand jury chose not to indict the officer who shot kenneth chamberlain? >> it's fairly outrageous that they did not. but i'm not surprised. the only time a grand jury will not indict is in -- it's always an outlier is when it's a police officer, or one of the reasons why they didn't take george zimmerman's case in front of a grand jury down in florida, you might have seen a grand jury reject that indictment. it's in those very rare instances where somebody -- you've got somebody who's got a kind of a favorable image in front of a grand jury. because remember the grand jury is usually composed of very pro-prosecution, pro-law enforcement, older, retired type people. that's who can afford to sit on them. >> marcia, for accuracy, there's a lot of details we don't have that no doubt the grand jury did have. but kenneth chamberlain's niece was outside the door asking to
speak to her uncle, and calm him down, and the police did not let her. do you find that odd? >> yeah, that's the thing that struck me, anderson. and i wondered why not. here's a woman who can potentially defuse the situation for you, get him to at least open the door, show he's okay. i understand the police need to see that this man is not being held hostage, that somebody isn't standing there holding a gun to his head. i understand that. but you have someone right there who could potentially defuse the whole thing and get him to open the door, show himself, and let it all go away. and it's surprising to me they didn't try to do that. that they didn't at least talk to her about it. but from what i've read and understood she was ignored at the scene. and i don't understand that at all. >> lou, it's very easy to second-guess and say in hindsight police should have done this or that. clearly being a police officer is a very difficult job. but on the tape someone can be heard using the "n" word. we're not sure who said it. but that in no way could have made a situation, you know, better or calmer if one of the
police officers used that word. >> no, i agree 100%. if anything, there probably would have exacerbated the situation, especially in light of the fact that this individual was already agitated and wasn't quite receptive to the police officers to begin with. they -- they need to look into that and that's exactly why the federal government is looking at this case right now. it's predicated on this use of the "n" word. >> mark, if the police had left, though, and not gone into the apartment, not actually gotten the physical confirmation of how he was doing, couldn't they have then been liable? say he had had a heart attack, his family then could have said well, look, the police were outside the door and they didn't even care enough about him, they left without checking on him? >> well, who's the lawyer who's going to take that case and sue the police when you've got the videotape of him shoving a knife outside the door. look, this is -- i mean, i don't have any idea based upon what, and i say this with some caution, based upon what's been reported, why this unfolded the
way it did. once you see the guy's in there, once you see that he's not in a dire medical emergency, actually, once you're in there in the last scene you see that he's by himself and he doesn't have a hostage, stand back, you've got the niece there as marcia said, and it basically it's like a hostage situation without a hostage. what have you got to lose? why are you in there with bean bags? why are you in there firing your guns? why are officers putting themselves into what could potentially is a lethal situation and turns out to be a lethal situation? this is just inexplicable to me and i predict that the feds are going to not just investigate but the feds will end up filing charges in this case. >> marcia, do they have the right to break down your door to get in to your apartment? >> well, see that's the thing i was referring to earlier, anderson. and it is true that when the police get this kind of notice, and they find out that, you know, you've been notified that there's an emergency of some kind they have to confirm. they can't just take his word for it that he's saying go away and he really means it because
how do they know someone isn't standing behind the door next to this man with a gun pointed to his head, and forcing him to tell the police to go away. they don't know. they need to see him. i do understand that need. what i don't understand, as mark is referring to, and i agree, is the escalation. why, at every bend and turn did it escalate the way it did? why didn't you talk to the niece? why not get the niece to talk this man down? why once you have the door open you've broken it down get the niece to come in and talk to you when you see there's no one there to threaten her. that there's no danger. this man stood there, he was holding a knife but there was no other person there with a firearm. so i don't know why it kept on. >> what's fascinating about this is contrast this with the whole discussion that you had on your air over the stand your ground. here's somebody who's in his house, i mean he's literally in his home, they're busting down the door to get in to his home, he can't use a knife because he doesn't want the police coming in to his home? that's the last refuge of the fourth amendment. >> well, lou, what do you make of this?
>> well, let me just say this first, you know, i was a police officer and i was in situations like this. and i can tell by the tone and the exchange between the officer and mr. chamberlain, the officer was well-intended. i believe he was sincerely concerned for his well-being. if anybody followed the story, they'll understand that at the time this took place mr. chamberlain was intoxicated. i think the officers were between a rock and a hard place on this one. you know, one of the things i was curious about is, when the situation like this evolved, did they call for a supervisor, someone with higher authority that could look at the situation and go, you know what, maybe we can stand down, maybe we couldn't. as far as the utilization of the niece in this case, a lot of times as a police officer your responsibility is to protect not only the individual inside who you're trying to get to, but the niece. this individual sounded somewhat, i would say, agitated to be conservative. you know, i think mistakes may have been made. i don't think the motivation was
wrong. the issue of once they got in the house, here's the question, how did it deteriorate so quickly, so rapidly, resulting in the death of this individual? >> and there's gaps on the tape so we really don't know the answer to that. at this point again the federal government is going to be investigating. we'll continue on it. mark geragos, marcia clark, lou palumbo, thanks. five exotic animals are back on an ohio farm tonight. remember the farm -- they're back for the first time since a farmer released dozens of the dangerous animals from their cages and then killed himself. a lot of those animals were killed by authorities. the latest update on why the animals are back and their condition.
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five exotic animals have been returned to a farm in ohio. in october he remember terry thompson opened cages to set loose dozens of animals from his private farm and then he committed suicide. jason carroll updates. >> reporter: after six months in quarantine and an hour and a half ride from their temporary home at the columbus zoo and aquarium, five animals, two leopards, two monkeys, and a bear, made it back to a farm in zanesville, ohio, where their owner marianne thompson welcomed them home. she gave a special greeting to one of the leopards. but this homecoming is not welcome by all here in this rural community. >> i felt she deserved to have the animals back, they're her animals but hopefully she would take them somewhere, some kind of facility or whatever and not bring them here. >> reporter: sam lives next door and remembers what happened on the thompson farm last october 18th.
that's when terry thompson set 50 of his exotic animals free, then committed suicide. the sheriff's department flooded with 911 calls. >> yeah, that's a lion on mount perry road. there's a big horse farm on the right. >> reporter: sheriff's deputies were forced to put down 48 animals, including lions, bears, and exotic tigers. now, many in this rural community are questioning why the remaining five animals should be returned to thompson's widow. the answer -- ohio is one of eight states with the least restrictive laws on owning exotic pets. >> i'm sure that nobody in this county really wants them back here after what happened back in october. but, as you said, our hands are tied. we cannot infringe on somebody's civil rights because the laws are just not in place for me to trounce on somebody's property. >> reporter: two columbus zoo officials who cared for the animals signed affidavits saying the animals had been grossly neglected by terry thompson, and they say, the law doesn't prevent it from happening again under his widow's care.
who will be monitoring those animals to make sure that they are properly cared for six months out, a year out, et cetera? >> the answer would be just local law enforcement if the animals escape. if there's a complaint, the local animal shelter would do an investigation. and if there's an illness, or a possible illness, then it would be health inspectors. >> but that's all reacting to something. i guess my question would be pro-actively, is there anything in place in terms of monitoring and checking on the status of these animals once they go back? >> no. >> reporter: if there is a complaint, the local humane society is charged with investigating. officer david durst says he has confidence in marianne thompson's abilities. >> she knows that everybody is going to be watching her. all eyes are going to be on her. so i think for sure she's going to make sure they're taken care of now. just if anything to prove people wrong and to prove that point. >> jason carroll joins me now from zanesville, ohio.
so what does mariam have to say about all this, jason? >> anderson, we reached out to her. she didn't return our calls. her attorney didn't return our calls. she did, however, reach out to the department of agriculture, anderson and she told representatives there that the cages are well cared for and you can take a look behind me. perhaps you can see off there in the distance on the thompson farm one of the bears in the cages. she says that the cages are now secure, they are clean, and she also says that anderson, she is ready to care for these animals. >> what about strengthening the laws in ohio? >> well, that's a good question. at this point, anderson, right now, there is legislation that has passed through the senate, it has yet to pass through the house. this new legislation would, in fact, make the laws here tougher in the state of ohio. but as it stands right now, people like marianne thompson or anyone else for that matter, can buy an exotic animal. they can house an exotic animal and there's no one to check in on those animals unless, of course, there's been some sort of a complaint. >> there was all that talk about
strengthening these laws in the aftermath and it's interesting to know it hasn't actually passed at this point. appreciate the update. thanks. welcome to idaho, where they grow america's favorite potatoes. everyone knows idaho potatoes taste great. but did you know they're good for you too? they're high in vitamins and potassium. and idaho potatoes are now certified to carry the heart checkmark from the american heart association for foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol. so they're good for my family, and for yours. heart smart idaho potatoes. always look for the grown in idaho seal.
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time now for the ridiculist and tonight we're adding a veritable cornucopia of pot centric 911 calls. the most recent being just this week. police were called to a house just off the university of maryland campus, three masked men allegedly broke into the house where police say five college students live. now, one of the students called 911 and in the course of telling the dispatcher what happened, he said that the masked men asked him for drugs and money, and then this -- >> so he asked you for money and drugs and did he get it? >> he took my weed and took my rent money. >> he took my weed. i always wonder what compels people to volunteer that kind of information?
are pot enthusiasts just incredibly honest? maybe there's some mechanism in the body where when it's distilled into sodium pentothal. i don't know. why would this guy in connecticut call 911? >> i have a legal question. >> well, it's not -- is this an emergency? >> i don't know what that means. i was just growing some marijuana. i was just wonder, what the -- how much, you know, trouble you can get into for one plant. >> you're growing marijuana and you want to know how much -- depends on how big the plant is. >> it's only a seedling. >> well, it's possession. >> yeah, so the police were there in a flash, and they arrested that guy, no joint investigation or anything, just drove on over, picked the guy up. the officer said it was definitely a first. but it's not the best. we've saved the best for last. this is our favorite. we played it before. the police officer who himself calls 911, after he and his wife decided to unwind one evening by
mixing up a batch of pot brownies. here are the best parts. bon appetite. >> i think i'm having an overdose and so is my wife. >> okay, you and your wife? >> yes. >> overdose of what? >> marijuana. i think we're dying. >> how much did you guys have? >> i don't know. we made brownies, and i think we're dead. i really do. time is going by really, really, really, really slow. >> do you guys do this on a regular basis? >> no, this is the first time that we've ever done it. >> and you'd never done marijuana before? >> yeah, i have. >> and you've never had this reaction to it before? >> no, never. what's the score on the red wings game? >> what? >> what's the score on the red wings game? >> i've got no clue. i don't watch the red wings. >> so you got to give it to the 911 operators. they have to keep calm during life and death situations, help people in their darkest hours, and they also have to answer calls from people baked out of their minds on pot brownies who want to know hockey scores. it's a tall order, and sometimes a o