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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  December 7, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PST

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soon to combat home-grown terror. >> -- do a better job of informing the public at large of what we are seeing, removing some of the mystery about the global terrorist threat and what we are doing about it and what we are asking the public to do. fear factor. president obama calls for patience and unity in the fight against isis. >> we cannot turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between america and islam. isil does not speak for islam. they are thugs and killers, part of a cult of death. >> and radicalized. unraveling the mystery of what caused a young mother to go on a shooting rampage. >> if you met her she was like the girl next door. the sweet, innocent kind. the kind that's always smiling, always nice to you. you would never, ever guess that that girl would have ties to isis.
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good day. i'm luke russert in for andrea mitchell. tracking the latest updates in the san bernardino terror investigation. right now, federal officials are trying to recover information from the damaged hard drives and cell phones left by suspects syed rizwan farook and tashfeen malik. this morning reporters were updated on the ongoing effort. >> we are discussing the san bernardino investigation because we want the public to be aware of how these investigations are conducted, their complexity and the fact that they are in fact a marathon and not a sprint. we are not prepared to limit any particular ideology to what may have inspired these individuals. there are a number of groups that are on social media looking to encourage people to commit acts of violence within the homeland and so at this point,
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we simply do not want to rule anything out. >> nbc justice correspondent pete williams joins me now. pete, obviously an ongoing investigation, trying to get into the technology that this couple had, the computers, the cell phones, hoping that it will bring forward some new information that could really help this investigation. what do we know about this so far? >> well, so far, the authorities have based almost all of their conclusions about this couple on what they left behind of the huge stockpile of ammunition and bombs, the sort of tradecraft they displayed and how they tried to cover their tracks by destroying these devices, the way they designed remote control bombs. all these things. what they really want to know is where did this inspiration come from, what else were they planning, and they hope that will come from these electronic devices. there is some reason for optimism here. i'm told the initial look at these devices shows that they have varying degrees of damage,
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some more than others. they are optimistic they can get some information, already starting to get sort of a union versus or census of information that might be available, but no specifics yet. no actual evidence, no actual answers to these questions. so they continue to look at what other records they can find beyond those simple devices. >> pete, we are seeing reports that the officials are very interested in farook's mother, that she was living in that apartment, obviously this couple had thousands of rounds of ammunition stored, over 15 pipe bombs. do officials think she perhaps had advanced knowledge that they were up to something or are they trying to figure that out right now? >> the latter. they don't know. they certainly want to talk to her about that. there has been some back and forth with her lawyers about questioning her. they questioned farook's father for seven hours and you have heard some of his comments publicly. he says that his son was a supporter of the isis goal of
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establishing a caliphate and an admirer of abu bakr al baghdadi and of course, we have this report that his wife, tashfeen malik, sent a facebook posting also pledging support for al baghdadi. but they certainly want to talk to her because she lived in the house. >> without a doubt. secretary johnson of dhs announcing that a new threat warning system will be coming up in the next few days. is this a reaction to what happened out in california, or is this something dhs had been planning for quite some time? >> the latter, again. something they have been planning. we have been talking about this for the last couple months, that johnson has indicated his displeasure with the system that was in place now which is kind of an on/off system. either it's an elevated threat or isn't, based on whether there is specific and credible information. we first heard the secretary talk about this last year after the shooting up of the parliament building in ottawa when he ordered higher security at federal buildings here in the u.s. as a precaution.
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he wants that flexibility. he wants some kind of system to -- as sort of an interim thing to be more transparent with people about what they're thinking. the challenge of course is what are people supposed to do based on these warnings. it's one thing to tell the police and the government officials to do something, but what about everybody else, what about all the rest of us, what are we supposed to do. i think that's where the subtlety comes in. he said he would be announcing this new system within a matter of days. >> something to keep an eye on. closer to home on your usual day job beat, the supreme court not going to take up a case regarding an assault weapons ban in chicago. president obama making gun control a central piece of his terror fighting strategy here at home. is this significant for that? >> well, i think it is. this is from suburban chicago, highland park, to be specific. in 2013 a ban, one of the toughest in the country on assault weapons. it had been challenged and the challenger said the supreme court should take the case but
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today it declined which leaves lower court rulings in place that said states and the cities can ban assault weapons. two of the justices, thomas and alito, said the court should have taken the case, that letting the appeals court rulings stay on the books relegates the second amendment to second class status. but it's kind of a green light here now for other localities to pursue these bans because there doesn't at least at this point appear to be a constitutional block to them. now, when the supreme court declines to take a case, it doesn't mean they are endorsing the logic of the lower courts, but it does leave those rulings intact. >> interesting. we'll see what happens in some democratic strongholds after that. pete williams, thank you so much for your time. appreciate it. president obama is facing criticism today for last night's prime time oval office address. the president's overarching message was to stay the course in the fight against isis while trying to reassure americans he understands their concerns and is determined to end the threat. >> i know that we see ourselves
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with friends and co-workers at a holiday party like the one in san bernardino. i know we see our kids in the faces of the young people killed in paris. and i know that after so much war, many americans are asking whether we are confronted by a cancer that has no immediate cure. well, here's what i want you to know. the threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it. >> nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel joins me now. richard, what we heard from president obama last night was not anything particularly new for those of us who follow this on the day-to-day, specifically in terms of what he believes the united states and its allies should do to combat isis. some of the things that we heard, for turkey to seal the border with syria so it stops the flow of militants. we have been trying to do this for years to little success. also trying to put up proxy forces in the area to hold ground.
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again, limited success. did you hear anything last night in terms of anything that could be functionable on the ground from where you report? >> no. in the text of the speech, you didn't hear anything new. he was arguing that we should continue this policy and set up a strawman, saying if you don't continue this policy, the option is an all out war and we don't want to go back to the days of the past. what we didn't hear which might be coming is that the speech could represent the start of a more intensified campaign. you have to look at the fact that he did give the speech at all and some people i have been speaking to in the military think that the speech, although it didn't say it, might be a sign that there's going to be more intensified air strikes, there will be a redoubling of efforts, if you will. but we didn't hear that. instead, what he said is we are going to do these four things to combat terrorism, to combat isis. the first one being air strikes,
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terrorists all over the world which is happening and happens quite frequently. the second was this train and assist mission to build up local partners on the ground. that has not been working. that has been incredibly fraught with problems. the third was working with turkey to seal the border. turkey has become a major part of this problem. it's the main gateway that isis uses to get in and out of the country, and the main gateway for refugees who are generally unchecked and unscreened. that doesn't seem to be working. his fourth point was try and find a political solution for syria. which would be fantastic, but that is quite a tough challenge. >> let's talk about that, because one of the reasons why isis has been able to garner such strength is because a lot of displaced sunnis are more likely than not to allow isis to proceed forward who do not feel they have a voice in the future of syria or the future of iraq.
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when you talk about a syrian cease-fire, how can that occur when so many sunnis are angry and disengaged from what they feel is any political process in the future? >> well, the sunni disenfranchisement is a big part of it. there are several ways to look at the isis problem. one is that it's about sunni anger which is what you are just talking about, that since the iraq war, you have had sunnis who felt humiliated, who felt pushed out of power where they were ruling iraq for 1400 years and that this is sunni revenge and isis is the most aggressive form of it. that's one way of looking at it. the other way of looking at it is going back to iraq, then going back to the arab spring, you saw the center of the middle east, iraq and syria, collapse. in this chaos, you have the region re-aligning to try and benefit itself. you have russia, an old empire, trying to reestablish its dominance in the region. you have persia, iran trying to
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reestablish dominance and turkey trying to fight for the same territory. each one of those groups, iran, turkey and russia, has its own favorite proxy. so in my opinion, both are right. you have a problem of sunni anger and you have a problem of sunni disenfranchisement which isis is capitalizing and in this chaos, you have a genere alis realignment in the region. isis is able to live and thrive in the cracks of this foreign policy. everyone is fighting against each other, not focusing on isis. >> feweueled by the chaos. richard, thank you. appreciate it. we are learning more about the female shooter from those who knew her in pakistan where she grew up. friends insist that tashfeen malik was not radicalized there. >> anyone who knows her couldn't
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expect she could do such things. >> radical minded culture, there is nothing like that. >> nbc's bill neely has the latest from islamabad. >> reporter: tashfeen malik and what she did in california is a mystery to her friends, to her family and to pakistan's authorities, including the intelligence services here. it's just not clear what on earth turned this woman who was a mother with a 6 month old daughter into a black-clad killer who took the lives of so many innocent people. it's almost as if there is a tashfeen malik that people knew or thought they knew and another woman entirely. here's what we do know. she was 29 years old. she was a deeply religious woman who went to a prestigious university here and studied for five years, gaining her degree in pharmacy. at the same time, she was also attending a religious school for
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about a year, especially in the evenings, studying the koran. now, there is nothing unusual about that. it's what thousands, tens of thousands of pakistani women do. she was from a conservative family but again, none of this, not the area that she grew up in nor her family in any way suggests what happened in california. however, there is some anecdotal evidence and it's no more than that, but pakistan's intelligence services are looking into it. anecdotal evidence that she may have reached out to people with extremist views, people in organizations like lashkar-e-taiba, who carried out a massacre in mumbai some years ago. anecdotal comment she may have been extremely angry and shocked by the death of osama bin laden in the u.s. raid four years ago about 70 miles from here. but then once again, many people, not just in pakistan but around the world, were shocked
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by his death and many muslims of all descriptions were angry at how osama bin laden was killed. again, that doesn't mean that she went all the way to being a terrorist in california. but something clearly happened, either she radicalized her husband or he radicalized her. it's something that authorities here are looking into. but there's a lot of unanswered questions. we don't know a great deal about her life in saudi arabia and perhaps above all, we don't know how she came to be proficient in a weapon, because survivors of the california massacre describe a woman who took a full and active part in the shooting. and police say she fired shots later at them. so where did she learn to fire a weapon to such deadly effect? it's one of the questions that we may never know fully know the answer to. back to you, luke. >> nbc's bill neely. thank you so much for that report.
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up next, an update from chicago. officials after the justice department there has in fact opened up an investigation into the city's police department, but we also expect an announcement from the cook county state's attorney. they are of course investigating the 2014 death of ronald johnson. he was shot and killed by an on-duty chicago police officer. let's listen into this press conference for a moment. >> -- shooting of ronald johnson by an on duty chicago police officer. mr. johnson was shot and killed in the early morning hours of october 12th of 2014 by chicago police officer george hernandez. officer hernandez was one of multiple officers who responded to emergency 911 calls of gunshots being fired near the area of 53rd street and king drive on the city's south side. earlier that evening, mr. johnson and three acquaintances attended a party in an apartment
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building at this location. after leaving the party, the four men got into a vehicle and drove away from the scene, and mr. johnson being seated behind the driver of the car in the rear passenger seat of that automobile. so he was in the rear driver's -- he was behind the driver in the rear passenger's seat. i'm sorry. in the rear seat of the car. as they drove away an unknown offender or offenders shot multiple times at the car occupied by the four men. shattering the rear window of the vehicle and causing other damage to the car. none of the occupants of the car was struck by the bullets that damaged this vehicle. without calling 911 themselves, to report what had occurred, or driving to the nearest police station, the four men drove a short distance away and then returned to the scene where they had just been shot at. they then parked the car and exited that vehicle on foot. by this time, chicago police
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officers were en route to the scene in response to the multiple emergency 911 calls from citizens reporting that shots had been fired in that area. the first two officers that arrived on the scene encountered one of the men who had returned to the scene with mr. johnson and the others. those officers were in the process of speaking to the driver of the car to investigate the shooting. at the same time, other responding officers observed ronald johnson near that very same location. those officers saw that mr. johnson was carrying a gun and ordered him to stop and drop the weapon. mr. johnson did not comply with the officers' orders and instead ran from the officers while holding the gun. he initially ran from 53rd street turning south on to king drive, where he encountered the original two officers who were on the scene and speaking with the other occupant of the vehicle.
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these two officers observed mr. johnson with a gun and they drew their weapons and ordered johnson to stop and drop the weapon. mr. johnson slowed down and indicated that he would comply with the officers' orders. one of the officers reholsterred his weapon to free up his hand to place johnson under arrest, but johnson was able to break free of this officer's grasp and the officer fell to the ground. another occupant from the vehicle confirms that he had heard police yell out that johnson had a gun. at that point, mr. johnson turned away from those two officers and began to flee in a diagonal direction, crossing king drive while still holding on to this weapon. officer hernandez was one of three officers who had responded to the scene in an unmarked police cruiser and the three officers were exiting their vehicle when johnson ran behind their car and toward the nearby
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washington park towards another police unit. at that time, officer hernandez began pursuit of mr. johnson and then fired five shots. two of those shots struck mr. johnson, one in the back of his right knee, the second shot entered just below mr. johnson's right armpit and exited the body near the left eye socket. mr. johnson was pronounced dead soon after being transported to the hospital from the scene. my office has prepared a detailed written analysis of this case which we will provide to all of you here today as well as to the public. this analysis provides specific facts and details of this investigation as well as a legal analysis that goes into a charging decision in a case of this nature. we have also compiled a video presentation that includes 911 calls, chicago police radio traffic exchanges and the dash-cam video footage that
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captures relevant events as they unfolded very quickly that night. before we give you that video presentation, there are a couple of points that i need to make. first of all, the investigation into this shooting was conducted by chicago's independent police review authority. ipra investigates these police shootings. we are then asked to review cases. ipra is the investigative agency on this case. to be clear, ipra is an independent entity and i have no authority over their process or their pace of their investigations. the dash-cam video we will show you shortly was initially presented by ipra to my office on october 31st, 2014. along with some initial reports and documents relating to this investigation. ipra ultimately provided all
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in-car camera videos as well as video from a nearby senior citizens center and copies of depositions of officers and citizens that had been taken in a corresponding civil case involving this shooting. it is also important for you to know that my office shared this video with the fbi in november of 2014 after having received it. after reviewing the video in the ronald johnson case, the fbi informed us that they would not participate in the investigation moving forward. at that point, ipra remained the designated investigative agency that would handle that -- this case, and that is standard procedure. ipra investigates police shootings. from a legal perspective in reviewing this matter for potential criminal charges, the legal question in this case is not whether officer hernandez shot mr. johnson and killed him. those facts are not in dispute. the legal questions are number one, is there stuff evidence
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that exists to meet the legal burden of proof required to bring charges in this case and number two, in using deadly force did officer hernandez act reasonably under the law. before we go further, i want to introduce assistant state's attorney lynn mccarthy. she is the head of my professional standards unit that handles cases of police misconduct and police shootings. we have prepared a detailed description of the facts and circumstances that we uncovered during the investigation along with the dash-cam video that assistant state's attorney mccarthy will now present for all of you. >> on october 12th of 2014, ronald johnson was at a party at 53rd and king drive. at approximately 12:30 a.m. he left with individuals a, b and c
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in a car that was driven by individual a. the driver was individual a, the front passenger was individual b, the back seat passenger was individual c, and ronald johnson as the state's attorney said was in the back seat positioned immediately behind the driver. as they left that location of approximately 53rd and king drive, shots were fired into the vehicle. no one inside the vehicle was struck but there was, however, extensive damage that was done to the vehicle. these are photographs that were taken by the forensic investigators after the shooting. as you can see, the rear window was shot out. there was also damage done to the front window as well as to the side mirrors. while individual a drove away from the location, he indicated that he heard the sound of a cocking of a pistol coming from ronald johnson, who was seated directly behind him.
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rather than report the incident, individual a indicated that he received instructions to drive around and return back to the same location, where those shots had come from. this map indicates an area where the shots were fired. around the location of the trc senior village located at 356 east 53rd street, the individuals had been parked on east 53rd street. this is the location where the party was. this is talumet avenue. they indicated as they proceeded on 53rd street, the shots were fired as they passed talumet avenue. they proceeded along 53rd street to approximately prairie avenue and then headed northbound on prairie avenue to 51st street.
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rather than head to the nearby second district police station at 51st and wentworth to report the incident, instead they traveled eastbound to king drive, along king drive back to 53rd street to the same area where they had been fired upon. at that time, individual a dropped off ronald johnson, individual b and individual c, and the three individuals walked out of the vehicle and in the vicinity. individual a then parked his vehicle on king drive facing southbound. as indicated, they made no reports to the police about the shots being fired, they did not go to the police station and in fact, individual a reported that he avoided a passing police car as they drove around that location because as he indicated, he believed ronald johnson had a pistol on him based on the noise he heard as he indicated it was the racking of a pistol noise.
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after the shots had been fired, there were numerous calls placed by citizens to 911. we will be providing to you a disk where we burned all of those calls on the disk. at this point we will play samples of some of those calls to give you a perspective of what information the officers had, particularly officer hernandez. >> october 12, 2014. >> chicago police emergency. >> there's gunfire out there in front of 346 east 53rd street, they're shooting. >> how many shots did you hear? >> there were [ inaudible ]. >> did you see anyone?
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>> three [ inaudible ] just walked past this building. two were on 52nd and talumet. [ inaudible ] they came around this building. the cops are always here coming in and out of the building. all right. >> october 12, 2014, 34 minutes and 44 seconds. >> 911. >> hello? >> 911. >> yes.
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someone's outside shooting. i'm at east 43rd street. >> what street? >> 346 east 53rd street. >> 5-3 street? >> yes. >> what's going on? >> shooting. they're shooting. >> how many shots were fired? >> they were shooting. i don't know how many shots. i see people running down the alley now. >> [ inaudible ]. >> yes. >> were they white, black or hispanic? >> black. >> what were they wearing? >> [ inaudible ].
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>> in front of the alley? >> they went down the alley. >> they went east of the building and down the alley. >> [ inaudible ]. >> that call came from the senior, the trc senior building. now, this third call actually comes later on after the shots are fired by officer hernandez, but it refers to the shots that were fired earlier in this incident. >> october 12, 2014, zero hours,
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42 minutes and one second. >> 911. >> hi. my name is [ bleep ]. this is the fourth time in 45 minutes that there's shooting out front. >> how many shots did you hear? >> right now, this is four or five. about seven minutes ago there was like four or five. about 20 minutes before that, it was like about seven. >> okay. we'll get back over there, okay? >> please do. >> all right. bye-bye. >> in addition to the 911 calls, there are oemc radio communications that are made by the dispatcher, relayed to the officers. there is also communication by a sergeant who also heard the shots fired. again, we are providing these communications to you and will play a few of those now.
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>> i'm in second district lobby [ inaudible ] seven or eight shots directly east of this location. >> all right. ten-four. reports just east of the station. >> a little ways down. >> all right. ten-four. possibly a distance from east of the station. >> 235 robert. >> yeah, when you get a chance, shots fired 346 east 53rd street, 346 east 5-3 street. five shots were heard. man walked past last seen headed eastbound. >> ten-four.
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>> shots fired, 346 east 53rd street, 346 east 5-3 street. woman just called, five shots were heard, [ inaudible ] in hoods just walked past. >> i heard about seven or eight. >> all right. ten-four. be advised we got a couple more calls, one said 53rd and king. we also got 346 east 53rd street. two male blacks were just shooting, offender took off eastbound and through the alley. both were wearing dark clothing. >> [ inaudible ]. >> i'm sorry. >> this is the second time tonight.
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>> 35 robert. >> [ inaudible ]. >> 245 robert? >> 245 robert. >> ten-four. >> [ inaudible ]. >> ten-four. >> 6-3 is just fine. >> ten-four. 45, 27, we got you. >> [ inaudible ]. all right. units respond to shots fired. 5352 south king. men with guns who ran into the building said the entrance is around the corner, said two to three men ran in.
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three units and two units, shots fired. we are now getting a person with a gun ticket, 5352 king. 5352 south king. there are men with guns who ran into the building, said the entrance is around the corner, says two to three men ran in. >> 5352 is the school. >> ten-four. yeah. it was an anonymous caller said 5352 king. >> the thing that i want to point out is those calls are not being played in realtime. those have been for the purposes of the presentation we eliminated irrelevant calls. those were not being played in realtime. those were played over an extended period of time. the reason we are presenting them to you is to assist with the understanding that when the officers arrived on the scene, particularly officer hernandez, all those calls are relevant to determine the reasonable belief that officer hernandez had as to
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whether or not ronald johnson had a weapon at the time or to understand what the officers were encountering at the time that they responded to the scene. >> reporter: what unit was this? >> at the time that the officers received those calls they were dispatched. the first car to arrive was officers hooper and officer monti. they were in an unmarked vehicle that did not have dash cameras. the unmarked vehicles are not equipped with in-car camera recording equipment. the second car to arrive was a marked vehicle that had officer abraham and officer calvin. that did a dash camera. it was activated. that will be the camera that is relevant that we will be showing to you. that camera did not have an audio portion activated. it was video only.
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officers hooper and monti were the officers that exited their vehicles and spoke to individual a who did point out the bullet damage to his vehicle -- >> we will break away from this press conference in cook county, illinois. it is the state's attorney anita alvarez as well as her deputy, lynn mccarthy, giving the press an update on a fatal police shooting that cured in october 2014, about a week before the most famous one we heard so much about, laquan mcdonald. this pertains to a gentleman named ronald johnson. we will break away for a second because we expect a video of the actual police shooting to be made public over the next few minutes. we like our standards department to review that before we make sure -- we are going to go back in. we haven't quite got to that point yet. let's take in some more of this press conference. >> there is a vehicle that also responded. this is an alley here. this is an unmarked vehicle that sergeant costello was driving.
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this here is a marked tahoe vehicle that was on [ inaudible ]. it did not have a dash-cam equipment that was operating. their lights and sirens were not activated which would have activated the recording equipment. they did not manually activate the equipment either so the only dash cam recording of the shooting incident comes from this vehicle here which was officer abraham and calvin. as i indicated, sergeant costello was riding through this alley here northbound. this is the marked tahoe. when sergeant costello is positioned in that alley, he observes ronald johnson wearing
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dark-hooded sweatshirt. he fits the description that had been broadcast over the radio communications, as do officers hurt and giliana. they position their vehicles headed eastbound. sergeant costello positioned westbound. ronald johnson is then observed in this location. he then runs eastbound on 53rd street towards king drive. the chase is then broadcast over radio communications. at the same time, officers hooper and monti are outside of their vehicles right here speaking to individual a about the damage that was done to this vehicle. the damage to the vehicle was broadcast over radio communications which you will also hear. this designates ronald johnson. ronald johnson ran toward king drive. that chase was also broadcast. when you view the dash cam video you will notice that the
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position of this vehicle does change and that is done in response to the radio communication that the male is running eastbound on 53rd toward king drive. the vehicles are in a position where they end up blocking each other in and that results in a foot chase. the officers from these vehicles exit their vehicles and begin a foot chase. you will see that on the video when it is played. ronald johnson runs to king drive. he will then turn and proceed in this direction, right in the direction of where officers hooper and monti are positioned on the sidewalk. officers hooper and monti hear the radio communication that the male is running in their direction. they have their weapons drawn and they proceed northbound towards the direction where he is situated. he runs toward them. they observe a weapon in his hand. they attempt to take him into custody.
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at that point, ronald johnson engages in a struggle with officer hooper. you will not see this on the footage of the video. the angle of the camera, the dash camera, is such that there is an interaction, a struggle, a physical struggle with officer hooper and ronald johnson that is not captured on the video. officer hooper is knocked to the ground by ronald johnson. he then gets up, changes his direction and runs back toward 53rd street, the same direction from which he came. at the time that the officers are involved in this chase with him, at that time, they were not aware whether he was the offender or the victim of the aggravated discharge of the firearm from those shots that were being fired earlier. at the time that they are also involved in this chase, they are also calling out for him to stop and drop his weapon, and he is
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not complying with any of their verbal commands. this shows how he ran in the direction of officer hooper. at the same time there's another vehicle, an unmarked police tahoe that is on scene. this vehicle driven by officers lynch and jones drives up on the grass and heads northbound in the grass in washington park and attempts to stop ronald johnson. at that time, there is yet another vehicle, an unmarked vehicle that adoes not have dash cam recording equipment. this is the vehicle officer hernandez was in. the vehicle is driven by officer leano. officer hernandez is a passenger. he's a back seat passenger. this vehicle is headed southbound on king drive. as they're approaching, they are
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monitoring radio communications, they also have a view of what is transpiring over here. they have a vantage point and are able to see ronald johnson in running eastbound -- i'm sorry, southbound on king drive. they are also able to see the struggle with officer hooper, his efforts to stop ronald johnson. they also see johnson knock hooper to the ground. they see johnson get up, change course and run back through king drive. we will see that johnson will run diagonally through the middle of the street heading into washington park. >> reporter: what unit is that? >> we will answer questions later. >> reporter: just for the purpose of the radio, so we know what we are listening to. what unit is hernandez in? >> just keep going. >> at this time, the vehicle that officer hernandez is in proceeds southbound, crosses the
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intersection. three officers exit the vehicle, their weapons are drawn. johnson runs behind their vehicle and crosses diagonally into the path of this unmarked vehicle that is attempting to intercept him as he's fleeing into the park. the three officers as i indicated exited their vehicle, at the same time the officers are chasing along east 53rd street, there are several officers that are chasing him this way, they are shouting to him to stop, to freeze, to drop his weapon. he ignores all of those verbal commands and continues to run into the park. at that time, officer hernandez discharged his weapon at ronald johnson. you will see the flash from officer hernandez's weapon. he discharged his weapon a total
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of five times. johnson continued to run into the park. you will not see johnson struck by those bullets. the position of johnson is such that he is in the park and out of the angle of the camera. he was struck by two of the five shots as the state's attorney indicated. one of those is a gunshot wound to the back of his right knee which was lodged and the second was a through and through gunshot wound to the back of his lower right shoulder that came through and exited near his left eye. what we are going to play for you is as i indicated, the dash cam recording is video only. it does not have an audio portion. in order to put this in the best possible perspective, what we have done is to the best of our abilities, we took the zone radio communications and timed them and did an overlay to match
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up the zone communications with the video. we are going to play that for you and then we are going to do a slow motion play of the relevant portion. one thing to keep in mind when you see the video, the time stamp that's marked on the dash cam recording is not accurate. it's delayed by approximately six minutes. as i indicated, you will not see johnson struck by the gunshots. he fell forward and landed face down in the grass. and the radio communications you hear pick up where we left off with the ones we played previously about the school. >> 5352 is the school. >> ten-four. yeah, it was an anonymous call.
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it just said 5352 king. >> this is officer hooper and monti. this is individual a's vehicle that had the bullet damage. that's the building with the apartment where the party had taken place. >> 222 robert. >> [ inaudible ]. >> yeah, got reports of a shot [ inaudible ]. >> that's hooper and monti. >> window shot out. >> [ inaudible ].
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>> male black running southbound, sweatshirt, black pants. >> with the foot chase [ inaudible ]. >> shots fired. shots fired. >> shots fired. we got shots fired. >> get an ambulance over here. >> [ inaudible ]. >> negative. >> ten-four. we'll get an ambulance going for you.
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>> [ inaudible ]. >> 14 robert. all right. ten-four. >> [ inaudible ]. >> ten-four. thanks. >> [ inaudible ]. >> we're clear. >> ten-four. >> [ inaudible ]. >> ten-four. heading that way to do crowd control. ten-four. >> [ inaudible ]. >> we got you over there.
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ten-four. thanks. >> we got that ambulance, right? >> ten-four. ambulance is rolling. >> [ inaudible ]. >> ten-four. weapon recovered. >> we will play it again in slow motion. a couple of things to point out. you will see when johnson is coming around the corner, you will also see as i pointed out officer giliana chasing behind him and sergeant costello. they were the officers that had called out the chase over the radio. there's johnson running around the corner coming in the direction of officer hooper and monti. this is officer giliana.
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she's drawing her weapon. this is officer hernandez in the back seat. there's johnson running behind. you see the flash. officer hernandez was the officer closest to johnson at the time. while that was taking place, the officers had indicated that numerous officers had been calling out to him to drop his weapon, to stop, to freeze, and he failed to comply with any of their commands. what we did in order to get the best possible view of johnson's hands to show any objects in his hands, we sent the video to the regional computer forensic laboratory which was established by the fbi.
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we were trying to get the clearest possible image. so the rcfl processed a still frame from that video at our request. we were trying to determine if there was visual proof of the weapon in johnson's hands. this is the result of their work. after the shooting, several officers ran over to ronald johnson and indicated they observed the weapon in his hand. as you could see on the video once the vehicle was repositioned, the vehicle with the camera, you are able to see the officers did have their weapons drawn. officer hernandez recovered that
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weapon from johnson's hand, later secured it in the trunk of a sergeant's vehicle. as you heard, there was a public safety issue as that crowd was forming. that weapon was photographed. and as you also heard, that radio communication was made within 1:50 that the weapon was in fact recovered. the weapon recovered from johnson was a browning high power nine millimeter semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine capable of holding 21 rounds. it was loaded with 12 live rounds, including a brand of ammunition that had three tula brand cartridges. photos of the weapon do corroborate that ronald johnson had the weapon in his hand when he was struck and fell. there's a clump of grass, these are photos that were taken while the weapon was secured in the back of the sergeant's vehicle and as you can see, there is
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grass stuck in portions of the weapon. this would indicate that the weapon was in his hand at the time he fell in the grass, that a photo of that was taken from the grass area where he fell after he was struck. additionally, after the weapon was placed in the vehicle, at the time it was placed in the sergeant's vehicle, there was a live round of ammunition. the weapon is in the slide lock position. when it's placed in the slide lock, it's normal for the cartridge to be ejected. that did not happen in this case. as you can see, the cartridge is still in there. that's just another piece of information that could indicate that there was some type of malfunction when he fell to the ground. additionally, there was an unfired bullet, another nine
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millimeter tula brand bullet that was recovered on the back seat of individual a's vehicle that forensic investigators found. that was in the same position where ronald johnson was seated. right there, that was a tula brand ammunition. it's the same type of ammunition that was recovered in ronald johnson's weapon. that corroborates what individual a said that after the shots had been fired at them, he heard ronald johnson cocking a pistol. that unfired tula brand bullet was sent to the illinois state police crime lab. they examined it and they found markings on it that were consistent with an extractor from a semi-automatic pistol that would corroborate what individual a said that he heard a cocking of a pistol in the position where ronald johnson was sitting. additionally, the pistol came back with ronald johnson's dna profile on the weapon. and the illinois state police crime lab did ballistics testing and was able to link johnson's
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weapon to a prior shooting that took place september 25th, 2013 at 5637 south green in chicago and that shooting, no one had been arrested and no weapon was recovered back in 2013. >> based on the totality of the evidence in this case and with the very, very careful analysis of the laws of the state of illinois, it is our determination that no criminal charges will be filed against officer hernandez in connection with the shooting death of ronald johnson. the totality of the evidence establishes the following. at the time of the shooting, mr. johnson was armed with a hand gun. mr. johnson had run from an area where shots had recently been fired. mr. johnson resisted arrest. and mr. johnson ran into a
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public park and towards an occupied police vehicle that was arriving on the scene in that park. based upon an objective review of the evidence and the law, we have determined that the prosecution could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the actions of officer hernandez were not reasonable and permissible under the laws of the state of illinois. before we take questions, i would like to cover two important points. with respect to the officer shooting ronald johnson in the back, the fact that the officer, officer hernandez shot ronald johnson in the back is one of many factors that had to be carefully considered and evaluated. even though mr. johnson was running away from hernandez and other officers, he was running towards a police vehicle containing two other responding officers and unknown members of the public inside that park. furthermore, johnson could have easily turned around and quickly fired at the officers pursuing him or even fired as he ran. in fact, in his statements to investigators, officer hernandez
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referenced a shooting in which an offender shot and struck a chicago police officer as the offender ran with an officer in hot pursuit. this was prosecuted by my office just recently, in august, resulting in a recent conviction of attempted murder of a police officer against the defendant by the name of william wright. we are also going to show you this video that captured this incident right now. keep in mind this is a suspect fleeing a police officer on foot and the defendant stretches his hand back while continuing to run forward and shoots the officer who is behind him. it is a chilling depiction of how quickly a responding officer can be struck down. it really is chilling. i do believe you need to see this. thank you.
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that's the officer after being struck. >> are we going to play that slow mo? >> that was realtime. we'll play it again in slow motion. >> point out who everybody is. >> that's the offender. that's the offender, william wright, he had the weapon in his right hand. you see the flash of the weapon as he's running forward. he discharged with his right hand while running forward without ever turning his back.
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the officer comes up behind here after he's struck. lastly, i want to address statements that have been made by a private civil attorney who is suing the city of chicago for monetary damages in this particular case. this attorney has alleged that mr. johnson did not have a gun that night and that the gun was recovered, that has been recovered after mr. johnson was shot was planted by either officer hernandez or other chicago police personnel. this allegation is not supported by any of the evidence in this case, as assistant state's attorney mccarthy has just outlined. all the evidence that we have points to the fact that mr. johnson did indeed have a gun that evening and the police witness accounts also support
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that. accounts from passengers who were with mr. johnson in the car that evening and the fact that a live cartridge casing was found in the car where ronald johnson was seated that matched the ammunition in the gun that police recovered in his possession. in addition, mr. johnson's dna is on that weapon and this particular weapon was connected through ballistics testing to a prior shooting in september of 2013 in the seventh police district and was never recovered. again, it is our evaluation by the evidence in this case in its totality and after -- with a careful analysis of the laws of the state of illinois, it is our determination that no criminal charges should be filed in this case against officer hernandez because a crime cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. i think we have the criminal statutes up there. do we?


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