tv The Situation Room CNN December 5, 2014 2:00pm-4:01pm PST
>> this has been an amazing time. >> you're killing me, cnn, got me sobbing all up in my chardonnay. >> see the stars come out to honor the top ten cnn heroes of 2014. cnn heroes, an all-star tribute, sunday on cnn. >> that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i turn you over now to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." have a great weekend. happening now, breaking news, nationwide protests, new demonstrations erupting across the united states. the outrage over new york's deadly police chokehold case. the outrage is growing. will the protests remain peaceful? retraining police. new details of the plan to try to teach new york's 22,000 police officers how to avoid situations like the one that led to eric garner's death. will it work? devastating cyber attack, one of the world's most powerful entertainment companies crippled by hackers. was north korea behind it? new information coming in. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
we're following the breaking news. a third night of protests over new york's controversial police chokehold case is now under way. tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets since wednesday when a grand jury declined to charge the police officer, daniel pantaleo, who put unarmed eric garner in a chokehold, resulting in a death that the coroner ruled a homicide. coming on the heels of the michael brown shooting in ferguson, missouri, this latest case has catapulted the issues of policing, race and excessive force right into the national spotlight. we're covering the breaking news this hour with our correspondents, our guests, including new york congressman hakeem jeffries. but let's begin with cnn's brian todd. he's here in washington, d.c. where we've seen some major protests. brian, what are you seeing right now? >> reporter: wolf, we are here in the chinatown section of washington, just outside verizon center. we got word that there are
protests planned for this evening. police presence starting to be established here. squad cars behind me, police cars down here. we have seen police patrolmen walking up and down the streets. i saw two undercover cops with badges on getting ready to blend into the crowds out here. police forces across the united states gearing up for more protests tonight. this comes as the police force that's at the center of this whole controversy is undergoing major retraining tonight. thousands protesting in new york, st. louis, d.c., so-called die-ins in chicago and boston, a national outcry over police tactics and an appeal to prevent this from happening again. >> i can't breathe, i can't breathe. >> reporter: now in new york, the nation's largest police force reeling from the chokehold case is retraining 22,000 officers, supervisors and executives. each gets a three-day course. not just a refresher on tactical
training and the proper use of force but also problem-solving, learning how to talk through a tense situation. >> what we want them to do is talk people down as opposed to having to take people down. >> reporter: the goal? to use less force when possible. how does that translate to scenarios on the street? >> the one officer slips behind -- >> reporter: dan is a former new york city policeman. he shows me how an officer could change tactic. >> maybe the better way to train is a little wrist and elbow control. it's not easy, but it's -- you see how your elbow goes with you? if i pull you and yank you and take your center of gravity with me, you're going to move. >> reporter: one tactic being considered, bringing in a female officer or a suspect's mother to defuse a confrontation if possible. also part of new york's training, how to keep egos and adrenaline in check to avoid confrontational scenarios like this one in ferguson.
>> what we're teaching them is how to control that anger and how to channel that anger so that they don't act out. >> reporter: it's all part of learning one crucial principle -- >> de-escalating, de-escalating. sometimes you turn your hands over. >> reporter: body language? >> body language. but keep in mind, tactically speaking, i have the weapon, i know where it is, but it enables me to respond quickly if i have to. you're almost in a boxing stance designed to not look like one. but it doesn't matter. >> reporter: dan says if the new york police had had some kind of retraining before the eric garner incident, maybe garner's death would not have occurred. he said the police have to get away from those tactics like going for the head to try to bring down a suspect. but he says, you can't unlearn that kind of thing in just a three-day course, wolf. >> brian todd outside verizon center where the washington wizards will be playing in a little while, the denver nuggets later tonight.
we'll see what happens outside the verizon center. we're also seeing protests growing in chicago tonight. take a look at these live pictures coming in right now. new york city, by the way, also seeing some protests. the largest protest the past couple of nights. let's go to deborah feyerick who's on the streets of new york. what's happening right now, deb? >> reporter: well, we're actually down on wall street. this is going to be one of the gathering points. protesters are getting the message out on social media, specifically on twitter, as to where everybody should gather. we've been seeing them all meet up and surge and go in whatever they decide. the goal is to stop traffic. right now, not a lot of protesters. more tourists than anything else. but if you look at the federal hall, you can see there are some members of the s.w.a.t. team. they are here protecting the building, the barricades were put up a short while ago. we're hearing there's going to
be a big demonstration that's going to take place at columbus circle, right outside our main headquarters, that within the next hour. but, again, this is one of those things, you've got groups of different protesters, they figure out where they're going to meet up and then all of a sudden you can go from 1,000 to a couple thousand protesters. right now, a little bit quite, light drizzle. it will be interesting to see how many of the protesters who have met over the last two nights come out tonight as well. >> we'll see if the weather is a factor and deters people from going out on the streets. let's talk about all of this, joining us, democratic congressman hakeem jeffries, his district encompasses parts of brooklyn and queens. congressman, thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> i want you to explain, you called the grand jury's decision out on staten island the other day not to indict the police officer, daniel pantaleo, a stunning miscarriage of justice. elaborate. we don't have all the details, obviously, all the testimony.
but these 23 members of the grand jury met for several weeks, they heard dozens of witnesses, saw lots of evidence, 23 members of the grand jury p 14 whites, nine non-whites. why was this a stunning miscarriage of justice? >> first of all, eric garner was unarmed and he did not resist arrest. second of all, there was a chokehold used, resulting in his death, and that chokehold, wolf, has been banned by the new york police department for more than 20 years. third, there was a medical examiner who concluded that eric garner's death was the result of a homicide, chest and neck compressions that came about as a result of that chokehold that was used. fourth, on 11 different occasions, eric garner said "i can't breathe." but at no point, not after the first time, the second time, the third time, all the way through the 11th time, did officer pantaleo relent. and perhaps most importantly,
wolf, the entire confrontation was caught on video for all the world to see. eric garner was killed in plain sight. and there's no disputing what happened. and so it's inexplicable that this particular grand jury could arrive at this result. that's why i've concluded it's a stunning miscarriage of justice. >> let me press you on that point, congressman. you're a member of the house jewi judiciary committee, you're a lawyer. they presumably saw the same videotape, all of the same videotape and other videotapes that we have now seen repeatedly. how do you explain their decision not to indict? >> that's the interesting thing, wolf. it's inexplicable. there's no rational way to explain it. but we can try to get some transparency as to what actually transpired in those grand jury proceedings. the prosecutor has to appeal to a judge under new york law in order for the proceedings to be
released. that differs from the situation down in ferguson, missouri. we're hopeful we can get some understanding as to what took place, what questions were asked? was officer pantaleo aggressively cross-examined for his reasoning behind the use of the chokehold and his failure to relent during any of the moments when eric garner said he couldn't breathe? these are just some of the questions -- we also need to know, wolf, did this prosecutor actually request that officer pantaleo be charged? with manslaughter, with criminally negligent homicide, with reckless endangerment of human life? there's a whole variety of different things that could have resulted in a criminal charge. and people are stunned all across the country and all across the world. that's why we see these protests. >> we know that daniel pantaleo, who's at the center of this case, it's a horrific, tragic case, we all know. the other police officers, all
who testified who were with him and were holding eric garner down, i understand they all testified. but they received um mimmunity any prosecution. is that a problem? >> it's absolutely a problem and it's further evidence that the grand jury system is broken and that this particular prosecutor didn't seem to be interested in aggressively arriving at the truth. there should have been an indictment. we should have a trial. it should be public for all the world to see. at this point, if these officers have been given absolute immunity which appears to be the case, then they can't even be prosecuted for other potential violations of the law because they were essentially bystanders in most instances as eric garner was being killed on video live on a staten island street for everyone to see. we've got a broken grand jury system. we've got a broken criminal justice system. and i think across the country, we've got to examine whether prosecutors can credibly be asked to aggressively bring charges against police officers
who they work with each and every day. there's an inherent conflict of interest that seems to exist. >> do you have confidence, congressman, in the new york police commissioner, bill bratton? >> i have confidence in the mayor's good faith, willingness to resolve this problem. i'm hopeful that the police commissioner will be willing to take a complete look not just at retraining -- that's a good step in the right direction. but it's his broken windows policing strategy which aggressively targets nuisance violations, particularly in communities of color, that led to this encounter. and that's a big problem. in other words, this would not have occurred unless those officers were instructed to aggressively police the sale of loose, untaxed cigarettes. that's not something that new york city police department resources should be spent on. we want the new york city police department to go after persistent criminals, gang
bangers and others who really pose a threat to the well-being and to the public safety of the people in new york. so commissioner bratton, we want you to come to the table and have a real discussion, not just about training but about police tactics. >> sounds like less than a ringing endorsement of the police commissioner. i take it you have confidence in bill de blasio, the mayor, but i'm not hearing that endorsement, that ringing endorsement for the police commissioner. >> i have confidence in the mayor. but he's also going to have to step up. as the president has said, people all across the country, we don't want words, we want action. now, the responsibility also rests with congress. that's why we want congress to address the problem, not run away from the problem. this is an american issue, not just a democratic or republican issue or conservative or progressive issue. all good americans have been disturbed at what we've seen, particularly as it regards the death of eric garner. >> stand by, congressman. what can or should congress do
about all this? we're watching the protests that are just developing -- these are pictures coming in from new york. we have pictures from washington. this is cleveland, ohio, by the way. chicago, elsewhere, we're going to keep you up to speed on what's going on around the country. there's a lot of anger out there. she's still the one for you. and cialis for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment is right. cialis is also the only daily ed tablet approved to treat symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long term injury, get medical help right away
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just listen in quickly to hear what they're saying. >> what do we want? >> justice! >> when do we want it? >> now! >> you see the demonstrations in cleveland. these are pictures coming in from chicago where the crowds are growing over there, in new york as well. right here in the nation's capital in washington, d.c. we're following the breaking news, the new protests nationwide over the new york police chokehold case. we're watching those marchers in various cities. you saw cleveland, streets of chicago. there's also breaking news in another controversial case involving the nypd. the district attorney in brooklyn has now announced he'll launch a grand jury investigation into the death of ackai gurley who was shot by a police officer in a stairwell. we're back with democratic
congressman hakeem jeffries. congressman, you represent parts of brooklyn. you have confidence in this new grand jury investigation? >> i do think that the brooklyn district attorney has a history during his short time in office as a local prosecutor but also in his prior time as a federal prosecutor, being willing to allow the law and the facts to lead him to a conclusion that is most appropriate. that's why i'm pleased that he's agreed to pursue bringing the case to the grand jury and hopeful that we will see an aggressive presentation of information and possibly an indictment so that we can have a trial. this was a tragic case, wolf. it occurred in my district. akai gurley, 28-year-old young man, who was leaving an apartment, going downstairs. there were two rookie police officers who were together on patrol, unsupervised. it was late at night. the stairwell in the public housing development was dark. it appears there may have been
an accidental discharge, that's what the officers have indicated. but it resulted in a gunshot going through mr. gurley's chest, into his heart and killing him. now, this may have been an accident. it also may have been criminally negligent homicide. the district attorney will ultimately have to determine that. but this is an example of how there's a clear training issue inherent in many of these instances that may have resulted in the unfortunate death of mr. gurley here. >> mr. gurley, akai gurley, african-american, right? >> yes, akai gurley, another unarmed african-american male -- >> and the two rookie cops white? >> no. the officer who discharged the weapon was asian american and i'm not clear as to the other gender. in most of these instances, wolf, you do have an unarmed african-american who's killed, oftentimes, it's a white officer. but it's not necessarily a white issue or black issue as it
relates to these police officers. it's an issue of being in the blue uniform and whether there's appropriate training, whether there's a real relationship between the police and the community. in communities of color, we embrace the fact that there are police officers who are there to protect and serve. but we want there to be a balance between effective law enforcement on the one hand and a healthy respect for our civil rights and civil liberties on the other. that's as american as apple pie. >> you've suggested, congressman, that broader reform is needed in all of these cases, how they're prosecuted and that congress should play a role. what exactly can congress do about any of this? >> one of the reasons why some of these encounters have unfolded in the view of many of us is that communities of color in some instances are policed in an overly aggressive fashion, certainly in the context of the death of eric garner, that seems to have been the case. one of the changes that can be made, in the early '90s, there was funding that was provided for very robust community policing programs, proved to be
effective. there were dramatic declines in crime in cities all across the country. but in the aftermath of the great recession, the funding at the federal level for many of these policing community programs has been scaled back. next year, we need to take a look at whether we can increase funding to local police departments for these type of programs that strengthen relationships between the police and the community because the community can be the best ally of the police department in fighting crime. but if there's no trust between the community and the police but there's hostility instead, that's a problem for everybody. >> how much money are you talking about? >> we're talking about tens of millions of dollars potentially to large police departments. but it's worth the investment. it's worth the investment not just because of the tragic loss of life. at the end of the day, equal protection under the law is important and we want our relationships between the police and the community to be as strong as possible. >> hakeem jeffries, thanks for
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for the third straight day, demonstrators are in the streets of major u.s. cities. they're already in cleveland and in chicago. we're going to be showing you the live pictures throughout this newscast. they're protesting the police treatment of african-americans, the grand jury decision in new york not to indict a new york city police officer in the chokehold death of an unarmed man. our cnn national correspondent jason carroll is joining us from new york right now. jason, you're in times squares. i know the police there, others are getting ready for more demonstrations tonight. set the scene. >> reporter: obviously they've been out here getting ready, wolf, based on what we've seen the past two nights, the amount of protesters have been growing. last night, thousands hitting the street, not just here in times square but over on the westside highway, in brooklyn, they're becoming much more organized, using social media the spread the word whether it's here in new york city or in chicago or cleveland.
boston as well. one of the other things we've noticed from protesters here on the ground in new york is what they're doing, some of them using headphones and walk ki tall kis to community. there's another protest about half an hour up at columbus circle. you have police on standby getting ready for another wave of protests that will be happening here. >> joining us now right here in "the situation room" is hilary shelton, on naacp senior vice president and director of its washington office or washington bureau, as you like to call it. thanks for coming in. >> great to be with you. >> has the naacp as an organization, i know individuals, as an organization issued a formal statement reaction to that grand jury
decision? >> absolutely. as a matter of fact, we're deeply concerned about the results of that grand jury. when we watch what happened in that video and we see there's plenty of reasons to indict this police officer, again, as you know -- >> the one police officer or several of the police officers? >> well, that one particular police officer, as a matter of fact. as you know in this particular case, what we're talking about is something that was on video, something people saw from beginning to end. one of the reasons the demonstrators are so amped up about what happened in new york is because you watched a man killed on video. and in essence, we saw plenty of opportunities for them to let him up, stop choking him and allow him to live. >> how does that happen in the united states? what's your explanation for that? >> number one, bad training, number two, poor oversight, number three, no accountability. so in essence when we talk about cases like this, the united states has no clear use of force paradigm. that is, at what point could you use so much force in the apprehension of a suspect? in this case, we're talking
about someone who was a suspect in a minor petty crime. >> and that day presumably, what we've been told by several people, he wasn't even trying to sell cigarettes that day although he did have criminal charges selling illegal cigarettes over the past few years. >> absolutely. but nothing that involved crime or violence, nothing serious, petty things and whatnot. not the kind of crimes that you use deadly force to bring somebody to justice. >> is the justice system in the united states fair? >> no, it's not. as a matter of fact, if we look at the evidence, we see so many problems in how the process moves forward. as we talk about what happens with police officers that misbehave themselves, that actually break the law, we talk about them being brought before grand juries, we have a problem with prosecutors that are dependent upon those same police officers to bring so many other cases. in our criminal justice system, police officers serve as our investigators, as those that actually bring the evidence in, a prosecutor can't make a case without the coordination with the police department. >> how do you fix that?
>> a number of ways. number one, when you have a case that involves a police officer, we need to bring in a special prosecutor right away. that is exactly what the naacp asked in the case in ferguson. we said that mr. mcculloch is too close to these issues. he works with these police departments, he comes from a family of police officers. we need to bring in a special prosecutor to make sure the grand jury process works the way it's intended. >> you don't think the grand jury process in staten island in this particular case of eric garner worked the way it was intended? >> not at all. as a matter of fact, there are ways you can overwhelm a grand jury to a point that they won't have what they need to actually indict. and that was the case here. if you're overwhelmed with too much information, you can't reach that point of being able to actually bring those charges. when a prosecutor wants to, he can provide the kind of understanding of the process and help provide what the grand jury needs to lead to an indictment so a jury can be put together, a judge can be assembled and we can have both sides of the issue
balanced in our court of law. >> is this a nationwide problem? we've seen a problem obviously in ferguson and in new york city and staten island, one of the boroughs in new york city. but are there similar problems? you monitor this all over the country elsewhere. >> absolutely. whether you're talking about ohio, missouri, atlanta, georgia, chicago, illinois, los angeles, california, it's a problem regardless of where you go in the country and it has to be fixed nationwide. >> take a look at this, this is boston, massachusetts. these are live pictures coming in from our affiliate there. you see what's called a die-in, people just lying on the ground to protest what's going on, not a sit-in, but a die-in. you've seen these before. we saw some in washington and in new york yesterday. what do you think about all these protests? >> it's so important. what it shows when we look at those demonstrating, the diversity of people demanding change in our country. they're raising the issue of making sure the proper attention is brought to it so finally we
can bring some solutions. don't forget, this is not a problem that started with ferguson. this is a problem that's been going on for years. many remember when police officers beat rodney king. >> why hasn't this been fixed over the years? >> the naacp is 105 years old. we've introduced legislation to congress with everything from racial profiling to the use of force by police officers. but because of police unions and other issues, we've been unable to get it the kind of hearing it needs so changes can be made. if we're not able to recognize this time when we're seeing this coordinated challenge and problem across the country, because we're in an era now where everybody has a video camera on their telephones, we can bring more of that visual imaging and evidence before everyone, change can be made. so our process is to make sure that every member of congress is held accountable. many of these changes can't be made without the congress. we're delighted with how the president's moving forward and the attorney general as well.
i work with eric holder on these very same issues going back to the clinton administration. so it's been with us a very long time. last point i'll make is, even our founding member, 100 years ago said the major challenge of the african-american community is crime and violence. until we have that coordination with law enforcement, we will not be able to solve it. >> do you want all police officers around the united states to wear body cameras? >> among other things. body cameras are a good start. but they have to use pistol cameras, dash cameras are crucially important and even nonlethal tools like tasers. they're made with a video camera and we want those engaged, too. >> in this particular case in staten island, there was videotape of the entire incident, seven minutes or so and the members of the grand jury saw that videotape, 23 members of the grand jury, 14 whites, nine nonwhites, and they said, no indictment. >> that speaks to the issue of
policy. very clearly as to looking at the policy that provides attention to these kind of concerns, we have to make sure that we empower the right folks. there is no police accountability review board in new york city that has the power to subpoena, the power of independence, budgets for investigators and also the power to bring forward the prosecuting attorney or a grand jury when necessary. we need a number of things in place. we have to change the law and limit the kind of immunity police officers are so often given in these cases. >> hilary shelton, the washington bureau director of the naacp, senior vice president as well, thanks very much for coming in. >> it's a pleasure. >> these are live pictures coming in from boston, massachusetts, right now. other live pictures cominging in from chicago, from cleveland, from new york, from right here in washington, d.c. it's relatively early in the evening. people are bracing for a lot more of these protests to develop. we'll monitor it for you. much more of the breaking news coming up.
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case. also protesters on the move in chicago. it's happening as well right here in the nation's capital in washington, d.c. let's go to cnn's athena jones. athena, where are you and what are you seeing? >> reporter: hi, wolf. we're in chinatown right now. this is a very busy part of town, part of central washington, especially on a friday night, lots of people going out. the plan, according to the protest organizer i spoke with earlier today, is for them to begin to gather here right about now and to begin to block traffic, to shut down the intersections around here so that people cannot get home from work and have trouble also getting to the wizards game. the wizards are playing in the verizon center behind me at 7:00. so that is the plan. we're waiting to see whether protesters gather and what it looks like when they start shutting down the streets. >> athena, stand by. we'll get back to you shortly. let's bring in our legal analyst, jeffrey toobin, monitoring what's going on. also our law enforcement analyst, tom fuentes, former
assistant director of the cia. i look at the numbers, 200 protesters arrested in new york last night, 61 the night before -- more than 200 last night. tonight's friday night, i don't know if it's going to rain or drizzle. but this could be escalating? >> i think it is escalating. it's pretty clear the weather is not diminishing the interest in the people to come out and have the protests, try to shut down traffic and do that. so now that it is friday night and tomorrow's saturday night, it could be much worse. >> if people are blocking the streets in new york city, what do the police do? >> what they've been doing. they've tried to be a kinder, gentler reaction. but at a certain point, their patience runs thin and they say, wait a minute, you can't shut down this city. it affects business, it affects tourism. at a certain point, the police won't allow it. >> jeffrey, hillary clinton who might be the democratic presidential nominee coming up, she said yesterday, the criminal justice system in the united states in her words, the system
was out of balance. do you agree with her? >> well, that is so vague that it is hard to agree or disagree. this is a situation -- the criminal justice system is one that african-americans in particular are not too happy about. i've had the opportunity in my work to go to a lot of prisons and the overwhelming impression one has in almost any prison in america is there are an awful lot of people of color in this prison, disproportionate to the population. there may be various explanations for that. but it is something that is of concern to a lot of people. african-americans feel they are unfairly treated in arrests, in prosecutions, once they are actually in the prison system. so, yes, i think there is a lot in the system that is out of balance. the question, of course, is what you do about it. and that answer is far from clear, at least to me. >> and the sad thing, tom, is that a lot of people out there,
they've lost confidence in the entire justice system here in the united states. >> well, they have. and i would agree that black people get poor treatment in the criminal justice system. but as i said, i don't think it's because they're black or hispanic. it's because they're poor. the guys that walk into court or the women that walk into court that are well-represented with the best lawyers money can by get a better treatment than people that rely on public defenders who are so overworked and so underresourced. from what i've seen, that's the difference. at the federal level, i dealt with the organized crime program of the fbi which i ran for five years. when those gangsters walk into court, they also had tremendous legal representation and even though we were able to get the convictions we got, the federal system doesn't see this happen to the great extent that the state and local systems do. >> more of a socioeconomic factor. >> one issue that i think underlines how interrelated
these things are, one thing that happened here in new york just a couple of weeks ago is the city decided they are going to effectively stop making arrests for small amounts of marijuana. marijuana arrests are a major civil rights issue in this country because african-americans in new york and elsewhere are arrested with small quantities of marijuana in disproportionate numbers. they usually don't go to prison. but they do get an arrest record, which makes it harder to get a job. so that, i think, is one area where actually democrats and republicans might agree on the overincarcerati overincarceration, the overcharging of that particular crime. >> stand by. we have much more to assess. we're watching the breaking news this hour. the new demonstration, these are pictures coming in from boston right now, live pictures. people protesting, on the march right now. they're very angry over that
we're continuing to watch the protests in boston, looking at live pictures. cities across the country right now. we earl going to check back with all the latest information. we also have some new details about a massive cyber attack that crippled sony pictures, spread across some of its biggest movies across the internet. brian todd is here and watching what's going on. brian, what is going on? >> reporter: i spoke to a sony
executive who is giving new details oh of the scope of the attack. the executive said just about every division of this company, which has 6600 employees worldwide, was affected by this hack. and sony pictures has still not completely recovered. a devastating hack, crippling one of the world's most powerful entertainment studios. sony tells cnn it's still investigating what it calls a very sophisticated cyber attack. the fbi is on the case. five of its new movies, including "fury" and the remake of "annie" were posted on illicit websites and confidential information started to appear online, including the salaries of top executives and social security numbers. >> they're prodding and poking sony. this is not the kind of thing where they just want to steal movies.
they're trying to stick it to sony and the executives. >> reporter: a group calling itself the guardians of peace claimed responsibility, but it's not clear if they were behind it. a source tells us the company is looking into the possibility that hackers working for north korea could be behind the attack. sony's release of "the interview," a comedy about a plot to kill north korean leader kim jong-un, is cited as a provocation. >> you want us to kill the leader of north korea? >> yes. >> reporter: the north korean regime called the movie an act of war and moral attack on its leadership. the north koreans have a dedicated hacking ability they've been working on for a few years. >> they've largely targeted commercial sites in south korea. >> reporter: "the interview" was not one of the movies leaked out. that may point away from kim's
regime. >> north korea would be wanting to attack this particular movie and the people responsible for this particular movie. this is a much broader attack. >> reporter: there were reports today that some sony employees have gotten e-mails from hackers threatening family members. we asked sony about that a couple seconds ago. we got a statement saying we understand that some of our employees have received an e-mail claiming to be from the guardians of peace, the group that claimed responsibility. the statement says, we are aware of the situation and are working with law enforcement, wolf. so there may be something to these reports that sony employees got threatening e-mails. >> chilling when you think about it. brian todd reporting. we're following the latest on the nationwide protests against the new york police choke hold case. also coming up this sunday night, cnn heroes. [ man ] i remember when i wouldn't give a little cut a second thought.
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happening now. building anger. we're live on the streets of several major cities for protests against the nypd chokehold death. plus, the man behind the video. we're hearing for the first time from the person who recorded eric garner's fatal confrontation with police. he's revealing details about his appearance before a grand jury. and terror exclusive. cnn is at the site of a deadly isis attack that's raising new questions about the actions of a
key u.s. ally. we went to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> this is cnn breaking news. >> tonight, protesters are back on the streets and they aren't letting up in their fight against deadly police tactics and their demands for justice. we're following demonstrations in several major cities. it's been about 48 hours since a grand jury decided not to indict police officer daniel pantaleo in the chokehold death of eric garner. and we're hearing from the man who recorded the cell phone video of garner's confrontation with new york city police. he testified before the grand jury and he says he was surprised by what went on in the hearing room. >> nobody in the grand jury was even paying attention to what i had to say. everybody was on their phones, people talking. so i feel like it wasn't a fair grand jury. the video was going on, they were asking if i was the one
that shot the video. and then pretty much they were asking me regular questions but no questions about no police officer. he was asking everything towards eric. what was eric doing there? why was eric there? >> we have our correspondents, analysts, new newsmakers, all standing by. first, let's go to jason carroll. he's joining us from new york's times square. jason? >> reporter: wolf, things looking calm here in times square right now. just a few minutes from now, a demonstration expected to get under way in columbus circle as new york city and other cities across the country brace for another night of demonstrations. >> hands up, don't shoot! hands up, don't shoot. >> reporter: anger over the grand jury decision not to prosecute officer daniel pantaleo, unleashing fury from coast to coast, as protesters marched thursday night.
standoffs but no serious violence in dallas, boston, chicago and new york. protesters screaming for justice, demanding change, and how law enforcement deals with people of color. >> it's happening in every city, every town, happening here in pittsburgh. >> reporter: in new york, the brooklyn bridge shut down by protesters. and they brought times square to a standstill. hours of peaceful protests there, escalating, reaching a tipping point. the nypd cracking down, 19 arrested overnight, including several after a massive scuffle. >> it was all pretty bad. they were laying people down. >> they were very much overly aggressive. what a surprise. when have they not been overaggressive to us? >> reporter: elsewhere, demonstrators staged a so-called die-in brooklyn, lying in the middle of madison avenue, as
protesters who had cardboard coffins stopped chanting. in washington, d.c., protesters flooding the streets, flooking the busy 14th street bridge. in boston, the annual downtown christmas tree lighting turned into a protest. >> black lives matter! >> hands up, don't shoot. >> reporter: while in chicago, they swarmed lake shore drive. eric garner's daughter says she appreciates the multiracial support. >> this is not a black and whitish sh-- white issue. this is a national crisis. >> reporter: demonstrators say they will continue to march for justice. wolf? >> jason, we'll stay in close touch with you and see what happens on the streets of new york city. we're also watching the protests here in washington, d.c. let's check in with cnn's athena
jones. >> reporter: the protest has just begun here in chinatown. this is in central washington. a very busy area, especially on a friday night. you can see them talking here. they have begun to shut down a major intersection. the goal is to disrupt, to bring attention to their goal of ending racial injustice and racial profiling and police brutality. the goal is not just to shut down traffic. they want to make it difficult for people to get to the wizard's game tonight. they're playing just down the street at the verizon center. and a group of protesters is planning to rush the floor of the game to shut it down. this protest group has other groups disbursed around time, trying to disburse the police. there's a group of college students going to union station. and there's a separate group headed to 395, a major highway
that they have shut down for the last couple of nights. this is not the only protest going on in washington, d.c. tonight. but this is the one where we're another and will be watching. >> athena, we'll get back to you. deborah fehrik is in new york city. what are you seeing over there, deb? >> reporter: a couple dozen protesters are all taking to the steps, talking about the government, talking about excessive use of force. everybody is sort of getting a couple of minutes to voice their opinion on the eric garner case, as well as michael brown. and the others saying that police are simply too aggressive when it comes to dealing with certain communities. there's a light rain here. you can see the new york stock exchange just over here. what they're going to be doing is you've got a couple of organizers and they're staging in different locations. what ends up happening is you've got these people here, they will join up with a couple other groups throughout the night.
it's still early, light rain falling. last night we were in times square and it was really -- there was a lot of activity. the protesters seemed to be peaceful for the most part. but when confronted by the police officers, lines of police officers and barricades, that's when things escalated. the mood of the second night of demonstrations much different than the nood of the first night when these demonstrators had free rein of the city streets. there were many more officers out there, some of them escalating the situation. it's almost as if the police played into the demonstrator's hands, the demonstrators played into the police's hands. over the last two days, there were some 300 arrests. we don't know how many people will come out. but right now the sort of rallying of the crowd to see how this night progresses. wolf? >> deborah, thank you very much. let's check in with another protest site developing right
now. cnn's chris welch is at new york's union square. what's happening there, chris? >> reporter: we got here a couple hours ago. things seemed to be quiet for the most part. a few small groups, just before the show began, we saw a large group of protesters come down the street next to us, probably at least 100 people chanting "i can't breathe" 11 times. and we also saw almost the same number of cops following them right alongside with them, followed by a line of police vehicles. we did get a chance to ask a couple of them if they had a destination in mind. no definite answers. everything seems to be very fluid and organic. a couple of people were trying to collect other people to walk with them and join forces. but at this point, it remains fluid and up in the air. a lot of that could have to do
with the ugly weather. the rain that's been coming down and expected to continue tonight, wolf. >> we'll see the impact of the weather of what's going on in new york and elsewhere. demonstrators are venting their anger about what happened in new york but they're angry about the events in ferguson, missouri. we have breaking news regarding the ferguson riots. we're joined by our justice reporter evan perez. what's going on? >> reporter: the atf is offering a reward up to $10,000 for information, videos and particularly they want videos from people who were out on the scene, any videos of the fires that burned the night of the grand jury decision in ferguson. and in particular, wolf, they're looking for videos of the fires at the church that michael brown senior is a member of. you remember, wolf, this fire in particular was very suspicious, because it burned away from the main commercial corridor where a lot of the other fires burned.
and also because obviously of the connection of michael brown. and so we know that the atf has been looking at various things, including the fact that there were white supremists and other groups that made threats ahead of the grand jury decision. one of the things they're looking for is on the videos they can tell a lot of things, the color of the fire, where it was burning, what time it was burning. and also who was in the crowd when the fires were burning. so this is information that the atf is urgently asking the public to provide. they're providing a reward up to $10,000 for any information that they can use for this investigation. wolf? >> stand by, because i want to explain what's going on. the left part of your screen is washington, d.c. in chinatown right outside verizon center where the washington wizards are supposed to be playing the denver nuggets.
the protesters are there obviously very angry about what's happened in ferguson, missouri, what's happened in staten island, new york. you can see on the right the demonstrators in boston. they're continuing to move there, as well. we're going to stay on top of all of these demonstrations. hopefully they will be peaceful and no arrests. evan, the justice department, as you know, it's looking into both ferguson and staten island. you had a chance to speak with the attorney general of the united states. these investigations, different investigations, but there are some parallels. >> reporter: yes. they're looking, wolf, to see if there's any civil rights violations. you know the bar is very high for these investigations, and it's a question i asked of the attorney general when he was on his visit to cleveland, and here's what he had to say. i believe we have some video. >> yeah, i don't want to raise expectations unnecessarily. but on the other hand, i do want
to assure the people of this country that we take the obligation that we have very seriously, that we investigate thoroughly, and when we can hold people accountable, we will do so. >> reporter: wolf, you know, every time the attorney general and the president goes out there and talks about these investigations, i think the people marching on the streets there are looking for handcuffs on some of these cops. the problem is, these cases are very hard to make on the federal level. so the answer might end up being reform of police departments, more training. and it's not clear whether that's the answer the people on the streets want to hear. >> evan perez, thank you very much for that report. joining us now is a former top official of the new york city police department, phillip banks. chief banks, thank you very much for joining us. i just want to point out what you're hearing, some of the
demonstrators here in washington, d.c., as well as in boston, they're obviously very angry about what happened in your city of new york as a result of this nonindictment in staten island. you've watched the video, as all of us have. what happened here, chief? you spent 28 years in the nypd. >> yes. the video is very disturbing. i think to the layman, it's much more disturbing. they look at an individual with multiple police officers and the end result is the loss of a life. i certainly understand anyone looking at that video has to be alarmed and outraged. so i certainly do understand what's going on today. >> and just to explain, you were the chief of department until recently. is that effectively the number two person in the nypd? >> well, there's the police commissioner who is the number one person. then there's the first deputy commissioner, and that's the
number two person. but the chief of the department is the day-to-day operational person. that's the position that has the influence and the power for making moves day by day. >> so you're uniquely qualified to take a look at these police officers who were involved in the eric garner chokehold, if you will. what did they do wrong, if anything? >> well, i don't want to be in a position now, because i certainly think this may not be over, it was a situation where officers responded. we ask the officers to do this single day, thousands and thousands of times. they get it right the majority of the time. i think if you speak to any of those officers, they would say, maybe i could have done this or that. does that rise to the level of criminality? i'm not sure whether i should comment on that or not. we could have waited for a supervisor to come to the scene to take charge of that situation
and it's a judgment call whether they should have given more time to speak with eric garner or not. >> what was also very disturbing, you see the whole video, after he stopped talking saying, i can't breathe, i can't breathe, maybe 11 times, he was just there on the sidewalk. it didn't look like there was much effort made to try to resuscitate him. i was concerned, i'm sure you were concerned about that, as well. >> you know, that's probably the most disturbing aspect of the video. i think most people understand that police officers have to take action. most people understand that they are in situations like this every day. and most people understand the dangerous facets of their job. i think what arouses the anger of people is when hep went down, it appears that there was a lack of concern for human life. by looking at the video, i certainly understand that appearance, and thus the outrage that's taken place.
>> as you well know, and you spent 28 years in the nypd, chief banks, so you know the inner workings, as well. in the african-american community in new york and elsewhere, there's concern, there's really a two tier justice system to which you reply? >> well, listen, i grew up in new york city, right? and i speak to -- as my 28 years in the mpolice department, one f the things i used to mention to my executives, you need to spend a lot of time speaking to the nonmembers of the nypd. so this anger that we face are nothing new to me. i've been hearing that and dealing with that every single day. it goes back to this, that in certain communities, they feel as though the criminal justice system habit be trusted. and if you look at that, i would like to say this, wolf, i had a conversation with a young man
the other day. he was approximately 16 and i asked him about the eric garner incident. he believe that the decision from the grand jury was inaccurate. when i spoke to him about it, he said every day he's on the train platform and police officers walk by and look him up and down. it's a very intimidating process for him. therefore, he's basing his opinion on the new york city police department on these officers because they have shaped that particular model. what we have to do is make sure every single day we have opportunity for people in the public to see us in the most professional planner. the question is, what we maximizing that opportunity. the last thing is when people look at police community relations and realize that that's a great mistrust or something wrong, i'm not sure it's always the police's fault. there's responsibility on both
sides. until we start pointing fingers about it's your fault or not and realize that there's fault on both sides, but more importantly, there's a solution that each of us can come up with to correct these problems. it's frustrating to me, because i think it's a lot easier than we're making it out to be. >> chief banks, i'm going to have you stand by. these are demonstrators in boston. you see right now in chicago, i want to go to chicago. cnn's kyung lah is on the streets of chicago. what's going on over there? >> reporter: it's a smaller crowd out here this evening, wolf. what they've been doing is walking down the sidewalk. so it's a bit of a tactical change. but they're still very energetic, they've been walks sense about 130 this afternoon. i don't see a lot of tasfaces. this is a crowd in downtown
chicago, if you're familiar with this area where it's state and jackson, a major part of the business district here in chicago. and i'm going to have my cameraman swing around. everywhere in the city of chicago they have walked, you see this image, as well. the chicago police department following the protesters on their bicycles to create a barrier between people who are trying to commute home as well as the protesters who are here. but it's a sizable crowd, about 100 people. but compared to what it was last night, it does appear to be smaller. but it is still a very energetic crowd. wolf? >> kyung lah, stand by. we'll get back to you in chicago. our reporters in new york, here in washington, in boston, also the former nypd chief of department phillip banks is standing by. we'll resume the breaking news coverage right after this.
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we're back in downtown chicago with kyung lah. she's on the scene for us. tell us what you're seeing. >> don't shoot, don't shoot! >> reporter: i want you to walk with me a little bit. this is a very peaceful crowd. you can see it's a very diverse crowd. a lot of the people who are here -- [ crowd chanting ] >> reporter: they have been here since 1:30 this afternoon walking through the streets of chicago. what they're trying to do is hit all the different intersections of the city.
they are doing something a little bit differently than they did yesterday. yesterday we noticed they were trying to block the streets, block the roadways. today, they're walking through the streets, trying to basically take upmost of the sidewalks. and i want you to take a look and listen to what they're saying. >> don't shoot! hands up, don't shoot! >> reporter: that's what you're hearing in all the other cities across the u.s. the message is the same, they want to have a dialogue for the people of the city, with the police, as well. as far as what the police are doing, i don't know if you can see, wolf, but the police department is basically trailing them on the streets. via bicycle, via chopper. we're hearing a lot of police activity on the scanners saying they're going here, they're going there. they want to try to avoid what happened yesterday, which is basically the protesters shut down major arteries in the city of chicago. they want to stay out here as
long as possible. starting at 1:30 in the afternoon today local time, and they are still going. you can hear the energy here. >> we're not going anywhere. >> reporter: she says she's not going anywhere. a lot of people here say they are in it for the long haul. today is one day. we're hearing there will be protests throughout the weekend, as well. >> lkyung lah, we'll continue back to you. columbus circle in new york city, demonstrators are gathering there right now, as well. this is right outside the time warner center where cnn has its studios in new york city. so it's not just in chicago or boston, it's in new york, it's right here in washington, d.c., as well. let's bring in once again phillip banks, the former nypd chief of department. spent 28 years in the nypd. watching what's going on, chief,
this is a difficult assignment for a lot of police officers. there were about 60 arrests in new york city two nights ago, more than 200 last night. what do you do if you're a cop on the streets? people are simply lying down on the highway or in times square, columbus circle, blocking traffic. what do you do? >> listen, this is a tough assignment. it certainly is very, very tough. but the new york city police department has a lot of experience in protests. there's a lot of demonstrations that take place unfortunately, but we do have a lot of experience in that. so the police officers are tough, but they're the best in the business. >> and if they're provoked, these police officers, most of them have been extremely peaceful, they're expressing their views as they have a right to do. but if provoked, the police have to show a lot of restraint, don't they? >> they have to show more restraint now than they did
before. the message going out to the officers, many officers is that this is not personal, this is not against you, this is the frustrations against the entire criminal justice system. a good police officer has to have thick skin and has to remain professional at all times. and i suspect the police officers will perform their jobs professionally. >> chief banks, i want you to hold on with me. athena jones is outside verizon center, the home of the washington wizards. they're supposed to be starting their game in about a half hour. athena, what are you seeing? >> reporter: hi, wolf. you can look around me and see many of the protesters lying on the ground. we've seen this all over the county, they call it a die-in. they're doing it to represent the young men whose lives have been taken by police. they just got here, they're
blocking traffic here to make it hard for people to get to the wizards' game and hard to get home. the goal is to disrupt in order to bring attention to their cause, which is any racial injustice, ending racial profiling. they are upset that we are talking, they want this to be a moment of silence. >> you are not respecting the moment of silence that we have set for all the victims of police brutality in violation of their human rights. we asked for a moment of silence, and you can't even give us that? >> athena, i'm going to give them a moment of silence. we'll come back to you. >> chief banks, you see what's going on in washington, d.c., this die-in, if you will. people are lying on the streets, preventing presumably people from showing up at verizon
center where there's an nba basketball game. what do police do about a situation like this? it's obviously a very sensitive moment. >> yes, it is. i don't want to comment on washington, d.c. i want to be in a position to be critical, not understanding the full cultural and essence of what's going on down there. i would implore the washington police department that they knead to utilize as much restatement as they can. they need to be sympathetic to the protesters. but it comes to a point when, if they're breaking the law and if the breaking of that law goes into a dangerous situation, certain action has to be taken. from what i'm seeing now,'9" does not appear that that is happening. so i would certainly implore support for the local police to have that support, have that restraint, but certainly to see whether or not it continues, can it evolve into a situation where lives can be lost.
>> these people are lying on the streets, traffic is not going to move on this street over there outside verizon center. if this were to happen outside madison square garden and people couldn't get to a knicks game and you were a cop in new york city, and you used to be the number three cop in the nypd, what would you do? >> i would do a lot of praying. listen, the new york city police department, i do think they would respond. i've been involved in a lot of situations like that. that's not a textbook answer. you have to be out there on the ground, speaking with the organizers. you have to certainly feel what they're going through. a lot of these are last-minute changes that you have to make adjustments. i think the new chief of the department has a lot of experience in this area, and i'm confident that he will handle this very professionally. >> you still have confidence in the nypdso sonypd? >> sure, i do. it's the best organization around. it has problems to fix, it has to realize when mistakes are
made and regroup. but i do believe it's the best organization around, i'm very proud of that. i have a lot of confidence that they will continue to do good work. but they have to acknowledge, and i had to acknowledge when i was there, that there are some things that you did today that you can't do tomorrow. you have to evolve in that. and that acknowledgement has to take mace on the community side, as well. i mentioned this is not local law enforcement is wrong and everybody else is right. this is to say how do we each come to term with our faults so we can make progress. >> phillip banks, spent 28 years in the nypd, joining us from new york city. he's got an excellent perspective on what's going on. we'll continue our conversations, chief banks. thank you very much for joining us. and thanks for your 28 years of public service. we appreciate it very much. >> you're welcome. thank you. >> we'll take a quick break. we're monitoring the breaking
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in the nation's capital, washington, d.c., right outside verizon center where the washington wizards are supposed to be playing in about 30 minutes or so. people are protesting the grand jury decision in new york city. let's listen in now to hear what they're saying. >> shut it down! shut it down! >> what do we want? >> justice! >> when do we want it? >> now! >> let's go to chicago right now with cnn's kyung lah. demonstrators pretty angry over there. they'ren to the march in chicago, right? >> reporter: they are marching quite a bit through chicago, wolf. what we're seeing is that they're trying to stick to the sidewalks here, unlike yesterday where they're trying to shut down streets. they are saying the same things, hands up, they want people to stop, look and talk about police brutality. they want to talk about all the issues in the community and the
people here have been diverse, they've been young. how long have you been out here walking? >> since 2:00 p.m. >> reporter: and there's so much energy in this crowd. tell me what -- on the second day, what is the message to the citisome >> we are tired of the abuse and the racism being silenced. and it's about time our voices be heard for the first time in 60 years. >> reporter: there have been a lot of police officers here, but it's largely been a peaceful protest. have you had any encounters with the police officers, any of the protesters? >> sadly, one of our leaders was pushed and assaulted by a police officer earlier, right up here at this intersection here and he was arrested. luckily, we have it on video. so that's good for us. >> reporter: thank you very much. he's a student at herald washington college, like a lot of the people here. and wolf, what is really remarkable is if you think about
it, after hours of walking, he mentioned one arrest. there has been no violence. the police officers have been extremely patient with these protesters, and they've been able to walk through this city through major thoroughfares where it's crowded as people are heading home, friday night, people are going out to dinner. they've still been able to keep up this energy. >> are you on michigan avenue, where are you? >> reporter: let me show you where i am. if you're familiar with chicago, that is trump tower over there. there is the wrigley building. we are at the heart of whacker and state. they are basically giving us a foot tour of chicago just like we got yesterday. but i want you to look at what i'm standing on. basically i'm on the sidewalk. yesterday what they were trying to do is shut down lake shore drive and michigan avenue and walking among traffic. if you are from chicago, it is extraordinary. i've never seen this before, to
have people spilling into lake shore drive, spilling on to the dan ryan. it is really something that they have been able to do that. and that there hasn't been a ton of arrests and they've been able to do it peacefully and get this message across. >> kyung lah in chicago. demonstrators continuing in washington, d.c., boston. you see the live pictures coming in. also from new york city. that's don lemon. he's standing by in union square in new york for us right now. what's going on, don, where you are? >> reporter: we see protesters, wolf, come and go. they come, they go. we see maybe 100, 150. quite frankly, as many police officers with them. right now -- [ inaudible ] [ crowd noise ] organization. they meet, they next, they get on social media.
and then they figure out where they're going to walk around to. we've had people ask us where are we supposed to meet people. but considering it is a rainy night here, that may have dampened the protesters a little bit. but again, off and on, we're seeing groups of protesters coming in and out. we're on 14th street and union square. >> don lemon in new york for us. athena jones is here in washington, d.c., outside verizon center. what's the latest over there, athe athena? >> reporter: wolf, they've been blocking traffic here for about an hour. you can hear them chanting, no justice, no peace. no racist police. the goal here, of course, is to disrupt. they want to disrupt, to bring attention to their cause, which is to end racial injustice.
they want law enforcement and the justice system to treat everyone equally. i spoke to a woman who arrived here, was riding the bus and saw this protest happening. she got off the bus and said she had to join. she said as a young black woman she can relate to the victimization of young black men. she says too often people in the black community said don't make noise, don't rock the boat. she said it's time to make noise to make a change. she's plaid people are out here take thing action. she believes bringing attention to this cause will bring change. that's why we're out here now. some joined through social media. others just happened on the scene. we're hearing a lot of the chanting saying get off the sidewalks into the streets, join us. that's what we've been seeg tonight. wolf? >> athena, we'll get back to you in a few moments. we're watching all the protests erupting in several major u.s. cities. we'll continue our coverage right after this. turn the trips you have to take,
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call liberty mutual for a free quote today at see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. we're following the breaking news. now take a look at this. this is miami, florida. the demonstrators beginning to move over there, as well. they've really moved on the streets. there's a lot of backup as far as traffic in miami is concerned. this is basically shut down on i-95 in miami. we're watching what's going on in miami and chicago and boston, in new york, right here in washington, d.c. let's bring in our senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin, our law enforcement analyst, tom fuentes, and joining us from st. louis, missouri, john gaskin.
he's been nonforring the situation in ferguson, missouri, for us, as all of our viewers know. jeffrey, three straight nights of demonstrations and they don't seem to be ending at all. >> no. and i don't mean to be polyanna, but i think things are going as well. people are exercising their rights, they're angry, impassioned. the police are exercising a lot of restraint. i don't think anything is broken here. i think some traffic is delayed. so what? this is important stuff. >> but in new york, jeffrey, two nights ago there were 60 arrests. last night, more than 200. we don't know what's going to happen tonight. >> no, we don't. but 200 arrests on very minor charges, those cases tend to go away very quickly. i think the protesters are doing
an excellent job. the cops are doing an excellent job. >> what do the cops do, and you used to be a cop on the street before you went to the fbi, when people are blocking traffic on a major thoroughfare like i-195 in miami. >> it depends on what they want or an outcome. would they take a chance on having a violent eruption and confrontation or have a riot break out or as jeff says, a little traffic being blocked, let it go. it is not worth the outcome that would happen if they tried to disrupt everything going on. >> john gaskin, you are in middle america over there in missouri. how is all of this playing where you are? >> reporter: well, i'm very encouraged by what jeffrey toobin has said and what i've observed. in new york, things appearing to be going much better than in ferguson and in st. louis. it appears the police there are using an incredible amount of
judicious restraint in how they are dealing with protesters compared to what we saw in st. louis. the protests have been peaceful, and very similar to st. louis. and obviously the reaction there to the grand jury's decision in new york was entirely different from what we saw in st. louis. and so to kind of see those parallels, it is very encouraging. but i had an opportunity to reach out to a number of organizers there in new york to hear what they have to say, and i was encouraged to see the movement that started in ferguson is continuing in chicago and new york and other cities. they shared with me they are tired of hearing about the deaths of young african-american men, especially those of color, which ties into why you see so many diverse individuals within new york. because they told me, they said, you know, john, we see this happen all of the time, not
necessarily to the level of what we saw with michael brown, but we see this level of brutality in new york all of the time and it is always swept under the rug. and so eric garner, from what i understand, was the straw that broke the camel's back for so many in new york. >> don lemon, are you still with us? i know you were in times square. if can you hear me, as these demonstrations continue in the self cities across the united states, some have suggested, don, that a new chapter in the civil right movement in the united states has now started. are you among those who believe that? >> reporter: i really do. i do. and i think it is not only a new chapter but a younger chapter. and i think it is a more progressive and inclusive chapter. as i have been saying all along, a lot of people have been saying all along, where is the new generation and the new movement and what will happen next for --
when it comes to politics and civil rights. and i think this is it. and i think social media has a lot to do with helping people to organize, younger people are into social media so it is easier to organize. you used to have to go to a church and send out fliers, get on the radio and make television appearances. now you don't have to do all of that. i think this is a new way. go ahead, jeffrey. sorry. >> don, where you are, in union square, relatively quiet right now, right? >> reporter: it is relatively quiet but that doesn't mean it is not going to -- that things won't come around here. because as i told you earlier, they are moving through the city. and it is raining now. and if this rain stops on a friday night, then people in this city are going to come ought and they will rally and there should be protesters all over the city. as you saw last night with deborah and chris cuomo and brooke baldwin, they were just
walking through the streets on routes and basically doing what you hear now, in the background. hands up, don't shoot and going across the brooklyn bridge and the manhattan bridge and columbus circle and down in times circle. but i think jeffrey makes a good point, when he says he is heartened by what he is seeing. because this isn't ferguson, we don't see people looting and fires. when you have large numbers of people gathering, some people will be arrested, disturbing the peace, blocking traffic, that is what happens during protests and rallies. so everywhere i go, wolf, i have to tell you, people are paying attention here. young people are tuned in and saying i watch you every night. i watch wolf. i watch anderson and erin because they are glued to the television and they want change when it comes to civil rights and what they believe are police violations across the country. i think you are right, this is a new wave for the civil rights movement. >> a lot of people say that.
these are live pictures in the left part of your screen. the demonstrators are blocking traffic on interstate 195 in miami. you can see them moving along that area right now, where the demonstrators are angry over the grand jury decision, staten island are very angry, about what happened in ferguson missouri, as well. tom fuentes, you see what is happening on this major interstate in miami. what do the cops do in an interstate? >> just what they are doing. let them do it. >> shut down the routes? >> they've made the determination in the cities they will allow the protests to go on as long as they stay nonviolent and allow the traffic to be blocked. but the outcome is in the hands of the protesters or the others who may show up yet because you will see a different reaction from the police if shots are fired or if businesses start to be set on fire by hool iigans tt came out and the police will not
tolerate that. >> look at that traffic blocked up because there is no -- there are no cars moving. that is interstate 195 in miami. jeffrey toobin, take a look at these pictures. there is obviously a lot of people pretty upset that they are not going to get home -- it looks like any time soon because of that traffic jam developed because the protesters in miami are blocking all of that traffic. it is a tough dilemma for what the cops should be doing in miami. >> it is. and cops have to show a lot of restraint and a lot of savvy. i would like to respond to one thing don said with a question and maybe a note of caution. you know, a lot of what he said about the energy of this movement and the importance of social media was said a year or two ago when occupy wall street and occupy all of the other cities really blossomed in rallies that weren't this big, but there were a lot of them. and there were more rallies than we've seen so far.
that movement really petered out and has basically disappeared by this point but i raise that as a possibility and to point out that these movements are hard to maintain. and without an election, without some forcing event, it really becomes difficult to maintain the energy and the civilized attitude we've seen in the last couple of days. so i just note -- i don't know what will happen, i don't have a prediction, but it is worth remembering the "occupy" example of something that seems big at first and the cause there was income equality and now it is gone as a street force. >> that is fair enough. don lemon. a lot depends on what happens in the coming days and weeks. >> yeah. >> listen, i think jeffrey is right. this isn't the only civil rights movement, the only way that civil rights can be handled. but people learned from "occupy"
waums -- wall street. and they are nebulous and they run america and they are shutting the little guy out and where is the middle class. this is tangible. someone lost their life on camera here and it is happening around the country and i think it is a little bit wall street but yet different. this engages people's emotions much more than "occupy" wall street. >> stand by. john gaskin and you are young and watching what is going on, is this a brief intermission or the start of something new and big? >> reporter: i believe this is the start of a new movement which really, in my opinion, really started in ferguson as people watch your network and saw what was taking place. as i spoke with those activists today, what is so different about this movement is these young people aren't waiting on civil rights leaders to advise them on what to do. they are not waiting on organizations like the urban league and the naacp, they are
going out and taking action and going to the streets and they are exercising their rights to protest and they are doing it in a peaceful way and in a way that is constructive and creative as well. you see drums, you hear music and see a very diverse group. it is something more unique than what we saw of the civil rights movement in the '50s and if the '60s and i believe it is a movement that we will see gain momentum across the nation. right in st. louis today you saw a number of protests and a number of walk-outs. the high school where michael brown went, normandy high school had a major walk-out where thousands of students were walking with michael brown sr. >> john gaskin joining us as he does everybody day. thanks very much. tom fuentes, thank you too. jeffrey toobin and don lemon. the live pictures coming in from
miami where traffic is stopped on i-195. here in washington, d.c., demonstrators, getting ready to go in new york, boston and elsewhere around the country. erin burnett "outfront" continues our special coverage. "outfront" tonight, the breaking news, protests on the streets of new york and in cities all across the united states over the chokehold death of eric garner. police are out in full force but the protests are spreading around the nation. plus cnn has obtained aaron garner's autopsy, the cause of death chokehold, the manner of death homicide in black and white. why wasn't that along with the video enough for an indictment? my guests tonight two women so close to eric garner, his sister and his daughter. on this case that has sparked such outrage around the world. let's go "outfront