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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  April 8, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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slams shut and the little tip of your pinky evaporates and suddenly you're just whining all day to cowboys which is absolutely pointless. >> mike rowe i will be watching along with many of our viewers. thank you so much. you can see the season premiere of "somebody's got to do it" tomorrow night, 9:00 eastern right here on cnn. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. turning you over to one mr. wolf blitzer who is right next door in "the situation room." happening now, breaking news. murder on tape. new details emerging right now about the killing of an unarmed african-american man by a white police officer, seen here shooting the man in the back. did the officer try to plant evidence? our reporters are live at the scene. rand's response. newly announced presidential candidate rand paul speaking out about the controversial killing and social justice in america. he joins us this hour from north charleston south carolina. that's right near the shooting scene. we will get his first live response to what happened.
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guilty. the young man who bombed the boston marathon almost exactly two years ago convicted on all 30 counts in the case. will he get life in prison or will he be put to death? and al qaeda bounty. terrorists put out a reward on the head of the former president of a critical u.s. ally as the situation in his country devolves into deadly chaos. what can the u.s. do to stop al qaeda? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we are following the breaking news including guilty verdicts in the trial of dzhokhar tsarnaev convicted on all 30 counts in the boston marathon bombing. now jurors must decide whether he will face life in prison or death for the terror attack and manhunt that left four people dead and hundreds injured. also this hour the police officer charged with murder for shooting an unarmed african-american man in the back is fired. the mayor of north charleston
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south carolina says michael slager has been fired and we have just learned new details about the shooting. we are covering all the breaking news this hour with our guests, including the newly announced presidential candidate, republican senator rand paul will join us live in a few moments from north charleston right near the scene of the shooting. we also have our cnn correspondents on the scene and in other key locations. let's begin with cnn's brian todd. he is also in north charleston. brian, what's the latest you're learning there? >> reporter: the very latest tonight, this is information from walter scott's family's attorney. he says that walter scott was hit a total of five times, once in the ear, four times in the upper torso with bullets likely exiting his chest. a total of eight shots were fired. that is according to an attorney for walter scott's family. also tonight, as you just mentioned, we have learned that the officer involved in this michael slager has been terminated and that his wife is eight months pregnant. this coming from local officials who are coming under more fire tonight as this investigation
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gets into full swing. authorities are crediting this cell phone video for the swift charge of michael slager with the murder of walter scott, an african-american man believed to have been unarmed at the time. >> i can tell you that as a result of that video, and the bad decision made by our officer, he will be charged with murder. >> reporter: the shooting occurred on saturday morning after slager pulled the 50-year-old scott over for a traffic violation. scott's mercedes had a broken taillight according to police reports. scott ran from the scene. slager pursued him on foot. slager said he fired his weapon after scott took his taser. >> shots fired. subject is down. he grabbed my taser. >> shots fired.
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he grabbed your taser. subject is down. >> reporter: it's unclear from this video which man was actually in possession of the taser at the time of the shooting. but you can see the cord from the stun gun between the two men. another point of contention whether officers on the scene tried to save scott's life after the shooting. the video shows another officer standing next to scott. that officer was identified today by north charleston police chief as officer habersham. the chief told reporters he wasn't sure what exactly took place. >> i have watched the video and i was sickened by what i saw. and i have not watched it since, but in the end of it what i saw was a -- i believe to be a police officer removing the shirt of the individual and performing some type of life-saving but i'm not sure what took place. >> reporter: slager was the subject of two civilian
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complaints during his five years on the north charleston police force, including one in 2013 for improper use of force against an african-american male. the individual in that case, mario givens claimed slager used his taser on him when responding to a burglary call even though givens did not match the description of the subject. slager was cleared of that charge. the family of walter scott says with this charge there will at least be some accountability. >> we can't get my brother back and my family is in deep mourning for that. but through the process of justice has been served. >> reporter: there are still some critical gaps to fill in regarding this incident. why did walter scott exit his vehicle? was there in fact a scuffle as officer slager had initially claimed. officials here the police chief and the mayor, did not answer those questions today. we have been reaching out to people who we believe are representatives for the officer. we have not heard back from them yet either.
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but those are some key questions that we are pursuing tonight. >> brian, we will check back with you. brian todd reporting. let's bring in our justice reporter evan perez. he has more on the federal role in this latest controversial case. what are you hearing from your sources here in washington? >> well the federal government got involved in this case very very quickly, very unusually quickly, and that's simply because of the video. the video really tells a lot of the story. so now what they are doing is going down there to try to see if they can find any additional witnesses who may be able to shed light on some of what brian todd was talking about, whether or not there was a scuffle, whether there was something that could back up what the officer has said happened whether there was some reason why he needed to fear for his life. and that is something that both the fbi and the justice department civil rights division are busy doing now. >> how common is it for federa authorities to launch charges against police officers in cases like this? >> well we have talked about so many of these cases on your program here and it's so hard for them to bring federal civil
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rights charges because the bar is set very high. so just last night, there was a case in new york where the prosecutors declined to bring charges against an officer who shot and killed an african-american college student in westchester county. you can tell these are very difficult charges to bring but they have to investigate to see if they can bring them. >> evan perez doing good reporting for us as you usually do. thanks very much. let's talk about all of this and more with the newly announced republican presidential candidate, senator rand paul of kentucky. senator, thanks very much for joining us. i want to point out, you are in north charleston, south carolina right now. we planned this interview for -- you are not there because of what happened over the past few days. this is coincidental, right? >> correct. we are on a campaign tour starting off the presidential campaign. we were in kentucky yesterday and new hampshire today, south carolina tomorrow tonight and tomorrow then into iowa and nevada. >> i just want to explain why you are in north charleston where this shooting occurred.
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you have seen the video by now. thinks a this is a unique case because it is on videotape. how common do you think these kinds of cases are where a white police officer shoots and kills an african-american man? >> first, i would like to say it's just a terrible tragedy and i hope justice does occur. but i do think that sometimes the way we report news we tend to report the news of crime so we see a lot of crime and think it's representative of the whole. i think when you look at police across our country, 98%, 99% of them are doing their job on a day-to-day basis and aren't doing things like that. then when a tragedy like this happens, it doesn't exculpate that particular instance but it shouldn't paint with a broad brush that all police are bad or all police aren't doing their job. i think it's important that when we see terrible tragedy like this because we report crime so much in our news we don't often see the policeman who is going
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next door and helping the little old lady whose heat is turned off or bringing food to someone. i just want to be careful that we don't paint with a broad brush that somehow all of our police are bad. in this particular instance i hope justice does occur but i hope we don't paint it with such a broad brush that we draw conclusions that may not be accurate. >> i think that's fair enough. almost all police officers around the country, they are decent hard-working they protect us. but there are these kinds of cases that do occur where a white police officer unjustly goes ahead and shoots and kills a black person, correct? >> well i think what we need to do you know i have asked for statistics on this. congressman bobby scott and i did a bill last year to ask for statistics. it's never been really added up on statistics of shooting the racial characteristics of the shootings and so we can compile data to know how big a problem it is or to know if it's a very odd circumstance. but for certain, we should know
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the numbers and so i have legislation that would count up these numbers so we can better address it if it really is a systemic problem. >> in this particular case we know it's a problem because it is all caught on videotape and it is shocking to anyone who sees it. you and i have discussed your efforts to collaborate with african-american leaders to try to change laws out there that disproportionately impact african-americans. when you announced your candidacy yesterday you said this. let me play the clip. >> i see an america where criminal justice is applied equally and any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed. >> senator, what laws are you talking about? >> i probably could have been a little more specific there. really referring to the drug laws, non-violent drug laws because i think what's happened and really this is the mistake we make. we say it's all racism. there is a disproportionate impact of the drug war on
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african-americans but it's not all or i'm not even sure what percentage of it could be even regard to color because often there are black police officers arresting black perpetrators in big cities. but the reason why i think it's unfair is that when you look at survey data of white teenagers and black teenagers, the use of illegal drugs is pretty similar but the people in prison three out of four are black or brown. it's because we do our patrolling in big cities in areas of high concentration of population and more crime, and then maybe the white kids who live in the suburbs predominantly aren't having that same degree of patrols and it adds up over time. if luyou look at our prisons there is a disproportionate impact on black or brown people. poverty is a common denominator. the war on poverty needs to be reassessed and we need to decide should we give teen agers a second chance to make a mistake. we put a guy in prison a 24-year-old kid in prison for 55
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years for selling marijuana and i think that's an inappropriate punishment. we need to rethink what we're doing in the war on drugs. >> that's one case the war on drugs, but a lot of people out there think a lot of other laws are also biased against african-americans. do you agree with that? >> you know i think that i was referring mostly to the war on drugs but i would say that sometimes, poor people in our society may not be getting the same representation that rich people get. so i am very concerned that the criminal justice system is not treating people equally. one of the tragic cases was khalif browner up in new york city 16 years old accused of a crime, kept in prison for three years without a trial. the sixth amendment says you get a speedy trial. i was horrified to find out in america that this young boy was accused of a crime, never tried, finally released from prison but he was kept in solitary confinement, tried to commit suicide several times. that really bothered me. that shouldn't be happening in our country. i want to be part of trying to
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fix that and make it better more fair and more just. >> the north charleston police chief said today that he plans to have body cameras on all of his police officers. you think that every police officer in the united states should wear a body camera? >> you know it's difficult to say everybody and that we should direct it from the federal level but i have supported legislation to allow some of the grants that are already going out to be used for body cameras. i'm not big on telling south carolina what to do or big on telling kentucky what to do. but if i were a member of the police force, i think if some ways the body cameras protect them because while there are accusations that are justified, there are also some unjust accusations against police and i think the cameras will protect the good policemen which i think are the vast majority of or police. >> let's get into some other issues senator. our own justice reporter evan perez yesterday right here in "the situation room" broke the news nathat the russian government used hackers the break into the
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state department and the white house computer system had access to details about the president's schedule his meetings his movements. you are on the foreign relations committee. how vulnerable is the united states that this could happen again? >> well it concerns me a great deal. i think we have to protect ourselves. that's one of the reasons why i think we require that our high officials use government servers. this is one of the concerns about hillary clinton using a private server that she may have opened herself up to espionage and we will maybe never know the truth because she erased the files. but this is of a great deal of concern to me. >> if you were president, how you would handle these threats? say from russia's president putin? >> well we have to use all the technology at our hand. we have to have the ability to block espionage, cyberespionage. we have to have the ability to have the best and brightest of our minds to help us to write code that can keep people out, and we also though have to
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have certain rules for our high government officials. i don't think the secretary of state should communicate with the president via e-mail through a private server without the protection of the government cybercontrols and cybersecurity controls. i think that is a mistake and we should make sure that any next secretary of state or secretary of defense or whathave you is communicating through a secure channel. >> i want you to respond to this new ad that was -- came out yesterday apparently a million dollar buy by some republican group out there that basically charges that your foreign policy is very close to president obama's foreign policy and they specifically have a quote from you back in 2007. i will play a little clip of it. >> the senate is considering tough new sanctions on iran. president obama says he will veto them and rand paul is standing with him. rand paul supports obama's negotiations with iran and he doesn't understand the threat. >> you know it's ridiculous to think that they're a threat to
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our national security. >> rand paul is wrong and dangerous. tell him to stop siding with obama because even one iranian bomb would be a disaster. >> i want you to respond to that but specifically the 2007 quote where you said that iran was not a real threat to the united states. >> you know i think the whole thing's sort of a farce and factually incorrect. politicifact said it was false. when you look at the actual facts on the ground i have been one of the leading proponents saying that any agreement that we come to with iran has to come back and be voted on by congress. i have been saying repeatedly that i'm skeptical for the main reason that iran's foreign minister is now tweeting out in english that the agreement doesn't mean what president obama says the agreement means. so really i think that people are desperate somehow to latch on to the status quo and so they put out falsehood but there's
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really nothing about the ad that's correct. even the statement from 2007, even in 2007 i did believe that iran was potentially a threat and developing a nuclear weapon was bad, and now eight years later, which is a long time i think the threat has become heightened. i think it's unfair to take statements out of context from eight years ago and then to basically lie about my position on iran now. >> because in 2007 you did say, we heard you say it it's ridiculous to think they're a threat to our national security. but what i hear you saying is your views have changed. >> that's not to say -- but that's not to say that in 2007 them developing a nuclear weapon wouldn't be a threat. really the threat to the united states that we have always been concerned with is developing intercontinental ballistic missiles and developing a nuclear weapon. so that statement taken out of context even in 2007 isn't to say that i didn't believe developing a nuclear weapon was a good thing or that that might
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not be a threat. but i think after eight years, one thing we do all know is that events change and as you have seen their capacity and their ability to quickly build a nuclear weapon has become more significant and more immediate over time. but i think the main thing about this is these are people -- this is sort of this neocon community and the neoconservatives have never met a war they didn't like. what you will see is these attacks saying oh, you're close to obama's position in reality, the neocons who have been with president obama on the war in libya, they have been with president obama on wanting to bomb assad and they were really also for taking out hussain. everything they have been for over the last decade has really been to make america less safe and make the region more chaotic. i think we could have a good intellectual debate about this but attack ads like this that are mostly untrue if not entirely false probably don't serve the public very well.
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>> you want to name names when you are criticizing or blasting the so-called neocons? >> well you know if these people would release their [ inaudible ] we would know who they are. they want to be in the shadows and have something secret and put up a bunch of lies. i think there are people you will see in the senate who basically favored giving arms to gadhafi and then the next year they were favoring giving arms to the so-called freedom fighters. but now it turns out that the war they had in libya was supported by the neocons and president obama, the war's a disaster. radical jihad has run amok in libya. it's chaotic and i think we are more likely to be attacked by people organizing in libya than we were before the war. people need to think through when war's in our interest and when war is not in our interest. >> i want to give you also a chance to clarify your position on foreign aid, specifically foreign aid to israel. israel as you know gets about $3 billion a year in economic and military assistance from the united states.
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back in 2011 you and i had a pretty famous exchange. i will play that clip. >> i don't think funding both sides of an arm race particularly when we've got to borrow the money from china to send it to someone else, we just can't do it anymore. the debt is all-consuming and it threatens our well-being as a country. >> just to be precise, all foreign aid including the foreign aid to israel as well, is that right? >> yes. >> but you don't believe that anymore, do you? >> well the interesting thing is yes, i still believe it and people keep reporting that i've changed my opinion. but here are the facts. i said in my speech today, i said in my announcement speech we can't borrow money from china to give it to pakistan. but i have acknowledged over the last four years that i'm in the minority and so what i have been trying to do is say look to begin with why don't we eliminate foreign aid for those who hate us and burn our flag. that would be enemies of ours and enemies of israel. but my position on foreign aid
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really is no different than netanyahu's position. in 1996 he came here to a joint session of congress and said that ultimately he believes that israel will be stronger by being independent of foreign aid. but people try to misreport this and i know you know how emotional this issue is with israel. people try to misreport this as that i am somehow targeting israel to remove aid to israel that i'm not a friend or ally of israel. nothing could be further from the truth. i have supported the iron dome. i have supported our alliance with israel. i'm one of the people probably most prominent in congress to say that it's wrong of american officials to be criticizing israeli policy on where they build or what they decide on their internal politics. so i think that as long as it's reported accurately my position really hasn't changed. ultimately i believe as netanyahu does that israel will be stronger when they are entirely free of foreign aid. >> let's move on to another sensitive issue. something you raised today.
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you were questioned about your stance on abortion rights for women and you said something along the lines, ask debbie wassermann-schultz she's the chair of the dnc, democratic national committee. you said ask debbie wassermann-schultz if it's okay to kill a seven pound baby in the uterus. she did respond to what you said. she put out a statement saying here's an answer. i support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved period end of story. and i would appreciate it if you could respond without shushing me. that was debbie wassermann-schultz. go ahead and respond to her. >> well it sounds like her answer is yes, that she's okay with killing a seven pound baby. but the interesting thing is i understand our country's polarized on the issue. not everybody agrees on the issue. but even most of my friends who are pro-choice will tell me they're not okay with seven and eight and nine pound abortions. they are not okay with really end stage when the baby's fully
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developed. there's a bit of doubt and discussion earlier in pregnancy but debbie's position which i guess is the democrat party position that an abortion all the way up until the day of birth would be fine i think really most pro-choice people would be a little uncomfortable with that. i don't know. i really think that she's got some explaining to do and if that's the position of the party, a lot of pro-choice people will be uncomfortable with that position. >> i want you to explain your position because traditionally libertarians believe the government shouldn't be involved in making these kind of personal decisions for individuals. when should a woman have a right to have an abortion? >> the thing is is that there is a role for government in our lives and the role is basically to prevent violence. so when a baby is born i'm a physician and so i examine babies in the neonatal nursery often. sometimes the babies are one or two pounds they can fit in the palm of my hand.
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everybody agrees that that baby that i examine has rights that no one can injure that baby and the government has a role to come even into the household if a mother or dad or relative is somehow injuring a baby, that the baby has rights. so somehow we have to decide when does a baby get rights. so a one pound baby has rights but a seven pound baby in the uterus still getting ready to be born or a nine pound baby would have no rights. it seems like an abrupt sort of diminution of rights that all of a sudden you have rights and then a couple minutes before you didn't have rights. these are very very difficult i think discussions and then that's a question of when does life begin, and i don't think we all agree on that. i personally believe that life is special, that human life is special and that there is a sanctity and that we are more than just you know clay and dirt. >> what about rape and incest? >> you and i have had this
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discussion before that there will be extenuating circumstances and i have supported legislation both with exceptions and without exceptions. basically my point of view has been that anything that puts forward and develops and says you know what there is something special about life and there's a role for government i have supported. that's been a variety of things both with exceptions and without. >> i want to just get a final question because i know you've got to run. there's a lot of commentary today following your interview this morning with savannah guthrie on the "today show." other interviews you have had with female reporters suggesting you are abrupt with them. the "the washington post" has a head line saying rand paul's problem with female interviewers just cropped up again. i want you to respond to this suggestion that you interrupt your female interviewers that you are not polite to them. go ahead and tell us what you think. >> you know i think i have been universally short tempered and testy with both male and female reporters. i will own up to that.
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and it's hard sometimes. as you know like during our interview right now, i'm looking at only a camera. i can't see you. and it's hard to have a true interaction sometimes, particularly if it's a hostile interviewer. so i do think that interviews should be questions and not necessarily editorializing. so if you get sort of two minutes of editorializing by the interviewer that draws conclusions you feel somewhat at a loss on the other end. you can't see the person who you think is mischaracterizing a position and not really asking a question. i think i should have more patience but i think i'm pretty equal opportunity. if i get annoyed, i was annoyed with a male reporter this morning, so i will have to get better at holding my tongue and holding my temper but i think it's pretty equal opportunity, not directed towards, you know, male or female. >> basically, i want to just wrap it up with a question about you have been suggesting over the past few days that new information is going to come out about hillary clinton that will
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be very very embarrassing to her and the clinton foundation. what exactly are you talking about? >> you know there are certain businesses that the state department oversees that are sensitive for security reasons. i believe and have been told that there's going to be information about donations to the clinton foundation that may or may not have had or could possibly have had influence over who gets to do business in various countries around the world. some of these countries, very sensitive to our national security. that's all i'm at liberty to say right now. it's not something we are publishing but we are aware of a book that will be coming out in the next couple weeks that will make these accusations and then the public and journalists like you will have to figure out and sort through to see what is true. but i do know there will be made accusations that certain companies that were approved in countries that are sometimes our enemies or adversaries, these companies were approved and some
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of the shareholders of these companies gave large donations to the clinton foundation. >> i want to be precise. you are talking about this new book coming out entitled "clinton cash." you have heard about the book but you and your staff have not actually gone through and verified all the accusations in there, have you? >> no. but they are troubling. i think they fit sort of other troubling revelations about foreign countries giving to the clintons and you know we have had rules in our country for a long time about foreigners non-u.s. citizens but foreign countries in particular aren't allowed to engage in our elections. the question here is are they skirting election law, are they taking money and potentially getting influence bought by foreign countries through a foundation. it is unseemly and i think even the clintons realized this at one point when they said they were going to stop doing it at least for awhile they would stop. but then it turns out that's not true either. so these were very troubling accusations.
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i can't prove the veracity of them but i do know that what's coming forward, there should be a lot of questions asked about whether or not this was appropriate behavior while she was secretary of state. >> senator rand paul i hope the next time we talk you will be here in "the situation room." we can do it face-to-face sitting around a table. i agree with you. those are always better interviews. a remote interview via satellite is good as well. appreciate the time you gave us today. >> thank you. >> senator rand paul is running for the republican presidential nomination. we'll have more on the breaking news coming up. we will break down the disturbing video of the deadly police shooting. does it show the officer trying to plant evidence? plus the life or death decision now facing jurors in the boston marathon bombing trial. what's ahead in the critical penalty phase.
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big day? ah, the usual. moved some new cars. hauled a bunch of steel. kept the supermarket shelves stocked. made sure everyone got their latest gadgets. what's up for the next shift?
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ah, nothing much. just keeping the lights on. (laugh) nice. doing the big things that move an economy. see you tomorrow, mac. see you tomorrow, sam. just another day at norfolk southern. we're following breaking news as south carolina officials try to defuse the anger following the fatal shooting of an unarmed african-american man by a white police officer. an attorney for the victim's family tells cnn the man was hit four times in the back and once in the ear. saturday's killing in north charleston south carolina was all caught on videotape. the entire video also contains other important clues. i'm joined by the former fbi assistant director tom fuentes, our law enforcement analyst. tom, set the scene for us. how did the incident first of all start? >> it starts with a traffic stop and this will come up shortly.
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okay. so we see a traffic stop here. scott is pulled over in his mercedes by officer slager. whatever happens there, we are not sure but they end up leaving and walking down the street. sorry. get this to come up. okay. they come down the street and end up here. somebody with a camera ends up that's restarted. anyway they have left the area of the traffic stop they have come down here by the park and someone is going to film this now with an iphone camera right over here. then what we see is the first image, now that they have arrived in the middle of this park they are having a little bit of a grabbing match. we're not sure what. the officer in his report says that scott was trying to take his taser. we think he may have already been tased at this point and it didn't work. but we don't know. in any event, two things of importance are that he has ahold of his arm here but you see the right arm of the officer up here and this is important, he's already going to his gun.
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that's his firearm on his right hip. he's already in the position to be trying to get that. >> the next image is in the park as well. >> they are at the same spot he lets go of his arm and what we think we see down here in between his feet we are not sure might be the taser on the ground the empty now used taser. we are not positive. in any event, scott now is getting ready to run. the officer again with his right hand back near his firearm on his right hip. now he takes off running and we can see at this point the officer is shooting firing at scott's back. one of the things we have seen in the initial arm hold that we have is it doesn't appear that scott is in any way attacking the officer. he's pulling maybe or resisting but he's not actually threatening the officer or trying to wrestle or fight with the officer. but at some point he decides he's out of here and he starts running down this sidewalk and the officer is shooting him in
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the back as it turns out. as he gets further down you know we can see what happens to him. we will go to the video taken by a bystander with his smart phone and later turned over to the family who turned it then over to the media and to the police. so we can see he's running and he goes to the ground. when we see mr. scott go to the ground we see that it looks like his hands are bare he's just trying to break his fall on the grass. again, as he comes over to here his hands go out, hands up in the grass. >> finally, after the shooting the officers another officer or two shows up. >> right. this is kind of important here because the officer, whatever happened that the car at the original traffic stop both of those two left and ran into this park here. what's really important is when we hear the police dispatch tapes. at what point does slager the
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officer, ask for help call for backup or is it clear to his fellow officers that he's about to try to make an arrest on somebody who, whether he resists or fights at that point, we don't know, but he does run. so at this point, we see within a minute or two that a second officer has arrived. so it does raise the question why didn't he wait. if he had an officer that close, he should have heard it on the radio, what the estimated time of arrival was for his backup why doesn't he wait for the second officer to come. >> stay with us. i want to bring in the former federal prosecutor sunny hostin along with cnn anchor don lemon. let's get some analysis from you guys. don, without this video, obviously, do you question whether the police officer would have even been charged? >> i can't speak to whether he would be charged so quickly but i don't think that we would be talking about it on television. i think that they would be looking at the evidence there, the possibility that it might be covered up and people would pay attention and believe the police reports that turn out now to have a lot of suspicion around
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them. so i think without that videotape, we would not be here at this moment. what would happen later on down the road i don't know. i can't tell you. >> sunny, north charleston south carolina is what about half black, 47%, according to the most recent statistics 37% white. 80%, though of the police force is white. do you think that that plays a role in this? are there divisions in the community, in communicatesties like this a predominantly white police force? >> i certainly think that's a problem countrywide. we have talked about that often. even the mayor of this city mentioned that race could be a factor. but i think the larger issue here what don was talking about, is without this video, we wouldn't be talking about it and quite frankly, i think without this video, he would not have been charged because the narrative first came out from this officer was that he shot in self-defense because he feared for his life.
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so you know without the video showing a very very different sequence of events i'm quite sure he would not have been charged. i think what's also interesting is and perhaps a result of all the protests and result of all this type of coverage this city needs to be commended, north charleston for acting so very quickly. we have to remember that this shooting occurred on april 4th. this officer was charged on april 7th with murder three days later, was also fired, his name was divulged this did not go to a grand jury. so this city is to be commended quite frankly for this swift action. i have never seen anything this quick involving a police shooting. so perhaps, you know everything that has happened with michael garner where there was a video, michael brown, there was no video, may now in a sense, those
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situations are acting as the template for these police shootings. >> sunny, don, tom, i know you will all be back with me later. stand by. this important note to our viewers. don will be back at 10:00 p.m. eastern, much more on his program "cnn tonight". a lot more coming up from north charleston but we are also following another breaking story right now. what's next now that a jury has convicted the boston marathon bomber? also ahead, new worries that air strikes could open the door for an al qaeda comeback in a country president obama once pointed to as a success story in the war on terror. people ship all kinds of things. but what if that thing is a few hundred thousand doses of flu vaccine. that need to be kept at 41 degrees. while being shipped to a country where it's 90 degrees. in the shade. sound hard? yeah.
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we'll have much more on the north charleston south carolina police shooting. but we are also covering breaking news in boston where a jury convicted dzhokhar tsarnaev on all 30 counts related to the boston marathon bombing. the mysteries now, will tsarnaev testify during the death penalty phase of his trial and will the jury spare his life. cnn's alexandra field is joining us from outside the federal courthouse in boston. tell us how this all went down, alexandra. >> reporter: wolf this is a 21-year-old whose life will soon be in the hands of this jury. he barely looked at the jurors and the jurors barely looked at him when the verdict was read out loud in open court, guilty on all 30 counts. it took some time. tsarnaev looking away looking down at his hands, fidgeting as many of the counts were read. at some points talking to his attorney, judy clarke who was by his side. 11 of the 12 jurors looked straight ahead, they looked at the judge, they looked at the clerk, they did not seem to lock eyes with tsarnaev. but the rest of the courtroom,
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all eyes were on tsarnaev. it was filled with survivors of the marathon bombings. it was filled with family members of the victims of those blasts the family members of sean collier, they hung on every word that was said out loud in that court today. this is the day they have been waiting nearly two years for. there was no audible emotion in the courtroom. people were quiet, they were reflective. a few of them wiping away tears. but again, it's been nearly two years. a lot of them say that this doesn't bring a sense of closure but it is the first step toward the kind of justice that they have been hoping for. the next step the penalty phase. again, it could begin as early as next week here at the federal courthouse. >> we will of course cover that. we will have much more on this story coming up as well. alexandra, thanks very much. still ahead, we are going back to south carolina. angry protesters have blocked streets, interrupted a news conference about the shooting of an unarmed african-american man by a white police officer. will there trouble tonight? also coming up al qaeda offers gold gold to whoever kills two of its biggest enemies.
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more ahead on the north charleston police shooting of an unarmed african-american man. there's other breaking news we're following, including al qaeda announceing a bounty on the heads of two. now the defense second is warning al qaeda is strengthening amid the chaos in yemen. jim sciutto is working the story for us. what's the latest? >> reporter: that's right. aqap it put out a bounty of 50
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pounds of golds on the houthi rebels leaders. another example of how a group scene as a terror threat to the u.s. homeland is taking advantage of the crisis there as yemen falls into further disarray. a wounded fighter tries desperately to crawl out of the crossfire. under a barrage of bullets, others drag the injured man to safety. this is the chaos in yemen that the terror group al qaeda in the arabian peninsula is exploiting to its advantage. today, defense secretary ashton carter warned aqap is taking advantage of yemen's collapse. >> you see them making gains on the ground there as they try to take territory, seize territory. >> reporter: they consider them one of the most severe terror
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threats to the homeland and aviation. the master bomb maker still remains on the loose in yemen. >> aqap is a group that we're very concerned with. we all know that aqap has the ambition to strike western targets, including the united states. and that's why we have long conducted counterterrorism operations against aqap. >> reporter: those counterterrorism operations diminished after u.s. special forces tracking the militants had to evacuate the country last month. the u.s. embassy and intelligence gathering operations also closed. the yemeni government fell to iranian-backed rebels. >> the united states has lost awareness of what's going on in yemen by pulling out its special operations forces. this is critical. >> reporter: defense secretary
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carter laying out in the starkest terms we have heard from an official just what a -- what damage the situation in yemen is doing to u.s. policy. you had u.s. special forces on the ground. you had intelligence gathering on the ground. those are all gone now. the u.s. relying on drone flights, assets out of the country. that's a very different situation than we were a few months ago. in there you have aqap seen as one of two threats to the u.s. homeland. >> jim sciutto reporting for us. more coming up in the next hour as well. thank you. breaking news we're following. new details of the police shooting caught on camera. we are live at the scene. new revelations about the police officer's record.
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happening now, shot in the back. investigators studying the video of a police officer killing a fleeing suspect. the officer is accused of murder. should he be charged with planting evidence? demands for justice. another african-american community is speaking out against the use of deadly force by police. was racial bias a factor? life or death? the boston marathon bomber stands convicted of the deadly terror attack. will jurors now order his execution? al qaeda's hit list. they are offering a reward of gold for the death of two enemies in a bloody power struggle to plot against america. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room."
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breaking news. a police officer charged with murder after a graphic shooting video surfaced. now has been fired from his job as well. new details are emerging about his fatal confrontation in south carolina with an african-american man who was unarmed and running away. the coroner confirming that the victim had multiple gun shot wounds in his back as well as elsewhere. watch this. angry protesters disrupted a news conference by the police chief and the mayor. this case is fuelling fresh outrage across the nation about the use of excessive force by police and their treatment of black suspects. the boston marathon bomber found guilty of all 30 criminal counts against him. the same jurors must decide whether he gets the death penalty or life in prison.
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we have correspondents, analysts and news maker standing by. we are covering all these stories. first let's go to brian todd in south carolina with the very latest. brian? >> reporter: wolf we have just confirmed moments ago that officer michael slager attained a very powerful local attorney who has represented suspected enemy combatants and police officers in the past. we are getting that information a short time ago. andy savage is the new attorney for officer michael slager. tonight, walter scott's family's attorney has confirmed to cn thiscnn that he was shot five times, once in the ear, four times in the upper body with chest wounds exiting his chest. a total of eight shots were fired. this coming tonight as we are learning more information about this officer's background with the north charleston police.
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the final moments of 50-year-old walter scott's life caught on this cell phone video. tonight, the police officer who fired the eight shots is in jail without bond charged with murder. the victim's family is grieving. this small community is on edge. >> black lives matter. >> reporter: in the moments after the shooting slager a five-year veteran, immediately blamed it on a struggle with scott over the officer's stun gun. >> shots fired. subject is down. he grabbed my taser. >> shots fired. he grabbed your taser. subject is down. >> reporter: today the police chief would not address if scott ever even handled the stun gun. many here point to the video saying it appears to show slager dropping an object the size of the stun gun near his lifeless body. tonight cnn learned the shooting is not the first time slager has had issues involving his stun gun. he was the subject of two civilian complaints during his
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five years on the police force. including one in 2013 for improper use of force against an african-american male. the individual in that case claimed that slager used a stun gun on him when responding to a burglary call. he said did he not match the description of the subject. slager was later cleared of that charge. an earlier training report from 2010 paints a different picture, commending slager was demonstrating great officer safety tactics in a run-in with an armed suspect. it went on to say he kept calm throughout the situation. during a contentious press conference the mayor was interrupted by protesters demanding justice. >> no justice. >> no peace. >> reporter: the mayor said he grieved with the family of walter scott but felt somebody toward officer slager's wife. >> the officer that was terminated his wife is eight months pregnant.
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while she -- he has been terminated. the city is going to continue to cover the insurance on her for the baby until after the baby is born. we think that is the humane thing for us to do. >> reporter: there are still critical gaps remaining in the story. why did walter scott exit his vehicle? was there a scuffle in this incident as officer slager had initially claimed? the mayor and the police chief would not answer those questions today saying they are part of the investigation. wolf. >> brian todd on the scene for us. the white house says the president is aware of the shooting and the video. the justice department in washington is investigating the possibility that federal civil rights laws were violated. evan perez has more of what's going on. >> the reaction from the justice department was very swift on this case. the shooting happened on saturday. by tuesday, the fbi and the civil rights division both had
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opened investigations. i think one of the things that they will be interested in is going down to north charles stonton. there is frustration with the police and city. that's one thing they will study, whether there's something bigger than the one shooting going on. >> how common -- it's extraordinary, i think, for the federal government the justice department to actually launch charges against the police officer in a case like this. >> right. that's very difficult to bring these charges simply because police officers often get the benefit of the doubt. usually, you don't have video like this incredibly shocking video which shows what happened. of course this doesn't show what happened before the person shooting the video started recording. so that's something that the justice department is going to want do is interview any other witnesses who might be able to shed light on that. >> evan perez reporting for us. the police chief of the north charleston police department says he was sickened when he saw the video of walter scott being shot in the back.
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we want to zero in now on some of the key moments in this really startling video, what they reveal about the confrontation. the video, as you know is very graphic. tom fuentes is here. he is a former fbi assistant director. walk us through some of these scenes that are on the video. without this video, we would probably not even know about this case. >> wolf what we see here is the person that's shooting the video starts out. and the officer and mr. scott have already come about almost two blocks from where the traffic stop was made. they're in the middle of the park. that's having a little bit of an arm tussle it looked like possibly for the taser, which might be this object sitting on the ground here. meantime scott decides to run. the officer draws his weapon and when he gets so far, he starts opening fire on him.
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so we see shots fired. we can see by the arms of mr. scott that as he breaks his fall going to the ground it it appears both hands are clear. it's pretty obvious that as he is going down here it's pretty obvious that he's unarmed and being shot in the back by the officer. then what we see is the officer comes over and he drops something on the ground next to mr. scott who is lying on the ground possibly already deceased. then he goes back shortly later and picks it up. this is around the time the second officer has arrived. you see his shoulder over here. so the question there is is he planting evidence then thinking about taking it back? either way, he is tampering with a crime scene, has no business doing that. in this video, we see them -- we see the second officer on the ground next to mr. scott trying
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to treat with him. we also see what looks like slager having picked up the object off the ground and placing it on the left side of his belt. that was would be consistent with where a taser would be housed on the belt. it would be on this side of his belt. the other officer is checking. it doesn't appear he is helping him or administering first aid. we assume that maybe they know the paramedics are going to arrive shortly and can do that. at this point really nothing is being done on behalf of mr. scott lying on the ground. >> a lot of people are shocked that the police officer and the other police officer didn't try to save the man's life when they walked over there. they -- he handcuffed him even though he was down on the ground. more on this coming up. tom fuentes, thank you. let's discuss all of this very disturbing information, including the video, with the president of the national urban league who is joining us. mark, thanks for joining us. i always like to say we could meet under different circumstances. what's the reaction your
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reaction the reaction of the national urban league to this pretty shocking video? >> this is and inhumane a heinous act where this officer was caught dead wrong, dead wrong in killing this man, a coast guard veteran. if the taser was what he dropped, it was as though he instinctively thought of trying to cover it up or bolster what in effect was his alibi that somehow the gentleman had taken the taser away from him. so this is just a heinous act. certainly, it's good that the officer has been immediately arrested and that the city has reacted. wolf the other issues are, one, whether this police department has some sort of history, whether this officer has a history which should have sent up a red flag earlier than now that somehow he was an officer who had a history of inappropriate use of force.
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so there are lots of questions that remain. we have to be vigilant we have to keep the spotlight on this. we have to learn more while at the same time grieving for this family and saying once again, we see an incident where an unarmed black man loses his life at the hands of a police officer. it's unnecessary and unjust. >> i'm sure we will learn more about michael slager the 33-year-old police officer. we will learn more about the 50-year-old man shot in the back walter scott. both of these men, as you probably know served in the united states coast guard. they served in the coast guard. i don't know if they knew each other before. they didn't know each other before. it's interesting that they both did serve, veterans of the u.s. coast guard. if there had been no video of this what do you think would have happened? >> it would have been covered up. if there had been no video, we would have another instance where there would have been various versions of the story
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and an effort that we would have here as we have discussed in many of the incidents, in an effort to sort it out. thank god for that citizen who captured this on video. here is why i have continued to emphasize time and time again why while body cams dashboard cams and other video equipment is a very essential tool in the area of police accountability today. and we ought to place them on officers from coast to coast. i think it ought to be part of national policy. it's not going to stop these incidents. but there was no question as to what happened and the truth is the truth. >> what's your impression your reaction to the way the north charleston mayor and the police chief, for that matter have handled this? >> well i think to their credit they responded very swiftly and very quickly. certainly, concerned about the community's reaction.
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while the process, meaning the officer has been charged is the first step in a process, there's a long process to ensure that that officer is brought to justice. this is the beginning, not the end of a process. we certainly welcome the involvement of the justice department. we would urge them as they did in ferguson to take a look at the practices of this department over the years to determine whether this incident is the tip of a bigger iceberg. we don't know yet. but i have seen information which indicates that this department has been sued numerous times in federal court for civil rights violations. again, questions are there that must be answered on an ongoing basis. the national urban league and i know many are going to continue to be vigilant. our local leadership is monitoring and certainly involved in this effort to bring justice in this instance. >> let me ask you this about the population of north charleston. it's a different city than
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charleston south carolina. they are next to each other but two different cities. north charleston is 47% african-american 37% white, 80% of the police force though is white. is that an issue as far as you are concerned? >> i think that police departments should reflect the makeup of their community. certainly, it is an issue, wolf. again, as we though a spotlight -- we see something interesting. we see a community which is if you will what might be classified as a suburban community on the outskirts of a major city or a larger city. charleston being a major city in america and a larger city than north charleston. we saw the same thing with ferguson on the outskirts of st. louis. so we see this under representation that seems to be present again in this police department. but i have to say, across the board, while it is an issue, the
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use of force and the inappropriate use of force is the issue, is the paramount issue no matter what the color of the officers who may be carrying out that excessive use of force. >> we are getting more information coming in. stay with us. we will take a quick break, resume our special coverage right after this. well, a mortgage shouldn't be a problem your credit is in pretty good shape. >>pretty good? i know i have a 798 fico score thanks to the tools and help on kaboom... well, i just have a few other questions. >>chuck, the only other question you need to ask is, "what else can you do for me?" i'll just take a water... get your credit swagger on. become a member of experian credit tracker and find out your fico score powered by experian. fico scores are used in 90% of credit decisions. ♪ ♪ live a full life.
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we're back with the national urban league president. also joining us the attorney who represented the families of trayvon martin michael brown is joining us from new york as well. we are talking about the breaking news in a deadly shooting by a police officer all
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caught on video. the lawyer for the victim's family says walter scott was hit four times in the back once in the ear. obviously, he was shot and killed. ben, have you spoken with the scott family or their attorneys? do you know what's going on over there? >> i have talked to attorney stewart. he is a very good attorney. it's just tragic wolf. i wrote a piece for "time" entitled "when will american start to challenge the standard police narrative"? that is when there is an unarmed person of color, i fear for my life they reach for a weapon. they just accept that no matter how ridiculous it is. five shots in the back they were ready to accept that. if it were not for the video. >> were you shocked by the video? >> you know i will say this. this has played out so many
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times with so many families we represent. but nobody would believe them because the video -- what was shocking to many in america for a lot of us we said, finally, they got caught. >> what do you say, mark? this is an extraordinary case because it's on video. we see the whole thing. there are people like ben who believe this goes on all the time we just don't know about it because it's not recorded. it's not on video. >> and i think ben is right that i think these incidents are more common than meets the naked eye, more common than the media historically has made attention to, more common because what you have had a combination of what traditionally occurs as well as ben calls it the police narrative, the standard narrative, the alibi, the coverup. all of that and people begin to buy that. therefore, there's been no consistent accountability across
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the board. that's what we have to talk about. that is if there is strong accountability then that accountability certainly serves as a deterrent in these instances. i am shocked and stunned on this 50th anniversary since the civil rights that this problem, this issue, this heinous situation where people are losing their lives unnecessarily at the arms of those sworn to appropriateprotect and serve has resurrected itself. we have to confront this as a nation, as policy makers. we have to send a strong message to mayors and police chiefs all across the nation that we're not going to stand for this and that the community is going to speak out and that good meaning citizens are going to record the actions of police officers. >> ben crump, let's not ex
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exaggerate exaggerate. we couldn't go around the country without the police. we need the police. this is a very tiny element of police forces. do you agree? >> i want to believe that wolf. and i want to believe that we have to have those good police officers. when they see things like this even if there's no video, they have to speak up because other than that you know the police chief in north charleston said we're not going to throw a blanket over it saying just because one bad officer, that's not an indictment on our officers. look what they do to the michael browns of the world, the travis carters. they throw the blanket over young black men and say we can distrust you, we can stereotype you where we don't want a blanket thrown over our community either. we want everybody to be accountable for their actions. police officers have to speak up when they see misconduct.
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>> just to recap, marc you want police officers all over the country to wear body camera snz. >> i would like to see body cams dash cams. i think transparency leads to better accountbility. i think if officers know that their actions are being recorded on a consistent basis, it's going to protect good officers who do the right thing. it's also going to ing toing to ferret out bad actions by bad officers. i have always believed that most officers are good and want to do the right thing. what this speaks to is a police culture in some departments. the idea -- ben made this point -- that officers who may be good officers may feel that the culture doesn't encourage nor support them speaking out. if they witness, if they see, if they overhear actions by other officers which may violate the law, violate the constitution
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violate decency and common sense. so we have to confront the cultural components of this that somehow disincentivize what i would call a standard of justice, a standard of truth that leads to public safety. >> marc benjamin thanks very much for joining us. as i said at the beginning, it's unfortunate we have to meet under these kinds of circumstances. just ahead, more on the breaking news the contradictions between the original police report and the video of the shooting. will the jurors who found the boston marathon bomber guilty on all 30 counts sentence hiv him to death, or will they spare his life?
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breaking tonight, new confirmation from the coroner that the victim of the deadly police shooting in south carolina was hit in the back. we are studying video of the confrontation showing the man being shot while running away from the police officer. let's bring in community activist john gaskin. also joining us don lemon, sunny hostin. don there were angry protesters. you were watching the news conference earlier there in north charleston. you reported from ferguson. you reported on the garner case in new york rice if cleave
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atlanta. what message does another death like this one send out there? >> the message it sends is that for most of the people who have been protesting across the country that there is confirmation of what they have been protesting for in many ways that this happens more often than one might think. it also sends to people who study these sorts of things it gives them confirmation that the numbers that may be on record may not be accurate because it is self-reporting and that many people believe what is in the police report that that is gospel that police often police themselves when it comes to these matters. it sends a terrible message about police departments around the country. it's not good. the information or what may come of this sadly may be good because there will be more transparency. but it sends a message -- a terrible message around the country. >> john gaskin are you surprised how vastly differently the community and city leaders have responded in south carolina
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to this incident versus the response to what happened in ferguson? >> you know i call ferguson the watergate of public relations. it's quite effort that many people are learning from the mistakes that were made by the city of ferguson. it appears that they are a lot more proactive there in south carolina. they're trying to be transparent with the community. they're trying to move and get out ahead of this quite quickly. so i'm happy that they have learned from those terrible mistakes that the city of ferguson made. it's unfortunate that someone has been killed. you know this narrative that we continue to see, it has to stop. there has to be some type of change some type of reform. these type of incidents seem as though they are curry nearly every week in this country. >> it's a very disturbing development. there's a discrepancy as to whether the police officers tried to do cpr, first aid to help this man who was shot in the back walter scott.
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the video doesn't necessarily show that. what's your analysis of this part of the story? what we do see is he is shot in the back he is on the ground. all of a sudden he is handcuffed. >> i agree, wolf that they don't try to help him in any way medically. that's obvious. and a long time passes and you don't see in the video how long it takes for the medical responders to arrive at the scene and determine what medical care they can give to mr. scott. the fact that they wrote in a report that they did it is terrible. the fact that you see evidence being moved around at the crime scene is terrible. what this officer has done is he has brought shame on the 800,000 law enforcement officers in this country. everybody that i have talked to former fellow officers of mine are just irate, shamed and just find this unbelievable that in this day and age at this time with everything that has gone on that an officer could be that stupid to gun somebody down and shoot them in the back in cold blood. >> before you joined the fbi, you were a police officer.
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you identify obviously, with those cops out there. the department of justice -- you are a former federal prosecutor. what role if any, should they be taking right now? >> we know now that the department of justice is involved the fbi is investigating this and the department of justice civil rights division is investigating. the federal prosecutor's office in south carolina is also investigating this. i think though that because of the swift action that they have seen by north charleston -- we have to commend the fact that they have obviously learned lessons from ferguson. the fact that this shooting happened april 4th and by april 7th this officer has not only been fired, he has been charged with murder facing either the death penalty or 30 years to life in prison. the action has been very swift. i suspect because of that while the federal government is involved it's probably going to take a back seat. watch, perhaps conduct parallel investigations. but, again, i think what the city of north charleston has
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done has learned -- it has learned lessons from ferguson and others. and i think what is really significant is that the city police department is not spearheading this investigation. we have a separate unit investigating this shooting. and i think that's very important. when you look at police reform and a lot of the headline recommendations that are made along with body cameras, along with civilian complaint review boards you often see people ask for an independent investigator not the same folks that are working day in and day out with these officers investigating and them prosecuting. >> it's the south carolina law enforcement division a state body investigating, took charge. the mayor and the police chief handed over the investigation to the state. john gaskin amid all of this uproar that's going on now as a result of what's happened in south carolina where you are in
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ferguson missouri they elected two african-americans to the city counsel. is ferguson now moving towards the right path from your perspective? >> absolutely. it's -- first of all, i appreciate everyone that went out to vote yesterday to value their vote. it's my hope that those individuals will continue to stay politically and civically engaged, to go from 12% turnout to 30% turnout, nearly overnight, is remarkable. to see the people like the local naacp working on the ground to mobilize those individuals in those neighborhoods was a beautiful thing. now that city council is more reflective of the city. >> do you think this latest incident in south carolina long-term, will have an impact? >> i think this one will because of the videotape. and because of the culmination of all of the events. i think the protesters who have
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been out there, this is the way that you evolve by getting people to do what they did in ferguson yesterday. by going to the poles and vote. by putting people in office so that there can be change. listen a degree with tom fuentes. i have to comment on this what tom said about the 800,000 or so officers around the country. it's an embarrassment for those officers. but i think as marc said and ben said those officers who see things that should not be happening, they see people who are planting evidence they see people who are discriminating or stopping people for no -- for the wrong reasons, they need to speak up. because not everyone at this point is wearing a camera and it can't all be caught on video. >> i want all of you to stand by. we're getting more information now about this shooting in south carolina. the murder case now that's unfolding against this fired police officer. also what would it take for jurors to spare the life of the boston marathon bomber after
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we're following breaking news, the shooting in south carolina north charleston south carolina. the police officer in this particular case the shooting incident all caught on videotape. the police officer now charged
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with murder fired from the local police department. don lemon, tom fuentes are with us. what happens as far as the police officer is concerned? we know the state has taken over the investigation from the local community, from north charleston. walk us through what happens next. >> my understanding is that he is now being held. he has been charged with murder. he is facing either the death penalty or 30 years to life in prison. so he has been charged. he is being held without bond wolf. he did not get bond. the next thing that will happen is he has retained an attorney. his initial attorney my understanding is dropped the representation once that attorney sawed videotape. he has a new attorney andy savage well-known south carolina attorney. he was -- he is a former prosecutor which always makes for actually a good defense attorney. then there will be a hearing. there should be a preliminary
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hearing. that won't happen for a while. my understanding is the hearing date may be in august which is a long time. that is appropriate, because of the video, because of the potential parallel investigations with the federal government and because this is going to be -- it could be a death penalty case. there's a lot of work to be done by the defense here. and i suspect there may be a preliminary hearing or another hearing in august. >> tom fuentes, you joined the fbi. became assistant director of the fbi. what do cops out there and communities need to do to learn from these kinds of lessons to make sure they don't happen again? >> i think most of the officers that i have talked to wolf are just exaspirated by this. this has been in the news over and over and over. this one, you know from all appearances, doesn't look to be a question. you don't have an officer that appears to be fighting for his life or in a wrestleing match or
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something like that. you have someone -- mr. scott resisted arrest. he takes off running. he hasn't done anything seriously to the officer yet that we can see. doesn't appear to be a threat to anybody else. the officer or another member of the community, which would be required to use deadly physical force. most of the people i'm talking to are just -- they can't believe that this officer could do that at this time with everything going on. one thing in 1991 rodney king nobody had smart phones with cameras. but these days it's common. >> everybody has smart phones with video capability. by the way, we are just getting -- we are hearing from the man who shot the video. we will hear from him in a moment. we will take a quick break. more on the breaking news after this. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis like me and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a biologic... this is humira.
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we're final i hear from the man who took the video of walter scott's shooting. here is what he just told nbc news. >> what made you pick up your phone and start shooting on saturday? >> when i saw the scene, i was walking to my job. i was walking to my job. i see mr. scott and i saw police after him, chasing him. i saw him i was on a phone call and i decide to see what was going on. >> was there a struggle? >> there was. they were down on the floor.
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they were down on the floor before i started recording. they were down on the floor. i remember the police had control of the situation. he had control of scott. scott was trying just to get away from the taser. you can hear the sound of the taser. >> he had been tased at that point? >> yeah. >> you heard the sound? >> yeah i heard the sound before i started recording. i believe he just was trying to get away of the taser. like i say he never used the taser against him. >> mr. scott runs away. what's the police officer do? >> as you can see in the video the police officer just shot him in the back. i knew right away that i had something in my hands. >> you turned it over to the attorneys for the family of mr. scott. >> yeah. >> what was their reaction to you?
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>> they were very emotional when tat happened including me also. when i turned it i felt i thought about their situation and say if i would have a family member that would happen i would like know the truth. >> as a result of that video tape a man, a police officer has been charged with murder. how do you feel about that? >> it's not something that no one can feel happy about. he has his family. mr. scott also has his family. i think he made a bad decision. you pay for your decisions in this life i think. mr. scott didn't deserve this. there were other ways that can be used to get him arrested and that wasn't the proper way to do that. >> there he is the man who took
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the video. faden santana speaking with lester holt a little while ago. tom, you're reaction. >> i think he's quite articulate explaining what happened and what he saw. i commend him for having taken those void video and having an officer taken off the street. >> he decided to go public. your reaction. >> he's a hero. as everyone has been saying without that videotape we would not be here now. it's important, he says it looks to him that the police officer had control of the situation. that the man ran at that point because he was trying to get away from the taser which was the electric shock and he was shot in the back. very important information to glean from that interview. >> don will have a lot more 10:00 p.m. eastern on his program. thanks very much. i want to get to another
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breaking story we're following. the united states warning the escalating warfare in yemen is strengthening al qaeda's most dangerous affiliate. the group has seized new territory. we're joined now live by the chairman of the house foreign affairs committee, congressman red royce of california. what's your reaction to what ash carter says in the arabian peninsula is decreasing its threat to the united states based on the chaos unfolding in yemen? >> we know they have not only seized additional territories including cities on the, in the southern part of the yemen right on the red sea but they have been able to release a lot of prisoners about a number of these are al qaeda prisoners. as these prisoners are released
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they also have no longer do they have to fear that the united states will be able to take military action against them because our special operations are out of there. our intelligence has been rifled by the iranian agents that have led the shia militia in taking over the other part of the country. our ally is being occupied by forces loyal to iran in northern and by al qaeda increasingly in the cities in the south. it's a disaster. >> what exactly is the role of iran. the saudi ambassador said iran is playing a significant role backing the shiite rebels the hezbollah fighters have come in as well. what can you tell us about that? >> the iranian forces are leading this. the iranians are flying 14
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flights a week of heavy ammunition ammunition. their artillery is pounding the cities that they're trying to take. at the same time they just dispatched two warships. this is particularly concerning because as you know the egyptians and the saudis have dispatched their warships to protect the sea lanes. the red sea is one of the most important sea lanes in the world. now you hear the iranians are putting their navy into the waters this is quite a tender box. we'll see what happens. it shows the danger of allowing iran to have this kind of influence and power and have it go unchecked because they're not only active here as you know but also across the arabian peninsula. >> sharing intelligence with the saudis for their air strikes. what kind of information do you
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think the u.s. is sharing? >> wolf they're sharing situational intelligence. i would doubt they would actually share targeting intelligence in situation like this. we are offering as i understand it the administration is offered to refuel saudi fighter bombers that are carrying out attacks on the sihia positions in yemen now. that's our involvement at the moment because u.s. forces have left the area and now most of that area is in the hands of those loyal to the iranian revolutionary government. >> are you okay with this u.s. support? there's some concern the u.s. could get bogged down in another war in yemen now? >> we're not probably giving direct targeting information but what we are giving them is
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probably the situational analysis. we're letting them know that probably yes, the iranian warships are entering the red sea. they should be cognizant of that. the egyptians and saudis need to know that. what the saudis are working on are two premises. they and the jordanians and the egyptians cannot afford to have the red sea closed down. the real danger is what the shia militias are doing. it's blocking the lanes on the red saw the the other concern the saudis have is that yemen is along their entire southern border and several soldiers have been shot and killed. there's another tender box situation that exists there.
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>> so far they're fold of using air power. do you suspect they might send in tanks. >> one source thought they thought saudi special operations people were on the ground and if that's the case then there's an even greater chance of iranian forces coming into contact with saudi special operations forces which would further inflame the situation. what we should be doing right now is there should be a unified effort in international community to tell iran get your forces out of yemen because you can't be transmitting the messages they did the other day that they control the capitol of yemen. they now say they control this situation in damascus and
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baghdad, lebanon. the iranians have felt empowered in this. >> we have to leave it there. that's it for me. thanks for watching. erin burnett outfront starts now. breaking news the police officer in the fatal south carolina shooting caught on tape fired today. we now know the victim walter scott was shot five times. four times in his back. walter scott's brother. who captured that crucial video of the shooting. until tonight that man was unknown. speaks out for the first time. the boston bomber guilty will he get the death penalty? let's go outfront.