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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Interview with Michael Brown's Parents; Ferguson Mayor: No Racial Divide; Ballistics Information Key to Case?; Memorials for Mike Brown
Aired August 21, 2014 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us. We're live again in Ferguson tonight where the growing calm here on the streets is paying off in a very visible way.
Missouri's governor giving the order today to start what he calls a systematic drawdown of National Guard forces that have been here since Monday. That of course is a major development.
It is not, however, the only one to tell you about tonight. We also learned from an inside source that Officer Darren Wilson's injuries were not as severe as some have reported. Activists today late today delivered a petition with 70,000 signatures renewing the call for the county prosecutor to take himself off the case, something he again today refused to do.
We begin, though, with the two people in the world for whom this is not primarily a question of legal ethics or due process or whether the National Guard stays or goes. We begin tonight with Michael Brown, Sr. and Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown's parents.
Now earlier tonight -- earlier today, I should say, I spoke with both of them along with their attorney, Benjamin Crump.
COOPER: This is obviously every parent's worst nightmare.
Mike, how do you get through each day?
MICHAEL BROWN SR., MICHAEL BROWN'S FATHER: I don't. I just glide through. I can see him physically moving around again in my life.
COOPER: You still see -- you still see him at times?
BROWN: Yes, yes, but physically I won't see that, you know, that's a heartbreaker for me. Painful. You know, I just -- I can't really explain how I really feel about this, you know.
COOPER: Lesley, does it seem real?
LESLEY MCSPADDEN, MICHAEL BROWN'S MOTHER: Nope.
COOPER: It still doesn't? How are you getting through each day? MCSPADDEN: Prayer, family, support.
COOPER: That's what's keeping you going? You both met with the attorney general yesterday, Eric Holder. How was that? What did he say to you?
MCSPADDEN: He just kind of talked to us from a man with kids himself perspective.
COOPER: He talked to you as parent?
COOPER: Did it help?
BROWN: Actually he helped me. Because he has our support, you know. He's supporting us and he said he's not going to -- it's not going to stop. He's going to help us all the way through, so that's a --
COOPER: You believe him? You have faith in him?
BROWN: Yes, I do, I believe him.
COOPER: Did it make a difference that he came here, that you looked you in the eye, that he met with you privately?
MCSPADDEN: It did to me.
COOPER: In what way?
MCSPADDEN: Because you can read a person and when you look at them and they look at you, your eyes, it puts some trust back there that you lost and he ensured it would be a fair and thorough investigation.
COOPER: Do you believe -- do you have confidence in the investigation? Because there's the -- you know, there's the state investigation, county, the federal investigation. Do you have confidence that --
MCSPADDEN: Up until yesterday, I didn't.
COOPER: You didn't?
MCSPADDEN: But just hearing the words come directly from his mouth, face-to-face, he made me feel like one day I will, and I'm not saying today or yesterday, but one day they will regain my trust. But first, I have to get to where I'm wanting to get to and we haven't even begun.
COOPER: It's going to be a long road. MCSPADDEN: Mm-hmm.
COOPER: I mean, the grand jury just started yesterday.
COOPER: We learned it may not be until October that they come up with a decision about what they are going to do. Does it feel like -- I mean, obviously, you want answers now.
COOPER: Are you ready to -- I mean, are you able to wait?
BROWN: Yes, I want everything to -- I don't want to rush judgment. I want everyone to take they time so there won't be no mistakes and get it done right.
COOPER: You've talked publicly about justice. You want justice. For you, what is justice for your son?
BROWN: He's got to go to jail. So we can have some type of peace. Still walking around with pay, that's not -- that's not fair to us. You know. We're hurt. And had to tell him what he's doing, that he has his life. Our son is gone.
COOPER: If the grand jury, if the federal investigation, if they decide that charges won't be brought, what then?
BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL BROWN'S FAMILY: Well, the federal investigation and we'll look to the federal government to get involved. The family, as well as many in the Ferguson community are very distrustful of the local authorities and so they're putting their faith more so in the federal authorities to make sure they look at this unbiasedly and as long as it's fair and impartial and that it's very transparent, Anderson, then people can accept a jury's verdict. But it's when it's this secret grand jury stuff that nobody knows about, then that's what is troubling.
COOPER: I understand, I think a lot of people didn't realize this, were you actually -- did you actually go to the scene?
COOPER: That terrible day?
COOPER: Did you see your son?
BROWN: Well, when I got -- when we arrived, he was covered up. So I didn't see him how the other people seen him laying in the street.
COOPER: Did it upset you that he was left out for so long?
BROWN: Yes. COOPER: Is that something that's still upsetting you?
BROWN: That wasn't -- we couldn't even see him. They wouldn't even let us go see him. They just left him out there for four and a half hours with no answers, nobody tell us nothing.
COOPER: Lesley, were you there, as well?
MCSPADDEN: Mm-hmm, yes.
COOPER: I can't imagine as a parent standing there as the hours tick by.
COOPER: Before even getting there, somebody call you on the phone and tell you something like that. And you, miles away. That's terrible.
COOPER: I actually talked to Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's mom, yesterday and one of the things she said -- and she wrote an open letter to you. And one of the things she said in that is that she was warning you that people are going to try to attack the character of your son.
COOPER: Just as she said they did with her son Trayvon.
COOPER: Do you feel that's already happened?
MCSPADDEN: Yes, and even if this hadn't happened, people do that anyway. People do that anyway. But he was a teenager. He was growing up. He was only 18. He had a chance to make a mistake and correct it, just like the officer. He had a choice and he chose the wrong one. And was it really necessary? No. My son was only 18. Only 18.
COOPER: Later on, we're going to have more of my interview with the parents of Mike Brown.
I want get reaction from "The New York Times'" Charles Blow. He's written eloquently about the challenges and too often the heartache of raising young African-American men in a society that sometimes and often fears young African-American men. Also "CROSSFIRE" co-host Van Jones is with me here, and CNN legal commentator Areva Martin.
Van, it's interesting to hear the Brown family talk about the impact that meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder actually had, looking him in the eye.
VAN JONES, CO-HOST, CROSSFIRE: Yes. Well, I think that was important and it was good. I think it brought some comfort not just to the family but also to the community. You see the before and after --
COOPER: You think that's had a real effect? I mean, the number of protesters out here tonight is very, very small.
JONES: Sure, I think that -- we were coming down anyway, the weather last night helped. But I think also there's a sense, OK, well, somebody is finally responding. Even psychologically I think that's very, very helpful. But, you know, as a parent of two black boys, it's so heartbreaking and you know, you're looking in the eyes of what you were afraid of every day when you have black boys. And I had -- you know, I'm here in Ferguson, I'm not with my kids for vacation, I had to explain to them why I was here.
And trying to explain to a 10-year-old boy this whole situation, I felt so jealous of my neighbors who are white. I know they don't have that conversation with their kids.
COOPER: That's what -- you know, Areva, it's interesting because I actually talked to Mike Brown Sr. about that in our next part of the interview. You know and he said, that's a conversation he had with his son. His son was 6-foot-4, was often believed to be older than he really was even when he was much younger. He was a tall young man,.
And that's a conversation that, as Van was saying, every African- American father who I have talked to has said that they have had that conversation with their son.
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL COMMENTATOR: Not just fathers, Anderson. Mothers too. You know, this is deeply personal for me. I've been with you all week talking about some of the legal issues but as I watch that interview, you know, that's my hometown, that's my community. You know, I'm a mom, I'm looking at those parents. I have a 14-year-old son myself. And this is a conversation that we're having around this country. Mothers and fathers with their African- American teenage boys.
But I saw a glimmer of hope with the visit of Eric Holder to Ferguson because he not just talked about getting justice for Mike Brown but he talked about possibly broadening the investigation into the Ferguson Police Department because we know there are some other issues, allegations of police brutality, civil rights violations, both in 2009, 2011, involving white officers and African-American men. So I am hopeful that out of this tragedy comes something much better, that we see a different kind of policing in Ferguson and that we are not having this conversation any time soon and hopefully not at all with our teenage sons.
COOPER: It's interesting, though, Charles, you know. The mayor of Ferguson who's going to be on this program just in a few minutes, and one of the things he has said before is that he does not believe there is a racial divide in this community. Even though the police force, you know, there's 50 white officers and three African-American officers in those communities, 67 percent African-Americans.
Does that surprise you that the mayor of this community would not believe that there is any racial divide? CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it doesn't surprise me
necessarily that people can have differences of opinion based on where they sit, right, so that, you know, my perception of an issue may be different from our perception because the way the officers relate to me and I think at some point you have to step back and look at the data.
I looked at data today that was reported today that was to the effect that there are three warrant per household given in the town of Ferguson which is a predominantly black, small suburban town. When you're on the receiving end of that sort of police activity, you're going to feel very, very differently.
And I think another thing, and very important I think to point out based on the interview that you just aired, that you did with the parents, is also just a sense of disrespect and it is parallel with the Trayvon case. With this idea of how you treat people. How you treat the parents of the child who is lost.
You know, Trayvon was labeled a John Doe. Nobody knocked on every door in that neighborhood to make sure that no one was missing a child. These parents show up, this is my child in the street, and, you know, their feeling that they are not necessarily respected as grieving parents enough to be able to get answers, get close to their child, whatever the case may be, people look at that and they see something that doesn't feel right, and if I were that parent, I would feel the same way.
I still can't figure out the Trayvon thing. I can't figure out this situation where you just don't give the parents any information or any access to the body of their dead child.
COOPER: You know, Van, I was reading something that actually Charles wrote on Twitter, I think yesterday, where he said, you know, they're not -- there don't have to be absolutes here. It doesn't have to be that Mike Brown was an angel and the officer was the devil or that Mike Brown was a demon and the officer was an angel. If there was a crime committed, it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with who these people are, although, you know, others would argue it does.
JONES: Well, I mean, that's part of what happens is everybody rushes to their different camps almost like different tribes, and we lose humanity on each side. And the reality is, there is no perfect teenage boy out here. If that's a standard for whether you're going to get shot or not, we will have a whole bunch of dead teenage boys -- I mean, white, black, green, purple, and there's no perfect law enforcement officer.
My dad was a cop in the military, my uncle just retired from the Memphis City Police Force. They are human beings. They make mistakes. But what happens is we rush into these different corners and one has got to be the devil, one has got to be a saint and we lose touch with each other's humanity and that's one of the big things that's going on here, the polarization.
COOPER: And again, it's polarization at a time when frankly we don't have all the facts. You know, and we don't have any forensic evidence.
COOPER: None of that -- you know, there is a number of eyewitnesses that have come forward, we're going to review that tonight, but there is other witnesses who are going to be testifying who we have not heard from in the public sphere. So again, a lot we still don't know.
Van, thanks for being with us. Areva as well, Charles Blow. Thanks very much. We're going to continue to check in with you. We're on for two hours tonight.
Coming up next, how so many people who saw what happened to Michael Brown all could have seen little things different, something different. An expert on eyewitness testimony join us to talk about the sometimes big differences between what we see and what really happened.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: Yesterday I talked to an eyewitness who recounted what he said he saw in the minutes and seconds that left Michael Brown dead. Officer Darren Wilson under suspicion in the city of Ferguson in turmoil for nearly two weeks.
And again, I want to be clear, we do not know what happened. We don't have any forensic evidence out there and only a handful of eyewitnesses have come forward. There are a number of witnesses who have been interviewed, who have yet, too, come forward publicly, at least, most likely they will be testifying before the grand jury and may have spoken to FBI, as well.
Michael Brady, the man I talked to yesterday, became the latest in a string of people who said they were close enough to the deadly encounter to see -- to see it and at least parts of it and in all likelihood wish they hadn't seen it.
Michael Brady certainly does. He had in all their stories, one thing stands out. The not so simple fact that none of their stories precisely agrees with the others. They all differ somewhat, some ways large, some ways small. And these are only the narratives from people as I've said who's spoken publicly. There are likely many more, I want to repeat it, we have not heard from that investigators probably have.
Now you would think there is nothing more reliable or consistent than eyewitness testimony. The evidence, though, history says precisely opposite. In a moment you're going to hear from a leading expert in the field. But first, a small sampling of what some people have said they saw.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DORIAN JOHNSON, MICHAEL BROWN'S FRIEND: Me and my friend was walking down the street -- in the middle of the street.
PIAGET CRENSHAW, EYEWITNESS: I saw the initial screeching of tires.
JOHNSON: A police officer squad car pulled up, he said get the F on the sidewalk.
MICHAEL BRADY, EYEWITNESS: I see somebody at the Ferguson Police window, some kind of tussle going on there.
JOHNSON: He tried to thrush his door open but we were so close to it that it ricocheted off us and it bounced back to him.
TIFFANY MITCHELL, EYEWITNESS: It looked like the kid was pulling away and the officer is pulling him in.
JOHNSON: As he was trying to choke my friend and he was trying to get away.
I heard I'll shot.
MITCHELL: A shot was fired through the window.
BRADY: All of a sudden they just take off running, Mr. Brown, he just runs directly down in the middle of the street.
MITCHELL: The police get out of his vehicle and he follows behind him shooting.
JOHNSON: His weapon was already drawn when he got out the car.
BRADY: I see the officer gets out of the car, emerge and just immediately start shooting.
MITCHELL: The kid body jerked as if he was hit from behind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He put his arms up to let them know he was compliant.
JOHNSON: He turned around with his hands up beginning to tell the officer that he was unarmed.
MITCHELL: He turns around facing the cop and he put his hands in the air.
BRADY: And he was like half way down like he was going down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And they shot him twice more and he fell to the ground and died.
JOHNSON: The officer was firing several more shots into my friend and he hit the ground and died.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Michael Brady, for instance, said he didn't see Michael Brown's hands going up. He said he saw his hands around his waist. Michael Brady also said there was a tussle but he couldn't see exactly
what was going on in the car.
Joining us now is Gary Wells, he's a professor of psychology at Iowa State University. He's written extensively on what people think they see versus what really happened about eyewitness testimony. Also with us is criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos.
And Mark, I want to start with you because one of the young men in that piece, Dorian Johnson, who was with Mike Brown when he was shot and he's given eyewitness testimony. We've learned today about a record that he has that he -- when -- or back in 2011, he was arrested for making a false report, giving a false name to police officers according to the Missouri court Web site he pleaded guilty.
We've reached out to his attorney obviously for comment. How much, if at all, could or should that incident impact his credibility in this case? Is that something that would be brought before a jury?
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's certainly something that if there is a case filed, the lawyer for the officer is going to try to impeach him with. And the argument is going to be is look, if he will give false information to an officer, that's a moral turpitude meaning bad character type of offense. And it's also relevant to this situation and that's also going to play into the video at the convenience store because they're going to say the argument is going to be by the -- by the lawyer for the officer that all of that stuff plays into whether or not you're getting a true account.
And that report that you just did shows exactly what happens in virtually every case that you try with eyewitnesses. Each eyewitness sees an event through whatever prism they are looking at and whatever their experience is. In this case it's compounded by the fact that there's so much media attention and with all of the media attention, everybody wants to kind of either consciously or subconsciously, they kind of skew their testimony and what they saw to fit in with kind of that pressure, whether it's implied or not.
And I think you're expert Gary will probably tell you that they've done studies on that and that's one of the things that makes --
COOPER: Let me bring --
GERAGOS: -- eyewitness testimony so infallible. Or I mean, fallible.
COOPER: Let me bring in Professor Wells.
Explain why it is you say that it is so fallible? Because when most people think well, look, I saw what I saw, I know what I saw, but is that how the mind really works?
GARY WELLS, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY: Well, no, it's not. There is a big problem with eyewitness reliability. You know, when witnesses are viewing some kind of event like this, they're not viewing it for the purpose of developing a clear memory. They are trying to figure out what's going on. There are a lot of things going on. It's very chaotic. They didn't know he was going to be shot. When that happens, now, then they are concerned about potentially their own safety. They are shocked by what they are seeing.
And you know, it's a very difficult situation for a witness. They are not -- they get the gist of what happened but they don't have necessarily the details.
COOPER: And Professor, I imagine that as time goes by that memory even morphs and changes so it's essential that, A, that there be forensic evidence in addition to eyewitness testimony but also that investigators talk to eyewitnesses as quickly as possible before people start to watch on television or talk to each other, correct?
WELLS: Well, that's exactly right. They need to be interviewed and interviewed carefully and well-documented. Those interviews should be videotaped as soon as possible because what happens is witnesses have gaps in their memories but as time goes by, they talk to other people. They watch accounts and they fill in those gaps. The brain doesn't like gaps in memory, so it wants to fill it in. Those -- that filling in process often uses inferences and deductions and other kinds of processes that are not necessarily very reliable.
COOPER: So people don't even realize they are filling in gaps of things they didn't see?
WELLS: No, it's very much below a level of awareness. It's just -- it's more of an automatic process that occurs. You know, we've -- there is nothing unusual here about the fact that these eyewitnesses, multiple eyewitnesses disagree. I mean, we've been creating events for unsuspecting people for many years now. We know that you take any given five people who all saw the same thing and they're going to have five different accounts.
The interesting thing is if you have an event, which is not uncommon and which is only one eyewitness, people tend to trust that eyewitness. After all, hey, we have an eyewitness. But when there are multiple witnesses and then you can see that they disagree. And then it becomes apparent that oh, there is a reliability problem with eyewitnesses.
GERAGOS: It's so -- that's so true, Anderson. It's so true. You take a look at -- it's been demonstrated in the last 10 or 15 years with all the DNA exonerations. They have done studies that show in all of these DNA exonerations, that the one almost overriding factor is that the jurors relied on eyewitness testimony because they thought it was direct evidence and that it's infallible and in fact in sometimes 75 percent or 80 percent of the cases it's dead wrong.
COOPER: Wow. That's amazing.
Professor Wells, appreciate you being on, Mark Geragos, as well. Thank you very much.
Coming up next, we're talking about this a moment ago. We're going to talk to the mayor of Ferguson who joins me here live. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: Welcome back. We are live in Ferguson. As night is slowly beginning to fall. The mayor of Ferguson has obviously been extraordinarily busy the last 10, 11 days. He got a lot of attention ordered this week when he made a statement saying that there is no racial divide in this community.
The mayor, James Knowles, joins me now. Thank you very much for being with us. Let me ask you about that statement. A lot of people I talk to here were surprised by it. You have a place force, which has 50 white officers, three African-American officers.
The community here is 67 percent African-American. How can there not be a disconnect or a divide?
MAYOR JAMES KNOWLES, FERGUSON, MISSOURI: I think there is clear differences between us. I mean, there is things that we continue to work on but we, in Ferguson, we've always try to work on shares values, these things, which brings us together.
Clearly, we've continued and we need to continue more, obviously to bring, you know, residents who feel that way, who feel disconnected into the fold --
COOPER: I heard you say, you don't believe any resident here believes there is a racial divide. I mean --
KNOWLES: And maybe that was too strong of a statement. I obviously wanted to impress upon people the majority of residents in Ferguson, you know, don't -- I don't believe felt that way.
COOPER: The majority of residents in Ferguson are African-American and they are being policed by a force, which does not represent them in terms of race, I'm not saying race is the only criteria here --
KNOWLES: You're kind of making it the only criteria.
COOPER: Any company in America has diversity programs. Have you guys not heard of diversity programs? You have three African American officers and 50 white officers? Does that not make sense to you?
KNOWLES: We have a couple more than that, but we also have Hispanic officers and Asian officers.
COOPER: The force is 90 percent white.
KNOWLES: We have been over the past several years working towards increasing the diversity in our --
COOPER: It's not that hard to be to find African-Americans to be police officers. Ray Kelly looked at your statistics, the former commissioner of New York, and said I can't believe that there is a police force that doesn't represent the people.
KNOWLES: The biggest problem we have is we're a community police force. There is St. Louis City Police Department and St. Louis County Police Department, which all paid much more -- have more opportunities for advancement and most African-American officers will eventually want to go to those jobs.
COOPER: Have you made efforts --
KNOWLES: We've lost a lot of officers to that. We lost officers over the years to people, to departments who pay better, who have more opportunities for advancement.
COOPER: Not just your police force. You're a city council, what, five out of six members of the city council are white. Six out of seven members of the school board are white, again, in a community 67 percent African-American, do you not see that disconnect?
KNOWLES: There are other African-American leaders in our community. Our neighborhood associations are run by African-Americans --
COOPER: They don't have a vote on city council.
KNOWLES: They have a lot of influence as far as what the council members do. They are grass roots on the ground. They are the ones that we attend all the neighborhood associations week after week listening to these people.
When I walk into a room full of African-Americans, they tell me what they want and think. We've got to either go along with what they want or they will vote you out of office. They haven't voted us out of office --
COOPER: Voter the turnout in municipal elections are off --
KNOWLES: But municipal elections --
COOPER: In odd years so voter turnout --
COOPER: Well, you have national elections which has equal voter turnout, but during municipal elections in odd years. Voter turnout among African-Americans is low.
KNOWLES: Not true. I was just re-elected. It is a national election year. I was just re-elected unopposed. I was elected the first time in an odd year. We have three-year terms. I was just re-elected in a national election year. I don't buy that's the case.
African Americans, historically, have not had as much turnout in the elections in Ferguson and throughout Missouri, St. Louis area, we've seen an increasing number of African-Americans get involved in the local elections and in the primary elections and so --
COOPER: Just bottom line, you don't believe there is a racial divide here?
KNOWLES: There are -- COOPER: I'm not saying there is --
KNOWLES: There is obviously --
COOPER: People asked me to ask you this.
KNOWLES: There are obviously people who feel disconnected and we've got to reach out to them, no doubt.
COOPER: That is a priority for you?
KNOWLES: Absolutely always has been a priority. What I don't want people to get the picture about Ferguson is 22,000 residents here that, whatever, 11,000 feel this way and 11,000 feel that way because that is not the case.
COOPER: It's not so cut and dry.
KNOWLES: Right, that's not so cut and dry. So but there is clearly anybody who feels disaffected, we need to reach out. We always have and we got to reach out to the residents over here better.
COOPER: Mayor Knowles, appreciate your time. Thank you very much. I know you've been busy. Thank you.
I want to take a look right now live, a memorial, pictures of the memorial scene where Mike Brown was shot, it's about three blocks from our location. All throughout the day people have come. You see some fresh flowers that have been laid there, balloons.
But there is actually two memorials very close together in the location where Mike Brown was shot and killed and people are coming, leaving teddy bears, writing inscriptions, leaving books, that is the community where all of this began.
I'm joined by Pastor Robert White, who we have talked to over the last several -- will you tell me again the name on your church because it's the greatest name, Peace of Mind.
PASTOR ROBERT WHITE, PEACE OF MIND CHURCH OF HAPPINESS: Church of Happiness.
COOPER: Church of Happiness. All right, I love that. The mayor, I don't know if you could hear what he was saying, but he had previously said there is no racial divide here that they want to have more African-American officers.
But they have a problem trying to reach out to pay as much as St. Louis County does. Do you believe they are really, A, that there is no racial divide and the government, local government has really made an effort to reach out?
WHITE: I don't believe they have. I'm not a local resident, but I read those statistics and talked to the mayor about it and he's giving me the same answers and I'm just as baffled to hear him repeat them together, which is why we gathered together in this process to make sure this doesn't happen again. We need folks on the school board. Folks on the mayor commission and police force.
COOPER: There is a voter registration booth that's been open today over there and it seems like people want to try to get or receive that message here.
WHITE: That's not been the problem. The problem is not getting folks to register. The problem is getting them to come out. What we've done, clergy united, on voter, on Election Day instead of just sitting back and watching the polls, we'll have vans out knocking on doors, communicating with the neighbors, get out to vote. We'll take you there.
COOPER: Would it make a difference if there were more -- would people feel more connected to their police force, African-Americans in this community and in other communities if the police force looked more like the community?
WHITE: It's been proven across the country when you have officers that reflect the people they serve and there is a connection, we had the young man get shot down in St. Louis City. That means there was no relation where everyone in the neighborhood knew this young man had a situation, a problem.
When the officer shows up, he had no connection to the community so he shot this kid. If he had a connection to the community, he could say that's Anderson with a mental issue. I won't use excessive force.
COOPER: I also don't want to paint everybody with a broad brush. There are white police officers, who are in this community and know everybody's name and it's not black and white always.
But it is strange to me when I read those statistics that most corporations in America, you know, are striving to diversity. If you have a corporation where there were 50 employees and three of them were white and I mean, that's a 90 percent are white, that's not a great statistic.
WHITE: That's where I'll take the blame that we should take the blame and anger and protest we're having out here and take that energy and push ourselves to practice what we're asking them to do. We can demand it or we can go and change it ourselves.
We can put our persons on the ballots. We can put our persons through the proper school and training so that they can qualify as police officers and make the demand on them. There is this anger, this protest, this situation around Mike Brown.
Then let's make a change instead of blaming everybody else, let's go to the polls and put people on the school boards and get involved ourselves and then we won't have to worry about them to do it.
COOPER: Thank you very much.
Coming up, a crucial -- by the way, we saw two tactical vehicles around the same time moving into position. The scene is drastically different than previous days. The number of people has gradually grown since we've been on the air, maybe the last hour, hour and a half as people get off work and tempers cool down, people come out.
You don't see the large groups of people moving around protesting with signs. A crucial element of piecing together the puzzle of what happened when Police Officer Darrin Wilson killed Michael Brown.
It will be ballistics evidence because I said time and time again, we do not know what happened in those fateful minutes and seconds when Mike Brown was shot, we don't know what the forensic evidence is, but we'll take a closer look at the importance of it next.
COOPER: We learned this week that a private autopsy that the Brown family showed that Michael Brown had been shot at least six times. That piece of information is really just the beginning of the story when it comes to evidence that can actually be gleaned from the gun and the findings of a bullet.
Susan Candiotti tonight reports.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): How many times did Officer Darren Wilson pull the trigger before unarmed teenager Michael Brown collapsed in the street? Police aren't saying.
Why does the number of bullets matter? it may be key to solving the case.
DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable. That's why we need to look at the physical evidence -- the gun itself, the shell casings. All of this will help us establish fact.
CANDIOTTI: The teen's family says Brown was hit at least six times, including a fatal shot to his head. But was at least one other bullet flying?
TIFFANY MITCHELL, EYEWITNESS: They shot my neighbor's building that was on the opposite side of the police car, and they then later came and removed that bullet.
CANDIOTTI: Here's the hole on the side of an apartment building facing the street where Brown was gunned down.
(on camera): Why is this significant?
KOBILINSKY: Well, we know six bullets hit Mr. Brown. We know that only three bullets were recovered from the body. So we have a question about where the other bullets are.
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Did that bullet lodged in the wall come from Wilson's gun? Ballistics expert Sal Bertocci -- SAL BERTOCCI, RETIRED NYPD BALLISTICS EXPERT: It could have missed him completely. It could have been went through flesh and got deflected into the building.
CANDIOTTI: This is a Sig Sauer semi-automatic gun similar to the one used by Officer Wilson, except it's a .9 mm compared to Wilson's .40 caliber.
.40 bullets spread and can cause more damage to its target. Michael Brady tells Anderson Cooper he first saw Brown and his friend running away from the officer after a struggle.
MICHAEL BRADY, EYEWITNESS: He's balled up, he have his stomach like under his stomach, and he was like halfway down, like he was going down. And the officer lets out about three or four shots at him.
CANDIOTTI: Forensic expert Kobilinsky says that could explain the bullet wound to the top of Brown's head.
KOBILINSKY: If you follow the trajectory of the bullet, that tells us that the head, Mr. Brown's head, was facing downward. Let me demonstrate -- like that. The explanation may be that he was falling.
CANDIOTTI: If Brown was falling, why would Officer Wilson keep shooting? His friend offers this.
"JOSIE", FRIEND OF OFFICER WILSON: He stands up and yells, "Freeze!" Michael and his friend turn around, and Michael starts taunting him, "Oh, what are you going to do about it?" You know, "You're not going to shoot me." And then he said all of a sudden he started to bum rush at him; he just started coming at him full speed and so he just started shoo shooting.
CANDIOTTI: Diverging opinions, three autopsies, bullets to explain. And a grand jury deciding whether to file charges.
Susan Candiotti, CNN, New York.
RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: I'm Randi Kaye in New York. We'll have much more from Anderson in Ferguson, Missouri right after this.
COOPER: Welcome back. Before the break, you heard Susan Candiotti's report on the vital role of forensic science in this case.
Joining me now is former police officer, David Klinger, who is an associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri St. Louis.
He is also the author of the book "Into The Kill Zone, A Cop's Eye View of Deadly Force." It's really fascinating, you know, there is so much focus because we heard from several eyewitnesses, but we've been reporting how unreliable eyewitness testimony is.
This really will boil down to and is essential for prosecutors and everybody to learn is the forensic evidence here and that we simply do not know anything about.
DAVID KLINGER, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI ST. LOUIS: Absolutely. I think that the shot that proceeded my appearance when you had the medical examiner or the ballistics expert talking about that, he's spot on in terms of it could mean this and that.
The other gentleman talking about the bullet path, was that a round that passed through Mr. Brown's body or was that a stray round as we call it. It didn't hit anything? It is important to know how many rounds the officer fired --
COOPER: And we don't know that.
KLINGER: Correct. Because hypothetically, let's say for sake of argument, that all the rounds that struck Mr. Brown's body were fired at the appropriate time when the officer had a reasonable apprehension that his life was in jeopardy, but he fired additional rounds where it was inappropriate.
That could still be the basis for some type of prosecution. Another thing that I don't think anybody has touched on is there is probably some other evidence that will come in in terms of trace evidence.
There has been an argument that I've heard that there was some type of physical altercation between the two. If that is so, there should be --
COOPER: Pretty much all the eyewitness have said that.
KLINGER: Right, if that's true, there should be trace evidence in the form of fibers from the officer's uniform on to Mr. Brown's clothing and vice versa as well as other things. The argument about perhaps there was an attempt to take the gun away, there may be touch DNA from Mr. Brown's hands on the officer's weapon.
COOPER: There are conflicting reports whether a shot was fired inside the vehicle.
COOPER: And the second autopsy was not given -- the clothing was not given the vehicle to examine, no eyewitnesses. So again, a lot we don't know in terms of forensics. I've been getting a lot of tweets from viewers who are saying it seems like we are focussing too much on the eyewitnesses that support the case against this officer.
And I want to make clear, you know, the officer himself has not said anything. The police force has not said anything. They have not released forensic evidence. Much of the evidence that may bolster his case or not is simply not known and that is normal in a police investigation, is it not? KLINGER: Absolutely. What I've been saying from the beginning, it will take time. We have to wait for all the evidence to be collected, for the autopsy to be conducted. Now we have that behind us, but there is still probably some toxicology that needs to be done in terms of processing clothing.
There is steps the crime lab has to do so on and so forth, and all this stuff takes time to be done and then you have to integrate it into the report. So once that is done, then they will be able to have some sense of what all the physical evidence together suggests about what might have happened.
COOPER: We learned yesterday it may not be until October what the grand jury has decided and that evidence, which is presented in the grand jury ultimately will be known. Professor, appreciate you being with us. Thanks very much.
KLINGER: Thanks for having me.
COOPER: A lot more happening tonight, Randi Kaye has a 360 Bulletin -- Randi.
KAYE: Anderson, the ISIS terrorists who beheaded American journalist, James Foley demanded more than $132 million in ransom for his release. That's according to the online news outlet where Foley worked as a freelance. The head of "Global Post" said, they didn't take the demand seriously because it was so excessive.
The GAO said the prisoner swap the that freed Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl from his Taliban captors in May was illegal because the Pentagon did not give Congress at least 30 days' notice. Republican lawmakers asked for the ruling, which was released today.
Dr. Kent Brantly is now an Ebola survivor. Today, he left the Atlanta hospital where he was treated after contracting the virus in Liberia. He and another American, Nancy Writebol fell ill while working to contain the outbreak in West Africa. Writebol was discharged Tuesday also with a clean bill of health. Amazing recovery -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, just incredible. I'm so happy for their families.
Still ahead, Randi, in our second live hour of 360, more of my in- depth interview with Michael Brown's parents, how they are remembering their son and how they feel about what is happening here on the streets of Ferguson.
(BEGIN VIDE O
MICHAEL BROWN SENIOR, FATHER OF MICHAEL BROWN JR.: This is not helping, it's not helping our boy. It's doing nothing but, you know, causing more pain plus it's shaming his name. I just need them, if they are not for the cause, they need to just, just go back to your regular life. Go back home to your family. Hug your son, hug your daughter. Love your loved ones.
(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)