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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Harrison Ford Hospitalized After Plane Crashes On Golf Course; AG Holder Says He Will Not Rule Out Dismantling Ferguson's Police Department; Justice Department To File Corruption Charges Against Sen. Robert Menendez Of New Jersey; Flying on Biplane; Police Shooting on Busy Street; ISIS Destroying Ancient Sites in Iraq
Aired March 6, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Hey, good evening. Thanks for joining us.
We begin with breaking news involving one of the most influential lawmakers in Washington. A leading voice on Iran and Cuba and New Jersey Democratic senator Robert Menendez.
Earlier today, CNN was first reported of the justice department plans to file corruption charges against him. Just moments ago, Senator Menendez stepped up to the microphone and said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: I am not going anywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That of course wasn't all he said in his brief remarks nor all is it all we are likely to hear in the coming days about the allegations against him.
Joining us with more both tonight, chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash.
So Senator Menendez clearly denying any wrongdoing in the press conference. What else did he have to say?
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He talked about the relationship with the donor at hand. His name is Salman Melgan. And basically making clear that he has a very close relationship and friendship with him, but he did nothing wrong. Listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MENENDEZ: Let me be very clear. Very clear. I have always conducted myself appropriately and in accordance with the law. Every action that I and my office have taken for the last 23 years that I have been privileged to be in the United States Congress has been based on pursuing the best policies for the people of New Jersey and of the entire country. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Now, I should say that the senator didn't take any questions, Anderson, because he said he couldn't answer because it is an ongoing inquiry.
COOPER: The corruption charges, I mean, they've been brewing for years though, haven't they?
BASH: For years. And that's part of what Evan Perez got from his sources that were learning about this now. Some of them are running up against the statute of limitations. And that's why he was told that this was going to potentially come in a matter of weeks.
But it is actually interesting when you look at the timing. Senator Menendez has been in the news big time lately because he is perhaps the chief thorn in the White House's side of some pretty big international issues. He, of course, is the top Democrat. Should be their ally on international issues. Top of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But said they're dead wrong on Cuban policy. He, of course, is a Cuban-American, says that they are wrong on pursuing negotiations with Iran. So he is a very aggressive and outspoken on that on a policy side. Even as today, he is defending himself against that same administration, clearly, pursuing criminal charges.
COOPER: And do we know when they're expected to file formal charges?
BASH: We don't. According to Evan Perez's sources, they say in the next coming weeks. And we should also underscore what we're talking about here are allegations that vary from the fact that he allegedly helped his friend and donor trying to get rid of some charges of overbilling. He's a doctor overbilling for Medicare payments, also tried to allegedly help this friend secure some business deals and Dominican Republic. And we also know that in the past, he, Senator Menendez, has had to pay back almost 60,000 in plane trips that he took to the Dominican Republic with this Dr. Salman Melgan. Things that he said that was an oversight, that he didn't realized that he took this trip which he shouldn't have done without paying his own way.
COOPER: All right, Dana. Appreciate the update. Dana Bash, thank you.
Now to Ferguson, late today, Attorney General Eric Holder said that he wouldn't rule out dismantling the city's police department in light of what justice department investigators uncovered. From the racist emails, the schemes were essentially shaking down citizens disproportionately, African-Americans citizens, according to justice department through fines and tickets and harassment, the report confirms nearly every complaint protesters made against the department itself except concerning this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hands up. Don't shoot. Hands up. Don't shoot. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: As you know, Hands Up Don't Shoot became the rallying cry in the wake of Michael Brown shooting. Protesters chanted on Ferguson streets. They shouted in New York and the cities big and small across the country. A number of CNN commentators sympathized with protesters along the lines. Professional athletes sparked controversy with the phrase "Members of the St. Louis Rams takes the field with their hands up, echoing what many believed Michael Brown did, that he had his hands up and was surrendering when Darren Wilson shot. And many believed that. Many still do. Justice department of investigators though, they do not.
More on that now from Sara Sidner.
SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What really happened the final moments of Michael Brown's life? The justice department investigation makes it clear. The evidence does not support the mantra still being used by some protesters.
CROWD: Don't shoot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hands up.
CROWD: Don't shoot.
SIDNER: Instead, the department of justice found that is quote "inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence. And in some cases, witnesses have acknowledged their initial accounts were untrue or witness accounts were not credible. Including the witness closest to Brown when it happened. Brown's friend, Dorian Johnson, whose words helped spark the mantra.
DORIAN JOHNSON, MICHAEL BROWN'S FRIEND: His weapon was already drawn when he got out of the car. He was shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he put his hands in the air and he started to get down, but the officer still approach him with his weapons drawn and he fired seven more shots.
SIDNER: Attorney general Eric Holder supported the investigator's findings.
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I recognize that the findings in our report may leave some to wonder how the department's findings can differ so sharply. From some of the initial widely reported accounts of what transpired. America's justice system has always rested on its ability to deliver impartial results and precisely these types of difficult circumstances.
SIDNER: Despite the evidence laid out by the department of justice that Michael Brown's hands were not up when officer Wilson shot and killed him, the Hands Up Don't Shoot movement lives.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know for a fact that he's dead. Whether his hands were up or not, he's not here and he didn't have a weapon.
SIDNER: The argument is if he wasn't surrendering, there's a justification, which is what the DOJ and the grand jury found.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me, that's a repetitive tactic that's been used against black males when dealing with the police for the (INAUDIBLE). You can root back to slavery with that tactic where you kind of, you have to find a way to villainies the victim.
SIDNER: But the attorney for Michael Brown's family points to witnesses in the same DOJ report who say Brown's hands were up briefly.
DARRYL PARKS, BROWN'S FAMILY ATTORNEY: There's a difference between hands over your head and hands up. And so, that's one clear distinction that we've seen already if we have reviewed report.
SIDNER: The head of the St. Louis police union said the refusal to believe all the details in the investigation is an example of why the community and police can't see eye to eye. The golf of distress is wide as it's ever been.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not completely surprising, you know. It's become so engrained in these protests and the minds of people who believe that something happened on August 9th that didn't.
SIDNER: Just today, a group of Ferguson protesters traveling to Selma still chanting the same mantra. But we noticed one difference. This time, their signs read "we can't stop now."
Sara Sidner, CNN, Ferguson, Missouri.
COOPER: President Obama weighed in today on Ferguson expressing his complete confidence in the justice department decision not to bring charges against officer Wilson. The president also said that DOJ report revealed a broken and racially biased system in Ferguson, policing that he called quote "oppressive and abusive." He spoke today in Columbia, South Carolina, on his way to Selma, Alabama to mark the 50th anniversary of bloody Sunday when police savagely beat civil rights marches at Selma's Edmund Pettus bridge.
Now joining us now from Birmingham, Alabama CNN political commentator and former special advisor to President Obama, Van Jones. With us as well, you saw him briefly in Sara Sidner's report, Jeff Florida of the St. Louis Police Officers Association.
Van, the fact that the justice department report said the narrative that Michael Brown had his hands up wasn't accurate. That Hands up, don't shoot, that chant that we heard constantly from all evidence, that was not true. That did not happen. Isn't it important to acknowledge that?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, listen. I think it's important to acknowledge some things are possible and some things are provable. It is certainly not provable that Mike Brown had his hands up. And I think it's important for people who care about facts to be willing to talk about that in a straightforward manner.
We'll never know what happened. Something strange happened. You did have that video of those construction workers who were white and watching. They put their hands up after the shooting and said something happened that was wrong.
But much more importantly, this thing was about Mike Brown for about two weeks. After that, it became a cry of a generation that feels that it is criminalized and guilty until it's proven innocent rather than innocent until proven guilty all too often. And so it became a rallying cry for a generation of people trying to say, look, we can't be innocent. Just because we have black skin, doesn't mean you should assume that we are guilty. Ninety percent of all African-Americans are not involved in crimes as victims or as perpetrators.
And so, I think it was a generational cry that we can be innocent. But I do think we have to deal with the facts. In this case, the facts don't bear out what many people fear.
COOPER: Jeff, I mean, this report paints a terrible picture of the Ferguson police department and the justice system there. Black people make up 67 percent of the population. Overwhelmingly, the white police force there, under pressure to come up with revenue seem to treat black people more harshly.
Black drivers subject to 85 percent of vehicle stops and 90 percent of citations you have given to black people, 93 percent of those arrested are black. Black drivers, twice as likely as whites to be searched during a traffic stop and yet 26 percent less likely to be found in possession of contraband and like 95 percent of tickets from minor things like jaywalking are given to black people. Are black people just -- do they just jaywalk more than white people in Ferguson, Missouri?
JEFF FLORIDA, ST. LOUIS POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION: Well, first of all, Anderson, Van wouldn't be saying we will never know what happened if the justice department would have found that Darren was guilty. He would have taken that as being credible and that's the problem. The protesters are unwilling to square up the story that they believe to have happened with the forensic and testimonial and --
COOPER: Right. We just acknowledged that was wrong. That is not, there's no evidence that that occurred, the justice department has said that, but they do paint an alarming picture of what's going on in Ferguson. How do you explain the overwhelming representation of black people in the criminal justice system in Ferguson? The overwhelmingly white police force, you know, focuses on black people far more than white citizens.
FLORIDA: Well, the justice department report said that. The attorney general couldn't bring himself to say that. Instead, we got a justice department read where Darren Wilson was innocent of the charges against him. It was wrapped up in a flimsy tortilla of accusations of racial bias by the Ferguson police department. JONES: Wait, hold on.
FLORIDA: Let me be on the news one night and be right about it.
COOPER: OK, Jeff. Van, stop.
Jeff, you said these are flimsy allegations. Let's not turn this into a fight against Van and what he said. I'm asking you now, this is the third time I've asked you about the statistics and you're talking about burritos and nachos. I mean, how is this flimsy allegations? You've got racist emails.
COOPER: And you've got these statistics which are certainly alarming.
FLORIDA: Let's put it in context, Anderson. So Ferguson is a city that's integrated. Sixty seven percent black, 33 percent white. But it's an island of integration and a very segregated portion of St. Louis county where the entire region together has a population of 85 percent African-American. Those are people that are working and shopping and driving through Ferguson and that's what you would expect as far as police encounters.
COOPER: Wait. You're saying because more black people come to Ferguson than the 67 percent of residents?
COOPER: A, how do you know that, what statistics do you have on that? And also, why then, if even once they're in the criminal justice system, why do black people overwhelmingly not have their charges dismissed?
FLORIDA: Well, Ferguson's courts are a problem. There's absolutely no doubt that this report unearthed some problems with Ferguson's court.
COOPER: OK. So you admit the courts are a problem, but you're saying there's no problem with the police?
FLORIDA: I'm not saying that. We found some disturbing things in this report.
COOPER: What disturbs you?
FLORIDA: Ferguson is already moving to address some of those things.
COOPER: Well, how are they moving? The police chief has been, you know, running and hiding, running away. How are they actually addressing these things?
FLORIDA: The mayor, the day that he found out about the emails, he suspended two officers and fired a third employee that were involved. All three of the people that are culpable for these emails have been disciplined already.
COOPER: But Jeff, come on. You know this is not just about three people sending emails. I mean, yes, those emails are racist and incredibly disturbing. They were sent to supervisors and circulated. But if they feel free to send emails, you know, calling the president a chimpanzee and, you know, making all these comments about black people, what else is going on here? I mean, come on. You know it's not just about emails.
FLORIDA: Well, that's the question. So what else is going on? But that's not answered by the justice department report.
COOPER: Actually, but it is.
FLORIDA: They just reached the conclusion.
COOPER: No. But it is answered by the justice department report. And it seems what is going on is desperate for cash, there were all these emails from city officials desperate for cash in Ferguson telling the police, you know, basically compete to see how many citations you can give in a single traffic stop. So, if you're stopping black folks overwhelmingly and you're just trying to find as many possible citations. And once they're in the criminal justice system, they're 68 percent less likely to have their cases dismissed.
I just want to read this. Between 2012 and 2014, black drivers twice as likely as white drivers to be searched during traffic stops and yet 26 percent less likely to be found in possession of contraband. That's just -- that knowing that wrong, is just bad policing.
FLORIDA: The search rates are wrong. They are absolutely wrong. The search rates are a problem. That should be addressed. And I think Ferguson is moving to address that. But this problem that we have with these profiteering municipal courts in Missouri is not just a problem with black communities. We've got it all over the state. There's a law called the Mex creek law, advancing to the Missouri legislature. Named after a white town in outstate, Missouri and a paternal order police supports that bill. It cracks down on this.
COOPER: But Jeff and Van, I want you to allow you to comment here. It seems to me in reading these emails, when white police officers or supervisors or the mayor in town, when they get a traffic stop, you know what? They send an email and their traffic tickets disappear and it's, no one talks about like, a failure of personal responsibility on the part of police supervisors in Ferguson, Missouri. They get their tickets expunged where if you're a black person, 68 percent less likely to have your case dismissed.
Van, I mean, is this just a problem of a few officers sending emails?
JONES: No, it doesn't seem like it. And part of the problem is that some of the local law enforcement just never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. This is a real moment where local law enforcement could come forward and say they are appalled. They could say this is not acceptable. They could say not only the person that sent the email but the people who got the emails laughed didn't report it. All those people should not be part of law enforcement.
My dad was a cop in the military. One of my favorite uncles just resigned from the members of the police force -- retired with honor. This is a horrible thing. But you're not hearing that from local law enforcement and that is a big part of the problem. You know why there's distrust? There's more interest in jumping on what the protesters said than what law enforcement did and is doing and that's a problem.
COOPER: Jeff, I want to give you the final word here. But I just got to come back to again, no matter how many black people come to visit Ferguson, Missouri, if 95 percent of those who are cited for jaywalking are African-American, you can't tell me that white people don't jaywalk as much as black people. They just get the benefit of the doubt. They have the white police officer say, you know what? Get off the street, don't jaywalk. I'm not going to cite you. If you're black, it seems like in Ferguson, according to these stats, you're more likely to get cited, fined issue once you're in the court system, it just has a ripple effect from there.
FLORIDA: But that's not what people were in the streets saying, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, that's what I'm saying to you tonight and can you answer that question.
FLORIDA: Yes. So we did. We unearthed some problems with Ferguson PD and the court.
COOPER: Actually, it was the justice department. It doesn't sound like a lot of people in the Ferguson department, I mean, the chief has yet to comment publicly. I mean, the mayor, the poor mayor, who, by the way, gets paid, what a couple hundred bucks, as a part-time position, he's the one in front of the camera. The chief is running away like a cockroach.
FLORIDA: I don't know what that's all about, Anderson. I really don't.
All right, Jeff, listen, I appreciate you being on. It is (INAUDIBLE). Thank you Jeff Florida, Van Jones as well.
JONES: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Just ahead, protest over a different deadly police shooting. Officers firing 17 shots in this case. The question is did anything the dead man do really justify what happened? We'll show you. You can decide for yours.
Coming up next, we also update you on Harrison Ford's condition after the emergency landing he made on that golf course. We'll take you into the cockpit with him.
Also, Gary Tuchman takes us for a flight in the old time open cockpits airplane from the same error the one Harrison Ford was and things went wrong.
COOPER: Harrison Ford continues to recover tonight. Battered but OK is the word after making the emergency landing on the gulf coast yesterday. His World War II vintage orion PT 22 is off to Fairway had moved to an undisclosed airport when investigators giving a close attention.
Kyung Lah joins us now. She is at Santa Monica municipal airport, home base for the aircraft and the actor as well.
The plane was moved. What happens now?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the NTSB tells us that they basically disassembled the plane. We actually watched and take the wings off and move the plane itself. And then they'll examine at the engine. The aircraft look at the reports. They say they won't issue a report, a full report, Anderson, for another year.
COOPER: And what's the latest on Harrison Ford condition, do we know?
LAH: Well, what we do know is that he's still in the hospital tonight. UCLA medical center being very cautious about releasing any of those details. We do know, though, from the police department and the fire department that he was injured. He had head trauma. He was bleeding. Witnesses tell us that he was though able to communicate with them on the golf course, Anderson.
COOPER: And you actually spoke with someone who helped pull him from the plane.
LAH: Yes. And something we've been chatting about is how lucky Harrison Ford was. The person who helped pulled him from the plane was on the seventh hole, a spinal surgeon. He ran up to the plane. He smelled fuel. He was worried the plane was going to explode. Here's what he told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's moaning and in distress. And I wanted to make sure he was OK, so I verbalized to him and try to get a response. And I'm not sure if I got an exact response, but I tried to stabilize his neck and get a look at him, and see his general condition. And with the help of a bunch of volunteers that were golfing, we assembled a group of people that were able to safely get him out of the airplane.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: A lot of good Samaritans helped out Harrison Ford yesterday and certainly that doctor did as well, Anderson. The doctor's job to save lives. That basic instinct certainly kicked off.
COOPER: Yes. Kyung Lah, thanks very much. Hearing the recording at Harrison Ford talking to tower just before
impact, our Miles O'Brien himself a pilot, had high phrase for just how cool Harrison Ford was in a very tight situation. When you look at the amount of piloting that Mr. Ford has done in challenging aircraft in stressful conditions, you can clearly see why.
More now from Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Stranded at the top of Wyoming's table mountain. It was July 2000. Then 22-year-old Megan Freeman and her friend were in desperate need of help. Six miles into the hike, and her friend was nauseous and unable to walk any further. Another hiker called 9-1-1 for life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was picked up by the black helicopter and it turns out that the pilot was Harrison Ford.
KAYE: The Harrison Ford. He flew her friend to the hospital while Megan hiked down the mountain. She hadn't recognized Ford who was wearing a t-shirt and a baseball hat.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The paramedics were the ones who told us, it was Harry Ford that picked them up which I thought was funny. They had known him well to be on a first name basis like that with him.
KAYE: A year after that rescue, Ford helped save this 13-year-old boy scout lost in yellow Stone National Park. Ford's Wyoming ranch is nearby so he joined the search on his helicopter. It was Ford who spotted the boy, Cody Crossing after spending the night in the wilderness.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said to Cody, well, I guess you earned a merit badge for this one and then Cody said, I earned that merit badge last summer.
KAYE: Cody didn't get an autograph but he did get a hug and handshake from the real life action hero.
Harrison Ford didn't get his pilot's license until he was 54. He is taking flying lessons when he was younger back in college, about 1962, but didn't have the money then to keep flying. Later after his career took off, he had the pilot of his private jet teach him how to fly.
HARRISON FORD, ACTOR: Up here, I don't think about much except flying. What my duties or responsibilities are. (INAUDIBLE). That's very restful for me.
KAYE: It keeps him busy too. Ford regularly flies humanitarian missions. After the earthquake in Haiti, the actor delivered volunteers, including surgeons, plus medical supplies. He also posed for pictures with some of the injured.
Ford volunteers for corporate angel network flights too, ferrying young cancer patients to hospital for treatments. FORD: I'm Harrison Ford, honorary chairman of the citation special
Olympics airlift (ph).
KAYE: He's been known to leave the movie set to fly athletes to special Olympics games. But his flying career had hardly been perfect. Long before this most recent scare, back in 1999, he crashed his helicopter north of L.A. And in 2000, wind shear forced him to land in Nebraska. Still, this lover of aviation likely won't be grounded anytime soon.
FORD: That is beautiful, 8,500 feet over Briley, Idaho. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.
KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: He clearly loves flying.
Just ahead, what it's like to be in an open cockpit plane and the challenges the pilot faces. Gary Tuchman got that firsthand.
COOPER: Well, as we've been reporting after Harrison Ford is hospitalized after the single-engine plane he was piloting crashed. He's a very experienced pilot who managed to land on the Southern California golf course after the plane's engine failed. It could have been much, much worse. Gary Tuchman got a firsthand look at what it's like to be in an open cockpit plane from the same area as the one that Ford was flying.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An open cockpit, Vintage aircraft, the vintage, 1935. The pilot is in the back. I am in the front.
MATT WHORTON, PILOT, BIPLANE RIDES OVER ATLANTA: Here we go.
TUCHMAN (on camera): What's our altitude right now?
WHORTON: 1,500 feet above the ground.
TUCHMAN: Tell me why you like flying in a plane like this.
WHORTON: I just like to be able to feel the breeze go through my hair and no obstructions when you're looking out.
TUCHMAN (voice over): The pilot is networking. He works for a company called Biplane Rides over Atlanta and flying over Atlanta and its skyline is what we are doing on this trip. He tells me something that may sound surprising. That flying this kind of plane is not much different than flying a brand new plane that has its top. But ...
(on camera): Why are you flying the plane ... WHORTON: No, we are flying the plane for the back. Just put the weight. It's all about whether weight is distributed throughout the airplane.
TUCHMAN (voice over): And the weight is distributed differently because there's no wheel under the nose. It's under the tail. Which is similar to what some close cockpit planes have too.
WHORTON: We did about 85 miles an hour.
TUCHMAN: And then we ask the question so many are wondering.
(on camera): Safe - conventional plane?
WHORTON: Of course, it is. It's the weather safe plane.
TUCHMAN: So what people see and think that you - when you fly something like this, what's your response to them?
WHORTON: That's the part (INAUDIBLE). I wouldn't jump in this thing if it wasn't safe.
TUCHMAN (voice over): The people at this company have been flying these planes for 23 years. Never an accident, they say. Nevertheless, potential passengers are always wondering if they have enough courage to fly in such a plane. Their answer?
WHORTON: There's nothing to be scared of. This is just like riding in a car or convertible. And you'll be able to see sights that you'll never see there.
TUCHMAN: We are coming for a landing after a tour of Atlanta. You certainly need a coat on a brisk day but the un-obstructive view makes it clear why pilots like Harrison Ford like this kind of flying so much.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: It does look like fun. There's a lot more happening tonight. Randi Kaye is back with a "360" news and business bulletin. Randi?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the Obama administration is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. In the friend of the court brief, the U.S. Solicitor General said the ban sends a message that same-sex couples and their children are second-class families.
The Dow shed 279 points today, that's even after it was announced that the unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent, it's the lowest rate in seven years. That sparked fears that the Fed will raise interest rates soon leading to the selloff on Wall Street.
And TSA agents at New York's LaGuardia Airport got a surprise, Anderson, when they found a stowaway Chihuahua in the checked luggage. It seems the tiny pooch snuck into his owner's suitcase without her knowing, and thankfully, that pooch survived. It turns out it was a wannabe stow away, Anderson. It's an actually get on the plane. The woman's husband had to come and pick up the dog at the airport.
COOPER: It got into her luggage?
KAYE: While she was packing.
COOPER: That's crazy.
KAYE: So cute.
COOPER: I'm not sure I buy that, but we'll see.
KAYE: We'll go with it. We'll go with it for now.
COOPER: All right, Randi, thanks very much.
Up next, deadly force - the police shooting of an unarmed man caught on camera. The question, was it excessive forced? We'll let you decide ahead.
COOPER: Another case of deadly force by police and growing outrage. This time, in Pasco, Washington. The victim, an unarmed Mexican immigrant, an unemployed orchard worker. He was throwing rocks. Police fired 17 bullets, about six of them hit him. And just like in Ferguson and New York, protesters are filling the streets of Pasco. The calls for justice as far away as Mexico. And the questions of excessive force. Now, the deadly encounter, it was caught on video. Rosa Flores reports from Pasco.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The final moments of Antonio Zambrano-Montes's life went viral. Showing a chaotic foot chase by Pasco Washington police and what investigators believe are 17 gunshots fired at an unarmed man.
MARTHA ZAMBRANO, AUNT OF VICTIM: (speaking Spanish)
FLORES: Zambrano-Montes's aunt overcome by emotion, telling me she and her nephew left the same small Mexican village in search of the American dream.
And now she says, he's returning home in a coffin. Antonio Zambrano- Montes was a husband and a father of two who investigators say was throwing rocks at cars on a busy street leading police to respond first verbally and then with a stun gun and then police say he started throwing rocks at police as well. Including one the size of the softball. And this dramatic video shows clearly, he makes a run for it. Officers closely behind him. Investigators say three officers fired 17 shots. Five or six of them striking and killing the 35-year- old. Police say he didn't have a gun or a knife and haven't offered an explanation why they opened fire. SGT. KEN LATTIN, KENNEWICK, WASH. POLICE: We do know this from the preliminary autopsy report. There were no shots in the back.
FLORES: Strongly disagreeing with that statement?
CHARLES HERMAN, ATTORNEY: And the truth is there were two.
FLORES: Family attorney Charles Hermann.
HERMANN: In my opinion, they're saying that because they want to maintain that they didn't shoot him as he was running away.
FLORES: Hermann points to an independent autopsy report ordered by the family that shows Zambrano Montes was shot not five or six times, as police reported, but seven or eight times, including five or six times in the front and twice in the back of his body.
The shooting happened during rush hour with people and cars everywhere. And now, a memorial with the cross where he fell and look over here, bullet holes on the wall of this bakery.
A popular spot in town to bake bread and read the paper.
FELIX VARGAS, HISPANIC COMMUNITY LEADER: Just the miracle that no one was hit by the rounds other than Antonio.
FLORES: Felix Vargas, a Hispanic community leader says this is not a case of blatant racism.
VARGAS: This was just one case of bad cops showing the worst that can happen. They must face charges. They must go to trial. I don't think anyone in the community expects anything less.
FLORES: Zambrano-Montes's aunt says she checks the papers and watches more news than ever before, but no sign of justice yet. Only the memory of her nephew and what he leaves behind.
Anderson, Pasco police tight lipped about the use of deadly force. Their spokesperson telling me that the department doesn't plan to comment until the investigation is completed. Now, I've got to show you where the shooting happened because it's one of the busiest intersections in town. And that shooting actually started where you see that dirt parking lot. Zambrano-Montes ran across that street, up this sidewalk and fell where you see this small memorial with the cross. Now hear this. This is not the first time that there's an officer-involved shooting in this area. The prosecutor telling me that there's been at least four in the past six months. He also tells me that none of the law officers have been charged. Anderson?
COOPER: Thanks very much. Enrique Acevedo has been writing about this for "Fusion," where he's a contributor, he's also an anchor at Univision. He joins us tonight from Miami. It's just going to be interesting to see what the police actually say because supporters of the police point to that video, in fact, and say, well, look, he turned around. It looked like he may have had something in his hand. Perhaps that's why they shot. But we haven't really heard from police an explanation.
But you've been writing about this and given the fact that there is the video, are you surprised that there hasn't been more coverage of this, more outrage about this nationally?
ENRIQUE ACEVEDO, ANCHOR, UNIVISION NEWS: Well, you know, there's no question that minorities are disproportionately targeted by police brutality, Anderson, but undocumented immigrants are even more victims, because they can't speak up. They're just too afraid to confront police because of the possibility of being deported. So I'm not surprised that this hasn't gotten as much coverage and there's no public outrage about not only the killing of Antonio Zambrano, but over the course of the last three weeks, the killing of three unarmed Mexican immigrants in three separate incidents. One in Pasco, Washington, the other in Grapevine, Texas, and the last one just last week in Santana, California.
COOPER: You don't think it's that people maybe just don't believe that this was not an unjustified shooting, you think it's the people are scared to speak up?
ACEVEDO: I think most of the people in the community, Latinos are scared to speak out because of the possibility of the deportations, but also those who are not illegal, the majority of Hispanics in this country. There are - 2 million Hispanics living in the U.S. The vast majority are U.S. citizens and they are not speaking out, not only because of the fear of deportation, because they are citizens, but because of the lack of leadership, I think, in a way, from community leaders and also community organizations and our leaders in Congress. There hasn't been any statement from Hispanic senators, Latino Senators like Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz or Bob Menendez in the Senate, for example.
COOPER: It's interesting, you know. We talked to - in the wake of the Ferguson shootings and others about, I've talked with a lot of African-American guests about what they say to their kids and about concerns that parents pass down to their kids about how to interact with the police. Do you find, do you hear those conversations, same conversations being given by Latino parents to their kids? Is there the same concern about interactions, regular interactions, daily interactions with police?
ACEVEDO: I think this is a very important question, because we should not make a difference or, you know, address this as a racial issue between brown or black. I think this is a civil rights issue, and, of course, Latinos face some of the same concerns that African-Americans face in these - in the neighborhoods. So, of course, Latinos parents are talking to their kids about some of the challenges that they face growing up in these tough neighborhoods and with this complicated relationship with police departments and law enforcement in general, because it's not only about local police. Over the last ten years, the border patrol has shut down I think about 76 Mexicans according to the Mexican foreign ministry in incidents jug just like this one. So, it's not only about local police, the criminalization of undocumented immigration. The militarization of the border is now spreading throughout the country and this is, I think, a very worrisome trend.
COOPER: Enrique Acevedo, I appreciate you being on. Thank you very much.
Just ahead tonight, ISIS destroys more priceless artifacts and not just in a museum either, basically targeting a whole ancient city. Details when we continue.
COOPER: ISIS is destroying not only the lives of its victims and their families, but also priceless remnants of early civilization. Iraq's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquity says the terror group has bulldozed the site of the ancient city of Nimrud in the northern part of the country. And this comes just a week after video showed ISIS militants destroying century's old artifacts in the museum in Mosul. Bruce Feiler is the author of many books, including "Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land for the Five Books of Moses." He joins me now. You've actually been. It's Nimrud.
BRUCE FEILER, AUTHOR, "WALKING THE BIBLE": Nimrud, yeah.
COOPER: You've been there. What was it like?
FEILER: Well, in 2004, I went on this journey to all the Biblical sites in Iraq, to Ur in the South and Babylon, to Nimrud, and Nineveh, which are quite close. And they are not actually the most ...
COOPER: It's a risky trip you took, by the way.
FEILER: It was about ...
FEILER: Yeah. It was about ten months after the fall of Saddam, but after Walking the Bible, I've dreamed for many years of going. They're not actually the most spectacular sites, but they are incredibly important to the history of civilization.
COOPER: What's important about this? I mean to be honest, I hadn't heard much about it.
FEILER: So, I like to think of this, we hear it's called the Fertile Crescent. And so this is what the Fertile Crescent looks like. At the south is the Nile down in Egypt, and the upper arm of the Fertile Crescent is the Tigers and the Euphrates, and this is really where civilization began, and in the early years, it was only city states, right? So, Samarra and Babylon, not that big. Assyria, and Nimrud was the capital of Assyria, was the first of the great empires that stretched all the way from Persia in the East to the footsteps of Greece in the west. And if you look at the list, first magnifying glass. OK? You know, first postal system, first paved road, first plumbing, first libraries. This really was where civilization began.
COOPER: So to see what they are doing now to this, because on the one hand, ISIS makes money by selling priceless antiquities on the black market, but also for sort of public display, they also destroy antiquities. It's devastating to see this. I mean just of many things.
FEILER: Well, it feels, you know, when I first heard it, it was like a kick in the gut, for any of us who love and know this part of the world as you've been all over this part of the world. On the other hand, there is something about this, not surprising. We've seen them debase humanity a lot in the last several years and we should say that lots of conquerors over the years have destroyed the places that they conquer. But there has been a change, really, since World War II. The Americans, as you know, when we bombed Japan, did not bomb Kyoto, and both Iraq or as we made an effort not to bomb the historic sites.
In fact, Saddam knew we wouldn't, and so there were bases put right next to Ur in the south and to Babylon. Because they knew that this was - this was sort of a change, even in the rules and laws of war.
COOPER: And yet, this is - I mean, there is - for them, there is a religious justification for what they are doing. It's not just a conquer. It follows their interpretation.
FEILER: Right. And I actually think this has been misunderstood in the way it's been discussed in the media. So, what are they after? On the simplest level, they want to erase civilization. Specifically anything before the birth of Islam. They also want to, you know, stick it to Jews and Christians and sort of erase the legacy of pluralism in this part of the world. The book of Jonah, which takes place in Nimrud. Excuse me, in Nineveh, holy to Jews, the holiest - to Christians. Jonas spent three days in the whale, Jesus three days in the tomb. But Jonas also holy to Muslims. There's an entire book of the Koran named after Jonah. So, when they destroy and blew up, the shrine to Jonah in Mosul, they are not just sending a message to the past, but also to the future to Muslims saying we don't believe in idolatry. So, they're actually sending a message in both directions.
COOPER: Right. And as we've seen many of their victims, in fact, most of their victims are actually other Muslims who they just don't believe are not following the Koran in the correct way. Bruce, it's so much great.
FEILER: Nice to have you.
COOPER: Something very different when we come back, something to make you smile at the end of the long day. The Ridiculist is next.
COOPER: Time now for "The Ridiculist." And tonight we have a giant leap, the United States effort to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba. The people of Cuba got a 6'4" dose of redheaded American awesomeness when the greatest U.S. ambassador that has ever lived, to show there, Conan in Cuba aired the other night and it was spectacular. He danced, he drank rum, he tried to make friends. Pretty much no one knew who he was. It sounds like the perfect trip, actually. One of my favorite parts when he went to a Havana rooftop, which turned out to be the perfect vantage point for his pointing observations on life in the island nation.
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CONAN O'BRIEN: The guy yelling, insane. I think he's yelling at the dog that won't stop barking. Oh, good, the dog is barking again. The dog got suspiciously quiet.
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COOPER: In the end, as the sun set over Havana, a rooftop epiphany.
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O'BRIEN: And now, solely reporting on the barking of the dog. And realizing Anderson Cooper has a very easy job.
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COOPER: Fair enough. I don't get to test that fact, although I just want to point out a few things that you're doing wrong. Not a huge deal, just some minor tweaks. Let's get this one out of the way right now. If you want to do field reporting, you are going to have to reel in that bouffant. There's a reason why my hair is very short. It does not get blown around by hurricanes, earthquakes, or airstrikes or I guess in this case dog breath. You cannot report with your hair blowing around like that. It's just - it's distracting for the viewer. The camera guy can't even keep it in frame all the time. And also, just a suggestion, if you're going to be reporting from the scene, you've got to keep it interesting. Where's the bells, the whistles, where is the passion, where is the breaking news banners?
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O'BRIEN: The dog has stopped barking now. We wait now to see if the dog will continue barking. Because this is what they do on CNN.
O'BRIEN: They pretend something is happening from a distance. They just say it from the distance.
O'BRIEN: No words from the dog. Maybe the dog has been fed, possibly the dog has gone to sleep. Although that would be unusual for the dog to go to sleep that quickly after barking that much. The dog is back now.
O'BRIEN: (INAUDIBLE) on this gorgeous night. We don't know what kind of dog it is. In distance, a mix breed. It sounds like a smaller dog. Eventually, it may grow into a larger dog. I think all we've pretty much proven here, is I could fill six hours a night on CNN. (LAUGHTER)
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COOPER: I stand corrected. That is, hands down, hair up, the best rooftop reporting we have ever seen on The Ridiculist.
That does it for us. Thanks for watching.
The CNN Special Report, "VANISHED: THE MYSTERY OF MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT 370" starts right now.