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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Slaying Caught On Cell Phone Video In North Charleston, S.C.; Insight into Police Shooting; Trial of Aaron Hernandez; White House Hacked. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 7, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST, OUTFRONT: And thank you so much for joining us. Be sure to DVR "OUTFRONT" to watch us anytime.
"AC360" starts now.
[20:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
We begin with what authorities in North Charleston, South Carolina, say is murder. Murder plain and simple. Murder caught on video tape. Murder committed, they say, by a police officer.
The video, which we're going to show you in a moment is shocking to say the least. A man shot while running away from a police officer shot multiple times with his back turned. The officer is white. The suspect African-American. The FBI is now investigating, as is the civil rights division of the justice department. The officer said he believed his life was in danger after the suspect took his stun gun. The video, however, seems to tell a very different story.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
COOPER: Eight shots fired at the suspect who had turned his back, turned the whole time running away. As you might imagine, this video which was just released has already drawing national attention including from federal authorities and there's a lot of details in this video you might not have caught upon first watching.
In particular, what happened to the stun gun that the police officer claims this man took. Was it, in fact, moved by the police officer and placed closer to the body?
For more on the story, we're joined now by "360"'s Randi Kaye - Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this video of the shooting that we have obtained lasted about three minutes and 12 seconds. And here's what we know. It started with a traffic stop this last Saturday, April 4th. According to one of our affiliates, North Charleston police officer, Michael Slaiger stopped that was about 9:30 in the morning on Saturday because of a broken taillight.
Now, here's what we don't know. The police officer who pulled the trigger said when the victim took off running, he grabbed the officer's taser. But take a look here at the beginning of this whole altercation. We highlighted it here for you. You don't see the suspect grab anything but you see something fly off and fall to the ground. Then we only see him running away. And if you watch the whole video again here of the shooting as we slow it down for you, you can see the suspect, who is black, has his back to the officer who you said who was white the entire time clearly running away from him. He appears to be a good 15 or 20 feet away even when he hoes down, once he falls, you hear the officer on the tape yelling, put your hands behind your back, over and over. Yet the 50-year-old victim never moves again. Still, he is handcuffed, left face down on the ground.
Our affiliate said the mayor of North Charleston said today that Officer Slaiger did deploy his taser weapons to detail the man, but was unsuccessful. And the reason he said he knows that is because one of the taser projectiles was actually still attached to the victim as he laid there on the ground. And the officer has said earlier on that he feared for his safety and that his taser hadn't stopped the suspect.
And something else, Anderson, that struck me, about two minutes into this videotape, watch closely here. You see one of the officers there as you mentioned now on the scene. He appears to bend down and pick something up. Now, it's hard to see exactly what that is. We don't know if it could be the taser weapon that the officer says that the victim took or if it was something else, but clearly, that officer picked something up from the ground. You see it there again.
We have also listened to the police dispatch recordings that aired on ABC tonight and officer Slaiger could be heard calling in that shooting reporting that the suspect grabbed his taser and letting him know that he has been shot on the left side of the back, the suspect that is, and also the left side of the buttocks adding that the man is unresponsive. And we never, Anderson, see him move again on that video.
COOPER: I got to say though, there's another important piece of this tape where after the police officer shoots the man, after he handcuffs him, he then, the police officer walks back towards where the altercation originally took place and seems to pick something up off the ground. Now, whether that is the taser that was dropped immediately by the man who ran, we don't know. But the officer did walk all the way back, picked up an object and then walked back to the man who's on the ground. And later, we see the officer reaching down and picking up something again, whether it's the taser, it's possible.
There was some reporting about "The New York Times," it's possible the officer picked up the taser was dropped by the suspect immediately. The officer went back to pick it up and may have placed it near the body of the man he has just shot.
So, and what's in the police report is clearly not the same as what we now see in this video. So it's a question of not just about the shooting of this man who's running away but the account by the police officer who fired the shots about what actually occurred.
KAYE: Right. And you have to too by this point, Anderson, they know that this person who was behind the camera is recording it. This person was first hiding. So now, he has come around. And by the time he picks something up from the ground, there appears to pick up something from the ground, they are well aware that that guy is there and that person is there recording their every action.
[20:05:09] COOPER: Right. What we don't know is whether what we picked up from the ground is something that officer himself dropped or something the suspect dropped because it very well could be the same object that the officer himself went back to pick up and place near the body of this man. What's the reaction so far from town officials? Because they have come out very strong, very quickly.
KAYE: Absolutely. North Charleston's mayor characterized this whole thing earlier tonight in the press conference calling it was a bad decision by the officer and adding that when you're wrong, you're wrong. And if you made a bad decision, don't care if you're behind the shield or a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision.
COOPER: What do we know about this officer?
KAYE: We're learning more tonight. According to "the Post" and "Courier" newspaper, officer Slaiger is 33 years old. He served more than five years with this department in North Charleston. He has been disciplined. The paper says that two people did file complaints against Slaiger during his time at the force including one man who said the policeman shot him with the taser for no reason back in September of 2013. But still, an internal investigation found that he did nothing wrong.
COOPER: That was a mug shot of the police officer that we just saw who is now - do we know is he still in custody at this point?
KAYE: We're not clear at this point.
COOPER: OK. But he was arrested, has been charged.
KAYE: Arrested and charged.
COOPER: With murder.
Randi Kaye, thank you very much.
There's a lot to talk about in this video and again, to try to look at it because there's a lot you could easily miss.
Joining us now is criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos, also CNN political commentator and former advisor to President Obama, Van Jones and former NYPD detective Harry Howe.
Detective Howe, I mean, when you look at this video, it shocks you?
HARRY HOWE, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: Shocks me.
COOPER: It shocks you.
HOWE: Yes. It shocks me. Based on that video, there's no way that officer can justify firing those rounds at that man. COOPER: Because no matter what happened before, no matter what
happened in the traffic stop --
HOWE: Right. You know, I think the video is very clear here. You know, the man is definitely running away. All he had to do to that officer is wait for his back-up to show up. Even if you don't want to have to chase that guys, I have been in instances where I have chased after people and say, this guy is giant, you know. I'm going to get in a fight with him. I'll slow it down a little bit, you know, just keep him in view and then when the officers arrive, then you jump on the guy, get him handcuffed and that's it. But this shooting, I tell you, I'm so shocked.
COOPER: The guy is running. He's not a sprinter by any means.
HOWE: No. Exactly.
COOPER: I mean, he has been slumbering along. They could have very -- there were a number of other ways to deal with it.
HOWE: Yes, definitely. You know, there is definitely, you know, shooting a man run away like that for a simple traffic stop, of course, you know, when you make a traffic stop, you don't know who you're stopping. I mean, why is this guy running in the first place? Apparently, you know, had minor offenses in the past but --
HOWE: But still, no reason to shoot that man eight times in the back as he's running away.
COOPER: Apparently, according to his family, there was a warrant out for back child support.
HOWE: That's probably why he was running.
Van, I mean, it's pretty stunning to see and again, not just the shooting which is, you know, what authorities are calling murder, but then to see, and again, we don't know what he's picking up but then the officer walked all the way back to where this altercation began, picked something off the grown and then walked back and then, you know, a few minutes later, picking up something near the victim.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This looks like cold-blooded murder. And it looks like an attempted cover-up of that murder that just happened to be caught on video. Now, I think the concern everyone should have is the police report says what every police report is supposed to say. I was fearful for my life. This was a dangerous person. And yet, it turns out it wasn't true.
We see this over and over again. The police report says this black man is dangerous. I was so afraid for my life. Oh my God, I have to do something, he was going to kill me and now we finally have something where nobody can say that the police report was true and you get this murder charge.
But what if there had been no video? What if it had just been another situation where an unarmed black man was killed and the police officer said, well, he grabbed me, he had my weapon and we would have gone on as if nothing happened. We have to start dealing with the fact there are two standards of justice in this country and you do not see these kinds of things happening, unfortunately should not happen to anybody but not in the same level to white men. They're happening over and over and over again to unarmed black men in America. And I defy any of the people who said all these other cases, you're playing the race card, et cetera, shouldn't have fought back. Well, here's a situation where the person did not comply, but nobody could say that this man should have been shot down like a dog the way that he was.
This is despicable. It is a cold-blooded act of murder and probably an attempted cover-up, but for the video, no one would have believed that man's family.
[20:10:03] COOPER: Mark, the fact that they've charged this officer with murder so quickly. What do you make of that?
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, obviously, the mayor does not want a Ferguson re-duct so I mean, it doesn't surprise me in the least. I hate to, you know, normally I could mixed it up a little bit, but you know, both Harry and Van are both spot on.
First of all, if this were a civilian and you shot somebody in the back eight times, you'd be in custody. There would be no bail. And does this happen all the time? Well, I'll tell you something. It happens all too frequently and I see the police reports. I try these cases in courts throughout the country and the police always come up with the same thing. It's always, it's like a standard script that they teach at police university 101. Always say that there's a threat. Always say he reached for your gun and then say he wrestled for your gun, because you know that's what this report said. I'm sure it had something in it that said he wrestled for the taser, he had my gun, I was in fear for my life.
But four, the videotape, the videotapes have taken down leaders in foreign countries, maybe it's time the videotapes take down some leaders right here in America because this is an epidemic in the various communities of the U.S. And unless somebody sees it with their own eyes, this is what's just so crazy about it. They will not believe that this is possible. I see jurors as recently as last month and had a hung jury 8-4 where the four white jurors could not get their minds around the fact that the police could do this. I mean, there is an exalted position that we've put law enforcement in, and people absent a videotape, they just refuse to believe that this could happen.
COOPER: You know, I think, I mean, after Harry in defense of police and, you know, I'm trying to show as many different sides here.
COOPER: I think a lot of people on juries, give a lot of sympathy to what police officers say. Look, it's a very difficult job. They're out there making split second decisions. However, when you have a videotape like this, I mean, it's a very, I can't come up with any --
HOWE: Neither can I.
COOPER: Any explanation.
HOWE: I can't find any way he'll be able to defend this. And the point the two gentlemen made also, you know, blanketing this, you know, this happens all the time. This does not happen all the time, alright. These are very few incidents for the millions of millions of police officers who interact with people every day. This is not an epidemic proportion.
GERAGOS: Harry -- Harry.
COOPER: Let him finish.
HOWE: Let me finish, OK?
COOPER: Let him finish, Mark.
HOWE: What happened in Ferguson, in New York, the U.S. attorneys' office is not going after them for civil rights violations. Those two incidents, the officers are justified in what they did.
This incident, the officer is not justified in what he's doing, OK, and therefore, he's going to pay the price for it. But the blanket police officers --
GERAGOS: Only because --
COOPER: Mark, go ahead.
GERAGOS: Harry, I'll just tell you. I understand you're a cop. You have your position. Your viewpoint. The fact remains I can give you, take off 100 different examples in the last two years. The only reason that you've got to fess up at this point is because there's a videotape.
HOWE: Come on. Come on, counselor.
HOWE: Listen, Harry, why don't you let me finish?
COOPER: Let him.
HOWE: Over me --
GERAGOS: Why don't you just let me finish, Harry?
COOPER: Mark, go ahead. GERAGOS: Let me just tell you something, Harry. It happens all the
time and it happens in these communities generally where they don't have a voice. And the problem is unless there's a videotape, nobody wants to believe that it happens. But you know what? Doing this over 30 years, I'll tell you there's one thing that happens repeatedly. You hear the same story every time virtually almost as if it's a script coming out of the cop's mouth whenever there's a shooting.
COOPER: Mark, let me ask you.
GERAGOS: They got a script.
COOPER: Van, I will go to you a second. But Mark, just as a defense attorney, what do you foresee as the defense for this police officer?
GERAGOS: Well, I'll tell you exactly what's going to happen. They're going to say that he was in fear for his life. That he wasn't sure that the guy didn't have a gun, that he's going to say basically what his report said, that he thought he had a gun, thought he had the other one, it was a split second decision, that he fired because he thought he turned and that maybe he was going to turn and fire at him. It's going to be the usual script that they read from.
The fact remains, he was pulled over for a broken taillight. You know, my father, who was a prosecutor for many years used to say there's more guys in state prison for broken taillights than any other offense. Broken taillight means go hassle somebody of color. That's what it's code for, go pull over somebody with some BS justification.
[20:15:20] COOPER: Van, I want you to be able to weigh in but we got to take a quick break. So you are going to weigh in as soon as we get comeback. We are going to have more with our panel. We will also going to talk in detail about the justice department decision to launch a federal investigation.
And later, more breaking news. Computer hackers striking again, Russian hackers. This time, they'll target the White House.
[20:19:14] COOPER: Welcome back to breaking news tonight.
A police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina charged with murder. Michael Slaiger is his name. That's the mug shot. He has been arrested today, could face life in prison or a death sentence if convicted. The alleged crime happened on Friday. Slaiger firing eight shots at a fleeing suspect, entire incident caught on video. Take a look.
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COOPER: And again, in addition to murder charges, officer Slaiger could at some point face federal charges. The justice department late this evening announced it is getting involved.
Details from Evan Perez who joins us now. So what are you hearing from sources, Evan?
[20:19:55] EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, this is something that moving extremely quickly. I haven't seen one start so quickly so soon after an incident. The justice department said both the FBI down in South Carolina and the civil rights division are both going to be taking a look at this. They are going to -- the justice department says we'll take appropriate action in light of the evidence and developments in this case.
And of course, the state is already bringing charges, which, you know, sort of gives you an impression that post-Ferguson, a lot of things have changed in the way both state and federal law enforcement deals with these incidents.
COOPER: You know, Evan, obviously some people seeing this say, racism is involved. The officer is white and the victim is African-American here. But just because the federal government is investigating, doesn't mean this officer will face federal charges or any civil rights charges. It could remain solely a state case.
PEREZ: Right, exactly. And you know, we've talked about this on this program many times about what the high burden that the federal prosecutors face in trying to bring civil rights charges in these types of incidents, Anderson.
Just tonight, actually, just before I came on here, Dan Roy Henry was the name of a 20-year-old college student in suburban New York in Westchester county who was kill by a police officer. He is black. And it is the same type of incident. There was no video there. There was a lot of disputed details about that incident.
And tonight, the prosecutors in Manhattan said that they're not going to bring civil rights charges partly because it's really difficult to show that a police officer intentionally, willfully tried to deprive this person of their civil rights.
And I guess that's probably the same thing they're going to face in this incident, Anderson, because it is simply very difficult to reach that standard of proof.
COOPER: Evan Perez, thank you for being with us.
Back with our panel, Mark Geragos, Van Jones and Harry Howe.
Van, We are going to give you first. And I'm already getting tweets, Van, from some people who are saying, look, why are you even talking about race here because there's no evidence that race played any role in this shooting. This could just be a police officer making a bad decision and that's what the authorities there in South Carolina are saying.
JONES: Well, listen. First of all, the problem is that when you see the same pattern over and over again, it's hard to ignore that.
Let me just say a couple of things I want to say before. We have a problem with the police doing things like this and turning in the same police report over and over again. We have to start to understand, police are not super heroes. They are also not super villains. You don't have to deify them, put them on pedestal. You don't have to demonize them and say that they're all bad.
You actually, they are not saints (INAUDIBLE). They are city employees. And what happens is with city employees, you have a mix of people with a mix of motives and you've got to take each one as they come.
The problem we have right now is that every police officer is coached. Whenever they fire their weapon, to write the same thing on the police report. I was in fear for my life because that's the legal standard, not because it's true. In this case, it's obviously not true. But across the country, you have over and over again, literally the same cookie cutter language and then the public is fooled, jurors are fooled, the media is fooled. And unless there's a video like this horrible video, African-Americans in particular are just not believed. And just I feel so sorry for the family and for the friends of this man to see over and over again him being shot down like a dog.
But the only way you can even prove to some people in America that there is a potential problem of race is to have to show this video over and over again. This is happening all too often and it's happening all too often to unarmed African-American men and we have to deal with that fact even as we try to figure out the specific circumstances of this shooting.
COOPER: Mark, I've got to say. The person who took this video, in my opinion, showed a remarkable display of frankly of courage. I mean, to be standing there so close to a shooting and then to approach officers in this situation with your camera out and apparently, you know, they know that at some point, they are being videotaped. That's a tricky situation.
GERAGOS: It's an amazing thing for this person to do because you heard how many shots were fired there. You also see the officers, what it looks to me at least an attempted cover-up and the planting of evidence and, you know, it wouldn't be that much of a stretch if you're taking that video to say, what am I doing? All of the sudden, they could come over to me, grab my phone and I could end up face down.
And the one thing I'd say is, the only thing I probably disagree with Van about is it doesn't look to me like they treated him like a dog. Dogs get treated better than this guy at this point. I mean, they left him there. One of the things we haven't talked about. Take a look at the police report because the reporting is that in the police report, these cops said they attended to him, tried to give CPR and everything else. They didn't. They didn't do a thing. They just sat there and let him bleed out and die. Worse than you would with an animal. That's what's absolutely stunning to me on top of everything else.
[20:20:05] COOPER: Yes, I mean --.
GERAGOS: They're more worried about the cover-up than they were in saving somebody's life.
COOPER: I mean, Harry, for the first couple of minutes, they are just standing by and one point, they bend down and actually feel for a pulse.
HOWE: Longer. Somebody --
COOPER: The officer comes with some sort of medical kit but several minutes have already gone by.
HOWE: Officers already checked him and he's dead which was a possibility. They checked his pulse and he was already dead.
COOPER: Why would an officer --
JONES: But then why lie about it?
HOWE: I don't know. Did the officer lie about it?
COOPER: Well, in the police report, it does said they attempted CPR and attempted CPR.
JONES: All of this is the stuff --
COOPER: But why --
JONES: This what you see in every police report. Every police report.
GERAGOS: Every single one.
JONES: Every single one.
COOPER: Is there any reason for an officer who's just shot somebody and handcuffed them to then walk back and pick something up, whether it's a taser or whether it's something else. It's not a gun.
GERAGOS: That's what we're definitely thinking.
HOWE: Can I please answer the question, Mr. Geragos?
COOPER: I mean, is there any justification to actually go back in the heat of that moment?
HOWE: Maybe he's going back for evidence. Maybe going back to plant something. We have to give this video enhanced to see exactly what that other second officer picked up first and then when he went back and picked up and did he come back and drop something? I mean, that is what we got to go through this scene by scene.
COOPER: And certainly, authorities are doing this now.
Mark Geragos, Harry Howe and Van Jones --
GERAGOS: Why do we have to do that? Why do we have to do all that? Civilians, you wouldn't have to do that. If these were civilians --
GERAGOS: Why, Harry? Why doesn't the other cop arrest him? Why doesn't the other cop arrest him?
HOWE: What other cop?
COOPER: Mark, you're saying the other police officer should, but we don't know what the officer police officer saw.
HOWE: You don't have to administer.
GERAGOS: He saw the other police officer certainly did not talk about what happened. The other police officer also dummied up a report.
HOWE: How do you know he dummied up the report? Did you read it?
COOPER: All right. We got to take a break.
COOPER: Mark, Harry, Van Jones - we are just now hearing that there may be a press conference shortly with the family of the man who was killed. We are going to bring that to you if it when it happens.
Coming up next, whatever comes to this particular incident, every single encounter between the suspect a police officer has potential to end badly. Obviously, we will show you incidents, part of video that go from ordinary to deadly in just a heartbeat.
COOPER: We have breaking news tonight as South Carolina police officer charged with murder. The shooting of a suspect, the man by the name of Walter Scott caught on videotape. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Eight shots fired in all. Now, in our last segment regarding this shooting and others, Van Jones said that we should neither put police on a pedestal, nor paint them all as villains. This next report is a good example why. Now, in it, you're going to see all kinds of deadly encounters and how tough it is to make the right call. More on that now from our Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tense moments at a gas station near Columbia, South Carolina. Sean Groubert, a highway patrol officer has just pulled over a man. Watch what happens next.
OFFICER GROUBERT: Can I see your license, please! Get out of the car! Get on the ground! Get on the ground!
COOPER: When the man turned back inside his car to get his license, the officer fired in an instant.
GROUBERT: Are you hit?
LEVAR JONES: I think so. I can't feel my legs. I don't know what happened. Why did you shoot me?
GROUBERT: Well, you dove headfirst back into your car.
JONES: I'm sorry.
KAYE: The victim, 35-year-old Levar Jones, survived. Office Groubert was fired and charged with aggravated assault and battery. In Billings, Montana, a police officer approaches four men sitting inside their car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hands up. All four of you, hands up.
KAYE: Officer Grant Morrison appears to recognize one of them as a suspect from an earlier shooting. He tells him he's making him nervous. And then this.
MORRISON: Hands up. Hands on the [EXPLETIVE DELETED]. Get your [EXPLETIVE DELETED] hands up, I'm going to shoot you. I will shoot you. Hands up. Hands up! Hands up! I'll shoot you again, hands up! Hands up.
I'll shoot you, [EXPLETIVE DELETED] get on the [EXPLETIVE DELETED] ground.
KAYE: The man killed, it turns out, was unarmed, but Officer Morrison said he feared for his life because the man kept dropping his left hand despite the officer's warnings to keep his hands up. The shooting was ruled justifiable homicide.
In Arizona, this video from Officer Tyler Stuart's body camera captures the last moments of his life. On it, a casual conversation between the officer and the man suspected of domestic violence. Officer Stewart doesn't even have his gun drawn, but watch what happens when the officer asks to frisk the man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll just pat down your pockets real quick. You don't have anything in here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Nothing in here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, my smokes.
KAYE: The video ends there, just as the suspect pulled a .22 caliber revolver from his pocket, firing six shots at the officer, hit five times, the officer never had a chance.
SGT. MARGARET BENTZEN, FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA POLICE: There was a series of rounds that were fired at the time.
REPORTER: Do you know where his injuries are?
BENTZEN: In his face.
KAYE: The 24-year-old officer died at the hospital. The suspect, meanwhile, used the officer's weapon to take his own life. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: That's just a reminder, we're hearing that the family of the man shot in South Carolina, Walter Scott, his family might be holding a press conference at around 8:45. We'll, of course, bring that to you if and when it happens. Authorities have moved very quickly already charging police officer with murder.
COOPER: We talked to Evan Perez a little bit earlier, and learned that Department of Justice is investigating both the FBI and the civil rights division of the Department of Justice. In other news tonight, Russian hackers have gotten access to White House computers. That story in just a moment.
COOPER: With more breaking news tonight. Word that hackers working for the Russian government obtained access to the White House email system giving them the ability to read a whole lot of sensitive email. They apparently did it the same way that hackers do when they send you one of those e-mails claiming to be from your bank asking you to log in with your I.D. and password. For more on what happened and what was compromised, let's go once again to Evan Perez who broke the story. So, what are you learning?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, you know, the way you just described it is, you know, it's exactly how it happens. Very typically. This was the sophisticated hack, however, according to officials I've talked to. They first got into the State Department's e-mail system and then they managed to trick someone to let them into the executive office of the president's system and that's how they were able to get access to sensitive information.
Again, this is not the classified email system, but this is the e-mail system that the White House uses to manage any number of things from policy announcements to things that are coming down the pipe from other agencies in the government.
COOPER: Do we have any idea how long this was hacked for or what exactly was compromised? PEREZ: We don't know how long they were in there. We know that the
State Department was hacked for some time. I was told by one official that they owned the State Department system. These are Russian government hackers. With the White House, it appears that they, again, the White House says that in October they disclosed that they had seen some suspicious activity for their unclassified system but that doesn't really portray how serious this is. Because as I said, you know, you can get a lot of very prized information that foreign spies really want to get their hands on.
COOPER: Evan Perez, I appreciate the update. Again, joining us now, Shawn Henry, who is a top FBI official who was responsible for the bureau's division investigating cyber-crime. Sean, when we say Russian hackers, what exactly does that mean? Is it private individuals working for the Russian government, contracted to or are they direct government employees?
SHAWN HENRY, PRESIDENT, CROWDSTRIKE SERVICES: Anderson, I think in this case the White House hasn't come forward and done attribution directly to Russia, but that certainly is a speculation. When we are talking about Russian hackers, oftentimes, we are talking about the Russian government, although there are also those that are sympathetic to the Russian government that might be hacking and providing information back to the Russian government. There are also maybe hackers that are hacking on behalf of themselves, but the Russian government is actually monitoring their communications. So the Russian government is actually benefitting from the efforts of these other hackers. So, there's a whole range of potential individuals or groups that might have been behind this type of attack.
COOPER: And in terms of countries that have the greatest capabilities in this, I've been told it's - what - it's Russia, China, I mean, obviously, I guess, to a lesser extent, North Korea and Iran?
HENRY: Yeah, there are dozens of government agencies that have capabilities that are very, very sophisticated. Russia, China, Iran are three of the probably most sophisticated with the largest capabilities. China being the country that has probably the most prolific and the widest ranging group of collectors that are out collecting intelligence from the government, from the commercial sector, from educational institutions, et cetera. On a global level, the U.S. is not the only target. The U.S. is one of the targets of these intelligent services.
COOPER: The U.S. also, obviously, has these capabilities as well. The fact they were able - I mean, to get into the White House system, that's scary and one thing. But I mean the fact that Evan was saying, you know, that they were able to own the State Department's system and it seems like that went on for quite some time. That's kind of shocking, isn't it?
HENRY: Yeah. I don't have specific information about the State Department hack, but I can tell you that it is very, very typical for these sophisticated hackers. Once they get a foothold into a network to be on there for many months or even years, completely undetected.
HENRY: That really is the disturbing part because with that level of access that they've got, they've got the ability to see everything that occurs on that network. They've got the ability to ex-filtrate data off that network and probably most important, Anderson, they have got the ability to actually destroy components of that network. It's one of the concerns that we've got about critical infrastructure, that when the adversaries breach these networks, they can take total control and actually destroy the networks.
COOPER: Seems like we are going to be seeing more and more of this stuff. Shaw Henry, I appreciate it. Thank you.
Just ahead, Senator Rand Paul following his father's footsteps announcing his presidential candidacy. He's also paving a new path for himself. How his message may be changing.
COOPER: Interesting change in direction of the Aaron Hernandez murder trial. Jurors began deliberating his fate with a striking admission from the defense still hanging in the air. Admission that the former NFL star was indeed at the scene of the crime when it happened, that he was there when Odin Lloyd was shot and killed. It is a striking admission, not to mention a complete 180 from the defense. Susan Candiotti joins us now outside of the courthouse in the Fall River, Massachusetts. You were in the court today for closing arguments. So, what happened?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I tell you, Anderson, you're right. For the very first time, we hear from the defense that the $40 million contract player for the New England Patriots, they describe, now this is their words, a 23-year-old kid who witnesses something committed by somebody he knew. That tortured language implying that he's blaming it on the two other people who were with him that night at the crime scene. But we also heard something for the very first time from the prosecutors in this case. Going so far as to say that Aaron Hernandez was actually the trigger man. Now it's up to the jury to sift through ten weeks of evidence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hear ye. Hear ye.
CANDIOTTI: Each day, a traditional call to order after 135 witnesses stretching over nearly 11 weeks, a jury will now decide the fate of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez.
PATRICK BOMBERG, BRISTOL ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The commonwealth is going to prove to you that the defendant committed the crime of murder.
CANDIOTTI: But a hard fought defense contends Hernandez would never kill his good friend, Odin Lloyd. Who was dating Shaneah Jenkins, the sister of his fiance?
MICHAEL FEE, HERNANDEZ ATTORNEY: Hernandez was playing future, not a murder.
CANDIOTTI: There is a mountain of circumstantial evidence from the crime scene. An isolated pit in an industrial park where Lloyd's bullet-riddled body is found. Experts testify a marijuana blunt with DNA from Hernandez and Lloyd with them both at the spot. A tire on Hernandez's rental car is consistent with tracks in there too. A shoe impression in the dirt comes from the same kind of sneaker he has seen on video wearing that night. In each case, the defense attacks those findings.
JAMIE SULTAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You can't tell, sir, can you? That that outsole pattern made that impression (INAUDIBLE). Can you, sir?
LT. STEVNE BENNET, MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE: No.
CANDIOTTI: Prosecutors tried to prove this grainy home security video minutes after Lloyd is killed, shows Hernandez holding a Glock.
KYLE ASPINWALL, GLOCK SALES MANAGER: In my opinion, the firearm shown in the video stills is a Glock pistol.
CANDIOTTI: But the defense argues, that's no Glock. Maybe an iPad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Glock pistols don't have a white glow to them, do they, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, they do not.
CANDIOTTI: The murder weapon is still missing. Does Hernandez's fiance, Shayanna Jenkins throw it out? She gets immunity and testifies Hernandez told her to ditch a box inside this black trash bag from the basement.
WILLIAM MCCAULEY, PROSECUTOR: The defendant had called you and said it was important that you go down and get this box to get rid of it, is that right?
SHAYANNA JENKINS: I believe so.
CANDIOTTI: But on cross, she said she smells marijuana inside that bag. What may be harder to challenge is video of Odin Lloyd getting into a car with Hernandez and his two friends. The same car going into that dark, industrial park and three minutes and 40 seconds later, reappearing. And then driving back to Hernandez's driveway without Lloyd. A show stopping witness, Hernandez's former boss, Patriots owner Robert Kraft who met privately with his tight end two days after the murder.
ROBERT KRAFT, OWNER, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: He said he was not involved, that he was innocent and that he hoped that the time of the murder incident came out because I believe he said he was in the club.
CANDIOTTI: Yet evidence shows Hernandez was not at a club that night and raises the question, how would he know the time of the murder when it was not yet made public? Throughout the trial, Hernandez is laser sharp during the proceedings. Barely glancing at victim Odin Lloyd's family, there every day.
So, the jury of seven women and five men began deliberating late this afternoon for about an hour and a half. And, Anderson, they will be back here first thing in the morning for their first full day of deliberations.
CANDIOTTI: Back to you.
COOPER: Yeah, that's a great report. Kind of put it all in perspective and context. Thank you. A quick related programming note. We're airing Susan's "Special Report" tonight on the case with all the new developments, downward spiral inside the case against Aaron Hernandez that airs right after us, 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
Just ahead, Senator Rand Paul throws his hat in the presidential ring and hits the campaign trail. Look where he stands now among Republican candidates.
COOPER: Another Republican candidate today announcing he's running for presidents. This time, Senator Rand Paul.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today, I announce with God's help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere that I am putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He, of course, becomes the second Republican to declare candidacy in the 2016 presidential race, joining Ted Cruz, the field on the Republican side is turned to grow in the months ahead. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida is expected to launch his campaign next week. Governors Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Scott Walker also are in campaign. So we wanted to take a moment tonight and see where Senator Rand Paul is right now. I talked to chief national correspondent John King earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Mr. John, it is quite a field of Republican candidates. Where does Rand Paul stand?
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's take a look, Anderson. He stands in a place that isn't bad, but he proves he has to grow. Let's go back overtime. We've been following this question for about a year and a half. At one point, Rand Paul is at 16 percent and now he's at 12 percent. Again, a quick look at the history. When he was at 16 percent, that's a little more than a year ago, that put him in first place nationally among Republicans. Governor Perry, Governor Huckabee, Governor Bush, all down there. About halfway through, Chris Christie was getting some buzz, Rand Paul still strong, Huckabee and Rick Perry there. Now, at 12 percent, this is a poll we took three weeks ago nationally, Jeb Bush has jumped ahead, Scott Walker has jumped ahead, and you can bet, Anderson, in those three weeks since Ted Cruz likely has moved up as well since his announcement.
So, what does that tell you? It tells you in a crowded field, Rand Paul over that course of time, has kept a steady base at least of 10, 12, 15 percent. That's a good place to start, but he needs to grow and that's the challenge. If he cozies up to the establishment, some of his Tea Party slice might think Cruz is a better candidate. If he changes his views on the foreign policy issues, some of his libertarian voters might decide, he is changing his views and stay away. So, as he tries to grow, that's the challenge for Rand Paul.
COOPER: So, it's Iowa and New Hampshire. Are those particularly important for him?
KING: For him, I would say so, yes. Because his dad always proved he could last in the campaign, but we always knew Ron Paul was never going to be the Republican nominee. He was never going to win the state. Rand Paul, because he's different, Anderson, probably has to win early to prove himself. Now, he's well organized in Iowa. The most recent poll publicly is back in February. So, be careful with these numbers. Ted Cruz most likely has moved up as well, but again, you see him where? In the teens. Rand Paul consistently gets these numbers here. He has to do better in Iowa. His dad is well organized out there. Rand Paul has a very good grassroots team on the ground in Iowa. The mix of libertarian and Tea Party. It's an opportunity for him, but again, he needs to grow. Move on to New Hampshire, live free or die is the state's slogan. If a libertarian is going to win anywhere, you think it would be New Hampshire. Again, though, he's in the mid-teens. Governor Bush, Governor Walker, Ted Cruz, again, has probably moved up since his announcement. We look for polls in the days ahead and in a state like this, independents can also come in and vote in the primary.
So, Rand Paul doesn't want to be Ron Paul, but if he doesn't want to be his dad, he has to prove he can win and because he's different, Anderson, probably has to prove he can win early. He's been working, this is since 2013. He's been to Iowa six times. Only Ted Cruz more often among the current candidates. He's tied with Ted Cruz and turns to New Hampshire visits. So, he gets it. He's working the ground hard. He knows those first two states are critically important. There's no doubt, Anderson, Rand Paul will be an impact player in this race. The big question is can he grow enough to win?
COOPER: Yeah. John, thanks.
Well, one quick note before we go. That family press conference in the shooting of a fleeing suspect in South Carolina that we expected to begin at 8:45, obviously that has not yet happened. If and when it does, Don Lemon will have details tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. We will see you again at 11 p.m. Eastern.
COOPER: Right now, the CNN special report "Downward Spiral: Inside the Case against Aaron Hernandez."