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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Dallas Sniper Kills 5 Police Officers, Wounds 7; Protesters Gather After Deadly Dallas Ambush; Police: Bomb-Making Materials Found At Shooters Home; Witness Describes Dallas Police Ambush; Witness: Police Tried To Protect Us When Shooting Began; Police: Sniper Was Killed By Robotic Bomb; Protesters Out In Force After Deadly Dallas Ambush. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired July 8, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:40] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. I'm John Berman, at front Dallas Police Headquarters in Dallas, Texas. At the end of a somber day for the city a harrowing week for this country, 12 police officers were shot just about a mile away from here. Five have died. You can see the memorial behind me right now. People have been coming here for some hours leaving flowers, writing notes, paying their respects.
The man who murdered them is dead as well. Two other officers in Missouri and Georgia, they were shot today, apparently ambushed. The week has seen two civilians shot and killed by police and last night, Dallas saw police put themselves in the line of fire to protect civilians.
Protesters again on the streets tonight. I want to show you pictures of Atlanta. You see that right there. They're blocking a major roadway, that's not far from the CNN Center in Atlanta.
And in some big cities tonight, officers are patrolling in pairs for safety. Both major presidential candidates have weighed in. President Obama we learned tonight is cutting his overseas trip short. He is coming to Dallas at the beginning of the week.
All across this city, we've seen an outpouring of grief, an outpouring of sadness, but more than anything, an outpouring of support for police. There have been vigils in the streets and we learned much more about the man responsible for all this heartache.
A lot to cover from here. We're not going to mention the gunman's name or show his face. We don't do that here. We begin with Polo Sandoval in the middle of Atlanta right now to give us a sense of what's going on in that protest your looking out right now. Polo what can you tell us?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well John, there was this massive march that began at about at 7:00 p.m. -- or is about 6:00 p.m. local. You had really well over 2,000 protesters that were marching up and down the streets of downtown Atlanta. Authorities say that they basically had free rein throughout the city to be able to walk throughout the city in a peaceful march as long as they stayed off the highway.
Well about 30 minutes ago John, some of those protesters actually tried to make their way on to the i75 corridor here, it's basically an area that you would find right between this town and downtown Atlanta.
Yesterday, we walked along with several of these groups that actually made it on to the interstate, about 1,500 of them. They eventually go back without any conflict, without any arrests. However, this time, it seems that they're trying (inaudible) again, we did hear from Atlanta's mayor earlier this morning basically ask (inaudible) suddenly protest (inaudible) some of this laws and actually stay off the highways (inaudible) asking them to respect to the laws but at the same time allowing them to maintain commitment to their mission.
So again, what we have right now John is basically a fairly tense moment but we have not seen any arrests as both Georgia state troopers ...
SANDOVAL: ... and thousands of these protesters face off.
BERMAN: All right. Polo Sandoval for us in Atlanta right now, telling us what's going in there. As you can see long line of police on a highway not far from the CNN Center standing in front of protesters who have been out there from sun hour -- sun hours staring each other down right now. These protesters have been out in force around the country this week wanting to be heard after the pair of police shootings.
It of course was a protest here in the streets of Dallas last night, not but one night ago, where at the end of it a shooter opened fire and killed five police officers, killing those protesters sage as we see right now, the police are out there tonight in Atlanta keeping the protesters safe but also keeping the city moving. That's their goal. We don't know if police in Atlanta are going about this in any different way tonight than they would have had what happened here in Dallas last night not taken place. We're going to keep our eye in Atlanta and on protests around the country. We'll bring you developments from there as they come in.
More now, though, on everything we know about the killings here last night in Dallas, they've torn this city apart. They really unified it though in a way also in grieving. Here's Stephanie Elam.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, new details emerging about what is now the deadliest attack on police officers since 9/11. Five Dallas police officers killed. Seven officers and two civilians wounded during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest.
[21:05:11] One of many occurring nationwide. Following the shooting deaths of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota at the hands of police this week.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a guy with a long rifle. We don't know where the hell he's at.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Slow down. He's in the damn building right there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Assist, officers, shots fired. Code three. Stay off the radio, officer down.
ELAM: During the search of the suspect's home, detectives found bomb making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition and a personal journal of combat tactics. The chilling moments captured on cell phone video as the shooter engaged with police.
DAVID BROWN, DALLAS POLICE CHIEF: This was a well-planned, well- thought out, evil tragedy by these suspects.
He said he was upset about the recent police shootings. The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.
ELAM: And explaining the decision to take him down using a robot armed with explosives.
BROWN: We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was. Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger.
ELAM: President Obama addressing the shooting from Poland.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: ... a vicious calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement. Police in Dallas were on duty doing their jobs, keeping people safe during peaceful protests.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right Stephanie Elam is with us right now. Stephanie, beyond the shooter, there was a lot of confusion overnight about other suspects who were in custody, three of them. What more we learned about them?
ELAM: Right for people paying attention as this was all happening, you wanted to know what happened. What we got clarity on that today, they're saying law enforcement are saying, that those three people have been released, that they questioned them, they let them go. They do believe that this gun man acted alone.
However, the governor of Texas and the mayor of Dallas saying today that they also want to make sure that he didn't have any accomplices. Maybe he was a lone gunman but they want to make sure there was no one was helping him out in pulling off this heinous, heinous, heinous attack.
BERMAN: Stephanie, you used to be clear about one thing, you drove in last night. You've seen a lot on the ground here. We're here right now and there are, you know, white people, black people, people of all races and creeds here paying their respects to the police. And this is the type of thing you have seen all day. ELAM: Right, it's a difficult week for the United States from what we have seen across the country but there was one moment this morning when we got here, I saw a D.A.R.T. officer, a black man walking and three white man stopped to say to him thank you for your service. We're sorry for your lost and it just now worthy to see the humanity in a moment like this here which we probably need to see more, often times we move forward here after this tragedy.
BERMAN: Police Chief David Brown ask for this night that we're seeing it here on the streets. Stephanie Elam, thanks so much.
Again, which tell you, you're watching protesters again out tonight on the streets. The context though far different than it was 24 hours ago when the peaceful protest her, was getting under way. There is obviously an edge to all of this right now. Police obviously sizing things up with different eyes. They have to.
We've heard calls for unity, we've heard calls for calm, but also reminders including from Hillary Clinton today. She says the marchers still have legitimate grievances no matter what happened here in Dallas.
More now on the killer. What authorities have found on his home and what appears to have motivated him? Ed Lavandera has been here all day and you've been working the ground not just here but at the killer's home not far from here. What are authorities saying they found?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it's interesting, as the as the authorities here in downtown Dallas in the middle of that standoff, investigators and detectives were already showing up at Micah Johnson's home in Mesquite which is a suburb around a 30-minute drive east of town, they showed up there just after 1:00 in the morning.
According to detectives they found weaponry, ammunition, and most interestingly, is a journal of combat tactics. And we know that tonight detectives are poring through that journal trying to figure out what was in it, what -- if there's any kind of clues as to motivation, anything specific about how he planned it and carried all this out.
BERMAN: Combat tactics. We do know that this man had served in the military.
LAVANDERA: He did. He served about six years in the U.S. Military, did about nine months in Afghanistan. But he was trained as a carpenter, mason, basic firearm training. I mean to carry out what he carried out last night was a difficult job, someone who was either practiced it somehow, perhaps, is obviously one of the things investigators will be looking at.
[21:10:09] But that was a very elaborate move for one person to take out that many officers. But, you know, this wasn't someone who had an incredibly remarkable military careers, kind of run of a no career though. BERMAN: You said they were looking at these writings, they found and asses. What else did they find in that house?
LAVANDERA: Well, you know that they found the weapons, ammunition and we saw them, ATF agents were inside the home from 1:00 in the morning until about lunchtime today poring through there.
BERMAN: All right. Ed Lavendara, here in Dallas. This is your hometown, thank you so much for being with us. I appreciate it.
LAVANDERA: Thanks for the time.
BERMAN: Again, protesters and police face-to-face tonight in Atlanta, not far from CNN headquarters. It's not the only place protesters are tonight. We have seen them out in Washington as well.
A demonstration expected to get under way in San Francisco shortly, we're going to continue to keep you up the speed on all of them and all the late developments around the country with me now -- right now, Dallas City councilman, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem of this city, Erik Wilson.
Mr. Deputy Mayor thanks so much for being with us. Just know as we've been saying all day, our hearts are with you and our thoughts are with you in the City of Dallas tonight. How are you doing?
ERIK WILSON, DALLAS DEPUTY MAYOR PRO TEM: Tired. First, let me say my condolences goes out to the families, for their loss and for the injured spouse or loved one and from the bottom of this city, of the heart of the city and Mayor Mike Rawlings, we give you our deepest condolences.
BERMAN: When you heard the police chief David Brown say this morning that most days, police feel like they don't get a lot of support. Don't let today be like most days. Do you feel at this point that today hasn't been like most days? Do you feel like this city has rallied behind the police here?
WILSON: Truly from this morning, rally -- memorial rally that we have experienced really falling behind our officers. We show love, we express love and appreciation for the officers that protect us everyday.
BERMAN: What do you see of an update on the investigation right now? We heard from city, state and federal officials right now, that this was the work of one gunman, one guy, killed all these officers and shot all the rest. Any signs that we he had any communications or contact with anyone else?
WILSON: At this point. It's still an investigation. Anything that we find right now we are going through all the social media, phone records, to make sure that he's not affiliated with anyone and that we are not leaving anyone out of this. But, right now, due to the nature of the investigation, that's where we stand.
BERMAN: What questions do you have this evening? WILSON: Like the questions of many family members that I met with over last night. A matter of fact, I just finished meeting with some of the family members at 4:00 this morning.
The question was why? And we're dealing with that as a city. Why did this happen. We have a good record. We're one of the model cities for community relations with police and the community. So to have this happen here is contradictory to what we have going on. And we have a great police chief. He's community oriented. So this question of why here? Why us?
BERMAN: When someone does ask that, how do you answer it?
WILSON: That's a tough question. That's a tough answer. It's a soul-searching answer. You look at the individual and it may not be us. It may individual.
BERMAN: Obviously, there are frayed nerves around the country tonight. The country is on edge. Looking at pictures right now, you can see protests in Atlanta. There are protests in other cities around the country. What's your message to those protesters?
WILSON: My message is frustration is real. Anxiety is real. And a lot of this is stemming from an opportunity or a lack of opportunity to be able to express yourself, to get the results as you want. So the best way to be able to do that is to do what you can do and that may be -- it was destructive manner.
As long as even last night, there has not been a conflict or war that's ever been resolved with violence. Violence begets violence. Conflicts and wars stop because of communication. We have to learn to communicate and accept each other. Yes, we look different, we are short or we're tall, but at the end of the day we want the same thing. We are both human, we want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That's where we need to understand but its one thing that makes us strong.
BERMAN: All right. Deputy Mayor Erik Wilson, thank you so much for being with us again. The thoughts are with you in the city.
WILSON: Thank you.
BERMAN: All right. I want to go back Polo Sandoval on the phone, right now, he is in the middle of that protest in Atlanta that we're looking at right now. A crowd surrounding a truck -- it's actually Polo gets up the road from the protest at this truck. This truck is now being surrounded. Polo, what can you tell us you see right now?
SANDOVAL: Yeah. I do look at some of these pictures here John. We'll be able to see that there are thousands of protesters that have gathered in one of the highways that feed on to the interstate just off downtown Atlanta and that is whether the tractor trailer is essentially been parked. Not sure if that was part of the traffic we have seen here recently but this now an opportunity for some of these protesters who actually jump on top of it. [21:15:06] Since obviously, don't know -- they aren't showing any signs of backing off. You also have facilities to your state troopers with the State of Georgia that has not moved back at all.
In fact, there are several layers that continue to form here as troopers have essentially made a human chain, a wall, if you will, of uniforms keeping some of these protesters from making their way on to the interstate. Because I can tell you, we went out with another march, we fairly following yesterday, about 1,500 strong, things were quiet, things were peaceful and then things got a bit tense when they made -- some of these protesters made it on to the highway.
So this morning, authorities, the city mayor said, welcome an opportunity for these protesters to actually take to the streets of downtown, as long as they stayed off the highway. That is clearly something that they are hoping to do and authorities here are not planning to actually break the wall that's been established John.
BERMAN: Polo, can I ask you, is the disposition among law enforcement tonight on streets there, where you're seeing any different than it was last night, given what happened where I am in Dallas? Are there tactics, any different, any visible distinction to you?
SANDOVAL: You know, that question was asked of not only the mayor but also the police chief who happens to be a good friend of the Dallas police chief. And they've been in contact. They did say they would plan on increasing a certain tactical presence. By that, they are basically saying they would have some of these tactical units including SWAT team members that would be scattered throughout the city. However, they did say, that you wouldn't necessarily be able to see them.
And I did actually notice there were a couple of people in unmarked vehicles on street corners. They would parked there monitoring the situation. Obviously security is a concern now, about 24 hours after the sound of gunfire rang out in the lone star state business, something that authorities here.
It's in the back of their minds. But at this point, again, they are relatively peaceful, very passionate protesters here and really what it is a standoff here. And as long as nobody tries to actually break the line, don't expect any arrests, at least not yet, because that's what we saw yesterday. No arrests in spite of the fairly tense moments on the highway
BERMAN: All right. Polo Sandoval in Atlanta. Keep us posted as posted Polo as events transpire there.
Just ahead for us, I'm going to speak to a witness who was at the protest here in Dallas last night. She was there with her two children. And as we go to break, we're also seeing marchers back in New York, protesters starting at Grand Central terminal, fanning out from there. We'll going to continue to follow development all around the country, when "360" continues from Dallas.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [21:20:44] BERMAN: New demonstrations tonight in some major roadways in Atlanta and on the streets of New York as well. I want to go to those streets right now. CNN'S Miguel Marquez near Times Square, he joins us. Miguel, what are you seeing?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What you're looking at right now, John is Broadway. This is protesters headed up Broadway the wrong way, completely shutting down the street here. This is something they have been chanting all night, that they want to shut the city down. They want to take it away and show people whose city it is. And they are doing just that, in this particular area of the city.
One bizarre point of the evening was when they marched all the way to Grand Central Terminal. We have several hundred protesters here. And they started at Union Square. They snaked their way into the city. They eventually got to Grand Central Terminal which was absolutely surreal given that you are hearing, you know, the call for trains in that cavernous room and these protesters with arms in the air and then chanting very loudly. It was certainly different and even by New York standards.
As you can see, this is Times Square right down here. You can see the protesters still behind us. Police have been getting more aggressive with protesters, trying to get them on the street. If you're seeing back right here in front, you can see the number of police officers we have here. There are other groups of police officers who are more heavily clad. They have riot helmets on and the white plastic cuffs, clearly ready for arrests if it arises.
At the moment, we've not seen any arrests in these protests. There was a second protest in town today that started up in Harlem, it moved downtown but seems to have dissipated at this point.
We're not quite sure how far we're going to go but clearly, we are marching uptown in Manhattan on Broadway at the moment. They've actually just moved them back on to the sidewalk for the moment. John?
BERMAN: All right, Miguel Marquez in New York. We're going to keep our eye on what's going on there also protests in Atlanta and other cities around the country. It was a protest here in Dallas last night where everything changed so fast. And it's hard to overstate the horror of what happened here, to go from a protest like the ones we're seeing tonight which are largely peaceful. People want to be heard to go from that to chaos and carnage.
Sharay Santora was there, not just on her own, but she was there with her two children. She had been in the military. She served in the navy. And last night sadly, she saw combat again. She joins us right now. Sharay, thanks for being with us.
SHARAY SANTORA, DALLAS SHOOTING WITNESS: Thank you for having me.
BERMAN: Take us back to last night. Where were you, how did it unfold? SANTORA: I was in a place where I was hurrying to get to the movement. My kids and I heard about it, we saw it, we wanted to be there. You know, we were a little bit late. We weren't there at 7:00. We turned on the street and were immediately stopped by traffic. And all you saw were young people, old people, black people, white people, Asian people, we saw people in their full national garb, we saw police officers shaking hands and giving high fives and hugging people and being really in the moment with us.
We saw people getting out of their cars and joining the people that were walking down the street. It took about 30, 45 minutes for us to park and to join.
We got to the courthouse, there were a few speakers. They spoke on how proud they were that so many people had showed up, were so peaceful. There was so much love and there was so much caring and we said we're not going to stop here. It's going to keep going, it's going to keep moving. We don't know what to do but we are here when you need us, we're here when you're not, we're taking a stand. He said let's move back to the park. We're going to walk this way, get your walking mate, let's be peaceful, let's continue this feeling, let's continue this positive energy. Let's go.
[21:24:57] We started moving, we were chanting, we're singing. There -- we feel light low in the chant. And you hear what literally sounds like black cat firecrackers. Everyone got quiet, slowed down. Five, six seconds later we hear it again and we knew it was shooting.
We started to get to the sides of the street and then a man came running back down with that across, he had a cross in his hand and he was yelling, you know, go the other way, it's an active shooter, get out of the way, get out of the way.
And right behind him, there were Dallas PD that were sending us to the sides and running toward the sound of the shots. As soon as the road cleared, police cars came barreling down the road toward the shots and they kept telling us leave the area, get to safety.
And I've done a lot of speaking today. I haven't had any sleep. I've talked to my children, I've talked to different, you know, agencies about what happened, and it's still surreal. I know that it happened, as bad as it is I'm glad that it happened because people need to understand that we cannot act out, we cannot kill and when it does happen, it's not that we continue to answer that with more anger and more killing.
We answer it with love. We answer it with a conversation. We answer it with positivity. That's not t way to handle things. And being here is just hard because you see these cars and these flowers and it brings back those moments when those officers made us move out of the way so they could protect us.
They were there from the beginning. They were shaking hands with us. They were loving us. They never said a bad word to us. And they protected us from beginning to end and it was just -- it was very sad but I'm very glad that the conversation is continuing. I'm very glad that there's such an outpouring of love and people don't understand in Dallas, this is not going to continue, we band together. We love Dallas PD. They're great to us. They're great people. They walk the streets, they talk to us. They make my children feel comfortable where we usually fear officers in other places.
And we just pray for the families and we pray that this doesn't continue, that it stops as soon as possible.
BERMAN: Sharay Santora, thanks for being with us, we're glad you're OK. And we appreciate your words. I know law enforcement does as well. Thank you so much.
SANTORA: Thank you.
BERMAN: We want to get some perspective now on all of this from our panel of law enforcement experts who watched what happened here last night and can talk about how it all went down.
Joining me is DeKalb Country Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander, he is the former president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement officials. Also are joining us right now, former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes and Chris Voss, former FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator.
Tom, obviously last night, we just heard from a witness right now here, it was chaotic here last night. A peaceful protest one minute, it was sounds like firecrackers the next, a barrage of bullets, people running down the streets, police telling everyone to get out of the way.
They're trained in crowd control but I don't think anyone is trained for anything like this. So a sniper basically looking to kill them, you know, from a parking garage. How do you think they handled the situation?
TOM FUENTES, FMR FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Well, I think the police did a tremendous job and you heard it from her, that you know, they were walking along, talking with the police, the relationship was great, the community loves the Dallas Police Department and vice versa, you know, so I think that, you know, what she said was really moving about the relationship and about how the officers tried to protect them when those shots were fired to get them out of harm's way.
And I think police officers don't have to be trained for every possible variance of a situation but that much they know, protect the people and if people are out and exposed to danger, protect them and get them out of the danger.
BERMAN: And you heard the gratitude tonight from Sharay Santora who I just spoke through right there. Cedric, what about the confusion of how many gunmen were involved right now? Because at the time, overnight, there was a feeling that there was more than one, there was two, there was three. Then it turned out there was just one.
Once they did know there was one, did it make sense to try to engage them like they did to try to get him to surrender?
CEDRIC ALEXANDER, DEKALB COUNTRY PUBLIC SAFETY DIRECTOR: Well, in the real life situation such as what we saw last night, John, you had one long rifle, you are down there in the city surrounded by buildings and many of them have garages and such so when you fire that weapon it's going to in many times the sound is going to reverberate and bounce itself a various number of buildings where it may sound as if you have really more than one gunman.
[21:30:04] But initially in the chaos of all of that, there was really no way for them to know until sometime later as they continue to tactically advance the target that they were seeking. They were probably able to determine then at least they had one target. But that was a very difficult situation, one in which officers responded initially without any long rifles themselves. They had sidearms, .40 caliber weapons and nine millimeters up against 223 rounds, AK type weapons.
And I tell you, they were heroic. They did an outstanding job. They got people to safety. And it had not been for the bravery of those men and women in that police department last night, it certainly could have been worse as if it was not bad enough.
But our hearts and prayers go out to the five officers who lost their lives protecting people who were there exercising their First Amendment rights and Ms. Santora said it wonderfully, graciously. And it's -- I'm still pained by it. And I'm way down here in DeKalb County, Georgia. It's very hurtful.
BERMAN: You can feel the pain is palpable here as well Cedric. Chris, I want to talk to you about what happened inside that garage, the discussions that they had. You've been involved in negotiations like this. When do you know, when do you know that the man that you are talking to wants to die?
CHRIS VOSS, FMR FBI LEAD INTERNATIONAL KIDNAPPING NEGOTIATOR: Well, we have great expectations of hostage negotiators in these situations. And they're going to looking for very specific things from the very beginning to begin to assess whether or not he has any vision of the future that includes him being alive or whether he's stalling because he's ambivalent or maybe he has other things in mind.
So, the first thing they're going to check is, has he made any sort of an escape demand. If he hasn't, that tells negotiators right away that there's a pretty good chance that this guy doesn't see himself getting out of there alive. Now, they have to find out whether he wants to continue killing while he's inside.
From everything that I've heard, the hostage negotiators were outstanding here like. They negotiated in a way where they gathered information on this guy and did everything they could to support a resolution of it where there was no further loss of life, as long as the suspect would let there be no further loss of life. His life was in his hands and he wouldn't let law enforcement bring him out. They did the only thing they could do. BERMAN: It's a great point. They found out a great deal of information during that discussion. And they had police on the scene at his house while that negotiation was still going on. It's very possible they might have been able to find more information had there been were there or there.
People connected to it, they could've prevented even more attacks. So, that did give them information they still badly needed.
Chris, just one other point, the robot with the explosive device, I don't think I've ever seen that before. He was killed by a robot that carried an explosive device that they detonated. Why do you think that decision was made?
VOSS: Well, that's the first time that I've heard of it also. I think it was a very smart thing to do because at this point in time, the negotiators had the opportunity to gather enough information to know that this guy was going to try to kill any other police officers that came near him. And with no hostage inside, it made no sense for police to physically try to go in there to dig him out.
They had to try to figure out a way to eliminate the threat because the other problem they had at this time was they can't get bogged down on this guy with the possibility of there being other shooters that could potentially be fleeing (ph). So they had to deal -- he was an imminent threat. And they have to deal with him as quickly as they could. I think this was a very smart idea.
BERMAN: All right, again, you're hearing on the streets here from everyone we talked to that the police last night, they were heroes. They save countless, countless lives. Cedric Alexander, Tom Fuentes, Chris Voss, thank you so much.
FUENTES: Thank you.
BERMAN: Next, as we continue to honor the officers here, we're also monitoring the protests and the response around the country right now. We're going to speak to a former NYPD detective and a former advisor of President Obama about how they think Dallas has changed things and where to go from here.
[21:38:08] BERMAN: Welcome back, John Berman here in front of Dallas Police Headquarters in Dallas, Texas. You can see the memorial, the vigil, people coming out to pay their respects here to police officers. The flowers, the balloons, the signs and more than anything else, you can see the feeling here as this city comes together to honor the police officers who lost their lives last night and the police officers who did their jobs last night keeping protesters safe.
Protesters who were out on the streets wanting to be heard over the deaths of two people earlier this week at the hands of police. We just heard some remarkable stories about what police did to keep them alive. We also heard remarkable stories about the camaraderie between police and protesters here in Dallas last night. Also of note right now, more protests around the country. Even after what happened here last night. You can see live pictures. We've seen Atlanta. There's a standoff in Atlanta right now between police and protesters. I say a standoff right now. There are police on the streets blocking the progress of marchers who'd been marching on a highway right there.
You can see some of the marchers right there now surrounding a truck. There are also people marching through the streets of New York tonight. Again, we saw them out there last night. So far tonight's gatherings they are peaceful. We certainly hope they remain that way.
It was peaceful here in Dallas last night as we said before all the horror took place. I think we are looking at right there is New York as well.
Joining me talk about what we're seeing tonight, what we saw last night, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and retired NYPD Detective Harry Houck and CNN Political Commentator, former Obama Administration Official Van Jones.
Harry, let me ask you, there are protests again tonight. There are police out again tonight trying to make sure the streets are safe and the protesters are safe. What do you think is going through the mind of those officers tonight who are out there on the streets given what happened here in Dallas last night?
[21:40:07] HARRY HOUCK, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: Well, you know, what happened last night is in the minds of every police officer in this country right now. So, I'm sure that police officers are a little leery, you know, is what happened last night going to happen again tonight?
Now, you know, right now the information that regarding the attack, this was a lone gunman at the time and there was not a second shooter, but there is still a possibility that there is a conspiracy going on out there and the possibility that there might be a group, you know, working together to shoot police officers.
Now, we have had a couple -- there were a couple of attacks today on police officers in the country. I think there were five or six attacks on the police officers today. One officer, a white officer, pulled over a black man and the black man shot the white officer in the neck.
And to the police office -- the police officers who took that man down, took him down without a shot being fired. So all this rhetoric about police officers looking to kill black men, here we had an incident in Missouri where police officers could have very easily shot this man who shot a police officer and they decided not to and took him down.
BERMAN: Harry, we absolutely know, I think actually the number is three attacks today on police officers. We have not heard from law enforcement any word of a conspiracy but you are absolutely right, there are several police officers who have come under attack today and that's always a cause for concern.
Van, let me ask you. We see the protests out tonight. We see Atlanta, we also see New York. Should protesters -- the question people are asking tonight, should they be back out on the streets tonight given what happened here in Dallas?
VAN JONES, FMR OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICER: Well, first of all, I just want to say how heartbroken I am. You know, Harry said this is on the minds of every police officer. He's right. It also should be on the minds of every human being.
What happened yesterday was horrific. There is no justification for that at all. I thought Harry's comments earlier today, his cheerful appreciation for the heroism that was shown should be seen by every human being. Because if you don't understand what police officers are going through, Harry explained it better than anybody has ever done. I appreciate your leadership through this, Harry.
That said ...
HOUCK: Thanks, Van.
JONES: ... I don't think we should let terrorists win. That man was a hate-filled racist, bigoted terrorist and we should not let terrorists win.
People should continue to peacefully petition the government for redress of grievances as is protected by the constitution. That's what those police officers were out there to defend and we should not surrender that willy-nilly.
I also want to say it's not necessarily the idea that there's going to be some big conspiracy that's uncovered but there could be copycatting. And what you want to make sure, people who are part of the Black Lives Matter Movement and other movements, is to say this is not acceptable.
We are not -- the goals of the movement can be achieved without violence. In fact, have to be achieved without violence. And no matter how heated some chants may be or some spirited rally may have gotten at any point, be very, very, very clear, you are outside of the circle of this movement the minute you use violence against anyone, period.
BERMAN: Harry, you heard what Van just said. You -- I've heard today what happened here in Dallas called a hate crime, an act of domestic terror and it is certainly both of those things. Do you think that that is being said loudly enough?
HOUCK: Well, I hope so. I'm sure we're not the only ones talking about it here on CNN. You know, these incidents that -- or these groups out there that have this rhetoric towards anti-police rhetoric out there, you know, words matter.
These -- we've got politicians in this country that say anti-police things. All right, we have the congressional black caucus making comments about hands up, don't shoot, something that never even actually happened.
You know, we've to be looking at leadership here right now. And all the leadership has got to get together, you know, and unite.
BERMAN: All right this conversation will certainly continue. Van, we'll give you, you have plenty of a chance to respond, Harry Houch, Van Jones, thanks so much. We're going to take a quick break.
Up next, one of the witnesses who caught last night's chaos with his cellphone camera. He actually live streamed this all on Facebook. I'm going to speak with him when "360" continues.
[21:49:03] BERMAN: This being the era of cellphone cameras in every pocket, there are multiple views from multiple angles of the shootings here in Dallas last night. One of the witnesses Michael Bautista streamed the video live on Facebook while he was hearing gun shoots. I'm going to speak with him in a moment.
First though, here's what he captured on his cellphone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BAUTISTA, DALLAS SHOOTING WITNESS: He's all right, he (inaudible) attention. And there's somebody else down over there. If you can see around this corner, I don't know if you all can see that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of there. Get out of there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the street! Get out of the street!
BAUTISTA: They're telling me to go. I got to go. I got everything, man. I got everything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right. Michael Bautista joins us now. Michael, this is harrowing video. I mean you're streaming, I should say you're live streaming our conversation right now.
BAUTISTA: Yes I am.
BERMAN: That's one thing. It's a different thing to livestream a mass shooting that you are caught in the middle of. Why did you make that decision?
[21:50:05] BAUTISTA: Part of me was to protect myself just because of what was going on with -- with what was going -- with the other shootings days prior. But other than that it was to let my family know that I was safe and let everybody know what was going on, spread knowledge and wisdom and love most of all.
BERMAN: As you were talking over that video that you were filming, were you convinced that you were going to be safe? BAUTISTA: Not really. I was pretty scared that something was going to happen to me too. Especially after seeing that-- well, after that video of me getting away, I kind of felt like I was safer. Then they said that somebody was in the alleyway. So, I was kind of nervous and wanted to move back again when I started shooting live with some of the other networks.
BERMAN: You have an eight-year-old son?
BAUTISTA: Yes sir.
BERMAN: What were you thinking about him while this is all going on?
BAUTISTA: I'm hoping that I could see him. I see him tomorrow. But I feel something about them and the rest of my family too.
BERMAN: What would you ever think if he saw that video that you showed last night?
BAUTISTA: He did see it. And he doesn't quite understand, you know. He understands that I was in danger. But he's just looking at it like I was on TV and he think that's cool.
BERMAN: Do you understand it?
BAUTISTA: I do. I completely understand it. And its heart breaking, everything that's happened.
BERMAN: Now, you shot that, you filmed that video, you got a little distance away, then I understand you went back?
BAUTISTA: Yes, I did. I got a little distance away and I got closer a bit because I saw them doing tactical movements inside of the building. And I just wanted to capture a little bit of that. And just so that people could what was going on.
BERMAN: We've heard from a lot of witnesses about just the sheer of heroism of the police officers there, who were walking alongside the protesters, keeping the protesters safe, you know, keeping them moving.
BERMAN: And then as soon as these shootings happened, immediately running toward the gunshots.
BAUTISTA: Yes. And I commend them all for that. That's -- oh, god, it's scary stuff. Sorry, thinking back on it, it got me speechless.
BERMAN: What did you see from officers?
BAUTISTA: A lot of just then the want to protect people. Once they realized that there were people in the parking lot, they quickly ushered us out of there. And they did so in a really cool manner, I really appreciated it.
BERMAN: Michael Bautista, thank you so much for being with us. I appreciate that you're here, thrilled that you're good.
BAUTISTA: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
BERMAN: It was a heartbreaking day for police chief here in Dallas, David Brown, who had to maintain his composure despite his department's incredible loss. He's faced remarkable heartbreak before, too many times for any one person. His story is next.
[21:56:36] BERMAN: The past 24 hours have tested the entire Dallas area community. By the way, a community gathering here tonight outside Dallas Police Headquarters. Perhaps, no one has been more tested than Police Chief David Brown. A dozen officers were shot last night.
Five of them died. Four of those killed served directly under him, a horrible loss that put Chief Brown back in the glare of cameras. Yet, he never lost his composure far from anybody, held as he gather even as he shared details of the ambush live on television, turns out he's been tested before and not just on the job.
Here's Randi Kaye.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: We're hurting. Our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken.
RANDI KAYE, CNN RESPONDENT: Dallas Police Chief David Brown, heart broken and hurting, he's been here before. Back in 1998, one of the most violent years for police officers in his city, Brown responded to a shooting. He was only weeks into his assignment with the department's officer involved shooting team.
Immediately, he spotted a familiar pair of sun glasses at the scene and realized the officer who had been shot was his classmate from the academy, his former partner. Brown talked about it later in his police memorial video.
BROWN: My best friend, Police Officer Walter Williams, was killed in the line of duty.
KAYE: Brown's former partner, Walter Williams had been ambushed and shot in the head. He died at the hospital. Brown told the Dallas Morning News year news years ago, I really relate to all of those in- the-line-of-duty deaths on a much more personal level. You lose a partner, you just never get over it.
The pain didn't end there. Three years later in 1991, David Brown lost his younger brother to violence when he was killed by drug dealers. This morning after four of his officers were killed by a sniper, Chief Brown, yet again, felt the toll of violence.
BROWN: All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens. KAYE: Brown has seen more than his share of tragedy, both
professionally and personally. In 2010, he lost his son in a shoot- out with police. At the time, Brown was just seven weeks into the top job as chief. His son, also named David, had reportedly suffered a psychotic break down, before killing a man.
When the police officer responded, the chief's son killed the officer too before he was fatally shot more than a dozen times. Chief Brown released a statement to the officers telling them, that hurts so deeply. I cannot adequately express the sadness I feel inside my heart.
Chief Brown is a 30-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department. Known for being a loner, he also has a reputation for being introspective and intense says the Dallas Morning News. Brown reportedly had plans to go to law school and become a prosecutor. But police work changed all of that.
In a column the chief wrote back in 2014 after Michael Brown was killed by a white Ferguson police officer, he said he was reminded of his first interview at the academy. When he was asked why he wanted to become a police officer, his response, he wrote, I want to help people, sir. I want to serve my community. I want to make a difference.
Randy Kaye, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[22:00:11] BERMAN: That does it for us tonight from Dallas. Time now for CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.