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Wintry Storm Leaves Lots of Headaches Behind; Brutal Day in Iraq; Thousands of Hezbollah Supporters Protest in Beirut; Castro A No Show At Celebrations; Legal Briefs; Some Feel Screening Machine Invades Privacy
Aired December 2, 2006 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: "Now in the News," nasty weather. From the Midwest to the Northeast, the big dig continues after a powerful storm dumped more than a foot of snow in some areas. A live weather forecast coming up in about two minutes.
A rising death toll in the Philippines after yesterday's devastating typhoon. Officials now say more than 300 people are dead and another 300 are missing. Entire villages are buried under mud and boulders.
An escalating death toll also in Baghdad right now. Three car bombs exploded in quick succession near a busy market, killing more than 50 people and wounding some 90 others.
Protesters turned out today outside the nightclub where an unarmed man was shot to death by New York police. Officers fired 50 shots at Sean Bell's car, killing him last Saturday on his wedding day. He was buried today.
And a no-show. Cuba's Fidel Castro didn't make it to a military parade today. It caps five days of belated celebrations for his 80th birthday.
Castro has not been seen all week. U.S. officials suspect he has inoperable cancer.
In Beirut, the atmosphere almost carnival-like, but for thousands who have gathered the goal is very serious. We'll have a live report.
And in "Legal Briefs," our attorneys will take up the case of a no-knock warrant case that led to the killing of an elderly Atlanta woman.
And new technology just around the corner. What might airport screeners really see of you?
You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. The news unfolds live this Saturday, the 2nd day of December.
I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
Millions of Americans are spending this weekend digging out from a wintry mess. The season's first big storm has moved to the Northeast after dumping ice and snow from the southern plains to the upper Midwest.
This was the scene in Traverse City, Michigan. Across the region at least 11 deaths are now blamed on this storm. The snow and ice played havoc with travel, making highways slick and impassable in some cases. Hundreds of flights were even canceled and thousands of people are still without power.
In Missouri, ice was a big problem. It coated trees and power lines and the highways. This scene in St. Louis.
Let's check in with Jacqui Jeras, where it would be nice to say the big thaw is under way.
But not everywhere, right?
JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Not even close, really, actually, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Well, while the big wintry storm has moved away from the nation's heartland, it left a lot of headaches behind.
CNN's Ed Lavandera takes a closer look at the storm's impact.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Chicago O'Hare empty, a FedEx plane stuck in the mud, piles of snow, cars stuck in ditches, snow blowers humming -- the snapshots of a winter like mess.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I loved it. I got the day off yesterday. I didn't have to go to work, so it was great.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had to go to work this morning and I'm looking at some vacation time. So I just decided to take a half day and hope that I can make it home in four hours.
LAVANDERA: Humor was in short supply for the thousands of people who tried to navigate the roadways. A 50-mile stretch of Interstate 70 in Missouri had to be shut down. Nothing says you're about to have a bad day like spinning off the road while driving to work.
This Chicago resident was lucky enough to be caught on tape struggling through the storm.
HUGO CUNIGA, CHICAGO RESIDENT: The road, it was pretty bad. And it was worse. It was kind of drizzling worse. But, I mean, we expected it. I mean we heard that on the news, but we never thought it was going to be like this bad.
LAVANDERA: Across Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri, many areas saw nearly 12 inches of snow. Snow piles reached 18 inches in some places. Thousands of travelers stranded. Airlines canceled hundreds of flights. By late Friday, airports were starting to crank up again, but it will take some time to get the backlog of stranded passengers to where they want to go.
Hundreds of thousands of homes across the Midwest lost power. The weight of snow and ice cracked tree limbs and knocked over power lines.
GARY RAINWATER, PRESIDENT/CEO, AMERICAN CORP.: Some customers will be out for four or five days and possibly longer.
LAVANDERA: As the storm makes its way into Canada and the Northeast, the heartland looks forward to seeing the sun again.
Ed Lavandera, CNN, Chicago.
WHITFIELD: Another brutal day in Baghdad. Car bombings, shootings, ambushes. More than 100 people dead in the carnage.
Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson live now from the Iraqi capital -- Nic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, those very deadly blasts coming late this afternoon about an hour before dusk in a crowded market in the center of Baghdad. Three car bombs going off in quick succession. Fifty-one people killed, 90 injured, so many people injured they were taken to five different hospitals.
From where we are here we could see huge columns of black smoke rising up from the area. Ten stores in the market were destroyed, 12 vehicles in the area also destroyed. A very bloody attack, timed, it seems, before the stores would have been closing up for people to go home before dark, but still at a time when it would have been relatively busy.
We've also been told by Baghdad police today that they found 44 bullet-riddled bodies on the streets of Baghdad. They say some had shown signs of torture, some had their hands bound behind their backs. All an indication, as we've seen in the past here, of sectarian-style killings.
North of Baghdad, in the town of Baquba, the Iraqi army, backed up by U.S. troops, raided a compound of insurgents, and they say they freed a 12-year-old boy who had been held kidnapped for 25 days, being held for ransom by the insurgents. The Iraqi army say they rounded up 43 insurgents, 25 of them on their most wanted list -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: And Nic, it is hard to look past this violence, but come Monday President Bush will be meeting with a leading Shiite leader, a senior Shiite leader, I should say, in Washington. The violence has to be just one of the many things that they will be discussing.
ROBERTSON: They are very likely to talk about the political process right now. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim is a Shia clerical leader, leader of one of the largest or the largest Shia political party here. They will very likely discuss the situation here, the fact that the United States is putting pressure on the prime minister here, Nuri al-Maliki, to get rid of some of the armed militias in Iraq. And one of those militias is very close to his political party, Muqtada al- Sadr, who supports the prime minister. It's his armed militia that the prime minister has been told to clear up, and that puts a lot of pressure on the prime minister.
No doubt that coming up for discussion with President Bush. A lot of concern among leading politicians here that this effort to clear out the militias that are operating in Baghdad could bring down this current government. There are other people they say who could be prime minister, who could fill these top jobs, but a lot of concern right now about this issue -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Nic Robertson in Baghdad.
Thanks so much.
Well, tonight in the NEWSROOM, the next chapter in Iraq. Carol Lin examines the military options for the U.S., ranging from a complete troop withdrawal, to sending more Americans into the conflict. That's tonight at 5:30 Eastern, right here in the NEWSROOM.
And on "THIS WEEK AT WAR," CNN correspondents discuss the ongoing bloodshed in Iraq. They'll also talk about troop deployments and whether Iraq is indeed in a civil war.
Join John Roberts tonight at 7:00 Eastern.
To Beirut now. A massive anti-government rally is under way in the heart of the Lebanese capital.
CNN's Hala Gorani joins us live from the scene, where it's noisy.
Thousands upon thousands of people still demonstrating -- Hala.
HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they're saying it's open- ended, actually, Fredricka. It started yesterday with hundreds of thousands of opposition demonstrators led by the Shiite militant party, Hezbollah.
Right now they are conducting sit-ins, and it's very pretty much a carnival atmosphere, where they are still demanding, though, in a very forceful yet peaceful way so far that the U.S.-backed prime minister of Lebanon step down, Fouad Siniora. It is a seismic event potentially in this country, because there is a major tug-of-war going on between the anti-Syrian government of Fouad Siniora and the pro- Syrian parties of Hezbollah, Amal, and even a Christian party led by Michel Aoun, an ex-army general.
Earlier in the day, the Lebanese prime minister said these protests are no way to resolve disputes in this country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FOUAD SINIORA, LEBANESE PRIME MINISTER: I have a strong belief in the Lebanese that definitely they have tried all attempts to solve problems in the past through violent ways, through non-peaceful means. And it proved to be a failure.
So we cannot resort to violent ways. It doesn't solve the problem. In Lebanon it does not solve the problem.
Don't let anybody waste his time. It will not lead to anything. We have to agree among each other on all the issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. For their part, Hezbollah says that this government of Prime Minister Siniora does not represent them.
Now, Fredricka, this is very significant because it doesn't just affect Lebanon. The government of Fouad Siniora is backed by the United States. If there is any significant shift in the power structure in this country, it won't just alter the regional balance and diplomatic balance of power here, but throughout the globe.
Back to you.
WHITFIELD: So then, Hala, that brings me to the question: What about other world leaders? What are they seeing in this demonstration?
GORANI: Well, those who support the government of Fouad Siniora, including Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, say be careful, because if this continues it might turn Lebanon again into a battleground.
The secretary-general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, is coming to Lebanon tomorrow, Sunday. He is offering himself up as a mediator.
Now, not surprisingly, the Syrian official news agency is saying that the demonstrators are expressing their democratic right and that the cabinet of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora should listen to them.
Back to you.
WHITFIELD: Hala Gorani in Beirut.
Thanks so much.
Now to Cuba, where a huge party is under way for Fidel, but where is the guest of honor? We'll have a live report from Havana.
And later in "Legal Briefs," an elderly Atlanta woman, this woman, killed in a no-knock drug raid at her home. We'll talk about the rules police must follow in such a case.
And the naked truth about some new scanners that may be coming to an airport near you.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: Perhaps you have a compelling winter weather story to share. If you do, you can report for CNN.
CNN has launched I-Report, with you, the viewer, as our eyes and ears. If you capture a great picture or video on your camera or cell phone, send it to us. Log on to CNN.com or punch firstname.lastname@example.org on your cell. Your I-Report is your chance to share what you have witnessed.
And here are a few pictures that we've received from you.
Patty Forsythe (ph) sent us this view of the damage caused by heavy snow to a marina at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. Several docks collapsed and some of the boats have been damaged.
And more than a foot of snow in Columbia, Missouri, buried this car. You can't see it because it's buried. Jack Barry (ph) sent us this picture from his neighborhood.
Too sick to party? Cuba's president, Fidel Castro, a no-show at celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of his revolution. Lots of questions now about whether the ailing leader will ever return to power.
Our Morgan Neill is live from Havana.
MORGAN NEILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, that's right. Today we've seen the close of five days of celebrations to celebrate in a belated way President Fidel Castro's birthday. And he's been unable to appear at any of them.
Today was the real climax, a military parade through Havana's Revolutionary Plaza. We saw armored vehicles, we saw tanks, MiG fighters. We even saw a replica of the boat that originally brought these rebels from Mexico to Cuba some 50 years ago.
But in the place where we're accustomed to seeing President Fidel Castro stood his brother Raul, the acting president and longtime defense minister. Raul Castro took the opportunity to say that the unity between the Cuban people, the communist party and the Cuban army would -- would repeal any attempts of imperialism to take away any of Cuba's sovereignty, but he made no mention of his brother Fidel Castro's condition.
What does this all mean for Cubans, the fact that the president was unable to appear today? Well, primarily it means more uncertainty.
They have been hearing over and over through state media that his recovery is going well, and yet he himself had set the date for this celebration when he realized he couldn't -- he couldn't be there on August 13th, his real birthday, and then was unable to appear today. So that's definitely cast a lot of doubt on his recovery -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Morgan Neill in Havana.
Thanks so much.
Well, the U.S. dodged a bullet this hurricane season. We'll look at why, if there is an explanation, straight ahead.
And later, a medical miracle in the making in Saudi Arabia. These two beautiful girls conjoined, well, perhaps no more.
Details straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.
WHITFIELD: A big sigh of relief. The Atlantic hurricane season quietly whimpered into the history books a couple of days ago. Not a single hurricane hit the U.S. this year. Rather remarkable given last year's record parade of storms.
In today's "Our Planet," meteorologist Rob Marciano shows us why.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): If you think you missed hurricane season, you're not alone. We all missed it, or rather it missed us.
Not a single hurricane made landfall on a U.S. coastline this year. That is rare. It's happened fewer than a dozen times since the end of World War II.
GERRY BELL, NOAA CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER: I think everybody was relieved that we didn't have any hurricane landfalls this year because we've had so many hurricanes striking the U.S. over the last four years. A lot of the coastal U.S., the Gulf Coast and parts of the East Coast of the U.S., have already been compromised from previous years, and those areas really need a break to continue rebuilding efforts.
MARCIANO: The federal government's initial outlook last May called for up to 16 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and as many as six major hurricanes. So what happened?
BELL: We were forecasting a more active season. It turns out that El Nino developed more rapidly than expected and the atmosphere responded quickly. So that really helped to offset the overall favorable conditions that we've had in place for more than the last decade.
MARCIANO: El Nino warms the waters in the Pacific, increasing westerly winds, weakening Atlantic hurricanes, and can also steer them away. And when El Nino forms mid-summer, there's almost no way for even the most sophisticated computer models to see it coming.
After a record year in 2005 with the likes of Katrina, Rita and Wilma, forecasters seemed to err on the side of caution predicting hurricanes for 2006. And Americans paid for it at the pump.
Gas prices soared after the hurricane outlook was released just before Memorial Day, fueled by an 80 percent chance of an above normal hurricane season. Prices came down later in the summer when the fickle forecast was revised.
(on camera): Long-range hurricane prediction is tricky business. Like fortune-telling, an accurate read is rewarded with trust, but if the forecast is way off like it was this year, there's a chance people right not heed the warnings and prepare properly for future hurricane seasons.
BELL: This year our August forecast was the first August forecast ever to over-forecast the activity. So this is not a common thing.
People should not take this as an opportunity to say, well, this forecast missed this year. I won't listen to next year's forecast. That would not be wise.
MARCIANO (voice-over): Forecasters are quick to point out that this is just one quiet season in a very active hurricane era, and that this active period could last another 20 years. So don't let your guard down. This year has nothing to do with next year.
Rob Marciano, CNN, reporting.
WHITFIELD: "Going Global" now.
Doctors in Saudi Arabia today successfully separated a pair of Iraqi conjoined twins. The 11-month-old girls were joined at the chest and abdomen and shared many vital organs. The chief surgeon says the twins' condition is stable.
The widow of poisoned Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko now testing positive herself for radioactive Polonium. A man who dined with Litvinenko in London also has small amounts of the metal in his system.
Bill Clinton is in Thailand visiting tsunami reconstruction projects there. It's his final trip to the region as the top U.N. envoy for the 2004 tsunami recovery effort. Some 216,000 people were killed in the South Asia tsunami, and a half million were left homeless. Most still without permanent housing.
Since 1927, "TIME" editors have named a person of the year on the cover of a special issue of "TIME" magazine. The title is given to the person who, for better or worse, the magazine's editors believe had the greatest impact on the year's events.
This year's "TIME" "Person of the Year" will be announced on CNN December 16th, sometime between 8:00 and 9:00 Eastern. Here's a look at one of the contenders.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice crisscrossing the globe as the diplomatic sands shift in Iraq and in Washington, D.C. The top U.S. diplomat lands a nomination as "TIME" magazine's "Person of the Year."
ROMESH RATNESAR, WORLD EDITOR, "TIME": Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, I think has emerged as the pivotal figure in the Bush administration's national security team. As secretary of state, she's come into her own, and she's developed a level of influence within the administration that I think only the vice president possibly can match.
Her main accomplishment is sort of shifting the rhetoric of the administration's foreign policy away from this kind of unilateralist, "with us or against us" approach that we saw in the first term. And we could see next year or the year after Condoleezza Rice really being thrust to the forefront as the U.S. tries to deal both with managing some kind of withdrawal from Iraq and also dealing with the threats from Iran and North Korea.
WHITFIELD: Mark the calendar.
Well, questioning the police. A community looks for answers after an elderly woman is killed in a police raid. Our legal experts examine the case straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.
WHITFIELD: Half past the hour, here's what's happening right now. Snow and a whole lot of it -- millions of Americans are digging out from the season's first big storm. It dumped heavy snow and ice from the southern plains to the upper Midwest.
In Baghdad, another day of bloodshed. Dozens of people were killed and dozens more wounded in a triple car bombing. The bombs exploded near a busy market in the Iraqi capital.
In Lebanon, supporters of Hezbollah returned to the streets of Beirut for the second straight day. They are demanding the resignation of the country's western-backed government. Lebanon's prime minister says his government will not be toppled through demonstrations.
And in the Philippines, authorities fear the death toll from a powerful typhoon will keep rising. The storm unleashed mudslides that buried mountain villages, and right now more than 300 deaths are reported. Hundreds are still missing.
And a no-show in Havana. Cuba's Fidel Castro didn't make it to a military parade today. It caps five days of belated celebrations for Castro's 80th birthday. Castro has not been seen all week. U.S. officials suspect he has inoperable cancer.
And talking politics, Indiana Senator Evan Bayh taking a step towards a White House bid. Sources close to the senator tell CNN he'll file paperwork to set up an exploratory committee next week. Democrat Bayh, sometimes called a Republocrat because of his centrist stand on his issues. Bayh's schedule has him in Iowa and New Hampshire next week.
Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack skipping the exploratory stage. He announced his candidacy for president this week, the only other Democrat formally in the running.
And on the Republican side, Senator John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani have set up exploratory committees themselves. Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist saying he will not be a candidate.
Well, today our legal experts will tackle two controversial police shootings: one in Atlanta, the other in New York.
First, CNN's Rusty Dornin fills us in on the Atlanta case, starting with Tuesday's funeral for an elderly woman killed by police.
RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kathryn Johnston was buried today, one week after she was shot dead in a police raid.
As family and friends mourned her, they were still asking, who's lying about what happened that day?
We know this much. When police burst through Johnston's door, she fired a gun, injuring officers. They returned fire, killing her.
But why did police raid the home of an elderly woman? They had told a judge an informant had bought drugs at the house earlier that same day, so they were granted a search warrant, but that informant says no way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never went in the house. The police can't make me say I went in the house.
DORNIN: And there are more contradictions and questions. The day after Johnston was killed, Assistant Police Chief Alan Dreher suggested it was an officer who bought drugs at that address.
ASST. CHIEF ALAN DREHER, ATLANTA POLICE: An undercover went through, purchased narcotics.
DORNIN: Six days after the shooting, Atlanta's police chief says it was not an officer after all.
CHIEF RICHARD PENNINGTON, ATLANTA POLICE: Our narcotics officers sent a confidential informant into a house. That person purchased drugs.
DORNIN: Dreher had also spoken of another suspect.
DREHER: There was an individual that was arrested at an earlier incident not related to this particular address right here.
DORNIN: Another search warrant, issued after Johnston was killed, states another suspect was taken into custody inside the residence. So who was it?
PENNINGTON: I can't comment on that right now.
DORNIN: And why was there a no-knock warrant issued, allowing police to enter the house without warning?
Narcotics officers had claimed in the affidavit their informant had warned that there were surveillance cameras at Johnston's house. But now police refuse to say whether they found any cameras.
All seven narcotics officers in the unit have been placed on paid leave.
PENNINGTON: The officers are saying one thing, the confidential informant is saying something else. And we don't know that and that is why I have asked for an independent review.
DORNIN: A review directed by the FBI and Georgia state investigators.
Outside Kathryn Johnston's funeral, many expressed distrust of the police.
RENIE LAMB, FAMILY FRIEND: From the very beginning I knew Ms. Johnston wasn't a part of this. And I just feel real bad that we can't trust the police to do the right thing.
DORNIN: But also confusion.
JOANNA TREDWICK, FAMILY FRIEND: If there is an informant that is coming out now, I hope that he is telling the truth. I really do.
DORNIN (on camera): Many in Johnston's neighborhood are angry, bewildered and saddened by what has happened here. But some are united by the hope that with outside investigators, justice in this case will be done.
Rusty Dornin, CNN, Atlanta.
WHITFIELD: So based on what we know so far, let's see what our legal experts have to say about this case.
Avery Friedman is a civil rights attorney and law professor.
Good to see you, Avery.
AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Good to see you, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: And Richard Herman is a New York criminal defense attorney. Good to see you as well.
RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Hi, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, well, let's begin the justification for a no-knock search.
Avery, what's it take in order to carry out a no-knock search?
FRIEDMAN: You've got to convince a magistrate judge, Fredricka, that there's a likelihood that the contraband, the illegal drugs, controlled substances, are going to be destroyed so you've got to demonstrate to a judge that there's independent evidence to establish that the need not to knock and therefore essentially bust through that door so that the contraband can be preserved.
WHITFIELD: So, Richard, in this case then it looks like this independent evidence is coming from this informant, not necessarily the undercover narcotics agent who may have gone to this house as first reported, so all it takes is, say, an informant who says I was there, I can assure you that there's some illegal narcotic activity taking place?
HERMAN: Well, Fred, there's a huge problem. Avery is partial right. It's also exigent circumstances, danger to police officers. That's how you get a no-knock, destruction of evidence and danger to the officers, but here they relied supposedly on a confidential informant.
Now, who is a confidential informant? He's a criminal. He's a convicted criminal who is looking to gain favor with the police. He goes on the air and says this week I never was at the house. I never bought -- made a purchase there. The police asked me to do this to cover themselves up.
Now you've got the police saying one thing, the informant saying another thing. I don't think there are any cameras, surveillance cameras at the premises. This is a minimum major, major problem in Atlanta, a major problem.
WHITFIELD: So it's a big mess, but it's not just Atlanta, Avery, that has no-knock searches or at least not the only jurisdiction.
WHITFIELD: So when you have this kind of provision which really has a lot of gray areas, the potential for danger or mistake like this is very great, isn't it?
FRIEDMAN: Well, it happens all the time. The difficulty is that from a law enforcement perspective, you really need no-knock because that's the only way you're going to preserve, you're going to get that evidence.
The difficulty here in Atlanta is a very powerful example of how no-knock may be abused. I'm saying may, because, again, FBI is going in. They're going to do an independent investigation. You have to make sure, from a law enforcement perspective, that whether it's an informant or independent evidence, you better be rock solid that you're representing to a judge that there's something going on here. This one is going to be very difficult to establish.
HERMAN: And, Fred, that's the very problem here. You can't believe an informant is rock solid evidence. You just can't believe that all the time and that's the problem here.
WHITFIELD: But law enforcement knows that as well.
HERMAN: Well, would you hope they know that, but we see it over and over again.
WHITFIELD: So you can't put all the eggs in one basket.
HERMAN: No, but we see this over and over again in state and federal cases, the reliance of law enforcement on cooperators, on confidential informants and then on cross-examination they get exposed.
FRIEDMAN: Well, Richard, you're doing a broad brush on all informants. I agree that often a lot of these guys are talking so they can get their sentence reduced, so they can get paid, but every case is different.
and that's why it's admirable that they have gone outside, they've brought the bureau in, the FBI, to do an independent investigation. I've got to tell you, we've got a long way to go on this case, but I still think that Atlanta has a big problem in the way this case is handled.
WHITFIELD: Which tells me we are all going to be talking about this again. We're going to be revisiting this case indeed.
HERMAN: Especially, Fred, especially because this particular informant gave good information in the past which led to arrests. That's in this case.
WHITFIELD: All right. Richard and Avery, we're going to bring you back because we've got more to talk about. We'll also be discussing the police shooting that took place in New York, also under investigation undercover police killing a groom-to-be on what was to be his wedding day.
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What started with the opening of the Union Square Cafe in 1985 has now expanded to nine other top-ranked eateries, forming the Union Square Hospitality Group. Meyer is passionate about excellence in food and hospitality, and believes the customers' experience is most important.
DANNY MEYER, CEO, UNION SQUARE HOSPITALITY GROUP: I want people to leave my restaurants feeling like they got a big hug. I want them to rave about the experience they had connecting with the people who work in our restaurants.
WHITFIELD: The 23-year-old man killed in a barrage of police bullets is being buried today on Long Island. Sean Bell was shot last Saturday on what was to be his wedding day.
Our legal experts have a lot to say about this case after CNN's Jason Carroll brings us up to date.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Controversy continues to surround the fatal police shooting of groom-to-be Sean Bell, killed by undercover officers who fired 50 shots in all.
Outraged community leaders put police on the defense, saying the officers used excessive force.
Through it all, William Bell can't stop thinking about the last time he spoke to his son, the night he was killed.
WILLIAM BELL, VICTIM'S FATHER: I had just got through talking to him. Daddy, I love you. Then I said, OK, I'll be home and I'll see you in a few minutes. Then the next thing I know, I get a phone call. He is gone.
CARROLL: The shooting touched a nerve in a city that has seen its share of high profile shootings.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg met with Bell's family, working to ease tensions.
BELL: You take my son's life and you can't say that it is justified. No kind of way justified. I don't think anybody with any feeling could say that it was justified.
CARROLL (on camera): What did the mayor say to you when you met with him today?
BELL: Well, that's personal. I am going to leave it like that. You know what I am saying.
CARROLL: All right. Well, without getting into specifics then, were you satisfied with what the mayor said to you.
BELL: Well, I'll tell you this. I admire what he did.
CARROLL (voice-over): Bell says he has heard the charges of racial profiling of the five officers. Two are black, two Latino, and one white. He dismisses race as a motivation for the shooting, but he does say it was an abuse of power, one his son had always been fearful of.
BELL: My son was scared of police.
CARROLL (on camera): He was scared of them?
BELL: Of course he was.
BELL: He's always been scared of the police.
BELL: Because of the danger -- you know, you see them standing on the corner some time, stand there and harass kids.
CARROLL (voice-over): A distrust of police is shared among many in New York's African-American and Latino communities, especially toward undercover officers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like the undercover task force, the detectives and things like that, those are the ones that jump out and harass people.
CARROLL: Police statistics show the number of NYPD shootings has decreased over the past decade by almost half. But according to the New York Civilian Complaint Review Board, the number of excessive force complaints has increased by more than 60 percent over the past five years. Either way, the numbers just don't mean much to Bell's father.
BELL: These five, whoever they are, six or whatever it may be, killed my son. He is gone. No matter how you put it, he is still gone.
CARROLL: Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.
WHITFIELD: Let's talk now to our legal experts about this controversial case. Once again, Avery Friedman and Richard Herman.
All right, Richard, let me begin with you. The mayor, for one, is saying excessive force because 50 bullets were used in this case, but that seems to be an aside really from the real intent of the shooting in the first place, isn't it?
HERMAN: Absolutely, Fred, and it was totally wrong for the mayor to use that term excessive in describe what happened here.
HERMAN: He's poisoning the grand jury pool, he's poisoning the potential jury pool here. We don't know all the facts.
WHITFIELD: But is anyone arguing -- doesn't 50 -- I mean, a spray of 50 bullets, everyone universally seems to be in agreement that seems like a lot.
HERMAN: Fred, the guns that were used, the automatic pistols that were used shoot off 16 shots in three seconds. They put a new magazine in, you get 16 more shots. The whole thing takes 10 seconds to shoot off over 30 shots here.
We don't know what went down here. We don't know if there was a gun. We don't know if an officer told the other officers there was a gun. I saw a gun. Someone is pulling a gun. We just don't know yet. It's premature. We have to step back.
It's a tragedy. It's an outrageous tragedy. This young man is dead. It's horrible. These police officers were undercover officers. They weren't dressed in police uniforms. They come out, they probably scared the hell out of these guys and it's horrible.
FRIEDMAN: Right, undercover, right.
WHITFIELD: All right. Avery, let me let you weigh in because there's a lot of points that I know you want to rebut.
FRIEDMAN: Yes, yes. Personally, I completely disagree and I think you nailed it. When it gets right down to it, it's two words, 50 shots. This isn't Falluja or Baghdad. This is Queens. We have undercovers. We have the wrong kind of firepower in this kind of a situation.
Again, we can't make a pre-judgment, but by any objective standard, the most responsible law enforcement people will tell you when you're firing off 50 shots in circumstances like this, this is excessive force.
And without pre-judging anything -- and we have to respect the process -- by no stretch can anyone justify 50 shots in this period of time. There's no way it's anything other than excessive force, no way.
WHITFIELD: And, gentlemen, isn't there an issue that comes into play here that these three men, maybe even a fourth -- they say there could have been a fourth man in this vehicle -- that they were in a vehicle. Somehow it has to be justified, does it not, while investigating the police point of view, that this vehicle was used as deadly force, as a weapon in itself before you opened fire on this vehicle with people inside?
HERMAN: Right. Fred, that's it. That's it. Were the officers reasonable? Did they reasonably believe that this vehicle was being used as a weapon? Did they reasonably believe that their lives were in imminent danger or harm? Did they reasonably believe that?
Avery, you can't say it's excessive because we don't know. We don't know if the officers thought they heard them coming at them. FRIEDMAN: Well, I'm agreeing that an investigation still remains but there's no way you can justify 50 shots in this period of time. They were over-weaponed.
There's no way this can be explained away, Richard. There's simply no way. It's inappropriate, inconsistent with responsible law enforcement.
HERMAN: Avery, it's 4:00 in the morning. You hear an officer say there were guns, a gun went off, someone is reaching for a gun, these guys look -- there were three men there. There were five police officers. They couldn't tell which direction the bullets were coming in.
WHITFIELD: And all of these...
FRIEDMAN: Right, and one officer unloads -- one officer unloads 31 shots in that period of time. There's no way. There's no way that that can be responsible law enforcement. No way.
WHITFIELD: And this is exactly why the D.A. is now investigating this days. This is not just a matter for internal investigation or internal affairs.
FRIEDMAN: As well, Fredricka, as well as the FBI which should be coming into this also.
WHITFIELD: The FBI, that's right.
HERMAN: Fred, there's also a parallel investigation going on by the police department here which is intimidating some of the witnesses, so it's crazy.
WHITFIELD: All right. Well, Richard and Avery, I know we're going to be discussing this case again because it is far from over, but we're out of time. You guys have a great weekend.
HERMAN: Have a good weekend.
WHITFIELD: Thanks a lot.
FRIEDMAN: See you soon. Take care.
WHITFIELD: Monday night 9:00 Eastern, a "LARRY KING LIVE" exclusive, Sean Bell's fiance and the Reverend Al Sharpton will be talking about this police shooting.
Security versus privacy -- where do you draw the line? New screening technology that could be coming oh, too close, to an airport near you.
WHITFIELD: A virtual strip search? That's what critics say happens when airline passengers are made to stand in front of X-ray machines. It's all about security, but do you really have to go the full monty?
Our Brian Todd slips behind the curtain.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At Phoenix' Sky Harbor Airport, the newest weapon in the war on terror that can see through clothes carrying explosives, already used on more than a million passengers abroad, these special x-rays can catch all kinds of contraband.
PETER KANT, RAPIDSCAN SYSTEMS: Regular weapons, guns, knives, box cutters and the like, but also unusual types of weapons, explosives, liquid explosives, gels.
TODD: The images will look like this. Outlines of the body, not in detail but weapons and other items do show up. This is technology has been very controversial, because until recently it was much more invasive.
In August, I went through a so-called backscatter machine. I was advised that if I didn't want my private areas shown, I should put a metal plate in my pants. I stepped just in front of the machine, turn around. In just a few seconds the monitor displays my humble contours.
Now in this test I'm playing the role of a would be terrorist. I try to hide a plastic lipstick container in my vest pocket. Busted. I sneak a sports drink bottle. Busted again. How about wires in a sealed sandwich bag hidden in my sock? On the monitor they show up on my ankle but the machines have limitations.
When I pour water into a sealed sandwich bag and place it inside my belt line and in a sock, you can barely see it. But one company behind this technology says trained screeners would detect it. And the Transportation Security Administration says they have other methods to detect liquids. When this came out, privacy advocates called it a virtual strip search and they are not much more satisfied with the newer technology.
MARC ROTHENBERG, ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CTR.: Essentially, they're putting a digital fig leaf on the image. This protects the image from what the operator will see, but the machine itself can still record all the details and store that information for use at later point.
TODD: A TSA official tells CNN there won't be any hard drives to store the images and says no one will have access to pictures without the so-called fig leaf on them. From one passenger tested on the older machines...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been through it over in Europe and I didn't like it.
TODD: In Phoenix, a TSA official tells us the machine will be only used if more than a metal detector is required. And passengers will then get a choice between those machines and pat downs.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
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WHITFIELD: Straight ahead, "CNN PRESENTS: AUTISM IS A WORLD." And later at 4:00 p.m. Eastern, some patients swear by it. What is it? A check of the day's headlines is next and then "CNN PRESENTS."
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