Return to Transcripts main page


I-Report Caught on Camera

Aired December 26, 2007 - 20:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: News breaks every single minute, whether it's here in Times Square, a bridge collapse in Minneapolis, a war zone, or a college campus in Virginia. And now you have the power to be the very first to record it.
So, in this next hour, you're going meet real people who captured real stories. You will see their videos and the story behind the video.

I-Report is happening. I-Report is now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't Tase me, bro.


SANCHEZ: Hi, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez.

This is so different from how we have brought you television news for the last half-century. Think about it. We have been covering breaking news around the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But now we're doing it something we have never had before, you, your pictures.

You see, 2007 saw the emergence of a new pillar in journalism, citizen journalism. In places all over the world, some that we never could have gotten to ourselves, you, the viewer, picked up your camera, your cell phone, your BlackBerrys and your iPhones, and you documented what was happening right before your very eyes.

We're going to start with Virginia Tech. Word spread that a shooting, one that would go down as the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, and while most times we see the aftermath of a story like this, I-Report allowed us to experience it as people there were experiencing it.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): The tranquil campus of is a Virginia Tech lies nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia. But on a gray and chilly morning in April, that serenity is suddenly shattered when a mentally disturbed and heavily armed Virginia Tech student walks into a classroom building, chains the doors shut and begins shooting.

Jamal Albarghouti, a graduate student, is on his way to meet an adviser when he realizes something is wrong.

JAMAL ALBARGHOUTI, CNN I-REPORTER: There were many police officers trying to go somewhere, so they knew that something was happening to us.

SANCHEZ: Unaware of the threat to his own safety, Jamal grabs his cell phone and begins recording.


SANCHEZ: Jamal sends video to CNN, where our I-Report producer Tyson Wheatley instantly knows, this is big.

TYSON WHEATLEY, PRODUCER, CNN I-REPORT: We watched it, and we thought, wow, this is incredible video. We have got it get it on the air.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: We get some very frightening images coming in from an I-Report.

Jamal Albarghouti is, I believe, on the phone with us now.

And, Jamal, pretty unbelievable pictures that you have there. Tell us what you were able to see with your own naked eye.

ALBARGHOUTI: I saw a couple of guns. And they were asking everyone to lay down or to leave really quickly. So, I knew that this wasn't another bomb scare. I knew that this is something way more serious than that, so I started taking the video.

SANCHEZ: Jamal doesn't know it, but the sound of gunfire he's recording is not coming from police, rather, from the killer, Seung- Hui Cho, as he shoots indiscriminately at students and teachers. As word of the massacre spreads on campus, more frightening pictures and more I-Reports.

CASEY CLARK, CNN I-REPORTER: When I got out in the hall of my dorm, I actually heard police sirens and that's when I started to think something strange was up.

SANCHEZ: Casey Clark is a sophomore at Virginia Tech.

CLARK: When I went a little further and saw the policemen around and all the cop cars, that's when I realized, wow, something -- something really is up.

SANCHEZ: Casey filed these I-Reports, including this video of police searching the hallway outside his dorm room.

CLARK: That was the scariest point of the day, even though it was hours later, because it was real to me at that point.

SANCHEZ: All that day, and for days after, hundreds of students continued to send I-Reports, the most CNN had ever received. Some capture the horror, others the heartache, as the Hokie community comes together to remember the 32 lost and pray for the 17 injured. But one I-Report stands alone.

WHEATLEY: I think, in almost every major news event, there's typically you know sort of one defining image or video that is sort of burned into your mind. And I think in this case, it happened to be someone's cell phone video.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, it was amazing, an amazing piece of journalism and an amazing piece of history. That I-Report is history.


SANCHEZ: Now let's go from a college campus in Virginia to what should have been a routine commute home in Minneapolis; 140,000 cars cross the I-35 west bridge every single day.

Then, August 1, this huge bridge had cars backed up on it because of road construction. What I'm describing is the beginning of a nightmare.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): It's chaos in Minnesota, as a major interstate bridge carrying rush hour traffic suddenly buckles, then collapses right into the Mississippi River.

MARK LACROIX, CNN I-REPORTER: I had just arrived home from work.

SANCHEZ: Outside his Minneapolis apartment window, Mark LaCroix is watching.




SANCHEZ (voice-over): It's chaos in Minnesota, as a major interstate bridge carrying rush hour traffic suddenly buckles, then collapses right into the Mississippi River.

LACROIX: I had just arrived home from work. And, suddenly, there's a huge rumbling noise.

SANCHEZ: Outside his Minneapolis apartment window, 20 stories above the horrific scene, Mark LaCroix is watching.

LACROIX: Really I had no idea really what I was looking at. I didn't really believe it at first.

SANCHEZ: He calls 911, but it's busy.

LACROIX: I couldn't tell anybody. I couldn't call authorities. So, I just grabbed a camera, leaned out my window, snap, snap, snap, uploaded to my computer, and just sent it to the first place I could figure, which was CNN's I-Report.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We were just getting word that a bridge may have collapsed in Minneapolis. The initial reporting was sort of muddled, as it always is, and then, all of sudden, we got Mark's I-Report and we saw these pictures, and we put them right on the air in "THE SITUATION ROOM."

We have an eyewitness who has seen what's going on, Mark LaCroix is joining us.

Mark, you took these pictures. Tell us what we're seeing.

LACROIX: Well, there's a number of fire trucks on the scene, as well as there's police all over. There are boats in the water now, rescue boats.

SANCHEZ: Mark isn't the only one witnessing and documenting the disaster.

STEVE DWORAK, CNN I-REPORTER: As soon as I heard it on TV, that's when I immediately grabbed my bike and just went down there with my camera.

SANCHEZ: Steve Dworak gets to the scene just 10 minutes after it happens.

DWORAK: There's sirens every where. There's people running, screaming and running, people crying. It was just chaos.

But I knew that, if I really wanted to see firsthand real close, that I had to go very below, and I went right up to the water. This is where I was, about 30 yards from the scene, seeing cars in the water, the bridge laying there. And I was just -- it was just a sight I didn't think I would ever see in my entire life. It looked straight out of a movie.

SANCHEZ: A movie with dramatic scenes continued to play out.

WHEATLEY: Within 24 hours of the Minneapolis bridge collapse, we received just hundreds of I-Reports, 468 within the first 24 hours. They were coming in so quickly that we couldn't keep up with them.

SANCHEZ: For CNN reporters, they're invaluable.

COLLINS: When I looked at some of the I-Reports coming in from the Minneapolis bridge collapse, I was able, because it is my home state, to look the it and say, wow, that's the I-35 bridge. That goes right to the University of Minnesota.

LEMON: It drives the immediacy of the story home. It drives the intensity of the story, and it drives a magnitude of the story home.

SANCHEZ: As the night wears on, the magnitude of the story keeps growing. More I-Reports filter in. When it's over, 13 are dead, many trapped in their cars under water. Hundreds are injured. And Mark LaCroix, whose early reports were key to understanding this unfolding tragedy, keeps his role in perspective.

LACROIX: The people who really did something that day are the first-responders, the people who were on the bridge helping out their fellow man. And, thankfully, I was able to witness it and share it.


SANCHEZ: That disaster was manmade. The one that I'm about to tell you about now is a force of nature. Here's a front-row seat to an earthquake in Indonesia as it happens.


CLARISSA LEE, CNN I-REPORTER: This has happened a few times in Singapore. And, yes, we have gotten quite used to it, but it hasn't been this vigorous before.


SANCHEZ: Earthquakes shook another part of the world. Now, in the largest earthquake to hit coastal Peru in two centuries, more than 500 people are killed. More than 1,000 are injured.

Here's what I-Reporter Fernando Calderon sent us right from the scene.


FERNANDO CALDERON, CNN I-REPORTER: ... to my hotel room, and I thought it was an airplane. It was just buzzing probably too low. And there was a little -- you know, the ground started moving a little bit. So, we started heading out of the hotel.

And then we realized everybody was out, everybody. And the ground, it was still shaking for a minute. And then suddenly, we started hearing -- suddenly, we started hearing the glass breaking, things falling out of the buildings. And that's when everybody started screaming and praying, children crying. It was just awful.


SANCHEZ: The force of nature is also felt in the form of fire. California is no stranger to wildfires. And this one was one of the biggest and baddest that Californians have ever been through. Think about it: more than a million people forced to abandon their homes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks like hell. I mean, flames are shooting up around you. There's no visibility.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Southern California wildfires rage out of control. Nearly a million people have to flee their homes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like I'm in some kind of like weird, freakish movie or something.

ROWLANDS: I-Reporters on the front lines begin sending in eyewitness account. Images of smoke fill the skies. Wildfire crews try desperately to battle the wind-whipped flames. By the time the flames die down, 3,125 I-Reports will be sent to CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Noticing a lot of smoke, can hear a lot of helicopters over and fire engines in the background.

BRIAN ORTIZ, CNN I-REPORTER: Kind of chaotic. We don't know where exactly the fires are. I took a picture this morning and it looked like snow was falling, but it was actually the -- just all the ash falling.

ROWLANDS: I-Reporter James Fabin saw this fire in Orange County minutes after it started. Later, he was on the air with his firsthand pictures and his video.

JAMES FABIN, CNN I-REPORTER: And probably the most amazing thing that I think this video shows is how strong the wind is. You can really hear it just pounding against all of us.

ROWLANDS: Later, James took us back to the spot where he shot his amazing video, showing us the now burned-out hillside that had filled the skies with thick black smoke.

FABIN: It looked like night, the clouds just -- the smoke just covering the entire sky and blocking out the entire sun.

ROWLANDS: With flames approaching their homes, some I-Reporters stay behind and capture the devastation.

CAMILA PERALTA, CNN I-REPORTER: But they actually gave us a voluntary evacuation yesterday, but we decided we were going to stay put.

NORMAN ARROYO, CNN I-REPORTER: At the rate that these flames are going through the neighborhoods, you really have to be ready at a moment's notice. We have all of our belongings packed up in our vehicles. And, if the fire gets too close, we will be able to get out of here with the turn of a key.

ROWLANDS: I-Reporters Loren Rodgers and Paul Nangle took these shots of a neighborhood they thought would surely be lost. We went back with them and found that the firefighters and homeowners had been able to save every house.

PAUL NANGLE, CNN I-REPORTER: When we pulled up in here, you could just see the whole area was just lit up. It had this orange- yellowish glow to it, and there was just smoke everywhere.

LOREN RODGERS, CNN I-REPORTER: There was a lot of smoke, a lot of flames coming up over that ridge right there.

ROWLANDS: Loren is a Ph.D. student and amateur photographer. Paul is a member of the National Guard just back from Iraq. They say they were able to get close to the fires by driving into an evacuated neighborhood shortly after the fires started.

LEMON: Those were the most amazing I-Reports to me, because they were right there in the middle of it, even places where our cameras can't go.

ROWLANDS: In the midst of this cauldron of fire, which consumed more than 2,000 homes in the hills of Southern California, some unforgettable images.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.


SANCHEZ: Iraq has been in the head lines for years now, but not told like this, by a private contractor. This was shot in the fall of 2005. He was leaving Baghdad, heading for Tikrit.

Only through a video like this can one understand what it must really feel like to be under attack. I want to do something a little different now. Who speaks for the thousands of men and women who died in Iraq and in Afghanistan? We were sent this next video. We want to you see it because it captures the horror that is war and puts it in perspective in a really unique way.

Here now, the words of Major Mike Corrado.


MAJOR MIKE CORRADO, CNN I-REPORTER: I was deployed to Fallujah for a year. And during that time, I got to meet hundreds, if not thousands, of service members. And, you know, I think about them.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Mike's service in the Marines inspired him to write this song. I-Report inspired him to share it with the world.


CORRADO: This song about that Marine. It's about that soldier or sailor, airman. It's a story from their perspective. It's trying to relay some of the feelings that they go through.

The song is very personal to me because I do have a young child. When I deployed, she was three months old. When I got back, she was 15 months old, and I missed a big part of that.

SANCHEZ: Soldiers missing children and paying tribute to the troops. Mike's song has become an anthem for service members and their families.

CORRADO: I'm honored to be a part of their lives in some form or fashion. Didn't really mean it to be that way, but, if it can help people heal, then that's just one of the most amazing things that I'm honored to be a part of.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SANCHEZ: Suicide bomber, two words that have become a part of the news lexicon. We report it, and you hear it and hear it. But what's it like to actually be there when it happens, when the bomb goes off?


SANCHEZ (voice-over): Kabul, Afghanistan. Samimi Samimullah is coming home from work. It seemed like any other day, but it wasn't.




SANCHEZ (voice-over): Kabul, Afghanistan. Samimi Samimullah is coming home from work. It seemed like any other day, but it wasn't.

SAMIMI SAMIMULLAH, CNN I-REPORTER: I saw that a big explosion happened. And it was in front of the bus covered by blood and on top of the bodies.

SANCHEZ: Samimi had captured an actual suicide bombing.

SAMIMULLAH: When I took these photos, there were some of the families coming here and crying and screaming about their sons, about their husbands.

SANCHEZ: He didn't know it at the time, but Samimi was actually photographing the final moments of his own neighbor's life.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An I- Reporter here was able to give us his unique perspective by being up close to that bombing, showing us the investigators at the scene, giving us a very clear understanding of what happened in that bombing, how big the bomb was, how much damage it did, and what the authorities are doing to investigate.

SANCHEZ: Thirty people are dead in the August 2 explosion; 100 yards away, Samimi escaped with his pictures and his memories.

SAMIMULLAH: The world should know what is going on in Afghanistan, what's happening day by day in Afghanistan.


SANCHEZ: Lebanon is a country that can't seem to avoid violence. Sometimes, it happens right before your very eyes.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): Toufic Chebib was only 30 yards from a florist shop in Beirut, Lebanon, when suddenly...

TOUFIC CHEBIB, CNN I-REPORTER: All the lights went off and a big noise. We thought, like, it is the end of the world. And then I saw a lot of people. I saw some dead people on the floor. And I saw all the cars burning.

SANCHEZ: It was September 19, and what Chebib had just captured was a political assassination of Lebanese Parliament member Antoine Ghanem.

CNN international correspondent Nic Robertson was among the first to see the images.

ROBERTSON: You can see people running through the scene. There's still flames in the area. That's the advantage of I- Reporting. Because there's a camera there, it's right there on the scene right at the time of the event.

SANCHEZ: It was the second political assassination in less than three months, enough to make this I-Reporter afraid enough to think about leaving the country.

CHEBIB: Then I said to myself, maybe we have to fight again. We have to stay. We have to resist, because we are a country that is fighting for democracy.


SANCHEZ: Some countries seem to have a tough time getting the world to recognize their plight. This country, Myanmar, which used to be called Burma, suddenly moved to the top of the headlines. But it wouldn't have happened without the video that you're about to see.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): Ten thousand angry monks in long red robes walk through the streets of Yangon. It's September 24, and the Myanmar revolt is under way. The monks are protesting peacefully against a repressive military regime.

YUKO ISHII, CNN I-REPORTER: We heard chanting. And we saw a lot of people going to the same direction. And then we saw the huge, the long line of monks. And then people are holding hands together and making the human barricade.

BENJAMIN VALK, CNN I-REPORTER: Well, the first thing I thought was, I have my camera with me. This is something really special. Click.

ISHII: And people are waving to his camera and smiling. And they're saying, we want democracy, shout, shout, shout.

SANCHEZ: Yuko Ishii and Benjamin Valk are on vacation when they come upon the rally. Their video and others like this, one of a Japanese photographer being killed on the street, is broadcast around the world, sending a chilling message about the brutality in this faraway land. Suddenly, the world seems like a smaller place.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Without those citizen journalists on the ground, we would be unable to see what actually took place in Myanmar. We wouldn't have seen the killing of the Japanese journalist. We wouldn't have seen the protesters being beaten by the Myanmar security forces.

SANCHEZ: Each photo exposes more of the regime's violent oppression. Citizens, fearing for their lives, send in video and pictures anonymously to make sure the word gets out. The response, the Myanmar regime cuts off public access to the Internet, but it doesn't work.

CHANCE: Now, with the emergence of these I-Reports, with video technology in the hands of ordinary citizens, there's really no corner of the world, no matter how oppressive, no matter how dark, into which we can't see.


SANCHEZ: Now to Pakistan. Once again here, it's a combination of youth and technology that brought the story to the world. They would not allow their rights to be suspended.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): Responding to Pakistan President Musharraf's suspension of the constitution, students in Islamabad and Lahore fight back with loud protests. It's captured by this I- Reporter, who, fearing arrest, tells us his story only if we don't use his name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right when the protests started, I decided to take pictures, so that people should know exactly what's -- what we were doing. We need to get this out to the world.

SANCHEZ: And with a few clicks of his computer, he sends us these pictures.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We also want to share with you some images sent to us by an I-Reporter. The images were taken just as this protest was supposed to be taking place.

SANCHEZ: On his video and others like it from I-Reporters in Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi, you could hear students defying Musharraf's order with cries of "Long live the revolution" and "We reject injustice."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More protests are planned. They are going every day (INAUDIBLE) protest around Islamabad. We just want peaceful protests, no violence or anything. The government should not do anything.

SANCHEZ: Police try containing the protesters by locking the university's gates. But it fails to keep these citizen journalists from getting their message out, which inspires student protests from London to New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think reports like this, it can get other Pakistanis who are abroad, get them involved, get them motivated. So, this is why we want to send the word across. If people can raise their voice, then we can make a change in Pakistan. And, if they don't, then there will be no change.


SANCHEZ: Every time we hear of a plane crash, we wonder what it must be like. It's a frightening thought that this video from Phuket, Thailand, makes all too real.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): It was right out of a movie, except this was real life. For those on the Thai Airways flight, that night became a nightmare.



SANCHEZ (voice-over): It was right out of the movie. Except this was real life.

TED GUGELYN, CNN I-REPORTER: We noticed that one airplane was circling the airport and made one pass and then I heard it and saw it come back again and then it got lost in the clouds.

SANCHEZ: For those on the Thai Airways flight, that night became a nightmare.

GUGELYN: Suddenly, the newsflash. The airplane crash at Phuket Airport.

SANCHEZ: The heavy rains and strong winds foiled the landing. The plane slides off the runway and crashes. As Jeff Craig and other rescue workers arrive on the scene, the front half of the plane is engulfed in flames. It was a disaster only pictures could describe.

VOICE OF JEFF CRAIG, CNN I-REPORTER: All the people up front where I was in that picture, they didn't make it. That part of the plane was completely destroyed by fire. That was probably the -- and in the picture it showed what we were going through, standing in the fire and all the foam, all the water on us.

GUGELYN: The real pictures, they're real pictures so that there's a sense of the immediacy that you get from these camera-held photographs. But you do get the sense of flux of something happening quickly and dramatically and very dangerously.

SANCHEZ: I-Reporters snap away. They capture the immediacy of the drama as it unfolds. There were 130 people on board. Ninety of them never make it out alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were body parts everywhere. And afterwards, we just wanted to get home and wash off because we were walking through all this gore. Unfortunately, you can't wash the memories.


SANCHEZ: Imagine what it's like to be stuck on a plane or in a terminal without knowing when or if you'll be able to get out. 2007 was a nightmare for travelers, and many of them had their cameras there to document it.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): It's everyone's travel nightmare, being stuck in an airport with no way to get home.

EDUARDO GARCIA, CNN I-REPORTER: We had a 4:30 flight leaving San Juan local time, and we got there and the flight was delayed. My mom, whose mother had just passed away, that's the funeral we were coming back from, she just broke down.

SANCHEZ: Eduardo and his mother are stranded for three days, and they're not alone. JetBlue cancels a total of 1,100 flights during their headline-making February breakdown. JetBlue's CEO apologizes. But a month later, another I-Reporter sends this video from a 14-hour JetBlue delay out of Cancun.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot be here.

SANCHEZ: But not all travel nightmares are in the sky. Some are at sea.

Bill Christopher's disaster is on a cruise ship in Santorini. It was sinking. After hearing a sound that Bill describes as a combination of grinding, scraping and tearing that was loud and eerie, water starts pulling the ship under. Bill and the other passengers all survive but their luggage doesn't fare as well. It goes down with the ship.


SANCHEZ: When nature strikes, people all over the world capture it. Flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, here it is through your lenses.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): Nature's fury, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, hail storms. Whatever the storm, wherever it hits, CNN can cover it faster and better because I-Reporters are there.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: He can get millions literally of eyes on the scene compared to only hundreds of photographers that we have on the ground.

ACE ANDERSON, I-REPORTER: Look at the clouds. It's magic clouds.

What was going on in my head at that time was oh, my gosh, am I out of control, I mean in the situation.

SANCHEZ: Ace Anderson is a tornado chaser. He knows how to stay safe, but during a fast-moving April storm in Kansas, he and his son unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an oncoming twister. They're warned by some professional storm trackers to get away.

ANDERSON: He said get out of here, go. There is a tornado coming right in front of you. As soon as he said that, I got very nervous. I thought that I might have put myself and my son accidentally just from poor judgment in not a very safe situation.

SANCHEZ: The tornado comes within a quarter mile of their car but fortunately, they're able to drive away safely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Our big story here in the CNN "NEWSROOM", severe weather.

SANCHEZ: In December, a pair of storms slams the pacific northwest causing flooding and mud slides.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: We're going go to our I-Reporter Aaron Meola. Talk to us about the pictures that you're taking and what you're seeing in your area there.

VOICE OF AARON MEOLA, I-REPORTER: I went out and I couldn't really get around because all the streets were flooded, so I started filming and walked to the nearest section where it was flooded with cars. People were on inflatable mattresses trying to get to their cars. There was a current in the water, and they got stuck out farther than they wanted to go.

MYERS: I think some of the lightning ones are the most amazing flashing you could get a stop action and shot of the lightning when it picks up.

RICK EBRECHT, CNN I-REPORTER: Think of the lightning bolt as really just another source of light. It's, you know, nature's largest flash.

SANCHEZ: Two hundred million volts of electricity but for photographer Eric Ebrecht, it's a thing of beauty.


SANCHEZ: It was a shock heard around the world. A taser shock. This one begins as a routine lecture by a famous politician. Suddenly, a student gets angry and that's when the story gets ugly.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): It begins as an ordinary town hall forum at the University of Florida. The guest -- Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. Then, student Andrew Meyer comes to the Mike.

ANDREW MEYER, STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA: How could you concede the election on the day? SANCHEZ: He launches into a rambling series of questions, even making a reference to a sex act. Event organizers cut the microphone. That's when things heat up.




SANCHEZ (voice-over): It begins as an ordinary town hall forum at the University of Florida. The guest -- Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. Sir?

Then, student Andrew Meyer comes to the mike.

ANDREW MEYER, STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA: How could you concede the election on the day?

SANCHEZ: He launches into a rambling series of questions, even making a reference to a sex act. Event organizers cut the microphone. That's when things heat up as I-Reporters go to work.

MILES DORAN, CNN I-REPORTER: He started interrupting and the police started moving in, so I clicked it to movie mode and just started rolling.

SANCHEZ: Miles Doran is there to cover Senator Kerry's visit for the campus news radio station.

DORAN: And once the police brought him up to the back of the auditorium and started holding him, pushing him down to the ground and eventually tasering him.

MEYER: Don't tase me, bro. Ou.

DORAN: That's when a couple of people from the audience got up and you can hear in the video, they started screaming at the police telling them to stop.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you doing that?

DORAN: Initially, I had thought that the police had -- it looked as though the police had acted well within their rights.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Back up, back up.

DORAN: But then as it quickly escalated into a freedom of speech issue and a police brutality issue --

MEYER: Ou, ou, ou!

DORAN: It was like wow, OK, this is a much bigger deal than we thought it was going to be.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SANCHEZ: Did you know that there's a new phrase in the race for the White House. It is something that everybody wants to avoid. It's called a macaca moment. It's when a politician is caught on tape saying or doing something that he or she would later regret because somebody caught it on camera.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Internet is filled with millions and millions and millions of Web sites. Nobody really knows the exact number. And any one at any time can become the frontline of the war for the White House.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do those words mean to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why and why not?

SANCHEZ: And no one knows that better than Stephen Sixta, who in our first YouTube debate asked candidates if as president they would meet with America's enemies.

STEPHEN SIXTA, CNN YOUTUBE DEBATE QUESTIONER: The leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries.

FOREMAN: That touched off a firestorm of debate and accusations among the candidates over the right answer, and it stunned Stephen Sixta.

SIXTA: My initial reaction was a great uneasiness, but I felt a certain responsibility for causing that to happen.

FOREMAN: That is the power the Internet has given to people. Wolf Blitzer.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: It's changed the world of politics and all these candidates and all their consultants and their staff, their advisers they know it.


FOREMAN: It can be very positive. Internet fundraising and campaigning have vaulted Republican Ron Paul well up from the bottom of the heap, but the Internet effects can also be deadly. CNN's President Jon Klein.

JON KLEIN, PRESIDENT, CNN/U.S.: The guillotine can come down on a candidate at any moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's give a welcome to my contact here.

FOREMAN: This video of an ill-considered campaign moment destroyed the reelection hopes of a senator who was once considered a shoo-in. FOREMAN (on camera): The result, even long experienced traditional political types have learned, candidate who ignore the Internet do so at great peril.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Like the arrival of television debates that so battered Richard Nixon, the Internet is utterly changing the idea of when a candidate is on stage or off. Conservative political activist Grover Norquist.

GROVER NORQUIST, PRESIDENT, AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM: In the old world, there are TV cameras there or they aren't. When everybody has a camera with them in their phone and can in five minutes have it up on the web for the world to see, it's a different world.

KLEIN: I'm sure from here on out, viewer and voter participation is going to be a staple of the most important debates and the most viewed debates.

FOREMAN: Meaning the campaign playground is a lot bigger and still growing. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


SANCHEZ: Racism made headlines this past year in the form of a controversy in Louisiana called the Jena Six. Black teens prosecuted, many argued unjustly. Thousands peacefully came to their defense. Then, as you're about to see, somebody was caught trying to disturb that peace.

Hundreds of protestors filled the streets of Alexandria, Louisiana, in support of the Jena Six and against racism. It was a peaceful protest, but one truck with two nooses tries to change all that.



SANCHEZ (voice-over): Hundreds of protestors fill the streets of Alexandria, Louisiana, in support of the Jena Six and against racism. It was a peaceful protest, but as the marchers start to board buses to leave, this truck shows up with symbols made to incite the crowd.

CASANOVA LOVE, CNN I-REPORTER: You had this pickup truck, this red pickup truck with two nooses hanging from the back of it. I couldn't believe it at first. I had to tap my friend next to me. I was just like I can't, you know, I can't believe people are still doing this.

SANCHEZ: I-Reporter Casanova Love pulled out his digital camera and along with other I-Reporters who were on the scene started filming the truck and the crowd.

DAVID MATTINGLY, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This might have been something that just was a casual incident and a police report that no one might have paid attention to. Instead, we have the video. We could see it happening right there in front of us.

LOVE: The pictures of the truck with the noose on it showed racism. I just wanted evidence. I wanted proof, you know, to show people that we can -- this is still going on.

SANCHEZ: And there it is. The proof. The nooses. The crowds. And police arriving before things could get out of hand.

LOVE: There was chanting. You know, na, na, na, na, hey, hey, hey, hey, good-bye.


SANCHEZ: Here's a question for you. What happens when the people who are supposed to uphold the law take it for granted? If a cop does something wrong, who's there to call him on it? Jim Acosta introduces us to Jimmy Justice.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fire trucks respond to an emergency. The officer who is just picking up her lunch then comes face to face.

"JIMMY JUSTICE," VIDEO VIGILANTE: You're a traffic enforcement agent, and you parked your official vehicle blocking a fire pump? And there's a fire outside?

ACOSTA: With Jimmy Justice.

JUSTICE: You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You're supposed to enforce the law, not break the law.

ACOSTA: The man behind the camera goes by the name Jimmy Justice, he says, to avoid any retaliation from city officials. He claims he started posting his clips on YouTube to right what he considers ticket writing wrongs.

JUSTICE: What's unfair is that the same agent that write parking summons to civilians go out and commit the exact same violations.

ACOSTA: Is this your way of getting back at the city?

JUSTICE: Well, you can consider that. Yes, why not?

ACOSTA: But Jimmy justice can get carried away.

JUSTICE: You broke the law.


JUSTICE: You broke the law.


JUSTICE: What are you going to do? Bite me with your gold tooth?

ACOSTA: That's when you want to call him Jimmy, just stop.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want me to call the cops.

JUSTICE: Let me see your badge number, please?


JUSTICE: You're a boob.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE OFFICER: Do you want to call them?

JUSTICE: You're a boob.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE OFFICER: Do you want to call them?

JUSTICE: I am a "Jimmy Justice."

ACOSTA: Now, do you think that there are times when you're a little over the top with these officers?

JUSTICE: Yes. There have been times that I've crossed the line if I've used foul language in public or if I've yelled and screamed. But now, I'm on my best behavior.

ACOSTA: As for their reaction, police officials did not return our calls, but a former city transportation commissioner says the shame on YouTube might actually do some good.

SAM SCHWARTZ, FORMER CITY TRANSPORTATION COMMISSIONER: City workers have got to get used to it. It's the public's right to challenge a government worker and challenge them even on the job.

ACOSTA: This is a little nutty what you're doing, isn't it?

JUSTICE: Yes. This is basically a reaction to the unfair system here in New York City. So if you want to call it nutty, yes. We live in a nutty place, and it takes nuts like me to straighten out the bad apples in city hall.

ACOSTA: And Jimmy Justice says he's nowhere near running out of tape. Jimmy Acosta, CNN, New York.


SANCHEZ: As you can see, not all great video moments are the product of big news stories. Some are just unfortunate moments in some people's lives. Some unfortunate, some horrible to look at. Like this.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): Richmond, Texas, a truck stops at a red light, positioned across a railroad track.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't think anything of it.

SANCHEZ: Until -- [train whistle]




SANCHEZ (voice-over): Richmond, Texas, a truck stops at a red light, positioned across a railroad track.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't think anything of it.

SANCHEZ: Until -- [train whistle]

From roadway perils to offroad driving in the annual Ontario Rock Crawling Competition.

DAVID PETHERICK, CNN I-REPORTER: When he was trying to climb the rock face, his throttle cable snapped. All of sudden he lost engine power, and he just went backwards and did a perfect back flip.

SANCHEZ: Now, check out this Amphicar swim in Michigan.

GLEN HOUTING, CNN I-REPORTER: The Amphicars are very unique because they drive right down the ramp and into the lake.

SANCHEZ: Kooky like this.


SANCHEZ: We've heard of parents who tie one end of a string to their child's tooth and the other end to the doorknob, but how about substituting the doorknob with an archery bow? That's just what this father did to his little girl.

ANDERSON COOPER, ANCHOR, ANDERSON COOPER 360: You know, what's great about these I-Reports is that it doesn't have to be a serious news event. It can be something silly. It can be something in that person's life. There's a commonality. People understand. People make a connection one to another through these images.

I encountered a shot today of an animal battle a tortoise versus a cat. That's right. The tortoise is defending its territory (INAUDIBLE) with the South African. The cat is much bigger. It doesn't scare the tortoise. The tortoise takes on the cat.

MARCUS HARUN, I-REPORTER: It's happening now. Freaking news out of the U.K.

SANCHEZ: And sometimes, imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

HARUN: I decided to make a video in which I pretended to be Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM." I made the graphics all by myself to look exactly like CNN.

Look at this.

During the war when their plane crashed. Why did no one find them sooner? And now there's some boys that were confirmed dead. Find out how they were rescued, and how they survived. I'm Marcus Harun, and you are in "THE SITUATION ROOM."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he's got it down, Wolf.


He did a great job, and he had me nailed down. He had the whole set nailed down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's just not old enough to grow your beard.

BLITZER: Not yet. Looks like he's got a future in this business.


SANCHEZ: I've been talking a lot about new words and new phrases this past year. Here's another one for you. I-Report. It is now a part of the future of storytelling because it's not just us. It's about you.

Just log on to and you're in. And suddenly, so is the rest of the world. Thank you in advance for being a part of CNN's worldwide news organization.

I'm Rick Sanchez.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Mike Horado (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Benjamin Love (ph).









UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reporter for CNN. ALL: I-Report. I-Report. I-Report.

COOPER: I-Report for CNN.