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One Killed, 13 Injured In Building Collapse In Philadelphia; Obama's New National Security Adviser Already Drawing Criticism; Chrysler Vs. The U.S. Government; Connecticut Governor To Sign Bill Preventing Release Of Gruesome Sandy Hook Crime Scene Images; Allegations Of Police Brutality In Jasper, Texas Captured On Video

Aired June 5, 2013 - 15:30   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Let me get you the latest here on what is still an active search-and-rescue situation at this building collapse location at 22nd and Market Streets here in the center of -- center city in Philadelphia.

Sources tell CNN one person was killed and 13 people were hurt today when a building collapsed on top of this Salvation Army thrift store at 22nd and Market Street, forgive me.

A vacant four story building was being demolished when it suddenly toppled onto the Salvation Army next door, which, by the way, was still a functioning thrift store. People were coming and going. People were working there.

So you see all of these teams, these rescue crews, first-responders, firefighters, even some construction workers we were told by eyewitnesses, working brick by brick by brick to try to see if there is anyone else trapped in there.

We were told by -- we heard from both the mayor and the fire commissioner saying this whole process could still take up to another 12-to-24 hours.

And so just to give a little perspective on what these firefighters are going through right at this moment in Philadelphia, Steven Woodworth is an assistant chief with the Atlanta fire department.

So, Steven, thank you so much for taking a minute out of, I'm sure, your busy day to come talk to me.

We were talking at commercial break and you said, as we look at the pictures on TV, yes, it looks absolutely crazy and chaotic.

You say it is organized chaos. What do you mean?

STEVEN WOODWORTH, ASSISTANT CHIEF, ATLANTA FIRE DEPARTMENT: That's correct. There's actually different phases that we go through in building collapse. The first phase they're going to do is remove all the surface victims, the victims that you can see on top of the pile, easily can be removed, very little debris removal to get to them. They'll remove them out.

Then the next thing they're probably going to do is start working on getting what we call void exploration. When buildings collapse, large pieces of furniture, machinery, aisles of clothing, sofas, anything that is strong enough to hold up is going to create a void where people can be.

And typically when you see the firefighters going down inside the pile, that's what they're doing. They're doing void explorations.

So they'll go in there, search with flashlights, their hands. They'll call out for people. They're listening.

BALDWIN: When you mention calling out for people, I heard a fire commissioner saying they were listening and they heard some voices.

So what kind of technology do you have at your disposal to be able to hear because there could be people way, way underneath?

They were saying they were going to go down to the basement to hear these -- the peeps. possibly.

WOODWORTH: Yeah, one of the -- the first thing they're going to do is they're going get firefighters in there and do those void searches and, if somebody is trapped and you call out to them, they'll answer you, generally, if they can.

The other thing is, if they're way down in a pile, there are electronic devices. They're both acoustic and seismic. One of them is the acoustic. It's just a simple microphone we can lower down into voids, find a hole that goes real deep in the pile. You can lower it in there. And if you call out, they'll be able to hear you.

The seismic is a little more technical, a little more difficult to use. But what it does is any vibrations that can be picked up, they'll put it in different spots around the pile and they'll try and triangulate in on something, so that if you were to just sit there and tap, in a steady rhythm -- well, a steady rhythm is something -- like if a person might do one, two, three, one, two, three, or they might be hitting on an I-beam or something, those are sounds you can pick up and then you know to focus in on those areas.

BALDWIN: It's incredible just watching all the different people helping out and just to think that this thrift store next to this building to be demolished was still open, a lot of questions still on this one.

But Steven Woodworth, I appreciate you coming in so much. Atlanta fire.

WOODWORTH: Not a problem. Thank you.

BALDWIN: And now an announcement today by President Obama has some saying it is a slap in the face to Republicans.

This ceremony happening just last hour. His new national security adviser, not exactly a favorite diplomat among Republicans.

"The Lead's" Jake Tapper has reaction next.


BALDWIN: All right, want to take you back to Philadelphia real quickly because we have now established a live picture of the scene and of our correspondent there, Don Lemon.

Don, show me what you're seeing.

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, look at -- just look behind me. There it is, all there.

You can see that they've got the backhoes in there and the cranes and they're trying to get all that rubble out and they're doing it very gingerly because they're not exactly sure how many people are still in there, if there's a person in there.

Earlier you heard the mayor say they thought that at least two people were in there. One of them was brought out.

They gave us details on how they got the person out. The person was talking to them. They sent in dogs. The dog found the person, person talking to them, they sent down water and food and then got that woman out. The mayor told us they had -- me that, live on our, not long ago.

Also CNN confirming two sources tell me that one person is dead, a woman. The mayor held a press conference here just a short time ago. He would not comment on it.

One reason, Brooke, that the fire department was here, very quickly, less than two minutes is because, if you look over there, see that flag above the mural there? That's the fire department.

The fire department is in the same block, literally, three or four buildings down. So there you go. You see it.

And then before I let you go, you see this dumpster truck here. Alan (ph), there it is right there. This dumpster has been brought in just a short time ago and they're going to be putting the debris in that truck and removing it from the scene.

And hopefully if someone is in there, Brooke, they will find that person alive and get them out.

BALDWIN: Hopefully so, Don Lemon for us in Philadelphia. Don, thank you.

Just talking to the Atlanta fire -- assistant fire chief telling me that people typically in collapses like this, depending on how warm it is, could actually be OK after 90 hours trapped before they're rescued, so fingers crossed on that one.

Now to Washington to Jake Tapper with the big news today, Jake, the president naming Susan Rice as his national security adviser.

I know a lot of Republicans don't like that one bit. Too bad for them, you know, she gets the job automatically, no Senate confirmation needed.

Here she is, Susan Rice.


SUSAN RICE, NATIOINAL SECURITY ADVISER: I'm proud to have worked so closely with you for more than six years, and I'm deeply grateful for your enduring confidence in me.

As you've outlined, we have vital opportunities to seize and ongoing challenges to confront.

We have much still to accomplish on behalf of the American people and I look forward to continuing to serve on your national security team.


BALDWIN: Jake Tapper, here is my question number one for you.

Now, naming a figure that Republicans have attacked so, so much, is the president sending them a signal?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, he has been somewhat defiant in the last few weeks and months when it comes to statements like this.

We saw the other day him nominating three district court judges, all at the same time, which is an unusual approach. He was trying to make a point about his view of obstructionism by Republicans in the Senate.

This, of course, is somewhat defiant in that case, but it's also just a fact that Dr. Susan Rice and he have been very good friends and she has been a loyal adviser to him for a long time.

And the president does not think -- and he said this months ago, when her name with being bandied about as a possible secretary of state nominee, he ultimately went in a different direction, but at the time, he said that it was not fair to go after Susan Rice for the Benghazi controversy.

And I think it can be argued that if you look at the talking points, the e-mails that were released a few weeks ago that we cover extensively, you see that she did not really have a role in the talking points, which has been very controversial.

She basically just took them and ran with them and repeated them on air. In many ways, she's been unfairly targeted for a legitimate controversy and serious questions about the administration's role and what they did leading up to Benghazi and after Benghazi. In many ways she has unfairly taken the flak for it.

And I think by doing that, and also by withdrawing from the race to be secretary of state, withdrawing her name from consideration, she earned a lot of points with the president and she is being rewarded for being loyal and also being -- for being a trusted adviser.

BALDWIN: We'll look for your coverage of the big Susan Rice story today.

Also, Jake Tapper, you have exclusive video in the show today. What do you have?

TAPPER: You're definitely going to -- I know you watch the show every day anyway.

BALDWIN: Every day, DVRed, on my phone.

TAPPER: As you're relaxing from your two hours.

BALDWIN: Yes, I find you so relaxing, Tapper.

TAPPER: So, but just one thing you're definitely going to -- I know last night you were glued to your e-mail, reading all about first lady Michelle Obama and the fund-raiser in Washington, D.C., being heckled.

And there were no official cameras there. But we on "The Lead," well, we're a crafty and resourceful bunch and we do have some exclusive video taken of this confrontation between an LGBT activist heckling Michelle Obama, Michelle Obama's forceful response.

You're definitely going to want to tune in and see this very revealing moment with the first lady.

BALDWIN: I've only read all about it, of course, but not seen it.

TAPPER: Now you get to see it. That's my point. This is television. It's a visual medium.

BALDWIN: The crafty Jake Tapper and his Tapper and team, we'll look for it. We'll look for it at the top of the hour.

TAPPER: Thanks, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Thank you so much.

Let's talk Chrysler because we told you the story. They are refusing to, you know, recall -- refusing to recall because this is what the federal government is asking them to do, recall these, you know, just about 300 -- excuse me, 3 million Jeeps.

Next, we just talked with someone who witnessed a deadly accident involving one of these Jeeps.

She actually got so concerned, she did some research, organized a petition, and that's just the beginning of this story.

That's next.


BALDWIN: All right, now to a fight that could affect the safety of you and your family. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says nearly 3 million Jeeps could catch fire if they're rear-ended.

The agency wants Chrysler to recall each and every one of them, but in this rare move, Chrysler says, no. It is a battle between the two titans here, the U.S. government and the third-largest automaker in the whole country.

What really is at stake? Brian Todd, we sent you out and about to find out. There you are in front of a Jeep.

Show me the problem that the government wants fixed, please.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, the problem is in the design, according to the government's highway safety arm and according to public safety advocates, non-profits and others.

This is a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The design's not in the front. We just wanted to show you the make and the model of the car we're talking about here. It's the Jeep Liberty of a certain type of era, of certain years, and also the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

And the problem is in the design of the gas tank. The safety advocates say the problem is the gas tank is right behind here, right behind the rear axle. So if the car gets rear-ended and somehow accordions back here, it just bursts into flames.

Now, the problem since this -- these model years has been corrected and moved to the front of the rear axle, but there's still millions of these vehicles out there, and safety advocates, Brooke, and the government's highway traffic safety arm, NHTSA, they want to recall these, about 2.7 of these vehicle and that's what Chrysler is fighting right now, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Thank you for showing us. Now we understand what the problem is.

And I know that, Brian, you talked to a woman who witnessed one of these accidents herself.

TODD: That's right. Her name is Jenelle Embrey. Now in October of last year, just a few months ago, she was driving along with her father on Interstate 81 in Winchester, Virginia. The car behind her was a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

They were in a traffic jam. An 18-wheeler just rammed the back of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, going several miles -- about 60 miles or more.

And this woman, Jenelle Embrey says that car "accordioned," that there were three people inside the car. Her father got out, broke the windows of the car, pulled one of the people out safely, but there was a teenager, an 18-year-old boy and a woman driving the car who were killed.

And Jenelle Embrey had this to say about how this accident kind of affected her and turned her into a safety advocate.


JENELLE EMBREY, WITNESSED FATAL JEEP ACCIDENT: I knew something was wrong with the Jeep. I knew it was, just by looking at it, just watching it happen, the fire, everybody being alive, the fire starting in the back, and then a couple of people are dead.

So I started doing some research online. I discovered that this is a problem a lot of experts have been pursuing to get recalled.

And I just decided that the -- probably the most -- the thing I could do with the biggest impact would be a petition.


TODD: Now Chrysler, as we said, is fighting this recall, Chrysler saying in a statement, quote, "We believe that NHTSA" -- that's the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration -- "we believe NHTSA's initial conclusions are based on an incomplete analysis of the underlying data and we're committed to continuing working with the agency to resolve this disagreement."

And again, a crucial point, Brooke, that Chrysler is making is that a lot of these accidents that these advocates are talking about are high-speed, high-energy accidents, and that the design of these vehicles would make no difference anyway.

But, of course, the government and these safety advocates are saying that's not true. It's in the design of these vehicles, and they're trying to recall Jeep Grand Cherokees between the years of 1993 and 2004. And these Liberties between 2002 and 2007.

Since those came out, those gas tanks have been moved forward in the vehicles, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Brian Todd, thank you so much. We'll look for your reporting on this in "The Situation Room."

And, folks, if you do drive a Jeep and if you want to read more about this and see if your Jeep falls under the recall category, just go to I promise you we'll have a full list.

Coming up next, an update to an emotional story we shared with you yesterday. We spoke with the mother of one of the first-graders who was shot and killed back in December at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

She was part of this group of people trying to prevent the release of the crime-scene photos, the 911 calls. And we are now hearing whether she gets her wish.


BALDWIN: We have now learned that the governor of Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy, is set to sign a bill that will bring some relief to the families of the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

This bill will prevent the release of gruesome crime-scene photos and images from that December 14th mass killing, along with portions of 911 calls.

Yesterday, the mother of one of the children, Dylan Hockley -- he actually was shot and killed inside one of the classrooms -- explained to me why these records, why these documents should not be released.

Mom is Nicole, and Dylan was her little boy. He is survived by a big brother, eight-year-old Jake.


NICOLE HOCKLEY, MOTHER OF BOY KILLED AT SANDY HOOK: I can't fathom the horror of him googling his brother in 10 years time and coming up with seeing photos or hearing a tape of his killing. There's just no need for that.

These photos are particularly gruesome. This is one of the worst atrocities that's happened in the United States. There's no reason and no public interest reason for these photos to be released.

We're very concerned about political opportunists using these to advance their agendas for hoaxers and conspiracy theorists to harass us further.


BALDWIN: The bill does allow for certain images and audio to be released if and only if the victim's family or survivor gives written consent.

Coming up tonight, Nancy Grace is taking you behind bars. She speaks with inmates at this high-profile jail about life there.

I'm talk to Nancy about what she encountered and what surprised her. Don't miss this.


BALDWIN: All right, let me tell you this story, allegations of police brutality captured on video, putting Jasper, Texas, back in the news.

It's happening right before the anniversary of a murder that put Jasper in a very ugly racial divide in the national spotlight 15 years ago this Friday, the 1998 killing of James Byrd, Jr., the black man who was dragged to death behind a pickup truck by three white men.

This surveillance video right here shows two white officers taking down 25-year-old Keyarika Diggles held at the police station for failing to pay a $150 traffic ticket.

Watch, and you can see Diggles. Here she goes, being pushed. Second officer steps in and slams her head against the counter. She's dragged to a cell. Here she is being dragged on the ground.

She says she was afraid she would die.


KEYARIKA DIGGLES: And I thought they were going to kill me, and I cried and I cried and I cried, and didn't nobody come.


BALDWIN: CNN has called the Jasper police department and the district attorney. Neither has called us back, but this week, the Jasper city council fired both police officers and the d.a. is investigating whether they should face criminal charges.

Keyarika Diggles is considering filing a lawsuit.

Before I let you go, let's throw that Big Board up and see how the numbers are doing, and, once again, we are seconds away from the closing bell on this Wednesday afternoon, and it's still below the 15,000 mark, at least for now.

People perhaps afraid of some sort of economic slowdown. People worried that the Federal Reserve isn't going to continue boosting the economy in the fashion they have for so many months in the past.

So keeping a close eye on the numbers since we haven't seen it below, closing below 15,000 since the seventh of May.

We mentioned Nancy Grace. We mentioned her special as she is going behind bars. You can watch that tonight and tomorrow, HLN, 8:00 Eastern, and we will put that interview -- I sat and talked to Nancy about what it was like talking to women, a lot of mothers.

She in Nancy Grace-style got quite candid. We're going to put that interview for you on the Brooke Blog. Go to

Thanks for being with me. I'll turn it over to my colleague, Jake Tapper, in Washington. "The Lead" starts now.