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LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
Video of Beyonce's Sister Attacking Jay-Z; Workers Tested for MERS; Vehicle Hits Television Station
Aired May 13, 2014 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Some breaking news that we want to bring you, yet again, there are live pictures up on your screen right now from Baltimore.
And while the time stamp for you says 12:33 p.m. Eastern time, I'm just going to warn you that our pictures are on delay at current moment because a car has apparently rammed into a news station in Baltimore.
And that's not the worst part. As the chopper flies through, the police in Baltimore are reporting that at this station, WMAR Channel 2 in Baltimore, there is a possible armed suspect inside that building.
CNN has a team en route, but again, an armed man inside that news station. That's the ABC affiliate in Baltimore, WMAR. Apparently this started to alert authorities at 11:45 this morning. It's actually called Towson, the area on your screen, near Baltimore.
But at that moment just 15 minutes before noon, the car apparently had the incident, ramming into the station. It's very hard to make out exactly where that is on your screen. But like I said, just out of an abundance of caution, when we have circumstances like this and a possible armed suspect, we like to keep things on delay so that nothing can surprise anyone. We're going to continue watch this and update you as to what happens at that news station, WMAR.
And now to a video that has a lot of people scratching their heads. If you ever had that uncomfortable moment in an elevator, you've got nothing on Beyonce, her husband Jay-Z and her sister Solange.
There is no accompanying audio for you here, but the pictures in this TMZ video may just be worth a thousand words, because behind those steel door, it looks like an all-out attack on Jay-Z by his sister-in- law Solange Knowles.
All the while, Beyonce is seemingly standing by, passive. There are hits, there are kicks and then the doors open, almost like nothing even happened. These pictures just in to this from Splash News of the group emerging from that elevator. Just take a look at the faces. Perhaps take a look at Jay-Z's face as he's holding it.
Here's Deborah Feyerick with the video that just may call into question that couple's squeaky-clean image.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Beyonce and Jay-Z, all smiles at the Nets game Monday night, hours after TMZ posted this security video recorded after the Met Gala, which paints a different picture.
The shocking video purportedly captures Beyonce's younger sister Solange attacking Jay-Z while inside the Standard Hotel elevator, even kicking him multiple times.
Jay-Z at one point holding her foot but never retaliating, Beyonce staying out of the fray. Solange leaving the New York City venue tight-lipped, Jay-Z opting for a separate vehicle.
BONNIE FULLER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, HOLLYWOODLIFE.COM: They were actually getting along great at the Met ball where they were before this, and Beyonce and Solange were dancing together.
FEYERICK: The video a huge departure from the superstar couple's carefully protected -- some would say untouchable -- image from the secretive yet glamorous birth of their daughter Blue Ivy to their frequent visits with the president and first lady.
With their extensive business and sports interests, they've remained above the normal tabloid fray. She's considered so untouchable SNL poked fun at her with this sketch.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not a huge fan of that one drunken love song, though.
FEYERICK: If anyone speaks ill of Beyonce, they get hunted down.
HOWARD BRAGMAN, VICE CHAIRMAN, REPUTATION.COM: Jay-Z and Beyonce truly control their image, and they control it well. Their private moments are just that They put up a very large powerful wall between public and private, and that wall was broken down.
FEYERICK: Last week Beyonce posted this message on Instagram now attracting minute attention, she asks God, quote, "Help me to choose my friends wisely so I won't be led astray. Give me discernment and strength to separate myself from anyone who is not a good influence."
BANFIELD: Trying to read into that, I don't think I can.
Representatives for all parties have declined to comment to CNN. Our sister network HLN did get a statement of the representative of the Standard Hotel where that elevator is.
It reads, "We are shocked and disappointed there was a clear breach of our security system and the confidentiality we count on providing our guests. We are investigating the circumstances surrounding the situation and, as is customary practice, will discipline and prosecute the individuals involved to our fullest capacity."
Well, that's great, but the damage is done.
For the LEGAL VIEW, I want to bring back commentator Mel Robbins and HLN analyst Joey Jackson.
It's rare you have the two tabloid papers with the exact same headline, "Crazy." This is really damaging stuff.
All sorts of -- there are myriad legal issues here. The first and foremost one brought up this morning is, if this were Jay-Z having been seen attacking Solange and everyone emerged quietly, but the video did emerge anyway, would the police have to react to this?
JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: I mean, you know, you would think, certainly.
And, first of all, talking about Jay-Z, look at the restraint that he exercises here, being under attack, and, you know, if he would have hit her or done something to her, you could only imagine, Ashleigh, in segueing into your question, what could have happened here.
And I certainly think the police even now can undertake an independent investigation. I don't know that it will go anywhere based upon the fact you would need the complainant, that is, the victim's, cooperation, Jay-Z. And he won't cooperate.
But certainly if Jay-Z was giving the beat down, right, to Solange or anybody else, the police would be all over it. Glad no one was hurt.
BANFIELD: And, Mel, it doesn't matter oftentimes, when a woman is assaulted if she is hesitant to be a part of the witness team.
MEL ROBBINS, CNN COMMENTATOR: Right. They usually are, particularly in domestic situations.
BANFIELD: Yet those charges go ahead.
ROBBINS: Yes, they do, because --
BANFIELD: Circumstances --
ROBBINS: But mainly because the police are involved. I mean, what's going to probably happen here is the police, I would hope, are going to contact these guys and do an investigation to see if anybody wants to press charges, to see if there's anything here.
And just like Joey just astutely pointed out, there's no way in hell these guys are going to cooperate with the police.
They don't want this to be anything more than what it probably was, which is pure speculation on my part, but you go to the Met gala, you drink a little bit too much. If you were in my kitchen in the morning -- BANFIELD: You're crazy. You're a crazy lady.
ROBBINS: When I look at the way my 15-year-old and 13-year-old scream at each other in the morning over somebody taking the shirt, mix alcohol and jealousy over the years and --
BANFIELD: -- my brother-in-law, but I have never taken the heels to him, ever --
JACKSON: There are family squabbles. This brings it to a little different level.
ROBBINS: We don't have a bodyguard in the kitchen, so --
BANFIELD: You're right about that, but to be a fly on the wall behind those steel doors --
ROBBINS: What do you think happened?
BANFIELD: I can't say. I work for CNN.
JACKSON: Ashleigh, what would you not give to get the audio behind that, right? That would give us some insight.
BANFIELD: I feel bad for them. This is a family. And you know what? Their private moments are never private. They get paid dearly for it.
ROBBINS: It makes them more real, honestly.
BANFIELD: It does.
ROBBINS: It's relatable.
BANFIELD: Brutally real, I hate to say it.
Mel Robbins, Joey Jackson, as always, thank you both. Love talking to you.
JACKSON: A pleasure.
BANFIELD: Again, I don't want to go out with you, though. I don't know what kind of parties you go to.
Coming up, I want to give you an update on that breaking news I brought to you a little bit earlier about the MERS update. Those two healthcare workers who are now being treated for potentially being exposed to it, I have an update on one of them that's good news, an update on the other one, not sure about that.
Come on back.
BANFIELD: And the breaking news coming from Florida, two healthcare workers who had contact with a patient who had been diagnosed with MERS at an Orlando hospital, they have now been tested for this disease themselves.
MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and it can be deadly. The workers had been tested as a precautionary measure after they experienced flu-like symptoms themselves. And here's the good news, one of them did not meet the criteria for admission to the hospital and has now gone home.
But the bad news is, the other worker was admitted to the hospital and the hospital is now awaiting further results of the testing. And joining me on the phone from Emory University, Research Professor Scott McNabb is an expert on MERS.
Professor McNabb, thank you so much for being with us. When -- I think a lot of people hadn't heard of MERS until just recently. How serious is this?
SCOTT MCNABB, RESEARCH PROFESSOR, EMORY UNIVERSITY (via telephone): Hi, Ashleigh. Thank you for having me on your program.
It's actually a very serious concern, but first diagnosed perhaps two years ago. MERS is a new virus for humans. And so we're learning more about the modes of transmission and the types of exposure that are required for a person to become sick. And as Doctor Frieden of the CDC pointed out yesterday in this press -- the briefing, that improving and enhancing infection and prevention control in hospitals is a key component of our strategy.
BANFIELD: So, Professor McNabb, one of the things that Elizabeth Cohen had just reported, our medical correspondent, was that the good news, if there is any with regard to MERS, is that it actually -- this is a virus that hasn't shown to be easily spread in community settings person to person. Is that still our belief at this time?
MCNABB: Yes, that is - that is what we understand based on the types of viral genomic testing that has been done, which is a good thing, obviously. So it means that we have to understand better the way that it's transmitted and what are the risk factors for getting the infection. And that gives us a chance to learn more about that. So it's a good thing in terms of preventing the (INAUDIBLE).
BANFIELD: But how - how deadly is it - sorry, my concern is that so many people have flu-like symptoms. My colleague, who's two offices down from me, had flu-like symptoms yesterday. The last thing we're going to think of is that we are in the offset of a deadly disease. How much time does a person have between the moment you're coughing, sputtering and feeling aches and pains, to the moment you need serious medical treatment or you'll die?
MCNABB: Well, I think, you know, anybody who develops flu-like symptoms should, first of all, stay at home, and then seek medical attention. We think the incubation period for MERS ranges somewhere between five days and two weeks. But right now it's not spread widely at all in the United States.
So I think as Dr. Frieden mentioned, as a person is hospitalized with serious respiratory symptoms and the hospital takes the proper prevention and infection control containment efforts, that that is the way to contain spread among the population. So anyone that's sick should obviously go seek medical attention.
BANFIELD: Well, Professor McNabb, I really appreciate you in your busy schedule taking time to help us out with this breaking news. We're going to continue to watch this story. Professor McNabb joining us live on the phone from Emory University with that.
And coming up next, we're also following another breaking story coming from a news station itself in Baltimore. Some video that we are showing you on delay as - and this is new video, by the way, from WJZ. Crews and obviously SWAT teams who are moving in to WMAR television station where a car earlier this morning rammed the station and the reports came in from the police officers in that community that there was the possibility of an armed gunman inside. I'm going to get you up to speed on all the details since that moment right after this break.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BANFIELD: It's been a very busy day of breaking news.
I want to get you right back to Baltimore, where a bizarre story is underway at a television station, WMAR, the ABC affiliate actually just outside of Baltimore. You're looking at pictures right now that have come into us. It's Towson, just outside of Baltimore, where the SWAT team had to respond to a television station.
And that television station, WMAR, on its website is saying that a dump truck rammed its building. Then the reports shortly after 12 noon came in that there was an armed man possibly in the building. And as you saw, the police on mass responding with obviously heavy armament and heavy ordnance as well. You can see the damage at the front of WMAR. And those images coming from another station, WBAL. And this just came in moments ago. Our Athena Jones has been working this story as well.
And clearly, Athena, when you're talking about a television station filled with reporters, there is information getting out of there, even if they can't broadcast it.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ashleigh. And, you know, this is a bizarre incident. A very, very scary scene. It's still, as you can see, an active situation. I'm watching the feed coming in just as you are. We saw that police, that SWAT team on the ground.
But we're hearing from the station itself and from reporters who are tweeting out what's been going on, so we've been able to learn a little bit more. For one thing, I should tell you, they did do a head count. One person tweeted that everyone is out of the building and safe. Many are calling loved ones to let them know they're OK. But, of course, there's still concerns about this potentially armed suspect in the building. One reporter there, Brian Kuebler, is tweeting that he saw the truck ram the building three times. So it didn't just run into the building. You can see some of the damage earlier that that ramming created. It was a large truck. This reporter tweeted that it was possibly a landscaping truck. This same reporter said the suspect tried to get into the building, screaming, let me in, and said he was God. This all happened about 15 minutes before the top of the hour. So this has been unfolding now for a little over an hour. And we can see that it's still not resolved.
But from these tweets we're getting from the station, the station warned folks to stay away from their location there on York Road in Towson - in the Towson area. Nearby is Towson University. There's also St. Joseph's Hospital. So it's a very densely populated area where this situation is unfolding. And right next door is a school, St. Pius Elementary School. It's pre-k through eighth grade that is now on lockdown as law enforcement tries to get a hold of this.
BANFIELD: Athena Jones reporting for us. And, Athena, our colleague from "Reliable Sources" Brian Stelter, joins me live on set as well.
And this is one of the most remarkable aspects of this story. I just said it to Athena, I'll say it to you, filled with journalists. They are reporting just via Twitter and you're monitoring them.
BRIAN STELTER, HOST, CNN'S "RELIABLE SOURCES": Right, because they can't get on to the air.
STELTER: First thing you might think of, it's 11:45 a.m. when this truck rammed through the front door of this local TV station. The first thing you might think is, is he trying to get on to television? Is he trying to get on the local news at noon, right? Is he trying to get onto the air waves for some reason? Well, this station doesn't have a noon newscast. It was playing a "Judge Judy" type show at noon. So, you know, maybe that's not - you know, maybe that's not what you would first think of. On the other hand, if the guy's --
BANFIELD: First of all, is everyone out? Are they say --
STELTER: That's the most important detail. According to the news director on Twitter, everybody's out. That they did -- were able to do a head count and so that's OK. And we've seen a lot of staffers tweeting about being pushed further back from the scene. But, like you mentioned, they haven't been able to get on air and cover this story themselves because they are the story.
BANFIELD: And the SWAT team, as we can see from the pictures -- by the way, we were running these pictures on delay just in case anything happened. At this point we're giving you video of most -- some of the most compelling images of the SWAT team members arriving at WMAR. Again, it's the ABC affiliate just outside of Baltimore in Towson. But they were able to evacuate. And at this point, we do not know if that man is armed, if he's still inside. Just a quick last comment on it.
STELTER: And because it's taking a while, we may not know for quite a while.
BANFIELD: And they're doing what they call the sweep typically at this point. But this is so dangerous for police officers because clearly if a man, as Athena was reporting, rammed the station saying he was God, you are not dealing with someone who has all of his capacities at this point. That's why they are our bravest.
All right, we'll continue to cover this here on CNN. I'm going to pass the baton over to my colleague, Wolf Blitzer, who will pick up our coverage on this and other breaking news of the day right after this quick break. Thanks for being with us.