Return to Transcripts main page
Robbery Video Released Over DOJ Objections; Controversy Surrounds Ferguson Police; New U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq; Europeans Agree to Arm Iraqi Kurds; Texas Gov. Rick Perry Indicted; Push for Police to Wear Body Cameras; FBI Joins Investigation into Teen's Death
Aired August 16, 2014 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, again, everyone. We begin this hour in Ferguson, Missouri.
We begin with a major development in the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown killed by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri, one week ago today. A law enforcement official tells CNN the Justice Department did not want local police to release this surveillance video showing Michael Brown allegedly robbing a store, but as we saw Friday, police did release the images.
CNN's Rene Marsh is at the White House with more on this.
So, Rene, how clear is it that the Department of Justice made this recommendation?
RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, this is interesting because this is the first time we're getting information about the behind-the-scenes conversations that were happening before the controversial release of this surveillance video. So, now, we know based on the source at the Justice department that the Department of Justice thought it was a bad idea. They opposed the idea of releasing this surveillance video showing Michael Brown. They expressed that to the Ferguson Police Department.
Let's talk about Thursday. These conversations were happening on Thursday. Again, the Department of Justice said that if you release this video, you very well could escalate the amount of tension happening within the community. Not a good idea. It appeared both parties agreed and Ferguson Police Department did not release it on Thursday.
Now we fast forward to the following day, Friday, and we saw the release of this video. Again, despite federal authorities opposing the release of it. So it is really unclear at this point why Ferguson's police chief decided to release the video despite the Department of Justice saying not a very good idea.
Here's what we do know, though, Fred. We know that on Friday, when the police chief released this video, he got a lot of criticism. He was also accused of trying to smear Michael Brown's character, making him less sympathetic in all of this. In doing that, many people asked him that question directly at his press conference on Friday. Why did you release this video and this is what he said.
He essentially said that he felt that he had to because he received so many requests from the media by freedom of information requests and he feared that the department might be sued. Is that the reason why he went against what the Department of Justice advised? That is unclear because we have not heard from them since we received this new information from sources at the Department of Justice, Fred.
But that's what it stands now. The bottom line is the Department of Justice said do not release this video and we know what happened. Ferguson Police Department released the video.
WHITFIELD: Well, that's interesting, too, because there have been requests for a lot of things. Requests of the name of the officer that eventually came, what, five days later. Requests of the sequence of events and the content of the contact between the officer and Mr. Brown and those things have not been answered right away.
Rene Marsh, at the White House, thanks so much. Give us more information as you hear it, particularly from the Department of Justice.
All right. Now to a round of violence taking place in Ferguson. Happening overnight when angry looters blocked off a street, robbing through store, throwing Molotov cocktails as a Domino's Pizza restaurant. Firefighters put out the flames but a SWAT team across the street didn't move in and did not arrest anyone. And eventually, the crowd dispersed.
Our correspondent Ed Lavandera and Ana Cabrera are on the ground there in Ferguson.
So let's begin with you, Ed, at the Ferguson Police Department. A lot of controversy surrounding the way in which the police have handled this case, including the release of that surveillance video. We're hearing from our sources that DOJ didn't want that video being released. What kind of response is coming from Ferguson police as to an explanation as to why they felt it was worthy of release?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After the chief here in Ferguson made that announcement yesterday, it didn't take long for residents to be angry. They had been asking for almost a week to learn more about the officer involved in the shooting. They wanted his name, wanted to see what he looked like, so when they released the pictures of Michael Brown inside the store and not a picture of the officer, you knew things were going to get more tense.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The Ferguson police chief says this surveillance video shows Michael Brown engaged in a, quote, "strong arm robbery," just moments before he was shot and killed. Police said Brown stole a $49 box of Swisher Sweets Cigars and when the store clerk confronted him, police say Brown shoved the man into a display rack and walked out.
CHIEF THOMAS JACKSON, FERGUSON POLICE: A further description, more detail was given over the radio.
LAVANDERA: Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson released that information at the same time he announced that 28-year-old Darren Wilson was the officer who killed the teenager leaving the impression that the robbery and shooting were related. The chief's announcement instantly angered Ferguson residents.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hands up.
CROWD: Don't shoot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hands up.
CROWD: Don't shoot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So why do we never hear about this strong-arm robbery until just now? Why --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because they got to get their lies together.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just cannot believe that this is the tactic that this police chief and his administration are using to try to make this young man be deserving to be gunned down in the street like a dog. This is crazy.
LAVANDERA: A few hours later, Chief Jackson said the confrontation between Michael Brown and Officer Wilson had nothing to do with the robbery.
JACKSON: Because they were walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic, that was it.
LAVANDERA: Darren Wilson has worked as a police officer six years, four years with the Ferguson Police Department. He's described as a gentle, quiet, and distinguished officer. But the department refuses to release his picture.
(On camera): Darren Wilson lives here on this street in another St. Louis suburb, about 25 miles away from the town of Ferguson. Many neighbors are reluctant to talk about him, but they say since last weekend's shooting they've seen a great deal of police activity here in the neighborhood and that several neighbors also say Darren Wilson left here several days ago.
(Voice-over): Jake Shepard went to high school and played hockey with Darren Wilson. He described the officer as a quiet guy.
JAKE SHEPARD, DARREN WILSON'S FRIEND: I can say without speaking to Darren, without even having heard his statements that at that moment in time he was scared for his life. I am 100 percent positive of that because I could never imagine him even in that situation taking someone's life let alone taking someone's life with malicious intent, you know? He's just the last person on earth that you would think could do something like that.
LAVANDERA: Officer Wilson now has an attorney and a law enforcement source tells CNN Wilson has been interviewed twice by detectives, once right after the shooting and then a second more in-depth interview later. But the release of the officer's name has done little to calm the anger over Michael Brown's death.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All we want is the truth. That's all any person wants. If it was your child, wouldn't you want the truth?
LAVANDERA: And you know, in finding out the truth here I think will come down to a lot of trying to understand this police officer's mindset and that's why so many people here, Fredricka, in Ferguson say that they want to try to learn more about him and what went into that situation obviously -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right. Ed Lavandera, thanks so much outside the Ferguson Police Department.
Let's bring in Ana Cabrera, who's at the sight of last night's looting.
After police and even the community had applauded one another for keeping the peace. Then something again happened last night. Bring us up to date.
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Unfortunately, this just keeps happening and people here on the ground, the residents, the town here is just wondering what is next. I think that's one of the questions so many want answered, that's just come into play in this story with the unrest that we once again saw flare up overnight. Several businesses were looted. Three Molotov cocktails were reportedly thrown on to a Domino's Pizza along this area, and then there was looting at the store just behind me. The Ferguson Market.
That was the store where that alleged robbery occurred and people went in there, and came out and stole items. Across the street where we're standing here at the dollar -- or near the dollar store and a beauty supply store was also looted and so people are just wondering where was the law enforcement last night because they were nearby, but yet did not take action. And so there are a lot more questions in this, so we're looking to get those answers from local and state jurisdictions who are supposed to be taking care of security.
Now we did get a tweet today from the governor who put it out saying, you know, "Long night, thanks to all who tried to stop unnecessary violence. I will be in Ferguson today," and we've just learned within the last half hour or so that he will be holding a media briefing this afternoon at 3:00 p.m. local time, so 4:00 p.m. Eastern in which he says he and local leaders will be addressing the unrest that happened again last night and will be then, you know, talking about some new actions, steps, that they're going to be putting into place to try to prevent that from happening again.
But I have to tell you, Fred, we have been making multiple phone calls today, sent tweets, sent texts, sent e-mails to the Ferguson Police Department, to the Missouri State Highway Patrol and we have not been able to reach anybody to find out exactly what happened last night and their reason for not necessarily responding. So we'll try to keep getting those answers. In the meantime, listen to the residents that we've been talking to, the business managers in this community.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: We had crews on the scene who described a very tense situation, and there was fear that perhaps if police had confronted these people who were looting that maybe there could have been a gun battle and people would have lost lives. What do you think?
SERETHA ALFORD, ASSISTANT MANAGER: With that situation, it's so scary now you don't know who to trust. You don't know who the good guys is or who the bad guys is because of this situation. So out here people are fearful. People are scared. And they have the right to be scared.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: You heard her use that word, we don't know who to trust. That distrust that has been in this community and been building over years is still here and it's stronger than ever and that's going to be a challenge for the local community even moving forward after we finally, you know, do find that calm amongst the community members here -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Ed Lavandera, Ana Cabrera, thank you so much. And at this hour, was exactly on this hour one week ago today when Michael Brown was gunned down and many people are gathering on that very street paying homage to the 18-year-old was killed with continued unanswered questions.
All right. We'll go back to Ferguson later on this hour.
Also next, a fight to retake a critical piece of Iraq's infrastructure that has fallen into dangerous hands. We're live in Iraq for more on the progress and the U.S. role, next.
WHITFIELD: While the U.S. targets a militant group in Iraq with new airstrikes, we're hearing reports of a terrible massacre in a village. That comes as Iraqi Kurdish forces are trying to take back the critical Mosul dam that ISIS has controlled since earlier this month.
Senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is live for us in Irbil, Iraq.
So, Nick, what more do we know about this deadly attack?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is in a village called Kojo south to Sinjar, and the past few days there, ISIS militants have moved in to that town and now a variety of activists and officials are giving differing tolls as to the sad number of deaths that are a result of that ISIS advance. One suggestion is that there may have been as many as 350 men killed. And that is one official, Yazidi official talking to the British organization who also suggests that perhaps 1,000 women and children have been abducted.
I should urge caution there because sadly the distances involved here because of the sheer terror is that ISIS's advance often causes amongst communities lots of different numbers circulating at the moment particularly when it comes to the Yazidis trapped up on Mount Sinjar. Other sources suggesting that 80 men have been killed and perhaps 120 women and children have been abducted and taken away by some militants to Mosul or Tal Afar, towns that they control.
That's of course corroborated by what we've heard from ISIS commanders who have said in the past when they've taken other villages, they have taken women with them. One told us they've take up to 100 in one recent advance and asked those to in fact convert towards Islam. But it's obviously part of a broader strategy here and these mass executions, these large scale abductions, increasingly frequent and terrifying for those parts of Iraq and Syria, too, that ISIS advanced -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: And the latest, Nick, on the efforts to take back that dam?
WALSH: Well, as we understood in the early hours of this morning, heaviest wave of airstrikes yet launched by the U.S. and their intervention here, targeted areas around that dam and a large swathe of the belt around that vital hydroelectric infrastructure. It powers a lot of Iraq. Not just the neighboring towns.
Now there are conflicting reports as to whether those attacks which seem to have taken out ISIS targets, ISIS armor around that dam, whether that's now evolved into a ground assault, officially, the Peshmerga, the Kurdish militants in that area, are saying no. Unofficially they're hinting perhaps they're moving towards it.
It's going to be very delicate and very complicated. ISIS still out the dam. It's fragile in itself, there's questions as to how its condition has held up under ISIS control. They're not experts in hydroelectric infrastructure, far from it. They're engineers still trying to run it, but the idea of a full-on battle between sometimes not particularly well-trained militia for something as delicate as that I'm sure puts the fear into many as hundreds of thousands of tons of water being held back by that dam above downstream. Many civilian towns.
WHITFIELD: All right. Nick Paton Walsh, thanks so much from Irbil, Iraq.
So those Kurdish forces fighting against ISIS are getting more help and it can't come fast enough. The European Union has now agreed to arm the Kurds. Earlier, I spoke with CNN military analyst, retired Army Colonel Peter Mansoor, and I asked him why the European's help is so critical in defeating ISIS militants.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COL. PETER MANSOOR, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It will stop at nothing to inject violence and terrorism into the rest of the world. And it is the perfect enemy if there is a perfect enemy, so I think that Europe is fully on board with the United States now in doing something to roll back ISIS by arming the Kurdish Peshmerga and reforming the Iraqi army as well.
WHITFIELD: That the U.S. is involved in this matter -- I mean, the E.U. rather is involved in this manner, how influential might that be for the U.S. to be more militarily involved?
MANSOOR: Well, it helps when we have the backing of the international community for whatever military action we take. We didn't in 2003 and it was a highly divisive war as a result. To have that kind of backing now in 2014 I think is not only highly symbolic but manifestly important and will give significant resources to the Kurds that they wouldn't otherwise have.
WHITFIELD: So we've seen how ISIS is fighting with weapons the U.S. had given to Iraq after U.S. forces left. Do you think E.U. weapons could end up in the wrong hands? Is that your fear?
MANSOOR: Not this time around. They're going into the right hands. The Kurdish Peshmerga will be well-trained, better trained and they're going to be highly motivated. I don't think anyone's under the -- an illusion now as to what they're facing. So it may be in small numbers on the battlefield individual weapons get captured, but not wholesale surrenders like we saw in Mosul in June when two divisions worth of Iraqi Army weapons were turned over to ISIS without a shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Colonel Mansoor there.
All right, is he in serious trouble or is it a political stunt? Texas Governor Rick Perry has been charged with two felonies and he's making a statement a couple of hours from now. Details on the charges up next.
WHITFIELD: Texas Governor Rick Perry is scheduled to appear at the state capital this afternoon to respond to an indictment -- two indictments. He's accused of abusing the power of his office and coercing a public servant. The special prosecutor says Perry tried to force the district attorney to resign.
The governor is expected to speak at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. And of course we'll bring that to you live as it happens. His lawyer is already speaking out.
Nick Valencia here with me now.
So what is the lawyer saying and we know that Governor Perry will try to be out in front of the message?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I'm sure. Sure. The defense for Governor Perry saying this is baseless, there's no foundation to this, but it all stems from an alleged threat that he made towards a Democratic district Attorney in Travis County, that's Austin, Texas, the capital of the state, which is Democratic. The rest of the state is red, but this district attorney after a months-long investigation, they're claiming now that Perry tried to abuse his power, coerced her into stepping down after she was busted for a DWI.
Now she did not step down and he threatened to pull some funding from her Public Integrity Unit, that's the unit that goes after corruption and statewide corruption. He ended up following through with that threat. About $7 million over the course of two years would be vetoed from her unit. That's when this special prosecutor started his investigation. Looked into witnesses, called witnesses and it turns out that they felt they had enough to level charges against him.
Now getting back to his defense, his attorney saying that this is baseless and they gave us a statement here. Let's read it.
"We will continue to aggressively defend the governor's lawful and constitutional action and believe we will ultimately prevail."
So they say this is all politics. That there's nothing to it. We'll hear what the governor has to say about it at 3:00 p.m. Eastern -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: And what more from this Travis County D.A., Rosemarie Lehmberg?
VALENCIA: Well, we know a little bit about her history. She started as a prosecutor in the mid '70s and she was really embarrassed publicly by this very public DUI. There's dashcam video of the arrest.
WHITFIELD: A mugshot.
VALENCIA: A video of her acting erratically in the holding cell. A mugshot. She says she's not like a typical politician, that these sorts of criticisms affect her, but she feels that she was -- because of politics, Governor Perry tried to force her out of office.
Now the charges, coercion of public servant and abuse of power, KVUE, our local affiliate in Austin, saying that Governor Perry will have to show up to the county jail, take a mugshot, get fingerprinted, all of that that an ordinary citizen would have to do. The good thing for him, though, is he can continue his job while this indictment, this grand jury indictment is pending.
WHITFIELD: It's an indictment, it's not a conviction.
VALENCIA: That's right. Yes.
WHITFIELD: So it's really just the beginning of this legal road and we're going to hear from the governor -- from himself.
VALENCIA: About an hour?
WHITFIELD: The governor himself, right, in about an hour from now.
WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much. Hour and a half from now.
VALENCIA: You bet.
WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, Nick Valencia.
All right. Still ahead, using technology to take the guess work out of policing? It allows you to see everything the officer sees on the job.
WHITFIELD: All right. Mortgage rates held steady this week. Here's a look.
WHITFIELD: All right. Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back, I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Here are the big stories crossing the CNN news desk right now.
The general investigating Army Sergeant Beau Bergdahl's capture by the Taliban asked for and is getting more time to complete his final report. That's what a military spokesman told Reuters. Bergdahl disappeared from his unit in 2009. He wound up in the hands of the Taliban. They kept him nearly five years before trading him for a group of Taliban detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The investigation will decide if Bergdahl violated any law or army regulations.
Ukraine says its artillery destroyed much of a Russian military convoy that crossed the border this week. Russia denies any such incursion, but two British newspapers say they saw it. Meanwhile more than 200 trucks supposedly containing food and water for those caught up in the fighting in Ukraine still sit at the border. Ukraine insists on inspecting them before they're allowed to deliver their goods.
And police have arrested a couple in the abduction of two Amish girls in upstate New York. The 6- and 12-years-old had been selling vegetables near their family farm on Wednesday when they disappeared. They were found abandoned on a road the next night. Police say the girls were able to provide important details that led to the arrests of the two people that you're seeing.
A mixed martial arts fighter, Nick -- nicknamed, rather, the War Machine, is in jail accused of beating his ex-girlfriend. Police arrested Jonathan Koppenhaver after a weeklong manhunt. They say he beat adult film star Christy Mack in her Las Vegas home leaving her with 18 broken bones and a lacerated liver. Koppenhaver says he is innocent.
Notre Dame University is investigating a possible cheating scandal. Among those under investigation are four members of the football team. They're accused of turning in papers and homework they didn't write. If the players are found guilty, the university says it will forfeit all games in which they play.
In the wake of the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, there's a call for more police oversight. One suggestion, officers should wear body cameras to record everything that happens. A town in Florida is already doing that and as Alina Machado reports, it has made a big difference.
ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, this is a police body cam. This is the recording device. This is the actual camera. Police here in Daytona Beach, Florida, have been using these devices since 2011 and they say they've already helped ease tensions in a few cases.
MACHADO (voice-over): This is video taken from two body cameras last September when Daytona Beach police officers knocked down a door and saw a man armed with a knife threatening a woman. Moments later officers fired several shots, an action they say saved the woman's life. But that's not the end of the story.
CHIEF MICHAEL CHITWOOD, DAYTONA BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT: I arrived on the scene 15 minutes later. There's at least 100 residents out screaming at me as I get out that my officers gunned down a guy laying in bed.
MACHADO: The video, Chief Mike Chitwood says, helped ease tensions because it showed what really happened.
CHITWOOD: And what could have been a really bad thing in the community, people start to look and say, oh, I understand what happened now. That's not what I was told.
MACHADO: That's not the case in Ferguson, Missouri, where the police chief says no video exists of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
CHITWOOD: It would make a huge difference.
MACHADO: Chitwood's department is one of more than 1200 law enforcement agencies in the country using body cameras.
CHITWOOD: The positives so much outweighs the negative.
MACHADO: Daytona Beach Police have 75 cameras right now, with plans to add 50 more by the end of the year. Each camera costs $950. And the department is paying $23,000 a year to store the video. It's a lot of money but Chief Chitwood says it's money well spent.
CHITWOOD: I can just tell you just from the few incidents that we had here how it has been just a godsend for us.
MACHADO (on camera): So why is there so much resistance? Why doesn't every police department in the country have these body cams? CHITWOOD: Change is number one. Cops don't like change. Cost is
MACHADO (voice-over): And another reason, according to critics.
BERNARD KERIK, FORMER NYPD COMMISSIONER: Every single thing you say is going to be recorded, scrutinized and so forth, and I think that would put a hindrance on cops. It would create a problem with them in dealing with the everyday public.
DALE KELLY, POLICE OFFICER: I feel that I can do my job a lot better now.
MACHADO: Officer Dale Kelly uses a body camera every day.
KELLY: This camera will protect me.
MACHADO: We were with him as he responded to a call. His body camera engaged, capturing his drive to the scene and what he did once we arrived.
KELLY: What's your name?
MACHADO (on camera): When would you say the camera is most useful?
MICHAEL TERRY, POLICE OFFICER: I would say any time that you come in contact with the public.
MACHADO: We wanted to see for ourselves how the cameras worked.
(On camera): So right now you are recording?
TERRY: Right now we're recording.
MACHADO: Everything you see, everything you hear is being captured by that camera.
TERRY: That's correct.
MACHADO (voice-over): After a brief demonstration Officer Michael Terry helped me gear up.
TERRY: Line it up with the tabs. And push down until it clicks. Good.
MACHADO: The recording device on my belt, the camera on my head.
MACHADO (on camera): It's not that uncomfortable.
MACHADO: It's kind of like wearing a headband.
(Voice-over): I turned it on. (On camera): All I have to do is just --
TERRY: You press that button twice.
MACHADO (voice-over): And went for a walk recording my every move.
(On camera): Right now we're in the shade.
MACHADO: So if I were to walk out into the bright sun what would happen?
TERRY: The camera will adjust.
MACHADO (voice-over): The technology, Chief Chitwood says, is invaluable.
(On camera): Is this the future?
CHITWOOD: In my heart this is the future. It's here. We might as well embrace it.
MACHADO: The man we showed you at the top of the story, by the way, did survive the police shooting and was charged with a felony. Meanwhile, there are a handful of companies that make these devices and one of them tells us that their sales have jumped 80 percent just in the last year -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: The controversy over the release of a convenience store surveillance tape allegedly showing Michael Brown robbing a store has only intensified today. CNN learned that police were warned by the Department of Justice not the release the video. The suggestion that they shouldn't release the video, but police went ahead and put it out to the public anyway.
Our Randi Kaye breaks down this video that has fueled protests across the nation.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A convenience store, Saturday morning, what you're about to see is what police call a strong armed robbery. They say that's Michael Brown entering the store. White T- shirt, long tan shorts and a red Cardinals baseball hat. His friend Dorian Johnson right behind him.
It's 11:52 a.m. and 58 seconds according to the police incident report. The surveillance camera shows four seconds later, Brown is at the counter.
Watch closely. See the store employee in the red shirt apparently coming from the rest room. She goes behind the counter. Just 12 seconds later, police say Brown reaches for a box of Swisher Sweets cigars and hands them to Johnson without paying for them.
What happens next is a bit obscured by a display case but watch closely here. Police say there's some sort of confrontation involving Brown, a struggle. Police say Brown grabbed more cigars. He'd been in the store now just 32 seconds.
Seven seconds later, Brown's friend Johnson puts the box of cigars Brown handed him back on the counter, returning them. But police say, Brown just seconds later bends down to pick up some cigars he dropped, even looks a customer in the eye, then makes his way to the door.
At the door about 10 seconds later, a store employee who appears to have a set of keys in his hand attempts to put himself between the man believed to be Brown and the exit door. Still holding the cigars in his right hand, the man police say is Brown grabs the clerk with his left hand and clearly shoves him back into a display rack.
It all might have ended there, but take a look at what happens next just about one minute into this. Police say, instead of leaving right away, Brown turns back one final time, advancing on the store employee who tried to stop him. Towering over him, police say it was an attempt to intimidate the employee who quickly backs down.
Only then does Brown turn in exit at 11:54 a.m. He's in and out of the store in one minute and two seconds. About 10 minutes later, he's dead.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
WHITFIELD: Next, we'll bring in our law enforcement analysts after the break and talk more about the investigation and the FBI's involvement.
WHITFIELD: The FBI has joined the investigation into the death of Michael Brown. Attorney General Eric Holder says the bureau is there to, quote, "supplement rather than supplant the investigation by local authorities."
Joining me right now is CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes. He is also the former assistant director of the FBI.
Good to see you, Tom.
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Hi, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: So there are multiple investigations going on right now. You've got the shooting death itself. The alleged robbery. The behavior of the Ferguson officer, Darren Wilson, and then there is the investigation of the investigation, so in your view what will the FBI be focusing on specifically? FUENTES: Well, the FBI is going to be look looking at whether the
shooting death is not justified. If Officer Wilson shot him and should not have, and of course, Michael Brown did die as a result of those shots, then that violates federal statute that the authorities deprived Brown of his civil rights under color of law, meaning it's not somebody else down the street, it's not a private security guard, it's a police officer in uniform, on duty, acting as a police officer. And then he used force that was not necessary or excessive.
I think in -- from what I've heard, the very first shooting that starts the violent confrontation with Brown and Officer Wilson, that very first shooting may never really be resolved. What happened at the door of that police car that resulted in that first shot, that's going to be, you know, very difficult to prove one way or the other since Michael Brown cannot explain his side of it.
But when Brown walks away or goes down the street, the officer pursued him. You have witnesses saying Brown tried to surrender and that he raised his hands and then, after raising his hands, after surrendering, was shot multiple times, that's going to be something that's going to be very difficult for Wilson to overcome. And in my view if that can be proven in federal court that Brown was surrendering and was killed after the attempt to surrender, Wilson will probably go to federal prison.
WHITFIELD: So that is the point. That's the real turning point in your view as to how and why and whether the FBI or the federal law enforcement end of this will be able to, you know, pursue, I guess, some real answers. It's not that first shot, but it's the shot that comes after Brown's hands go up?
FUENTES: Actually it's everything. And you know, the media reporting has been kind of helter-skelter. One minute we talk about the video, the next minute we talk about the looting. The next minute -- what the authorities will be doing is a methodical, chronological approach to what happened, and it will include what happened at that store because it's important. And even if Wilson did not know about the robbery, as he claims, and that may be able to show, you know, to release the dispatch tapes or recordings from the police department, if you have a dispatcher putting out to all the units the description of two suspects that have just committed a strong-arm robbery, then if Wilson heard that, that changes everything.
Now he's trying to make a felony stop and maybe he didn't follow procedure. But even if Wilson did not know that Brown -- anything about the convenience store robbery, if he was completely unaware of it, Brown knew. And Brown's family attorneys have conceded that was him. That was Big Mike in that store taking the cigars and then using force, shoving the employee of the store against the display rack.
So the fact that Brown committed that act means Brown knew he did something. And if Brown is strolling down the street and a police car approaches him and an officer yells out to him, in Brown's mind, you would expect him to think, uh-oh, I'm going to be taken into custody. This is going to be confrontational. He's not being asked to get off the street for jaywalking or obstructing traffic or anything like that in his own mind. Now maybe in Wilson's mind, but certainly not in Brown's mind. He would have known what he just did 10 minutes earlier.
WHITFIELD: But if Officer Wilson didn't know about this, you know, alleged robbery and he stopped or questioned Brown on the street, in your view based on what we know from eyewitness accounts or even from what the police chief is revealing, was there probable cause to even stop Brown, just because he was walking in the middle of the street?
We've heard nothing from eyewitnesses who say he was blocking traffic, obstructing, you know, the flow of traffic in any way, so what was the probable cause --
FUENTES: Well, you know, it --
WHITFIELD: -- because he was walking in the middle?
FUENTES: You're right, it could be, you know, harassment. But, you know, technically it's a violation. If you have sidewalks, you're supposed to use the sidewalk. So, you know, you could say that this is harassment. You know, the average cop is going to drive right by somebody and if they actually aren't blocking traffic, they're not going to, you know, get involved with something like that.
But what's in Brown's mind is very important. Let me give you a quick example. When I was in charge of the FBI in Indiana, we had a case involved an Indiana State Trooper on Interstate 80 near Chicago, saw a motorist on the shoulder of the interstate changing a flat tire. He radioed in, I'm going to assist this motorist, I'm at such and such location. Parks his car on the shoulder behind. Gets out, goes to help this person and is immediately gunned down, shot dead on the street.
What the officer didn't know -- he thought he's doing just helping a citizen. What he didn't know is that person had just stolen the car and it hadn't been reported yet. So the person -- that's why he guns down the officer and this is something -- you know, I was a street cop for six years before becoming an FBI agent for 30. This is something police officers face every day is that you don't know what the other person may have just done, what they're thinking, what their mental state is, are they intoxicated.
You know, there's many things that come up that police officers encounter. It's not as clear-cut as it often looks to outside observers. And that's what's important in this case. What was on -- what did Brown do? What was he thinking when it came to that officer? That's one issue. The second issue is, you know, you have that store clerk now receiving death threats. You have, you know, others in the community, the other shop owners being looted, they're being threatened.
Even if you had a witness in that community that saw something different concerning the confrontation, concerning whether Brown surrendered or didn't, what is the likelihood somebody now will come out publicly and argue a different position that favors the police officer? Nobody in their right mind is going to want to do that and get themselves hurt because there's such a complete sentiment ready to hang Officer Wilson in this instance and there may be more to the story.
And it's just that all of these facts, and I'm not taking Officer Wilson's side. As I've said, if he did what was alleged about gunning him down after surrendering, he will go to prison.
FUENTES: He should go to prison if that's what happened, so I'm not taking his side. I'm trying to be fair to all sides.
FUENTES: And there's so much emotion in this, we don't know chronologically every step by step by step yet --
WHITFIELD: You're absolutely correct.
FUENTES: -- of what happened.
WHITFIELD: All thought-provoking points.
Thanks so much, Tom Fuentes. Appreciate it.
FUENTES: You're welcome.
WHITFIELD: And we'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: Now this is a story to make you smile. A pitching phenom at the Little League World Series has thrown a shutout. Has 70-mile- per-hour fastballs, and, guess what, she is just 13 years old.
Roshana Ali of CNN Bleacher Report introduces us to Mo'ne Davis.
RASHAN ALI, CNN BLEACHER REPORT: Young Mo'ne Davis is giving new meaning to the phrase "throw like a girl." Yesterday in her first start in the 2014 Little League World Series, the 13-year-old Philadelphia phenom lived up to the hype. She threw a complete game, two-hit shutout, with eight strikeouts in a 4-0 win over South Nashville, Tennessee. With a 70-mile-per-hour fastball she becomes the first girl to throw a shutout in Little League World Series history. But Davis isn't letting all the attention go to her head. After the game, all she wanted to talk about is baseball.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MO'NE DAVIS, LITTLE LEAGUE PITCHER: I got one by. And I got to know the umpire's strike zone, so that helped me out a lot.
ALLEN RICE, COACH: With our defense and Mo pitching like that, as long as we can sequence the pitching to keep it in the yard, we're in good shape.
LAKEISHA MCLEAN, MOTHER: This game blew me away. I don't think she ever had that much strikeouts. I'm not sure. But this game actually blew me away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALI: Pro athletes are also blown away, and they're showing their support for her on Twitter. Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout posted "Mo'ne Davis is straight dominating. Fun to watch." NBA MVP Kevin Durant of the OKC Thunder tweeted "This youngster is striking everybody out, and she is a girl. I love it. #It's a new day."
And Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said "This is so cool. Congrats Mo'ne Davis on the outstanding pitching performance. Keep it up. #Whynotyou." Davis' Philadelphia team will play tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. After throwing just 70 pitches she'll be able to pitch again on Tuesday if her team needs her to take the mound in a must-win situation.
WHITFIELD: I told you, you would smile about that. Thank you so much Rashan Ali.