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Calls for Prosecutor Bob McCulloch to Recuse Himself in Michael Brown Case; Protests Growing in Ferguson; American Beheaded by Terror Group ISIS

Aired August 19, 2014 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, breaking news, a city under siege, bracing for more violence tonight as another police officer shoots and kills a black man just miles away.

Plus the prosecutor in the Michael Brown case under fire. His father a police officer was killed by a black man. Can he be fair?

And an American beheaded by ISIS on videotape. Terrorists tonight vowing to kill more Americans, a special report OUTFRONT. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, crowds in Ferguson growing at this hour. You're looking at live pictures of protesters marching in the streets. Police and the National Guard are getting ready for another very violent night.

This comes after another police shooting in Missouri today, this one in St. Louis just miles away from Ferguson. Crowds are gathering where a white officer shot and killed a young black man, who police say came at the officer with a knife.

State troopers, the National Guard are gathering as we speak after tear gas, Molotov cocktails and shots dominated the darkness last night. Four officers were injured. Two protesters shot, although not by cops. At least 74 people were arrested.

Protesters tonight also demanding the prosecuting attorney overseeing the investigation recuse himself. They claim that he's biased based on the fact that his father, who was also a police officer, was killed by a black man. We're going to have much more on that coming up.

The unrest in Ferguson has also delayed the start of school for the city's 11,000 students. Their first day has been moved back a week to next Monday.

Stephanie Elam begins our coverage tonight live in Ferguson. And Stephanie, crowds are gathering where you are right now?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are, Erin. In fact, if you take a look behind me, you can see that this peaceful protest has been going on here on the main street here in Ferguson. They are yelling that they are out here for Mike Brown.

They're handing out these roses because they want people to bring back peace to this community, which has been devastated for over a week now. They are chanting, they're singing, they're walking in a circle and the part of the street that they're allowed to because there are blockades.

The police have blocked off the street on several different sides, on this side and down behind us here so that other people can't come in. Several people I talked to today also saying that they're out here during the day.

And then by the time the sun comes down, they are going to be back inside because they do not want to be mixed with that element that is coming into this town, but they say it is not from Ferguson, that is stirring up things at night and causing trouble.

So they're doing their part, they say, to make their voices heard, but at the same time to not -- not get away from the message here, but also to not mix with that element that they say is coming from other states even to just interface with the police.

BURNETT: Stephanie, we're obviously watching behind you, and then there was a child there that we could even see. What are people saying about their readiness for the possibility of more violence? Every night, as you know, there's been the hope it won't happen again, but every night it's gotten worse and worse.

ELAM: That's true, Erin. I got here last night around 1:00 in the morning and it was right after there was some more violence. People here are on edge and they're especially on edge for the fact that the funeral is going to happen on Monday.

They're saying that more violence could continue to happen here in Ferguson. Also, other people telling me too, Erin, that if this officer is not indicted that there will be more violence. These people will keep coming out until there is some kind of a result for that fact.

But they say it's not going to be an easy thing to stop and they think it will continue. But at the same time several of the people I talk to who are actually from Ferguson say that they want Mike Brown to be remembered but at the same time they're ready for this to end.

BURNETT: Ready for this to end, Stephanie, but as you say there are people who are throwing Molotov cocktails, who are obviously being very violent and that police are responding in kind. According to the arrest numbers, I know you were saying, people there say it's not people from Ferguson. According to the arrest numbers, they are saying the majority of them are from Ferguson. Do you have any idea of who those people are?

ELAM: That's interesting, too, because I actually talked to four police officers about that as well today, Erin. And they said if you take a look at the people that are arrested last night in particular, they said a lot of them came from other states. They say that they generally know the people who are from Ferguson. And you know, just driving around just to give you an idea when I got to Ferguson, parts of it are very cute, quaint little town you can walk around.

There's parts that you're not seeing, and that's on the other side of the street where we are, if you keep going the other direction. There are people here who are upset that they feel like they've been focused on and attacked in this entire nine days and leading up to this.

They're saying that there are race relation issues here in Ferguson and there are a lot of people here who say that is evident and that is true and that's why they're out marching.

But at the same time a lot of the middle-aged folks that I talked to, folks who are maybe even like in their 30s also saying as well that they are very much concerned about Ferguson getting back on its feet even though they do believe that people have the right to make their voices heard and to demonstrate and march.

Even just now even before we came live, police officers were telling the demonstrators when they got to a point and stopped, you got to keep moving. They don't want people to stop because those groups get too big and that's what they don't want to happen tonight. We'll see. We'll be out here all night.

BURNETT: All right, Stephanie, we'll be checking back in with you. As we talk about this issue of the arrests, 74 arrests last night, that's a lot. But police say the violence we are seeing is being caused by a very small number of protesters.

David Mattingly is OUTFRONT live in Ferguson to get the facts on exactly who is causing the violence that we're seeing. David, who are the agitators?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, it depends on who you talked. If you talk to the people of Ferguson who are on edge or having to live with this every single moment of the day and night, they're quick to point the finger at people who do not live here.


MATTINGLY (voice-over): Nine nights of unrest with no end in sight to the violence, tear gas and arrests, peaceful demonstrators in Ferguson, who have failed to keep the peace blame outsiders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got back in between them and physically had to push them back.

MATTINGLY: St. Louis alderman, Antonio French mixed it up in the street Monday night with people he accuses of perpetuating the Ferguson conflict. His widely viewed videos on Vine show local activists confronting others in the crowd. French tweeted this photo accusing the white guy on the left from Chicago of trying to incite a riot. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once we calmed it down enough and separated everybody else, the police were able to come in and get him out of there.

MATTINGLY: But a St. Louis County Police list shows plenty of blame to go around, 77 arrested in Ferguson Monday night, only about 20 were from outside Missouri.

(on camera): Numbers like that, it is fair to blame the problems on people from outside Missouri?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it's us. It's us that's outraged. It's St. Louis, Missouri, residents that are outraged.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Local demonstrators say the numbers only tell part of the story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of the people arrested last night were peaceful protesters. The majority of the people doing the looting and the damaging of the different businesses weren't from around this area.

MATTINGLY: In the meantime, locals are counting their losses to neighborhood businesses and to their everyday routines. With schools closed, these teachers clean up the neighborhood with a message about what the conflict is costing the children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We'll have free lunches being given to students in the community. We'll be doing deliveries and then we'll be giving free mental health counseling as well.

MATTINGLY: Call it frustration, call it battle fatigue. There's a growing move to place some kind of blame on someone as weary residents hope for a return to normal.


MATTINGLY: Attorney General Eric Holder sending a letter today to the people of Ferguson, a public letter where he acknowledges the violence that's been going on here and about them, he says it's committed by a very small minority and in many cases individuals from outside Ferguson. And he closes out by appealing for patience -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, David Mattingly, thank you very much.

Now joining me is our political commentator, Greg Anthony, and Neil Bruntrager, the general counsel for the St. Louis Police Officers Association and our commentator, L.Z. Granderson. OK, great to have all of you.

Greg, let me start with you. I know you have before said police haven't done themselves any favors by the way they've handled this situation. Nine nights now of violence. Do you still blame police for these outbreaks?

GREG ANTHONY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think there's enough blame to go around. Listen, I think a lot of this starts simply with the fact that this is, in part, because of race. Let's face it. Pure and simple, you have so much frustration in the African-American community.

There's so many examples, vivid examples of where there's been police brutality that's led to the death of a lot of young black teens. Now you're starting to see that frustration boil over.

And unfortunately, to your point, the police haven't done anything really to kind of deter the violence. In some ways they kind of escalated. You heard in some of those comments made earlier, a lot of the violence was done by a small amount of folks.


ANTHONY: Well, if you look at the amount of firepower that's on display there, that would lead you to believe that this is in the Middle East with the amount of firepower and police officers there. It doesn't seem to me that they're trying to quash the violence.

And I'm not saying they're there to incite it, but I just think from a PR standpoint, they've dropped the ball on this wholeheartedly and not done themselves a service.

BURNETT: From a PR perspective, there's no question that they have a problem, L.Z.. But if you're a police officer and you're getting bottles thrown at you, Molotov cocktails thrown at you, you're coming under fire in some cases, what are you supposed to do?

L.Z. GRANDERSON, CNN COMMENTATOR: Well, I think, you know, your guest Greg is absolutely right. If you go into a situation expecting the worst and if you dress in a way that police officers are, you are expecting the worst --

BURNETT: So you are saying by dressing in that gear that looks militaristic, that's what's causing them being shot at?

GRANDERSON: I think what's causing the elevation that we are seeing, the escalation that you're seeing is that if you come into a room with your fist up, people automatically are going to assume you're there to cause trouble.

So that's not the reason why they're being shot at and Molotov cocktails are being thrown at them, but they're escalating the violence merely by looking as if they're going to shoot you.

In many cases we've reported the photos we see are officers that have their guns drawn with citizens with their hands up is not the proper training for that equipment or for what a police officer is supposed to do.

So they're way out of bounds in the way they're handling this and it is contributing to the escalation.

BURNETT: So let me show Neil a picture of what he's referring to. These are officers pointing rifles and advancing down the street. When you see images like that, it inflames people who are already emotionally charged. Hard to deny that. Are the police making this worse?

NEIL BRUNTRAGER, GENERAL COUNSEL, ST. LOUIS POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION: Absolutely not. Look, when you look at the large picture here and there's so many things I want to say and they all want to scream to get out.

When you look at the larger picture here, these police officers on the ground to make sure that the residents, the businesses and the peaceful protesters are safe. That's what their job is.

Now, you don't want to send them out there in a manner that is not fitted to do that job. Again this idea that they somehow provoked this violence by showing up with helmets on?

I will tell you I've spoken to police officers who are there. People are taking landscaping rocks and breaking them in the street, throwing those rocks. They're throwing bottles, anything they can find.

Molotov cocktails. I'm not going to recommend that any police officer go out there in less than full body protection. Again, you can't ask them to go out there and do this and not ask them to protect themselves. They're not out there to make this worse. They're out there to make it better, but there's a balance.

BURNETT: L.Z., he has a point there. People are going to be doing those things to you, you have to be in full battle gear.

GRANDERSON: Erin, if you want to talk about the big picture, it doesn't begin at these protests. The big picture begins with the decades of police harassing and police brutality in that community.

If you want to talk about the big picture, then start at the beginning of the story. Don't start with these images that you're seeing right now and saying they had to do this. It's like, no, they helped create this in the decades of abuse.

BURNETT: Go ahead.

ANTHONY: I was just going to say, I don't think we necessarily -- I'm not here to blame the police officers that are on the ground. To me, this is about the leadership of the police department. That's where I find fault with them.

I mean, ultimately those officers are there to carry out orders. The orders are what I have a problem with. I just don't think they've done anything to quash or squash the violence and the vitriol that you're seeing night after night after night.

And also, I hope that the people of Ferguson use this opportunity moving forward. You think about it. This is a city from which I understand 75 percent African-American yet only 5 percent of the police force is African-American.

The leadership in that community doesn't have representation in terms of African-American. I think we need to have more dialogue between the civic leaders and the politicians and also the community leaders as well to try and come up to a -- come to a point where now they can work together.

Because right now this thing has gotten so combative that I don't know that this is going to really die down anytime soon.

BURNETT: It's hard to break the cycle because you can't expect them to not dress in gear. The cycle right now is not a good cycle. Thanks to all three. The accusations that the prosecutor in the Michael Brown case is biased.

These are significant accusations. His father was a police officer killed by a black man. So can he fairly prosecute this case?

Plus, hip-hop tycoon Russell Simmons says he has a Ferguson solution and he's our guest OUTFRONT.

And the brutal beheading of an American at the hands of ISIS. This just happened late today when we became aware of it. It's a horrific tale as the terrorists are vowing more American deaths.


BURNETT: Breaking news on our top story tonight. Live pictures of Ferguson, Missouri, at this hour. Obviously, you can see the shot pulling out here by our affiliate KMOV. A city and a nation again on edge watching and waiting to see what will happen when night falls. Will protesters and police again take to the streets more than a week after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager.

There are many people out there tonight, our reporters are saying maybe more than other nights. But again, it's still light in Ferguson. Will we see a repeat of some of the scenes we saw last night? Where police with guns drawn, tear gas, Molotov cocktails and gunfire were erupting in the crowds. At least 74 people were arrested, four police officers injured.

Tomorrow, a grand jury is going to begin hearing evidence in the case to determine whether Darren Wilson, the police officer you see there, will face criminal charges. Already, though, protesters are calling foul saying the county prosecutor is not fit to try the case.

Jean Casarez has this story.


ROBERT MCCULLOCH, ST. LOUIS PROSECUTOR: Every witness who has anything at all to say will be presented to the grand jury.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the man, St. Louis county prosecutor, Robert McCullough, who will be responsible if there is a prosecution in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

MCCULLOCH: I can't guarantee and won't guarantee and nobody can any particular outcome on this investigation. We don't know where the investigation is going to end up.

CASAREZ: And some in the community want this lead prosecutor out because they feel he'll be biased.

JAMILAH NASHEED, MISSOURI STATE SENATOR Bob McCulloch, if you're listening, voluntarily recuse yourself from this investigation. The people and the African-American community, they do not have the confidence that you will be fair and impartial.

CASAREZ: The outcry caused by McCullough's deep die ties to the police in this community. His own father, a police officer was murdered while on duty in 1964 by a black man. Missouri state senator Jamilah Nasheed is calling for special prosecutor to replace McCulloch. She spelled out her concerns in a letter to him.

If you should decide to not indict this police officer, this rioting we witnessed this past week, will seem like a picnic compared to the havoc that will likely occur.

Protesters at his office demanded that he recuse himself. And an online petition calling for his removal from the investigation has garnered tens of thousands of signatures.

McCulloch has been the chief prosecutor for St. Louis county for 23 years dealing with hundreds of prosecutions. He made a name for himself early on this 1991 prosecuting Axel Rose of Guns n' Roses fame when rioting broke out after their concert. The case ended with a plea deal.

And McCulloch is no stranger to controversy. In 2000 a grand jury did not return an indictment against two police officers for shooting two drug suspects in a drug raid who were unarmed but at the wheel of a vehicle officers said was coming right for them. McCulloch made this controversial statement at the time.

MCCULLOCH: It's what I said then. I think that they were bums then. I think they're bums now.

CASAREZ: His office released this statement to CNN. The people have fate in Mr. McCulloch and he will continue to do his duties.

The St. Louis district attorneys' office tells me they want to begin to present witness testimony before the grand jury on Wednesday. One question is whether the officer, Darren Wilson, will take the stand to testify before that grand jury, a right he has under Missouri law.

Jean Casarez, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: And joining me now, Paul Callan, a criminal defense attorney and a former prosecutor along Natalie Jackson, a civil rights attorney who served as the counsel for the Trayvon Martin family during the George Zimmerman trial.

Let me start with you, Paul. Jean has pointed out the prosecutor has close ties to law enforcement. And of course, there's also this anger among many in Ferguson who say, well, because of his personal situation, the fact that his father was killed in the line of duty by a black man, he's not going to be able to give an unbiased take at this case. Even if that's not true, is it the perception that that could be the case enough for him to recuse himself?

Well, it might be. There is the apparent -- we have something called the appearance of a conflict of interest and if public confidence in the justice system is undermined, you can disqualify yourself. But bear in mind he was elected four times by the overwhelming majority of people in St. Louis county. And to have a connection with law enforcement, I would venture to say most prosecutors have had a connection with law enforcement before they --

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it might be. There is the apparent witness or they called the appearance of the conflict of interest. And if public confidence in the justice system is undermine, you can disqualify yourself. But bear in mind, he was elected four times by the overwhelming majority of people in St. Louis County. And to have a connection with law enforcement, I would then should to say most prosecutors have had a connection with law enforcement before they get elected.


CALLAN: So you will be knocking out all the prosecutors and what about the judges? (INAUDIBLE) judges have law enforcement connections in those place.

BURNETT: So you say he should go ahead and do --

CALLAN: Yes. I don't see anything that causes him to be disqualified so far.

BURNETT: So, you just heard also in this case that the point was made, Jean reported, that if there's not an indictment on Darren Wilson, that there would be rioting. Is that in and of itself enough of a reason to indict, to go ahead and put this into a court?

CALLAN: It absolutely is not. And it's an outrageous statement. We have a justice system that's supposed to make decisions based on what is right and what is wrong, not what appeals to a crowd of angry people. Now, I understand that people in the community are upset but until all the evidence is heard, we're not going to know one way or the other whether or not there's enough to proceed with this case and support an indictment. So I think we should wait until the evidence is in before you make up our minds on this.

BURNETT: So on that point, Natalie. The comment that if there is -- if Darren Wilson is not indicted by this grand jury, that there would be rioting in the streets, in your view is that enough of a reason to indict?

NATALIE JACKSON, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Of course, it's not enough of a reason to indict. But I think what's missing here is the reason the people are in the street. There seems to be some misconception amongst some people that people are in the street because of Mike Brown.

Mike Brown was a symptom of a huge problem. The huge problem is the abuse of power by the police. And all we've seen continuously in the last couple of days is the police ratcheting up and ratcheting up their power. And they're taking the power away from the people. And they've taken the voice away from the people. So I think until we address the whole power structure of the police and of law enforcement and the justice system, then you're going to have things like this over and over again.

BURNETT: Where they're going to keep happening. And what about the prosecutor, Natalie? We just heard this report, of course, that they said, some are saying, because his father was killed in the line of duty as a cop by a black man, that he is not able to be impartial and to do his job as a prosecutor, that he should recuse himself.

Keep in mind he's been in office 23 years and has overseen controversial cases including black officers and black suspects. Do you think he should recuse himself?

JACKSON: I think if the people think he should recuse himself, he should. They're not asking him to resign from his job. They're asking him on this one case recuse yourself because we already have mistrust in the justice system. So you're already going to do a secret grand jury where we won't know what happened in there and we won't get a report of what happened. And if people doubt you, judges do it every day. I don't even know why this is a controversy to some people. Judges recuse themselves every day without admitting wrongdoing just to make it so it is a fair process.

BURNETT: What do you think, Paul?

CALLAN: Well, I disagree. Judges -- it's very hard to get a judge to recuse himself. Usually, if they know somebody, one of the parties or a witness, if there's a direct connection to a case, maybe they will recuse themselves. But just because you're a former law enforcement official, your dad was in law enforcement, not usually a reason for recusal.

I don't know that -- when Natalie refers to the people, I don't know if she's talking about the people who vote in St. Louis county, but they voted this guy into office. And a lot of people think the voters are the people.

BURNETT: Which, of course, with a very low black turnout. Go ahead, Natalie.

JACKSON: Wait a minute. We've gone far away from just the people of Ferguson here. We're talking about police abuse of power in the United States. And all we're seeing now is there's a cry for it. Like I said, this has moved far beyond Mike Brown. We're talking about the abuse of police power, we're talking about police state, we're talking about people saying that a police's word is more important than three eyewitnesses' word.

CALLAN: So we should send a police officer to jail to send a message to the rest of the country? Regardless of whether he's guilty or innocent?

JACKSON: Make sure there's a fair process for both people. That's what you should do. And recusing the state attorney if it hurts his feelings, I'm sorry, but if it makes it a fair process, that's what our system is about, a fair and just process.

CALLAN: Who will you put in the prosecutor's seat. You're going to throw the guy out elected by the public and who are you going to appoint?

BURNETT: Answer Paul's question.

JACKSON: I'm not asking him to resign, recuse yourself on one case.

CALLAN: So, who are you going to assign to his seat and based what is the qualifications of a person?

JACKSON: There are many prosecutors. There are many prosecutors in Missouri. That's just a silly question.

CALLAN: It's not a silly question.

BURNETT: We're going to leave it there. Thanks very much to both of you. But obviously a big question.

OUTFRONT next, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons on the us versus them mentality. He is our guest next.

And we're back live on the ground in Ferguson. The attorney general of the United States goes there tomorrow. But the president will not. Is that the right call?


BURNETT: Breaking news on the growing unrest over the death of Michael Brown. We have pictures from just moments ago, protesters starting to gather in Ferguson, Missouri.

Tonight, tensions are rising. Our reporters are saying the crowds at this hour are bigger than they were last night. Obviously, we'll see what happens as darkness falls.

The frustration over the black teen killed by polices has exploded into mass chaos. Protests have been spiraling out of control. Last night, here's the shocking number, 78 people were arrested according to our David Mattingly.

Demonstrators hurled rocks, bottles, Molotov cocktails at police. The police used tear gas to disperse the crowds. And there's at one point sort of they were all lined up advancing with their guns drawn. So, the stand off, the chaos is escalating.

Four officers were injured, two protesters shot. They weren't shot by police. But today, St. Louis police shot and killed another black man just a few miles from Ferguson. Now, in this particular case today, police say a 23-year-old man

allegedly stole from a convenience store then approached two officers with a knife and said, "Shoot me now, kill me now," threatened them. They asked the man to stop and drop the knife before they fired.

OUTFRONT tonight, co-founder of Def Jam Records, Russell Simmons.

And, great to have you with us, Russell.

You know, these pictures are alarming and disturbing. And, of course, as you're aware, I'm aware, all our viewers are aware, it's in many ways embarrassing to see this as an American, to see our National Guard standing off with people throwing Molotov cocktails in this country.

You've been working to reduce the violence. What's your message?

RUSSELL SIMMONS, DEF JAM RECORDS: Well, for years, I promoted and underwritten peacekeeping programs, where community members patrol their own community. So I think that our next steps -- you know, this is not an isolated discussion. I mean, although it's come from this incident, this is a broader discussion and I think it's important that we recognize that there's an us versus them mentality.

The police are meant to serve and protect the community. It would be good if they came from the community. I think in many places it's become now more the law that -- or the policy of police departments to hire people from the community to police their communities.

So, we've had success with our peacekeeping programs in many cities around the country where men patrol their own communities.

So, there's a number of things the police could announce to begin to heal this process. One thing is police sensitivity training is critical. You know, in cases years ago where there were protest songs by the rappers about the police, it began a dialogue between police and community.


SIMMONS: And also diversity. How can you have a police force that is 53 members and three are black and 50 are not in a 70 percent black community?

So, this idea of diversity and inclusiveness, no one wants to join them to be a police officer, and I don't know if they want us on the force. I mean, this is a -- we talk about a post-racial society, but the amount of segregation in that community is staggering. And some parts of the world move forward, that community has been stagnant. In lots of America, there's still the amount of segregation and not inclusive attitude amongst community members than ever.

BURNETT: It's a fair point. I'm curious to what you said. One of our guests made the point that this is bigger than Michael Brown, but I wonder what you think, Russell, about the possibility that this becomes about just one person and it becomes about one case. And that if there isn't a verdict that is guilty forever for this police officer, then there's no progress until the next one of these incidents happen. How do you prevent that from happening? How do you prevent it from let's just say that isn't the verdict in this case. What if the facts don't necessarily leave there? How do you make this something that actually moves this country forward in terms of the race issue?

SIMMONS: Well, the dialogue first has to be diversity in that police force and we know that microcosm is a much bigger picture. I think everyone who is watching this closely has a level head knows that there's something much greater that has to be discussed.

And I think we're pushing for that. That's why I wrote a blog even four days ago in saying, police sensitivity training, I know that along with police sensitivity training, we need community relations and dialogue between police and community, and we have to know how to engage when the police attack -- I'm sorry -- when the police approach us.

So, then -- and it shouldn't be this separation. Again, you know, the idea of having community members become policemen or looking to the communities to hire people to use in those communities, that's --


SIMMONS: These are the steps that are necessary and should be considered today and as we move forward we have to make these choices. To put a cam, an I-cam, a go-cam, is that what they call them?

BURNETT: You can put them on a policeman.

SIMMONS: Of course. That's going to be -- we have success ratio up to 90 percent in terms of the number of complaints about police harassing when they have to wear those cameras. Had we seen the entire incident? So, that's another thing.

There's lots of things that we can promote that will heal this rift in this community today by making the announcement that we will begin police community dialogue, that we'll begin sensitivity training, that we begin putting the go-cam on, that we'll look forward at least as part of a process.

And I think without those kind of statements, it seems as if they're digging their heels in the dirt, The release of that information about Mike Brown, which was unrelated to the case.

BURNETT: The videotape.

SIMMONS: Yes, these kind of things are proving to be sources for greater fire. They're putting oil in the fire.

BURNETT: Russell -- Russell, thank you very much.

And I want to say, we're going to put up on our blog here Russell's list of things that could be done. This is one of the first people who came out and said, do this, do this, do this -- all of these things have some sort of solution rather than simply focusing on the escalation.

And up next: a young white man shot and killed by police in Wisconsin. His father, who says Ferguson is not just about race, is OUTFRONT next.

Plus, our other major breaking news story tonight, it is the brutal beheading of an American. We just found out about this. We know the president is now aware of it. The terror group ISIS did this and vows to kill more.

We are live in Iraq tonight.


BURNETT: Breaking news. As we watch the volatile situation in Ferguson, Missouri, tonight. These are pictures just moments ago police on the streets as they're trying to prevent another area of chaos. As another police shooting of a man took place just a few miles from Ferguson today, adding to the tension.

It's not just in Missouri that police tactics have come into question, though. Michael Bell was a 21-year-old white man. He was shot and killed by police in Wisconsin. We're going to speak with his father in just a moment.

But, first, the story of his death which changed the way police shootings are investigated.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You're watching what begins as a routine traffic stop and becomes the final moments of Michael Bell's life.

OFFICER: Get back in the car. Get back in the car.

LAH: Twenty-one-year-old Bell had just pulled up in front of his house, intoxicated after drinking with a friend. It was 2:00 a.m. on November 9th, 2004.

As we gets out of the driver's seat, a Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer immediately pushes Bell into his car and the confrontation begins. The officer and Bell walk out of the view of the police dash cam. But you can still hear what's happening.

MICHAEL BELL: I know my rights.

OFFICER: We're going to do some field sobriety test.

LAH: As the scuffle escalates --

OFFICER: Hands behind your back now! Hands behind your back right now!

LAH: Bell is handcuffed, but still fighting. Then, in front of his mother and sister, a distinct sound.


LAH: The officer had shot Bell in the head, the gun so close to his temple that it level a muzzle imprint. The officer reported Bell tried to grab his gun, Bell's father says in just 48 hours, the Kenosha police department call the death a justifiable homicide, that finding eventually backed by the district attorney.

Bell's father, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, was stunned saying there should have been more scrutiny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This isn't a training issue. This is a review of investigative issue.

LAH: Lack of accountability in officer-involved shootings echoes across the country. The FBI has the most comprehensive national database on police shootings, but it's hardly complete. It says only a small fraction of agencies contribute data. FBI statistics show there are about 375 officer-involved shootings in 2008. Sixty percent of the people killed in those justifiable police homicides were white, 38 percent were black.

But again, that data is only a small sampling of the real number of police shootings in the United States.

Michael Bell's family conducted their own investigation and eventually won a wrongful death lawsuit. The $1.75 million settlement went into billboards and a campaign for more police accountability.

This year, 10 years after his son's death, Michael Bell's father stood in the Wisconsin legislature as the state passed a law mandating that police-related deaths be reviewed by an outside agency. It's the first law of its kind in the nation and one the Bell family hopes will not be the last.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.


BURNETT: And we have Michael Bell Sr. OUTFRONT tonight.

Michael, after you lost your son, 10 years ago, what -- what advice do you have for the family of Michael Brown today?

MICHAEL BELL, SR., SON KILLED BY POLICE IN 2004: Just hearing the video play back, I heard my son screaming and it was emotional for me. So, I noticed that the other day when they released the autopsy drawing.

My son was shot in the head in front of his mother and sister. The gun was actually taken and they put it right to his temple and they fired a deadly shot right in his backyard. And when I saw that autopsy drawing, I was bothered by that, too.

So, I'm feeling for the family. Nobody has any idea what it feels like. The best way I can describe it is take a car, jack it up, get underneath it and let it fall on you, because exactly that's how much attention. You're suffocated by it.

Typically, most families live under the gray cloud for the rest of their lives when this type of thing happens. It takes a lot of therapy, and a lot of work and a lot of support to get a family whole together after this incident.

BURNETT: And you can never recover from it. Is the question with this country now is looking at, how do -- what is justice in this case of Michael Brown? You have now spent the past 10 years fighting for there to be more accountability, more transparency. How shocked are you by what our reporter just noted, which is that there is still no national set of statistics for how many people are killed by police officers?

BELL: You know, that's nothing new to us. We did our own research, and we've -- I approached legislators, said give me their data system. They don't have one.

And actually Pat Schneider, "Capitol Times" in Madison, Wisconsin, actually wrote a great article that there are no statistics out there. And -- but there are statistics with the police unions because every time a police officer shoots somebody, one of those police unions is sending out an attorney to work with them. And I assure you the police unions are keeping that data because of the fact every time they send out an attorney, it's $20,000 or $30,000 worth of legal fees.


BELL: I know in 2010, you know, we had 30-some-odd critical shootings here in Wisconsin. The reason I know that is because I did an interview with the director of the WPPA, Jim Palmer.

BURNETT: Before we go, Albert Gonzalez was the man who killed your son. He's currently a concealed carry instructor in Illinois. He was never charged. You have spoken to him.

Have you ever made peace with him over what happened?

BELL: You know, he came to me. He asked -- we walked out of city hall one day. And he came up to me. He approached me. And I actually had a video recordings and some day, I'll share that with the public.

But he asked that he hopes that Michael's mother and sister who saw him put a gun to their child's head or their brother's head and kill them, he said he hopes they find peace. But there was some other troubling remarks there. So like I said, some day we'll go ahead and release that. But, you know, what's going on in Ferguson is really important because

what we did here in Wisconsin, I think if that external review process that we've mandated here in Wisconsin occurred in Ferguson, I almost don't think that the rioting and stuff that's occurring down there would have occurred because there would have been a greater trust in the system.

BURNETT: All right. Michael Bell Sr., thank you.

BELL: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, a horrific story but a very important one tonight. The terror group ISIS has beheaded an American. It is on videotape. And tonight, they're vowing more American murders.

Plus, more of our breaking news coverage from Ferguson.


BURNETT: And now, the breaking news of an American beheaded by ISIS. This is a brutal murder. It was videotaped by the terror group that is trying to take control of Iraq and Syria.

This is journalist James Foley, just moments before his death. We have watched the video. We will not air it tonight.

The terrorists go on to threaten the life of another American if President Obama doesn't end U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.

Foley went missing while covering the conflict in Syria in 2012. The White House says American intelligence agents are working to verify the authenticity of the video.

Nick Paton Walsh is in Iraq tonight.

And, Nick, what more can you tell us about this video?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, lots of it is far too gruesome to really discuss. There is a very graphic beheading in it.

Also, it's clear that the man carrying out the beheading has a British accent, that suggests the international myriad of individuals who have chosen to join ISIS. There are moments in which James Foley -- we're pretty sure it's him at this stage -- in which James Foley says a number of things, clearly he's been told to say by his captors before his execution and another American journalist is then threatened on camera in a similar orange jump suit reminiscent of Guantanamo Bay. And also, the beheadings carried out by the Iraqi insurgency during the American military presence there, around 2005 and 2006 or so.

So, a lot there in which ISIS is trying to use as symbolism to terrify individuals. But the key issue, I think is that we may expect to see more of these particularly given the threats to the other American journalists at the end of that video -- Erin. BURNETT: The threat to the other American journalist. Nick, let me

just be clear they actually have another American journalist they showed so that they could go ahead and do this. Obviously, the White House has condemned this, we haven't heard anything further.

We are looking at another American journalist they have in their possession, right?

WALSH: That's correct, yes.

I mean, I have to say, Erin, you know, we have been seeing our colleagues, friends kidnapped in often terrifying numbers over the last years as the Syrian insurgent have been more radicalized and now, spread into Iraq, the fear always was those Americans held when the U.S. intervened, as they have now in Iraq against ISIS. It used to be a Syrian moment and now, it's an entirely Syrian and Iraq phenomenon.

The moment when the U.S. intervened, we could see things like this, perhaps Americans are being held for this particular reason.

I should also point out that when James Foley was taken, ISIS didn't really exist and his passage to their hands shows how things so badly changed in Syria, so heavily radicalized -- Erin.

BURNETT: Nick Paton Walsh, thanks very much.

We will be right back.


BURNETT: And back to our top story tonight, Ferguson, Missouri. Protesters gathering as we speak, police bracing for more chaos. It's been 10 days since Michael Brown was killed by police. It has gotten more and more violent.

Tomorrow OUTFRONT, Tracy Martin, Trayvon Martin's father, will be our guest to talk about the shooting and protesters.