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THE SITUATION ROOM
Holiday Travel; Unrest in Ferguson; Michael Brown's Stepfather Criticized For Inflammatory Comment On Monday Night; Ferguson Mayor Blames National Guard; Boy with Fake Gun Killed by Police; Storm Snarls Holiday Travel for Millions
Aired November 26, 2014 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Police now identify a young man found killed in his car as riots swept across Ferguson, Missouri. Will tonight see more violence?
Michael Brown's parents speak to CNN, sharing their initial reaction to the news Darren Wilson would not be charged in their son's death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LESLEY MCSPADDEN, MOTHER OF MICHAEL BROWN: It was just like a -- like I had been shot, like you shooting me now, just no respect, no sympathy, nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: I will speak live this hour with the family attorney.
Also, holiday storm. A wintry mix of rain and snow creating travel chaos for tens of millions of Americans trying to get to their Thanksgiving destinations. Who is getting it now and what is next?
Caught on camera, a deadly confrontation between police and a 12-year- old boy carrying a fake gun. What new details are investigators learning right now from the just-released video?
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: We're following two breaking news stories this hour. Snow and rain affecting some 30 million people from North Carolina all the way up to Maine, snarling air and road traffic during one of the busiest travel weeks of the year.
Also, there's breaking news out of Ferguson, Missouri as well. Police there have now identified a man found dead in a car as the rioting raged in the city. They say 20-year-old Deandre Joshua was shot in the head and someone tried to burn his body. An investigation is now under way as the world waits to see what will happen next in Ferguson. We're waiting to see what happens in the next few hours.
We're covering all of that, much more this hour with our correspondents, our guests, including the Michael Brown family attorney Daryl Parks. He's standing by live.
Our justice reporter Evan Perez begins our coverage this hour.
Evan, you are learning more about the tension between federal and local authorities over what's been happening in Ferguson. Tell us what you're finding out
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, all this violence in Ferguson has really exposed all the infighting that's been going on behind the scenes. Not only among federal officials, there's tension between federal officials and local and state officials.
You have all these jurisdictions that are responsible for trying to secure this city. You have the feds, you have the Saint Louis County, you have the state, which is in control of the National Guard. And what happened on Monday night, there was a period where the police pulled back, if you remember where our Stephanie Elam was right on the scene. You saw the police pull back and almost cede the streets to some of the rioters, who started doing some of their worst damage at that time.
A lot of that now is being looked at as to exactly what was going on, what caused that. You're hearing some local officials who are complaining that, well, we tried it your way. There was a lot of criticism of how the police handled protests back in August, that it was too heavy-handed. Now you have local officials saying we tried it your way, see what happened? And now we're going to bring much more force to bear to make sure it doesn't happen again.
BLITZER: What do you hear about the criticism that some local officials out there in Ferguson area are blaming the White House, if you will, or the Justice Department for interfering and, in effect, they're saying they were responsible for the disaster Monday night?
PEREZ: Right. It doesn't take long, Wolf, for politics to enter into this. That's exactly what is happening.
We know that the National Guard was called out a week before the decision came out.
BLITZER: By the governor.
PEREZ: By the governor, Jay Nixon. There was immediate criticism locally that this was too heavy-handed and it was preparation for war. So you had the situation where the governor had the National Guard held back, not as visible.
However, in some parts of the region, in Saint Louis City, for instance, they didn't have the same issues. So you have a city and a county issue. Again, it's an issue of jurisdiction. We talked to federal officials. They say they did not interfere with the way the National Guard was being deployed. They say there's nothing they did that caused some of this. BLITZER: Stand by. We will get more from you shortly as well. Evan
Perez watching the story very, very closely, doing an amazing job for all of us.
Let's go to Ferguson right now.
Our national correspondent, Jason Carroll, is on the streets of Ferguson.
What are you seeing there now? I guess a lot of folks are bracing potentially for more trouble, is that right?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're hoping that's not going to be the case, Wolf. But they are bracing for it just in case.
There's been so much talk about the National Guard. If you take a look right over here at the Ferguson P.D., you can see off in the distance National Guard standing there ready to do, ready to help out, if necessary. They did that last night when we were out here, and the help was definitely needed. There were a couple hundred demonstrators who were gathered right here at this spot and they ended up marching up South Florissant in front of City Hall, overturning a police car, at least trying to, and then also trying to set it on fire.
That's when police moved in very quickly. We have seen a different tactic out here Tuesday night as opposed to what we saw out here on Monday night. Much more of a presence out here. Police moving in much more aggressively much faster than they did on Monday. Whenever they see a problem, they're sure to come out now and address it quickly.
That's not really what we saw out here on Monday. We will have to wait and see what ends up happening tonight -- Wolf.
BLITZER: There have been arrests. I don't know how many arrests, but there were arrests last night. There were certainly some arrests Monday night as well. Right?
CARROLL: And 44 arrests last night, Wolf, for a variety of reasons. What we did not see last night as opposed to what we saw on Monday night was the looting. There was a lot of looting, as you now, that we saw on Monday night. Did not see that last night.
The feeling that I'm getting from some of the demonstrators that I have been reaching out to, just in text messages and just in calls, is that tonight's crowd is expected to be smaller, but there will be a crowd nonetheless -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And this homicide police, local police are talking about, this young 20-year-old man who was killed, apparently, a gunshot to the head and then they tried to burn his car, what do we know about this?
CARROLL: Deandre Joshua, 20 years old. He was found in his car Monday night in the same neighborhood where Michael Brown was shot. This young man, his death was ruled a homicide. Police at this point trying to determine whether or not there is a connection.
They have not determined if there was any sort of connection to the looting. But the situation on the ground is such that whenever you have a shooting, and at the same time that you have got this looting going on, the situation is such that police are going to be taking an extra look at cases like this, like the case that we see with Deandre Joshua.
So, once again, not sure at this point if there is a connection between his death and the looting, but it's definitely something that police are looking into.
BLITZER: All right, we will stay in close touch with you as well. Jason Carroll, thank you.
There's huge reaction to the first interview with police officer Darren Wilson, including from the parents of Michael Brown.
CNN's Ed Lavandera is also in Ferguson with this part of the story.
What's the latest there, Ed?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, a lot of people talking about that interview that Darren Wilson has done with ABC News. As you might suspect, there's a lot of people who are questioning what exactly he is saying.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Darren Wilson says he wants the world to know that he was just doing his job the way he was trained as a police officer the day he shot and killed Michael Brown.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Do you feel any remorse?
DARREN WILSON, FERGUSON POLICE OFFICER: Everyone feels remorse when a life's lost. Like I told you before, I never wanted to take anybody's life.
LAVANDERA: In his first interview with ABC News, Darren Wilson defended his actions saying he feared for his life.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You described it as a demon.
WILSON: Uh-huh. It was a very, very intense, intense image he was presenting.
I was so shocked by the whole interaction because this escalated so quickly from a simple request to now a fight for survival.
LAVANDERA: Michael Brown's father says he is crushed by the grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Wilson. Brown's parents say Wilson's version of events doesn't add up.
MCSPADDEN: I don't believe a word of it. I know my son far too well that he would never do anything like that. He would never provoke anyone to do anything to him, and he wouldn't do anything to anybody. I don't believe a word of it.
MICHAEL BROWN SR., MICHAEL BROWN'S FATHER: For one, my son wouldn't -- he respected law enforcement. Two, who in their right mind would rush or charge a police officer that has his gun, you know? It sounds crazy.
LAVANDERA: Darren Wilson detailed the series of 12 shots he fired at Michael Brown and says he has a clean conscience of how he handled it all.
WILSON: I had actually seen that bullet go into his head. I saw the face that he had go blank. Everything was just blank, and when he landed, he fell face first and actually slid on his face and upper body. As he did that, his feet had come up in the air from all the momentum he had from running at me and then when he came to rest his feet then collapsed, and I knew immediately that he had passed.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And when you look back, is there anything you could have done differently that would have prevented anything from taking place?
LAVANDERA: Since the shooting, protesters have argued that Ferguson cops like Darren Wilson unfairly target black residents across the city, but Wilson insists the shooting had nothing to do with race.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you're absolutely convinced when you look through your heart and your mind that if Michael Brown were white, this would have gone down in exactly the same way?
STEPHANOPOULOS: No question?
WILSON: No question.
LAVANDERA: And, Wolf, now Darren Wilson's future with the police department is very much in question. He's still technically a police officer here in the city of Ferguson.
But we do know that there have been talks about negotiating his departure from the department. His attorney has told CNN that basically his career in law enforcement is over and he will have to find another line of work, which is interesting, because we spoke with a state lawmaker from the Ferguson area here today who basically said despite all of this and despite the interview, Darren Wilson is not someone who will ever be welcome in the city of Ferguson -- Wolf.
BLITZER: He's technically on administrative leave, right? LAVANDERA: Right, paid administrative leave.
BLITZER: Ed Lavandera, he's in Ferguson for us. Thanks very much.
Let's talk about all this and more with one of the Brown family attorneys, Daryl Parks.
Mr. Parks, once again, thanks very much for joining us.
When the officer, Darren Wilson, says if Michael Brown had been white, he would have done exactly the same thing, do you believe him?
DARYL PARKS, ATTORNEY FOR FAMILY OF MICHAEL BROWN: I really don't, Wolf. When you use terms like demon and Hulk Hogan to describe Michael Brown, a person who is deceased now, then obviously it starts to give us some light as to how he viewed Michael.
He didn't see him as a person. And so that's a very, very big problem for me why I just can't believe him.
BLITZER: You believe that Michael Brown was profiled, is that what you're saying?
PARKS: Well, no, I'm not saying he was profiled. But I think that this officer could have used other means to subdue Michael.
For example, one of the things I just heard for the first time was a piece that you played when he talked about how close Michael was to him and that he saw his face. One of the bullets that killed Michael -- and the officer said he believed the shot killed him -- was at the very top of Michael's head, it came out around his eye.
That means that the officer had to have been over him to some degree. Now, that taken, that means that if this officer believed he needed to subdued Michael, he could have used other means to subdue Michael and failed to do so. If Michael's head down, his body is down, and the officer is over him, he could have taken him down to the ground and arrested him if that is what he wanted to do.
He did not have to use the level of force that he used given the situation.
BLITZER: All right, Mr. Parks, I want you to stand by. We have more questions that you can answer. We will take a quick break. Much more with Daryl Parks, he's the attorney for the Michael Brown family, right after this.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news. Police now identifying a young man apparently killed as the riots raged in Ferguson. They say 20-year-old Deandre Joshua was found behind the wheel of a car, shot in the head. Someone had also tried to also burn his body. That comes as the police and the military,the National Guard, they are bracing for more potential violence in Ferguson tonight. We're back with one of the Brown family attorneys, Daryl Parks.
Mr. Parks, by the way, do you know anything about the death of this 20-year-old young man, Deandre Joshua?
PARKS: Obviously, I heard about it once it was discovered and reported by the news agencies. And certainly our hearts go out to his family on behalf of -- both of Michael Brown Jr.'s parents express their condolences to his family for his life.
We don't know what happened. Obviously, we will all learn once the police do their investigation into his death. But it's very sad.
BLITZER: Very sad, indeed. We don't know if it's connected at all, but the police clearly are ruling it a homicide right now, and they're investigating as they obviously should.
We're talking about Darren Wilson, the interview he gave to ABC, in which he said he felt his life had been threatened and he looked at his face, Michael Brown's face, obviously a big young man, 18 years old, and a lot of people have pointed to that surveillance video in the convenience store only moments earlier.
And we're showing it once again to our viewers. You have seen it, Michael Brown allegedly stealing some cigars there, walking out of the convenience store. The owner supposedly comes over to confront him to ask him not to take the cigars and then he gives him this angry look and just intimidates him with his strength and his size and walks away.
When you see those comparisons, when you see people making that argument, this is not necessarily such a nice guy, you say?
PARKS: Well, certainly, let's just differentiate what we're looking at, Wolf.
When you see Michael walking out of the store, and the store owner actually approaches him, Michael doesn't approach him, the store owner approaches Michael, and then Michael turns and makes a gesture toward him. He doesn't hit him. He doesn't -- it's not what we all know to be violence. Violence is taking your fist, hitting someone, attacking them, taking them to the ground.
That's not what he does in that particular video. So I think we have to differentiate the level of violence that we all know that could have taken place. That's not what happened there. He pretty much just almost as if he's intimidating, and that's it. That's not extreme violence as we know it in this country.
BLITZER: But he does shove the owner as he's at the door. He does engage him.
PARKS: Well, let me say this here. And a good differential, he engages him and maybe he touches him, but
does he put his hand on him? Does he try to hit him in the head, in the mouth? Does he try to choke him? No, he does none of that. And so I think we have to draw a huge difference there in terms that and based on what we're seeing.
And what we're seeing is not any type of deadly force, not trying to cause great bodily harm to the store owner in any type of way. And I think we all have to agree with that. That's not what we see in that video. It's regrettable what Michael does in the video. We're not condoning his actions in the video.
BLITZER: But take a look at this right there. You see him walking out. And he pushes the owner to the side. He actually does lay his hand on his shoulder.
PARKS: He lays his hand on his shoulder.
But he could have hit him in the mouth, he could have choked him. The level of deadly force that we don't see anything that you could say is deadly force or something that would cause great bodily harm to that store clerk. Comparing that situation to what officer Wilson tried to describe to us, they're two totally different situations.
Nothing about the store video shows that he would have ever put that store owner in any type of deadly force harm, compared to what we now know that officer Wilson did toward Michael. He used deadly force for the situation that happened, taking Michael's life.
BLITZER: Just for the record, did Michael Brown have any criminal record?
PARKS: Not that we know of.
BLITZER: But you would know. You're the lawyer for the family, right?
PARKS: Right, certainly. But our research has not shown any type of criminal record whatsoever that Michael would have had, other than some school stuff. But that was it.
BLITZER: When you say school stuff, what does that mean?
PARKS: I mean, just he was a typical kid. He went to school and did kid stuff, things that kids -- but no type of criminal history whatsoever.
BLITZER: I just want to be precise on that, because there have been some out there who have suggested he did have some sort of a criminal record, but you're saying he didn't.
Let's talk a little bit about the prosecutor, the Saint Louis County prosecutor, Robert McCulloch. He says there was at least one African- American eyewitness who saw Michael Brown charging at the police officer, Darren Wilson. You have seen that testimony in the transcripts that have been released?
PARKS: Yes, and let me say a few things, Wolf, about this situation.
We now know a few things. Number one, we know that there was a serious tussle at the car where the officer's gun went off, and more likely than not, the injury from the gun was the injury to Michael's hand. It was right here in the fatty part of his thumb. We saw it on autopsy and we knew about it, obviously.
We knew that Michael probably was wounded there, and as he left the car, he was dripping blood. That's why we were not surprised when you heard the prosecutor say that there was blood at the car door. We knew there would have been blood there. But we also know that this wound was pretty bad, and most of the blood that we probably saw, the trail probably came from his hand.
So as he walked away, the officer knew he had hit him because he saw the blood. And when Michael turned around and was trying to surrender, Michael was already wounded and the officer knew that. There was clearly even at that point no need to use deadly force.
While Michael was coming around -- and the officer talks about Michael pointing his hand down. Well, he's shot. And there was testimony that Michael said, hey, why are you shooting? Why are you still shooting?
Well, we know at that point that the officer describes nothing to indicate that he saw any type of weapon on Michael. That's important, because we're allowed to talk in very general terms about the threat, but he doesn't adequately describe a real threat. A real threat in terms of people who do criminal law is, do you see something that looks like a weapon? Do you see anything that could be a weapon?
He describes none of that. He only talks about fear, fear that only he had for whatever reason. If Michael is coming toward him, this officer is a trained law enforcement officer. He has the ability to take down. He is just as tall Michael, 6'4'' to both 6'4'', so it's not like it's a dominant situation.
But for whatever reason, he describes he feels like a 5-year-old against Hulk Hogan. How could that be, a trained officer? You're both 6'4''. Yes, there's a little bit of a weight difference, but this guy that you're confronted with is already injured from your gunfire.
BLITZER: Yes. He says he weighs about 210 pounds, the police officer. Michael Brown weighed close to 300 pounds and that's why he says he was intimidated.
PARKS: But also, too, he's equipped with mace, he's equipped with a gun that he could also use in a manner to use to subdue Michael. He did not have to take his life is all we're saying, Wolf.
There were other options available to this officer that he could have used. For example, given the fact that we now know where Michael's head was compared to the gun, even if he could have pushed Michael to the ground. That's how close he was on him. It was no problem, especially allowing the fact that he knew his hand was already injured.
So that being said, this grand jury should not have been the type of instrument to weigh all these facts. Grand juries are not designed for that. This grand jury in essence acted as a trial jury. That's not how our system works.
This grand jury should have performed its function to only find probable cause. And then, once that was done, we should have had a public trial where we have a petty jury to weigh the evidence, all the evidence, so it can be tested, confronted, cross-examination and all the things we do in a criminal trial, both in fairness to the officer, but most importantly in fairness to the legacy of Michael Brown Jr., because we owe Michael Brown Jr. the truth, not what we have experienced thus far, this version of justice that is uncommon.
The prosecutor talks about that this is not what he normally does in a grand jury process. But for whatever reason, he chose to do it in this case. That's why people are so upset. When young black men lose their lives, we shouldn't alter the process. We should let our judicial system do what it normally does.
When our system does what it normally does, it works for everybody and is fair. When we make changes to that system, that's when problems arise like we're having here.
BLITZER: We're getting some new reporting, Mr. Parks, that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Explosives, that's the new name, ATF, plus explosives, Evan Perez, our justice reporter, is now learning they're now investigating the fire that occurred at the church where Michael Brown, the Brown family church, Michael Brown Sr., his church, what occurred there Monday during those disturbances.
What do you know about that, if anything?
PARKS: I don't know anything, but I do know Michael Brown Sr.'s pastor, Pastor Lee. I assume that maybe -- I hope I'm not wrong on that. But have met his pastor before.
We have had a chance to talk and be counseled as we have done various things with the family. So whatever church it is, our hearts certainly go out to them. Certainly, this shouldn't be a situation where people should be doing harm to churches. This doesn't serve anyone well. Our hearts go out to the congregation and to the pastoral leadership at that church.
BLITZER: I just want to be precise. The Michael Brown family is urging everyone to be peaceful, right?
You know, we can't say it enough. It's so important that we remain peaceful. It's very tragic that Michael has lost his life. But, Wolf, yesterday, I received a communication from the High Commissioner of the U.N. in Geneva, commenting on the situation. Today, we also saw many other countries.
Michael Brown's legacy, as tragic as his death was, his legacy can be something good. And this family has worked tirelessly to try and make sure that his family is something good. I was so proud of them and I told both Michael and Lesley today as I was talking to them while they are in New York of how strong they were in holding themselves back and trying to do the right thing, and trying to be peaceful.
I think you saw that today in the interviews that they did, that they're really working hard to be peaceful. As angry as they are, they're finding it in their hearts to say the right things to try and bring people together to be positive.
BLITZER: I want to be precise. The ugly words that the stepfather of Michael Brown said, we all saw "The New York Times" videotape, they condemn that, right?
PARKS: We all condemn that.
Our whole legal team, the parents condemn that. I will say this. I'm sure Louis Head regrets that he said it, too. I know the stepfather. He is a wonderful guy and Michael's mother loves Louis Head. Louis Head loves hi family and he's been great. We have been involved with him in the course of this case. That's not who he is. He was angry. He loved Michael, and he didn't mean to say that.
And so I think I can say that on behalf of Louis Head, his apologies and he didn't mean -- it was the moment, the moment. Imagine how they feel that all they went through, the great injury that they know Michael Jr. suffered.
Now they're told and given what they heard. They were very disappointed and their local prosecutor blaming Michael for everything. We heard the litany, the story that was given how it justified the officer and demonized the dead person, Michael Jr. That is wrong. So they were very upset about that, and rightfully so.
BLITZER: Daryl Parks, who is the attorney for the Michael Brown family.
Mr. Parks, we will continue our conversations here on CNN. Thanks very much for joining us.
We will have much more on the breaking news coming up. Much more coming in from Ferguson right now. There is fear of a fresh wave of violence tonight. We're standing by.
Plus, disturbing new surveillance video just released on a deadly confrontation between police and a 12-year-old boy with a toy gun.
BLITZER: We're getting word of more breaking news out of Ferguson, Missouri right now. The federal bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms and explosives is now leading a new investigation into the fire that destroyed the flood Christian church. That is where Michael Brown Sr. is a member.
Let's dig deeper with our CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes. He is a former FBI assistant director, the community activist John Gaskin, our CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin, also joining us our justice reporter, Evan Perez.
Evan, you're getting word on this ATF, we still call it the ATF, even though they added the "explosives" part into it. What are you learning exactly?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, the concern here is that it was this church targeted on Monday night when it burned, was it targeted because of the relationship with Michael Brown Sr.? He's a member of that church. And so, what the ATF now is doing, they have jurisdiction when -- federal jurisdiction when there's a fire of a house of worship.
So what they're doing is they're doing their fire investigators -- arson investigators are in there. They know there was a break-in. They know that the fire started in a foyer area right near the front where someone broke into the church. And, you know, what is disconcerting for them is also the fact that this church is some distance away from the strip of commercial property that burned that night. And so, that also is suspicious, because nothing around this church was burned. And so, they're going to be taking some time to take a look at all that. The church is a total loss. And now, you know --
BLITZER: Totally burned down the whole church?
PEREZ: The church is mostly burned, and the rest of it is in danger of collapse. So the ATF is actually even having problems getting into the site, and it's probably, you know, they're going have to rebuild and it's going to take some time.
BLITZER: This happened Monday night.
PEREZ: It happened Monday night.
BLITZER: And there's no suspects, right?
PEREZ: They don't have any suspects. But we do know, they did have intelligence that there was some groups that were looking to use the cover of the protest to cause problems.
BLITZER: All right, what kind of groups?
PEREZ: We're talking about groups that, you know, target law enforcement in any type of situation, either IMF meetings or world trade meetings. In this case --
BLITZER: You mean like an anarchists?
PEREZ: Anarchist groups. BLITZER: But why go after a church?
PEREZ: Well, you know, Wolf. There really is no answer to that. I mean, they just want targets of opportunity. And again, it's about confrontation.
BLITZER: And this is basically an African-American church?
PEREZ: It's an African-American church. And again, it's a church that Michael Brown Sr. attends.
BLITZER: All right. We are going to continue to watch this story. Obviously, very disturbing information coming in from Evan.
Sunny, you had a chance to speak with Michael Brown's parents today. You had an extensive, very lengthy interview with them. I'm going to play a little clip of that interview. Then I want to discuss a couple of points. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: We've all seen the video of you going to where the protesters were in front of the Ferguson police department. And you were on a car, and you're speaking to the people. Why did you feel the need to do that?
LESLEY MCSPADDEN, MICHAEL BROWN'S MOTHER: I felt the need to do that, because one, like we just said, they never addressed us. And two, you've heard our pleas and our cries for everything to go the way it should be. And then third, while we heard this, and it was just like I had been shot. Like you shoot me now. Just no respect, no sympathy, nothing.
And so, my emotions were raging, and I had to go over there and just to let them know, you just really don't care, do you? Why don't you care? This could be your child. This could be anybody's child.
HOSTIN: Well, when you were on the car, your husband, you've been married since May, got up on the car and said, burn the "B" down. And CNN and other outlets have been replaying that. And some are saying that he single handedly started the rioting and the fires. What do you say to that?
MCSPADDEN: I say that this is impossible. These things happened since August 9th when it first happened. His emotions were taken over him just like mines. He just spoke out of anger. It's one thing to speak, it's just a different thing to act. He did not act.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: So, Sunny, we're talking about her husband, the stepfather of Michael Brown. Has he apologized? Has he expressed remorse for those ugly words?
HOSTIN: You know, she explained, Wolf, that they were both very emotional and that while responded emotionally, he responded in anger. They said that they have always called for calm and peaceful protests. That this was just something that was very emotional. And that he certainly -- that they certainly aren't condoning looting or rioting. And in fact, when I asked her about those that are looting and rioting in her son's name, she, as well as Michael Brown, Sr., really both wanted to stress that they do not want anyone looting. They do not want anyone setting fires. They do, though, maintain that they want people to peacefully assemble, peacefully protest, and that they want change.
BLITZER: You were there, Evan. You're just back in Washington. You were in Ferguson that Monday night. Did you get the impression that those words atop that car instigated a lot of that violence?
PEREZ: Well, you know, Wolf --
BLITZER: Or was it already going on?
PEREZ: You know, it didn't help. I mean, that is the one thing is, however, that some of these people were there already. There were people who brought cars full of bricks. There were people who had Molotov cocktails. They were ready to go.
And I do know for instance, that the prosecutor there had asked the Brown family not to come to the county justice center, which is where the grand jury was hearing -- was making its decision. And one of the concerns was that that it might -- their presence alone might instigate some public safety issues. And so, they didn't come there, they went to the Ferguson police department, I believe where that video was shot. And you know, it didn't help the situation, but I wouldn't say it caused it.
BLITZER: That instinct is the whole thing.
John Gaskin, you're in Ferguson watching what's going on. You've been there the last several days. You're a Ferguson native to be sure. It would be helpful if the stepfather were to come out publicly and urge everyone and express regret for what he said that night and urge everyone to demonstrate, to protest, do and say what they want, but to do it peacefully, right?
JOHN GASKIN, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: I agree. You know, when I watched Bob McCulloch's press conference, some of the words and things that he mentioned I felt were a little inappropriate, especially referencing the media saying they were bias, referring to social media. I thought that was completely inappropriate.
But as it pertains to, you know, Lesley McSpadden's husband, you know, I believe he spoke out of anger, and that's unfortunate, and I was angry. There were many people, Wolf, that were in their living rooms across the (INAUDIBLE) with this nation that had tears rolling down their eyes. Now, did they say that publicly in the sector where he said it? No.
But I believe that he said that out of anger. I believe he's hurt. You know, throughout this entire thing, many people have felt that there would not be an indictment. But to hear it, to have it confirmed, it's heart wrenching and it's crushing, especially for many people in this community. We thought there would be some type of justice in this situation.
I can't speak for him. But I note Michael Brown Senior went out of his way to create PSAs here in the community, speaking with gang members, speaking with organizations and law enforcement to help promote peace. That's primarily what he's been doing since day one. And Lesley McSpadden has promoted that.
And so, I believe that they're sincere when it comes to their call for peace and to act in a dignified light. I believe that.
As for his statement, I believe it was out of anger and it's very unfortunate that he said that. But I don't believe that single statement there that evening is what caused all the rioting and looting. I don't think it helped. But I can promise you there were some people that came there from the beginning that felt like they were going to cause a disturbance either way.
BLITZER: Yes, that was totally predictable. You and Evan are actually on the exact same page.
Tom Fuentes, very quickly, the portrait that the parents, and they're loving parents, they love their son, it's a tragedy. Their son, 18 years old, is dead. They're painting a portrait of a nice kid who was about to start college. You got a problem with that?
THOMAS FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: No. You know, Wolf, my heart goes out to the parents, too. And I don't want to dispute them or take that on with them at this point. I just don't -- I agree, they're grieving. It's a terrible thing that they're going through and I sympathize with what they must be going through, even now as they see their town burn. So I just don't want to comment about that.
BLITZER: All right, I want all of you to stand by. We have much more breaking news coming out of Ferguson, Missouri. Stand by. We'll be right back.
BLITZER: Sara Sidner is in Ferguson. She just spoke with the mayor of Ferguson. Sara is joining us right now.
How did that conversation, Sara, go?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, we asked him a lot of questions. Obviously, he's devastated about what's happened to the two streets in this town that have been damaged, burned, looted, destroyed. Very upset about it. He grew up here.
He talked about riding his bike through some of these areas when he was a child and now he has been able to get down there where most of us can't see what it looks like in the daylight. He said it's really bad.
But we asked him a couple of questions, and one of those was about the National Guard and the police, asking, does he think that they did the right thing by not showing up as early as some folks thought they would?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR JAMES KNOWLES, FERGUSON, MISSOURI: To some extent -- again, however, I was assured, and our community was assured that if it was getting out of control, if the National Guard at that point, at that point, you're beyond antagonizing, the destruction is already under way. There's no reason not to deploy them.
I have no idea why they weren't deployed. That's frustrating.
SIDNER: Do you think they --
KNOWLES: Well, yes, because I saw it, I was like, well, yes, I'm not sure if it's like and I'm like, oh my God!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: So, you could hear his frustration with the fact that he thinks the National Guard should have come forward much sooner, basically at the very moment that they saw that the destruction was beginning.
He also talked about firefighters and how some of them responded and then he said some of the fire trucks were actually shot up and they were trying to put out some of these fires. Extreme frustration on his point, part.
There's also something else we need to talk and that's who is to blame. He talks about the frustrations with the National Guard, the frustrations with the business owners who were saying that they weren't protected. But the absolute blame he puts on those who did the criminal activity, who came out and decided to burn and loot this town, a town that so many residents here love so much -- Wolf.
BLITZER: The National Guard, they are very visible tonight, right?
SIDNER: They are visible tonight. I mean, if you look -- I'm going to move out of the way so you can get a look. They are standing just behind me there, down outside of the city of Ferguson police department and municipal court, although we're not seeing the numbers that we saw yesterday.
I'm going to step back into frame now.
Yesterday far more members of the National Guard standing there. But that is for a very good reason, because just to my left where the protests normally are, there isn't any one -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Sara, thanks very much. Sara Sidner on the streets of Ferguson. Let's hope it's a quiet night tonight.
Just ahead, we'll have more breaking news coming in.
Also, we are bracing for a potential third night. Let's hope it doesn't happen, but we are bracing for it, third night of violent protests.
BLITZER: We want to warn you that this next story contains some very disturbing video. A surveillance camera captured a deadly confrontation between police and a 12-year-old boy carrying what turned out to be a fake toy gun.
CNN's George Howell has the video and the details.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This video was recorded on a security camera in a Cleveland park. And it shows Tamir Rice moving in and out of view. Keep in mind, these are the last moments of the 12-year-old's life, a video his family wants you to see.
First, we see Rice pacing the sidewalk, brandishing what looks to be a weapon. At one point, even taking a two-handed shooting stance, all the while police say he was being watched.
DEPUTY CHIEF ED TOMBA, CLEVELAND POLICE: The gentleman sitting in the gazebo was the gentleman that called into the dispatch.
HOWELL: Here's that initial call to 911.
CALLER: I'm sitting here in the park at West Boulevard, by the West Boulevard Rapid Transit Station. And there's a guy in here with a pistol, and it's probably a fake one, but he's pointing it at everybody.
HOWELL: In fact, the caller points out twice the gun is probably fake.
CALLER: The guy keeps pulling it in and out. It's probably fake, but you know what, he's scaring the (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
HOWELL: Here is why the man called 911. The object that looks like a handgun we know now is really a toy pellet gun and Rice points it at this person whose identity is blurred, police say he's also seen here reaching for a cell phone and then having a conversation.
Minutes later, Rice moves to the gazebo where he is now alone. This is just minutes before police arrive and now we know exactly what the dispatcher told the responding officers before they arrived.
Notice how she never relays the information that it may be a fake gun.
DISPATCHER: Everybody's is tied up with priorities, there's a guy sitting on a swing pointing a gun at people. HOWELL: A few seconds later, she describes Rice but fails along to
pass on the words the 911 caller used about the gun probably being fake.
DISPATCHER: In the park by the youth center, is a black male sitting on the swing. He's wearing a camouflaged hat, a grey jacket, with black sleeves, said he keeps pulling a gun out of his pants and pointing it at people.
HOWELL: What happens next happens very quickly.
Officer Frank Garmack driving and Officer Timothy Lowman in the passenger seat.
DEPUTY CHIEF ED TOMBA, CLEVELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT: The officers ordered him to show his hands and to drop the weapon and the young man pulled the weapon out and that is when the officer fired.
HOWELL: In the dispatcher's audio, you can hear the officer's grim call for help.
POLICE OFFICER: Radio, shots fired. Male down. Black male. Maybe 20. Black revolver or black handgun. Send EMS this way.
HOWELL: That video was hard to watch, but police say they released it at the family's request, they say not to exonerate anyone but to be completely transparent, Wolf. And they say that the two officers are on administrative leave pending a criminal investigation.
BLITZER: What a heartbreaking story that is. What a tragedy indeed. Lessons to be learned, no doubt about that.
All right. Thanks very much, George.
There is other breaking news we're following. It's affecting a large portion of the United States, a major storm snarling travel just as millions of Americans take to the road and skies for Thanksgiving. It's rough going in a lot of airports out there. More than 8,000 flights already delayed or canceled.
CNN's Sunlen Serfaty is over at Reagan National Airport, outside of Washington.
Give us a quick update, Sunlen.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, frustration for sure here in Washington. Travelers are coming in and being smacked with cancellations and delays. Here at Reagan National Airport, right outside D.C., 186 delays, 76 cancellations today alone, and that number is ticking steadily by the hour.
Here's what we're looking at here. Here's what travelers are seeing. As you can see, this nasty red color indicating cancellations and delays and many of those are flights trying to go north where the majority of the bad weather is. New York, LaGuardia there, up in Boston, but it's not just those traveling north, those who are trying to get south, Wolf, they're seeing problems too.
BLITZER: All right. Sunlen, thanks very much.
To all of our viewers out there, thanks very much for watching. Have a happy very Thanksgiving. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.