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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Message from Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula; Federal Charges Against Former Ferguson, Missouri Police Officer Darren Wilson May Be Possible; Did the New England Patriots Make it to the Super Bowl by Cheating?; Measles in the U.S.
Aired January 21, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.
A lot happening the last several hours including word of a decision on federal charges against former Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson in the case of Michael Brown, a major development on that.
We begin though with the latest message from Al-Qaeda in Yemen. A message to foot shoulders in the west telling them to stay home, stay home and kill like the rampage in Paris.
Pamela Brown has late developments on that. Of course, she joins us from Paris.
But first, Nick Paton Walsh in the capital of the war toward (ph) Yemen.
Nick, this message from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula from that spokesman, he talks about terror attacks aimed at the U.S. exactly what did he say?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what's so troubling about this is he basically appeals to those who may be disenchanted or distressed living those forces of Al-Qaeda living in the west. He says do not contemplate emigrating, do not contemplate leaving those countries and come to a place you can fight in the front line, for example. If you are jihad, stay where you are. Stay where you are and fight that jihad there. That can cause greater damage towards the west.
He goes on to talk about how the current attacks now are causing great damage towards the west's ability to have embassies, particularly of concern, to where I am standing here in Sana'a about the U.S. embassy here and talks about how 16 embassies around the world have been closed owing to the efforts of the jihadists there.
But really, it's the call people to staying at home and launch attacks where they are in the west. Must be most troubling is ultimately Al- Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula trying to suggest it could appeal from allegiance to anyone else who could be contemplating lone Wolf attacks in the west, Anderson. COOPER: And obviously, if they're not crossing borders to Syria or
elsewhere makes it all the harder for law enforcement and intelligence officials to actually track them, be aware of them.
Nick Paton Walsh, thanks.
Now, the breaking news on the Paris rampage that we are learning. Sources telling us they have reason to believe the associates of the killers, the gunmen at the kosher market, the gunman's wife seen here entering Turkey, that they were urged to flee before the attacks. Others expressing concerns and some may follow the call from Al-Qaeda in Yemen and return coming home to kill.
More on that now from Pamela Brown who joins us live in Paris.
So, these are still the large associates of the Paris attackers, what do we know about them at this point?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Here's what we know. It's believed they were close associates of the Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly and that they were actually asked to leave by the suspects leading up to the Paris attacks. The police believed used a facilitation group that was used during the Iraq war and helped these other associates given to Syria from there which is we know, Anderson, is a black hole, is really a terrorist safe haven.
One of those associates of course, Hayat Boumeddiene, which is the wife of Coulibaly, and then others in the network. The concern here, Anderson, is that they could be recruited by is. Of course, they would be very attractive recruits for ISIS and the concern is they could plot against the west and we saw from the suspects here in Paris as one source has spoke with, it's very concerning because these are people who they believe have the same intent and perhaps even training as the suspect. So, and the fact that they are in place like Syria with ISIS, Anderson, raises that level of concern.
COOPER: And four suspects charged overnight last night. What's known about their connection or possible connection to the attacks?
BROWN: Well, the prosecutor for the first time talked about this, Anderson, and named them, he would only share their first name, but he said that they were facing terrorism related charges for providing support to a terrorist but he stopped short of saying they were complicit. He said that their DNA was found an Amedy Coulibaly's car, his glove (ph), as well as his gun. And that prosecutor also said that one of the suspects exchanged about 300 text messages with Coulibaly in the days leading up to the Paris attack.
So investigators have reason to believe that they played some role in the attacks. But they're still investigating. They still have, you know, a lot to answers -- questions that they're trying to answer here including whether Coulibaly actually coordinated with the Kouachi brothers, Anderson.
COOPER: And France's prime minister today alluded to thousands of jihadists who might be living unmonitored in France. What are French officials doing about that in terms of counterterrorism or intelligence measures?
BROWN: Yes, this is really unnerving for people here in Paris. They hear this from the French prime minister just in the wake of these attacks, that there are 3,000 people believed to be living in France with jihadi ties that need to be monitored, that need to be under surveillance.
So today, the prime minister announced that half a billion dollars in emergency spending would go towards trapping these jihadis. He also announced that they would be putting more jobs, thousands of more jobs in the intelligence community and elsewhere to crack down on the issue. And also to crack down on radicalization in prisons and as he called, cyber jihadism. That's really what they are going to focus on too.
He also talked about creating a list of people who had been arrested on terrorist-related offenses so the people on that list would then have to report whether they're traveling or whether they're moving addresses.
So a lot of different sweeping measures here happening in France. It's clear, Anderson, that what happened here was a wake-up call of sorts and clearly, more needs to be done to crack down on this problem.
COOPER: Lots to be done. Pamela Brown, thank you very much.
Let's dig deeper now with CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank who is joining us. He is the recent co-author of "Agent Storm, my life inside Al-Qaeda and the CIA."
I know you are very focus on the alleged ring leader of the Belgian cell that we have been reporting on now. What more are you learning about him and where he might be because he's still at large?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: That's right, Anderson. (INAUDIBLE) still believed to be at large despite a large international manhunt for him. His last known location was in Greece from where he was believed to be communicating with this terrorist cell in Belgium in the weeks before Belgian authorities thwarted what they said was a major imminent attack.
One interesting new line of inquiry is that he may have faked his own death while he was in Syria last year. His family, in a Belgium interview in the last few hours have said that they were contacted and told that he was killed last October. It's possible therefore that he faked his own death to get off the radar screen of western intelligence officials so that he could travel to Greece and direct this plot. He's considered by the Belgians as the key link person back to this ISIS leadership in Syria, Anderson.
COOPER: There's surveillance video that CNN has obtained which reportedly shows one of the Paris attackers and his wife, the woman who's still at large, scoping out a judiciary institution in Paris last summer. That's what we're showing you right now. What are authorities -- I mean, have authorities been able to learn anything from that?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, this is very, very interesting footage indeed and that they're poring through it for clues. And one of those interesting things about it is that there's target recognizance of a Jewish institution in Paris was being done by Coulibaly and his girlfriend back last summer.
Now, that's exactly the same time period when the French took the surveillance off the Kouachi brothers. It's possible, therefore, that the Kouachi brothers were waiting for surveillance to be taken off them before starting to plan an attack and that they then enlisted Coulibaly and his girlfriend into their plans and this was sort of phase one of the planning, Anderson.
COOPER: These people, whether we're talking about these associates of the Paris attackers or members of this Belgian cell, is there a belief that -- I mean, that they are simply on the run or they hunker down until the heat goes away, do we know?
CRUICKSHANK: I think from everything we understand so far, several of them got out of dodge in the weeks before this planned attack and started to make their way towards Syria. Some being arrested in places like Bulgaria before they could actually reach Syria. But it's believed others actually did reach Syria including Hayat Boumeddiene and a travel escort that she had that they may have when they got there connected with ISIS or other jihadist groups. The Kouachi brothers were known to have had contacts in Yemen and in Syria with jihadist groups.
COOPER: All right, Paul, appreciate the update, Paul Cruickshank. Thanks very much.
On Monday night in this program, we aired a report is critical. Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal, and FOX News for continuously saying that there were no-go zones in England and elsewhere.
Now, I think if you're going to point fingers at other people's mistakes, you should also acknowledge your own mistakes and we didn't do that on the program.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, several guests on this program mentioned no-go zones in France. I didn't challenge them and twice referred to them as well. I should have been more skeptical. I won't make the same mistake again.
When we come back, we are going to bring you late word. New reports that federal prosecutors have made their recommendation on whether to bring civil rights charges against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
Also tonight, how is this for question, did the New England Patriots make it to the super bowl by cheating? Some say they did. In fact, many people, some even say they should be booted out of the big game for it. We'll look at the evidence ahead.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: There's breaking news tonight in the killing of Michael Brown and new video in the rioting that followed. The video surveillance footage shows rioters breaking into and looting a store in Ferguson last November. St. Louis county police put out the video just today. But authorities are seeking as many as 180 people in connection with the video that you are seeing right there.
The breaking news centers on the federal civil rights investigator to then officer Darren Wilson who has already been spared state charges in Michael Brown's death. "the New York Times" tonight reporting that the justice department has began crafting recommendations that no charges be brought. The paper citing sources who are ever saying top justice officials including Eric Holder have yet to sign off on it.
Joining us now, senior legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Toobin, also attorney, and legal affairs commentator Areva Martin and Neil Bruntrager who represents Darren Wilson and serves as general counsel to the St. Louis police officers association.
Neil, let me begin with you. I want to be clear. This recommendation is not final. The official report hasn't been completed according to the times. Have any justice department officials contacted you or Darren Wilson about the impending recommendation?
NEIL BRUNTRAGER, ST. LOUIS POLICE OFFICER ASSOCIATION: No and you're right. It's not final. And I checked my phone and I had no missed calls from attorney general Eric Holder, but having done this for 30 years, Anderson, I will tell you and represented many officers in civil rights investigations some who have been prosecuted, it is very rare than anybody would call us, one way or another and say hey, you know, we are going to go forward or not going to go forward.
So the fact that there has been no contact, I would not expect it (INAUDIBLE) anyway because it's only a recommendation. There's a lot of hands and this is going to have to go through before this becomes final.
COOPER: And you know, I know you talked to Darren Wilson tonight. What did he have to say about it and how is he doing?
BRUNTRAGER: Well, he's doing OK. I mean, of course, you know, he is enjoying the anonymity that I guess we've had here in St. Louis for the past few weeks anyway. But, you know, while he's cautiously optimistic, he also knows and I've said to him time and again, if true, this is at best a preliminary recommendation and we have to be very careful not just to assume it's over. At some point, we should have an answer but we don't have it yet.
COOPER: Jeff, in terms of the legal bar, Jeff Toobin, when it comes to bringing federal civil rights charges, it's pretty hot.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It is. And Eric Holder even previewed this decision where he said, you know, this cases are very hard to bring. If someone is not prosecuted on state charges, the odds that they will be prosecuted on federal charges are substantially lower. It's not impossible. It has happened. But if a state grand jury says we can't find a criminal offense when you superimpose the much tougher intent requirement, proving that a defendant really intended to violate someone's civil rights, that's a very high bar and this decision, if in fact this is the final decision, is not a surprise.
COOPER: All right. And Areva, the federal hate crimes statute, it's not designed for these kinds of cases.
AREVA MARTIN, ATTORNEY: You know, absolutely it's not, Anderson. But I think there's a lot of confusion about the hate crime statute and how it should be used. And I think in this case in particular because Eric Holder traveled to Ferguson, he talked to that community and he talked about how aggressive the department of justice is going be in its own independent investigation. I can only imagine that people are very disappointed, although, again, it isn't a final decision from the justice department.
But even the thought that they may not be a federal criminal prosecution given that there is no state prosecution, I think, is going to leave a lot of activists and a lot of people who are on the ground in Ferguson very disappointed.
TOOBIN: If I can just add one thing, Anderson, there are two issues still outstanding. One is a civil lawsuit by Michael Brown's family against officer Wilson and certainly against the Ferguson police department. And also, there is a civil federal investigation aimed at reforming the Ferguson police department. Both of those certainly will proceed.
COOPER: Neil, to that point, have you heard anything about when or if that may happen, if there's going to be a civil suit against Darren Wilson?
BRUNTRAGER: I certainly have heard rumbling that there are -- that there is an intent to bring a suit. I know that at least one of the lawyers who represents the Brown family has been in contact with the city and has made overtures indicating they intend to bring a claim.
But to what Jeff had said, again, even though it is a different standard, you still, in a civil case, you still have elements that you have to prove. And they're going to flow very closely to what you have to prove in a criminal case, although it's a matter of negligence, typically, that you see alleged in those cases.
And the -- not to get too detailed on you, but we call those 1983 actions and there's civil rights allegations. Again, the bar is pretty tough there too. So, again, if you don't have enough for a grand jury to even issue an indictment, it's going to be pretty hard I think in a civil suit.
So yes, while that's still out there and, yes, while I do expect that we will see that, that's still a pretty difficult hill to climb.
COOPER: Areva, do you agree with that, that a civil suit is still a difficult (INAUDIBLE)? MARTIN: Well, I think the standard of proof is, you know,
substantially -- yes, we are going to be talking about the preponderance of the evidence versus beyond a reasonable doubt. And I can't imagine that there is not going to some effort on the part of the Ferguson police department to try to reach some kind of resolution which is often what happen in these lawsuits. Rarely are they actually played out in trial. There is some kind of, you know, pretrial settlement.
But again, in this case, I can't help but go back to the issue of justice. And although the family may succeed in a civil lawsuit and obtain monetary damages and it still doesn't address the whole question of what happens to unarmed African-American men who are shot by police officers. I think that question continues to loom large, particularly in light of the statements made by the attorney general.
And even the president, you know, four cases have been investigated shootings in 2004. And so, I think the American public wants to know, are any of these cases going to be prosecuted and how do address these disparities in a criminal justice system?
BRUNTRAGER: Anderson, can I throw in? I think you have to be really careful because every case is going to be decided by the facts of that case. And while, yes, there are overarching concerns and considerations that we have to take into account and while, yes, there are conversations that we have to have, you can't solve those problems on a case like this. You have to look at this thing separate and apart from this case.
These are all conversations that we have to have and policing is a form of government. We have to deal with that in the governmental sense. You're not going to solve that problem in this case or in any other shooting case. It's a much larger conversation that has to take place.
TOOBIN: Well, but these cases are also about these cases and people are very concerned about them.
Anderson, I would keep an eye much more on the Eric Garner case in Staten Island for federal charges. I actually think even though the grand jury voted no indictment in that case, that is a much more promising case for a federal criminal prosecution.
The justification for the officer's behavior in Staten Island was much thinner, much harder to defend and I think that investigation, which is continuing, may well yield an indictment but the Michael Brown case, it looked all along that this was destined to end the way it's ending.
COOPER: Yes, Jeff Toobin. Go ahead, Areva.
MARTIN: I just want to add, you can't separate the prosecution of officers from the larger issue of the disparities in a criminal justice system. Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Areva, thanks, to Neil as well. You can find out, obviously a lot more about the story at CNN.com.
You can check it out right there.
Just ahead tonight on this broadcast, millions watch the patriots with the colts. The question is this. Was the New England cheating in play insight nearly every time they threw and caught the ball? We will drill on deflate gate.
Plus, a traffic stamp that caused two professional poker players $10,000. Police accused of them of not using their turn signal and took the cash they carry for tournaments and it was perfectly legal. We investigate ahead.
COOPER: When sports fan (INAUDIBLE) in dedication and devotion gets wrapped up in a sports story, it is safe to say it's big. And this is a big story. One of the best themes in the national football league on its way to the most washed, the most lucrative, highest profiles supporting man of the year, accused of getting there by cheating.
The New England Patriots, of course, who beat the living daylights of the Indianapolis Colts this weekend. The question did they do it in part by using football's 11 out of 12 of them according to ESPN which contained less than the regulation amount of air making them easier to throw and easier to catch. Did they deflate them and if so, what exactly should the league do about it?
Big questions for the league, that's already obviously faced one big scandal recently and the team, the Patriots, who already been caught cheating once. That's a big deal for all parties not to mention the fans including our own John Berman.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The second half of Sunday night's AFC championship game began with confusion. Officials stopped the game. Was there a problem with the ball? We now know this could have been the first public sign of deflate gate. But it might have actually started here, late in the second quarter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Intercepted by --
BERMAN: This colts linebacker became suspicious about the Patriots football he had just picked off noticing it felt like it didn't have enough air. According to "News Day," his head coach was notified and within minutes, it soon got to league officials. So why would the Patriots ball he had just intercepted be any different the one his own team was using?
It turns out both teams supply 12 footballs to officials to inspect before the game. Then each team controls their own footballs when they're in possession. If a quarterback is throwing a deflated football, in theory, it is easier to grip, easier to throw and easier to catch. The Patriots did go on to score 28 more points in the second half, but whispers of foul play began almost immediately. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some reports postgame the league is looking into
the Patriots were deflating the balls. Have you heard about this story, do you know the story I'm talking about?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you care to tell me if you were involved?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I have no idea.
BERMAN: Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick was also asked about the accusation during his weekly radio interview.
BILL BELICHICK, HEAD COACH, PATRIOTS: I really don't know what to say or know anything about what we're talking about here, so, whatever it is, we'll cooperate with them the best we can.
BERMAN: And this is not the first time that Belichick's team has been accused of cheating. In 2007, he was personally fined $500,000 for having an assistant spy on the New York Jets by videotaping their sideline signals. The team also lost the first round draft pick.
As far as the NFL, they have publicly acknowledged they are investigating and said, we are continuing our review and will provide information as soon as possible. According to multiple reports, however, the NFL has already found that 11 of the patriots 12 footballs were deflated. If found guilty, penalties could include draft picks next year but few will stop the patriots from playing in the super bowl.
COOPER: John Berman.
John, you wrote a piece for CNN.com and I want to read a little bit of what you wrote. You said, I quote, "if the reports are true and somehow the New England Patriots deflated 11 balls in the AFC championship game, then shame on me, screw them and shame on me. A bit harsh, no?
BERMAN: Look, I know, I took what I didn't think was (INAUDIBLE) controversial stand which is to say that cheating is bad. I mean, look, if they deflated the balls and I am still hoping there were some act of God or meteorological reason, the balls deflated, but if they did it intentionally, it was cheating. You know, it may not have affected the outcome but cheating is bad whoever does it. And I'm not sure that it's harsh to say that.
COOPER: I want to bring in someone who knows about how this could sort of how the handling of balls is done, though. I want to bring in Mike Pereira. He is the former vice president officiating for the national football league, currently, he is a FOX sports analyst.
Mike, thanks for being with us. How could this have possibly happened? I mean, does it make sense to you the balls could be tampered with between the time they're checked and when the game actually starts?
MIKE PEREIRA, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OFFICIATING FOR THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE: Sure. Or you could even say during the game, too. Look, it is easy to deflate a football. All right, you have to do is put the needle in it and air is going to come out, you know. That the balls leave the locker. And they come in it two hours and 15 minutes before game time. And the referee, really, does only two things. All right, he does is check to see if the ball retained its near - nearly new properties and also if it's inflated properly. As long as those two things are OK, he marks it with his own mark and then they take the balls out and give them to the ball boy. So the balls left properly inflated and at some point now, it's a big if as to how, but at some point, 11 of the 12 were down a couple of pounds. So, it's - we saw this before with kicking balls. It's the first time I've seen it with regular balls, but to me, it's probably simple really easy to deflate them.
BERMAN: And in between the time they leave the ref and they're used, they're just what, sitting in a bag on the sidelines?
PEREIRA: Right. You have the ball people on the sideline that carry a certain amount. The extra ones go over by the replay monitor inside the little gated area and you have the security guard there. And really, the balls are then rotated every time the Patriots had their ball on offense, their ball came in. Anytime the Colts had their ball and they were on offense and their ball would come in and then there's the special ball for kickers. So really, the ball is in the hand of the ball boys really more than it is anybody else.
BERMAN: Ref, can I ask a question here? A lot of what I'm reading online from my fellow Patriots fans who used to like me who now don't, is look, every quarterback does this. All quarterbacks, they like to scuff their ball like Patriot does in baseball every, you know, quarterback likes their ball with a certain amount of air in it. If everyone does it, is it still cheating?
PEREIRA: Well, if everyone scuffs it, look, they're in their hands all week and they can prepare them. They can rub them with the brush, they can - they get them to the tackiness that they want, they can do all of that, and that's perfectly legal, but you can't deflate them. I mean the balls have to be, it's 12.5 to 13 pounds per square inch of pressure in the ball and if you deflate them, whether it creates an advantage or not, it's cheating. I mean and it's not the first instance of cheating that we've had in the NFL. There's a reason why officials go into the locker room before the game and before the second half kickoff and they pat down random players because players wear silicone on their jerseys so they can't be grabbed and inside blocking. It's tough to block that way. So there's cheating that has gone on this game with kicking balls, with now regular balls, with silicon, with five gates - just like baseball corking bats, pine tar on baseballs, you know, cheating has been a part of the sport not a very good part of the sport and to me, the big issue here is not only just the act but the history. You know, is this strike three for the Patriots? You've got spy gate, you've got this, and then you have the filming of the walk through before the Super Bowl in 2007, so repeat offenders are disciplined generally stronger than first time offenders and it's going to be interesting to see what the league does.
BERMAN: Yeah, Mike, what sort of discipline would there be? I mean draft picks?
PEREIRA: Well, Yeah. I mean, I mean - you're going to - to me, you're going to look at, you know, you're going to look at certainly the possibility of draft picks and, of course, a substantial amount of money and then the question is going to be what do you do in preparation for this coming Super Bowl so that it doesn't happen again. You know, we have a kicking ball coordinator that now handles all the kicking balls. You know, maybe now, you're going to have alternate officials that are going to handle all the other balls. You know, people have said, shouldn't the officials have caught this when they brought in a new ball? Shouldn't they have felt to see the difference that it wasn't inflated properly and, you know, I say these guys in stripes don't shop in the produce store every day and squeeze cantaloupes and squeeze avocados to see if they're ripe. You know, a two pound pressure I think is not going to be enough for them to actually recognize, so you'll see actually the league I think step up and discipline the Patriots, but also take the balls most likely out of the hands of the ball people and put them into the alternates this Super Bowl.
COOPER: All right. Fascinating stuff. Mike, I appreciate it. Mike Pereira, John Berman as well. Thanks, John.
Just ahead, police departments across the country profiting from the cash of property that officers seized during traffic stops like this one. Now, it's all perfectly legal. You might be interested to find out what we found out.
COOPER: Two days ago, Attorney General Eric Holder made a sort of quiet announcement that the Justice Department was scaling back on a program that you've probably never heard of. It's called civil asset forfeiture. It's a fancy title that basically lets the federal as well as state and local governments take your money without charging you with a crime, if they only think that money may have been used as part of some criminal activity. Over the years, the program has ballooned to the point, that according to a recent "Washington Post investigation, more than $2 billion has been seized. Attorney General Holder now said the federal government will no longer take part in most of these seizures. It doesn't mean that state and local governments will not - are going to end there. Just not at all, doesn't mean that. Tonight, the beginning of a CNN investigation with some truly eye opening examples of exactly what can happen. Gary Tuchman investigates.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a bright clear morning in April 2013. Inside that red car just ahead are these two men. Bart Davis and John Newmerzhycky, two friends who also happen to be professional poker players. On this dash cam footage in the distance, you can see the red car flashing a turn signal indicator to pass a black SUV. A few minutes later, an Iowa state trooper pulls them over.
(on camera): And what did he say?
JOHN NEWMERZHYCKY, PROFESSIONAL POKER PLAYER: He said I didn't use my blinker. And he was going to write me a citation, it'll only take a minute and to come with him. To get in his car.
TUCHMAN: It was the beginning of an encounter with what would eventually would be two Iowa state troopers. Professional poker players often travel with quite a bit of money, which they in tournaments around the country. The troopers pulled this briefcase out of the trunk and found $85,000 in cash belonging to Bart Davis. And another $15,000 belonging to Newmerzhycky. And the officers took it. Took it all.
WILLIAM BART DAVIS, PROFESSIONAL POKER PLAYER: This was the briefcase that I was carrying. It was locked. They threatened to destroy it if I didn't give them the combination.
TUCHMAN: So, you carry money in this all the time for poker, I mean?
DAVIS: I do. I brought it along. Because I happened to have.
TUCHMAN: This is normal. It's money.
DAVIS: I got that from the bank.
TUCHMAN: So, how much is this?
DAVIS: That's $10,000. For our traveling - I would seal it.
TUCHMAN (voice over): The two men wound up being questioned for hours. They were given a traffic warning but not a citation. Newmerzhycky pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana paraphernalia, which he said was used for medical marijuana. Troopers let the men go but took the $100,000. Seized the authorities said as part of what the troopers called then interdiction because they claim to believe the money was being used to buy drugs. It's called civil asset forfeiture and that wasn't all.
GLEN DOWNEY, PLAYERS' ATTORNEY: Based on their belief that they thought my clients were involved in drug activity called California where they live, informed the officers there or law enforcement officials there that they believe they were involved in drug activity, a search warrant was obtained on the basis of that information from the Iowa officer and they raided their homes in California. OK? And tore their homes apart looking for things related to drugs.
TUCHMAN: Even though there was only one misdemeanor drug charge in Iowa, California authorities claim they were distributing drugs there. The men's lawyer Glen Downey says Newmerzhycky was indicted. Then both men were offered a deal by the state of Iowa: we'll give you back $90,000 as long as you let us keep the rest. The man took the deal afraid they would lose all the money if they didn't. The state of Iowa kept $10,000 and the felony charge in California was dropped. As shady as the whole affair sounds, it wasn't a one off. It's part of a concerted effort by some law enforcement to legally target and keep your money without ever filing charges. In fact, the two Iowa state troopers as well as thousands of other state and local cops nationwide learned how to conduct these kinds of stops from private companies and the biggest one is an Oklahoma company called "Desert Snow."
"The Desert Snow" trainers travel all over the country to hold their workshops and business is brisk. According to the company's Web site, 30 seminars are scheduled for 2015. From Oregon to Florida. From Delaware to California. And your police department could be one of Desert Snow's clients.
This is the man in charge of Desert Snow. A former California state highway patrol officer named Joe David. He wouldn't talk with CNN on camera, but a glance at what his company charges police agencies shows his training isn't cheap. The lowest price for a police force to attend according to this price list is a bit over $8,000. And the top end? $145,000.
(on camera): Why would a police department spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to a seminar which is something you learn in a police academy?
GLEN DOWN, PLAYERS' ATTORNEY: Well, they say they teach them more than they learn in a police academy. That they have specialized knowledge to teach these officers how to do it even better. I believe the training encourages them to take more cash because the more cash they take, the more cash Joe David is going to get in training materials.
TUCHMAN: Joe David told us he couldn't answer written questions about how many officers he trained or how much money he's made because of a lawsuit filed by Downey on behalf of those poker players. He claims it's only a small part of his business, which also helps officers go after people ranging from terrorists to kidnappers. As for cash seizures, he said, quote, "the purpose is not to take and seize funds belonging to innocent people. The purpose is to seize funds when they are tied to criminal activity, but there have never been any charges that the money taken from Bart Davis or John Newmerzhycky has been tied to criminal activity.
(on camera): What has this done in your life?
DAVIS: It's made me aware of things I was not aware of and made me angry. You know, it's not only this type of - that we are having problems with police these days. How can you not be angry and saddened?
TUCHMAN (voice over): The men still want the rest of their money back, that $10,000 kept by the state of Iowa, so far, though, Iowa has not given it back and is not backing down.
COOPER: Hmm. Gary Tuchman joins us now. So, the attorney general, as I said, Eric Holder, he's made this decision prohibiting some of these forfeitures. The impact though is actually going to be pretty minimal, right?
TUCHMAN: Right. This is just the first step. There will still be plenty of forfeitures, but the attorney general has said that unless it's a public safety issue, that federal agencies can no longer keep the money that local police departments send to Washington under federal law. Now, a lot of times, local agencies want to use federal law because it's a stronger law, it's more streamlined, it's less bureaucratic. That will no longer be allowed, effective immediately. But if states leave Washington out of the equation, they could continue doing what they want and that's exactly what happened to these two poker players.
COOPER: It's fascinating. Gary, appreciate it. Thanks.
Coming up, a stabbing spree that was caught on tape. The man went on the attack in the bus and on the street in Tel Aviv. Also tonight, a measles outbreak in the United States traced to Disneyland. Why is the disease that was wiped out in the United States now making a comeback? We'll talk to our "360" MD Sanjay Gupta.
COOPER: Tonight, California health officials say that the measles outbreak that they've linked to Disney theme parks is not over after all, despite what they've been saying since Friday. Short time ago, they revealed that measles was diagnosed in yet another Disney park employee this past Sunday. Dozens of measles cases have now been linked to Disney Parks in southern California including eight cases in four other states in Mexico. This comes on the heels of the surge in measles cases across the United States. There are record 644 cases in 27 states just last year. Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me now.
Sanjay, it's remarkable when you think about it. I mean how we got here. 15 years ago, didn't they declare the measles in the U.S. had been eliminated?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean this has got to be so frustrating for public health officials and people who have been talking about vaccines for some time. In 2000, we basically said measles was eliminated in the United States. And what that basically means is that over 12 months, there hadn't been new cases of measles, that vaccinations efforts seem to be working and as you point out, 15 years later, we are having some of the biggest measles outbreaks in the United States that we've seen in almost two decades. So clearly, not going in the right direction, Anderson.
COOPER: And is this all basically because of the anti-vaccination movement because parents aren't vaccinating their kids?
GUPTA: Yeah, you know, I think so. Here's how I put it. And when you look at the world as a whole, as we know from Ebola, patients can move around from country to country more easily than ever before. Even more easily than 15 years ago. So someone could be in that incubation period, right? They could have been exposed to measles, not yet sick. Show up in the United States. They could be a potential source. That's how it starts, but if they end up in an area where you have a large number of people or a significant number of people who have not been vaccinated, all of the sudden, that one person who otherwise would easily be treated, not cause any other infections, can suddenly cause many, many infections and that seems to be what happened, you know, here at Disneyland. Workers got sick, they subsequently spread it and it turns into a multistate outbreak pretty quickly.
COOPER: And the vaccine, I mean just to repeat, it's completely safe. There's no medical evidence that it causes autism. Your kids, you had your kids vaccinated.
GUPTA: There is no evidence and Anderson, you have interviewed Dr. Wakefield. I watched the interview with you. That study that suggested there was a link between these childhood vaccines and autism, that study was discredited and there have been subsequent studies, which show no link. So yeah, you know, I got my kids vaccinated. I got them vaccinated on schedule. And I only bring that up to say that, look, I mean, you know, we talk about these things as reporters, but as a father I look at the studies myself. I made the judgment, the decision that this was absolutely safe and the proof is in my own children and they're doing great.
COOPER: And as you said, it's extraordinarily contagious.
GUPTA: Unlike Ebola, which we kept talking about as being highly infectious, meaning just a small amount could cause an infection. Ebola was not particularly contagious. Measles is very contagious. It can spread through the air. It can live on surfaces. I've heard statistics that if you are not vaccinated and you come in contact with someone who has measles, you have about a 90 percent chance of getting it. So you're going to most likely get it just by coming in contact. You can't say that about most other infectious diseases. So it is highly contagious and it does have this incubation period. That means you could be exposed, but it could still be up to 21 days before you get sick.
COOPER: Yeah, and then 90 percent chance. That's incredible. Sanjay, thanks very much.
GUPTA: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, let's get the latest on some of the other stories we are following. Amara Walker has a "360" bulletin. Amara?
AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Anderson. In Tel Aviv, Israel, police say a man stabbed a bus driver and seven passengers. His next move was caught on camera, on surveillance video he ran into the street and stabbed a woman. No one was killed, though some have serious wounds. The attacker was shot in the leg and then arrested.
Japanese officials say they'll try to save the two citizens held captive by ISIS for a $200 million ransom. The government vows to reach out to the terrorist through third party contacts but it won't say whether it will pay the ransom before Friday's deadline. And in Havana, Cuba and the U.S. battled over immigration as they opened two days of historic talks seeking to restore diplomatic relations. Havana officials are opposed to Washington's policy that allows nearly every Cuban who reaches U.S. soil to remain in the country and not be deported.
And sitting most of the day, even if you exercise regularly, raises the risk of getting cancer, heart disease, type two diabetes, and an early death. That's according to a new analysis on 47 studies on the topic, researchers suggest we sit a lot less and get moving a lot more.
COOPER: Wow. I got to get one of those standing desks. They seem so annoying though.
WALKER: Yeah, I think.
COOPER: Amara, thanks very much.
WALKER: Whatever you and I are doing is probably not healthy so we should probably be getting up, so maybe during commercial break.
COOPER: All right. Good idea. Up next, hope for anyone who's ever lost a piece of jewelry - the "Ridiculist", something to make you smile at the end of the day. Boston ...
COOPER: Come now for the "Ridiculist", and tonight we begin with the story of a little girl in Kansas City who is playing in a park many years ago and found a ring. Recently, the now grown woman was going through a box of her childhood treasures, saw the ring again and remembered finding it 25 years ago.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a little picture on it and I thought that's fancy like maybe a queen's ring.
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COOPER: All right, spoiler alert. We are talking about Kansas City, it was not a queen's ring. Although, I'm not mistaken, they do have the royals. Yes, a sports joke. I know. Some things I know. It was actually a class ring from a high school in Colorado, so the woman got in touch with the school and the teacher there put the class to work to find the owner.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They found her in the year books, and then they found her parents in the obituaries. Found her married last name from that and then found her, I believe, through Facebook.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Yes, it was supposed to be some kind of mystery history project but I bet these kids today found the owner in about ten seconds on Google. And thus, the class ring was returned to its rightful owner who has no idea how it ended up in the park 25 years ago, but is glad to have it back.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was kind of like we go back in time, you know, to the high school crushes and the fun of going to the games.
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COOPER: See, I think that's very sweet and it gives me hope that there are good people out there and when you lose something, it's not really gone. You just might have to wait 25 years to get it back and you can cut the time way, way down if you lose your rings, but have a pretty good idea where they went. Take this case from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a woman lost her wedding rings, but then remembered she set them on a coffee table and that her dog, Sierra, is in the owner's words a little bit of a troublemaker. Sure enough, a trip to the vet confirmed it, the rings were there, the veterinarian performed surgery, because waiting for the rings to come out naturally could have damaged Sierra's intestines.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She eats more than just rings, I'm afraid. Once I got inside the stomach, there were some rocks in there, there was some - there was either - I can't tell if it was sticks or bone ...
COOPER: Once again proving the old adage, "Sticks and bones can make dogs groan". But not everything that's lost is gone forever, sometimes it can be found on The Ridiculist.
And that's it for us. We'll see you again 11:00 P.M. Eastern for another edition of 360.
CNN Special Report "O.J. Trial, Drama of the Century" starts now.