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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Police Ask Witness To Come Forward In Gray Case; Protesters Vow To "Shut This City Down." Aired 7-8:00p ET
Aired April 24, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:08] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, Baltimore police admits major mistakes tonight. Their focus now, what happened in the police van? Why didn't Freddie Gray get medical help sooner? This as protesters threaten to quote, "shut the city down."
And new information tonight about the American hostage killed by a U.S. drone strike. What happened to the ransom that family paid?
And more breaking news, all eyes on a massive volcano that could erupt again tonight. The town already under two feet of ash. We're going to show if Yazidis pictures to believe them they're coming up. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett, OUTFRONT on this Friday night. We have breaking news. Baltimore police say they are focusing on what happened inside the van after Freddie Gray was arrested. Late today the police commissioner admitting his officers made major mistakes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY BATTS, BALTIMORE POLICE COMMISSIONER: We know he was not buckled in the transportation wagon as he should have been. No excuses for that, period. We know our police employees failed to give him medical attention in a timely manner multiple times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Obviously major admissions there. And just moments ago, the police officer also released the picture that you are looking at here. They are focusing in on the witness. All right? So they say the arrest is happening on the right of your screen but what they want you to look at is the man standing alone in the middle of the street. They say he was filming it. And they don't have that footage. And they want it. They want to question this man. This as Baltimore prepares for the biggest day of demonstrations so far. Busloads of out of town protesters joining what organizers promise is a protest that will shut the city down.
Brian Todd is OUTFRONT tonight. He's in Baltimore again. And Brian, a major admission from the Police Department tonight. I mean, he's saying no excuse for not being buckled into that --
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, this is the spot where Freddie Gray was arrested and we have some new details tonight about his arrest that come from the Commissioner Anthony Batts. He gave us a new time line with some critical new details detailing when he was picked up at this corner here of North Mount in Presbury Street on April 12. This is a makeshift memorial to him. After they picked him up they took him around this corner. Now, the new details come regarding what happened right after that. They came from Commissioner Anthony Batts just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BATTS: We see Mr. Gray enter into the vehicle, he's able to talk, he's able to move, he's able to stand up on his left foot. I'm told that he was able to enter the van at that point in time. We see Mr. Gray through video again or camera by another citizen getting out one block around the corner. They are able to put the leg shackles on him. He's able to move, he's able to talk at that given point in time. The van driver stops at third time, we have another officer that comes up to witness, Mr. Gray, Mr. Gray is talking there. They picked him up off the floor and placed him on the seat at that time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Another new detail we learned is that Mr. Gray, after he was apprehended and before he was put in the van might have had medical issues then. Because the commissioner Anthony Batts said that he should have received medical attention after the foot chase that ended just a short distance from here and before he was put in the van. And there's no word exactly why he didn't get that medical attention or what that exact issue was. We know that he asked for an inhaler at some point before he was put in the van but for the first time the commissioner said he should have gotten medical attention before he entered the van -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Those are major admissions, Brian. And you know, the commissioner has been very, very quiet. Obviously those are significant admissions tonight. Thanks to Brian.
I want to go straight now to Jason Downs, an attorney for the Freddie Gray family. So, Jason, you know, you just have heard that the police commissioner, I know earlier this week when you and I spoke, you know, you were very frustrated and angry at not getting a lot of information. Now they're saying there is no excuse for the fact that he didn't have a seat belt in the back of their van. They're saying that multiple times he asked for help that they made mistakes in not obtaining that help for him. Is this enough that the commissioner is coming out and making these admissions for you?
JASON DOWNS, ATTORNEY FOR FREDDIE GRAY'S FAMILY: Well, it's certainly a step in the right direction. It's certainly a step towards acknowledging the truth that the police did not follow they own internal regulations with regard to strapping Mr. Gray with a seat belt when he was inside the van. That's the step in the right direction. But what it does not get at the core of this case and that is why did Mr. Gray need medical attention in the first place? Why was he crying out for help in the first place? That's the core of this case. That's the question that still has not been answered. That's the question we're looking for.
[19:05:01] BURNETT: Right. And that is the core question. Because the answer to that is when you find out if there's a criminal act here. So let me just ask you about that. Because they did go through, the police commissioner went through the events at least their timeline and part of it, they are using to defend some of their actions. So, they said yes, we made mistakes but then they said right before Gray was arrested he was talking to police. He was moving implying he was okay. They said the van stopped at one point. Gray got out of the van on his own at that time. Then it stopped for a third time. They say Mr. Gray was talking when he asked for a medic. So, they're seeming to use all of that to bolster the case that he was functioning. We know that it took 25 minutes for medical help to arrive. They are admitting there were some major mistakes. But is it possible on the core question you're asking that whatever happened to Mr. Gray was a result of his own actions in that van or prior and not because of police misconduct?
DOWNS: Absolutely not. There is absolutely no credible explanation for Mr. Gray's severing his own spinal cord. It just didn't happen. It just defies common sense that he was able to sever his own spinal cord with such force. And what makes much more sense is the fact that the police officers in this case have suggested or actually explicitly stated that Mr. Gray was arrested without force and arrested without incident and that does not jell with the video footage. So, what makes more sense is that there was some force and something used during the arrest and what we certainly don't know what happened inside of the van.
DOWNS: What we do know is that it defies common sense that he severed his own spine. He didn't do that.
BURNETT: One thing we do know is that police have repeatedly referred to an autopsy that they had conducted on Freddie Gray's body, they say that showed no force was used against him and that he was not bruised. Now, my understanding, please correct me if I'm wrong is the family is now had a chance to have their own autopsy done yesterday when they have the body at the funeral home. Do you have any results from that or is there a reason you haven't released results from that autopsy?
DOWNS: Well, the independent autopsy has to necessarily rely on the fact that the first entity to receive custody of Mr. Gray's body was the state of Maryland and the office of the chief medical examiner here in the state of Maryland. And so, the any independent autopsy necessarily needs to rely on the fact that they are in possession of all of the information with regard to the condition of Mr. Gray's body when it first arrived in their custody and we need that information in order to conduct an accurate independent autopsy and proceed.
BURNETT: So you're saying, okay, so you have an autopsy but you're not releasing it because you're not confident in the results because you need more information from them? DOWNS: No I'm not saying that we're not confident in the results
because we certainly do not have results because we don't have all of the information and the reason we don't have all of the information is because the state has not given it to us at this point despite the fact that we have requested it.
BURNETT: Okay. All right. Jason, thank you very much. It's good to talk to you again sir. And I appreciate it. Jason Down as I said the attorney for Freddie Gray's family.
I want to bring in now, our legal analyst, OUTFRONT Paul Callan. Paul, what do you make of what Jason has to say? Because this is going to come a lot of these to these autopsies. He's saying they don't have enough information to complete a fair autopsy on their side.
PAUL CALLAN, FORMER PROSECUTOR: The autopsy is going to be a critical piece of information here. He is obviously correct. You don't break your own spine. And I think what he's saying is, they don't have the official results of the state autopsy for their doctor to look at.
CALLAN: And he needs to know when the body was cut and when the preliminary findings were made, what were those findings so that he can compare them to the condition of the body when the second autopsy is done. So, this is correct. You need all the facts.
BURNETT: Something could have changed in terms of the condition of the body itself.
CALLAN: Exactly. The first autopsy. That's right.
BURNETT: Intrinsic as a body.
CALLAN: That's right.
BURNETT: Okay. I understand what you're saying. Because obviously there are some who would say, well, the police keep saying their autopsy says no bruising. You have an autopsy where are you results?
CALLAN: And it sounds like he's hedging.
CALLAN: But I don't think he is.
BURNETT: You don't think he is hedging.
CALLAN: I think the logic to what he's saying here, he needs the complete facts before his doctor can reach a conclusion.
BURNETT: All right. So, let me just ask you this question about what's going to happen to the officers. We know they have given statements. We know that the police are now admitting there were mistakes made. But that's not the same thing as an officer being held criminally liable for manslaughter or for murder, right, in the criminal act.
CALLAN: There's a big difference. Because this is going to come down to, was this an accident? Was the spine served as a result of some accident that police said no control over? Or was it a grossly reckless conduct by the police that placed the suspect in danger? They have a legal duty to protect him when he's in their custody.
BURNETT: So, can they use prior cases? Because we reported on a case in Baltimore a few years ago where a young man was put in the back of a van and not restrained, not put in the seatbelt, also died in a coma.
CALLAN: Well, that sets a precedence.
BURNETT: A pattern of not being restrained appropriately in police vehicles.
CALLAN: That's right. It sets a precedent. I can tell you that in New York there was a case called the Michael Griffin case where a suspect had a heart attack while in police custody, six officers were indicted because he was just left to languish and die. Although I will tell you also, they were all acquitted by a jury later on but they were all charged. These are hard cases to prove especially when you have a long period of time and different officers involved in the custody situation.
CALLAN: So, we have to see who was with him the most part of the time and who was with him when the most serious injury occurred.
BURNETT: Which is very crucial. Because we know there were six. Obviously in the video, we keep saying everyone shows three but if it happened inside the van, it might not have been those three. It might have been --
CALLAN: That's right. So, it's difficult. Yes.
BURNETT: All right. Paul Callan, thank you very much.
CALLAN: Thank you.
[19:10:38] BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, we're learning that outside protesters are descending on Baltimore. Organizers promising to shut down the city with their biggest protests yet. And the new Apple watch. Why you can buy it in only one store in the entire United States today and it was not even an Apple store. And a massive volcano suddenly erupting. These images are amazing. This is happening now. Two feet of ash nearby where our reporter is. We're going to go there live. It's a blow again really at any moment. We're monitoring that. We will go live to the scene.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:14:55] BURNETT: Breaking news tonight. Activists are
promising to shut this city down. Baltimore is bracing for the arrival of thousands of new protesters. Thousands. Organizers are saying they will arrive from out of state, joining the crowd, marching through Baltimore, angry about the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.
Jason Carroll is live tonight on the streets of Baltimore. And Jason, you're standing where thousands of protesters are going to be gathering. They are being bussed in right now. How worried are police about this? This could completely change the situation as you've experience that has already been very tense at times.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tense but peaceful so far. And definitely the city is concerned about it. The police commissioner has expressed his concerns earlier. This is the spot right here at city hall where the national rally will take place tomorrow. That will be at 5:00. Extra reinforcements as you know, Erin, are being brought in across the state, managed the crowd, police commissioner saying, he welcomes people to come out here tomorrow and express themselves so long as they do it peacefully.
MALIK SHABAZZ, NATIONAL PRESIDENT, BLACK LAWYERS OF JUSTICE: I will be out here on the front lines with my people to demand justice and yes, to shut this city down on Saturday.
CARROLL (voice-over): Activist Malik Shabazz is promising what may be the biggest protest yet in the death of 25-year-old's Freddie Gray. He says thousands plan to march in the streets of Baltimore tomorrow demanding justice. Authorities are hoping to prevent any violence. Clashes led to the arrest of two people last night for throwing objects at police. And now there are concerns about so called outside agitators.
DEAN PALMERE, BALTIMORE DEPUTY POLICE COMMISSIONER: We want to remind everyone in the Baltimore community, we cannot stress enough the need for peaceful demonstrations as we gather through these tough times.
CARROLL: Baltimore's Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake met with local clergy and activists calling for calm.
MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE, CITY OF BALTIMORE: I will continue to encourage residents who wish to voice their frustrations. I encourage them to do so. I also encourage them to be peaceful.
CARROLL: Shabazz says, protesters whether they be local or from out of town should make their voices heard.
SHABAZZ: Dr. King was not from Selma, Dr. King was not from Montgomery and he was not from Birmingham, but Dr. King was in those areas.
CARROLL: One of those heading to Baltimore is Derk Brown, he'll be coming from Ferguson, Missouri. A city still trying to heal from months of violent unrest after Michael Brown was killed by police. During the height of the riots there, police made nightly arrests.
DERK BROWN, FERGUSON ACTIVIST: We had people coming in from all over the world starting fires. And we just want to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters and we intend to protest peacefully.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It's about time to do something about this here.
CARROLL: Abdul Salaam will be one of those from Baltimore out protesting tomorrow. Nearly two years ago, Salam was pulled over for talking on his cell phone and failing to restrain a child with a safety belt. He says police beat him in his own driveway while his three-year-old watched.
ABDUL SALAAM, BALTIMORE RESIDENT: Once he slammed me from there, he picked me and worked me all the way to this very spot where we stand.
CARROLL (on camera): Police say that the reason why they responded the way that they did is because you were resisting.
SALAAM: At no point did I resist.
CARROLL (voice-over): Salaam's neighbor who reported part of the arrest.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: All of these cops! He ain't going nowhere! Why they got to hold him on the ground like that?
CARROLL: Police ultimately dropped the charges but Salaam man says, he's speaking out so no one has to endure what he went through.
SALAAM: So the process is changed. Until the policy is changed we want results immediately because we can't spare another life.
CARROLL: And again, Salaam will be right out here tomorrow, Erin. As for some of those protesters from Ferguson that I spoke too, they said that there is no organized effort to bring people out here. It was more like a grassroots effort by individuals. Again, the police commissioner saying, he welcomes everyone to come out here tomorrow but he said he will not tolerate anyone hurting the community -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Jason, thank you. And I want to bring in Marc Lamont Hill now, professor at Morehouse and host of BET News and HuffPost Live along with Tom Verni, a retired New York Police Department detective.
All right, Marc, let me start with you. You just heard Jason's reporting. Baltimore bracing for the arrival of the thousands of protesters bus after bus. You were in Ferguson during the protests. They did become violent. It was a huge issue there. So, in the first 12 days after Michael Brown was shot. Images like this were on television screens across the country. Two hundred twelve people were arrested. Ninety five percent of them, more than that actually. We're not from Ferguson. That's a pretty bad track record for out of towners. But do you welcome the entry of thousands of protesters from outside Baltimore?
[19:19:40] MARC LAMONT HILL, BET NEWS AND HUFFPOST LIVE HOST: Yes. Well, first, just to be clear, the protest became violent but it might be a leap of logic to say that some might, you know, what you're saying that the violence began with the protesters was often from police who instigated things. But that said, there were protesters who were violent, there were protesters who started trouble, there were protesters who made many mistakes. And as you've pointed out, many of them were outsiders, many of them were not from the community, many of them honestly or people who explicitly told me they were there to start trouble. They would throw bottles, they would throw things at police, they would push police officers hoping to get, quote- unquote, "the revolution started" as they've put it. But all of that aside, I'm happy to see people come from out of town. Because when most people come from out of town aren't there for violence, they are there for justice. Martin Luther King said when dogs bite us in Birmingham, we bleed everywhere. It's a necessary problem. This isn't a Baltimore problem. This is a nationwide problem. We need everybody involved.
BURNETT: Now, Tom, the president of the NAACP or the local NAACP sorry to be clear called outside protesters bullies today. Let me just let you hear it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TESSA HILL-ASTON, PRESIDENT, BALTIMORE BRANCH OF NAACP: We do not need anyone coming in bullying our community and bullying people who are there just to get justice that they had right for them. When you come into another city and act different and try to encourage people, that's a form of bullying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: What do you make of that Tom?
TOM VERNI, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: Well, I think she's got a good point and I think she is very concerned as probably all the residents of Baltimore as well, the Baltimore police, when you have outside people coming in, you know, we have this a bid in New York during the Occupy Wall Street movement where you had a lot of people who were part of that movement, who were not from New York. They were coming in from all corners of the country. And, you know, they had this kind of belief that you could come into New York and New York have a free for all and just to have your way with the town and that's now how things roll. And that's not how things are going to roll here.
I have no problem with people coming in to protest what they feel as maybe police abuse or, you know, systematic issue that needs to be changed. And I don't think the Baltimore Police Department, which is a great Police Department by the way under all the circumstances, has a problem with that either. They are there to protect the right to free speech and to protest. But as the commissioner had mentioned, as long as it's done peacefully, as long as it's done lawfully, then there's not going to be any problems.
VERNI: The second thing, you have someone throwing bottles or whatever it might be at the police and causing disruption, that's where it's going to be a problem.
BURNETT: So, Marc, you know, we should emphasize, the protests have really by in large have been incredibly peaceful in Baltimore even when there's been moments where it could have turned, they were able to pull it back. But here's what our reporters experienced, they have been pushed, they have been shoved, expletives, their mics tried to be grabbed. They have been spat on. Things have been thrown. We have seen some pretty bad moments right here live on this program. You have been putting here as some of it has happened. So when you add more and more people from out of town, does it make you more worried?
HILL: I mean, obviously just, if you increase the numbers of anything by scale, even if it's just one percent or one-tenth-of-one percent. If you triple the number of people or quintuple the number of people, you're going to have more incidents. I think that's true. I think the key though is for law enforcement to see them not as intruders and not as people who are interrupting the democratic process but people who are exercising the democratic process. That means you don't block ways, you create path ways for people. That means that you don't charge an entire crowd when one person spits or say something inappropriate.
It also means that as a police officer you have to exercise more discipline than the people in the crowd. You are held to a higher standard. One of the problems with Ferguson was, people would sometimes be peacefully marching. And someone would say something about police officers that they didn't like and suddenly -- come ramming in with a shield and hitting the crowd which stokes the violence. I think police have to be disciplined and patient here. And so far Baltimore police have done much better than Ferguson police act at including space in the democratic process.
BURNETT: Yes. They have and stepped back. They have been incredibly calm and collected. Tom though, let me ask you though because some people say, you know, you just said Baltimore police is a good police department. Some people though, and there has been some reporting that show they have had serious problems. Baltimore Suns say, look, they have had to pay out nearly $6 million over the past four years for police wrong doing in cases of alleged police wrong doing. How do you feel confident in saying look, this is a good police department, especially given that they have now admitted today, nothing criminal, but they have admitted they have made major mistakes in the Freddie Gray case?
[19:24:02] VERNI: Well, because they are a great police department. Baltimore is not an easy city to police. They have a lot of problems down in Baltimore, just like they're doing in Philadelphia and some of the other large cities, Detroit. Now, these large cities like New York, we have gone through a transition where we had extremely high crime rates and it's due to a number of upgrades in training and upgrades in the way that one of our policing in New York City, that crime was able to come down with the help of the community by the way. Now, the community police integral part of that.
VERNI: And that's happening in the large cities across the United States. You know, Baltimore, like other police departments, like the NYPD have had their issues, too, with corruption, with you know, officers not playing by the rule book. But if you look at a police department like New York, you know, it's less than one half of one-half of one percent of officers are actually found of any serious wrong doing or legality. So that's the reality.
VERNI: By and large -- I don't know why you're laughing at me. I don't know if it's because of my hair or --
HILL: I'm sorry, man. I love you man, but come on! You're right. The Police Department in New York have found the police officers are rarely guilty. Look, who determines whether the police officer was innocent or guilty in NYPD? Guess what? The NYPD. So, yes, the NYPD rarely finds the NYPD guilty. The LAPD rarely finds the LAPD guilty. That's the problem. Is that you have the police and the foxes. So, you will never going to find anybody guilty. I wouldn't find my mamma guilty.
BURNETT: All right. Final word, Tom. Quickly.
Okay. Thanks to both.
VERNI: -- police policing themselves. And then you have state and federal authorities that can police them. So, if it comes down to something of a serious egregious happening, then the NYPD is going to be policed by higher authorities than themselves. And the reality is that the overall majority of them are lawful and do things legally.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to both. I appreciate it. And next the American hostage killed by a drone. His family paid a ransom but it didn't work.
And this volcano's powerful eruptions blanketing the area. Right now, it's about 23 inches of ash just shy of two feet. There could be another eruption at any time we're told. We're going to be going there live. Our reporter is at the scene.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:30:07] BURNETT: Breaking news: President Obama apologizing
for the intelligence failure that costs the lives of two al Qaeda hostages, one of them an American.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We all bleed when we lose an American life. We all grieve when any innocent life is taken. We don't take this work lightly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Two American members of al Qaeda were also accidentally killed in the drone strikes. Also, today, we're learning new information that there was a ransom paid by the family of the American hostage.
Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): It was only a year after Warren Weinstein was abducted from here, his home in Lahore, Pakistan, in 2011, a source tells CNN, that his family took a risk -- paying a ransom to contacts claiming to represent his captives.
WARREN WEINSTEIN, AMERICAN HOSTAGE: It seems that I have been totally abandoned and forgotten.
SCIUTTO: But the money did not secure Weinstein's freedom. Instead, his captors made new demands for a prisoner exchange, suggesting trading Weinstein for alleged terrorists, including Aafia Siddiqui, a prominent female jihadi currently serving an 86-year sentence in the U.S.
The Weinstein family fears that the money may have gone to the wrong people.
LT. COL. JAMES REESE (RET), CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Unfortunately, what happens is many families get sucked in to a farce. The family is very emotional because they want their loved one back and they get drawn back into this.
SCIUTTO: His purported captors referred to themselves as Afghans, not al Qaeda. And after ISIS beheaded American journalist James Foley, they warned the Iraqis, an apparent reference to ISIS, wanted Weinstein, and were preparing an orange suit, meaning the clothes worn by other ISIS hostages during their beheadings.
When U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was released by the Taliban, one of Weinstein's alleged captors even bragged that he was also one of Bergdahl's kidnappers.
The U.S. now believes it inadvertently killed Weinstein in a drone strike in January, the first sign of trouble immediately after the strike on the al Qaeda compound when U.S. intelligence observed not four bodies being removed as expected but six. The additional two now believed to be Weinstein and fellow hostage, the Italian Giovanni Lo Porto.
But Weinstein's captors kept reaching out. Final contact with them came earlier this month when the family asked for proof of life, proof of life they never received.
SCIUTTO: In all this, the White House appears to be aware not only of the intelligence failure here, but also a communications failure with the Weinstein family, who complained of poor treatment by U.S. officials. The White House now says it may create a special team, a fusion cell, it's calling it, incorporating the FBI, the State Department and the intelligence community, to both better coordinate recovery efforts but also crucially to better channel information, Erin, to hostages families.
BURNETT: All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you very much from Washington.
And now, Phil Mudd, former CIA counterterrorism official; and retired General James Spider Marks, who established the drone program for the Iraq war. He's flown drones.
All right, Phil, the Weinstein family, they paid ransom. And then their captives changed the terms and said thank you for the money, now we want a prisoner exchange. And then they kind of switched to where they're dealing. It was unclear if they were ever even dealing with the right people.
What went wrong?
PHIL MUDD, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: Well, I think we are putting families in impossible positions here. Back years ago when the policy of the U.S. government not engaging with these groups was established, engagement with terrorism groups was episodic.
Now, we're seeing almost once a month, somebody is taken from a family and there's a threatened beheading, I think you're going to see the U.S. government start to say, we can't have families get involved in these kinds of negotiations. They don't have the capability to do that.
Where this buck stops, though, is if you start talking about money, you start making hostages a commodity and terrorism a business. I think people in my profession and also at the White House are going say, overtime, we might have to start talking to these guys but we don't want to give them money.
BURNETT: Right. They don't want to do that. And, of course, every other country in the world pretty much does.
MUDD: They do. They sure do. That makes it harder. BURNETT: And, Spider, you have flown drones. Now, the White
House watched these compounds where these drone strikes happened, by killing three Americans, one an innocent hostage. They said they watched for hundreds of hours.
So, that's a lot of surveillance, right? Nonstop. But then they were surprised, six bodies came out and they thought they would only get four. Should they have known something didn't add up? I mean, would they have seen something, like too much food going in? Too much waste going out, to know in advance?
MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Well, clearly, if they had known that there would have been a different decision. I think what you have is the persistent surveillance that can be provided by drones. I mean, they hand off. There is 24/7 coverage that can be provided.
[19:35:02] But again, what you're looking at when you are surveilling a target from a drone, you're looking through a very narrow straw. There are other forms of intelligence. Phil lived the world of human intelligence in addition to signals intelligence. And what we really want to do is you want to close gaps and you can only do that through complimentary systems and clearly in this case, there was high confidence that they were going to strike known targets in that facility.
But it's very difficult unless you can see through a wall, I'm not being facetious, or you have is a source that has exited that building and has said there are two other people in there, that has to be part of the mix. And our community knows that.
This is simply, look, the drone munitions struck exactly where it was targeting. So, operationally, this worked extremely well. It was an intelligence failure based on the fact that it wasn't layered as precisely as it should have been.
BURNETT: And an intelligence failure in multiple levels, right, Phil? I mean, they didn't know there were hostages. But they also didn't know that some of the al Qaeda operatives they were killing, they thought they had four, they had four, they didn't know that who of them were American. That's also pretty significant.
The president says, as a result of this mistake, he's taking responsibility for, that there is going be changes in the drone program, which he's already promised. But what would those changes be that would ever mean you don't get an outcome like this?
MUDD: I'm trying to figure this out, because if you look through the (INAUDIBLE) that Spider was talking about, you come up with this solution. I see a group of people down there. I have validated what they called validated the target. In other words, I know those bad guys. I've also surveilled enough to get pattern of life. I know where the women and children are.
If you want to take that one step further, if we're going to say we're going try to perfect this, as a former practitioner, I got one question for you and that is how. In those situations, and we're talking about hundreds of drone strikes over time, are you telling me that you want me to certify that I know every person in that facility?
BURNETT: Right, that you know their names, you will never get to that.
MUDD: I will take it a step further. I don't think it's a failure. It's a tragedy. It's not a failure. We hit the right target.
MUDD: We can't predict in every case whether -- who's going be in the building.
MARKS: The point --
BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to both of you.
And OUTFRONT next, take a look at these pictures that we're going to show you here. Thousands evacuated after a massive volcano erupts twice. We're going to show that to you.
And why you can buy the Apple Watch in only one store in America.
[19:41:30] BURNETT: Breaking news tonight: all eyes on a volcano that could erupt again at any moment. Chile's Calbuco Volcano erupted twice this week, shooting ash more than six miles into the sky.
Look at these pictures. They are truly stunning. They are gorgeous, they're powerful, they're fearsome all at once. But what has happened now is it keeps erupting. The area is now under nearly two feet of ash -- sort of makes you think of Pompeii.
Shasta Darlington is in southern Chile, in Ensenada, that is about 10 miles from the Calbuco Volcano. She's really as close as you can possible get, right there seeing the ash.
Shasta, the volcano is behind you, smoking. what are you hearing about more eruptions?
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are a lot of reason that a third could be coming, and for one of many reasons that you just mentioned, it's smoking again. After the first two eruptions, it really calmed down. They said it was unstable but they didn't see any activity. Well, this morning, it flared back up and that really has residents here in this region on edge.
Now, Ensenada was one of the first towns that was evacuated. They evacuated about 4,400 people right after that first really apocalyptic eruption. But this hypothesis that another one could be on its way, they evacuated another 2,000 people today. And again, this -- this is a region that's known for its volcanoes, but this particular volcano had not had a major eruption for more than half a century. So, those images that you're talking about, those really cinematic images everyone was looking at around the globe, people here were terrified. They grabbed their belongings and got out of here as fast as they could.
So, this smoke right behind me and these experts saying that it looks like another crater might be opening up really doesn't have people very happy Erin.
BURNETT: I mean, it is incredible looking at those images. This is happening now.
I see, Shasta, where you're standing, right, everyone has been evacuated. You have a mask that right now you're not using as you're able to talk to us. But what's it like all that ash? We're talking about two feet of it. You're experiencing it. What's the air like?
DARLINGTON: You know, it's amazing. It's very thick at times when cars go by. But just look at this. I'm standing on piles of ash and it's really not fluffy and light. It's more like gravel. There's a little bit of everything.
But, you know, as you can see, there isn't something you would want falling on your head. It's like a bunch of pebbles falling on your head. And then, of course, you get these big puffs of air of ash. Now, right now, with the wind blowing the way it is, a lot of it is headed towards Argentina. They've actually cancelled a lot of flight. It has gone over the Andes and they have had to cancel flights there because airplanes just can't fly in this really thick gravelly air.
And it's true, whenever we get things moving by right now, we have an earth mover moving by. You've got to cover your mouth or you're really going to eat some pretty hard dust there, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Well, obviously, you need to do that right now. I don't want you to not do that for the purposes of this live shot. But, Shasta, thank you very much. Just incredible as you can see right behind her, that is panoramic, cinematic. That smoke, as that volcano could be about to blow again.
Thank you, Shasta.
And one of the few people on earth to go deep an active volcano is the explorer and film maker Sam Cossman and he is OUTFRONT now.
All right. Sam, we just saw amazing pictures of volcanic lightning. I mean, that was incredible, of the volcano here Calbuco erupted this week, and then you see the lightning through the flame.
[19:45:00] I mean, it just is stunning that this is actually happening in real life. What do you make of this when you see it? SAM COSSMAN, FILMMAKER AND EXPLORER: Yes, it's just -- it's
really incredible to see all of these forces of nature coming together in this one moment. It's really not very common where you can capture that on camera. So, to be able to kind of see that and share it with the world really gets me excited.
You know, lightning, volcanic lightning is an area of science. It is still pretty unknown. There is a lot of conjecture around how it even happens. So, again, one of the concepts that are talked about in the scientific community is that there may be a variety of different types of volcanic lightning that occurred and it may be the case what we saw here in these images is something completely new.
BURNETT: That's just incredible that we can see something completely new.
You, Sam, have been inside an active volcano, which is incredible to comprehend, all right? I know that you rappelled down 1200 feet. That is the height of the Empire State Building.
BURNETT: You went all the way to the bottom of an active volcano. What the heck was it like?
COSSMAN: It's an out of body experience. There's no real other way to describe it. When you're standing in front of force of nature like that, confronted with your own mortality, you can't just help but outside of yourself. But it's really just incredible to see something that is so awe inspiring right in front of you. Basically like looking at the surface of the sun or kind of like seeing a rocket at close range.
It's an incredible sight and it's even more incredible feeling because the heat that you are exposed to when you're standing at not only the edge of a volcano but the shore of a lava lake of which there are only about seven in the world, it's about a thousand degrees. So, you basically have to have a special attire for it.
BURNETT: Yes, I mean, what did you wear? How was there anything in the world that could have protected you?
COSSMAN: Yes. Well, there's this -- believe it or not, there's a suit that some thought might work. There's no lava suit out there, so we had to use the best material that we thought would potentially do the job, but it was made by a company called Nutex (ph) and it's essentially an aluminumized metal suit and it has Numex (ph) fire retardant layer inside of it and it basically protects up to about 2,000 to 3,000 degrees, which is the approximate temperature of that lava.
It's about a thousand degrees of radiant heat as you're starting on the edge, so hot that the face shield of my suit actually melted as did part of the plastic on my camera.
BURNETT: Well, thank you for sharing it with us. I don't know whether you're courageous or crazy. I think you're both, Sam. But thank you.
COSSMAN: Thank you. I'll take that as a compliment. Thanks so much for having me.
BURNETT: All right. Good to have you.
And next, Apple banking on its watch being the next must-have gadget. So, why are you not able to get one in Apple Stores? One store in America had it today and it was not in Apple Store. A special report.
And also, meet the weed genius who grows grass for a living, coming up.
[19:51:30] BURNETT: Tonight's money and power. The hottest Apple product rolled out today, and you can't buy it in a single Apple Store.
Dan Simon is OUTFRONT.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is what a line looks like on an iPhone launch day. Not the case for the Apple Watch. The only place in America you'll find a line for Apple's new product is outside of the Maxfield Boutique in West Hollywood. It's one of the only five high end shops in the world selling the watch -- the first truly new product under CEO Tim Cook.
TIM COOK, APPLE CEO: It's not just with you, it's on you.
SIMON: Scrapping tradition, at least for now, Apple is not selling the watch in stores, just online. The only thing you can do is try it on.
(on camera): This is the stainless steel one. Black leather band, also pretty light weight.
(voice-over): The experience, something you might expect from a Prada, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, not from a company that sells phones and computers.
BOB O'DONNELL, CHIEF ANALYST, TECHANALYSIS RESEARCH: I think selling the watch makes sense the way they are doing it, because when you think about it, I mean, a watch is a very personal device. I mean, it's more like a piece of jewelry than it really is a piece of technology, and that's where this interesting blend is.
SIMON: With ads in magazines like "Vogue", Apple wants the watch to make a fashion statement, competing not only against other smart watches, but high-end switch watches too. There is the gold version. Celebs like Beyonce and Drake got early access. That top model going for as much as $17,000.
COOK: The Apple Watch edition is the most beautiful expression of the Apple Watch.
SIMON: Famed fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg believes in the company strategy.
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG, FASHION DESIGNER: Apple has created over the years, a true luxury brand. It has. You go to an Apple Store and there is an experience about the Apple Store that is very unique. So, they have been themed a luxury brand for a long time.
SIMON: Just hours after it began accepting pre-orders, all the models were sold out, with most not shipping until June. Production is stretched but some analysts speculate the company is trying to create added buzz by making the product difficult to get.
O'DONNELL: Obviously, you want to have product available and out there but at the same time, if you can make it harder to get, obviously that's kind of cool.
SIMON: None of this indicates whether the product will be deemed a success. The watch can do a lot of things like track fitness, get messages, even take phone calls.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm kind of busy, can I call you right back?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure. No problem.
SIMON: But it doesn't do more than what your phone already does. Plus, you have to have an iPhone for the watch to work and at a starting price of $350, they are not cheap.
(on camera): And as with most first generation products, you might be better off waiting until the second one arrived. But by making the watch a fashion piece, combined with the novelty of a smart watch, Apple is hoping you don't have the patience to wait the extra year or beyond -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Dan, thank you very much.
So, I don't have an iPhone yet, so it is moot for me personally unlike most of you out there.
All right. Next, the business of legal weed. We're going to take you inside a marijuana farm.
[19:58:28] BURNETT: We have a new series. It's called "High Profits", and in it, we look at the booming recreational marijuana industry, and one company's weed genius.
NICK NEIDLEIN: My name is Nick Neidlein and I grow marijuana for a living.
This is my office.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nick, he is our head grower. He's our head garden manager.
First and foremost, we need to have weed and that is what we lacked for four years. We had great service. We had other people's products but never any of our own.
NEIDLEIN: In this room, we probably have about 20, 25 different strains in here right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nick joined with us about a year ago. He was trained in house and he's become our weed genius.
NEIDLEIN: Here at the BCC, we grow a nice good quality, dense buds and they are very flavorful and one of the best buds, you're going to see around.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to be able to take advantage while margins are high, while prices are high, and we can afford a few hiccups like we had during medical marijuana.
NEIDLEIN: The difficulty in growing marijuana is they're very picky. If you over water once, they produce not as much. You under water them, they could die. You know, it's hard because of the different streams. Each one of them are individuals.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nick does a really good job in the garden. He takes very good care of his plants, he pays attention to detail and he does everybody on time, which is really important with the plants. But the new garden that Nick is managing when it is fully built out will be 10 times the size of the garden in Breckenridge.
BURNETT: "High Profits" airs this Sunday night at 10:00, right here on CNN.
Thanks for joining us. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Be sure to set your DVR to record OUTFRONT so you can watch us any time.
"AC360" begins now.