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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
New Details Emerging About One Of Dallas Free Speech Event Gunmen; NYPD Mourns Death of Officer Brian Moore; Confusion Over Shooting in Baltimore; Charges Against Baltimore Police Officers; Interview with Man Who Shot Gray Arrest Video. Aired 8-9p ET.
Aired May 4, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening, thanks for joining us. We begin tonight with breaking news.
New details emerging about one of the gunmen who allegedly tried to ambush an event outside of Dallas. An event featuring cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed. Two men carrying assault rifles wearing body armor were shot dead by a security officer who local police say probably saved lives. Both would be gunmen have been identified and at least one of them linked himself to ISIS on social media. And tonight we learned from a source that the other would be terrorist spent a few years in Pakistan in the 1990s. His father was Pakistani and the sources describe his mother as white American. We'll have more on what we're learning about both gunmen in just a moment.
Meanwhile, United States authorities are looking into whether the incident in Texas has any link to international terrorism as investigators try to piece together the timeline for the plot.
CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown reports tonight.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The incident unfolded quickly in a Dallas suburb at a controversial art exhibit showing cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. Police say the two men pulled up to the parking lot in a dark-colored sedan. A patrol car blocked the entrance. A police officer and a security guard stepped out of the car. The attackers both in bulletproof vests jumped out of their car with assault rifles and opened fire. The unarmed guard was shot in the ankle. The officer, armed with only a service pistol, killed both gunmen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Under the fire that he was put under, he did a very good job and probably saved lives.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to stop this right now.
BROWN: The controversial event inside was nearing an end when the shots were fired. Security moved the 200 people attending to a secure location. None of the attendees were hurt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were actually walking out and the officer starts blowing a whistle and telling people to get down. BROWN: Simpson is believed to have sent this tweet just hours before
the attack using the #Texasattack. He also linked himself to a known British-born ISIS fighter who later went on to tweet out details of the attack. Simpson was the focus of an FBI terrorism investigation for several years. In 2011 he was found guilty for lying about his plans to travel to Somalia to engage in violent jihad.
COOPER: And Pamela Brown joins me now. So this guy, Simpson, was clearly on the FBI's radar. Did he slip through the cracks or are there too many people to monitor?
BROWN: Well, it's really a combination, Anderson. I can tell you right now the FBI is scrambling to piece this altogether and figure out how Simpson was able to leave his home in Phoenix and come here and launch an attack that could have been much worse if it weren't for the quick actions of that police officers.
What we have learned, Anderson, from a law enforcement official is that the FBI reopened an investigation into Simpson not long ago. We know he was very prolific on social media. He had been in contact with known ISIS fighters. But I have been speaking to officials today about this issue of even if someone is under investigation, you can't have every single person under 24/7 surveillance, it just doesn't work that way. And it's clear that Simpson in this case was not under physical surveillance. That's how he was able to make it here.
Also, the online chatter, we know that he had tweeted hours before getting here that ominous tweet with the #Texasattack. Officials I've been speaking with say it's frankly overwhelming with all of the chatter online, all of the different tweets, and so in some ways, you know, it's one of their biggest challenges dealing with that, even with someone that is already on their radar, Anderson.
COOPER: Pamela Brown, thank you very much.
Now, the two would be terrorists lived together in an apartment in Phoenix. Investigators have gone in, have taken out evidence. Meanwhile, the members of a Phoenix mosque that at least one of the gunmen attended say they are shocked by what happened. As I mentioned at the top of the program, new information is emerging about one of the men.
Kyung Lah joins me now with that -- Kyung.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, that man you're talking about is Sufi, the one we don't know quite as much about. But we are now learning from a Pakistani source with knowledge about the family action speaking to CNN, that Sufi had a Pakistani father and they described his mother as a white American.
When they divorced, he went to Pakistan with his father and his brother. He went to a prestigious elite private school in Islamabad and then suddenly he left Pakistan. There's a gap of knowledge in what we know. In his mid-30s, though, he came here to this apartment complex to be roommates with the other would be gunman.
LAH (voice-over): It is through this busted doorway the would-be gunmen lived and hatched a plan. Nadir Sufi (ph), a pizza shop owner and father to a young sons as his mass president, he grew up in Pakistan and still has family there.
Elton Simpson, convicted of lying to federal agents in 2011, but no other history of violence. Neighbors in their apartment complex saw nothing outwardly alarming from the two roommates. Ariel Whitlock had been texting Simpson who put his car up for sale.
[20:05:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm getting goose bumps thinking about it because I wanted to buy that car. And knowing that it's on the news, I see it and it's just blown up. I was going to purchase that car. You don't think like maybe he's going to go plot something and you're giving the money to help him go plot something is how I feel now. But that's crazy.
LAH: Neighbor Tim Raines (ph) never suspected. In fact he saw Nadir Sufi as a good Samaritan who helped him in a medical emergency.
You had contact with one of the men?
TIM RAINES, NEIGHBOR: One time about a year ago, he -- I came home and I'm walking up there and I had a heart condition. And I collapsed over here onto this stairwell. And he seen all that and he came over, offered me help.
LAH: How do you reconcile that with a guy who drives to Texas and shoots people?
RAINES: It's easy. Everybody has a good side to them. If you see somebody hurting like that, you're going to help them. You know, I think he went to Texas to shoot people for a reason.
LAH: The reason appeared to be inspired by ISIS. On Simpson's twitter feed he wrote the bro with me and myself have given Bay'ah to Amirul Muminen (ph), a (INAUDIBLE) for the leader of ISIS, his last tweet before the Texas attack.
But the first clues date back to that 2011 arrest. Talking to an FBI informant over years, court records show Simpson wanted to go to Somalia to fight. Recorded on wire taps saying if you get shot or you get killed, it's heaven straightaway. Heaven, that's what we are here for so why not take that route? You try to make us become slaves to man? No, we slave to Allah. We're going to fight you to the death. Attorney Christina Sitton defended Simpson when the FBI arrested him.
There are lots of questions now about whether he's someone who may have fallen through the cracks. Do you look back on the case and wonder the same thing?
CHRISTINA SITTON, ATTORNEY: No, I don't. He was on probation for three years. He didn't have any violations. He didn't have any problems that I was aware of. I don't feel like he was ever a danger or ever someone that was going to be harmful. Perhaps he just got angry and did a really bad, terrible thing.
LAH: Nadir Sufi's facebook page reveals strong opinions but no call to violence. But there is a 4-year-old note asking for forgiveness. He asked Allah for forgiveness for every sin, the intentional and unintentional, the secret and the open in public. Their plan, so secret that the mosque president (INAUDIBLE) spent years with both men at services and never saw either as a threat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have two members that they didn't show any signs of radicalization or any signs of even thinking about those things in that manner. So when that happens, it just shocks you. No matter how good you know these people, that's a question people ask themselves.
COOPER: I mean that's obviously a huge concern for investigators. Do we know what specifically investigators are zeroing in on right now?
LAH: From what we could see, they're trying to gather evidence to make that connection. You heard the surprise in all those people's voices. How do they go from those men to lone Wolf terrorists, would be terrorists. And so what we saw all day today are investigators combing through this apartment. They busted down the door. They have pulled out everything that they can find. They're going to comb through that, Anderson, to try to make that link.
COOPER: All right, Kyung, thanks very much.
Joining me now is Randy Potts of the "Daily Beast" who was at the event in Garland, Texas.
Randy, clearly security was very good at this event. I mean, the fact that one officer with his service revolver was able to shoot two guys who were shooting at him with automatic weapons who had body armor is pretty extraordinary. Can you just describe what security was like as you entered the building?
RANDY POTTS, THE DAILY BEAST: Yes, security was extremely extensive. There were -- I went through two checkpoints just to park my car. Then just going from my car to the front door of the convention, I had to find a specific person, tell them my name again. Then I went through a metal detector. So by the time I got inside, I felt like the security was definitely sufficient.
COOPER: And once you were inside, what was the conference like? Did it seem like people were concerned at all for their safety? What went on?
POTTS: It didn't at all. The conference was very laid back. Very people were laughing, telling jokes, walking around, looking at the cartoons. So it did not feel like any sort of a threat was imminent at all.
[20:09:55] COOPER: And I assume you couldn't hear or the people inside couldn't hear what was going on when these two guys drove up?
POTTS: No. Apparently there were a few people who were either outside the door or close enough to it that heard a few shots, but most of us did not.
COOPER: And how did most people react?
POTTS: So I was in the hallway with about five other people, and a guy in camouflage came running towards us shouting, getting inside the conference room immediately. And we all went in there, the doors were shut and the room became actually fairly quiet. I think we were all listening to see if we heard anything outside the doors.
COOPER: In the video, there is guys in khaki, who look like they know what they're doing. Are those private security or local police?
POTTS: It was a mixture, so I'm not sure which ones you're referring to. But there was apparently a SWAT team. There was private security. Garland PD was there. FBI was -- there was a lot of different people there.
COOPER: OK, I'm assuming it's the SWAT team we're actually looking at. At one point in the auditorium, the lights went out, I understand?
POTTS: Right. After we had been in there about 30 minutes, all of a sudden the lights went out. That was really the only moment that I felt a little bit nervous or scared, because it wasn't planned. I don't know if it was just a fluke or a timer, but the lights went out for maybe 10, 15 minutes with only a few lights in the corners.
COOPER: And the actual event itself, what, there were cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed?
POTTS: Right. Those cartoons were posted around the room and, you know, before the conference started, everybody walked around looking at them and then there were several speeches. There was an award given for the winning cartoon, and then it was over. It was a very anti-climactic event during the conference itself.
COOPER: Randy, I appreciate you talking to us about your experience. Thank you very much. Randy Potts from the "Daily Beast."
As we reported, at least one of these would be terrorists linked himself to ISIS in tweets before the attack.
Our Peter Bergen says, it was only a matter of time before something like this happen in the United States. We are going to hear from him next.
Also tonight, in Baltimore, questions about the charges against the six officers. Did the state's attorney overcharge to keep more violence from happening? That's one view you'll hear coming up.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:15:58] COOPER: As we've been reporting, U.S. authorities are investigating whether yesterday's plot to ambush an event, attack an event in Texas has any ties to international terrorism. One of the would be terrorists tweets to a known ISIS propaganda seems to suggest the attack was at least inspired by is and not dictated by it, but the investigation is in its very early stages.
Joining me now is CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen, author of "manhunt, the ten year search for bin Laden," also CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director, Tom Fuentes.
This type of attack, the fact that it was attempted on American soil. You say it's unprecedented but probably something we should get used to, no?
PETER BERGEN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: I mean Anderson, we've seen three Americans already convicted before this of relatively serious plots to kill cartoonists, drawing cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. One in Pennsylvania, one in Chicago and another American. We've seen other Americans also convicted of soliciting violence against people who are doing these cartoons and that's all in the last several years.
So, you know, the fact that we actually saw violence actually now being done, I don't think that was that surprising. I think that many Americans probably thought, hey, the events in Paris or the events in Copenhagen couldn't happen here, but the short answer is we've seen a number of these cases over the last several years. So this is not surprising.
COOPER: And, Tom, we're living in an age where somebody doesn't have to have any direct connection to a group like ISIS. They can simply just be ideologically motivated or inspired.
THOMAS FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That's right, Anderson. And of course, in this case you're looking at a couple of guys that, you know, apparently had zero training, was completely incompetent, inept attack. They managed to give a flesh wound to an off-duty security guard and they're armed with automatic weapons, assault rifles, and a single police officer with a pistol takes them out. And it's unbelievable how poorly executed their plan, whatever plan that was, it had to have been something they hoped to achieve more than what they did.
COOPER: And/or how good a shot this officer was. To do that under fire, it's pretty impressive.
FUENTES: What's interesting is that you have, you know, assault rifle armed jihadists in Paris and you end up with dead police officers who only have pistols or in some cases had nothing. Then you have the attack in Copenhagen and you end up the same thing, assault rifle, policemen with pistols, policemen killed. Now you have garland, Texas, where they have really just an exceptionally good plan to secure that venue, which they had to realize and did realize that it was extremely, you know, a target for jihadists. And now you have, you know, it shows the training, the discipline, the planning, and one police officer well trained is able to hold off the attack on that building.
COOPER: I can tell you a lot of my friends in Texas will be saying right now don't mess with Texas.
I think they're right.
COOPER: But, Tom, the fact that this guy was very much on the FBI's radar all the way back to 2006, I mean it seems to point out just how difficult it is to track these guys.
COOPER: I've heard you say that in every state, there are people like this and/or people being monitored like this.
FUENTES: That's right. The director of the FBI, James Comey has said that. We have investigations ongoing on in every single state, multiple people, thousands of people. There are a million on the terrorist watch list so this is very common. They're trying to figure out when one is actually going to go bad rather than just the talk online and all that. They can't monitor every Web site. You can't monitor every person.
You know, you said at the beginning, they were very much on the radar of the FBI. I don't think so. I think they were on the radar, but there's so many thousands on that radar, you know, it's like trying to track mosquitoes at a picnic.
COOPER: And Peter, you and I have talked about this as well, this whole notion of someone not having direct contact necessarily, yet being inspired. Do you think -- I mean I know you think this is something we're going to be seeing more of.
[20:19:54] BERGEN: We are, but I mean, there's a kind of good -- you don't want to say good news but I mean, you know, building on Tom's point, I mean the police were well trained in Garland and had the right response. But also the people that did the attack were not at all well trained. And so, yes, we're going to see these lone wolves who are inspired by is, but they didn't go to Yemen and get training from Al Qaeda. They didn't go to the tribal areas in Pakistan. You know, when you get that kind of training, you're more likely to execute successfully as we saw in Paris, as we've seen with other cases.
So, you know, if the future is a lot of lone wolves, it's not a great future, but it's a manageable future because there's a natural ceiling to what somebody without training can do. Even -- you know, in Boston, the two brothers killed four people. It was a tragic attack. But it wasn't a national catastrophe or anything on the scale of 9/11 and that's what we're looking at going forward.
COOPER: And certainly, Tom Fuentes, we're seeing a lot of police forces training themselves now for what they call active shooter drills, which requires officers, first officers on the scene being the ones going in, not waiting for a tactical unit, not waiting for SWAT, but going in and getting the active shooter. FUENTES: Right. Try to eliminate the threat as quickly as possible.
And then we just saw this a week or so ago in Arizona where they didn't have the luxury of waiting for SWAT teams and negotiators and psychologists and snipers to take out a man with a 30/30 hunting rifle firing rounds in the middle of a street, a crowded street with strip malls on each side. An enterprising police officer took action and took him out immediately.
COOPER: Peter Bergen and Tom Fuentes, guys, thank you very much.
As we've been reporting the event was organized by the American freedom defense initiative. That's the name of the group. Its president is a woman, named Pamela Geller who (INAUDIBLE) described as an anti-Muslim movement's most visible and flamboyant figurehead.
Deborah Feyerick reports tonight on what we know about Geller.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pamela Geller is well known to American Muslims.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is a mascot of such a movement.
FEYERICK: The movement, Muslims say, against their religion. Critics call Geller a Muslim basher and friend to white supremacists who provokes for a living and who doesn't mince her beliefs on radical Islam.
PAMELA GELLER, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN FREEDOM DEFENSE INITIATIVE: We will not abridge our freedom so as not to offend savages.
FEYERICK: Geller led the 2010 crusade against building an Islamic center in downtown Manhattan.
GELLER: We will prevail.
FEYERICK: The controversial ground zero mosque never opened. She and colleague Robert Spencer co-founded what are considered two thinly veiled anti-Muslim groups. The American freedom defense initiative and stop Islamization of America.
HEIDI BEIRICH, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: We list that group as a hate group. I would rank Pam Geller at the top of the list for anti- Muslim figures in this country. Certainly she and Robert Spencer are at the top of the list. The one who influenced and his brave anti- Muslim when he did that Norwegian rampage back in 2011.
FEYERICK: (INAUDIBLE) is the Norwegian mass murder who set off a car bomb in Oslo then opened fire at a summer youth summer camp, killing 69 people. Geller and Spencer were cited multiple times in the far right manifesto. The killer defending Geller as a decent human being.
In the last several years, Geller's group has spend upwards of $100,000 on bus and subway ads in New York, San Francisco and Chicago, ads against jihadists. Attempts to quash the ads were unsuccessful. A federal judge in Manhattan ruling they were protected under freedom of speech. Just like the prophet cartoon, says Geller.
GELLER: My event was about freedom of speech, period.
FEYERICK: But critics say that (INAUDIBLE), the satirical cartoon in Paris magazine "Charlie Hebdo" are misguided.
BEIRICH: "Charlie Hebdo" was basically an equal opportunity offender but there's a big difference here. She only does one thing, which is bash Muslims.
FEYERICK: (INAUDIBLE) of a prominent national Muslim group says his attempts to engage in respectful dialogue with Geller have failed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no doubt that Pamela Geller and these recruits have not even the remotest clue of what Islam truly is.
FEYERICK: Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Just ahead, a tense moment in Baltimore. A gunshot fired during an arrest. Police say the suspect's revolver went off. No one was hurt, but the crowd weren't buying it. Details ahead.
[20:23:25] COOPER: The New York police department is mourning the death of one of their own tonight. Officer Brian Moore died today. He was shot in the head over the weekend when a man allegedly opened fire on him and another officer in their unmarked car. Officer Moore was just 25 years old.
Hundreds of police officers lined up outside the hospital where he died to pay their respects as his body was carried away by ambulance. His death, a tragic reminder that police officers risk their lives every day. Their job obviously incredibly dangerous. It's an important fact we think to remember even as legitimate concerns are being raised nationwide about excessive police force.
Also today in New York before we learned of Officer Moore's death, President Obama talked about the protests we've seen against police in Baltimore, Ferguson and beyond.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The catalyst of those protests were the tragic deaths of young men and a feeling that law is not always applied evenly in this country. In too many places in this country black boys and black men, Latino boys, Latino men experience being treated differently by law enforcement. In stops and in arrests and in charges and in incarcerations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: President Obama unveiled a new nonprofit for young minorities trapped in poverty. He said he'll devote his remaining time in the White House to the organization in expansion of my brother's keeper and continue to focus on it after his presidency.
Tonight in Baltimore the contrast is pretty stark compared to a week ago when, of course, riots have erupted. The city has lifted its curfew. The mall that was the flash point of violence has reopened and the National Guard is pulling out. That said, there was an incident today that put
[20:30:00] people on edge. CNN's Evan Perez joins me now from Baltimore with more. So what actually happened today? There seems to be a lot of conflicting accounts as to what actually occurred.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson. You know, the police themselves were very confused at first in responding to this. Here's what happened.
Police said they saw on surveillance camera, police surveillance camera, they saw a man carrying a gun. They decided to arrest him. And as they pursued him, he ran. As they pursued him, he attempted to toss the gun or the gun fell, and it fired. One shot was fired, but there was a lot of misunderstanding about it. People on the streets there, witnesses, and even a news reporter thought that police had shot the man, because he was taken away on a stretcher to the police -- to the hospital.
In the end they say -- police say he was not injured and that no officer fired. It was only his own revolver that fired one shot, Anderson.
COOPER: So, Evan, in terms of the investigation into Freddie Gray's death, the Baltimore Sun was granted exclusive access to the police task force that was conducting it. Was the task force given any kind of heads up before the state's attorney actually announced the charges last Friday?
PEREZ: You know, Anderson, they were shocked. They were not preparing -- they were not preparing to hear that the state attorney was going to bring these types of charges. However, I am told that there was some inkling that she was about to do something surprising, and this is why on Thursday, the police department turned over their investigation, their file to the state attorney, because they realized that something might be coming. So they had a little bit of an inkling that something was coming, but they certainly weren't prepared for what she was going to do right across the street here at the War Memorial, bringing these charges.
COOPER: Interesting to hear. Evan, thank you. Joining me now is prominent defense attorney, Benjamin Brafman, and also CNN senior legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Jeffrey Toobin. Before we talk about Baltimore, Ben, you actually went to the hospital last night to pay your respects to the officers who were standing vigil.
BEN BRAFMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We just passed by. My wife and I saw the Jamaica hospital sign. I knew they were standing vigil. It's a terribly lonely feeling when you see a sea of blue of young, very young men and women, tears in their eyes, and knowing that a fellow officer is dying. I was hoping to see thousands of private citizens, and there weren't that many there, and there should have been a lot.
COOPER: Certainly our thoughts and prayers are with that officer's family and all his colleagues.
Regarding Baltimore, how surprised were you by the level of charges, the number of charges and the speed with which they were brought?
BRAFMAN: I was stunned.
BRAFMAN: Stunned. I was stunned. I think Ms. Mosby, who is a relatively obscure person 15 minutes ago, is now the face of public justice. I think she's done a terrific disservice to the citizens of Baltimore.
COOPER: Why a disservice?
BRAFMAN: Because I think whenever a prosecutor -- in my experience, and I've done this almost 40 years. Whenever a prosecutor caters to a mob's quest for justice, and they don't dot their I's and they don't dot their T's -- cross their T's, in the end it's a colossal failure. When this case implodes, and it will in my judgment, the people of Baltimore are going to be more outraged than they are now. She should have waited.
COOPER: Why do you think the case is going to implode?
BRAFMAN: Because I think the facts that have been available to the public don't support a charge of murder. Assume the worst. Assume that they didn't buckle him in to the police van. Depraved murder is a very, very hard charge to support. And with proof beyond a reasonable doubt. She is also going to lose this case in terms of being able to prosecute it. Her statement will in my judgment create the grounds for a change of venue, and certainly she may have to be recused.
COOPER: What about her statement, the level of detail she went into, quoting no justice, no peace?
BRAFMAN: That's a terrible thing for a prosecutor to say, because you're not supposed to say I hear you, young people, demanding peace and demanding no justice, no peace, or chanting no justice, no peace. You've got six officers who are presumed innocent. She's already convicted them and she's supposed to be a prosecutor. She's young, she's inexperienced, and it shows.
COOPER: Jeff Toobin.
TOOBIN: I hate to disagree with the great Ben Brafman, but I really think his comments are a little premature at this point. Let's just think about how much we don't know about her case, but what she does know.
COOPER: We haven't seen the medical examiner's report. TOOBIN: We haven't seen the medical examiner's report, although we do
know she said that the medical examiner said it was a homicide as the cause of death. But most importantly, five of the six officers made statements. What did those statements say? Perhaps they incriminated themselves. That has to be an important part of the case. The admissions they made, we don't know what they are. So I think it may well be that Ben is right, that when this is all over, she'll look terrible. But I think we have to --
COOPER: Do you believe she was catering, as Ben said, to the mob or to the young people in the city to try to calm the city?
TOOBIN: I don't think she was catering to a mob.
I also don't think her comments were all that -- were inappropriate. What she was saying to everyone was be calm. She wasn't saying I'm catering to you, she was saying don't let's continue these riots. But I do think that a change of venue is very much a possibility.
TOOBIN: Oh, absolutely. Because just given the magnitude of the publicity and given the way the whole city was enveloped in this story, I think -- now, it's a small state. Where can they go, Annapolis, Prince George's County. There are not a lot of options, but I do think they may well move it out of Baltimore.
BRAFMAN: Let me make one observation. Jeff and I have known each other for a long time, and it's okay to disagree on occasion. There was no rush. There was no need to rush. You don't trade an arrest for quiet. The people who are conducting lawless protests should have been stopped, because it was against the law to loot and burn and conduct illegal protests. Nobody was stopping them from protesting legally. That's not how you stop unlawful behavior, by saying OK, here's an arrest of six officers.
You could do this quietly, you can do it in a legitimate fashion. In the Michael Brown case, we heard all sorts of terrible things happened. The grand jury did not indict. In the Garner case, we had a video of them doing it in a chokehold. They didn't indict. Who knows what a grand jury is going to do in this case. And the only reason, the only reason to rush this case is because there were mobs calling for justice. That's not what a prosecutor is supposed to do. A prosecutor is supposed to do a careful, well reasoned investigation, and then, if the charges give her the confidence that she can prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt, your reporter said that her own team was sort of stunned. They hadn't finished --
COOPER: The police task force.
BRAFMAN: The police task force hadn't finished its investigation.
TOOBIN: But she was working also with the sheriff's department and with her own investigators. COOPER: Do you think she'll be taken off this case? If that does
actually occur, that's certainly going to raise a lot of suspicions among a lot of people in Baltimore who think, again, why are they taking this woman off the case?
TOOBIN: I don't think she's going to be taken off the case, but there are real concerns. I mean, the fact that her husband is an elected official, the fact even more importantly that her chief political sponsor represents the Gray family in a potential civil lawsuit. I mean, that really does seem like a potential conflict of interest. But, look, elected officials in big cities have connections with lots of different people. It usually doesn't mean that they get kicked off cases.
BRAFMAN: She's not going to prosecute this case. She's never done a homicide trial to my knowledge. This is complicated stuff. This is going to be handed off to some veteran prosecutor in the office. She's getting the exposure now, but I bet you she doesn't show up on opening day and then take the field.
TOOBIN: It would probably be good.
COOPER: Ben, I appreciate you be on, Jeff Toobin as well. We'll see.
Just ahead, Freddie Gray is not the first person in Baltimore to die after a ride in a police van. A string of lawsuits over so-called rough rides. And again, we don't know if a rough ride was involved in this case, but rough rides has produced a pile of settlements, but not a single criminal charge. We'll look at that, ahead.
COOPER: The state's attorney in Baltimore, Marilyn Mosby, says Freddie Gray sustained his fatal injuries during the ride in a police van that lasted 44 minutes. Now, we know he was alive when he got in, but by the time the van reached the police booking station, he wasn't breathing. Ms. Mosby said the fact that Mr. Gray was handcuffed, shackled and unrestrained by seat belts caused his severe neck injury. While she never used the word rough ride, her allegations have certainly put a spotlight on a chapter in Baltimore policing. Mr. Gray is not the first person to be severely injured or to die after riding in a police van. Our Sara Ganim digs deeper tonight.
SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rough rides, nickel rides, five-cent rides, whatever you call it, Jake Masters says he went through it.
JAKE MASTERS, ALLEGED VICTIM: They throw you in. And it's dark in there, and so you can't really see anything.
GANIM: Did they put you in seat belts?
MASTERS: No. GANIM: Masters and his wife, Chrissie Abbott, were arrested in 2012
after Baltimore police responded to a rowdy party at their home. After a brief confrontation, the couple was taken into the back of a police van.
MASTERS: Where are we going? Why are we being taken? What was going to happen next? And then just after that, they started driving like erratically. They would slam on their brakes like after every 1,000 feet to make sure that we slammed into something in the back.
GANIM: The ride lasted about ten minutes.
MASTERS: I would hear Chrissie from the other side slamming into the wall and just like crying out.
CHRISTINE ABBOTT, ALLEGED VICTIM: Every time he broke or hit the brakes, I would slam forward, and then you start driving again, slam back the other way. I felt less than human the way they treated us. Definitely in the van as well.
GANIM: Baltimore police did not respond to CNN's inquiries about this case. Masters is filing a lawsuit against the Baltimore Police Department, claiming the police violated his constitutional rights. The Baltimore police have been sued before for rough rides. Jeffrey Allison (ph) was paralyzed by his injuries he suffered in a police van in 1997 after he was arrested for speeding. He was awarded $6 million in a settlement. He died in 2007. And another serious case has eerie similarities to Freddie Gray's. Donde Johnson Sr. died after his neck was broken riding in a police van. A female officer was behind the wheel. When the van stopped, Johnson told the other officer, quote, "the bitch was driving like an expletive. I fell and I can't move." He was paralyzed. The officers never called an ambulance. In court, the officers said they didn't believe that Johnson was truly hurt. He died from his injuries two weeks later. None of the officers involved were ever charged, and all three involved still work for the Baltimore Police Department. In fact, the driver of the van, Nicole Leake, was featured in a promo video on the Baltimore police website a couple of months ago.
NICOLE LEAKE, BALTIMORE POLICE OFFICER: And I am the BPD.
GANIM: Johnson's family got a little over $216,000 from their 2010 lawsuit. His stepdaughter told CNN that in light of the arrest in Freddie Gray's case, they want a new open criminal investigation. The family is very upset that no one was ever punished. According to court documents in Donde Johnson case, a former Baltimore police officer testified that rough rides are, quote, "an unsanctioned technique where the driver would drive in such a manner that caused injury or pain." That could mean that Baltimore police knew of this unspoken practice for at least five years before Freddie Gray's death.
Do you think that the Baltimore Police Department should have recognized that this was a problem earlier? STEVE NORMAN, ATTORNEY FOR MASTERS AND ABBOTT: Absolutely.
Absolutely. The fact that this practice is going on to this day is just inexcusable.
GANIM: Sara Ganim, CNN, Baltimore, Maryland.
COOPER: I want to bring in Reverend Jamal Bryant, pastor of the Empowerment Temple Church, where Freddie Gray's funeral was held. Reverend Bryant is also president of the empowerment movement. He is a strong voice in the community. We appreciate you being here.
The idea that rough rides or whatever you want to call them is so widely known that there's multiple names for it, it seems pretty amazing that still Freddie Gray and many others would not be seat buckled in. If you're seat buckled in, that at least eliminates that or lessens the chance of being injured in a so-called rough ride.
JAMAL BRYANT, PASTOR: What's insightful for you to consider, Anderson, when you have six officers that are indicted by Attorney Mosby, the one with the harshest penalty was the driver. That sent a signal for those of us who were in Baltimore, that that was really the person who led to the death, not the person who put him in handcuffs, but who was driving. Because we knew that there had been a culture of reckless endangerment. Once you get in that vehicle, you don't know what's going to be on the other side.
COOPER: It's also given that there were so many officers, I mean I talked to an officer, I think it was in Georgia, who was giving me a tour of their van. They're saying if you have a lot of officers, you can hold somebody back and buckle them in if you're concerned about that person head butting you or spitting on you or whatever. With enough officers present, you can restrain somebody while you buckle them in.
BRYANT: You could do that. I'll give you an example. I was in Ferguson with the protesters there and was arrested. They put three of us on each side of the partition. All of us are handcuffed tightly, but there's no seat belt. And we have to keep saying, where are you taking us, Ferguson is not that big of a metropolis. So that's why we kept raising the ante and the issue. It's not just Baltimore, it's not just Ferguson, it's really a national issue. This whole issue of police brutality aimed at African-Americans is the civil rights issue for our generation.
COOPER: How are things, I mean, given now we're several days, a weekend passed in Baltimore. There was a big service this weekend.
COOPER: You had multiple church services this weekend as well. Just because there is relative calm, one should not imagine that everything is normal.
BRYANT: No. It's almost akin to putting a Band-Aid on it as a child. But you keep peaking at it to see if coagulation (inaudible). We're still open to virus because of all that's happened. That's why everyone was on edge this afternoon when we heard about a gunfire going off. We didn't know whether this was going to tip us back over. So we've got a long way to go from Friday. But look at how far we've come since last Monday. Last Monday, 5,000 National Guard had swarmed in, barricades up, curfew up. But tonight there are no barricades, the National Guard is all but gone, leaving in the next 48 hours. So we're in the healing process, but we're still in the recovery role.
COOPER: Reverend, I appreciate you being with us. We're going to have a town hall meeting on policing in America. You're going to stick around for that in our next hour. Thanks for being with us, I appreciate it. Our special report, "Police Under Fire," that begins in about ten minutes from now. I hope you join us. A diverse group tackling some tough questions about race, justice, tensions in the community, what it's like being a police officer. We think it's an important conversation and we hope you join us.
First, though, in this hour, the man who shot the Freddie Gray arrest video, he is speaking out. Anonymous no more. Why he says he feared releasing the video and why he hopes it changes Baltimore.
COOPER: In a moment you're going to hear from the man who brought the Freddie Gray case to light, the man who shot the cell phone video of Gray's arrest that's been seen around the world. You see officers restraining Mr. Gray. He seems to scream out in pain as he's dragged to the police van and then put inside. The man who recorded the video, his name is Kevin Moore. On Friday he cried tears of joy at the spot Gray was arrested when he heard all six officers involved in the arrest were facing criminal charges. At first when Mr. Moore handed over the video to the media and police, he wanted to be anonymous, but he's changed his mind and spoke to our Miguel Marquez.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was this video of the arrest of Freddie Gray that sparked a firestorm. The man who shot it now feels free to speak out.
KEVIN MOORE, SHOT GRAY ARREST VIDEO: This is where it started. I was walking, walking, and then I zoom -- I zoom my phone in so I can get a closer shot. And at this time he was handcuffed and they had the heels of his feet were like right here.
MARQUEZ: It was the last time Freddie Gray was seen alive. Kevin Moore, born and raised in West Baltimore, was friends with Gray. Once he had the video, he feared releasing it.
You were afraid to come forward with that video.
MOORE: Yes, yes. I was -- at first. Because the police, man, they have their ways of handling things, you know what I mean, quote/unquote. These guys, they don't care what it is. If it's going to bring negativity to their image, they will do whatever it takes to sweep it under the rug.
MARQUEZ: Moore, a member of Cop Watch and the Internet activist group Anonymous has been thrust into the global spotlight. Anonymous no more.
You were nervous to talk to us. You were nervous to talk to anybody.
MOORE: Absolutely, I was very nervous. But you know what, now is the time not to be nervous. Now is the time to fight for freedom. Now is the time to fight for justice, and justice for Freddie Gray and not only him, but everybody else that is abused by police.
MARQUEZ: Moore says he's been arrested by police several times. He says the relationship between the police and this West Baltimore neighborhood is dismal. He hopes the death of his friend, Freddie Gray, and its backlash is the beginning of something new.
Do you think this new feeling in this neighborhood --
MOORE: Oh, yes.
MARQUEZ: Do you think it will continue? Do you think a year from now, things are going to be different?
MOORE: Oh, it's going to continue. I'm going to keep it going. As long as I have breath in my body, this cop watch thing is going -- I'm going to take it to the top and we're not going to stop. We're not going to stop at all.
MARQUEZ: Moore says he's now more watchful of the police and politically engaged than ever before. This father of three with a fourth on the way once kept in the shadows, but now he's becoming a leader of sorts in this tough neighborhood, as it tries to bounce back.
It is incredible to see this very large man, but such a gentle soul sort of become this sort of a leader in this neighborhood. He said what they need now is a change from the top, from the mayor to the police chief, the political leadership in this city in the short term and in also long term, they need jobs and a lot of investment in that neighborhood in order to change that very, very hard dynamic that exists there. Anderson.
COOPER: Miguel, thank you very much. Up next, an in-depth discussion on policing in America, what works and what needs to change. Stay with us for a special report, "Police Under Fire" after this break.