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Major Offensive Against ISIS Under Way; At Least 13 Dead, 16 Missing in Flooding Disaster; Cleveland Police Agree To New Rules To Prevent Abuse. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 26, 2015 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:10] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN GUEST HOST: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. Counterattack. Iraqi troops launch a major offensive to take Ramadi back from ISIS. Can these forces who gave up the fight now push the terrorists out?

Plus, more breaking news. At least 13 dead, 16 missing, as flash floods swamp parts of the southwest with even more rain on the way.

And the D.C. mansion murders investigation. Police following the money trail there. Will it lead them to new suspects? Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Brianna Keilar in for Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, a major offensive against ISIS under way tonight. This is the battle to retake Ramadi. Iraqi forces have launched a massive drive to push ISIS out of the city a little more than a week after it fell to the militants. The Iraqis claim to have the city surrounded on three sides and they also claim to have bitten ISIS forces back in small surrounding towns, to cut off supply routes to a key oil refinery to the north. Complicating the battle today, a huge sandstorm that blanketed the region, reduced visibility there to near zero. ISIS saying that the storm was sent by God to protect them.

ISIS took Ramadi on May 17th after more than a year of vicious fighting. The end came swiftly after suicide bombers broke through town walls with explosive laden bulldozers. More than 55,000 people have fled the town in the last month. The vast majority of them headed to Baghdad. Some 70 miles to the east.

Arwa Damon just returned from the front lines of this fight. She is OUTFRONT tonight in Baghdad. Arwa, we heard Iraq's prime minister saying over the weekend that Ramadi will be retaken in days. Is he right?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that might be a bit optimistic, Brianna, especially if we look at how long it took for battles past, when the Iraqis were trying to win back cities such as Tikrit, for example. Now, the area that we went to is located between Anbar Province where Ramadi is Salahuddin (ph) province, just to the northeast. This operation is focused on Ramadi, yes, but also integral to all of it is moving ISIS out of this massive, vast terrain that it controls. The area we were in, in particular, significant because it falls on one of the key logistical supply routes that ISIS uses to transport its fighters and its weapons from territories that it does control. And located in this particular area was a unit that is part of this Iranian backed Shia paramilitary force. They just moved in a few hours before we arrived.

Not a lot of direct confrontation with ISIS, but the terrorist organization had left behind a number of roadside bombs, and in all, at least 11 people from this fighting force were wounded or killed due to those explosions. Also, interesting, and this is quite an example of who it is who really is the influential power on the ground, was the presence of Iranian advisers. We were not allowed to film or speak to them, but one of the commanders was very quick to criticize the United States, saying relying on the United States was like relying on a shadow. And he said that it was the Iraqi government's reliance on America that was the key cause to the loss of Ramadi. The hope right now is by cutting off the various different supply routes, by moving in and taking territory from ISIS, insuring that it can be held when they do go to make that final push into Ramadi, the terrorist organization will not be able to regroup afterwards -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Arwa, we saw that sandstorm. How is it complicating the fight?

DAMON: Well, it most certainly was making visibility very, very difficult. We actually drove through it at one point. And you could not see more than a few dozen feet in front of you. There were concerns that ISIS would capitalize on this and try to launch some sort of counterattack, especially in the areas around Ramadi. We did not hear any reports to that degree at this stage, but the weather most certainly not boding in favor of the Iraqi security forces and the other conventional units fighting alongside them.

KEILAR: Arwa Damon in Baghdad, thank you. And the question tonight is does the Iraqi army have the will to win this battle in Ramadi as well as the larger fight against ISIS?

Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That massive battle to retake Ramadi complicated by an international war of words over who was at fault for the city's fall. Today, the White House tried to soften charges Iraqi troops simply gave up.

JOSH EARNEST, PRESS WHITE HOUSE SECRETARY: What the President has observed is that many of those forces were not forces that had benefitted from the training that the United States and our coalition partners have been engaged in.

[19:05:16] SCIUTTO: A fine line from the much more damning criticism leveled earlier by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

ASHTON CARTER, DEFENSE SECRETARY: The Iraqi forces showed no will to fight. They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force. And yet, they failed to fight. SCIUTTO: Iraq's Prime Minister al-Abadi took the diplomatic route in

responding, suggesting Carter had been misinformed.

HAIDER AL-ABADI, IRAQI PRIME MINISTER: I'm surprised why he said that. I mean, he was very supportive of Iraq. I'm sure as he was fed the wrong information.

SCIUTTO: But the White House says Carter's comments were based on solid intelligence.

EARNEST: Secretary Carter said, is consistent with the analysis that he's received from those who are on the ground.

SCIUTTO: On Monday, Vice President Biden made a call to al-Abadi reassuring him of U.S. support and saying he recognized the enormous sacrifice and bravery of Iraqi forces over the past 18 months in Ramadi and elsewhere. Today, as Iraq released this video of coalition forces distributing weapons to Iraqi troops, the White House called training and modern weaponry the keys to success.

EARNEST: When they're receiving equipment from the United States and our coalition partners to take the fight to ISIL, we know that they can perform very well in the battlefield.

SCIUTTO: The battle to take back Ramadi now both a major military and diplomatic struggle.


SCIUTTO: Now, one of the best measures of progress of the coalition against ISIS is simply to look at the map. And this is something we do every month or so to measure that progress. This is today, May 2015, yellow areas, ISIS support zones. Red areas under ISIS control. Let's look to three months ago, February, virtually unchanged. There are some areas up here where ISIS lost some ground around the Turkish border, gained some over here. You remember the coalition forces took back Tikrit in the central part of Iraq from ISIS, but then of course you have Ramadi falling just a few weeks later. And again, let's look at that map again. This is today, this is three months ago, really almost difficult, almost impossible to detect that until that overall map changes, Brianna, it is hard for Iraqi forces, for coalition forces to say they are making significant progress against ISIS.

KEILAR: Yes, the map doesn't lie. Jim Sciutto, thank you so much.

OUTFRONT tonight, former CIA counterterrorism official Phil Mudd, and retired Colonel Peter Mansoor, he served as executive officer to General David Petraeus during the U.S. troop surge in Iraq in 2007. Colonel Mansour, you heard the Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, saying the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. You worked with these soldiers. What did you make of his comments? Do you agree?

COL. PETER MANSOOR, U.S. ARMY (RET.): You know, Iraqi troops are brave when well led. And I think this is an issue of leadership, not of will. Those Iraqi forces in Ramadi would have stayed and fought to the death if they had commanders they believed in and if those commanders wanted to hold the ground that they were ordered to hold. So, this is an issue of getting competent leaders in positions of command in the Iraqi army and then empowering them to fight and training and equipping them so that the soldiers have what they need to win.

KEILAR: We heard some frustration, Phil, from Iraqi soldiers with their leadership. But at the same time, when you look at the motivation of ISIS, do you think the Iraqi forces have more will to fight than ISIS? Even the same amount, even close?

PHIL MUDD, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: Look, let's take two questions here. ISIS will not prevail here because they don't have a message over the course of years that will resonate with the population. That said, in the interim, over the next weeks, months, years, you have to look at one fact. Insurgents who are motivated by religion, that is not by money, not by ethnicity, but by a belief that they are ordained by God to win are going to conduct suicide bombings. They will not leave the battlefield until they're dead. If you want to look side by side at an army that is motivated by a sense of nationalism, by a paycheck, as the Colonel said by leadership, versus an insurgency that is ISIS that's motivated by a believes that they're being spoken to by God, it's hard for me to tell you that somebody has a greater will than an ISIS fighter who says I'm not going home because if I sacrifice myself, I go straight to heaven.

KEILAR: Colonel, I'm sure you saw that map that Jim Sciutto just put up. We have been able to see over the months how ISIS has been able to gain ground and hold it. So when you look at that, this map here of the territory that ISIS controls, the areas that support ISIS, what does it tell you about the U.S. strategy and how it may need to be adjusted?

MANSOOR: The U.S. strategy in place now for a year simply isn't pushing ISIS back. ISIS is consolidating control over the areas it holds, and to successfully defeat them, we are going to need competent allies on the ground. And this can be Iraqi army forces, but they will take months if not years to retrain and get competent commanders in place. But really what we need are the Sunni militia forces, the tribal militias that did so much to defeat the forerunner to ISIS, al Qaeda in Iraq. And if we could get weapons in their hands, they're plenty motivated to defend their homes and defend their tribes and ally with other forces and U.S. air power to defeat ISIS and Anbar Province.

[19:10:43] KEILAR: Phil, how do you think the U.S. strategy needs to be adjusted?

MUDD: Not much. Look, people are making a mistake in believing that the U.S. somehow can change the battlefield. If you look at insurgency studies, if the home team, that is the Iraqis, doesn't want to bring the fight to the opposition over the course of time, studying insurgencies will tell you that inserting too many foreign troops, that is people like the Americans will persuade the Iraqis to say not our fight. The Americans can take care of this for us. I agree with the Colonel. We're fighting in Sunni territory, Anbar province. The solution is to get the locals to fight. The problem with that solution is when the Iraqi government is bringing in Shia militias to fight in Sunni towns, the local Sunni tribesmen are going to say, hey, I'm not signing up for this. You're bringing in my religious opponents to fight in my home turf. This is a recipe for civil war.

KEILAR: And there have been questions of those Shia militias and how they behaved in other pushes as well.

MUDD: Yes.

KEILAR: Gentlemen, thank you so much. Colonel Mansoor, Phil Mudd, thanks to both of you.

MANSOOR: Thank you.

KEILAR: And OUTFRONT next, deadly floods hammering the southwest, killing at least 13. There are at least 16 people missing, and there is more rain on the way. We're live in Houston.

Plus, tensions high in Cleveland after a police officer is acquitted in the shooting death of an unarmed black couple. Will new reforms to the department make any difference?

And homicides soar and arrests drop in Baltimore in the weeks since Freddie Gray's death. Are police staging a slowdown?

And breaking now, we're just learning of a bomb threat. This is against a passenger jet. This plane right here, just landed minutes ago at LAX. We'll have details, next.


[19:15:30] KEILAR: Some breaking news to tell you about. A bomb threat at LAX Airport officials just tweeting, airport police responding to a reported threat onboard an aircraft. Police are there on site. The FBI is heading to the airport at this hour. And this is a threat that was phoned in against EVA Airlines flight number three. The plane left Taipei, Taiwan earlier today, arrived at LAX just in the last hour. And you see it now, it's in a remote corner of the airport as investigators go over it. This latest threat, and this is why this is concerning, is that it comes on the heels of at least ten scares against passenger planes over the Memorial Day weekend. We're continuing to monitor this breaking story. We'll bring you the very latest developments as they come to us.

Breaking news on the extreme weather that is slamming the U.S. This is already claimed at least 13 lives and at this hour, another 16 people are missing. America's fourth largest city is under water tonight. Nearly a foot of rainfall swarmed Houston in less than 24 hours, and now flash flooding has washed away entire neighborhoods. You can see here, cars just swallowed by the rising floodwater, and forecasts are showing that more rain is coming.

Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT from Houston.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than ten inches of rain in a matter of hours drowned parts of Houston in a sea of chaos.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It was bad. It was bad. You know, we tried. We tried to push the water out from the kitchen to the sliding back door, and as soon as we made it back, it was already full.

The epic downpours again triggered flash floods that have killed four people in the Houston area. And left thousands racing to escape the rushing waters. City officials say motorists left about 1,000 cars stranded on the city's roadways, traffic was snarled, the city's emergency management director describes the scene as a mad house. Even Houston's popular galleria mall took on several feet of water. Across the state of Texas, flood victims have had little time to react. Quickly trapped in walls of Walter like Elisa Rene Ramirez, a beloved high school student and homecoming queen from the San Antonio area. Just days away from graduating, she was driving home from her senior prom when floodwaters washed her car off the road.

ROBERTA RAMIREZ, AUNT OF STUDENT KILLED IN FLASH FLOOD: She did the right thing. You know, she called 911, she called her father, but it was just too much and too quick.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Oh, my God. A whole bunch of water.

LAVANDERA: After the rains, Matthew Cronabill (ph) and Will Sides (ph) used their kayaks to navigate their southwest Houston neighborhood where dozens of homes took on three to four feet of water. They strapped on our camera to show us the damage.

(on camera): Flooded?


LAVANDERA: How many inches?

(voice-over): Cars abandoned on the roadways was a scene common all over the city.

(on camera): One, two, three, four, five cars. Five cars and a whole lot back there.

(voice-over): They say they have never seen their neighborhood like this.

(on camera): They're coming our way.

(voice-over): And first responders improvised as well. These fire rescue teams turned massive public works trucks into temporary ambulances to respond to 911 calls in the neighborhood, pulling several residents out who couldn't escape the floodwaters pouring into their homes.


LAVANDERA: And Brianna, there are still three people believed to be missing, search and rescue teams trying to get into those neighborhoods where floodwaters haven't quite receded, to see and continue those search operations. But this is one of the bayous that winds its way through many parts of the city of Houston. This is very common, these are the floodwaters in the bayous that rose up so quickly when that rain fell so dramatically. Here where we are, the floodwaters stretch all the way across the embankment and just underneath, just to that bridge that you see there, saw a dramatic amount of water causing a great deal of problems -- Brianna.

KEILAR: And still heading downstream. Ed Lavandera, thank you so much for that report. There are at least 13 people missing. Of the 16 people missing from Hayes County.

And OUTFRONT tonight, we have Daniel Guerrero, he is the mayor of San Marcos, the largest city in that county. Mayor, thanks so much for being with us. I know this is a really tough time for you and your residents there. Really hard hit community with more than a dozen people still missing. Give us an update on recovery efforts.

MAYOR DANIEL GUERRERO, SAN MARCOS, TEXAS: We're still in the process of our search and our rescue efforts. As you mentioned, we're looking at about 13 people that are still unaccounted for. We have rescue groups that are searching and using every methodology available to work towards finding those missing people.

[19:20:18] KEILAR: What are they doing? What are the methods they're using to try to find these folks?

GUERRERO: Everything from helicopters, we have different infrared technology that we're utilizing to try to identify folks that may be on the river banks, anywhere that we might be able to find them, we have search groups that are walking along the river banks. I was informed earlier today of folks that are on horseback, so every means possible, we're exhausting those efforts.

KEILAR: You had informed us here at CNN that 1200 homes were damaged there in your city. That is a tremendous amount of damage, of people displaced from their homes. Where do you begin to repair things?

GUERRERO: Well, it begins with the community coming together. And that's what we have seen over these last 48 hours. 1200 homes, that's a significant amount of impact to our community. But our neighbors, our friends, our families have come together and really worked to try to help folks begin to clean up the debris, to begin to put their lives together. Neighborhoods are coming together, and we're very, very pleased with the effort that we're receiving from nonprofit organizations, different social agencies that have come together to help communities throughout San Marcos.

KEILAR: Mayor, thanks so much for being with us. Really appreciate you giving us that update.

And tonight, there are family and friends who are coming together to remember Alyssa Ramirez, a homecoming queen from Texas, also the Student Council President of her school. She was killed on her way home from prom.

OUTFRONT tonight, we have Medina County Sherriff Randy Brown, he is close friends with the Ramirez family, and he tried to save Alyssa on this evening that she passed away. Sheriff, I'm so sorry for your loss and for the loss of your friends. How's the family doing?

SHERRIFF RANDY BROWN, MEDINA COUNTY, TEXAS: Well, I don't know. I mean, what can you -- it's hard to judge at this point. They're doing the best they can.

KEILAR: Certainly, we understand that. And give us a sense, I know I think people see what happened to Alyssa, a young person so full of promise, and they realize that this could happen to anyone. You got a call from Alyssa's father. He was trying to save his daughter. Tell us what happened. We know that she tried to get help, but what happened?

BROWN: She did. She tried. And there was a lot of first responders that responded. And there was a lot of people in the water and hoping for a different outcome. Searching in the treetops, unfortunately, the water was high enough that the car was completely submerged and it took some time, actually, into daylight the next morning for us to be able to locate the vehicle.

KEILAR: Was she able to tell -- she was able to tell authorities where she was located but the car was moved?

BROWN: She did. She was able to -- she made a 911 call talking about she was in the water and her car was being washed away. And at some point, she disconnected from the dispatch center, and she called her father.

KEILAR: And do you know what she said to her father?

BROWN: I have not had that conversation. He called me and I responded along with a lot of other people. And unfortunately, we were all there too late.

KEILAR: You went to the scene. You were ultimately able to reach Alyssa's car. When you think of what happened that night, it must have been -- the conditions must have been so difficult. In your experience, obviously, this is an area that deals with flooding from time to time. It's a combination, right, of the water, but also it being at nighttime, even that the danger that you see from the water is really impossible to see until you're right in it, right?

BROWN: It's very difficult. Especially when it's raining so hard you can barely see to drive down the road. And then, you know, to hit a spot like that where the water is the same color as the asphalt, and then the next thing you know, you're in it. And then it's too late to back out.

KEILAR: This is such a tough time, Sheriff. We really appreciate you being here. Our condolences to you, and especially to the family, to your good friends. Please pass that on from us. Thanks for talking with us.

BROWN: We will. Thank you. KEILAR: And OUTFRONT next, protests in Cleveland after a police

officer was acquitted in the shooting death of a black couple. That is the department is undergoing some sweeping changes. We have our report on that next.

And shootings and homicides soar in Baltimore, it's the worst month in more than 15 years. So, why did the number of arrests drop?


[19:28:54] KEILAR: Tonight, considerable changes to a major police force that has a history of using excessive and dangerous force. The Department of Justice announcing that Cleveland's Police Department agreed to new policies and training. The announcement followed protests and marches over the acquittal of a white police officer accused of killing a black couple in 2012. That officer was one of roughly a dozen officers who fired 137 shots into the victims' car. Police are also under pressure to detail their investigation into another officer who killed Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who was shot while he was holding a pellet gun.

Erin McLaughlin is OUTFRONT in Cleveland with more.


(Protesters): We can't wait! We can't wait! We can't wait!

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Demonstrators today taking to the streets to demand changes to Cleveland's police force.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The atmosphere, the climate is ripe for change.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tuesday, a first step. The city announced a new agreement with the federal government. This after the Department of Justice found police have a pattern of using excessive force. The report released in December found that police used guns, tasers, pepper spray, and their fists excessively, unnecessarily, or in retaliation. In one case, the man in the middle of a medical emergency was jolted with a taser while strapped to a gurney.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Disagreement takes police reform to another level.

MCLAUGHLIN: The new 105 page consent decree calls for the department to retrain and review its officers to make sure they use force properly. The terms will be supervised by an independent monitor. New Orleans, Seattle, and Cincinnati all have similar agreements. But the president of Cleveland's police union is skeptical it alone will work for his city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not going to be able to policy police departments into fixing generations and decades of social ills. We make very easy targets because for the most part, the police officers can't talk back and can't fight back.

MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): Community leaders tell me these are important steps toward changing how policing is done in Cleveland, and they're worried about the long summer ahead.

(voice-over): Cleveland waits to see if charges will be filed against officers in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Less than a second, my son is gone, and I want to know how long I have to wait for justice.

MCLAUGHLIN: Six months ago, CCTV footage captured the moment the boy was shut and killed by police. He had been playing with a pellet gun in a local park.

This as the community comes to terms with the acquittal of Officer Michael Brelo.

JUDGE: I therefore find the defendant not guilty of counts one and two.

MCLAUGHLIN: The white officer was found not guilty of the 2012 shooting death of two unarmed black people.

Though at times aggressive, the protesters have followed were mostly peaceful.

PROTESTERS: What do we want? Justice!

MCLAUGHLIN: Community leaders fear things could escalate if charges aren't filed in the case of Rice.

JIMMY GATES, PASTOR: I think if you look at the dynamics associated with Tamir Rice and the Brelo case, Tamir Rice is a 12-year-old kid, kid never had his first date, first kiss, and that family is suffering behind that.

MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): And that plays on people here.

GATES: It plays on people, and it should.


MCLAUGHLIN: A spokesperson for the sheriff's office says they are still investigating the death of Tamir Rice. He says that investigation is expected to be finished sooner rather than later. And they'll send it to the district attorney to decide on charges -- Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thank you so much.

And OUTFRONT, we have Walter Madison. He is the attorney for Tamir Rice's family. We have David Klinger, he's a former officer with the Los Angeles Police Department.

I want to ask you, David, because some of these recommendations from the Department of Justice, there's a key one that says police essentially get a refresher course on when the use of force is proper and lawful, but you look at that Tamir Rice video, and you believe that the officer acted lawfully. So, how does a recommendation like this help prevent a situation that

I think everyone agrees needs to be prevented?

DAVID KLINGER, FORMER LAPD OFFICER: I think what you have to do is step back and understand that the critical mistake was the officer driving the vehicle, getting so close. And there were four key bullet points in the 2014 letter to Cleveland P.D. that then led to this consent degree. The fourth one was the bad tactics.

And if you look carefully at a number of questionable shootings around the country, what you will find is officers not behaving in an unlawful fashion, but using poor tactics and getting too close to a situation. And that creates the situation in the Tamir Rice case, where the driver officer gets too close, the passenger officer behaved appropriately. Shooting who is in the process of brandishing a firearm.

But if they would have done the right thing, i.e., the passenger officer with the driver officer, they stayed back 25 yards or so, then they can engage in some type of dialogue. Doesn't mean that Mr. Rice wouldn't have been shot ultimately, but would not have been shot in the circumstance where he was shot.

KEILAR: Well, Walter --

KLINGER: You have to look at the whole context.

KEILAR: Walter, what do you think about that? If the issue is that police officer driving and he gets too close and he creates this sense for the officer in the passenger side that he feels like deadly force is necessary, I mean, where does that leave us in a case like this?

WALTER MADISON, ATTORNEY FOR TAMIR RICE'S FAMILY: Well, first of all, driving a police cruiser off road like that onto a playground is unlawful. That's not a street. And that's a crime.

So the tact that was taken at that time was created by an unlawful situation. And if you look at the Brelo decision, the judge went through some great length to describe how and the prosecution went on to talk about getting on the hood of a car is contrary to the idea of safety. Well, in this instance, why wouldn't Mr. Loehmann get out of the car?

And then, you know, before we get back, before we even get to the day at the park, there's an indictment against the city for hiring Mr. Loehmann in the first place. He was unfit to be a police officer. He should have never been hired.

And that is another key point that the Justice Department focused on about the hiring and the examination of these individuals who we give a gun and authorize to use deadly force in appropriate circumstances.

[19:35:00] But you know, the real issue is the perception of danger when it comes to African-Americans as opposed to any other group. And there are study after study that would indicate African-Americans present and pose a greater danger, and in simulations, they're quicker to be shot than other individuals.

KEILAR: Real quick, to you, David. Do you think these reforms will work?

KLINGER: I do not know, but I would like to say that the other guest is just wrong in terms of his summary of the research. The best research shows that in fact there isn't racial bias in terms of shooting decisions, but we can take that up at another point. I'm a little bit dubious of the effect this consent degree would have because ten years ago --


KEILAR: Aren't their racial considerations in a sense of whether you should be fearful in a situation? That's been proven.

KLINGER: No, it hasn't, ma'am.

MADISON: That's exactly what the government talked about.

KLINGER: There's implicit bias research that talks about button pushing. What I'm talking about is more robust laboratory experiments run by colleagues of mine at Washington State University that shows a counter bias. In fact, when you put police officers through realistic scenarios, not button pushing with stills, there's a delay in shooting black versus white suspects for presenting a threat. That's been published in literature.

MADISON: Mr. Klinger, point -- name the number of white individuals who have been shot unarmed by officers in America.

KLINGER: Hundreds.

MADISON: Name one.

KLINGER: There were three Los Angeles police officers who were fired this year or late last year, excuse me, I can't remember which, for shooting an unarmed white man.

MADISON: Well, the epidemic, sir, what is his name is the point?

KLINGER: I do not know because I don't pay attention to names, sir.

MADISON: OK, well that's the problem. There's a perception that African-Americans who are unarmed are being shot at an alarming and epidemic proportion. When there's a perception that justice isn't being served, the government needs to take inventory of itself and correct that issue. America and all of the protests across the nation can't be wrong.

KLINGER: Yes, they can.


KEILAR: Gentlemen -- KLINGER: Because there's a disconnect between what the research shows

and what people are concerned about. We could have a long discussion about this.


MADISON: You can't tell people how to feel.

KLINGER: I'm not telling him how to feel. I'm telling him what the social science research shows. Two different things.

KEILAR: And there are different studies --

MADISON: I would love to compare those notes.

KEILAR: I will say there are different studies. I think we will continue this conversation at another time. Thank you so much to both of you, Walter and David. Appreciate it.

And OUTFRONT next, as violence soars on Baltimore streets, accusations that police are backing down from arrests, fearful of being charged with excessive force. We'll have a report on that.

And we're learning new details about the man charged in the grisly D.C. mansion murders as police follow the money from Washington to New York and back.


[19:42:01] KEILAR: Baltimore is suffering from an alarming surge of homicides and shootings in the wake of Freddie Gray's death, and felony charges against six police officers. With 35 homicides just this month, May is the city's deadliest in 16 years. Over the holiday weekend alone, seven people died, and more than two dozen people were shot. This included a 9-year-old boy.

Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT in Baltimore.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another murder scene in Baltimore, an all too familiar sight. Murders and shootings here skyrocketing.

(on camera): What is it like to be an queen-year-old young man in this city today?

CARRON MORGAN, COUSIN OF FREDDIE GRAY: Got to watch your back, man. Watch your back.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): The spike in violence greater since the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. At first, there were protests and riots in response to his death. Then the charging of six police officers involved has done little to slow the murder spree in Baltimore. Caron Morgan, Freddie Gray's cousin, says, these days she stays in his own neighborhood, straying just a few blocks could be a death sentence.

(on camera): How many other deaths have you experienced since then?

MORGAN: Maybe like seven.

MARQUEZ: Seven people you know have been killed in the last three weeks.


MARQUEZ: Are you kidding me?

MORGAN: Really, seriously.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): One veteran police officer told CNN anonymously, police here are now engaging in a coordinated work slowdown, something Baltimore's police commissioner denied, sort of.

ANTHONY BATTS, BALTIMORE POLICE COMISSIONER: I hope not. I hope my guys have stronger character than that.

MARQUEZ: The crime wave worst in the western district where Freddie Gray was arrested and the bulk of the rioting occurred, but the entire city has not only seen murders on the increase, but nonfatal shootings are up a staggering 78 percent over last year.

UIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a war zone right now. You know, a war zone. But this is not just happening. It's been going on. So, you know, we're used to living like this. I mean, now, the cameras are here and everybody is seeing it, this is normal to us.

MARQUEZ: Caron Morgan says Baltimore is in a bad place right now.

MORGAN: Late night, man, people getting tired and restless. The crime is going up. People are getting tired.

MARQUEZ: A hot summer, a city wrestling with violence and the trial of six police officers could only complicate Baltimore's recovery.


MARQUEZ: Now, on that recovery, this is the Fraternal Order of Police here. There's a very well-attended meeting going on between current officers and former officers here. The police commissioner, Anthony Batts, was here for about 10 minutes, took no questions when he left. But I'm sure these officers may have a bit to say about how things are going in Baltimore when they exit.

Back to you.

KEILAR: Miguel Marquez there in Baltimore for us, thanks.

Joining me OUTFRONT, Reverend Jamal Bryant. He's a local activist in Baltimore who is the pastor of the Empowerment Temple.

Reverend, thanks so much for being with us.

[19:45:00] And we want to talk to you about this very deadly month in Baltimore, the deadliest in 16 years. Why do you think it has turned out to be so?

REV. JAMAL BRYANT, EMPOWERMENT TEMPLE OF BALTIMORE: It is very disappointing that while the murder rate is higher, the arrest rate is lower. We have passed already 100 homicides for 2015. Tracking statistically a year ago, we didn't hit 100 until July.

This is very unnerving, realizing that we have had this surge in homicides and violent crimes, while school is still taking place, and all the more, many of these crimes are taking place in brought daylight.

KEILAR: You see the spike in shootings and homicides coming as you have the six Baltimore P.D. officers facing serious charges for the death of Freddie Gray. Do you think police are pulling back because of the scrutiny and the fear that they may be the next one charged with excessive force?

BRYANT: Absolutely. It's escalating policing. The police have taken on regrettably in large measure a hands-off approach.

And as a consequence, it's left itself open to this kinds of crime and criminal element. We're right in the community, really believing that we're going to have to start policing ourselves, but we're also going to have to bridge the enmity between the police and the community. We are in no uncertain terms, we don't believe that all police are negative. We think there's some great police officers right here in Baltimore. And we want to work with them, because we've got to put Baltimore back on track to be the harmonious city we know it can be.

KEILAR: One veteran police officer, reverend, told CNN on the condition of anonymity, that police are engaging in what is a coordinated work slowdown. That they may be responding to 911 calls, but they're not being proactive.

The police commissioner is denying this. What do you think?

BRYANT: It's obvious, and it's evident. There's no way in the world you can have 37 shootings this weekend, nine homicides and you're not seeing the police right on top of it. There's got to be a greater call to accountability, and I pray that Commissioner Batts' head is not in the clouds, that he'll come back down to earth and see that we really need policing to operate in an effective and an efficient manner.

KEILAR: Reverend Jamal Bryant, thanks so much for going OUTFRONT with us tonight.

BRYANT: Thank you so much.

KEILAR: And OUTFRONT, we have breaking news. We're learning new information about how the man charged with torturing and killing a wealthy Washington, D.C. family may have escaped after the murders. We have that next.

And B.B. King's daughters are charging their father did not die from natural causes as reported. Was the famed blues man poisoned?


[19:51:22] KEILAR: Tonight, new clues in the murder of a wealthy Washington, D.C. family and their housekeeper. Detectives have uncovered a trail of financial transactions and they now link the suspect to two other individuals.

Pamela Brown is OUTFRONT live in Washington.

Give us the latest, Pamela.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, we've learned from law enforcement officials that two out the five people who are with Daron Wint last week when he was arrested allegedly used some of the cash from that $40,000. Investigators believe the money that they have was from the $40,000 dropped off at the Savapoulos home while they are being held hostage, and they purchased money orders with that money, $2,500, for each money order, we're told.

Now, we know that these two women who are with Wint, who allegedly purchased the money orders were taken into police custody last week and they have since been left again. What we're being told is that the investigation into them and to the others who were with Wint, including his brother, continues.

Police are looking at everything -- their texts, their phone records, anything that they can do keep tabs on these people, to potentially build a case against them. As far as the two women we're told, charges against them are not imminent, but something that they would be looking at, Brianna, is accessory after the crime, considering that investigators believe they purchased money orders with money connected to the murder -- Brianna.

KEILAR: What are they learning what Wint did after the murders in the days following?

BROWN: So, we've learned from law enforcement officials that he took a bus from D.C. to New York, and then after he became a suspect, he apparently took an Uber back to D.C. from New York. He paid a thousand dollars for that Uber. And, of course, we know police have been very interested in talking to that Uber driver. He has been cooperating, we're told -- Brianna.

KEILAR: All right. Pam Brown, thanks for the update.

OUTFRONT next, B.B. King, two of his daughters are raising questions about how their father died. Was the king of blues poisoned?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:57:08] KEILAR: Two of B.B. King's daughters are raising suspicion about their father's death. They're alleging the blues legend was poisoned by two of his closest associates.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just days after B.B. King's death, a stunning allegation. Two of his daughters now say their father was "murdered". The women, Karen Williams and Patty King, claimed that King's long-time business agent LaVerne Toney and personal assistant Myron Johnson "administered foreign substances to induce his premature death", that the indisputable king of blues was "poisoned".

LARISSA DROHOBYEZER, ATTORNEY FOR B.B. KING'S DAUGHTERS: They didn't see their father die. They didn't see him for a week before he died. They want to know and they want to be at peace.

LAH: King's doctor ruled the 89-year-old died from a series of strokes affiliated with diabetes, but the legal action prompted Nevada's Clark County coroner to conduct an autopsy on King's body on Sunday. The coroner says, so far, there is no evidence to substantiate the allegations.

JUDGE: You don't have what you need to move forward.

LAH: Earlier this year, the daughters accused the business agent of elder abuse and neglect, but a judge said the women lacked evidence to back their claims and dismissed the case.

KAREN WILLIAMS, B.B. KING'S DAUGHTER: We want him to know that we're not going to stop. Today was not the final chapter in the B.B. King story.

LAH: It is an ugly postscript scene too often in celebrity deaths.

Michael Jackson's death spurred multiple years long legal cases from his family, including one from his mother.

CASEY KASEM, RADIO LEGEND: Will this be the seventh week at number one?

LAH: Family members publicly battled over the conservatorship of radio legend Casey Kasem, largely viewed as a fight for his millions in assets.

James Brown, father of soul, left his tens of millions of dollars for scholarships to needy children. Those children and partner still battling over the money.

Attorneys say the B.B. King case follows a familiar pattern.

PAGE PATE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: There is this estate, there's this pot of money that these folks are going to be fighting over, and this is their attempt to fire a shoot across the bow and say, look, we're aggressive and we're going to accuse you of this, and, you know, we want a place at the table.


KEILAR: Kyung Lah joining us now.

And, Kyung, these women who are accused, what are they are saying?

LAH: Well, their lawyer, we spoke to one of the women's lawyers says that this affidavit, he's simply blasted it as fiction. He says the accusation that his client would have poisoned B.B. King is, quote, "absolutely ridiculous". He says three different doctors observed the blues legend and he says this all comes down to one word -- money.

KEILAR: And there should be an autopsy coming out somewhat soon, right, Kyung?

LAH: In six to eight weeks, they expect to have the forensic results, Brianna.

KEILAR: All right. Key information. Kyung Lah, thank you so much for that report.

I'm Brianna Keilar. Thank you for watching us. Erin will be back tomorrow night.

"A.C.360" starts right now.