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Source: Second Number on Debris Matches Boeing 777; Suspected MH-370 Debris En Route to France; Ex-Policeman Out on Bail; Toddler Killed in Terror Firebombing; Aired 5-6p ET
Aired July 31, 2015 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news. New evidence: a second number on this airplane part now said to match a Boeing 777 jumbo jet. In just hours it will arrive in France, where investigators will determine if it's wreckage from Malaysia Flight 370. Why did it crash? The debris could solve the mystery of the missing Malaysia flight, confirming an intentional act or a mechanical problem. Is there a flaw in hundreds of these planes flying right now?
Stunning new video. Graphic previously unseen images of a deadly encounter between a white police officers charged with murder and an African-American motorist. Now, two officers who backed up the indicted cop are changing their stories. I'll talk about that and more with the head of the NAACP, Cornell William Brooks.
Fire bomb. A Palestinian home attacked, a toddler killed, his family injured in a terror attack linked to Israeli extremists. Israel is expressing shock; Palestinians are outraged. Will this trigger a new outbreak of violence?
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news, new evidence that the piece of airplane debris discovered on a remote island is part of a Boeing 777, likely -- likely from the missing Malaysia Flight 370. A source now telling CNN that Boeing engineers have seen a second number in the pictures of this flaperon, matching the company's 777.
The piece is now en route to France, where experts there will confirm its origin and potential link to MH-370, which vanished almost a year and a half ago with 239 people on board.
We're covering the breaking news. Much more this hour. Our correspondents are in key locations. They're standing by, as are our expert analysts and our guests, including the head of the NAACP, Cornell William Brooks.
But let's begin with the very latest on what's going on in the investigation. CNN's Pamela Brown is standing by. She has the latest on the mysterious plane part, now at the center of this MH-370 investigation -- Pamela. PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, tonight officials are
saying that they are all but certain the debris that washed up along the shores of Reunion Island came from a 777, and U.S. intelligence agencies are taking a new look at the pilot and the flight path for important clues as to what happened.
BROWN (voice-over): This flaperon, believed to be from a 777 aircraft, is en route to France in a large protected crate. Investigators will pore over every inch of the wing part to find out for certain if it did come from the missing MH-370, and perhaps even find out what happened to the plane.
PROF. BILL WALDOCK, EMBRY-RIDDLE AGRONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY: It's entirely possible that when the flaperon separated, it may have hit something else on the airplane before it actually went into the water. To get that kind of damage, that would be the more likely scenario.
BROWN: Australian authorities say pictures of the wing part already settle much of the doubt.
WARREN TRUSS, AUSTRALIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: The photographs that are available are of such detail that it may be possible to make an identification without physical -- further physical examination.
BROWN: On Reunion Island, authorities are scouring the shoreline for even more debris. CNN has learned the U.S. intelligence community never gave up on the idea that the plane was deliberately steered off- course. Sources tell CNN that a preliminary assessment concluded, based on the available evidence, that the flight path was most likely the result of someone in the cockpit deliberately programming the aircraft to fly towards specific weigh points, crossing Indonesia and eventually the South Indian Ocean.
Now, with the discovery of part of the plane, more evidence will be sought as to whether that position holds. Oceanographers say plant life on debris and mapping of ocean currents could lead them back to the rest of the aircraft.
ARNOLD GORDON, OCEANOGRAPHER, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: There's very nice models of ocean circulation, very high resolution that incorporate observations from satellite and drifting. You can backtrack from where the wing was found and to see where it was in March of 2014 when the aircraft disappeared. It's highly likely it's in the area west of Australia.
BROWN: Australian authorities agree, saying they will not move assets away from the current search zone.
TRUSS: We remain confident that we're searching in the right place, and if, in fact, the plane parts found on Reunion Island are linked to MH-370, that would rather strengthen the case that we are in the right area, but it doesn't prove it conclusively.
(END VIDEOTAPE) [17:05:08] BROWN: And oceanographers we've spoken with tell us that there is no magic bullet in finding the plane just by looking back in time in currents. They say that it does offer very important clues, but added the debris doesn't move on a smooth trajectory because of the turbulence in the ocean and various storms that could have altered the path of this debris -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Pamela, thanks very much. Pamela Brown reporting.
I want to bring it our CNN Tom Foreman. He's taking a closer look at this flaperon, this piece of the wing, the clues it may reveal. What are you finding out, Tom?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Wolf, all the experts have been looking into this noted that the front end of this does not seem to have as much damage to it as the trail of the -- there are several theories as to why that could be the case.
For example, if we talk about a plane that was way up in the air in a high-speed dive, because it either ran out of fuel or somebody pointed it down, the flaperon would normally be stowed this way, level like this. And as that plane went shrieking towards the ground as it went from a little more than 500 miles per hour to more than 600, maybe pushing 700, that would create tremendous turbulence on the back edge and could do a lot of damage on that back edge.
Here's another possibility. What about this idea that the plane was coming in and trying to do a crash landing in the water, trying to put down? In that case the flaperon would be deployed like this to slow the plane down to increase the wing area while it lost speed.
However, this plane would still be at least 150 miles an hour. And when that water hit this right here, it could again do tremendous damage and maybe a lot up here as it rips it away from the plane.
And lastly, of course, is the idea we've talked about a lot. What if there were an explosion or a catastrophic fire? That might not do anything to the flaperon, depending on where it happened on the plane. But the accident that followed could be catastrophic, and it could have tremendous damage to it. So that's why they're looking at it very closely.
But I will say this, Wolf. With this one piece, remember throughout, it's a 7-foot-wide piece on a wing that side to side is almost 200 feet wide. And by comparison, when the TWA flight went down, look at all the pieces they were able to gather of that flight off Long Island. And to this day, there are people who will argue about the conclusions, even with all that evidence. So very important part here, but it is just a start, Wolf.
FUENTES: Yes. They've got to find some more of this plane, assuming this is, in fact, the plane. Tom, thank you.
Let's talk about all of this with the former FBI assistant director, our CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes; the former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board, our aviation analyst Peter Goelz; and our CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest.
Richard, the French investigators, they say they're not even going to start looking at the debris in Toulouse, France, until Wednesday. Do investigators know how they're going to proceed? Is there a game plan that they've already formed?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Testify to get everybody together. We know the NTSB is going to be there. We know the Malaysians will be there. The BEA from France and the actual experts from the GDA. So you're going to have a real, if you like alphabet soup of people who will be in the room.
And what they're aiming for is to discover what the piece is, where it's from and what happened. And they're going to do it in a timely fashion, but they're not going to rush, Wolf. And if it takes a day or two longer for everybody to get there and everybody to do this properly, then that's just the way it's going to be. Because once they get hold of this piece, they will treat it in a very different way to other people.
They will be looking for different things. They will be looking for any form of residue, any form of sea life. So they're going to be microscopically looking at this rather than just bungling around.
BLITZER: Did you say they missed it, that representatives from Boeing, the manufacturer of the 777, they will be at this investigation, as well?
QUEST: Forgive me, I didn't mention Boeing. Thank you for reminding me that they will be there, we're told, as well. So all the relevant parties who could help understand what the part is, where it's come from, and what happened.
BLITZER: Yes, they've got to figure out why this plane went down, especially Boeing has got to figure it out. Twelve-hundred of these 777s are flying around the world right now. Is it a problem, Peter, that it's going to take a whole week after they discover this flaperon before the investigation really starts moving forward?
PETER GOELZ, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: I know people are frustrated, but the French are going to be very methodical. They're doing it by the book. And the book is Annex 13, the ICAO treaty that governs these kinds of investigations. They are going to have all of these credited representatives. The U.S. is one. The U.S. Is inviting Boeing to come as their technical assistant. They will take this thing apart. They'll figure out its secrets.
[17:10:04] BLITZER: They're going to look at all the chemicals involved, too, because they have to figure out, Tom, if there was maybe some sort of explosion that caused this plane to go down. And they might be able -- correct me if I'm wrong -- to determine that based on this one piece of debris.
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It's possible. It's not likely, because that debris is so far back in the middle of the plane or toward the back of the wing. And a lot of these planes we've seen, if there was a catastrophic explosion, often it's in the front of plane. The nose of the plane falls off; the fuselage goes to the water. The back part of the plane might not show any evidence of what caused the initial breakup of the plane. So it could, but it might not.
BLITZER: Richard, what about the suitcase that was discovered yesterday near the flaperon on that beach on Reunion Island not far off the coast of Madagascar and Africa? Is it -- have they determined that it is, in fact, connected to the plane?
QUEST: No, they haven't. They say it's been a matter of interest. That's also, we believe, being sent to Paris. We're not sure whether that's going to be sent down to the south to Toulouse, as well.
It's more troublesome, though. Because if you just look at the remnants, if you will, the opportunity of finding much information from that, yes, it exists, but it's very limited in nature. It's ripped. It's all torn apart. There's not much left of it. If you haven't basically with that -- from my understanding, if you haven't got a nametag or you haven't got something that absolutely can link it to MH-370 and a passenger on board, it's going to be very different to actually say that's from the plane and not just fallen off a ship.
BLITZER: Tom, as you know, there are a lot of people on Reunion. They're looking on the beaches. Helicopters flying overhead, drones apparently, as well. They're looking for more debris. So far they haven't found anything else. Is that worrisome? What do you make of that?
FUENTES: Well, I think in the first place that any debris landed up on that tiny speck of an island in the Indian Ocean is kind of a surprise by itself. So, you know, we might a few, another month or two from now, have debris wash up on Madagascar, which is a much bigger island further to the west, or maybe even the east coast of South Africa, which is even further yet to the west coast. As this debris is coming around that gyre, as they pointed out, this is just a tiny speck of an island to have anything wash up on it.
BLITZER: So you don't necessarily, Peter -- you agree. It's not necessarily a bad sign that they haven't found so far anything else?
GOELZ: No, I don't think it's bad at all. I question whether the suitcase is part of this investigation or not. I think we're a little excited. Some people when they saw it, but it would have drifted at a much different rate than the flaperon.
BLITZER: A lot of people, Richard, have suggested that these two pieces of supposed debris, the flaperon and a suitcase, very different. It would be a huge coincidence if they both wound up at the same spot. That's why a lot of people are discounting the suitcase. I wonder what you think.
QUEST: You can sew it up with possible? Yes. Probable, no.
BLITZER: All right. Sum it up like that. Peter, let's talk about this preliminary U.S. intelligence assessment that came out months ago, including it was likely that someone gained access to that cockpit, someone was in the cockpit who deliberately tried to maneuver that plane an hour after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur on the way to Beijing, make that U-turn, move around Malaysia, if you will, head towards the Indian Ocean. What do you make of this? You've had a chance, 24 hours now, to think about it.
GOELZ: Well, it's a preliminary report, as you say, done months ago based on very sketchy information. We are not sure exactly how that plane behaved once it made the U-turn. And I think Tom, who has been working with some of his colleagues on the FBI, has got more to say about that.
BLITZER: What do you have to say?
FUENTES: I talked to a senior royal Malaysian police official since the reporting went out yesterday, thoroughly involved and knowledgeable of the case. They've not closed the case, but they said there was nothing new.
And this intelligence report that came out probably a year ago was just based on what was already being reported in the media by us, by other analysts, that it sure looked like, if the plane made all those turns, someone must have been flying it. They don't know if it was a cockpit crew member or a passenger hijacked the plane or what. But they thought it was human hands.
But then, it still depends on the accuracy of radar.
The way this report has been talked about in the last 24 hours, it's as if our intel agencies had some spy information, some secret information, and that's not true. They're basing it on the public source and the information. And the closest agency outside of Malaysia to work with the Malaysians was the FBI, so they are intimately knowledgeable. And all people involved in this are saying this is nothing new, and it's nothing that contradicts what's already been learned over the past year.
BLITZER: So what are your Malaysian sources telling you? Why do they think that plane vanished?
FUENTES: Well, they -- you know, they're saying they're mystified. They've got the case open. They're still looking at the cockpit crew, the regular cabin crew and the passengers.
BLITZER: They're not ruling out foul play?
FUENTES: They're not ruling it out. They're not ruling it in. We still don't know if it's something in the cargo, you know, caused the extinguishers to come on, caused poison gas to be released. There's all kinds of possibilities.
And they're still not certain that that plane, when it made the U- turn, when it was on its way to China and made a U-turn, which appeared like it was going to go back to Kuala Lumpur airport, that it actually made that giant horseshoe U-turn around Indonesia. Just because the Indonesians said the radar didn't show it doesn't indicate that it didn't go across the island of Sumatra straight into the Indian Ocean and turn left. So there's a lot of questions.
BLITZER: Certainly are. All right, guys, stand by. We have more information to digest, much more coming up, right after this quick break.
[17:20:25] BLITZER: We're following the breaking news. Suspected debris from missing Malaysian Flight 370 now en route to France. And there's growing evidence, little doubt among the experts, that the flaperon that washed ashore on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean is, in fact, from that Boeing 777; and flight MH-370 is the only one in the world currently unaccounted for.
Our senior international correspondent, Nima Elbagir, is on Reunion Island for us right now.
So what's the very latest, Nima, over there?
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we believe that the debris has now departed Reunion and is on its way to Paris, and it's expected to arrive early on Saturday morning.
But of course, the search here continues. The focus point continues to be that stretch of land out in -- the theory that many investigators here are working on is that, if it is indeed MH-370, then getting a better sense of that current that brought it here will also give a better sense of where a potential new search area will need to be, encompassing Reunion and beyond, perhaps Madagascar and taking in even that southeastern coast of Africa. So they're looking very closely to see what else turns up, what else is out there, but also to get a better sense of that current.
This all while the volcano, believe it or not, on this island is erupting. They're having to deal with an evacuation of the upper slopes. Beyond the concerns for those living in the immediate trajectory, there's also concern that, if this is part of a new search area, this will absolutely complicate matters further, Wolf.
BLITZER: The search presumably, as you point out, continues on Reunion Island, as well, for perhaps other pieces of debris. Nima, thanks very much.
Let's bring back our experts, including the former FAA safety inspector, our CNN safety analyst, David Soucie. And David, the rest of the plane, assuming this is a piece of that plane, is it possible the remainder either went pretty much whole to the bottom of the Indian Ocean over there or blew up, and there could be debris all over the place?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, if -- what it looks like to me -- I'm going to make a couple of assumptions, but it appears like the best probability is that it was torn off in flight, that the aircraft had made a rapid descent, and during that descent, there was flutter; and it tore off this piece. If that's the case, it then hit the water and there's a lot of debris everywhere.
Now, the other option, of course, is if it landed more of a ditching; it was torn off because it was extended. And then that would have taken it off, as well. And in that case it could have gone in more or less large pieces, and there had get no more debris. I do expect there will be more debris.
BLITZER: I suspect you're absolutely right.
Peter, you've done a lot of these kinds of investigations over your career. Give us some perspective. Sixteen months, almost a year and a half, they found perhaps -- we believe they have -- one piece of this plane. How unusual is it that it's taken 16 months to find the first piece of debris from a huge jumbo jet like this?
GOELZ: It's unusual, but not unheard of, Wolf. Because we said from the beginning that, boy, the ocean is huge, and we started out by looking in the wrong places. It wasn't until some number of weeks, three weeks into it, that we were able to figure out that the plane likely crashed off of Perth.
And by the time we started to get people searching out there, a typhoon had passed through; they faced enormous challenges. As David said, it was likely a lot of wreckage there right after it went into the water, but by the time searchers got there, most of it had dispersed and sunk.
BLITZER: If they find, Tom, no more debris on this little island or anyplace else in the area, what do they do?
FUENTES: They just keep looking. I think right now they have aerial searches going around that island, and they've alerted the people on Madagascar and on the east coast of Africa to be alert to something washing up on the beach. And it could still be months or a year before something might wash up there, or get into the current and end up in South America.
You remember the earthquake in Japan, it was two years later that items floated across the Pacific, 5,000 miles to the West Coast of the U.S. So this debris, whether it's a crash, a tsunami, a shipwreck, you know, it could float around forever until it lands on some beach.
BLITZER: And David, talk a little bit more about the damage seen on this flaperon, this piece of the wing that's now en route to France for investigation right now, the front, the back, what it potentially means.
SOUCIE: Well, the front, you could notice, has not that much damage to it, which would tell me that it was taken off of the wing before the wing hit the water. Because if the wing hits the water and this thing is installed, it's going to collide with the back of the wing. It will crush that wing. As the wing stops, the momentum will continue forward and cause damage to the front. So it was torn off before the wing hit the water. Whether that was in air from the possibility of an extreme speed --
see, what happens, Wolf, if it's an extreme speed, is you get a transonic. The airplane is not going over the speed of sound, but the wind over the top of the wing is going over the speed of sound. So you can get this flutter that goes on in there, and that can tear the back of that wing. You can see the back of the wing is very damaged and crumpled and pieces are torn off of it. That would be indicative of a rapid flutter and shaking apart.
BLITZER: David and everyone else, stand by. We have more information that's coming in, much more to assess, including Boeing engineers, what they see in this picture that has them almost all almost certain that this is, in fact, part of that 777.
And we're also following other major news, including new developments in the case of that white police officer charged with the murder in the death of an unarmed African-American motorist. The head of the NAACP, Cornell William Brooks, he's standing by to talk about this and more. Stay with us.
[17:30:52] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We're following the breaking news. A piece from the wing of what investigators now believe is a Boeing 777 has been packed for shipping, put on a plane to France, due to arrive early Saturday.
The aircraft part washed up on an island off the coast of East Africa. Lab tests may determine whether it came from the Malaysian airliner that disappeared almost a year and a half ago with 239 people on board.
Our aviation correspondent Rene Marsh has been working her stories, getting new information. What are you learning?
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, tonight we are learning that a second identifying number found on the airplane part that was discovered at Reunion Island, sources are saying that this Boeing engineer, they essentially saw a number on the photos of the debris, photos that you're looking at there. This number is an 11- digit number. That number is also consistent with a Boeing 777.
If you remember yesterday, we showed you a different image that showed a code number, was much shorter. 657BB. That is also on the debris that was taken away from Reunion Island. So this number coupled with that 11-digit number both on this piece of debris so that means there are two sets of identifying numbers here now that links this piece of debris to a Boeing 777. So a lot more -- learning more than we did yesterday that's very telling. I mean, you have two identifying numbers there, and there's no question that they belong to a Boeing 777.
BLITZER: Belongs to a Boeing 777. And this is the only Boeing 777 that's mysteriously disappeared.
MARSH: Right. BLITZER: So the assumption is even though they haven't found the
serial number that would directly pinpoint it to that Malaysia aircraft, they are pretty convinced that this is from that plane.
MARSH: Right. What else could it be? You know, it is a 777 and as you mentioned MH-370, the only one that we know of in that area that's gone missing.
BLITZER: All right, Rene. Thank you very much.
Rene Marsh reporting for us. We're going to have much more to come up on this mystery debris, the search for the missing Malaysian airliner. Stand by for that. But we're also right now learning of new developments in the murder case against the white ex-policeman who shot and killed an unarmed African-American man during a routine traffic stop in Cincinnati.
The police officer -- ex-police officer, I should say, now free on bond after pleading not guilty.
Let's go our national correspondent Jason Carroll. He's on the scene for us once again tonight -- Jason.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And Ray Tensing is out on bond, and two additional police officers who initially supported his story being dragged by Samuel DuBose's car, Officer Philip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt, it turns out they will not face criminal charges, a grand jury deciding not to indict these two officers.
Wolf, you remember these are the two officers who were heard on body cams, at least one of these heard on a body camera, saying yes, I believe I saw you being dragged. That's what they initially said in their investigation reports, but now it turns out when they got in front of the grand jury, they changed their tune, they did not support that story of being dragged. As a result they are not facing any criminal charges.
As you can imagine this is extremely disappointing to the DuBose family, who wanted to see additional officers held accountable for what they called supporting a cover-up and a law, and what they called, when they said that -- Tensing said that he was dragged by DuBose's car and that's why he ended up firing that fatal shot.
Again, these are University of Cincinnati police officers. The Cincinnati police chief speaking out today, saying it's time for these types of shootings to stop.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF JEFFREY BLACKWELL, CINCINNATI POLICE: These egregious acts seem to keep going on and on and on, but it happened. And the important thing now is, how do we move forward in this community and through this nation?
(END VIDEO CLIP) CARROLL: Also another bit of information, Wolf, the police union is now out asking that Ray Tensing, as you know he was fired, they're asking that he be reinstated and be rehired. They say he did not receive due process by the university when he was fired. One law enforcement official out here saying it is very unlikely that is going to happen -- Wolf.
[17:35:09] BLITZER: All right, Jason, thank you.
Joining us in THE SITUATION ROOM, Cornell William Brooks, he's the president and CEO of the NAACP. His organization, by the way, is about to start a nearly 900-mile march called America's Journey for Justice.
Cornell, we have a lot to discuss but I want to take a quick commercial break. We'll be right back. Cornell William Brooks is my guest.
[17:40:06] BLITZER: We're following the case of a white police officer accused of murder in the shooting of an unarmed African- American motorist in Cincinnati. We're back with the NAACP and CEO Cornell William Brooks. Also joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM, our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, and the former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes.
Cornell, first of all, give us your reaction to what happened in Cincinnati. The shooting, the subsequent murder indictment.
CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NAACP: Well, it -- what happened in Cincinnati is just another reminder of this seemingly unrelenting series of tragedies. Where you have routine interactions between police officers and unarmed civilians. And so where you have a routine traffic stop that the prosecutor described as a chicken stuff traffic stop in which the police officers acted in an asinine fashion. And so it can't be said that one gets to impose the death penalty in a routine traffic stop.
So we're heartened by the fact that there was a murder indictment and a manslaughter charge, but we're also disturbed by the fact that two officers who appeared to corroborate Officer Tensing's story about being dragged and being dragged as an excuse for shooting someone in the head, we're disturbed by the fact that they were not indicted. That's disturbing, and the fact that at least one of those officers was involved in the death of another unarmed African-American man only years ago at the University of Cincinnati. So this is encouraging, but also concerning as well.
BLITZER: But let me just press you, Cornell. Do you believe there's a racial element in this white police officer shooting this black motorist?
BROOKS: Well, here's what we know. Just empirically speaking when an African-American male is 21 times more likely to lose his life at the hands of a police officer than his white counterpart. The fact that we have such a vast disturbing racial disparity is in and of itself alarming. And so racial animus may not be obvious, but the racially disproportionate impact is obvious and intolerable.
The fact is Cincinnati as a city has had its challenges with respect to the relationship between the police and the community, so we having to concerned. And were this an isolated incident in an isolated city as opposed to an ongoing narrative in terms of tragic interactions between police departments and their citizens often black and brown, we might not be alarmed. But that's in fact not the case.
BLITZER: All right. Let me very quickly get Tom Fuentes' and Jeff Toobin's take on this.
Go ahead, Tom.
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I was going to say that first of all the idea that it's a chicken blank stop, I think the prosecutor is way out of line. That's the exact violation that resulted in the stop of Timothy McVeigh by an Oklahoma State Trooper after the Murray City bombing in Oklahoma city. And they later they were able to learn that he was the bomber that killed almost 300 people.
It's a violation of the law. It causes a police officer to wonder about the registration, the ownership, and that information. Secondly, DuBose knows something that the cop doesn't, and that is that if he gets stopped by this officer, it's going to end up with him in jail because he would know he's driving while his license is suspended. The officer wouldn't. So the officer that's trying to ask him repeatedly for his license, do you have a license? Where is it? What did you do with it?
All of that playing around, DuBose knows he doesn't have a license. If he had complied, he just didn't want to get taken out of car and arrested because he knew he was going to be arrested. He had no authority to be operating that vehicle. So I think there's a little bit more to this story than just the cop went up to the side of the car and killed him.
BLITZER: But you have to admit, Tom, that even if he didn't have a license plate on the front of his car, even if his license -- driver's license was suspended, he certainly didn't deserve to die.
FUENTES: Well, he didn't know it was suspended. The officer, all he knows is he's got an individual who is he has not fully identified yet in a car that has not been identified yet. And in the middle of that stop, DuBose turns the engine back on, and starts to accelerate. Now he makes the mistake, I think, of reaching into the steering wheel to try to shut that ignition off and his arm gets caught in the wheel.
But when you see right after that the camera fluttering, the camera is affixed to his body. That means his body is going up and down. So he's not perfectly still drawing his gun and shooting.
BLITZER: All right. And Jeffrey, your thought? JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I agree with Tom that
there is nothing wrong with the police officers stopping a car for not having a traffic -- not having a license plate. However, I really disagree with him that after that, the officer's behavior was anything like rational. I think, you know, you have to be commensurate -- the police officer's action has to be commensurate with the seriousness of the stop.
[17:45:07] And pulling the gun and reaching in the car, much less shooting this guy in the head, strikes me as completely way out of the bounds. And so I -- I think that's an important distinction to crawl.
BLITZER: Cornell, give me your reaction.
BROOKS: I have to agree with Mr. Toobin. There has to be some proportionality here, and the sort of kind of -- the Hippocratic Oath applied to policing, mainly do no harm. The fact of the matter is this stop could have been handled differently. Firing your weapon into somebody's head during a routine traffic stop, in the context with any number of tragic interactions between police officers and often African-American men, we can't blank that, we can't blink that.
That is a reality. It's an empirical reality, it's an emotional reality in this country. And the fact of the matter is we have seen far too often instances where there are interactions between police officers and the community that are ratcheted up, that escalate way beyond any sense of proportionality. And I have to -- Tom, I think you would agree with me that being a police officer is predicated upon having and exercising judgment. I'm not sure -- in fact I don't believe that the officer exercised good judgment in that situation.
FUENTES: Well, I think I would agree with that, but he makes the mistake of putting his arms through the steering wheel, but the car does accelerate and begin accelerating, you hear the engine accelerating before the shot is actually fired, and the officer does gets thrown off the car and ends up on his back on the street.
So I think that yes, the officer made a mistake. Once he's made that mistake of reaching into the car, then he did put his own life in jeopardy, I think. He did create a violent situation for himself, and it resulted in him panicking and taking the shot. I agree it shouldn't have gone to that point.
BLITZER: Cornell, quickly before I let you go. This journey you're about to begin, Journey for Justice, it's called. Tell us where you are, tell us what's going on, tell us what it means.
BROOKS: Well, I am in Alabama. And tomorrow we begin a -- what we call America's Journey for Justice, from Selma, Alabama, to Washington, D.C. 860 miles across five states under the theme "Our Lives, Our Votes, Our Jobs, and Our Schools Matter."
We are marching not merely to engage in physical exercise, but to bring about fundamental reform in this country. We've seen too many tragedies, too many policing tragedies, and we're responding by marching to Washington, leading thousands into the nation's capital to call for passage of the Interracial Profiling Act, passage of the law for Law Enforcement Integrity Act and bring about a fundamental reform in policing.
We're also pushing for the fixing of the Voting Rights Act in the way of the "Shelby vs. Holder" Supreme Court decision. So where we are in this country at this moment where America is not what it should be, where we have an untold multitude of our young people who are fearful of the police, and in many instances rightly so. It's not enough to talk about it. Not enough to comment on it.
We have to take action by putting boots on the ground in order to ensure that the laws are on the books. We saw that 50 years ago in Selma. People put their lives on the line to pass the Voting Rights Act. We are putting our bodies on the line, boots on the ground in order to bring about reform.
This is difficult. It's going to take over 40 -- over 40 days and 40 nights. We'll be sleeping in churches and synagogues and Islamic centers across five states, and we're going to march into Washington, and we're going to bring about fundamental reform, and we're doing this with a huge coalition from environmentalists, labor unions, Baptist preachers, reform rabbis, and ordinary Americans, and young people who yet believe that we don't have to watch these tragedies unfold the way they are unfolding.
BLITZER: America's Journey for Justice. Good Luck, Cornell. Good luck to all the marchers on this 40-day journey. We'll stay in very close touch with you. Appreciate having you here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BROOKS: Thank you.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Jeffrey Fuentes, Tom Toobin. Guys, stand by.
Coming up, we have new clues on the mystery of that missing Malaysian airliner. More news coming up.
BLITZER: We're following new developments in a vicious terror attack. Jewish extremists are suspected of firebombing homes in the West Bank, killing an 18-month-old Palestinian boy.
Let's go to CNN's Ian Lee. He's joining us live from Jerusalem.
A horrific, horrific incident. What's the latest, Ian?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, right now they're looking for the perpetrators of this attack. I went to the house today to see how it took place. And these extremists threw Molotov cocktails, these firebombs, through the window while this family of four was sleeping. Three members were able to escape. And as you said that 18-month-old wasn't able to. An update on those family members, that mother and father are still in
very serious condition. The younger 4-month or 4-year-old son Ahmed is in stable condition. They're at an Israeli hospital receiving specialized treatment.
Both the Israeli government and Palestinians have come out and condemned this strongly calling this a terror attack. But all eyes will be on how Israel moves forward. The Palestinians have accused them of Israeli settlers of acting with impunity so the question is, will Israel hold those -- find them and hold those people accountable.
[17:55:03] This isn't the only extreme attack that's taken place here. Yesterday during a gay pride parade, a man, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man stabbed six people, two are in critical condition, four more minor injuries. But the big question is, this man was just released three weeks ago from prison for doing the exact same thing 10 years ago when he also stabbed people during a gay pride parade -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Horrendous situation. Obviously the attack on the gay pride parade and what happened in the West Bank as well.
Ian, thanks very, very much.
Coming up, we'll follow some other breaking news we're following. The airplane part that could solve the mystery of Malaysian Flight 370 being flown to France right now. Is it the key? We'll be right back.