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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
New York Anti-Terror Units on Guard for Thanksgiving; France Investigating Radicalized Transit Workers; Turkey: New Audio Proves Warning Issued to Russian Jet; New Protests Over Police Shooting Video. Aired 7-8:00p ET
Aired November 25, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:08] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news, new fears, radical Islamists have infiltrated airports around the world as New York ramps up security before the nation's biggest parade.
And more breaking news, Vladimir Putin deploying anti-aircraft missiles to Syria. The surviving pilot from the downed Russian jet speaking out tonight for the first time.
And new protests erupting in Chicago after police released the video of Laquan McDonald shot 16 times by a police officer. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. We begin OUTFRONT tonight with breaking news. New York City deploying the most officers ever for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Thousands of terror units and police at the ready for the nation's biggest parade. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Event. The city counterterror officials expecting millions of people. Tourists and children to line the parade route. It is of course a prime target. The beefed-up security coming as we're learning an alarming new development. Brussels saying that at least ten of its airport employees have possible terror ties.
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport saying, the number of radical Islamists with access to planes could be as high as 50. This comes as we're learning more about the most wanted man in Europe, Salah Abdeslam. We now know the man who drove him to the Paris attacks went to Syria last year. That driver who you see there on the run tonight. We have a special report on that. And President Obama on a sudden move today talking to Americans about the threat to the homeland saying he is working to destroy ISIS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: We're going after ISIL wherever it hides. Our military and our partners have conducted over 8,000 air strikes on ISIL strongholds and equipment. Those air strikes, along with the efforts of our partners on the ground, have taken out key leaders, have taken back territory from ISIL in both Iraq and Syria.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT tonight live in Paris to
begin our coverage. And Martin, we are learning that Belgian authorities are trying to track down another ten suspected terrorists in addition to this news about possible radicals working at the airport.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. This has got to be extremely troubling news now that it's coming out of Belgium. Of course, the country has been under high alert since last Friday and now we're understanding why. Belgian authorities are saying that they are on the lookout for what they believe are ten members of some kind of terrorist cell. They don't identify them in any way. They do say, however, that they are believed to be heavily armed and they may also have explosives. Beyond that, there is not much more that Belgian authorities are revealing. Certainly, they say, the whereabouts of this cell by now is unknown.
But it explains -- or goes a long way to explain why that country has been on such a high level of alert. They have relaxed somewhat in Brussels. Today, the schools were allowed to reopen and much of the transportation was allowed to reopen, at least when it came to the subway. There are two lines that remain closed and there are very strong concerns still around what you call commercial areas, shopping areas. So that's what we know about that particular circumstance. Now, the travel that you just talked about, possible infiltration, both in Belgium and here in Paris, this was part of the recent investigation.
At least 50 potential workers that are at the airport in Charles de Gaulle were not provided access because they were concerns over that they might have become radicalized. This is also something they worry about with the vast transportation because they are the unions that have said that they have the same concerns. Some bus drivers apparently refusing to acknowledge women and praying while on the job. All of this raises great concerns because anybody at an airport has access to the ramp and aircraft and at Charles de Gaulle, that is an international airport where airplanes come from the U.S. as well as all other parts of the world -- Erin.
BURNETT: Martin Savidge, thank you very much. And there are fears tonight, the breaking news that radical Islamists could be working at major airports around the world. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that some airport employees in Brussels have been stripped of their security clearances. The reason, of course, would be the close ties they have to people who have left for Syria. And the Charles de Gaulle, situation that Marty is referring to, at least 50 employees there no longer have access to planes because of their Islamic extremism, they still though have their jobs.
Pamela Brown is OUTFRONT.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Samy Amimour, one of the eight Paris attackers who blew himself up at the Bataclan Theater had once been a public transportation bus driver in France until 2012. That same year, authorities charged him with collaborating with a terrorist enterprise after he allegedly attempted to fly to Yemen. It's just one reason French officials say, they have been investigating whether radicalize Islamists are working at major transportation hubs.
JUSTIN GREEN, AVIATION ATTORNEY: Security is only as good as the people doing security.
[19:05:04] BROWN: Since January, 50 employees in France with access to the Tarmac in aircraft had been refused access for being too radicalized, according to a police official. In the wake of the Paris attacks and downing of a Russian jetliner from a bomb believed to have been placed in the plane's cargo hold, CNN has learned French airport police conducted searches at several companies whose staff work at the airport.
BOB BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: How do you vet thousands and thousands of people? Because as we always say, they just have to get lucky once to close our aviation down and this is a real threat.
BROWN: In the U.S., an airport employee in Minneapolis with access to commercial airplanes traveled to Syria and died while fighting for ISIS.
BAER: That was somebody who was radicalized and just as easily could have slipped a bomb on an airplane.
BROWN: Today, Homeland Security Head Jeh Johnson says oversight of airport employees has been ramped up in the last several months.
JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: In April, I put out a directive to tighten up airport security, specifically, around those who work at airports. Fewer access points, more continuous random screening of airport personnel and we're evaluating whether more is necessary right now.
BROWN: So despite the stepped-up measures, Erin, as it stands now, most airport workers do not get screened when they show up to work every day. Homeland Security officials say, it's nearly impossible to screen every airport worker as they come on a daily basis, especially at those big airports. But with the insider threat being such a big concern, Erin, officials acknowledged having only random checks could be a loophole.
BURNETT: It is pretty scary. Pamela Brown, thank you very much.
I want to go now to former CIA counterterrorism official Phil Mudd, a former director of Intelligence at the NYPD Mitch Silber, and our terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank. A lot to talk about here. Paul though, in just 24 hours, France and Belgium banning some employees with tarmac and plane access because they say they could radicalized, they could be Muslim extremists. There's a lot of things that are very scary about this. But one of them is this. Now they are looking, all of a sudden they find 50, 60 people. Maybe there could be more. How could they have missed this before? PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, there are
questions clearly about that, Erin. And I think this is really old significant concern because the holy ground of these terrorists groups is to bring down planes, the easiest way to bring down planes is to get a bomb on board or not even having to go through all those security screenings systems. And clearly inside at the airport, people with access to the baggage, the tarmac, cleaning crews, those are the kind of people that can potentially get bombs on planes. And especially in the United States. There's just no systematic daily screening of airport workers in nearly every American airport. The only airports that do it are Miami and Orlando. And I think that that may well have to change. There are certainly going to be a lot of calls for that to change every airport worker who has access to these sensitive areas should be screened.
BURNETT: So, Phil, there's that issue. Then you have this issue. So, let's just take France. Charles de Gaulle, 50 employees, they now are taking away their access to tarmac and planes. They say they could have become radicalized. Their access as I said has been denied but, as far as we know, they still have their jobs, they are still working at the airport. That's stunning, isn't it?
PHIL MUDD, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: It is. But you've got a couple problems here. First, you're talking about how you screen employees when you get these jobs at these facilities and also how you screen them physically when they have access to the tarmac, for example. Before you go down this path, Erin, you've got to ask yourself a question or two. The first question is, if you screen someone when they get a job, are you going to rescreen them every six months, every 12 months? You've got to worry over the course of someone's 20 or 30 year career, not only would they get through the door but what happens after a year or two on the job. If you choose to screen them, the second question I'd have is, how does the government decide what radicalization is. The pendulum in the past couple of weeks has swung towards saying, we better do everything we can. If you go down for screening people for radicalization, in a year, people are going to be saying, why is the government deciding which airport employees who are watching internet videos are appropriates have a job. Be careful what you wish for.
BURNETT: Be careful what you wish for, Mitch, but at the same point this is a very scary development. Because after all, at least from what intelligence officials are saying now. Terrorists, ISIS just successfully infiltrated an airport and brought down a commercial jet with 224 innocent people on board with a bomb.
MITCHELL SILBER, FORMER DIRECTOR, NYPD INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS: Yes. And this is shocking that this suddenly seems to jump out of the news in Belgium and France today. I mean, this isn't something new. We talked about this last night in 2010, the UK arrested Rajib Karim, a British Airways IT Information Technology worker. His plan was to either crash all of the technology system, the computer systems or to get a bomb on a plane going from the UK to the U.S. So the fact that this is new to the French and Belgians is surprising. The other thing is Phil brings up a good point. You know, how do you actually detect that an airport worker is radicalized? BURNETT: Right.
[19:10:10] SILBER: Right? Because you can have radical thoughts. It's really the problem is, when do you take radical actions and how you're going to know when someone actually makes that pivot from radical ideas to actions? And that's really when you need to intercept them.
BURNETT: Yes. Which, of course, is the incredible difficulty, that they almost impossible to be able to do that. Paul, Salah Abdeslam is still on the run. He has successfully evaded the biggest manhunt Europe has ever known. That is a pretty stunning accomplishment. Do you think he could be lying and wait to pull off another attack? I know you thought that maybe they could find him in 24 hours. Here we are, still, he's still on the run.
CRUIKSHANK: That's right. He's still at large. He's got a lot of help from associates though, those two associates from Molenbeek that came and pick him up in Paris the night of the attacks, drove him all the way back to Belgium and then another associate in Brussels then drove him somewhere else. They have that associate now in custody. So, it could mean that they are closer to finding him.
CRUIKSHANK: But there's a big logical support network here. And overall, I mean, this is the terrorist poll and the biggest scare we've ever seen in Europe and the sheer number of people involved and supporting these perpetrators is really quite stunning, Erin.
BURNETT: It's stunning, Phil. And now you see -- you've got obviously Salah Abdeslam's accomplice who drove him to the attacks also. They are now looking for him. They're looking for ten others, they say. You have, what, 20,000 people now on a list in France. I mean, now the pendulum has swung to looking for anyone. Right? But there are a lot of people in there who may be bad apples. How are they going to know who?
MUDD: One of the things you've got to do in this situation is over the past couple of weeks, since the Friday attacks we can have or so, the aperture is open for this investigation. You brought so many people in. And I guarantee you some of them are talking. And you require so many e-mail addresses and phone numbers that you ought to be able to have a pretty good picture after ten days not only of what the network is but the places where Abdeslam would have been comfortable. The security officials are going to have looked at every one of those places. If he went back to Belgium as we know he did, we've got to assume he went to someplace that he was already familiar with. As time goes on, I agree with Paul, it's surprising they haven't found him. I started to ask the question increasingly. Why do we assume he hasn't gone home to Syria? They must have canvassed every place he's ever been to. Unless there's an associate they don't know about. Why do we assume he's still around?
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much. OUTFRONT next, breaking news, Vladimir Putin escalating the fight
after a Russian fighter jet was shot from the sky. Russian ground to air missiles are now on their way to the region.
Plus, the mastermind of the Paris massacre behind other major plots to kill. We will hear tonight from an American who almost died trying to stop one of the attacks.
A new protests in Chicago tonight over the video of the white officer killing a black teen. His family reaction, OUTFRONT.
[19:16:26] BURNETT: Breaking news, Putin fighting back tonight. Russian surface-to-air missiles are on their way to Syria. This is as Turkey releases audio of the warning it says it gave the Russian pilots before shooting them down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unknown air traffic position to Humaynim 040. This is Turkish Air Force speaking on guard. You are approaching Turkish airspace. Change, your heading south immediately, change your heading south.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Hard to understand even to a native English speaker. The only surviving pilot. A Russian speaking out for the first time today says, there was no warning whatsoever.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through a translator): In reality, there were no warnings, not by the radio, not visually.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Important to notice, you saw that footage was from his back. He did not want his face to appear on camera. We're going to talk more about that. But all eyes now on what Vladimir Putin will do next.
Matthew Chance is in Moscow. And Matthew, Putin is not going to let this slide, is he?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I can't imagine it. It's not in his character as the leader of Russia to let things like this slide. Remember, he's just watched at one of his warplanes being shot out of the sky by a neighboring country in Turkey as it was flying a mission against rebels inside Syria. One of the pilots that parachuted out, ejected out, was gunned down on camera by rebels that Turkey says it backs as he floated down to earth, which is in contravention of international law of course. You are not allowed to do that to unarmed pilots. And then another one of this servicemen was killed when rebels opened fire on the helicopters that we're trying to rescue the crewman in a search and rescue operations.
So, he's absolutely furious and absolutely determined to make sure that this doesn't happen again. And to that end, he's announced a number of measures. All the bombing rights from now on are going to be accompanied by fighters to make sure that if any Turkish jet approaches them, they are going to be shot at the sky, not the Russians next time. Secondly, he's deploying some of the most sophisticated surface-to-air missiles that Russia has, that the world has, in fact to the theater in Syria. They called S-400s, they have a massive range of about 400 miles. They can target 60 targets at the same time. And so it's essentially going to give Russia air superiority in the skies over in Syria. No one is going to be able to fly in that country unless they get a tacit approval of the Russians and that's a real big escalation.
BURNETT: A major escalation, especially with the United States as well and not just Turkey. What about that pilot when he did speak. You would think when he went home to Russia, he'd be some sort of a hero but only showing his back to the cameras.
CHANCE: Well, I mean, I don't know why that was, actually, obviously some kind of security reason. They don't want the face of the pilot on television but they gave us his name, constancy -- he's the captain, he's the navigator. He's been giving the hero of Russia award. The medal, the highest military honor that Russia has. I mean, he's a hero here, you're right. But again security reasons, apparently, they didn't want to show his face.
BURNETT: An interesting angle on that, too.
All right. Matthew Chance, thank you very much, live from Moscow. And now let's go to the Pentagon. Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT there. Barbara, you know, you hear Matthew talking about this. His massive escalation that nobody would be able to operate aircraft in Syria then without Russian approval. Of course, that is a major escalation. The United States is operating aircraft there. And the coalition is. What's the reaction from the U.S.?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think right now it's one of caution. First and foremost, the U.S. is calling for both Russia and Turkey to de-escalate, to talk about this, make sure it doesn't happen again and not let tensions rise. As for those missiles going to Syria, certainly the U.S. watching that very carefully to see what is actually taking place, but officials -- my sources are telling me -- they look at Russia in two ways. They look at Russia military capabilities and indeed that system has a lot of capabilities but they also look at intentions. What are Vladimir Putin's intentions, how he intends to use that system. Is it really to keep the U.S. and the coalition from flying or is it to intimidate the Turks to stay on their side of the border and not cause trouble in the minds of the Russian military. Still really needs to be sorted out. It would be a massive change if the Russians were to put some new limitations on the U.S. and the coalition but right now a bit of a wait and see attitude by the Pentagon to determine how all of this may unfold.
BURNETT: Barbara, thank you.
And now let's go to the former CIA Operative Bob Baer, intelligence and security analyst for us. Bob, you know, it is pretty, as Barbara was saying, these are incredibly sophisticated systems, 60 targets at once as we just heard from Matthew Chance, would enable them to control the air space in Syria. Which if they did that, if, it would be a massive escalation, something that you have been very concerned about.
[19:21:22] BOB BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Well, the escalation has already occurred. These missiles are not to be used against the rebels or anybody else. They are going to be targeted on Turkish airplanes, possibly American, French and British. I mean, the only purpose for these weapons are to keep our planes out of the air or the Turkish planes and not only that because of their range, they can shoot across the border that he puts our planes flying at risk. I don't know what Putin is going to do and neither does Washington. I mean, he is a very determined man. He looks at Syria as an existential threat to his country. And if we cross the line, he give the orders to fire a missile. I mean, he's furious about this airplane having been shot down.
BAER: And he will not let this stand.
BURNETT: I mean, it is pretty incredible. This is Vladimir Putin today, by the way, just visually also escalating at a plant, missile, not missile I'm sorry, but defense plant, tanks, other armored vehicles like that. I mean, is this a potential sort of -- you've been talking about this as a World War III but when you look at this plane going down, I mean, is this a moment? A sort of Archduke Ferdinand sort of moment. I mean, Obama had to come immediately to the defense of Turkey as a NATO member and say Turkey is in the right. He had to immediately do that. If something else happens, all of a sudden you are looking at the NATO alliance being called in.
BAER: Well, exactly. I mean, what's to stop Putin from a Turkish plane straying too close to the border, even partially into Syria, he shoots it down.
BAER: And Turkey will evoke its NATO membership to respond and what are we going to do? And, you know, it's unthinkable at this point shooting down one of our airplanes but that system can do it. I mean, this is a huge escalation and we are moving closer to a major war in the Middle East.
BURNETT: And quickly, before we go, when the second pilot was killed, rebels on the ground, Allah Akbar, they were snickering, they executed him, these rebels may have gotten their weapons from the United States. We don't know. But they are groups that have been supported by the U.S. That's pretty scary. BAER: It's very scary. These are proxies. They're proxies at
Turkey. The tone missile that apparently brought, hit the helicopter. Might have been supplied by the United States. When our proxies start shooting at Russians and killing them in the air, violating Geneva Conventions, this has crossed a line with Vladimir Putin.
BURNETT: Yes. And certainly, and when you put it that way, an understandable one. Thank you very much, Bob Baer.
OUTFRONT next, the breaking news tonight out of Chicago, protests tonight over the fatal police shooting of a black teen and new doubts about whether the officer will be convicted of first-degree murder.
Plus, Laquan McDonald's family reacts to the video and tonight's protests OUTFRONT, that's next.
[19:27:58] BURNETT: Breaking news, protesters hitting the streets after the release of graphic video showing a white police officer shooting a black teenager 16 times. This is in Chicago this hour. The officer now facing charges of first-degree murder. And moments ago President Obama weighing in on this. He says he's deeply disturbed by the video and he's grateful the protests in his hometown are peaceful.
Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT to breakdown this video second by second.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The video is six minutes and 53 seconds. Most of it police vehicles trying to find what they are told is a knife-wielding suspect stealing and threatening others.
JONATHAN GILLIAM, FORMER POLICE OFFICER: What's happening in my head as an officer? Well, you know that this person has a knife. You know that he's been using that knife. Now, as you're approaching there, the sense that this potentially could be imminent danger of loss of life or serious bodily injury --
MARQUEZ: The dash cam video has no audio, shortly before officers encounter Laquan McDonald, someone points officers in the direction the 17-year-old went. Fifteen seconds later, police spot and surround McDonald.
GILLIAM: At this point right here, you see an individual go from running or trotting to walking and then you see him pull the knife out, which is a provocative move, right there.
MARQUEZ (on camera): Right there.
GILLIAM: What is that telling me as an officer? It's telling me that somebody is potentially getting ready to make a move with this weapon. MARQUEZ (voice-over): Then, Officer Jason Van Dyke and his
partner arrive, both immediately train their weapons on McDonald commanding him to drop the knife.
GILLIAM: At this point, the officer should feel fear, tactically, what I was taught, this officer has the right to use deadly force on that individual.
MARQUEZ: Six seconds after jumping out of the car, Van Dyke on the force 14 years, fires. The first round appears to hit McDonald's left shoulder. He spins and falls, still holding the knife.
(on camera): So because McDonald does not drop the knife here, they continue to shoot.
GILLIAM: I can guarantee you, almost 100 percent of all law enforcement, if the knife had fallen out of his hand, would have stopped shooting.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Van Dyke fires 16 times. All 16 bullets hit the teenager. When McDonald falls, one shot goes through him kicking up debris, McDonald still holds the knife.
GILLIAM: And he's still moving and still has the knife and he gets shot again.
MARQUEZ (on camera): Another shot right there?
MARQUEZ: And then his hand goes forward with the knife still in it?
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Van Dyke's partner tells him to stop firing and clears the knife away. The incident is over but the controversy has just begun.
MARQUEZ: Now, the medical examiner says only two of the shots were -- hit McDonald while he was standing. The other 14 were while he was on the ground. The prosecutor saying that none of the other officers saw McDonald do anything threatening towards the officers, that he wasn't backing away, but he wasn't moving towards him.
One of the officers on the scene said he didn't see the need for the use of force -- Erin.
BURNETT: Miguel, thank you.
And let's go straight now to our legal analyst, former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, Paul Callan, and our political commentator, Marc Lamont Hill. So, Paul, let me start with you. A lot of people are saying here
are two of the basic facts here. This happened in October 2014. So, it happened almost more than a year ago, right, almost 16 months ago, or 14 months ago. And we're just getting the video now.
So, they say, why is that? Was there an attempt to cover up an attempt to not charge this officer or is that a conspiracy theory?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, I don't think it's a conspiracy theory. I think this is a shocking delay in this case. This is a -- it's a relatively simple fact pattern. You see some cases where there is complicated forensic evidence and you need toxicology reports.
All you have to do is look at this film and you see a person on the ground who is not a threat to the officer when he continues to fire into that helpless person. You don't really need a lot more than that. So, why would it take 13 months --
BURNETT: So you think it's possible, if a reporter had not filed a Freedom of Information Act request, which is how this video was released, do you think it's possible they may not have charged this officer with first-degree murder?
CALLAN: I think it's possible that they may not have. But, you know, it would be a shocking thing to me if that were true. I understand that, you know, there's been about 50 of these shootings in Chicago and in the recent past, but very few of them result in charges against police officers.
BURNETT: Marc, do you think they were trying to cover it up? We should note, obviously the video we have is from the dashcam of one of the police cars. So, the police officers knew that there was video.
However, the manager of a nearby burger king said police officers went into the stores and erased surveillance footage that would have shown the shooting. Again, I emphasize that they knew there was video that they weren't able to release. But if this is true, that they did this to Burger King, it adds more people saying, were they trying to hide it?
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I believe that they were trying to cover it up. I would like to see an investigation before I can reach a firm conclusion. I want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
The problem here is that law enforcement don't deserve the benefit and there isn't that much doubt at this point, erasing the tape. In fact, the city offered a settlement so quickly before a woman filed a lawsuit, all suggests that people were trying to sweep this under the rug.
I think there was a hope, if not an expectation, that the FOIA request would not have been made by a journalist and this would have gone away, like so many deaths go away at the hands of law enforcement. BURNETT: Yes.
HILL: So I'm troubled by it but also curious to know what they thought the end game would be if they did get caught.
BURNETT: So, Paul, let me ask you, the officer charged with first-degree murder, that's a big charge. First-degree murder is premeditation, right? Six seconds is not premeditation to most people. Did they overdue this? What's the strategy here?
CALLAN: It's very, very rare to see a first-degree charge against a police officer. It doesn't require premeditation. What it requires is -- although that's popularly the phrase that's used.
CALLAN: It requires an intent, a formed intent to kill. Now, you can form that intent fairly quickly.
BURNETT: So, you can form it in six seconds?
CALLAN: Yes. But I think it's likely that a jury could compromise on this and say, you know something, he was acting under the heat of passion, the heat of the moment, he made a mistake, fired too many times. It's second-degree murder.
CALLAN: That's what we usually see in these cases.
BURNETT: So, let me ask you, Marc, the video is hard to watch. The officer's attorney says it does not tell the whole story and here's how he explained it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL Q. HERBERT, ATTORNEY FOR CHICAGO POLICE OFFICER JASON VAN DYKE: The video, no matter how clear it is, there are problems with video and most important I think is the fact that video, by its nature, is two-dimensional and it distorts images. So, what appears to be clear on video sometimes is not always that clear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Could that be the case, Mark? That there is something here that may change your view --
HILL: No, there is nothing that could change my view. First of all, even before I saw the video there were questions raised, the fact that five other officers didn't find it worthy of raising their weapons and shooting.
[19:35:04] But once I saw the video, it erased all doubt.
But there's a long history of people saying that witnesses don't matter as much when black people die and black witnesses certainly don't count. And then, post-Rodney King era, we have it on videotape, and they say, well, don't believe your lying eyes. Believe what we tell you. Not what you just saw but what we just told you.
And so, constantly, the bar keeps getting moved away when black victims are in question here or dead here. So, no, very little could happen. Could there be more evidence, a thicker description, as it were? Of course there could be.
But it doesn't negate the fact that 14 shots went into somebody's body after they hit the ground. 14 shots after they were clearly not a threat and that's ultimately the deciding factor here.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to both of you.
OUTFRONT next, Laquan McDonald's family reacting to the video. Why they didn't want it to be released to the public.
Plus, the rings leader of the Paris attacks behind at least four other deadly plots. You'll hear tonight from an American who almost died trying to stop him.
[19:40:00] BURNETT: Breaking news, protests erupting on the streets of Chicago at this hour. People expressing outrage over the brutal killing of a 17-year-old black teen shot 16 times by a white police officer.
Who was Laquan McDonald?
Ryan Young is OUTFRONT with his story.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Laquan McDonald was shot and killed more than a year ago, his death went by with little notice. But the release of a dash cam showing how the 17-year- old was gunned down by a police officer has propelled his case into the national spotlight.
SHYRELL JOHNSON, LAQUAN MCDONALD'S UNCLE: My nephew was shot in the back and in all other places 16 times.
PROTESTERS: Sixteen shots! Sixteen shots!
YOUNG: "Sixteen shots," the phrase protesters had been chanting as they call for justice of the slain teen.
McDonald lived a hard life growing up on the south side of Chicago. In December of 2000, at the age of 3, he was taken from his mother after charges of neglect and placed in foster care. Between 2000 and 2002, McDonald's moved three times before being sent back with his mother but his time in foster care wasn't over.
In June of 2003, at the age of 6, he's taken from his mother again after state investigators find his mother's boyfriend abused him by leaving cuts, welts and bruises on his body. McDonald's life appears to stabilize when he's placed with a great-grandmother and she becomes his legal guardian. But at the age of 15, his great grandmother dies, living his life in limbo again.
Just several months later, McDonald is arrested for marijuana position and spent four months in juvenile detention before moving in with his uncle in May of 2014.
Five months later, with PCP in his system and a knife in his hand, McDonald was gunned down by Officer Van Dyke on the night of October 20th of 2014. Earlier this year, McDonald's mother received a $5 million settlement from the city of Chicago.
And the release of this video showing McDonald's death has led to first-degree murder charges for Officer Jason Van Dyke.
YOUNG: And you can see the small memorial that's been left here. We've seen dozens of people coming here this afternoon to pay their respects. Some protesters started here before going downtown. This, of course, is the spot where the young man died.
We've also seen the heavy police presence in this area all afternoon -- Erin.
BURNETT: Brian, thank you very much. Very tragic life.
And OUTFRONT now, we're joined by Mike Robbins, the attorney for Laquan McDonald's family.
Thank you for being with me, Mike.
I want to play for you what Officer Van Dyke's lawyer had to say about this video. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HERBERT: After watching it several times and, most importantly, getting the perspective of my client, that's when I came to the conclusion that his actions were justified.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: What do you say to that?
MIKE ROBBINS, ATTORNEY FOR LAQUAN MCDONALD'S FAMILY: I disagree. The video clearly shows Laquan walking away and he was not threatening anybody and certainly didn't lunge at the police officer. This was originally presented as an act of self-defense but the officer had to shoot him to save his own life and that was a lie and the video is clearly an indication that this was an unnecessary shooting.
BURNETT: Do you think there was a cover-up, the reports that police tried to get Burger King to erase its surveillance video even though they knew that it was recorded on dash cam? ROBBINS: The Burger King video is missing. I do not know if it
was erased. I know the police accessed the video.
Burger King employees claimed that the video system, as far as they know, was working. Police were there for hours looking at the video because they themselves were filmed inside the Burger King. If they got there and turned the equipment on, what were they looking at for a couple of hours if there was no video when they got there? I don't know if they erased it.
But to your question of a cover-up, I think that's absolutely the case here. Because you have a spokesman from the police union putting out a false narrative about this act of self-defense and in fact he was shot walking away. He wasn't threatening anybody.
BURNETT: So let me ask you about McDonald's life. It was a trouble life. You heard our piece. It's sad to watch that. As Ryan Young reported, he was neglected by his mother. That's what the state found. Taken out of her custody more than once, yet she received $5 million from the city after his death.
What was his relationship with his mother?
ROBBINS: Well, actually, she didn't receive it. The estate received it and Laquan has a sibling and she's an heir and this money will be put away and provided for her through a structured settlement.
Actually, there was a petition filed about a year before Laquan's death by his mother to reunify the family and they were making great progress in that direction. Laquan was enrolled in an alternative school. Many members off the school staff, social staff and so on.
[19:45:01] And I believe even a juvenile court judge attended his funeral because they were so distressed over this and had such hope for him.
BURNETT: Quickly, before we go, his sibling, is his sibling of age? Will she control the money or will the mother control the money?
ROBBINS: The money is not in -- it's in a structured settlement. It's not in their control at all. So, it's in a structured settlement.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Mike. I appreciate you taking the time. Mike Robbins, as I said, attorney for the family.
Up next, the mastermind of the Paris attack also plotted to kill on a Paris-bound train. A hero shot him. We're gong to have that story. He speaks out, next.
BURNETT: The manhunt continuing right now for one of the suspects in the Paris terror attacks as the rings leader is now believed to have planned four other major attacks, one of them on a packed train. An American stopped the carnage of that terror attack and Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mark Moogalian knows what it is like to be shot by a terrorist.
MARK MOOGALIAN, SURVIVOR OF PARIS TRAIN ATTACK: The force of the shot did kind of push me forward and I felt like I was just hovering in the air for a second.
SAVIDGE: August 21st, on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris, Moogalian is one of the first to see an armed terrorist. He jumps on the gunman, an act that nearly cost his life.
MOOGALIAN: The bullet broke two ribs, pierced my left lung and then came up through the neck and came out here.
[19:50:08] SAVIDGE: The gunshot alerts the rest of the passengers to the danger. The attacker armed with an assault rifle, semiautomatic handgun, a box cutter and gasoline could kill dozens on the crowded train, but three more Americans run to the rescue. Among them U.S. Air Force paramedic Spencer Stone who subdues the gunman and treats Moogalian.
MOOGALIAN: He said, you know, you're a hero, but I didn't feel like a hero because I thought that the hero gets the guy.
SAVIDGE: Paris, Friday the 13th. Like everyone, Moogalian is sickened by the slaughter. And then horrified to hear the man behind it is also believed to have plotted the attack that nearly killed him, a terrifying connection.
MOOGALIAN: I can now put myself to a certain degree in the places of the victims, lying there in their own blood knowing they are going to die. But nobody came to save them.
SAVIDGE: Moogalian recovering from his own wounds and music is part of that healing. It is not always easy but he's alive. He'd like to meet with some of the wounded from the Paris attack.
(on camera): How would the conversation begin?
MOOGALIAN: How are you, you know? Maybe you know who I am. I went through something kind of similar, and I'm glad to see that you've made it through, and if there's anything you'd like to talk about, anything at all that we could share because it was a scary experience for me.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Just as on the train, Moogalian believes he has a role to play, not just a hero but as a survivor spreading the message of hope.
BURNETT: Marty, it's pretty frightening. We just took that train last week. It brings home, it's impossible to imagine what happened to them.
Does Moogalian and the other Americans that rushed with him to stop this attack, they didn't know each other -- does he now stay in touch with them?
SAVIDGE: He does, yes, a very close bond he says especially with Spencer Stone which he credits with saving his life by putting his finger on the jugular of Moogalian, who was bleeding out. So, they do stay in very close touch and they talked great deal in the aftermath of the tragedy that happened then and think about what is going on now.
BURNETT: Incredibly moving. Thank you for sharing that with us, Marty.
And next, two very lucky turkeys on this Thanksgiving Eve.
Plus, why is this man singing about sweet potato pie?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Heaven all day, but I hope when I get to heaven, they have Patti pie. Lord, when I get to heaven, I hope they have Patti pie, Patti pie, Patti pie --
[19:57:27] BURNETT: The White House turkey pardon, President Obama today paying tribute to a Thanksgiving tradition that goes back to Lincoln as cheesy as it may be, granting clemency to turkey's aptly named Honest and Abe. Of course, with turkey comes pie and for this year's hottest desert, we turn to Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is pie that flies.
JAMES WRIGHT CHANEL, ENTERTAINER: I swear, now --
MOOS: Off the shelf at Walmart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead and get a nibble.
MOOS: Patty's sweet potato pie by none either than Patti Labelle.
Voulez-vous eat my pie.
MOOS: This guy did.
CHANEL: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) into patty. You turn into patty after eating this.
MOOS: His review turned Patti's pie into a phenomenon. CHANEL (singing): This isn't how it was supposed to end --
MOOS: Patti Labelle has a cookbook and his famed for dishes like macaroni and cheese. But for the first three days after James Wright Chanel posted his review, literally singing the praises of Patti's $3.40 pie.
CHANEL (singing): You are pie praise --
MOOS: Walmart says it sold a pie a second.
Now, you don't see me holding a pie because it's nearly impossible to get them. Check out Walmart's website, out of stock, out of stock, out of stock.
CHANEL: And I'll be gone --
MOOS: James is a hairdresser and an entertainer in L.A. After his review got millions of views, he got a very special phone call.
CHANEL: You know, Patti has that little distinctive voice so she was like "James", and I said, "Patti," we talked like we knew each other for forever. She was like you're an awesome singer. You're an awesome individual. She was like, child, you're going to go far.
MOOS: She's invited him to spend a day with her.
James' review has inspired others, this guy called his mom after the first bite.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to have to say ms. Patty pie is better than your sweet potato pie, ma.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to hang up on you.
MOOS: Everybody seems hung up on patty's sweet potato pie.
CHANEL: Lord, when I get to heaven I hope they have Patti Pie, Patti pie --
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: You know what? That mother did the right thing. He never should have told her if it tasted better than her pie.
Thanks so much for joining us. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a safe one. Be sure to set your DVR to record OUTFRONT so you can watch at any time.
"AC360" with John Berman starts right now.